Monday, February 22, 2010

"F**king Israelis, F**king Jews... they should be wiped off the face of the earth"

--Rowan Laxton, high-ranking diplomat and "Middle East expert" at the British Foreign Office

But we can . . .

NOTE: BE SURE TO READ It's called being a light unto the nations FROM Internet Haganah
Reprinted at the very end of this here post . . . and the expanded original article
I Can't Help Admiring Israel's Nerve - Melanie Reid - Times-UK

From Naomi Ragen at

It’s disgusting that the BBC and other British news outlets are making up stories about the participation of Israelis and Jews in the assassination of al- Mabhouh in Dubai. If they were involved, they should get a Nobel Prize for Peace. But no one has proved that. The fact that this venal terrorist had five foreign passports doesn't seem to interest anyone, as Tom Gross points out. My thanks to Tom Gross for this information and for everything he does to make sure the truth has a fighting chance in the quagmire that is British "journalism."


By Tom Gross

We all know that journalists (including some at highly-regarded newspapers) often makes things up, but rarely have we witnessed such a mix of misinformation, disinformation and innuendo passed off as fact, as we have in recent days in the reports dealing with the death of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Mabhouh. (Some of this admittedly can be attributed to the complete failure of the Israeli government - whether or not Israel had anything to do with the matter - to provide an effective response to the media.)

For example, the story in yesterday's (London) Sunday Telegraph that British immigrants to Israel had their passports removed and copied at passport control at Tel Aviv airport, is highly implausible. Passports are not taken from immigrants at Tel Aviv airport. This has never been the practice. I have checked with several recent immigrants and they have confirmed that this is not so.

The Telegraph story, written by a London-based correspondent, has all the signs of being planted by anti-Israel elements at the British Foreign Office (of which there are many - witness, for example, the reinstatement last year of Rowan Laxton, a high-ranking diplomat and "Middle East expert" at the British Foreign Office, even after a London court had found him guilty of racially aggravated harassment for saying "F**king Israelis, F**king Jews... they should be wiped off the face of the earth" in a crowded London gym).

But other media lapped up the Telegraph story. For example, Sky News ran it all day yesterday on its ticker tape at the foot of the screen, probably doing great damage to future British tourism to Israel by falsely reporting that British passports would be removed and copied at Ben Gurion airport.

(Among other nonsense published in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday was the claim that "Tzipi Livni, the head of the opposition Kadima Party in Israel, was another Mossad high-flier. She was posted to Paris as a kidon, carrying out ruthless operations against Arab terrorists." See the second note here:


Even worse was the story in yesterday's London Sunday Times by its notoriously unreliable reporter Uzi Mahnaimi, claiming that the paper had evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had personally ordered the hit on Mabhouh, and even providing quotes attributed to Netanyahu when he supposedly gave such orders. The Sunday Times story was then splashed all day as the lead story on the websites of papers like Ha'aretz, which is so full of contempt for the elected government of Israel that it will publish almost anything to paint Netanyahu in a bad light.

A comparable motive is true in Britain in the case of The Daily Mail, who were determined to attack Gordon Brown's government and thus on Friday published an anonymous story (without any author's byline, or quoted persons in it) claiming that the British government "knew in advance that Israel was going to use British passports". The Daily Mail claimed in its story that they had been told this by a serving member of the Mossad. Again, this is virtually inconceivable since serving members of the Mossad do not speak to journalists but The Daily Mail's report was treated seriously and rebroadcast around the world as lead item by major TV stations.

Even The New York Times and International Herald Tribune got in on the act on Friday, telling readers that Israel has engaged in 40 Dubai-type assassinations in recent years - again claims made without a shred of evidence, and highly unlikely to be true.

The French media have also regurgitated the stories of the British media, leading to French Prime Minister François Fillon, who was in Syria this weekend, to declare - in front of President Assad of all people! - "we are against this form of assassination; whoever orders them should be punished. Like the British and the Germans we have asked Israeli authorities to explain themselves."


At the same time that they blamed Israel, these very same British and American media made very little of the fact that every day last week their own governments killed terrorists in Afghanistan (and elsewhere).

Given the level of censorship they are imposing on their Afghan coverage (censorship that news broadcasters like the BBC fail to tell viewers about), they almost never mention the civilians their armies are killing. (The almost three dozen civilians - mainly women and children - killed by a NATO strike yesterday are being reported in some media, but similar strikes last week were largely ignored by the same media so eager to paint the death of a leading Hamas terrorist as some kind of "master crime". Preliminary reports indicate that Dutch forces were in charge of the area where the civilians died yesterday, but instead EU foreign ministers are preparing today to condemn Israel, not Holland.)

(Having milked all it could out of its reports in recent days that British citizens' passports were used, The Times of London's main online world news headline today reads "Dubai hit squad 'used diplomatic passports'" - which is the opposite of what The Times was claiming last week.)

Mabhouh had five different passports with him in Dubai: there seems to be no media coverage or interest in which countries' passports he was using.


(This next part of the note was sent in a slightly difficult form to some people on Friday, but not to most of you.)

The governments of Jordan and Egypt (where Mabhouh previously spent a year in prison in 2003) had sought Mabhouh for some time. Some Arab media have reported that the operation against Mabhouh may have been carried out by a rival Palestinian group and the photographed individuals have nothing to do with it.

Indeed it is not even clear that the nine photographs that the Dubai authorities have released to the media actually portray real people. (Have they been heavily retouched, for example? Is each one a composite of several faces?) The photos have been shown repeatedly in news broadcasts and plastered on the front page of newspapers around the world in the last 48 hours [it is now almost a week], but not a single person has come forward to say they recognize any of them, even from high school days, despite front page headlines such as Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper saying "If you recognize any of these people, call us".

(Even if Israel was responsible for Mabhouh's death, it doesn't mean the photos produced by Dubai had anything to do with it. Almost no one is questioning whether this evidence is really evidence at all.)

Unlike the anti-Israeli elements of the Western media that have rushed to blame Israel (creating a public furor and thereby forcing the hands of the British, Irish and French governments to summon their respective Israeli ambassadors), the Arab media are suggesting that the truth is far more complicated.

For example, the Arab world's leading and arguably its most reliable newspaper, Al Sharq Alawsat, ran these stories:
* UAE Tipped Jordan of Palestinian Suspects whilst they were in the Air - Sources
* Palestinian Dubai Murder Suspects are Hamas Members - Palestinian Security Official
* This article in al-Hayat (Arabic only) also examines Palestinian involvement (with assistance from Arab and Western intelligence agencies) into Mabhouh's death.>



I have received dozens and dozens of emails as a result of my Dubai dispatch last week and apologize that I don't have time to answer all of them. I attach below several articles on the subject, which I believe are all worth reading. They put forward some points of view not found in many other parts of the media, including in the case of The Daily Mail, Times and Telegraph items, in the rest of the coverage in those same papers. The authors of these articles (Alan Dershowitz, Douglas Murray, Haviv Rettig Gur, Noah Pollak and Richard Littlejohn) are all long time subscribers to this email list. (Melanie Reid is not.)

-- Tom Gross




Nice job, shame about the syrups By Richard Littlejohn Daily Mail (extracts from his column - the rest of the column is about other matters)

February 19, 2010

When it was reported that Mossad had stolen the identities of British passport holders to carry out a covert operation in Dubai, it didn't add up.

Why would Israeli intelligence implicate British Jews living in Israel? And given that Mossad has access to the most sophisticated assassination techniques in the world, why were the alleged assassins wearing the kind of ill-fitting nylon wigs and comedy moustaches last seen being sported by bank robbers in The Sweeney, circa 1975?

None of it makes sense outside of the kaleidoscope universe of Middle East espionage. Was this double-bluff, triple-bluff, blind man's-bluff?

Even one of the men who had his identity stolen doesn't believe it was Mossad. I shouldn't think we'll ever know, which suits everyone involved. The diplomatic 'row' between Britain and Israel is a dog-and pony show, which will soon blow over.

Ultimately, whoever killed him, a notorious terrorist is dead.

Works for me.



BBC blasted for 'bigoted fear-mongering'
By Haviv Rettig Gur
The Jerusalem Post
February 22, 2010

The New York-based American Jewish Committee blasted the BBC on Sunday for airing an accusation that Jews around the world assist in supposed Mossad assassinations.

The AJC said in a statement that it was "dismayed that a guest on BBC Radio 4 was allowed to state unchallenged" that the Mossad relies on Jews for assassination plots.

"This baseless accusation crosses every red line between legitimate public discussion and bigoted fear-mongering," said AJC executive director David Harris. "In less than a minute, the BBC has cast a shadow on the lives of Jews worldwide."

BBC Radio 4's PM program interviewed Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies, a book about the Mossad, about the January 20 assassination of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

Local authorities and many international media outlets believe that the killing of Mabhouh, who bought rockets for Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip,
was carried out by the Mossad.

In explaining the Mossad's operating methods outside Israel, Thomas told PM host Eddie Mair, "They have a whole backup system called 'asylum.' These are people, local residents, Jewish people, who help the Mossad. It is estimated to be in the world about half a million; some people say a million; I tend to say it's about half a million, all of them Mossad people."

"Of course, Mr. Thomas is irresponsible in making such unfounded assertions on a radio program heard around the world," said Harris, "but even more shocking is BBC, a premier public broadcaster with a far-reaching global network. How can the interviewer allow such aspersions to be cast on a community without the reporter calling the so-called expert to order?"

The comments also drew condemnation from observers of the BBC.

"Unfortunately, such ugly and nonsensical statements on the BBC come as no surprise. The BBC often handpicks interviewees who are likely to say such things as part of a wider pattern to demonize the State of Israel," said Tom Gross, a former Middle East correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph and a Middle East analyst who has long been critical of BBC coverage of the

The AJC called on the BBC "to examine this disgraceful transmission, apologize to Jews around the world and remove from its archive the slanderous words."

Reached for comment, the BBC press office in London said, "This interview was part of a wider piece about the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh which involved contributions from a number of people including Gordon Thomas, an author of a book about [the] Mossad.

"The sentiments expressed by Gordon Thomas were clearly his own opinions. They came at the end of the interview when it was being wrapped up and there was no time to come back on them."


[Tom Gross adds: Last night, in a speech in London, former senior British army officer Col Richard Kemp, who was a commander in Afghanistan, said international media including the BBC are being exploited by "dark forces" who want to harm Israel and were "motivated by anti-Semitism".]



BBC broadcast: 'One million Jews help Mossad'
By Douglas Murray
Daily Telegraph blogs
February 18, 2010

Amid all the excitable nonsense being talked about dead Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh I think the BBC has topped the lot. In an interview broadcast on Radio 4's PM programme last night broadcast (at 17:35 mins) one interviewee explained that up to one million Jews worldwide might be on hand to assist Mossad in executions. That would mean about one in every dozen Jewish people worldwide is a secret assistant to assassins.

Now I must have more than a dozen or so Jewish friends. So which is it? Maybe I know two? It makes you think doesn't it?

The next time I am at a friend's child's bar mitzvah the likelihood is that on at least 10 separate occasions during the day I'll be helping myself at the buffet beside, or dancing opposite, someone who secretly helps in assassinations. Which will certainly make me more circumspect about my dance moves, not to mention barging in at the buffet queue.

Most people are terrible at keeping secrets, and Jews are no different from anyone else in this regard. So the idea that up to a million of them keep this secret knowledge strikes me as not just one of the most ridiculous, but in the present climate one of the most dangerous, ideas for the BBC to pump into circulation. Yet it typical of the lather nearly all the press have got into with this Dubai business.

If anyone is interested in a more balanced and factual view of things, can I heartily recommend the indispensable Tom Gross here (, not least the section "Has Israel been set up?"


Thank you too to all the other journalist subscribers to this list who also linked to my previous Dubai dispatch, such as Stephanie Gutmann on The Daily Telegraph website ( ) -- and Melanie Phillips on The Spectator website:



If Israel killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, did it have the right to?
By Alan Dershowitz
February 18, 2010

If Israel killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Did It Have the Right To? I don't know whether Israel did or did not assassinate the leader of the Hamas military wing, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. But assuming for argument's sake that the Mossad made the hit, did it have the right to engage in this "extrajudicial assassination?"

Not all extrajudicial killings are unlawful. Every soldier who kills an enemy combatant engages in an extrajudicial killing, as does every policeman who shoots a fleeing felon. There are several complex legal questions involved in assessing these situations.

First, was the person who was killed a combatant, in relation to those killed him? If Israel killed Mabhouh, there can be absolutely no doubt that he was a combatant. He was actively participating in an ongoing war by Hamas against Israeli civilians. Indeed, it is likely that he was killed while on a military mission to Iran in order to secure unlawful, anti-personnel rockets that target Israeli civilians. Both the United States and Great Britain routinely killed such combatants during the Second World War, whether they were in uniform or not. Moreover, Hamas combatants deliberately remove their uniforms while engaged in combat.

So if the Israeli Air Force had killed Mabhouh while he was in Gaza, there would be absolutely no doubt that their action would be lawful. It does not violate international law to kill a combatant, regardless of where the combatant is found, whether he is awake or asleep and whether or not he is engaged in active combat at the moment of his demise.

But Mabhouh was not killed in Gaza. He was killed in Dubai. It is against the law of Dubai for an Israeli agent to kill a combatant against Israel while he is in Dubai. So the people who engaged in the killing presumptively violated the domestic law of Dubai, unless there is a defense to such a
killing based on international principles regarding enemy combatants. It is unlikely that any defense would be available to an Israeli or someone working on behalf of Israel, since Dubai does not recognize Israel's right to kill enemy combatants on its territory.

If it could be proved that Israel was responsible for the hit - an extremely unlikely situation - then only Dubai could lawfully bring Israelis to trial. They would not be properly subjected to prosecution before an international tribunal. But what if a suspect was arrested in England, the United States or some other western country and Dubai sought his extradition? That would
pose an interesting legal, diplomatic, political and moral dilemma. Traditional extradition treaties do not explicitly cover situations of this kind. This was not an ordinary murder. It was carried out as a matter of state policy as part of an ongoing war. A western democracy would certainly have the right and the power to refuse to extradite. But they might decide, for political or diplomatic reasons, to turn the person over to Dubai.

Turning now to the moral considerations, which might influence a decision whether to extradite, the situation is even murkier. The Goldstone report suggests that Israel cannot lawfully fight Hamas rockets by wholesale air attacks. Richard Goldstone, in his interviews, has suggested that Israel should protect itself from these unlawful attacks by more proportionate retail measures, such as commando raids and targeted killing of terrorists engaged in the firing of rockets. Well, there could be no better example of a proportionate, retail and focused attack on a combatant who was deeply involved in the rocket attacks on Israel, than the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Not only was Mabhouh the commander in charge of Hamas' unlawful military actions at the time of his death, he was also personally responsible for the kidnapping and coldblooded murder of two Israeli soldiers several years earlier.

Obviously it would have been better if he could have been captured and subjected to judicial justice. But it was impossible to capture him, especially when he was in Dubai. If Israel was responsible for the killing, it had only two options: to let him go on his way and continue to endanger Israeli civilian lives by transferring unlawful anti-personnel weapons from Iran to Gaza, or to kill him. There was no third alternative. Given those two options, killing seems like the least tragic choice available. I leave to others, more expert in these matters, whether if Israel ordered the killing, it was strategically the right thing, or whether they carried
it off in an intelligent manner. But as to the legal and moral right to end the threat posed by this mass murderer, the least bad alternative would seem to be his extrajudicial killing.



We're all thrilled by Mossad the movie Of course we should condemn extrajudicial murder, but I still can't help admiring Israel's nerve
By Melanie Reid
The Times (of London)
February 18, 2010

Steven Soderbergh, evidently, was only kidding when he said that there would be no Ocean's 14. He's plainly been hard at work filming in a hotel in Dubai, as we can see from the trailers running on News at Ten. With Mossad operatives filling in as movie extras.

Now I know we really, really shouldn't joke about these things. I should be wearing black and have a long face and be uttering pieties about the disgraceful "extrajudicial" killing of the Hamas military chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, apparently by Israeli agents.

All nice people, quite rightly, are adopting the proper moral stance and expressing outrage and disgust at this affront to international law and justice. But the rest of us ... well, we simply can't wait until the movie comes out. Largely thanks to the blurry CCTV pictures, there is an element to the assassination in Dubai that is appallingly irresistible. What the secret agents did - and, critically, what we saw them do - was compelling and breathtaking in its cleverness.

It was also, in the darkest sense, comic - hence the feeling of Ocean's 11,
12 and 13.

That the agents were using fake identities, one of them being that of Paul Keeley, 42, a bewildered Kent-born odd-job man who was living in Israel, just added to the sense that this was too good to be true. Where were George Clooney and Brad Pitt? To see the images of tubby tennis players bimbling across the hotel lobby and into the lift with the Danny Devito-like figure of Mr al-Mabhouh, and then following him so that they could note down his room number, was to know that this was an incomparable heist; a case of life imitating art imitating life. That it was a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of international espionage makes it all the more seductive.

Now everything I write, of course, is on the understanding that the Israelis refuse to comment on allegations that they are responsible for the killing. But their motive, it is said, is that Mr al-Mabhouh is rumoured to have played a key role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to Islamist militants in Gaza, and may have been on his way to Iran. And just because the Israelis haven't said that they did it doesn't mean for a minute that they weren't responsible.

It is an unfashionable thing to say, but I have a considerable admiration for the Israeli way of doing things. They want something, they get it. They perceive someone as their deadly enemy, they kill them. They get hit, they hit back. They don't waste time explaining or justifying or agonising; nor do they allow their detractors to enter their country and then afford them generous welfare payments. They just act. No messing. No scruples. Not even a shrug and a denial, just a rather magnificent refusal to debate anything.

This absolutism, based on their history, carries its own moral weight; one that is rather electrifying in a Western world grown flabby with niceties. Clearly, the Israelis could defend their policies if they wanted to, but they quite simply can't be bothered. It's a waste of breath. One admires them for that, too.

I've felt this way ever since the Entebbe raid in 1976, an occasion when the Israelis showed Hollywood a thing or two. After two Palestinians and two Germans had hijacked an aircraft on a flight that had originated in Israel, the Israeli army simply swooped in, killed the hijackers and freed all but three of the hostages. It was decisive, bloody and clever.

Lieutenant-Colonel "Yoni" Netanyahu, the older brother of the present Prime
Minister, Binyamin, was the only commando killed in the fighting.

They also outdid fiction after the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972, when they hunted down 11 Palestinians who were responsible and eliminated them wherever they were in the world. Aided by fake passports and disguises, Mossad agents employed methods including a booby-trapped telephone, a bomb planted in a bed and a raid in Beirut in which the present Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, dressed as a woman. Nobody caught it on CCTV, but on the ground that human nature can never resist this kind of stuff, Steven Spielberg made it into the Oscar-nominated 2005 movie Munich.

Maybe, as the West becomes increasingly gentle and polite, and pays those monthly direct debits to Amnesty International, we need the Israelis to remind us that the world is not made according to our template. Maybe that is why we are drawn towards tales of uncompromising, ruthless derring-do. How else to explain the veneration of the SAS, the worldwide glut of books and movies on covert operations?

One last point. Usually, in comedy heist movies, no one gets killed. Somewhere a family is weeping at the death of Mr al-Mabhouh and no one takes any pleasure from that. But the people who die in Mossad operations tend to be, like the Hamas leader, morally compromised. There's a side to us that acknowledges that some assassins' victims may have had it coming to them. So we're appalled, but not so appalled that we don't look forward with relish to the sequel. Ultimately, this is less about siding with the Israelis than loving winners.



A Dubai Victory
By Noah Pollak
Commentary magazine (Contentions blog)
February 18, 2010

It's fascinating to watch the world try to turn the Dubai assassination into a debacle for Israel - all because the team members were captured on CCTV and the British and Irish authorities are making a momentary stink about the use of forged British and Irish passports.

You, the reader of this post, will be captured on CCTV a dozen times today simply going about your business. The people calling the operation "sloppy" and a "debacle" seem to actually believe that the Mossad is unaware that there are video cameras in airports and hotels today, or that the passport photos of the agents would not be revealed to the public. Really.

More important, the fact of the matter is that the team got into Dubai, rubbed out a bad guy, and got out. No drama, nobody was captured, and nobody knows the real identities of the team or where they are now. Given the extraordinary risk and complexity of the operation, that's a win in my book. And now the Iranians, Syrians, and their terrorist clients have been given another reminder that their people aren't safe anywhere - e ven in the heart of the Arab world.

And as for the people who are whining about "passport fraud" misdemeanors while ignoring the felony staring them in the face: what do you say about the fact that the terrorist in charge of illegally smuggling missiles from Iran to Hamas apparently had an open invite to hang out in Dubai? This isn't a problem?

The Israelis either deal with high-level terrorists discreetly, or they leave them alone to go about their work, which means more and better arms in Gaza and Lebanon, which means a more destructive war down the road for the Arabs who live in these combat zones. Those who are pretending to be scandalized by the Dubai assassination tend to be the same people who pretend to care deeply about Palestinian civilians. I wonder if they're aware of their own hypocrisy.

I Can't Help Admiring Israel's Nerve - Melanie Reid - Times-UK

I should be wearing black and uttering pieties about the disgraceful "extrajudicial" killing of Hamas military chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who is rumored to have played a key role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to Islamist militants in Gaza. All nice people, quite rightly, are adopting the proper moral stance and expressing outrage and disgust at this affront to international law and justice. But the rest of us...well, we simply can't wait until the movie comes out. What the secret agents did was compelling and breathtaking in its cleverness.
It is an unfashionable thing to say, but I have a considerable admiration for the Israeli way of doing things. They perceive someone as their deadly enemy, they kill them. They get hit, they hit back. This absolutism, based on their history, carries its own moral weight; one that is rather electrifying in a Western world grown flabby with niceties. Clearly, the Israelis could defend their policies if they wanted to, but they quite simply can't be bothered. It's a waste of breath. One admires them for that, too. Maybe we need the Israelis to remind us that the world is not made according to our template.

"It's called being a light unto the nations"--Internet Haganah

Also see Sultan Knish's Israel's Last Chance of Survival


Final Thought (On the Death of a Hamas Murderer): Tough Sh*t!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Caroline Glick on Sarah Palin in the Jerusalem Post

Column One: Sarah Palin’s friendship
12/02/2010 16:01

Hers is the strongest single American voice opposing Obama’s foreign policy, supporting Israel and denying Iran nuclear weapons.

US President Barack Obama is an inept, incompetent leader. More than his failure to pass his domestic agenda on health care and global warming despite his Democratic Party’s control over both houses of Congress, Iran’s announcement on Thursday that it is a nuclear power and has the capacity to produce weapons-grade uranium is a testament to Obama’s feckless incompetence. Even his most ardent supporters are admitting this.

Take The New York Times. In a news analysis Thursday of Obama’s failure to prevent Iran from advancing with its nuclear program, David Sanger wrote that for the US president, the last year has been “a year in which little in his dealings with Iran has gone the way that the White House expected.”

Since Obama first announced his wish to sit down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate in the spring of 2008, the 44th US president’s only strategy for dealing with Iran has been to appease its leaders. And as of Tuesday, he still believes that ingratiating himself with the regime is his best bet.

On Tuesday, Obama wouldn’t admit that appeasement has failed, even as all of Iran’s top leaders said they were expanding their illicit uranium enrichment activities. The most he would do was acknowledge that the regime’s leaders “have made their choice so far, although the door is still open.”

As for sanctions, well, Obama said it will take “several weeks” to put those together at the UN.

The distressing truth is that Obama’s aim has never been to prevent Teheran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. His whole “sanctions-if-engagement-fails” strategy is just a ruse. The Obama administration has never intended to place biting sanctions on Iran. As one senior administration official told The New York Times, the purpose of the sanctions talk is to get the Iranians to agree to negotiate. As he put it, “This is about driving them back to negotiations, because the real goal here is to avoid war.”

Got that? As far as Obama is concerned, Iran with nuclear weapons isn’t the main concern. Israel using force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the main concern.

US PRESIDENTS have a far freer hand in foreign policy than they have in domestic affairs. A president’s ability to implement his domestic agenda is constrained by Congress. Congress has much less of a say in foreign policy. But the main constraining factor for a US president in both domestic and foreign affairs is public opinion.

Over the past year, Obama failed to pass his domestic agenda even though he enjoyed governing majorities in both houses of Congress, because the public opposed his agenda. So, too, if the public is able to express its opposition to his foreign policy, particularly as it relates to Israel and Iran, he will be unable to sustain it.

To date, in light of his sinking approval ratings, the main thing Obama has had going for him is that since the presidential election, his political opponents have lacked a leader capable of uniting his opponents around an alternative path. Over the past week, that leader may have emerged.

On Saturday, former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave the keynote address at the Tea Party Movement convention in Nashville, Tennessee. As she did in the presidential campaign, Palin electrified her audience in Nashville by credibly channeling the populist impulses of American voters. In her signature line she asked, “So how’s that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?”

Palin excoriated Obama on his handling of US foreign policy. Among other things, she noted that a year into his quest to appease dictators, America’s international standing is in shambles. “Israel, a friend and a critical ally, now questions the strength of our support,” she added.

Palin bellowed that on issues of foreign policy, there is no room for self-delusion. As she put it, “National security, that’s the one place where you’ve got to call it like it is.” And then, “We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America’s friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face.”

If her address wasn’t enough to convince Americans – and specifically American Jews – that Palin thinks supporting Israel and standing up to Iran are the keys to US national security, then there was her interview on Fox News Sunday. Asked how Obama can win reelection in 2012, Palin responded, “Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided really to come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do.”

And if that still isn’t enough, there is her lapel pin. The politician who leads the populist opposition to Obama decided to make her most important speech since the 2008 election wearing a pin featuring the US flag and the Israeli flag.

Palin, who is considering a run in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, is using her public platforms to reassemble the coalition of security hawks, social conservatives and blue collar workers that propelled Ronald Reagan to the White House in 1980. Her support for Israel serves her in building support among both security hawks and social conservatives.

Unlike Obama’s empty protestations of support for Israel, Palin’s support is obviously heartfelt and therefore will not diminish while Obama remains in office. And as Palin becomes stronger, her ability to influence the US debate in a manner that constrains Obama’s freedom to intimidate Israel into allowing Iran to become a nuclear power will rise.

In spite of Palin’s extraordinary support for Israel, the American Jewish community overwhelmingly rejects her. As Jennifer Rubin noted in her article, “Why Jews hate Palin,” in Commentary magazine, Jews disapproved of Sen. John McCain’s choice of Palin as his running-mate by a 54 to 37 percent majority. The sneering broadsides published against Palin by leading American Jewish writers are legion.

In her article, Rubin gives a number of reasons for American Jews’ rejection of Palin.

On the one hand, American Jews, who overwhelmingly self-identify as Democrats and disproportionately identify as liberals, oppose Palin for the same reason they oppose all social-conservative Republicans – because she isn’t a liberal Democrat. What makes American Jews’ rejection of Palin unique is its emotional potency. Rubin argues that the visceral hatred that many American Jews express towards Palin is effectively an issue of class hatred, or snobbery. They are four generations removed from the sweatshops where their great grandparents labored on New York’s Lower East Side. And they don’t like this woman with a funny accent who went to University of Idaho, guts fish and shoots moose.

This may be true. But if it is, American Jews might want to rethink their loyalty to their social class. As the demonstrations against Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine, against former prime minister Ehud Olmert at University of Chicago, against Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at Oxford, as well as the disinvitation of Prof. Benny Morris at Cambridge and the celebrity of Harvard’s anti-Semitic Prof. Steve Walt show clearly, the bastions of intellectual elitism where American Jews feel most at home have become the repositories of the most virulent hatred of Jews in America and the West today. Liberal standard bearers like Hollywood have had no compunction about giving prestigious awards to movies like Paradise Now, which glorified murderers of Jews in a manner unmatched since the days of Leni Riefenstahl. Elite media outlets like The Atlantic monthly are only too happy to publish the rantings of newly fashionable critics like Andrew Sullivan.

Liberal Democratic Jewish voices, like Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic, are aware that there is a problem with the rampant anti-Semitism in their camp. And they fear that as a consequence, American Jews may take a second look at Palin with her Israeli flag lapel pin. As Wieseltier wrote this week, “A day does not go by when I do not do my humble part to prevent such a transformation [of American Jewry from liberals to conservatives] from coming to pass.”

THE FACT of the matter is that for Israel’s sake such a transformation can’t happen quickly enough. It isn’t that American Jews have to change their social agenda, but they must recognize that today, sadly, there is not meaningful bipartisan support for Israel in the US Congress. The 54 lawmakers who wrote Obama a letter last month asking him to force Israel to open up Gaza’s borders were all Democrats. Opposition to passing sanctions against Iran, and opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations, are only politically significant among Democrats.

In her speech at the Tea Party Conference, Palin said, “We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”

The fact of the matter is that Obama came to many of his anti-Israel sensibilities through his professor friends – Rashid Khalidi, John Mearshimer, Samantha Power, William Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn and, of course, the late Edward Said. Americans interested in national security – and particularly American Jews who support Israel – should be the first ones to second Palin’s statement.

Sarah Palin’s emergence as the mouthpiece of populist opposition to Obama presents Israel’s supporters – and particularly Israel’s Jewish supporters – with an extraordinary opportunity and an extraordinary challenge. Palin’s coupling of support for Israel with her populist domestic agenda marks the first time that support for Israel has been treated as a core, populist issue. The opportunity this presents for American Jews who care about Israel is without precedent.

But of course, to make the best use of this opportunity, American Jews who support Israel have to disappoint Wieseltier. They have to acknowledge that the Left has rejected their cause and increasingly, rejects them.

Obama’s failure to prevent Iran from moving forward with its nuclear program, and his stubborn refusal to support an Israeli move to deny Iran the ability to threaten Israel and global security as a whole, place Israel and core US national security interests in unprecedented jeopardy. His fellow Democrats’ willingness to support him as he maintains this perilous course means that the Democratic ship has abandoned Israel, and strategic sanity.

Palin’s future in politics is unknowable. But what is clear enough is that today hers is the strongest single American voice opposing Obama’s foreign policy and the loudest advocate for supporting Israel and denying Iran nuclear weapons. For this she deserves the thanks and support of American Jewry.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fitzgerald: If Iran's Nuclear Project is to be attacked, who should do the attacking?

Israel? Why? Why not?

from Jihad Watch

Fitzgerald: If Iran's Nuclear Project is to be attacked, who should do the attacking?

It seems likely that, in the next week, the Islamic Republic of Iran will meet whatever challenge is posed to it by those who wish to march and express their dissent and discontent. The Revolutionary Guards seem ready to repress the dissenters, whatever it takes, no matter how peaceful and justified those dissenters may be.

They will no doubt be suppressed with a cruelty and violence that the most sinister members of Savak, under the late Shah, could only envy but not dare to emulate. It is likely that all these hopes and dreams for the fall of the regime are seen to be merely projections of those used to the idea that Hollywood Endings are real, that not only does Good Always Triumph, but does so in time for you to leave the theatre and beat the implacable meter maid before she tickets you, or to be safely at home at a reasonable hour, or after the movie go out to dinner, or something else (it's your night out, you decide). That's not the way it happens. The Bolsheviks held a large part of the earth's land mass in thrall for more than seventy years, and that was without many True Believers left after the first few decades. But for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the True Believers are those who believe truly in Islam, and Iran has tens of millions of such people; the hold of Islam is far stronger, reinforced by practically everything in societies suffused with Islam, than Communism ever could have been.
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PA Minister: "Nobody Has the Right to Declare the End of Jihad" (MEMRI)

PA Minister of Religious Endowments Mahmoud Al-Habbash said in a sermon broadcast on PA TV on Jan. 7: "Nobody - whoever he may be - can ever abolish Jihad or say that it has come to an end. Jihad continues to Judgment Day." "There is not a single one of us who does not participate in the resistance. We all participate in resistance. Even a woman who sits at home, raising her children, is conducting resistance because she is preparing the ammunition of the future." "It is inevitable that the day will come when we will fly the flag of our independent Palestinian state over every inch of our soil and over the minarets and the domes of Jerusalem."

Click . . . PA Minister: "Nobody Has the Right to Declare the End of Jihad" (MEMRI)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is "Jew!" an expletive? an insult!

In English, it is a short word that can be spat out at one: Jew! Likewise in French: Juif! In Russian: Zhid! In German "Jud!" In Spanish, the impossible to spit out "Judio!" the Italian equally un-spit-out-able "Giudeo" And, of course, the Arabic yahood! The last-named definitely not a term of endearment.

In any language, it can be used to modify a noun such as -bastard or -boy.

It can be an equivalent of the forbidden n----- word, although that word when used among themselves, and even used when addressing a Caucasian, can be nothing worse than the equivalent of "man" or "human being."

But back to the word "Jew" or "Jew!"

Its origin was of course "Yehuda," the name (in Hebrew) of one of the twelve sons of Jacob. In English this was translated into "Judah."

"Yehuda" pronounced fast--swallowing the "e" ends up as Yudah and is easily transformed into the German Jude or Jud (the "J" in German is pronounced as is the English "Y."

The Romans called the area apportioned to Yehuda's descendents, the tribe of Yehuda or Judah (the remnant Southern part of the divided Israel-Judah kingdoms) as "Judea." As a matter of fact, all of the area inhabited by the descendants of the ancient Hebrews and the "Children of Israel" was the Roman province of Judea.

So, if you like a Romanized name, you could call yourself a "Judean." As the Romans were far from friends to the inhabitants of Judea, that appellation does not sit well with us. The Spanish "Judeo" (khudeo) derived thus from the Latin.

"I am a Judean." may sound better--more patrician--to the Anglicized ear than "I am a Jew," but it is not only pretentious but also Romanized and abhorrent to the memory of those valiant Jews who died or suffered in the revolts against the Roman occupiers.

Referred to as Yehudim, those whose ancestry hailed from Roman Judea from whence they were exiled by the Romans, ended up as "Juden" in German. In the singular the German"Jude" or "Jud" (German "J" is pronounced as English "Y"). If "Jud" is pronounced by an English speaker, the transformation to "Jew" is apparent.

In German-origin Yiddish, the descendants of the inhabitants of Yehuda referred to themselves as Yid--singular (plural Yidden)--hence the Russian Zhid.

The question posed still remains: is being called "Jew" an insult or the proper name for Jewish ethnicity?

This question is the subject of What does it mean to say 'Jew'?

By Cara Hogan Advocate Staff


What do you think of when someone says "Jew"?

Does it echo of anti-Semitic epithets or conjure a sense of pride associated, say, with the state of Israel?

The National Endowment of the Humanities has awarded a $50,400 grant to [Cynthia Baker] a professor at Bates College in Maine to research the word - from its first appearance thousands of years ago through its usage today.


[Professor Baker] said ancient Jews did not seem to adopt the term. "In the Talmudic literature, the rabbis almost never refer to Jews," said Baker. "We have thousands of pages of manuscripts of these people who we would call Jews, and they never use the word."


She said that during a fiveweek research program in what had been the Jewish ghetto in Venice, she was struck by the words for Jew in Italian, either ebreo or giudeo. That got her thinking how in English, three words - each with a different connotation - apply to Jews.

"Why Hebrew, why Israelite, why Jew?" said Baker. "Who gets to decide in what context and circumstances lead to the different choices of terms from different periods?"

She observed that, while in the past gentiles have used the word Jew in a pejorative fashion, Jewish people today are claiming the word with pride.

"In early Zionist usage, sometimes Jew was a term of pride," said Baker. "But there was a dichotomy between the muscular Hebrew and the effete, neurotic anti-Semitic character of the Jew. It was the Hebrew in his land with his muscles and his gun that was going to finally vanquish that Jew of the anti-Semitic stereotype."
More there, read the whole thing at

Would you rather be called "a Hebrew?"

From The Jewish Daily Forward:

Hebrew vs. Jewish

By Philologos

Not only, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, was "Hebrew" vigorously promoted as a substitute for "Jew" in a number of countries, but in some of them it actually carried the day, as well. This was the case in Russia and Italy, where yevrei and ebreo became the standard words for "Jew." The same thing wasn’t that far from happening in English, either. One only has to think of such American Jewish institutions as Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Hebrew Free Loan Society, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and so on to be reminded of how many Jews 100 years ago preferred being called "Hebrews" by Christian America.

Strictly speaking, the distinction these Jews wished to make was different from Horwitz’s. "Hebrew" vs. "Jew" seemed to them a question not of a religious vs. a secular identity but of a genteel and respectable nativeness vs. a scruffily suspicious foreignness. A "Hebrew" was for them an American Jew who spoke or aspired to speak a proper English, to adopt American ways and to be outwardly no different from his Christian neighbors; since these neighbors went to church Sunday, there was nothing "un-Hebrew" about going to synagogue Saturday. The same held true of such countries as Russia and Italy. A yevrei or ebreo was a Russian or Italian in good standing, fully accepted in liberal Russian or Italian society; a zhid or a giudeo was a looked down-upon outsider. And yet inasmuch as the Hebrew, yevrei or ebreo was definitely a non-Orthodox Jew who did not make too much of his religion, there was a decided element of "secularity" in the term, after all.

Want to be called a "Hebrew" instead of a "Jew?"

Think that then they can't call you a "dirty" or a "f---ing" Jew? How about when they shorten the aristocratic Hebrew into "Hebe?" Easy to modify with the derogatory adjectives.

See? Makes no difference. Call me what you will--Jew or Hebrew (fogeddabout "Hebe"), but you f--k with me and you might be looking at (or feeling ) your newly torn other a---ole.

(The foregoing last phrase applies to antisemites.)
END NOTES FOR "JEW" and "Hebrew"


Originally from Yehuda (Judah), which in Latin became Iudea (Judea). In Hebrew, a person from Yehuda was a Yehudi, which today is the Hebrew word for a Jewish person.The Latin Iudea was altered in the languages of Europe. In France, it is Juif, in Germany, Jud, in English, Jew.
Y becomes J in Germanic languages as old English is basically a German dialect y i and J were interchangable then the frankified Normans invaded and brought the zh sound for J from French which became the English J.
It's from "Yehudi" = Hebrew. Yehudi->Jehudi->Judean->Jew.Meaning, from the tribe of Judah, son of Jacob.

From Hebrew vs. Jewish

By Philologos
ivri, "Hebrew," in the Bible refers to an ethnic group rather than to a religion; but yehudi, "Jew," whose original meaning is "Judean," occurs in the Bible only once, in the Book of Esther, and was hardly ever used in later rabbinical literature, where the accepted term for "Jew" was yisra’el, "Israelite."

From Judaism 101
Origins of the Words "Jew" and "Judaism"

The original name for the people we now call Jews was Hebrews. The word "Hebrew" (in Hebrew, "Ivri") is first used in the Torah to describe Abraham (Gen. 14:13). The word is apparently derived from the name Eber, one of Abraham's ancestors. Another tradition teaches that the word comes from the word "eyver," which means "the other side," referring to the fact that Abraham came from the other side of the Euphrates, or referring to the fact Abraham was separated from the other nations morally and spiritually.

Another name used for the people is Children of Israel or Israelites, which refers to the fact that the people are descendants of Jacob, who was also called Israel.

The word "Jew" (in Hebrew, "Yehudi") is derived from the name Judah, which was the name of one of Jacob's twelve sons. Judah was the ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel, which was named after him. Likewise, the word Judaism literally means "Judah-ism," that is, the religion of the Yehudim.


Originally, the term Yehudi referred specifically to members of the tribe of Judah, as distinguished from the other tribes of Israel. However, after the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms: the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel (I Kings 12; II Chronicles 10). After that time, the word Yehudi could properly be used to describe anyone from the kingdom of Judah, which included the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, as well as scattered settlements from other tribes. The most obvious biblical example of this usage is in Esther 2:5, where Mordecai is referred to as both a Yehudi and a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nonie Darwish, Infidels, Moslems, and Islamization

Nonie Darwish, Now They Call Me Infidel

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

A. Introduction

Nonie Darwish was born in Cairo. Before immigrating to America in 1978, she worked as a journalist in Egypt. She left Islam and became a Christian. She now leads a group called “Arabs for Israel” and lectures around the country. She pointedly remarked, “I chose the culture of life and not the culture of death. I chose the culture of freedom and not the culture of tyranny. I chose America.”

Nonie Darwish is a brave and insightful woman. She is familiar with the classic techniques of tyranny, and she tells us Islam poses the greatest danger to the United States—indeed to civilization. Hence I want to convey some of the most salient points of her book, Now They Call Me Infidel, which was published in 2003. And I wonder why Israeli prime ministers lack her courage and wisdom?

B. Islamic Culture in Egypt

1. “Throughout my childhood,” she writes, “we were bombarded with calls to war and songs praising President Nasser. Arab leaders were treated as gods and they acted as gods. Fear of Allah was transferred to fear of the dictator” (33).
2. “Everyone around me was so fatalistic… Social classes in Egypt were very stratified. We never mingled as equals. Furthermore, it was very hard if not impossible to move from the class you were born in” (35).
3. “…when Elizabeth Taylor converted from Christianity to Judaism, her films were prohibited in the Arab world. So Egyptians never saw her film Cleopatra. Few Westerners can comprehend the degree to which hatred of Jews permeates every aspect of Arab culture” (p. 39).

Here let me interject an observation of Bernard Lewis. Lewis observed that hated of Jews increased after the March 1979 signing of the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty. If so, there is a great deal of nonsense broadcast by Israeli and American opinion-makers and policy-makers about promoting peace in the Middle East. It seems to me they simply lack the courage to tell the truth about the murderous ethos of Arab-Islamic culture.

4. Returning to Darwish, she boldly declares: “I could not accept a culture that was willing to orphan its own children in its obsessive hatred of Jews, that was ready to sacrifice lives and the health of the family structure over a few miles of land. Egyptians acted as though the West Bank and Gaza were taken from them, even though they were never Egyptian land” (41).

5. Hatred of Israel, she says, was “fueled by that arrogance of power and petrol dollars of the Arabs. [Israel] could do nothing to please this culture, other than cease to exist” (42).

6. Darwish asks: “What was wrong in allowing a few million Jews to live among us in peace? Arab land was plenty. They had only a small sliver of land, in some places only thirty kilometers wide…. But the hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism was frighteningly prevalent in our society. At the same time I did not know—and no one in the Arab world did—that Israel had a history on that small strip of land going back thousands of years. Nor did we know that Jerusalem was the point of origin for two great religions, Judaism and Christianity, religions that existed before Islam even began. … We were taught that ‘Zionists’ were foreign infidel invaders bent on taking Muslim land and our destruction, and that they must be destroyed” (49).

7. At this point Darwish makes a profound remark about Muslim culture that should be taught in Israeli schools. She notes that Egyptians have been indoctrinated with the belief that Egypt’s problems are “a result of the evil of the outside world. Egyptians [are] never told that it was their responsibility to solve their own problems. The villain was always an outside force. The scapegoating [especially of Jews] was true on the national front and it was true on the personal level as well. The concept of taking responsibility for oneself [is] completely foreign… in Muslim culture …” (50).

8. Darwish then draws an important conclusion worthy of political scientists that have studied Aristotle. She says: “An outside enemy was necessary to foster Arab cohesion and keep the Arab public preoccupied with news of dangers and threats. Thus, the press kept up a constant bombardment of stories that blames Israel for all the troubles within the Arab world. The effect was to decrease the pressure and deflect criticism of Arab governments” (95).

9. Especially significant is her point that “In Arab culture, being truthful is not only considered to be naïve and stupid, but is also considered—believe it or not—rude” (119). Of course, this “was very different from American culture, where people talk freely about their shortcomings and pain without shame” (121).

10. “Western-style soul searching or examination of beliefs is almost unheard of in Arab culture. And no subject is more sacred and protected from analysis or criticism than the Koran or Islam. Muslims can get violently angry if that is done. To a lesser extent, if a family member, tribe, nation, or culture is perceived to be under attack, then excuses … misrepresentations, and outright lies are the only honorable thing to do. Remember, this is a culture based on pride and shame” (122). Now let’s consider some of Darwish’s observations about Islam in America.

B. Islam in America

1. She writes: “My escape from radical Islam to the open arms of America did not last long. As we moved deeper into the 1980s …, I began to see gradual change among the Muslims around me. To my surprise, the radical aspects of Islamic culture from which I had escaped were starting to grow in power right here in America” (131). “Most Muslims,” she says, “have little education in Islam. Why? Such education would end Muslim leadership’s total control over the minds and behavior of the masses…. Muslims are safe as long as they are loyal followers and obedient to the national goal of jihad against the non-Muslim infidels, especially the Jews next door.” (135).

2. Darwish then points out that “In the Muslim world there are no real distinctions between moderate or radical Muslims. Some practice, some don’t, and the ones who don’t may have views as radical as those who do practice” (135).

3. She contends that “The values of Muslim society as it is constituted at the present, cannot survive in a democracy where individuals would have right to question, debate, change religions, or choose to have no religion at all” (136).

4. However, she adds a word of caution. She cites a Muslim leader who said, “Thanks to your democratic laws we shall invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you” (144).

This Islamization is happening in England and in Europe. Darwish fears that this could happen in America. She said this some five years before Barak Obama entered the Oval Office. Darwish surely knows that Obama is a Muslim by Islamic law. Perhaps former UN Ambassador John Bolton had this in mind when he spoke of Obama as having the first post-American foreign policy. It seems that the Obama administration is the first post-America government.

C. Israel’s Ruling Elites

1. Now let me shift to Israel. Ever since Yitzhak Rabin became Israel’s first Israeli-born prime minister, Israel has drifted into a post-Zionist dispensation. With Rabin’s Oslo Accords, Israel drifted into a post-Jewish dispensation. I see this in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s endorsement of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. I am not at all impressed by his qualification that the new state be demilitarized and it recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The mere fact that he would give Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people, to the Arabs, marks him, in my eyes, as a post-Jewish prime minister.

2. But inasmuch his predecessors, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert were also committed to this truncation of Israel, they too may be deemed post-Jewish prime ministers. Indeed, I dare say that Israel’s government has always been post-Jewish by the mere fact that, like Herzl, its founding father, Israel’s ruling elites relegated the Torah to the home and the synagogue and thus separated the Torah from public law and statecraft—following the footsteps of Christianity.

3. Now recall Darwish’s Muslim leader who said “thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you.” Israel’s leaders could say: “Thanks to our secular laws we will dominate you.” This is why the Jewish philosopher Yitzhak Breuer said that secular Zionism poses the greatest threat to Judaism in history.

4. But Israel’s secular elites will not succeed, because it is not in their power to achieve the hidden goal of Israel’s government—to relegate the Torah to the dust heap of history.