Andrew McCarthy wrote this in National Review in 2008.
McCarthy led the successful prosecution of the “Blind Sheik” and eleven others for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor … who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.
Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.
Question: Is there any chance — any chance – the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?
Do we really have to ask?
So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?
At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.
The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.
Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?
Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it.
Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)
Nor did the Times report the party was thrown by AAAN. Wallsten does tell us that the AAAN received grants from the Leftist Woods Fund when Obama was on its board — but, besides understating the amount (it was $75,000, not $40,000), the Times mentions neither that Ayers was also on the Woods board at the time nor that AAAN is rabidly anti-Israel. (Though the organization regards Israel as illegitimate and has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism, Wallsten describes the AAAN as “a social service group.”)
Perhaps even more inconveniently, the Times also let slip that it had obtained a videotape of the party.
Wallsten’s story is worth excerpting at length (italics are mine):
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”…
[T]he warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor’s going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.
Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.
At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”
One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”
Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than … his opponents for the White House….
At Khalidi’s going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances,” Khalidi said.
The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.
Though Khalidi has seen little of Sen. Obama in recent years, Michelle (more…)
Seven months ago, Israel and the United States postponed a massive joint military exercise that was originally set to go forward just as concerns were brimming that Israel would launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The exercise was rescheduled for late October, and appears likely to go forward on the cusp of the U.S. presidential election.
But it won’t be nearly the same exercise. Well-placed sources in both countries have told TIME that Washington has greatly reduced the scale of U.S. participation, slashing by more than two-thirds the number of American troops going to Israel and reducing both the number and potency of missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise…
In a speech published on his website Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the ultimate goal of world forces must be the annihilation of Israel.
Speaking to ambassadors from Islamic countries ahead of ‘Qods Day’ (‘Jerusalem Day’), an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini and which falls this year on August 17, Ahmadinejad said that a “horrible Zionist current” had been managing world affairs for “about 400 years.”
It was Zionists, he said, who were “behind the scene of the world’s main powers, media, monetary and banking centers.”
Sounds like he’s channeling OWS.
“They are the decision makers, to the extent that the presidential election hopefuls [of the USA] must go and kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their election victory,” he added.
Ahmadinejad added that “liberating Palestine” would solve all the world’s problems, although he did not elaborate on exactly how that might work.
“Qods Day is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems,” he said…
Victor Davis Hanson about how the world is changing.
…Horizontal drilling and fracking have made oil shale and tar sands rich sources of oil and natural gas, so much so that the United States may prove to possess the largest store of fossil-fuel reserves in the world — in theory, with enough gas, oil, and coal, we will soon never need any imported Middle Eastern energy again. “Peak oil” is suddenly an anachronism. Widespread American use of cheap natural gas will do more to clean the planet than thousands of Solyndras.
If the United States utilizes its resources, then its present pathologies — massive budget and trade deficits, mounting debt, strategic vulnerability — will start to subside. These new breakthroughs in petroleum engineering are largely American phenomena, reminding us that there is still something exceptional in the American experience that periodically offers the world cutting-edge technologies and protocols — such as those pioneered by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Walmart.
In comparison, China is not only resource-poor but politically impoverished. For decades we were told that Chinese totalitarianism, when mixed with laissez-faire capitalism, led to sparkling airports and bullet trains, while a litigious and indulgent America settled for a run-down LAX and creaking Amtrak relics. But the truth is that the Los Angeles airport will probably look modern sooner than the Chinese will hold open elections amid a transparent society — given that free markets did not make China democratic, only more contradictory.
Even more surreal, tiny oil-poor Israel, thanks to vast new offshore finds, has been reinvented as a potential energy giant in the Middle East. Such petrodollars will change Israel as they did the Persian Gulf countries, but with one major difference. Unlike Dubai or Kuwait, Israel is democratic, economically diverse, socially stable, and technologically sophisticated, suggesting the sudden windfall will not warp Israel in the manner it has traditional Arab autocracies, but will instead become a force multiplier of an already dynamic society. Will Europe still snub Israel when it has as much oil, gas, and money as an OPEC member in the Persian Gulf?
Who would have thought that a few fracking innovators in Texas would change the world’s carbon footprint far more than did Nobel laureate Al Gore — while offering a way for the U.S. to be energy-independent? Or that Angela Merkel, not the European Union, would run Europe? Or that Arabs would be overthrowing Arabs, as oil-rich Israel idly watched?
Ever vigilant for social justice, the LAT set it sights on Israel where the rich have gotten richer, much richer. And they’re flaunting it.
… a “Real Housewives” reality-based knockoff about six rich, materialistic women bouncing from personal training sessions in their mansions to Botox appointments to champagne-fueled shopping binges, dishing dirt about one another and generally reveling in their own fabulousness.
Hardly scandalous stuff to American TV viewers. But in the land of the kibbutz — a nation founded on egalitarian ideals, where lawmakers still wear jeans in the Knesset, or parliament, and the flaunting of wealth was once considered taboo — this unapologetic celebration of the lifestyles of the rich and Israeli is hitting a raw nerve.
“The show is just terrible,” said Sharon Dushnitsky Etzioni, a Tel Aviv event planner. “It’s not the real Israel.” Then she adds, sheepishly, “But as much as I hate it, I can’t miss it. I’m so angry at myself.”
What “The Riches” depicts, though, may be more accurate than many here would care to admit. In 20 years, Israel has whiplashed from being essentially a socialist state to a place with one of the world’s biggest gaps between rich and poor.
Pray tell, what’s behind this gap?
Israel began shifting from its socialist roots in the 1980s and 1990s. Deregulation, privatization and tax cuts — which peaked when current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu served as finance minister a decade ago — opened opportunities for a handful of the nation’s richest families and recently immigrated Russian oligarchs to take over former state-run businesses. Today, Israel’s economy is one of the most concentrated in the world, with about a dozen tycoons controlling a large portion of the country’s banks, manufacturers, real estate firms, food producers, media outlets and retailers.
State-owned “corporations were sold off to very wealthy families and this provided opportunities to accumulate a lot of wealth,” Hebrew University professor Michael Shalev said.
That’s one explanation. Another is that since Israel removed the shackles of socialism, the wealth creators have been busy innovating, forming companies, inventing technologies and selling them to a willing world.
Consider this: Israel is nation of 7.4 million people of whom 5.6 million are Jewish. A tiny nation that:
- is second only to the USA in patent applications filed
- has a thriving venture capital business and many startups
- 140 scientists and engineers per 10,000 of population, nearly twice as many as the US, and more than twice as many as Japan
So Israel has become a wealth generator. This produces wealth for all, but greater concentrations at the top.
This a feature, not a bug.
Obama lost the Weiner election yesterday.
A NY district that hasn’t seen a Republican hold the seat since 1923, turned red. The district is heavily Jewish, and the loss reflects a big loss of Jewish support.
Dan Senor writes in the WSJ that Obama thinks this is a messaging problem (y’know, “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”) and can talk his way out of it.
The Obama campaign has launched a counteroffensive, including hiring a high-level Jewish outreach director and sending former White House aide David Axelrod and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to reassure Jewish donors. The Obama team told the Washington Post that its Israel problem is a messaging problem, and that with enough explanation of its record the Jewish community will return to the fold in 2012. Here is an inventory of what Mr. Obama’s aides will have to address:
• February 2008: When running for president, then-Sen. Obama told an audience in Cleveland: “There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel.” Likud had been out of power for two years when Mr. Obama made this statement. At the time the country was being led by the centrist Kadima government of Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Olmert had been pursuing an unprecedented territorial compromise. As for Likud governments, it was under Likud that Israel made its largest territorial compromises—withdrawals from Sinai and Gaza.
• July 2009: Mr. Obama hosted American Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put “daylight” between America and Israel. “For eight years”—during the Bush administration—”there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished,” he declared.
Nothing? Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uprooted thousands of settlers from their homes in Gaza and the northern West Bank and deployed the Israeli army to forcibly relocate their fellow citizens. Mr. Sharon then resigned from the Likud Party to build a majority party based on a two-state consensus.
In the same meeting with Jewish leaders, Mr. Obama told the group that Israel would need “to engage in serious self-reflection.” This statement stunned the Americans in attendance: Israeli society is many things, but lacking in self-reflection isn’t one of them. It’s impossible to envision the president delivering a similar lecture to Muslim leaders.
Stuart Balberg of Brooklyn, New York, calls voters on behalf of Bob Turner, Republican candidate for the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner.
• September 2009: In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama devoted five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during which he declared (to loud applause) that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” He went on to draw a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. There was not a single unconditional criticism of Palestinian terrorism.
• March 2010: During Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, a Jerusalem municipal office announced plans for new construction in a part of Jerusalem. The president launched an unprecedented weeks-long offensive against Israel. Mr. Biden very publicly departed Israel.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a now-infamous 45-minute phone call, telling him that Israel had “harmed the bilateral relationship.” (The State Department triumphantly shared details of the call with the press.) The Israeli ambassador was dressed-down at the State Department, Mr. Obama’s Middle East envoy canceled his trip to Israel, and the U.S. joined the European condemnation of Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate Israel, ISNA news agency reported Thursday.
“Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination,” Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.
One wonders if Mahmoud is aware of how disturbed he is.
Suppression? How about murdering your own people on the street?
I had never thought there were many similarities between the pleasure-loving Charles II of England and the more upright Barack Obama until this week. Listening to his speeches on the Middle East at the State Department, US-Israel relations at the AIPAC annual meeting and most recently his address to the British Parliament the comparison becomes irresistible.
“Here lies our sovereign king,” wrote the Earl of Rochester about King Charles:
Whose word no man relies on.
Who never said a foolish thing
Or ever did a wise one.
This seems to capture President Obama’s Middle East problems in a nutshell. The President’s descriptions of the situation are comprehensive and urbane. He correctly identifies the forces at work. He develops interesting policy ideas and approaches that address important political and moral elements of the complex problems we face. He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.
But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of America’s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies. He has strained our ties with the established regimes without winning new friends on the Arab Street. He has committed our forces in the strategically irrelevant backwater of Libya not, as he originally told us, for “days, not weeks” but for months not days.
Where he has failed so dramatically is in the arena he himself has so frequently identified as vital: the search for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat — Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties — may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.
Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla — or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.
Top Democrats have joined a number of Republicans in challenging President Obama’s policy toward Israel, further exposing rifts that the White House and its allies will seek to mend before next year’s election.
The differences, on display as senior lawmakers addressed a pro-Israel group late Monday and Tuesday, stem from Obama’s calls in recent days for any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians to be based on boundaries that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, combined with “mutually agreed swaps” of territory.
The political uproar, coming as Netanyahu received a bipartisan hero’s welcome Tuesday for a speech to Congress, underscored the careful calculations being made by leaders in both parties.
Democrats and Obama must balance the need to pursue delicate international diplomacy while retaining the party’s traditional support among Jewish campaign donors and voters, particularly in competitive states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The party’s liberal base, however, is divided, with many on the left urging more concessions by Israel.
Republicans increasingly consider Israel a core issue that can unify sometimes disparate party factions, with evangelical voters and foreign policy hawks alike emerging as some of the Jewish state’s most vocal U.S. backers.
Say what you will about President Obama’s approach to Israel—or of his relationship with American Jews—he sure has mastered the concept of chutzpah.
On Thursday at the State Department, the president gave his big speech on the Middle East, in which he invoked the claims of friendship to tell Israelis “the truth,” which to his mind was that “the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.” On Friday in the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his version of the truth, which was that the 1967 border proposed by Mr. Obama as a basis for negotiating the outlines of a Palestinian state was a nonstarter.
Administration reaction to this reciprocal act of friendly truth-telling? “That was Bibi over the top,” the New York Times quoted one senior U.S. official, using the prime minister’s nickname. “That’s not how you address the president of the United States.”
Maybe so. Then again, it isn’t often that this or any other U.S. president welcomes a foreign leader by sandbagging him with an adversarial policy speech a day before the visit. Remember when the Dalai Lama visited Mr. Obama last year? As a courtesy to Beijing, the president made sure to have the Tibetan spiritual leader exit by the door where the White House trash was piled up. And that was 11 months before Hu Jintao’s state visit to the U.S.
When this president wants to make a show of his exquisite diplomatic sensitivity—burgers with Medvedev, bows to Abdullah, New Year’s greetings to the mullahs—he knows how. And when he wants to show his contempt, he knows how, too.
The contempt was again on display Sunday, when Mr. Obama spoke to the Aipac policy conference in Washington. The speech was stocked with the perennial bromides about U.S.-Israeli friendship, which brought an anxious crowd to its feet a few times. As for the rest, it was a thin tissue of falsehoods, rhetorical legerdemain, telling omissions and self-contradictions. Let’s count the ways…
In what must be considered as shocking a turnaround as any we have seen in recent years, Richard Goldstone, the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s fact-finding commission about the conflict in Gaza, has retracted his claim that Israel deliberately sought to target and kill Palestinian civilians.
A product of the Human Rights Council, an organization that is singularly dedicated to besmirching and attacking Israel while ignoring serious crimes elsewhere (including those committed by the nations that makes up its membership), the Goldstone Report was widely criticized for its one-sided nature and the inaccuracy of its claims. But with Goldstone, who is a prominent South African Jew, as its front man, the report became the centerpiece of a new round of efforts aimed at both delegitimizing the Jewish state and its right of self-defense. His claims were taken up by anti-Zionists across the globe and in particular by those American left-wingers such as the J Street lobby and Michael Lerner’s Tikkun, which have both sought to establish themselves as Jewish critics of Israel and its defenders in this country.
But in an op-ed penned by Goldstone that was first published by the Washington Post on Friday night, the former judge admitted that his report was wrong. He said that Israel’s efforts to follow up on every accusation of illegal conduct of its forces proved that there was no deliberate aggression against civilians. By contrast, Israel’s Hamas foes have made no effort to investigate the credible accusations of war crimes that have been leveled at the terrorist group for both deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and their practice of using non-combatants as human shields. He also admitted that the number of Palestinian civilian casualties reported by Israel – which was far below the inflated numbers claimed by so-called human rights groups — was accurate. As it turns out the vast majority of Palestinians who died in the fighting were Hamas fighters, not civilians as his report had charged.
“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” wrote the document’s author…
One newspaper’s idea of how the stuxnet worm set back the Mullahs’ nuclear amibition.
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.
Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.
Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.
“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”
Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.
The arena of the administration’s incompetence is the issue of West Bank settlements. This is something of a misnomer since while some of the settlements are recklessly deep into the West Bank – Ariel (above), for instance – others are indistinguishable parts of Jerusalem. They are all, under international law, illegal. But some, regardless of legality, are going to stay. Even in the Middle East, common sense can play a role. The Jerusalem-area settlements are not going to be abandoned by Israel.…
Given the highly emotional nature of the settlement issue, it made no sense for the administration – actually, President Obama himself – to promote an absolute moratorium on construction as the prerequisite for peace talks. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu complied, under extreme pressure, but only to a 10-month moratorium. For Netanyahu, this in itself was a major concession. He heads a right-wing coalition that takes settlements very seriously. Netanyahu had a choice: accede to Obama’s terms and have his government collapse, or end the moratorium. On Sunday, with the 10 months being up, he chose the latter. We will see if the end of the moratorium means the end of peace talks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has not yet ended negotiations. He’s going to confer with his fellow Arab leaders. Obama ought to also confer with someone who knows the region.
Trouble is, many experts have told him that his emphasis on settlements was the wrong way to go. As late as last week, it was clear that Netanyahu would not ask his cabinet to extend the settlement freeze. Yet not only did the White House reject this warning, the President repeated his call for a freeze. “Our position on this issue is well-known,” he told the UN General Assembly. “We believe that the moratorium should be extended.” Well, it wasn’t.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland. I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.
The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events. Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.
Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942 , after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?
A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?
This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?
And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife’s grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?
Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries. (more…)
During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that “some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion.”
“Ironically, I’ve got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate,” Obama said.
Well that changes everything.
Clearly, the only people who actually believe that the flotilla that attempted to break the Israeli blockade was on a humanitarian mission are so dumb they’re living proof that a person doesn’t have to be in a coma to be brain-dead.
Ever since the Israelis were naïve enough to hand Gaza over to its sworn enemies, Hamas has shown its appreciation by showering them with thousands of missiles. I keep wondering how many more times Israel will cede land for peace before they finally figure things out. Lucy couldn’t pull the football trick on Charlie Brown half as many times as the Arabs have conned Israel into believing that their actual demands can be met with mere acreage.
One of the big lies concocted over the past half century by those on the Left is the one in which they deny that they’re anti-Semites, that it’s not Jews they despise but merely the policies of the Israeli government. Inasmuch as those policies consist of not allowing their Arab and Muslim enemies to slaughter them, it’s a denial that’s awfully hard to swallow. How is it, you have to ask, that demonstrations against the national policies of China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Cuba, never seem to take place in our streets or on our college campuses?
Anyone who’s the least bit objective recognizes that Israel has to do everything in its power to prevent Iran from smuggling bigger and better missiles to Hamas. And for its efforts, Israel finds itself being condemned by the U.N. As bad and as ineffective as the League of Nations was, at least it gave its dais and its applause to Haile Sellassie and not to Mussolini. The U.N., which has already greeted Hugo Chavez and Mahmud Ahmadinejad like rock stars, just as it used to do for Yasser Arafat, is a cancer in the midst of New York City. It’s high time we booted it out of America, thus saving ourselves a lot of money and a lot of unnecessary annoyance. This is a group, let us keep in mind, that did nothing about the genocide in Rwanda, and ignored North Korea’s sinking of the South Korean naval vessel and the murder of its 46 sailors. But they couldn’t wait to defend a bunch of Hamas supporters who were, typical of humanitarians on the Left, armed with knives, iron clubs and Islamic curses.
It’s not too surprising that Obama’s old chums, William Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, along with Jodie Evans, who founded Code Pink, helped plan the flotilla. Based on recent history, I fully expect that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will go to Mr. Ayers.
Speaking of North Korea, when the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded and sank under mysterious circumstances, a rumor went around that a North Korean submarine had torpedoed it. That sounded far-fetched, but so did the earlier sinking of the South Korean ship. When I later discovered that the oil rig had been built by a major South Korean company, it didn’t sound unreasonable that Kim Jong-il would take the opportunity to strike South Korea and the U.S. a devastating blow for the price of a single piece of ordnance.
It’s odd the way that Obama keeps telling us that the buck stops with him, and then immediately follows that up by blaming Bush and the Republicans for everything from the oil leak to his nicotine habit. But one can’t help noticing that Obama much prefers talking tough to British Petroleum than to an actual enemy of this country, even though BP donated $71,000 to his 2008 campaign. I guess those are the only bucks that actually stop with him.
When he’s not kicking BP around, Obama is busy attacking Arizona. You would think, judging by his passion, that Arizona had done something really dreadful, like sinking a shipload of sailors or attempting to build a nuclear bomb with the stated purpose of annihilating a neighboring state. But those aren’t the kinds of things that tick off this president. However, let a state decide to take a federal law seriously and try to enforce it, and watch him blow his stack.
Some people have been shaking their heads over the incompetence Obama and his cronies displayed in trying to get Andrew Romanoff and Joe Sestak to bow out of their Senate primaries. But I blame the media. By this time, Obama had come to believe that he could get away with just about anything, and the media would cover his back. After all, when Harry Reid said that bribing senators to vote for the administration’s health bill was just “business as usual” and Pelosi said there would be plenty of time to read the bill after it had been voted on, the ladies and gentlemen of the press had winked, chuckled and exchanged high-fives.
My witty friend, Merrill Heatter, suggested that for the scuzzy role that Bill Clinton had played in the Sestak affair, he should be impeached and no longer get to be an ex-president.
While I find it impossible to be bi-partisan when it comes to major issues, it’s a whole different story when it comes to political sleaze. There’s plenty to go around. Consider Mark Kirk ®, Richard Blumenthal (D) and Jan Brewer ®. Both Kirk and Blumenthal lied about their military service. In the case of Gov. Brewer, she had boasted that her father was killed fighting the Nazis. But in fact he worked as a civilian supervisor at a naval munitions depot in Hawthorne, Nevada, during World War II, and died 10 years after the war ended.
The governor, once her lie was discovered, explained that she meant that he had become ill while working around harmful chemicals at the depot, and that it eventually did him in.
I see. And if someone had died in a car crash while driving to the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California, in 1944, I suppose his survivors could claim that he’d died in battle…battling traffic.
Isn’t it amazing that all these people who want us to trust them with our futures and the futures of our children and grandchildren can’t even be trusted to tell a simple truth about themselves? And what will it take before these louts figure out that their lies are going to be found out and made public by their political foes? Is it because they are constantly sheltered by their cronies and their boot-licking aides that they appear to be so oblivious to the hostile world outside their little cocoons?
Well, just in case I ever decide to run for public office, there are probably a few statements I’ve made along the way that you may have somehow misconstrued. To begin with, when I said that I had won an Academy Award, I meant to say that I had won an Academy Award bet when I wagered that “Hurt Locker” would beat out “Avatar” for the Oscar. And when I said I was in the Baseball Hall of Fame, I meant that I had once visited the museum in Cooperstown. And finally, when I said that I had served in the military and been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for my heroic efforts in Vietnam, when I single-handedly wiped out 148 enemy soldiers and rescued twice that many of my fellow soldiers by carrying them piggy-back through a mine field, I misspoke. I only meant that I had seen a lot of war movies when I was growing up.
My friend Elena sent me this rhetorical question.
Why does no one ever equate making Pakistan out of part of India for the Muslims as a separate state with the making of Israel?
Of course the difference is that the Palestinians don’t have a state, but if they did it should be basically the same idea.
The Muslims invaded India around the 12h century whereas the other tribes and peoples of India had practiced Hinduism and the Vedanta relatively peacefully for thousands of years.
Of course, they do have Gaza, and what did they do with it? Use it to launch rockets at Israel.
In a world in which North Korea sinks a South Korean naval vessel killing dozens, Iran arms Islamic terrorists, who kill hundreds, Russia bombs Chechnya, killing thousands, and the United States and Great Britain, while targeting al Qaida and Taliban, kill an indeterminate number of civilians, only Israel is subjected to international “investigations” such as that conducted by Richard Goldstone and that being called for by the Security Council in the wake of the recent flotilla fiasco.
Why only Israel? Why is the United Nations silent about other situations that cry out for international investigations? Surely it’s not because what Israel did was worse than what other member nations have done. Certainly it’s not because Israel lacks self-criticism or mechanisms for internal investigation. Plainly it’s not because the other “offenders” were provoked, while Israel was unprovoked.
There is only one answer – because Israel has long been singled out for public scrutiny and opprobrium by the United Nations in particular and the international community in general.
The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.
But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.
In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.
Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.
Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.
Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?
But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense.
(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense — fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own. (more…)
Those supposed humanitarians were armed with a million Euros, machine guns and propaganda videos made in advance.
PEACE activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.
Millions have already seen the Al Jazeera broadcast showing these “activists” chanting “Khaibar! Khaibar!”— a reference to a Muslim massacre of Jews in the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century. YouTube viewers saw Israeli troops, armed with crowd-dispersing paintball guns and side arms for emergency protection, being beaten and hurled over the railings of the ship by attackers wielding iron bars.
What the videos don’t show, however, are several curious aspects Israeli authorities are now investigating. First, about 100 of those detained from the boats were carrying immense sums in their pockets — nearly a million euros in total. Second, Israel discovered spent bullet cartridges on the Mavi Marmara that are of a caliber not used by the Israeli commandos, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers “injured” by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred.
The investigations of all this evidence will be transparent, in accordance with Israel’s security needs.
There is little doubt as to the real purpose of the Mavi Marmara’s voyage — not to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, but to create a provocation that would put international pressure on Israel to drop the Gaza embargo, and thus allow the flow of seaborne military supplies to Hamas. Just as Hamas gunmen hide behind civilians in Gaza, so, too, do their sponsors cower behind shipments of seemingly innocent aid.
This is why the organizers of the flotilla repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to transfer its cargo to Gaza once it was inspected for military contraband. They also rebuffed an Israeli request to earmark some aid packages for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for four years.
In the recent past, Israeli forces have diverted nine such flotillas, all without incident, and peacefully boarded five of the ships in this week’s convoy. Their cargoes, after proper inspection, were delivered to non-Hamas institutions in Gaza. Only the Marmara, a vessel too large to be neutralized by technical means such as fouling the propeller, violently resisted. It is no coincidence that the ship was dispatched by Insani Yardim Vakfi (also called the I.H.H.), a supposed charity that Israeli and other intelligence services have linked to Islamic extremists.
The real intent of breaking the embargo is to allow rockets to be transported to Gaza from Hamas’s suppliers in Syria and Iran. Israel has already intercepted several such ships laden with munitions. Since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars at our civilian population. This week, two Hamas rockets exploded near Ashkelon, one of Israel’s largest cities.
Israel has a right and a duty to defend itself from Hamas and its backers. Our struggle is not with the people of Gaza but only with the radical regime that overthrew the legitimate Palestinian Authority and has pledged to seek Israel’s destruction. Each day, Israel facilitates the passage into Gaza of more than 100 truckloads of food and medicine — there is no shortage of either. We, too, want a free Gaza — a Gaza liberated from brutal Hamas rule — as well as an Israel freed from terrorist threats.
Israel will scrupulously review the events surrounding the Marmara’s interception. But Israel will also persist in denying advanced weaponry to Hamas. At the same time, the Israeli government will vigorously pursue peace with the Palestinian Authority, which shares our need for defense against armed extremists. The real peace activists are those who support our vision of a two-state solution, not those supporting the terrorists bent on destroying it.
Andrew Bolt on how Hamas has fooled the world:
NOTHING more to be said. Israeli soldiers kill at least nine peace activists trying to ship aid to a starving people.
Or as the front page of The Age screamed: “Israel kills boat protesters.”
End of story. There are immediate riots and protests against this appalling brutality in London, Paris, New York, Istanbul, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and throughout the Middle East.
The United Nations whacks Israel and calls for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. And from Moscow to Washington, Israel stands utterly friendless. Dangerously alone.
What a coup for those pledged to the destruction of that tiny Jewish country. How discredited and invitingly defenceless Israel now seems. Someone couldn’t have scripted this any better.
Well, almost no better, because even the journalists most sympathetic to the activists on the six ships intercepted on Monday by Israel couldn’t help but refer, albeit grudgingly, to a couple of untidy details too obvious to ignore.
ABC radio host Jon Faine, for instance, described these poor victims of Zionist aggression as “humanitarian activists with a few knives”.
Er, with knives? Humanitarians?
And a strident report in The Age, Australia’s most Left-wing metropolitan daily, conceded that video of the Israeli soldiers being lowered on to the ships from helicopters did show that some of the “hundreds of politicians and protesters” on board did offer “signs of resistance”.
Here are some of those “signs of the resistance” that this Age reporter tactfully failed to detail.
You see the Israeli commandos, at first brandishing just paint-ball guns, being grabbed by mobs as they landed, dragged to the ground, and beaten brutally with metal pipes and clubs.
On another clip, apparently shot by protesters, you see a soldier stabbed in the back, and then in the front. (more…)
When I first heard Joe Biden going ballistic over Israel’s plans to build housing in Jerusalem, I thought I must be dreaming. But when Secretary of State Clinton voiced her own outrage, insisting that Israel’s making such an announcement while our vice president was in Israel, was an insult not only to Biden, but to the United States, I realized that not even in those dreams where I’m tall, good-looking and know how to play the piano, have I been so out of touch with reality.
After all, these were the same two people who have been so careful not to insult Iran or any of the other gangster states in Africa or the Middle East, lowering the boom on an ally for doing something as benign as building housing for its citizens. Which, it seems to me, isn’t quite as bad as developing a nuclear bomb while vowing to annihilate one of its neighbors.
It took New York’s Daniel Greenfield, who writes under the nom de blog of Sultan Knish, to bring some pertinent facts to light, for which I am in his debt.
In 1990, it seems that Sen. Biden co-sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which resolved that Congress acknowledge that Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of Israel and remain an undivided city.
In 1992, Biden also co-sponsored Senate Consecutive Resolution 113, which resolved that Congress congratulates the people of Israel on the 25th anniversary of the reunification of that historic city; that Congress believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city; and called upon the President and the Secretary of State to issue an unequivocal statement in support of those principles.
In 1995, Biden co-sponsored, along with such colleagues as John McCain, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Ted Kennedy, Senate 1322, stating that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city and should be recognized as the capital of Israel.
As late as 2001, Joe Biden said, “Why is it that the one ally we have in that part of the world is the one that we feel we have the right to publicly chastise? We would not do that with any other friend. Such criticism emboldens those in the Middle East and around the world who still harbor as their sacred goal the elimination of Israel. It’s not for you to tell them, nor for me, what is in their best interest.”
What a shame that V.P. Biden never had the opportunity to meet and speak to Sen. Biden.
For her part, Hillary Clinton, in 2007, issued a statement claiming that she believed that “Israel’s right to exist safely as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned.”
What a shame that Secretary of State Clinton never had the opportunity to meet and speak to Sen. Clinton.
I suppose one could say that’s just Joe being Joe and Hillary being Hillary, just liberals trolling for Jewish votes and campaign contributions. Now that they’re no longer running for office, perhaps they no longer feel compelled to lie about their true feelings.
For his part, Barack Obama, in 2008, gave a campaign speech in which he said, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” Perhaps his teleprompter malfunctioned on that occasion, because the very next day, he explained that he actually was in favor of dividing Jerusalem, but he didn’t want barbed wire to be used to divide it.
If one is to draw any insights from all this, it might be that liberal senators only tell you the truth when they’re no longer running for office, and that Barack Obama, who seems to be okay with nukes in the hands of Muslims, draws a line in the sand when it comes to barbed wire.
Victor Davis Hanson:
Some have remarked at the unusually harsh rhetoric accorded to the Israelis over the Jerusalem issue, especially the assumed American loss of face. Perhaps. But this administration has been embarrassed quite a lot, whether Putin’s snub of the missiles-for-Iran-help deal, the pathetic outreach video et al. to the obnoxious Ahmadinejad, Chavez’s various antics, and the more subtle Chinese putdowns.
In each of these cases, American outrage seemed muted in comparison to what was accorded the Israelis—after all, a democracy thinking of building houses in Jerusalem is not quite like autocracies annexing Tibet, absorbing parts of Ossetia, sending agents into Columbia, or building a nuke on the sly. Instead, the American pique I think is intended to signal a rather sizable change in our foreign policy. Whereas in the past we argued with the Israelis privately, and put pressure on them through diplomatic channels, now we have joined the chorus of its public critics. And when the United States echoes the popular chorus of Europe, or even mimics the invective of the Arab world, there simply is no other power around to stop what will soon become a piling-on party.
The message is out—say or do what you please about Israel, and it will more likely now resonate with the U.S. I wish this administration had at least said something as curt to the Syrians or Iranians for their past support for chronic infiltrations across their borders into Iraq to kill American soldiers, rather than pondering whether to build apartment buildings in Jerusalem endangers American soldiers. Whether Israel and the Palestinians, or the British again in the Falklands, or the Columbians, or the Hondurans, or the Poles and Czechs, there is no particular advantage in being a pro-American democratic ally; attention and outreach instead come from being our antithesis.
Roger Simon asks Is the Jewish Love Affair with the Democratic Party about to End?
For all of my looooong life, the Jews have been so deep in the pocket of the Democratic Party it would make Chris Matthews blush. Maybe… just maybe… (I know old habits die hard)…. thanks to Barack Obama, that is about to end. The well-put lede from this morning’s WSJ opinion piece details the situation:
In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has endorsed “healthy relations” between Iran and Syria, mildly rebuked Syrian President Bashar Assad for accusing the U.S. of “colonialism,” and publicly apologized to Moammar Gadhafi for treating him with less than appropriate deference after the Libyan called for “a jihad” against Switzerland.
When it comes to Israel, however, the Administration has no trouble rising to a high pitch of public indignation. On a visit to Israel last week, Vice President Joe Biden condemned an announcement by a mid-level Israeli official that the government had approved a planning stage—the fourth out of seven required—for the construction of 1,600 housing units in north Jerusalem. Assuming final approval, no ground will be broken on the project for at least three years.
The Obama administration has taken the admonition to “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” to a new level. They want to make love with their enemies while taking their friends to the woodshed and beating the living daylights out of them. And take them they did, time after time. First Biden, then Hillary, then some semi anonymous character at the State Department dressing down Ambassador Oren (talk about disrespecting your betters!), then on to the talk show circuit with the droning Gibbs and Obama’s “best Jew” David Axlerod. His other “best Jew” Rahm Emanuel was nowhere in evidence, as far as I know. (Interesting, that).
But back to my lede. Is the Jewish love affair with the Democratic Party about to end? I know many will be skeptical. And they should be. But I suspect something is brewing. This kind of excessive and weirdly paternalistic attitude to the state of Israel, directed so clearly from the top, seems to come out of a kind of unexamined personal animus. The long record that Obama has of friendship with virulent enemies of Israel has not gone unnoticed.