web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘International Community’

Why I am important

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

On Friday, I signed a contract to buy an apartment in Israel. I will be returning to live here again after 25 years. I am very happy about it for various reasons, including the fact that as an Israeli Jew I will be a member of a tiny minority of huge importance to the rest of the world.

We flew to Israel from Los Angeles. At the gate we were met by several buses which took us to a remote terminal where we boarded the plane. The buses were escorted by two airport police cars and an El Al security car, which also followed the plane as it taxied from the terminal to the runway from which it took off.

As far as I know, no other airline gets this special treatment. In a way, it is flattering to know that I am so important that many people want to kill me.

Israel is special at the UN, too, where the Human Rights Commission and the General Assembly devote so much time, effort and (mostly Western) cash to condemning it and pretending that the ‘Palestinians’ are a nation in any sense other than as a negation of the Jewish nation. They pretend that the Palestinian Arabs are important, but everybody knows that it’s all about us, especially the Palestinians themselves (this is one of the reasons that they are so angry and frustrated all the time).

There is also the special treatment we get from Europe. Did you know that one thousand legal scholars and jurists recently delivered a petition to EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton explaining that contrary to the EU position, Jewish settlements across the Green Line are legal under international law?  The EU doesn’t boycott, for example, Turkish ‘settlers’ in northern Cyprus, but we are more important, so a special policy is implemented for us.

Then there is the clever US State Department which prefers ‘illegitimate’ to ‘illegal’. Somehow this is supposed to be a meaningful distinction in this context, but all I can think of is that someone’s parents were unmarried. They include Israel’s capital, which has been the seat of its government since the founding of the state in the illegitimate part. No other nation is so honored!

I am even more proud of the fact that the great United States finds it necessary to spit on us by forcing Israel’s government to release more than a hundred terrorists, all of whom were either convicted of murder (sometimes multiple murders) or of crimes related to murders. Some of these murders were remarkably evil and gruesome, and it’s unimaginable that the US would do something similar in its own homeland. But we are really important and special, so we are required to accept this.

I understand also that the US and EU were ‘furious’ that Israel’s Prime Minister recently announced that perhaps a thousand new homes for Jews would be built someday in places that they consider illegal or illegitimate. The argument is that this construction would create facts on the ground that would prejudice a future peace agreement. Of course, not a peep was heard a few months ago when Israel announced that it would build housing for Arabs in the same area. What else does this prove except that Jews are more important than Arabs?

Speaking of Arabs, Israel’s neighbors Egypt and Syria are presently displaying their truly shocking barbarism by engaging in vicious religious/ethnic civil wars, bombing, gassing, shooting and raping each other with abandon. The status quo in Israel is peaceful, and the economy — both of Israel and the Palestinian Authority — is excellent. So you would think that the focus would be elsewhere rather than Israel.

Nope — our importance is illustrated by the fact that the ‘international community’, led by President Obama, thinks it’s worthwhile to destabilize us also!

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Israel’s New Government: Not What You Think

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

On the issues about which the world is obsessed, Israel’s new government is basically a continuation of the old one. That is the key point to keep in mind regarding the new coalition which has a comfortable 68-seat majority, well over the 61 minimum parliamentarians required.

Basically, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in a strong position as these things go. It is notable that there is not a single other person seriously considered to be a serious candidate for prime minister. Of course, he will have the usual headaches of managing a disparate coalition in which parties will quarrel, threaten to walk out and make special demands.

The coalition consists of Netanyahu’s Likud (merged with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party); Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which might be called traditionally liberal in American terms; Naftali Bennett’s right-wing and dati religious (Modern Orthodox, in American terms) party, Habayit Hayahudi; and Tzipi Livni’s rather shapeless and personalistic Hatnuah party. A key element of this coalition is the alliance of Bennett and Lapid in opposition to the Haredi (mistakenly called “ultra-Orthodox” in the West) religious parties.

While this is certainly a conservative-dominated government, I have yet to see anyone in the mass media point out that it includes two of the three largest left of center parties!

Of the three key ministries, Netanyahu will be foreign minister, holding that post “in trust” for indicted former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose party ran on a joint list with the Likud. In practice, this means Netanyahu will have close control over implementing his policies internationally. The defense minister is the very able Moshe Yaalon, a Likud member and former head of military intelligence.

Lapid will run the Finance Ministry, dealing with issues on which he has no experience at all. This is not so unusual in parliamentary systems, where senior civil servants actually run the ministries. But Lapid holds this post because his signature issues are to urge reforms in the economy. His party will also get education, social services, health, and science and technology.

Here is something of a paradox. Israel has been one of the most successful countries in the developed world because it has refused to join the high-spending, high-debt, subsidy-oriented policies of Europe and now the United States. Unemployment and inflation have been low; growth has been relatively high. The problem, though, is that prices are also relatively high compared to incomes, causing problems especially for young people and consumers generally.

Lapid is expected to revise the management of the golden eggs without doing harm to the goose that laid them. Arguably, the number-one issue for this government is whether Lapid can perform well. His father, a popular journalist, followed the precise same course as the son a few years ago and failed completely. The junior Lapid has no actual political experience and does have characteristics of Tel Aviv beautiful people society. If he falters, his party will disintegrate in the next election.

As for Bennett, the amusing spin on much coverage is that his party has succeeded, that settlers even dominate the government, because he will have a couple of minor ministries which don’t have much power. Actually, he got less than I would have expected. While the settlements might benefit a little economically from these positions–and from the party’s holding the chairmanship over the Knesset finance committee–they will not have much authority and control little money directly.

If there is a big winner in the new government it is Lapid’s reformist liberals (in the old American sense, not the redefinition imposed on that word by the American far left). They are going to have a chance to show if they can improve social services, a fairer distribution of resources (the issue isn’t so much between rich and poor but across different sectors), and an economy that retains its growth while managing the problem of high prices, among other things.

Meanwhile, although the world is obsessed with non-existent issues regarding the long-dead “peace process” or fantasy options for Israel to make friends with neighboring Islamist regimes by giving even more concessions, Israel strategically is focused on defense.

Four of the six bordering entities—Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and soon Syria—are ruled by radical Islamist groups that openly declare their goal of wiping Israel off the map. And that list doesn’t even include extremely hostile Iran (whose drive toward nuclear weapons cannot be forgotten for a moment) and the virulently anti-Israel regime in Turkey.

Would PA Allow Jews in Jerusalem?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

With Tzipi Livni a possibility to head Israel’s negotiating team in talks with the Palestinian Authority, it is important to review her stance on the future status of Jerusalem – and to investigate what really is holding up all chances of a successful peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In late 2008, Livni was elected to replace Ehud Olmert as head of the Kadima Party. She then proceeded to fail in her attempt to form a new government under her leadership – and the reason for this was her consent to grant Arab control to parts of holy city. This, together with the economic decrees against the “disadvantaged population,” led the Shas Party to refuse to join her government.

As foreign minister in 2008, Livni promised P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas that Israel would cede it the entire Atarot airport complex in northern Yerushalayim in the framework of a peace agreement. She repeatedly stated that though she believes strongly in historic Jewish rights to the entire Land of Israel, she also believes in the “right of our children to live in peace” – to which end she was willing to make far-reaching territorial concessions even in Yerushalayim.

Is there any chance of reaching an agreement with the PLO that does not include some form of dividing Jerusalem with Muslims? The answer appears to be negative. Former Israeli ambassador to Canada Alan Baker, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has written an important and thorough historic study of the issue, concluding that the current P.A. mindset “clearly render[s] hopeless any possibility of peacefully governing Jerusalem.”

Specifically, Baker writes, standing in the way of an agreement is the Moslems’ refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s religious and historic rights to Yerushalayim, even without accepting these as absolute and exclusively binding.

Just a few months ago, Abbas referred to “the alleged [Jewish] Temple” in Jerusalem, and vowed that “there will be no peace, security, or stability unless [all Israelis are] evacuated from our holy city and the eternal capital of our state.”

“This statement,” Baker wrote, “basically denying any Jewish linkage or right to Jerusalem, uttered by the head of the Palestinian Authority who is considered in the international community to be moderate and reasonable, serves as an example of the tremendous political, historical, psychological, legal, and religious challenge that the issue of Jerusalem poses to the Middle East negotiating process.”

Any agreement regarding Jerusalem, he continued, must be “predicated on absolute acknowledgement of, respect for, and acceptance by each side of the historic and religious rights of the other in Jerusalem. Continued mistrust, attempts to dislodge, undermine or destabilize the other side vis-à-vis its own constituency or the international community, and attempts to delegitimize the integrity or historical rights of the other side would clearly render hopeless any possibility of peacefully governing Jerusalem.”

It is not only Abbas who negates Jewish rights in Jerusalem. A P.A. survey in 2011 found that nearly three-quarters of the respondents – 72 percent – support the denial of thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem.

We must remember, too, that Abbas has said no Jews would be allowed to live anywhere in a Palestinian state.

From Israel’s side, 77 percent told Dahaf public opinion pollsters in December that “Israel could not rely on the Palestinians to ensure freedom of worship” even in the framework of a peace agreement. Interestingly, it is not well-known that non-Muslims are prohibited from entering both Mecca and the center of Medina. Undoubtedly, if this fact were to be exposed more widely, it would dramatically increase the number of Israelis who realize the division of Jerusalem means the end of their visits to the Western Wall – for there is no reason to believe that if Jews may not visit Mecca or Medina, they would be able to visit the Temple Mount or anywhere else in the Old City under Muslim rule.

Ambassador Baker notes in his article that even when Israel supported various internationalization schemes in Jerusalem, this was basically to ensure universal freedom of worship in all holy places, not to give up sovereignty. The Arab sides did not accept even this.

Regarding the Arab refusal to accept the 1947 Partition resolution, historian Shlomo Avineri has written that unlike in the Jewish community, there was no debate within the Arab community: There, “an absolutist position – ‘we have all the rights, the Jews don’t have any right’ – continued to be the foundation of their response…”

Observations on American Jewry

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I’ve been in Phoenix, Arizona for almost a week.  Although I’ve been here a number of times before, this is the first visit in which I’ve met up with the Jewish community.

Since I’ve been there before, I do know that there are some kosher restaurants, which not every Jewish community has.  That’s an indication of numbers and also of Jewish tourism.

I have friends who have lived in the Phoenix area, which includes Scottsdale and Tempe, and from them I’ve learned that there are a number of synagogues and the usual controversies and “feuds.”

Considering that my Phoenix friends are very connected to Israel, mostly living in Israel, I was surprised by how many people I met on Shabbat who have never been there.  The reasons are mainly financial.  Just to remind you, not all American Jews are wealthy.  I was in the Young Israel of phoenix, which is a very warm and welcoming community.

I had been asked to speak to the women’s class on Shabbat.  Since Shabbat was TU B’Shavat, the 35th anniversary of the return of Jews to Shiloh.  Shiloh, where I live, is now a nice sized active and warm community.  It’s located in the same spot where biblical Shiloh was.  Barely a mile from my house is the location where the Biblical Tabernacle was located for 369 years.

Since I traveled the day after Israeli elections, I’m not all that up to date with the news in Israel and was concerned that people would want information I couldn’t give.  But besides my host, who has an excellent knowledge of what’s happening in Israel, most people I met weren’t really interested.

In Israel, many of us mistakenly think that world Jewry and international politicians have nothing else on their minds but what’s happening in Israel.  The truth is the opposite, and if Israeli politicians, media, etc, would stop trying to please “the world,” then we’d be totally ignored.  There would be lots less pressure on Israel. Just like any other bully situation, the best defense is using strength against them.  All we have to do is tell all the international diplomats to mind their own business and we must stick to that line.  Don’t discuss the issues at all.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

When Others Speak

Monday, January 21st, 2013

When others speak in your name, they usually get it wrong. Sometimes, I write about what is happening with my family or what is on my mind and sometimes, I see a few news articles and realize there is an underlying thread that ties them together. Such it is today.

A few days ago, Obama was quoted as saying that Israel doesn’t know what is in its best interest. A Canadian network (CTV), quoted Israel’s capital as Tel Aviv; and Admiral William Fallon says that Israel won’t be able to take on Iran alone. I feel like the person sitting in the room while all around me, people are talking ABOUT me, instead of just asking – so allow me to respond.Let’s start with the easiest one…Dear Canada Television Station (CTV) - let’s make a deal, you don’t tell me where my capital is, and I won’t lecture you on the concept of researching reports before you make yourselves look stupid. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. You want to argue about East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, North or South…You want to discuss Old City vs. New City – that’s up to you – but you can’t erase the entire city because you’re too lazy to read a map. Jerusalem – all of it – yes, that’s right – all of it, united, undivided, eternally ours and eternally our capital.Dear Former Admiral William Fallon - I understand in your military assessment based on whatever facts you think you have (and one has to wonder how old that information is, former admiral), you believe Israel can’t go it alone with Iran. A fundamental concept in warfare is to know your enemy (and perhaps, your allies). If you want to go according to standard equations of military history, Israel would not be here today. We never would have left the starting gate back in 1948. By all that is logical, the Arab armies that invaded to push the Jews into the sea would have succeeded – in 1948, in 1956. Certainly in 1967 and most definitely in 1973. When Iraq fired 39 SCUD missiles at a major population area, they should have killed hundreds. Hezbollah’s rocket bombardment in 2006 should have resulted in catastrophic casualties as they fired at over one million people and Gaza’s 15,000 rockets fired at Israel over the last decade or more should have decimated perhaps thousands. They fired rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

If you apply “logic” to this situation, you are correct, logically, Israel can’t eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat alone. Ah, but Former Admiral Fallon, what you fail to see is that our pilots never fly alone. As in 1948, so shall it be now. Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Chelmno, Treblinka. Warsaw….what we couldn’t do then, we will do now.  If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything and you can’t possibly know what Israel can do, will do, to make sure we are never again where once we were.

And finally, President Obama - my first response to your absurd and patronizing comment is that one could easily accuse the U.S. of not knowing what is in their best interests. After all, they re-elected you, didn’t they? But that is childish and though it tickles my fancy, the fact is that Israel DOES know what is in our best interest and deluding ourselves that we have a chance at peace any time soon is not helpful. We do not have a peace partner. The President of Egypt, one of our so-called peace partners, has repeatedly attacked not only Israel, but Jews in general (see In the Words of Our Enemies). You didn’t ask me, Obama, but I can tell you that Israel is indeed finally coming to the realization that we can’t dance to your tune; that we have to watch out for what is best for us and baby, you ain’t it.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Fiamma Nirenstein’s Political Journey

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Sometimes I read something that is so on-target and illuminating that I want to say “stop what you are doing and read this now!

Fiamma Nirenstein is an Italian journalist who was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 2008 and was Vice President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

She has just announced that she is leaving politics and making aliyahto Israel.

She wrote the piece below in 2003. You can substitute ‘Netanyahu’ for ‘Sharon’ and she could have written it yesterday.

It is a bit long, but if you never read anything else that I suggest, please read this:

How I became an ‘unconscious fascist’
By Fiamma Nirenstein

In 1967 I was a young communist, like most Italian youngsters. Bored by my rebellious behavior my family sent me to a Kibbutz in the upper Galilee, Neot Mordechai. I was quite satisfied there, the kibbutz used to give some money every month to the Vietcong. When the Six Day War began, Moshe Dayan spoke on the radio to announce it. I asked: “What is he saying?” and the comrades of Neot answered: “Shtuyot,” silly things. During the war I took children to shelters; I dug trenches, and learned some simple shooting and acts of self defense. We continued working in the orchards, but were quick to identify the incoming Mig-im and the outgoing Mirage-im, chasing one another in the sky of the Golan Heights.

Click here for the rest…

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Taking Advantage of the Siege of Jerusalem

Monday, December 24th, 2012

The 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, which fell out yesterday, commemorates an important precursor to the current siege that surrounds Jerusalem. Important, not because of the similarities between now and then but because of the refreshing opportunity implicit in the post-modern siege, both for Israel and for those who seek to impede its actions.

Regional conquest and domination were the obvious goals and the ultimate results of Nebuchadnezzar II‘s siege of Jerusalem on the Tenth of Tevet, 588 years B.C.E. Ancient Babylonia was building its empire and Jerusalem was not to stand in its way. To this day Jews the world over fast on the Tenth of Tevet, aligning their worldview with that of their biblical prophets who viewed the siege as a harbinger of the Temple’s destruction, the fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish exile. But must a siege always spell doom?

The odds were stacked against Jerusalem. Judea’s brethren in the northern kingdom of Samaria had long been overrun, exiled and dispersed. Clearly, the domineering Babylonians had the military advantage over the civilians within Jerusalem’s walls and the diplomatic edge over the Judean kings who were largely subservient to Babylonia. Once the siege was in full swing the only offense that could be offered was a strong defense. As time would tell, seasoned wellsprings of uncompromising leadership and inspired camaraderie had long dried up. If not Nebuchadnezzar II it would have been someone else. Jerusalem’s days were numbered.

A curious and historic role reversal has come to the fore in the wake of the international E-1 frenzy. Under normal circumstances, he who lays a siege is he who has the upper hand. But traditional sieges have always presented a clear and present danger to their victims. When the battlefield is replaced by press rooms and war is waged with windy condemnations, can the aggressor assume that he has a strategic advantage? Should he? And need the besieged party shudder at the thought of protracted belligerence?

Belabored, anticipated, thoughtless and knee-jerk attacks from EU countries regarding Israel’s decision to fortify its capital city awaken a true sense of sympathy for Europe’s impotence beyond its own borders. Berating Israeli diplomats adds some spice to the anti-Israel monotony, but photo ops are short lived and shifting the props on the set makes no impact on the ground. Indeed, the tragedy of fruitless attempts to impact the Middle East via mass media and open letters from Diaspora Rabbis to Israel’s Prime Minister lies not in the inefficacy of these failed approaches, but in the desperate delusion that they may actually make a difference.

Israel was infamously slow on the uptake when it came to identifying the sophisticated public relations war that it now faces on all sides. But it has become far more concerned about being forced  to live in bomb shelters than it is threatened by condescending statements by statesmen who care little for the survival of its sovereignty. Notwithstanding the multiplicity of narratives about what Israel was, is and will be, reality has a power all its own.

To date, Israel has emerged as the indisputable victor of the international diplomatic and propaganda siege that has befallen its capital city and, by extension, its people. On the foot-heels of Operation Pillar of Defense and on the eve of national elections, external pressure applied to Israel serves to strengthen the resolve of its people. Israelis have learned to live with international disdain for their very presence in the only country they can call home. Instead of apologetics, they engage in self-preservation. When Tel Aviv is hit by the same rockets that have consistently plagued Sderot, the people of Israel band together. There’s a reality on the ground and it will not yield to those who launch endless assaults from the world of ideas.

But is this a war that Israel wants to win? And if it is, then is this the way that Israel wants to win it?

Sure, the triumph of Zionism against relentless surrounding pressure is sweet. Yes, it’s difficult for Israelis to avoid a boost to their national ethos and ego following incessant efforts by their detractors to aggrandize the significance of the Jewish State by singling out the heinous crime of building homes while turning a blind eye to Syria’s gruesome civil war. But Israel has little to gain from its own self justification. And such an activity has even less to offer.

In many respects, today’s siege of Jerusalem amounts not to an undermining of its would-be fortifications but to a desperate cry for help from the international community. In a season when Western nations experience swift demographic overhauls, at a time when fiscal cliffs loom just around the bend and in a climate of nuclear proliferation among the world’s less predictable parties, somehow or other Israel grows increasingly stable. How does Israel survive in the Middle East? How does it manage to thrive?

In a benevolent and unwarranted attempt to judge the rhetoric of the international community favorably, we can attempt to attribute an optimistic angle to the world’s otherwise inexplicably disproportionate preoccupation with Israel. Perhaps, deep down inside, these nations want Israel to configure new algorithms for the benefit of humanity. After all, if Israel can save itself, then maybe it can save others as well. If Israel can generate a successful formula for coexistence with its Arab neighbors from without and from within, then maybe “peace on Earth” is not an empty slogan. If Israel can learn from the lessons of its past, then maybe the construction of Jerusalem will be viewed as a greater contribution to mankind than its destruction.

Jerusalem’s besiegers are a captive audience. It’s time for Israel to speak.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/taking-advantage-of-the-siege-of-jerusalem/2012/12/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: