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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Hayom’

Yoram Ettinger: Israel’s Unilateral Action – a Test of Sovereignty

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Maintaining Israel’s independence of action – in face of Iran’s nuclear threat – is consistent with Israeli/Jewish history, with common sense, regional stability and with the enhancement of vital US national security interests.  On the other hand, surrendering Israel’s inalienable right of self-defense would undermine Israel’s sovereignty, erode its posture of deterrence, jeopardize its existence, fuel regional chaos and undermine US interests in the Middle East.

On June 3, 1967, President Johnson pressured Prime Minister Eshkol against preempting the pro-Soviet Egypt-Syria-Jordan military axis, which threatened the survival of moderate Arab regimes (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and Israel’s existence. Johnson advised that “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone. We cannot imagine that [Israel] will make this decision.”

Johnson warned that a unilateral Israeli military preemption could trigger severe regional turmoil, transform Israel into a belligerent state, and preclude assistance by the USA. Johnson refrained from implementing the 1957 unilateral and multilateral guarantees issued to Israel by Eisenhower.  He insisted that Israel should rely on the diplomatic-multilateral option.

Eshkol defied Johnson.  He preempted the anti-US Arab axis; devastated a clear and present danger to vital Western interests; rescued the House of Saud from the wrath of Nasser; expedited the end of the pro-Soviet Nasser regime and the rise of the pro-US Sadat regime in Egypt; dealt a major setback to Soviet interests; and demonstrated Israel’s capability to snatch the hottest chestnuts out of the fire, without a single US boot on the ground.  He transformed the image of Israel from a national security consumer (a client state) to a national security producer (a strategic ally).

Eshkol realized that a defiant national security policy – in defense of the Jewish State – yielded a short-term political and diplomatic spat with the US, but resulted in a long-term national security upgrade and dramatically enhanced strategic respect.

From time immemorial, the Jewish People has faced powerful adversities in asserting its sovereignty over the Land of Israel, and by undertaking unilateral national security actions. Conviction-driven defiance of adversity has earned the Jewish People deep respect.

Israel’s contemporary history demonstrates that dramatic national security enhancement requires unilateral actions, in defiance of regional and global powers.

For example, in 1948/9, Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared independence, annexed Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, initiated wide construction in Jerusalem and refused to end “occupation” of the Negev and absorb Arab refugees, in defiance of a US military embargo, the threat of US economic sanctions and significant domestic Dovish opposition. Ben Gurion’s steadfastness led General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs-of-Staff in 1952, to recommend reconsideration of Israel as a major ally in the Middle East.

In 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol reunited Jerusalem and launched construction projects in eastern Jerusalem, in the face of US, global and domestic opposition.

In 1977, Prime Minister Begin’s initiative to negotiate directly with Egypt, circumvented President Carter’s initiative to convene an international conference, which intended to focus on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem.

In 1981, Prime Minister Begin concluded that the cost of a nuclear Iraq would dwarf the cost of preempting Iraq.  He realized that diplomacy would not stop Iraq’s nuclearization, and that most Arab/Muslim countries considered a nuclear Iraq to be a lethal threat. Therefore, he preempted, destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor, in spite of the US threat of a military embargo and a nasty diplomatic US reproach, worldwide condemnation and vocal domestic opposition, especially by national security circles.

Begin’s daring unilateral initiative in 1981averted regional chaos, sparing the US a nuclear confrontation in 1991, which would have devastated vital US human, economic and military concerns.

In 2012, Prime Minister Netanyahu is aware that sanctions against Iran are inherently ineffective due to non-compliance by Russia, China, India, Japan and some European countries.  He recognizes that sanctions provide Iran with extra-time to develop/acquire nuclear capabilities.  He knows that sanctions did not prevent Pakistan’s and North Korea’s nuclearization. He concluded that Iran’s time-to-develop/acquire is unpredictable and uncontrollable. He realizes that a nuclear Iran would doom the pro-US Gulf regimes; would traumatize the supply and price of oil; would accelerate nuclear proliferation; would provide a tailwind to Islamic terrorism and scores of sleeper cells in the US; and would entrench Iran’s military foothold in America’s backyard – Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico. He understands that a military preemption – with no boots on the ground – is a prerequisite for regime change in Iran. Just like Begin, Netanyahu is convinced that the cost of a nuclear Iran would dwarf the personal, diplomatic, political, economic and military cost of preempting Iran.

Just like the aforementioned Prime Ministers, Netanyahu is cognizant of the cardinal Jewish proverb: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14).”

Originally published in Israel Hayom, http://bit.ly/OqqP7C

Obama’s Steep Uphill Reelection Battle

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Does the June 5, 2012 Republican victory – in the Wisconsin gubernatorial election – foreshadow the November 2012 presidential and congressional elections?

Democratic and Republican heavyweights participated in the six month campaign, assuming that Wisconsin would have nationwide implications. Thus, the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, stated that “Wisconsin is a battleground state…. All of the Obama for America and state party resources, our grassroots network are fully engaged [in Wisconsin]…. [Wisconsin is providing] the dry run that we need for our massive, significant, dynamic grassroots presidential campaign.”

The November 1991 Democratic victory in the Pennsylvania special Senate election paved the road to the November 1992 Democratic victories in the presidential and congressional election.

The May1994 Republican victories in the Kentucky and Oklahoma special House election – winning districts that were long held by Democrats – presaged the “Republican Revolution” in November, sweeping the House and the Senate.

The November 2009 and January 2010 Republican victories in the gubernatorial elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, provided the tailwind of the unprecedented Republican gains in the November mid-term election.

What could be the nationwide implications of the June 5, 2012 recall election?

1. The larger-than-expected Republican victory constitutes a tailwind for Republican morale nationwide.

2. Public opinion polls underestimated the scope of the Republican vote in Wisconsin, which was swept by Obama in 2008. Governor Scott Walker won in a larger-than-expected majority, outperforming his 2010 victory.

3. Wisconsin – which Republicans have not carried since 1988 – has become a full-fledged battleground state.

4. While the Wisconsin electorate does not represent the nationwide constituency (nor do other battleground states), and the GOP campaign financing edge in Wisconsin will not be replicated nationwide, the Wisconsin state-of-mind reflects substantial elements in other battleground states – Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania – which are critical for a victory in November.

5. President Obama refrained from active involvement in the Wisconsin election, anticipating a Republican victory, or assuming that his declining popularity could hurt Wisconsin Democrats.

6. In view of unfulfilled expectations, one may assume that not all 2008 Obama voters will vote for him in November 2012, while (at least) all 2008 McCain voters will vote for Romney.

7. Independents – who are the most critical group for a November victory – voted for Governor Walker in higher-than-expected numbers. In 2008, they facilitated Obama’s victory by all-time-high turnout numbers.

8. A decline is expected in the November 2012 turnout, and support of Obama, by Independents, moderates, youth, “Blue Collar,” small businesses, Catholics, Hispanics, Blacks and Jews. In 2008, they supported Obama in unprecedented turnout and numbers.

9. The vulnerabilities of labor unions were exposed, despite an unprecedented turnout rate in Wisconsin. Labor unions constitute a key pillar in Democratic campaigns, especially in the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

10. The doubling of the price at-the-pump since 2008 burdens Obama’s chances for reelection, notwithstanding the limited power of a US President to determine the price of oil.

11. A relatively low level of voters’ optimism, high unemployment, collapse of home market valuation and opposition to ObamaCare constitute major hurdles in Obama’s reelection campaign.

12. The history of US politics suggests that, in most campaigns, incumbents – rather than challengers – win/lose elections.

Irrespective of the long-term and severe economic crisis, and regardless of the results of the June 5, 2012 Wisconsin election, November is still five months away. That is sufficient time for unexpected developments – including significant blunders by Obama and Romney – which could determine the outcome of the election either way.

Originally published by Israel Hayom, http://bit.ly/LzkZme.

Poll: 93% of Israeli Jews Proud to be Israeli, 81% Feel Affinity with Diaspora Jewry

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

An overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are patriotic and prefer to live in Israel over any other country, according to a poll administered by Israeli daily Israel Hayom in honor of Independence Day.

In response to the question “how proud are you to be Israeli?” 93% of respondents described themselves as “proud,” while 70% said they were “very proud.” Over 80% said they plan on flying an Israeli flag on their homes or cars.

74% of those asked said Israel is a good country to live in. According to Israel Hayom, “those groups most satisfied with life in Israel are people over the age of 55, religious people, and residents of Jerusalem…Among those who said they were dissatisfied with life here, the largest group (around 50%) of respondents, were aged 25-44.”

When asked the more specific question of what they love most about Israel, “20.2% of respondents chose ‘people’ as the thing they love most in Israel. In second place, only a tenth of a percent behind, were nature and the country’s landscape. High marks also went to the sense of shared fate here (16.4%), as well as our national character, 13.1%.”

30% of respondents said the most “Israeli” characteristic is “helping others.” “Shimon Peres” (!) came in second with 21%, followed by “barbecues,” “complaining,” the expression “yallah, bye,” and “Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball.”

In terms of how respondents define themselves, 65% view themselves as Jews first, and then Israelis. 21% consider themselves more Israeli than Jewish.

Israelis’ sense of kinship transcends their geographic borders, as 81% of respondents said they “feel an affinity towards Diaspora Jews.”

Yoram Ettinger: UN Human Rights Council Exposed

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

http://www.theettingerreport.com

 

The Human Rights Council (HRC), on the one hand, and human rights on the other hand, constitutes an oxymoron. The HRC – elected by the majority of the UN members – constitutes an authentic reflection of the UN.

On Friday, the HRC will conclude a month long deliberation by submitting four more resolutions condemning Israel.

The HRC heard testimony from a representative of the Assad regime in formulating one of the resolutions, which denounces Israel for alleged violations of human rights on the Golan Heights. At the same time, the Assad regime has already murdered 8,000 Syrian dissidents and rebels, causing tens of thousands of refugees, some seeking asylum in Israel’s Golan Heights.

The HRC was privy to testimonies from Palestinian representatives, while an increasing number of Palestinians attempt to relocate to Jerusalem, in order to avoid the ruthless rule of the Palestinian Authority. The HRC never discussed intra-Palestinian violence, which has caused substantially more fatalities than those produced during Israel’s confrontation with Palestinian terrorism. It failed to act against the PLO/Hamas-led hate-education, brainwashing Palestinian children to become suicide bombers; rewarding Palestinian mothers for raising suicide bombers; executing rival Palestinians by throwing them off high-rise buildings; spraying them with bullets from the waist down; torturing, maiming and executing Palestinian opponents; abusing Palestinian civilians as human shields; physically abusing critical Palestinian journalists; suppressing Palestinian civil liberties; and systematically and deliberately targeting Israeli civilians for terrorism, missile launching and mortar shelling.

The HRC welcomed a report by Professor Richard Falk – who accused the US Administration of complicity and cover up in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack – on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Prof. Falk – a Hamas sympathizer who has justified suicide bombing as a legitimate struggle – was appointed in 2008 to a six-year term as UN Special Rapporteur. Falk succeeded Professor John Dugard, who shares his worldview.

The HRC is assisted by an advisory committee, chaired by Morocco’s Halima Warzazi, who, in 1988, blocked a UN initiative to condemn Saddam Hussein’s chemical warfare against Iraqi Kurds. The vice-chair is Switzerland’s Jean Ziegler, who co-established the “Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights” and authored books accusing the USA of being responsible for global malaise. Another advisor is Nicaragua’s Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, former President of the UN General Assembly, an admirer of Ahmadinejad, a defender of Omar al-Bashir – Sudan’s president indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, a friend of Fidel Castro and self-hating Americans such as Ramsey Clark and Noam Chomsky.

Since June 2007, Israel has been the only country to be listed on the HRC’s permanent agenda. Out of the ten permanent items on the HRC agenda, eight are organizational and procedural, one deals with global human rights and “item seven” – “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories” – is the only one that is country-specific. The outcome of the investigation is prejudged, not subject to review. Israel – the only Middle Eastern democracy – is also the only UN member to be ostracized annually, while its enemies are exempt from scrutiny.

According to former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, “there are permanent members of the Security Council and non-permanent members, but Israel is the only permanent non-member.”

80% of all 2010 UN resolutions criticizing specific countries for human rights violations were directed at Israel. Only six other UN members faced human rights criticism at all, one of which was the United States. The HRC subjected the USA to harsh criticism – by Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Russia – for, supposed, human rights violations. The HRC criticized the elimination of Bin-Laden and Israel’s defense against PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists.

Simultaneously, the HRC has ignored Islamic terrorism, which has afflicted Asia, Africa, Europe, and the USA. No emergency sessions or inquiries were held, and no resolutions were adopted.

55% of the HRC members are Muslim countries, which contribute little to the UN budget, but dominate policy-making. The HRC is formally the guardian of human rights, but its members – e.g., Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cuba, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Djibouti, Senegal, Mauritania, Malaysia, Russia, and China – deny their peoples fundamental civil liberties.

In view of the track record of the UN in general, and the HRC in particular, and in light of the intensifying threat of Islamic terrorism, the Free World should become independent of the UN, militarily and policy-wise. The Free World should heed Ambassador Bolton’s assessment that “the UN was marginal during the Cold War, and is well on its way to marginalizing itself when it comes to the world’s greatest threat, terrorism.”

 

Originally published in Israel Hayom

Supreme Court Decision Causes Collapse of High Rabbinic Court

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A recent Israeli Supreme Court decision to suspend the appointment of new rabbinic judges until women are appointed to the selection committee responsible for said appointments, is causing the collapse and virtual shutdown of the High Rabbinic Court, according to Israel Hayom.

A few months ago, two judges retired from the high court, which is the rabbinic equivalent of the secular Supreme Court. Since then, absent replacements, the high court has been functioning with a single judiciary forum comprised of two judges and one of Israel’s two chief rabbis. This week, one of the two judges required an urgent operation and the court was, for all intents and purposes, shut down.

The Rabbinate’s Attorney General Shimon Ya’akovi then permitted an unprecedented forum to sit in judgment at the High Court for now, comprised of both chief rabbis and the remaining judge.

“It’s madness,” complained a source inside the rabbinic courts system, “imagine if the Supreme Court was left with only one judge and a temporary appointment. We have here tens of heart-wrenching cases of agunot and children of divorces, and no one seems to care.”

Beware of the Phased Plan!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

On August 14, 2009, Mahmoud Abbas concluded the Sixth Convention of Fatah, which ratified its platform, calling for the continued struggle – through peaceful and armed means – to eradicate the Jewish state. Fatah’s policy is founded on the demand for return of the1948 Arab refugees, self-determination, an independent state, and the PLO’s 10-point Phased Plan (http://bit.ly/y2zkfZ), formulated by the PLO’s Palestinian National Council in June, 1974.

The second of the 10 points, for example, calls for the establishment of an independent national authority over “every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated.” The third point states that the PLO will not consider a temporary agreement which renounces the final goal – Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. The fourth point states that each step will be just a phase in the liberation of the whole of Palestine. The eighth point obligates the Palestinian Authority to fight for the liberation of the entire Palestinian territory.

In September 1993, on the eve of the Oslo Accords, then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat declared in a speech broadcast by Amman radio that Oslo would be “the basis for a Palestinian state in accordance with the [Phased] policy of the Palestinian National Council from June 1974.”

Abbas indeed makes the distinction between provisional goals, necessitated by the current balance of power, and the permanent goals as dictated by the “natural, historic, constitutional and permanent Palestinians rights,” as well as by the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim “destiny.” The provisional goals (Judea and Samaria and Gaza) are a means to achieving the permanent goals (Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and Haifa), but certainly not a substitute. Therefore, he does not view U.N. resolutions, peace talks with Israel or the “liberation of the 1967 occupation” as a compromise, but rather in pragmatic terms, as a springboard.

Abbas differentiates between phase-based temporary peace with Israel and a final peace, which can only be achieved by completing the permanent goal: the eradication of Israel. In his view, relinquishing parts of the homeland could lead to the loss of it entirely. That is why Abbas is entrenching the “claim of return” to Safed, the Galilee, Haifa, Jaffa, Ashkelon and the Negev – and the denial of any Jewish rights in Palestine – in the Palestinian Authoritiy’s kindergartens, schools, mosques and media. That is why he claims to represent all Israeli Arabs, and why he views the Palestinian Authority as a reincarnation of Palestinian liberty and the agent for the demise of the “crusader-like” Jewish state.

Abbas is a practicing Muslim. His worldview is shaped by the principle that the right to all of “Palestine” is a religiously endowed, inalienable right (Waqf) that must not be relinquished, even if it means sacrificing one’s life. He wages this internal as well as external struggles in accordance with the principles of Islam, including the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (a pivotal treaty between Muhammad, representing the state of Medina, and the Quraish tribe of Mecca in 628 C.E.), which directly influences contemporary intra-Arab conflicts.

According to Professor Majid Khadduri, the leading authority on Islamic law  (“War and Peace in the Law of Islam,” Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), Allah promised his followers a permanent victory; those who relinquish the struggle are considered apostates; the Hudaybiyyah precedent (the breach of a peace treaty that led to the conquest of Mecca) permits Muslims to agree to temporary peace in order to regroup and resume waging holy war. Moreover, the natural relationship between the Abode of Islam – the only legitimate religion – and the Abode of the Infidel is war; a peace agreement is not a goal, and not a means to advance coexistence, but rather a means to force submission on its adversaries.

The hate-mongering education system that Abbas instituted in 1994, Abbas’ glorification of terrorists and their families, and the brainwashing tactics employed by mosques and media outlets controlled by Abbas - all aim to promote the Phased Plan, which guides Abbas and the so-called moderate Palestinian camp. This plan is the common thread connecting PLO’s Abbas to Hamas’ Mashaal and his “radical” camp.

 

Originally published in Israel Hayom.

An Interview With Philanthropist Extraordinaire Sheldon Adelson

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

In September 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Sheldon Adelson the 8th richest man in America and 16th in the world. He is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. with integrated resorts in Asia, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas where his holdings include The Venetian, The Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

He has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish and Israeli concerns and is the single largest donor to the Birthright Israel program. He and his wife, Miriam, recently presented Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with $25 million – the second $25 million donation made by the couple to Yad Vashem in five years. Their total contribution is the largest ever received by Yad Vashem from a private donor.

The Jewish Press: Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you raised?

Adelson: As far as I was concerned, we lived in a Jewish ghetto in Boston. I used to call it the slums. The best you could say about it was that it was a dense, impoverished area. My parents had few material things and the moneylender came to the house so often that I thought he was an uncle, like he was part of the family, because he would show up at every family affair.

What was it like growing up so impoverished?

For several years the whole family – my parents, two brothers, and my sister – lived in one bedroom. The living room was a storefront where my mother ran a knitting store. Besides that, there was a little sitting area, a bathroom, and a kitchen. But there was always this blue and white pushke on the kitchen table. My dad, being a cab driver, always came home with a lot of change in his pocket, so he would take all the change in his pocket and put it into the pushke.

One day I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m filling the box.” I asked him what happens when it gets full and he said, “I take it down to the place,” which turned out to be the Federation office. “They empty it and give it to poor people, then give it back to me and I fill it up again.”

I said, “But Daddy, aren’t we poor?” He said, “Yeah, we’re poor, but there’s always somebody who’s more poor and you have to help take care of them.” I didn’t want to believe that, because nobody ever helped me. I had to do everything on my own. He made me promise that I would put money in a pushke every day. I don’t quite do it like that, but I think he’ll forgive me because I do it “in bulk.”

When did you start working?

When I was about nine. I had to work for three years to save $35 to buy a bicycle. I repaired bicycles, shoveled snow, did odd jobs. But then, my first business was at the age of twelve. I bought and sold two newspaper “corners.” The “corner” was like a franchise to be able to sell the local newspapers. It was a right, and I had to buy that right from somebody.

As a boy, were you determined to become rich?

No, I never thought about becoming wealthy. It never crossed my mind. What really motivated me was to try to accomplish something. Achievement is the motivation of entrepreneurs.

Did being Jewish always play an important role in your life?

Oh, yes. My father wasn’t very religious, but he told me his father was – my grandfather, whom I never met. My parents sent their children to Hebrew school, and on the high holidays my father would insist that we go with him to shul.

For my father, when Israel was founded it was a wonderful day. He always wanted to go to Israel, but he could never afford it. When I made enough money so that I could afford to give my parents whatever they wanted, I wanted them to go to Israel, but by then my father was too old and too sick to go.

Were they able to see you go to Israel?

No. My parents died in 1985, may they rest in peace. When my siblings and I went down to clean out their apartment, I saw a pair of his shoes. My father and I had exactly the same odd shoe size. When I used to visit my parents in North Miami Beach, we would go to the Florsheim store in Bal Harbour. It was the only store in the country where I could find more than one pair of shoes in my size. I would try to encourage my father to get shoes, but he’d always say “No, but those shoes that you just bought, take good care of my shoes.” Then in the summer, when he came to spend time with my family and me, he would take the shoes from me because I couldn’t get him to spend any money. My mother, too, was the same way. So when they passed away and we went down to clean out their apartment, I saw those shoes that he had recently taken. I took them back with me.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/a-man-of-compassion-and-commitment-an-interview-with-philanthropist-extraordinaire-sheldon-adelson/2011/12/28/

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