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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Hayom’

How Not to Keep Israel from Bombing Iran

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

There are no deadlines:

The U.S. is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and still considers negotiations to be “by far the best approach” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to Bloomberg Radio on Sunday after the conclusion of meetings at an Asia-Pacific forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Clinton said that economic sanctions are affecting Iran and the U.S. is “watching very carefully about what [the Iranians] do, because it’s always been more about their actions than their words.”

And there are no red ones either, according to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland yesterday:

QUESTION: Toria, your closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, is quite upset with a interview that the Secretary gave, particularly when she was asked about redlines or deadlines for Iran’s nuclear program. Do you have positions or levels in Iran’s nuclear enrichment that you consider unacceptable and that would force some sort of change to the current stalemate, let’s say?

MS. NULAND: Well, as we have been saying for many months, and as was clear when the Secretary was in Jerusalem earlier this summer, we have extensive and ongoing contacts with our close ally Israel to discuss the full range of security issues, but obviously to compare notes on the challenge posed by Iran, and we will continue to do that…

QUESTION: Well it’s a very – will you agree that it’s – are you – is there a specific policy of being – of constructive ambiguity here? Because, I mean, not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon means many different things to many different people. As you know, the Israelis have one definition of what it means to have a nuclear weapon, and maybe you have another one. So could you provide any –

MS. NULAND: Among the many reasons, Elise, why these consultations with Israel need to be constant, they need to be detailed, they need to be private. …

So we are absolutely firm about the President’s commitment here, but it is not useful to be parsing it, to be setting deadlines one way or the other, redlines. It is most important that we stay intensely focused on the pressure on Iran, the opportunity for Iran to fix this situation through the diplomacy that we’ve offered, and intensive consultations with Israel and all the other regional states, as we are doing.

Nuland seems to be trying to suggest that there is more going on under the surface with Israel, but Israel Hayom quoted “senior diplomatic sources in Jerusalem” saying that,

Hillary Clinton is speeding up the Iranian centrifuges with her erroneous public comments … Without a clear red line, Iran will not halt its race for nuclear weapons.  … not only do Clinton’s comments not deter Iran, they actually appease it.

So to recap: there are sanctions, but Iran’s 20 biggest trading partners have exemptions. Iran still refuses to let IAEA inspectors into its test site at Parchin, where it appears that experiments related to weaponization have been carried out. The I.A.E.A. also reports that Iran is carrying out computer simulations of the destructive power of nuclear warheads. Iran continues to add centrifuges to bolster its enrichment capabilities.

But the U.S. is not prepared to issue an ultimatum. It will go no further than to repeat that “we will not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” but it will not say — publicly or to Israel — how far it will allow Iran to go.

The Iranians understand this to mean that they can keep on doing what they are doing, which is putting all the pieces in place to sprint to the finish line when they choose to do so. It’s by no means clear that we will know when this is about to happen, or that we will be able to act quickly enough to stop it, even if we do know. It is also generally accepted that the ability of Israel by itself to prevent Iran from building a weapon is eroding with time.

The U.S. has the power to issue a credible threat to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, as well as a great deal of its military assets — missiles, air defense systems, etc. Such a threat would most likely cause Iran to pull back and would not actually have to be carried out.

By not doing this, the administration leaves Israel with only one option, which is to try to destroy or delay Iran’s program itself. While an American threat carries the risk that the Iranians will call our bluff and provoke a conflict, an Israeli attack guarantees one.

Incidentally, it should be mentioned that the former Israeli security officials like Meir Dagan who are opposed to an Israeli attack in the near term do not believe that Iran should be allowed to get nuclear bombs. They simply disagree with the PM and Defense Minister aboutwhen there will be no other way to stop Iran. If the US persists in allowing Iran to proceed, then even Meir Dagan’s red line will be crossed.

If the administration wants to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran, it has a strange way of showing it!

Vic Rosenthal

FM Sends Letter Encouraging EU to Sideline ‘Weak’ Abbas; Netanyahu Refutes, Abbas Incites

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman penned a letter to the Mideast Quartet earlier this week, calling on its members – the US, the EU, the UN, and Russia, to encourage new elections in the Palestinian Authority in order to remove current President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he described as “encouraging a culture of hatred.”

The letter, dated August 20, was addressed to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, and was obtained by Haaretz, in an apparent attempt by Ashton to cause embarrassment for and dissension within the Israeli government.

Written as a status report of Israel’s relationship with the PA, Liberman starts the letter by saying that Israel has “undertaken several significant gestures towards the Palestinians” – including an NIS 180 million advance of tax remittances – but that in response “we encountered repeated Palestinian patterns of refusal and consistent attempts to turn to pointless activity, counterproductive to any constructive efforts.”

Liberman went on to accuse Abbas of “damaging behavior towards Israel, including extreme cases of encouraging a culture of hatred, praising terrorists, encouraging sanctions and boycotts, and calling into question the legitimacy of the existence of the state.”

“The Palestinian Authority is a despotic government riddled with corruption,” he continued. “Due to Abbas’ weak standing, and his policy of not renewing the negotiations…the time has come to consider a creative solution, to think ‘outside the box,’ in order to strengthen the Palestinian leadership.”

He ends the letter by calling for general elections in the PA “ so that a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected.”

In response, spokesmen for Abbas on Wednesday condemned the letter as “incitement” that engenders an “atmosphere of violence and instability,” and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refute Liberman.

Indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement later in the day distancing the government from Liberman’s remarks, saying that “The Foreign Minister’s letter does not represent the position of the prime minister or that of the government.”

“The prime minister agrees that Abu Mazen Abbas creates difficulties in negotiations,” the statement continued, but “Israel does not intervene in internal politics in other places.”

In related news, Israeli daily Israel Hayom reported that Abbas made statements on Tuesday denying the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem.

In a statement marking the 43rd anniversary of an arson attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque, Abbas said that “the Israeli occupation authorities…ultimate goal is to rob Muslims and Christians of their holy shrines, destroy Al-Aqsa mosque and build the alleged Jewish Temple.”

According to Palestinian News Network, Abbas “reiterated in his statement that there will be no peace, no security and no stability unless the occupation, settlers and settlements are gone from Jerusalem. He stressed that the city is at the core of Palestinian identity and remain the eternal capital of the Palestinian state.”

Jewish Press Staff

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

Yoram Ettinger

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.

Yoram Ettinger

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.”

Jewish Press Staff Writer

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

Yoram Ettinger

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.”

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/supreme-court-decision-causes-collapse-of-high-rabbinic-court/2012/02/16/

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