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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘leaders’

America’s Real ‘Dangerous Slide’ to the Wrong Side

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Would you ever imagine that the leading American newspaper would openly advocate siding with radical Islamist forces in the Middle East against all of America’s allies and friends, and I mean with eyes wide open and with full awareness that it sought to overthrow them? Well, the day has come.

How has the argument for this strategy, which the Obama Administration is already pursuing being made?

A New York Times July 30th editorial entitled “Egypt’s Dangerous Slide” shows a real catastrophe for the United States. What is amazing is that it takes less than five minutes to deconstruct Obama Administration’s Middle East policy.

But be wary since if you do this—even once—you will be barred from 95 percent of mass media and academic jobs. [Note: What’s amazing about the previous sentence is that it is in fact accurate. That’s why the public debate is so bad.]
 
After all, we are at a moment when Israel-Palestinian talks haven’t even agreed on pre-conditions (a point which is usually reached before the two sides even begin talks) yet Secretary of State John Kerry predicts success within nine months (and the mass media quotes him without snickering).

“Deadly blundering by Egypt’s military rulers is making a bad situation much worse,” starts the editorial.

One of the most blatant, arrogant views of the American foreign policy establishment today is the frequency with which its members insist that leaders know nothing about their own countries. Thus, Obama, a man who has spent a few hours in Israel and has no empathy with it, can dare to say that he knows better what the country needs than does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Last weekend’s massacre of marchers supporting the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, will make national reconciliation and a return to democracy far more difficult.”

No kidding. First of all, there was never going to be conciliation. Second, the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t exactly eager to get national conciliation, a point  the editorial and the Obama Administration never mention.

Third, the military wants massacres because it seeks to intimidate the Brotherhood. That’s how things work in Egypt. In fact, that’s what happened last time, when the Brotherhood was crushed in the 1950s and 1960s, with its leaders sent to concentration camps, tortured, and hung. And that’s what the Brotherhood would be doing to its opposition if its regime had survived.The Brotherhood is portrayed simply as the victim.

In other words it is not Egypt’s leaders who don’t understand Egypt but rather America’s current leaders.

“The stakes are too high for any country to give up on the search for a peaceful resolution.”

No! Egyptians know that the stakes are too high not to give up on the search for a peaceful resolution. This is the Middle East. And this is true just like as with the Syrian civil war, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and every secular/nationalist/traditionalist versus give up on the search for a peaceful resolution Islamist battle in the region.But fourth the Brotherhood is also provoking a lot of violence which is neither reported or protested by the U.S. government. The Brotherhood is portrayed simply as the victim. That’s why millions of Egyptians now say they hate Americans. See here. And here. And a brutal murder of an anti-Mursj demonstrator here.

Al-Ahram writes: “The current misinformation campaign bears the hallmarks of a fully-fledged psychological warfare campaign aimed at deceiving the population.” Funny, it hasn’t fooled Egyptians but it has fooled the American elite.By the way, we should notice that Yusuf Qaradawi, the leading Sunni Islamist in the world, has just accused the military government of recruiting Egyptian Christians to kill helpless Muslims. Look for massacres of Christians in other Arab countries and Egypt. Perhaps the Obama Administration better worry about that. It is already happening.

In other words it is not Egypt’s leaders who don’t understand Egypt but rather America’s current leaders.

“Washington’s leverage has been limited, despite…its good intentions undermined by years of inconsistent American policies. President Obama urgently needs to rebuild that trust. And he cannot hope to do so by maintaining a cautious diplomatic silence while the Arab world’s most populous and most important country unravels.”

Where to begin! First, American policies have not been undermined by inconsistent policies. Doesn’t anyone know Egyptian history?

1952-1956: America supported the Egyptian military coup and even saved the regime! Only when President Gamal Abdel Nasser behave aggressively—not so much toward Israel but by conservative Arab states–and allied with the USSR, did America turn against him.

1956-1973: An anti-American regime allied with the Soviet Union and aggressive against America’s friends was opposed.

1974-2011: The United States was allied with a moderate regime.

Get it? It must be hard for the current establishment to understand so let me capitalize it and put in bold:

IT WASN’T AMERICA’S FAULT U.S. POLICY WAS ‘INCONSISTENT”; IT WAS EGYPT’S.
 
As for “good intentions” may I remind you that Obama did not have good intentions at all. Just like any British or American imperialist in a previous century, Obama has sought to overthrow regimes and replace it with a Muslim Brotherhood and thus inevitably Sharia regime.
 
How’s that for “good intentions?”

And if Obama wanted to rebuild trust–as opposed to protecting the Br0therhood’s interests–he would rebuild trust with the Egyptian army and people by supporting the  new government rather than seek to empower an anti-Christian, anti-Western, antisemitic, anti-American, homophobic, genocidal, anti-woman totalitarian-destined regime.

The editorial continued:

“Whatever Egypt’s new military strongman, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, thought he was doing by summoning people to Tahrir Square last Friday to demand a `mandate’ to fight terrorism, the result was to undermine Egypt’s prospects for stability even further. Whatever self-described pro-democracy groups thought they were doing by endorsing his call, the result was to strengthen the military and inflame raw divisions between civilian parties.”

He knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to build and mobilize a civilian support base. And the civilian parties weren’t “inflamed,” they hate each other and know they are engaged in a life-and-death struggle.

“And whatever the Muslim Brotherhood leaders thought they were doing by urging followers to challenge security forces, the result was to add to the bloodshed and give the military new excuses for repression.”

Same patronizing tone. The Brotherhood knows what it is doing, too: it doesn’t want conciliation; it wants revolution.

“And things are likely to get worse until the military can be persuaded to hand over power and return to the barracks.”

Wrong again. They will get worse if the military does hand over power. For every day—except a few disastrous weeks under Mursi—during the last 61 years the army basically held power even if it was in the barracks.

“Other Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and its allied Persian Gulf emirates, are unlikely to help. They are more concerned with stamping out any potential political threat to their own autocratic rule at home than in encouraging democracy in Egypt.”

Of course because they understand Arab politics! And are they wrong? Listen to them. A Brotherhood takeover of Egypt would increase the political threat to them! Now you want to overthrow Saudi Arabia and any other remaining American friends in the Arab world?

“Israel has its own legitimate security concerns, mostly centered on preventing threats from Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula and Hamas-ruled Gaza.”

And in parallel you want to further undermine Israel’s security?

“That leaves the United States and the European Union.”

Right. If Egypt, the Arab states, and Israel don’t undermine their own security the United States and the EU will. People, think what you are saying here! Consider what insanity you are advocating!

In other words, the pro-Islamist forces are the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists (and in a sense the Taliban and al-Qaida) backed by the EU and United States, ([plus Turkey and Qatar along with Iran, Syria,  and Hizballah); while the anti-Islamist forces are the Arab countries and Israel?

Does that seem strange? .

“But Washington has been doing less than its share. Excessive concerns with maintaining good relations with Egypt’s generals and fears that a loosened military grip on Sinai and the Gaza border might throw off nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have wrongly muffled America’s public voice.”

I’m not believing this stuff. Let’s get tough with the generals, not the Islamists? And the best way to help peace talks is to return an Islamist regime in Egypt? That will surely quiet Hamas and the jihadists in Sinai and make Israel feel real secure. Oh by the way, the main threat to even the Palestinian Authority (PA) is Hamas! No doubt the PA will thank you, too.

“Most of all, President Obama needs to clarify what America stands for as Egypt struggles over its future.”
He sure does. By changing sides away from the Islamists and toward others, including Israel.

Letters to My Son in Gaza: Jihad Must Be Destroyed!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Dear Son,

Do not be confused. Know who the enemy is. With all the meaningless talk of peace agreements and cease fires, the satanic enemy continues to fire rockets of destruction and blow up buses filled with innocent civilians. In the same breath, they demand that Israel end the assassination of its leaders, as a condition for peace. Woe, if we should ever agree to this, for this is the holy purpose that Tzahal was created, and for which you are fighting, to extinguish this cancerous evil from the world.

Lest you think your father is an angry extremist, read the words of Rabbi Kook, the master of tolerance and a renowned lover of all mankind.

In his prayer book, “Olat Riyah,” Rabbi Kook writes (my comments are in brackets):

“When the dark spirit, the prolific root of malice, impurity and evil, enters into the heart of the masses,” [expressing itself in a national culture of evil like the Jihad of Islam,] “it perpetrates horrible deeds in order to stop the emergence of the Divine holy light and the nobility of mankind’s pure soul”[which is revealed in the Nation of Israel] “wherein lies the eternal blessing and true foundation of Tikun HaOlam, the world’s perfection.

“As long as masses of spiritually depraved people [like Hamas and its brothers in arms] unite together as a nation with a culture built upon a foundation of wickedness and filth, they will constitute an iron wall to stop the lofty light from spreading, and thereby imprison the world in darkness. And in response to that, the hand of God, Creator of the Lights, is stretched out to smite those many peoples. Even though not all evildoers will be annihilated and consumed, and many will continue their lives even after the nations, as a united force, have been smitten, that blow will already have weakened that thick barrier of sheer and utter evil that was founded upon their strong alliance.”

The evil doers are so numerous, we cannot kill them all. We realize this in our war against evil. But this isn’t true for the leaders whom we are obligated to destroy.

Rabbi Kook continues:

“This dispensation is not so regarding the leaders, those mighty individuals, who harbor the power of wickedness within them, pillars of impurity, fountains of darkness, spreaders of insolence, and defenders of injustice. These monsters, with their egotistical, arrogant personalities, can turn world history backwards, darkening the luster that had begun to shine forth in the dark abode of mankind’s beginnings, by mounting an attack by a coalition of peoples, who have embraced evil in their general culture, in all of its impurity”  [as, for example, the leaders of the league of Arab nations and terrorist organizations united against Israel.]

“For them, there is no rectification but to kill them, to blot out their names, to eradicate them from the world. Such retributions are among the wonders of the Lord of the Universe, who causes the lights of holiness to shine forth, and who shall cause supreme justice to ultimately appear in His world, despite all those forces of darkness which delay its radiant appearance.”

And Rabbi Kook concludes:

“When God gave Eretz Yisrael to Israel as an inheritance, He performed miracles, overwhelming all of the surrounding nations’ shows of valor… This is an eternal lesson for us that God’s counsel and His holy word will endure forever, and all the savage and unbridled heroism in the name of evil, [the missile launching shahidists and martyrs who blow up Israeli buses], all the colossal shows of physical strength, all the secret councils of many nations and kingdoms which join together against the People of God, just as it occurred then, will be of no avail.”

Be strong, my son. Go forth with the armies of Israel and wipe out this evil. For the sake of the world.

Abba

Netanyahu to Cabinet: World Leaders Understand Us

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

The following was recorded and released by the Government Press Office from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s weekly cabinet meeting:

“By now the IDF has attacked over 1,000 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip and it is continuing its operations as we speak. It is achieving significant hits on weapons aimed at Israeli citizens, as well as on those who use these weapons and those who dispatch them. We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations, and the IDF is prepared for a significant expansion of its operations.

Today as well, I will continue to speak with world leaders. I appreciate the understanding that they are showing for Israel’s right to defend itself. In my talks with the leaders, I emphasize the effort Israel is making to avoid hitting civilians, and this at a time when Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations are making every effort to hit civilian targets in Israel. We are a responsible government that is obligated, above all, to the security of its citizens, and we are acting in accordance with this obligation.

Over the weekend, I spoke again with US President Barack Obama. I thanked him for his support of Israel’s right to defend itself and for his contribution, and that of the American people, in developing Iron Dome. I repeat and praise the restraint, determination and resilience of Israel’s citizens on the home front, and I repeat my request to all of you to follow the instructions from IDF Home Front Command because it saves lives.

The operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing and we are prepared to expand it. I appreciate the rapid and impressive mobilization of the reservists who have come from all over the country and turned out for the mission at hand. Reservist and conscript soldiers are ready for any order they might receive.”

Al-Qassam Brigades Tweeting Terror Responses to Israel

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

A Twitter account which alleges itself to be the “The official web site of Al Qassam Brigades in Palestine” is simul-tweeting its military responses to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense (“Amud Anan”) for its almost 4,000 followers.

Tweeting 8 times in half as many hours, Al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, warned that “Occupation opned (sic) hell gates on itself” following the targeted killing of terror mastermind Ahmad Jabari, and responded to a tweet by the IDF Spokesman “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead” with “@idfspokesperson Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves)”

The Campaign That Never Ends

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

As the dust settles and the fog lifts from this tumultuous year of political campaigning, we are left to wonder how our country will evolve. Will the economy bounce back? Will our schools make progress? And how about U.S. relations with Israel? Will they grow weaker or stronger? Will the administration support an Israeli strike on Iran?

No one truly knows. Perhaps this explains the gripping fascination we had with the just-concluded campaign. The intensity of emotions was palpable. The explosive passion for one candidate or the other inundated the streets of our country. Tens of millions were glued to the presidential debates and media coverage of the campaign drew an impressive number of viewers, listeners and readers.

The question, of course, is why? Why were the boisterous noises of this election campaign so dominating? Why were we magnetized by the daily polls, the gaffes and the statistics? Why did we so often give in to our relentless urge to report about the political news of the day on Facebook, Twitter and other social arenas?

Some observers say it was the appeal to vote and make a difference that drew our attention so fiercely. Others say we were lured by the appearance and personality of the candidates, by the characteristics they exuded and which we strongly empathized with or profoundly desired –integrity, intelligence, charisma, etc.

I suggest an alternative take on this phenomenon: It was our yearning for leadership that drew us to the candidates and their respective parties. And understandably so; after all, our generation has repeatedly suffered from leaders – in politics, in sports, in culture and in many other realms of our lives – who fell so low shortly after climbing so high.

Thus, as we followed the candidates’ every move, as we listened to their every promise, as we acted on their every call, we hoped and prayed that authentic leadership could be restored, that people of merit would once again become leaders of spirit.

But our search for this leader ought not to focus solely on the outside. For this optimal leader exists deep within the chambers of our souls. And day after day he hankers to emerge and fulfill his high calling and noble potential to live a life of divine meaning, a life empowered by our heritage and traditions, a life bolstered by deeds of goodness and kindness.

“Behold, the days are coming,” the prophet Amos proclaimed, “when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of God” (Amos 8:11).

It is the word of God, emanating from our inner quintessential leader, that we must seek out and realize.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain, tells the story of how as a young student of philosophy at Cambridge University he traveled the world to visit great leaders. When he met with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe asked him about the condition of Jewish students at Cambridge, and what he was doing to help them.

“In the situation I currently find myself,” Rabbi Sacks began to respond, whereupon the Rebbe interrupted him and said: “No one finds themselves in a situation. You put yourself in a situation, and if you put yourself in that situation, you can put yourself in another situation!”

Obviously there are times when we find ourselves in situations that are beyond our control. But at almost every given moment we are presented with the opportunity of putting ourselves in a situation of leadership wherein we are called on to heed the voice of our inner leader and become agents of light to the world around us.

The 2012 presidential campaign is now over. Whether its outcome is good or bad for our country, time will tell.

But there exists a campaign, beyond the limits of time and space, that will never end. The candidate in this campaign may not be glamorous or flamboyant, but he is ambitious and determined to unleash his unique potential and actualize his God-given skills and talents. This candidate is campaigning for a life term. He refuses to rest or resign. He begs us, each and every day, to give him a chance, to allow him to act, to let him speak, to permit him to be. He passionately yearns for your attention, and more important, for your support.

Chabad Emissaries Gathered in New York

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Some 4,000 Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and communal leaders from more than 75 countries gathered in New York for their 29th international conference.

Many of the rabbis attending the conference over the weekend brought relief supplies and funds from their communities around the world to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, and volunteered their time for relief efforts.

Highlights of the conference included a visit to the gravesite of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson; a group picture in front of the Chabad-Lubavitch worldwide headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn; and the annual banquet featuring an international roll call.

Conference workshops included topics such as helping people through the global economic crisis; expanding the horizons of college campus outreach; and multi-sensory approaches to Jewish education.

Pics: Egged Bus Attacked by Arab Jerusalemites on Mount of Olives

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Following a stabbing incident in which a visitor to the Jewish community of Maale HaZeitim adjacent to the historic Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery was attacked by Arabs in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood, an Egged bus transporting Jewish residents to and from the enclave was smashed by rock-throwers, who committed the attack from the same place at which the stabbing took place.

Damage to the bus indicates that the projectiles were large, and hurled at a high rate of speed by more than one perpetrator.

Despite a meeting between leaders of the Jewish community and leaders of the Arab community, and urgent phone calls from Jewish residents to the Jerusalem police, neither have attacks been minimized through pressure by local Arab residents , nor has an increased security presence been put into place by Jerusalem’s municipality.

Jewish residents of Maale HaZeitim and the adjoining Jewish neighborhood of Maalot David have expressed their anger and concern that mayor Nir Barkat and Jerusalem police chief Yossi Friyanty have not responded to threats on their lives.

Resisting War, Terrorism, And Genocide (First of Three Parts)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All things move in the midst of death, even nations and civilizations. From 1948 to the present day, certain of Israel’s prime ministers, facing war, terrorism, or even genocide, have been deeply reluctant to admit core national vulnerabilities. Indeed, rather than acknowledge the plainly exterminatory intent and (increasingly) the corollary destructive capacity of determined enemies, these leaders have sometimes opted for (1) so-called terrorist exchanges; 2) utterly inexcusable deals of land for nothing; and (3) endlessly assorted surrenders of power.

Yet let us be fair. This assuredly is not the whole story. As we all know, during its very short post-Holocaust life, Israel has accomplished extraordinary feats in science, medicine, agriculture, education, and industry. Its remarkable military institutions, far exceeding all reasonable expectations, have fought, interminably and heroically, to prevent any new forms of post-Holocaust annihilation.

It goes without saying that every Jew on earth, and many millions of others, must be unequivocally grateful.

It is a record possibly without equal in human history.

Nonetheless, almost from the beginning the indispensable Israeli fight for survival has not been premised on appropriately optimal foundations. This fight should have been erected upon a central fact of the reconstituted Jewish commonwealth. This fact concerns land.

From the critical standpoint of legal provenance, all of the disputed land still controlled by Israel has incontestable Israeli title. It follows that protracted diplomatic negotiations between Israel and its “partners for peace” continue to rest upon basically misconceived or erroneous jurisprudential premises.

History remains a violent preceptor. Had Israel determinedly sustained its own birthright narrative of Jewish sovereignty, and without submitting to periodic and enervating forfeitures of both land and dignity, the national future, though still problematic, would likely have been meaningfully tragic. But by choosing instead to fight in ways that ultimately transformed its stunning victories on the battlefield to incremental capitulations at the conference table, this future may ultimately have to be written as farce.

Sometimes, truth is counterintuitive. In true life, as well as in literature and poetry, the tragic hero is always an object of admiration, not a pitiable creature, or one of humiliation. From Aristotle to Shakespeare to Camus, tragedy always reveals the very best in human understanding, perseverance, and purposeful action. Once aware that entire nations, like the individual human beings who comprise them, are never quite forever, the tragic hero nevertheless does everything possible merely to stay alive.

For Israel, and, in principle, for every other imperiled nation on earth, the only real alternative to tragic heroism is humiliation, or pathos. By their incessant unwillingness to decline any semblance of a Palestinian state as intolerable (because, as I have written so often in The Jewish Press, an acceptance of “Palestine” in any form would be unendurable), Israel’s current leaders have nurtured a genuinely schizophrenic Jewish reality in the “new” Middle East. This reality is a Jewish state that is, at one and the same time, unimaginably successful and incomparably fragile. Over time, the result of this ironic combination may be a palpable sense of national madness.

More than any other region on earth, the Islamic Middle East and North Africa is “governed” by unreason. Oddly, this observation has been reinforced rather than contradicted by the grotesquely twisting patterns of “democratic revolution” across the area. Earlier, while the pundits, politicos, and journalists had optimistically expected the fall of area-tyrants to be an unreservedly good thing, actual events have moved in substantially different directions.

To be sure, both Libya and Syria may yet fall to industrious jihadist elements. Already, post-Mubarak Egypt is run by a figure drawn conspicuously from the Muslim Brotherhood. In non-Arab Iran, which will soon become a hostile nuclear power, because neither Israel nor the United States had effectively stood in its way, preparations are underway to further assist Sunni Hamas allies in Gaza, and to gainfully energize Shiite Hizbullah surrogates in Lebanon. In both unstable venues, the enemy objective is an Islamic victory against “the Jews.”

In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia put an end to the Thirty Years War, the last of the great European religious wars sparked by the Reformation. In the Middle East and North Africa, however, we may only be at the start of the next great religious wars. If they are fought with biological and/or even nuclear weapons, such conflicts could rage until every flower of culture is trampled, and until all things human are leveled in a vast chaos.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/resisting-war-terrorism-and-genocide-first-of-three-parts/2012/11/07/

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