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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘oslo’

Daily Compares Jewish Ire on Circumcision Cartoon to Muslim Riots

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet said Jewish reactions to its caricature on circumcision “are similar” to riots that erupted over cartoons mocking Mohammed eight years ago.

Referencing Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten caricatures of Mohammed in 2005, Dagbladet wrote in a statement, “We now have similar reactions to a cartoon that Dagbladet printed last week.”

Several people died in what The New York Times termed “a wave of violent protests by Muslims” in the Middle East and Europe over the caricatures mocking Mohammed.

Last week, several Jewish organizations condemned the Dagbladet caricature, which showed two people, who were widely perceived to be Jewish because of their clothing, maiming a child with a fork and bolt cutter while holding a book and professing their faith.

Dagbladet has justified itself and criticized the Jewish reaction by simply re-defining anti-Semitism as love for Jews. The caricature was not at all against Jews, said the paper, which went on to claim it actually is champion of snuffing out anti-Semitism.

Not only that. It seems to understand that the anger of Jews is a camouflage for some kind of evil intentions.

“The groups which said the circumcision caricature was anti-Semitic “leave little room for nuances and reflections,” the paper wrote in a statement published this week on its website.

“They claim that this is proof of Dagbladet’s anti-Semitic views. We come from a different angle and have a different interpretation of the cartoon,” the statement read. “It is important to distinguish between friend and foe when considering this question of values. Dagbladet has a long and consistent history of fighting anti-Semitism.”

The JTA contributed to this report.

Israel Hi-Tech Firm Helped Capture Boston Bombers

Monday, April 29th, 2013

An Israeli hi-tech company with an office in metropolitan Boston was instrumental in helping to identify and lead to the arrest of the Boston Marathon terrorists

BriefCam company’s technology enabled investigators to summarize an hour of surveillance video footage into only one minute and also zoom in on people and objects whose movements changed during the filming. The system then can track those movements form the beginning of the video.

“The technology used by U.S. security forces has already been installed around the world in police, HLS, intelligence entities and others, saving time and manpower and also providing a solution for the vast challenge of growing amounts of recorded video produced every hour, every day,” Israel Defense reported Monday.

The system is based on the concept of allowing the simultaneous display of several events. Once a certain movement or area is indentified, the system then tracks it during the entire film.

Amit Gavish, general manager for the Americas at BriefCam. based in Farmington, Massachusetts, told the GCN technology website, explained how it works. “If you have 10 hours to investigate on a specific camera, the software will take it to a 10-minute clip…events that occurred during those 10 hours will be presented simultaneously.”

Gavish, who is the former deputy head of security for the office of the Israeli President, said each event is “tagged” and marked with a time stamp on screen, so the viewer is watching events that happened hours apart, at the same instant.

“We are the search engine for video,” he added.

GCN reported that BriefCam and other sophisticated video systems have caught the eye of mass transit and port systems

“Most of these large cities have already been going down the path to do exactly what everybody’s wondering if they’re going to do. They’re not just putting in thousands of cameras, they’re putting in tens of thousands of cameras.” said David Gerulski, vice president of Texas-based BRS Labs, which installs artificial intelligence systems for video surveillance.

He said that the old-fashioned surveillance camera do not play a major part in helping to uncover terrorism or thwart crime and many cities simply “shut them off.”

BriefCam’s product is in use in the United States, Israel, China, Taiwan and other countries and was used after the massacre in Oslo in 2011, in which 87 people, including children, were murdered.

In the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, U.S. Park police technological service direct David Mulholland explained, “There may have been 500 people who walked in that general area, but the analytics piece will ignore that and flag anything that changed in that one specific area, such as a backpack being left behind. So instead of spending 20 minutes looking at video in which nothing happens, the investigator can hit a button and in 30 seconds go to the area of interest and then begin to dissect what actually happened.

Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Jewish Press notes with sadness the passing of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. A member of Britain’s Conservative Party, she was the longest serving British prime minister since the early 19th century, leading her party to three electoral victories starting in 1979.

She was lauded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres as a staunch and loyal friend of Israel who stood by the Jewish state in times of need. She was known for her support of the Soviet Jewry movement and her disdain for anti-Semitism.

Prior to becoming prime minister, Ms. Thatcher as a member of parliament represented the heavily Jewish district of Finchley and developed relationships with the Jewish community as well as several of its institutions. A founding member of Finchley’s Anglo-Israel Friendship League, she had a number of Jews as her closest advisers and at one point nearly a quarter of her cabinet was of Jewish origin.

In a revealing comment, Ms. Thatcher said she considered her efforts at helping save a young Austrian girl from the Nazis her greatest accomplishment. And she cut to the chase when asked about her understanding of the Middle East: “Israel must never be expected to jeopardize her security: if she was ever foolish enough to do so, and then suffered for it, the backlash against both honest brokers and Palestinians would be immense – ‘land for peace’ must also bring peace.”

Would that more Margaret Thatchers were found in office in capitals around the world.

UN Plan for ‘Palestine’: Israel’s Deterrence Power

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

This article appeared in the print edition of the Jewish Press under the title “The UN Plan for ‘Palestine’ and its Aftermath (Second of Four Parts).” Find part one here

After further codifications of Palestinian statehood, conditions in the Middle East would become markedly less favorable to both Israel and the United States. The only credible way for Israel to deter large-scale conventional attacks following additional Palestinian progress toward full national sovereignty would be by maintaining visible and increasingly large-scale conventional capabilities.

Naturally, enemy states contemplating first-strike attacks upon Israel using chemical and/or biological weapons would be apt to take more seriously Israel’s nuclear deterrent. Whether or not this nuclear deterrent had remained undisclosed (the so-called bomb in the basement) could also affect Israel’s deterrent credibility and, thereby, U.S. security.

A strong conventional capability will always be needed by Israel to successfully deter and/or preempt enemy conventional attacks. However, any Oslo Agreement and “Road Map” expectations related to Palestinian statehood would critically impair Israel’s strategic depth, and thus the IDF’s indispensable capacity to wage conventional warfare (possibly in more than a single theatre at a time).

If, after the creation of “Palestine,” any frontline regional enemy states were to perceive Israel’s own growing sense of expanding weakness, this, ironically, could strengthen Israel’s nuclear deterrent. If, however, these enemy states did not identify such a “sense” among Israel’s pertinent decision-makers, they could, animated by Israel’s presumed conventional force deterioration, be encouraged to attack.

The logical result, spawned by Israel’s post-“Palestine” incapacity to maintain reliable conventional deterrence, would be: (1) defeat of Israel in a conventional war; or (2) defeat of Israel in an unconventional chemical/biological/nuclear war; or (3) defeat of Israel in a combined conventional/unconventional war; or (4) defeat of Arab/Islamic state enemies by Israel in an unconventional war.

Ironically, for Israel – hence, also, for the United States – even the “successful” fourth possibility could prove intolerable. The probable consequences of any regional nuclear war, or even a chemical/biological war in the Middle East, would be calamitous for the victor as well as the vanquished. Here, President Obama should take special note: Traditional notions of “victory” and “defeat” would likely lose all reasonable meaning.

All major Palestinian groups, directly or indirectly, are still committed by their various charters and covenants to both genocide and crimes against humanity. This is hardly an exaggeration, as the published expectations of all Palestinian terror groups plainly call for the physical destruction of Israel. According to the Hamas covenant, the Islamic Resistance Movement is “universal.”

All Palestinian groups, whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and its subunits or any other “revolutionary” faction, share an understanding that “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad….” As for Israel, all Palestinians have a firm and unchallengeable obligation to “obliterate it.” The PLO charter mirrors the Hamas covenant, calling the “nucleus” of the Palestinian movement only those who are “fighters and carriers of arms.”

In unassailable Islamic parlance, all war dictated by the shari’ah is necessarily “holy.” Yet the Arabic word jihad, which has the literal meaning of “effort,” “striving,” or “struggle,” ought to be approached and understood by President Obama and other world leaders with the greatest seriousness. A basic commandment of Islam, jihad is in an obligation imposed upon all Muslims by Allah, and it is now patently military in intent.

Derived from the universality of Muslim revelation, jihad calls upon those who have accepted Allah’s message and his word to strive (jahada) relentlessly to convert, or, at a minimum, to subjugate, those who have not been converted. Regarding the state of Israel, this obligation is imposed without any limits of space or time. Indeed, this incontestable obligation must continue until the entire world has accepted Islam, or has submitted to the deified power of the Islamic state.

The Palestinian Authority and its allied organizations are obligated to refrain from incitement against Israel not only by the general body of pertinent and peremptory international law (law so fundamental that it can “never permit any derogation”), but also by the Interim Agreement (Oslo II). Here, at Article XXII, it states precisely that Israel and the PA “shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other….” In the Note for the Record that accompanies the Hebron Protocol of January 15, 1997, the PA reaffirmed its commitment regarding “Preventing Incitement and Hostile Propaganda, as specified in Article XXII of the Interim Agreement.”

The European Union and Its Court: Stacked Against Israel

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The partiality and exaggerated rhetoric of the European Union (EU) against Israel has, in recent weeks, become ever more familiar. The EU condemned Israel’s plans to construct housing units in the four-mile area known as E1 between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim, a settlement of more than 40,000 residents; its High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, said she regarded construction plans in the neighborhoods of Givat Hamatos and Ramat Shlomo as “extremely troubling.”

Yet neither the settlements nor the proposed construction have ever prevented negotiations to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is noticeable that the EU has not articulated any serious criticism of the terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians — actions that do make a peaceful solution less probable. Further, as Israel’s former ambassador to the UN points out, the EU has never criticized the Turkish “settlers” for their “occupation” of Northern Cyprus, or “their own citizens who build beach-front villas in territory under Turkish occupation.” [Israel Hayom, January 7, 2013]. There is no mention of “Chinese occupied Tibet,” or “Pakistan occupied Kashmir.”

The continuing criticism of Israel comes at a moment when 14 of the 27 countries in the EU voted in the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 for the resolution that “Palestine” become a nonmember observer state at the UN. Only the Czech Republic voted against the resolution. The EU disregarded the fact that this resolution, a unilateral action, was illegal, a violation by the Palestinians of binding obligations in the Oslo Accords and other agreements with both Israel and the U.N., including Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which guaranteed that the final status arrangements should be reached only through direct negotiations. In addition the EU has refused to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. These decisions do not exactly evidence a record for any kind of EU objectivity; Ireland, arguably the harshest European critic of Israel, just assumed the presidency of the EU on January 1, 2013.

It had been hoped, however, that the European Court of Justice, established in 1952 to interpret EU law, and now composed of 27 judges who meet in Luxembourg, would be more impartial than the EU in its decisions on issues regarding Israel. Unfortunately, the record of the Court so far has been disappointing, and its partiality has been shown on a number of occasions.

In its judgment on February 20, 2010, the Court ruled that goods produced by Israeli companies based in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”)  did not qualify for duty-free import into the EU. The Euro-Mediterranean agreement between the European Community and Israel, signed on November 20, 1995 allows Israeli industrial products to be imported into the EU countries without customs duties. The decision in the 2010 case arose from the application by the German drinks manufacturer Brita to import soda-water makers and drink syrups manufactured by an Israeli firm, Soda Club, based in the settlement of Mishor Adumim. The European Court upheld the refusal of German customs officials to grant exemption from customs duties in this matter.

The Court explained its decision by what may be considered specious reasoning. The European Community (the predecessor of the EU) had signed an agreement on trade and cooperation with the PLO for “the benefit of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” on February 24, 1997. The Court held that each of the two association trade agreements had its own “territorial scope;” one scope was the State of Israel, and the other the territory of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Therefore, for the Court, products made by Israel which originated in Judea and Samaria did not fall within the “territorial scope” of the European-Israel agreement, and thus did not qualify for preferential customs treatment. The Court also presumed to considered the presence of Israel in Judea and Samaria “illegal.”

The most recent decision by the European Court is pure judicial burlesque. On January 20, 2010 the president of the Israeli think tank, NGO Monitor, who is a British citizen and thus has standing, filed a lawsuit, under the EU’s Freedom of Information Law, against the European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, to obtain information found in 200 documents about EC funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These bodies often pose as “peace” and “human rights” organizations, ” but in reality are highly politicized advocacy groups, attempting to manipulate Israel through boycotts, divestments, sanction, frivolous and malicious lawsuits, and accusations of alleged “war crimes” — all of which would render them ineligible for EU funding.

The Right Brought Oslo: What Does Dayan Mean?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

In explaining his decision to resign as Yesha Council Chairman and campaign for Netanyahu, Danny Dayan said that, “We brought Oslo on ourselves” and, “We’re likely to make the same mistakes today.”

“In 1992 I was the secretary of Tehiya,” Dayan explained,” and together with Geula Cohen and Elyakim Haetzni we brought down Shamir over some nonsense.”

But wasn’t it Yitzchak Rubin’s Labor government that initiated Oslo? So what is Dayan talking about?

Tehiya was a faction of Knesset Members, including Lehi veteran Geula Cohen, that broke away from the Likud in 1979 protest of the Camp David Accords.

In 1988, the Likud and Labor was roughly evenly sized. Shamir was forced to form a national-unity government with Shimon Peres and the Alignment, for a second time. In 1990, Peres broke the agreement and the Alignment withdrew from the government, leaving Shamir without the minimum 61 seats for a coalition. Tehiya, at that time numbering three MKs, was brought in to form the new coalition of a mere 62 seats.

Then, after sustained pressure from the Bush administration, in October 1991, Shamir agreed to Israel’s participation in negotiations with Israel’s neighbors in Madrid, Spain, in what became known as the Madrid Conference. The conference included the participation of Palestinian representatives from Judea and Samaria and Gaza. In protest, the Tehiya party, for which Dayan served as its secretary, pulled out of the coalition to bring down Shamir’s government, which it did.

In the subsequent elections, Labor won and ultimately led Israel to sign the Oslo Accords and set Israel on the path towards establishing a Palestinian state.

Another unintended consequence was that Shamir resigned as Likud chairman in March 1993. That created a power vacuum which Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Tehiya’s ideological progeny – the National Union and now Power to Israel – disdain because of his lack of ideological purity.

How Tehiya’s lack of cooperation with the Likud compares with the current situation in which the Likud is losing mandates to the Jewish Home party is another discussion, but it is a clear lesson on the unintended consequences of taking extreme action – bringing down a right-wing government – over protest of a mere participation in a conference, in fear that it would set a precedent. Of course principle and precedents for the future matter, but consequences matter too and in promoting the good of the nation common sense must be used in the service of the principles we seek to uphold.

Who Said, ‘I Oppose the Creation of a Palestinian State’?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Quiz: Who is the “I” in this headline in Time Magazine?

“I Oppose the Creation of a Palestinian State”

Answer: Yitzchak Rabin in an interview in Time Magazine:

I Oppose the Creation of a Palestinian State
By Lisa Beyer/Tel Aviv and Yitzhak Rabin
Monday, Sept. 27, 1993

Q. Now that you’ve signed this agreement with the Palestinians, what next?
A. For me, the main test is the implementation, especially in Gaza. Jericho is symbolic. In Gaza there are three-quarters of a million Palestinians, poverty, economic and social problems. The real problem is to what extent the P.L.O. will have the means to take over. They have never been responsible for running a large community — to maintain law and order, to prevent terror, to run an economy, to build houses, to run schools, to develop industries. The whole future depends on how it works in Gaza-Jericho.
Q. How do you think the Palestinians will manage self-rule?
A. I believe there is a good chance they will succeed. But without a tremendous amount of money from the outside, I don’t see great hope that they will manage even in Gaza.
Q. How do you assess the security risks to Israel?
A. The Palestinians don’t present militarily a threat to the existence of Israel. There are certain risks to the personal security of a limited number of Israelis.
Q. What if the personal-security risks to Israelis increase?
A. If terror will continue, it means the Palestinians cannot keep their commitments, so what is the meaning of the agreement?
Q. In that case the accord would be rolled back?
A. I didn’t say so. You said it.
Q. How will your government respond if the right wing in Israel rebels against the accord?
A. I don’t believe that there will be rebellion. Israel is a democracy. There might be expressions of opposition, but I believe that whatever the government and Knesset approve will be carried out.
Q. What about rebellion against the Palestinian authorities?
A. No doubt they’ll have problems, mainly with Hamas. They will focus on increased terror activities against Israelis. They believe that the best way to foil the deal is to create antagonism to the agreement among the Israelis. We had lately suicide terror acts. It creates problems.
Q. The Labor Party seems to be softening its opposition to a Palestinian state.
A. No. I am against this. I oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan, and I don’t believe that at this stage it would be a good idea if I brought out the options.
Q. How will the accord affect your negotiations with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan?
A. We expect the other partners in the peace negotiations to assist in the implementation of what has been agreed upon with the Palestinians. Idon’t see a problem signing a peace treaty with Jordan tomorrow if they limit the issues to Jordanian-Israeli problems. It will facilitate negotiations with Syria, but maybe on a longer timetable.
Q. When you shook Arafat’s hand in Washington, you managed a smile. Or was it a grimace?
A. I can’t remember. I stood there for about one hour. Do you expect me to remember every expression that I had?
Q. It must have been a memorable moment. How did you feel?
A. It was not easy.
Q. What made you decide finally to deal directly with the P.L.O.?
A. It took me and others a long time to overcome the mental and practical block to this. For 30 years the P.L.O. carried out terror activities, among them many cases I can call atrocities. But mutual recognition, in my humble opinion — to the extent that they will keep their commitment, and I assume they will — made the P.L.O. entirely different from what it was before.
Q. You are 71 years old, late in your political career. Did this motivate you to reach a solution now?
A. It is not a question of my age but a question of my purpose in being in politics. When I decided to run for Prime Minister, I believed that the coincidence of events on the international scene, in the Middle East, in Israel were ripe to achieve two goals: peace and security, and changing the order of national priorities for the people of Israel — not to look at the territories as the main issue. At least 96% of Israeli Jews live on sovereign Israeli soil, within the green lines, including united Jerusalem. The future of Israel depends much more on what that 96% of Jews and about 1 million non-Jewish Israeli citizens will achieve in their economy, social progress, cultural and scientific achievements.

How right he was – and how wrong.

Visit My Right Word.

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