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When something outrageous goes on for a long time, people stop being outraged. It is boring to hear or read about things like genocidal wars in Africa, Europe’s collapse into poverty, or the complaints of Israelis about being the targets of thousands of rockets, day in and day out. I’m in Israel now, so a few words about the rockets. Everyone I talk to says the same thing: how can this be allowed to continue?
On Tuesday, three IDF soldiers were wounded by a bomb planted near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza strip. On Thursday when soldiers were trying to repair the fence, a huge explosion occurred when a tunnel packed with explosives was detonated. Luckily only one soldier was lightly injured, but it could have been catastrophic. Then last night an IDF jeep in the area was struck by an antitank missile. Four soldiers were wounded, at least two seriously (reports vary), and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somewhere between 68 and 70% of American Jewish voters went for Obama, depending on whose exit poll you believe. Israelis that I talk to are mystified. “Are they crazy? What were they thinking?” they ask. It’s not really mystifying. Here are some general facts about non-Orthodox and secular (the large majority) American Jews.
There it is: four more years of Barack Obama. What does it mean for Israel? The bilateral talks with Iran run by Valerie Jarrett will continue. One can hope for the best, but it is very unlikely that an agreement will be reached that will include the effective dismantling of Iran’s bomb-building capability. It’s not at all comforting to think that Israel’s security will be in the hands of Jarrett, Obama’s Chicago fixer. One can speculate what Romney might have done differently, but that is not an option now.
An interview with Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak — thinly disguised as “the decision-maker” created a sensation in early August, when he suggested that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities was imminent. Barak explained that Israel could not depend on an American commitment to destroy the program in the future, even if it were made today. Suddenly, last week, Barak began to sing a different tune.
Part of my job — not my paying job, the one I do for the sake of shamayim — is to talk to my Jewish friends and try to explain why the existence of a Jewish state is essential for all Jews, wherever they live, why a good relationship with the US is essential for Israel, and why the support of American Jews is in turn essential for such a relationship. I meet a lot of resistance, which is unsurprising when you consider that if you leave aside Arabs and other Muslims, the worldwide movement to end the Jewish state is disproportionately led by people of Jewish descent.
Hamas is nourished by a worldwide network of governments, Islamic charities and individuals that support its goal of killing or dispersing the Jews. But the existence of the sources of nourishment isn’t enough. Since Hamas is a recognized as a terrorist organization and sanctioned by the US and other nations, there are impediments to transferring funds to it which can be translated into weapons, ammunition and jihadist expenses. Sometimes this is facilitated by ‘respectable’ enterprises that are officially opposed to terrorism and murder, but in fact do whatever makes them a buck. Like the Bank of China, according to the Israel Law Center — Shurat HaDin, which has filed a $1 billion lawsuit in a New York court accusing the bank of materially supporting Hamas terrorism.
Can we expect an October Surprise this year? We may already have one brewing. A former CIA operative calling himself “Reza Khalili” and claiming to have been an agent inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards organization, who has previously made skeptically-received claims that Iran had already produced 90% enriched uranium, is now saying that the Obama Administration has struck a deal with the Iranian regime that will shortly be announced:
Many of you have been shocked by the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because of a blog she wrote and interviews she gave starting in 2009, criticizing the Taliban and calling for the education of women. This lovely, self-possessed girl, who speaks and writes on a level far above her age, and who planned to enter politics (video), may or may not survive. If she does not, it will be an enormous loss for Pakistan and for the world.