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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Rivlin Recommends Building Sideways in Order to Move Forward Towards Peace

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

In a curious opinion piece in the Dec. 8 edition of the Washington Post, Israel’s President Reuben (Ruvy) Rivlin acknowledges that, at the moment, nothing is happening or can happen, on the “peace” path. He phrases it cleverly: “no currently viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Rivlin is in the United States for an official state visit. Presumably, he wanted Americans to know where he stands on the most significant issue: the Israeli-Arab conflict. Although Rivlin is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the two men are not, shall we say, simpatico.

But pointing out that Rivlin is not BFFs with Bibi is not to suggest that his approach to dealing with the so-called “peace process” is dramatically different than is Netanyahu’s. However, it may be much easier, particularly for American Democrats, to abide a message coming from Rivlin that they could not tolerate listening to if it came from Netanyahu.

And Rivlin’s suggestions are reasonable and, for the most part, attainable.

He mentions three steps he believes Israel should take: first, it should support the building of the new Palestinian Arab city, Rawabi, the first planned city for Palestinian Arabs. Rawabi, financed by Qatar, is located near Ramallah and is expected to ultimately house around 40,000 people.

Rivlin says that even if there is no Palestinian Arab partner for peace, Rawabi is something Israelis should support, not only or even necessarily because it is good for the Palestinian Arabs, but because, he wrote, it is in Israel’s interest.

It is worth noting that Rawabi’s developer, Palestinian Arab multi-millionaire Bashar al-Masri, required all contractors working on the project to “sign an agreement refusing to use Israeli products originating from the settlements or work in the settlements themselves.”

The second suggestion Rivlin offers is one that has already been proposed and is under consideration: all Israelis should learn Arabic in school. That makes sense for all kinds of important reasons, including ones that are purely beneficial to Israel. Which is not what Rivlin says, but it is nonetheless true.

The third suggestion is also a good one, at least in the abstract, but the possibility of moving forward on this front is laden with many more obstacles.

Not surprisingly, this suggestion has to do with Jerusalem.

Rivlin admonishes both the left and the right wings of the Israeli public for neglecting the infrastructure in the predominantly Palestinian Arab eastern half of Jerusalem. Rivlin criticizes the Israeli right for “internal political differences,” and the Israeli left for supporting a hardline Arab ideology of “political separation.”

Rivlin puts it this way:

Thus, in debating the future, we have neglected to deal with eastern parts of Jerusalem in the present — and thereby literally abandoned the security of Jewish inhabitants and the welfare of Arab ones. Does anyone think that dealing with the sewage, roads, schools and medical centers of eastern Jerusalem can or should wait until the end of the conflict? Is there anyone who thinks the consequences of these economic disparities in the city will stop at genuine or fictitious political borders? At concrete walls or fences? Or as a result of this or that agreement on sovereignty?

Makes sense, until you consider the reality.

It is hard to imagine the willingness of either side to invest financially in the eastern part of Jerusalem given the vandalism and terrorism currently rampant, and the future still unknown.

Rivlin’s suggestion puts one in mind of asking the Parisian government to invest heavily in the high immigration (from Northern Africa and the Middle East) war zones known as the banlieues. It is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Iran Convicts US Journalist Jason Rezaiain

Monday, October 12th, 2015

An Iranian court has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaiain for espionage, the regime’s ISNA news agency reported, but details of the verdict were not released.

Rezaiain has 20 days to appeal the verdict, but that is irrelevant in the Islamic Republic’s system, where everything is controlled and manipulated by the regime leaders.

He was arrested in July 2014 along with his wife, who later was released. The journalist allegedly turned over confidential information to President Barack Obama.

Washington Post’s foreign editor Douglas Jehl hit the nail on the head, telling Reuters:

It’s increasingly clear that the final decision about how Jason’s case will be handled will be made by political authorities, not by judicial ones.

Iranian officials have dropped hints that the journalist could be released, possibly along with other American prisoners, in exchange for Iranian prisoners being held in the United States.

The two most prominent American prisoners being held in Iran are Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant. A third American is former FBI agent and contractor for the CIA Robert Levinson, who was arrested in 2007. It is not known if he is alive.

Iran will negotiate a prisoner swap the same way it dealt with the Obama administration and other Western powers on the nuclear agreement, which still has not been finalized by Tehran.

It will release information on the Razaiain’s verdict drop by drop, if at all, and might even try to exploit his incarceration for more concessions on the nuclear deal before concluding a prisoner swap.

@israel_shield

Washington Post Trashes Obama for ‘Barnyard Epithet’

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

The editors of the Washington Post published an editorial Friday that roundly condemned President Barack Obama for the “barnyard epithet directed at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu” and called on the administration to “reset relations” with the Israeli leader.

The “crudeness” of the “chickens***” insult by a “senior administration official” quoted by the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg “raised the question of why the Israeli leader provokes such passionate animus from an administration that coolly shrugs off insults from the likes of Vladi­mir Putin,” the editorial stated.

It noted the Obama administration’s obvious frustration at not being able to convince the Netanyahu government to stop Israel from building for Jews in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

“Some analysts conjecture that dissing Mr. Netanyahu may be part of the administration’s groundwork for the deal it hopes to strike with Iran on its nuclear program this month,” the editorial board road. “The Israeli leader is almost certain to oppose any accord, just as he denounced the interim arrangement struck last year; he can be expected to lobby Israel’s allies in Congress to oppose any lifting of sanctions.

“The ‘chickens—‘ label applied to Mr. Netanyahu, who served as an elite paratrooper, was linked to an assessment that, out of caution, he missed Israel’s opportunity to carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Presumably Mr. Obama welcomed that prudence. But the administration, said the speculators, wanted to signal to both Tehran and Jerusalem that it would not be hesitant to do battle with Mr. Netanyahu over an Iran deal.

“That seems to give the White House too much credit for calculation. In reality, the attack reflects an unreasonable and disproportionate reaction to Mr. Netanyahu’s resistance to U.S. nostrums on matters of crucial importance to his country — as well as rank unprofessionalism by one or more of the president’s senior aides…

“Given the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the very real threat that it will spread and escalate, Mr. Obama would be wise to initiate a reset with Mr. Netanyahu.”

If the feedback to the editorial is any guide, most readers are not at all sympathetic to Israel. Most of the comments made Israel out to be an ingrate that does not says “thanks” for American assistance by taking orders from Washington.

The Washington Post as recently as four years ago was usually on the side of the Obama administration and routinely criticized Israel for not abandoning Jews in Judea and Samaria.

The Palestinian Authority’s constant incitement against Israel, its refusal to conduct real negotiations and instead insist on “all or nothing,” plus Hamas rocket and missile attacks, the complicity of Iran, the frightening appeal of radical Islam and President Barack Obama’s fiasco in Syria – all of these factors have helped turned the newspaper against Obama.

Notably, The New York Times editors did not deem it important to comment on the “barnyard epithet” unless it does so on Sunday.

So far, the newspaper continues to report and opine “all the news that fits” its agenda.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

My Sincere Apologies to the Turkish Nation, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

So, it appears that yours truly has gotten an entire country angry at him and that, as we speak, the Turkish high command, along with something they call “MIT” (it stands for Milli Istihbarat Teskilati, or National Intelligence Organization – nothing to do with brainy guys in Boston figuring out the universe) are up in arms over the threat I’ve been posing to Turkey’s national security. Well, kiss that trip to Istanbul good bye. I saw “Midnight Express,” I know the drill.

I’m a little excited, to be honest, I’ve never had a brawl with a country before. For the most part I fight with Jewish crazies who hate Muslims pathologically, with Reform Jews who insist anyone with a checkbook is a Jew, with the Women of the Wall who must have their piece of the rock, with a president who took my money and gave it to my banker – but never with an entire country. It’s strangely exhilarating, I have to say.

It all began about a week ago, with a story that was published in the Washington Post, the gist of which was that one Hakan Fidan, the head of the Turkish MIT, had knowledge of Israeli agents operating in Iran and, guess what, he turned over a list with ten of their names to the Iranians.

Considering the fact that no reputable refutation has been made available so far, and that the Israelis have not denied the story (since they were probably the ones who gave it to the Post in the first place), what Hakan Fidan did was bloody treacherous.

Indeed, last Friday the Turks stopped the denial campaign, which was coupled with accusations against Israel (naturally) and came around to admitting—in a roundabout way—that he probably had done it.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Turkish Hurriyet: “When you read these articles, Hakan Fidan is accused of … not letting other intelligence agencies operate in Turkey. Therefore, he is being blamed for doing his job.”

Yet another good man being hunted down for his loyalty to his country and his faith.

Except that what Hakan Fidan has done was usurp a relationship that began in the 1950s between Israel’s and Turkey’s secret services, taking information he received as Israel’s ally and handing it over for execution to Israel’s worst enemies. Now, there’s a man doing his job and being blamed for it. What a victim.

And, according to The Wall Street Journal, Hakan Fidan was behind the arming of Muslim Brotherhood groups fighting in Syria. That’s one shade away from arming Al Qaeda. Also, the WSJ cited senior U.S. officials who said Fidan gave Iran sensitive intelligence collected by the U.S. and Israel.

A true friend, just doing his job. Lay off our Man Fidan, for he represents the highest values cherished by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey: love of country, love of the downtrodden and the Jews done it.

Now, none of the above stories of betrayal and murder-facilitation were anything I, personally, have gathered. I merely reported on the initial Washington Post expose regarding the folks Fidan most assuredly sent to their deaths. But if you google Hakan Fidan, both in regular and news flavors, you’ll get my Jewish Press story well above anything else in the world, including his Wikipedia profile and the original Washington Post column.

All of Turkey reads my article first, before they read anything else on the subject. I’ve been getting Turkish followers on my Twitter account, and Turks have been leaving hundreds of really angry comments on our Facebook page, comments we labor to remove every hour, because they’re not pleasant to read.

That’s because of a nasty note I, in the heat of opining, entered in the flow of my story: “If anyone deserves to find a special surprise in his car one morning, it’s Fidan, the Turkish spy chief.” You’ll have to admit, it’s not exactly a call to arms, it’s an expression of rage at what appears to be a lowlife reminiscent of those Afghani trainees who murder their American patrol fellows, or those Palestinian “security” folks who turned and shot their IDF patrol partners.

Surprisingly, the Turks are not angry at their own security chief for betraying the trust of a close ally—make that two close allies. They’re upset at me, for saying he deserves to be punished. I suppose some of it gets lost in translation. I also think the Turks, like those Muslims who kill people on account of their Muhammad cartoons (you don’t see Bugs Bunny worshipers doing that, now, do you?), should go shopping for a thicker skin. Seriously.

In any event, I am now a major star in Turkey, most likely because of the magical combination “Jewish Press,” which must be the final proof some Turks needed to the fact that whatever blood curdling fantasies they had harbored about Jews was totally true – look at the facts, this Yori Yanover said so, in the “Jewish Press” — that must be the communications organ for all the Jews.

Let’s face it, antisemites truly believe there’s a powerful Jewish cabal out there, and that if one of us Jews gives the word, immediately those trained, clandestine teams everyone knows so much about take off to carry it out. We can argue it ain’t so until we’re blue in the face, it won’t change their minds. Like I told you, they have the convictions of their deep seated antisemitism.

And so, instead of arguing, I will be the big man here, and announce officially that whatever surprises I may have been plotting for Hakan Fidan are now null and void. I order the Mossad to call the hit teams back; likewise the U.S. Seals which we Jews control with Rothchild’s gold must return to base. There will be no surprises for the Turkish spy chief as long as I’m running this cabal.

And tell David Duke his shorts are ready at the cleaner’s, we gave him the special gentile rate but he mustn’t forget the ticket. No tickie…

Great, now I went and started a war with the KKK and China, too.

Yori Yanover

US Counterintelligence Targets Israel, Secret Budget Reveals

Friday, August 30th, 2013

U.S. spy agencies target their counterintelligence operations on Israel along with Iran and China, among other countries, a budget summary for the secret National Intelligence Program reveals.

The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013 for the 16 U.S. spy agencies was obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the newspaper reported Thursday.

The budget summary, formally known as the Congressional Budget Justification for the National Intelligence Program, revealed that counterintelligence operations “are strategically focused against [the] priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel,” according to The Washington Post.

Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, was a former technical contractor for the National Security Agency and employee of the Central Intelligence Agency who revealed the existence of mass surveillance programs by the United States and Britain against their own citizens and citizens of other countries.

The budget summary also revealed that the CIA and NSA became more aggressive in efforts to hack into the computer networks of other countries to steal information or to sabotage the computer systems of enemy countries.

It also showed that the NSA planned to investigate at least 4,000 personnel with high security clearance suspected of compromising sensitive information. In addition, terrorism is shown in the budget to be considered the most serious threat to U.S. national security.

JTA

Jewish Efforts to Save Washington Post Date Back to 1933

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Correction/Update: The JTA article incorrectly identifies Jeff Bezos as Jewish.

This week’s purchase of The Washington Post by Amazon’s Jewish CEO Jeff Bezos is not the first time a Jew has bailed out the newspaper.

In 1933, the Jewish investor Eugene Meyer rescued the Post from bankruptcy, acquiring it at auction at the height of the Depression. For the next 20 years, he worked to turn the struggling daily into a profitable and reputable cornerstone of the American media.

Meyer had already made headlines for his political prominence. In 1930, JTA reported his appointment to the Federal Reserve Board with the headline: “Unusual Honor for [a] Jew.”

During the same period, Herbert Hoover personally thanked him for the “high qualifications and sense of public service” that marked his tenure as Farm Loan Commissioner.

Meyer served as chairman of the Washington Post Company until his death in 1959, taking only a short break, in 1946, to serve as the first head of the World Bank. The Post was presided over by his family for four generations. Meyer’s daughter, Katharine Graham, a legendary Washington socialite and one of the first women in America to attain prominence at the helm of a media organization, was publisher during the Watergate era, when the Post helped bring down Nixon.

Meyer’s great-granddaughter and the paper’s current publisher, Katharine Weymouth, announced the sale on Monday.

JTA

American Journalists Decry Israel’s Ability to Defend Itself as Blocking Peace

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

I hate to spend time discussing U.S. media coverage of Israel. It should be clear by now that it is not very good, balanced, accurate, or fair. Yet there are examples which are irresistible to discuss because they are so revealing of the political as well as media assumptions made about Israel that so mislead the Western publics and policymakers.

The Washington Post has a major article explaining that while, on one hand, the Iron Dome missile defense is a good thing because it blocks missiles that would otherwise kill and injure Israelis as well as cause damage it is also a bad thing. Tom Friedman made similar claims. Why?

“For a nation that longs for normalcy and acceptance, one question being debated here is whether Iron Dome will motivate Israel’s leaders to pursue peace with the Palestinians and the wider Arab world or insulate them from having to do so.”

In other words, if a lot more Israelis were being killed and wounded by attacks then Israel would have more incentive to make peace with the Palestinians and Arabs. But since they are only being attacked and their lives paralyzed but not killed, Israel just isn’t interested in making peace.

And who is debating this idea that only if they are more bloodied will their hearts be softened and they will prefer peace to endless conflict? Supposedly Israelis are saying: “Wow, we wish our leaders tried harder to make peace with the Palestinians. Maybe it’s because we are too strong and secure.” Well, basically the Post comes up with one person, left-wing author Tom Segev. Nobody is interviewed who ridicules this bizarre thesis.

Just to make the situation completely clear let me be very explicit: In the 1980s and in 1993 at the time of the Oslo agreement many Israelis argued that because Israel was more secure it could take risks and make concessions to try to achieve peace. A number of specific steps, including Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, were based on this same stance. Israel could pull out of the Gaza Strip, uproot all of the settlements there, and not suffer any decline in security. That’s the historic argument: the more secure Israel was, the more it could offer the Palestinians in the hope that they would make peace. Is that clear?

When a country becomes less secure it must increase its ability to protect itself, including by retaining territory useful for that defense, spending more on military equipment, and not making concessions and taking risks. The only exception is that if people feel certain that such concessions and risks would definitely bring a full response from the other side and thus lead to a secure and lasting peace.

Now even leaving aside the Palestinian Authority’s intransigence and desire–clearly visible for the last twelve years–to avoid a compromise two-state solution, Israel also faces the following new regional features:

–Hamas, which constantly attacks Israel and would continue to do so (indeed escalate attacks) if Israel did reach an agreement with the PA.

–An Islamist Egypt whose ruling Muslim Brotherhood group daily speaks of genocide against Israel and Jews, plus not accepting the 30-year-old peace treaty, not to mention the even more extreme Salafists.

–An Islamist-ruled Lebanon, where Hizballah, the ruling group, constantly threatens to attack and also daily calls for Israel’s extinction.

–A hostile Turkey whose rulers support Hamas and Hizballah.

–A Syria where radical Islamists seem poised to gain power. They cannot possibly be more anti-Israel than the current regime but they are willing to make the anti-Israel war a higher priority for direct action.

So this is an era where Israel clearly needs to defend itself. Compare this to the early 1990s. Saddam Hussein had been defeated in the 1991 war; the radical Arabs main ally, the USSR, had fallen; America was the sole superpower; the PLO was so weak and depressed that it seemed conceivable it might be pushed into peace because it had no other alternative (in contrast to the contemporary Palestinian Authority which just got recognition as a state and is feeling very confident); and other factors.

That was a moment when Israel could take risks and did so with the Oslo Agreement. And yet, of course, we know–like it or not–that this “peace process” made things worse, another lesson not processed by the hegemonic political forces in much of the West today.

So how do we get from here to demands that Israel must keep doing what has failed and the claim that the weaker is Israel’s strategic position the more it can and should make concessions and take risks? Such a stance is just about equivalent to saying that it is a pity that U.S. counterterrorism measures are working because if there were more September 11 type attacks that succeeded the Americans would be nicer to Muslims. Or if the British air force had only not defeated the Luftwaffe perhaps Prime Minister Winston Churchill wouldn’t have been so insulated from the need to make peace with the Axis.

Special categories are constantly created to bash Israel. Has the concept of “proportional response”–that in defending yourself you shouldn’t do too much–ever been applied to anyone other than Israel? Can you imagine an American journalist writing an article suggesting that if only England got hit harder by IRA terrorism it would treat the Irish better in Northern Ireland?

What’s most infuriating about all of this is not just that Israel has tried so hard to make peace–including risks and concessions–but the precise attacks referred to in the Post article were made possible only because Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in an attempt to promote peace!

Yet the essential insanity of the kind of thinking epitomized in this article is shielded when it comes to Israel by the media’s bias and sense that it can get away with any nonsense when it comes to discussing Israel.

Meanwhile, there is some concern by Israeli intelligence officials of a new intifada in Judea and Samaria. This would be due to new confidence created by the UN’s decision to make Palestine a non-member state (the UN’s contribution to peacemaking); a rapprochement between the Palestinian Authority, which rules much of Judea and Samaria, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip; and the Palestinian Authority’s wish to compete with Hamas in attacking Israel and trying to kill Israelis.

Following the logic of the Washington Post we should hope that lots of Israelis are killed by terrorists as a way to pressure those obdurate Israelis to make peace.

The Post article basically follows the same Palestinian political line that has prevailed since the 1960s: forget about a negotiated compromise, Israel must be defeated; Israelis made to suffer. The main goal is to get Israelis to give up altogether and abandon having a state; the shorter-term goal is to get Israelis to accept a Palestinian state unconditionally so it can get on with the task of finishing that job.

Before around 1980, the above analysis would have been considered a normative Israeli analysis. Between the 1980s and 2000, when there was a rising hope of a compromise peace with the PLO and its child, the Palestinian Authority, it would have been considered a right-wing view. Since 2000, however, that assessment—based on evidence and experience—has again become that of the overwhelming majority across almost all of the political spectrum.

Internationally, the refusal to face the fact that the Palestinian side is responsible for the failure of peace leads to such bizarre theories and blinds people to the actual situation.

And here is the speech by Hamas’s leader to mark the organization’s twenty-fifth anniversary. See for whom the Washington Post is suggesting that greater military success will lead to Middle East peace.

Regarding Friedman’s article, here’s a response from Dan Margalit.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Barry Rubin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/american-journalists-decry-israels-ability-to-defend-itself-as-blocking-peace/2012/12/24/

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