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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Of Truth and Belief

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/of-faith-and-belief.html

One of the most perplexing things for me to understand is the concept of Orthopraxy. As currently defined, an Orthoprax Jew tends to follow Halacha, but may question the existence of God or whether the Torah was given to us at Sinai . And yet such people do exist. My first encounter with such an individual was when I initiated this blog. He called himself “Misnagid”. And he guarded his anonymity “religiously”.

That came as a shock to me at the time. I could not understand why anyone would bother keeping the Mitzvos if he didn’t believe in God. If I recall correctly, his answer was that he was raised as an Orthodox Jew, married Orthodox, and lived in an Orthodox environment. It would have radically changed his life to “come out of the closet” so to speak. So he plays along, going through the motions for appearances sake. This even includes sending his children to an Orthodox Jewish day school.  Interestingly, he admitted that Shabbos still meant a lot to him… that this weekly day of rest was rejuvenating to his spirit – as it were.

I actually understand that.

Although not all Orthoprax Jews are atheists (some are just skeptics and simply doubt God’s existence – not going so far as to deny it) Misnagid is an atheist. How he became one is irrelevant to this post. The point is that he is one of many such people. They exist in all segments of Orthodoxy. I recall an interview in Mishpacha Magazine with a Charedi Posek who was one such individual! (Since his exposure he is no longer a Posek.)

I think few people are aware how many people are Orthoprax. How could they be? These closet skeptics and atheists must remain there if they want continue their lives without the major upheaval that often goes along with going OTD. They want to remain in the environment they are used to. They want the continued acceptance by their family and friends they have always had. So they remain Frum on the outside, and atheists on the inside.

The appeal of an Orthodox lifestyle can be seen among Baalei Teshuva. They will often choose to be observant for non-theological reasons. They believe that living their lives according to the Torah and its moral teachings makes them better human beings. And they are meticulous in their observances.

This appeal is apparently the case with some Jewish atheists. Like Zeke Emanuel, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual’s brother. In a Washington Post article he describes himself as a Kosher atheist:

Judaism isn’t about what people think, he seems to be saying. It’s about what they do. It follows, according to that argument, that it’s more Jewish to keep kosher than it is to believe unthinkingly in God.

In what has to be an amazing statement for an Orthodox Rabbi, especially one who claims to be a practitioner of the Chabad Chasidus and follower of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach seems to agree:

“Judaism,” he told me in a phone call, “is not a religion primarily of faith. It is a religion primarily of practice…”

How any Orthodox Rabbi can make an unqualified statement like that and still call himself Orthodox is beyond me. The most fundamental tenet of Judaism is the belief in one God. The first 3 of the 10 Commandments deal with matters of faith!

While it is true that Judaism is a religion based on acts, those acts presuppose a belief in God. All the Mitzvos in the world are spiritually meaningless if one does not believe in the ultimate Spiritual Being, God.

I understand that there is a practical side to observance that may even be its main selling point to those considering Orthodoxy. I know people who have told me that they became observant because the lifestyle appealed to them. They saw the community of religious Jews and found it much more rewarding than the hedonistic ways of their friends or even siblings.

I recall at least 2 weddings where the all the siblings and friends of two Baalei Teshuva getting married had lifestyles that were very self-centered and hedonistic. Lifestyles that included a great deal of non-marital sex and even drug use. None of them were interested in getting married and having a family.

Political Correctness Run Amok

Monday, August 6th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/political-correctness-run-amok.html

Until about a week ago, I never heard of Chick-fil-A. When I first heard the name, I thought it might be some sort of sleazy escort service.  Maybe that’s because I observe Jewish dietary laws. Keeping Kosher means not being able to eat at McDonalds or any other non kosher fast food restaurant chain. Which is what Chick-fil-A is.

Normally news about a non Kosher fast food chain of any kind is well below my radar. Why would I care after all about what its owner said? Well, in this case I do care.  The  president of Chick-fil-A who is a religious Baptist made what many have deemed to be a bigoted statement about gays. What was it he said? From USA Today:

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit… “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…”

To say that this statement is bigoted is so ridiculous that I would have thought it was some sort of parody were it not reported as fact. But it wasn’t ridiculous to a Chicago Alderman who vowed to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up a restaurant in his city. From the Washington Post:

Alderman Joe Moreno said Wednesday that unless the company comes up with a written anti-discrimination policy, Chick-fil-A will not open its first free-standing restaurant in the city as it plans to do.

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel expressed similar sentiments.

I have expressed my own attitude about homosexuals many times. The short version is that it is all about Kavod HaBrios and treating all human beings with the dignity they deserve – regardless of what their sexual orientation is. The biblical injunction is against a specific homosexual act. Not against someone with the desire to commit it. Nor is it our job to find out what goes on in the privacy of anyone’s bedroom. That is only between an individual and his Maker. It is our obligation instead to judge all people favorably.

What seems to be happening here goes far beyond understanding and tolerance. It goes far beyond treating our fellow man with love and compassion – regardless of the human condition that causes man to sin against God. Is there alive a man today that has not sinned? But the agenda of some gay rights activists is not  about respecting human dignity. It is about celebrating homosexuality!

For those of us who believe in the bible that is completely unacceptable.

And yet the current climate of much of western culture is to look at it in exactly that way. It seems that almost all the reporting about Chick-fil-A  has been negative. As if to deny anyone the right to see marriage only in a heterosexual context.

This has nothing to do with the whether one agrees with that or not. It has to do with the right to express an opinion. One based on a religious viewpoint no less!

Chick fil-A does not deny anyone the right to eat in their restaurant. They have gay employees and gay patrons. I am sure that many gay people have eaten at Chick-fil-A without incident. And yet for publicly expressing a religious view that has become politically incorrect – there are people who want to harm Chick fil-A financially!

As if to put an exclamation point on this – from the Huffington Post:

(LGBT) has filed complaints against Chick-fil-A, alleging that the franchise violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, made statements against gay marriage.

This is wrong. It is political correctness run amok! And anyone with any sense of fairness should see that. The fact is that despite the current approach by media, entertainment industry, and some political figures, the American people are not in lockstep with their attempt to stifle opinions they don’t agree with.

Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for an “Appreciation Day for Chick fil-A” – asking people to show up to support for the restaurant chain by eating at one of their restaurants on August 1st. Needless to say they had a record  number of people showing up that day.

President Romney’s First Trip Will Be to Jerusalem, Says Campaign’s New Official Jewish Department

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

It was inevitable, the only question is why it took so long: on Tuesday, the Romney Campaign announced the launch of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition.

The launch comes on the heels of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel, which the candidate says persuaded him that “now, more than ever, America needs to stand with Israel. I will extend the hand of friendship because our partnership is not merely a strategic alliance but a force for good in the world.”

To date, the Romney campaign website lists these supportive communities: Catholics for Romney, Jewish Americans for Romney, Juntos con Romney, Lawyers for Romney (!), Polish Americans for Romney, Veterans and Military Families for Romney, Women for Mitt, and Young Americans for Romney.

Joining Romney in the announcement of this coalition was House Majority leader Eric Cantor and former US Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, who are two out of a short list of Honorary Chairmen.

Cantor invoked the standard talismans of “strong bonds” and “Israel’s security” in endorsing Romney and encouraging all Jewish Americans, “Democrat, Republican and Independent alike” to give Romney’s candidacy “serious consideration.”

Coleman, a former member of Congress, used stronger language both in terms of why American Jews will be better off under President Romney, who “will succeed in turning around the U.S. economy where Barack Obama has failed,” and in articulating what Coleman says is Romney’s understanding of the dangers facing Israel: “He understands that Israel is targeted by the failed states of the Middle East as a convenient scapegoat. He understands that there is a worldwide campaign to demonize the Jewish state.”

In the announcement of the new official coalition, there was one concrete pledge made.  Coleman said that, if elected, Mitt Romney pledged he will make his first foreign trip as president to Jerusalem.

What was not present in either the announcement of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition or on the issues page of the MittRomney.com website were other specifics.  For example, in the speech Romney gave in Jerusalem that was widely lauded and shared by many in the pro-Israel community, Romney referred to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  There is currently no mention of Jerusalem on the website.

In fact, much of the language found on the Romney Israel Issues page of his website could just as easily be found in his challenger’s talking points.  That this candidate will “work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge” is hardly a bold pledge, and President Obama has also repeatedly said that, as Romney’s website states, efforts to unilaterally decide issues “designated for final status negotiations” is unacceptable.

While the site promises that with “regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mitt’s policy will differ sharply from President Obama’s,” at present it is hard to find much foundation for that promise.

Perhaps it is merely the website that really seems to be in the “Not Ready for Prime Time” stage, because the candidates and their respective campaigns have been assiduously wooing the Jewish vote, what with Governor Romney visiting Israel and the president’s recent campaign stop to Century Village, a large gated community in heavily-Jewish south Florida.

A Gallup poll from last month shows a dip in Jewish support for President Obama.  In 2008 the president received 78 percent of the Jewish vote, and while that margin has shrunk to 64 percent, it’s hardly a close race.  The latest Rasmussen Poll conducted last week shows Romney with a very slight overall edge over Obama, 45 – 44 percent. However, Obama is beating the challenger in two of the critical swing vote states, he’s ahead by 6 percentage points in both Florida and Ohio.

While Romney was in Israel showcasing his support for the Jewish State and his close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Obama signed a measure passed by congress that will strengthen US-Israel military ties and announced he was releasing $70 million in congressional-approved funding for Israel’s short-range rocket shield known as “Iron Dome.”

Members of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition Advisory Board include  former White House Liaisons to the Jewish Community Tevi Troy and Jeremy Katz.  Other members include several who served in the State Department under Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, several former Ambassadors, such as Mitchell Reiss and Eric Edelman, and Eliot Cohen, who in 2006 penned a powerful piece in the Washington Post responding to Steven Walt and John Meirsheimer’s book “The Israel Lobby,” deeming it anti-Semitic.

 

 

It’s Hard Out There for an Outsider

Friday, June 29th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/its-hard-out-there-for-outsider.html

Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren told the Boston Globe last week that she wants to win the Senate race so that she can “bring an outsider’s perspective to solving the nation’s problems.” And who better to bring an outsider’s perspective than a Harvard professor, a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion and the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

If a law professor who spent 15 years on and off government and quasi-government commissions and whose prescriptions have become policy, and who could raise 7 million dollars in a few months is an outsider, then who exactly is an insider?

When Warren’s Cherokee claims became a little too embarrassing, The New Yorker ran an article asking, “Who is a Native American?” as if the question of who the hell your parents were is some imponderable paradox like “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” or “How much debt can government amass before Washington D.C. becomes a black hole whose gravitational pull will suck in the economies of the entire planet?”

If Warren’s assertion that she is an outsider meets with as much mockery as her assertion that she is a white aborigine, then The New Yorker may run yet another article, “Who is an Outsider?”

Elizabeth Warren’s whole purpose in claiming to be an Indian woman was to claim outsider status. Unlike the other blue-eyed, blond-haired law students, she was an outsider, a member of a proud people who once roamed the plains hunting buffalo and writing corporate liability legislation before they were rounded up and forced to teach law at Harvard U.

Outsider status is prized by insiders. The more of an insider you are, the more outsider flair you need to add to your identity. And no man or woman is better proof of that than the completely unqualified candidate sitting in the White House, who began his national coming out party at the DNC 2004 convention by announcing, “My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack.”

Obama’s outsider biography proved to be as phony as Warren’s Cherokee claims, but it served its purpose, introducing him to the Democratic Party and the country at large as the ultimate outsider. A man whose father grew up in a shack with a bunch of goats, but whose son is, as his future V.P. described him, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

Biden was presumably very impressed by Obama’s ability to remain bright and clean after being around goats all day. So was the nation, which did its best to get that nice young man away from all the goats and under a proper roof in the White House.

Obama might have spent as much time around goats as Warren spent around the Cherokee that she claimed to have wanted to meet so badly, but he was determined to remain an outsider. Eight years after the convention, where he declaimed, “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,” and four years after the election that took him from the tin-roof shack of the United States Senate to the White House, he was still complaining how hard it is to get voters to support someone with his unique outsider biography.

Obama’s books exploring his outsider identity, his speeches tediously summoning up the moonlit night that a dimwitted hippie fell in lust with an abusive Kenyan polygamist to produce a child who would base his entire career on his DNA, and his victimization parade which leaves daily from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to tour MSNBC, CNN and the Washington Post recounting to sympathetic reporters how hard it is out there for an outsider; are the goats and tin-roof shack all over again.

We have spent more time, vicariously, in that tin-roof shack than Obama’s father ever did. We are forced to relive it each time Obama screws up in some grandiose fashion and the media tells us that we want him replaced with someone competent only because we hate outsiders. Suddenly he’s no longer at the golf course or a lavish foreign soiree, but back in the tin-roof shack, complaining that we won’t let him get ahead.

Edward Klein On Obama And Wright

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

When we convened here on May 25, the topic of discussion was the media’s renewed ardor for Barack Obama now that the president appears to be facing a tough reelection challenge.

The matter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was cited as a prime example of the skewed coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. When journalists were finally forced to acknowledge Wright’s existence after months of hoping he’d somehow disappear, their sympathy for Obama – and even Wright himself– was all too clear. Just two brief examples:

Washington Post writer Sally Quinn lamented to PBS’s Charlie Rose, “To see his [Jeremiah Wright’s] career completely destroyed by three 20-second sound bites, all of the work he has done, his entire legacy gone down the drain, has been absolutely devastating to me – to him, sorry…. We are still a racist country…. I think that so many white people who had never been inside a black church were absolutely shocked by the tone and language that they heard [from Wright]…. I think it brought out a lot of latent racism.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, prefacing a story about Wright’s anti-American sermons, complained that “We’re running it [videos snippets of Wright’s speeches] because – like it or not, legitimate or not – it has become an issue…. All this seems to have nothing to do with actual issues that the country is facing, which these candidates should be talking about and we probably should be talking about.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your allegedly objective media at work.

The issue of Jeremiah Wright and his relationship with Obama is being given new life by Edward Klein in his recently released book The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House.

(The generally dismissive reception accorded Klein’s book by the mainstream media is indicative of the protective cover Obama enjoys from the nation’s chattering class. Klein, after all, is a veteran journalist whose resume includes service as foreign editor of Newsweek, back when Newsweek was a serious publication, and editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine. The Monitor is pleased to note that notwithstanding some less than laudatory reviews, the book is number one on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list.)

Klein points out that for many years Obama would begin speeches to black audiences by saying, “I bring you greetings from my pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.”

Klein also writes that “Until Obama married Michelle Robinson in 1991, when he was thirty years old, his most significant adult relationship was with Jeremiah Wright. His connection to Wright ran long and deep, and went back further than has been generally reported. It started well before Obama joined Wright’s congregation…where the pastor’s sermons on Black Liberation theology encouraged a victimization mentality among his black parishioners.”

Wright, Klein writes, “became far more than a religious and spiritual guide to Obama; he was his substitute father, life coach, and political inspiration wrapped in one package. At each step of Obama’s career, Wright was there with practical advice and counsel…. It would be no exaggeration to say that Jeremiah Wright…prepared him to run for president.”

When Rolling Stone magazine in 2007 published a detailed account of Wright’s radicalism, the media ignored the story for more than a year. As Klein puts it, “One could only imagine how these journalists would have behaved if the shoe had been on the other foot and…President George W. Bush had sat for twenty years in a white-supremacist church and listened to anti-black rants.”

ABC News investigative correspondent Brian Ross finally broke the media silence in March 2008 when he broadcast videotapes of Wright ranting from the pulpit. He told Klein he “was surprised that no one else had picked up on the Jeremiah Wright story and pursued the videotapes.”

And – pay attention here – Ross added that “not everybody at ABC News was thrilled that I ran with the story. People who liked Obama were not happy with me. In fact, my story ran on ‘Good Morning America’ but was never picked up by ‘World News Tonight.’ ”

Can anyone imagine a more devastating indictment of a news organization?

Rubin Reports: Is Obama Strong on National Security? Of Course Not.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/is-obama-strong-on-national-security-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+Rubinreports+(RubinReports)&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Let me explain to you why the Obama Administration’s propaganda leak effort to prove that the president is tough on national security is nonsense. Almost every example with two exceptions—a computer virus against Iran and regime change in Libya–revolves around the willingness to combat or kill al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden.

There has never been any question but that the Obama Administration views al-Qaida as an enemy and a danger that should be wiped out. That isn’t the problem. The problem is that this is the only entity in the world that this administration sees as a national security threat, since al-Qaida is eager to launch direct attacks against targets on American soil.

In contrast, though, the administration does not act against any other possible national security threat be it Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Russia, Pakistan, Syria, Hizballah, Hamas, the Turkish Islamist regime, the Muslim Brotherhood, or anything else you can think of.

The administration obviously has shown its belief that engagement, flattery, refusal to help their intended victims, and concessions can win over these enemies. It has even tried to redefine the Taliban as a group that can be conciliated and given a share in a new Afghan government, despite its involvement in September 11!

The only partial exception to that list is Iran. Yet even there the Obama Administration tried to avoid doing anything for almost three years. Even now the government has been desperate to make a deal with Tehran and it is only Iran’s intransigence—and preference for stalling—that have prevented some bargain. Even on the Iran issue the administration did less than Congress wanted and virtually exempted China, Russia, and Turkey from having to observe the sanctions.

Thus, the one other case of administration “toughness” has been support for Israel’s strategy of using such delaying tactics as computer viruses. Of course, the administration is happy at low-cost, no-risk ideas to postpone its having to deal with Iran having nuclear weapons.

During its term, the administration has not been tough in terms of helping allies all over the world. A few dozen governments have been very disappointed by U.S. policy.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has pursued withdrawal strategies initiated by its predecessor. This choice seems wise, but it should be noted that the Obama administration has been completely ineffective in Iraq, where the political system is in serious trouble. With no U.S. effort to resolve the conflict in sight, the Shia prime minister has put out an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president on a charge of terrorism, and the Kurdish president is helping him hide out.

As for Afghanistan, the possibility of a regime collapse and a Taliban takeover is a very real danger that the administration has not been able to counter. The administration favors a “moderate” Taliban participation in government, and has found no way, despite billions of dollars of U.S. aid, to get Pakistan to stop backing the Taliban.

That leaves Libya. This intervention was done because the Arab League, the UN, and the European Union all concurred, and the Gaddafi regime was an easy target. It is not yet clear whether this operation will leave Libya worse off and will jeopardize U.S. interests. Note that the Libyan transitional government is stalling on elections, apparently because these might result in a radical, anti-American Islamist regime or a regional conflict that would produce a new civil war. At any rate, it was less a bold action than a mere going along with the crowd, and whether the operation was of any benefit to U.S. interests is still to be seen.

Finally, there is the jewel in the crown: the assassination of Osama bin Laden. The administration’s portrayal of this as some courageous decision shows more than anything how weak he is. A normal U.S. government would have taken this choice for granted, and not felt the need to stress the president’s alleged machismo. (Even Jimmy Carter didn’t posture over the comparatively brave decision to launch an armed rescue mission of the U.S. hostages held in Iran.) Actually, given Obama’s worldview — don’t make the Muslims mad, fear looking like a bully, be ambiguous about the use of force, panic lest failure have a political cost — it was indeed a hard decision. But that supposed difficult pondering, by the White House’s own admission, precisely makes the point about this administration’s weakness.

Generally, the case of Obama being tough is sold by journalists by leaving out all of the points listed above. Indeed, they are often very vague about specifics in making the case for a heroic Obama. In normal times, with a media that made some serious effort at balance, they would be laughed off the stage.

As for the allegedly mysterious source of the leaks, this is a joke. Anyone who knows how these things work would have no doubt after reading the relevant articles, especially in the New York Times. All of those interviewed were former or current Obama appointees eager to make him look good. These are the people who told the press about national security secrets that relatively few people knew, especially in some detail.

Do these leaks endanger American soldiers and intelligence sources? Ask those at the Pentagon who are outspokenly bitter about self-serving Obama administration leaks, the British services whose penetration of al-Qaeda was irresponsibly revealed, and the Pakistani doctor sentenced to 33 years in prison for helping to get Osama without a huge U.S. effort to get him released.

Finally, here is Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post on what Obama is doing wrong; Ambassador John Bolton on what Obama should be doing; and most surprisingly of all, the usually in-the-tank-for-Obama Nicholas Kristof writing in the New York Times of his disgust at the president’s policy on Syria and Sudan.

Buying Time for Iran

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/05/buying-time-for-iran/ The talks last week between the Iranian regime and representatives of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany (the “P5+1″) went more or less like this:

P5+1: We’ll reduce sanctions if you stop enriching uranium.

Iran: How about we enrich uranium and you reduce sanctions?

Unnamed US official: “We’re getting to things that matter.”

Another meeting has been set for July 18.

Ho hum…almost another month, more uranium enriched to (at least) 20% and the Fordow facilities get more centrifuges and become more difficult to hit. I suppose that ultimately the P5+1 will get tough, and ‘force’ Iran to agree to something more substantial than yet another meeting date. But since their initial bargaining position was considered by many (including Israeli PM Netanyahu) inadequate to prevent Iran from preparing a “fast breakout” position in which weapons could be built on short notice, how much less adequate will the final deal be?

In an editorial, the Washington Post said,

For now, the crucial question is whether even an interim, time-buying deal is possible. The administration’s optimism was based on the notion that Iran would agree to cease its most advanced form of uranium enrichment, export the stockpile of that material to the West and stop operations at Fordow in exchange for several Western concessions, like the supply of spare parts for commercial aircraft and fuel for a reactor that produces medical isotopes. In Baghdad, Iran rejected that deal as one-sided; it appears to expect major sanctions relief in exchange for any freeze of advanced enrichment.

Who is buying time here, of course is Iran — or rather, it is being given to them gratis. The sanctions and concessions that are on the table are ludicrous, given the fact that acquisition of nuclear weapons has been among the most important objectives of Iranian policy for decades, one to which enormous resources have been dedicated. Imagine trying to induce the US to drop the Manhattan Project in 1944!

It is a good bet that the only way to stop Iran today is by force. A European oil embargo is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, but even that will leave loopholes. And there are other markets for Iranian oil, like Turkey and of course China, Japan, India and South Korea.

While the Iranian nuclear program is a problem for the US and for Israel, it is both more serious and more urgent for Israel.

The Obama Administration sent diplomat Wendy Sherman to Jerusalem on Friday to “reaffirm our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.” And no doubt to deploy various carrots and sticks to keep Israel from taking matters into its own hands.

Will Israel violate its long-held principle that it cannot depend on others to guarantee its security? I doubt it, for two reasons. One is that the West has time and again violated its commitments to Israel:

–Eisenhower’s 1956 promise to keep the strait of Tiran open was not honored by LBJ in 1967.

–In 1991, G. H. W. Bush promised to destroy the Scud launchers in Iraq if Israel stayed out of the conflict. Israel stayed out, but the Scuds continued to fall on Tel Aviv.

–During the Oslo period and the Second Intifada, Israel made numerous serious concessions and withdrawals in the name of peace, while the Arabs didn’t budge. Rather, Arafat started the Second Intifada and Hamas rocketed southern Israel from Gaza. Yet Western diplomatic pressure and condemnation of Israel increased.

–The UN Security Council passed resolution 1701 to end the Second Lebanon War in 2006. It called for UN forces to block Hizballah’s return to South Lebanon, to interdict arms shipments from Syria and to disarm Hizballah’s militia. None of these things happened, and Hizballah has refortified South Lebanon and rearmed with weapons delivered through Syria.

–The 1994 letter to then-PM Sharon from George W. Bush, which said that a “full and complete” return to 1949 lines and the settlement of Arab refugees in Israel were not “realistic,” was disavowed by the Obama Administration.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/buying-time-for-iran/2012/05/29/

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