Mideast

JUNE 2012 OUTPOST

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NEXT ISSUE WILL BE POSTED IN AUGUST
Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer

Outpost is distributed free to
Members of Americans For a Safe Israel
Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel
1751 Second Ave. (at 91st St.)
New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
E-mail: afsi @rcn.com web site: http://www.afsi.org

Mideast

GAME CHANGERS: WILLIAM MEHLMAN

From: The Center for Political Disease Control

To: Barack H. Obama

The Center feels duty-bound to inform you that further bad-mouthing of Benjamin Netanyahu may prove extremely hazardous to your health. Please note:

Nicolas Sarkozy is toast

Tsipi Livni has been put out to pasture.

Shaul Mofaz is in intensive care.

WARNING: An early consultation with your campaign diagnosticians is strongly advised. You could be in critical danger.

While Mr. Obama may find all this terribly amusing as he heads for his November 6th showdown with Mitt Romney, he may also find it increasingly hard to ignore the sucking sound that permeated the Israeli political scene with the May 8th absorption of Kadima and its 28 Knesset mandates into the Likud orbit. Mutatis mutandis, it recast Benjamin Netanyahu as potentially the most powerful Israeli head of state in the last three decades.

Hardly less amazing is the marginal political cost of affecting this transformation. The three markers Netanyahu gave Mofaz in exchange for the key to a 94-vote Knesset super-majority — coalition support for a Kadima-drafted “universal” military/national service conscription law that would allegedly end unlimited deferments for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students; a change in the Israeli electoral system, and a maximum effort to “advance the peace process” in a “responsible manner” – should all be redeemable at bargain rates. Netanyahu, who wants to keep the 15 mandates commanded by the two Haredi parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism) in reserve for a rainy day, should have little trouble persuading them to go along with a law that will not be fully implemented until 2017. Moreover, even when implemented, it will allow yeshiva students not selected for scholarly exemption to exempt themselves from military or national civilian service for one year, every year, for a maximum of eight years.

Mideast

FROM THE EDITOR: RAEL JEAN ISAAC

A Viper of Peace Studies

Another reminder why the words “peace,” “peace studies” and “conflict resolution” are danger signals. Norway’s Johan Galtung is famous worldwide as the “father of peace studies.” He is the founder of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and The Journal of Peace Research, author of a flood of articles on conflict resolution, recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees. He is also, as Walter Russell Mead points out, “a vicious and hate-spewing anti-Semite.”

Mead notes that Galtung has “hinted at links between Anders Behring Breivik’s attack on civilians in Norway and Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. He suggested there was some truth behind The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He said that Jews share some of the blame for what happened at Auschwitz –they had provoked the poor Germans under the Weimar Republic. He suggested that Jews control the American media and academic establishments. ”

Mead writes: “Even among liberal academics who specialize in the study of peace, the flame of hate sometimes burns.” What Mead should have said was that the flame of hate toward Israel burns specially strong within that group. And in so far as a rational explanation is possible, a contributing factor may be that the Arab-Israel conflict illustrates better than any other that peace studies is an empty discipline and conflict resolution does not work. The Arabs don’t want to “resolve” the conflict. They want to destroy Israel. The solution of peace studies mavens is to blame the intended victim for the failure of their own false premises.

Environmental Justice

And we thought the EPA overreached. Writing in Family Security Matters, Alan Caruba tells us the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has added to its portfolio of responsibilities enforcing environmental justice. This is how a DHS report “Environmental Justice Strategy” issued in February 2012 defines the department’s new role–“a commitment of the Federal Government, through its policies, programs, and activities, to avoid placing disproportionately high and adverse effects on the human health and environment of minority or low-income population.”

Writes Caruba: “This has nothing to do with homeland security by the wildest stretch of the imagination…this is the way government expands and expands and expands beyond what citizens expect or request.”

More PEACE Insanity

Apparently the word peace destroys the brain as well as morality. Steve Peacock, writing on World Net Daily, reports that the Obama administration believes the violence in northern Nigeria is mistakenly viewed as a religious conflict. The U.S. Agency for International Development has therefore, at a cost of $600 million, launched a program called Project PEACE (acronym for Programming Effectively Against Conflict and Extremism) to help the agency analyze the “true” causes of the conflict.

Never mind that the Muslim jihadist group Boko Haram has openly pledged to “eradicate Christianity.” Peacock says that the USAID documents contend that Boko Haram is simply angered “over the nation’s poor governance.” Hence, according to the USAID Conflict Assessment Framework 2.0, “the first task of conflict management is to distinguish the symptoms of the conflict from its sources…although the symptom of conflict is intercommunal violence along sectarian lines, the source of the conflict will not be found in theology. Rather, the conflict’s source [is] competition for land between a group that perceives itself as indigenous to the area and another seen as more recent settlers.” In this view misconceptions about the nature of the conflict as religiously based have interfered with efforts to heal it.

So how does the Obama administration propose to deal with Islamic jihad in Nigeria? By spending $600 million to define it as something else.

Mideast

IN MEMORIUM: DAVID LITTMAN

We mourn the loss of David Littman, a staunch fighter for Israel and the Jewish people. In recent years he acted tirelessly, via the Center for Information and Documentation on the Middle East in Geneva, an NGO which he founded with his wife in 1970, to address, as French writer Guy Milliere puts it, “the worst monstrosities emanating from a grotesque institution, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, since replaced by the equally grotesque United Nations Council for Human Rights.”

Littman authored significant works on Islam’s attitude toward and treatment of Jews. With Yehoshafat Harkabi, in 1971 he edited Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel, the fourth edition published in 2011. With Paul Fenton he published Islam, analyzing the status of Jews from the Middle Ages until the coming of French rule in North Africa.

Littman worked unsung, behind the scenes, to save Jewish children in the Maghreb. He led Operation Mural, the covert program that brought 530 Jewish children from Morocco to Israel in the early 1960s. In 2009 his efforts were finally acknowledged when Israel gave him the “Hero of Silence” award, the state’s highest intelligence honor. In bestowing the honor, given at the request of the Mossad, Col. Yossi Deshal said: “Mr. Littman volunteered, at his own initiative, to aid in bringing Jewish children from Morocco. He did so at risk to his life and to his family, with courage, with much resourcefulness, and without any compensation. The story was told in the film Operation Mural Casablanca 1961, which premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival in 2007 (alas, not available on Netflix).

Littman’s fame was overwhelmed by that of his wife, born Gisele Orebi in Cairo, better known as Bat Ye’or. A staunch supporter of her work on dhimmitude, he proudly basked in her shadow.

Mideast

DREAMS OF THE WICKED SON’S FATHER: YITZHAK BEN AMI

In the summer of 1982 Yitzhak Ben-Ami published his memoir of the Irgun Years of Wrath, Days of Glory, a chronicle of the struggle, in the 1920s and 1930s, by the Zionist Revisionists and the Irgun Zvai Leumi (the movement of Jabotinsky and Begin) to get Jews from Europe to Palestine and then to fight the British and the Arabs for independence.

Ben-Ami was a founder of The American Friends for Jewish Palestine in 1939 and from 1946 to 1948 was executive Director of “The American League for a Free Palestine.”

Yitzhak Ben-Ami and I were friends. Our children attended the same schools–Collegiate and Princeton University. His article, reprinted below, appeared in 1983 in The Collegiate Review published by the Collegiate School in New York. It was written after the Lebanon War and the killing of Arabs by Arabs in the Sabra Shatilla Camp in Lebanon occasioned a tsunami of criticism of Israel. Although Ariel Sharon ultimately cleared his name in a suit brought against Time Magazine for accusing him of responsibility for those attacks, the floodgates had opened and pusillanimous Jews joined the chorus in condemning Israel even before the self-imposed investigation by Israel’s highest court had studied all the evidence.

Yitzhak Ben-Ami died in 1984. His daughter Deborah Benami-Rahm chairs the Yitzhak Ben-Ami Memorial Colloquium on Rescue from the Holocaust founded by the Wyman Institute.

Although we were not close, I know three things about him: He despised fools; he reserved particular enmity for the “beautiful” Jews who attacked and harmed Israel; and he loved his son Jeremy very much and held great hopes for him. Once, when we met in Princeton, he told me how proud he was that a member of his family was studying at Princeton. As he put it “We’ve come a long way from Grodno.”

For Yitzhak Ben Ami his son’s betrayal of his hopes would have been a tragedy. For his son is not only a fool but maliciously devotes his energies to attacking Israel through the vicious organization he co-founded, J Street. Even its shabby pretense of supporting some Platonic ideal of a “beautiful Israel” has crumbled as co-founder Daniel Levy has openly declared he believes the creation of Israel “an act that was wrong.” J Street’s duplicity, on its funding as well as its goals, has appalled even some of the “beautiful people” whom his father despised.

Jeremy Ben Ami personifies what renowned playwright and author David Mamet has called “The Wicked Son.” The wicked son is filled with the self-hatred of the Jew estranged from his heritage: at some level he identifies as a Jew, but he disparages Israel with words and deeds that gratify enemies.

The “New” Israel Versus The “Beautiful” Israel By Yitzhak Ben-Ami

An intense ideological split is dividing the Jewish communities of Israel, Western Europe and the United States. On the one side are the so-called proponents of the beautiful Israel. Why “beautiful?” As adherents of Ahad Ha’am and Zionist Socialism, they maintain that the first priority of the renascent Hebrew nation is the quality of life, one that is motivated by high ethics and ideals. In pursuit of this goal, they impose upon themselves a double standard that requires them to be better than others in order that they may become “a light unto nations.”

On the other side are the followers of Theodor Herzl and Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel, is their representative today. The standard that is good enough for the democratic world is good enough for Israel so far as they are concerned. To them, and to me, dedicated as we are to the ethics of our heritage and prophets, the survival of the nation–today or decades ago, comes first.

Following is my rebuttal to my Rabbi who, on the holiest night of the Jewish year, attacked the concept of “survival at any cost” before his congregation.

Mideast

DANIEL GREENFIELD: ISRAEL’S PEACE DISEASE

For the last twenty years Israel has been swept into an obsession with few parallels except to the Dutch Tulip economy. Except instead of tulips, its commodity of choice is an even more insubstantial thing, the faint promise of peace.

Peace fever is the disease consuming Israel as surely as the Black Death took Europe. If the Dutch traded fortunes for flowers, the Israelis have traded away most of their territory for worthless pieces of paper that last about as long as tulips do. Mostly, like Madoff’s investments, after they wither and die it turns out that they were never worth anything to begin with.

Take the Camp David Accords, greeted with insane romantic fervor in Jerusalem and European capitals, but resented and despised by Egyptians because they were a reminder of how their army had failed to destroy Israel. It was a worthless accord that gave Egypt a vast amount of territory in exchange for maintaining a status quo that it had no choice but to maintain after losing multiple wars. With the fall of Mubarak, it was revealed that the Accords were never more than moonbeams and fairy dust. A puff of Arab Spring and they are gone.

Camp David was an illusion, but the Oslo Accords are a delusion. A tulip economy where Israel doles out fortunes in money, land and power in exchange for the promise of peace and an end to the violence…tomorrow, always tomorrow. The most devastating impact of the delusion isn’t on the cemeteries where children lie side by side with soldiers, on the broken homes and synagogues of Gaza, or on the tightening circle of terror around Jerusalem. As with all delusions, its most devastating impact is on the mind.

Mideast

OUR HOMELAND: SPEECH DELIVERED BY GERSHON MEISKA TO THE MEETING OF THE EU COUNCIL IN BRUSSELS MAY 12, 2012

Gershon Mesika is head of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council. This is a slightly edited version of his speech which was delivered in Hebrew and translated simultaneously into the languages of the listeners. The English translation is by Arutz Sheva’s Gil Ronen. The speech was well-received, illustrating how a forthright defense of Israel’s rights by someone of strength and character will obtain more respect than the groveling characteristic of so many Israeli spokesmen.

Heads of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Members of Parliament from European countries, distinguished guests,

The prophets of Israel predicted that before the Messiah comes there will be a time of confusion, when good is turned into evil and evil is turned into good.

We see this clearly today.

The Shomron, or Samaria, which I am honored to represent in this distinguished place, the European Parliament, is a region that is in the center of international attention, since it is a sizable part of the territory that is in dispute between the Jewish nation and its neighbors in the Middle East.

But this area, which for many in the world is nothing but “disputed land,” is a homeland for us, the place that characterizes and determines our national and religious identity, the scene of the great events described in the Book of Books, the Bible.

The Middle Eastern confrontation and the Islamic terror campaign against the citizens of Israel are attempts by reactionary forces to oppose the historic process of the Return to Zion: our return to our historic homeland after nearly 2,000 years, during which we were scattered all over the world – weak, humiliated, trampled, rejected, but strong in our spirit and faith.

During all those years, we did not cease for a moment to remain faithful to our homeland and to maintain a living, continuous, day-to-day connection with it. This bond was expressed in prayers and in the most important religious ceremonies, thanks to which it was only natural for us to realize the dream when opportunity came.

The connection also manifested itself in the continuous existence of Jewish settlement on the Land throughout the long years of exile. Jews always lived in the Land of Israel, throughout the years of Roman, Persian, Greek, Christian and Muslim occupation.

And indeed, even after 2,000 years of exile, the nations of the world recognized the Jewish people’s right to its homeland. In the course of the First World War and immediately after it, the victorious powers made a series of decisions that culminated in the historic decision in 1922 by the League of Nations, to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

It is interesting and important to look at the words used in the mandate that was given to Britain to implement this project.

Mideast

HEROD THE MAN WHO HAD TO BE KING: BY YEHUDA SHULEWITZ: REVIEWED BY DR. MORDECHAI NISSAN

(Completed and co-edited by Malka Hillel Shulewitz, with Batsheva Pomeranz).

I remember seeing Yehuda Shulewitz frequently in the library at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. We would exchange greetings, and he would then plunge into his reading. I didn’t know then that he was working on a labor of love: a book about Herod. The story of Herod and the era associated with him is cut from the historical cloth of three primary dates: in 167 BCE the Hasmoneans [Maccabees] fought their way to Jewish independence from Greek Hellenic rule, and the Jewish state arose again; in 63 BCE the Roman Empire quashed Jewish independence; in 47 BCE Herod, of Idumean and Nabatean parentage, became the governor of the Galilee and then King of Judea in 37 BCE until his death in the year 4.

Herod, as Yehuda’s book grippingly describes, had to be king. He was driven by a passion for power and used any and all methods he deemed necessary. These included murdering his own sons, causing the death of his wife, killing rabbis of the Sanhedrin, and slaughtering Jews in order to rule Judea even under Roman authority. His regime was based on terror and cruelty, intrigue and plunder, even as it adorned the country with the rudiments of Greek culture and Roman construction. He built, or rather enlarged the Temple in Jerusalem, the port of Caesarea, roads and theatres, gymnasia and fortresses. One of them, Herodion, where he is buried, still bears his name.

Mideast

MUSLIM VOTERS CHANGE EUROPE: SOEREN KERN

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. This appeared on May 17 on gatestoneinstitute.org

An analysis of the voting patterns that barrelled François Hollande to victory on May 6 as the first Socialist president of France since 1995 shows that this overthrow was due in large measure to Muslims, who voted for him in overwhelming numbers.

The French vote marks the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major western European country; it is a preview of things to come.

As the politically active Muslim population in France continues to swell, and as most Muslims vote for Socialist and leftwing parties, conservative parties will find it increasingly difficult to win future elections in France.

According to a survey of 10,000 French voters conducted by the polling firm OpinionWay for the Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro, an extraordinary 93% of French Muslims voted for Hollande on May 6. By contrast, the poll shows that only 7% of French Muslims voted for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy. An estimated 2 million Muslims participated in the 2012 election, meaning that roughly 1.7 million Muslim votes went to Hollande rather than to Sarkozy. In the election as a whole, however, Hollande won over Sarkozy by only 1.1 million votes. This figure implies that Muslims cast the deciding votes that thrust Hollande into the Élysée Palace.

France, home to between five and six million Muslims, already has the largest Muslim population in the European Union, and those numbers are expected to increase exponentially in coming years. According to conservative estimates, the Muslim population is projected to exceed 10% of the overall French population within the next decade-and-a-half.

During the campaign, Hollande offered an amnesty to all of the estimated 400,000 illegal Muslim immigrants currently in France. He also pledged to change French electoral laws so that Muslim residents without French citizenship would be allowed to vote in municipal elections as of 2014. These measures, if implemented, would enable the Socialist Party to tighten its grip on political power, both at the regional and national levels.

Muslims in France — and across Europe as a whole — tend to support the Socialists for a variety of demographic, socio-economic and ideological reasons.

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AFSI RECOMMENDS: “AGAINST THE GRAIN: A HISTORIAN’S JOURNEY (QUID PRO BOOKS) BY JEROLD S. AUERBACH

Jerold S. Auerbach is Professor Emeritus of History at Wellesley College. He taught courses on modern American History, freedom of speech, American Jewish History and the History of Israel. He has writen books on issues as disparate as the American legal profession (Unequal Justice 1976), on the Pueblo Indians (Explorers in Eden: Pueblo Indians and the Promised Land 2006) on Israel’s biblical city Hebron (Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in the Land of Israel 2009), the history of the Altalena (Brothers at War-Israel and the Tragedy of the Altalena 2011).

His latest book- Against the Grain: A Historian’s Journey is a collection of his essays on law and society; Israel’s historic legitimacy; Americans and Israel and Americans in Israel; rewriting of history and plagiarism; the election of Menachem Begin and the antagonistic response from American Jewish journalists; President Woodrow Wilson’s dilemma as war with Germany became inevitable; the American southwest and the Zuni Indians.

In Auerbach’s words: “Regardless of the subject–law, modern American History, Pueblo Indians, American Judaism, Israel–deference to the conventional wisdom has never been my style. I always enjoyed the stimulation of writing against the grain: discovering hidden meanings, challenging historical and political pieties, and exposing the self-serving ideology that often lurked beneath self-evident truths.”
Israel’s vicious critics poison the minds of students throughout academia. Jerold S. Auerbach writes against this grain. One can only admire his erudition and strength of mind and envy the students who were privileged to learn from him.

Every single article is a gem.

Read it!

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Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

Outpost is distributed free to
Members of Americans For a Safe Israel
Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel
1751 Second Ave. (at 91st St.)
New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
E-mail: afsi @rcn.com web site: http://www.afsi.org

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