Mideast

NOVEMBER 2012 MIDEAST OUTPOST

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 Street)

New York, NY 10128

Tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717

Email: afsi@rcn.com

Mideast

“Daylight” and Shadow William Mehlman

Four years of the “daylight” President Obama vowed to put between Washington and Jerusalem have left in deep shadow the prospects for a bold joint response to the Iranian nuclear weapons threat and the Jihadist plague spreading across the Middle East. Disaffection in both substance and tone is rampant. America’s UN Ambassador Susan Rice may not have intended to consign “fair and balanced” to the twilight zone in electing to absent herself from both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rant and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to the UN General Assembly, but it played beautifully to Barack Obama’s rejection of Netanyahu’s plea for a New York meeting on the advancing Iranian nuclear weapons threat. In a subsequent television interview, the president appeared to include Netanyahu’s push for the imposition of “red lines” on Tehran’s race for an atomic bomb as part of the “noise” he said he needed to “block out” in order “to do what’s right for the American people.”

At this juncture, no amount of diplomatic pancake makeup is going to hide the bruises on the face of what is still being portrayed as the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel. This is not to discount such positives as America’s support and partial funding of Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defensive system, its ongoing military intelligence cooperation with Israel and its opposition (albeit in defense of the “peace process”) to Mahmoud Abbas’s grab for international recognition of a sovereign “Palestine” by getting the UN to upgrade its position to “non-member state” status.” But what kind of “special relationship” is it with an administration that on the one hand attempts to walk back a deletion of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in its party’s platform with a farcical voice vote “correction,” while on the other it zealously pursues the same aim by digitally erasing every caption datelined “Jerusalem, Israel” from the vast photo file on the White House website, as reported by Commentary Magazine blogger Omri Ceren? This digital assault on history, moreover, has been augmented by instructions to the agencies involved not to list Israel as the birthplace of U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem.

Was It the “special relationship” – or just Turkish pressure – that dictated the denial of a State Department invitation to Israel to participate in last summer’s U.S.-supported Global Counter-Terrorism Forum’s “Conference on Victims of Terror“ in Madrid and the exclusion of Israeli witness testimony from a film recounting the experiences of terror victims from 11 other countries? One might have thought the “special relationship” had reached its nadir with the appointment of Muslim Public Affairs Council President Salam Al-Maryati, who has charged Israel with being a “suspect” in the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center, as America’s emissary to the Organization for Security & Cooperation’s recent “Human Rights Forum” in Poland. But then along came Serge Duss, a J Street-created pastoral celebrity who under the canopy of something called the “New Century Evangelicals” has been flogging the old “Replacement Theology” canard about today’s Jews being the descendants of a bunch of 9th Century Khuzari castoffs, with no relation to the Biblical Israelites and no claim to Israel. His two J Street appearances were followed by no fewer than four reported visits to the White House.

Mideast

From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

The Islamic Republic of Catalonia?

Catalonia, historically one of Spain’s wealthiest and most industrialized regions, blaming the central government in Madrid for the region’s economic woes, is considering independence. If its politicians push forward on this, writes Soeren Kern, Catalonia would become a country with the third-largest percentage of Muslims in Western Europe (just behind France and Belgium). It would also be home to the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe, become ground-zero for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent and one of the top incubators for Islamist terrorism in the West. Kern quotes Abdelwahab Houzi, a Salafi jihadist preacher in Catalonia: “Muslims should vote for pro-independence parties, as they need our votes. But what they do not know is that, when they allow us to vote, we will all vote for Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented.”

Israel’s Left Wing Press Careens toward Oblivion

Sheldon Adelson has become famous in the U.S. for his campaign contributions to Republican Presidential contenders. While the result will be at best mixed (the investment in Gingrich’s campaign did not pan out), an article in McClatchy newspapers by Sheera Frenkel reveals that Adelson has already had a decisive (if perhaps unforeseen) impact with a very different investment–in Israel Hayom, a free-distribution newspaper he established five years ago. Publishers and reporters of Israel’s long established newspapers, now folding like cards, are blaming Adelson for their financial woes. While they admit competition with the internet is partially responsible, they put the lion’s share of the blame on Israel Hayom.

If so, Adelson has made an important contribution to Israel’s welfare. Naturally, those fearful for their jobs try to inflate the stakes. Israeli columnist Ben Caspit declared in Maariv that this was a “campaign to make democracy extinct.” Sharon Avishay, a former Maariv journalist, announced: “We are watching a death blow to the free press in Israel.” But Israel’s daily press has become a monolithic mouthpiece for the far left. Moreover the standards of reporting are execrable. With a few count-them-on-one-hand exceptions, Israeli reporters are lazy, careless of facts, far more apt to spout leftist orthodoxies than engage in investigative reporting. Israel’s press is less contentious than uniform–its net effect is to destroy morale and the public belief in the state’s very legitimacy.

Mideast

Jews in Denial Rael Jean Isaac

“The hostility of liberal Protestantism toward Israel has been something liberal Jews have found difficult to accept. As a result they have largely ignored it.” These words were not written within the last few weeks, when, as Jonathan Tobin pointed out, a good part of the liberal Protestant establishment issued “nothing less than a declaration of war on the Jewish state” as the leaders of the National Council of Churches, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, among others, demanded a congressional investigation into their charges that Israel is involved in crimes that violate U.S law and should therefore be sent neither aid nor arms. Far from being a current observation, the words at the beginning of this paragraph opened an article by this writer entitled “Liberal Protestants vs. Israel” published in Midstream in October 1981. The paragraph concluded: “[T]he National Council of Churches, including the major denominations that set its policy–the United Methodists, the United Presbyterians, the Disciples of Christ, the Episcopalians, the United Church of Christ–have become centers of activity directed toward eliminating the Jewish state.”

Despite this, and the steady escalating drumbeat of attacks by mainline churches in the thirty years since then, the ardor of Jewish organizations for engaging in “interfaith dialogue” with these people has not dimmed. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced–and won plaudits from both Tobin and veteran international Jewish leader Isi Leibler as a result–that it is withdrawing from the annual Christian-Jewish Roundtable, a national Jewish-Christian dialogue event on Oct. 22. It was belatedly followed by seven other groups, among them the American Jewish Committee, the Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. So what? When the publicity spotlight shifts, their interfaith-addicted staffers will be back in full force for the next meaningless confab. That’s clear from their joint letter bowing out of the Oct. 22 event; the signatories declared “[W]e remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern.” Nor is the ADL’s presence and that of other Jewish outfits in these endless “dialogues” as meaningless as one would like, for it gives cover to these churches in their ongoing effort to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Mideast

My Mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky: Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Centennial Birthday, 1980 Prime Minister Menachem Begin

(Editor’s Note: Ze’ev Jabotinsky was born in October so in reprinting this tribute to him we commemorate him on the one hundred and thirty second anniversary of his birth. Jabotinsky remains AFSI’s inspiration as he was the inspiration for his one-time secretary Shmuel Katz, who had a more direct role in AFSI’s birth. For those who would like to see a five part video on his life–25 minutes in all–we strongly recommend David Isaac’s new project, Zionism 101, The Founding Fathers, at http://www.zionism101.org).

One hundred years ago, at the port city of Odessa, a son was born in the house of Jabotinsky. Today, as we gather to memorialize and rejoice marking the 100th anniversary of his birth, we must say his life and work had changed the history of the Jewish people.

From his youth and up until his passing, Jabotinsky devoted his life to the salvation of our people, to free its land, Eretz Yisrael, to renew its Jewish forces, to educate a generation of warriors, to preach for social justice and its implementation, to create a sense of pride in every Jew for being born as such, and above all – to renew Zionism and fight the continuous battle for the establishment of an independent Jewish state.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a man of many talents in various fields, but his efforts and thoughts were concentrated on achieving his goal of educating the new Jewish character: The quiet, proud, devoted, faithful one who loves his people and is willing to make any sacrifice for their salvation, national freedom and honor. In both of these fields he achieved complete success and his victory met his aspirations. Indeed, he acknowledged the heroic fighters, and he was the one to provide them and the people as well with the flag raised by Herzl, the flag of renewed Jewish nationalism.

There are a few who claim that Jabotinsky was a tragic figure, for he dreamed, made sacrifices and suffered greatly, but yet he did not live to see his work come to fruition, for he had collapsed while working to achieve his goal and his life ended while on foreign land. This is far from the case. It is true – as of many others in history – that Jabotinsky’s victory was achieved after his passing. However, he was a winning figure; his goal was accomplished, a generation of fighters had come to life and the State of Israel was renewed from the pit of decay and dust. A Jewish force had come to life – a kind not seen since the time of the Maccabees.

Few are the men in history that have such powerful, clear triumphs. For us, Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a tutor, the carrier of hopes. Our souls were bound. We never, G-d forbid, anticipated his death and I can therefore say, 40 years after his passing, that he continues to live in our hearts. Throughout troubling times of rebellion and revival, we continue to stop and ponder: Under these conditions, what would Ze’ev Jabotinsky have done, how would he conduct himself and what would have been his decision.

Menachem BeginBut it is not only incumbent on us, the Jewish people in our land and in the Diaspora, to make this day marking the 100th anniversary of his birth one of high spirits and a renewal of faith. It is a day to pledge that we continue to follow in his footsteps and to work toward accomplishing his social and political beliefs until our final living days. Indeed – Ze’ev Jabotinsky is among us, he is eternal!

Mideast

Jewish-Arab Demography Defies Conventional “Wisdom” Yoram Ettinger

A Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is secure, benefiting from a tailwind in defiance of conventional “wisdom,” which once again is detached from reality.

In 2012, Israel’s Jewish demography continues the robust surge of the last 17 years, while Muslim demography, west of the Jordan River and throughout the Middle East, increasingly embraces Western standards.

According to a June, 2012 study by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB), 72% of 15-49 year old Palestinian married women prefer to avoid pregnancy, as do 78% in Morocco, 71% in Jordan, 69% in Egypt and Libya, 68% in Syria, 63% in Iraq and 61% in Yemen. The PRB study states that “a growing number of women are using contraception, as family planning services have expanded in the Arab region.”

The unprecedented fertility decline in the Muslim world was documented in June, 2012 by Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, a leading demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, and Apoorva Shah of the Hoover Institute. According to Eberstadt and Shah, “Throughout the worldwide Muslim community, fertility levels are falling dramatically…. According to the UN Population Division estimates and projections, all 48 Muslim-majority countries and territories witnessed fertility decline over the last three decades…. The proportional decline in fertility for Muslim-majority areas was greater than for the world as a whole over that same period, or for the less-developed regions as a whole…. Six of the ten largest absolute declines in fertility for a two-decade period yet recorded in the postwar era (and by extension, we may suppose, ever to take place under orderly conditions in human history) have occurred in Muslim-majority countries…. Four of the ten greatest fertility declines ever recorded in a 20-year period took place in the Arab world…. No other region of the world — not highly dynamic Southeast Asia, or even rapidly modernizing East Asia — comes close to this showing…. The remarkable fertility decline now unfolding throughout the Muslim world is one of the most important demographic developments in our era.”

The key developments yielding a drastic decline in Arab fertility, in the Middle East including west of the Jordan River, have been modernity and its derivatives. For instance, urbanization (70% rural Arab population in Judea and Samaria in 1967 and 75% urban in 2012), expanded women’s education and employment, led to a record high divorce rate and wedding age, all time high family planning, rapidly declining teen-pregnancy, youthful male net-emigration, etc.

Mideast

Raising Children in Netivot Danielle Schreiber Rubin

(Editor’s note: Netivot is not a “settlement.” It is squarely in Israel in the old green line, south of Beersheba. It became target practice for Hamas after Israel, to its eternal discredit, destroyed the Jewish communities of Gush Khatif. We publish this to give readers an idea of what “normal life” has become in parts of Israel–and what it could become elsewhere if more such territorial surrenders follow.)

“So it’s 10:20. Night. Husband’s on the way home from a meeting in Tel Aviv (yes, the other part of the country). I have successfully maneuvered all three children, ages four, two and three months, into bed.

Going over e-mails is getting boring… and suddenly there’s that sound. It takes a split second to recognize it, since I’ve heard it over and over again in my head for the past four years, ever since my oldest son was born (a few months before Operation Cast Lead, December 2008), so I need to confirm that I’m not just humming that old tune. But, alas, it’s that same siren. Yup, and it’s definitely coming from our town, not from one of the regional councils a few miles away. And now comes the tricky part.

Which child do I pick up first? It’s a first for me because this time I’m alone, with three children at home, all asleep, none in a protected area (i.e., clear of windows and external walls). Do I go for the baby? Last time I grabbed him out of his crib, waking him, and decided that this is how traumas begin, so I told myself that next time I’d just wheel him in with his carriage, so as not to interrupt his peaceful baby sleep.

But what about my two-year-old daughter? She’s the one who’s really having a hard time, stopping short every time an ambulances passes, mistaking it for a siren.

After sitting up with her for an hour and a half after the last midnight siren, I told myself that next time I’d carry her in gently, so as not to wake her at all. But what about my oldest son, the one who has been living for four years under the missile threat, who is most aware of the situation and reminds me every time we visit our parents that there, up north, we are safe.

Mideast

If Only We Were Turks Sarah Honig

  When it’s properly motivated, the UN can react with lightning speed. It just has to want to, as in the case of the errant mortar shells from the Syrian civil war that inadvertently overfly the border and come down with an occasional thud on the Turkish side. No lucid pundit can envisage any stratagem […]

Mideast

The Camp David Accords Then And Now Ruth King

Pundits and commentators who were giddy with delight at the onset of the Arab “Spring” uprisings, are now recanting their naïve assumptions that democracy and freedom were sweeping into the Arab/Moslem Middle East. Those who were more realistic from the onset are now gloating “we told you so.” However, both groups bemoan the abrogation of […]

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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