Mideast

APRIL 2013 MIDEASTOUTPOST

Exciting news for those wishing to join AFSI on the Chizuk mission to Israel this May 5-14, 2013. Visit the www.afsi.org website for an outline of the trip.

See a new and worthy project of AFSI zionism101.org/

The purpose of this site is to teach about the history of Zionism. Zionism is the political movement that began in the late 1800s and resulted in the creation of the modern State of Israel.

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

In Memoriam – Irving Eisenberg

We would like to acknowledge the generous legacy gift from Irving Eisenberg Trust Fund. Mr. Eisenberg was a passionate and generous supporter of AFSI’s philosophy and mission for many years. We are very grateful that he has remembered AFSI in his will. His generous gift will help us carry on with our many worthy projects on behalf of Israel.

Mideast

Keys to the Kingdom: William Mehlman

Barack Obama will have come and gone by the times these words appear, but if he departed Israel absent the realization that the goal posts, to put it in the sports jargon he favors, have been radically shifted in the ongoing struggle for the Jewish State’s territorial integrity, he clearly will have misspent his 50 hours here.

Rather, assuming his antennae were sharp enough to cut through the fog of accolades and honorifics that attended his sweep through the neighborhood, he may on reflection back in Washington find himself fighting off flushes of nostalgia for the old Benjamin Netanyahu, the “Bibi” he so conspicuously loathed throughout the first four years of his presidency. The Bibi who could always rely on Ehud Barak to withhold his mandatory signature as defense minister to thwart or at least delay implementation of any concession wrung out of him by the troublesome “Settlers” and their supporters – that “Bibi” is history. Barak, who carried water for him at the White House and the State Department as well as the Pentagon (all off-limits to then Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman), is back on the lecture circuit, replaced by former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon.

As gifts go, this was like a winning ticket in the powerball lottery for the 500,000 Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Ya’alon, who as head of the army opted for a pink slip from Ariel Sharon in 2005 rather than acquiesce to the IDF’s involvement in the unilateral evacuation of 9,000 Israeli Jews and the destruction of their 24 communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, has, if anything, hardened his opposition to Israeli land concessions to the Arabs in the eight years since taking off his uniform and joining Likud. While not in principle opposed to some political modus vivendi with the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, he has expressed serious doubts it can be achieved with a corrupt Palestinian Authority in Ramallah headed by a Holocaust denying Mahmoud Abbas. He has referred to ”Peace Now,” its most prominent tub-thumper, as a “virus,” has spoken out against the demolition of Jewish outpost communities in Judea and Samaria and has made it clear he will not be taking up either side of the “good cop/bad cop” routine employed at the expense of the inhabitants of those communities in recent years.

Son of a Holocaust survivor, Ya’alon swerved sharply right from his original Labor Zionist ideological base and his support of the Oslo Accords with a 2008 bylined article in the Shalem Center’s magazine Azure. Entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: A New Strategy,” the article took dead aim at what he called the “top-down” approach to peace with the “Palestinians” characterized by ineffectual “confidence-building” measures and meaningless high-sounding declarations emanating from “ostentatious international summits.” He projected in its place a “bottom-up” strategy grounded in an economically and socially viable Palestinian society, reconciled to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and committed to an end to the indoctrination of its children with hatred of Jews and incitement against Zionism.

Ya’alon can expect no arguments on that agenda from MK Danny Danon (Likud-Beytenu), the former chairman of World Likud, who has been appointed his deputy – a double-header win for the nearly 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population living beyond the Green Line. “Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have given them the keys to the kingdom,” avers The Jerusalem Post’s Tova Lazaroff. While that would seem to imply far-reaching authority on new Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria – a complete break with the Ehud Barak era – the final word on West Bank construction, she believes, “still lies in Netanyahu’s hands.”

Mideast

From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

The New World

In a spasm of sycophancy, greeting President Obama in Jerusalem, Shimon Peres announced that Obama was “a historic friend of Israel. Of the Jewish people.” In fact, as former UN ambassador John Bolton puts it, “Obama has consistently demonstrated, both in his rhetoric and policies, that of all U.S. Presidents since 1948, he is the most hostile to Israel.” But Peres was not done fantasizing. He proclaimed that Obama’s “generosity enabled freedom to prevail all over the world.” Presumably in places like Syria, North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe etc. etc.

In a recent speech to the EU Parliament, in which he professed to see peace with the Palestinians around the corner, Peres was as fulsome on the subject of the EU as he is on Obama, comparing the “miracle” of the EU’s establishment to the miracle of the creation of the state of Israel. Regarding miraculous Europe, England’s chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks in March chronicled in a fine speech to AIPAC the huge rise in anti-Semitism in country after country: “I have to tell you that what we grew up with, ‘never again,’ is beginning to sound like ‘ever again.'”

Mea Culpa Replaces Never Again

Although prepared well in advance (see the WSJ, March 23), Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey–and promise to pay reparations– seems thus far (who knows what Netanyahu promised behind the scenes) the chief concrete result of Obama’s visit to Israel. It is a deplorable result, with Israel’s Prime Minister feeding the delegitimization campaign by conceding what Israel’s enemies have been saying all along, that the boarding of the Mavi Marmora was an act of aggression. As Daniel Pipes aptly writes: “Erdogan’s government has mastered the art of provocation and is being rewarded for it. The Israelis should not have apologized but should have demanded an apology from Ankara for its support to the terrorist-connected group that undertook this aggressive act.” And as Pipes says, this is most unlikely to mark any change in Turkey’s hostile policy toward Israel–the government will pocket the apology “and use it as a building block for its neo-Ottoman empire.” Indeed, it rapidly emerged Netanyahu had been played for a complete sucker as Erdogan upped the ante and said the blockade of Gaza must be eliminated before relations could be restored.

“Maybe,” writes Haifa University’s Steven Plaut, “Bibi will next offer to pay the Palestinians compensation for the damages to their Qassam rockets that they shoot into Israel when these are shot down by Israel’s iron dome anti missile system.”

Mideast

When Will They Ever Learn? Rita Kramer

When two thirds of Jewish voters cast their ballots for the Democratic candidate last November some of them may have been voting for Franklin Roosevelt. Some still remembered him, others were brought up to believe he had been a friend to Jews in addition to having led the country out of the Depression and prosecuted the war that destroyed the Nazis. The love affair of American Jews with FDR’s party has persisted through three generations despite growing evidence of his failure to do everything he might have done to save European Jewry in the crucial years before the gates of the death camps had slammed shut on them for good and in spite of evidence before their eyes of the present Democratic administration’s less than friendly attitude toward the Jewish State.

The most thoroughly documented indictment of Roosevelt’s inactivity in the face of the genocide was David S. Wyman’s The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, published in 1984. The book revealed Roosevelt’s role in turning down proposals that might have saved hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children from the gas chambers, refusing to admit Jewish refugees even when immigration quotas remained unfilled, and turning a deaf ear to suggestions for bombing either the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz or the facility itself.

Now the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies is publishing a new book by its director, Rafael Medoff, FDR and the Holocaust, adding new evidence of FDR’s less than sympathetic attitude and behavior toward the beleaguered European Jews as well as toward his Jewish fellow citizens. Among Medoff’s revelations:

· In the 1920s FDR supported a quota on Jewish admissions to Harvard aimed at limiting the number of Jews who would be represented in universities and in some professions;

· In 1938 he blamed anti-Semitism in Poland on the economic prominence of many Jews;

· In 1943 he remarked that “the complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews” were “understandable” because there were so many of them in law, medicine, and other professions; advised local leaders in Allied-liberated North Africa to limit the entry of Jews into the professions; and supported a plan to “spread the Jews thin all over the world” to encourage assimilation.

Mideast

We Apologize to the Turks Gideon Rosenblum

My 86 year old friend Moshe Klein was 21 years old when he was appointed by one of our defense organizations to take charge in one of the internment camps in which our people, arrested by the British, were held in Cyprus.

He reminded me of a shameful event for which the Turks were responsible which took place during the Second World War. It was so utterly shameful that no one should be allowed to forget it; it needs to be brought up again and again in relation to Holocaust Memorial Day. It is not only the Turks who need to be ashamed; the entire world should be ashamed.

On the 16th of December 1941, a rundown steam ship by the name of Struma left a Black Sea port destined for Israel (then Palestine) by way of the Dardanelles. On board were 103 children, 272 women and 393 men who had escaped the terror of Antonescu’s fascist regime in Romania. Close to the coast of Turkey the engine gave out and the ship was buffeted by the waves. The Turkish authorities dragged the ship into a port nearby. The passengers were left on board and were not offered shelter, this although there was only a single bathroom for the many hundreds on board. The Jews of Istanbul provided food to the immigrants for about two months but the food ran out. Efforts were made to repair the engine but they failed. Jews in other parts of the world tried to find a solution but they did not succeed. (The Jewish Distribution Committee offered to create a camp on land for the Struma’s passengers which it would fully fund, but the Turks refused.)

Mideast

The Faith Keepers Emanuel Navon

Editor’s note: Now that President Obama, on his Israeli trip, has once again attempted to resuscitate the “two-state solution” (even going so far as to call for an uprising for peace by Israeli “youth”) Emanuel Navon’s report on those Israelis who continue to flog this dead horse is particularly timely. Attending the Herzliya Conference’s panel […]

Mideast

Idol Worship Ruth King

Passover offers another message beyond freedom from bondage and the beginning of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land. It was on this journey that Moses gave the Ten Commandments, revealed by God, to his people. The Decalogue, as they are known, provide the obligations for a decent life: to worship God, keep the Sabbath, honor parents, reject murder, adultery, the bearing of false witness, theft, and envy.

Most people do their best to follow these commandments. Except for the Second Commandment. The Second Commandment says: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” It has been roughly translated to mean “Thou shalt not worship false idols.”

Modern false idols do not take the shape of golden calves, but cults and liberal cant that people worship with the same fervor. The very people who deride Creationism continue to worship at the altar of man-made global warming, despite the glaring absence of scientific evidence. Now that the world for the last two decades has refused to warm, they’ve switched the locution to undisprovable “climate change.”

Environmentalism is an all embracing false idol – of the right and the left, Jews and Christians, rich and poor, smart and dumb.

My friend Daniel Greenfield eloquently denounces this destructive idol:

“Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest threat to the planet and all life on it….

“That is the dark side of environmentalism. The most active non-Muslim domestic terrorist group is environmental. The undercurrent of violence finds easy purchase in environmentalism’s creed that the only real problem with the world is people. No amount of turning off the lights is enough. Eventually you come around to having to turn off the people. The Nazis were among the most enthusiastic environmentalists of their day, even the term ‘Ecology’ was coined by Ernst Haeckel, whose racial views served as precursors to Nazi eugenics. But while Nazi environmentalists believed that we were all animals, they insisted that some animals were better than others. Modern environmentalists believe that we are all worse than animals….

Mideast

William Van Cleave – the Cold War’s Unsung Hero Frank Gaffney

Editor’s Note: Van Cleave, a close friend of AFSI’s great mentor Shmuel Katz as well as a friend of AFSI and AFSI’s longtime leader Herbert Zweibon, saw Israel as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism in the Middle East, a strategic ally. He never lost sight of the fact that it was a two way street, with Israel providing crucial support to the U.S. just as much as the U.S. provided aid to Israel.

There’s a certain historic symmetry that we mark the thirtieth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s historic unveiling of his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) within days of the passing of a man who played a central role in inspiring it. We must take the occasion of celebrating the former to honor the latter: Dr. William Van Cleave, an unsung hero of the War for the Free World, and most especially the part of that long and continuing conflict known as the Cold War.

How fitting as well that the same day Dr. Van Cleave died in his Southern California home, the Obama administration was forced publicly to reverse course on its systematic efforts to diminish the direct manifestation of Mr. Reagan’s SDI program. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced on March 15th that the modest array of U.S. missile defenses now in place would be enhanced in the face of a growing threat from the increasingly truculent regime in North Korea. Bill Van Cleave would consider that to be the very least we can do given Pyongyang’s declaration that it is prepared to launch a nuclear attack against us.

More to the point, as one of the Nation’s most longstanding and steadfast supporters of anti-missile systems and the imperative for their deployment in the most comprehensive, effective and efficient manner possible, Dr. Van Cleave would probably have sharply criticized the modest nature of Team Obama’s new initiative. He was the sole critic allowed to testify against the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and he would have recognized in the administration’s abiding determination to limit the size and capability of our defenses in deference to Russian opposition a throwback to that happily now-abrogated accord.

Mideast

Choosing Life in Israel Reviewed by Ruth King

David Hornik moved to Israel in 1984. In the preface to Choosing Life In Israel he states: “This book is both about my own choice to live in Israel and Israel’s choice to live and thrive in the face of challenges.”

Hornik’s book is a compendium of personal and political essays he has written since he became one of Israel’s most incisive journalists. Arranged in chronological order, they revisit in eloquent prose a besieged nation’s triumphs and tragedies, its ancient stones and its modern cities, its beauty, its warts, the incalculable harm of mindless appeasement, and its holiness.

Hornik’s heart is in Israel’s history and the vision of Zionists restored to an ancient land, but his mind is also focused on politics and the hypocrisy of those whose aim is to tarnish and delegitimize the Jewish state.

In the internet age many excellent columns rapidly fade from memory, so this print anthology is a welcome reminder of events that shaped Israel’s destiny and the contemporaneous reaction of a clear eyed observer.

The euphoria that accompanied President Obama’s visit to Israel is reminiscent of the great optimism engendered by the Oslo Accords.

In “Intifada” written in 2003 and again in “Washington-Bibi is In. Peace is Dead” written in 2009, Hornik speaks sarcastically of the extent to which commentators and journalists disregarded the spree of terrorism that followed Oslo: “Many Israelis –if their charred bodies weren’t long ago interred–have such pleasant memories of those years (following the infamous handshake between Rabin and Arafat) in which 200 Israelis died in terror attacks, a total far beyond any previous comparable period in Israeli history.” He chides those architects and point men of Oslo who ignored the butchery and “…never stood up and said that perhaps this process should be stopped and the Israeli army should retake the areas from which Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat’s PLO terrorists were now staging repeat attacks.”

In 2005 in “The Wages of Appeasement” Hornik wrote: ”…treating the likes of Hitler or Arafat or Stalin or Kim Il Sung, as benign, rational individuals….who just want to improve situations, is a very basic lapse of adult functioning.“ And, he presciently noted, well before Israelis focused on the threat of radical Islam: “The test is whether today’s democracies can stand up to the jihadist assault with its unprecedented dangers.”

In “The West’s Denial of Evil” (2006) He reminds us that the West continues to fail the test: “Almost five years after 9/11, after Madrid, London, the terror war against Israel, and so on, the cowardice–the lunging to pin blame on one’s own side, the eager abandonment of logic and fairness while rushing to embrace moral inversion and idiocy–all this is so strong as to suggest that the West’s survival is anything but certain.”

I recently asked one of Israel’s top journalists, an American who, like Hornik, moved there many years ago, why the foreign press, including Jews, echo the complaints and outright libels of Arabs in writing of Israel. The answer: “All the foreign journalists — and diplomats, for that matter, whose sport is bashing Israel — love being stationed here even while they are trashing us in their columns. They stay in nice places in trendy neighborhoods because they get a lot of bang for their buck. They have fun, because there’s always lots to cover and lots to do in their free time. There are great bars and restaurants and lots of beautiful women and men who fawn all over them. Israelis speak English, which makes it easy for foreign correspondents to talk to them. The Government Press Office which spoon feeds them translations and arranges trips and interviews, unlike the Arab countries they cover, does not penalize or threaten or ban them for any harsh criticism of Israel. “

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

March 2013
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