Mideast

DECEMBER 2013 MIDEAST OUTPOST

In Memoriam: Carl Loeb, our benefactor for many years has died. Our condolences to his family and gratitude for so many years of support for our efforts. His memory is a blessing.
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

Category 5 William Mehlman

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1164

“If there was a synoptic map for diplomatic storms, “ Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent Chemi Shalev observed in a recent post to the Hebrew daily’s website, “ the National Weather Service would be putting out a hurricane warning right now. And given that the turbulence is being caused by an issue long deemed to be critical to Israel’s very existence, we may actually be facing a rare ‘Category 5’ flare- up, a ‘superstorm’ of U.S.-Israel relations.”

Shalev’s “superstorm” is a compendium of two highly disturbing elements. The first is an initiative on the part of the “PS4+1” {four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany but minus France), christened a “sucker’s deal” by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabus, to relieve the sanctions biting into Iran’s hide in exchange for an Iranian promise to slow down its nuclear bomb-making preparations. “Not stop or suspend them, mind you, much less dismantle them,” Bret Stephens noted in a recent Wall Street Journal Overview, “but merely reduce their pace from run to jog when they’re on Mile 23 of their nuclear marathon.” A final decision on this gift package was in abeyance at this writing, pending further efforts in Geneva to “bring the French around.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the proposed agreement a “mistake of historic proportions” and urged that it be “completely rejected,” but some variation of the ”sucker’s deal” is probably inevitable.

The second even more volatile component of the Category 5 hurricane moving toward the Middle East was the reaction in Israel to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s declaration to a Channel 2 Israel TV news interviewer that the entire Jewish communal structure beyond the “Green Line” – 120 communities with a population of 340,000 — was “illegitimate” and that unless the Jewish State ditched its announced plans for new housing construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem it was looking at a “third intifada.” Ignoring the fact that he, and through him, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, were informed well in advance of the current “peace talks” that the housing starts would be initiated in tandem with the phased release of the 104 Arab prisoners Abbas made a condition of his acquiescence to the PA’s joining Israel at the bargaining table, both Kerry and Abbas decided to pretend otherwise. Launching into a televised scolding of Israel, the Secretary of State declared that “if you say you’re working for peace and you want peace and a Palestine that is a whole Palestine that belongs to the people who live there, how can you say that you’re planning to build in a place that will eventually be Palestine?” Mr. Kerry was spoiling for a history lesson and he got it, special delivery, from Alan Baker, former Israeli ambassador to Canada, legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, doyen of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs’ prestigious Institute for Contemporary Affairs and an authority, bar few, on international law in the Middle East. In a blistering open letter to Kerry that immediately went viral, Baker took the former Senator from Massachusetts to the woodshed for discrediting the 1995 “Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement,“ supported by the U.S., Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the EU, that the “issue of settlements” was to be negotiated in the context of a permanent status entente. “Your statements serve not only to prejudge this negotiating issue,” Baker wrote, “ but also to undermine the integrity of that agreement as well as the very negotiations you so enthusiastically advocate. I respectfully wish to state, unequivocally, that you are mistaken and ill-advised both in law and in fact.”

Mideast

From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1161

Kerry Unmasked

The Israeli newspaper Maariv has published a photograph of a letter of support Kerry signed on behalf of a group of anti-Israel activists from Massachusetts who joined the infamous Marvi Marmara flotilla from Turkey that ran the Israeli blockade of Gaza. (Several people died after IDF personnel were attacked when they boarded the vessel, for which Netanyahu cravenly apologized to Turkey when his arm was twisted, in person, by President Obama.) Kerry expressed his strong support for the group, which included well known haters of Israel, as members of a “humanitarian delegation.”

So it’s quite in character that Kerry, in his briefing to members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the then-proposed (now concluded) administration deal with Iran, was, in Senator Mark Kirk’s words, “fairly anti-Israeli. I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me.” A Senate aide at the meeting corroborated this: “Every time anybody would say anything about ‘what would the Israelis say,’ they’d get cut off and Kerry would say, ‘You have to ignore what they’re telling you.'”

As for where the newly minted deal will lead, see Sarah Honig’s article in this Outpost.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

If only one unexpected voice of reason could bring down the edifice of UN insanity the way the innocent child’s voice punctured the “consensus” that the naked emperor was clothed in garments of gold and silver! Although that can’t happen, it was refreshing when a UN translator, unaware that her microphone was “hot,” addressed the General Assembly after it had just adopted nine resolutions condemning Israel. “C’est up peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I know there’s other really bad shit happening, but no one says anything about the other stuff.”

Instead of gasping in shock, the delegates laughed, a sign they recognized how right she was (although they had dutifully voted for all those anti-Israel resolutions) and the translator, terrified of losing her job, apologized. Of course, the theatre of the absurd pile-on of the international “community” against Israel will continue unabated.

NBC’s Snyderman “In Awe”

It’s so rare to find a mainstream media voice praising Israel that it warrants special mention. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, in the wake of the disastrous Philippine typhoon, went out of her way to locate Israel’s emergency response center. She says she had always been fascinated by the success of the IDF’s medical teams in delivering emergency care in extremely poor conditions.

She had to go out of her way because the Israelis had gone off the beaten path–to Bogo, a small village on the northern island of Mactan. A fence surrounded the grounds: soldiers were stationed at the entry and sharp shooters were on the rooftops. Snyderman reports on the Nightly News on the use of electronic technology: each patient’s medical record is created using a photograph to ensure accurate identification. She says: “Smart, Sophisticated. Secure. This was what I had experienced with the IDF before. But now I was impressed with something else: the place they had selected. This wasn’t a site where trauma surgeons were needed–those injuries in other towns were being addressed…I asked the IDF Surgeon General in charge why they chose Bogo. He said it was because they were poor and their needs were great. As I left, I walked away in awe of this group of doctors: physician humanitarians, and medicine at its very best.”

Mideast

2013: Miracles Past and Present Ruth King

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1158

Hanukah, known as the “festival of lights,” this year is celebrated for eight consecutive days beginning on November 27. For the first time–and never again thanks to the vagaries of the Jewish calendar–the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. Both are celebrations where families gather to enjoy traditional foods and the company of family.

While both are joyous events, there is a serious side to both holidays. American Jews give thanks for the peace and freedom bequeathed to us by the founding fathers and a Constitution that protects every aspect of our lives. Lighting the menorah, exchanging gifts and eating latkes are the way most of us experience Hanukah, but the word means “rededication” and it celebrates the Jewish heroes who rededicated themselves to their faith in spite of an oppressive ruler and faithless Hellenist coreligionists.

In 168 BCE King Antiochus seized and profaned the Temple, turning it into a shrine for the worship of Zeus. He forbade recitations of the Torah and observance of Jewish rituals. He demanded that Jews bow to idols and forced them to eat proscribed foods. Many frightened and acquiescent Jews adapted in a false pursuit of peace and acceptance.

Mattathias, a Jewish priest who rejected the Hellenists’ demands was joined by his son Judah who led the rebellion against the Greek-Syrian monarch. After a war that lasted close to three years, the Maccabees, as they were known, prevailed and reclaimed the Holy Temple. They removed all pagan objects but found only enough oil to light the temple for a single day. A miracle occurred and the scant amount of oil burned for eight days. Hence the eight day celebration and lighting of eight candles. The Jews rededicated the Temple and thus dedication to faith is the most important message of the eight day festival.

There is a second miracle. Babylonia, the Hittite Empire, the Philistines, and the Hellenists are long gone, but Jews have survived millennia of oppression, dislocation, forced conversion and genocide. Small in numbers, yet mighty in resolve, they remained dedicated to their faith. A semi-miracle, after centuries of misunderstandings and prejudice, Israel’s staunchest supporters are religious Christians who offer political support and come even in the most difficult times to visit every corner of the Holy Land.

Mideast

Why Die for Danzig (Israel)? Sarah Honig

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1155

There’s every reason to assume that US President Barack Obama has never heard of the pre-World War II demagogic question “Why die for Danzig?” The same can be as safely assumed regarding his Secretary of State John Kerry. Oddly enough, however, their policy appears to draw inspiration from the same ideological wellspring that gave the world the above rhetorical tease. The slogan, very famous (or infamous) in its day, made its debut on May 4, 1939 as the title of an op-ed in the Parisian newspaper L’Œuvre. Its author was French socialist Marcel Déat and his message was that another follow-up appeasement of Adolf Hitler is mandatory in order to prevent war.

That was already half-a-year after the September 1938 Munich agreement which wrested the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and awarded it to Hitler to satiate his appetite. That, in the words of Britain’s then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, guaranteed “peace for our time.” When he landed at Heston Aerodrome right after the deal was done, Chamberlain told the cheering crowd that awaited him: “The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine… We regard the agreement signed last night as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.”

Not too many hours afterwards Chamberlain repeated the same performance outside his official residence, assuring his supporters that he had brought them “peace with honor” and patronizingly recommending they “go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

But no one in Europe was to sleep soundly again for many years to come, despite Chamberlain’s cynical sacrifice of a small democracy on the altar of peace

Mideast

Why I am Filing for Asylum in Sweden — My Own Country Annika Hernroth-Rothstein

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1151

Here in Stockholm this fall, we in the Jewish community have enjoyed our 21st annual Jewish film festival, a klezmer concert, and a number of other cultural diversions. I choose the word “diversions” advisedly. It’s thanks to such entertainments that so many of my fellow Jews can allow themselves to say that we’re doing okay here—that there’s no need to rock the boat or cause trouble.

But you know what? We are not okay, and this is not okay.

Kosher slaughter has been outlawed in my country since 1937, and a bill is now pending in parliament that would ban even the import and serving of kosher meat. Circumcision, another pillar of the Jewish faith, is likewise under threat. In my job as a political adviser to a Swedish party, I have dealt with two bills on this issue in the past year alone; a national ban is rapidly gaining political support in the parliament and among the Swedish public. When it comes to our religious traditions, those on both the Right and Left in Swedish politics find common ground; they take pride in defending both animals and children from the likes of us, and from what one politician has called our “barbaric practices.”

Mideast

The Global Warming God Strikes Again Daniel Greenfield

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1148

Editor’s note: Why do we periodically publish articles on the false global warming apocalypse that still holds much of the world in thrall? It’s because the current elite consensus on global warming (there is no scientific consensus, no matter how often the media and politicians claim there is) has so much in common with the elite consensus on the “two-state solution:” they are both totally wrong. In Democracy in America Alexis De Tocqueville describes the crucial role of media in fashioning “consensus”. “When many organs of the press adopt the same line of conduct, their influence in the long run becomes irresistible, and public opinion, perpetually assaulted from the same side, eventually yields to the attack.” And so we do our small bit to counter that assault.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin said that the storm was divine punishment for “being in Iraq under false pretenses.”

Not only was a Liberal deity taking a position on WMDs and punishing George W. Bush by evicting a lot of black people from their homes, but the Democratic divinity was paradoxically also committed to progressive housing policies.

“This city will be a majority-African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be,” Nagin promised.

Bush is out of office. America is no longer in Iraq. And Democrats have been forced to search for new theological explanations for hurricanes, typhoons and volcanoes.

In response to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan; the green prophets of the left are prophesying that their liberal deity is angry over capitalism and industrialization.

“Whenever Mother Nature wants to send an urgent message to humankind, it sends it via the Philippines. This year the messenger was Haiyan,” The Nation wrote.

“That it was climate change creating the super typhoons that were taking weird directions was a message from Nature not just to Filipinos but to the whole world,” the left-wing magazine claimed.

For those infidels questioning whether Nature (capital N) was really speaking through a struggling lefty publication begging readers for money to pay its postal bills, its expert on typhoon theology had an answer. “Is it a coincidence, ask some people who are not exactly religious, that both Pablo and Yolanda arrived at the time of the global climate negotiations?”

It is of course the very definition of religious faith to assume that a bearded woman in the sky is sending storms to threaten global climate negotiators (while missing them by two hemispheres and 6,000 miles). A more cynical person might suspect that climate negotiations are arranged around storm season for maximum effect.

The Nation, which regularly condemns “Bible Thumping,” has switched over to “Whole-Earth-Catalog Thumping,” building a religion around a Mother Nature who communicated her wishes through hurricanes and bankrupt liberal magazines.

Mideast

Menachem Begin: An Appreciation on the Centennial of his Birth Ruth King

http://www.mideastoutpost.com/?p=1145
In 1913, in Brest Litovsk, a town in the Russian empire, Menachem Begin was born. When coddling their son, could his parents have dreamed that one day their newborn would be Prime Minister of the State of Israel? Not likely–his parents were confronted with fear of persecution and the perpetual threat of relocation facing Eastern European Jewry.

As a young boy Begin was drawn to Zionism, classical literature and oratorical skills. In his teens he was inspired by Zeev Jabotinsky and joined the Betar movement and later became its head.

After being jailed in a Siberian labor camp, he was fortuitously freed in 1941 and joined the Free Polish Army; his unit was sent to Palestine in 1943. Once there he left the Polish army for the Irgun, becoming its head later in that year. In Europe his family was murdered, which both haunted and inspired him for the rest of his life.

In 1944 the Irgun declared war on the British mandatory government which persisted in keeping Palestine closed to the desperate Jews of Europe. The Irgun’s activities escalated after the war when the British occupiers still clamped the gates of freedom shut to the wretched survivors of the Shoah and fired on vessels bringing them to Palestine. It was the Irgun under Begin–emphatically not the Haganah with its policy of “havlagah” (restraint)–that made Palestine ungovernable for the British. Nor despite huge efforts aimed at capturing him were British intelligence services in Palestine able to do so. He eluded them disguised as a nondescript bearded rabbi in Tel Aviv. And so the British threw the Palestine question in the lap of the United Nations. It had become impossible to remain there without a degree of repression the British public was not prepared to accept in the post war period, especially against the tattered remnants of the Jewish people.

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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