This Is a Moderate?

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister most describe as a moderate, the man who has been credited with revivifying the West Bank’s economy, the leader they say Israel can “deal with” today did something most un-moderate-like.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday took part in a demonstration in which products made in Jewish settlements were burned.

Fayyad and residents of the West Bank town of Salfit threw the products, which were confiscated from Palestinian stores, into a fire.  …About a month ago the Palestinians announced a boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank, stepping up their campaign against Israeli settlements.

Hmm, let’s see. Burning Jewish stuff. What does that remind me of? Oh yeah, the Spanish Inquisition and Kristallnacht.

As a friend of mine likes to say, Palestinians like Fayyad can be described as moderate because the rest of the leadership is so unequivocally radical. Anyway, lovely.


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I Have Obama Fatigue

Just a general statement.

With the health care overhaul, the confrontational Israel stance, the awarding of Israel-haters special prizes…I’m already tired of this guy.

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Obama Gives Israel Haters Cover

Obama’s confrontational stance toward Israel has given Israel-haters and critics cover to peddle their trollop. So, writing in the NYT yesterday, Celestine Bohlen writes an opinion piece masquerading as a “Letter From” which contains the following gems:

Neither the United States nor the rest of the world has ever recognized Israel’s claim to the territories — including East Jerusalem, which is mostly Arab — that it captured after its victory in the 1967 Middle East war. By international standards, that makes housing projects for Jewish residents in those areas “settlements.”

The Shepherd Hotel site is a case in point. The most important fact about this particular project is that the building permit was granted July 2, just weeks after the Obama administration first signaled that it would object to any new building in the captured territories.

Let’s look at Bohlen’s assumptions.

1. The United States nor the rest of the world has ever recognized Israel’s claim to the territories. First off, Israel has never “claimed” the territories. Israel has instead maintained that the West Bank is “disputed territory” and must be returned in the framework of 242.
2. Because East Jerusalem is “mostly Arab” Jews shouldn’t be allowed to live there. Would she say the same thing about a white neighborhood where a black family wanted to buy a house?
3. Yes, Israel and the Obama administration have a huge disagreement over past agreements regarding building in the West Bank. Like any other self-respecting country in the world, Israel does not always do EXACTLY what the United States wants it to do.

Polls show Americans view Israel less favorably since Obama took office. Opinionators like Ms. Bohlen know that and are going in for the kill.

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This Is Why I Voted for McCain

I had never voted for a Republican before I voted for John McCain in 2008. My primary reason was Obama’s policy on Iran. I felt then that he would not do what was necessary to stop Tehran from building a nuclear weapon. More and more, I feel vindicated in my decision, though that is little succor given the consequences.

Amer Taheri writes today that Tehran believes the Obama administration has already accepted the idea of a nuclear Iran. All that’s left to negotiate are the various concessions Tehran might make in return, primarily their “acceptance” of a two-state peace plan.

According to Taheri, quoting an Iranian newspaper associated with the ruling elite:

In this theory, President Obama is trying to establish a linkage, whereby Israel would accept a nuclear-armed Iran while Iran would withdraw its opposition to a two-state solution for the Palestinian problem.

The paper also notes that Clinton has offered to help America’s Arab allies build up their defenses in response to a nuclear-armed Iran. In other words, America will no longer focus its energies on stopping Iran from becoming nuclear, but instead deploy its power and prestige to prevent its Arab allies from building up a nuclear capability.

The Kayhan editorial claims that Washington isn’t even thinking of threatening Iran with further sanctions. “They have no long-term plan for dealing with Iran,” it argues. “Their strategy consists of begging us to talk with them.”

Of course, who knows if its true and I don’t believe all the blather that comes out of the Islamic Republic, but it seems as it it might be accurate given the American policy.

So let’s sum up: the U.S. policy on Iran will allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and then arm other Arab states as a means of deterrence.

What a great policy! And this is so much better for Israel, don’t you think?

I’m so glad I voted for John McCain.

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According to the Guardian, Jewish people who attempt to establish housing in the West Bank are “militant” settlers.

“Militant” is the euphemism used by most of the world’s press for “terrorist.”

So now Jews who wish to live in disputed territory are the equivalent to those who intentionally kill others in the pursuit of political (and possibly racial) ends.


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This Is Nazi

Ynet reports an Iranian swimmer won’t swim in the same race as an Israeli at the world championships in Rome.

This is not the first time the Iranian swimmer has refused to get in the water with an Israeli competitor. In the 2008 Olympics, Alirezaei withdrew from the men’s 100 meter breaststroke against Israel’s Tom Beeri, who finished 4th, leaving his lane empty during the heat.

Please tell me how that’s not Nazi.

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What The New York Times Calls ‘Hope’

The NYT has a provocative headline today: In 2 West Bank Settlements, Sign of Hope for a Deal.

What are the reader’s immediate thoughts?

1. The headline implies the problem is what these “settlers” may or may not do. As if it is up to them to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. The picture of Haredim is contrarian. Surely, these people wouldn’t want to live in peace.

What we get is a story about a large group of anti-Zionist Haredim who hate the state and feel no particular attachment to this particular settlement. They say they didn’t know it was a settlement when they first moved there (as unlikely as that sounds, that may be true) and would be happy to leave if the government would compensate them to move.

So let’s roll this up. A bunch of Haredim who moved to a settlement because a) no town wanted them b) don’t work c) take state welfare and d) therefore need subsidized housing from a state they despise would be willing to leave in the future a settlement that they e) didn’t know was a settlement to begin with and f) don’t care much about anyway.

First, this is a very sad commentary on Haredim, who feel they can take money from a state they actively oppose. Second, this is “hope”? This is the best the Times can do for hope? Their standards are so incredibly low for hope?

Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense. Both Haredim and the Times are anti-Zionist, so this “hope” that represents ambivalence about the land serves both their interests.

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