Category Archives: Israel

Netanyahu draws a real red line


Whenever Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at AIPAC’s policy conference in Washington, as he did earlier this week, he devotes some part of his speech to basics that are too often neglected in discussions of Israel’s role in the Middle East. As always, Netanyahu’s speech is worth reading in its entirety.

I want to draw attention in particular to Netanyahu’s introductory point. It stands in stark contrast to anything one hears from President Obama or administration officials, ever, including such preening phonies as Samantha Power. Let’s take it from the top:

My friends, I’ve come here to draw a clear line.

You know that I like to draw lines — especially red ones. But the line I want to draw today is the line between life and death, between right and wrong, between the blessings of a brilliant future and the curses of a dark past.

I stood very close to that dividing line two weeks ago. I visited an Israeli army field hospital in the Golan Heights. Now, that field hospital wasn’t set up for Israelis. It was set up for Syrians. Israelis treated nearly a thousand wounded Syrians — men, women and a lot of children. They come to our border fence bleeding and desperate. Often they’re near death.

Continue reading

Obama and Kerry blowing smoke for the Palestinians…

Will Obama Blame Israel for Abbas’ ‘No?’

Well, he’ll blame either Bibi or Bush…

If the administration allows Abbas to escape accountability on this crucial point it will expose their peace efforts as worse than a sham.  As I wrote yesterday, the Jewish state is not a contrived controversy but a concept that lies at the heart of the conflict. Israelis have repeatedly shown their willingness to take risks for peace but the Palestinians are still stuck with a historical narrative that won’t allow them to give up their dream of Israel’s extinction.

Abbas has no intention of ever signing a peace treaty with Israel or granting it legitimacy as a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn or how much of Jerusalem they obtain. But if the United States can’t be honest about this even when Abbas gives them a flat no to one of the basic principles of peace, then it is clear that the purpose of the negotiations isn’t a resolution of the conflict but another excuse to bash Israel. If, after Kerry’s mission fails or even if it continues on terms that are incompatible with peace, Israelis should expect to be blamed no matter what they have conceded or how many times Abbas has said no. But so long as Abbas refuses to say two words, those charges will be lies.

We don’t want him here, either…

Palestinian protesters chant ‘Kerry go home’ as U.S. secretary of state thrashes out framework agreement.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, the second meeting between the two since the arrival of the top American diplomat on Thursday.

The meeting, which lasted nearly three hours, also included Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Israeli envoy Isaac Molho.

Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Friday. But even as he made his way to Ramallah Palestinians were protesting on the streets of the city, chanting “Go home.” One Palestinian official described the framework agreement that Kerry is trying to broker as ‘a worthless piece of paper.”

Good. Push back…

List of Universities rejecting academic boycott of Israel

The universities and colleges below are confirmed to reject the academic boycott of Israel passed by the American Studies Association.

This list is based on positions expressed by the Presidents of such Universities or others in a position to state a university’s position (e.g., communications staff). We are aware of no university in the U.S. endorsing the boycott.

This is a list in progress and will be updated as more announcements/confirmations are made. If you have additions, please post in comments with source link or forward confirming emails to me.

These are in addition to the Association of American Universities, the umbrella organization for 62 major universities and university-systems, and the Association of American University Professors, both of which reject the boycott.

Boston University
Brandeis University
Brown University
Cornell University
Dickinson College
Duke University
George Washington University
Harvard University
Indiana University
Michigan State
New York University
Northwestern University
Princeton University
Tulane University
University of California-Irvine
University of California-San Diego
University of Chicago
University of Kansas
University of Maryland
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Texas-Austin
Washington University in St. Louis
Wesleyan University
Willamette University
Yale University

Note – We are only listing here university-level statements, not department-specific. Also, as of this date most of those stating positions are those who are listed as Institutional Members of ASA, although several dispute that they in fact are Institutional Members.

Words Hurt…

Obama to Netanyahu: Shut Up

The Obama administration can’t take the heat. Stung by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to the so-called “deal” made with Iran, President Obama has asked the Israeli leader to “take a breather from his clamorous criticism,” according to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

Netanyahu’s anger is justified. Despite the ostensible reality that Israel is America’s staunchest Middle East ally, the Obama administration was engaged in six months of secret, high-level talks with Israel’s foremost enemy. Obama informed Netanyahu of this reality on September 30. And while he seemingly took Obama’s announcement in stride, a day later the Israeli Prime Minister delivered a blistering speech to the UN General Assembly, calling Iranian President Hasan Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” looking to exploit this latest diplomatic effort to advance his nation’s nuclear weapons agenda. He also made it clear where his nation stood on the issue. “I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” he insisted. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

In the following weeks, there was no let up by Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, and on November 24 Obama phoned the Prime Minister in an effort assuage his concerns. The two leaders agreed to have an Israeli delegation, headed by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, ensconced in Washington, D.C. to iron out a deal that keeps Israel in the loop going forward. Obama also assured Netanyahu the both nations were on the same page with regard Iranian policy goals. It was during that phone call that Obama reportedly asked Netanyahu to tone down his rhetoric.

By last Thursday, it became apparent that while Netanyahu might shift his criticism away from the deal itself, he was not about to keep quiet. “The largest darkness that threatens the world today is a nuclear Iran,” the Times of Israel quoted Netanyahu as saying. “We are bound to do all we can to prevent this darkness. If possible, we will do this diplomatically. If not, we will act as a light unto the nations.”

It’s disgraceful, because it’s true…

Epic Hot Mic Moment Catches Translator Saying What Some Have Noticed

A United Nations interpreter translating the proceedings of the General Assembly on Thursday was caught – not realizing her microphone was still piping her voice into the chamber – expressing her dismay that the world body is so focused on condemning Israel while ignoring every other country in the world.

Following votes at the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee which includes all 193 UN member states, nine resolutions were adopted condemning Israel. Not one resolution was adopted targeting any other country, not even Syria where more than 100,000 have been killed in just two-and-a-half years.

The unnamed interpreter, unaware she was still being heard both by delegates and online via a live webcast, said, “I mean, I think when you have five statements, not five, like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad sh** happening, but no one says anything, about the other stuff.”

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday played the clip of the interpreter’s candid assessment at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Should her job be threatened, Netanyahu said she would have a place to work in Israel, Ynet reported.

“I would like to tell this translator that she has a job waiting for her in the State of Israel. There are moments that tear the hypocrisy off the unending attacks against us and this brave translator did so,” he said according to a translation of the text posted by the Prime Minister’s Office website.

Our Pathetic Support for Muslim Oppression


For too long — through Republican and Democratic administrations — we’ve turned away from abuse of women, ignored the persecution of Christians, made excuses for terrorism, and attached few meaningful conditions to our billions upon billions of dollars in aid. Instead, we’ve wrung our hands about our own “imperialism,” vigilantly policed our alleged Islamophobia, and kept writing checks to intolerant regimes — even as extremism flourished.

At some point this policy moves from naïve, to foolish, to pathetic, and — ultimately — to evil. Right now, we’re pathetic. If we keep paying for this oppression, we’ll be complicit in evil.

2,750-year-old temple found near Jerusalem


Archaeologists have discovered a 2,750-year-old temple along with a cache of sacred artifacts, providing rare insight into religious practices at the time, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The temple was uncovered west of Jerusalem, at the Tel Motza archaeological site, in preparation for work on Highway 1. Among the finds are pottery figurines, fragments of chalices and decorated pedestals, which indicate the site was the stomping ground of a ritual cult.

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” said excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz in a statement.

‘Lost Tribe’ of India Jews Return to Israel


Dozens of Jews who claim to be the descendants of a lost biblical Jewish tribe have emigrated to Israel from their village in northeastern India. The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century BC. An Israeli chief rabbi recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005 and about 1,700 moved to Israel before the government stopped giving them visas. Israel recently reversed that policy, agreeing to let the remaining 7,200 Bnei Menashe immigrate. Fifty-three arrived today. Nearly 300 others are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Twenty-six-year-old Lhing Lenchonz arrived with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. She said that “after waiting for thousands of years, our dream came true.”

Palestinians Burning Their Bridges


Palestinian harassment of Israelis at the UN and in international forums will be annoying but won’t change a thing. But their decision to go back to intifada tactics is a guarantee of bloodshed. They may claim their protests will be peaceful, but rock throwing inevitably escalates to more violent tactics. It is also a given that Hamas and terrorist elements of Abbas’s Fatah that are tasked with competing with the Islamists in that category will be using the protests as cover for attacks. If the PA ends security cooperation, it will end the same way the second intifada did with PA “police” joining the terrorists in shooting at Israelis.

This will kill what little support remains inside Israel for compromise with the PA. But Abbas is not wrong to believe that it will make the Palestinians more rather than less popular in Europe, where any form of Israeli self-defense will be depicted as immoral no matter what the circumstances might be. A rising tide of anti-Semitism on the continent has made Israel particularly unpopular there. But while heightening Israel’s isolation may seem like a smart thing to do in Ramallah, it won’t do a thing to give the Palestinians a better life or to get them closer to peace or independence.


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