October 2009

Terrorism:Hizballah's Brand is Tarnished / Jonathan Spyer

A famous Hizbullah marching song, "Hizbullah ya ayuni" (Hizbullah - my eyes), contains the following verse: "And today through the blood of the brave, the merciful creator has given us victory, and the whole world and all people have begun to speak of our glory." Unfortunately for the Lebanese Shi'ite Islamist movement, the main world news story in which it currently features concerns matters of a distinctly inglorious type, with which it would undoubtedly prefer not to be associated.

Understanding the Middle East / Prof.B.Rubin

There’s a little fable that’s often used to explain the Middle East. You’ve probably heard it but for those of you who haven’t I’ll tell it briefly and then analyze it in detail to explain better about this most perplexing yet highly important part of the world.

First, the story:

One day, a frog and a scorpion are standing by the river bank. They both want to get across to the other side. The frog can swim; the scorpion can’t. So the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across.

“But,” protests the frog, “if I let you on my back you’ll sting me!”

International Law and Military Operations in Practice / Colonel Richard Kemp CBE

I will examine the practicalities, challenges and difficulties faced by military forces in trying to fight within the provisions of international law against an enemy that deliberately and consistently flouts international law.

I shall focus on counter-insurgency operations from the British and to some extent the American perspective drawing on recent British experience generally and my own personal experience of operating in this environment.

Soldiers from all Western armies, including Israel's and Britain's, are educated in the laws of war.

An Open Letter to the Board of Members of the HRW to Investigate its policy / Wiesel,Dershowitz and Woolsey

“Founded over 30 years ago to protect political dissidents from repressive regimes, the leaders of Human Rights Watch have long since lost sight of the original ethos and values. On Middle East issues, HRW has degenerated into a political lobby, utilizing the façade of human rights and international law to promote a radical agenda.

Bar'am was a Jewish Village until the 13th Century and Now Again / DR.R.S.Lissak

Close to modern day Kibbutz Bar’am are the remains of a Christian- Maronite village that was evacuated in 1948. That village was situated on the ruins of the Jewish village Bar'am, of the Second Temple period.

Anti-Semitic Themes in Muslim Apocalyptic and Jihadi Literature /David Cook

Anti-Semitic themes are ubiquitous in contemporary Muslim literature. Although many of these are either academic or rabble-rousing in nature, those within the genres of jihadi or apocalyptic literature convey an imperative to act. Jihadi literature is either mainstream, associated with dominant religious groups or trends within Islam, or radical, associated with counterestablishment or radical reform groups in Islam.

Is Syria an Ally or Advisary of Radical Sunni Movements/ Prof. Eyal Zisser

Bashar al-Assad's Syria

What more can be done in order to remove Syria from its alliance with North Korea and Iran? What more can be done to engage Syria in a more positive dialogue with Israel, the international community, and the United States? Unfortunately, there is very little we can do.

Major Anti-Semitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons / Joel Kotek

Genocide's Groundwork
"The collective image of the Jews created by Arab cartoons lays the groundwork for a possibility of genocide. My collection of Arab caricatures demonstrates this. One can argue about whether these genocidal ideas are conscious or subconscious. My view is that they are still at the subconscious stage."

To:Judge Richard Goldstone from:Barbara Press

Dear Richard

Our paths have crossed many times compelling me to correspond directly with you. I pray your indulgence that you hear me out by reading to the end of my missive. In fact I ask you to share my letter with Noleen from beginning to end and to respond with your thoughts.

An Historical Opportunity for Justice / Ben Dror Yemini

An OPEN letter to the members of the


A Letter from Brigitte Gabriel to President Obama

If you haven't read the wonderful book of Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian woman thrown out of her home by Palestinians, you should. It's called: Because they Hate by Brigette Gabriel.

Below, Brigitte, who now live s in America, writes to President Obama, bringing her unique perspective to bear.

Brigitte Gabriel - Letter to President Obama.

Dear Mr. President,

Palestinians Accuse Hamas over UN Report

The Hamas is trying to take cynical advantage of a UN report accusing Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza to curry favor back home, Palestinian FM Riad Malki told reporters at UN.

The Palestinian Authority initially pushed for the Security Council to look into accusations Israel used disproportionate force and failed to protect civilians during its Dec. 27-Jan. 18 incursion into Gaza.

Thirteen Israelis and almost 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the conflict. Israel has rejected the war crimes allegations, declining to cooperate with the probe, fearing bias.

Kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Today, Kfar Manda is an Arabic village, situated at the foot of Mount Etzmon, north of the Bet Netofa reservoir in the Lower Galilee. The village's population, as of 2008, is 17,000. Most of the population is Muslim.

There are various explanations of the name’s origins:
An Arabic tradition holds that the name was derived from Midyan, after Jethro who lived in the village 2000 years ago, and that his daughter Zipora, Moses’s wife, is buried there (this is historically impossible).

Tzipori was a Jewish City for about 2,000 Years / DR.R.S.Lissak

Tzipori was a Jewish city from the 12th century BCE until the 5th century CE, but a Jewish community survived until the 11th century within the Christian majority. Jews lived in Tzipory around 2000 years. The Arabic village Sefuryia was established in the 16th century.

Tzipori is today an Israeli village. It was established in 1949 by Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria and Turkey. Latter, they were replaced by Jews from Romania.

The Israeli Occupation of Canaan (about 1200 BCE)

The Changing Population Profile of American Jews 1990 - 2008 / DR.R.S.Lissak

Barry A.Kosmin, of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, gave a lecture at the 15th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, Israel, August 2009.

Kosmin's brought in his lecture the findings of ARIS, American Identification Survey. According to this survey there are changes in the religious loyalties of the American public. 3 national surveys of adults were done, in 1990, 2001 and 2008.

The Denial of Jewish Self-Determination / DR.R.S.Lissak

An anomaly of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that a 3000 year old nation must justify its right to self- determination, while a nation less than 100 years old epitomizes national legitimacy.

Less than 100 years ago a group of Arab migrants decided they were a nation and declared themselves Palestinians. Under the Oslo agreements

Palestinians Choose the Illusion of Victory over Negotiated Peace / Prof.B.Rubin

This may be a very big development, a turning point. Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are now openly complaining about President Barack Obama, saying he has hurt the Palestinian cause, by accepting less than a complete freeze of construction on settlements from Israel, pressuring PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to stand next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the president's UN photo opportunity, and pushing the Palestinian Authority to ease off on demanding the UN put sanctions against Israel over the Goldstone Commission issue.

Palestinian Jihad Leader:Two- state Solution is a Disaster

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has since its formative years in the 1980s staunchly called for armed resistance against Israeli occupation and refused to acknowledge or participate in peace talks.
Headquartered in Syria, the PIJ is much smaller than Hamas but both groups find their inspirational roots in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Short History of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:1929,2000,2009 /Prof.B.Rubin

In August 1929, wild rumors that Jews had attacked Arabs, cursed the name of Islam’s founder, and were about to seize the Temple Mount led to inflammatory sermons in mosques, followed by massive Arab riots. More than 105 Jews were killed by Arabs; not a single Arab was killed by a Jew.

The exact same thing happened—albeit with far fewer casualties—in 1996, 2000, 2009, and at several points in between. The pattern tells a great deal about why the conflict doesn’t end and in fact stays a great deal the same.

Eyn Zeytoun was Jewish Eyn Zeytim until the 17th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Eyn Zeytoun was Jewish Eyn Zeytim until the 17th Century / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The ancient site of Jewish Eyn Zeytim is located west of Safed, not far from the ruins of Arabic Eyn Zeytoun. Jewish occupancy in Eyn Zeytim continued unbroken from the time of the Mishna and Talmud to the 17th or 18th century. It is not clear, however, at what date it was established nor at what date was it abandoned, and why. Nowadays it is used as a barracks of the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Roman Period (70 CE – 324 CE)

The Window of Opportunity for Peace in now Closed / Prof.B.Rubin

The UN Human Rights Council has now endorsed the Goldstone Report. There are important implications to this decision that make it a turning point.

UK Commander's Expert Testimony Contradicts Goldstone Report / Col.Richard Camp

View from Geneva
The blog of UN Watch — monitoring the United Nations, promoting human rights.

UK Commander’s Expert Testimony Stirs UN Controversy by Contradicting Goldstone Report
Published by UN Watch- at October 16, 2009 in Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Right Watchdog, Lost in the Meadeast / Robert L.Bernstein

AS the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group’s critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.

An open letter to Judge R.Goldstone / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

I am speaking in the name of most Israelis and most Jews all over the world: you are not an honest person.

First, an honest person, especially a judge, would have refused to accept the nomination as chairman of the commission to investigate the Gaza war, because of your past statements about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. As you know, justice should not only be done, but also be seen.

Second, an honest judge would have refuse to accept commission members who had expressed their views on "Israeli war crimes", publicly, even before they were nominated.

Arabbe was the Jewish Town Arav until the 7th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

Nowadays Arabbe is an Arabic town, situated in the centre of the Lower Galilee, 6 kilometres south of Carmiel. It is situated on the site of the Jewish town Arav. About 21,100 people live in Arabbe, most of them are Muslims.

The name Arabbe is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew Arav, but according to the town's residents the meaning of name in Arabic is "situated on a hill".

The First Temple Period (1,000 – 587 BCE)

Middle East:Listen to What They're Saying in Their Own Language, Not English / Prof.B.Rubin

Here’s a tip for understanding the Middle East. For Arabic-speaking countries and groups, there are two parallel lines of discourse going on: one in English, one in Arabic. The English-language one is directed outward at the West; the Arabic-speaking is for the direction of policymakers, opinionmakers, and the masses. Not surprisingly, the first is more moderate; the latter, more radical.

Prime Minister S.Fayyadd's Two-Year Path to Statehood / Dan Diker and Pinhas Inbari


In August 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced a unilateral plan to establish a de facto Palestinian state in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem following a twenty-four-month state-building process. Fayyad's 54-page plan to build Palestinian infrastructure and establish Western-style public institutions is the first of its kind since the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords.

A Moral Atrocity / Sir Harold M.Evans

Aren't the British sickened by the moral confusions of their government? First, we have the weasel words to justify the unjustifiable release of the Lockerbie bomber. Now we have the sickening spectacle of Britain failing to stand by Israel, the only democracy with an independent judiciary in the entire region.

Goldstone Report Undermines Faith in International Law /Ed Morgan

The Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Gaza has now been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council as documenting Israeli war crimes.

But from a legal point of view, the Goldstone report is full of more holes than the tunnel-riddled strip along the Gaza-Egypt border.

Palestinian "policemen" Killed on Gaza Operation Were Trained Terrorists / Jonathan.D.Halevi

After international human rights organizations accused Israel of killing innocent Palestinian "traffic policemen" during the Gaza operation, a detailed investigation shows that a decisive majority of the Palestinian "policemen" were members of the military wings of the Palestinian terror organizations and fighters who had undergone military training.

The Palestinian Authority is Killing Even the Charade of Peace Process / Prof.B.Rubin

Let’s take a careful look at this AP dispatch on an October 12 Fatah internal memorandum. The official Fatah document charges the Obama Administration with disappointing the Palestinians and being mainly responsive—like presumably all previous presidents—to the pro-Israel lobby.

It states:

"All hopes placed in the new U.S. administration and President Obama have evaporated. Obama couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace."

Why, The 3,500 Years Old Kurdish Nation Has Been Denied Statehood / DR.R.S.Lissak

Why The 3,500 Years Old Kurdish Nation Has been Denied Statehood /DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The Kurdish nation is an ancient nation. Yet, It does not receive The World's support in its struggle for statehood – Why?

The Kurdish issue is an example of the selective commitment of the UN and its organizations for justice: the Kurds are one of the ancient nations that survived in the Middle East, despite of the upheavals it went through. But, the UN and its organizations are doing nothing to correct this wrong.

The Trap of Self-Delusion / Ben Dror Yemini

Ben Dror Yemini examines The claims of Israeli Arabs of discrimination and argues that the main problem is the oppression of women

The Unfinished War

The explosion in the south Lebanese village of Tayr Felseir offers the latest evidence of the way in which Hizbullah is rebuilding its infrastructure following the Second Lebanon War in 2006. In the pre-2006 period, Hizbullah maintained its military infrastructure in open countryside areas often declared off-limits to all but the movement's personnel. The rebuilt infrastructure, by contrast, has been constructed within the fabric of civilian life in south Lebanon.

Sakhnin was a Jewish Town until the 7th Century CE / DR.R.S.Lissak

The Arabic Sakhnin was Jewish Sakhni from Biblical times, until the end of the Byzantine period (about 1000 BCE – 628 CE).

Present day Sakhnin is an Arabic city, situated in the Lower Galilee, about 6 kilometres south of the city Carmiel, and has a population of about 25,000. Sakhnin has recently become famous for its soccer club. Sakhnin is also famous for the violent riots in March 1976 and 0ctober 2000.

U.S Policy on Peace Process Comes to Dead Halt and Likely to Remain that way / Prof.B.Rubin

If solving the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy—at times it seems the keystone of the government’s entire policy—there's an obvious problem derailing it.

Here it is. The president of the United States on several occasions and notably in his UN speech and high officials repeatedly have announced that they want and expect there to be quick, final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resolve all issues and end the conflict.

This event isn't going to happen.

Israeli Approval for Medical Entry in the Shadow of Terrot Attacks at the Erez Crossing / Eilihu D.Richter, MD,MPH

For several years, the Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights (now the UN Human Rights Council) and human rights groups have criticized the Israeli government and health care system for denying access to Gazans seeking to receive permits for care in hospitals in Israel, the PA and Jordan. Yet the data show that the number of patients receiving permits for referrals to hospitals in Israel - or the PA or Jordan - increased by 45 percent from 4,932 in 2006 to 7,176 in 2007, and continued to increase in the first six months of 2008.

Israel's Resonse to the Goldstone Report:Exposing a Politically Motivated Fraud / Prof.B.Rubin

If you've been following the Goldstone Report controversy, you might be interested in the response done by Israel to specific points raised by the report.

The Goldstone report bashes Israel regarding the Gaza war for alleged crimes and misdeeds based solely on the unchallenged testimony of almost totally pro-Hamas and universally anti-Israel Palestinians who live under an Islamist dictatorial regime. On close examination, a very large number of the accusations dissolve into nothingness.