February 2010

Prof.Allen Darshowitz against the Goldstone Report


Scoop:Fatah's New Charter Shows Why Peace Won't Happen / Prof.B.Rubin

Many people seem to think that the Israel-Palestinian or Arab-Israeli conflict or the “peace process” is the world’s most important issue. So who's going to determine whether it gets resolved or not? No, not President Barak Obama; no, not Israel’s prime minister; no, not Palestinian Authority (PA) “president” Mahmoud Abbas or Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The Operation in Gaza:Factual and Legal Aspects / Israeli Foreign Ministry Publication

142 Both prior to and during the IDF operation in Gaza, Hamas flouted the Law of Armed Conflict, terrorising Israeli citizens through an endless barrage of rocket and mortar attacks, and deliberately using Palestinian civilians, as well as protected U.N., educational, medical, administrative (so-called governmental) and religious facilities, as a cover for its operations. In adopting such methods of warfare, members of Hamas committed internationally recognised war crimes, and made it impossible for the IDF to avoid collateral damage to civilians and civilian objectives in pursuit of legitimate military objectives during the operation.

Palestinian Prime Minister: You Make Concessions, We Don't / Prof.B.Rubin

Imagine this. You're prime minister of a regime that isn't yet a state. You are praised in the Western media as a great moderate man of peace. You represent a people who the U.S. president says is in an intolerable situation. You supposedly want a country of your own. Indeed you've announced you will get a state in two years, something conceivable only if your negotiating partner agrees. You're dependent on contributions from Western democratic countries that want you to make a deal.

Analysis: Lebanon: Conflict Widens to Syria / Jonathan Spyer

In the last week, senior Israeli policymakers made statements of an uncharacteristically bellicose nature regarding Syria.

It is unlikely that these statements were made because of sudden random irritation toward Israel's hostile northeastern neighbor. Rather, the statements probably constituted part of a message of deterrence to Damascus.

The need to project deterrence itself derives from a series of significant changes currently under way on the ground in Lebanon - reflecting Syria's ever tighter alignment with Hizbullah and the pro-Iranian regional bloc of which it is a part.

The Obama Administration Learns the Basic Lesson on the Israel- Palestinian Issue / Prof.B.Rubin

In contrast to its refusal to change course on Iran, the Obama administration has learned something about Israel-Palestinian peacemaking, conclusions clearly expressed in the government’s new talking points.

First, President Barack Obama stated recently that his administration had overestimated its ability to get the two sides into meaningful peace talks. Blaming both parties equally, Obama said the problem is that neither Israel nor the Palestinians were ready to take the bold steps necessary to succeed.

Experts From Hamas' Official Response to Goldstone Report / Jonathan D.Halevi

The Hamas document responding to the Goldstone reportPic: NULL

The Hamas government submitted last week [early February 2010] its official response to the UN fact finding mission’s report (Goldstone report) on Operation Cast Lead. Mohammad Al-Rol, Hamas Minister of Justice, informed the UN in an appended letter that the document is only a preliminary response which does not cover the myriad violations of the international law committed by the “occupation forces”.

A Moral Evaluation of the Gaza War- Operation Cast Lead / Prof.Asa Kasher

In Israel, a combatant is a citizen in uniform; quite often, he is a conscript or on reserve duty. His state ought to have a compelling reason for jeopardizing his life. The fact that persons involved in terrorism are depicted as non-combatants and that they reside and act in the vicinity of persons not involved in terrorism is not a reason for jeopardizing the combatant's life more than is required under combat conditions.

Turning History Into a Politically Correct Cartoon / Prof.B.Rubin

Historians have long known that treating the past as if it were the present—thinking people acted, spoke, and thought the same way; that conditions were parallel; that problems were identical—is the surest way to misunderstand the past. Historical times must be dealt with on their own terms though, of course, understood in the context of larger trends.

The Resistance Strategy:The Middle East's Response to Calls for Peace and Moderation / Prof.B.Rubin

Have you heard from any of the Western mass media about the Resistance strategy of Middle East radicals? I'm sure you haven't. Yet without understanding this powerful and widely accepted worldview how could anyone possibly comprehend events in the region?

Meyron was Jewish until the 12th Century and resettled from the 18th / DR.Rivka Lissak

Meyron (ancient Marrom) is situated at the foot of Mt Meyron on the Acre-Saffed road. A cooperative settlement was established not far from ancient Meyron in 1949 by Jewish Hungarian and Polish members of the “Hapoel Hamizrahi” organisation. The settlers lived on the ancient site for the first three years before moving to the present location in 1952. They worked in forestry and stone clearing. Meyron has a population of 500 to 750 people, a religious high school and a Yeshiva.

How the U.S and Israel Get Blamed Any Way / Prof.B.Rubin

“War,” said General William Tecumseh Sherman, “is Hell.” He knew what he was talking about. Sherman’s march through Georgia and into South Carolina at the end of the Civil War helped end the Civil War while destroying a lot of civilian homes, farms, and towns..

His strategy was to inflict such terrible punishment on the South that it would surrender faster, thus saving lives. His men did things shocking to Americans even after such a bloody conflict, burning plantations and destroying everything in their wake. Ironically, though, even Sherman's deeds have been exaggerated.

Benny Morris:Banned at Cambridge University out of Fear.Who's Next? Prof.B.Rubin

Jake Witzenfeld, president of Cambridge University's Israel Society, canceled a talk by Benny Morris, an Israeli scholar, apologizing for any "unintended offense." "I decided to cancel for fear of the Israel Society being portrayed as a mouthpiece of Islamophobia," he said. "We understand that whilst Professor Benny Morris' contribution to history is highly respectable and significant, his personal views are, regrettably, deeply offensive to many....”

Obama Administration Whispers its Total Turnaround on its Israel- Palestinian Issue / Prof.B.Rubin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a nominally routine communiqué after her meeting with Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and now messenger of the Quartet on matters Israel-Palestinian. Does this two-paragraph document of February 11, 2010, indicate the new direction of U.S. policy on Israel-Palestinian/Arab-Israeli conflict issues?

First paragraph:

New Revelations about the UN Goldstone Report that Seriously Undermine its Credibility / Dor Gold and lt.col.(ret) Jonathan D.Halevi

Col. (ret.) Desmond Travers was one of the four members of the UN Fact Finding Mission that produced what is widely called the Goldstone Report. The Mission investigated Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009. Travers joined the Irish Defense Forces in 1961 and retired after forty years. As the only former officer who belonged to Justice Richard Goldstone's team, he was the senior figure responsible for the military analysis that provided the basis for condemning Israel for war crimes.

NATO Kills Civilians Accidentally/ Prof.B.Rubin

NATO Kills Civilians Accidentally; President's Advisor on Terrorism Attacks U.S. Self-Defense on Purpose

The Associated Press reports: "Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at insurgents missed their targets and struck house during the second day of NATO's most ambitious effort yet to break the militants' grip on the country's dangerous south."

Why Isn't There Peace?Few People Know How Much is being Offered / Prof.B.Rubin

I’ve been having a dialogue through correspondence lately with someone describing himself as a moderate Palestinian who lives in the United States. What most impressed me in the exchanges--both from what my interlocutor said and how he described the views of other Palestinians--is the total lack of comprehension on their part—those who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip along with those who live elsewhere, both moderate and radical--about Israeli positions toward peacemaking that are easily available on the public record.

Dalton Was Jewish in the Past and is Now Jewish Again / Dr.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Dalton is located in the Upper Galilee not far from Safed. Nowadays it is a cooperative settlement that was established in 1950 by Jewish immigrants from Tripoli, Libya. The settlement was built on the ruins of the Arabic village El Dalata (the Arabic translation of the Hebrew Dalton), which itself had been built on the ruins of the Jewish village Dalton. The settlement is famous for its winery and its population numbers 750.

The Roman & Byzantine Periods (70CE – 640CE)

Is America a Declining Power?Its Friends Think So and they are Scared/ Prof.B.Rubin

“What do you think,” asked the reporter, "about the U.S. pressure on China?”

Puzzled, I responded, “What pressure on China?”

And then I realized what he meant. Like many observers, especially those in the Third World, he thinks U.S. policy is tightly coordinated. In other words, he thinks that the United States was about to sell arms to Beijing’s rival, Taiwan, and have the Dalai Lama, who claims to be the rightful ruler of Chinese-occupied Tibet, come to Washington as part of a grand scheme to force China into supporting sanctions against Iran.

Long-Term Fallout with UK from Dubai Hit Unlikely/ Jonathan Spyer

The evidence suggesting that British passports were used by members of the team responsible for killing Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is causing concern at the possibility of a new diplomatic row between Israel and the UK. Such a row would come at a time of already strained relations between the two countries, because of the failure of the British government to take firm action to end the possibility of the arrest of Israeli officials in Britain on suspicion of 'war crimes.'

Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged to carry out a full investigation into the affair.

Saudis to Obama Administration:We're Scared of Iran and You're Going too Slow / Prof.B.Rubin

Saudis to Obama Administration: We're Scared of Iran and You're Going Too Slow
By Barry Rubin*

February 17, 2010


Turning History into a Politically Correct Cartoon / Prof.B.Rubin

Historians have long known that treating the past as if it were the present—thinking people acted, spoke, and thought the same way; that conditions were parallel; that problems were identical—is the surest way to misunderstand the past. Historical times must be dealt with on their own terms though, of course, understood in the context of larger trends.

Why Naive Westerners Constantly Exaggerate Middle Eastern Moderation / Prof.B.Rubin

There are three basic reasons why many Westerners are so gullible that they often overstate the moderation—or inaccurately claim that a major step toward moderation has taken place—on the part of radical states or groups. Among the beneficiaries of these errors are: Fatah, Iran, Hamas, Hizballah, Libya, Muslim Brotherhood groups, the PLO, Sudan, Syria, the Taliban, and others, including many individuals.

How the Middle East (often) Thinks:Logic is for the Infidels/ Prof.B.Rubin

Buried deep in an obscure article about a Pakistani poet-politician is a clear presentation of one of the most powerful ideas shaping this contemporary world.

The article was written by Pakistani columnist Shah Nawaz Farooq in the Urdu-language Roznama Jasarat newspaper and translated by MEMRI. Its theme is about how the poet Muhammad Iqbal, who died in 1938, urges all Muslims to engage in Jihad even if they pursue this warfare against the infidel by non-military means.

Yet like a diamond in a coal mine appears in passing the following side:

When it comes to Analyzing the Middle East, We Live in the Age of Idiocy / Prof.B.Rubin

After more than 30 years of watching people write dumb things about the Middle East, I believe that in the last month I've seen more nonsense than at any previous time. The problem arises from ignorance, lack of understanding of the region by those presented as experts; plus arrogance, treating the region and the lives of people as a game (Hey, let’s try this and see what happens!), fostered by the failure of such control mechanisms as a balanced debate and editing that rejects simplistic bias or stupidity; as well as a simple lack of logic.

Obsessive Critics / Dr.Israel Barnir

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts. Often, to get rid of the thoughts, a person does the same tasks over and over. OCD is a chronic, or long-term, illness that can take over one’s life, hurt one’s relationships, and limit one’s ability to work or go to school.

When It's Necessary and Desirable to Assassinate Terrorists / Prof.B.Rubin

There has been a huge international controversy about the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a leading Hamas terrorist, in Dubai on January 19. I have no idea who did it but have some points to make on the subject.

1. Generally speaking, media coverage almost never (in Europe) or only minimally (in the United States) talks about what Mabhouh actually did to merit his end. The New York Times had the following paragraph at the very end of its story:

The Real Arab Stuff:Hussain Abdul Hussain Explains it all to us / Prof.B.Rubin

Hussain Abdul Hussain gets it. He’s one of the most interesting Arab journalists and he also writes in English. His latest article—published in the “Huffington Post"—entitled “Lonely Obama vs. Popular Iran” [but you don't have to use the link as I quoted practically all of it] he points out what the most realistic people and more moderate rulers in the Arabic-speaking world are thinking.

He explains what I’ve been telling you but since he has “Abdul” in his name perhaps you’ll believe it when he says it.

Theme one: Popularity isn’t so important in the Middle East:

Is the Iranian Regime Collapsing? menashe Amir

To grasp Iran’s ambitions and foreign policy it is necessary to understand the Islamic Republic’s religious ideology which aspires to establish global Islamic rule – under Shi’ite leadership. This belief lies at the heart of Iran’s foreign policy, including its ambition to acquire nuclear weapons.