April 2010

Just Say "no": I Get Personally Invited to Help the Obama Administration Engage - and thus Strengthen - Terrorists / Prof.B.Rubin

Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” A good Middle East equivalent, at least among the anti-democratic forces, would be: That which does not scare me makes me bolder.

Can things get worse with the Obama Administration’s foreign—and especially Middle East--policy? Yes, it’s not inevitable but I have just seen personally a dangerous example of what could be happening next. In fact, I never expected that the administration would try to recruit me in this campaign, as you'll see starting with paragraph seven.

New Revelations about the UN Goldstone Report that Seriously Undermine its Credibility / Dore 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.

President Obama Follows Up on his Middle East Victory, A Satire / Prof.B.Rubin

“President Obama! President Obama,” said the aide in a cheery voice as he entered the Oval Office, “we just heard that Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to stop all construction in Jerusalem and give in to all your demands!”

“That is wonderful news,” chortled the chief executive. ‘’And as you know I never waste a moment. Quick! Get me my friend Mahmoud Abbas on the phone.”

The Middle East's Biggest CON - Game: Claiming Israel is the Cause of the Region's Priblems / Prof.B.Rubin

A former senior Canadian diplomat, Robert Fowler, made the main foreign policy speech to the Liberal Party convention there. He voiced the most common myth about the contemporary Middle East. In fact, it is a myth now returning to favor in the United States after many years in the shadows. (The last thing that killed it was the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait which indicated there were a few other problems in the region.)

Regarding Fowler, let me quote from the Ottawa Citizen editorial about the speech:

Another Failed Arab Summit - Symbol of a Hopelessly Divided Arab World / Zvi Mazel

Arab heads of state held their annual summit from March 27 to March 28 in the coastal city of Sirte in Libya. The “Sirte declaration” issued at the close of the meeting demonstrates the divisions and hopelessness of the Arab world.

A Paradox of Peacemaking:Fayyad's Unilateral Statehood Plan / Alan Baker

A Paradox of Peacemaking: How Fayyad's Unilateral Statehood Plan
Undermines the Legal Foundations of Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad published a plan in August 2009 to unilaterally declare statehood after a two-year state-building process. The Fayyad plan involves numerous governance components that already exist within the various frameworks composing the Oslo Accords, which already enable the Palestinians to develop their state-building capabilities within the peace process, and not necessarily as a unilateral initiative outside the process.

Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria ? David Schenker

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based on recent pronouncements from Syria, if the situation degenerates, fighting could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973.

On February 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus. Afterward, Hizbullah's online magazine Al Intiqad suggested that war with Israel was on the horizon.

The Palestinian Authority Celebrate Those WhoTurned Christianity's Holliest Shrine into a Military Bunker / Prof.B.Rubin

The Obama Administration doesn't understand this but it is signaling the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it can get away with anything, thus further dooming any hope for serious negotiations and perhaps leading to a restart of large-scale violence.

Decades ago, when Middle East experts held views closer to the region's realities rather than to its propaganda, it was well-known that one of the best ways to mobilize a big demonstration or riot in Arabic-speaking countries was to tell people: The government is with you.

The Obama Peace Plan as Reported by M.J.Rosenberg on Media Matters / Dr.Rivka Shpak Lissak

M.J.Rosenberg reported on his columan "Word on the Street" of the web site Media Matters on President Obama's "Peace Plan."

The Obama's proposal is, according to Rosenberg, very close to Clinton's Parameters from the Camp David Summit, September 2000:

First, there would be no right of return for refugees of the 1948 war to Israel, but the refugees will accept compensation.

Second, Jerusalem will become the capital of the 2 states: the Palestinian capital in the east and the Israeli capital in the west. The Old City and the holy sites will be under some international agreement.

Two Arab Journalists Warning what A Nuclear - Armed Iran Means / Prof.B.Rubin

The two Arab journalists I most respect have written of the fear in Arabic-speaking countries about Iran’s having nuclear weapons. They explain persuasively why a U.S. containment policy of reassuring Arab states and Israel against direct nuclear attack is totally inadequate.

Listen to what they’re saying as it is much more accurate in warning about the coming strategic shift in the region than what’s being written in the West.

An "Imposed Solution" on the Israel - Palestinian Issue takes a Big Step Forward / Prof.B.Rubin

The Idea of the Obama Administration Supporting an "Imposed Solution" on the Israel-Palestinian Issue Takes a Big Step Forward

Is the U.S. government going to present its own comprehensive peace plan on the Israel-Palestinian issue? There is growing evidence it is thinking of doing such a thing, though that is by no means certain. If the Obama Administration does move in this direction, however, I predict that it will be a major failure and humiliation for that government.

Palestinian Leaders Throw Again Away Opprtunity Obama is Giving Them and Poke him in the Eye / prof.B.Rubin

With their unerring skill at erring, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are throwing away still another opportunity President Barack Obama is giving them. If Obama is the most pro-Palestinian president in history, his counterparts don't seem to appreciate it very much. It is the Palestinian leadership, not Israel, that will ultimately make Obama look like and be a failure in all of his peace process efforts.

Brief history:

Zionism Is Racism" Resolution:The Rise , Fall and Eesurgence of a Libel / Yonathan Manor

The singling out of Zionism as a supposed form of racism was a device invented by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism during the negotiation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in the mid-1960s.
The failure of the Soviet-Arab strategy to expel Israel from the United Nations and replace it with Palestine led to the adoption in 1975 of UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (XXX), which determined that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."

Syria Escalares Weapons' Supply to Hizballah / Prof.B.Rubin

U.S. Engages Syria; Syria Escalates Weapons' Supply to Hizballah

Canada: A Case Study on Attitudes Toward Middle East Issues / Prof.B.Rubin

Canada is a good laboratory for assessing attitudes toward Israel and Middle East issues today. With a political culture somewhere between Europe and the United States, this is a country that can tell us a lot regarding governmental policy, public opinion, media, and both pro- and anti-Israel activism.

I toured parts of the country during the supposed peak of anti-Israel activity called, revealingly enough, Israel Apartheid Week (IAW).

Obama Backs off "Imposed Settlement" Idea / prof.B.Ribin

Recent stories have reported serious consideration by the Obama Administration in a National Security Council meeting of trying to impose the terms of an Israel-Palestinian peace agreement. In his press conference following the nuclear summit, President Barack Obama backed off this possibility, returning to standard U.S. positions on the issue.

He stated:

We were Warned By General Eisenhower

General Eisenhower Warned Us
It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses -because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'

Three Cheers for Congress, One for France, and Two and a Half Boos for Obama Policy / Prof.B.Rubin

The U.S. Congress is back as a factor in U.S. foreign policy. Partly because the Obama Administration has pushed it too far to do unpopular things; partly because members are no longer in awe of the president’s alleged invincibility and much-declined popularity. Many Democratic members see their whole careers flashing before their eyes. And, of course, there’s the administration’s decision to pick a quarrel with Israel.

For the first time since Barack Obama took power, we’re seeing a bit of a congressional revolt even from his own side of the aisle. The two issues are Israel and Iran.

The "Final Solution" of Jewish Existance in Palestine by Palestinians / Dr.Rivka Shpak Lissak

A. History

The Palestinian "narrativ" tells the Holy Land was an Arabic Land from time immemorial, that the Jews invented their connection to this land, that they are European colonialists who robed Arab land, expelled its peaceful ancient inhabitants and turned them into refugees.

The Palestinian "narrative" is an effort to rewrite history in order to eliminate the Jewish state, Israel. The facts of history are entirely different.

Israel Economy:After the Financial Crisis, New Challenges / David Rosenberg

Israel experienced no more than a mild recession as a result of the global financial crisis that began in 2007, a testament to policies adopted by the government over the previous decade. These policies emphasized fiscal restraint, as well as liberalization and increased competition across most of the economy while strengthening regulatory restrictions on the banking sector. Indeed, the only case of market failure in Israel came in the relatively unregulated non-bank credit sector.

"The New Israel Fund is part of a Global Deception Campaign / Ben Dror Yemini, Israeli Journalist

The New Israel Fund is part of the global deception campaign. It does not deal with human rights but with denying one people's right to self-determination.

The Jewish Nakba: Expultions, Massacres and Forced Conversions / Ben Dror Yemini, Israeli Journalist

Each year, the Palestinians mark Nakba Day, the catastrophe that befell them with the establishment of the State of Israel. But the Jews in Arab countries also suffered catastrophe and it was many times worse.

They say that she was stunningly beautiful. Sol (Suleika) Hatuel was 17 years old when she was beheaded. A Muslim friend claimed that she had succeeded in converting her. When Sol denied the claim, she was accused of renouncing Islam and was condemned to death. Her case reached the sultan.

The World is Lying: The Plight of the Refugees / Ben Dror Yemini, Israeli Journalist

This article is the second in a series of investigations of the unique standards applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the international community and world media. Part I of the series ("And the World is Silent" - 22 Sept. 2006) dealt with the world's silence in response to mass murders by Arabs of their fellow Arabs and Moslems. That silence is of particular significance in light of the constantly reiterated charge that Israel is implementing genocidal policies vis-Ã -vis the Palestinians.

The U.S. Israel Crisis May Be Over and we can "Celebrate" the Achievement of Nothing? Prof.B.Rubin

Something very interesting is happening very quietly. The Obama Administration appears to have forgotten about its quarrel with Israel, even though it is being reported with increasing reliability that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to suspend all construction in eastern or northern Jerusalem outside the 1967 lines. Maybe he has given an assurance to slow things down and avoid anything the U.S. government considers provocative.

Is the U.S. Diplomatic and Intelligence Community being Brainwashed in dealing with Islamism? Prof.B.Rubin

When I first heard the story that President Barack Obama was barring from national security documents the use of terms like "Islamism," "Islamic fundamentalist," "Islamic radicalism," or any reference of any connection between Islam and terrorist or revolutionary groups; al-Qaida, Hamas, and Hizballah; Iran's regime or al-Qaida, I said to myself, oh that's nothing new. That kind of policy started under Bush.

The West Should use Resolution 1701 to roll back Hizbullah's Effective Take- over of the Lebanese Government / Jonathan Spyer

The summoning by the United States of Syrian Deputy Chief of Mission Zouheir Jabbour for a review of Syrian arms transfers to Hizbullah is the latest evidence of the serious basis to the recent tensions in the north.

Syria has continued to deny recent reports suggesting that it permitted the transfer of Scud-D ballistic missiles to Hizbullah.

A Tale of 2 Palestinian Authorities / Jonathan Spyer

Four years after the Hamas victory in elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, and three years since the movement's successful coup in Gaza, the split in the Palestinian national movement has an increasing look of permanence about it. This has major implications for the currently frozen diplomatic process.

Israeli Academicians in the Service of Arab Terrorism / DR.Yohai Sela

A small strange group of Israeli academicians is intentionally harming all academic institutions and researchers' public status in Israel. Thanks to them, the word professor gained a negative connotation within the Israeli public – this process started at the beginning of the 1980's.

Jewish Anti- Semites:An Oximoron or is it / DR.Israel bar-nir

The excessive preoccupation of liberal intellectuals in and out of the academia, as well as the media, with Israel has been discussed in depth in a previous article (“Obsessive Critics”, http://www.rslissak.com/content/obsessive-critics-drisrael-barnir). The anti-Israeli campaign currently underway bears all the characteristics of an obsession that makes people afflicted with it lose all controls over their behavior and reactions.

Bill Clinton Explains how Middle East Utopia is Just around the corner /Prof.B.Rubin

It's truly amazing what some people say about the Middle East without anyone noticing the inaccuracies and contradictions. An interview former President Bill Clinton gave to the ABC news' program "This Week" is a wonderful example of this situation.

As a friend of mine who's a policy analyst just put it in evaluating another, roughly similar article: "Everyone should have views that approximate reality. There's still plenty of room for argument within that space."