January 2011

Why the Arab - Israeli Conflict cannot be solved by the current Palestinian Leadership / Ray Cook

I previously wrote about Palestinian rejectionism and how it would mean that no peace is possible with Israel because the Palestinian Authority has never had any other goal than the destruction of the State of Israel and this has not changed since the formation of the PLO in 1964 and it was also the goal of the Arab League before it.

Hamas, the Islamist organisation that runs the Gaza Strip is also dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

Tawfik Hamid is an Egyptian academic who has surprising views on Israel and the Middle East.

Dopes of the Day:Fooled by Syria...Twice / Prof.B.Rubin

Since I have written about how easily fooled Western politicians, officials, journalists, and academics are by Middle Eastern radicals, I'm going to try to provide examples in a regular feature called Dopes of the Day. This is a good starting point. (Be sure to read this article to the end to find out about both Dopes of the Day.)

Talking to Hamas?Increasing Expressions of Genocidal Intent by Hamas Leaders against Jews / Jonathan D.Halevi

Over the last few years there has been a steady drumbeat of calls from leading figures in the international community for Israel to open a dialogue with Hamas.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence of a new pragmatism among the Hamas leadership, but only greater indications of a much harder line, which is expressed by its adoption of expressions of genocidal intent in its war against Israel and the Jewish people.

Holland as a Case Study on Islam and Israel in Europe / Prof.B.Rubin

One should not generalize in describing European states. Still, the case of the Netherlands shows interesting points regarding both attitudes toward Israel and Islam.

Let's start with the Israel issue. I've been closely following the new Dutch government, formed after an election in which 55 percent of the voters supported explicitly pro-Israel parties.

Please, watch this Youtube


How Are the Jews Doing?Alan Caruba

Wondering how the world’s Jews are doing may seem a trivial question, but I have long thought of Jews as the proverbial canary in the coal mine. When events turn nasty in the world, it is the Jews who are most often its first victims.

If there is a rise in anti-Semitism worldwide it is, frankly, hard to detect from the constant, endless background noise from those who hate Jews full-time and would be utterly bereft of any purpose in life if there were no Jews.

How to start 2011:M.Phillips,G.Orwell,D.Murray and Myself- Explain It All to You / Prof.B.Rubin

How to Start 2011: Melanie Phillips, George Orwell, Douglas Murray--and, I Hope, Myself--Explain It All to You

“The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” --Isaac Asimov

On this the first working day of 2011 in the Western world, go read Melanie Phillips in her analysis of what's going on in the world. While she focuses on the demonization of Israel and the bizarre distortion of Middle East realities in the West, her argument applies across the board to the internal debate in Western democracies today.

Palestinian National Orchestra and BBC'S HISTORICAL ILLITERACY / Ray Cook

Editor's Note:BBC's Ignorence as to Historical facts is astonishing

I had to read a BBC News article twice recently; not something I would recommend.

The subject was ‘Palestinian orchestra to hold debut concert in Ramallah’.

Great. I’m all for culture and it’s good to see what must be essentially a Muslim orchestra playing western music.

The article shows us orchestra members including a woman in a hijab. So far so good.

Then the jaw-dropping bit:

The Egyptian Copts and Why a One -State Solution in the Middle East is not Possible / Ray Cook

We are all probably now painfully aware of the onslaught against the Christians of Iraq.

I have previously written about the harassment of the Christians of Bethlehem and the Middle East here.

Less is reported about the plight of the ancient Coptic Christian community in Egypt.

Ami Isseroff has published the contents of a letter by a Coptic Christian living in the US to President Obama. It makes painful reading. (see IsraelNews at http://www.zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2011/01/04/letter-from-a-copti...).

A New Palestinian Lie about Israel / Prof.B.Rubin

A New Palestinian Lie About Israel and The Need to Discount Such Stories Systematically

What happens when the New York Times publishes, with no investigation, an atrocity story about Israel that is not only false but ridiculously so, based on the most obvious starting point: death by tear-gas doesn't happen?

Egypt's Latest Drama:The Kung Fu Spy and his Alleged Mossad Masters / Zvi Mazel

Stories about Israeli spying in Egypt are nothing new, but the present frenzy about an alleged spy ring is unprecedented. Lengthy articles detail implausible events; according to press report the indictment itself runs to 508 pages! One can't help wondering whether this deluge of information is not intended to divert public attention from the country's current woes. The recent parliamentary elections were a huge embarrassment, with more than 96% of the seats going to the ruling party and its affiliates and the opposition looking on from outside.

Wilkileaks on Gaza Shows Israeli Policy and Why it Makes Sense /Prof.B.Rubin

Wikileaks on Gaza Shows Israeli Policy and Why It Made Sense

A new Wikileaks document is being spun by some media to imply something critical about Israel's policy in the Gaza Strip. In fact, the secret cable shows the exact opposite. It also shows that what I've been writing on the subject was 100 percent accurate.

The U.S. State Department cable dated November 3, 2008, says that the goal of Israel's sanctions on the Gaza Strip was to keep Gaza's economy functioning at the lowest possible level without causing a humanitarian crisis.



Hat tip to Richard Millett and a really telling blog post “Note to ASA: “Palestine” does not officially exist”.

The ASA in question is the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

The advert in question is this:

As Richard points out:

A few months ago, after one complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the Israeli Tourist Office from advertising Israel’s most precious site, The Western Wall in Jerusalem, in adverts for Israel.

He also points out that this advertisement is yet another example of how Palestinians airbrush Israel off the map.

How to Construct Successful Anti-Israel Libels / Prof.B.Rubin

Alleged Israeli Mossad Animal Spy Use And How to Construct Successful Anti-Israel Blood Libels

PART ONE: Using animals as intelligence agents

As the proud owner of three cats (or vice-versa as it often seems), I have not yet deployed them for intelligence use. However, to read various Middle Eastern newspapers, you would think that Israel is the world leader in having animal espionage agents. This is my list so far but tell me if I'm missing anything:

The Real Issue Between Israel and the Palestinian is A National Conflict - Not Human Rights / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Human Rights Organizations work very hard to convince us that the Issue between Israel and the Palestinians is a human right issue. This is a false effort to demonize and de- legitimize the Jewish state and support the Palestinian dream to replace Israel with a Palestinian state from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan river.

In short, the Human Rights organizations have a political agenda and the issue of human right is a cover, a mask to conceal the real goal.

What About Arab Raism / DR.Shaul Rosenfeld

Why does protest in the wake of rabbis’ letter ignore local Arab racism against Jews?
Shaul Rosenfeld

At the beginning of last week, they made do with ordering the prime minister to suspend the rabbis over their letter, stop funding them, and “completely halt racist legislation at the Knesset.”

Rabbis' Letter

Druckman: It's a rabbi's duty to voice opinions / Kobi Nahshoni

Religious Zionism leader slams police investigation into rabbis' letter, says 'halachic rulings are not racism'
Full Story

Building Partnerships and Synergies in Countering the Assault on Israel's Legitimacy / M.Stern

From 19 to 21 December 2010, approximately 115 professional Jewish executives from over 30 countries and 60 organizations gathered together with senior officials of 7 government of Israel ministries for an international Strategic Consultation in Jerusalem. The consultation was the result of cooperation and collaboration by the government of Israel and the top Jewish organizations in the world and was sponsored by the WJC.

U.S Assistant Secretary of State Slams NY Times / Prof.B.Rubin

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Slams NY Times for Championing Hizballah Apologists; Ignoring Truly Heroic Journalists

Regarding my critique of the New York Times amazing article lionizing a Hizballah-Syrian front newspaper as independent and courageous, it is worth reading this letter to the newspaper by the current U.S. assistant secretary of state for the region:

New York Times/Letters to the Editor/January 8, 2011/Heroic Journalism in Lebanon? Ex-Envoy Disagrees

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to Peter Beinart and J.Street / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Prof. Beiart is working to disconnect American- Jews ties with Israel.

Peter Beinart, an Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York and one of the leaders of the J.Street organization.

Prof. Beinart published an article "Reaching the Younger Generations about Israel."

Cameron, China, Israel - Spot the Double Standard / Ray Cook

Trade links between the UK and China are very important. Why? Because China is emerging as the superpower and economic giant of the 21st century whilst the United States is in deep financial difficulties.

The Chinese market is huge. EU countries are falling over themselves to make deals with China.

The BBC today announced:

Mr Li, tipped to become China’s next premier, has also been pressing to get EU trade bans against China lifted.

The EU has an arms embargo in place that limits high-technology sales to China which could have a dual military use.

If One Extremist Gunman can do so much damage, How About Million such people in the Middle East / Prof.B.Rubin

When one crazed or ideologically obsessed gunman named Jared Loughner starts shooting in Arizona, people condemn him and start bemoaning the state of their society. How about a place with ten million people like that who are treated as heroes?

Letter to Time Megazin Journalist Karl Vick / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

TO:Karl Vick
From: DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak, historian and journalist
A friend sent me your article:
Why Israel doesn't care about peace

I was shocked:
How many Israelis did you interview in order to come to the conclusion that Israel does not care about peace?
If this is objective unbias journalism - I am a ballet dancer.

You have to be ashamed of yourself to accuse millions of Israelis for not caring about peace after talking to less than 10 people.

Do you think that if life goes on and people buy houses- they don't care about peace?.

Israel Security Report for 2010:Trends in Attacks and Threats / Prof.B.Rubin


You might find interesting some details from the Israel Security Agency report on 2010.

--Iran smuggled about 1,000 mortar shells and hundreds of rockets through Sudan and Sinai into the Gaza Strip in 2010.

--The most significant new weapon for Hamas is the Kornet anti-tank rocket, the best in the world and the one used by Hizballah against Israeli tanks effectively in 2006. In response, Israel has sent a battalion already equipped with sophisticated protective equipment to that border.

Friends of Israel Monthly Report

Friends of Israel Initiative in Mexico

The Friends of Israel Initiative will be officially presented in Mexico DF on January 18th-19th by José María Aznar.

Herzliya Conference

Rafael Bardají, FOII’s Executive Director, will be participating in the 2011 edition of the Herzliya Conference on February 6th-9th.

Recent Events

Prize to José María Aznar

Iran Sends a Signal to Obama Through Beirut / Shimon Shapira

Countdown to a New Lebanon Crisis: Iran Sends a Signal to Obama through Beirut

On January 12, 2011, just as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House, the pro-Iranian Hizbullah forced a collapse of the Lebanese government. Ten of its ministers held a press conference announcing their decision in Beirut that was broadcast live on Lebanese television during the Obama-Hariri summit.

A Senior Palestinian Officer:"Israel Ignors the Strengthening of the Hamas on the Western Bank / DR.Rivka Shpek Lissak

A senior Palestinian officer told Al Jazeera reporter, January 12(report by Nir Yahab, Wallah) that Iran has been helping the Hamas to rebuild its power on the Western Bank by sending a lot of money.

The Palestinan officer told the reporter that Hamas could easily take over the Western Bank if the Israeli army will leaves the Western Bank.

The Palestinian officer told the reporter that in the last 4 years Israeli army succeeded in crushing the power of the Hamas by arresting or killing its members and leaders. But, recently Israel has been ignoring the strengthening of the Hamas.

Two Big Developments: Lebanon:Government Falls:Egypt/Islam:Jihad? Prof.B.Rubin



Both of these stories are important so please read to the end as the new fatwa it discusses could be a turning point.

--Hizballah ministers walked out of Lebanon’s government bringing it down. Why? They didn’t have to do it since they have veto power and would have prevented the government from endorsing the international tribunal investigation that would point to Syria (and perhaps Hizballah) as the source of terrorism in Lebanon, including the killing of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Tunisia - First Popular Uprising in the Arab World / Zvi Mazel

The spontaneous revolution of Tunisian people has forever changed Arab world; it has shown that grassroots revolution can happen everywhere.
Talkbacks (1) What happened in Tunisia stunned and embarrassed Arab and Western countries alike.

Tunisia was not a country made of revolutionary material. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s government was stable and the economy prosperous. The country had expelled Rashad Anushi and the other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood after their party, Islamic Renewal, had obtained 17 percent of the vote in the 1987 elections.


How "news" of Israel - Palestininian Coverage is Really Created / Prof.B.Rubin

How incredibly bad is media coverage of Israel-Palestinian issues and of the Middle East in general? Here’s an example.

CNN has just run a report on how wonderfully moderate the Palestinian Authority (PA) is. They are firing imams of West Bank mosques who are spewing out incitement against Israel!

Well, first of all this claim began five months ago, when the PA started peddling it, and I wrote about it almost three months ago, after liberal American Jews began citing it as another demonstration of the PA's moderation. It is not a new story at all.

Why Obama Administration Peace Process Policy Will be A Total Waste of Time in 2011 / Prof.B.Rubin

Since predicting the future is hard, to say the least, it's always interesting when one can clearly see a crisis looming months ahead of time. The usual pattern is for the impending problem to be ignored until the last minute, then it is suddenly discovered by journalists and policymakers with great astonishment.

Often, they then misdiagnose the causes of the problem precisely because they never understood why it happened in the first place.

Human Rights Rogues Are UN-FIT TO SERVE/ Hillel Neuer

Why does the United Nations' Human Rights Council turn a blind eye to systematic repression in countries such as Cuba, Iran and Zimbabwe? Here's one reason: Its Advisory Committee, meeting this week in Geneva, is dominated by apologists for the world's worst dictators.

The Obama administration is rightly calling to abolish this body of 18 advisers. It's time for other UN stakeholders to do the same.

Expert: Halima Warzazi, who shielded Saddam from censure

Iran's Execution Binge / Jonathan Spyer

The power of the intelligence and security apparatuses has grown. This is reflecting itself in the brutal repression of dissent taking place in the Kurdishspeaking areas along the border with Iraq. Khazri was the latest victim of this repression. He was almost certainly not the last.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 15 in the isolated and overcrowded Urumiya prison in western Iran, the authorities hanged one of their opponents.

The Truth on the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The League of Nations recognized after First World War the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland, the Land of Israel and build their national home.

Arabs Want UN Secutity Council to Censure Settlement Building - An EXCUSE to Avoid Negotiations

Arabs want UN Security Council to censure Israeli settlement building

On the initiative of the Palestinian Authority, several governments of Arab countries have submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council calling for a condemnation of Israel for its settlement activities in the West Bank. The Palestinians said they would bring the issue to the Security Council because US attempts to get a settlement building freeze had failed. Palestinian negotiators pulled out of direct talks with Israel over the issue in October 2010.

Who Killed Lebanon's Rafik Hariri?Say it Nicely or Terrorists Will Get Angry / Prof.B.Rubin

We are awaiting the publication of the international tribunal report on who killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri We all know the Syrian government did it but recently there seems to have been more and more evidence that Hizballah was involved as well.

Abbas Supports the Perpetrators of Genocide / Ray Cook

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his personal support for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who is accused of being responsible for the genocide in Darfur. In a letter to the Sudanese president, Abbas wrote that he and Palestinians “have complete faith in the wisdom of President Omar Al-Bashir.”

Confidential Papers Reveal:Palestinians Willing to Cede Israel Most Jewish Settlements in 2008 Talks

During the 2008 peace talks with the Olmert government, Palestinian negotiators were willing to leave most parts of eastern Jerusalem to Israeli control under a final peace deal, according to secret Palestinian documents leaked to the Arab TV channel ‘al-Jazeera’. Minutes detailing the concessions offered came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators. The document is one of more than 1,600 that ‘al-Jazeera’ has begun posting on its website Sunday.

The "Palestinian Papers" Story is a Fabrication That Teaches Us The Truth / Prof.B.Rubin

The "Palestine Papers" hoax is (or, more accurately, should be) turning into the most teachable moment about the Israel-Palestinian conflict in modern history. At least, everyone has reversed what happened: The compromise position was offered by Israel; the Palestinians rejected peace. Are we going to see this story corrected?

The “Palestine Papers” have been "obtained" by al-Jazira, the Guardian, and perhaps others, in imitation of Wikileaks.

Iran Changes the Balance of Power in Lebanon / LT.COL.(ret.)Michael Segall

What is striking about the current crisis in Lebanon is that the efforts to resolve it are being made by countries in the region, with hardly any initiatives on the part of Western countries, enabling Iran and Syria to continue to stir the pot unmolested.

Iran no longer hesitates to state publicly that its forward defense line now passes through "Lebanon and Palestine." In practice, the Lebanese-Israeli border is in fact Israel's border with Iran.

The Sheep , the Wolf, and the Village's Idiot/ Emmanuel Navon

The ideological divide between idealists and realists stems from two sets of assumptions about human nature and reality.

Will an IDF Whithdrawal from the West Bank Mean a Safe Haven for Extremist Groups / Col.Richard Kemp

To stand any real chance of success, every insurgent or terrorist movement needs a safe haven to operate from. Israel has had more than a flavor of what it can mean to leave hostile groups in control of lands adjacent to its own borders in southern Lebanon and in Gaza. Any similar move to totally cede control to the Palestinians of the West Bank or a part of Jerusalem would carry immense risk.

Release of Confidential Papers Complicates Mideast Peace Process

The US State Department has acknowledged that the release of the ‘Palestine Papers’ by the Arab news channel ‘al-Jazeera’ would complicate American efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. However, a State Department spokesman said the publication of 1,600 confidential Palestinian documents on the negotiations with Israel would not slow the Obama administration’s work toward that goal. “We don’t deny that this release will, at least for a time, make the situation more difficult than it already was,” P.J. Crowley was quoted as saying.

British Writer Slams Israel Boycott Campaigners

The UK novelist Ian McEwan has told a group of pro-Palestinian activists who criticized him for accepting the Jerusalem Prize for promoting the freedom of the individual in society to “stay away” and respect his decision. The novelist, who was awarded the 2011 Jerusalem Prize last week, said he disagreed with those who called on him to reject the award.

Increasing Expressions of Genocidal Intent by Hamas Leaders Against Jews / Jonathan D.Halevi

Over the last few years there has been a steady drumbeat of calls from leading figures in the international community for Israel to open a dialogue with Hamas.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence of a new pragmatism among the Hamas leadership, but only greater indications of a much harder line, which is expressed by its adoption of expressions of genocidal intent in its war against Israel and the Jewish people.

Palileaks - What Goes On? Ray Cook

These are my quick notes on the PaliLeaks farrago so far:

What currently concerns and confuses me is how two completely opposite narratives are coming out of the same material, The JPost seems to accept the validity of the leaks and claims it shows the PA in a bad light and Israel is exonerated, whereas the Guardian, BBC et al see it the opposite way.

Robin Shepherd claims it shows the settlements were never an issue; Melanie Phillips agrees with Erekat that the key documents represent the Israeli position not the PA position; Channel 4 news in the UK take the Guardian position.

Coming Soon From Those Wonderful People Who Brought You the "Palestine Papers" / Prof.B.Rubin

"Avtalyon would say: Scholars, be careful with your words. For you may be exiled to a place inhabited by evil elements who will distort your words to achieve their bad goals. Those who come after you will then drink of these evil waters and be destroyed...." Pirkei Avot, Chapter One, Paragraph 11.

PS: On Palestine Papers / Prof.B.Rubin

A reader writes that he agrees with my assessment on the Palestine Papers but then adds that he doesn't mind seeing PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and PA prime minister Salam Fayyad subjected to some heat and criticism.

My response: How would you like to see them lynched by a crazed mob and replaced by people who launch a new uprising in which hundreds or thousands of people on both sides die?

An Interview on the Egyptian Revolt / Prof. B.Rubin

1) How do you judge the Egyptian protests?
It is tempting to see this as a revolution that will bring down the regime. But Egypt is not Tunisia. And while the demonstrations are passionate it is not clear that the numbers of participants are huge. If the elite and the army hold together they could well prevail, perhaps by removing Mubarak to save the regime. We should be cautious in drawing conclusions.

2) Do you see the threat of an Islamist takeover by the Ikhwan?

The Birth of Hizballahstan / Jonathan Spyer

The Birth of Hizballahstan
By Jonathan Spyer

Events have moved fast in Lebanon. The country now faces the prospect of a government controlled by Hizbullah and consisting solely of the movement and its allies.

Parts of Lebanon looked in danger of slipping into chaos on Tuesday, as angry Sunnis took to the streets for a "Day of Rage" in protest of what they called Hizbullah's "coup."