Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dry Bones: College Class

Engaging Iran

US President Barack Obama  is pursuing a policy of dialogue with Tehran, an approach he inherited from his predecessor George W. Bush. The Obama regime, in response to the “charm offensive” of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has redoubled its push to engage with the Iranians.

This week we witnessed another American attempt.

In an interview with NPR Radio to mark the end of 2014, Obama said he did not rule out reopening the US Embassy in Tehran – should Iran choose to permanently end efforts to develop atomic bombs.

“I never say never, but I think these things have to go in steps,” the US president said of the possibility.

Obama said the Iranians should take advantage of the opportunity to lift international sanctions, “because if they do, there’s incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of Iran and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules – and that would be good for everybody.”

For those of us with the mindset of a liberal democrat, Obama’s argument makes perfect sense. But totalitarian regimes work according to different rules. While leaders of liberal democracies use their charisma and the power of their arguments to garner support and build consensus, the dictator’s skills are different. Ruthlessness and a willingness to sacrifice any person, value or cause for the sake of maintaining control characterize the autocrat. Identifying and exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses are essential for survival.

Heads of state hailing from liberal democracies tend to project their own values onto dictators, convinced that, like themselves, dictators are ultimately governed by basic moral principles and can be reasoned with.

In contrast, totalitarian regimes see an attempt to compromise, to find a middle ground, as weakness that they are quick to exploit. Dictators must be stopped by force, history has shown.

In the late 1930s, Adolf Hitler interpreted Neville Chamberlain’s desperate attempts at appeasement as a sign that Britain was war-weary. Nazi Germany had to be categorically and unequivocally defeated.

In 1982, it was not appeasement that brought down the murderous regime in Argentina. It was Margaret Thatcher’s decision to go to war – and humiliatingly rout the junta’s forces – to reclaim Britain’s control over the Falkland Islands.

In the late 1990s, it was not “engagement” but NATO bomb strikes and military intervention that precipitated the fall of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.

In 2005, Hamas did not see Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip as an opportunity to end its aggression against the Jewish state and begin the fruitful task of building an independent Palestinian state. It saw it as a sign that Israelis were caving in to terrorism.

Similarly, attempts to engage with the mullahs who run the Islamic Republic will never succeed.

However, a military attack might not be the only way to stop its march toward atomic bombs. Iran’s population is educated, sophisticated, surprisingly pro-Western and, given the right conditions, might eventually shake off its violent, reactionary Islamic leadership.

While many factors contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union, intense international pressure, particularly the activism of US Jewry for the release of refusniks and dissidents, helped. Many of the people persecuted under the Soviet regime became household names in the West – Andrei Sakharov, Natan Sharansky Edward Kuznetsov and Yosef Mendelevitch, for example.

But how many of us can name even one Iranian dissident? Human rights activists presently languishing in Iranian prisons must become known to the world.

Women’s rights activists such as Shiva Nazar Ahari and Laleh Hassenpour, bloggers such Siamak Mehr and Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, and student activists such as Zia Nabavi and Navid Khanjani must become household names.

Raising world awareness about those the Islamic Republic is persecuting and making these people’s names and faces known, coupled with economic sanctions, might set in motion internal political processes that could lead to regime change. It definitely has a better chance of working than “engagement.”


Even the Pentagon understands the need to use force against Iran if diplomacy fails. In his book A Time To Attack, Matthew Kroenig writes:

'Pentagon officials like to receive information in Power Point slides and the final slide in my presentation was a color-coded chart showing how the two outcomes under consideration ( a nuclear armed Iran or a military strike on Iran) would affect about a dozen key US national security interests. National objectives that improved in a particular scenario were colored green, those that were neutral were colored yellow, and increased threats to the national security of the country were depicted in various shades of orange and red, depending on their severity.
Two patterns stood out to everyone in the room. First there was very little green and a lot of orange and red on the slides. Second, the “nuclear-armed Iran side” of the chart was noticeably darker than the “military strike” side of the chart, meaning that the risks of the strike paled ( quite literally in this case) in comparison to the threats posed by a nuclear-armed Iran. Indeed at the end of the briefing, the senior-most official in the room looked me straight in the eye and said, “Well, if you are right, this is a no-brainer”.'


Unfortunately, the Iran policy of the Obama administration eerily resembles the Stanley Baldwin / Neville Chamberlain  policy towards Nazi Germany of the 1930s.  Here are the two final episodes of the 1981 TV series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 

Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years - Ep.7 - The Long Tide Of Surrender

Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years - Ep.8 - What Price Churchill?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

International Space Station - Israel

Israel - completely clear - on Christmas morning from the International Space Station. Astronaut Barry Wilmore woke up early on Christmas to reflect upon the beauty of the Earth and snap some images to share with the world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The megalomaniac and the wimp vs. Ayatollah Khamenei

Is there any evidence that Livni and Herzog understand the magnitude of the Iranian threat?

Livni: ‘The world listens to me,’ not to Netanyahu


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Herzog:      Glasses or no glasses?


The only issue that really matters is the looming existential threat from Iran. The price of cottage cheese and the price of apartments in Tel Aviv would not matter in a devastated country.

Will Israelis  take  leave of their senses and elect  these two who have no clue of the magnitude of the Iranian threat?

In contrast, there are two Israeli leaders who are fully aware:


On Bernard Lewis:

 A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.

Netanyahu quoted Bernard Lewis in his speech to the UN General Assembly in 2012:
There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.

On the Mahdi:
There are minor differences, to be sure. One wants to impose an Islamic caliphate, the other wants to impose the Mahdi [prophesied redeemer of Islam ]’s return. One wants to return to the 11th century, the other to a 9th-century regime. There are other differences, but they are tactical  

But the Iranians are rational, and the use of nuclear weapons is an irrational act. Like the Soviets, they will never do that.

“A Western individual observing the fantastic ambitions of the Iranian leadership scoffs: ‘What do they think, that they will Islamize us?’ The surprising answer is: Yes, they think they will Islamize us: The ambition of the present regime in Tehran is for the Western world to become Muslim at the end of a lengthy process. Accordingly, we have to understand that their rationality is completely different from our rationality. Their concepts are different and their considerations are different. They are completely unlike the former Soviet Union. They are not even like Pakistan or North Korea. If Iran enjoys a nuclear umbrella and the feeling of strength of a nuclear power, there is no knowing how it will behave. It will be impossible to accommodate a nuclear Iran and it will be impossible to attain stability. The consequences of a nuclear Iran will be catastrophic.”

Monday, December 22, 2014

Time to wake up

1. They haven't woken up yet. Certainly not in Australia. Even after the deadly terrorist attack at a cafe in Sydney, parts of the institutionalized Australian media are still trying to delude their audience, maintaining that it was a "lone-wolf" who perpetrated the horrific assault. The Australian prime minister "took comfort" in the knowledge that the assailant had a history of mental illness.

A European court decided this week that Hamas is not a terrorist organization -- it is a charity group with some "lone-wolf" members. The West's basic instincts have become dull, after decades of suppressing its own survival mechanism by self-imposing a stern "politically correct" regime. Most of the leading figures in the West (and in Israel) are more concerned with how they are perceived by the community, and that they say the "correct" words that they are allowed to say, than they are with actually confronting the truth.

Who is responsible for most of the terrorist acts around the world today? Mother Theresa? What percentage of Muslims support militant Islamist organizations? These are not "lone-wolves" -- this is a serious phenomenon with grave implications on the free world. It is something that needs to be confronted, rather than ganging up on anyone who points it out.

In February 2007, Professor Raphael Israeli -- an international expert on Islam and professor at Hebrew University -- was interviewed by an Australian newspaper. In the interview, Israeli warned that the Muslim minority living in the continent posed a real threat to the Australians. His studies suggest that life can become unbearable when the Muslim population of a Western country reaches critical mass (in one study he even attached a number to this idea of critical mass: 10 percent of the general population). It is a rule of thumb, he said, and if it applies everywhere, it certainly applies in Australia.

As an example, he cited the riots in Paris in 2006. Israeli suggested that the Australians ban the entry of Muslim radicals and adopt a preventative approach to avoid flooding the continent with immigrants from Indonesia. Muslim immigrants, he argued, have a reputation of taking advantage of Western tolerance and hospitality to advance their own ends. Trains in London and in Madrid were not blown up by Christians or Buddhists. They were blown up by Muslims. Precautions must be taken, he warned.

Not too far from Australia, in Bali, Islamist organizations perpetrated two horrifying terrorist attacks in 2002 and in 2005. Bali bomber Amrozi bin Nurhasin, who was charged with causing the deaths of more than 200 people, stood up in court in front of the global media and cried out "Jews! Remember Khaibar. The army of Muhammad is coming back to defeat you." Not one of the 200 victims was Jewish. The Australians watched, read the warnings, and went back to what they were doing.

When Israeli was interviewed, the Bali attacks were still fresh, but the regime political correctness made sure to take the string out. Israeli became the target of a Bolshevik-style witch hunt. He was accused of racism, xenophobia, and was called a plethora of derogatory names. He received death threats. In response, the Middle East expert told the Australians to wait and see what happens. This week, one would hope that the Australians recalled Israeli's cautionary words. Maybe some of them wondered why they didn't heed his warning. Maybe.

2. On Monday, radio personality Tali Lipkin-Shahak interviewed Professor Israeli. It wasn't the interview that was notable, but the style in which it was conducted -- a style shared particularly by many Israeli journalists, and Western journalists in general. "You were ahead of your time," she said to him. Israeli replied that he had been investigating the Muslim "diaspora" in Western countries for over a decade, and that in that time the Muslim population has grown to alarming proportions
"But why do you attribute violent intentions to the immigration process?" the interviewer asked him. "Joseph also immigrated to Egypt," she remarked, evoking the Book of Genesis.

True, the professor answered, remarking that he had written five books on the subject, "but Joseph's family had not proclaimed that it planned to conquer Egypt or to convert Egypt to become Israelite."

"The Muslims explicitly say that they did not come to Europe in order to become European, but to Islamize Europe." They have vowed that a Muslim flag will wave over 10 Downing Street in England and over Versailles Palace in France within 25 years, he explained.

Lipkin-Shahak then said that "one can always [always!] talk about those people in terms of a negligible, extremist minority, including the terrorist attackers." Even ISIS, she said, "has no more than several thousand members."

Israeli insisted that these atrocities are nothing new. In the past, Muslims who immigrated to Australia, Scandinavia and Germany, as well as other places, have perpetrated very serious attacks.

The overly concerned interviewers rushed to protect the ears of her tender listeners, saying "I have to be the one to tone things down, or at least present the opposing view," she said. "What you are saying, it is very serious. You are vilifying an entire population; you are contributing to the process of hatred and counter-hatred, which only causes harm and intensifies the violence."

Israeli was not surprised. "That is exactly what they told me in Australia, until they became the victims of a catastrophe…This is my job. Anyone who wants to listen can listen. Anyone who doesn't, they can wait for the next catastrophe."

Lipkin-Shahak stuck to her guns: "We listened, but we voiced a skeptical opinion. We disagree."

"What are you basing your opinion on?" Israeli wondered in desperation. "I am basing my opinion on thirty years of research, studying Islam, and you are basing yours on a trend, on the fact that it is not nice to say these things. We are talking on two completely different planes."

Indeed, two completely different worlds. Facts vs. beliefs. Reality vs. fantasy. Make love not war; imagine there's no countries, and no religion too. A very special kind of liberal fundamentalism. The moment the truth comes knocking, they retreat into their politically correct shells and refuse to recognize the facts. There is no such thing as Muslim terrorism. The terrorists come from outer space. Islam is a religion of peace and we mustn't link it to all these terrible acts perpetrated in its name. Sadly, the people who think this way -- the politically correct -- have the microphone. The researcher with the facts is only a momentary guest.

3. The politically correct mechanism that launders the language that we use makes it very hard to express doubt in these John Lennon-esque fantasies, like the Oslo Accords for example. It may be hard to believe, but the principles of the Oslo Accords are still being marketed, under new names, to this day. Case in point: The recent empty declarations made by newfound partners Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog regarding their ability to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For our own good, we need to examine the remarks made by the late Arab-Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who, in 1979, murdered Boaz Lahav of Tiberias and David Lankri of Beit Shean and seriously wounded five others when he detonated an explosive device inside a trash can on a busy Tiberias street.

In July, 2006, Abu Ein told Al-Alam Iranian television that "the Oslo Accords are not the dream of the Palestinian people. However, there would never have been resistance in Palestine without Oslo. Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse whish embraced the Palestinian resistance."

"Without Oslo, there would never have been resistance. In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo, and being armed through Oslo, and without the Palestinian Authority's A areas, without the training, the camps, the protection afforded by Oslo, and without the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo -- this Palestinian resistance and we would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifada."

Isn't it time to wake up?

U.N. Adopts 20 Resolutions on Israel vs. 4 on Rest of World Combined

In 2014, the U.N. General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions condemning Israel, and only four on the rest of the world combined, being one on Syria, North Korea, Ukraine and Iran.
There were zero UNGA resolutions condemning gross and systematic abuses committed by China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, nor on many other major perpetrators of grave violations of human rights.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Strawberries and Cream

Today’s lunch reminded me of a joke my parents told me about a communist MP contender campaigning in the 1950s: 

"When we come to power you will all have strawberries and cream for dessert!"

"Excuse me, but I do not like strawberries and cream."  

"You will like strawberries and cream!"

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dry Bones: Europe on its Knees

‘Something rotten in the state of Denmark?’

Israel is measured by standards different from those the EU uses to judge itself.

Demonstrators burn an Israeli national flag during an anti-Israel protest.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. – William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4, 

Israel should insist that we discriminate [against it], that we apply double standards [to it], this is because you are one of us. – Jesper Vahr, Danish ambassador to Israel, at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on December 12 

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. – Albert Einstein 

Last Thursday, the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference took place in the capital with an impressive lineup of prominent public figures – including the present and the previous presidents and the US ambassador.

The real fireworks, however, took place in the panel discussion dealing with relations between the EU and Israel.

Ignorant buffoon or disingenuous bigot? 

The furor was set off by an inane remark by Denmark’s ambassador, Jesper Vahr, who in the space of a few short minutes managed to bring discredit to himself, his country and its diplomatic service, and to reveal himself to be either an ignorant buffoon or a disingenuous bigot.

I imagine some unkinder souls might hold that the two (buffoon and bigot) are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

In response to allegations that Israel was being treated unfairly by the EU, Vahr eagerly rushed to confirm them, and proffered a startling “rationale” (for want of a better word) for why Israel should warmly endorse this openly confessed European bias.

He declared: “There is the allegation that Europe is applying double standards, discriminating. Let make this point. I think Israel should insist that we discriminate [against] you; that we apply double standards.”

According to Vahr, Israel should embrace this undenied bias “because you are one of us.”

Referring to events in the other Mideast countries and the values they reflect, the Nordic envoy informed us that “those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by. So I think you have the right to insist that we apply double standards – put you on the same standard in the European context.”

Soft bigotry of low expectations 

In response to this barefaced display of European arrogance and blatant bigotry of low expectations, the discussion moderator, The Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon, asked, with perhaps more courtesy than was called for: “But isn’t it kind of patronizing to Palestinians to say we hold Israel to a higher standard than we hold you?” Vahr’s less-than-convincing reply was that Israel was the much stronger party in the conflict with the Palestinians and hence it was only natural that Europe engage “our long standing partner [Israel] in a different fashion than we engage others.”

This position is manifestly absurd – on a number of levels.

First, there seems no way to interpret it other than condoning weakness as a license – or at least, an excuse – for moral depravity, or at least moral inferiority, regardless of the merits of the case of the stronger party, or the lack thereof of the weaker party.

Infuriating hypocrisy 

In the case of Israel, this attitude is particularly infuriating and hypocritical.

For over the last two decades, Israel has made gut-wrenching concessions to the Palestinians. Invariably, the justification for these concessions has been presented as Israel’s overwhelming strength, which could be brought to bear, should those concessions be exploited against it by the Palestinians. Yet, when those concessions have been exploited, and Israel has been compelled to use its strength to redress the situation, it has been excoriated for the use of “disproportionate force” – despite the fact that it was precisely that very preponderance (i.e. “disproportionality”) of force that was invoked as the reason for making the concessions in the first place.

Perversely, instead of Israel’s strength being a restraint against Palestinians excesses, it is presented as the justification for tolerating those excesses.

But the self-righteous hypocrisy goes even deeper.

Instead of what one might have expected, i.e. that an allegedly like-minded Europe would rally round Israel, as one of its own, besieged by a sea of animosity, Europe is mobilizing to impose the will of Israel’s tyrannical, Judeophobic foes on it – despite the fact that their societies reflect the diametric negation of values the EU purports to cherish.

Rather than trying to propagate the values it claims to represent, Europe is blatantly threatening to advance their negation. Instead of supporting those who uphold common values, Europe is threatening to beleaguer those who do.

Impudence and arrogance 

But beyond the hypocrisy, European censure of Israel radiates a misplaced impudence and arrogance.

As Nathan Gelbart, head of Keren Hayesod Germany, who also participated in the discussion, remarked: It is easy for us Europeans to give Israel advice, having neighbors like Belgium, Luxembourg and San Merino...

or even Denmark.

As painfully obvious as this might seem, its significance is lost on many. After all, for Israel, it is not only a matter of being judged by a divergent set of values, not applied to its adversarial neighbors. It is also a matter of being subjected to the divergent values of those adversaries.

But fairness and decency require Israel’s responses not only be judged by the values expected of it, but in view of the values of its adversaries, to which it is subjected and with which it has to contend to ensure its security and survival.

Policies that may well be appropriate/effective in contending with adversaries who share “European values” may well be hopelessly – even, perilously – inappropriate/ ineffective in contending with adversaries who do not.

In this regard, Western democracies have allowed themselves far more moral latitude than they apparently deem appropriate for the Jewish state – even when they have been called upon to contend with threats far more remote and far less menacing to their survival/ security than Israel is facing. But more on that in a moment.

Not a double, but a singular, Israel-only, standard Ambassador Vahr’s remarks elicited a robust response from my colleague, the Post’s Caroline Glick.

With an understandable burst of righteous rage, she resoundingly rebutted the ill-conceived concoction of allegations-cum-clarifications-cum-apologetics the hapless Danish envoy offered as the European position on the conflict.

But perhaps the most telling point she made was that Israel was not being judged by double standards, but by a singular standard that no other nation on the planet is expected to live up to.

The point is not that Israel is being judged by criteria different to those applied to the gory tyrannies that abound in the region, it is that Israel is being judged by standards different to those that Western democracies, and the EU, judge themselves.

No other nation on earth is called on to show such understanding for its sworn enemies, to display such largesse toward the demands of those openly dedicated to its destruction, to exercise such restraint against those overtly committed to its demise, to expose it children to such risk to satisfy the will of foes who, time after time, have proven they cannot be trusted...

Holding Israel to such standards is not holding it to double standards, but, as Glick correctly points out, to a singular – Jews-only – standard.

Stone throwing residents of glass houses? 

After all, Israel has been harshly condemned for inflicting undue civilian casualties, the use of “disproportionate force,” the quarantine of Gaza, the interception of vessels such as the Mavi Marmara.

However, even setting aside for the massive destruction inflicted on the civilian populations of the Axis powers by the Allies in WWII, there seems little room for the West to sanctimoniously pontificate to Israel.

Indeed, in recent decades, the West, including nations comprising NATO, has responded militarily to situations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq far more harshly than Israel has, even when the threat to its own domestic populations has been far less tangible than that menacing Israeli civilians.

Yet, although the forces of Western democracies have, in far-flung theaters, thousands of kilometers, from their homelands, inflicted vast numbers of civilian casualties, engaged in massively disproportional responses, imposed far more punishing embargoes, conducted far more “non-compliant boardings” of vessels in international waters, they have never been subject to the same degree of censure – and certainly not been threatened with sanctions – as Israel has.

It seems it is only the Jews who are called upon to adhere to standards and impose constraints on their freedom to defend themselves that are far more stringent than those observed, not by the brutal regimes of the Mideast, but by the liberal “European-compliant” regimes of the West.

NATO in the Balkans During early 1999, in the Balkans, in just under 80 days of intensive, high-altitude – some would say, indiscriminate, but certainly imprecise – bombing by NATO forces, including the use of cluster bombs, inflicted hundreds of civilian Serbian casualties. Serbian estimates are 2,500 dead. NATO bombs hit hospitals, old-age homes, market places, schools, passenger trains on bridges, buses cut in half while crossing ravines, and convoys of fleeing refugees – all this in a military campaign during which not one single civilian in a single NATO nation was ever threatened by Serbian action.

When questioned on the issue of civilian casualties, then-NATO spokesman Jamie Shea stated: “There is always a cost to defeat an evil. It never comes free, unfortunately. But the cost of failure to defeat a great evil is far higher.” Sounding like a carbon copy of IDF spokespeople explaining Israeli action in Gaza, he insisted that NATO planes bombed only “legitimate designated military targets”; and if civilians died it was because NATO had been forced into military action.

Adamant that “we try to do our utmost to ensure that if there are civilians around, we do not attack,” Shea, emphasized that “NATO does not target civilians... let’s be perfectly clear about that.”

In contrast to the thousands of civilians killed or wounded, the hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced and the tens of thousands civilian homes destroyed, there were fewer than 700 deaths reported among Serbian military personal. No NATO combat casualties were reported.

Disproportionality anyone? 

‘More children than died in Hiroshima’ 

In Afghanistan, where military action was undertaken in 2001, in response to a single terrorist attack, on a single NATO member, precise estimates of civilian deaths are difficult to come by. Most assessments, however, put civilian deaths at more than 20,000.

To give a sense of comparative “proportionality” of responses, relative to Israel’s population size, the number of fatalities incurred by the US in the 9/11 attacks would be barely equivalent to fatalities Israel incurred in two of the almost 200 suicide attacks it suffered in the bloody days of the 2000-2005 second intifada.

In Iraq, the number of recorded civilian deaths since the 2003-invasion due to direct war-related violence is approaching 150,000, in a military campaign which was launched without any overt aggression being directed against the US or its citizens.

But prior to the 2003 armed strike against Saddam Hussein, a crippling US-led UN embargo was enforced against Iraq – far more destructive than the quarantine placed on the terrorist enclave of Gaza. To gauge the devastating effect this had on Iraqi civilians, consider the following chilling extract from a Leslie Stahl interview on 60 Minutes (May 12, 1996) with Madeleine Albright, then-US ambassador to the UN, later secretary of state in the Clinton administration, on the effect the sanctions were having on the Iraqi population: Stahl: “We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.... Is the price worth it?” Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but... we think the price is worth it.”

Now imagine if an Israeli politician had displayed such callousness...

Breaking news – Hamas off terror list 

As I was composing this column, news came in that the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg had accepted a petition by Hamas to have itself removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations.

In light of this, how lame the words of Italian ambassador to Israel, Francesco Maria Talo, seem, when toward the end of the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference debate, he appealed: “Please don’t say we are helping terrorists. We want to avoid... help[ing] terrorists, there are rules within our countries to avoid this so we are sticking to international law.”

Really, Mr. Ambassador?

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.


I think that Jesper Vahr, the Danish ambassador to Israel, should proclaim himself persona non grata and leave.  Although Copenhagen did not recall him, for all practical purposes his usefulness as a diplomatic envoy has come to an end.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shame on the EU!

By recognizing ‘in principle’ the Palestinian state where Hamas is in the unity government, the EU 'in principle' condones the killing of Jews.

 Hamas CharterArticle 7:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter is taken from  Hadith Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.

Is Europe stupid? Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks!

EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list

 A top court of the European Union has annulled the bloc's decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on a list of terrorist groups.
The decision had been based not on an examination of Hamas' actions, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet",judges found.
The court said the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas' classification as a terrorist group.
It said a funding freeze on the group would continue for the time being.
Hamas dominates Gaza and fought a 50-day war with Israel in the summer. Under its charter, the movement is committed to Israel's destruction.
Responding to the ruling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas was a "murderous terrorist" group which should be put back on the list immediately.
Israel, the United States and several other nations have designated Hamas a terrorist organisation due to its long record of attacks and its refusal to renounce violence.
Hamas, which was founded in 1987, won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and reinforced its power in Gaza the following year after ousting its Fatah rivals.
Its supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement against Israel, with whom it has fought for years.
In December 2001, the Council of the European Union - representing the governments of member states - adopted a "common position" and a regulation to combat terrorism.
It established a list of designated entities and people whose funds would be frozen. Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, was named on the initial list, and its political wing was added two years later.
Hamas contested the decision and on Wednesday the EU's General Court found it had been "based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet".
The court said it was therefore annulling Hamas' designation but would temporarily keep existing measures against the group "in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds".
This would be maintained for three months, or, if an appeal is brought before the European Court of Justice, until it was closed, it added.
"The court stresses that those annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group within the meaning of the common position."
Hamas' lawyer, Liliane Glock, said she was "satisfied with the decision".
"Every decision since 2001 imposing restrictive measures, including on the armed wing, have been annulled. I believe that this judgement shows the whole world that it exists and is legal," she told the AFP news agency.
The Israeli prime minister said he expected the Council of the European Union to "immediately put Hamas back on the list".
"Hamas is a murderous terrorist organisation which in its charter states its goal is to destroy Israel," he added in a statement.

The ruling comes hours before the European Parliament is expected to vote on recognition of Palestinian statehood, after the parliaments of several member states took a similar step.

Op-Ed: Are You Stupid?

Paula R. Stern
Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 6:17 PM

"If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand. However, we must not limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position." ? Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Advisor to French President Jacques Chirac (August 25, 2003)

I could not possibly have read this statement correctly, I thought to myself the first time I read it. So, I read it again. After the fifteenth time, I finally had to admit that I was really reading these words. What do you mean, you "may have to" change the EU's stand? "May have to"?

How many deaths does it take to understand that Hamas is a terrorist organization? What ages must their victims be, what sex, what nationality? If you will not believe the Israelis, Mr. Gourdault-Mondagne, perhaps you would believe the Hamas themselves. 

Below is a very partial list of terror attacks for which
Hamas claimed responsibility. From their own mouths, they brand themselves the murderers of infants, children of all ages, pregnant women, old men and women. They have murdered hundreds, orphaned and maimed thousands more. 

After reading the list, I can think of only two possible reasons that France and the European Union would not immediately freeze Hamas? assets and publicly label them as the terrorist organization they show themselves to be. One reason would be that the vast majority of Hamas? victims are Jews, and clearly history has shown that Europe?s reaction to the murder of Jews is tainted by its inherent anti-Semitism. The second reason can only be utter stupidity. Your choice, Mr. Gourdault-Mondagne.

Read the list below and then I hope, given the ?clear cut? evidence, you will agree that it is time to ?change the EU?s stand.? 

* On August 19, 2003, twenty-one people were killed and over 130 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus in Jerusalem.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah all claimed responsibility. The victims: Goldie Taubenfeld, 43, the mother of 13, and her son Shmuel, 5 months, of the US; Lilach Kardi, 22, who was in the ninth month of pregnancy; Yaakov Binder, 50; Shalom Mordechai Reinitz, 49, and his son, Yissaschar Dov, 9; Elisheva Meshulami, 16; Rabbi Chanoch Segal, 65; Menachem Leibel, 24; Shmuel Zargari, 11 months old; Rabbi Eliezer Weisfish, 42; Miriam Eisenstein, 20; Chava Rechnitzer, 19; Rabbi Shmuel Volner, 50; Binyamin Bergman, 15; Liba Schwartz, 57; Avraham Bar-Or, 12; Faige Dushinsky, 50; Tehila Nathanson, 3; Rachel Weiss, 70; Marie Antonia, 39, of the Philippines.

* On August 12, 2003, Erez Hershkovitz, 18, was murdered at a bus stop outside Ariel when a Palestinian suicide bomber, 17, detonated himself. Three others were seriously wounded in the attack, which
was claimed by Hamas. 

* On June 20, 2003, gunmen opened fire on a passing car, killing Tsvi Goldstein, 47, and wounding his wife and parents on their way to join their son, who had been married the night before.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 7, 2003, Rabbi Eli Horowitz, 52, and his wife Dina, 50, were killed and five wounded by armed terrorists disguised as Jewish worshipers, while they were celebrating the Sabbath.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 5, 2003, sixteen people were killed and 55 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus en route to Haifa University.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Nov 21, 2002, eleven people were killed and some 50 wounded by a suicide bomber on a bus in Jerusalem. The bus was filled with passengers, including schoolchildren, traveling toward the center of the city during rush hour.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Hodaya Asraf, 13; Marina Bazarski, 46; Hadassah (Yelena) Ben-David, 32; Sima Novak, 56; Kira Perlman, 67, and her grandson Ilan Perlman, 8; Yafit Ravivo, 14; Ella Sharshevsky, 44, and her son Michael Sharshevsky, 16; Mircea Varga, 25, a tourist from Romania; Dikla Zino, 22. 

* On Nov 6, 2002, Assaf Tzfira, 18, and Amos Sa'ada, 52, were killed when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire in a hothouse and textile factory at Pe'at Sadeh. The terrorist was killed by a security officer.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Oct 10, 2002, Sa'ada Aharon, 71, was killed and about 30 people were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up while trying to board a bus across from Bar-Ilan University.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Sept 19, 2002, Solomon Hoenig, 79, Yossi Mamistavlov, 39, Yaffa Shemtov, 49, Rosanna Siso, 63, Ofer Zinger, 29, and Jonathan (Yoni) Jesner, 19, of Glasgow, Scotland, were killed and about 70 people were wounded when a terrorist detonated a bomb in a Tel-Aviv bus.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Aug 4, 2002, nine people were killed and some 50 wounded in a suicide bombing of a bus traveling from Haifa to Safed. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Mordechai Yehuda Friedman, 24; Sari Goldstein, 21; Maysoun Amin Hassan, 19; Marlene Menahem, 22; Sgt.-Maj. Roni Ghanem, 28; Sgt. Yifat Gavrieli, 19; Sgt. Omri Goldin, 20; Adelina Kononen, 37, of the Philippines; Rebecca Roga, 40, of the Philippines. 

* On July 31, 2002, nine people, four Israelis and five foreign nationals, were killed and 85 injured, 14 of them seriously, when a bomb exploded in a cafeteria on the Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: David Diego Ladowski, 29; Levina Shapira, 53; Marla Bennett, 24, of California (US); Benjamin Blutstein, 25, of Pennsylvania (US); Dina Carter, 37, (US); Janis Ruth Coulter, 36, of Massachusetts (US); David Gritz, 24, (US-France). Daphna Spruch, 61, died of her wounds on August 10. Revital Barashi, 30, died of her wounds on August 13.

* On June 18, 2002, 19 people were killed and 74 were injured, six seriously, in a suicide bombing at the Patt junction in Egged bus no. 32A. The bus, which was completely destroyed, was carrying many students on their way to school. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Boaz Aluf, 54; Shani Avi-Zedek, 15; Leah Baruch, 59; Mendel Bereson, 72; Rafael Berger, 28; Michal Biazi, 24; Tatiana Braslavsky, 41; Galila Bugala, 11; Raisa Dikstein, 67; Dr. Moshe Gottlieb, 70; Baruch Gruani, 60; Orit Hayla, 21; Helena Ivan, 63; Iman Kabha, 26; Shiri Negari, 21; Gila Nakav, 55; Yelena Plagov, 42; Liat Yagen, 24; Rahamim Zidkiyahu, 51.

* On June 8, 2002, Eyal Sorek, 23, his wife Yael, 24, 9 months pregnant, and Shalom Mordechai, 35, of Nahariya were killed and five others injured when terrorists infiltrated the community of Carmei Tzur and opened fire at 2:30am on Friday night.
The Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On May 19, 2002, Yosef Haviv, 70, Victor Tatrinov, 63, and Arkady Vieselman, 40, all , were killed and 59 people were injured, 10 seriously, when a suicide bomber, disguised as a soldier, blew himself up in the market in Netanya.
Both Hamas and the PFLP took responsibility for the attack. 

* On May 7, 2002, 15 people were killed and 55 wounded in a crowded game club in Rishon Lezion by a suicide bomber.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Apr 27, 2002, Danielle Shefi, 5, Arik Becker, 22, Katrina (Katya) Greenberg, 45, and Ya'acov Katz, 51, were killed when terrorists dressedin IDF uniforms and combat gear entered Adora. Seven other people were injured, one seriously.
Both Hamas and the PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Mar 31, 2002, 15 people were killed and over 40 injured in a suicide bombing in Haifa, in the Matza restaurant of the gas station near the Grand Canyon shopping mall.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Suheil Adawi, 32; Dov Chernobroda, 67; Shimon Koren, 55; his sons Ran, 18, and Gal, 15; Moshe Levin, 52; Danielle Manchell, 22; Orly Ofir, 16; Aviel Ron, 54; his son Ofer, 18, and daughter Anat, 21; Ya'akov Shani, 53; Adi Shiran, 17; Daniel Carlos Wegman, 50. Carlos Yerushalmi, 52.

* On Mar 28, 2002, Rachel and David Gavish, 50, their son Avraham Gavish, 20, and Rachel's father Yitzhak Kanner, 83, were killed when a terrorist infiltrated the community of Elon Moreh in Samaria, entered their home and opened fire on its inhabitants.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
* On Mar 27, 2002, 29 people were killed and 140 injured, 20 seriously, in a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in the coastal city during the Passover holiday seder. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Shula Abramovitch, 63; David Anichovitch, 70; Sgt.-Maj. Avraham Beckerman, 25; Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42; Andre Fried, 47; Idit Fried, 47; Miriam Gutenzgan, 82; Ami Hamami, 44; Perla Hermele, 79, of Sweden; Dvora Karim, 73; Michael Karim, 78; Yehudit Korman, 70; Marianne Myriam Lehmann Zaoui, 77; Lola Levkovitch, 85; Furuk Na'imi, 62; Eliahu Nakash, 85; Irit Rashel, 45; Yulia Talmi, 87; St.-Sgt. Sivan Vider, 20; Ernest Weiss, 79; Eva Weiss, 75; Meir (George) Yakobovitch, 76; Chanah Rogan, 92; Zee'v Vider, 50; Alter Britvich, 88, and his wife Frieda, 86; Sarah Levy-Hoffman, 89; Anna Yakobovitch, 78; and Eliezer Korman. 

 * On Mar 9, 2002, Limor Ben-Shoham, 27, Nir Borochov, 22, Danit Dagan, 25, Livnat Dvash, 28, Tali Eliyahu, 26, Uri Felix, 25, Dan Imani, 23, Natanel Kochavi, 31, Baruch Lerner, 29, Orit Ozerov, 28, Avraham Haim Rahamim, 28, were killed and 54 injured, 10 of them seriously, by a suicide bomber in a crowded cafe in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Feb 6, 2002, Miri Ohana, 45, and her daughter Yael, 11, were murdered in their home when an armed terrorist infiltrated Moshav Hamra. IDF reserve soldier, St.-Sgt. Maj.(res.) Moshe Majos Meconen, 33, was also killed in the attack. The terrorist entered the Ohana home disguised in IDF uniform. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility. 

* On Dec 12, 2001, Yair Amar, 13, Esther Avraham, 42, Border Police Chief Warrant Officer Yoel Bienenfeld, 35, Moshe Gutman, 40, Avraham Nahman Nitzani, 17, Yirmiyahu Salem, 48, Israel Sternberg, 46, David Tzarfati, 38, Hananya Tzarfati, 32, Ya'akov Tzarfati, 64, were killed when three terrorists attacked a bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel. About 30 others were injured. Haim Chiprot, 52, died of his wounds on March 25, 2002.
Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Dec 2, 2001, Tatiana Borovik, 23, Mara Fishman, 51, Ina Frenkel, 60, Riki Hadad, 30, Ronen Kahalon, 30, Samion Kalik, 64, Mark Khotimliansky, 75, Cecilia Kozamin, 76, Yelena Lomakin, 62, Rosaria Reyes, 42, of the Philippines, Yitzhak Ringel, 41, Rassim Safulin, 78, Leah Strick, 73, Faina Zabiogailu, 64, Mikhail Zaraisky, 71, were killed and 40 injured in a suicide bombing on an bus in Haifa.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Dec 1, 2001, Assaf Avitan, 15, Michael Moshe Dahan, 21, Israel Ya'akov Danino, 17, Yosef El-Ezra, 18, Sgt. Nir Haftzadi, 19, Yuri (Yoni) Korganov, 20, Golan Turgeman, 15, Guy Vaknin, 19, Adam Weinstein, 14, and Moshe Yedid-Levy, 19, were killed and about 180 injured by two suicide bombers in Jerusalem. Ido Cohen, 17, died of his wounds on December 8. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Aug 9, 2001, Giora Balash, 60, of Brazil, Zvika Golombek, 26, Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31, of the U.S., Tehila Maoz, 18, Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, Michal Raziel, 16, Malka Roth, 15, Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, Ra'aya Schijveschuurder, 14, Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, Lily Shimashvili, 33, Tamara Shimashvili, 8, and Yocheved Shoshan, 10, were killed and about 130 injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
* On May 18, 2001, Tirza Polonsky, 66, Miriam Waxman, 51, David Yarkoni, 53, Yulia Tratiakova, 21, and Vladislav Sorokin, 34, were killed in a suicide bombing in Netanya, in which over 100 were wounded. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 28, 2001, Eliran Rosenberg-Zayat, 15, and Naftali Lanzkorn, 13, were killed in a suicide bombing at the Mifgash Hashalom ("peace stop") gas station near the entrance to Kalkilya. Four people were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Hamas is a terrorist organization. What, are you stupid?


And let's not forget what Hamas stands for:

Hamas CharterArticle 7:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter is taken from  Hadith Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him