Saturday, May 31, 2014

The confirmed unteachability of Israeli politicians and media

Before I quote Caroline Glick’s article from Friday’s Jerusalem Post I have to explain where the term confirmed unteachability  comes from. On May 2, 1935 Winston Churchill said this in the House of Commons:

 “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply the remedies which then might have effected a cure.  There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline books. It falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history." 

The upcoming Peres-is-a-Superhero festival will just be the latest of the narcissistic, tasteless celebrations of this man, always choreographed expertly by Peres and his retinue of media groupies.

On June 10, the Knesset will elect President Shimon Peres’s successor. As he departs the President’s Residence at the end of June, the media will provide saturation coverage of his final days and tell us over and over that Peres is the greatest statesman in Jewish history. His personal gravitas is Israel’s single most important asset in the world, they will say as they warn of our bleak future without him.

The upcoming Peres-is-a-Superhero festival will just be the latest of the narcissistic, tasteless celebrations of this man, always choreographed expertly by Peres and his retinue of media groupies.

Like his 80th and 85th birthdays, Peres’s 90th birthday celebration went on for a month. As the serving president, his last two monthlong benders cost the taxpayers millions of shekels and broke the budget of the President’s Residence.

All were replete with international celebrity guests like Nelson Mandela, Bono and Bill Clinton whom the press drooled over.

Hyperventilating reporters paused between drinks to mournfully note that after Peres leaves office, the parties will end and the A-listers will stop visiting.

And that’s the problem with Peres’s showboating. It’s always been all about him, never about us.

Peres’s popularity among the jet-setters never translates into international support for the State of Israel. Israel is but a prop for him – a means of securing the continued support of the beautiful people.

Actually, it’s worse than that. Peres’s international popularity has always grown in indirect proportion to Israel’s. The more Hollywood stars he adds to his collection, the worse Israel’s international isolation.

This makes sense. Ever since Peres became the architect of the phony peace process with the PLO in 1993, the world outside has used its embrace of him as a means of hiding its hostility to Israel.

Governments that adopt anti-Israel positions, and individuals who condemn us regularly, use Peres, whom they lionize as Israel’s “elder statesman,” to falsely represent their hostile behavior as proof of friendship.

Hence the likes of Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan could show up at Peres’s birthday parties, get their pictures taken with him, and then turn around and bash Israel as the chief obstruction to peace in the Middle East.

Hence Yasser Arafat could “show his commitment to peace” by meeting with Peres hours after his henchmen carried out heinous crimes, like the lynch of IDF reservists in Ramallah in 2000, or the massacre of Israeli teenagers at the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv in 2001, and so deny the government the ability to retaliate.

Peres is beloved by the media and the rest of the leftist elites, and despised by much of the public, for his role in engineering the fake peace process with the PLO.

Some 1,500 Israelis lost their lives because of his initiative. Israel’s international standing, which was reaching new heights with the end of the Cold War, has in the intervening years plummeted to previously unknown depths.

Peres sent his emissaries to Oslo to negotiate with senior PLO terrorists in breach of Israeli law, and without the knowledge, let alone the authorization, of his boss, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was arguably the worst strategic blunder in Jewish history.

Yet, as he exits the President’s Residence, embracing the PLO will not be the worst or the most catastrophic mistake of his career.

In the fullness of time, compared to his latest debacle, Peres’s initiation and maintenance of the Oslo process will be but a footnote in his career as Israel’s most illustrious subversive.

Peres’s most significant legacy will be the nuclear arsenal he leaves behind.

No, not Israel’s purported nuclear arsenal that Peres’s flaks eagerly claim he is solely responsible for developing.

Peres’s legacy will be Iran’s nuclear arsenal.

For years, many Israelis as well as Israel’s supporters in the US, the Sunni Arab states in the Persian Gulf and even the French have been scratching their heads wondering why Israel hasn’t struck Iran’s nuclear installations yet.

Over the past few months, we received our answer.

The ongoing police investigation into allegedly illegal conduct by then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has revealed the source of Israel’s paralysis.

Apparently led by Peres, the triumvirate of security chiefs serving between 2008 and 2011 – Ashkenazi, then-Mossad director Meir Dagan and then-Shin Bet director Avi Dichter – colluded to undermine Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s and then-defense minister Ehud Barak’s legal authority to order Israel’s security forces to take action against Iran.

According to a Haaretz report on Wednesday, between 2008 and 2011, the four men leaked plans and discussions of possible Israeli strikes on Iran to the media in order to prevent them from being carried out. The four men opposed an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations and stridently rejected any Israeli operation not coordinated with the US.

Ashkenazi and his associates are being investigated by the police for crimes associated with criminal insubordination to Israel’s elected leadership.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the police probe in January after information unearthed by the media and by the State Comptroller’s Office raised strong suspicions of a conspiracy led by Ashkenazi to usurp the powers of the government.

According to media reports of the investigation, the police have discovered tape recordings of numerous telephone conversations between Ashkenazi and Peres. According to Channel 1 and Haaretz, Peres’s attorney requested that Weinstein prohibit the publication of the details of phone conversations.

Haaretz’s report didn’t specifically state that the conversations in question related to actions by Peres and the security chiefs to prevent military operations against Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

But the same day the report appeared, Amir Oren, Haaretz’s senior commentator, published an article praising Peres for preventing Israel from attacking Iran.

Oren wrote, “Peres’s involvement in blocking the Iranian adventure [i.e., a military attack against Iran’s nuclear installations] is… the most important action he took as president.”

As Amnon Lord wrote last December in Makor Rishon, Peres’s role in the security chiefs’ conspiracy to prevent Netanyahu and Barak from ordering a strike against Iran’s nuclear installations was to provide “pseudo-constitutional and pseudo- moral support” for their unlawful subversion.

The four men were very likely not acting by themselves.

Lord argued that the Obama administration was a fifth partner in this criminal conspiracy.

The US was represented in its efforts by the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen. Mullen visited Israel almost every month during this period and constantly praised Ashkenazi’s leadership publicly.

As Lord noted, these trips were reciprocated by Ashkenazi and then-Military Intelligence commander Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin who flew regularly to Washington.

For the Americans, Lord wrote, the point of cultivating these ties was “to influence the IDF’s high command and cut it off from the political leadership of Israel.”

In the case of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, as in the case of the phony peace process, Peres’s motivation, like that of Ashkenazi, Dichter and Dagan, was clear and crass. He wanted power.

The facts already established by the Ashkenazi et. al. conspiracy probe reveal that from his earliest days as chief of staff, Ashkenazi was preparing the ground for a post-IDF run for prime minister.

His will to rule distorted his perception of his place in the chain of command. Instead of viewing Netanyahu and Barak as his commanders, as the law stipulates, he saw them as his political rivals, and behaved accordingly.

As for Peres, he had been searching for a leftist politician who could defeat Netanyahu. Ashkenazi was his knight in shining armor.

This is why Peres launched a public campaign after Ashkenazi retired in 2011 to give Ashkenazi immunity from the law requiring military personnel to wait a year between their retirement from the service and their entrance into politics.

Leaking top secret information about internal discussions and plans related to military attacks on Iran is a treasonous act. If, as seems likely, the probe reveals collusion between the four men and the Obama administration, that would represent another act of treason.

But leaving treason aside, the questions still arises: How could these men, who were charged with protecting the state from its enemies, act as they did? There are plenty of ways to gain political power. Why would they try to advance their political fortunes by undermining Israel’s ability to prevent Iran – which has made our annihilation its declared goal – from acquiring nuclear weapons? The tragedy of Israel is that under the guidance of narcissists like Peres, Israel’s elites have over time adopted his overweening sense of entitlement and his puerile view of the world. Encouraged by Peres and others like him, men like Ashkenazi, Diskin and Dagan view Netanyahu as a usurper. He comes from the wrong side of the ideological and social tracks.

By daring to get elected and reelected, Netanyahu, they believe, is taking away what is rightfully theirs. And so, as they see it, he deserves no respect. Their job as public servants is to either topple his government or make it impossible for him to govern, or both.

This sense of entitlement is made worse by a provincial and childlike view of the world where actions have no consequences, threats are in our heads, and lunch is always free.

Peres and the security brass have repeatedly argued that Iran’s nuclear program is a US problem, not an Israeli one, and that Israel can trust President Barack Obama to take care of it for us.

It doesn’t matter to them that Obama has made clear by word and deed that Israel cannot trust him on Iran. The same men who think the worst of Netanyahu and will stop at nothing to prevent him from making the decisions for which he was elected, take everything Obama and his advisers say at face value.

In Peres’s case, he’s been pretending away the consequences of his own actions for 20 years. His narcissistic, sociopathic view of the world has blinded him to the devastating outcome of his embrace of the PLO. And now that it is obvious that the US will do nothing to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Peres behaves as though there is no cause for concern.

In his meeting earlier this month with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Peres scoffed at the mounting danger of a nuclear Iran with his signature inanity, saying, “President Obama said the US shouldn’t be the policemen of the world and I agree. The US should be the peacemaker of the world.”

This sort of self-indulgent gibberish is devastating for the country. Now, as Iran’s nuclear advance appears all but unstoppable, Israel requires sober-minded leaders who measure their success by how their actions benefit Israel. If Peres really does exit the scene at the end of next month, perhaps we will finally get them.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Inside Iran's Nuclear Weapons Plan

Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs 

The film, in fact, understates the full danger of Iran going nuclear.  Iran’s bomb would turn not only the Middle East into a nuclear nightmare but the whole world.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Iran Throws Monkey Wrench Into Nuclear Deal

Iran has thrown up new roadblocks to reaching a deal with the P5+1 world powers over its illicit nuclear program.
Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva discussions ended Friday in arguments and confrontations when the Iranian team presented their country’s new “red lines,” diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.
Hossein Shariatmadari, a former torturer and now managing editor of the conservative newspaper Keyhan, the mouthpiece of the country’s supreme leader, in an Op-Ed published Saturday revealed details of the Geneva negotiations and congratulated the Iranian delegation for its steadfast demand that the country has a right to pursue nuclear development.

The Obama administration hoped that with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showing an eagerness to solve the nuclear issue and address the West’s concerns, there would be a possibility for a negotiated solution. An interim agreement penned last November in Geneva was touted as a “historic nuclear deal.”
Under that agreement, Iran — in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief — limited its enrichment activity to the 5 percent level with a current stockpile of over 10 tons (enough for six nuclear bombs), converted much of its 20 percent enriched stock to harmless oxide and agreed to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspections were limited to only agreed-on facilities.
The final draft of the agreement to address all of Iran’s nuclear facilities and activities, along with its missile program, was planned to be finalized this July.
“The Obama administration and its allies were drunken happy after the initial agreement,” said Shariatmadari, who had previously criticized the Iranian negotiating officials for being soft with their Western counterparts. “With this delusion, that with the continuation of negotiations they could wrap up the issue, they had come prepared to Geneva with their demeaning requests of security ‘breakout’ or preventive measures of (possible military dimensions). … To present these conditions as their winning cards on the negotiating table, they could not imagine in their wildest dreams that this time the Iranian negotiators on the other side of the table … were aware of the opponents’ tricks.”
The red lines that the Iranian delegation presented, as stated by Shariatmadari, are:

• The expansion of Iranian nuclear research and development.
• The acceptance of Iran’s need for enrichment on a level that feeds the need of the country (the country has over 19,000 centrifuges, far more than is needed for peaceful nuclear purposes, and would like to expand).
• The preservation of the Arak heavy-water plant (the plant once operational could produce plutonium and serve the ruling clerics with a second path to nuclear weapons).
• No interference or limitation to the country’s military and defensive measures (the Islamic regime is under U.N. sanctions for developing ballistic missiles and it currently holds the largest missile stockpile in the Middle East with ranges capable of reaching as far as Europe).
• The removal of all sanctions at once as opposed to step-by-step relief (the U.N. resolutions and sanctions in place are the results of efforts by several U.S. administrations and over a decade of negotiations).
“These (red) lines, which the enemy had never expected to see, at first caused their disbelief and then their anger to the level of shouts and arguments,” Shariatmadari wrote. “The opponents thought that the conditions set by the Iranian delegates were meant to increase (Iran’s) negotiating power, but when faced with their absolute resolve … they realized that their dreams were swept away and that the Geneva 4meeting had failed.”
According to a source within the regime’s intelligence community, the leadership will not give up its nuclear ambitions, and the Revolutionary Guards see themselves as the dominating power in the Middle East and beyond. They believe that the Obama administration will not engage militarily and that the regime needs to weather the sanctions regime, which has already cracked due to the initial Geneva agreement.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Intentional error? Israel: Former PM Olmert sentenced to six years of prison for corruption - the photo shows PM Netanyahu

Israel: l’ex-Premier ministre Olmert condamné à 6 ans de prison pour corruption

Publié le Il y a 6 Heures

Le premier ministre israélien Ehud Olmert

TEL-AVIV, 13 mai 2014 (AFP) - L’ex-Premier ministre israélien Ehud Olmert a été condamné mardi à 6 ans de prison pour corruption dans le cadre d’un énorme scandale immobilier alors qu’il était maire de Jérusalem (1993-2003), ont annoncé des médias.
M. Olmert a été condamné à six ans de prison et un million de shekels (210.000 euros) d’amende, selon les principales radios du pays.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Off topic: Yair Lapid - as ignorant as Catherine Ashton?

A year ago I gave Yair Lapid  the benefit of the doubt. Apparently, I was wrong. The opinions he expressed in his book Memories After My Death were his father’s alone.

Yet Hamas's return to the Palestinian Authority has left some in the Israeli government saying for the first time that they see signs of moderation among the Islamists, and that negotiations with Hamas could one day become possible if it recognizes Israel. "It's not like it didn't happen before," said Yair Lapid, a member of Israel's security cabinet who also controls its second-largest party. "The PLO used to be a terror organization."
Mr. Lapid says he is currently opposed to any talks involving Hamas, which he considers a terrorist group.
Mr. Lapid recalled a phrase the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin used during his talks with the Palestinians: "We negotiate for peace as if there is no terror, and fight terror as if there is no peace."
The same simple question I posed to Catherine Ashton I now pose to Yair Lapid

Iranian ayatollah: “As long as the enemy exists, jihad will exist, too”

May 1, 2014 at 4:09pm

The prevailing assumption among mainstream analysts in the U.S. and Europe is that the jihad against the West will end once Muslim grievances are redressed, so a combination of concessions and foreign aid will take care of the problem. But here Khatami says, “As long as the enemy exists, jihad will exist too.” This gives the lie to the mainstream analysis. Khatami doesn’t say, “As long as the enemy has a foreign policy to which we object, jihad will exist.” Nor does he say, “As long as the enemy oppresses us, jihad will exist.” He says “As long as the enemy exists, jihad will exist” — i.e., no matter what the enemy does.
“Tehran Friday Sermon: The Iranian President Should Punch Obama in the Mouth when He Talks Nonsense,”MEMRI, April 25, 2014:

During a Friday sermon delivered in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized the U.S., saying that its "despotic administration" openly conspired against Iran. "If the American president talks nonsense, our president should punch him in the mouth," he said. The crowds responded to the sermon with chants of "Death to America!"

Following are excerpts from the sermon, which was delivered on April 25, 2014, and broadcast on Iran’s Channel 1:

Ahmad Khatami: The arrogant pharaohs throughout history have always considered themselves superior to everybody everywhere. The actions of the despotic U.S. administration constitute a clear example of this.

Look what they are doing in Ukraine. What is going on there? Who the hell are you to interfere in the affairs of another people? Their vice president went to Ukraine, and a few hours after he left, people were killed there. What is behind these declarations? A cloud of war hangs over that region. This is what is called an "aggressive nature."

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran are hundreds of miles away from America. From across the world, they intervene in Afghanistan and Iraq, and conspire against Islamic Iran. That is one thing.

Secondly, the Iranian regime – to use their own words – is a complete democracy of the people. The people went to the ballot, and with a turnout of over 98 percent, voted for the regime, in accordance with all the democratic criteria. Nevertheless, from day one and to this very day, the [Americans] have not ceased to openly conspire against Islamic Iran.

Take for example, the secret spy den [the U.S. embassy] – the Muslim students knew that as long as that spy den remained open, the revolution could not be consolidated. They took over the den, caught the spies, and help America by the throat for 444 days. Well done!

Imam [Khomeini] managed this affair and called it the "Second Revolution." If countries that waged a revolution, like Egypt, had learned from our experience, they wouldn't have been in the situation they find themselves in today.

Third, the top U.S. officials without exception – from Carter to Obama – all wanted to topple the Islamic regime. It's not that they did not want to, but they failed to do so. They keep pouring their venom.

Crowd member: Death to America!

Crowd: Death to America!

Death to America!

Death to America!


Ahmad Khatami: When our top negotiators enter the room, they should know that when they face the Americans, they face a hostile enemy that cannot be trusted at all. Thank God, our top negotiators have acknowledged this a few times in the past. Just as you confront them during the negotiations, you must confront them on the level of political declarations… If the American president talks nonsense, our president should punch him in the mouth.


Some people ask us until when we will continue to shout: "Death to America!" They might as well ask until when we will say our prayers and fast. As long as the enemy exists, Jihad will exist too.