Thursday, June 30, 2016

Statement by PM Netanyahu Following Terrorist Attack in Kiryat Arba

This morning a terrorist sneaked into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl, Hallel-Yaffa Ariel. He murdered young Hallel in cold blood. A picture of her blood stained room is almost too hard to see. There’s a teddy bear still on her bed, a red beanbag chair, some pictures on the wall, shoes tightly packed in a bin next to her bunk bed. Why would any person do this?
You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like.
You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.
We will not let barbarism defeat humanity.
There’s no middle ground between beautiful Hallel and her unspeakably evil murderer.
Today, each of us is going to fight back.
I ask you to walk into your child’s bedroom before they go to sleep. I ask you to hug them. I ask you to kiss them. Teach them that the values that Hallel’s murderer most detested – freedom, diversity, pluralism – will never die; we’ll always hold them dear. Tell them that we will never let fear, evil and terror triumph; that we will always stand for justice. And this is how we will fight back. We fight back first by fighting back, fighting the terrorists, fighting their backers, fighting those who incite for such murder, whether in Hebron or in Orlando, or in Berlin, or in Ankara, or in Belgium, anywhere. We fight back by making sure that our collective moral compass doesn’t waver even a millimeter.
Today we will cherish Hallel’s memory. We will defend and honor her dignity by redoubling our efforts around the world to defeat the scourge of radical Islamist terror.
May Hallel’s memory forever be a blessing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gil Troy - A Zionist’s two cheers for Brexit

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s clumsiness, calling the vote assuming it would fail, reflects the EU elites’ broader failure.

 As markets quake and quiver, I know I am supposed to fret about Brexit, the British exit from the European Union. Just as we were told before the vote that only demagogues and bigots wanted out, we are being told now that the yahoos won, the haters triumphed, vanquishing the enlightened forces of progress. True, I worry about the markets and this messy divorce’s mechanics. I recoil from the Brexiters’ chauvinism and cynicism, their day-before delusions and day-after distancing. Still, the Euroskeptic, the liberal democrat and the Zionist in me all cheer the British people for defending their national identity.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s clumsiness, calling the vote assuming it would fail, reflects the EU elites’ broader failure. They created an arrogant bureaucracy contemptuous of national traditions and the masses’ common sense. Opponents estimated that 65 percent of British regulations, nearly 50,000 rules, were EU-imposed, including idiotic bans on restaurants serving olive oil in bowls and the “bent banana ban” on “abnormal curvature.” But underlying this is a deeper, ongoing debate about World War II. The EU and UN believers decided that the answer to Nazi nationalism was no nationalism. But the best answer to bad nationalism is good, constructive, liberal nationalism.

Culture counts – and cosmopolitanism miscalculates. Just as the international language Esperanto misfired decades ago, the EU stumbled because many people like their cozy identities, tribal communities, national traditions. Meanwhile, calling anyone worried about terrorism and mass immigration a bigot is as bigoted as calling all immigrants terrorists. It takes too much education and too many ideological blinders to ignore some of the problems that motivated the “leave” voters.

Immigration benefits societies. Most Muslim immigrants, like most immigrants historically, simply seek a better life. Nevertheless, immigration can be destabilizing. Moreover, while few Muslims are terrorists, almost all modern terrorists are Muslim – and by definition every Islamist terrorist is Muslim. If elites tolerated honest conversations about immigration’s blessings and curses, and about the complicated ways Islam, Islamism and terrorism interact, the frustration that cascaded into Brexit – and feeds Trumpism – would dissipate. Instead, the politically incorrect, who are often correct but politically checked, feel angry, disenfranchised, squelched – then lash out.

Candid conversations would have blurred lines and reduced tensions rather than creating all-or-nothing worldviews reinforced by fury. Politically correct shaming cannot obscure or solve the problems of immigrant gangs, the assaults on national sensibilities, or the many Muslims and Muslim preachers tolerating terrorism and enabling Islamism. With too many native Europeans facing too many months without enough money, the economic woes trigger larger social, cultural and political frustrations.

Just as decades ago the oppression of Soviet Jewry helped Zionists see Soviet Communism’s flaws long before other progressives could, Zionists today can see the EU’s flaws more clearly, and understand some of the Brexit impulse. Zionists experience the politically correct blindness regarding Israel that reflects a more widespread series of ideological blinders the Brexiters detested and rejected. Zionists see the softness regarding terrorism, the hypocrisy favoring undemocratic Palestinian terrorists over democratic Israelis, the destructive self-hatred regarding Western values, ideals and sensibilities.
Beyond the liberating insights that come from supporting Israel despite being the least favored, most targeted nation, comes Zionism’s deep, convincing yet spectacularly unfashionable reading of universalism and particularism.

Following the Holocaust, too many EU cosmopolitans decided that nationalism was xenophobia, religion was superstition, particularism merely selfish.

The cosmopolitan ideal became to construct a Republic of Everything, open, welcoming, fluid, super-pluralistic. Unfortunately, this Republic of Everything, while bringing some benefits, frequently becomes a Republic of Nothing, lacking anchors, grounding, values and tradition.

By contrast, Zionism appreciates living in a Republic of Something, a political entity reflecting common ideals and a shared mission, bound by a sense of the past that enriches the present and inspires us to build a better future. Zionism wants the nation to pass what I call the Richard Stands test, taken from the line in America’s Pledge of Allegiance – “and to the Republic for which it stands” which elementary school smart-mouths often rendered as “Richard Stands.”

Nations should stand for something. Nationalism can be xenophobic or constructive, uniting people to build something greater than themselves individually. This national grandeur is best displayed in the liberal nationalism of the United States, Israel, Canada, and yes, Great Britain.

Similarly, religion can be rigid, fanatic and inhumane, but it can also be aspirational, inspirational and spiritual, stretching us to be better people and live more meaningful lives. And rather than seeing particularism as merely egocentric, the Zionist understands particular pride as the best way to contribute to the broader world. By fulfilling constructive liberal democratic national values, by embracing Jewish ideals, the Zionist contributes to humanity, not just to a limited community. Ultimately, rather than denigrating tribalism, the Zionist seeks to make tribalism transcendent.

The Brexit voters voted against the EU’s Republic of Everything and Nothing. Donald Trump’s rise reflects parallel fears that as America becomes a Republic of Everything it is collapsing into a Republic of Nothing – ironically epitomized by Trump’s bullying buffoonery. Trump has risen as a reaction to President Barack Obama’s EU-like obtuseness and political correctness. Hillary Clinton will fail – as did the EU’s boosters – if she merely parrots the media and elite contempt for these worries. The West needs candid, constructive, courageous leaders who address problems honestly, offer intelligent solutions reasonably, and help rebuild visions for modern Republics of Something creatively, thereby passing that all-important Richard Stands test.

The author, professor of history at McGill University, is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by St. Martin’s Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg’s The Zionist Idea. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Israel-Turkey détente – utter folly!

Here is a photo of Bibi in June 2013  sitting in the plane to Poland next to Yuval Steinitz and holding in his hand  The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

With all his declarations how he admires Churchill, Netanyahu failed to follow his advice – never, ever give in to dictators.   Would ANYTHING justify this détente with Turkey? Well yes, it would make sense if it helps Israel defend itself against the existential threat coming from Iran. But this deal has nothing to do with Iran, it has to do with money   It is pure folly.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why Don't Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Yes Minister — Why Britain Joined the European Union

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Britain votes OUT - Congratulations! Britain has found its soul!

A historic moment.   

This is another May, 1940, when Britain had found its soul and Churchill stood alone facing Hitler while the USSR was in the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact with Hitler, and Beria with Stalin's approval was murdering the 22 000 Polish officers at Katyn and the US had not yet joined the war. 

It is interesting that the polls to the last minute were indicating a Remain win, and only the real vote showed that people were ready for the Leave. Why such a discrepancy?  I think it is all because of people being intimidated into political correctness and that the migration issue had played a considerable more impact than they were ready to admit, and that they all saw  through the Global Outbreak of Mental Illness.

PM David Cameron is to resign ( this is where the British politicians are outstanding, since they take responsibility for their failures, like Foreign Secretary Carrington did following the 1982 Falklands invasion by Argentina) . While Cameron did warn of the poisonous ideology  and he was quite pro-Israel, he, as Melanie Phillips put it, “signed up to the appalling farce of the US-led surrender to Iran”, so let’s hope that the new leader will be more resolute.  Would Boris Johnson be better in this regard? Perhaps, but I am not so sure as I said in my review of his book The Churchill Factor:  Excellent, apart from avoiding to mention Churchill's views on Islam.

Finally some good news after the horrible choice Americans face between the corrupt Hillary Clinton and unpredictable Donald Trump.

Update  June 28, 2016 

Here  from The Telegraph  is a confirmation  of what I said was the main  reason for exiting the EU
Nigel Farage has tapped into a volcano of fury over immigration - and it's not stopped erupting yet

Update June 30, 2016

The British prime minster used his last Brussels summit to tell Angela Merkel, François Hollande and other European heads of government that anxieties about unrestricted freedom of movement were at the heart of the decision by Britons to reject the EU. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ya’alon as PM?

Letters to the Editor, Jerusalem Post. June 20, 2016

Only four years ago, in an interview with journalist Ari Shavit, Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon said: “The regime of the ayatollahs is apocalyptic-messianic in character.... 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.”

Now, he says: “At this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel” (“Ex-IDF chiefs attack PM: ‘Time for Netanyahu to go,’” June 17).

Has the Shiite eschatology ceased to be an existential threat to Israel overnight? As US President Barack Obama himself told National Public Radio in April 2015: “What is a more relevant fear would be that in year 13, 14, 15, they [the Iranians] have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.”

Moshe Ya’alon cannot foresee 13 years into the future, and he wishes to be prime minister?


The British EU Referendum


The only way for Britain to fight the global outbreak of mental illness is to leave the EU

Robert Spencer on the Global Outbreak of Mental Illness

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oh no, Bogie has turned into a politician!

This is what he said in 2012:

Ari Shavit: If so, maybe it’s already too late. The Iranians won and we lost and we have to resign ourselves to Iran’s being in possession of nuclear weapons in the near future.

Moshe Yaalon: “Absolutely not. It will be disastrous if we or the international community become resigned to the idea of a nuclear Iran. The regime of the ayatollahs is apocalyptic-messianic in character. It poses a challenge to Western culture and to the world order. Its scale of values and its religious beliefs are different, and its ambition is to foist them on everyone. Accordingly, it is an obligation to prevent this nonconventional regime from acquiring nonconventional weapons. Neither we nor the West is at liberty to accept an Iranian nuclear bomb. What I am telling you is not rhetoric and it is not propaganda. A nuclear Iran is a true threat to world peace.”

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

Moshe Yaalon: “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.”

And this is what he says now:

Ya'alon pans Netanyahu as fear-monger, announces run in next election

Former defense minister attacks current leadership of Israel, saying “at this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel."

he “Bogie” Ya’alon will run for national leadership in Israel's next elections, he announced during a speech at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday.

Ya’alon also attacked the current leadership of Israel, saying “at this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel. Thus it is fitting that the leadership of the country stop scaring the citizenry and stop giving them the feeling that we are standing before a second Holocaust.”

Ya'alon said that it isn't security threats that keep him awake at night, rather the social and moral problems facing Israel.

If there is something that I lose sleep at night about, it’s not the truckloads of weapons in Syria and Lebanon or Iran’s attempts to wage terror – Israel has the capabilities to deal with these forcefully and with sophistication. If there is something that I lose sleep over, it’s the cracks in Israel’s society, the erosion of basic values, the attempts to harm IDF soldiers and their commanders. It is a fact – the leadership is tempestuous and being dragged.”

He also said of Iran that nuclear program, for years a major focus of Prime Minister Netanyahu, will "be frozen in light of the the [nuclear] deal signed [by world powers] does not constitute an immediate, existential threat for Israel."

The speech was the first given by Ya’alon since he resigned from the government on May 20th, a decision he said he made "following the recent conduct" of Netanyahu, and "in light of my lack of faith in him."

Ya’alon’s decision to leave the government came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ousted him as defense minister in favor of Avigdor Liberman, as part of negotiations to bring the Yisrael Beytenu party into the coalition.

Ya'alon also spoke of the importance of Israel's alliance with the United States, which he described  as essential to Israel's security and diplomatic needs. 

Following Ya'alon's remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party accused the former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon of flip-flopping on his previous positions.

"Just a few months ago he said Iran is an existential concern for Israel, today when turned into a politician at the Herzliya Conference, he said that Israel faces no existential threat," the party said in a statement. "It's funny how quickly Ya'alon changed his hide."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Better late than never: Iraq threatens to sue Israel for bombing its nuclear reactor in 1981

Jerusalem Post 
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament said that Iraq is determined to sue Israel for bombing the nuclear reactor and force it to pay reparations.

In a surprise move, First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Humam Hamoudi announced that his country is determined to sue Israel for bombing the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Hamoudi said: "Iraq is determined to sue Israel for bombing the nuclear reactor and force it to pay reparations for this attack," without specifying when it will take such a measure.

"The Foreign Ministry and the Parliament's Committee on Foreign Relations should promote this issue internationally and draw special attention to it, in light of the 35th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the nuclear reactor," Hamoudi added.
The senior Iraqi official also called on the United Nations to implement Resolution 487 (1981) that allows Iraq to demand reparations for the Israeli military strike on the nuclear reactor and heavily denounces the attack.

The head of the Parliament's Committee on Foreign Relations, Abdel Bari Zibari, told the Turkish news agency Anadolu: "Until now, Iraq has not received international support to sue Israel for bombing the nuclear reactor. In order to do so, it will need this support, and especially the support of the permanent members of the UN Security Council."

The Iraqi nuclear reactor that was located in southeast Baghdad was bombed by the Israeli Air Force on June 7, 1981, which ruined big parts of the reactor that was still under construction.

There is an excellent book by Rodger W. Claire  Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb

Monday, June 13, 2016


The ongoing Islamic war against civilization!
If you're afraid to name it, how can you fight it?!

Israel and the Post-American Middle East

Why the Status Quo Is Sustainable

Was the feud between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, first over settlements and then over Iran, a watershed? Netanyahu, it is claimed, turned U.S. support of Israel into a partisan issue. Liberals, including many American Jews, are said to be fed up with Israel’s “occupation,” which will mark its 50th anniversary next year. The weakening of Israel’s democratic ethos is supposedly undercutting the “shared values” argument for the relationship. Some say Israel’s dogged adherence to an “unsus­tainable” status quo in the West Bank has made it a liability in a region in the throes of change. Israel, it is claimed, is slipping into pariah status, imposed by the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).

Biblical-style lamentations over Israel’s final corruption have been a staple of the state’s critics and die-hard anti-Zionists for 70 years. Never have they been so detached from reality. Of course, Israel has changed—decidedly for the better. By every measure, Israel is more globalized, prosperous, and democratic than at any time in its history. As nearby parts of the Middle East slip under waves of ruthless sectarian strife, Israel’s minor­ities rest secure. As Europe staggers under the weight of unwanted Muslim migrants, Israel welcomes thousands of Jewish immigrants from Europe. As other Mediterranean countries struggle with debt and unemployment, Israel boasts a growing economy, supported by waves of foreign investment.

Politically, Netanyahu’s tenure has been Israel’s least tumultuous. Netanyahu has served longer than any other Israeli prime minister except David Ben-Gurion, yet he has led Israel in only one ground war: the limited Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. “I’d feel better if our partner was not the trigger-happy Netanyahu,”wrote the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd four years ago. But Netanyahu hasn’t pulled triggers, even against Iran. The Israeli electorate keeps returning him to office precisely because he is risk averse: no needless wars, but no ambitious peace plans either. Although this may produce “overwhelming frustration” in Obama’s White House, in Vice President Joe Biden’s scolding phrase, it suits the majority of Israeli Jews just fine.

Netanyahu’s endurance fuels the frustration of Israel’s diminished left, too: thwarted at the ballot box, they comfort themselves with a false notion that Israel’s democracy is endangered. The right made similar claims 20 years ago, culminating in the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Anti-democratic forces exist in all democracies, but in Israel, they are either outside the system or confined in smaller parties, Jewish and Arab alike. There is no mechanism by which an outlier could capture one of the main political parties in a populist upsurge, as now seems likely in the United States. Under com­parable pressures of terrorism and war, even old democracies have wavered, but Israel’s record of fair, free elections testifies to the depth of its homegrown democratic ethos, reinforced by a vig­orous press and a vigilant judiciary.

Israel is also more secure than ever. In 1948, only 700,000 Jews faced the daunting challenge of winning independence against the arrayed armies of the Arab world. Ben-Gurion’s top com­manders warned him that Israel had only a 50-50 chance of victory. Today, there are over six million Israeli Jews, and Israel is among the world’s most formidable military powers. It has a qualitative edge over any imaginable combination of enemies, and the ongoing digitalization of warfare has played precisely to Israel’s strengths. The Arab states have dropped out of the competition, leaving the field to die-hard Islamists on Israel’s borders. They champion “resistance,” but their primitive rocketry and tunnel digging are ineffective. The only credible threat to a viable Israel would be a nuclear Iran. No one doubts that if Iran ever breaks out, Israel could deploy its own nuclear deterrent, independent of any constraining alliance.

And what of the Palestinians? There is no near solution to this enduring conflict, but Israel has been adept at containing its effects. There is occupied territory, but there is also unoccupied territory. Israel maintains an over-the-horizon security footprint in most of the West Bank; Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation fills in most of the gaps. The Palestinian Authority, in the words of one wag, has become a “mini-Jordan,” buttressed by a combination of foreign aid, economic growth, and the usual corruption. By the standards of today’s Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains stable. It is prosecuted mostly at a distance, through maneuvering in international bodies and campaigns for and against BDS. These are high-decibel, low-impact confrontations. Yossi Vardi, Israel’s most famous high-tech entrepreneur,summarizes the mainstream Israeli view: “I’m not at all concerned about the economic effect of BDS. We have been subject to boycotts before.” And they were much worse.

Every political party in Israel has its own preferred solution to the conflict, but no solution offers an unequivocal advantage over the status quo. “The occupation as it is now can last forever, and it is better than any alternative”—this opinion, issued in April by Benny Ziffer, the literary editor of the liberal, left-wing Haaretz, summarizes the present Israeli consensus. It is debatable whether the two-state option has expired. But the reality on the ground doesn’t resemble one state either. Half a century after the 1967 war, only five percent of Israelis live in West Bank settlements, and half of them live in the five blocs that would be retained by Israel in any two-state scenario.

In the meantime, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all shaking hands with Israel, some­times before the cameras. Israel and Russia are assiduously courting each other; still farther afield, Israel’s relations with China and India are booming. The genuine pariah of the Middle East is the Syrian regime, which never deigned to make peace with Israel. This last so-called steadfast Arab state is consumed from within by a great bloodbath; its nuclear project and massive stocks of chemical weapons are a distant memory.

Israel faces all manner of potential threats and challenges, but never has it been more thoroughly prepared to meet them. The notion popular among some Israeli pundits that their compatriots live in a perpetual state of paralyzing fear misleads both Israel’s allies and its adversaries. Israel’s leaders are cautious but confident, not easily panicked, and practiced in the very long game that everyone plays in the Middle East. Nothing leaves them so unmoved as the vacuous mantra that the status quo is unsustainable. Israel’s survival has always depended on its willingness to sustain the status quo that it has created, driving its adversaries to resignation—and compromise. This is more an art than a science, but such resolve has served Israel well over time.


Still, there is a looming cloud on Israel’s horizon. It isn’t Iran’s delayed nukes, academe’s threats of boycott, or Palestinian maneuvers at the UN. It is a huge power vacuum. The United States, after a wildly erratic spree of misadventures, is backing out of the region. It is cutting its exposure to a Middle East that has consistently defied American expecta­tions and denied successive American presidents the “mission accomplished” moments they crave. The disengage­ment began before Obama entered the White House, but he has accelerated it, coming to see the Middle East as a region to be avoided because it “could not be fixed—not on his watch, and not for a generation to come.” (This was the bottom-line impression of the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, to whom Obama granted his legacy interview on foreign policy.)

If history is precedent, this is more than a pivot. Over the last century, the Turks, the British, the French, and the Russians each had their moment in the Middle East, but prolonging it proved costly as their power ebbed. They gave up the pursuit of dominance and settled for influence. A decade ago, in the pages of this magazine, Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, predicted that the United States had reached just this point: “The American era in the Middle East,” he announced, “. . . has ended.” He went on: “The United States will continue to enjoy more influence in the region than any other outside power, but its influence will be reduced from what it once was.” That was a debatable proposition in 2006; now in 2016, Obama has made it indisputable.

There are several ways to make a retreat seem other than it is. The Obama administration’s tack has been to create the illusion of a stable equilibrium, by cutting the United States’ commitments to its allies and mollifying its adversaries. And so, suddenly, none of the United States’ traditional friends is good enough to justify its full confidence. The great power must conceal its own weariness, so it pretends to be frustrated by the inconstancy of “free riders.” The result­ing complaints about Israel (as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia) serve just such a narrative.

Israel’s leaders aren’t shy about warning against the consequences of this posture, but they are careful not to think out loud about Israeli options in a post-American Middle East. Israel wants a new memo­randum of understanding with the United States, the bigger the better, as compensation for the Iran nuclear deal. It is in Israel’s interest to emphasize the importance of the U.S.-Israeli rela­tionship as the bedrock of regional stability going forward.

But how far forward is another question. Even as Israel seeks to deepen the United States’ commitment in the short term, it knows that the unshakable bond won’t last in perpetuity. This is a lesson of history. The leaders of the Zionist movement always sought to ally their project with the dominant power of the day, but they had lived through too much European history to think that great power is ever abiding. In the twentieth century, they witnessed the collapse of old empires and the rise of new ones, each staking its claim to the Middle East in turn, each making promises and then rescinding them. When the United States’ turn came, the emerging superpower didn’t rush to embrace the Jews. They were alone during the 1930s, when the gates of the United States were closed to them. They were alone during the Holocaust, when the United States awoke too late. They were alone in 1948, when the United States placed Israel under an arms embargo, and in 1967, when a U.S. president explicitly told the Israelis that if they went to war, they would be alone.

After 1967, Israel nestled in the Pax Americana. The subsequent decades of the “special relationship” have so deepened Israel’s dependence on the United States in the military realm that many Israelis can no longer remember how Israel managed to survive without all that U.S. hardware. Israel’s own armies of supporters in the United States, especially in the Jewish community, reinforce this mindset as they assure themselves that were it not for their lobbying efforts in Washington, Israel would be in mortal peril.

But the Obama administration has given Israelis a preview of just how the unshakable bond is likely to be shaken. This prospect might seem alarming to Israel’s supporters, but the inevitable turn of the wheel was precisely the reason Zionist Jews sought sovereign independence in the first place. An independent Israel is a guarantee against the day when the Jews will again find themselves alone, and it is an operating premise of Israeli strategic thought that such a day will come.


This conviction, far from paralyzing Israel, propels it to expand its options, diversify its relationships, and build its independent capabilities. The Middle East of the next 50 years will be differ­ent from that of the last 100. There will be no hegemony-seeking outside powers. The costs of pursuing full-spectrum dominance are too high; the rewards are too few. Outside powers will pursue specific goals, related to oil or terrorism. But large swaths of the Middle East will be left to their fate, to dissolve and re-form in unpredictable ways. Israel may be asked by weaker neighbors to extend its security net to include them, as it has done for decades for Jordan. Arab concern about Iran is already doing more to normalize Israel in the region than the ever-elusive and ever-inconclusive peace process. Israel, once the fulcrum of regional conflict, will loom like a pillar of regional stability—not only for its own people but also for its neighbors, threatened by a rising tide of political fragmentation, economic contraction, radical Islam, and sectarian hatred.

So Israel is planning to outlast the United States in the Middle East. Israelis roll their eyes when the United States insinuates that it best understands Israel’s genuine long-term interests, which Israel is supposedly too traumatized or confused to discern. Although Israel has made plenty of tactical mistakes, it is hard to argue that its strategy has been anything but a success. And given the wobbly record of the United States in achieving or even defining its interests in the Middle East, it is hard to say the same about U.S. strategy. The Obama administration has placed its bet on the Iran deal, but even the deal’s most ardent advocates no longer claim to see the “arc of history” in the Middle East. In the face of the collapse of the Arab Spring, the Syrian dead, the millions of refugees, and the rise of the Islamic State, or ISIS, who can say in which direction the arc points? Or where the Iran deal will lead?

 One other common Amerintra deserves to be shelved. “Precisely because of our friendship,” said Obama five years ago, “it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.” It is time for the United States to abandon this mantra, or at least modify it. Only if Israel’s adversaries conclude that Israel can sustain the status quo indefinitely—Israel’s military supremacy, its economic advantage, and, yes, its occupation—is there any hope that they will reconcile themselves to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Statements like Obama’s don’t sway Israel’s government, which knows better, but they do fuel Arab and Iranian rejection of Israel among those who believe that the United States no longer has Israel’s back. For Israel’s enemies, drawing the conclusion that Israel is thus weak would be a tragic mistake: Israel is well positioned to sustain the status quo all by itself. Its long-term strategy is predicated on it.

A new U.S. administration will offer an opportunity to revisit U.S. policy, or at least U.S. rhetoric. One of the candidates, Hillary Clinton, made a statement as secretary of state in Jerusalem in 2010 that came closer to reality and practicality. “The status quo is unsustainable,” she said, echoing the usual line. But she added this: “Now, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be sustained for a year or a decade, or two or three, but fundamentally, the status quo is unsustainable.” Translation: the status quo may not be optimal, but it is sustainable, for as long as it takes.

As the United States steps back from the Middle East, this is the message Washington should send if it wants to assist Israel and other U.S. allies in filling the vacuum it will leave behind

Saturday, June 4, 2016



Sunday, June 5, 2016, will mark the commemoration of two separate events: Jerusalem Day and Naksa Day.

Jerusalem Day is a Government of Israel celebration of Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem during the 1967 War.  The day is marked by ceremonies, and large gatherings, and a march through Jerusalem.  In previous years, clashes have erupted between Israeli and Palestinian residents during marches.

This year’s main march will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Sacher Park, and conclude in the Old City.  The Israeli National Police (INP) will enforce road closures throughout Jerusalem.  The following street closures will be in effect:
•        3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Bezalel and Mordehai A`liash St.
•        5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: King George (from Tsarfat Square to Nathan Strauss Street), Agron (and adjacent streets), Shlomo HaMelekh, King David, Hativat Yerushalayim, Sultan Suleiman, Jericho Road, Ma’ale Hashalom, and Sderot Haim Bar Lev (from Moshe Sachs junction near Grand Court Hotel, to Hativat Yerushalayim).

Naksa Day (“Day of the Setback”) is observed by some Palestinians to mark Israel’s conquest and occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967.  Palestinians have sometimes commemorated the day with protests and demonstrations in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. While the Consulate General is unaware of specific planned activities in Jerusalem, demonstrations and counter-demonstrations have occurred in past Naksa Days which resulted in clashes with INP.

Consulate General employees and family members are encouraged to exercise caution when traveling throughout Jerusalem, especially the Old City on Sunday, June 5.  If they do travel to the Old City they are being told to avoid the use of the Damascus, Lion’s, and Herod’s Gates. 
This year, Ramadan is expected to commence on/about June 6 and conclude on/about July 5.  For U.S. Direct Hire (USDH) employees and family members the Old City is off-limits on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to overall congestion and associated security concerns.  An increased number of visitors, heavy police presence, and traffic restrictions in and around Jerusalem’s Old City are expected. 
United States citizens are reminded to maintain awareness of their safety and surroundings while living and working in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel.  Large gatherings, even ones intended to be peaceful, can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Please be aware of your surroundings, monitor local information sources, and maintain a high degree of situational awareness as appropriate for this complex and fluid security environment.
We take this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens to review the Travel Warning issued for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza on December 16, 2015 and the Worldwide Cautionissued on March 3, 2016. 
For further information: 
·        Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
·      Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, located at 14 David Flusser, telephone (972) (2) 622-7230.  Contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, located at 71 Hayarkon, telephone (972) (3) 519-7575.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, you may call the emergency after-hours number either in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7551 or Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250.
·        Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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I decided to google "Conquest of Jerusalem"  and found  the  first reference to the Conquest of Jerusalem  by King David  some 3000 years ago .  Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem,  Allenby captured it

The Crusader Conquest of Jerusalem 1099

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Paris summit versus reality

Why don’t the leaders of the West, like the French FM or the EU foreign policy chief Mogherini, have this man’s insight and courage?