I begin today with a link to a shortened version (a trailer) to a new video called, “For the Sake of Nakba,” produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research.
Please! Take five minutes to see it, bookmark it, and share it absolutely as widely as you can.
Regularly I receive links to various videos that are referred to as “must see.” Or, “this will blow your mind.” All of this, and more, applies to this trailer. Let’s get the movement started, and let’s see this making the rounds of the Internet.
“Nakba” means catastrophe in Arabic, and it is how the Arabs refer to the founding of Israel. In this film you will see how UNRWA — that purportedly benign humanitarian agency that cares for the poor suffering refugees — promotes “the right of return” and the destruction of Israel via jihad.
Everyone but everyone needs to have this information in order to be well informed.
In fact, while you are sharing this, please make certain that your elected officials in Congress have the information. Provide the link, and the one short paragraph of explanation, above, about Nakba and what you will see in the film. Ask your elected officials what they are doing to block UNRWA’s current policies. The US provides UNRWA with more than 30% of its budget — Congress has clout, if it chooses to use it.
For your Congresspersons:
For your Senators:
Ask everyone you send this to, to do the same. A groundswell of protest can make a difference and Congressional action on UNRWA would have a huge impact on the situation here.
Just because something is anticipated doesn’t mean it needs to be accepted with equanimity.
We knew that Obama’s lovefest with Israel was just an act, that his intentions towards us had changed not an iota. Now, already, we are confronting the confirmation of this. And it is enraging.
This came through yesterday from JINSA — one of the most trustworthy and on-the-mark agencies around — in its Report # 1007:
“Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, was dispatched last Friday to the Brookings Institution to advance the charm offensive that seeks to convince Israelis and American supporters of Israel that the Obama Administration is Israel’s best friend. He worked hard, but his bottom line was that Israel – not the Palestinians and not the Arab states – needs to do more for peace, specifically the ‘two state solution’ to which the administration is wedded but which appears increasingly unlikely.”
JINSA cited a “sometimes reliable source” as having said: “Officials acknowledged that the White House, which endorsed $20 billion worth of arms sales to the Middle East in 2009, has not approved any Israeli requests for combat platforms or other major military sales in 2009 and 2010.” JINSA will be confirming this.
What the US has provided is $205 million for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system. But lest you imagine that this was motivated by a genuine concern for our security, take a look at what JINSA tells us Shapiro said about it, not once, but twice:
First: “It is our hope that the Administration’s expanded commitment to Israel’s security will advance the process by helping the Israeli people seize this opportunity and take the tough decisions necessary for a comprehensive peace.”
And then: “Bolstering Israel’s security against the rocket threat will not by itself facilitate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conversely, a two-state solution will not in and of itself bring an end to these threats. But our support for Iron Dome and similar efforts do provide Israel with the capabilities and the confidence that it needs to take the tough decisions ahead for a comprehensive peace.”
In case anyone was in doubt, JINSA clarified what is meant by the term “tough decisions”: “a euphemism for ceding territory, ceding political rights, ceding security control to others.”
“There was more in the speech that is worth noting,” wrote JINSA, “and we will, but it will take a while before we get over the idea that Obama Administration support for Israel’s defense – such as that support is – is a function of the administration’s determination to have Israel take actions that increase the risk to its people.” (emphasis added)
I am not exactly happy about what follows here, either. But in this instance we are doing it to ourselves:
Israel has provided a response to the UN regarding the Goldstone Report. Commitments have been made by us regarding ways to reduce civilian casualties in future conflicts. Most notably, these include:
 Restricting the use of white phosphorous as a smoke screen. This use of phosphorous is legal under international law — it is not using the phosphorous as a weapon. But, OK, it can inadvertently cause civilian damage sometimes.
 Integrating a Humanitarian Affairs Officer into each combat unit.
This is particularly bad news. In all instances — whether taking on Hezbollah in Lebanon, or Hamas in Gaza, or terrorists in Judea and Samaria — we are dealing with those who do not play by the rules and could not care less about loss of civilian life. Yet it is our forces that will be monitored every step of the way and forever held accountable.
This inhibits our ability to defend ourselves, for we will be afraid of being second-guessed after the fact. Not only is this not a way to win a war (and winning is the critical point here), there is no other fighting force in the world held to such standards. No one imagines that the US military must have a “humanitarian affairs officer” in each combat unit — not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan — in spite of civilian casualties. While the irony is that we are the most ethical fighting force in the world.
The report to the UN further speaks about investigations into the actions of our soldiers, with specific mention of two IDF soldiers who have been indicted for putting a Palestinian minor at risk, and a soldier who is suspected of killing a Palestinian civilian.
It is appropriate for us to stay on top of such incidents, and to levy charges and penalties where appropriate. But what sticks in the craw is our need (or perceived need) to report this to the UN. Fighting is not a clean endeavor, and even in the most humane of forces incidents will occur (sometimes because of maliced motivations and sometimes because of poor judgment in a difficult situation). Not only are we making ourselves accountable to some of the biggest bums going — representatives of nations who have no regard for human rights — this all feels as if it’s a sort of acknowledgement that there was some merit to the Goldstone Report. Or so it will be interpreted.
The standards to which we are being held, and to which we are permitting ourselves to be held, exceed the standards applied anywhere else. It is a part of the international effort to deprive us of legitimacy.
Speaking of holding Israel to a different standard, we have an article by Khaled Abu Toameh, written for Hudson NY, which asks:
“When was the last time the UN Security Council met to condemn an Arab government for its mistreatment of Palestinians?
“How come those who call themselves ‘pro-Palestinian’ turn a blind eye to the fact that Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and many more Arab countries continue to impose severe travel restrictions on Palestinians?
“A news story on the Palestinians that does not include an anti-Israel angle rarely makes it to the front pages of Western newspapers.
“The demolition of an Arab-owned illegal building in Jerusalem is, for most correspondents, much more important than the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Lebanon are denied the right to own property, do not qualify for health care, and are banned by law from working in a large number of jobs.” (emphasis added)
This report, written by Joe Klein, which first appeared in Time Magazine, has now been picked by several other sources.
“An Attack on Iran is Back on the [US] Table”:
“…when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Fox News on June 20, “We do not accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons,” he was reflecting a new reality in the military and intelligence communities. Diplomacy and economic pressure remain the preferred means to force Iran to negotiate a nuclear deal, but there isn’t much hope that’s going to happen. So the military option is very much back on the table.
“Intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command, which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes – aided, in large part, by the vastly improve human-intelligence operations in the region. ‘There really wasn’t a military option a year ago,’ an Israeli military source told me. ‘But they’ve gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now.’ Israel has been brought into the planning process. One other factor has brought the military option to a low boil: Iran’s Sunni neighbors really want the U.S. to do it.”
This, my friends, is good news.
So is the fact that Russia has decided not to deliver to Iran the S-300 surface to air missile defense system — it has already been sold to Iran, but the most recent sanctions preclude delivery.
Evelyn Gordon has written a fascinating piece in the Commentary blog on how Israel can win the PR war. In essence, it recommends going on the defensive instead of being defensive. You’ve heard this theme here before.
Gordon cites PR guru Frank Luntz:
“…when people have preconceived notions about Israel, it’s very hard to dislodge those notions — to convince them, for instance, that Israel did not wantonly target civilians in last year’s war in Gaza, or has not created a humanitarian crisis there by its blockade. But it is possible to persuade them that no matter how bad Israel is, its enemies are much, much worse — and therefore even someone who dislikes Israel should nevertheless back it against those enemies.”
Says Gordon, another PR expert, Sarah Kass, explains it thus:
“Israel’s enemies are conducting a classic PR offensive, designed to keep the focus relentlessly on Israel and away from themselves. Thus they never talk about themselves; they talk only about Israel.
“Israel, however, does the opposite: it talks almost exclusively about itself, constantly trying to defend its own actions rather than focusing on its enemies’ actions. And to listeners, this just sounds like ‘whining.’
“What Israel should be doing is exactly what its enemies do: focusing relentlessly on the other side. For only in that context — a battle against a truly evil enemy — can Israel’s defensive measures ever be understood.”
This approach works. Luntz told of a meeting he had with “high income, high education, politically connected” Brits who were “so hostile to Israel” that “I’d given up … There was no message that resonated remotely well with them. And I finally said ‘to hell with it. We’ll give them the Hamas Charter’.”
At the end, “28 of the 30 said, ‘How dare Israel negotiate with these people?’”
(Note: We’re not negotiating with Hamas, but never mind, the sentiment is what counts here.)
The Turks are strengthening its ties to Hamas, as the Turkish FM has met with Mashaal.
But there seems to be a trade-off here: We are now hosting a Greek prime minister for the first time since 1992, as George Papandreou (son of Andreas) is moderating his stance towards Israel. Analysts feel that the tensions between Israel and Turkey (historical rival, if not arch enemy of Greece) is a factor in what’s happening.
Fatah officials are saying they will back direct talks between the PA and Israel, provided that Abbas’s terms are met. We are already familiar with those demands, which include an understanding about borders and security up front.
Muhammad Dahlan, a member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah (that name has a moderate ring, does it not?), says that “Fatah wants to see real progress on the issues of borders and security. We also want a complete freeze of settlement construction, including natural growth, especially in occupied East Jerusalem.”
The best response is Ari Harow’s piece, “Why Jerusalem Matters,” from the JPost, on eve of Tisha B’Av.
“On this Tisha Be’av day, as we approach direct talks with the Palestinian Authority, it is imperative that we state loudly and clearly that Jerusalem is our heart and soul, our national raison d’être. Guaranteeing a united Jerusalem without one iota of hesitation or equivocation is not a matter of choice, but rather a national obligation.”
Harrow, by the way, until quite recently was bureau chief for PM Netanyahu. Hope his former boss is paying attention.