Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)
As there seem to be an inordinate number of issues of deep concern facing us, I find myself posting daily again (in spite of my determination to do so less frequently). Please Heaven, may matters look a bit brighter soon.
Iran. THE topic of greatest significance right now.
It’s been obvious from the start that Iran was not going to buy into the deal offered by the UN, in partnership with the US, France and Russia, that would have called for Iran to ship low-enriched uranium out of the country. But we’ve watched the Iranians conduct themselves in predictable form: dragging out their response.
They still haven’t officially given an answer, but today they came one step closer when Iranian parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi said no uranium was going to be shipped out of the country.
What made news following this was an interview that Russian president Dmitry Medvedev gave to the German Der Spiegel magazine, which suggests that if there is not progress with Iran sanctions may be necessary. This was of interest because Russia has been a major stumbling block with regard to effective sanctions. But I found his very wishy-washy statement to be anything but reassuring:
“If the Iranian leadership takes a less constructive position, then anything is possible in theory…we wouldn’t want this to end with international sanctions because sanctions, as a rule, take us in a very complex and dangerous direction. But if there is no movement forward, nobody is ruling out such a scenario.”
Russia has its own vested interests and is playing its own game right now. Of more concern to me is the US.
Caroline Glick, in her column yesterday, addressed Obama policy vis-a-vis Iran, and her comments merit serious attention:
“On Wednesday morning…scores of thousands of Iranians in cities throughout the country took advantage of the regime’s planned demonstrations celebrating the 30th anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Teheran to protest against the regime. These regime opponents willingly placed themselves in front of the batons, tear gas cannons and guns of Iranian regime goons to protest June’s stolen presidential election and to call for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime of tyranny and its replacement with a democracy.
“The protesters turned regime supporters’ calls for ‘Death to America,’ and ‘Death to Israel’ into big, deadly jokes by calling out, ‘Death to the Dictator’ (that is, supreme ruler Ali Khamenei) and ‘Death to Russia.’
“Far from embracing the regime’s 30-year war against the US and the nation-state based international system, [they] asked the US to forgive Iran for taking 52 US Embassy personnel hostage in 1979.”
And what was Obama’s response?
“Obama’s pledge not to support the anti-regime protesters was part of a larger message in which the president of the United States effectively groveled at the mullahs’ feet and begged them to allow the US to enrich uranium for them.
“Obama said, ‘I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past, and seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect… We have recognized Iran’s international right to peaceful nuclear power. We have demonstrated our willingness to take confidence-building steps along with others in the international community….
“And when Khamenei responded to Obama’s obsequious bowing and scraping by saying that negotiating with the US was a ‘naïve and perverted’ enterprise, the Obama administration had nothing to say.
“The White House won’t even acknowledge that the Iranians have already rejected the IAEA-brokered deal…Indeed, rather than accept that the Iranians are playing them for fools, administration officials were furious at Israel for Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s announcement early last week that their proposed deal with Iran would have little impact on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
“According to Channel 10, the White House demanded that Netanyahu applaud their efforts. They threatened Israel with unspecified sanctions if he failed to announce his support for their pathetic attempts at appeasement. And so he did. And about five minutes after Netanyahu applauded the Americans for their brilliant offer to enrich uranium for Iran, the Iranians rejected their offer as insufficient.
And what about the Obama administration’s response to the Israel capture of the arms ship Francop? Glick has confirmed my original impression, that there was none of substance:
“[The capture of the ship] has had no discernible impact on American policy. The US did not denounce either Syria or Iran for breaching the UN Security Council resolution barring Iranian arms shipments as well as the Security Council resolution prohibiting nations from arming Hezbollah. The US did not state that in response to what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called a ‘smoking gun,’ it will reconsider its decision to send an ambassador to Damascus or its commitment to appeasing Iran through its nuclear talks in Geneva…”
Here it is again, advanced one more step: The threat of Palestinian violence that I’ve been watching.
According to YNet, a senior Fatah official has now said that if “serious progress was not made soon in peace talks” then Fatah would consider reverting to “popular warfare.” This source said an increasing number of Fatah “operatives” were pushing for violent resistance.
Operatives is the terms used in the YNet article. In Israeli lingo it is frequently associated with terrorists. Looks like this means the guys who would commit violent acts are clambering for the word that it’s time for the “go ahead.”
Said the official:
“We are not talking about terror attacks and weapons, but we are talking about protests and [throwing] stones, like the anti-fence protests, and about strikes and protests by the people, so that the world understands that the next step will be unpleasant and we go back to the way things were before Oslo.”
Well, I’m not buying that for a minute. “Violent resistance” suggests a good deal more than strikes and throwing stones. Especially as he alludes to “the next step.”
Two thoughts occur to me here. The first is that this might be a threat, just as we’re seeing other threats from the Palestinians at the moment: If we don’t want this to happen, we had better freeze those settlements immediately. Or if Obama doesn’t want this, he had better lean mighty hard on us.
I am a bit disinclined to take this as only a threat, however, because this is not an isolated reference to a reversion to violence. And when something is repeated multiple times, there’s more of a chance that there’s something to it.
But then, I respond to the threat that we’ll go back to the way things were before Oslo and I laugh. What the person making this statement wants to do is tell the world that there is a “peace process” that was started with Oslo — and which theoretically brought improved conditions — and that the whole thing might be lost if there is not forward progress.
Well, hell, I’d go back to before Oslo any day. And that’s not just because it would mean we would not be tied into some concept of a “Palestinian entity” (Oslo did not refer to a Palestinian state). The reality is that the very worst terrorism took place after Oslo — specifically during the Second Intifada that began in 2000 as Arafat’s response to the peace offer made by Ehud Barak, who was then prime minister. Many more Israeli Jews have been killed in terrorist attacks since Oslo than before.
Let me return here to the killings in Fort Hood. It’s possible to dismiss this incident as the action of one mentally deranged person, and a politically correct atmosphere encourages that interpretation. Not only am I greatly dubious of this take, I would warn Americans to not be complacent with regard to what happened.
Israel National News reports that he shouted Allah Akbar before he began shooting. If this is true, it is damning. As every Israeli knows, this is the cry of the jihadist before he begins a terror rampage.
JINSA — the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs — is an agency that demonstrates considerable level-headedness. And JINSA, in its most recent report (# 937), addressing the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, says, “It is no longer unthinkable.”
“JINSA has long followed stories about attacks planned and executed against American military personnel. After the conviction in April of three Muslim men charged with conspiring to kill American soldiers at Ft. Dix…A defense attorney called the sentence ‘unusually lengthy’ in a case where ‘no one was harmed.’ The Deputy U.S. Attorney replied, ‘These men do not deserve leniency because of the good work of the FBI. They should not receive some benefit because there are not some dead soldiers lying on the ground.’
“Since then, jihadists waging war in our country killed American soldiers in Arkansas and in Texas. Motivated by religious ideology to believe Americans in general and soldiers in particular, are the enemies of Muslims and of Islam, jihadists are arming, training and conspiring-and now doing-what had been unthinkable in the United States.
“They have to be stopped.
I share here as well what was written on the subject, on Frontpage, by Robert Spencer. An authority on jihad, he maintains the highly respected “Jihad Watch” site:
“…Major Hasan’s motive was perfectly clear — but it was one that the forces of political correctness and the Islamic advocacy groups in the United States have been working for years to obscure. So it is that now that another major jihad terror attack has taken place on American soil, authorities and the mainstream media are at a loss to explain why it happened – and the abundant evidence that it was a jihad attack is ignored.
“…he identified himself as Palestinian [though American born] and was a devout Muslim – so what? These things, of course, have no significance if one assumes that Islam is a Religion of Peace and that when a devout Muslim reads the Koran’s many injunctions to wage war against unbelievers, he knows that they have no force or applicability for today’s world. Unfortunately, all too many Muslims around the world demonstrate in both their words and their deeds that they take such injunctions quite seriously. And Nidal Hasan gave some indications that he may have been among them.
“…One of his former colleagues, Col. Terry Lee, recalled Hasan saying statements to the effect of ‘Muslims have the right to rise up against the U.S. military’; ‘Muslims have a right to stand up against the aggressor’”; and even speaking favorably about people who ‘strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square.’
“…The effect of ignoring or downplaying the role that Islamic beliefs and assumptions may have played in his murders only ensures that – once again – nothing will be done to prevent the eventual advent of the next Nidal Hasan.”
I now have the names of the nations that voted with Israel and the US in the General Assembly, against endorsing the Goldstone Report:
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru (a Pacific island nation), the Netherlands, Palau (a Pacific island nation), Panama, Poland, Slovakia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine. (Thanks, Jeff)
What I see here in this pathetically small grouping of nations of honor is the presence of east European states — actually outnumbering the western European nations. A reminder, once again, of where our future alliances are likely to be.