Defense/Security 7:48 PM 3/8/2014
News from America 5:46 AM
Jewish World 5:10 AM
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
there is a simple reason why the world press has chosen largely to ignore this outbreak of violence: both the perpetrators as well as the victims are Palestinian, and hence they can not blame Israel (at least directly) for the bloodshed
With great care, the media has thus far studiously avoided calling the internecine Palestinian warfare exactly what it is: a civil war.
But as the violence has reached new heights over the past few days, with running gun-battles taking place in Gaza hospitals between Hamas and Fatah thugs and mutual assassination attempts directed against the leaders of the two groups, it will become increasingly difficult for the media to continue to downplay and minimize this crucial story.
Of course, there is a simple reason why the world press has chosen largely to ignore this outbreak of violence: both the perpetrators as well as the victims are Palestinian, and hence they can not blame Israel (at least directly) for the bloodshed.
Moreover, ever since BBC reporter Alan Johnson was kidnapped by Palestinians in Gaza, the media has been cowed into silence, undoubtedly for fear of offending one terrorist gang or another.
But don't let the media's non-coverage fool you - what are we witnessing now is the meltdown of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as armed warlords battle each other for control and kill their own people.
This only underlines once again just how absurd it would be for Israel to enter into negotiations with the PA or turn over additional territory to their control. The Palestinians can not even keep their own house in order, and use unspeakable acts of violence to settle their home-grown rivalries.
But of course you won't be hearing much about that on CNN......
Israel should stop apologizing for defeating the Arab states in 1967. Like any other nation, we have the right to defend ourselves, and we have the right not to be thrown in the sea
Israel neither asked for war nor initiated it in 1967, so let's stop acting like we did. We do not owe the Arabs anything for defeating them
This week marks 40 years since Israel's miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Day War.
Yet now, it seems, many Israelis are gripped by a failure to appreciate this astonishing triumph - with some practically mourning the fact that we won the war rather than go down in defeat.
As I suggest in the column below, this appears to be a case of "Battered Nation Syndrome" - with the only possible cure being that the Jewish state stop apologizing for its survival.
A Classic Case of 'Battered Nation Syndrome'
by Michael Freund
It was 40 years ago this month that tiny little Israel, facing destruction at the hands of its enemies, miraculously emerged triumphant from the 1967 Six Day War. Existential fear quickly dissolved into breathtaking joy as the Jewish state decisively vanquished its foes, reuniting Jerusalem and reclaiming large swathes of our ancient homeland.
Our adversaries, who had gleefully pledged to feed us to the fish in the Mediterranean Sea, were forced to look on as their troops beat a hasty and humiliating retreat.
The stunning victory of 1967 had all the markings of Divine intervention. It was a gift from Heaven to a besieged and beleaguered people. After nearly two millennia we were reunited at last with the cradle of Jewish civilization in Judea and Samaria, and with the heart of the nation, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
And yet, it seems, four decades later, many Israelis still just cannot forgive themselves for winning.
In what has become an annual ritual, a variety of media pundits, left-wing activists and even some officials launch into mournful sessions of hand-wringing and breast-beating. They bemoan the outcome of the Six Day War, grumble about Israel's success in reclaiming Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and sound as if they would have preferred going down in defeat.
Displaying an extraordinary lack of appreciation and an exceptional lack of historical perspective, these critics long to give up the hard-earned fruits of that war of self-defense, all in the vain hope of mollifying an incorrigible foe.
HOW COULD so many forget so much in so short a time? Even now, as Palestinians fire rockets daily at southern Israel from the very same Gaza Strip that we handed over to them two years ago, the proponents of appeasement still refuse to acknowledge the error of their ways.
It seems the only way to explain this phenomenon is to borrow a term from psychology: Certain parts of the Israeli public and its leadership are clearly suffering from what I refer to as "Battered Nation Syndrome." Like a victim of ongoing domestic abuse, the advocates of surrender to the Palestinians cannot muster the wherewithal to hit back at the abuser. All the hallmarks of the syndrome are there: low self-esteem, a belief that the violence aimed against us is somehow our fault, and a tragic pattern of preferring to appease those who terrorize us rather than confront them.
Naturally, this distorted world-view results in an almost obsessive focus on Israel's perceived faults as lying at the root of the conflict with our neighbors.
Consequently, the actions of the Palestinians are downplayed and minimized, excused and ignored, and Israel's policy-making process instead begins to resemble a good, ol'-fashioned. self-inflicted guilt trip.
But it is time to break out of this collective funk and start viewing the world the way it really is.
TO BEGIN with, Israel should stop apologizing for defeating the Arab states in 1967. Like any other nation, we have the right to defend ourselves, and we have the right not to be thrown in the sea.
What many of the defeatists conveniently choose to ignore is what led up to the 1967 war: increased Palestinian terror, massive Arab military buildups, and public threats by Arab leaders to annihilate the Jewish state.
They also forget that two years prior to 1967, back when Israel did not yet "occupy" the territories, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol put forward a proposal that could have resolved the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all.
Speaking to the Knesset on May 17, 1965, Eshkol suggested turning the 1949 armistice agreements into peace treaties, and offered to hold direct talks with the Arab states in order to do so.
Pointing out that Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, combined had 60 times the land area of the Jewish state, the premier noted that there was no logical reason for the Arabs to continue to pursue war. Instead, he offered a vision of peace that included open borders, bilateral trade, economic cooperation and freedom of access to the holy sites.
All he asked in return, said Eshkol, was "full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States in the region."
But Israel's offer of peace was met two years later with a clear and unequivocal Arab response. Egypt and Syria mobilized their armies and their people, and vowed to destroy the Jewish state.
Hence, Israel neither asked for war nor initiated it in 1967, so let's stop acting like we did. We do not owe the Arabs anything for defeating them, and we certainly do not need to give them any further territory from which to attack us.
They tried to kill us. We won. Get over it.
--- from the May 30 Jerusalem Post
The fact that Israel is desperately in need of some leadership is hardly open to doubt, as the recent wave of corruption scandals and the findings of the Winograd Commission made clear.
But if there is still anyone out there who thinks that the Jewish state is currently being led by intelligent and thoughtful people, consider the following news item.
This morning, Israel Radio reported that the Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik, has a new proposal to bring about an end to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza - she suggests bringing in a military force belonging to the Arab League, and stationing them in the area.
When I heard this on the radio, I of course went to check my calendar to see if perhaps this is some sort of Middle Eastern version of an April Fool's Day ruse.
But it isn't. Ms. Itzik is absolutely serious. It doesn't seem to have occurred to her that inviting a large, well-armed Arab military force into Gaza might pose a threat to Israel and its interests, nor does she seem to have considered the fact that Arab League troops are unlikely to risk their lives in order to prevent their fellow Palestinian Arabs from assaulting the Jewish state.
Furthermore, as anyone with even a remote understanding of the region is aware, the Arab League continues to maintain an official economic and trade boycott of the Jewish state, with the aim of damaging the country and denying its legitimacy. Why, then, Ms. Itzik would think it wise to station their troops along Israel's borders is anyone's guess.
If Dalia Itzik's proposal is at all indicative of the kind of strategic thinking that guides our present leadership, then it is no wonder that Israel finds itself in its current predicament.
what is surprising is that 2.38% of Syrian voters actually had the courage not to vote 'yes' in this farce masquerading as democracy
Well, the results are in, and they are quite surprising.
Syrian President Bashar Assad won a whopping 97.62 percent of the vote in a referendum aimed at "confirming" him for another 7 year term of office as Dictator of Damascus. This was actually an increase from the 97.29 percent that he received 7 years ago when he inherited the throne from his late father, Hafez Assad.
The outcome, of course, was hardly unexpected, as Assad was the only candidate allowed to run. But what is surprising is that 2.38% of Syrian voters actually had the courage not to vote 'yes' in this farce masquerading as democracy.
Speaking to reporters, Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdel Majeed said - apparently with a straight face - "This great consensus shows the political maturity of Syria and the brilliance of our democracy and multi-party system."
In fact, what it shows is that Syria remains a backwater of authoritarianism and repression, one that is not worthy of being courted or cultivated (Nancy Pelosi please take note).
Syria is a dangerous dictatorship that has a penchant for stirring up trouble throughout the region, whether it is interfering in Lebanon, allowing fighters to cross into Iraq to join the insurgency, or hosting terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Damascus.
And as the results of the referendum make clear, Syria's neighbors aren't the only ones who are chafing under Mr. Assad and his regime.