Middle East 5:43 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 3:13 AM 3/7/2014
Middle East 4:45 AM 3/7/2014
Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has recently used the Sharon legacy to pressure Israel to sign a ‘peace’ treaty with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Kerry called Sharon a leader who made ‘tough decisions’: he surrendered Gaza for peace.
Kerry wants current Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make the same ‘hard choice’: surrender (Judea-Samaria) for peace.
Netanyahu himself echoes Kerry. He has suggested he is ready to make ‘difficult decisions’. He suggests that those ’difficult decisions’ refer to land he will surrender.
But is surrendering land the ‘difficult’ decision? Look at how Israel responds to Kerry. Perhaps surrendering is the easy decision. Perhaps the difficult decision is to say, no.
To understand what will be ‘difficult’ or ‘easy’ for Netanyahu, consider US President George Washington during the period 1794-97. His experience might help Netanyahu distinguish ‘easy’ from ‘difficult’.
By 1794, two super-powers were at war—Britain and France. America was not a super-power. It was new. It was weak. It needed help to survive—and having British soldiers still on American soil didn’t help.
America needed to increase exports. It needed to get rid of those British troops. But too many Americans remembered the Revolutionary War, which had formally ended only recently (1783). They were not inclined to be friendly to the British.
Washington had a problem. According to a study of American Presidents by historian Michael Beschloss (Presidential Courage, Simon & Schuster, 2007), Washington wanted to sign a Treaty with Britain--The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and The United States of America, also called, Jay’s Treaty. But he faced enormous pressure to say no.
Washington recognized that surrendering to that pressure was the easy thing to do. He understood that surrendering to pressure is always the easy way. But according to Beschloss, Washington did not take the easy road. He did not yield to that pressure.
Netanyahu faces his own pressure. But for him, the pressure is to say yes. No is the hard decision. For example, if Netanyahu says no to a US-brokered ‘peace’ deal, the US and the European Union (EU) have already laid out the consequences he will face: the EU would boycott Israel, the PA would start a Third Intifada and Israel will suffer ‘isolation on steroids’ at the United Nations ("Kerry warns of third intifada, Israel's isolation, if peace talks break down", Jerusalem Post, September 7, 2013).
It is pressure which determines what is easy or difficult: the easy decision means, the pressure you face will be released. The difficult decision means, the pressure will (supposedly) destroy you.
Beschloss says Washington chose to make the tough decision. He ignored the pressure. He said yes to the Treaty. He did that for four reasons.
First, America was weak. She was free but she needed commerce to grow strong enough to remain free. The Treaty gave America that money. For example, soon after 1795, American exports to the British Empire increased 300% (see “Challenging American Expansion 1789-1792” – Coweta at County).
Second, British troops occupied American soil. The Treaty would end that occupation (ibid).
Third, England was at war with France. While England fought France, a British-American Treaty meant England would leave America free to grow strong.
Fourth, America and Britain were already close. The two countries spoke the same language. They shared the same religious practices. They shared the same culture. They shared the same commercial interests.
By contrast, Netanyahu will see no such tangible benefits from a ‘yes’. Arabs seek to kill Jews, not join with them. A Treaty would put enemy soldiers closer to Jewish homes, not farther away. Arabs reject commercial cooperation. A Treaty will weaken Israel militarily, not make it stronger.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu faces enormous pressure to sign. That pressure means saying yes is the easy decision.
To paraphrase a saying, follow the pressure to find the easy road. For Washington, the pressure was to say no. For Netanyahu, the pressure is to say yes.
If Netanyahu yields to that pressure, many of his troubles with the US and EU will disappear; that’s the easy road. Go against that pressure, and he will suffer. That’s the difficult road.
The sub-title of Beschloss’s book is, “brave leaders and how they changed America.” He begins his study with this 1794-7 Treaty because, he says, if Washington had yielded to pressure—taken the easy road--there might not be an America today.
Netanyahu faces a similar consequence: if he yields to pressure and makes the easy choice, the Jewish State could disappear.
Washington taught us something: find the source of the pressure and you find the easy choice. Right now, Netanyahu buckles under pressure from the US. He may declare that saying yes to the US is the difficult choice, but he’s wrong. Saying yes is the easy choice.
Americans celebrate George Washington as a great President for a reason. He had courage. He refused to buckle under pressure. He risked everything to make the difficult choice.
Does Netanyahu have that courage?
Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinian’ love to call Israel ‘racist’. They’ve just done it again today (“Erekat: Israel is 'Racist' and Should be Punished”, Arutz Sheva, February 5, 2014).
Arabs behave this way because they are obsessed with the destruction of Israel. They hate Jews.
Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinian’ have no interest in peace with Israel. They have no desire for economic cooperation with Israel. They are like the carpenter who has only one tool—a hammer.
You know what life is like for a one-tool carpenter, right? If the only tool you’ve got is a hammer, everything you see looks like a nail.
It’s the same for the so-called ‘Palestinians’. Like that one-tool carpenter, these Arabs have only one thought. They see the world only through one concept. That thought—that concept—is called, Jew-hate.
They are racists. Therefore, every Jew they see is a racist, too.
Here are ten reasons ‘Palestinians’ are racists—and Israelis are not.
1. Arabs walk in downtown Jerusalem with no fear of being attacked. Jews are warned not to travel to downtown Ramallah. It would be too dangerous for them.
2. Arabs attend Israeli Universities. Jews cannot attend Arab Universities.
3. Arabs can become Doctors in Israel—and work as Doctors in Israeli hospitals and health clinics. Jews are not allowed to do that in Arab countries.
4. Arabs vote in Israel. Jews cannot vote in Arab countries.
5. Arabs can buy property in Israel. Jews cannot buy property in Arab countries.
6. Arabs can serve in the Israeli army. Jews cannot serve in Arab armies.
7. Arab Muslims clerics regularly tell large Arab audiences that Jews are pigs and apes. Rabbis in Israel never speak of Arabs in that way.
8. Arab clerics tell their followers that killing Jews is a religious mandate for Muslims. Rabbis in Israel say no such thing about Muslims.
9. Arabs work aggressively to destroy all evidence of ancient Jewish religious life in Israel. Israel passes laws that all religious sites in Israel are to be protected.
10. Arabs say that the new state of ‘Palestine’ will be Jew-free. No Jews allowed. Today, more than 20 per cent of Israel’s population is Arab.
The ‘Palestinian’ cause is corrupt. It meets the definition of ‘racism’. That makes the ‘Palestinian’ argument immoral. By definition, anything based on racism is immoral.
The Arab racists have a rabid, bloodthirsty Jew-hate. They do not hide it. They do not pretend to be something else. They have no shame, no honour and no morality other than, kill the Jew, destroy Judaism and remove Israel from the world.
That’s their ‘cause’. It’s racist.
It’s has another name, too: the ‘Palestinian’ cause.
If you want more evidence of Arab racism, here are six questions you should ask:
1`How many Jews are patients in ‘Palestinian’ medical centers? The answer is, zero.
2. How many ‘Palestinians’ are patients in Israeli hospitals? The answer is, hundreds, if not thousands.
3. How many Jews are in lawyers in the Palestinian Authority? Close to zero.
4. How many Arabs work as licensed Israeli lawyers? The answer is, a lot.
5. How many Jews serve as judges on Arab Supreme Courts? The answer is, zero.
6. How many Arabs serve on Israel’s High Court? The answer is, one.
That should give you a clear picture of who is the racist in this place.
Israel is not racist. Arabs in Israel have more rights in Israel than in any Arab country. Arabs in Israel have a safer, higher quality of life in Israel than in any Arab country.
Arabs in Israel have more freedom in Israel than in any Arab country.
Israel is not racist. Palestinians’ are racist. The ‘Palestinian’ cause is racist.
On Saturday, February 1, 2014, US Secretary of State John Kerry upped the ante in the game called, ‘peace talks with Israel’. He warned Israel not to let the talks fail.
He’s not a good negotiator. He has a faulty memory. He forgets that Israel isn’t the only participant in these talks. He forgets to warn the Arabs not to let the talks fail.
When only Israel gets warned, you know it isn’t a good day for justice. When John Kerry threatens the Jewish State, you don’t see an honest mediator working fairly with both parties in a conflict. You see an 800-pound gorilla threatening the Jew.
By threatening only Jews, Kerry reveals that he tilts judgment to favour one side over the other. That’s not honesty. It’s what our Torah calls the perversion of justice.
Do you do business with someone who perverts justice?
Kerry suggested that if Israel failed to reach an agreement with Abbas, it will suffer. He warned, “People are [already] talking about boycott. That [talk of boycott] will intensify in the case of failure”(“Kerry: Mideast peace hopes not ‘quixotic”, Times of Israel, February 1, 2014).
As if to buttress his warning, news reports circulate that two European Banks have ended all ties with Israeli banks doing business in the ‘West Bank’. Another report said that one European bank has now demanded that two Israeli banks reveal immediately details of their operations in the West Bank.
This juxtaposition of Kerry’s reference to a boycott with the announcement of these banks boycotting Israel may not be coincidence. Remember, Kerry’s not a good negotiator. He has a faulty memory.
He forgets that we know how he works to ‘help’ Israel. He helps by cheating.
Do you do business with a cheat?
In July, 2013, he orchestrated a European Union (EU) boycott threat against Israel ("Report: Kerry is Behind European Boycotts", Israel National News, January 7, 2014). He then went into these negotiations as the ‘mediator’ with that anti-Israel boycott in his pocket.
That’s like playing poker with an Ace hidden up your sleeve. Kerry used that hidden Ace in September, 2013 just after the talks began: he threatened Israel ("Kerry warns of third intifada, Israel's isolation, if peace talks break down", Jerusalem Post, September 7, 2013). Now he warns Israel again as he prepares to return to the Middle East.
Israel’s Left, including Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, falls for Kerry’s gimmick every time. They’re suckers for the old ‘hidden Ace’ cheat. They want so much to be loved, they’ll fall for any trick the US uses to frighten them.
Israel’s Left yearns to be loved by others. They are terrified by a boycott threat. The very mention of a boycott gives them a panic attack. Say,’boycott’, and they’ll demand that Israel must give Kerry exactly what he wants—immediately, if not sooner.
For example, the terrified Lapid went so far as to warn that the EU is so ready to harm Israel it is prepared to cancel important agreements with Israel. Cancelling those agreements, he claimed, will cost Israel more than a billion NIS (“Lapid: EU considering striking central treaty with Israel if peace talks fail”, Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2014).
But the EU denied they were even thinking such a thing. It looked as if the moment Lapid had cried ‘wolf’, the ‘wolf’ wasn’t around.
It was quite a show: Israel faces a threat and Yair Lapid pushes the panic button--in public.
That’s not leadership. That's raw fear.
That kind of fear has another name: cowardice.
While Lapid shows the world how terrified he is, Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon had a different response to Kerry's threats. He said, "we respect Secretary of State Kerry but will not hold talks with a gun to our head. Friends don't” use ultimatums with friends (“John Kerry Threatens Israel With Boycotts if Talks Fail”, Arutz Sheva, February 1, 2014).
We need people like Danon if we are to survive. Cowardice won’t help us.
Lapid and the Left are so frightened they render themselves useless. Do not follow their fear. Forget them. They are terrified. They spend so much of their time worrying about ‘the other guy’ they can’t figure out how to defend us.
Actually, if you listen to them, you’ll realize that they do not defend us. They surrender.
That’s not leadership. That’s panic.
The Left reminds one of the fictional attorney, Perry Mason (see “The Perry Mason school of life”, Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, January 27, 2012). In this 2012 essay, Honig gives us a piece of Perry Mason advice: the best fighters don’t worry about what the other man may do.
That’s good advice. It’s something the Left doesn’t understand. All they do is worry about the other man.
Here’s some advice for you: don’t follow the Left. Don’t believe anyone who is terrified by the other guy.
If you do that, you’ll lose.
The essay was first posted on Tuvia Brodie blog on February 1, 2014
Two weeks ago, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon set off a twenty-four hour fire-storm with a single remark. He called US Secretary of State John Kerry ‘obsessive’--and ‘messianic’ (“Yaalon criticized for reportedly calling Kerry ‘obsessive, messianic’”, Jerusalem Post, January 14, 2014).
The remark was supposedly a reference to how Kerry has managed current Arab-Israel peace negotiations. The remark was part of a private conversation. It was not meant for publication. It was certainly far less offensive than the ‘Netanyahu’s a liar’ comment from another private conversation, this one between the then-President of France Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama, in November, 2011.
Do you remember that incident?
That 2011 conversation between two heads-of-state was not made public by an overly-aggressive newspaper or by someone who violated an understanding of what was ‘private’ (as might have been the case with the Yaalon comment). That 2011 comment became public because a microphone between the two men (or close to them) had not been turned off. Sarkozy told Obama, "I cannot bear Netanyahu. He's a liar”.
Obama didn’t just listen. He joined the insult. Not realizing that the microphone was still ‘live’, he responded to Sarkozy, “You're fed up with him. But I have to deal with him even more often than you" (“Sarkozy tells Obama Netanyahu is a "liar", Reuters News Service, November 8, 2011).
The White House refused even to discuss the matter. Obama did later acknowledge the incident. But he refused to comment on the disparaging remarks he and Sarkozy had exchanged (“Obama acknowledges gaffe over Netanyahu insult but refuses to elaborate”, Haaretz, November 14, 2011).
Israeli officials did not express ‘outrage’. They did not condemn the remarks.
Israel did not demand an apology. Obama did not volunteer to apologize.
When American officials reacted to Yaalon’s remark, they clearly did not remember that whispered insult—or Obama’s refusal to apologize to the Israeli head-of-state. Perhaps they did remember—but didn’t care.
Instead, American officials expressed anger at Yaalon’s comment. They were shocked. They were outraged. They condemned it as ‘offensive’. They demanded an apology.
Next day, Yaalon apologized.
How curious. The US President participated in an insult to the Israel Prime Minister; he didn’t apologize. But when an Israeli Defense Minister (not the head-of-state) describes the US Secretary of State (not the head-of-state) in a private remark, his comment so offends the Americans he must apologize. Why?
What’s offensive about ‘obsessive’? Why do American officials condemn ‘messianic’? More important, why should an Israeli official’s truly private remark stir such anger when the US President’s own—more serious--insult was ignored?
Is this how a double standard works? The Jewish Tanach teaches that double standards are immoral (the same justice must be applied to all, evenly). Do the Americans act immorally by demanding an apology for an offense they themselves refuse to apologize for?
The American response seemed unnatural. Do Americans know something about the Jewish Redemption story they prefer to ignore? Was that their problem?
Yaalon used a word associated with, ‘Messiah’. The knee-jerk American reaction was to pull a ‘double standard’ on Israel, something which certainly looks immoral.
Do you know the Jewish Redemption story? It’s a story of powerful nations counselling together to attack Jerusalem. It’s a story of the powerful seeking to strip Judaism’s Holy City from the Jews. It’s a story of Jew-haters conspiring to destroy what is Jewish.
It’s a story we hear today. It’s a story of an immoral—perhaps anti-moral—world attacking Israel. It’s the story of an Arab-Israel conflict managed by the EU and the US for the Arab’s benefit.
The Jewish Redemption story is today’s modern history. It’s the history of Arabs demanding Jerusalem—and the EU and the US assisting them. The ancient Jewish Redemption story is the tale of powerful enemies joining together to divide Jerusalem (at the very least) and to carve up the Holy Land for others.
The Jewish Redemption story is an ancient prediction of the machinations of Edom (the US and the EU, according to many) and Yishmael (the Arab) causing trouble for Israel. To see these machinations, read Zohar Va'era 32a, as quoted by breslev.co.il, March 4, 2013.
US Secretary of State John Kerry might not be ‘messianic’. He might not even be Jewish (he isn’t). But he might well be one of the major players on the international stage who helps to ‘throw the switch’ that starts the final act of the Jewish Redemption.
In his own way, Kerry might be a lot closer to the Jewish Moshiach than we think. Yaalon’s comment might be prescient. It might suggest why the Americans (descendants of immoral Edom) reacted as they did. It might even suggest what the Arab-Israel conflict is all about.
Catherine Ashton is considered by many to be one of the most important players on today’s world stage. She is Minister of Foreign Affairs for the European Union (EU). She is not the President of the EU. But she stands nonetheless in the main spotlight—at center-stage.
The EU does not have the power or the military capability of Obama’s America or Putin’s Russia. The EU is big—on paper. Catherine Ashton is bigger than that paper. On some says, she seems bigger than the EU.
Around the world, she has name recognition. Many outside Europe consider her to be a major voice in Arab-Israel ‘peace’ efforts. People know who she is.
By contrast, how many outside Europe know the name of the President of the European Council? The President of the European Council is often referred to as the ‘President of the EU’. Do you know his name?
You may never have heard of Herman Van Rompuy. He will be President of the European Council until November 30, 2014.
Van Rompuy’s name may draw a blank. But people recognize Ashton’s name. They have seen her picture often enough to recognize her face. That recognition gives her visibility. That visibility gives her power.
She uses that power to support the Palestinian demand for a new state. She uses her power to accuse Israel of refusing to ‘talk peace’ with those who want to destroy Israel. She uses that power to declare with her silence that she doesn’t care if Palestinian leadership demands that a war crime (ethnic cleansing) be committed in order to create their new state. She uses her power of silence to declare that she doesn’t care if Palestinian leadership threatens Israel.
Why should she care if Palestinian leadership threatens Israel? She threatens Israel herself.
She wants the Palestinians to get what they want. She threatens Israel to make sure they get it.
The Palestinians want a Jew-free state. Put another way, they want a racist, Apartheid state.
Ashton openly supports that goal. She is aggressive about her support. She has declared that if current Arab-Israel peace talks fail, she will be angry—at Israel. If those talks fail, the EU will boycott Israel.
Ashton does not discuss what ‘punishment’ the Palestinian Authority (PA) will receive for failure. She indemnifies the PA against criticism.
Now she reveals something new. She supports a form of Holocaust denial.
According to a news report (“Ashton Omits Mention of Jews During Holocaust Day Speech,” January 28, 2014, Arutz Sheva), Ashton did not refer to Jews in a speech commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Instead of referring to Jewish victims (at this Jewish event), she referred to ‘victims of the Holocaust’.
She deleted the Jews from the Holocaust. By that deletion, she denied the essence of the Holocaust, its Jew-hate.
Her statement said, ’we honour all those brutally killed during this darkest period of European history. We also especially would like to honour those acted with courage and self-sacrifice to protect their fellow citizens from persecution.’
These words may sound nice. But the truth is, this Jewish event is not about Europe. It’s not about ‘fellow citizens’. Holocaust Remembrance is about Jews. It’s about Jew-hate. It’s about what happens when the early stages of official Jew-hate (such as we see in Palestinian leadership) is ignored. It’s about remembering how many Jews were murdered by pure hate—and thinking if only for a moment about making sure that such hate never again gains such power.
Ashton cleansed such thoughts from her speech. But to delete ‘Jews’ from a Holocaust Memorial speech is like deleting milk from a milkshake or the chicken from your chicken salad. It removes the meaning from the content. It denies the reality of the Holocaust. It denies the reality that ‘Holocaust’ got its name because of the horror done to Jews, not ‘fellow citizens.’
Her omission cleanses the Holocaust of its Jews.
The Palestinians want to cleanse Jews, too. Does her omission tell us she is the Palestinian’s European kindred spirit?
Ashton’s omission suggests that she cannot bring herself to say the word, ‘Jew’ even in front of Jews. It suggests that her imbalanced support for the PA is more than an oversight. It suggests that her threat to punish only Jews if peace talks fail is no accident.
Her omission suggests she is an anti-Semite. Her refusal to use the word, ‘Jews’, for this occasion reminds one that, if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s a duck.
What are you, Catherine Ashton?