Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
December 13th, 2018 at 10:05 am
Notable Quote: Israel’s Right to Exist
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In a brilliant primer entitled “Refute Palestinian Lies to Promote Mideast Peace” in The Wall Street Journal, Max Singer refutes a persistent myth that the United States must work to refute:

[D]espite widespread use of the term in diplomatic documents and debate, there is no such thing as ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ because there has never been a Palestinian territory to occupy.  As some Palestinians point out, they have never had a state of their own.  This is far more than a game of semantics.  If the land was Palestinian, then Israel could have stolen it.  If the land isn’t Palestinian, then Israel couldn’t have stolen it.  It’s critical that the U.S. actively combat the falsehood that Israel exists on stolen Palestinian land.”

 

May 8th, 2018 at 9:27 am
Image of the Day: Jerusalem Street Signs Now Announce U.S. Embassy
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Something that should’ve happened long ago, but that all Americans should be grateful to have been accomplished in swift order by President Trump – new street signs pointing to U.S. embassy in Jerusalem:

At Long Last - U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

At Long Last - U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

August 4th, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Letter Offers Helpful Historical Perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian Temple Mount Metal Detector Controversy
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After three terrorist gunmen killed two Israeli police officers last month at the Temple Mount outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance of the site to protect both visitors and officers.  Perhaps predictably, those seemingly common-sense measures triggered a call for a “day of rage” from Palestinian leaders, and an ensuing round of violent protests in Palestinian cities.

Today, a reader letter in The Wall Street Journal provides some helpful historical perspective in the ongoing controversy:

It is ironic that the Muslim population complains that the metal detectors interfere with their worship.  Until the Six Day War in 1967, when the Temple Mount was in Muslim control, Jews weren’t allowed to come within miles of the Western Wall, much less pray there.  To this day, Jews aren’t allowed to pray at their holiest site – the summit of the Temple Mount – by the Islamic Waqf.”

August 1st, 2016 at 11:57 am
Image of the Day: The Left Now Favors Palestinians Over Israel
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A recent Pew Research survey reveals an alarming and corrosive new reality.  The political left in America for the first time sympathizes more with the Palestinians, who effectively deny Israel’s right to even exist and officially celebrate terrorist attacks in Israel, over the Israelis whom they seek to eradicate.

American Left Now Favors Palestinians Over Israelis

American Left Now Favors Palestinians Over Israelis

This strange sense of radical chic was previously more confined to European shores among western societies.  Given the rising degree of liberal sentiment in America, this begins to suggest a larger trend, which we can only hope doesn’t eventually import the disturbing degree of anti-Semitism and balkanization that Europeans regrettably suffer.

December 5th, 2014 at 6:19 am
Podcast: Putting a Face to War
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In an interview with CFIF, Wayne Kopping, Director, Editor and respected Filmmaker, discusses the new feature-length documentary film “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front,” which highlights five young Israeli high school graduates who are drafted into the army to defend their country, and why it was important to create a documentary that brings to the screen the faces of the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Listen to the interview here.

August 1st, 2014 at 7:58 am
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Is Peace Possible?
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In an interview with CFIF, Bruce Herschensohn, Professor at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, author and CFIF Board Member, discusses the war between Israel and Hamas, Secretary of State John Kerry’s bungled attempt to achieve a cease-fire and President Obama’s performance on foreign policy issues.

Listen to the interview here.

September 19th, 2012 at 10:01 am
Ramirez Cartoon: No Time to Talk…
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

July 18th, 2012 at 4:56 pm
Palestinians Inching Towards United Nations Recognition

Following on Troy’s post earlier, it looks like the Israel-Palestine peace process is still DOA.

Two weeks ago, foreign policy expert Ted R. Bromund of the Heritage Foundation blogged about a controversial decision by the United Nations to allow Palestine a seat at the table during the ongoing Arms Trade Treaty (more on that in my column this week).  The move was brokered by Egypt’s new government, and had the unfortunate – and no doubt intended – effect of belittling the Vatican in the process.

Here’s Bromund’s take:

With much shuffling of place cards, all the national delegations moved over two places, and—accompanied by huge knot of delegates and much picture taking—the delegations from the Holy See and Palestine moved from the back of the room (where, as observers of different types, they normally sit behind the alphabetically arranged national member-state dlegations) to the front, ahead of the A-nations like Afghanistan and Albania.

…the outlines of the deal became clear: Both the Holy See and the Palestinians had gotten better seats, but neither of them was going to be recognized as full conference participants. The difference was that the Palestinians had evidently agreed to keep quiet and treat this as a victory, whereas the Holy See had not.

Its delegate made an angry speech, arguing that it had expected to participate as a full member in the conference, that it was not being allowed to do so, that this was an “egregious” failure that had seriously damaged its intention to become a state party to the ATT, and that it demanded to be a full participant in future conferences, where its participation as a mere observer at the ATT conference would not be a precedent.

Placing the Holy See and the Palestinians on the same level at the conference is a coup for the Palestinians.  Currently the UN recognizes the Holy See is a “non-member state” observer, while the Palestinians are an observer “entity.” The critical difference is that the Holy See is a recognized sovereign state even though it is not a UN member state, while the Palestinians are not. The Palestinians have hinted that, should their bid for full UN member state status fail, they would seek non-member state observer status. While this change would be mostly symbolic in terms of the privileges the Palestinians enjoy in Turtle Bay, it would undeniably represent General Assembly recognition of their claims of statehood and make it far easier for the Palestinians to gain membership in the UN specialized agencies.

For its part, the U.S. delegation chose not to walk out of the conference so it could retain maximum leverage over what promises to be a very bad treaty for citizens oppressed by dictatorial governments around the world.

Still, success at the United Nations depends on playing the long game; inching towards a resolution with half-measures like symbolically getting a seat at the table, even when it’s a seat that can’t vote.

With their symbolic move to the head of the table, right now, the Palestinians are winning.

July 18th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
The Perversity of “Doing Something” for It’s Own Sake
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With most media attention focused on the thrust and parry of the presidential race, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 13-day trip abroad garnered precious little media attention. That’s a shame, because an important message came out of the Secretary’s stop in Israel. It just wasn’t the one she intended. As Seth Mandel notes at Commentary‘s “Contentions” blog:

According to an Israeli official who was briefed on the content of the meetings, Clinton told the different Israeli officials that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are the best partners the Israelis ever had, adding that “it is unclear who will come after them.”

If Abbas and Fayyad–who resolutely refuse to even meet with Israeli leaders face to face–are the best Palestinian “peace partners” Israel has ever had, it is clear the peace process has gone practically nowhere since it began.

Mandel is precisely right. Peace in the Middle East is such a talisman to American presidents that they often stop thinking about the quality of any potential deal, looking solely for the achievement. That’s easy to do when you’re thinking of it as nothing more than a wing in your presidential library, but harder when you’re considering the lives of the people on the ground.

We may be waiting beyond our lifetimes for meaningful peace in the Middle East. But that’s a far preferable outcome to an agreement reached in haste that condemns the region to increased strife in coming years.

February 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 pm
How Many Times Does Iran Have to Tell Us They’re Serious?
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Over at the Daily Caller, Jamie Weinstein has a piece today regarding the grave seriousness with which the Iranian regime approaches the prospect of wiping Israel off the face of the planet. The column opens by citing the widow of one of the recently-assassinated nuclear scientists working on the Iranian bomb, who says that her husband’s “ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel.”

The intellectual balm of choice for foreign policy sophisticates has been to tell themselves that this sort of language out of Tehran is purely for domestic consumption, empty rhetoric aimed at consolidating support for the regime. At last night’s Republican debate in Arizona, Newt Gingrich rejected that line of thought, saying “I’m inclined to believe dictators. It’s dangerous not to.” (lest that quote sound a bit strange, it should be noted that Gingrich was saying it’s important to take threats from dictatorial regimes at face value).

Weinstein riffs on that theme at length and does a fine job of fleshing out Gingrich’s point:

They’re just posturing or joking or have been misinterpreted, we’re told. Israel and the West can live with a nuclear Iran, foreign policy intellectuals in New York, London and Berlin proclaim.

But if you’re the tiny, embattled State of Israel, it is hard to see how you can afford to take the chance that the Iranian leadership is merely joshing with their eliminationist rhetoric. Even if the odds are only 5 percent that the Iranian regime is apocalyptic and would act to bring back the hidden Imam through a nuclear holocaust, a five percent chance of a second holocaust is five percent too much for Israel to tolerate. (And let’s forget entirely for a moment the dire strategic problems of dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran even if the Islamic Republic doesn’t immediately use the bomb once it obtains the capability to strike. Try handling Hezbollah when they have a nuclear shield.)

Quite so. The higher the stakes, the lower our tolerance of ambiguity should be. It’s becoming increasingly clear that — regardless of how Iran uses a bomb — the cost will be prohibitively high for the U.S. and our allies. We still have a limited window in which we can set back and ultimately undo the threat with means short of war. Should we fail, the remaining options will be as unpalatable as they are necessary.

February 6th, 2012 at 11:59 am
Ramirez Cartoon – WH: “We Must Stop Them…”
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 23rd, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Top 10 Craziest UN Speeches

Foreign Policy offers a Top 10 list of the “craziest things ever said during a United Nations speech,” to help give context to today’s request for statehood recognition by the Palestinian Authority.

Among the leaders contributing to the list are Russia’s Nikita Khruschev (shoe banging and epithet); Palestine’s Yassir Arafat leading a “Zionism = racism” movement; Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez comparing President George W. Bush to Satan; and Iran’s Mahmoud  Ahmadinejad blaming the South Ossetia war on Israel.

Of the top ten, three include racist criticisms of Israel.  If Palestine gets statehood status and speaking privileges, expect that number to rise.

July 11th, 2011 at 9:18 pm
Tea Party Presidential Candidates “On the Issues”

The Houston Chronicle (scroll to the bottom) has a helpful side-by-side chart comparing the positions of declared and presumptive GOP presidential candidates, all of whom lean in one way or another toward the Tea Party.  The line-up includes Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and businessman Herman Cain.

Some highlights:

  • AZ Immigration Law: Bachmann and Cain support it; Paul has “some reservations,” and Perry thinks it “would not be the right direction for Texas”
  • Middle East Foreign Policy: Bachmann and Perry support Israel; Paul wants troop withdrawals from the Middle East; Cain is unequivocal: “You mess with Israel, you’re messing with the U.S.A.”
  • Economy: Bachmann, Perry and Cain all support tax cuts; Paul wants to go even farther: abolish the Federal Reserve and reestablish the gold standard

Here’s hoping for a substantive debate featuring all these candidates and their ideas.  America needs it.

July 7th, 2011 at 11:06 pm
Senior UN Official Caught Peddling Anti-Semitic Cartoon
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It should come as no surprise given the United Nations’ disgusting Goldstone Report (blaming Israel for war crimes during the Gaza war) and the body’s seeming rush to recognize Palestinian statehood, but it seems that the UN’s envoy for human rights in the Palestinian territories has been freelancing in just the kind of anti-semitism that is the trademark of Turtle Bay. Alana Goodman at Commentary’s Contentions blog has the story (our more sensitive readers should note that the linked cartoon will be deeply offensive to most decent sensibilities):

The controversy began when Richard Falk, the UN envoy for human rights in the Palestinian territories, posted a cartoon of a yarmulke-wearing dog chewing on a bloody skeleton and urinating on Lady Justice on his personal blog last month.

 After he was confronted about the cartoon’s anti-Semitic connotations, he initially denied posting it. “It is a complete lie,” he reportedly wrote on his blog. “I know nothing about such a cartoon, and would never publish such a thing, ever.” A few minutes later, Falk backtracked, removing the post from his blog and explaining he “didn’t realize that it could be viewed as anti-Semitic, and still do not realize.”

And now Falk has finally issued an “apology,” clarifying that he opposes any denigration of individuals “based on ethnicity, race, religion, stage of development.”

“My intention has never been to demean in any way Jews as a people despite my strong criticisms of Israeli policies, and some versions of Zionist support,” said Falk.

There can be little question that Falk is profoundly stupid. But one wonders if — just maybe — the institutional culture at the UN is such that passing around this kind of filth falls within the range of acceptable (or at least tolerable) behavior.

It’s good that the cartoon is no longer on his blog. It would be better if the ideas that inspired it were no longer in the United Nations.

May 26th, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Netanyahu’s “Obama Bounce”

A new Haaratz poll finds that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is enjoying a sizeable uptick in Israeli public opinion after he stood his ground against President Barack Obama’s proposal for Israel to give up land.

Netanyahu’s approval rating in Israel is 51 percent favorable, 36 percent unfavorable.  Five weeks ago it was almost reversed: 38 percent favorable, 53 percent unfavorable.

The newfound popularity puts Netanyahu in a much more powerful position to defend Israel’s interests at home and abroad.  The next time his numbers go south, maybe Netanyahu can ask Obama to create another opportunity to flex his muscles.

H/T: Political Wire

May 20th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
The Netanyahu Rejection
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Yesterday, we noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was headed to his Washington meeting with President Obama ready for confrontation after the the president unilaterally changed the proposed terms for Middle East peace.

Unlike Obama (he of the “limited engagement” in Libya), a promise from Netanyahu means something. And he made that apparent within the White House walls earlier today. Reuters reports: 

 

Netanyahu’s remarks after the White House talks underscored how a new U.S. push for Middle East peace had opened one of the deepest divides in years in relations between the United States and close ally Israel.

“Peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality,” an unsmiling Netanyahu told Obama in the Oval Office.

Netanyahu told Obama that Israel was willing to make compromises for peace but flatly rejected the idea of going back to 1967 borders, which he described as “indefensible.”

The hubris by which Obama thought he could dictate terms for Middle East peace is breathtaking. The fact that these terms were disproportionately unfavorable to one of our closest allies even more so. But the insult added to this injury was that the Israelis apparently received no advanced notification of the policy shift and that it was announced on the eve of their prime minister’s visit to Washington. The best possible reading of the Obama Administration’s behavior is halting incompetence. The worst (and more likely) is that it was a calculated insult. Given that fact, Netanyahu was totally within his rights to return the favor.

May 19th, 2011 at 9:27 pm
How Not to Welcome a Guest
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President Obama welcomes (if that’s the word) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Friday. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

The president chose to spend the day before his meeting with the head of the Jewish state’s government calling on Israel to return to its 1967 borders, meaning that it would give up all claims to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights — all of which are essential to Israeli security as long as the nation is surrounded by enemies.

Don’t expect Netanyahu to roll over. As the New York Times reports:

Mr. Netanyahu said in a pointed statement just before boarding a plane to Washington that while he appreciated Mr. Obama’s commitment to peace, he “expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”

Those commitments came in a letter from President George W. Bush which stated, among other things that “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” another way of describing the 1967 boundaries.

The next time Obama chooses to be so imperious with his prescriptions for Middle East peace, he’d do well to remember one of the salient differences between himself and the Israeli Prime Minister: only the latter’s consent is essential for a deal.

February 18th, 2011 at 7:27 pm
Iran Tells Israel Not to Worry, Warships Sailing Past to Train in Syria

Who says Iran’s leaders don’t know how to lighten the mood?  With tensions in the Middle East boiling over – and Iran rumored to be behind many of the region’s revolutionary protests – the Islamic Republic is trying to downplay the threat of its decision to send two warships through Egypt’s Suez Canal and emerge off the coast of Israel.

Hard to blame Israeli officials in Tel Aviv for fearing the truth of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad’s repeated promises to destroy the Jewish state after getting the news about his navy’s surprise trip.  But as proof of Iran’s peaceful intentions the government offered two assurances.  First, the ships won’t carry any weapons or nuclear or chemical material.  Second, the duo is headed to Syria for training.

Unfortunately for Iran, its dishonest record of nuclear enrichment and ties to terrorist organizations in Syria and elsewhere aren’t fooling anyone – except the weakened Egyptian government looking to avoid a confrontation.

It’s worth noting that an Iranian warship going through the Suez Canal under the Mubarak reign is unthinkable.  Now, Israeli officials must consider more unthinkable scenarios with its sworn enemy soon sailing within sight of the Jewish homeland.

September 7th, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Palestinian Leader, 77% of Americans Agree: Recognition of Jewish State a Deal-Breaker

On the heels of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s offer of an “historic compromise” Mahmoud Abbas rejected the notion of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s talk about an “historic compromise” and said there would be no compromises on core issues such as Jerusalem and borders.

Abbas also reiterated his rejection of Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “We’re not talking about a Jewish state and we won’t talk about one,” Abbas said in an interview with the semi-official Al-Quds newspaper. “For us, there is the state of Israel and we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

Regular news watchers in any of the last four decades will recognize this pattern.  Israel offers to negotiate a peace deal; Palestine refuses to negotiate any of the “core issues.”  You know; like borders, how to share – or not – Jersusalem, and perhaps the most important: whether one of the state parties to a “two-state” solution will be recognized as a state by the other.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to recognize Israel seems grossly hypocritical when the biggest concession Palestinians demand is Israel’s recognition of Palestine as a state.

As for what the United States government should do about the impasse, probably nothing.  Rasmussen Reports found that 77% of Americans think any peace treaty between Israel and Palestine must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist.  So far, Abbas and the PA won’t even acknowledge that Israel as a state does exist, so it may be a while before they get around to saying it has a right to exist.

Let’s hope the Obama White House doesn’t dither on this issue while the country’s economic house continues to burn down.

August 27th, 2010 at 10:53 am
Video: Standing Up for Israel
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The Obama Administration has gone out of its way to turn up its nose at America’s allies.  In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino says, “No nation has felt the sting of this rejection quite as severely as Israel. … What is at stake is the very future of that nation and its people.”