How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama? Guest blog from Uzi Amit-Kohn

I just received the following piece from a friend in Israel. I post it here at his request not because I endorse it, but because I think it’s important to think out of the box, and that’s precisely what he does. Comments and criticism welcome as always.

Unlike our brethren in the diaspora, most Israeli Jews – myself included – had no illusions about then presidential candidate Barack Obama being a friend of Israel. But even I did not foresee that Obama would team up with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to subject Israel to a “good cop- bad cop” routine, and with Iran in the role of the “good cop”, no less.

By now, even many well known figures in US Jewry have come to recognize President Obama’s undisguised hostility toward the Jewish State. Ed Koch, Alan, Dershowitz, and Martin Peretz are just three of the more prominent American Jews who have publicly broken with Obama over his treatment of Israel. Here in Israel, distrust of Obama has reached such staggering heights that this Passover, at Seder tables throughout the country – or so my extrapolation from the experiences of my friends and acquaintances leads me to believe – Barack Obama’s name came up when the Haggadah (ritual reading) came to the text of “Vehi she’amda”, which –in English translation – reads:

“This is what has stood by our fore- fathers and by us! For not just one [oppressor] alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Almighty rescues us from their hand!”

Barack Obama seems to me a person full of self-regard but totally lacking in self-awareness, so at the White House “Seder” that he hosted, he probably had no sense that those words – written in reference to such villains of Jewish history as Pharaoh, Amalek, Nebuchadnezzar, Titus and Hadrian and more recently associated by one and all with Adolph Hitler – were now being recited with a picture of Barack Obama in people’s minds. It took real skill for an American president, elected with 78% of the Jewish vote, to be recognized by millions of Jews as a potential destroyer of the Jewish People.

It has been reported that the Obama administration’s intention in creating an artificial crisis in US – Israel relations was politically to weaken Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and to force him either to form a new coalition with the Kadima party and its leader Tzippi Livny, or to engineer a situation in which Livny will form a new government. The most recent manifestation of Obama’s hostility seems to be a recent report in the Washington Post, that Obama, encouraged by his own National Security Advisor, Jim Jones, and such past – unfriendly to Israel – National Security Advisors as Zbigniew Brezinski and Brent Scowcroft – plans to try to impose a settlement on both Israel and the Palestinians, and will “link” Israel’s cooperation on that violation of our sovereignty to action on the Iranian nuclear issue.

To help forestall this possibility I recommend that Israel-supporters in the United States start being very vocal, and preemptively equate any attempt to impose a settlement on Israel with 1930′s era appeasement. Ed Koch has already applied the “M-word”, writing of Obama’s foreign policy “There is a foul whiff of Munich and appeasement in the air.” We may as well start using the “NC-word” (i.e. – “Neville Chamberlain”) in this context as well.

Obama is already tanking in the polls and is suffering the most rapid decline in his presidential approval rating of any first term president since polling began. He might decide that whatever benefit he had hoped to gain, by imposing a “peace settlement” on Israel, would not be worth the additional damage to his image and political standing.

The most mystifying aspect of this report is that Obama wants to make American action against the Iranian nuclear program contingent on Israel accepting the imposed settlement. The underlying premise would seem to be that Iran is only Israel’s problem, and that America’s friends and allies in Europe and the Middle East – let alone the United States itself – are in no way threatened by a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran.

This is a dangerous fallacy, which could potentially lead to the destruction of the United States itself, possibly by a high altitude nuclear-blast which would generate a continent-wide electro-magnetic pulse. Such an EMP could, in one fell swoop, effectively return the United States to a pre-industrial condition, one in which – to name only the most pressing concern – it would not be possible to produce and distribute the food necessary to keep three hundred million Americans alive.

It is worth noting that however much damage Obama may cause Israel, his actions hold the potential to cause even greater damage to the United States and her other allies, and could lead to the downfall of the western alliance and the entire post-war international security structure.

For one thing, the growing US national debt could create a fiscal situation in which the United States no longer has enough money to pay for the military forces and intelligence agencies which have been keeping the peace in the world and protecting the world’s democracies since 1945. The consequent reductions in defense spending and force structure would tend to reinforce the neo-isolationist outlook which seems to be guiding the current administration and which could come to be the default position of future administrations, facing a rough world with a greatly diminished capacity to project power.

So from an Israeli perspective, what is to be done? How do you solve a problem like Obama? I can think of two – not mutually exclusive- paths of action:

The first, which I call the “Stanley Baldwin option” is unlikely to be adopted because Israeli politicians – like politicians everywhere – are too attached to high office to give up their offices willingly. But that was not the case with British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, of whom Winston Churchill wrote (in “The Gathering Storm”, the first volume of his war memoirs) in reference to Baldwin’s 1923 ascent to the Premiership) wrote:

“Thus began that period of fourteen years which may well be called “The Baldwin-MacDonald Regime.” During all that time Mr. Baldwin was always, in fact if not in form, either at the head of the Government or leader of the Opposition, and as Mr. MacDonald never obtained an independent majority, Mr. Baldwin, whether in office or opposition, was the ruling political figure in Britain. At first in alternation but eventually in political brotherhood, these two statesmen governed the country.”

Of the National coalition government formed after the 1931 election in which MacDonald served nominally as Prime Minister, while Baldwin as Lord President of the Council exercised the real power, Churchill wrote:

“Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister, had severed himself, with the utmost bitterness on both sides, from the Socialist Party which it had been his life’s work to create. Henceforward he brooded supinely at the head of an administration which, though nominally National, was in fact overwhelmingly Conservative. Mr. Baldwin preferred the substance to the form of power, and reigned placidly in the background.”

The “Stanley Baldwin solution”, in the current Israeli context, requires Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like Baldwin in his day, to prefer “the substance to the form of power”, and to exercise that power from the Opposition. The means to do this is by resigning the Premiership and quietly helping Tzippi Livny and her Kadima party to form a minority government, one which could be brought down at any time by the Likud and its allied parties on the right.

For Barack Obama this would be a “teachable moment,” of the “Be careful what you wish for” variety. He would have seemingly succeeded in getting “his girl” elevated to the post of Prime Minister, only to find that her hands are tied in all matters concerning negotiations with the Palestinians or Syria. Netanyahu would become the “go to guy” on these questions, since he would have to consent to any concessions made by Livny. Otherwise, he could bring her government down and in the Knesset vote down any motion to ratify a treaty with the Palestinians or with Syria.

Obama could try to coerce Livny and punish Israel, but that would be counter-productive since the Obamis want to strengthen Kadima, not weaken it, and since Tzippi Livny would not be in a position to deliver the goods without the Likud’s consent in any case. And Netanyahu would owe nothing to Obama. He wouldn’t have to meet with him or communicate with him. He would not be on the receiving end of any pressure applied by Obama to Israel. It would be Netanyahu’s turn to humiliate Obama, forcing Obama’s emissaries to make pilgrimages to Netanyahu (as Opposition leader) and try to convince him to go along with their plans.

What is more, it takes five to six months to hold an election in Israel and another two to three months after that to establish a coalition government. In the meantime, the outgoing government becomes a “Caretaker government”, constitutionally exercising all the powers of a regular government, but bound by custom not to make any far-reaching changes until after the election. So any coalition crisis engineered by Obama or initiated by Netanyahu as Opposition leader, would potentially put the entire peace process “on hold” for between seven and nine months. (All the while, the clock would be ticking down on Obama’s current term of office, which increasingly seems like it will not be followed by a second one).

Sometime in the spring of 2012 the upcoming presidential election will tie Obama’s hands in coercing Israel. If he loses the election, his lame duck status will remove the efficacy of any pressure he might wish to apply. So Netanyahu has to wait out Obama for about two years. In that context, an eight month hiatus for new elections and coalition forming in Israel would be a big deal, or as Joe Biden might put it, “a big f***ing deal”.

And, of course, there is no reason to believe that after those new elections, Livny would be able to form a majority government without the Likud or any of the other parties of the right. We would most likely be back where we started, with Livny forced to form a minority government and Netanyahu – in the role of Stanley Baldwin – having the ultimate power to approve or reject any settlement proposal. Once Obama is out of office, politics in Israel can revert to normal, with the government formed on the basis of parliamentary power.

That’s the “Stanley Baldwin solution”, but as I said, it’s very unlikely that it will be pursued by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Then there’s the other path of action, which I call “the Speed solution”, after the dialogue between two swat-team police officers, in the 1994 film “Speed”, who quiz each other on how to react in various scenarios, and in the case of a hostage being dragged toward an airplane with a gun to her head:

“Harry: “Alright, pop quiz: The airport. Gunman with one hostage, he’s using her for cover, he’s almost to the plane. You’re a hundred feet away. (Long pause) Jack?”
Jack: “Shoot the hostage.””
Harry: “What?”
Jack: “Take her out of the equation. Go for the good wound and he can’t get to the plane with her. Clear shot”

In this case, the “hostage” is Israel’s sense of security in the face of the Iranian nuclear weapons project. Obama’s ultimatum is not very subtle. Like his fellow Chicagoan, Al Capone, he doesn’t waste time with nuance: Do what we want and nobody needs to get hurt ( i.e. – the Iranian nuclear issue will be dealt with in a way that protects Israel’s sense of security). The “Speed solution” is –metaphorically – to “shoot the hostage” and take Israel’s fear of the Iranian nuclear arms program out of the equation. And there’s only one way to do that: by bombing the uranium enrichment plants and other sites in Iran connected to their nuclear arms program.

Now, I’m not advocating bombing Iran for the sake of lessening Obama’s leverage over Israel. The decision to undertake such a mission would have to be made on the merits, based on available intelligence and military feasibility and a complete cost benefit analysis considering all probable consequences. It would need to be something that Israel felt it had to do anyway. But in such a case, the decision to bomb Iran having already been taken, it should be noted that Iran will be one card Obama will no longer be able to play against Israel. And if such a decision is made, there are some considerations of a political nature which should be added to operational concerns in choosing the timing of the attack.

If the pace of Iranian progress towards development of their first nuclear weapon permits, and if the decision is made to launch an attack this year, I would suggest considering either the first week of September or the first week of October. First, any attack on Iran will likely be met by a massive rocket attack on Israel by Hamas from Gaza, by Hizzbollah from Lebanon, and possibly by missiles launched from Iran and Syria. This will cause a temporary halt to tourism to Israel, and an attendant loss of revenues, so we may as well try to save the summer tourist season if we can.

Early September is probably better than early October, as it would seem less calculated to coincide with the American mid-term election campaign. Unfortunately, the High Holidays this year begin on September 8th and go through the end of Sukkoth on September 30th. Having a war during the holidays would not merely add to Israel’s misery index, it would endanger lives. The heavy attendance at Synagogues on Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur would enhance the likelihood of mass casualties if an enemy missile were to land near such a location during prayer services.

And then there is Sukkoth, falling this year on the week of September 22nd through September 30th. Normally, during Sukkoth, hundreds of thousands of Israelis travel abroad. That number includes IDF reservists, doctors, nurses, social workers, civil servants, police officers, fire-fighters, paramedics and many others whose presence will be required if there’s going to be a war. So, to the extent that we get to choose the timing of the war, we should probably start it after most of the Israelis are back in the country and can’t be cut off by – say – missile attacks on Ben Gurion International Airport which could require the cessation of commercial flights.

The third reason has to do with the mid-term elections in the US. An attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities without prior US acquiescence is likely to enrage Obama and cause him to look for ways to punish Israel. In the run-up to the mid-term elections his freedom of action is likely to be somewhat more constrained by electoral concerns. Once the elections are over, the “moment” may have passed and what is more, both the president and leading Democratic members of Congress may have felt compelled by electoral considerations to go on the record as backing the attack. This would further restrict Obama in any political retaliation against Israel.

Finally, if there is to be a showdown between Israel and the Obama Administration, Iranian nukes seems to me to be the best battlefield on which to fight; it’s one on which a large majority of Americans – including members of Congress from both parties – are likely to side with Israel and leave Obama politically isolated and vulnerable. (And – worse case scenario – Netanyahu can always revert to the “Stanley Baldwin solution”.)

Nonetheless, Israel should anticipate American retaliatory actions in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran. The four types of retaliatory action that Israel needs to worry about are these:

One: Rhetorical condemnation.

No biggie! We’ve gotten used to it.

Two: cutting off of foreign aid.

That will sting, but at about 1.5% of Israel’s GDP, American foreign aid is not as critical to our economy as it once was, and in any case most of that money is in the form of “Foreign Military Sales” funds, which have to be spent in the United States. Cutting off such aid, would badly impact many American defense manufacturers, who could be expected vocally to oppose any such action. It is also likely that removing Israel from the list of aid recipients in Administration’s annual foreign aid bill, would lessen the possibility of the bill being passed by Congress, especially if the Democratic majority in both houses is lost or greatly reduced in the mid-term elections.

Third: The US could embargo arms supplies to Israel.

They have done that in the past (in the late 1940′s and during the 1950′s and briefly in 1981 after Israel bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor. France and Britain have also at times imposed an arms embargo on Israel. This would hurt, but there have been reports that the Obamis have already refused Israeli requests to purchase weapons and different types of ammunition. If we are only talking about two years until early 2013, Israel can probably ride it out, at least if there’s no full scale war during that time.

It should be remembered that unlike 1967 when Israel was totally dependent on France for most of its arms, or 1981 when Israel was almost totally dependant on the US, today Israel manufactures a wide range of weapons systems, particularly of the high tech variety. At least in the case of some defense items that we don’t currently manufacture ourselves, the reason is not a lack of ability, but the fact that those items can be purchased easily in the US with FMS funds.

If the US embargoes arms to Israel, Israel will have no choice but to develop its own weapons systems to replace or compensate for any embargoed American systems which Israel needs and is capable of manufacturing on its own. And that is a good reason for the Obama Administration to refrain from imposing an arms embargo. Based on past experience, any new systems produced in Israel will be more advanced than the American systems that they are replacing, but Israel’s arms manufacturers will have to pay for the high R and D costs by selling these new weapons systems to as many militaries – besides Israel’s – as possible.

India has become a major arms purchaser from Israel in recent years. There are other countries, as well, who purchase much of their military requirements in Israel. These countries can be expected to buy the new Israeli systems, thus helping to defray R and D costs, and costing the US arms manufacturers important markets. What is more, those countries would then have weapons systems – at least in certain fields – more advanced than anything in the US military’s arsenal. Hardly a boost to US interests.

Finally: Obama could refuse to veto anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council.

This is a real potential problem. Israel’s greatest vulnerability would be to a binding sanctions resolution imposed by the UN Security Council in the absence of a US veto. Such a sanctions regime, once imposed, could remain in force until removed by a further resolution which would be subject to a veto by Russia, China, the UK, France or the US. Thus, it could be extremely damaging. The fact that the US can’t muster a consensus to impose serious sanctions against Iran doesn’t mean that there won’t be a consensus to impose sanctions on Israel, such is the anti-Israel sentiment in the international community today.

If Israel can’t trust the US to provide a veto, Israel should initiate secret contacts with France, and possibly the UK, to get a guarantee of a veto of any operative (not merely declaratory) resolution against Israel in the Security Council in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program. It is well known that French President Nicolas Sarkozy takes Iran’s nuclear program very seriously, and does not trust President Obama to deal with it forcefully.

The same may be true of whoever wins the British general election this May. The specter of Iranian nukes combined with the increasing range of Iranian ballistic missiles and the fecklessness of the Obama Administration could concentrate British and French minds enough to allow them to cooperate with Israel in an attack on Iranian nuclear sites, at least at the relatively risk-free level of promising to provide veto coverage in the Security Council. I hesitate to bring up the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956, which did not end particularly well for Britain, France and Israel, but it shows that in the absence of American willingness to act in the Middle East, smaller powers will make their own arrangements.

Nothing factored in here for the response of the Muslim world. UN Security Council is only the beginning of the reactions Israel would have to deal with, and both France and England are fully aware of the problems that would be created by vetoing a UNSC vote. As a friend of mine told me back in 2003: the French act as if the Muslims have a knife to their throat and the Muslims act as if they have a knife to their throat. Suicide bombing is the knife; it is the bane of the 21st century.

224 Responses to How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama? Guest blog from Uzi Amit-Kohn

  1. Yossarian says:

    The problem with the Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is that the Iranians are expecting it, and thus, might have moved all essential personnel and equipment to secret and secure sites. Israel’s previous attacks on the Iraqi and Syrian facilities were successful only because they were not expected and the regimes believed that their installations were secret.

  2. Eliyahu says:

    Uzi, of course an Iranian bomb plus missiles threatens Europe and Sunni Arab states, whereas Obama pretends that only Israel is at threat. France, as you say, is concerned as is Italy. Sarkozy has already complained about Obama’s indulgence of the Iranian nuke project, as at the UN last fall. But Britain has not shown any opposition and may be pleased at the notion of an Iranian bomb, like Obama, zbig bzzzski, and other US policymakers. Zbig was instrumental in putting Khomeini in power 31 years ago. He urged months ago that the US air force in Iraq shoot down any Israeli planes going to bomb the Iranian nuke project through what zbig called “our air space in Iraq.” Zbig consulted with Obama just the other day. So maybe Washington really wants Iran to have the bomb.

    Sunni Arab states fear an Iranian nuke and are angered with Washington for not addressing their concerns on this issue, and also resent their position being distorted by Obama, as if they were demanding a price from Washington [ie, Israel's head] for supporting an American move against the Iranian nuke project.

    But the UK can in no way be considered friendly to Israel or hostile to the Iranian nuke project.

    As you realize, Obama is using the Iranian threat to get Israel to surrender on Israel’s national rights and on the civil and human rights of Jews. That is the real desideratum of Washington. They really oppose settlements, not because it interferes with their relations with the Arabs but because of Washington’s own intrinsic Judeophobia. Obama supports a racist anti-Jewish policy, an apartheid policy against Jews in the Land of Israel.

    Why did the “liberal” Franklin Roosevelt refuse to do anything concrete to stop the Holocaust [like bombing the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz, as well as the railroad tracks going there]??? Why did he make it difficult for Jewish refugees to come to the US during the war, although thousands of German prisoners of war were brought to the United States during the war, sometimes being used as farm labor and given much freedom of movement?? Why did the State Dept’s representative in Algeria, Robert Murphy, support the continuation of Vichy anti-Jewish laws in North Africa, even after the American landings there??

    By the way, the US Army landing at Algiers [November 1942] was facilitated by a local coup d’etat carried out by a mostly Jewish local underground. The US troops were enabled to land without firing a shot. But the US army has never properly expressed appreciation for this help that saved thousands of American lives. In fact, Murphy’s memoirs omit this fact of which he was well aware. Murphy even supported the jailing of Jose Aboulker, the young Jewish operational leader of the coup, whom he knew personally. American historiography of the war has largely avoided acknowledgement of this episode.

  3. obsy says:

    I don’t like this “Stanley Baldwin” solution. It is too complex, is focused on Obama and reduces Netanyahu ability to act to a mere passive blocking.

    There could be bribes, play on public opinions, splitting and reforming of parties. Obama might pressure non-binding but harmful statements from an incumbent Israeli president.

    You would have to be sure in advance what exactly Obama wants. If Obama does not fear the Iranian bomb, he might be happy with disabling Israels military option. The people that surround Obama might compare a Sarah Palin with Nukes to a nuclear Iran in terms of threat.

    You cannot trust traditions of “Caretaker government”. (Think of an offering of an urgent US-strike against Iran.)

    In short: this sounds like one of those “smart liberal” ideas that seldom work, but that cause the public to dislike the “extreme” other options, because “they would not have been necessary and everything would have been so much better”.

  4. obsy says:

    Finally, if there is to be a showdown between Israel and the Obama Administration, Iranian nukes seems to me to be the best battlefield on which to fight; it’s one on which a large majority of Americans

    Personally, I doubt that Obama will strike against Iran. I think much of what we see is Obama’s preparation of the American public, so that he can be as hard as possible against Israel when Israel attacks Iran. This might be in terms of “as little support as possible”, but I fear he is up for the refused veto at the UN.

  5. obsy says:

    The most mystifying aspect of this report is that Obama wants to make American action against the Iranian nuclear program contingent on Israel accepting the imposed settlement.

    i.e: “we attack some country for you, if you do what we say”

    This could never be part of a deal that would be known to the public. Sounds more like the liberal illusion of US-Soldiers dying for Jewish interests. If anyone wanted to shift the American opinion about preventing a nuclear Iran, this would be the way to go.

    How about this:
    Secretly offering this to a frightened Israeli president.
    Progressing peace plan publicly.
    Leaking the deal to the press.
    Obama denying his involvement ― firing some guy.
    Israeli president doing what?

    Publicly, only Iran could offer to step back from its (peaceful) nuclear program if Israel would comply to Irans demands. It would be a pretty smart move from Iran. Demanding something in return that does look as harmless as possible. If Israel would agree, Iran could still refuse to fulfill its promises. If Israel refuses, it makes its military option look worse.

  6. E.G. says:

    What they didn’t sing at the White House Seder (apart from “next year in built Jerusalem”):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmSXhLu9fNU

  7. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    You surely mean Israeli PM when you write President.
    And I agree with your 2 first posts. The 3rd is a bit too complicated for me (now).

  8. obsy says:

    E.G,

    Yes, Israeli PM it should have been.
    Thanks!

    My third post was mainly about this:
    If the USA would say that it would attack Iran if and only if Israel would agree to do something unrelated to nuclear Iran, then this would be either:
    1. blackmail
    or
    2. trading.

    I took a look at the trading point of view. I think this would be the way NGOs and the European media would see it.

    I should have quoted one more line:

    The underlying premise would seem to be that Iran is only Israel’s problem

    The real situation is (of course) different.

  9. obsy says:

    Obama finally does something against the nuclear program!
    Well ― against the Israel’s:

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/04/obama-denies-visas-to-israeli-nuke-scien/

  10. Sylvia says:

    Here is a little known fact that should put your “Baldwin McDonald solution” to rest: Tzipi Livni was in Washington during the humiliation event at the same time as Netanyahu. She tried to meet with President Obama but he gave her the cold shoulder as well. That was reported by one of the Israeli reporters at the scene, Ayala Hasson.
    So no, it’s not Netanyahu he is after, it doesn’t matter who is leading in Israel. Despite the fact that Livni attended a J Street conference and despite the fact that she stupidly repeated one of their slogans at the Herzlya conference: “save Israel from itself”.

    As to the rest of the options, you don’t seem to take into account the possibility that the Obama policy might be irreversible, and that other Presidents will follow it. It is very possible. It seems to me that what he is doing is copy De Gaulle’s “politique arabe de la France”. Same MO. And we know what France has become as a result.

    The only thing to do in my opinion is to bring American Jews to wake up before it is too late: there are already voices calling for a purge, even though they disguise it as a sober analysis of “dual loyalty” (Stephen Walt).

  11. nelson says:

    Obama quite probably wants to force the “one binational state solution” on Israel knowing full well what it means: the destruction of half of the world’s Jewish population; maybe he thinks he can put a Quisling in power there, maybe he feels powerful enough to do it without any Israeli help;

    God only nows what have been the talks between his people and Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran; it is even likely that this nuclear policy of his has less to do actually with the US than with creating a climate where he can press Israel to give over its nukes; anyway, both his tough delaing with Israel and his new nuclear policy look like a kind of coordinated pincer movement: but what exactly does he want next? what are the traps he’s laying on the way?

    doubtlessely the US had deep secret understandings with Israel inherited from the last administration; Oabama may have secretely assured Israel that he would respect them and that whatever he did openly was just playing to the audience; thus he set a trap and it is quite likely that only now has Israel realized it is trapped; perhaps Israel has been cautious enough to keep some of its cards secret, who knows? Doesn Israel have a plan B?

    things the Obama adminstration has been doing lately seem too well coordinated not to have been planned beforehand; one thing is sure: most of the world and the great majority of the UN would openly celebrate Israel’s defeat, political, military or both; have Israel’s best heads planned for this contingency?

    maybe actually the worst that could happen to Obama and the best that could, in the short term, happen to Israel would be if the Iranians declared and proved they finally managed to get a nuke; that would weaken Obama’s hand and would postpone talks about the Israeli nuclear capability; this mean that the Iranians, who have until now been the cleverest players, will probably keep any nuke they have secret until Israel has been weakened and disarmed;

    I don’t see either the UK nor France vetoing something the US would be happy to allow being passed at the Security Council; can Israel actually buy Russia’s or China’s veto? Can it act decisively before being paralyzed?

    look, in the only unforeseen international crisis that took place since Obama was elected, Honduras, his administration and the State Dept automatically allied themselves to the Chávez bloc — which, by the way, is the same as the Iranian one; they were forced to change their minds by a rear action of congressional Republicans, but even then this administration hasn’t given up its intention of delivering Honduras to the Bolivarians, to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Brazil; they simply played at tactical retreat;

    the only potential ally of the Jewish state is the American people; but the Americans are much too busy with their own domestic problems and the only thing that could move them out of their inward turned sleep would be a new 911; but surely Obama has already negotiated with all potential agressors a truce that will endure till he defeats Israel;

    in 1938 Czechoslovakia was consciously given over to the Germans, but the Germans at least had no intention of exterminating all the Czechs and Slovaks; Israel’s situation is potentially much more dangerous because, if it is defeated, it won’t just have to outlive occupation, right?

    frankly, I think Israel is in mortal danger and it is very likely that it won’t be able to make it; let me repeat it: Obama is actually allying himself to the Chavez bloc in Latin America, to the Iranian bloc in the Middle East, to Russian ambitions in Wester Eurasia and so on; earlier in history, a true revolution would have had to happen for a country to so radically realign itself; since he came to power, Obama has not lost, nas not been losing a single moment; the best way to destroy a small country like Israel is quickly: and, when the voters and most of those used to politics as usual see what happened, it will already be too late;

  12. nelson says:

    Obama obviously understood how 911 strenghtened American conservatives, changed the focus of US foreign policy and enraged the people. Had Bush tried appeasement, the people would have turned against him.

    Say Obama needs time to implement his domestic reforms and to grow roots in power. What could come between him and those results? A new 911. I don’t think some thousands of dead Americans would harm his sleep. But then the voters would force their will on his government.

    OK. If you just want to buy time, if you don’t want to make the US really safe, but just temporarily so, just for the time you need to change the country, to transform it into an Euro social-democracy or worse, what would you do?

    Would you talk secretely to the bad guys’ bossess and offer them basically all they want: weapons, regional power, protection to whatever Muslims do in the world, an America open to them etc. There’d however be a problem: as much as Obama wouldn’t be able to tell it to the Americans, neither the bad guys would be able to announce that the enemy surrendered. What then? Well, Obama would have to give them at least an open, public victory, something that would make their followers happy.

    So what if the deal runs somewhat like this: you contain your hotheads till I’m reelected, and I’ll give you Israel hands and feet tied. Besides, after this small matter about the Jews is settled to everyone’s convenience, you’ll be allowed to have nukes on one hand and, on the other, I’ll do the best to see that my country never uses its own nukes against you people. Imagine if the bigger bad guys could even, say, sacrifice Osama bin Laden himself (to be judged for common crimes in a liberal civilian court) just in time for the November elections.

    Yes, I know I’m swimming in deep conspiratorial waters. But what if 1% or 2% of what I said above is, say, plausible? Anyone has a better idea?

    Just please don’t tell me all this guy wants is a Livni government in Israel and better deals for the Palestinians in a two-state solution, because I think we’re beyond that. This guy can throw anyone and everyone under the bus; then, why only Netanyahu or the settlers? Why not the whole of Israel and all the Jewish people? Does anybody here think that Walt, Mearsheimer, Carter, Brzezinski, Scowcroft and the rest would be happy with a strong Israel living side by side with a demilitarized Palestinian state or something like this?

    Mu only question is: can Israel do anything realistic about this? Can it move the American people, most of the Republicans, some Democratas and other concerned citizens into tough action? Would they move by themselves?

  13. E.G. says:

    Nelson,

    To me it seems Obama doesn’t know what he wants – except for problems to get solved. Whatever the means, just mark the issue “done”. Ethics, justice, and morality can always be “arranged” post hoc.

  14. nelson says:

    E.G.

    maybe you’re right; but, fot the time being, the only thing I can be sure about is that I don’t know what he wants;

    I surely prefer him to be a blunderer than a very clever and calculating enemy of Israel, of the West and of America itself;

    if he’s just a mediocre amateur who got lucky for a while, his luck will evetually run out, and both Israel and the US we know will be able to survive him rather unscathed;

    for the time being we know that from a relative nobody he became the POTUS in almost no time, that he has already managed to pay off many of his most vital backers and allies, that he passed health care, something not even Clinton, who wasn’t exactly dumb, could do, and that he is promoting a true revolution in America’s foreign policy;

    by know, I’m rather betting on his cleverness, though I disagree with all his declared goals and also with those that are begining to look like they’re his real objectives; it is very likely that November’s results will give us a true measure of the man;

    if we just happen to have Chauncy Gardner in the White House, that’s bad enough; but if the guy turns out to be some new Machiavelli, then all bets are off;

  15. obsy says:

    nelson,

    Obama was allowed to spend such an incredible amount of money in his first year that I expect him to be the most powerful president that the USA had had for a long time. (If you have some experience with corruption, you will know what I mean.) On top of that, he threatened to take money back that he already had spend, which is an even tighter grip on power.

    His weakness comes from his tendency to want things that American people do not.

    What can Israel do?
    Netanyahu is doing an excellent job.
    Israel should not let itself be provoked by Obama.
    Israel should stay with the American people and point that out and explain it whenever they refuse an order from Obama.
    Israel should not ask the Americans to vote for another president in two years.

    And most importantly:
    Israel should economically and militarily get closer to India.

    Israel should prepare itself for a time when all the west will condemn and boycott it. The rules of the game might change and the luxury of super morality may become too expensive to pay.

  16. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    The rules of the game might change and the luxury of super morality may become too expensive to pay.

    Are you talking about warfare or diplofare?
    As for the “too expensive luxury of super morality” – it is already the case, for Israel.

    Thanks for the explanation in #7.

  17. [...] Augean Stables » How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama? Guest blog from Uzi Amit-Kohn http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/04/08/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-obama-guest-blog-from-uzi-amit-kohn – view page – cached + “Post-Modern” Anti-Semitism: Cognitive Egocentrism, Moral Schadenfreude, and “Progressive” Anti-Zionism * Multiple-Part Essays + PJ (OSM) Media Launch + Mainstreaming Conspiracy Theories + Open Letter to Jostein Gaarder * HERZILYA CONFERENCE + Conceptual Principles + Program with Links + Bibliography * Saïd and Honor-Shame * Richard Landes CV Tweets about this link Topsy.Data.Twitter.User['aspergers2mom'] = {“location”:””,”photo”:”http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/685090282/twitterProfilePhoto_normal.jpg”,”name”:”Elise “,”url”:”http://twitter.com/aspergers2mom”,”nick”:”aspergers2mom”,”description”:”raising two aspie boys. from PDD-NOS to As in college.”,”influence”:””}; aspergers2mom: “#Obama and #Israel http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/04/08/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-obama-guest-blog-from-uzi-amit-kohn/ ” 1 day ago view tweet retweet Filter tweets [...]

  18. Lorenz Gude says:

    The Stanly Baldwin solution seems dicey to me. The rest is the best review I’ve read of what Israel has to consider if it decides to seriously consider taking out Iran’s nuclear program. It ain’t pretty, but my gut says its going to go down. That said I really find I agree with the approach recommended by obsey in 14. The American people and India are Israel’s best friends as far as I can see. And may Israel be prepared to act unilaterally if necessary and not hold back and hope for the best.

  19. obsy says:

    E.G: “Are you talking about warfare or diplofare?

    Everywhere.

    Israel depends on its strong army. Intellectuals may think that Muslim countries do not attack Israel, because of their goodwill or peace treaties. The reality is that these countries fear that the IDF would beat the crap out of them. The performance in Lebanon was dangerous. IDF’s first priority must be to come across strong. Israels peace depends on it.

    Should the UN go for boycotts against Israel, Palestinians and traitors should feel the economic impact first and the UN should know this policy beforehand.

    Most of all, Israeli citizens must be aware that an action can only be as moral as security and economic situation allows. Morality has absolutely no value if the state falls apart and its citizens get butchered (literally!)

  20. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    …except that it’s our morality that’s got us here and now from “back then” i.e., a few millennia ago… with lots of damage, but we’re still alive.
    Without our ethics, without adhering to our laws, we’re not Jews.
    Such “mental luggage” may be overweight, and there are (and have been) ways to adapt it to changing circumstances. But to reduce it means living as non-Jews.

  21. obsy says:

    E.G,

    you can have all the morality you want, as long as it is feasible. Having a state comes with some responsibilities. The minimum requirement would be to keep it alive.

    So let’s hope that Israel never comes under severe economical pressure and never has to cope with internal rebellion by a certain part of the population and neighboring autonomies while fighting a long war with another nation.

  22. Daniel Bielak says:

    The problem is the false narrative.

    Israeli leaders, and, for the first time in history, prominent Jewish people must,

    *Communicate* – that is, communicate honestly, accurately, and clearly.

    They must present the true narrative about the current situation.

    To present the true narrative about the current situation,

    They must present, at least, the facts that I listed in comments that I posted on the thread “Bruckner on Western Guilt” (http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/03/25/bruckner-on-western-guilt/).

    The problem is the false narrative.

  23. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    The Israeli national hymn is Hatikva – the hope…

    I know this identity and moral observance schtick is not easily understood. And it’s not easy to live with either, but it’s less complicated than it sounds. At any rate, Jewish culture being a life-venerating one, the most difficult thing is to get people suicidal. Or innocent killers.

  24. E.G. says:

    Dear Daniel,

    Are you sure the problem is with the false narrative or is it the masses that believe it?

  25. E.G. says:

    Daniel,

    See Latma’s weekly “news” edition. There are 3 examples of distorted interpretation schemas that have come to be prevalent in the Western “enlightened” milieux, which provide false narratives with believability.

  26. Jukka Moisio says:

    Naturally, there’s a solution to everything. Though, I’m doubtfull that the stables got it right. All too complicated, artificial even.
    If pressed more than at the present, i.e. existentially, Israel has to act accordingly. And that is to change the geopolitical facts on the ground. One soltion is to cut Syria in half. To make it clear to the US, Europe, UN etc. that Israel is going to clean Lebanon beneath Litany-river, go to Gaza manually. Clean the dirt, send them abroad, and then ask Arabs, whether they got the message. Otherwise take half of the Sinai= the Oil and tell Obama that if he intends to challenge, he’s going to loose the Arab-oil. If not, let him prepare to show his commitment by eliminating the Iranian nuclear threat.
    Now ask UN, Europe etc. if this was, what they wanted. If not change the Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian real-estate to the comprehensive peace, initiated by the UN and forcing the peace on the Arabs by coherent Israeli preferences.
    Final stage, Israeli guarded peace in the Middle-East, with a balance more appropriate to future needs.

  27. obsy says:

    Jukka,

    I think things work a little bit different.
    By the way: most of the Arab oil is in Saudi Arabia and Israel should avoid harming the American people with oil embargos.

    I have removed this last part of the comment. This blog will not tolerate any allusions to presidential assassination, no matter how subtle.

  28. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G.,

    “Are you sure the problem is with the false narrative or is it the masses that believe it?”

    The problem is the presentation of the false narrative (by Islamic Supremacists, by Western journalists, by Academics, etc), and the problem is the censorship of the true narrative by Western journalists, and the problem is the lack of the presenting of the true narrative by Israeli leaders and prominent Jewish people.

    That problem causes the problem of the masses that believe the false narrative.

  29. Daniel Bielak says:

    Clarifying Correction:

    “That problem causes the problem of the masses that believe the false narrative.”

    That problem causes the problem of most people in the world believing the false narrative (and which is a factor that, combined with anciently and continuingly culturally engrained Western anti-Jewish bigotry, is involved in causing people who know facts that contradict the false narrative to believe the false narrative in spite of knowing facts that contradict that false narrative.)

    The lie has been repeated long enough, and most importantly without any countering telling of the true narrative, that the lie has come to be believed, by most people in the world, to be the truth.

  30. E.G. says:

    Daniel,

    Not that it matters much, but I think the true history can’t go past the filters because of that interpretation schema (weak=being right and entitled to rights) that blocks any other competing account.

  31. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G.,

    “Not that it matters much, but I think the true history can’t go past the filters because of…”

    The telling of the true history matters very much.

    It must be done.

  32. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G.,

    I hope that my response wasn’t harsh (which by my having quoted only part of what you said I think it may have been so, but hope that it was not so), and I hope that I didn’t hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

    (I’m trying to apologize for, what I think may have been my, but which I hope was not my, hurting your feelings, and I’m trying to make you feel better if I hurt your feelings, but I’m not phrasing as an apology what I am writing, so I hope that, therefore, you will not scold me :-))

    Dan

  33. Daniel Bielak says:

    Clarification:

    …(which by my having quoted only part of what you said I think that it may have been harsh, but I hope that it was not harsh)…

  34. Stella Barbut says:

    In every age there have been powerful people who have spoken great words of pride and hatred and insults and abuse against Israel, asking “Where is their God?” Jewish leaders have not descended into those people’s gutter and exchanged insults with them. Instead they have fallen on their faces before their God and asked Him to deliver them and He has every time. Where’s Haman? where’s Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Greece, Rome, Hitler, the Soviet Union, the British Empire, all the European nations, not only were they defeated back then they are still floundering. But Israel is not floundering in spite of the concerted efforts to crush her.
    Mr.Obama showed Mr. Netanyahu the soles of his shoes, knowing full well what it means in the region. Mr. Netanyahu represents Israel, Israel represents God. Mr. Obama then went on to treat Mr. Netanyahu with unprecented contempt. Think Belshazzar! No one can give God the finger and get away with it. Daniel chapter 5 verses 23 to 28. No nation is too big to fall.

  35. obsy says:

    Daniel,

    telling the true story is important, because there are people that really what to know. If the truth is never told, it will look like a conspiracy theory.

    It won’t change the opinions of whole societies. E.G. is absolutely right about the “weak=being right and entitled to rights” interpretation schema. I want to add the “we are always guilty and need a scapegoat among us so that we can unite with the good side against the scapegoat and feel relieved” interpretation schema.

    That is what a million schools in the west hammer into the minds of children. Now also available in the USA:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/04/life-in-american-fourth-grade-months-of.html

  36. E.G. says:

    Daniel,

    Don’t worry, you don’t need my permission and it hardly hurts my feelings to differ.

    obsy’s above comment makes my point clearer than I would. The truth (historical and present facts) is available but it’s getting less and less accessible to the general public because of (a) the noise made by promoters of the false narrative and (b) the interpretation schema shoved into people’s heads that makes them either impermeable to facts (vs. fiction) or incapacitates their ability to discern truth from lie, or both.

  37. Eliyahu says:

    The nonsense about the “weak” always being in the right is traced back by Jean-Claude Milner to the nun Simone Weil. See his important book Les Penchants criminels de l’Europe democratique, which expounds the post-WW2 need of Europe to hate Israel. I don’t agree with all of Milner’s thesis but it is helpful in understanding today’s Europe, the EU in particular.

    The theory about the “weak” if applied to domestic society would mean that the crooks and criminals are in the right because they are weaker than the cops, at most times and places. But is Israel stronger or weaker than the Arabs? The Arab League and the UN majority and the OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference] always line up on the Arab side, on the side of the palestinian Arabs, and Israel is always outvoted. So Israel is definitely the weaker party diplomatically. The Western press and media are mainly anti-Israel, a hostility sometimes expressed in bizarre organ-stealing stories and often in faked atrocity tales [Muhammad al-Durah]. So Israel is weaker in its treatment by the media. And if the EU, the UK particularly, felt politically in a position to send an army against Israel, they might do it. Then Israel would be outnumbered not only by Arabs and other Muslims but by at least one Euro state.

    Meanwhile, the truly weak, such as the tribal Black Africans in southern Sudan, continue to suffer massacres. So not only is the identification of which party is the weaker a problematic matter, but the whole notion of the “righteousness of the weak” does not hold water morally, except in some perverse Euro brains, as Milner explains.

  38. Cynic says:

    Daniel,

    #21

    The problem is the false narrative.

    Israeli leaders, and, for the first time in history, prominent Jewish people must,

    *Communicate* – that is, communicate honestly, accurately, and clearly.

    They must present the true narrative about the current situation.

    To present the true narrative about the current situation,

    1. there is one problem in that we are dealing with people who while having the courage to scream and shout at others are absolute cowards on being asked to change from the false narrative to the true one, when being confronted by facts and context means having to change their beliefs and conquer their emotions.

    2. there is another problem of Jewish leaders playing by the rules and not calling out the faults.

    {obsy, what did you mean by sending in the men with the tennis rackets?
    I thought it was enough to try and get him to name his favourite baseball player. :-)}

    Netanyahu could be getting something out into the media by having his ambassadors and consuls write to the specific media and correct their misleading falsehoods and putting it up on the net for everybody to see.
    but,
    when there are prominent people willing to take on the media and other “prominent” people the result is rather half hearted:
    while Dershowitz could adequately fisk Goldstone’s report, his upbraiding of Obama in his treatment of Netanyahu was wishy washy; the guy is still too tied emotionally to his vote.
    Ed Kotch, likewise just managed to insert a whiff of Munich into his criticism.
    Both of them could have piled on the facts of Arab intransigence giving chapter and verse, providing the context and then throwing down the gauntlet to get as wide an audience as possible.

    The most difficult part of all this though is getting the media to provide the vehicle to publicize the truth. They have an agenda and unfortunately even the Israeli media is more intent on trashing its government than exposing the truth; brown nosing the NYT than exposing for Israeli readers facts about the US; and what could have been more intriguing than exposing Clinton for what she is especially after her 40+ min telephonic censure of Netanyahu?

    An example of facts that could have been shouted out by Israeli and American Jewish leaders especially after Petraeus’ political crack at Israel are to all intents and purposes completely unknown to the media and politicians in Israel:
    Petraeus’s Israel Problem

    The clip is very much worth watching. It includes a statement by Petraeus that Boot and others have conveniently ignored:

    Secretary Clinton’s statement the other day very clearly — I thought articulately, strongly, clearly conveyed, obviously, our policy. And that is a policy I strongly support.

    Petraeus, it seems, has found a new friend and kindred spirit: the former senator who, in the darkest hours of crisis in Iraq, publicly branded him a liar. Bowden explains:

    The senator who complained that the general’s testimony defied belief, Hillary Clinton, invited Petraeus to her Washington home shortly before being sworn in as secretary of state. The two of them sat before her fireplace and over drinks tacitly agreed to forget past differences and return their relationship to one of mutual admiration.

    Well, well, well . . . bygones certainly have become bygones. The very clear, articulate, strong Clinton statement that got Petraeus swooning came in her speech at the recent AIPAC convention. It was a more congenial version of her 43-minute excoriation of Netanyahu for Israel’s construction of apartments in a densely populated Jewish neighborhood in north Jerusalem (i.e., in Israel’s capital). Nothing, Clinton opined at AIPAC, is more important than the utopian vision of “two states for two peoples.” No need to dwell on Islamist ideology or the fact that one of the “two peoples” denies the other’s basic right to exist. Instead, what we really need is “mutual trust” — after all, why wouldn’t you trust people for whom your annihilation is their fondest wish?

    Apart from some blogs this is hidden away in an electronic journal.

    One will have to change the leadership.
    Anyone with the courage and gumption of Thatcher to lead?

  39. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G. and obsy,

    E.G., thank you for your kind reply.

    E.G. and obsy I know and understand what you are saying, however what has not occured is a strong effort to present the factual history of, and the current reality of the situation.

    A strong effort to present the factual history of, and the current reality of, the situation will have beneficial effects and will have beneficial effects and will make the situation better.

  40. Daniel Bielak says:

    In in the early 1900′s in the the United States, there was a primarily African American self-sufficient middle-class town in rural Florida called Rosewood. In 1923, after a European American (“White”) woman who lived in a neighboring town claimed that she had been assaulted by an African American man, European American citizens of that neighboring town went on a rampage, attacking the town of Rosewood, and murdered several inhabitants of, and destroyed, Rosewood, burning the town to the ground.

    The European American destroyers of Rosewood felt humiliated by, and resentful of, the self-sufficient middle-class African American inhabitants of Rosewood.

    The country of the Jewish people is, and has, for several decades before the country of the Jewish people was re-founded, been under siege by a bigoted racist intendedly genocidal war by racist supremacist egomaniacal Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people against the country of the Jewish people, who are a people who those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people in the Middle East have for centuries seen as as inferior sub-human beings and who those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people in the Middle East have for centuries persecuted and oppressed, and who those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people did not want to see Jewish people determine their own fate and be self-sufficient, and who those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people feel humiliated by, and who felt resentful hatred toward those Jewish people, by seeing those Jewish people defeat the intendedly genocidal military wars against themselves by those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people, and who those Arab, and Muslim non-Arab, people feel humiliated by by seeing those Jewish people prosper, and who, as a result felt, and feel, resentment and hatred toward those Jewish people.

    The country of the Jewish people is under siege by a bigoted racist intendedly genocidal war by proxy, being waged by propaganda and diplomatic warfare, by racist, vicious, malicious, egomaniacal, European people who have felt, and who feel, not guilt, nor shame, nor remorse, for having, for two thousand years, wrongly perceived, hated, falsely accused, persecuted, and mass-murdered Jewish people, and nor for having, 70 years ago, murdered almost all of the Jewish people in Europe, but who feel *humiliated* by having been shown their own actions in having, 70 years ago, murdered almost all of the Jewish people in Europe, and who, as a result, feel *anger* by having felt the perverse, obscene, egomaniacal, culturally reflected, culturally engrained, culturally Western, wrong view which they hold as part of their self-identity view and which is held in their minds as being that “‘The Jews’ are evil; We are (I am) good” being threatened, and who feel *hatred* toward the country of the Jewish people after having been shown, and after believing, because of their wanting to believe, lies that have been vilifying the country of the Jewish people, which are lies that Arab and Muslim racist supremacists who have been engaging in a genocidal war against the country of the Jewish people have been propagating, and which are lies that bigoted, craven, avaricious, mercenary, non-Jewish Western journalists have been propagating, and which are lies that, most influentially, many delusional, and some few deranged and malicious, Jewish people have been, as a result of a harmful psychological coping mechanism which arises in their minds, propagating.

    Dear Jewish Israeli people,

    Stop acting, as a result of psychological coping mechanism which has arisen as a result of your being deeply wounded, as though you are not deeply hurt by, frustrated by, and angered by, the intendedly genocidal effort to kill and annihilate you, and as though you are not hurt by the vicious obscene, perverse, false accusations against you, and by the obscene, perverse wrong perceptions of you.

    When you are intendedly genocidally murderously attacked, verbally attack those who are murderously attacking you.

    When you are perversely and obscenely falsely accused, verbally attack those who are falsely accusing you.

    When you are profoundly wronged, verbally attack those who are wronging you.

    If you have respect for yourselves, then others will have respect for you.

    If you do not communicate what your situation is, then others will not know what your situation is.

    If you communicate what your situation is, then others will know what your situation is.

    I know that it is very frustrating that you have to communicate what your situation is in order for others to understand what your situation is, but the fact that you have to communicate what your situation is in order for others to understand what your situation is is what is the case.

    It is beneficial to do that which will have beneficial results.

  41. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    In the link I posted in #24 there’s a clear example (the Sudanese case) of how the axiomatic categorisation of people as weak/victims perverts judgement.

    Since June 12th 1967, Israeli Jews can’t be perceived as weak and even less as victims. At most, Israelis are seen as victims of their own success.

  42. Cynic says:

    By the way here’s a bit that displays the type of media in Israel. Does one think that this media will give Jewish leaders a prominent platform to voice the facts and their opinions?
    “A Threat to Democracy”

    Moreover, his editors (stupidly, in retrospect), published full pictures of some of the documents, thus giving the counter-espionage people a starting point for their investigation – which they duly used.

    Haaretz republished most of Blau’s story over the weekend, to remind us that the real culprits are the generals who are not behaving correctly. In brief, the High Court of Justice ordered that Palestinian terrorists not be assassinated in cases where they can be arrested; Kamm’s documents seemed to be saying the generals were disregarding this order. Since Haaretz was so helpful as to re-publish the story, I feel confident in saying it isn’t convincing. The documents they cite ……………..
    ……
    So far, Haaretz comes out of the story badly. Their Friday (weekend) edition made things much worse. The editor in chief collected his entire staff and told each and every one of them to write a story based on their particular areas of expertise, but the common line was to be that the State if Israel is wrong. It’s laws are outdated. It’s system of classification of military documents is designed to protect the generals, not to serve the security of the state. Uri Blau wrote about how he’s the protector of our democratic freedoms. And so on and so on and so on. Importantly, the attack was not against the Netanyahu government: it was against the State of Israel, its laws and its institutions. All of the articles were translated to English, of course, and put on the paper’s website:
    Ze’ev Segal, the editorial, Anshel Pfeffer, Amos Harel, Uri Blau, Ron Leshem, Aluf Benn, Gideon Levy, Reuven Pedatzur, Akiva Eldar. Avi Issacharoff wasn’t pulled into the morass, perhaps because no-one could figure out an angle to use his Palestinian sources to besmirch the country in this context.

    For many years Haaretz used to advertise itself as “The newspaper for thinking people”. This was an edition indistinguishable from Pravda. Every single one of the articles trotted out the party line; not a single journalist dared let out a peep of dissent. There was chattering galore about the freedom of press which is somehow under siege, and the sanctity of the High Court which was allegedly tainted, but not a single word about the bald fact that Haaretz has been and still is engaged in brazenly illegal actions. Silence, nada, nothing. Brezhnev would have been proud.

  43. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Unfortunately when defining “weak” it depends which human and what rights have a priori been assigned by those without integrity to reduce to clichés that which they then use as clubs to beat forward their narrative.
    The outcome has been to deride humanity.
    Basically a deconstruction of the tenets of the Judeo-Christian sociology.

  44. obsy says:

    Eliyahu,

    there certainly are more heuristics at work than just weak=right, but I think it is (an important) one.

    Thieves have broken moral rules, so they are wrong.

    Media is more an abstract thing. A picture of a tank in front of a small boy is more powerful than the abstract idea that this small boy has a media behind him that publishes this picture in every country.

    The tribal Black Africans in southern Sudan have our sympathy, but not our attention.

    There are times when we turn against the weak. The mistreated mom who attacks her child instead of her guilty husband might be the most prominent example.

    But this behavior also points out that “weak=right” can be a valid heuristic in simple scenarios.

  45. Daniel Bielak says:

    I apologize if my earlier comment was distressing and harmful.

    The following are links to blogs by non-Jewish non-religious Liberal-minded (non-”Leftist”) people who are supporting and defending Israel.

    Robin Shepherd Online
    http://www.robinshepherdonline.com

    A Liberal Defence of Israel (by Denis Maceoin) http://mid-eastplus.blogspot.com/

    The following is a link the blog of a non-religious Liberal-minded person who is defending the Jewish people.

    Clemens Heni (some articles in English, more articles in German (I have used Google Translate to read some of the articles written in German))
    http://clemensheni.wordpress.com

    The following is a link to the website of a non-religious Liberal-minded person who has documented the history of, and who is trying to counter, the genocidally anti-Jewish modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement.

    Matthias Kuntzel
    http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/kategorie/english/?lang=en

  46. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    + the media adore simplifying.

  47. Daniel Bielak says:

    Re-listing, in more complete form, of link to, the blog of a non-religious non-Jewish Liberal-minded person who is defending Israel,

    Robin Shepherd Online (in England (Britain))
    http://www.robinshepherdonline.com

  48. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    Re- our discussion about morality and law:
    Rule of law is Israel’s Achilles heel

    “Obama is a rule-of-law President,” Mr. Cotler said, noting the President, a former constitutional law professor, also has emphasized other legal issues such as torture and the Guantanamo detention centre in his agenda.

    “The rule of law is Obama’s organizing idiom, the way in which he frames the issues,” Mr. Cotler said. “If that is how the U.S. President frames the issues, then Israel would be well-advised to do the same.”

    Without necessarily agreeing with the rest of the article, I think this insight is worth some thought.
    If only because the law is subject to more than one interpretation. And also because laws are made for Humans’ well being, not in order to get Humans suicidal by blindly following them.

  49. E.G. says:

    Daniel,

    Rather than your comments, what really distresses me is my procrastination about Matthias Küntzel’s “Jihad and Jew Hatred”. I still haven’t found the time to get to reading it!

    I merely ran across Pierre-André Taguieff’s intro to the French edition :-(
    http://www.ripostelaique.com/Preface-du-livre-de-Matthias.html

  50. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G.,

    I’m glad that my comment at least wasn’t very distressing.

    I am very distressed, and frustrated, and vexed, and, often, enraged, myself, so I often communicate in ways that, and communicate things that, are unbeneficial.

    I haven’t read Matthias Kuntzel’s book “Jihad and Jew Hatred” either, but I have listened to audio-video recordings, on the internet, of two talks given by Matthias Kuntzel about the history of the modern Islamic Supremacist political movement and I have read several articles by Matthias Kuntzel on his website.

    The following are links to the two talks that he gave that I listened to.

    “Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East”, talk given at YIISA at Yale, 2006
    http://streaming.yale.edu:8080/ramgen/cmibroadcast/isgap/kuntzel_113006.rm

    “Antisemitism and the War on Terror”, talk given at American Enterprise Institute, 2008 (links to audio stream (and audio file download), and to audio-video stream; the audio on the audio-video stream is currently not playing for me; the audio on the audio stream is currently playing for me)
    http://www.aei.org/event/1685

  51. Daniel Bielak says:

    I also listened to audio and audio-video recordings of Matthias Kuntzel giving talks at the following conferences.

    “Business as usual? – The Iranian regime, the holy war against Israel and the West and the German reaction”, Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, 2008
    http://www.mideastfreedomforum.org/node/66

    “Time to act”, Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, 2009; (Matthias Kuntzel, and most of the other speakers, speak in German (which is a language that I don’t understand) and there is no English translation)
    http://www.mideastfreedomforum.org/node/129

  52. Daniel Bielak says:

    The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary
    Study of Antisemitism
    http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/videos.htm

  53. Daniel Bielak says:

    The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary
    Study of Antisemitism (link to section with links also to text documents of the talks)
    http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/seminars.htm

  54. E.G. says:

    Thanks for the links Daniel!

    I think we’re all enraged, sometimes exasperated, but not by our mutual exchanges. So don’t bother apologising. It’s obvious that even if you wrote a dumb, offending thing (not that I’ve seen any), the intention is quite the opposite.
    Should I now issue a Fatwa authorising you to smash mosquitoes and ants without expressing any regret?

  55. nelson says:

    The best American friends of Israel are the Christian Zionists and many Republican voters. Are we sure that, instead of keeping in touch with the useless liberal American Jewish establishment, Israel is doing its best to get the help of its real allies in the US?

    By the way, one thing the liberal Jewish majority that’s still loyal to Obama (and won’t change) doesn’t seem to understand: they may help with or further Israel’s destruction and still, just for being Jews, they will still be considered suspect or even guilty of “nazizionism”, of “Israeli crimes against humanity” and of dubious or double loyalty by most non-Jewish American liberals and leftists, by the American paleo-coservatives, by the US foreign policy establishment and its “realist” intellectuals (Walt & Mearsheimer etc.) and by most of the rest of the world including, obviously, the Chávez-oriented Latin Americans, the Europeans, the Arabs and the Muslims in general. All over the world they will still be blamed for whatever the US does.

    Whatever they do, they’ll always be considered Israel’s staunchest backers and, even if Israel disappears, there will still be talk of the “Jewish Lobby” whenever there’s need to blame somebody. If Israel is destroyed, there’ll be no more tactical need of anti-Zionist Jews to give cover to the anti-Semites, but there’ll still be need, there’ll ever be need of the Jewish scapegoat.

    Remember: many, perhaps most Russian Jews were grateful backers of the communists from before the October Revolution till after WW2. They were over-represented in the Party. None of this helped them when Stalin turned against them and even if, thanks to his death, the worst scenario was eventually avoided, still they lived for the next half century under awful pressure, in fear and in a condition that wasn’t better than that of their grandparents under the Tsars.

    My point however is: since the creation of Israel, Jews in general (and not just there) have lived in the safest condition they have probably ever had. It has been a time when only relatively very low numbers of Jews were killed by anti-Semites. Those were the good days — and they’re likely over. Had Israel been an independent country in the 30s it could have saved perhaps millions of European Jews. Both Israeli Jews and Jews all over the world are in danger again. Will Israel be able, is it prepared to do something real about it?

    Israel has proved its brilliance by surviving in the hostile Middle Eastern environment and prospering. Now it will need all its collective intelligence to do it again in even more difficult conditions.

  56. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G.,

    You’re very welcome for the links.

    Thank you for your forgiveness of my anger and for your forgiveness of what I think may be my harmful actions.

    “Should I now issue a Fatwa authorising you to smash mosquitoes and ants without expressing any regret?”

    No. That would be very bad. It is very harmful to destroy any living being.

    I have caused much harm to other beings in my life and I have experienced much suffering in my life and I understand the truth of the following teaching, and I strive to follow the following teaching.

    “There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & priests…”
    – The Buddha

  57. Jerry says:

    The speculations here by the posters is cogent, but outcomes cannot be predicted.

    An Israeli attack on Iran is not a strategy, but a tactic. Iran will not “stay hit.” It will retaliate, creating a need for Obama to react to a reduction in world availability of oil. Obama may not want to respond, but Israel, as well, may not want Obama to respond, thus improving his chances for re-election in 2012.

    Is it better to take a chance that Iran will gain the atomic bomb and keep Obama our of a second term?

    Indeed, the rush to get Israel to reduce itself in size and power may just be Obama saving Iran for American bombers to assure his re-election. He will need to manufacture some crisis to get Americans to vote for him again. Iran is as good as any other crisis – seen as a threat to America and then reduced to a tantruming toddler, Obama will be a hero. But not if Israel goads him into protecting American and world oil supplies. Thus, Obama’s opposition to an Israeli first strike.

  58. obsy says:

    nelson,

    I do not like the idea of maximizing the help you get from an ally. Instead, Israel should try to increase its number of allies, so that there will be no temptation to exploit a mutual relationship.

    The danger for Israel may blind us of the difficult situation of Americans. I fear that Obamas worst heritage will not be the ruined economy, but utter isolation. He has not only abandoned Americas most devoted allies, but (in case of Israel) actively harmed one and broken promises that his own administration had given (only weeks ago).

    Any nation in the world has seen that an US-president can reframe foreign policy (for no reason whatsoever) so that a close ally will be target of (diplomatic ― for now) attacks in no time ― against the will of the American people.

    Obama has discredited the American political system completely and no intelligent leader of any nation will consider a relationship to any US-government as close again. Obama has proven it to be fragile.

    This comes at the time of the rise of the Chinese superpower.

    As friends of the American people, it is our duty to help them and see the harm that Obama is doing to them. As friends of the Jews and the Israeli people it is the job of Americans to help them in the way that they think it is right.

    Most of all, Americans and their friends around the world must strengthen their ties in ways that are not touched by any bastard who managed (or will manage) to become president.

  59. Cynic says:

    Seeing this post is titled How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama?

    would anyone like to comment on this video in line with his relationship to Israel and obsy’s comment above?

    Obama Admits He is a Muslim

  60. Eliyahu says:

    Meanwhile, on the home front, Obama is neglecting his brothers, his home boys. Over 41% of young black men are unemployed. Why are Obama’s critics not addressing this neglect of his own folks? Isn’t that his achilles heel, his soft underbelly, so to speak?

    Bureau of Labor Statistics data here.
    http://www [dot] bls [dot]gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

    Judy Klinghoffer elaborates on the econ situation:
    http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/125369.html

  61. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @Cynic, #59.

    I watched the video and found it quite dishonest. For instance, there is an obvious cut cut at 1.04, and O’s intonation shows that the sentence does not end with “my muslim faith”.

    I believe that the issus is not his faith, baptist, jeremiahwhrightist, muslim, or communist or whatever. The issue is his weltanschauung, his world vision.

    I am pretty much convinced that Obama likes better Iran than Israel as an US ally in the Middle-East, and that he hopes to convince the Ayatollahs’ regime that US would appreciate Iran as a regional ruler. He probably has not understood that the Ayatollah’s regime will not be content with regional rule, and have much grander plans – they would not mind ruling also Europe, a part of Africa, and Asia as far as Pakistan and Afghanistan. But this is another story.

    I am also convinced that Obama is rooting for the Chavists in South America, but he may find trouble on the way, because neither Chile nor Colombia seem to be going in that direction, and Brazil is quite illegible these days.

    Finally, I believe that he received much more influence for his procommunist mother than from Islam. He had much contact with his mother’s leanings, since he lived with her some 14 years of his first 16.

    I see in the wikipedia article on his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Sutoro:

    «In an interview, Barack Obama referred to his mother as “the dominant figure in my formative years… The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics.»

    I know little about the political inclinations of his grand-parents, with whom he lived during most of his childhood, but it would be interesting to understand the influence of the grandmother.

    I really believe that trying to know whether Obama is a closet muslim or not is a red herring. What I think is that O is utterly convinced by the anti-imperialist weltanschauung. This was basically his mother’s beliefs, having been a community organizer and a disciple of Jeremiah Wright point also in the same direction. He is clearly an adept of social engineering, which makes him a faithful disciple of the organizing principles of Leninism.

    I know enough individual muslims (not closet muslims) to infer that agreeing to Obama’s ideas and points of view is *not* a necessary consequence of being muslim, faithful or not.

    I am also quite impressed with the underlying discourse in the youtube piece: it is all about presenting O as some kind of foreigner importing foreign ideas into good ole U.S. of A. As far as I understand the good ole U.S. of A., O is as american as Mother and apple pie. There has been a host of home grown communists in the thirties, a host of home grown anti-imperialists at the time of the Vietnam war, a host of home grown apostles of political correctness and organized stupidity in social thought in the nineties and the noughts.

  62. obsy says:

    E.G,

    I’m very bad in thinking like a law professor, so I will need some help. (I will try give this perspective a chance in the future, but I have my doubts ― see the end of this post.)
    If some people that are better in it would come up and foretell what Obama is doing next, I would be grateful.

    I’d say that in the nuclear meeting, Obama will not attack Israel.
    He will not agree to the attacks that (Israels allies) Turkey and Egypt will undertake.
    He will not directly couple the Iranian issue to alleged Israeli nukes.
    Israel will overall be presented as nuclear hypocrite, but not by Obama. There may be a side remark, but overall he will try to come across as moderate and not-Anti-Israel.

    As for a law-point of view about settlements, that must be an interpretation that declares new houses as illegal while already existing house are legal. I.e: the construction is illegal, but once they are build, they will be legal.

    Honduras from a law point of view, anyone?

  63. obsy says:

    Michelle:

    there is an obvious cut cut at 1.04, and O’s intonation shows that the sentence does not end with “my muslim faith”.

    He is interrupted at this point by the interviewer. Obama was actually speaking about other people who claim that he is Muslim. He really was talking about his “Muslim faith”. The interviewer disrupts him with “your Christian faith”. Obama corrects himself and afterwards says that he meant his alleged Muslim faith.

    That part was dishonest. Also the “I am one of them” is not about Muslims but about people who lived in Muslim countries.
    I also think that George W. Bush bowed down to a Saudi King. But Bush probably bowed down to the Queen of England as well.

    Enough criticism. I doubt that anyone could produce a video that equally convincing would show Obama’s respect for Christianity or Judaism.

  64. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    I beg to differ in that he says the “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith” with some pauses but not cuts as he muses on what to say.
    He is not a fluent speaker without teleprompters.

    As for
    He had much contact with his mother’s leanings, since he lived with her some 14 years of his first 16.

    He had two fathers, the blood relation and the step one, both of them Muslims and he was schooled for some time in Jakarta, Indonesia as a Muslim.
    His 14 years with his mother would make his upbringing similar to that of other Muslim boys in that for all his mother’s communist inclinations she would not be ruling the roost with Muslim husbands around and in a Muslim cultural environment, especially given the period, well before our current “Renaissance” of PC Cognitive Egocentrism with its predilection for multiculti diversity.

    But anyway with all his 180° about turns it seems that he is very conversant with taquiya.

    Please don’t take any offense at my sarcasm because it is directed at today’s societal deceits and censorship being forced on us.

  65. Cynic says:

    obsy,

    I doubt that anyone could produce a video that equally convincing would show Obama’s respect for Christianity or Judaism.

    At the Whitehouse Passover Seder he said instead of “Next Year in Jerusalem” which is part of the the ritual in the Haggada, Next Year in the Whitehouse.
    Lack of respect is more like it, or was he just empathizing with his Whitehouse Jews?
    Now imagine how offended Muslims would have been if he had taken and changed some Qur’anic religious script.

  66. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Regarding the video, I quite agree with Michelle’s first 2 paragraphs. I think the whole Moslem roots/education/background is a show staged to reach out for Moslem hearts and minds — which they didn’t and don’t buy. Probably because he doesn’t show much understanding of Islam. Or maybe they think he’s practising (reversed?) Taquiyya.

    The O doesn’t get along with the Israeli leadership. He doesn’t seem to care much about Israelis and their concerns either. He seems to operate upon the conception that Israel is an American vassal state. I guess his knowledge of Judaism is shallow too.

    Right now I guess he (and his Admin.) are haunted by the possible replication of the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis and the Carter failed rescue mission.

  67. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    I’m very bad in thinking like a law professor, so I will need some help.

    Me too.

    And the issue is not only settlements.
    Rather, it’s the settlement of the conflict. For example, consider UN resolutions as binding? Adopt which of the concurrent interpretations? Who’s got rights, what kind of rights, and what obligations come along with them, and their respect monitored, ensured and eventually sanctioned by whom?

  68. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @Cynic, #64: I am not offended – your sarcasms are not ad feminam, so that is OK. I must say that I have no idea of how the Dunham-Sutoro couple would work. One should always be wary of clichés: usually in countries where women are relegated to Kids, Kitchen and Kirk (or mosK), they also hold enormous power on the household. And Ann Dunham was a working mother. So, any hypothesis can fit.

    In any case, i am absolutely not sure that O’s culture and leanings have much to do with a regular muslim education. He may know the prayers, the fatiha, and a few things like that – observe that he definitely pronounces Koran in a very unamerican accent every time he mentions the book in the videos – but somehow, there is something srtificial here: obviously, he uses the (probably) arabic pronunciation so as to come out as informed and respectful, but this is all I can feel here.

    O is certainly full of dissimulation. Though he lived four years in Indonesia as a child, he is more of the homegrown leftist variety, and islam is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain the man. I agree with all the people who would dearly like to know what and how he is thinking.

  69. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle I agree with what you have written about Obama.

    Also, I appreciate your appreciation of my posting, on an earlier thread, of the link to the talk by Khaled Abu Toameh. I apologize for not replying to you earlier.

  70. Cynic says:

    Michelle, E.G.,

    The O is surrounded by types like Brzezinski, who with Carter, “founded” the apocalyptic regime and seems quite proud of his accomplishment.
    The O doesn’t know much about anything going by what he claims Islam invented/discovered/created etc., – paper for example – what can the Chinese be thinking of that?; but his teleprompter tells him what his “co-relegionnaires” (trying to be tres Sarkoztic) want to hear, while his actions tell them that he is smarmy.
    His comments about the Holocaust and Israel’s second coming, so out of context, means that he agrees with their revisionism even if he doesn’t understand what he is implying.

  71. Eliyahu says:

    I have long believed that obama was a great dissembler, a practitioner of Kasb, taqiyya, kitman or whatever you would like to call it. This was obvious before the election of 2008. Unfortunately, he had so many journalists and political hacks and psy warriors covering up for him. This view of obama does not obviate views such as obsy’s in #71.

    Here I call him a dissembler in a post of Feb 2008:
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2008/02/bbc-obama-pretense-and-imposture-fakery.html

  72. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, the good thing about zbig bzzzski is that he now seems to be losing his marbles. He says some very bizarre things in public. For instance, he urged that the US shoot down Israeli planes on their way to strike the Iranian nuke program when they pass over “our air space in Iraq.” First of all, it seems undiplomatic although revealing that he calls Iraqi air space “our”s. Secondly, he lets the cat out of the bag, seeming to reveal a desire that Iran obtain nuke weapons by advocating protection of the Iranian nuke sites from Israeli attack.

    More recently, zbig has advocated that obama go to Jerusalem and Ramallah in order to directly address the Israeli and Palestinian Arab peoples in order to convince them that he has the right plan for them. That is even more absurd than the first proposal. Assuming that either govt [Israel or the PA] would welcome him coming, it is doubtful that he could sell his plan to either side [as some features of the plan have been publicized or leaked]. Zbig is highly overestimating the power of obama’s BS rhetoric.

  73. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I posted a link to Zbig’s article in #21.
    Some bloggers noted that Abu Mazeh is not mentioned in there even once. As if, according to this wonderful plan, the O should talk in his place/name!
    Well, at least that would considerably lower the likelihood of a Holocaust denial slip :-/

  74. E.G. says:

    obsy and Cynic,

    I heard the opposite theory from an Israeli intelligent person. I.e., that the O is trying to appease the non-Shia Moslem world before and in view of attacking Iran.

    My tentative conclusion (in light of the recent comments): the O is playing the unpredictability/ ambiguity card, trying to make sure that he’ll not attack Iran (if he does) in what may seem as compliance with an Israeli demand or perceived need.

  75. Eliyahu says:

    EG, try to remember back to early 1979. The Carter administration, its foreign policy shaped by Zbig B as national insecurity advisor, helped Khomeini take over Iran. Other American “liberals” such as Ramsey Clark, then head of the ACLU no less, were active, trying to win acceptance for the anti-civil liberties Khomeini regime among American liberals. Clark blamed American Jews for not going along with acceptance of the Khomeini Islamofascist regime. The “liberal” weekly, The Nation, was also whitewashing the Khomeini gang. It claimed in an editorial in that period that the people drawing up a new constitution for Khomeini’s brave new Iran had “impeccable civil libertarian credentials.” The pro-fascist rag The Nation is today soft on Ahmadinejad, Khomeini’s loyal successor.

    So, if Zbig is the biological father of the Khomeini regime and we rightly look at Zbig as an influence on Obama, then there is good reason to believe that Zbig and Obama want Iran to have The Bomb. Obama’s actions since taking office point in that direction as do Zbig’s uncautious words. Think of Zbig as Dr Strangelove, more sinister and threatening perhaps than Kissinger and Werner von Braun put together.

  76. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Zbiggie’s responsibility will be judged in a few decades. Meanwhile, the Iranian threat means a significant increase in more or less conventionally armed terror attacks world-wide. In this context, nuclear capacity means impunity for sponsoring such attacks.
    Why this remains an untold risk assessment is beyond my understanding. But this is the real, clear and imminent danger. And Israel is far from being the only place on Earth to risk experiencing it. She may be among the first – and the best prepared.

  77. obsy says:

    I have to correct my comment #9.
    The story about new rules that refuse visas for Israel nuclear scientists turns out to be wrong:

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/04/visa-trouble-for-israeli-nuke-scientists/

  78. obsy says:

    Eliyahu,

    Obama’s pure economic results for blacks should indeed be addressed.

    It will be excused. The overall economic crises and Obama’s social programs come to my mind.

    Whoever is going to address this, will probably seen as hypocrite if he is not black himself. If he is black, maybe as traitor. The above-90%-vote for Obama among blacks is a result that otherwise exists only in socialist countries. IMO many blacks voted for Obama, because they want to be governed by a black man ― not because they expected better living conditions. As much as they prefer a black dictator over a white democratic ruler in Africa. I never was in America for more than a few days, so I won’t insist on this line of thought.

    I often complain about self criticism gone mad, but a culture or subculture without self criticism is doomed to bread failure. This means that hyper self criticism is not only harming the own social group, but preventing other groups from accepting the insight that would be needed to better (or to not worsen) themselves.

  79. E.G. says:

    Update on my #78:
    Report: Syria arms Hezbollah with Scud missiles

    According to Kuwaiti newspaper, Syrian army transferred medium-long range Scud missiles to Shiite group in Lebanon, trained operatives on weapons’ operation. Strategic balance hasn’t been broken, however Hezbollah has become only non-governmental body to hold ballistic missiles

  80. E.G. says:

    Yoram Ettinger has an updated version of this article,
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3713083,00.html
    published today on Ynet in Hebrew.

  81. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Israeli intelligent person

    OMG!; OGG!; Oy!

    Couldn’t resist :-) hee, snort, that

  82. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    LoLing is healthy!
    What’s the opposite of an (Israeli) stupid and non-credible person?

  83. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Zbiggie’s responsibility will be judged in a few decades.

    Not if the MSM have their way.

    This from your link to Ynet

    Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, claims that a linkage exists, because the Palestinian issue is ostensibly the Arab crown-jewel.

    is hilarious.
    After everything the Arabs have done to use the “Palestinians” as cannon fodder, to use crown-jewel to describe their primary weapon ….
    After the Palestinians have been trashed in Kuwait, Lebanon and most recently in Jordan this crown-jewel is surely bling bling at its cheapest, to be painted in brilliant Technicolor, Vista Vision and Todd AO.

    Therefore, an Israeli giveaway of Judea and Samaria would, supposedly, appease the Arabs, which would facilitate a broad anti-Iran coalition

    Just like the Scud hits Israel took in 1991 to facilitate a broad anti-Saddam coalition.

    What is with the “never let a crisis go to waste” crowd’s thinking in Washington; make one if it doesn’t exist?
    Well if it’s the others getting killed, so what.

  84. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    What’s the opposite of an (Israeli) stupid and non-credible person?

    Does that animal exist? :-)

    I thought the Quagga was made extinct in the 19th century.
    Anyway as All Israelis wear a kovah tembel I thought it a redundant question.

    It seems that Haaretz is becoming more non-credible by the day as well as many TV luminaries for the nonsense they spew.

  85. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    the good thing about zbig bzzzski is that he now seems to be losing his marbles. He says some very bizarre things in public.

    But there are too many advisors needing a crisis who look up to his previous exploits as creativity in action.
    From Axelrod to Zbig one has a complete tea party of mad hatters.

  86. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    It may not just be Zbig who is losing his marbles.
    From Robin Shepherd
    UK campaign to arrest the Pope may herald quagmire for universal jurisdiction laws

    If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. The one great hope for those of us calling for sanity over the state of Israel in particular and the western world in general is that the group hysteria that inspires our opponents will ultimately render them so ridiculous that they will lose all credibility outside the lunatic fringe.

    Well, vindication may be just around the corner. Now it emerges that the universal jurisdiction laws that have been used to effectively exclude prominent Israelis from Great Britain for fear of war crimes indictments may be used to launch a prosecution against, wait for it, the Pope.

    This is not a theoretical idea. Two prominent atheist writers, Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion) and Christopher Hitchens, announced over the weekend that they are consulting lawyers with a view to prosecuting His Holiness when he comes to Britain in September. Charges, being considered by high profile human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, …

  87. E.G. says:

    Cynic #84

    The updated article makes, inter alia, these very points.
    I hope it’ll be translated soon.

    #85 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_42drhiu5nNU/SBpGjjzROoI/AAAAAAAAFbw/8axUhC6GaGE/s1600-h/Srulik0.jpg

  88. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Apparently, following the Kam Affair, hundreds of al-Ard subscribers are cancelling theirs.

  89. Lorenz Gude says:

    Daniel Pipes has this positively cheerful post on US Israeli relations (compared to the main themes explored on this thread)
    http://www.danielpipes.org/8244/poor-us-israel-relations

    I think Pipe’s ideas add a worthwhile additional viewpoint to this thread.

  90. sshender says:

    O/T

    Check this out:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/02/o_pioneers?page=0,7

    I’m particularly impressed with slide #8, the photo of the Israeli policeman shooting the tear gas rifle.

    Amazing how one lone police officer gathers the press like a crowd of Papparazzi chasing Jennifer Aniston or Lady Gaga.

    Check out the shot. There are easily eight or more photographers taking photos (and at least one more who took the shot that included the press).

    How many riots does one know of that the press outnumber the cops.

    It should tell you something of the magnitude of over-hype the press has in its coverage of Israel.

    Truly what you have is not insight, but a jobs program or meals-on-wheels for the pundits and talking heads.

  91. E.G. says:

    sshender,

    In #6, the officer looks like he’s making a cellphone call (or putting something into his cellphone); and the settler is definitely not shouting.

    I have a different caption for #4. Something to to with hands.

    #12 Ma’ale Adumim… making it nearly the size of Tel Aviv in terms of area
    May I suggest google map for a proportionate view?

  92. obsy says:

    sshender,

    I don’t understand photo #7.
    IMO it is the only not anti-Israel picture in the set.
    It even gives the viewer a hint why new houses are needed and why the abstract idea of settlement stops is not so noble in real life.

  93. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    Does #7 evoke a ghetto ?

  94. obsy says:

    Meanwhile in Turkey:

    That apparent equilibrium between Islamists and secularists was shattered a few weeks ago, when Gülenist papers published a 5,000-page memo allegedly written by military officers planning a coup.

    U.S. diplomats I have talked to and Turkish analysts say that if the military really had planned to overthrow the government, it would have hardly written it down in a detailed 5,000 page document. The idea that the military would bomb Istanbul’s historic mosques and shoot down its own planes to precipitate such a coup – as the alleged memo describes – is simply outlandish. The military denies any plans for toppling the government and says much of the document is actually taken from a 2003 war game exercise. It says that the incriminating elements detailing the alleged coup were added to the document.

    For the past two years, the Turkish military has been the target of illegal wiretaps and accusations that it is plotting against the government.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=republic-of-fear-2010-03-12

  95. obsy says:

    E.G,

    maybe it does.

    There is another thing that I should have considered. This photo essay has the subtitle:
    “Portraits of Israel’s endlessly controversial outposts, neighborhoods, and settlements.”

    Take out this photo and nothing that could be interpreted as controversial would be left. It would be completely one-sided anti-Israel position: Evil Settlers, poor Palestinians. Maybe I am over-interpreting but this photo is exactly in one of the two middle positions of 1―12 photos.

    So it could have been included as a defense. And it can at the same time convey the message: Look what they are fighting for ― to be in a ghetto.

  96. Eliyahu says:

    re Turkey, the Islamist party of Erdogan only won about 1/3 of the votes in the election after which he became Prime minister [or Prez?]. Methinks that the US, under Prez George Bush II, could have done a lot to stop him and his party from taking over. But nothing was done. It seems that erdogan as leader of an important regional power did not bother DC.

  97. nelson says:

    The second Bush II adminstration’s foreign policy was a relatively bad one. Why “relatively”? Because we can compare with both his own earlier administration and with the new one which, in my humble view, has been more prejudicial I’ll not say to US interests (that’s up for the American voter to evaluate), but to the stability and development of democracy, individual liberty and democratic values around the world.

    I’m far from being an admirer of Ms. Condoleeza Rice. But how did it happen that, during his last years in power, Bush’s foreign policy was already preparing Obama’s? How? For instance: no tough treatment of Syria, though that country was actually (though more or less indirectly) at war with the US armed forces themselves in Iraq. The same applies even more seriously to Iran — and that independently of its nuclear program. Probably even worse was the second Bush’s administration’s unforgivable softness towards Turkey’s islamist government. It was under Bush that, from being America’s and Israel’s most reliable Muslim ally, Turkey became probably Iran’s most important friend (Syria’s just its vassal state).

    My point is: since very early in the Bush administration, maybe only months after 911, the Republican government came under the strongest, toughest and most concerted political and media pressure I’ve ever seen, and not only inside the US itself. With time, many of us started to see Bush derrangement syndrome as something normal, business as usual. But just following the almost unthinkably different treatment the media has been giving Obama, we can conclude that the media itself became a very important player, much more important, it seems, than it has ever been. Besides, it became a thoroughly partisan player.

    But, even in the US, it wasn’t just the media. It’s becoming clear now that whole sectors of the government bureaucracy, stating with the State Dept., revolted against Bush’s policies and made it almost impossible to implement them. Needless to say, I’m not saying anything particularly new, except that, with the end of the Cold War, America became the center stage of a power fight between sevaral political inclinations, tendencies, ideologies. And, for the time being, power in the US seems to have been shifting quickly and decisively to the hand of mainly unelected people. Thus, maybe we shouldn’t concentrate that much on Obama himself, since he’s not himself a cause, but rather the result of a process that has been going on for most of this decade.

    Anyway, the change of US power structure is, if not creating, allowing huge changes to happen in the world, and they have been pretty clear in all continents with the possible (temporary?) exception of Africa. The only change of this magnitude I can remember in recent times was 1989.

  98. Eliyahu says:

    Of course, Nelson, Obama’s foreign policy is a continuation of Bush II’s foreign policy, but worse, more intense. And that is very dangerous.

    Glad that you mentioned Syria’s role helping the jihadists get into Iraq to kill Americans and fellow Arabs and others there. Axelrod and other not so funny clowns in the Obama White House argued in so many words that Israel was endangering US troops in Iraq –by building homes for Jews in Jerusalem. But the White House doesn’t care about those troops. Otherwise it would have done something to stop Syria long ago.

  99. E.G. says:

    obsy,

    The only Jews pictured are military/police and orthodox religious: two highly stereotypical “uniforms”. One very European/International, the other – the “new Jew”.
    Neither is representative of the Israeli society, and both carry negative connotations.

  100. nelson says:

    Eliyahu,

    saying that there is a relation of cause and effect between what Israel does (besides the fact of what it is and that it simply exists) and the way Arabs (or just terrorists in general) see the US and/or deal with US troops is basically, in the last instance, a way of implying that real (or, more correctly, just perceived) US-Israel ties are the root-cause of Arab/Muslim hatred of America; in short: Jews, in a (not very) tortuous way are indeed responsible for 911;

    most people around the world believe nowadays (and the Arabs have believed it for a long time) that, but for the grace of the US, Israel wouldn’t even have come into being; for instance, a 92 year-old Russian-Jewish friend of mine who happens to be a long time leftist (though he was honestly critical of the URSS) told me another day that, immediately after the Independence War, Israel dropped the Russians and opted for the Americans; I objected asking him whether he did not remember that, throughtout the 50s and almost up to the Six Day War, France was Israel’s main ally, that France and the UK fought (more or less) alongside Israel against Nasser in 56, while in early 57 Eisenwhower and JF Dulles forced the three country alliance to give in to the Egyptians, and that even the 1967 war was basically won with French Mirages (and in spite of Johnson’s neutrality or indifference); my friend, who remembered all that, was rendered speechless, because he saw that even knowing the facts, he had fallen for the propaganda;

    the truth, obviously, is that the Arab countries knew pretty well how to play the US and the USSR against each other in their own interest, and that the US basically protected most of them against further Soviet encroachment; and this applies to other Muslim countries like Turkey and Iran; till 1979 Iran was a US ally and benefited from this; there were never serious strategic reasons for Iran to become anti-American; the same applies to Turkey nowadays;

    however one looks at it, the root of anti-Americanism can only be found not in the US foreign policy (which, btw, has always been far from being logical or coherent), but in America’s influence as a model, as a seductive model of modernity and the modern world; ever since Roosevelt, American foreign policy protected what used to be the most reactionary Muslim regime –Saudi Arabia–, America helped getting the commies out of Afghanistan and the Taliban in, America has been a staunch ally of Pakistan against India, the Carter-Zbig administration did everything to appease Khomeini short of giving them the (mortally ill) Shah and so on; if that be imperialism, well, just take a look at how the Russians and even Chinese have been dealing with their own Muslims and Muslim allies; even serious and serial anti-American Arab or Muslim tyrants like the Syrian Assad family have been left pretty much alone by the US, that is, when they are not directly courted;

    in terms of foreign policy, what else could Arabs and Muslims want from the US? that it send troops to erradicate Israel, to defeat India and give Cashemire to Pakistan, that it give East Timor back to Indonesia? Surely that’s what the State Dept. thinks: “yes, let’s see what else we can do to please our Arab and Muslim friends”; but would they ever be pleased with whatever the US did? I doubt it; (besides, the fact that Arabs and Muslims are always more or less in conflict with each other and the fact that their governments are always in conflict with at least part of the population make it impossible for anybody to be a loyal friend to all of them all the time);

    what’s their point then? Do they actually hate American citizens’ liberty and so on? No: they hate the fact that the US is richer and stonger and more influential in world affairs (it is or used to be the “strong horse”) than the 22 Arab countries or the 57 OIC countries together; America and the West in general (all those Jews and Crusaders) are arrogant and humiliate the Muslims; how? By usurping Islam’s rightful place in the world and the Muslim’s predetermined (by Allah) role as top-dogs; America and the West, by being richer and stonger, have cheated them out of their birtright; Israel’s existence obviously humiliates them, but only in the same sense and as one more unbearable provocation;

    I don’t think that allowing or even furthering the Jewish state’s destruction would better predispose the Muslim world towards the US; but then again, hey, why not give a try? the worse that can happen is to rid the world of half its Jews, and that’s seen not as a bug, but as feature, right?

  101. obsy says:

    E.G. (#101),

    that’s true.

  102. obsy says:

    Obama’s statement worries me:

    “It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them.”

    1. I cannot believe that Obama is that stupid.
    We will see a lot of talk about O not wanting the USA to be a military superpower ― especially in connection at a time when he is talking about nuclear disarmament.
    2. I think he is trying to imply that pressuring Israel was a vital national security interest of the US and that those who were against it were undermining the idea of a military superpower.

    I hope this is just an announcement for the needed air strike. If this would follow “soon”, it would put this statement in a different context and might to some degree embarrass his critics.

  103. Eliyahu says:

    Nelson, back in the late 40s and the 50s, there was a lot of sympathy for Israel even on the “Left.” So the Communists worked hard to destroy that sympathy by falsely claiming –as you indicate– that the US sponsored Israel, protected Israel, used Israel, etc. Or that Israel was “an appendage of the State Dept,” as I was once told. Therefore, the Commies and USSR were defaming Israel by associating it with the USA, among “leftists.” That was a Big Lie, as you point out. As you say, Israel’s air force in 1967 was made up of French planes.

    The State Dept policy in the 40s & 50s was pro-Arab –and it still is. I think that that policy is against the real interests of America. Especially when the State Dept and White House cater to the Arabs so much that Saudi Arabia can emerge unscathed from 15 of 19 9/11 terrorists being Saudis. This Establishment favoritism for Arabs has run over into the academic world where pro-Arab hacks and liars dominate Middle Eastern studies. For instance, is Columbia Univ NOT an Establishment institution?? Obama’s favorite Middle Eastern historian is Rashid Khalidi, now at Columbia. Khalidi usually lies when he opens his mouth, although –in all honesty– some of his books and scholarly articles may be helpful and contain info that contradicts the Arabist narrative. For instance, he pointed out that the Muslim Arabs in bilad ash-Sham [Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan] were content to be part of the Ottoman empire and were not eager for an Arab state or states. In fact, many Muslim Arabs from leading families held fairly high posts in the Ottoman imperial govt. Several Khalidis, Rashid’s relatives, were high up, as were several Husseinis. The British govt was always close to Khalidis and Husseinis from the time the UK conquered Israel [then an undefined area of the Ottoman empire] in 1917. We might say that their loyalty went from the Ottoman Empire to the British Empire.

    But one of the big tragedies is how the “Left” distorted and still distorts the truth about the Middle East, often echoing Establishment narratives.

  104. Rich Rostrom says:

    Eliyahu: “the Islamist party of Erdogan only won about 1/3 of the votes in the election after which he became Prime minister…”

    In the 2002 election, AK drew 34%, but the next largest party had only 19.4%; and under Turkish law, parties getting less than 10% nationally are excluded, regardless of how well they do in any constituency, so four other parties with 36.3% among them were shut out. That left AK with a massive majority in the Assembly.

    There was nothing the U.S. could have done about it, unless we wanted to encourage Turkey to override its own laws.

    In 2007, AK won 46.7%, to 20.8% for the second-place party.

    Whatever can be said for their merits (and I am no fan of AK), they won the elections fair and square.

  105. Cynic says:

    N4elson, Eliyahu

    no tough treatment of Syria, though that country was actually (though more or less indirectly) at war with the US armed forces themselves in Iraq.
    —————–
    Glad that you mentioned Syria’s role helping the jihadists get into Iraq to kill Americans and fellow Arabs and others there.

    Syria was actively engaged in aiding and abetting the insurgency in Iraq from the end of 2003 and some persons I had the opportunity of talking to were absolutely flabbergasted at the behaviour of the US in its apparent blindness to what was going on.
    Certainly they were discussing this phenomenon well before the insurgency appeared in print.

    The State Department revolted against Bush’s policies and the CIA seemed to connive with them in this deranged activity against the CiC.

    Certainly Tenet and his CIA made a big mess in enabling Arafat’s security apparatus moonlight (so contrary to Bush’s speech of June 2002. Was the BDS so rabid?)

  106. E.G. says:

    Here’s Yoram Ettinger’s paper in English:
    Refuting the ‘Linkage Theory’
    Linking anti-Iran efforts to Palestinian issue radicalizes Arab expectations

  107. nelson says:

    After the fall of the Soviet Union (actually even before that) a writer like George Orwell was considered obsolete, dated and irrelevant by most bien-pensants. I can’t remember exactly why, but when asked by an interviewer at that time who were those almost forgotten author that would become relevant again, I mentioned Orwell.

    I’d say now the same thing applies to writers and thinkers who wrote at the time of WW1 and immediately after, people like TS Eliot, Oswald Spengler or the late Yeats (of the time of the “troubles” in Ireland). They too seemed dated, because most people thought (they themselves too, probably) that they were talking about their immediate present, which eventually got better, then worse, then better again after WW2.

    It’s fair however to state that their better insights seem do apply even more to our days and the near future than they did to the 20s or 40s. 1984, for instance, seemed to be about Soviet communist dictatorship, but it is even more helpful when we try to understand the current European and American mindset.

    A writer like Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, who killed himself when, immediately after the German invasion, his Poland was also invaded by the Russians, is also a pretty good guide to the contemporary world.

    What’s important about them is that they guessed, each after his own way, that the crisis they were living through wasn’t short or located, it wasn’t merely national: it was civilizational. And, when we see guys like Obama himself talking about the Cold War as a remote and already superated episode in a history that doesn’t really matter, it is easy to see the difference between those who can think deep and in the long-term, and the shallow men who cannot even imagine a world different from the one they got used to live in.

    In a way, besides being obviously opportunistic, the ruling elite is unable to think about deep changes and even the true implications and consequences of their actions. This applies to most of the media that have been the worst in history, and to the universities too.

  108. Cynic says:

    Nelson,

    Please excuse the typing error above.

    By the way just read this
    Breaking: NSA Executive Charged with Newspaper Leaks

    and
    re: NSA Executive Charged

    Whatever one thinks of George W. Bush, the idea of CIA officials selectively leaking material to influence an election is very, very scary and worthy of a serious investigation. But to have a serious investigation would mean having serious congressmen, senators, and no-nonsense intelligence professionals who understand the damage political games do to the CIA.

    and the damage that the CIA is doing to the country in undoing the good the Constitution was meant to protect.

  109. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I believe Shimon and Sarkozy were present.

  110. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Shimon’s on the photo.

  111. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Was that his photo op of the day?

  112. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Depends for whom ;-)

  113. obsy says:

    Rich Rostrom: There was nothing the U.S. could have done about it, unless we wanted to encourage Turkey to override its own laws. … Whatever can be said for their merits (and I am no fan of AK), they won the elections fair and square.

    Hamas and Obama were democratically elected, too.
    But that is beside the point.

    The support that the AKP gets from USA and EU (and the pressure on the Turkish military from the EU) is counterproductive.
    Turkey is was a laic state first and a a democracy second (for a good reason). Democracy is a nice thing. The risk of loosing it for good weights more than a military putsch. Turkey had some and did well.

    Turkey did well in the past. The west really messed up by handicapping Turkey’s correction mechanisms.

  114. obsy says:

    nelson: “since very early in the Bush administration, maybe only months after 911, the Republican government came under the strongest, toughest and most concerted political and media pressure I’ve ever seen, and not only inside the US itself.”

    I wasn’t interested in politics during those years. I certainly have seen this bias in the German-writing media, but I’m very surprised to hear that this was the case for the US, too.

    What we were told (until the death of the 1000th US-Soldier) was more like this:
    The American people were completely on Bush’s side.
    The US media did not dare criticizing Bush.
    The US was in process of being transformed in a police state by a religious maniac.

  115. nelson says:

    Rich Rostrom,

    Zelaya, Honduras’ president and would be dictator (well, maybe just strongman), was democratically, legally, constitutionally and legitametly fired when he was caught red-handed trying to manipulate the electoral process, cheating on the constitution, and giving the country’s military orders they could not lawfully obey. His deposition or firing was as clean and transparent as it could have possibly been, and the vast majority of the popúlation backed this process.

    Nothing of the above, however, was helpful when most of Latin America, following Hugo Chávez, Lula, the Sandinists etc., tried to revert the whole thing and reinstall the guy in power. This pressure was backed by the EU, by most of the UN and, last but not least, by Obama and his State Dept. They would have succeeded were it not for the fact that, once at least, some Republicans were in a position to force the US government’s hand. This, and only this, saved Honduras from some kind of civil war and, for the time being, from a Bolivarianist government.

    The same with Israel. Jerusalem is, for the Israelis, their lawfull capital and there is no reason they couldn’t build whatever they want (and their law allows) wherever they want in the city. When half that city was ilegally (under that BS called international law) occupied by Jordan, nobody in the world cared about what the Jordanians did or didn’t do, built or, more often, demolished there.

    Thus, whatever one says, it is not enough for a government to be democratically elected or whatever to be free from international pressure. If any US administration had wanted it, the State Dept and even the US media could have followed and openly complained about whatever the Turkish government had or has been doing. But I’d bet there are many times more journalists and reporters (American or European) in Jerusalem itself than in the whole of Turkey.

    There are probably half a dozen American journalists for every Israeli policeman or soldier there. But how many are there in Ankara or Istambul, not to talk of smaller towns, the countryside, Turkish Armenia and Turkish Kurdistan? And how much staff and time do the White House and State Dept. devote to the Armenians and Kurds or even the Turks compared to the attention given to whatever Israel does? Just writing serious factual reports about what has been going on in Turkey and publishing them in the US papers would have already helped a lot.

    Last Year Israel was accused of bombing a school in Gaza and killing over 30 Palestinians. That got first page and headlines in my country’s (Brazil’s) papers. Eventually, even the oh so neutral Goldstone report admitted it had never happened. Some weeks ago Nigerian Muslims massacred over 500 Nigerian Christians. All this massacre deserved here were a few lines lost inside the newspapers.

    I asked my newspaper colleagues about the differential treatment. They told me it was because the Middle East was much more important. I insisted: why? Because of oil, they said. Then I told them there’s no oil in Gaza and showed them the stats according to which the US imports much more oil from Nigeria than from Saudi Arabia or from all the Arab countries put together (including Algeria, Kuwait and Iraq). They were speechless.

    Among the long dead insightful writers I failed to mention earlier was the Austrian Jewish satirist Karl Kraus. During WW1 he wrote a very long play that would take at least a week to stage complete. It was mainly a collage of news and commentaries from the press. He was also one of the greatest writers of aphorisms ever. One of these sound perfect for our times: “Wars begin because diplomats lie to journalists and then believe in what they read in the papers.”

    The fact is that Israel’s existence or destruction wouldn’t change much in the world and not even in the Middle East (though both are/could be symptomatic of wider, deeper, more important changes in the world). So, why the hell is Israel so important? Why is it frontpage news when a Jew kills a Plestinian, but not when Hamas kill a hundred members of Fatah? Why 1.500 apartments in Jerusalem justify a huge world crisis while the expulsion of 300 thousand Palestinians from Kuwait (after the Gulf War) went unnoticed? I’m sure that in the US, Europe and even Brazil last years’s Gaza operation (less than 1.500 dead, most of them combatants) got many times more headlines and much more airtime than the Algerian civil war in the 90s (200 thousand dead, all of them Muslims, Arabs and Berbers). By the way, among the Arab/Muslim countries, Algeria is one of the main supplier of oil to the US, while neither Israel, the Palestinians or their immediate neigbours are.

    I think there’s no way out of my conclusion: both the West and Islam are obsessed about the Jews. The roots of this obsession have little, very little to do with the empyrical or practical facts and reality, but a lot to do with religion and culture. The ease and, even more, the glee with which anti-semitism (or anti-zionism) came out of the closet in the last 20 years or so and was adopted by many or most of those who call themselves leftists, liberals, antiracists, people concerned about human rights and so on prove that all the darker tendencies of the West are just where they always have been, that they have not only survived but actually thrived.

    Up to a point it is easy to understand the American Jews’ reluctance to come to terms with all this and recognize that most so-called progressive tendencies and movements are nowadays no better than Nazism and Fascism were earlier. It is individually difficult and even harder for a whole group to change ones’s own and well as one’s parents and grandparents worldview. How can a regular liberal American Jew understand and accept the fact that his Ivy League friends are pro-abhortion, against anti-black racism, like all the books and filmes he/she likes and, at the same time,
    hate the Jews? How can a typical New York dweller even begin to admitt to himself that those despicable hillbillies in fly-over country had been right all along about some of the most important issues without going crazy?

    Just one more very simple question. A world in which a weak and threatened people that has been persecuted and massacred for centuries and centuries cannot have a ridiculously small country of their own where, because nobody else will protect them, they may at least try to protect themselves, such a world is a better place to live in than it was 70 years ago or in other dark times? If the Jews can’t feel safe, won’t other peoples be eventually threatened with destruction, peoples like the Hondurans or Hungarians, the Poles or the West Timorese, the Tutsies or the Kurds? Will even the American Jews be safe in the US? Why shouldn’t we expect that Obama and his entourage and followers wouldn’t try to turn US domestic opinion against US Jews? Chávez has done it in Venezuela: does anyone see any relevant difference between Obama and Chávez? Venezuela’s Jews still have somewhere else to go. But, once there’s no Israel left (if such happens) and a demagogue like Obama manages to make life unpleasant for American Jews, where would these go? To England?

  116. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Agree with you Nelson on most #120. Re. Algeria, it furnishes 25% of EU natural gaz. But how much oil does it export? I thought that the gaz proved reserves were much larger than the oil proved reserves.

    Besides killing muslims, the civil war in Algeria kille a few christians, in particular monks in a remote location who did not try to convert any one but gave medical care to the locals. There is still a mystery with this killing: it is not clear whether it was the army or the rebels who did the killings.

    I believe that Israel’s destruction would encourage everything that is full of hate in the muslim world, and would significantly endanger european countries. Yes, a part of the europeans are very happy that the jewish problem has been (almost) solved by dear Adolf. But this is because they do not understand how essential a rôle the Jews played in european history. They were below the radar, but they were indeed the first really (and maybe the only) european people.

    It looks like the EU is faring very badly right now. The rules governing the euro zone simply forgot provisions as to what action should be taken in case of crisis, and if it made provisions in several cases, they are usually quite counter-productive. The bad side of the EU is that it is not really governed, and the principle of independence of the central european bank means that no economical policy caC be decided by the European Governments, the European commission or the european Parliament (though I’d rather pass on these schmucks).

    The Greek crisis stinks, because Germany is not really helping arguing it may be unconstitutional for her to loan money to Greece that Germany itself would get on the money market, and Greece cannot get by itself loans at a reasonable rate.

    Some markets and some operators play against Greece. Next thing, they will play against Ireland and Portugal, then Spain, Italy, and so on. Some deregulation was OK. Too much deregulation kills the economy. A large part of Europe is no more making money in industry. Only Germany has remained really industrialized.

    We do not have an Obama, but what we have is not terribly better: we have a no government situation, a drunken ship floating on tempestuous waters, with no captain, and probably even if there were one, the ship still lacks an efficient rudder.

    I do not see any easy solution. We’ll have to reach solutions, but the level of distrust by french citizens toward the political elites is so high, that I’m afraid that things could get quite chaotic. So, we shall see – but these days, I’m not optimistic.

  117. nelson says:

    Michelle,

    I lived for three years in France, mostly in Paris, but also spent some time in the South (Marseille and Aix-en-Provence); that was between 2001-2004;

    thanks to my kind of work, I was in touch mainly with intellectuals, and was not surprised to discover French intellectuals usually think along the same lines as their counterparts elsewhere;

    but I tried at least to get in touch with other people, mainly common French citizens; I used to drink two or three glasses of white wine (always having to explain the barman it was not “white wind” I wanted) three nights weekly in a cheap café close to my place; usually, for some ten minutes, people there thought I was American, but as soon as they found out I was Latin American, the situation became more relaxed and talk flowed, first, obviously, about soccer, then about everything else;

    what amazed me was to find out how different their outlook was from both the official one and from the points of view of the intelligentsia; then I learned how powerless they usually felt vis-a-vis the state and the powers that be; none thought that voting for this or that party or politician changed much;

    two other groups I made a point of being in touch with were the Portuguese (my native language helped me here) and the “Beurs”; the Portuguese usually felt rejected by the wider French society, and they complained a lot; many of the Beurs I talked to were owners of convenience shops; many of them also deeply disliked the religious fanatics and complained that both the state and the chattering classes seemed to respect the Islamist more than the regular guys who really wanted to integrate and/or assimilate into French society; they seemed to be business-minded pragamatic people who would rather chose for the leadership of their community a succesfull businessman than a preacher;

    the problem about Europe is that too much has been promised by the government when the going was good; it was rather easy, say, in the 50s, when people retired around 65, died 5 or 10 years later and for each person who retired, two or three started to work; now they retire below 60 and live up to 80 and they are barely replaced; immigration can be good and great, but maybe most of the motivated immigrants who want to work hard and get rich go rather to the US, while many of those who go to the EU wouldn’t much mind being supported by the state; I’ve read somewhere that 1/3 of those sick with AIDS that get (very expensive) medical help in the UK came from southern African countries; that’s obviously very humane and generous, but for how many foreign patients would an Englishman work when, for the taxes he pays, he/she him/herself could be getting better medical care and many other things?

    while the economy is growing fast and there is peace, both domestic and international, those questions are not likely to be asked; but once the US gives up its role of international policeman and the economy slows down, unemplyment rises and so on, what then?

    obviously the state is needed in any civilized country, but just how much state? from a certain point on, the state starts to deform the people’s perception, it breaks the nexus between production and what the people can realistically expect to get from it; perhaps we could here use an old Hegelian-Marxist term to describe the situation: there in Europe and much of the industrialized world a new kind of alienation thanks to which most of the citizenry becomes unable to understand that their entitlements depend on their countries’s capacity to produce, develop and grow; it seems that most people’s understanding of the material sphere is rather similar nowadays to that of the Polinesian followers of the Cargo Cult;

    thinking about the immigrants, there is one specific development we should fear; the welfare state depends on a social contract between generations of a people or a group that thinks of itself as the same, as belonging to the same country and sharing the same citizenship; what would happen when, having formed a critical mass, the North African immigrants in France ask: why should we be paying high taxes to keep old Frenchmen alive? wouldn’t it be better if, instead, we started sending all this money back to our relatives in Algeria? what do we have in common with a dying generation of Frenchmen? why shouldn’t we spend less on them and more even on our own kids and our own old age? wherever in Europe, thanks among other things to multiculturalism, the immigranst don’t see themselves as a real part of the host society, something like this will likely happen;

  118. E.G. says:

    As much as I agree with Nelson and Michelle’s above analyses, I don’t share their gloom about the Jewish state’s fate.
    There are lots of reasons to be worried. But don’t mourn.

  119. Eliyahu says:

    Rich Rostrom, thanks for your info about Turkey. But I agree with Nelson that, when the USA wants to act against the laws of sovereign foreign states, it does so without any qualms. Think of the various govts overthrown by the CIA. Whether or not those overthrows were good for America –a matter of interpretation– one of those overthrows brought Nasser to power in Egypt. In that case, I think that Nasser was worse for both Israel and Egypt than the previous parliamentary monarchy. The Egyptian coup was bad for America too. I think it is foolish for Americans to rely on the State Dept or CIA or national security council to decide what America’s interests are. After all, the Carter administration starring Zbig Bzzzski helped bring Khomeini to power in Iran, and the Kennedy admin helped the Baath take power in Iraq in 1961, if I am not mistaken. Eventually the US govt felt that it had to fight Saddam Hussein who was the end product of Baathist rule.

  120. nelson says:

    As a nation, the US has much to learn from the French. The Quai d’Orsay has mostly been loyal to French interests and obedient to the country’s executive. Usually, in foreign policy, when a position is taken in France, most of those whose opinion counts agree. For instance: Saddam was France’s ally, had for long very good business with the French and the French profited a lot cheating on the Food for Oil sanctions. Thus, when the US decided to overthrow Saddam, this measure was unanimously opposed in France accross ideological, political and party lines, and by newspapers from the conservative Figaro to the liberal Monde to the leftist Libération. Besides, in matters of foreign policy, there’s no abrupt discontinuity there from one administration to the next.

    The US, on the other hand, seems to have no idea of its national interests. One wouldn’t easily see Sarkozy criticizing Chirac or Chirac criticizing Miterrand abroad and in front of foreigners. Neither are the French eager to ingratiate themselves with other countries (they buy their corrupt dictators)and, whoever governs France always makes it clear that France is the best and has always been right.

    The number of mistakes of the US foreign policy is huge. But none seems to have been so bad or serious as the creation of the UN. There’s no other country, besides Israel, for whom the UN has been so prejudicial, and Israel at least doesn’t pay something around 1/3 of the UN’s bill.

    But, if there’s a country for which the UN has been mostly a blessing, that’s France. If the UN has served mainly to reduce or limit America’s real weight, strenght and influence in the world, it has been very important in keeping France as a much more important international player than it would otherwise be. It’s hard do tell, but I’d say that even the Vichy government was more patriotic than the Obama administration.

    Even each people’s atitude is different: the French want to be respected while the Americans (ridiculously) want to be loved. Had Obama’s actions made America and the Americans more loved, he’d probably be much more popular in the US right now. Fortunately he failed, but it was a close call. Anyway, Obama seems to be proving again that there’s nothing as dangerous as being America’s friend.

    E.G.

    I’m obviously more pessimistic than you are and believe me that nothing would make me happier than being wrong and being convinced you’re right: I hope you’re right.

    Israel was first destroyed by the Assyrians, but, at that time, Jews were just one more subject people among many, they were worth more alive, as slaves, than dead, and their exile proved to be relatively short. Then came Greek and Roman occupation, 18 centuries of exile and, finally, the extermination of 1/3 of the Jewish people. As far as I know there are no more Jews today than in 1939.

    The danger now is not occupation or captivity, however long, but the rather sudden destruction of half the Jewish people. Israel is totally surrounded by genocidal enemies and these are backed by a majority of the world that (unlike the world of 70 years ago when most nations were only indifferent) would celebrate the destruction of Israel and the extermination of its people.

    Since the 70s Israel hasn’t exactly been giving proof of political cleverness. On the contrary: it fell for one trap after the other — it gave southern Lebanon up to the Hezbollah, Gaza to Hamas and, through Oslo, the territories to Arafat. It has eventually acted in self-defense, but the results have been weak and inconclusive, culminating with Olmert’s mediocre fight against the Hezbollah. I’d really like to be surprised by something on the level of the Six Day War, Entebbe or Osirak. Israel, unlike the American Jewry, had all the elements to know what to expect from Obama and still it seems to have been caught unaware — it does not seem to know how to react, how to try to communicate with the American people.

    And then there’s this recent spy tragi-comedy starring that girl, Annat Kamm and the Ha’aretz. I’ve not seen it written anywhere in the Israeli or international press, but it is quite likely that, since the girl is young and good looking, she might have quite effectively used her charms with her older male superiors. This allowed her to copy or get hold of thousands of top secret documents, and the IDF only got to know about that through, well, Haaretz.

    Israel is full of potential traitors and internal enemies, from the Arab population that gets more and more anti-Israeli by the day to a huge number of leftists — and nothing, absolutely nothing has been done about them. Every Israeli leftist is a potential Kim Philby, but not even Philby and his group wished the physical extermination of all Brits, did they?

    Israel has the most treacherous and disloyal left in the whole world, worse even than the US left, and the US doesn’t have a 20% ethnic minority that’s loyal to the ethnic and religious majority surrounding the country. Right now, in the US, for the first time the anti-israeli left and right are united and have the administration’s ear, that is, when they are not part of the administration itself. Obama knows that whatever he does against Israel will make him more popular abroad while it won’t be domestically decisive or particularly harmful to him.

    So, E.G., what are Israel’s chances of surviving Obama?

  121. Daniel BIelak says:

    nelson wrote,

    “Up to a point it is easy to understand the American Jews’ reluctance to come to terms with all this and recognize that most so-called progressive tendencies and movements are nowadays no better than Nazism and Fascism were earlier. It is individually difficult and even harder for a whole group to change ones’s own and well as one’s parents and grandparents worldview. How can a regular liberal American Jew understand and accept the fact that his Ivy League friends are pro-abhortion, against anti-black racism, like all the books and filmes he/she likes and, at the same time,
    hate the Jews? How can a typical New York dweller even begin to admitt to himself that those despicable hillbillies in fly-over country had been right all along about some of the most important issues without going crazy?”

    Exactly.

    However, what has been maddening to me is what has repeatedly happened when I have repeatedly tried to explain, and eventually hysterically incoherently scream about, the situation that exists in the world to a family member who I live with who is, as my whole family is, and as I used to consider myself to be, politically “Liberal”, and who, I now see is *religiously* so, and who worships Obama, and who loves Israel, and *WHO KNOWS THE FACTUAL HISTORY OF THE SITUATION, INCLUDING ABOUT AMIN ALHUSSEINI*, and who is a university professor and university research scientist, and who says that, about the situation in the world, he “DOES NOT SEE WHAT I SEE” and who has said that he “DOES NOT BELIEVE ME”.

    The relevant processes that are involved in the minds of people such as that family member (and such as, probably, other family members of mine (who, because of my condition, I do not communicate with because I don’t not live with, nor near, them) are a type of Stockholm-Syndrome (which involves empathy, egocentrism, and fear of being hated), and, I think, and *very importantly*, but generally utterly unrecognized, a low-level, “high-functioning”, Asperger’s Syndrome (an impairment (that is, an extremely low degree of) social perception (along with the impairment of other types of perception (perception of one’s physical environment, etc); (and, also, physical (along with social) clumsiness).

    That malady that is afflicting the minds of very many Jewish people is “environmentally” psychological (Stockholm-Syndrome), and, I think, genetically neurological (low-level, “high-functioning”, Asperger’s Syndrome).

    This malady has been lethal to the Jewish people throughout the entire history of the Jewish people.

    I think that similarly to the way that Sickle Cell Anemia is a malady that is experienced by a relatively high percentage of African Amercian people, I think that, by my observation, low-level, “high-functioning”, Aspergers Syndrome is *prevalent* among Jewish people, or at least, I think, among ethnically Jewish-European people.

    It, combined with all of the other factors involved with the situation that Jewish people are in, and have been in since the beginning of the Jewish people, is, and, I think, has been for, at least, many centuries, lethal to Jewish people.

    Perhaps it is not beneficial for me to have written this, but I think that it is true, and its manifestation, which I observe, is maddening for me to observe, and, as a result I am venting, maybe unwisely and unbeneficially so.

    Before I came to realize, myself, and observe and identify the phenomenenon involved in, what I now realize, I read that David Mamet had written about, what I think is, his observance of this prevalence of the existence of, and the nature of the effect, involved in the situation experienced by Jewish people, of the existence of this, Asperger’s Syndrome among Jewish (or, I think, ethnically Jewish-European) people.

    Telling, and, especially, screaming at, people who have undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome that they have Asperger’s Syndrome, has, I know by personal experience, no beneficial effect.

  122. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    I wrote,

    “I think that similarly to the way that Sickle Cell Anemia is a malady that is experienced by a relatively high percentage of African Amercian people, I think that, by my observation, low-level, “high-functioning”, Aspergers Syndrome is *prevalent* among Jewish people, or at least, I think, among ethnically Jewish-European people”

    I think that what I wrote may not be true.

    I think that low-level, “high-functioning”, Asperger’s Syndrome may not be *prevalent* among Jewish people – ethnically Jewish people – (nor, at least, among ethnically Jewish-European people), but I think that low-level, “high-functioning” Asperger’s Syndrome may be experienced by a relatively high percentage of Jewish, ethnically Jewish, people (or ethnically Jewish-European people).

  123. Daniel Bielak says:

    I think that the main malady that is afflicting very many Jewish people is “environmentally” psychological and not genetically neurological.

    I think that the main malady that is afflicting very many Jewish people is Stockholm-Syndrome.

  124. Daniel Bielak says:

    I think that the main malady that is afflicting very many Jewish people is a form of Stockholm-Syndrome that involves the feeling of empathy for other people, and the holding of egocentric self-identity views, and, I think most importantly, the strong feeling of fear of being hated by people who are not Jewish.

  125. Daniel Bielak says:

    To clarify,

    The feeling of empathy for other people is beneficial.

    The Stockholm-Syndrome in which is involved the beneficial feeling of empathy for other people, and in which are involved other factors which are not benefical, is unbenefical.

  126. nelson says:

    Daniel,

    many Jews fell also for the following fallacy: because Jews have been persecuted, because the world has been unfair to them, then they, having experienced how bad it is to be persecuted and oppressed, have to be a thousand times more sensitive to the persecution and oppression of anybody else; because others have been arrogant towards the Jews, the Jews shouldn’t be arrogant towards anyone, and even reminding others that they, the Jews, have suffered or suffered more would be, well, arrogant; who are we, the Jews think, to say the blacks have been less persecuted or the Palestinians have suffered much less than we did; also the Jews believe that their suffering made them or should have made them saints; if they are saints, then anybody else who has suferred is also a saint, and the Jews who don’t act as saints, these are the real traitors and should be doubly punished, because they didn’t understand how useful their own suffering was; imagine with what pride a liberal Jew can say: look, we went through the Holocaust and, even so, we can recognize that the blacks suffered even more in slavery and that the Palestinians too are being submitted to even greater suffering by us, who should know better; then, having suffered so much, who are the Jews to be so unfair as to point the finger at anyone else and accuse anyone else of misdeeds, except, of course, white males and the Jews themselves? Jews are so righteous that they haven’t, in spite of the Holocaust, lost their sense not only of justice and fair play, but neither their capacity of empathizing with anyone else who can, in a way, be considered a victim;

    once a friend (ex-friend now) trying to be clever, told me: you Jews, after having gone through so much, should be the first people to refuse the use of violence, the first to do absolutely everything never to be unfair; I asked him on my turn: do you really mean that the best way of making a guy better, more moral and absolutely non-violent would be to jail him in spite of his innocence and then torture him? is from a guy unjustly jailed, tortured and so on that you expect such moral excellence, so saintly a conduct? then, the best way to perfect humanity would be to torture everyone because, once having unjustly suffered, everyone will avoid doing any harm to anyone else;

    curiously, among all the groups that have been persecuted actually (like not the contemporary blacks, but their remote ancestors) or in their mythical imagination (like the so-called Palestinians), it’s only the Jews that have reacted in such a suicidal way; but this way actually is somewhat new, because the generations that built and defended Israel did not think along these lines;

    perhaps in a world where there’s no greater merit than having been a victim or descending from victims, some Jews fell in love with the possibility of belonging in a very good position to this new aristocracy of suffering; and this belonging became much more important than avoiding being persecuted again, than avoiding becoming again a victim, than surviving;

    how does a righteous liberal Jew think? He does it along the following lines: my people had the privilege of being persecuted throughout the centuries and we had the supreme privilege of going through the Holocaust; thus, we could be at the top of the hierarchy of victims and, even better, we could be conscious victims, blessed with a kind of noblesse oblige, we could be victims so perfect that we would even recognize as worthier victims people who have suffered less than us (something for which they should be pitied, not their suffering, but their lesser suffering); all we went through and all our noble conscience could turn us into real saints, and there come those stupid Israelis and Zionists and spoil all our game with their low and undignified love not of our sacred inheritance of suffering, but with their contemptible wish to stay alive and get along in a dangerous world;

    if Americans want to be loved, liberal American Jews want this even more: they’d gladly go through a new Holocaust just to purge the bad image Israeli self-defense gave them, just to be pitied again and more, which is the only form of love they seem to know or want;

    there’s another parallell: it used to be said that, immediately after 911, everybody loved the US, then came Bush with his wars and spoiled all that; thus, there were actually Americans who were happy to be pitied, to be loved for being victims and weak; after being hated wholesale, after the Holocaust, the Jews experienced a measure not of love, but of pity, whether real or feigned I don’t know; and many Jews fell so much in love with this status, with being pitied, that they would gladly go through hell again just to get a bit of the world’s sympathy, even if it were only for their corpses;

    in the end, what could be more noble minded and, thus, self satisfying than for a survivor of the Holocaust (or his children) to be able to claim: I don’t care about myself, I care much more for the suffering of my deadly enemies? perhaps the most self satisfying and self righteous thought that could cross a Jewish mind would be something like this: I couldn’t care less about those 20 innocents killed in a bus bombing in Jerusalem because I actually only care for, I really pity that poor Palestinian guy whom we forced to kill himself in order to recover his people’s honour…

  127. obsy says:

    Daniel,

    I don’t know how to put it ― I’ll try nevertheless:

    Family is important. It is good to know what would be best for your family. It is essential to consider what is achievable. Family is not about striving for truth. It is about a couple of people who are bound to each other in the purpose of mutual help and care (esp. in bad times) and enjoyment in life.
    Do whatever you think is right, but try to not harm this too much.

  128. nelson says:

    Yes, Daniel,

    I second what Obsy says: whatever I write is a matter for each who want to think about it, discuss and eventully refute it, but I’m dealing with people in general, not this or that concrete individual; it is probably better for you to discuss your ideas in a forum like this and not try to change this or that relative’s mind who might be worried about other matters; besides, changing one’s mind is a very difficult and private matter that can hardly be forced on anyone through personal discussions: it’s a longer and more difficult process;

  129. Daniel Bielak says:

    obsy, nelson,

    Thank you for your kindness and thank you for your helpful advice.

    I wrote the following before I read this forum, after I posted my previous comment.

    The main reason that my family member does not understand what I try to explain to him when I try to explain the situation that exists in the world is my own inability to explain the situation well. When I try to explain the situation he wants me to give him specific names of people and specific facts and figures. I am unable to give those names of people and specific facts and figures because I am disabled by short term memory loss, which I have because of detrimental things that I did to myself when I was younger and because of detrimental things that happened to me when I was younger, and I am unable to give those names and specific facts and figures because I am disabled by tortuous severe OCD which impairs my ability to concentrate beneficially, and because, very importantly, and very unbeneficially, my thought process become incoherent because of, and my communication becomes incoherent, and verbally violent and abusive, because of frustration and rage that arises in my mind and that overwhelms me.

    My family member loves me and I love my family member.

    I know that my behaviour with my family member has been very harmful to him and has been harmful to me.

    When I have behaved in that very harmful abuse way toward my family member I have, afterward, apologized to him.

    I realize that it is beneficial to not continue to do what I have been doing.

    I will try to not behave in that unbeneficial and very harmful way.

  130. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    “I wrote the following before I read this forum, after I posted my previous comment.”

    I wrote most of the following before I read this forum, after I posted my previous comments.

  131. E.G. says:

    Nelson,

    So, E.G., what are Israel’s chances of surviving Obama?

    IMO a bit more than the little you assign.
    Please don’t “misunderestimate” Israeli/Jewish creativity and resourcefulness.

  132. Daniel Bielak says:

    nelson,

    You have expressed, very well, in your comment, what is the case.

    Because what you have accurately and well expressed as being the case is what is the case, it is the case that in order to make the situation better, Jewish people, in general, need to be more mindful – need to begin to develop mindfulness – and need to develop discernment, and need to begin to communicate with mindfulness and discernment.

    (There are some few things, which I think are not very important, that you wrote, in your comment, as being the case which I think are not quite the case.

    I think that the following is one of those things.

    You wrote,

    “…curiously, among all the groups that have been persecuted actually (like not the contemporary blacks, but their remote ancestors) or in their mythical imagination (like the so-called Palestinians), it’s only the Jews that have reacted in such a suicidal way; but this way actually is somewhat new, because the generations that built and defended Israel did not think along these lines;..”

    I think that this way that Jewish people have acted is not new. I think that it is ancient. I think that its manifestation has occured in certain particular periods in time (throughout, I think, several thousand years) according to certain particular circumstances.

    I think that the nationhood of, the ethnicity of, the Jewish people may have been founded by this way of thinking, this was of acting.)

  133. nelson says:

    E.G.

    you say: “Please don’t “misunderestimate” Israeli/Jewish creativity and resourcefulness.”

    you’re right, but sometimes I’d be happy to see more manifestations of this creativity and resourcefulness;

    for the time being, Anat Kamm (the spy) seems to be more creative than Netanyahu or, btw, the generals and commanders she spied on;

    I understand that Israel has one of the best armies in the world as well as outstanding inteligence services; they may or even must have some good cards up their sleeves, cards they are waiting to use at the best occasion; they may/must have some game changers and they are both cleverer and better informed about all this than I am; besides, Israel has an intelligent, resourcefull and motivated Jewish population that know how to look after themselves; that’s, btw, the whole point about the existence of a Jewish country: allowing the Jews to survive as individuals and as a people when the world world turns against them; success in this task is the real legitimacy of Israel;

  134. Daniel Bielak says:

    “I think that the nationhood of, the ethnicity of, the Jewish people may have been founded by this way of thinking, this was of acting.”

    Some Kurdish people (Abraham, etc) from ancient Iraq, some egalitarian peace-seeking descendants of members of a collapsed, destroyed, marital, heirarchical civilization (Caanan), escaped slaves from Egypt, etc. A multitude. The people of Yisrael.

  135. Daniel Bielak says:

    …Those people being the original, founding, members of the ethnicity of the Jewish people.

  136. Daniel Bielak says:

    …Those people, ancient Kurdish people, people from destroyed Caanan, freed escaped slaves from Egypt (who may have been the descendants of those ancient Kurdish people), being the original, founding, members of the ethnicity of the Jewish people.

  137. Daniel Bielak says:

    …Those people being the founding members of the people of Yisrael.

  138. Cynic says:

    Nelson,

    For instance: Saddam was France’s ally, had for long very good business with the French and the French profited a lot cheating on the Food for Oil sanctions. Thus, when the US decided to overthrow Saddam, this measure was unanimously opposed in France accross ideological, political and party lines, and by newspapers from the conservative Figaro to the liberal Monde to the leftist Libération.

    Which displays the blatant immoral hypocrisy so rampant in today’s world of realpolitik reducing all those social values built up over centuries to nothing as they run roughshod over small and vulnerable communities and peoples while chanting clichés to cover the projection of their abominable behaviour onto their targeted scapegoat.

  139. Cynic says:

    Daniel,

    If it’s possible search for the discussions we had in previous posts with Ray of Seattle on beliefs and emotions.
    It is amazing how threatened a person can become when having to give up a hard held belief, even if he came by it through lies and distortions, when confronted with facts and the truth.
    This doesn’t have to be ideology at stake but the simple things in daily life. In many, many cases it is very difficult for a person to say sorry or applogise.

    Nelson,
    I don’t think that many Americans in fly-over country obsess about being loved. This being loved and hated is a MSM theme/meme to be played over and over. They couldn’t care less; it’s only the elite, to show off and “appear”, who want to imitate the French and not just enjoy their cooking.

  140. E.G. says:

    Nelson #125,

    I’d like to add that we’re experiencing the repercussions of the events in 1967-1969.

    In ’67 too everyone thought Israel was going to be annihilated. But what happened on Campuses in those years brought a change, even a reversal, of minds and hearts.

    Guilt has become a major factor in life, felt not only over one’s misdeeds but over some collective acts in which the individual’s responsibility is far from direct. It sometimes goes as far as feeling guilty for what one is (e.g., a white American whose heritage necessarily involves slaves). But the Nazis too collectively accused (most) people for what they were!
    The fashionable cult of victimhood is another, often symmetrical, entry.

    Both these factors are highly dysfunctional to leading a healthy, constructive life. Shoah survivors who succeeded in rebuilding their lives (and that’s most of them), as well as Sephardis and Armenians, never let their guilt or victim past dominate or even interfere too much in their thinking. And pity is the last thing they wished for. On the contrary, they did their best to be respectable again. To earn respect, not just win it.

    But when winning matters, like in the 6-days war, instead of legitimate happiness and relief, it’s now viewed as a cause of guilt and shame.

  141. Daniel Bielak says:

    Before I read this article I had noticed, a while earlier, and was alarmed by, the Islamic-like crescent moon shaped logo of Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit.

    Crescent Loon Watch
    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/04/crescent-loon-watch.html

    This is not insignificant.

  142. Daniel Bielak says:

    The logo of the covert and overt modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement, a political movement which makes its modern catalytic, founding, and supporting political movement, the German Nazi movement of the 1930′s, look quaint in comparison, has been incorporated into the logo of an international governmental event that has been created and hosted by the President of the United States of America and which has been created to disarm the United States, Israel, and other Western countries.

  143. Daniel Bielak says:

    Obama and the rest of the other imbecilic, utterly ignorant, bigoted, craven, immmoral, bottomlessly hypocritical, normatively “Western”-ly anti-Jewish, politically “Left” Western enablers of the modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement are not aware of the nature of, and scope of, the agenda of the Islamic-Supremacist political movement, but they are complicit with it.

  144. obsy says:

    Democrats listen to the people again. (I hope this will continue after the midterm elections):

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/04/three-cheers-for-congress-one-for.html

    This explains why Obama was reducing his rhetoric against Israel.

  145. nelson says:

    E.G.

    just an idea;

    for an European Jew to have really experienced the feeling of being a Jew before the Holocaust and having gone through it consciously, he/she had to be born at the latest between 1930-35. Thus, most of the survivors who had some experience of the whole thing not as very young children, but at least as teenagers, are, if alive, in their 80s today, and it is not anymore their kids, but their grandchildren who run things right now.

    That’s also the age of anyone who has fought in Israel’s most important war: 1948. Those who witnessed or took part in it know pretty well what did it mean to be an occupied and stateless people. On the other hand, even those Israelis whose first real war experience was 1967 had already been born and grew up in a world where there actually was such a thing as a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland.

    I don’t know much about the average Sephardic experience in Israel, but many Egyptian and Syrian Jews came to Brazil during the 50s. Only those who were already teenagers at the time seem to have a real memory of what it was to be a Jew among an Arab/Muslim majority. The first generation of Sephardim already born here (they’re in their 50s) have almost no memory about the “old country” and the old times.

    Curiously, most traumatic and/or humiliating experiences don’t seem to travel well across generations. It might be that most of those who lived through them and suffered them would rather not talk too much about those things or would rather remember and pass ahead, to the next generations, mainly the pleasant or good experiences they may have had. Or perhaps, in our contemporary world, things like personal or family experiences are drowned in the midst of too much information about too many things.

    I’d even dare to say that traditional societies like the Palestinian one are better at keeping the past (even if it is a very deformed one) alive in the minds of those born later. While a young Palestinian seems to be able to kill and die in order to avenge the collective shame of the “Al Nakhba”, many relatively young Jews seem interested in telling us their grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz only to say in the same breath that it’s because of them that he can –and must– feel the “Palestinians’ pain, shame and humiliation”.

    “Humiliation”, by the way, is a central word. How come that we hear so often about how humiliated the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in general were or are, while we seldom hear Jews talking on those terms about all they went through not only during the Holocaust but generally, while they were living among (or, more precisely, under) the Europeans and Muslims?

    What worries me is that for whoever has been born after Israel came into existence, Israel is not just something matter of fact, but reflects the normal –and thus the natural, the only– way things are and could ever be. For them, a world without a state for the Jews in unthinkable, unimaginable, isn’t it? But, while in 1452, Byzantium was the Greek speaking, over a thousand-year old capital of the Roman empire, with its own emperor and his court and church, by 1454 it was already the capital of the victorious and growing Ottoman empire, ready also to be the center of the universal Caliphate. And the world’s most glorious cathedral had already become a mosque.

    Myself I have visited at least two countries that have since vanished: Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, the first in 1989, the second in 1990. And it was only by a few months that I missed visiting two other such countries: West and East Germany. When I visited Belgrade in the Summer of 89, I intended to drive to Sarajevo and Dubrovnik, but left that plan for the next year. (On a more personal level, I once translated Horace’s last Ode of his third book, where he says that his poetry would outlast the pyramids of Egypt, modernizing this reference, and using the WTC instead; that translation was published in 1998; when I republished it in 2005, I had to change this for the Empire State Building; needless to say, I wish I’ll not have to correct my translation again);

    Comparatively, for the Jews, the going was very good during the second half of the last century.Those 50 years or so were arguably the best in Jewish history for the last two millenia. But they were and are the excpetion — as the same period has been for Europe. It is probable that on many levels the Jewish people as a whole and most individual Jews never had it so good. On the other had, the hatred of the Jews has never been so widespread and worldwide as it has been for the last (maybe) 15 years or so. How conscious are most Jews that they have been living in times that, historically, are rather the exception than the rule? And do they know how deeply hated they are just now? Is it possible that the largest portion of the American Jews have been actually been taken in by that transparent euphemism, anti-Zionism? Can they see through Obama and his people? Do they perceive that either for personal reasons or out of political opportunism he is behaving like a true anti-Zionist? And, repeating this post’s question: How does one solve a problem like Obama?

  146. Daniel Bielak says:

    nelson,

    I apologize for writing, in my comment to you, what I wrote which may have contradicted the fact that I appreciated, and appreciate, and agreed with, and agree with, what you wrote in your message to me.

    Right now I am sleep deprived and right now my state of mind is such that right now I am not able to explain about what I wrote.

    I appreciate, and mainly, or maybe fully (my mind is not functioning well enough right now to know), agree with, what you wrote in your message to me.

  147. Daniel Bielak says:

    I apologize if my most recent post about Obama and the political Left was depressing and unbeneficial.

  148. Daniel Bielak says:

    nelson wrote,

    “How does one solve a problem like Obama?”

    I’ll try to offer suggestions, despite my being sleep deprived and my mind not functioning well.

    All advocates for Israel and the free world need to start working with each other and need to start effectively communicating the reality of the situation to the world.

    And, as obsy said, Israel should economically and militarily get closer to India.

  149. Daniel Bielak says:

    I wrote:

    “And, as obsy said, Israel should economically and militarily get closer to India.”

    What I mean is that Israel should get closer to India, diplomatically, economically, and in general.

  150. obsy says:

    Daniel,

    it is not your post about Obama and the political Left that is depressing and unbeneficial. It is Obama and the political Left that are depressing and unbeneficial.
    So not you have to apologize ― Obama has to apologize!

  151. E.G. says:

    obsy #155

    SPOT ON! HAT OFF!

  152. Daniel Bielak says:

    Thank you, obsy. :-)

  153. E.G. says:

    Nelson,

    I’d even dare to say that traditional societies like the Palestinian one are better at keeping the past (even if it is a very deformed one) alive in the minds of those born later. While a young Palestinian seems to be able to kill and die in order to avenge the collective shame of the “Al Nakhba”, many relatively young Jews seem interested in telling us their grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz only to say in the same breath that it’s because of them that he can –and must– feel the “Palestinians’ pain, shame and humiliation”.

    Keeping focussed on the past is a great handicap. Reviving and embellishing the grandeur makes the loss permanent and aggravating. And when the loss is conceived as loss not only of goods but of honour – it’s dumbing and violence-inciting. Interestingly, not only Jews have learned (but we did it the long, hard way) to get over past losses and reconstruct.

    I just met an Israeli exemplar of the Palestinolation sort. Feels all the burden of their plight on her collective frail shoulders. I asked her who put them in camps. She didn’t know. She said she heard of a myth/rumour that had been spread in 1967 Israel, that it might be annihilated. And that what happened to the Palestinians between 1948 and 1967 was much less important than what we did and are doing to them.
    [She's about Anat Kamm's age; and FYI, Kamm didn't have to sleep with anyone to copy a file on a disk]
    Young Israelis and, it seems all young people, today learn to deconstruct. At the expense of their construction skills.

    Ah, humiliation. How could I forget it?
    As a matter of fact I do know how. I was not raised and educated in the victim/spoliation/humiliation framework. Not that I didn’t know that I’m a survivors’ child. Not that I wasn’t told, and quite early, what happened and how. Not that I was left ignorant of what had been and is no more. Materially and spiritually. But the stress was on the survival, on the positive aspects (“we made it”), rather than on the miserable, humiliating ones. And there had been. The same attitude was taken by most of my friends’ parents and (when they had any) grandparents.
    The suffering was not denied, but there was more to life than suffering and difficulties. Dignity, accomplishment, and overcoming resources were no less important. Perhaps even more. Because it was a re-start from less than scratches, and with scarred souls (traumatised would be today’s denomination).

    I find it hard to explain why people feel humiliated because some “we” are humiliating some attention-deserving “others”. I tend to agree with Cynic’s posturing (hypo)thesis, but they — the anonymous more than the celebs — sure act convincingly.

  154. Daniel Bielak says:

    nelson,

    With the caveat of my thinking to be ancient that which you wrote was something that was somewhat new,

    I agree with everything that you wrote in your comment to me (comment 131).

    I apologize for replying to you in a way which I think was unbeneficial and which I think may have made you feel badly.

    I did not mean to make you feel badly.

  155. Daniel Bielak says:

    Clarifiying Correction:

    “With the caveat of my…”

    With the qualification of my…

  156. Daniel Bielak says:

    E.G. said,

    “Keeping focussed on the past is a great handicap. Reviving and embellishing the grandeur makes the loss permanent and aggravating.”

    Yes.

    When I remember that, and understanding that, it is helpful to me.

    The Buddha said,

    “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

    “He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me.” Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

    – The Buddha

    Dhammapada (Tipitaka, Khuddaka Nikaya, Dhammapada, Yamakavagga)
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.01.budd.html

  157. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    “When I remember that, and understanding that, it is helpful to me.”

    When I remember that, and understand that, it is helpful to me.

  158. Daniel Bielak says:

    My mind is afflicted and my mind is not pure.

    However, I try to cause no harm.

    I wrote my comment, comment 161, trying to be helpful and trying to do good, but my mind is afflicted and my mind is not pure, and I wrote my comment, comment 161, with an afflicted and impure mind, and because of that I think that maybe my writing what I wrote in my comment (161) was not beneficial.

    I hope that what I wrote in my comment, comment 161, is not unbeneficial, and I hope that my having written what I wrote in my comment, comment 161, is okay, and, I hope, maybe, beneficial.

  159. E.G. says:

    From Ben Dror Yemini:
    LIBEL MANUFACTURED BY HA’ARETZ
    http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3955&q=1

  160. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Fouad Ajami: Obama "Supping with the Dictators", (Video (Audio only)) interview with Fouad Ajami, April 13, 2010; interview conducted by and presented by Frank Gaffney, founder and director of Center for Security Policy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUJTs2kpBoU&fmt=18

    “Secure Freedom Radio – a project of the Center for Security Policy”, (Website) podcasts of American national security expert, and founder and director of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney; interviews about American national security with many experts
    http://www.securefreedomradio.org

    “Center for Security Policy (securefreedom)”, (YouTube user channel) YouTube user Channel of Center for Secure Freedom Radio
    http://www.youtube.com/user/securefreedom

  161. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Frank Gaffney: Jihad By Other Means”, (Video) Frank Gaffney succinctly explains main aspects of the current situation in the world, video was posted on March 22, 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wLEvYcmj_Q&fmt=18

    “Dr. Walid Phares at the American Congress For Truth”, (Video) Dr. Walid Phares gives a comprehensive talk about the structure of the modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement, November 12, 2009; Talk was part of a 4 hour and 20 minute long seminar called “Radical Islam’s Threat to America” hosted by Brigitte Gabriel’s organization American Congress For Truth with lectures by Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Phares, Nonie Darwish, Frank Gaffney, and Joy Brighton; Dr. Walid Phares is a staff member of and senior fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
    http://www.blip.tv/file/3033310

    “IBN WARRAQ REMARKS AT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE AGE OF JIHAD”, (Video) Ibn Warraq and Steve Emerson talk about the influence on, and infiltration of, U.S. government agencies by members of political groups of the modern Islamic Supremacist political movement, April 10, 2008; Excerpt of part of conference called “‘Suppressing Discussion of Islam,’ PANEL TWO from Free Speech in an Age of Jihad”
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4275225018932284756&hl=da#docid=8731071081643318571

  162. Daniel Bielak says:

    “‘Suppressing Discussion of Islam,’ PANEL TWO from Free Speech in an Age of Jihad: Libel Tourism, “Hate Speech,” and Political Freedom”, (Audio) part of a conference held by The New Criterion and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, April 10, 2008
    http://www.newcriterion.com/webcasts.cfm?page=4

    “Islamic Jihad in America: What You Need to Know About Radical Muslim Infiltration of American Culture, Finance, Education and Life – Panel 1 – Saudi Infiltration Into Our Cultural and Legal Infrastructure – Ali Al-Ahmed, Director, Institute for Gulf Affairs”; (Video) September 10, 2008
    http://www.emetonline.org/saudivideos/saudi-alahmed.html

    “Islamic Jihad in America: What You Need to Know About Radical Muslim Infiltration of American Culture, Finance, Education and Life – Panel 2 – Saudi Infiltration Into Our Financial & Educational System – Winfield Myers, Director, Campus Watch”; (Video) September 10, 2008
    http://www.emetonline.org/saudivideos/saudi-myers.html

  163. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Islamic Jihad in America: What You Need to Know About Radical Muslim Infiltration of American Culture, Finance, Education and Life”, (Videos) Seminar, September 10, 2008
    http://www.emetonline.org/saudivideos/saudi.html

    “Emet Online – Endowment for Middle Eastern Truth”, (Website) founded and directed by Sarah N. Stern; hosts events with speakers, Dr. Walid Phares, James Woolsey, Tawfik Hamid, Ali Alyami, Frank Gaffney, and more; website hosts online videos of talks
    http://www.emetonline.org/

    “"Islamist-supporters infiltrate Obama Admin to subvert US security," reveals ex-CIA’er, Clare Lopez”, (Video) Claire Lopez succinctly explains a main aspect of what has been happening within the academic institutions of, and the government of, the United States; video posted on December 12, 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQf20ep5BxU&fmt=18

    “Foundation for Defense of Democracies”, (Website)
    http://www.defenddemocracy.org/

  164. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Al-Jazeera reporter asks about Shariah-Finance”, (Video) Frank Gaffney, talking at the National Press Club in Washington at a press briefing being held to oppose a governmental US Treasury briefing called “Islamic Finance 101″ which is promoting “Shariah-compliant finance”, replies to a reporter from Al-Jazeera who tries dissemble about, and who tries to justify, Sharia-compliant finance, 2008
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh-RmkD1g84

  165. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Clare Lopez: NIAC, the ‘Iran Lobby’ in America”, (Video) Clare Lopez and Frank Gaffney discuss NIAC and the founder of NIAC, Trita Parsi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP_zVenqgxg

  166. Daniel Bielak says:

    “Amir Taheri “30 Years Islamic Republic Iran – The results of the Islamic revolution and the Western policy””, (Video) talk by Amir Taheri, March 4, 2009
    http://vimeo.com/4816844

  167. Daniel Bielak says:

    Again I list the following important discussion.

    “Fouad Ajami: Obama "Supping with the Dictators"”, (Video (Audio only)) interview with Fouad Ajami, April 13, 2010; interviewed by Frank Gaffney
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUJTs2kpBoU

    I say,

    All advocates for Israel and for the free world need to work together.

  168. Daniel Bielak says:

    O Israeli diplomats and other Israeli officials should work with sympathetic diplomats, and other officials, from Arab countries.

    O Israeli diplomats and other Israeli officials should communicate with and establish ties with sympathetic Indian diplomats, and other Indian officials.

    O Jewish advocates of Israel, and of the whole free world, should work with Arab and Iranian and Indian advocates of the whole free world, and with all other advocates of the whole free world.

  169. Daniel Bielak says:

    Complete comprehensive economic and diplomatic sanctions need to be imposed against the current regime in Iran by all of the democratic countries in the world.

  170. Daniel Bielak says:

    I list again the following very important talk.

    “Dr. Walid Phares at the American Congress For Truth”, (Video) Dr. Walid Phares gives a comprehensive talk about the structure of the modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement, November 12, 2009; Talk was part of a 4 hour and 20 minute long seminar called “Radical Islam’s Threat to America” hosted by Brigitte Gabriel’s organization American Congress For Truth with lectures by Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Phares, Nonie Darwish, Frank Gaffney, and Joy Brighton; Dr. Walid Phares is a staff member of and senior fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
    http://www.blip.tv/file/3033310

  171. Daniel Bielak says:

    The following is the video of the seminar which includes the talk by Walid Phares to which I posted the link to an excerpted version of the video of in my previous comment. The sound quality, and perhaps also video quality, of the following video is better than that of the video to which I posted a link in my previous comment.

    “Radical Islam’s Threat to America”, (Video) Seminar with lectures by Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Phares, Nonie Darwish, Frank Gaffney, and Joy Brighton; seminar was hosted by Brigitte Gabriel’s organization American Congress for Truth; the video of the seminar was posted on the blog of American Congress for Truth on November 12, 2009; the video is 4 hours and 20 minutes long; Walid Phares’ talk begins at about the 47 minute mark
    Blog post with the video embedded in it: http://blog.americancongressfortruth.com/2009/11/12/radical-islams-threat-to-america
    Direct link to the video file (451 MB): https://www.securedonationvideo.com/actforamerica/ACTBigFile.flv

  172. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    The video is about 4 hours and 22 minutes long (04:21:47).

  173. Lorenz Gude says:

    Nelson you are still posting thoughtful mini essays and I have worked my way through them and find I am increasingly in agreement with them as I read from one to the next. I’m an American born in’42 who has lived the latter half of his life in Australia. I have come to see the role of the US State Dept and the CIA – particularly in the Dubya years much as you have. If you haven’t read it I recommend Doug Freith’s book War and Decision – it would confirm a lot of what you are saying. About Condi for one thing. I also agree about the problem of people in the West growing up in the last 50 years thinking this extraordinarily prosperous place is ‘real’ in any historical sense. I’m just old enough to know what houses were like before electricity, and canning food was a necessity. My sister tells me that my 19 yo grandson arose much too late for breakfast at McDonald’s this weekend and so had two Big Macs. Still I have a lot of confidence in the American and Israeli public and so am a bit more optimistic than you. But I am by no means denying that the worst could happen to Israel and the West. I believe the way to survive Obama is for Israel to go full speed ahead with plans to spike Iran’s nukes and flatten Hezbollah and Hamas. Let Obama fend for himself. The barbarians are at the gates bearing nukes. With a bit of luck Petraeus will be president by 2012. ;-)

  174. Phil says:

    “Barack Obama’s name came up when the Haggadah (ritual reading) came to the text of “Vehi she’amda”, ”

    It also came up at our seder during the reading of the plagues, especially the acronym, “D’tzach, Adash B’Achav” The gematria is the same as Barak Hussein Obama. Of course, there are at least 2048 ways to spell his name, and it took me about 15 minutes to find just the right one that added up to the right value, 501. It was related in fun, not seriousness, though.

  175. Eliyahu says:

    Phil, to be fair to those who don’t know the Passover Haggadah or the Seder ritual, you were referring to a passage that says in essence: In every generation there are enemies who arise against us to wipe us out. And the Holy One saves us.

    Most likely Obama was mentioned in many homes in the course of the Seder and in the context of that passage in particular.

    I wonder if that passage was read at the White House seder. And if it was read there and then, was it altered in some way or left intact.

  176. Daniel Bielak says:

    The way it is to be done

    (The way making the situation better is to be done – by communicating the truth – by communicating simply, honestly, accurately, and clearly)

    The following is an article in which Robin Shepherd links to, and comments about, an article in which Israel’s ambassador to the U.K., Ron Prosor, communicates simply, honestly, accurately, and clearly.

    Ron Prosor “Israel’s ambassador to the UK lays out a powerful home truth in the Guardian”, by Robin Shepherd
    http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/israels-ambassador-to-the-uk-lays-out-a-powerful-home-truth-in-the-guardian/

    The following is the article in which Israel’s ambassador to the U.K., Ron Prosor, communicates simply, honestly, accurately, and clearly. This is the way it is to be done. This is the way it is to be done in speaking to the world, and this is the way it is to be done in speaking with the Obama administration.

    “A taboo that harms Arabs too – The refusal of the Muslim world to recognise Israel’s Jewish character is still the greatest obstacle to peace” – by Ron Prosor
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/20/taboo-arabs-israel-jewish-character

  177. Daniel Bielak says:

    Also, the following is an article, written in the form of a fictional letter, in which the writer simply and accurately and clearly communicates the truth about the situation, and in which some of what the author communicates needs to be communicated to Obama and to the members of his administration, and in which the author communicates some of what needs to be communicated to Obama and to the members of his administration.

    “Bibi’s Secret Letter to Obama”, by Leon de Winter
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/bibi%E2%80%99s-secret-letter-to-obama/?singlepage=true

  178. Daniel Bielak says:

    Like the enemies of Israel, speak simply and clearly.

    Unlike the enemies of Israel, speak honestly and accurately.

  179. Daniel Bielak says:

    Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth.
    – The Buddha

  180. Phil says:

    Eliyahu writes:
    “Phil, to be fair to those who don’t know the Passover Haggadah or the Seder ritual, you were referring to a passage that says in essence: In every generation there are enemies who arise against us to wipe us out. And the Holy One saves us.”

    I wasn’t really referring to that passage. I was referring only to the abbreviation of the Ten Plagues, which comes several paragraphs after the one you mention.

  181. Daniel Bielak says:

    Jewish people have true friends and natural allies in the world with whom forming alliances is crucial in order to “turn the tide” – with whom forming alliances is crucial in order to protect the country of Jewish people and in order to protect the whole free world.

    In order to protect the country of the Jewish people, and in order to protect the whole free world, Israeli leaders and all Jewish advocates of Israel must engage in a concerted effort to join with and work with those true friends and natural allies of the Jewish people.

    Those true friends and natural allies of the Jewish people are Iranian and Arab opposers of the Islamic-Supremacist political movement.

    Seek out, and join with, and work with, Iranian and Arab opposers of the Islamic-Supremacist political movement, and, together with them, communicate the reality of the situation to Obama and the world.

    “Liberal Pacifism VS Islamic Extremism”, by Amil Imani, March 2, 2010
    http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=172&Itemid=2

    “…Our Western liberals who actively aid and support evil regimes are in fact “Useful Idiots” and their strange but pleased Islamist bedfellows use them as pawns. In the recent past it was the socialist evils of Nazism and Communism that also used Muslim hatred to further their goals. Apparently evil wears many masks…”

    “Jews as Scapegoats”, by Amil Imani, March 22, 2010
    http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=175&Itemid=2

    “…We, free Iranians, express our deepest sympathy to the Jewish people for what they have suffered and have been used as scapegoats throughout history. We also condemn, in the strongest terms, the new coalition of fascists that is brewing under the disgusting and dangerous banner of Islamofascisim.”

    “Will America Survive Islamofascisim?”, by Amil Imani, April 1,2010
    http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=176&Itemid=2

    “…While President Obama glorifies Islam, the barbarians have made it inside our fortress. They have infiltrated our system of government. This time around, the people of the sword have their collaborator, Useful Idiots, inside busily doing all they can to dismantle our republic and replace it with the tyrannical Islamofascisim by appeasing our enemy.”

    “Iran, Islam & Cyrus the Great”, by Amil Imani, April 19, 2010
    http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=178&Itemid=2

    “…With respect to Israel, I have always said that the Israelis shouldn’t be trigger happy. If the hawks in Israel succeed in convincing the government to attack Iran’s facilities, it would be an answered prayer for the mullahs. My advice: Don’t do it. Don’t even think of doing it. Use all your power and influence to get the U.S. and its allies to move with serious extensive, crippling and immediate sanctions, in conjunction with counterrevolution, even if the duplicitous Russians and the conniving Chinese refuse to sign up in the effort. The slap-on-the-wrist type of sanctions is almost as bad as a military attack. It would give the mullahs more time to pursue their dream weapon…”

    Articles by Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh
    http://www.hudsonny.org/mt/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=1&id=22


    The Palestinians: Why Salam Fayyad Cannot Deliver
    04/20/2010
    The Palestinians: What Is Needed For Peace
    04/08/2010
    Middle East: Are Europeans Thwarting Normalization?
    03/30/2010
    What About The Arab Apartheid? Part II
    03/23/2010
    What About The Arab Apartheid?
    03/16/2010
    For Israel’s Arabs It Is Not Apartheid
    03/09/2010
    Palestinian Authority: Direct the Heat Toward Israel
    03/02/2010
    “Fatahgate”
    02/16/2010
    Palestinians: The New Peace Talks, What Fatah Can Deliver
    02/09/2010
    Palestinian Authority: Where the Money Ends Up
    02/02/2010
    What Drives Arabs to Hamas and Al-Qaeda?
    01/19/2010
    Arab Dictators: Why Are They Hiding the Newest Truth?
    01/12/2010
    .
    .
    .

    The Islamic-Supremacist current regime of Iran is supported by, and sustained entirely by, trade with, including, importantly, petroleum refinement and natural gas refinement trade with, European companies, especially German and Austrian companies.

    Officials of the governments of the countries of Europe, and the authoritarian unelected officials of the authoritarian, totalitarian, Soviet-originated European Union, allow this immoral avaricious support and sustainment of the current regime of Iran by European companies because of the bigoted views that are held about, and because of the malice that is felt toward, the country of the Jewish people by those officials and by the majority of the people in Europe because of, most influentially, the indoctrination, most influentially by bigoted, craven, immoral European and Western journalists, of people in Europe in lies that vilify the country of the Jewish people, and in lies that obfuscate the nature of, and the existence of, the situation that Israel is in, and in lies that obfuscate the nature of, and the existence of, the global modern Islamic-Supremacist political movement.

    The support and sustainment, by Europe, of the Islamic-Supremacist current regime of Iran must end.

    Articles by Matthias Küntzel
    http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/kategorie/english/?lang=en

    “Time to act”, conference held in Berlin by the organization Mideast Freedom forum, November 2009 (most talks are in German)
    http://www.mideastfreedomforum.org/node/129

    “Business as usual?”, conference held in Berlin by the organization Mideast Freedom forum, May 2008 (talks are in English and German and all talks have English and German audio translations)
    http://www.mideastfreedomforum.org/de/node/63

  182. Daniel Bielak says:

    Actual disabling sanctions must
    actually be imposed against the Islamic-Supremacist current regime of
    Iran.

  183. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    “..in lies that…”

    …with lies that…

  184. Lorenz Gude says:

    I felt instinctively after 9/11 that the Muslim world was going though a totalitarian phase similar to what the west went through in the 20th century with the totalitarian ideologies of fascism and communism. Here is very direct connection heretofore largely suppressed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7613925/Roots-of-Islamic-fundamentalism-lie-in-Nazi-propaganda-for-Arab-world-book-claims.html

  185. Daniel Bielak says:

    Lorenz,

    You wrote,

    “I felt instinctively after 9/11 that the Muslim world was going though a totalitarian phase similar to what the west went through in the 20th century with the totalitarian ideologies of fascism and communism. Here is very direct connection heretofore largely suppressed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7613925/Roots-of-Islamic-fundamentalism-lie-in-Nazi-propaganda-for-Arab-world-book-claims.html

    Yes, I, and E.G., and others, know.

    That’s what I’ve been “screaming” (literally, to my family members, and trying to communicate, to “deaf ears” and blind eyes, as comments on (*!pro-Israeli!*) blogs) for at least between one and two years.

    Matthias Kuntzel, Technical College, Hamburg, and Research Fellow at the Vidal Sassoon Institute, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Nov 30, 2006
    “Hitler’s Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East”
    http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/seminars0607.htm
    http://streaming.yale.edu:8080/ramgen/cmibroadcast/isgap/kuntzel_113006.rm

    “Broadcasting Antisemitism to the Arab World: Nazi Propaganda during the Holocaust”, (Video) Prof. Jeffrey Herf, 3 June 2008
    http://multimedia.huji.ac.il/video/2008/antisem0608.html

    “A special session of the Fifteenth Congress of Jewish Studies: Contemporary Antisemitism: The European and Muslim Legacies” (Video), Robert S. Wistrich, Jeffrey Herf, Menahem Milson, 3/8/2009
    http://multimedia.huji.ac.il/video/congress09/06.html

    What. The. Hell. Is. Wrong. With. Jewish People (specifically Jewish “Leaders”)?

    That’s a rhetorical question.

    Get your effing acts together.

    *COMMUNICATE THE TRUE NARRATIVE ABOUT THE SITUATION TO THE WORLD!!!*

  186. Daniel Bielak says:

    “That’s what I’ve been “screaming” (literally, to my family members, and trying to communicate, to “deaf ears” and blind eyes, as comments on (*!pro-Israeli!*) blogs) for at least between one and two years.”

    …including on this blog, in many comments – apparently also to “deaf ears” and blind eyes, as Lorenz has demonstrated.

    I’ve had it.

    What I say means nothing to most people.

    I try to communicate by e-mail with relatively influential pro-Israeli people and because I communciate in very honest but very odd and off-putting ways, because I have OCD, I’m dismissed and rejected by them.

    I try to post on pro-Israeli blogs and am banned, and when I’m not banned I’m, apparently, ignored.

    I write things that hurt people who I don’t want to hurt, and I write things that are ignored by people who I want for them to percieve and understand.

  187. Daniel Bielak says:

    Tantrum over.

  188. Daniel Bielak says:

    I feel that almost every thing I do, every volitional action I do , thoughts, speach, physical, hurts people – because I have a severe form of OCD.

    I have no friends.

    I have no “life”.

    I have no social interaction other than with the family member with whom I live.

    I see the world going to hell, and I know how to make things better but I can’t communciate it.

    I try to communicate by e-mail to people who understand somewhat abut the situation in the world but I am rejected by them becaues I communicate so weirdly because I have OCD which, as part of how I weirdly communicate, I tell them that I have.

    I write things that are harmful on this blog that I think make Jewish people feel badly which I feel very badly about doing.

    I have no relief.

    I have no escape.

    My OCD controls my life.

  189. Daniel Bielak says:

    Correction:

    “…family member…”

    …family members…

  190. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Daniel,

    you seem to communicate better than you think. I believe that nobody here is bothered by your way of communicating, and that everybody is able to pass over your typos. Look, everybody makes typos!

    What is more interesting is to understand why communicating the true narrative is difficult. What you call “the true narrative” is somehow impossible to communicate. It sounds like a see-saw, like a prehistoric view of the middle-east, probably because it was used ofr such a long time. If it sounds bad, even to people who might want to communicate it, it probably sounds even worse to the people to whom it is directed.

    I experimented a fraction of that narrative with a co lleague who is a devout propalestinian but also likes me. If I start on that path, the response is immediate : a total refusal of even listening to what I have to say. These are not deaf ears, they are ears who won’t even try to listen to my arguments.

    Such experiences led me to think that propalestinian opinion has more to do with religion than with politics. The people who hold that opinion are so afraid of its fragility that they’d rather not listen to contrary opinion, fo fear that their convictions might be weakened.

    How does one speak to the faithful? How does one instill doubts about the political religions? How does one disturb the well-oiled clock of ideology and the messianic belief in the Palestinians as a modern image of the suffering servant, or the Christ with his crown of thorns? How does one even show that the propalestinian opinion is a messianism copied on some kind of christianity?

    Your opinion, Daniel, is as good as mine.

    By the way, even if there were tons of documents showing the influence of 3rd Reich propaganda over the develpment of islamist politics, it would not change anything. Obviously, the contact with the Christ of the nations purifies every villain, and if Hitler had been propalestinian, it would probably make him kosher.

    Why are our tongues stuck to the roof of our mouths?

  191. E.G. says:

    Daniel and Michelle,

    Don’t lose hope.
    This is one more difficult moment. And it’s not a time to go mourning or hysterical. It’s a time to be resilient, confident and as even-tempered as possible (easier said than done, I know, personal experience).

    Daniel, your links are highly valuable and the lack of feedback doesn’t mean they don’t reach some minds.

  192. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Etes-vous au courant?
    http://www.dialexis.org/php/index.php

  193. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G.,

    I knew the counter petition existed. Thank you for your link. My father passed away last night, and it is indeed a difficult moment.

  194. obsy says:

    Daniel,

    1. The burden to save the world does not lie on your
    shoulders. Do what you are willing to do and hope for the best.

    2. Pro-Israeli blogs can be a relief, but I doubt that they are known as a source for friendship.

    3. People who are ignored would get no (i.e. 0) replies, because nobody would know the contents of their posts.

  195. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Condolences. ת.נ.צ.ב.ה
    I’m sure the Kindarlach provide you comfort, warmth and optimism.
    I can only send you a virtual hug. Mais il est de tout cœur.

  196. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle, E.G., obsy,

    Thank you for your kindness.

  197. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle, I’m sorry for your loss. I hope that you are doing okay.

  198. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle, E.G., obsy, and others,

    I was overcome by frustration and anger. I was, because I was overcome by frustration and anger, also dishonest in that I knew, and know, that you have responded to me and that you understand what I have communicated. I apologize for reacting so hysterically and for, while being overcome by frustration and anger, being dishonest and for, in being dishonest in the way that I was dishonest, not being respectful of you.

  199. Daniel Bielak says:

    Lorenz,

    I apologize for responding with such aggression and hostility to your comment and I apologize for directing my aggression and hostility toward you in the way in which I did, in a way, direct my aggression and hostility toward you. I realize that you may not have seen my earlier comments in which I wrote about what you wrote about. I, in fact, do not feel any hostility toward you at all, and I did not, during my outburst, really feel much hostility toward you. I appreciate very much, and am grateful for, and I, even during my outburst, appreciated and was grateful for, your understanding of the situation and your support of Israel and the Jewish people. Please forgive me. I apologize for reacting in the hurtful and harmful way in which I did.

  200. obsy says:

    That is interesting:

    # According to board members, Garlasco stated that “he had been pushed by HRW headquarters to focus on white phosphorous at the expense of topics he thought more deserving of attention because… it was regarded as a headline-generating story.”
    # Garlasco “thought that the organization had a habit of ignoring necessary context when covering war” and “that… Whitson and others at MENA had far-left political views.”
    # Garlasco “did not think Israel’s use of white phosphorous amounted to a war crime.” Yet HRW’s report Rain of Fire (March 25, 2009) alleged “the commission of war crimes,” and became the basis of similar claims in the UN’s Goldstone report.

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/04/the-civil-war-within-human-rights-watch/

  201. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Thank you E.G. and Daniel.

  202. nelson says:

    Michelle,

    my condolences too; I hope you’ll be well;

  203. Daniel Bielak says:

    I recently, the day before yesterday, I think, and yesterday, had a brief e-mail correspondence with Amil Imani.

    I told him about (wrote to him about) my understanding of what I think is the Stockholm Syndrome that I think that almost all Jewish people experience, and I told him about this blog, and I listed some links to some comments that I wrote on this blog, including one on this post, and I listed a link to a comment that nelson wrote on this post on this blog.

    Amil Imani was very kind.

    Yesterday, after, I posted, while I was very distressed, my distressing comments on this post, which I think that Amil Imani may have seen, or, maybe, which he didn’t see, I received an e-mail message from him that was a reply to me by him to my then latest earlier e-mail message that I had sent to him before I had posted my distressing comments on this blog. In Amil Imani’s e-mail message reply to my e-mail message to him he included the following link to the following article that he wrote.

    “Iranians Are Friends of The Jews”, by Amil Imani, Dec. 26, 2006
    http://www.islam-watch.org/AmilImani/IrianJewFriends.htm

  204. Daniel Bielak says:

    I hope that I am not harming anyone.

    My OCD makes me feel that I am metaphysically harming people with almost all of my volitoinal actions, including my thoughts words and actions – “logically-unrelated-to-the-felt-harm” mundane volitional actions. I am not well. It is difficult, but I endure.

  205. Daniel Bielak says:

    I try to undo the harm that I feel that I am metaphysically causing with my volitional actions by doing other volitional actions and trying to repeat the volitional actions. I am controlled like a puppet controlled by electrical barbed wire. I hope that I am not harming anyone. I suffer from an extreme severe form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I feel like I have caused very much harm to people. When I was younger, before I was a teenager, and before I had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I actually caused serious harm to living beings. I intentionally harmed, and unintentionally caused the death of, several animals. I had a traumatic psychological, and I think, brain damaging, experience, caused by drugs, when I was 17, almost 18, and as a result I developed OCD.

  206. Daniel Bielak says:

    I apologize if my saying this is upsetting. I was compelled, by OCD to confess this.

    Please forgive me.

  207. Daniel Bielak says:

    I discovered the teachings of the Buddha when I was, I think, around, 20 years old. The teachings of the Buddha have been very helpful to me. The teachings of the Buddha have been rescuing for me.

    I wrote the following, about the teaching of the Buddha, yesterday.

    The teaching that the Buddha taught that is the foundational teaching of the teaching that the Buddha taught is the teaching of the Four Noble Truths.

    The Four Noble Truths

    The truth of suffering

    The truth of the cause of suffering – The cause of suffering is craving – craving for pleasant sensory experience and the craving for states of becoming (states of existing) and for states of non-becoming (states of non-existing)

    The truth of the cessation of suffering – The cessation of craving is the cessation of suffering

    The truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering – The path that leads to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold path – right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration

    Four Noble Truths
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/index.html

    The Buddha taught the avoidance of doing evil, the cultivation of good, and the purification of the mind.

    Dhammapada (The “Path of Dhamma” – a collection of short sayings by the Buddha that is part of the Tipitaka – the Tipitaka (the “Three Baskets”; also called the Pali Canon (named after the language it is recorded in, Pali)) is a vast extensive collection of the earliest surviving written recordings of the Buddha’s teachings)

  208. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle,

    Please forgive me if I have caused you distress with my comments. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I did not mean to cause you any pain. I hope that you are okay.

  209. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Nelson: thank you very much.

    Daniel: you caused no harm to me, so I can’t forgive a harm that did not happen.

  210. Daniel Bielak says:

    Michelle, thank you.

  211. obsy says:

    I have repeatedly pointed out that as of now the Obama Administration has never put any material pressure on Israel. There are wild rumors and irresponsible materials floating around to the contrary. They aren’t true.

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/05/obama-administration-continues-to.html

  212. gmarris says:

    gmarris…

    Nice article about Augean Stables ” How Do You Solve a Problem Like Obama? Guest …, just have to say you have done a good job and thanks for sharing your story I am into information publishing, you can check my website and tell me what you think of …

  213. jack baretti says:

    Mr Obama had a Moslem upbringing and has converted to Chistianity yet according to Sharia law anyone who converts away from Islam deserves death yet there has not been a fatwa against him by any Moslem Imam. Why?.
    I expect you know why.

  214. Dryden says:

    It’s odd to me. U.S. Jews stampeded to supporter that oddity Obama and only now some of you are figuring out he’s a disaster for Israel? What did you expect from such a leftist nonentity with Muslim, communist, terrorist, and black liberation theology connections?

    Unbelievable.

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