- Why Is Gaza's "Freely Elected Government" Trafficking In Drugs?
- Pressure israel, ease up on hamas
- What's so funny about peace, love and support for terror?
- Alphabet soup
- Judt introduces new cliches
- Chabon: israel is stupid for trying to survive
Posted: 10 Jun 2010 09:06 AM PDT
From CNSnews.com, we learning about something else that Hezbollah and Hamas have in common:
The April 30 report quoted is entitled -- Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and U.S. Counterdrug Programs:
The footnote refers to a statement by Anthony P. Placido, Asst. Administrator for Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration, who reported to Congress about "Threats To Global Stability and US Policy Responses":
Though Hamas ties to drugs has not made a big splash in the media, it has not been ignored completely. In 2008, CBS News reported:
Considering the poor economic situation that Hamas rule has left Gaza in, it is no wonder that Hamas has entered the lucrative field illegal drugs--but as CBS notes, the reason has nothing to do with helping Gazans.
Neither is this a new charge against Hmaas--The DEA reported on its website in 2002:
The claim of dedication to Islam are not an issue for Hamas--nor for Hezbollah, which has been involved in the drug trade for decades. In 2005, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld testified before the House of Commons in Canada:
The fact that Iran would clear the way for Hezbollah to deal in the illicit drug market is not surprising, considering its strong ties and support it gives to Hezbollah and to Hamas.
Considering Hamas's involvement in the drug trade, and the Iranian fatwa announcing the desirability of dealing drugs to Jews, the question arises whether border closures and sea blockades are a good idea for another reason.
by Daled Amos
Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:34 AM PDT
President Obama called Wednesday for a "new conceptual framework" to replace Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying he thinks the effort should be narrowed to focus only on arms shipments.
Nice to know that after Israeli soldiers were attacked and defended themselves, that the administration sees fit to pressure Israel.
Barry Rubin points out:
And so Obama said:
'Obama announces Terrorist Stimulus Plan'
Not to mention counterproductive and absurd:
Here's a thought: Every dollar sent to the Gaza strip means it's one less dollar the people there have to spend to take care of themselves. That is, they have zero incentive to stop being death-cult beasts. All their earthly gain can be funneled to the tools for war.
Finally Israel Matzav notes an irony:
Abu Mazen will have dinner Wednesday evening with some 30 'American Jewish leaders.' The dinner is being organized by former Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fla). Isn't it ironic that Abu Mazen is willing to meet directly with unelected 'American Jewish leaders' but not with the elected Prime Minister of Israel (who has far more legitimacy than Abu Mazen - whose term expired long ago)?
Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:19 AM PDT
Isabel Kershner reports Artists' Boycott Strikes a Dissonant Note Inside Israel. In typical Times fashion she lays out the problem of the cancellation of the Pixies and Elvis Costello in a non-judgemental voice.
Some Israelis took the cancellation as an indication of the growing isolation they believe their government's policies are leading to. For others, it served as proof of how deeply Israel is misunderstood.
At least, though, she quotes someone, who articulates the issue very well.
Shuki Weiss, one of Israel's premier promoters and production managers, said he had been working to bring the Pixies to Israel for more than 10 years.
The people who are advocating for the boycott are not "peace activists" but rather anti-Israel extremists and terror supporters. So too are the artists who heed them.
Posted: 10 Jun 2010 02:46 AM PDT
When Gatorade and Tootsie Rolls became Kosher, some people wondered if there were any other major products that were still not Kosher.
Elder of Ziyon seems to have found a substitute for the Pop Tarts of his youth, but there's another product that's been increasingly hard to find.
A few years ago Campbells made its Vegetarian Vegetable soup Kosher. But that was only for a short time. Now, I've discovered that the store brands of vegetarian vegetable soup no longer have Kosher certification. We might be able to eat Tootsie Rolls, drink Gatorade and enjoy Pop Tart taste alikes, but good old vegetarian vegetable alphabet soup is becoming increasingly rare.
We have apparently not reached the end of history in the world of Kosher foods.
Posted: 10 Jun 2010 02:45 AM PDT
If Michael Chabon's reflections on Jewish and Israeli stupidity weren't offensive enough, now the New York Times gives another Jewish anti-Zionist, Tony Judt a few hundred more words of op-ed space to express his contempt for Israel. In Talking about Israel without Cliches, Judt takes on 6 supposed cliches about the Middle East. We get such brilliance as:
Along with the oil sheikdoms, Israel is now America's greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia. Thanks to Israel, we are in serious danger of "losing" Turkey: a Muslim democracy, offended at its treatment by the European Union, that is the pivotal actor in Near-Eastern and Central Asian affairs. Without Turkey, the United States will achieve few of its regional objectives -- whether in Iran, Afghanistan or the Arab world. The time has come to cut through the clichés surrounding it, treat Israel like a "normal" state and sever the umbilical cord.
Turkey moved away from the United States, but it had nothing to do with Israel. Barry Rubin explains:
At first, this outcome was not so obvious. The AK Party won its first election by only a narrow margin. To keep the United States and EU happy, to keep the Turkish army happy, and to cover up its Islamist sympathies, the new regime was cautious over relations with Israel. Keeping them going served as "proof" of Turkey's moderation.
Aside from Judt's ignorance about Turkey there are two related thoughts that he dismisses that are important. Judt's first "cliche" about Israel:
No. 1: Israel is being/should be delegitimized
and his sixth:
No. 6: Criticism of Israel is/is not linked to anti-Semitism
Judt has it completely wrong. These two "cliches" are the heart of the problem. Israel's enemies and many of its critics don't just criticize Israel, they condemn it. They claim that Israel's mistakes aren't just mistakes but that they undermine Israel's legitimacy. That, in fact, is why Israel's critics often cross the threshhold of antisemitism. They would deny Jews what they allow any other group in the world: their own country.
Recently an anti-Zionist blogger wrote that the New York Times was not anti-Israel because it allowed Israel's ambassador, Michael Oren an op-ed. Oren's op-ed was an exception. As I've shown earlier this year, pro-Israel writers are far outnumbered by anti-Israel writers on the op-ed pages of the Times. Chabon and Judt continue tipping the Times's already unbalanced scales.
Crossposted on Yourish.
Posted: 09 Jun 2010 11:10 PM PDT
This past Sunday, novelist Michael Chabon took to the op-ed pages of the New York Times to argue that Jews were Chosen but not special. Toward the end he wrote:
This is the ambiguity that cites the dispensation of God and history, of covenant and Holocaust, to lay claim to a special relationship between Jews and the Land of Israel, then protests when the world -- cynically or sincerely -- holds Israel to a different, higher standard as beneficiaries of that dispensation.
The problem, of course, isn't that the world holds Israel to a higher standard, it's that the world holds Israel to a standard, but doesn't hold its enemies to one.
Why, for example, is there a blockade of Gaza? It's because that in 2005, Israel ended the "occupation" of Gaza. Presumably this gave the Palestinians of Gaza an opportunity to create a mini-state, a prototype of the state that would peacefully alongside Israel. Instead, within two years Hamas was in control of Gaza and instead of bringing prosperity to Gazans and peace to Israel, Gaza became the launching pad of Qassam missiles that threatened Israel's citizens in the south. The world issued no condemnations of the situation, until Israel fought back.
On one hand Israel is asked to make sacrifices for peace; on the other it is asked to ignore the threats that result when those sacrifices backfire and Israel's enemies rather than bring it peace.
Now Israel is intent on controlling what items enter Gaza so that Hamas can no longe re-arm itself. Israel's already seen that it cannot afford to leave its defense to others. The world has allowed Iran, Syria and Hezbollah to violate resolutions 1701, and now Hezbollah is re-armed leaving Israel's northern citizen under threat of attack.
The impetus for Chabon's column was the botched Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara. Chabon called the raid an "unprecedented display of blockheadedness." From there Chabon muses about the whether there's anything special about Jews and Israel, never once considering whether Israel may have needed to defend itself. The op-ed is meandering and hard to follow, but one gets the impression that Chabon thinks Israel stupid for trying to survive.
The "exceptionalism" of Jewish civilization rests in a religious and moral tradition that transcends politics or even the novels of a Michael Chabon. But Israel's right to defend itself against terror is rooted in the simple demands of justice that apply to all peoples and for which Jews -- be they smart or stupid -- need not apologize. For all of their reputation for brilliance, that's a lesson liberal Jews like Beinart and Chabon have yet to learn.
What does Chabon want? That Jews like me who love the State of Israel "shed our illusions." Israel, we must learn, is not uniquely smart or uniquely righteous or uniquely successful. But what Chabon fails to understand is that the illusions belong only to him and his natural allies on the anti-Israel Left. Only its enemies and detractors treat Israel as anything other than a legitimate state with a legitimate right of self-defense. Only they hold it to an impossible standard, including the standard of never disappointing or embarrassing Michael Chabon.
Crossposted on Yourish.
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