Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

Why is israel isolated janine? why don't you take a bow for your efforts to help the cause?

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 03:57 AM PDT

Today the Washington Post reports Israel's feeling of isolation is becoming more pronounced:

Israel is no stranger to feelings of isolation. It weathered years of Cold War-era Arab and Soviet hostility. Books have been written about the United Nations' perceived antagonism toward the Jewish state. A well-known decades-old song, "The Whole World Is Against Us," is invoked today by Israelis who argue that no matter what the country does, it will be shunned.

The feeling has become more pronounced in recent weeks. With the peace process stalled, the international community turning a skeptical eye toward Israeli shows of force and pro-Palestinian groups eager to jump on the nation's missteps, the stage was set for a furious reaction when commandos killed nine activists aboard a Turkish aid ship heading for Gaza on May 31. Since then, Israelis have engaged in a heated national conversation about how and why the country has become so isolated.

First of all, if after all that is known Janine Zacharia still refers to those killed on the Mavi Marmara as "activists," that demonstrates a significant part of the problem. They were an organized group who had decided to throw the Jews into the sea. I think, by now, that referring to the "activists" as "terrorists" is fully justified. The failure to do so is an act of willful misrepresentation.

So too is this:

U.S. diplomats worked with special envoy Tony Blair to pressure Israel to revamp its Gaza policy and limit its blockade to weapons and related material. The United States also lobbied to allow more construction materials into the territory, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas group. Rather than parrot the Israeli language that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, U.S. officials described the situation there as "unsustainable and unacceptable."

But when my eyes tell me that there's plenty of food in Gaza and it's been reported that even during the full blockade that the price of cement fell, the "unsustainable and unacceptable" description of the situation is willful misrepresentation.

Rather that "parroting the Israeli language" U.S. officials adopted the propaganda of Hamas.

So yes, Israelis have good reason for feeling isolated. It's been nearly seventeen years since Israel legitimized the PLO and signed the Oslo Accords. Israel has withdrawn from most Palestinian population areas in Judea and Samaria and totally from Gaza. For its troubles Israel has suffered several organized terror campaigns (in early 1996, from 2000 - 2003, including one from Hezbollah in the north and in 2008), and yet continued to seek peace. The Palestinians, to this day, even the moderates, still refuse to acknowledge Israel's legitimacy and yet the Western world finds fault primarily with Israel as Shelby Steele wrote yesterday (via memeorandum)

In other words, my hatred is my self-esteem. This must have much to do with why Yasser Arafat rejected Ehud Barak's famous Camp David offer of 2000 in which Israel offered more than 90% of what the Palestinians had demanded. To have accepted that offer would have been to forgo hatred as consolation and meaning. Thus it would have plunged the Palestinians--and by implication the broader Muslim world--into a confrontation with their inferiority relative to modernity. Arafat knew that without the Jews to hate an all-defining cohesion would leave the Muslim world. So he said no to peace.

And this recalcitrance in the Muslim world, this attraction to the consolations of hatred, is one of the world's great problems today--whether in the suburbs of Paris and London, or in Kabul and Karachi, or in Queens, N.Y., and Gaza. The fervor for hatred as deliverance may not define the Muslim world, but it has become a drug that consoles elements of that world in the larger competition with the West. This is the problem we in the West have no easy solution to, and we scapegoat Israel--admonish it to behave better--so as not to feel helpless. We see our own vulnerability there.

And the West - as described by Mr. Steele - is abetted by reporters like Janine Zacharia who are willing to suppress Israel's goodness and present Israel as flawed if not as the root cause of the violence and suffering in the Middle East.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Nyt agrees with joe barton

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 03:38 AM PDT

I know that Joe Barton has been the subject of a lot of misinformation (via memeorandum). Jazz Shaw, I think summed it up best:

But while the remarks could certainly qualify for some sort of MTV Music award for inept commentary, and Barton has already been forced into a mea culpa, one nagging problem remains. The Texas congressman's statements were politically tone deaf ... but he was also correct.

I also think that the Demorcrats will be making a big mistake if they go after the Republicans over Barton. ( via Instapundt via NRO )

BP, which has garnered the bulk of public attention and contempt for the spill, has assembled a formidable team of Democrats for its Washington lobbying, legal and public-relations offensive. There is Tony Podesta, who heads one of the District's leading lobbying firms; legal adviser Jamie Gorelick, a top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration now at the law firm WilmerHale; Hilary Rosen, a former recording-industry lobbyist who heads the Washington office of the Brunswick Group, a public-relations consultancy; and Michael S. Berman of the Duberstein Group, who was a longtime aide to former vice president Walter F. Mondale before becoming a lobbyist.

And then there's the matter of corporate political donations.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees -- $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

Any effort to tie BP to a sympathetic Republican Party will end up showing that BP was at least as cozy with Democrats.

But here's the bit I find fascinating. The New York Times, in a news story, no less, confirmed that Barton was correct.

First there was General Motors, whose chief executive was summarily dismissed by the White House shortly before the government became the company's majority shareholder. Chrysler was forced into a merger. At the banks that received government bailouts, executive pay was curbed; at insurance companies seeking to jack up premiums, scathing criticism led to rollbacks.

But President Obama's successful move to force BP to establish a $20 billion compensation fund that the company will have no voice in allocating -- just a down payment, the president insisted -- may have been the most vivid example of what he recently called his determination to step in and do "what individuals couldn't do and corporations wouldn't do."

With that display of raw arm-twisting, Mr. Obama reinvigorated a debate about the renewed reach of government power, or, alternatively, the power of government overreach. It is an argument that has come to define Mr. Obama's first 18 months in office, and one that Mr. Obama clearly hopes to make a central issue in November's midterm elections.

This is a news article that called the demand for $20 billion "arm-twisting." It even helpfully suggested that what to some people was the "reach of government power" was really "overreach." The Times described what happened, the only question is what to call it.

Fars News: Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps "prepared to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico"

Posted: 21 Jun 2010 11:25 PM PDT

A fairly frequent theme in the Iranian press is that Iran is standing by to solve this or that problem. I'm including the picture of Qassemi, who looks like he can control the oil spill just by glowering at it.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Monday that its experts are prepared to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The experience of Iranians' presence in curbing oil spills in a number of neighboring states in the Persian Gulf, such as Kuwait, demonstrates Iranian capabilities and skills and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is ready to help curb the oil spill (in the Gulf of Mexico)," Commander of the IRGC's Khatam ol-Anbia Headquarters General Rostam Qassemi stated.

Qassemi reminded the environmental threat posed by the oil spill to the Caribbean states and nations, and stated, "Despite new sanctions, IRGC is prepared to fulfill its humanitarian duty in this regard and use its exclusive and indigenous capability in the Gulf of Mexico."

Considering Washington and London's claims that they are economic and industrial superpowers, the US and Britain's inability to stop the oil spill two months after the initial incident is "humiliating and shameful", he reiterated.

Earlier on May 24, Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazzemi had voiced the country's preparedness to aid the US in cleaning the massive oil spill in Mexico's Gulf Coast which threatens the surrounding environment. [...]

Meanwhile, at IRNA Foreign Minister Mottaki explains that "Monday issuance of recent UNSC resolution was a political goof off for United States." I guess it sounded better in Persian. And at Iran's PressTV we learn that a "top Hamas official" is complaining that Israel still won't allow anything into Gaza you can build bunkers with:
"Allowing the entry of goods into Gaza while barring the construction materials is meaningless," he said. "We don't want snacks and chips. We need building materials."
And they'll probably get them after another martyrdom-seeking flotilla or two.

Crossposted on Judeopundit

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