Thursday, September 02, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

If ... you must 09/02/10

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 03:56 AM PDT

If you haven't read Eco-Terrorism? at Instapundit ; you must.
Fortunately the only one killed was the hostage taker.

If you haven't read New CNN host bashes Beck's alcoholic past at Don Surber ; you must.
People in glass green rooms shouldn't throw mud.

If you haven't read Obama snitches out Arizona to the UN at Ace of Spades HQ; you must.
Can you imagine how happy that must make the despots there? We kill our political opponents but one of the American states dares to question suspects after they've been arrested for other crimes.

If you haven't read Last word on Tony Judt at Z-Word; you must.
It's not nice to speak ill of the dead. But I think it's OK to write it.

If you haven't read Comment of the Week at the Volokh Conspiracy ; you must.
We wouldn't want rich people supporting conservative causes would we?

If you haven't read George Packer on Iraq at the Future of Capitalism; you must.
Other than that, everything the President said was accurate ... uh or mostly accurate .. or uh ... never mind.

Submitted 09/02/10

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 03:54 AM PDT

This weeks' Watcher's Council nominations are up.

Council Submissions

Non - Council Submissions

Read. Enjoy. Be informed.

Tom's slander of rav yosef

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 03:34 AM PDT

Thomas Friedman's column had one other major problem.

Because all the extremists are now doubling down. Last week, insurgents aligned with Al Qaeda boasted of killing 56 innocent Iraqis. On Tuesday, Palestinian gunmen murdered four West Bank Israeli settlers, including a pregnant woman; Hamas proudly claimed credit. In Israel, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who heads the largest ultra-Orthodox party, Shas, used his Shabbat sermon to declare that he hoped the Palestinian president and his people would die. "All these evil people should perish from this world ... God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians," Yosef said.

The parallelism here is obnoxious. First of all, Hamas actually killed people. So to equate the two incidents is intellectually dishonest and offensive in the extreme. Second of all, as Yeranen Yaakov and Elder of Ziyon point out, Rav Yosef was misquoted. So yes it's true, that Rav Yosef wasn't calling for action taken against enemies of the Jews by people but by God, his call was limited to those Arabs who are enemies of Jews. Furthermore as Life in Israel observes Rav Yosef apparently has good relations with some Arab leaders. (Life in Israel asks why he would apparently have been on better terms with Arafat than with Abbas.) And as everyone - except Middel East expert Thomas Friedman knows - Rav Yosef was known for calling for territorial compromise if it would save lives. It doesn't appear that Rav Yosef was in any way referring to the upcoming negotiations.

So in order to demonize another Israeli, Friedman 1) mischaracterized Rav Yosef's remarks as being from his sermon on Shabbat - they were made after Shabbat 2) misquotes Rav Yosef 3) and provides a false context for the Rabbi's remarks in order to compare Rav Yosef to cold blooded murderers.

Nice going Tommy boy!

Friedman's false history

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 02:50 AM PDT

Thomas Friedman - the master of pithy phrase that means nothing and firm believer that there's always one more Israeli concession that's necessary for peace in the Middle East - clearly has experienced a different history from the one I did. Based on his column yesterday, You ain't seen this before, let me try to reconstruct Thomas's counterfactual history.

Friedman's history: In 2003, Ariel Sharon won re-election as Prime Minister in a race against former IDF chief of staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, promising to withdraw all Israelis - soldiers and civilians from Gaza.
In reality Sharon campaigned against withdrawing from Gaza in contrast from Lipkin-Shahak who supported a withdrawal.

Friedman's history: In order to build support within his own party, Sharon held a Likud referendum in 2004 on the topic of withdrawal. His arguments carried the day and he received a mandate from Likud to withdraw from Gaza.
In reality the rank and file of Likud rejected Sharon's arguments and voted against the withdrawal. Though rebuffed at the polls, Sharon decided he would withdraw from Gaza, regardless.

Friedman's history: So confident was Sharon of the benefits of the withdrawal from Gaza that when chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon warned of the dangers involved, Sharon thanked him for his concerns and extended his term for as traditionally was done for chiefs of staff.
In reality Ya'alon's warning was not appreciated. Sharon refused to extend his term.

Friedman's history: After disengagement showed that Israel's commitment to peace, Fatah, the party now of Mahmoud Abbas, was strengthened and it won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006.
In reality Hamas won those elections. Years of corruption took its toll on Fatah and Hamas claimed credit for forcing Israel from Gaza.

Friedman's history: Seeing that the way of violence was repudiated, Hamas submitted to Fatah's rule.
In reality, in 2007 Hamas launched a blood revolt against Fatahand took control of Gaza. Gaza then became a launching pad for rocket attacks against southern Israel, putting hundreds of thousands of Israelis at risk.

Friedman's history: Hezbollah too, seeing that Israel withdrew from Gaza just as it had from southern Lebanon, put away its weapons and joined the Lebanese government.
In reality, Hezbollah never abandoned its terror. A cross border raid in 2006 led to a war in which northern Israel was targeted by thousands of Hezbollah missiles.

Friedman's history: Now that violence had been repudiated by Israel's enemies, Abbas accepted a peace treaty with Olmert in December 2008, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from over 90% of Judea and Samaria.
In reality Abbas refused to accept Olmert's offer.

Why do I assume that Friedman experienced the history I outlined above? Because of this argument in his column:

Trust me, this is just the throat-clearing and gun-cleaning. Wait until we have a deal. Even if Israel agrees to swap land with the Palestinians so that 80 percent of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank can stay put, it will mean that 60,000 will still have to be removed. It took Israel 55,000 soldiers to remove 8,100 Jewish settlers from Gaza, which was never part of the Land of Israel. Imagine when today's Israeli Army, where the officer corps is increasingly drawn from religious Zionists who support the settler movement, is called on to remove settlers from the West Bank.

Other than acknowledging the murder Tuesday of four Israelis by Hamas, this is the main obstacle to peace that concerns Friedman. Clearly he never saw Sharon betray his mandate; he never saw Hamas take over Gaza; he never saw Hezbollah take over Lebanon; he never saw Abbas repeat the rejection of peace, following in the footsteps of his mentor Yasser Arafat. Supposedly the residents of Gaza threatened Sharon, but Sharon was never attacked. I realize that it's easier for Friedman to worry about "settlers" and "religious Zionists." They make great bogeymen. And believing that "settlers" are the main obstacle to peace, means that Friedman doesn't need to re-evaluate his assumptions.

The Arab side has demonstrated its disinterest in peace over the past seventeen years, pocketing Israel concessions and refusing to make the slightest accomodation for peace. (The only major exception during this time was King Hussein of Jordan.) Instead of rethinking his positions it's easier to blame Israelis.

Most of all, Friedman is intellectually lazy, unwilling to reconsider his deeply held belief that there's always a concession that Israel can make (but didn't) that would bring peace.

Finally, however easy Friedman thinks peace will be if only Israel makes the necessary concessions read Yaacov Lozowick, Here's the risk. Yaacov Lozowick may believe many of the same things that Friedman does, but he lives in the real world not in some fantasy world.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Great News! "Iran to guard universities against 'plots'"

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 11:41 PM PDT

A "liberal democratic environment"--horrors!

Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo says the "enemies" of Iran are plotting a cultural invasion of the country's universities.

"The enemies are making efforts to replace the Islamic atmosphere in [Iranian] universities with their liberal democratic environment," Daneshjoo said Sunday, referring to remarks by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told a gathering of university students in Tehran last week that higher education institutions had become the main "target" of plots hatched by domineering powers.

The Iranian minister added that Tehran would publish evidence proving the involvement of several foreign spy agencies in efforts to "negatively influence" students, Fars News Agency reported.

Daneshjoo went on to add that neither the nation nor the students would ever tolerate universities that disrespect Islamic values.

On the large-scale emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge from Iran, the Leader said on August 22 that "moral and religious" motivation could make expatriate elite return to serve their country.

Threatening family members also works wonders. Iran is currently putting out almost as much blog fodder as it is enriched uranium. Another heartwarming current PressTV headline reads "'World resolute to annihilate Israel.'"
Iran's Association for liberation of the holy al-Quds (Jerusalem) slams Western and US support for Israel, insisting that global resolve to annihilate the Israeli regime has strengthened.

"The US and European Union, as staunch allies of the occupying Zionist regime (Israel), and certain Arab and Muslim governments are openly and covertly supporting the illegitimate Israeli regime and its extensive crimes, particularly the oppression of the Palestinian people," the association said in a statement on Wednesday, two days before the International Quds Day.

Initiated by the late founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Khomeini, the International Quds Day marks the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims throughout the globe are urged to hold rallies in support of the Palestinian resistance against what Imam Khomeini commonly referred to as "the illegitimate Israeli regime occupying Palestine."

The statement also censured US-led efforts to bring "betraying and compromising" Palestinian elements to the negotiating table with Israel . . .

From IRIB we learn that the "Quds occupier," i.e. Israel, is the "main enemy of Islam":
Heidar Jamal, the founder of the Islamic Renaissance Party and the head of the Islamic Committee of Russia says the Quds occupying regime is the number one enemy of Islam and of the world Muslims.

Jamal urged the Muslim world to get united in the face of the Zionist regime.

I thought they were already united. Oh, that elusive unity of the ummah! Evo Morales also puts in an appearance at IRIB, informing us that Iran is the "most revolutionary country in world."
"Superpowers plunder the natural resources of other countries with low price and sell the goods made by the materials to same countries with higher prices," Bolivian President added.

"Iran, Venezuela and Bolivia should coordinate their knowledge, experience and human resources and use the natural resources to expand the living standard of their people," Morales added.

Iran, Venezuela, and Bolivia. El axis del evil? Like Western press agencies, who tend to call them "settlers," IRIB also tends to avoid words like "Israelis" and "people." The IRIB headline on the opening salvo of Operation Flood of Fire: "Four Zionists killed in West Bank"
[...] Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the attack was a natural response by the Palestinian resistance to the enemy's crimes.

Hamas Spokesman Fuzi Barhoum too underlined continuous resistance against the Zionist regime after four Israelis traveling in their vehicle south of the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank were killed on Tuesday night.

"The recent shooting attack against the Zionist settlers shows that resistance would continue until it ends Israeli occupation," Barhoum reiterated.

"Resistance is our main approach for regaining our land. We will not surrender to occupation and will continue resistance," Barhoum added.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement for its part has lauded the al-Khalil operation and called it the first sign of failure in the direct negotiations with 'Israel'.

It has been a common meme in places like Mondoweiss and Mondocole that all Israel has to do to avoid attacks by Hamas is to be faithful in observing cease-fires. I guess they should also avoid peace talks.

Crossposted on Judeopundit

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