01/11 Links: Ariel Sharon dies at 85, The death of pan-Arabism, Liberman Praises Kerry’s plan?
Caroline Glick: Israel and the death of pan-Arabism
The post-pan-Arab Middle East exposes the truth that has been obscured for a century. The Jews and their Jewish state are a natural component of our diverse neighborhood, just like the Kurds, the Christians, the Druse, the various Muslim sects, and the Arabs. The demise of pan-Arabism is our great opportunity, at home and regionally, to build the alliances we need to survive and prosper. But so long as our leaders insist on clinging to the now irrelevant dream of appeasing the defunct pan-Arabists, we will lose these opportunities and convince our allies that we are treacherous, disloyal and temporary.
Since the stupidity of Oslo, Israelis and the PLO have been ‘negotiating’ to arrive at yet another partition of the sliver of Jewish land that exists precariously among the 22 Arab nations of the Middle East and North Africa. The Palestinians have never stopped incitement and terrorism, and they have never negotiated in good faith toward an end to the conflict. They have pursued a strategy of alternating violence and deceitful diplomacy whose objective is the elimination of Jewish sovereignty.
And yet President Obama says they ‘deserve’ a state!
In deciding whether establishing a new state here is a good idea, it makes sense to think about what the character of that state will be. And there is no doubt that ‘Palestine’ will be an aggressor and a locus of terrorism. A criminal culture will produce a criminal state.
How could the embodiment of the philosophy of Yasser Arafat be anything else? (h/t NormanF)
Ariel Sharon, the general and prime minister who embodied the Zionist notion of the new Jew — a robust man, adept with both plowshare and sword, and feared, hated, and adored for his proficiency with the latter, is dead. He was 85 years old.
Doctors at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer said that Sharon, who had been in a vegetative state for eight years, had suffered renal failure in recent days, which led on Saturday afternoon to multiple organ failure and death.
IDF Blog: IDF Remembers Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014
Today, Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away at the age of 85. He was a courageous defender whose leadership changed the course of our history. As a Major General in the Six Day War, he famously overpowered Egyptian forces in the Sinai, commanding an historic battle that saved Israel from defeat. He pushed back our enemies again in 1973, secured our borders as Defense Minister, and shepherded Israel through its darkest days of terror as Prime Minister. His vision and sacrifice will remain eternal in our thoughts. May his memory be blessed.
Most of the false anti-Sharon charges, which have been repeated endlessly by pro-Palestinian activists, and by journalists who should know better, have their genesis in one simple fact. Over the last 60 years, every time Arab armies or terrorists have come to attack Israel, Sharon in ways large and small stood in their way, frustrating their aims and helping to defeat them. Whether as a young soldier in 1948 helping to defend Jerusalem against an Arab onslaught, or as a commando leader inventing counter-terror tactics in the 1950’s, Sharon proved, to Arabs and Israelis, that the young nation could defend itself. As a Major General in the Six Day War, Sharon’s brilliant assault on well-prepared defenses at Abu Agheila/Umm Katef shattered Egypt’s hold on the Sinai; it is still studied in military academies around the world.
And Sharon’s bold crossing of the Suez Canal in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, surrounding most of the Egyptian army, dismantling the surface-to-air missiles that had been keeping the Israeli airforce at bay, and bringing Cairo under threat, brought the war to a close. Thanks to Sharon, yet another Arab attempt to destroy Israel had been soundly defeated.
Former UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw recently claimed that “Unlimited Jewish funds control US policy, and block Mideast peace”. His fellow MP Jeremy Corbyn, has long demanded the destruction of the Jewish State and is always proud to speak alongside terrorists who vow to make that happen (see more on him here and here). Conservative MP and former Finance Minister Norman Lamont is a long-term friend and apologist for the Iranian regime. So it is fitting that these three MPs formed the first British Parliamentary delegation sent to Iran since diplomatic ties were restored. How surprising then that, on his return from Iran, Straw called for the world powers “not to push the Iranians too hard”.
At exactly the same time this British parliamentary love-in was taking place in Iran the Iranians were hosting a memorial service for Hezbollah commander Hassan Lakkis, recently assassinated in Beirut. As this report on the service from Elder of Ziyon shows the Iranians are now making it absolutely clear to anybody who is prepared to listen that they intend to provide their proxy army Hezbollah with the weapons to destroy Israel. (h/t Bob Knot)
Bipartisan Congressional letter to denounce academic boycott of Israel
Academic boycott “suggests thinly-veiled bigotry and bias against the Jewish State.”
I have obtained a copy of a letter circulating in Congress denouncing the academic boycott of Israel by the American Studies Association.
The authors of the letter hope to have at least 50 co-signers (maybe more), split roughly evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
Here is the text of the letter, with the initiating four Members of Congress inticated:
NY State Assembly to introduce academic boycott legislation
“Colleges should not use taxpayer funds to support boycotts, resolutions or any similar actions that are discriminatory and limit academic opportunities.”
We previously reported that NY State Assemlyman Dov Hikind intended on introducing legislation in response to the academic boycott of Israel.
Now it looks like it will move forward, as Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver (arguably the most powerful politician in the state) has issued this press release
Liberman, who spoke to the British Telegraph newspaper, said that the offer being promoted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was “the best offer Israel will ever receive.”
He told the newspaper, in his first major interview since returning to office in November, that Kerry deserved praise and thanks for his efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) together.
The State Prosecutor turned to the Supreme Court Friday to appeal the decision to release from house arrest two suspects in a rock attack on an Israeli family which left a 2-year-old infant seriously injured.
The appeal stated that perpetrators of ideologically-motivated crimes were rarely if ever trustworthy to be released before the end of legal proceedings and that doing so would pose a risk to the general public.
According to the prosecution, the defendants were guilty of carrying out a “well planned ambush” of public buses back in November, motivated by a “hatred of Jews” and in response to the deaths of two Palestinians in Hevron.
Taken all together, these factors mean Hamas is under pressure, the security sources observed Thursday.
Nevertheless, Hamas isn’t yet ready to initiate a new round of hostilities; it desires more time, if only to continue its ambitious domestic rocket-manufacturing industry, according to the sources.
“Hamas doesn’t want to change the picture,” one source said. “Its main effort is being applied to its force-building program.
It is attempting to get rockets with various ranges, and investing resources in studying recent operations. It’s doing these things seriously.”
The Palestinian terror group Hamas has indicated that it is rekindling ties with old patron Iran.
“Relations between us are now almost back to how they were before [the crisis over Syria]. We believe we will soon be back at that point,” Taher al-Nounou, an aide to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, told The Guardian.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that technical talks were making good progress, but that a deal had not been cemented.
“There have been a few outstanding issues, but at this point, the reports that everything has been finalized are incorrect,” she said.
Earlier Friday, the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who said that the sides had resolved all issues and that the negotiators would now turn to their respective governments for approval. Over the last two days, the six major world powers involved in the talks, the so-called P5+1, were represented by the European Union.
This is the first time that the Israeli leader and his Iranian counterpart are scheduled to be at the same event simultaneously. In September — by way of planning that seemed almost intentional — their itineraries at the UN General Assembly in New York did not overlap.
It is unclear whether or not the two will meet face-to-face at the annual event in Davos, which brings together thousands of prominent international guests, including politicians, celebrities, academics and the mega-rich. The conference will take place on January 22 to 25, and notably coincides with the scheduled start of the Syria peace conference, also in Switzerland.
An important issue in the Muslim world is how women should dress in public. A recent survey from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research conducted in seven Muslim-majority countries (Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), finds that most people prefer that a woman completely cover her hair, but not necessarily her face. Only in Turkey and Lebanon do more than one-in-four think it is appropriate for a woman to not cover her head at all in public.
The survey treated the question of women’s dress as a visual preference. Each respondent was given a card depicting six styles of women’s headdress and asked to choose the woman most appropriately outfitted for a public place. Although no labels were included on the card, the styles ranged from a fully-hooded burqa (woman #1) and niqab (#2) to the less conservative hijab (women #4 and #5). There was also the option of a woman wearing no head covering of any type.
Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Anchor Evan Solomon sparked outrage in questioning the appointment of Vivian Bercovici as Canada’s new ambassador to Israel, due to Bercovici being Jewish. Solomon’s comments came during a live interview with Foreign Minister John Baird on Thursday.
In the interview, mere hours after Bercovici was appointed to her new post, Solomon said to Baird “Vivian Bercovici is Jewish, so there are going to be some questions. Why not appoint someone who doesn’t even have the perception of any kind of bias (in favor of Israel)?“
“It is entirely inappropriate and deeply offensive for…Solomon to have raised the issue of religion,” said Honest Reporting Canada (HRC) Executive Director Mike Fegelman in response, calling on Solomon to apologize.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is urging FIFA to hold the Chilean El Palestino Club soccer team accountable for violating FIFA regulations by wearing shirts that include the number “1″ as the shape of Israel, thus implying that all the land is “Palestinian territory”.
The team’s use of these jerseys ignited a war of words between Chile’s Jewish and Palestinian Arab communities this week.
The Anti-Defamation League on Friday praised the decision by France’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative law appellate court, to uphold local government bans on the new show of Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, the French comedian known for the quenelle, lately described as a “reverse Nazi salute,” and an anti-Semitic routine created to skirt France’s tough hate speech laws.
“The French government’s actions and the Court of State’s decision represent a forceful commitment to combat anti-Semitism,” Abraham Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement. “Standing up in the face of hatred is the best antidote in a democratic society.”
Jewish-American actress and parenting blogger Mayim Bialik drew praise and criticism online on Friday after posting a seemingly innocent photograph, showing her visiting her Israeli cousin’s son as a boy of 5 years old and then as a soldier of the Israel Defense Forces at 20.
Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. But, as a mother of two sons, she has also become a parenting advocate with a large online following.
Israel’s first hydroelectric storage facility will be built by Alstom [a BDS target], a French engineering group. The company announced on Thursday that it has won a 120 million euro ($163 million) contract to build the facility, which will reportedly be operational by 2018.
The company said that the project, which will have the group operating and maintaining the 300 MW Gilboa plant for 18 years, “represents Alstom’s first entry into the Israeli hydro market.”
U.S. President Barack Obama appointed former Bank of Israel head Stanley Fischer as the vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Fischer, 70, will serve as second-in-command at America’s central bank, behind recently appointed chairwoman Janet Yellen.