Monday, April 30, 2012

Disgusting, disappointing and dammning-and he fancies himself a peace -maker?

Pioneer of global peace studies hints at link between Norway massacre and Mossad

In several anti-Semitic remarks, Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung also defends 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and says Jewish influence was one of the factors leading to Auschwitz.

By Ofer Aderet  

Johan Galtung, Norwegian sociologist nicknamed the “father of peace studies,” made anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli remarks while lecturing at the University of Oslo, in an article published afterward in the Norwegian press and in an interview with Haaretz that followed.
Among other statements, Galtung claimed that a possible connection exists between the terrorist responsible for the massacre of children in Norway last summer, and the Mossad. “The Jews control worldwide communication, and divert it in order to benefit of Israel,” wrote Galtung in an email exchange with Haaretz.
He pointed out that one of the factors behind the anti-Semitic sentiment that led to Auschwitz was the fact that Jews held influential positions in German society.
Galtung also recommended reading “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” – one of the most popular anti-Semitic texts in the world.Professor Galtung, 82-years-old, is one of the founders of the discipline called “Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution,” as well as a founder of the international Peace Research Institute in Oslo. He is considered well-respected sociological researcher, has been awarded many prizes, and is the author of over a thousand articles and over a hundred books. Some of his work has also been translated into Hebrew.

CIA Memo Reveals Admiral, Not Obama, In Charge of Bin Laden Raid

The memo, written by Leon Panetta noted that, "the timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands."
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/29/2012

Bin Laden's Abbottobad Compound
Bin Laden's Abbottobad Compound
Approximately one year after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, a memo written by former CIA Director Leon Panetta has been obtained, revealing that President Obama was not, in fact, in charge of operation strategy in the hunt for the terrorist mastermind.
Panetta received a call from National Security Officer Tom Donilon confirming that President Obama had made the decision to "proceed with the assault" on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan after assessing a risk profile. However, the memo, released by Time Magazine, states that "the timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands."

"The direction is to go in and get bin Laden, and if he is not there, get out," read the memo. It does not clarify whether the intention was to kill bin Laden or to capture him.
However, the memo also shows that President Obama was not in charge of operation strategy as the mission was being carried out. Rather, Panetta noted that, "the timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands."

The Empire of Poverty

Sultan Knish

Controlling a large number of people isn't easy. The United States alone consists of 312 million people spread out across nearly 4 million square miles. Add on nearly 500 million for the population of the European Union and another nearly 4 million square miles of territory. Then pile on Canada with 34 million people and another 4 million square miles, Australia with 22 million and 3 million square miles and a few other stragglers here and there, and the postmodern rulers of the progressive empire have to cope with nearly a billion people spread out across 15 million square miles.

Large territories and large numbers of people are very difficult to govern. Structures tend to break down and people further away from the centers of power don't listen to the boys at the top. The only way to make a going proposition of it is to consolidate as much power as possible at the center and the very act of centralizing power leads to tyranny.

The most direct chokehold possible is physical. China's rulers, faced with vast territory and population, turned to the water empire. The modern West is quickly rediscovering a more sophisticated form of hydraulic despotism, cloaked in talk of saving the planet and providing for everyone's needs.

U.S. Policy Options in Syria

A briefing by Gary C. Gambill

Gary Gambill holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.A. in Arab studies from Georgetown University, and is A.B.D. from N.Y.U. He is a former editor of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin and the Middle East Monitor, a former employee of the Middle East Forum, and is now an independent editor. Gambill has been a country editor on Syria and Lebanon for Freedom House and has written extensively on Syria and Lebanon. On February 27, 2012, he briefed the Middle East Forum via conference call about US policy options in Syria.
Bashar Assad "can't win," Gambill argued, because he now lacks the power to pacify his opposition—something he had in abundance until last year. His position is made ever more tenuous by his Alawite origin, viewed as heretical by Syria's majority Sunni population.

How Egypt's Presidential Election Will Change the Middle East and the World

Barry Rubin

What might well be the most significant election in Middle East history is about to happen yet the situation and its implications are simply not understood abroad.  On May 23-24, with a probable run-off on Jun 16-17, the most important country in the Arabic-speaking world is almost certainly going to choose a revolutionary transformation that will ensure continuous earthquakes of war, suffering, and instability for decades to come.

Of the dozen candidates only three are important and the question is which of them will end up in the run-off.

--Muhammad Mursi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

--Abdel Moneim Aboul Fatouh, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader who resigned to run for president.

--Amr Musa, a radical nationalist who combines being an anti-American, anti-Israel demagogue with some real experience in government and some sense of realism and restraint.
There are also, among the more serious of the also-rans, a leftist, an old regime supporter, three liberals, and another Islamist.

America's Budget Crisis in Pictures

It’s pretty clear to most Americans that Washington is broken and spending money well beyond the country’s means. In fact, Sunday marked three years since the U.S. Senate last passed a budget. Getting the fiscal house in order clearly isn’t their top priority. But just how bad is the country’s spending and debt crisis? Heritage has the answer in its newly released 2012 Edition of the Federal Budget in Pictures.

Whether you’re interested in learning how fast federal spending is growing, how big the tax burden is, what debt will look like in the future, and how soon entitlement spending will implode, Heritage has the answer in easy-to-understand charts. Here’s a taste of just some of the information Federal Budget in Pictures offers:

Each American’s Share of Publicly Held Debt Is Skyrocketing
As Washington continues to spend dramatically more than it can afford, every American will be on the hook for increasing levels of debt. Without reining in spending, the amount of debt per citizen will skyrocket. In 1970, each American’s share of publicly held debt was $6,435. Today, it’s $36,267. Where will it be in 2036? Click here to see the astounding facts for yourself.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Experts Agree: Anti-American Repressive Radicals Taking Power in the Middle East Makes the World A Better Place

Let me sum up the situation regarding U.S. policy toward revolutionary Islamism like this. A man threatens, "Surrender or I'll kill you!" The victim surrenders and then boasts of how he put an end to violence by offering an alternative, peaceful "channel of expression"!

Michael Hirsh has responded to my critique of his article. Amazingly, yet in the context of our era, he did not  engage with a single —not a single—idea that I presented. It is also rather clear that Hirsh knows nothing about the Middle East and so is merely arguing based on unsuitable analogies, a lack of knowledge about history, and a blind faith in "experts" who don't seem to be very expert at all. About their political philosophy I couldn't care less.

First, Hirsh relies on a partisan political characterization This is how things work now. You cast the person in a political category your readers will detest, signaling your readers to ignore the substance of what that person says. Thus, Hirsh begins:

“On the Web, other conservatives joined in: Barry Rubin, a zealously pro-Israel writer, addressing what he called the “great controversy” that “erupted” over my article, acknowledged that Obama had discarded the GWOT.”

Incidentally, I'm not a conservative but a foreign policy analyst of the Realist school who has dealt professionally with the Middle East for 35 years almost to the day (happy anniversary!). I also guess he didn't want to write a zealously pro-American writer, too.   Indeed, I'm the one here who represents a liberal position here, not those who are indifferent to a right-wing repressive, dictatorial, and clerical regime gaining power.

Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2012

Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute

The war on Christianity and its adherents rages on in the Muslim world. In March alone, Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic law authority decreed that churches in the region must be destroyed; jihadis in Nigeria said they "are going to put into action new efforts to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women"; American teachers in the Middle East were murdered for talking about Christianity; churches were banned or bombed, and nuns terrorized by knife-wielding Muslim mobs. Christians continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for allegedly "blaspheming" Islam's prophet Muhammad; former Muslims continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for converting to Christianity.
To understand why all this persecution is virtually unknown in the West, consider the mainstream media's well-documented biases: also in March alone, the New York Times ran a virulently anti-Catholic ad, but refused to publish a near identical ad directed at Islam; the BBC admitted it will mock Jesus but never Muhammad; and U.S. sitcoms were exposed for bashing Christianity, but never Islam.
Is it any wonder, then, that this same mainstream media ignores or at best whitewashes the nonstop persecution of Christians under Islam? Exposing such ugly truths would undermine their narrative of Islam as the "religion of peace."

The Flying Car Culture

 Sultan Knish

Every now and then a hobbyist inspired by splashy magazine covers featuring art deco cities and soaring vehicles full of the cheerful people of the future puts together a flying car. The result is noted chiefly for its novelty and then everyone moves along because we aren't a flying car culture. From the bottom up we might long to soar above the highways, but from the top down we are a light rail culture, a biodegradable house culture and a guard rail culture.

For the people at the top the flying car should be able to fit in a closet, have a minimal carbon footprint, run on the tears of Third World children and not fly. It should be the sort of thing that you can leave outside a vegan tofu restaurant in Portland in order to shame working class truck drivers. That is if you have to have a car at all, rather than a bike and a light rail pass.

The flying car belonged to an America at a crossroads. A nation tiptoeing between the adventure of innovation and the progressive order of the nanny state. Since then the car has drive to this future that we have now. A world in which we have an expanding poorly managed government that oversees everything and an innovation culture chiefly confined to building a complex social environment within a data infrastructure built on Cold War communications technology. Or as some still call it, the internet. Flying cars don't have much of a place in a society with emissions standards, mandatory child seats, heavily taxed gasoline and government motor companies. They have even less of a place in one that banned the lawn dart, requires photo ID's to purchase cough syrup and treats toothpaste as a weapon. America has gone from a nation that idealized freedom and treated the car as a vehicle of autonomy to one overrun by central planners still dreaming of the perfect national rail system that no one will use, because unlike its graceful forebears, but like everything overseen by the humanitarian bureaucracy it will be designed to crush the human spirit.

Libya: Assessing Berber Prospects

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
PJ Media

One reason the term "Arab Spring" is a misnomer is because of the participation of non-Arabs, including Kurds in Iraq and Syria as well as Berbers in Morocco and Libya. While both of these non-Arab groups are Muslims, they tend to oppose Islamism both because they see it as tantamount to Arabization and because their observance of religion is often more flexible due to their own customs and history.
Berbers, who often prefer to call themselves Amazigh, constitute between 5% and 10% of Libya's population. But they are more important politically than those numbers imply. They are highly concentrated in the country's northwest, and provided a relatively important proportion of the fighters in the war that overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
Six months since the revolt succeeded, the Berbers are largely disappointed with the result. Despite playing a key role in fighting in the western Nafusa Mountains during the Libyan civil war, no ministerial posts in the interim government were allocated to Berbers. This provoked protests from Berber activists that were simply ignored by the National Transitional Council (NTC).

It is also clear that significant tensions exist with neighboring Arab tribes in Libya's northwest. Earlier this month, heavy fighting emerged between Berber militiamen from the coastal town of Zuwarah and Arab militiamen from the nearby town of Ragdalein.
The latter was traditionally supportive of Gaddafi's regime, and apparently provoked the clashes with the capture of 34 men from Zuwarah's local militia in response to "abuses." The abuses likely entailed reprisal attacks against Ragdalein on account of its long-standing pro-Gaddafi stance. Dozens were killed in the fighting that followed, and a truce declared by NTC authorities did not even last 12 hours.
That said, it would be wrong to think there have been no positive changes in Libya for the Berbers. Back in November 2011, for example, the predominantly Berber town of Kabaw saw unhindered celebrations of Berber culture, with many expressing delight at the free opportunity to speak Tamazight and to fly the Amazigh flag.

British co-op boycotts Palestinian Arab farmers

Elder of Ziyon

From The Guardian:
The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements.

The UK's fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, the Co-op took the step as an extension of its existing policy which had been not to source produce from illegal settlements that have been built on Palestinian territories in the West bank.

Now the retail and insurance giant has taken it one step further by "no longer engaging with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements".

The decision will hit four companies and contracts worth some £350,000. But the Co-op stresses this is not an Israeli boycott and that its contracts will go to other companies inside Israel that can guarantee they don't export from illegal settlements.

Welcoming the move, Palestinian human rights campaigners said it was the first time a supermarket anywhere in the west had taken such a position.

The Co-op's decision will immediately affect four suppliers, Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin, Israel's largest agricultural export company. Other companies may be affected by the policy.
Right now, if Palestinian Arab farmers want to export their goods to Europe, they use Agrexco as their distributor. They even have their own brand, Coral.

The Battle of France

By Emmanuel Navon

The first round of France’s presidential elections felt to me like a reunion: Nicolas Sarkozy used to be the mayor of my home town (Neuilly), Gaullist candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan was my TA at Sciences-Po, and Pierre Moscovici (François Hollande’s campaign manager) was my instructor in public administration.  Yet I miss none of those contenders and feel lucky that I no longer live in France -not least because of my acute boredom in Dupont-Aignan and Moscovici’s classes.  For if Sarkozy loses, as polls predict he will, France will face bankruptcy and the Euro may not survive.  Despite my disappointment with Sarkozy and despite my annoyance at his antics, I endorse him.

I criticized Sarkozy sharply after he was caught red-handed smearing my Prime Minister in November 2011 (“Sarkozy, c’est fini” November 8, 2011).  I ridiculed his foreign policy record, expressed dismay at his treatment of Israel, and claimed that his meager economic reforms were a far cry from the sweeping changes he had promised.  I concluded thus: “Sarkozy has lost the Jewish vote and his likely defeat in the upcoming French elections will be well deserved. Sarkozy, c’est fini.”  I stand by every word: Sarkozy does not deserve to be re-elected in light of his record, and his cavalier attitude toward Israel in the past two years makes it impossible for me to pity him.  Yet, compared to the alternative, he is the least of two evils.  I call upon the French people to hold their nose and to vote for him.

Obama's come-uppance from Elie Wiesel during self-serving visit to Holocaust Museum

Leo Rennert

During the last three years, President Obama did not visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. But today, he did; and promptly gave a self-serving campaign speech for Jewish votes.

"I will always be there for Israel," he told the audience at a Holocaust Memorial Remembrance Day event. Invoking "Never Again" several times, he recalled how he also stood with survivors in the Warsaw Ghetto, then added:

"So when efforts are made to equate Zionism to racism, we reject them. When international fora single out Israel with unfair resolutions, we vote against them. When attempts are made to delegitimize the State of Israel, we oppose them. When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

Obama also had harsh words for Syria's President Assad and his ongoing atrocities, but generally seemed self-satisfied with his administration's record on both Iran and Syria. Ditto for seeking to prevent atrocities in Sudan, Ivory Coast, Central Africa and Libya. And he also claimed credit for "doing more to protect women and girls from the horror of wartime sexual violence."

Then, to top it off, he announced a new initiative: creation of an Atrocities Prevention Board to oversee all administration efforts to avert genocidal atrocities. With Obama, when in difficulty, create another government agency.

The president had with him as escort and introducer Elie Wiesel and lavishly praised the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor for his unrelenting campaign to keep the memory of the Holocaust front and center.

But Wiesel did not reciprocate. Instead, determined to tell truth to power, he admonished Obama for not doing nearly enough to confront Assad's atrocities in Syria and Iranian President Ahmadinejad's development of nuclear weapons and threats to wipe Israel off the map.

In introducing Obama, Wiesel asked why "world leaders," presumably including Obama, have not "learned anything" from the Holocaust.

"How is it that Assad is still in power?" Wiesel asked. "How is it that the Holocaust's No. 1 denier is still a president? He who threatens to use nuclear weapons - to use nuclear weapons - to destroy the Jewish state. We must know that when evil has power, it is almost too late."
Read more click here 
Thanks NG

Strassel: The President Has a List

Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney's campaign


Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.
Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for "betting against America," and accuses you of having a "less-than-reputable" record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.
Are you worried?

Richard Nixon's "enemies list" appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice.

Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled "Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney's donors." In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having "less-than-reputable records," the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that "quite a few" have also been "on the wrong side of the law" and profiting at "the expense of so many Americans."
Read more, click here

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Former Danish Church minister: "Islam is a direct enemy of Christianity"

As Jihad Watch reported recently: "Copenhagen: Four new mosques. 16 churches to be closed." Now priests and politicians are discussing what to do with those 16 closed-down churches. For many people, including the owner of the churches -- the Church Foundation -- it hurts to see how Christianity is getting smaller while most other religions, including the fastest growing religion in Denmark, Islam, are growing.

Translated from Danish by Nicolai Sennels, Jyllands-Posten April 25: "Can a closed down church be used as a mosque?":

Former Church Minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech (Liberal Conservative) also participated in the debate about the future of the closed-down churches. She completely rejects the possibility that the churches can be taken over by Muslims.

"I am against Christian churches being used by a religion that is a direct enemy of Christianity, which Islam is. Although not necessarily applicable to Danish Muslims, Islam is an enemy of Christianity," Rønn Hornbech wrote in an email yesterday to Berlingske News Agency.
The current church minister Manu Sareen (R) is more cautious in his wording on the future use of the churches. However, he asks for consideration:

"I do not have a specific opinion about what a church can or should be used for when it is shut down. But there are many emotions attached to the churches, and it seems to be the general view in the public that a church should not be used for anything that is in strong contradiction with what it was used for in the past," Sareen wrote in an email to Jyllands-Posten.

The ADL Must Be Stopped

Charles Jacobs & Ilya Feoktistov, AMERICAN THINKER
The Jewish community’s largest “defense” organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has adopted a policy, consistent with the progressive agenda, not to speak up much about the global tsunami of Muslim anti-Semitism, but instead to campaign against “Islamophobia.”

This while FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Jews in America are five times the number of hate crimes against Muslims. The rationale for this policy, as the ADL’s chief, Abe Foxman, told the Boston Jewish Advocate, is that “[y]ou can’t fight the fight against anti-Semitism without fighting against bigotry. … You cannot ask people to stand with you unless you are ready to stand with them.”

But in cities across America, Foxman’s policy has led the ADL to stand with people and organizations whose mission it is to defame and harm Jews. To defend its policy of “outreach,” the Anti-Defamation League vigorously defames as “bigots” citizens who question radical Islamists’ true aims. This pattern of allying with Muslim anti-Semites to fight “Islamophobia” and then defaming legitimately concerned citizens can be clearly seen in three cases:

1. Detroit Imam Mustapha Elturk spoke at an interfaith event on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Congregation Shaarey Tzedek, a synagogue with a proud and longstanding pro-Israel reputation. According to locals, the ADL branch in Detroit blessed the invitation — ignoring reports (available on ADL’s own website) that Elturk’s group — the Islamic Organization of North America — has a history of anti-Semitism.

The ADL has an annual $55M budget; presumably some of it is used to seek out enemies of the Jewish people. But any unfunded but curious citizen could have found on Elturk’s own website (it was on his homepage) the following sermon:
    If the Zionists don’t repent and stop their aggression… they will be rest assured punished by God as he twice punished them here in this world… Who are the Zionists? … Allah said, “Every time they enter into a covenant, they breach it. {…} People who break their covenant are worse than animals in God’s sight.”
During this sermon, the imam solicited his congregation for donations to Hamas-affiliated charities in the Gaza Strip, and he praised dead Gaza fighters as martyrs. In other sermons posted on his open site, Elturk defames American democracy, American society, and moderate Muslims — and he describes in exquisite detail the ways in which Westernized Muslim women will suffer in Hell for their libertine ways.

When some members of the Detroit Jewish community spoke out online against the synagogue’s embrace of Imam Elturk, 38 Detroit rabbis — following Foxman’s logic, it would seem — co-signed a letter (a Jewish fatwa?) condemning the anonymous dissenters for being “uncivil.” The president of the local Jewish Community Relations Council came out in favor of silencing the “online demagogues” and, channeling Stalin or Mao, promised to “set appropriate standards for conversation.” Daniel Levy, executive board member of Detroit’s ADL, defended Elturk’s invitation to speak at the synagogue because — again following Abe Foxman’s reasoning — the Detroit Jews and Mr. Elturk need to be “working together in mutual respect [as] the only way to move forward and not back.” He then accused those who disagree with Elturk’s invitation of “doing the work of our enemies.”

Apparently irony is not Mr. Levy’s strong suit.
2. In Florida, the ADL is doing the work of CAIR (Committee for American Islamic Relations) — a group identified by a federal judge as an American front for Hamas. Florida’s ADL recently helped CAIR defeat that state’s “American Laws for American Courts” law. The ALAC law was meant to prevent judges from taking into account foreign or religious laws, as was the case two years ago in New Jersey when a judge denied a Moroccan woman a restraining order against her estranged husband, who wouldn’t stop raping her. The Jersey judge ruled that because they were still married, Islamic law allowed the husband full rights to her body and that the poor woman must submit to rape at his leisure.

After the ADL helped defeat the law, a gleeful Ahmed Bedier, CAIR-Florida director, was caught on tape bragging that “when we go lobbying [against] the bill today, we will be using the talking points of the Anti-Defamation League.” (Bedier is close supporter of convicted Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami Al Arian.) Hassan Shibly, CAIR-Tampa’s executive director, said that “[o]ur victory tonight is a great example of how the interfaith and civil rights community united can make a positive difference for all Americans.” Mr. Shibly is a man who has claimed that Hezb’allah is a legitimate resistance movement. On Facebook — where he was once “friends” with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad — Shibly would post messages such as:
    How Jews and Christians lost the teachings of their Prophets and how Muslims can avoid falling into the same mistakes.Niqab [full face veil for women] is Required in Islam!!
    The Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazis
    Its time Americans WAKE UP to the ATROCITY that is Israel!!
3. In Michigan’s Farmington Public Schools district, not far from Dearborn and Detroit, the Islamic Cultural Association of Michigan (ICA) got what seemed to many as an inside deal to purchase an abandoned school in order to build a mosque. (They beat out the bid of a Jewish religious school.) The deal was negotiated when the district’s school board was led by former ADL Detroit Director Howard Wallach. The ICA mosque-builders are affiliated with the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) — which is, according to federal authorities, a Muslim Brotherhood front. They have invited the Jewish anti-Semite Norman Finklestein to lecture to their members.

Last June, at an explosive school board meeting, concerned locals questioned the manner of the sale. They were opposed by speakers, including Dawud Walid, executive director of Detroit’s branch of CAIR, who hurled accusations of Islamophobia at anyone who disagreed with the deal. Joining CAIR’s Walid in support of the mosque were Betsy Kellman, the Michigan director of the ADL, and Detroit Jewish Community Relations Council executive director Robert Cohen.

Jewish leaders, defending the deal, accused Farmington residents of having “strong anti-Muslim feelings” and “making generalizations about Muslims.” They said nothing about the proposed mosque’s radical links or its likely animus toward their own Jewish constituents. The next day, CAIR issued a statement thanking both for their support and unfoundedly attacking the pro-Israel group StandWithUs for instigating the opposition.

In a phone interview, Kellman told us she did not know that ICA is linked to NAIT or that NAIT is a Muslim Brotherhood front. (The ADL has an annual budget of over $50M. The facts about NAIT are easily available from public, open sources.) Currently, Kellman chairs an interfaith group that includes — and thereby legitimates — CAIR. In 2010, Kellman spoke at a Detroit conference that also featured Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called Israel the “enemy of Allah” and prayed for it to be struck down.

Such are the people and organizations that Foxman’s policies have this country’s largest Jewish defense organization allying with, as it aggressively attempts to silence, intimidate, and smear those who would criticize its actions, or its allies.

Recently, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) called for ADL head Abe Foxman to resign. We concur. The words used by Detroit ADL official Daniel Levy to describe the ADL’s critics apply most appropriately to Foxman: he is — with precious sums of Jewish money meant to protect Jews from their foes — doing the work of Jews’ enemies. This should be stopped.
For more on the ADL’s failures:
Charles Jacobs is president and Ilya Feoktistov is research director, Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

Builders and Destroyers

Sultan Knish 

TRUTH, JUSTICE AND JOURNALISM It seems almost redundant to link to the Reuters piece on George Zimmerman that nearly everyone has seen by now, but what's interest about it is just how routine it is. It's a standard background piece and thousands like it run after prominent crimes. Any sizable news organization can put one out within a week and smaller community papers and magazines regularly run them when there's a major case. When the case is big enough, some of them get turned into movies, mostly they help set a tone.All they really involve in meeting with some of the locals, arranging for interviews, taking some notes and writing up the results. And what's really interesting about "Prelude to a Shooting" is how long it took until a media organization chose to run it.

I strongly suspect that there's a dozen pieces like it sitting in file folders and desks in other media organizations that have not decided what to do with them. I suspect the Reuters piece was in that same state until someone decided to finally run it. The Zimmerman family has been proactive in reaching out and trying to tell the story. It's the media that has held the door shut.

"Prelude to a Shooting" is not the last word on the case. It's background on Zimmerman, not the entire set of events, and it wouldn't even be all that significant except for the lynch mob atmosphere in the media and the refusal of the media to do any basic reporting on the case besides spewing back the same 'hoodie and skittles' narrative.

If Zimmerman had just shot a man in cold blood, there would be little point in laying out the background, it would be no more than another Bernie Tiede piece, but instead we do get crucial bits of context that explain what was going on in the neighborhood at the time in the context of property values, constant break ins and a neighborhood on the edge.

It's the final concluding material on Emmanuel Burgess that sets the most important context in the case. It tells us part of why events happened the way they did and that along with Martin's No Limit Nigga material sets a different stage than the one that the media has thrust on us.


We are more than who we are at any given moment. We are also who we aspire to be.

Both Zimmerman and Martin were flawed men, but Zimmerman's writings and behavior showed a man who aspired to be something better, while Martin's showed that he wanted only to sink down. Martin can't be entirely blamed for that, he did not create and perpetuate the fake gansta culture. It's the mostly white entertainment industry that did that, often embedded in the same news corporations which organized the lynching of George Zimmerman.

The entertainment industry did not tell Martin what would happen if he assaulted an adult man who was concerned about the neighborhood, while Martin was concerned about getting the "Respect" that gangsta culture told him he was entitled to by virtue of his posing.

Martin did not understand that life was different than gangsta culture. That men who have guns don't necessarily go waving them around. And that sometimes when you have someone down on the ground and you're beating on them, they will use what they have.

Had Martin killed Zimmerman, he would be preening for the cameras now, the defiant upward head tilt you see so often in court photos. The pose that says, "I don't care, because I'm too cool to care." It's the pose that the man who might have been Martin's father often wears to tell us that he's going to go on doing whatever he likes, because he can.

But that's not what you see in Zimmerman's face, it's not just regret, it's pain. Zimmerman did not intend to take another human life, and he regrets that and regrets how society sees him, and he is coming to terms with doing what he had to do. There is a basic decency in his expression which cannot be photoshopped onto Martin's face. The photoshopping can pale his skin, younger photos can make him look innocent, but nothing can make him look decent.

Zimmerman quoted Burke. Martin quoted hip hop. That was the fundamental difference between the two men, not race, but culture. Zimmerman aspired to be a good human being. Martin aspired to be street trash.

In a society under siege, there are builders and there are destroyers. Zimmerman was a builder, we will never know what Martin might have become, but he was on a path to becoming a destroyer.

We live in a culture that punishes builders and rewards destroyers. That treats the destroyer as innocent and moral, because he is untainted by knowledge and experience, because he resists the builders and spreads anarchy and chaos.

The gap between Martin and Zimmerman is the gap between the graffiti scrawler and the business owner, the occupy wall street thug and the office worker, the rap star and the composer, the activist and the entrepreneur.

Martin was just another pawn in a culture war waged by the destroyers against civilization. As a a man he gorged himself on destroyer culture, imitated it and then fatally lived it out. As a dead man, he became a rallying cry for the destroyers.

There have been multiple black on white hate crimes in his name. There is a trial in his name. And there is an election campaign in his name.

Destroyers are obsessed with martyrs. They need these tokens to see them along to the next fight, the Horst Wessels, the Pavlik Morozovs, the Hussein ibn Alis and the Trayvon Martins. Idealized figures to justify the destruction and repression that they visit on others. Rituals, show trials, songs, marches whip them up into a frenzy of destruction.

The Destroyers are always out for respect, but when they say 'respect' they really mean power, they really mean the right to destroy because they are somehow superior. They aren't. Decency is worth respecting, power isn't. And those who try to get power by enforcing a mandate to respect them sometimes learn that power works both ways.


A united Iraq died a few days after the withdrawal. The only people who still believe in the fiction of a centrally governed Iraq are holding down desks in the State Department. There are several Iraqs now. There is Iran’s Iraq, the one overseen by Tehran’s puppet in Baghdad, Prime Minister Maliki. Then there is Iraqi Kurdistan which stands on the verge of declaring its independence, an act that will touch off a violent territorial dispute accompanied by ethnic cleansing.

Iraqi federalism is only popular among some in the Shiite majority, for whom it means majority rule. Maliki’s warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and the latter’s subsequent flight and sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan has ended the fiction of joint rule in Iraq. The Kurds have branded Maliki a dictator and are swiftly breaking their remaining ties to Baghdad.

President  Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan declared that, “Power-sharing and partnership between Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and others is now completely non-existent and has become meaningless” and concluded his speech by hinting at an independence referendum, a move almost certain to touch off a violent conflict, particularly in oil rich Kirkuk.

... part of the story from my Front Page piece on Iraq's Coming Civil War


Occupy Wall Street is planning the expected freak show for May 1st. There have been stickers all around the city calling for a general strike, they won't get their general strike, this isn't Paris in the 30's, but they may pick up some headlines.

On the other coast though, another sort of strike will be taking place. A Town Hall on Terror. There will be some interesting people there, including Mark Tapson, a friend from another coast, Bosch Fawstin, whose illustrations appear sometimes in these roundups, Nonie Darwish, who knows the problem from the inside out, and Dwight Schultz, whom some of you may know from the A-Team, and a longtime conservative.

This will be a panel discussion on confronting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terror and you can find more details about it on the site.

Click here to read more

Jews Copyrighted Social Justice

Nurit Greenger

When God made His Covenant with Abraham, He copyrighted social justice.
The Jewish nation rights to the land of Israel are not inscribed in the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate for Palestine document, it precedes them. The Mandate for Palestine is the Bible only.

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, the 49th International Bible Quiz for Jewish youth, one of Israel's Independence Day’s noble traditions, which the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu attends, was held at the Jerusalem Theater. The first event, which David Ben-Gurion attended, took place in 1958. (Video:

Thanks to global cyber services I was able to sit at my computer and for over two hours I was glued to the screen – and mesmerized – while watching the young contestants, who arrived to Israel from twenty two countries, competing for first prize.

These knowledgeable young men and women, whether they arrived at first or last prize are all winners. Because they are marching into adult life equipped with wisdom only those who take time in life to learn the Bible have.

I went through my elementary education in Israel and one of the subjects was Bible study, which every kid in Israel had to take. I personally liked the Biblical stories, but learning the Bible was not a favorite subject by most students. However I did not appreciate the wisdom of the Bible until years later.

Watching the 49th International Bible Quiz reminded me that the Bible is the book of books and there is no other like it.  The wisdom of the Bible is infinite.
While the European countries, such as France, would like to have a claim to their enlightenment revolution and being the first to come up with social justice, they are not. The Jewish forefather Abraham and his Covenant with his newly found God, which he passed on to the Jewish Nation, gave birth and hold the copyright to the humankind's early enlightenment.  With receiving and accepting the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, Moses and the Jewish nation have etched social and political justice on the entire world and have started paving the way to what later became psychology. Therefore, Jews and their Nation State Israel see themselves as 'Light unto the Nations'.
To encapsulate these claims we have to refer to the Bible.  Watching the Bible Quiz enabled me to do just that.

On grace and mercy:
In the Book of Zachary, Chapter 7, it is said: 8 And the word of God unto Zechariah, saying: 9. Thus said the God hosts, saying; judgment of truth judge with grace and mercy one another. 10 and widow and orphan sojourner and poor so not exploit; and the evil man his brother do not think in your heart.

On brotherhood:
In the Book of Malachi, Chapter 2:10, it is said, Is it not one father to all of us, is it not one God created us, why betray man his brother to desecrate the covenant of our fathers

On justice:
In the Book of Amos, Chapter 5:15, it is said, Hate the evil and love the good and present judgment in the gate maybe God of hosts will pardon the remnant of Joseph.

On those who know justice:
In the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 51:7, it is said, Listen unto me those who know justice, with my Torah in their heart do not fear the disgrace of men and so nor fear their cursing.

On charity and benevolence:
King Solomon, in Proverbs Chapter 21:21, said, The one who chases charity and kindness will find life of charity and honor.

On compassion:
In the Book of Malachi, Chapter 3:17, it is said, And they were to me, said God of hosts, the day in which I make treasured, and I felt compassion for them – like a man has compassion for his son who is working with him.

On helping the weak:
In the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 24:19, it is said, When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgot a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to fetch it; it shall be for the sojourner, for the fatherless, and for the widow; for that God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

On grace and truth:
In the Book Samuel 2 Chapter, 15:20 ,the prophet Shmuel told Avshalom, Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, and I go where I may go again and bring back withyou’re your brother with mercy and truth
On the good and the honest:
In the Book of Psalm, Chapter125:4, King David said, Do good God to those who are good and honest in their hearts.
On filling the soul:
In the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 31:25, the Prophet Jeremiah said, For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished, and,
In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 6:7, King Solomon said, All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

On salvation:
In the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 33:29 Moses said, Happy are you, Yisra'el: Who is like you, a people saved by God, the shield of your help and that the sword is your excellence, your enemies shall submit themselves to you and you shall tread on their high places, and,In Book Samuel 2, Chapter 22:28, King David said, The afflicted people you will save; and your eyes are on the haughty, that you will bring them down.
On spirit of God:

In the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 11: 2, it is said, The Spirit of God shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of God, and, In the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 3:12, it is said, Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great noise, Blessed be the glory of God from His place.

In the entire Bible there is hardly any repetition of commanding a Deed - Mitzvah. Only few special Deeds the Bible repeats. One is the concern for the sojourner, the orphan and the widow, a Deed that appears in the Torah over forty times. Only once the Bible presents the demand for a double Deed, "Justice, justice shall you pursue." That means, that for a Jew it is not only to do justice, it is also to go after justice, which is the very foundation of the Jewish people.  And though throughout history the world did not behave with justice with the Jewish people, Jews did not forget this Deed and any of the other Deed the Torah commands on a Jew.  And perhaps it is the very reason of the strength of the Jewish people and their uniqueness that helped them to survive as a Peoples, and remain Jews observing Judaism against all odds.  Other nations disappeared from the world under much less pressure and affliction.
The Nation of Israel is alive.


Barry Rubin

Since the 1990s, Hizballah has defined itself along a number of parallel lines, each of which prior to 2011 appeared to support the other. The movement was simultaneously a sectarian representative of the Lebanese Shi’a, a regional ally of Iran and Syria, a defender of the Lebanese against the supposed aggressive intentions of Israel, and a leader of a more generically defined Arab and Muslim “resistance” against Israel and the West.  As a result of the events of 2011, most important the revolt against the Asad regime in Syria, these various lines, which seemed mutually supportive, began to contradict one another. This has diminished Hizballah’s position, though it remains physically unassailable for as long as the Asad regime in Syria survives.

The year 2011 witnessed a series of upheavals and revolutions, which launched a long-awaited process of change in some of the stagnant polities of the Arab-speaking world.  It is too soon to draw any definitive conclusions regarding where these changes may lead or what the Arab world will look like when the storm has passed.  Nevertheless, the transformations that have already taken place are presenting established political players across the Middle East with new and unfamiliar questions and dilemmas.

Prominent among those existing political forces facing new challenges as a result of regional changes is the Lebanese Shi’i Islamist Hizballah movement. Since the early 2000s, the Middle East has been dominated by a competition between the U.S.-led regional dispensation and a challenge to this hegemony undertaken by Iran and its allies.[1] Hizballah was and remains a key component of the Iran-led alliance, also constituting a central sectarian player in the Lebanese context and a champion of the idea of “resistance” against Israel and the United States. The emerging nature of the regional upheavals are posing difficulties for Hizballah on all three levels of its identity–as an Iran-aligned force, a Shi’i political player in the Lebanese context, and as the self-proclaimed champion of regional “resistance.”   This article will consider the origin and emergence of these difficulties and their likely implications for Hizballah’s future.

The most urgent and central issues facing Hizballah of course relate to the uprising in Syria.  Prior to the outbreak of the revolt against the Bashar al-Asad regime, Hizballah was able to adopt a stance of vociferous support for the uprisings.  This was because in their initial phase, the revolts all took place in states aligned with the United States and the West–Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen And here is the rest of it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

More Infiltration: Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey Orders Review of Courses Dealing With Islam

JIM GARAMONE April 27, 2012
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has ordered the directors of joint military education institutions and combatant commanders to examine the scope and content of training and education courses dealing with Islamic extremism to ensure they are appropriate and in keeping with U.S. values and principles.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey sent the letter after students at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., raised concerns about the content of a class entitled "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism." Dempsey ordered the course closed until the study is complete.

"Our concern is there are some unprofessional things being taught to students in professional military education curriculum," Kirby said during a press availability today.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is aware of Dempsey's order and he shares the general's concern, the captain said. "He also completely endorses the chairman's intention to look at joint professional military education across the board to make sure we have done an adequate scrub on the content of this type of curriculum," Kirby said.
Some of the material in the course was not simply objectionable but inflammable, Kirby said. A student who finished the course last month brought it to the chairman's attention.
One example of the objectionable material was a Power Point slide highlighting inflammatory statements. On the slide was the assertion "that the United States is at war with Islam and we ought to just recognize that we are at war," Kirby said. "That's not at all what we believe to be the case: We're at war with terrorism, specifically al-Qaida, who has a warped view of the Islamic faith. That's just one example.
"These assertions are not in keeping with our principles or ideas," he continued. "We believe the right thing to do was to suspend the course due to some of the things that were presented in the course."
Dempsey has also ordered an inquiry into this particular course to determine how this material got into the course, and what is needed to improve it moving forward. The course has been taught at the staff college since 2004.

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood MP Seeks to Abolish Female Rights and Enforce Female Genital Mutilation

Raymond Ibrahim
Jihad Watch

According to the Egyptian website Youm 7, Azza al-Jarf, a female Member of Parliament representing the Muslim Brotherhood's "Freedom and Justice Party," is trying to abolish several laws currently enjoyed by Egyptian women—including preventing them from divorcing or even separating from their husbands, because "the man has the authority and stewardship" (see Koran 4:34); mandating that fathers must circumcise their daughters; and trying to get the Egyptian educational system to ban the teaching of the English language—on the grounds that it is an "infidel" tongue—while separating boys and girls in classrooms and forcing girls to wear the hijab.
Ms. Jarf, of course, is not the first Muslim female in Egypt opposed to her own gender; earlier, another female politician declared that "women are deficient in intelligence and religion," and that, in agreement with Sharia law, they are banned from running for presidency.
At any rate, repressive and discriminatory laws, not to mention laws that mutilate the human body—such represent the Muslim Brotherhood's idea of "Freedom and Justice," the telling name of their political wing.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Sinai is unhinged; Egypt is worsening; Syria is unstable, and oh yes, there's Iran too

As Israel turns 64, the country stands before one of the most fateful decisions it has ever had to make, in a region undergoing intense tumult • In a wide-ranging interview, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Benny Gantz looks at the challenges and threats of our neighborhood, and calls on the government to enact compulsory duty for all citizens, saying "We are half-the-people’s army. It's not sustainable." Amos Regev and Yoav Limor IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Benny Gantz is aware of the decisive role that history has summoned him for. Unlike a number of his predecessors, he is taking pains to avoid placing himself at the center of attention by making his opinions public. At the same time, however, he has stated his opinions frankly and forthrightly when asked. When we met this week shortly after Holocaust Remembrance Day and just before Independence Day, the period which symbolizes the days in which we recognize destruction and celebrate renewal, he was very careful not to cross that thin line separating a public servant and an elected official. But reading in between the lines of what he said, it is possible to discern clear-cut, unequivocal positions. “An Iran with a militarized nuclear capability could potentially be an existential threat, but it is not necessarily an existential threat,” he said. “These statements were made in the past and I think it would be appropriate to clarify them. We are the strongest country in the region, and I think that we need to make sure that the situation stays this way in the future. The problem of a nuclear Iran is much more of a global problem than it is an Israeli problem, so we need to find every possible way to make sure that the international community doesn’t let up in dealing with this, and I think that it is doing this. I think that what we see in terms of sanctions and the international pressure and the statements that we hear from the Americans are all indications that the world is moving in this direction.” And what if the world doesn’t succeed? “The IDF must use every avenue to prepare an operational alternative wherever it will be asked to take action; and at the last possible moment that this will be feasible given the strategic conditions that prevail. And this is what the IDF has been doing in recent years. I think we have a considerable capacity to act. In a businesslike fashion, we need to prepare to implement this capability, but we should also understand the ramifications of this type of event.” Do you believe the Americans are serious in their intentions to stop Iran? “I believe they are serious. They are simply judging the situation from a different point of view than we are. The difference between us and the Americans are found in two areas: the scope of our capacity to act, and the sense of urgency. They have many more capabilities, but, as a result, they don’t feel that sense of urgency. We do feel a great sense of urgency. There is also the simple yet critical fact that there aren’t two giant oceans that separate us from Iran, and we are living with our civilians in a war zone.” In your meetings with them, have they tried to convince you not to attack? “In the meeting room, I hear the same things that you have heard in public, only worded differently. We haven’t asked for permission and we haven’t been given any stop signs. Israel is a sovereign state with the ability to make its own decisions, and they [the Americans] understand this as well. There are discussions and exchanges of opinion on strategic matters, but I do not ask anyone for permission, and I don’t accept dictates.” If Iran decides to make a mad dash toward the bomb, how long would it take for it to manufacture one? “It’s a matter of a year, two years.” And if the supreme leader, Khamenei, decided to attain a militarized nuclear capability, would we know about it in time? “I think that we will either see a major breakthrough or some integrative processes, or something else that we are supposed to see in this whole story. So we need to make every effort, in conjunction with the international community, and particularly the Americans, to make sure this doesn’t happen, and to prepare for the possibility that we will have to face this challenge. “It seems to me that on the one hand it is our professional duty to prepare an operational alternative, and on the other hand to maintain a strategic dialogue where it needs to take place. From the most ethical place possible, I am telling you that we are handling this in the most professional and clear-sighted way possible. And we are not devoid of this capability. Far from it.” Is the home front ready for what is likely to happen in the wake of such an attack? “The home front needs to get itself organized irrespective of the Iranian issue. The threat of missiles and rockets present in the Middle East, with or without Iran, requires the home front to be ready. We are talking about tens of thousands of missiles deployed from the north and almost 10,000 missiles deployed in the south, so we need to continue to improve the defenses of the home front, because life in the Middle East will not change.” Depth missions One of the most significant decisions made by Gantz in the 15 months he has been on the job was to establish the Depth Corps, a fourth army command [the IDF currently has Southern, Central, and Northern Commands] assigned to handle theatres that do not have a common border with Israel. These are areas, far away from our borders, in which terrorists hold training camps and orders are giving to carry out attacks against Israel. The goal of the new command is to combine the capabilities of units and organizations, so as to enable new forms of thinking to come to the fore and to craft new operational plans. “The long-range threat is not something that I can ignore,” Gantz tells us. “The range of the weapons arrayed against us, the terror networks – these are no longer the first or second line of defense, the point of contact. This type of traditional fighting still exists, but the threats hatched against us from afar are such that we need to know how to be ready to deal with them directly - with the aid of international actors in the intelligence and technological fields. Combat battalions today are not just battalions in the literal, traditional sense, but they are also Iranian forces who are operating everywhere, and Libya, which is a huge weapons cache. And who knows what will happen with Syria and Iraq. We are examining all of these areas from an intelligence standpoint, and a new command will be required to address these issues and to develop operational ideas and, if the need arises, to command these depth missions.” Will this really happen? Because there is a sense that many in Israel are fearful of such actions over the large number of potential casualties. “Our day-to-day routine, and here I’m limited as to what I’m able to say, doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing anything. Besides, we are developing a combat doctrine out of the understanding that we will have to operate on a number of fronts, at great distances, all at the same time. “Obviously we will make every effort to minimize casualties as much as possible, but this will not dictate whether or not we act because we just don’t have that luxury. In addition, the home front will be subject to an active, potent threat, so it would be proper for the army to take these risks.” We sat down with Gantz at the height of the scandal which engulfed the deputy brigade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner, who struck a Danish national during a protest in the Jordan Valley. Gantz received the results of a preliminary probe. After he was briefed on the final results of the investigation, he made the decision to remove Eisner from his post. The IDF chief determined that Eisner had failed to live up to his professional, moral, and military obligations that befit a commander. Gantz believes the entire saga is not a reflection of Eisner as a person, but he is very disturbed not just by the incident but also by the fact that it took Eisner over 24 hours to report the incident. “This is a failure on the command level,” he said. “A professional failure is how your prepare for these kinds of incidents. A failure on the command level is how you perform during the incident, and an ethical failure is how you behave as a person and an officer.” The gates of the West Point Military Academy bear the words “Duty, Honor, Country.” What is your motto for the army? “I cannot be around officers who do not simultaneously bring with them these two qualities: determination and wisdom that befits a commander. A smart commander who is not determined won’t help me. A determined commander who isn’t smart or wise also doesn’t help me. And I am one of those commanders who demand both of these qualities. “I demand that my commanders lead from the front because that is the only way they will understand what is going on in the battlefield, so that they can correctly hand out orders and decide what action to take. This is because I cannot possibly see what it is that they see. I’m dying to see it, but I don’t see it. And this is what our commanders need to understand, and I think that ultimately they understand this.” “In this incident, there was an error, and determination on its own cannot solve this. One also needs wisdom. This is what separates a commander from the regular soldier. Otherwise, the commander and the soldier would be the same thing. He is there first and foremost as a fighter, that is true, but he is also a commander and he needs to bring both [of these qualities]. “I don’t send a logistics officer to break up demonstrations. I send the brigade commander, the deputy brigade commander, a battalion commander. He needs to know to bring both determination and wisdom that is becoming a commanding officer, and [Eisner] didn’t do this.” Are you disturbed by the fact that this incident has been turned into a political issue where the Left has taken a position against the officer while the Right is automatically supportive of him? “I judge people’s behavior, and not what it is that someone is trying to say about somebody else about this or that issue. In the complex world in which I live, there is just one solution, which is quite simple, and that is ‘truth.’ This is the only immunizing apparatus that I know of. I’ve been a soldier for 30 years, and I know that if you give people the truth as it is, they cannot argue with it. This is my way of immunizing myself, and it is the only way to survive in this complex world, and that is with the truth.” Perhaps this is another symptom of societal problems and disagreements over religion, politics, and international intervention? “This is a serious problem, and I will explain. On the Iranian issue, you will write whatever you write and the commentators will say what it is they know and a few former officials will talk, but the state will leave us to deal with it. “On the other hand, when we are talking about the relations between the army and society, then everybody is suddenly an expert and everyone has something to say. Paradoxically, we have an opposite scenario. That means that issues which I deal with 20 percent of the time become issues that I deal with 80 percent of the time, and vice versa. And this is because everyone is suddenly an expert. “Take, for example, the issue of how soldiers commute from their homes to the base. What is your story here? They kept us busy with this whole issue of train tickets for soldiers. The free tickets for soldiers initiative is a project that succeeded and it was introduced to aid the welfare of soldiers. Society likes to deal with things that it thinks it understand, while leaving us to deal with other things.” In his year as army chief, Gantz has been forced to deal with incidents of discrimination against women as well as the “Yizkor” incident, events that once again raised questions about the role of religion in the IDF. It is a question that has become more urgent given the growing influence of national religious soldiers in combat units and the senior and junior officer corps. “These are wonderful boys,” Gantz said. “They are patriotic, they are part of us, and I really don’t see this as a problem. I don’t look underneath soldiers’ helmets to see what’s there. I do think that the state needs to ask itself how it is dealing with issues of compulsory military service for everyone, which is a critical issue.” “The citizens of the State of Israel need to give of themselves to the State of Israel, because the army has been, is, and needs to continue to be the first thing that people look at as an entity of volunteers, an entity of people performing a service, an entity that is seen as addressing the country’s needs. This is because our geopolitical environment is different than the one that the Swiss army chief of staff needs to deal with. He was in my office about six, seven months ago and he bragged to me how his defense budget increased because of the problems in the Middle East. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” So what is the solution? “Compulsory duty. Compulsory duty for all citizens of the State of Israel, no matter who they are. It’s not just military service, it’s obligatory service.” You’re a reasonable guy. Does this have a chance of passing from a political standpoint? “The state has to do this. We are half-the-people’s army, this is not okay, and this is not sustainable. You can wait another year or two, or you could make some shady, under-the-table agreement that will last three or four years, but this won’t really put off the decision for another day, nor will it solve the problem. “We have no choice, we must decide to go for some kind of solution, one that is more reasonable and fairer. It’s a question of fairness, and I think fairness will be an issue of tremendous significance for Israeli society in the future.” Last summer’s social protest pushed the IDF into a corner. On the one hand, it has to deal with a slew of defense tasks and challenges, with special emphasis on the Iranian issue and the revolutions sweeping the Middle East. On the other hand, it will have to cope with the need for cuts in the defense budget in order to free up budgets and resources for socioeconomic needs. Not only has Gantz been asked to make cuts and mull the suspension of training and a dwindling of supplies, but he has also found himself engaged in head-to-head clashes with Finance Ministry officials, and even the finance minister himself, who accused the army chief of failing to comprehend his subordinate status in relation to the civilian echelon. “If there’s something that I understand well, it is the subordinate status of the army to the political echelon,” Gantz says. “I think that these statements were out of place, out of line, and incorrect. But this isn’t the important thing. It isn’t a personal dispute between me and the finance minister. The State of Israel has a prime minister and a government that has a responsibility, and I told the government that we will do whatever it decides we should do, and if it decides that we need to wage war by throwing stones, so be it, we will fight with stones. “We will not stop discharging our mission because of this issue. We will simply inform you of the consequences. Sometimes it’s inconvenient for people to hear these things, so they make the accusations that they do.” Is there no money? “The key question is what the multi-year budget will look like. During one of my meetings with the prime minister, I told him that my first mission as a soldier from an operational standpoint was to provide security for Anwar Sadat when he arrived in Jerusalem to talk peace. Now I’m the chief of staff, and it is unclear to me who the next president of Egypt will be and what policies that country will take. “Forty years have gone by, and we are approaching a situation in which I hope will be better, one in which there will be respect for civil rights, where the street will indeed have influence on the decision makers in other countries because this would be a pretty good prelude to democracy, where women’s rights will be such that a woman will not be beaten with sticks if she is caught driving, as we have seen in Saudi Arabia. All is well and good, let there be no more wars here. “But why do I have a feeling that this is not what will happen? Why do I have the feeling that in Egypt a regime is coming to power that no matter what happens we will not be in as good a place as we were? Why do I get the feeling that Sinai is coming unhinged from a security standpoint? In fact, it is already unhinged. Why do I get the feeling that Syria, with or without Assad, will not be the same stable place, even if it was an unfriendly place before, and in the best case scenario it will be unstable but not hostile to us while in the worst case scenario, it will be both unstable and hostile? “And why do I get the sense that Hezbollah is five times stronger than what it was during the Second Lebanon War? Why do I know that Gaza has 10,000 missiles, with more to come? “I don’t know what is going to happen in Iraq, and I don’t know what is going to happen in Iran, and we have seen the value of stable regimes. In other words, we are living in a Middle East in which I believe the window of opportunity has closed, and we cannot afford to take risks regarding future developments.” Does the treasury not understand this? “I have no problem with whatever budget they decide upon, but it should be made perfectly clear: We will have a stripped-down army. In other words, we will have an untrained, ill-equipped army that is short on supplies and one that will not be fully prepared to carry out its missions. We cannot allow this to happen, and this has nothing to do with me personally. “This is the most important organization that the state has from a security standpoint, and we are not in Switzerland. I don’t think that defense is the top priority in this country, because I think education is. Still, when I look at how we live our lives here, I cannot ignore this basic fact.” The test of victory Gantz is wont to speak in a low voice. His words are measured carefully, and his tone is calm. There are moments when he stops to think in order to make sure that his statements are accurate. At no point does he ever raise his voice, at least during our interview. Rare are the moments when he loses his cool. This is why he has often been accused of lacking sufficient assertiveness, and that he lacks sharpness from an operational standpoint. The few top generals who have followed him closely during his tenure and gained insight into the sensitive jobs he has undertaken throughout his career beg to differ with these statements. They claim that Gantz sanctifies deep thought and careful consideration, but he knows when to cut to the chase if necessary. Still, his real test, the only one by which he will be measured, is victory, in single operations and, above all, in war. He believes that the army is still capable of gaining victory. “We will win wherever we find ourselves in action,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.” What constitutes victory? “You need to differentiate between victory, which is a strategic term, and dealing the decisive blow in battle, which is an operative concept. The state will not win if we don’t deal the decisive blow, and we need to deal a number of decisive blows so that the state will win.” Let’s be more specific. What constitutes a decisive blow in Gaza? “We can conquer Gaza. It’s just a question of what price we have to pay on a national level. It’s not an issue of the number of casualties, because in war there are always casualties, but it’s a question of administering Gaza for an extended period of time. We are capable of bringing about a situation whereby the Gaza Strip will not want to continue the war. ‘Cast Lead’ established a new threshold of deterrence that was intact for a relatively limited time, but the atmosphere of that operation is still with us. If I take the Second Lebanon War, which was supposedly a less successful war, the strategic results of that war are very strong in terms of the deterrence established. So these are the philosophies and the strategies that we are promoting in order to make even more impressive gains in the future.” And what constitutes a decisive blow against Iran? “That is a much wider, and more strategic issue. It isn’t on the same plane as the Gaza and Lebanon cases, because it has more to do with… let’s call it strategic blows.” From your vantage point, as an army general, one can assume that your point of view has changed. There was a time when you used tactical maps. Now, you look at the entire globe, right? “To say I look at a globe would be a bit of a stretch, but you could see for yourselves. I have a tiny map in front of me, but when I want to be reminded of the proper proportions, I open up another screen on the computer (he clicks the mouse, and the screen affixed to the wall shows a much larger map which stretches from Greece in the West to Iran in the East). It’s important that we know how to develop general ideas, operative ideas, and even command certain missions. The way in which we perceive decisive blows and the way in which we perceive combat require us to work simultaneous on numerous fronts and at long distances. Can we deal a decisive blow against Iran? “I don’t think that we need to aim for a decisive blow. I think that we need to deal with Iran.” And what of the terrorism in Sinai? “When it comes to Sinai, we need to provide an operational response that will be predicated on intelligence-gathering capabilities as well as defensive capabilities while preserving, to the highest degree possible, our cooperation with Egypt in order to prevent the region from spinning out of control and to be ready for bad days ahead that I hope do not come.” Do you think the solution for all of these fronts is for Israel to live underneath a ceiling that protects us from missiles? “On a fundamental level, the State of Israel, particularly its large urban population centers, needs to live under a defensive ceiling. It is by no means hermetic, and it won’t provide the ultimate solution in the future. This defensive means is needed to allow the army to exhaust its offensive capabilities and its ability to deal a decisive blow. “From a strategic standpoint, we cannot continue to ensure our existence here strictly from a defensive posture. Can my soccer team send all 11 players on offense and leave just one goalkeeper behind? No, this is impossible. I need to also have defensive players back there. But wars have always been decided by offensive campaigns.” Gantz, makes no effort to conceal his optimism. When we asked him about those who wonder if the State of Israel will survive, his answers are emphatic. “The people of Israel can be proud and confident, but they must also be sober-minded, because I don’t think that the environment in which we live is one devoid of challenges. But we need to be balanced and to know how to provide the appropriate solutions, with an eye toward history and not in a way that suggests hysteria.” “We should remember from whence we started,” he said on Independence Day. “We should remember where we are now, and what a long way we have come. I really think that we have a lot to be proud of. I think that ultimately we should look at ourselves and say, ‘If we’ll be okay, then things will be okay.’” Gantz points to two framed pictures that sit on the bookshelf behind his desk. One picture is that of David Ben-Gurion, and the other is a framed picture of a poem written by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Next to the two pictures is a glass that is halfway filled with wine, which for him symbolizes what is really important. “In the 1980s, my mother was lying in a hospital in Bonn, Germany,” he says. “She had just gone through a surgery that was just incredibly difficult, awful. She’s barely alive at this point. She puts a flower and this glass of wine on her. The hospital ward director comes by in the morning to see how Frau Gantz is doing. So she says to the director, ‘Listen, the surgery was difficult and all that, but I’m still alive, so I’m looking at the glass half-full.” The doctor was a Palestinian who was born in Gaza, worked as a dishwasher in an Israeli hummus joint in order to save money for medical school, and ended up treating the mother of a battalion commander of the paratroopers who in 30 years would become the chief of staff. What is the lesson here? “The strategic reality around us keeps me quite preoccupied, but I know that I can’t really impact it, because I can’t set things straight in Egypt or Syria. I need to be ready for the outcomes in these places, and to propose solutions that will work toward coping with these kinds of events. “But I’m also disturbed by the budget issue and by ensuring that the army is not stripped down, and that it will be able to continue to blossom and develop. These things which either do not depend on us or are insoluble still need a solution. “The only thing I know for certain is that we are here. Can I say that I can sit in one room with a woman, an ultra-Orthodox man, a religious person, a rightist, and leftist, a Jew, and a non-Jew and say that this is one state? As officers in the IDF, it’s out of our hands. These aren’t questions that are dealt with in my work environment. But I do hope for a happy ending.”