Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ISRAELLIVES March 25, 2014 23 Adar II, 5774 The Israel Solution, Demographics, Pollard, Syria's children

Pardon this gasp of exasperation: Report from Michelle Obama  2008 Other than Michelle Obama's trips to Kenya with her husband before he ascended to the Oval Office,  "It's very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States," FAST FORWARD TO TODAY and "it's even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations - with my daughters, and with my mother," she said as they traveled together to China 2013. "And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China."  ALL THIS NOW ON THE TAXPAYER DIME.    Once graced with taxpayer funding. by mid 2013, Michelle had visited 14 foreign countries. In 2013 alone, American taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on "perks" for the Obamas -- "biggest staff in history at highest wages ever." The British taxpayers were hit with only a mere $57.8 million to entertain their royal family. Don't miss the Daily Caller info. Remember who Michelle Obama was just before coming to Washington D.C. to received her taxpayer-paid make-over?  To follow Obama exploits contact: mail@americac2c.com  To get on their ML.





Like The Rebbe said to Arik Sharon in the 60's 70's 80's and early 90'd
And I quote, "Enough already with trying to always impress The Goyim"

Rabbi Rafe Konikov, Chabad of Southampton NY

Childrens Book Award

A BOOK ON YIDDISH PUBLISHED BY A POLISH JEWISH GROUP HAS WON FIRST PRIZE AT ONE OF THE WORLD'S LEADING PROFESSIONAL FAIRS FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.    The book, "Majn Alef Bejs," was announced this month as the 2014 winner of the first prize in the nonfiction category of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which will open March 24 in the northern Italian city.

"A stunningly produced alphabet of Yiddish poems, this book instantly united the Jury as the outright winner for the Non-Fiction category," the jury wrote on the website on the annual book fair.

The book combines approximately 30 Yiddish poems of Jehoszua Kaminski, who was born in 1884, with illustrations by Urszula Palusinska, who was born a century later. Each poem is used in the book to teach readers a single letter of the Yiddish alphabet, which is identical to the Hebrew alphabet.

Each Yiddish poem contains a translation to Polish by translator Wojciech Wilczyk.

"Yiddish is the language of our grandparents," she told JTA. "It is totally forgotten in Poland. The book is a tribute to our heritage."

The book was produced by the Krakow-based CZULENT Jewish association with funding from three organizations and 50 private donors, according to CZULENT's Anna Makowka-Kwapisiewicz.  (JTA)



https://www.google.com/search?q=moi+in+french+pronunciation&oq=Moi+in+french&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.6961j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=Judith+Butler+at+JEwish+Museum  It's scarey to read all the obsequious  articles on these google pages.    

     BACKSTORY: On Feb 21, 2014 Judith Butler, was F O R C E D  to withdraw from a speaker's gig at the Jewish Museum, NYC,  based on her clear and certain support of BDS against ISRAEL.  However, as you can see from the above extensive posts surrounding that event on google, the first dozen + articles quoted Butler as "cancelling", "withdrawing", "pulling out",   only on pp2 of the google posts do we see: Lori Lowenthal Marcus' article in the  Jewish Press  Headline reading:  NYC's Jewish Museum Invites, then Uninvites, Major BDS Advocate  Not only did the Jewish Museum invite someone whose malice towards the Jewish State is well-known, it then tried to cast those who complained as the bad actors.  The Jewish Museum contratemps was in fact a side bar to Butler's first major offense against Israel and all Jews, in NYC..  It occurred a year earlier, January 2013.

            In January of 2013, it was announced that the Brooklyn College Political Science Department endorsed and co-sponsored with various Students for Justice in Palestine organizations, a forum about the Boycott of, Divestment from, and Sanctions against, Israel (BDS) movement. The title of the forum was: "A lecture by Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti on the importance of BDS in helping END Israeli apartheid and the occupation of Palestine." The sub-title, just in case you hadn't yet understood the point, was "BDS, a Strategy - A lecture by Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti"  (Marcus: Jewish Press Feb 7, 2013)

            It's been more than a year since four Jewish pro-Israel students (the JPI Students) were forcibly ejected from an anti-Israel talk given by the two proponents of BDS, co-sponsored by and held at Brooklyn College. Finally, this past Friday, March 7, 2014, Brooklyn College president Karen Gould issued a public apology to the JPI Students.   But that very-late apology should be only the very first step taken, according to the public interest law center representing those students.  SILENCE  IS  ACQUIESSENCE - DON'T BE AN  ENABLER.



Janet Levy: I read in the Jerusalem Post that Israel is India's largest military supplier!  This must be why Kerry's State Department is trying to scuttle the latest Indian-Israeli weapons deal. 


Dr. S: My country needs Israel, especially Hindus,  more than ever because it is the only nation with a spine to stand up against these mad and violent Jehaadis (JIHADIS).   Even the USA will turn a blind eye if tomorrow the insane Paaki Jehaadis launch a massive attack on us.  I remember way back when Israel requested my country to provide airspace to launch attack on Paak's nuclear facilities.  But the coward leaders of my country then, refused.


Janet Levy: Was that the planned attack on the Kahuta nuclear reactor in Pakistan in 1982?   





MARCH 25, TUESDAY NOON -2pm  Room HC-5 US Capitol Building (Lunch served-Dietary Laws Observed RSVP  info@emetonline.org Subj. line: Ettinger Event  Luncheon Seminar on "The Myth of the Palestinian Demographic Crisis"   LET YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES KNOW  to find VOTESMART.ORG

DEMOGRAPHIC STUDIES ARE A WINNING STRATEGY FOR ISRAEL AND HER JEWS. President Barack Obama spouts the wrong numbers.  He recently spoke with the Atlantic's Jeffery Goldberg in wide ranging interview covering a number of  demographics" as part of the "closing window" for the Israelis to make peace with their Palestinian neighbors. Certainly the President is not the first to trot out reports that Israel faces threats to either the Jewish or the democratic nature of its state if it does not relinquish control over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians. But how accurate are such claims? Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger will address those statements with a concise and factual examination of what the real demographics of the region actually suggest.

Additionally, Amb. Ettinger will discuss the threat posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Is there still a credible "military option" as President Obama indicated in his interview with Goldberg? With the current administration fixated on diplomacy with an interim agreement that many experts believe has left Iran "open for business" and its nuclear program still churning, will Israel have to "go it alone?" If so what kind of assistance will it need from the United States, and from Pro-Israel Americans?    Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, is a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), which has documented dramatic flaws behind demographic fatalism on one hand and a Jewish demographic momentum on the other hand. He serves as a consultant to members of Israel's Cabinet and Knesset, and regularly briefs US legislators and their staff on Israel's contribution to vital US interests, on the root causes of international terrorism and on other issues of bilateral concern. Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington (with a rank of an ambassador), Israel's Consul General in Houston and Director of Israel's Government Press Office. 


MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014  5:30 PM Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy presents: "The New RDS Movement (Retractions and Disavowals in Scholarship): One Academic's Symbolic Pushback Against the BDS Movement" Dahn Hiuni, Artist, Playwright, Independent Scholar;www.algemeiner.com/2014/02/11/professor-strips-thesis-of-judith-butler-sourcing-calls-for-rds-retractions-and-disavowals-in-scholarship-to-oppose-bds-interview/  www.ISGAP.org 165 East 56th St., 4th Floor, NY, NY 10022.  RSVP/ID required: info@ISGAP.org;


TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014   8 PM  The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University as part of its Israeli Film Series presents the film Before the Revolution, the untold story of the Israeli community inpre-revolution Iran.  Q&A with Director Dan Shadur after the screening. 
See also BeforeTheRevolution.net.  513 Fayerweather (1180 Amsterdam Avenue NY, NY) IIJS.Columbia.edu.  This event is free and open to the public. RSVP/ID required to sa3082@columbia;

TUESDAY, MARCH 25,  2014   9:15 PM  The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA.org)New Directors Film Festival -  North American Premiere of Tom Shoval's film Youth. 107 min. (Israel and Germany) Director will be present at this screening at the Walter Reade Theatre 165 West 65th Street  NYC

Tuesday, March 25, 2014   11 AM-5:45 PM   Pre- ALIYAH planning. One on one meetings. Nefesh B'Nefesh. Hosted by Avigail Buiumsohn. UJA-Federation 130 East E59th Street NY, NY 10022  RSVP required https://events.nbn.org.il/Event.aspx?id=1672951807;  
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014  9 AM - 10:30 AM  The Lawfare Project presents Counter-Lawfare: Addressing the coming Campaign Against Israel at the International Criminal Court and the Discriminatory Boycott Movement.  Featuring Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law, Northwestern University Fellow.   Your RSVP must be confirmed to attend.  ID required: TheLawFareProject.org;  
WEDNESDAY , MARCH 26, 2014   5:30 PM  Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy (ISGAP.org) presents "How Bad is Modern European Anti-Semitism?" Benjamin Weinthal: Leading International Journalist,  Jerusalem Post Correspondent for European Affairs and the Berlin based Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. 165 East 56th St, 4th Fl NYC 10022.  Doors open at 5PM. RSVP/ID required: info@ISGAP.org;
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014  6:00 PM  The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA.org) New Directors Film  (NewDirectors.org/film/youth) North American Premiere of Tom Shoval's film "Youth". 107 min. (Israel and Germany) Director will be present at this screening at the MOMA's Titus Theatre. 11 West 53rd Street, NY, NY 10019 (see also MOMA.org for March 25th listing)
Thursday, March 27, 2014   12:30  Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy presents "Critical Theory and Zionism"  Polictical scientist Dr. Clemens Heni, Phd., Director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism. For details please see:http://brandeiscenter.com/blog/berlin-anti-anti-semitism-center-publishes-new-research/ . ISGAP.org 165 East 56th St, 4th Fl NYC 10022.  RSVP/ID required: info@ISGAP.org;
THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014   6:30 PM  Acclaimed director Péter Forgács explores the unique circumstances of the Holocaust in southern Hungary in his intimate film Free Fall, told through the home videos of a Jewish family in the 1940s. Forgács will introduce the film and be present for a post-screening discussion. This film screening commemorates the 70th anniversary of the beginning of nationwide mass deportations in Hungary.  Center For Jewish History 15 West 16th St. NY. NY 10011. $10/ID required. Telephone 212 291 8301. CJH.org/event/2372











Applaud Judith Miller for this immensely important article written so well it stands as a 'how to' primer in journalistic exposition.


3-BOSTON JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS SPONSOR HARVARD STUDENT TRIP TO ARAFAT'S GRAVE.  Israel Trek is made possible by the generous contributions of a number of family foundations and Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies. (Does that mean UJA-FEDERATION played a part in the trips funding?) The Trek is supported by Harvard Hillel.  Elders of Zion rightfully commented: People respect you more when you have some self respect. Telling the students that they are free to do what they want, but that the leaders of the trip find the idea of  paying respects to a terrorist is repugnant, is far preferable to promulgating the "all narratives are equally valid" idiocy that passes for enlightened education nowadays.  This is a sickness.


There is another, fuller, confusing article by kiryasjoel.com: And if the Palestinian Arab leaders will only meet with American students with a "tour of the Mukata" as a prerequisite, what does that say about their openness? Should American students be turned into propaganda tools as a trade-off to get the leaders to sit down with those students.and it all begins to sound a bit like some of the distortions in the"peace process" negotiations..

David Eden, Chief Administrative Officer of Hillel International, issued a statement which was posted at another media site which covered the Harvard Israel Trek visit to the Mukata.  But, not surprisingly, Eden also appeared to be angry only that the picture was posted, and not that Harvard students were taken on a pilgrimage to the burial shrine of Yasser Arafat.  

The Harvard College Israel Trek 2014 students met with Jodi Rudoren (NYTimes Jerusalem Bureau Chief as of May 2012), on Saturday, March 15.

Rudoren, for those who do not recall, got into a bit of hot water when she first came to Israel. She was highly criticized for tweeting out friendly messages to people like Ali Abunimah, the editor of the Electronic Intifada. Abunimah is a devout supporter of the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel movement.

In a previously unheard of form of reprimand, Rudoren was assigned a social media editor, in an effort to curb her public and repeated faux pas.

Last summer Rudoren was again widely criticized for an article that was understood by many to be not just justifying, but romanticizing the rock throwing by Arab youth.



This is how one of the Harvard students described  NYTimes writer Rudoren's talk to the Harvard College Israel Trek 2014 group in her blog.


Our first speaker was Jody, who is the editor in chief for the Israel bureau of NYT. She's so funny and chill, I loved it. One thing she said that really stuck out to me was that the "face" of the Israeli conflict is the Palestininan [sic] stone thrower. It's painful to be in the face of guns and soldiers whom you feel have wronged you, your history, your family, and all you have are stones. But you make do, taking back some of the earth that was taken from you to gain it all back. Hope and resilience, anger and love. These emotions really rule the world, no matter what your background and where you come from. Although I would never want to compare the Palestinian experience to anything because there is nothing like it and that would neglect the nuanced complexity of the situation, I see similarities between the Palestinian struggle and other movements for justice, based on narrative. It's painfully, beautifully sad, that no matter how much time has passed in history, suffering for the same reasons occurs time after time. (emphasis added). [WHY DO FAIR MINDED PEOPLE STILL READ THE NY TIMES?]

If the goal of Israel Trek is to create students who are "knowledgeable student leaders who can advocate in an effective way for Israel," this student's "takeaway" from Rudoren is not reassuring.  (KiryasJoel.com)


4-A STATE WITHOUT DELUSION  History has taught us that Palestine must remain limited in its turf and in its weapons - because, like its Arab neighbors, it cannot be trusted to let well enough alone.  So starts Marty Peretz's article.  Marty Peretz Editor-in-chief Emeritus of The New Republic, was an early supporter of Barack Obama.  Peretz's excellent analysis was penned just over two years ago in March 2012.  Regrettably in conclusion Peretz continues to support a palestinean state.

Palestine is still a central trope in the politics of the Arab world. It may be the only subject on which a fissiparous (tending to break into parts) culture of a quarter of a billion people can agree.

There must be another solution for this unwanted nettle in the side of the Middle East.  Only Israel accepts palestineans, almost 20%, within their population as full citizens, with representatives in their Knesset. 

Carolyn Glick has just written, is speaking at many venues daily in the NYC area, The Israeli Solution. 

In essence Israel would apply it laws to Judea and Samaria and govern the areas as normal parts of Israel.  The military government will be dissolved, as it was in the Golan Heights in 1981, when Israel applied Israeli law to that area.  The palestinean authority will be dissolved.  Its security forces will be disbanded and disarmed, and the Israeli military and police will assume full security responsibility for the whole of the country.  Israel will place reasonable limits on eligibility for citizenship.  For instance, past or current membership in terrorist organizations and past or current incitement to violence against Israel, should disqualify an individual from asquiring cirizenship.

     The PLO will no longer be the representative of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.  Like their fellow Israeli Arabs and Jews, if they apply for and receive citizenship, the palestini ans in Judea and Samaria will be duly represented by legislators in the Knesset whom they elect.  And all of them will be represented in their local governments by officials they will elect. 

Yes, implementing Israeli law in Judean and Samaria will doubtlessly cause a host of difficulties for Israel - not least, that such a move will burden its welfare services.  However, this policy has one key advantage that the two-state policy and the confederation- with-Jordan policy lack: it is a viable, realistic option, not a pipe dream. It also has an advantage over the option of prolonging the current dual governance by the palestinian authority and the Israeli military government: it is fair, liberal and democratic.  pp. 120-121. THE ISRAELI SOLUTION, Caroline Glick, Crown Forum  Press 2014  



March 21, 2014
Jerusalem Post

The writer is a Jerusalem-based FM radio show host, the director of Kumah, a pro-Israel NGO, and a graduate of the Cardozo School of Law.?

"Jonathan Pollard is dead. He died at the age of 59 in Butner prison in North Carolina, after 29 years of incarceration. Although many top US security officials joined Israeli efforts for the release of the Israeli operative, Pollard's health had deteriorated markedly in the last few years, resulting finally in his death."

The above is not true yet, but it may be weeks, days or hours away from being true.

With the recent news of yet another hospitalization and emergency surgery on Jonathan Pollard's kidneys, intestines and gall bladder, we can't avoid the thought of his possible death. We must look it squarely in the face, and imagine how we will feel when we hear the news.

We are used to thinking of the Pollard case as something outside of us, not too personal. But if Pollard dies in prison, then our whole generation will die just a little. We will all bear the stain of failing a man who risked his life to protect Israel. When our children will ask us: "Were you around when Jonathan Pollard was alive?" the shameful answer will be: "Yes, I was around, and I did not do enough to help him." To remind you: Pollard was a US Naval intelligence analyst who passed information to Israel, an American ally, about its own self-defense. He was caught and agreed to a plea bargain, but instead of getting two to four years like other agents who spied on the US for enemy states, Pollard got life in prison.

This harsh sentence came about as a result of af?davits written to the court by then-secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger has since been discredited by people like Robert "Bud" McFarlane, Ronald Reagan's national security adviser at the time, who wrote to President Barack Obama on behalf of Pollard, saying that Weinberger had a history of "unbalanced reasoning" when it came to Israel.

McFarlane is not the only of?cial to stand up for Pollard. Lawrence Korb also wrote Obama to plead for clemency: "Dear Mr. President: As assistant secretary of defense at the time of Jonathan Pollard's arrest, I respectfully request that you exercise your power of clemency on behalf of Mr. Pollard, who has now been in prison for 25 years. Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for passing classi?ed information to an American ally. Based on my ?rst-hand knowledge, I can say with con?dence that the severity of Pollard's sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel, and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger."

In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Korb wrote: "Most of the major decision-makers who were intimately involved in the case have issued public calls for clemency. They include former secretary of state George Shultz, former senator David Durenberger (who served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the time of Pollard's conviction), and former congressman Lee Hamilton (chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Pollard's sentencing). Key ?gures who viewed the classi?ed damage assessment years later also favor Pollard's release. They include former head of Senate Intelligence Dennis DeConcini, deputy attorney-general Philip Heymann, attorney-general Michael Mukasey, White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum, as well as James Woolsey, former director of the CIA."

Woolsey even published a letter in The Wall Street Journal titled "It's time to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence."

And there are even more top-level people who have written Obama seeking clemency for Pollard, including Henry Kissinger, Arlen Specter, Allen West, Dan Quayle and Prof. Angelo Codevilla, along with hundreds of American legislators and spiritual leaders who have signed petitions.

So why is Pollard still in prison, even though so many have taken a brave public stand, he has served more than enough time, and he suffers from dangerously failing health? Maybe Weinberger, whose father was of Jewish descent, is the not the only anti-Semite out there. Maybe there are people in the halls of American power that want American Jews and Israelis to keep their heads down, and not get out of line. Pollard's imprisonment is a form of collective punishment - "Jews, know your place."

Now, I am calling on the American people, so many of whom are friends of Israel: This is the hour of your test - will you let this man, who is serving an immoral life sentence for defending Israel, die? It is your time to stand up, and use the democracy of which America is so proud. Pull out all the stops. You already have top brass behind the cause, but now the voice of the people must be heard. Make sure your congressmen, senators and president know that this will not stand, because without justice and liberty, what is America? That being said, we Jews and Israelis mustn't pass the buck. We can blame intransigent US administrations all we want, but have we made it clear that we demand Pollard's freedom? Sure, we said a prayer, sent a boilerplate email, and even attended a rally for Jonathan. But so far, most of us did not disrupt our lives nor have we taken steps to disrupt our government's life, and the life of Jewish organizations who represent us.

Throughout our history, we Jews have known the pain of captives and this is re?ected in our literature, where the Talmud calls the redemption of captives a mitzva raba, a great mitzva, for captivity is viewed as even worse than starvation and death. Maimonides writes: "The redeeming of captives takes precedence over supporting the poor or clothing them.

There is no greater mitzva than redeeming captives... Ignoring the need to redeem captives desecrates [the verses], "Do not stand idly by while your neighbor's blood is shed" (Lev. 19:16) and. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18)."

The Shulhan Aruch, the codex of Jewish law, adds: "Every moment that one delays in freeing captives, in cases where it is possible to expedite their freedom, is considered to be tantamount to murder." Ouch.

Recently, after news of Pollard's hospitalization, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on Channel 10, and stated: "Pollard does not need to be in the hospital nor in a prison - he needs to be released."

Netanyahu continued: "There isn't a single conversation in the White House that goes by without bringing [Pollard] up," and "I hope that we can ?nally succeed to bring him home."

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: If you keep "conversing" for his release, Pollard will soon be dead. There is no time for ?nessing, cajoling or games.

For your own sake as much as Pollard's, and for the sake of this generation, you need to place the weight of Israel behind this issue: Call in friends, make some threats, throw some muscle around.

Mr. Prime Minister: Just as you made the release of Gilad Schalit a priority, so too make Pollard's release a priority, so that this Passover, the holiday of freedom, Pollard can sit at a Seder table in Jerusalem.

Indeed, we all want Jonathan Pollard to come home. We hope he sees the sunset on the Mediterranean, feels the desert breeze on his face, and says the thankful prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Yes, we all want him to have health and happy days, but unless something changes, Jonathan Pollard, our brother, will soon die in Butner prison - and we will all bear the bloodstain of his death for the rest of our lives. ?
Judith MillerFox News
March 18, 2014
The slaughter in Syria began with children -- and continues with them. According to a new United Nations report, more than 10,000 Syrian children have died in the conflict, probably an underestimate, the U.N. concludes. Almost three million children in Syria and neighboring countries are unable to attend school, about half Syria's school-age population. More than a third of Syrian children are no longer living in their homes or communities.
"Syria is now one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child," states the new report "Under Siege" a 20-page study by UNICEF, which describes in chilling statistics and anecdotal accounts the devastating impact of Syria's three-year-old civil war on the most defenseless of victims.
After so much turmoil and suffering, it is often forgotten that this vicious power struggle war began with the arrest and torture of 15 Syrian children in the southern city of Daraa for painting anti-government graffiti on the walls of a school.
The community's outrage over the children's mistreatment sparked riots that soon spread throughout Syria, as unarmed protesters refused to be cowed by President Bashar Assad's thuggish security forces and demanded justice.
There seems no end in sight to such trauma. The report states that one in ten Syrian children - over 1.2 million - have become refugees in neighboring Arab countries.
By the end of January, 2014, 37,498 Syrian children had been born as refugees.
Those who remain inside Syria are subjected to bombings, shelling, hunger, and terror. Another earlier report notes that children as young as 11 have been arrested, some subjected to torture and sexual abuse to humiliate them, force confessions, or pressure their relatives to surrender.
"A narrow window of opportunity remains to protect this brutalized generation," the "Under Siege" report warns.
In addition to abject hunger and starvation, doctors report what they call "hidden hunger," dangerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies which have slowly undermined Syrian children's ability to develop and thrive. Unless the slaughter and destruction stop, Syrian children face a "generational threat of irretrievable nutritional damage."
There are fewer and fewer places left to treat these ailing children. UNICEF reports that 60 percent of Syrian hospitals have been destroyed or damaged. Fewer than a third of public ambulances and health centers are functioning; immunization rates have fallen across the country from 99 percent before the war to 52 percent in 2012. A third of Syria's water treatment plants have been destroyed. Only a third of the country's sewage is being treated. Polio, which was once eradicated in Syria, is returning.
UNICEF proposes a series of sensible steps to "make this the last year of suffering" for Syria's children, including calling on all parties to permit UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies to deliver vitally needed food, medicine and aid to children in areas under siege. But their sound pleas are likely to go unheeded by all of the warring sides.
The most we can do is read their reports, weep, and write a check.
UNICEF is seeking $276 million in funds for its education work this year - double the amount of last year -- and $110 million to train teachers committed to trying to save what threatens to be a lost generation.
On Tuesday, the Obama administration effectively shuttered the Syrian embassy in Washington by ordering Damascus to suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. But U.S. officials moved only after Syrian President Bashar Assad' suspended consular services for Syrians living in the U.S.
President Obama long ago rejected the type of humanitarian intervention for which Samantha Power, his ambassador to the United Nations, once so passionately and persuasively called for before taking up her current post in his administration.
He has also rejected a serious campaign to arm the "moderate" rebels, as they have proven as quarrelsome and feckless as their critics have claimed. Perhaps, had the U.S. provided those forces with support and guidance earlier, they might have been able to prevent the domination of the rebel cause by Al Qaeda and other like-minded Islamic militants, America's enduring foes.
But such second-guessing now serves no point. At this stage, there seem to be few good options for stopping the ongoing slaughter of combatants and innocents alike.
Republicans (and some Democrats) were right to blast Obama for having backed away from his impromptu declaration of a "red line" against Syria's use of chemical weapons on his own citizens.
Russia saved Obama political embarrassment by embracing Secretary of State John Kerry's demand that Syria give up its chemical arms and leaned on Damascus to give up those WMDs. But disarming Syria of such monstrous arms -- a positive development, to be sure -- will not stop the regime from dropping barrel bombs on children in rebel-held areas, nor will it prevent the rebels from slitting "infidel" throats and killing more innocent children in their own vicious struggle for power.
The war seems destined to rage on, until one side wins or exhaustion brings the warring factions to the negotiating table in earnest. That, too, seems many more deaths away.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Boston Jewish community sponsored a tour of Israel for Harvard University students called Israel Trek:
The inaugural Harvard College Israel Trek (Spring Break, March 14th- 23rd) will bring 50 Harvard undergraduate students to Israel in hopes of facilitating a nuanced first encounter with the country, its history, narratives, culture, politics and people. Student participants represent diverse religious, national, and cultural backgrounds, and are all leaders in various capacities on campus.

The Trek is being led by a dynamic team of Israeli undergraduates, and will draw on the narratives of its participants and leaders, placing a special emphasis on fostering meaningful personal relationships. This component will add a unique and personal dimension to this particular Israel experience.

Students will learn about Israeli history, culture, and politics. Some of the topics explored will include the hi-tech industry, the emerging cultural landscape, questions regarding religion and state, the peace process and Israel's geopolitical position in the region.

Israel Trek is made possible by the generous contributions of a number of family foundations and Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The Trek is supported by Harvard Hillel.
Sounds great, right? It is wonderful to give students the opportunity to see the side of Israel that they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. The students are led by Israelis - Arabs and Jews - who know the country. The students who are on the trip are a very diverse group of undergraduates.

So why the hell did this trip, sponsored by Jewish organizations and Harvard Hillel, take the students to pose at the grave of a mass murderer of Jews?
[Not waning to nauseate you, I've omitted the picture of the smiling Harvard idiots at Arafat's tomb.]
Its wonderful to expose people to both sides of the story, but it is stupid to embrace the side of the story that wants to see you gone.  Israel Trek could have arranged for a few hours with an Arab tour guide in Judea and Samaria, or they could have given students a free day, or any number of other options. But to have supposed Jewish organizations arrange for a visit to a terrorist who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the gruesome murder of thousands - and to take a photo of students smiling in the presence of such disgusting filth - is beyond belief.

News bulletin: People respect you more when you have some self respect. Telling the students that they are free to do what they want, but that the leaders of the trip find the idea of  paying respects to a terrorist is repugnant, is far preferable to promulgating the "all narratives are equally valid" idiocy that passes for enlightened opinion nowadays.

This is a sickness.


History has taught us that Palestine must remain limited in its turf and in its weapons - because, like its Arab neighbors, it cannot be trusted to let well enough alone

Martin Peretz

March 24, 2012


 Anyway, this event had a basis in reality: there is now among those who are especially concerned about the Palestinians a new (well, not exactly new) solution being proffered. It is the "one-state solution," from the sea to the river (and soon after across the Jordan, too) with a majority of Arabs and a democratic state. This would be, of course, the first state in history that would be Arab and democratic, the Arab Spring notwithstanding. Do we have any evidence at all that this is a political-cultural possibility?


I am afraid I belong to the minoritarian school, which believes that democracy and Palestinianism are not naturally symbiotic, and one of the reasons I believe this so is that Arab nationalism in general, and in its specific manifestations over a century and a half, has been hostile to democracy.
Remember that even the sainted King Hussein of Jordan murdered 10,000 Palestinians in 1970, in what they call Black September.
I hasten to add that there is nothing "essentialist" about this. The reasons are historical and ideological. Arab nationalism has generally preferred a union of the military and the mob. Go back to Gamal Abdul Nasser, the Egyptian fantast colonel, who persuaded half the Third World that he was its leader and then persuaded John Foster Dulles that he was a reliable American ally. The patronage of the secretary of state, a certified reactionary, did not deflect the roused masses from their adulation of Nasser: after all, he was fighting the Jews.
But anarchy and its Hobbesian counter-force in the Arab world do not ultimately depend on the Jews. They depend on the Arabs. You see it now in extremis in Syria. Sometimes there is a lull in the murderous character of the confrontation. But that depends on a crafty but temporary division of the spoils on sectarian lines, as the peace that hates does in Lebanon now. It will last six months, maybe a year, and then revert to its natural currency of blood. Remember that even the sainted King Hussein of Jordan murdered 10,000 Palestinians in 1970, in what they call Black September. But if he and his Hashemite soldiers had not killed them, they would have killed him and 10,000 other Jordanians.


Now, the Palestinians are actually lucky in their demography. They are virtually all Sunnis. The Christian Arabs of Palestine have mostly left (while the Christian Arabs in Israel have grown in number, a phenomenon that makes a hash of the clichés about the xenophobia of the Jewish state). Still, extended family and clan and class do matter a lot among the Palestinians. American reporters in Israel and the West Bank haven't told this story, and I am afraid that this is so because their Palestinian informants do not have it on their list of hot topics to peddle to Western reporters, who are often there only to find a "bad Jews" story. Every so often, though, you can read between the lines that the real narrative, the real conflict, is among the Arabs themselves. (And if you don't want only to read between the lines, read four exquisitely written and historically intriguing novels by Matthew Rees, a crime writer who really knows Palestine: The Collaborator of Bethlehem, A Grave in Gaza, The Samaritan's Secret and The Fourth Assassin.)

One structural impediment to the coherence of Palestinian nationalism is that in the history of Arab Palestine, the Palestinians were not the ones to do battle against Zionism and its successful state, except in the periodic episodes of high terror. In the War of Independence in 1948, Israel's armed struggle was not against the Arab locals of Palestine; it fought instead against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and (far-away) Iraq. In the Six Day War, it was ditto minus Iraq. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, only Egypt and Syria fought in what they construed as war for the territory they lost in 1948. This is actually the most pathetic aspect of the Palestinian half-struggle against the Jews. Their war was fought by the armies of others who wanted Arab Palestine for themselves. Had Israel lost in 1967 or 1973, it would not have been Palestine in its place; the land would have been divvied up by the countries which had entered the fight to add turf to their own national cartographies.

The fight for Palestine by the Palestinians began late. It has been a pitiful fight, winning all kinds of battles in international arenas where the reward was only ecstatic verbiage. And so, nothing has changed for the Palestinians, not least because Palestine's Arab allies are allies only in talk, a bit of intelligence subterfuge, and a lesser bit of cash. Some of these allies also host inhospitably tens of thousands of "refugees" who are now refugees into the fifth generation. Is there anywhere else a refugee into the fifth or fourth or even third generation? Some of the most militant Arab nationalist governments do not allow any Palestinians to reside among them. Phenomenally wealthy as they are, the Saudis are short of teachers and doctors, and so the only Palestinians they admit - you guessed it - are teachers and doctors.
Palestine, even though everybody talks about it as if it already exists, is much further away from being Palestine than at any time since the partition plan of 1947.
Almost all of the Palestinians victories have occurred in diplomacy, but not in diplomacy with the one state that has the power and the reason to give the Palestinians what they seek - I mean Israel - because the Palestinians prefer not to come to the one table that really matters. I know, I know: sometimes Israelis have not exactly rushed to the table either. But the Palestinians are the ones without a state, and it boggles the mind that they would always rather explain the inadequacies of Israel's position than correct the inadequacies of their own position.
And so, Palestine, even though everybody talks about it as if it already exists, is much further away from being Palestine than at any time since the partition plan of 1947 that was to have created it. And it is a caricature of Israel's recent decades of history with the Palestinians to describe its stance as entirely "rejectionist." Quite the contrary. Over the years the Israelis have made so many conciliatory proposals to the Palestinians - two at the urgent behest of Washington - that they literally cannot grasp why Arafat and his successors turned them down. OK, we now know that the last thing that Arafat wanted was peace. Still, the poor people of Palestine continue under his spell. His successor and the Palestinian Authority were supposed no longer to be in the grip of figments and fabrication. They were supposed to have grasped that 60 years is not yesterday and the Palestine that the Zionists were ready to accept in 1947 - most of them eager to accept - is not the plausible Palestine of today.


The more the Arabs of Palestine demand, the less they will get, until what Israel may be willing to forfeit in the increasingly precarious regional circumstances will seem so parsimonious that they will deem it an insult to take. Actually, there has been no negotiating occasion when the Arabs weren't over-reachers. This is why a settlement made with them or among them is also and always a hudna, a truce. A truce is not a settlement. It is only an interval between wars. Under these conditions, of course, the Jewish state and, for that matter, all nation-states, are forbidden by the obvious laws of caution to make grand gestures.

Shortly after his inauguration, President Obama entered eagerly onto the peace highway. And he immediately burdened it with so much heavy cargo that the road itself collapsed. The fact is that he seems to have known little of the historical conflict but much of the cliched left-wing account of Jewish injustice to the Palestinians. He was not only deluded by the Palestinians' narrative of their own tragedy; he was also taken in by the Arab chronicle of immemorial glory and its usurpation by imperialism. Obama narrowed the imperial debit account to Palestine. After all, there were independent Arab polities elsewhere in the region that he praised and over-praised, starting right-off in Mubarak's Cairo, five months after the inauguration, sloppily and cravenly, with goofy historical error and the eloquence to which falsity is naturally prone.
Alas, Barack Obama seems never to have met an Arab leader he doesn't trust. But he certainly doesn't trust Bibi Netanyahu, and he told both President Sarkozy and the world about that.
Believe it or not, Mubarak may have been the least wicked of the president's allies among the Arabs. Recall that Obama was about to press Israel into a dangerous accommodation with the Syrian tyranny, until even he may have recognized that Assad - the "reformer" who unleashes wholesale massacre against even his own population - may be the most monstrous Arab leader of them all. Even Hamas has deserted him. But Khaled Abu Toameh reported a few days ago in the Jerusalem Post that the two ascendant terror groups in Gaza, Islamic Jihad and Palestine Resistance Committees, have intensified their backing of Assad even though he has especially targeted their fellow Sunnis in Syria. Go figure.

I assume that American intelligence agencies, by means of espionage or long-distance psychiatry, are busy seeking characterological information on political leaders who are in our sights for good or for bad. Someone asked last week what kind of details Neville Chamberlain might have had about Adolf Hitler. I wonder what kind of information Presidents Kennedy and Johnson had about Ho Chi Minh or Henry Kissinger about Mao tse-tung. Someone certainly pulled Bill Clinton's chain about Yasser Arafat. Alas, Barack Obama seems never to have met an Arab leader he doesn't trust. But he certainly doesn't trust Bibi Netanyahu, and he told both President Sarkozy and the world about that. Maybe, to build a confidence, he told Bibi what he thought about Sarkozy. We shall never know.

Among many commentators, Netanyahu is the perennial fall guy for the perennial collapse of negotiations. Many of these critics blame his politically very conservative 102-year-old father for the views of the son. It really all begins with the provocative thesis of Ben Zion Netanyahu, one of the eminent Jewish historians of our time, about racialism being the well of the Spanish Inquisition. I don't know how this perspective fits into the demonization of the prime minister. But it does, and especially for those still insisting on winning the outdated 1930s argument for Zionist bi-nationalism, which assumed, in a really spectacular error, that "the Arab" (who was not yet a "Palestinian") and "the Jew" were the docile protagonists of Martin Buber's brainy but ethereal "I-Thou" drama.

The only Muslim country where Israel remains prime demon (and, thus, Palestine prime victim) is Iran, which is also at war with both the West and all of Sunni Islam.
Palestine is still a central trope in the politics of the Arab world. It may be the only subject on which a fissiparous culture of a quarter of a billion people can agree. In Egypt it figures now, but not all that prominently, in the presidential campaign of Amr Mousa, the former head of the Arab League whose only real business was the ongoing psychological and ideological war against Israel. The Islamist candidate also has Palestine in his rhetoric. But the elections are not about Palestine, just as the Syrian crisis is not about Palestine. In fact, the only Muslim country where Israel remains prime demon (and, thus, Palestine prime victim) is Iran, which is also at war with both the West and all of Sunni Islam.

Only months ago Palestine was about to have been birthed by the General Assembly. It wasn't, and President Obama deserves the credit for preventing another delusory victory for the Palestinians, who seem mesmerized by the weight of insubstantial resolutions and ceremonies where their flag is flown. And so the problem of Palestine remains. The Palestinian failure contrasts with the reality of Kurdistan; at least Kurdistan in Iraq and maybe soon also Kurdistan in Syria. Palestine was supposed to be in the ascendance and Kurdistan nowhere - but the Palestinians could not recognize one mirage after another when it faced them. They were deluded by fictions, and they deluded others in turn.
Why even otherwise-realistic world powers were also deluded is a problem for historians. Some people still have difficulty in admitting that the Jewish people is now an independent actor - and a dazzlingly powerful independent actor - in the international arena, in democratic reality, in economic learning and exploration, in scientific innovation, in the architectonics of a diverse and widely dispersed community into one. I say yes to a Palestinian state. But it had better be a state without delusions, a state limited in its turf and in its weapons, because, like its Arab neighbors, it cannot be trusted to let well enough alone.

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