24 March 2010

Does Israel have a Plan B?

I believe that all countries should do what is in the best interest of their respective countries.

I expect that the United States should do what is best for the United States and her citizens. (I don't see this happening at the moment, but that's an article for the future).

I also expect that Israel should do what is best for Israel and her citizens.

Israel and the United States have been allies since Israel's founding in 1948, but there have even been times over the course of time that Israel and the U.S. have not seen eye to eye. These moments have generally occurred when Israel decided to defend herself and those living in the country.

1956 - Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, an important trade waterway in the Middle East. In a joint effort, Israel, Great Britian and France invaded Egypt and took the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. Israel was condemned by President Eisenhower and had aid threatened to be withheld if Israel didn't withdraw. They did.

1973 - The Yom Kippur War. Israel was attacked by the surrounding Arab countries on one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. The battle was not going well when Israel asked the U.S. for help.
Just days after Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on the holiest day of the Jewish year (Oct. 6, 1973), Israel urgently needed more tanks, planes and ammunition, its leaders argued. But 25 years ago, at the height of the Yom Kippur War, the White House responded that it would study the request.

Secretary of State Kissinger waited six days before granting the request. In his words: "let Israel come out ahead, but let them bleed."

1975 - President Ford threatened to re-evaluate the U.S.- Israel relationship if Israel did not pull out of the Sinai Peninsula.

1981 - U.S. condemned Israel's bombing of Iraq's nuclear factory in Osirak.

1982 - President Reagan forced Israel's Prime Minister Begin into a ceasefire in Lebanon.

We know that President H.W. Bush's administration was not especially friendly to Israel.

President Bill Clinton was known as being "very friendly" toward the Jewish state. This friendship lead to many "piece" agreements where Israel gave away much and received little.

President George W. Bush was probably the most open in his support of Israel. Bush went on to speak about the bond between the United States and Israel.
"Some people suggest that if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it," Bush told a special session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem.

"Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you," Bush added.

And now we have our current President Obama - who is known to have become "livid" when he heard about the new Jewish homes being built in Jerusalem.

If the basic reasoning for any government's existence is to protect its citizenry - and it is being forced into a situation where they are unable to defend those citizens... that government finds itself in an untenable situation.

Israel and the United States have been allies since 1948 - but not without some friction. Taking a walk through American-Israeli relations - I would suggest that Israel had better have a Plan B. A plan that takes into account the weakening of ties of the two countries.

This is a sad moment for Jews all around the world. A moment where we realize that the bonds that bind these two countries together are not "unbreakable", and that this may be the time for Israel to realize that it's time to stand on her own without the strings attaching her to the United States. There may be presidents that see the importance of that connection... and there may be presidents that do not. Israel cannot afford to be dependent on a country that may or may not see the vital importance of the relationship.

It's time for Israel to go to Plan B.

22 March 2010

I Will Bless Those Who Bless You...

I love when people try to be smarter when they really are.

Two perfect examples come from our esteemed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an invited guest to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. During her remarks to the audience she explained that the reason why she and the Obama administration had come down so harshly on Israel for announcing the construction of 1600 Jewish homes in Jerusalem was "because we are committed to Israel and its security," she said. Yup. That's the equivalent to a domestic violence situation - I hit her because I love her. That does it for me.

The second example of Hillary's attempt to be smarter than she looks is when she spoke about what courage it takes to do hard things (i.e. making peace with terrorists). Of course with the Jews heading into the season of Passover she decided to invoke Biblical references about following Moses into the Promised Land.

This reference to Moses is brilliant and aptly timed for the Jewish People of today - although I don't know that she should have reminded us of the Hagaddah, the Passover narrative read at the seder. (As an aside: Moses himself didn't stand quietly aside as Jews were hurt - he killed an Egyptian when that Egyptian assaulted a Jew.)

The paragraph - V'hee Sheamda speaks about all those who have attempted to destroy us.
This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!

In every generation there are those who have attempted to destroy us. The Jewish People are no stranger to such things. But we must remind ourselves who saves us every time. It's not the U.S. State Department, not foreign aid and not even the "savior" Obama. It's G-d, the G-d of the Jewish People.

If Hillary wants to wax Biblical she may want to check out the book of Joshua - as the Jews were conquering the Land. The Jewish People had captured five kings of the area.
It happened when they brought out those kings to Joshua that Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the officers of the men of war to had gone with him, "Approach, place your feet on the necks of these kings." They approached and placed their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, "Do not fear, do not lose resolve; be strong and courageous, for thus shall G-d do to all your enemies with whom you battle." Joshua struck them after that and killed them... (Joshua 10:24-26)

And if she supposes to talk about "occupied lands" than I may point her in the direction of the Early Prophets. The King of Ammon decided to declare war on the Jewish People because
"Israel took away my land when it ascended from Egypt, from Arnon to the Jabbok to the Jordan! So now return them in peace." (Judges 11:13)

To this statement the leader of Israel, Jephthah, gives a short history how the Jewish People came to claim this land finishing with the important words,
"And now G-d, the G-d of Israel, has driven out the Amorite because of His People Israel - yet you would possess it?..." (Judges 11:23)

Again and again, the G-d of the Jewish People saves us from those who would do us harm - no matter who the culprit may be. Certainly it would behoove our Secretary of State as well as others in the administration to dust off their Bibles and review which side of history they would like to be on.

19 March 2010

Peace, Peace... there is no Peace

Last week when Vice-President Biden was in Israel trying to re-start the "piece" talks, the Israeli government happened to announce the building of 1600 new homes in a religious neighborhood called Ramat Shlomo - established by peace-nik Yitzchak Rabin. Biden took this opportune time to condemn the Jewish state for such actions.

"I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem," Biden said.

The American vice president added that the
"substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel."

"We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them," Biden said...

This is an incredible statement in many ways, but we'll focus on two because I don't have all day.

Number One: Jerusalem has never been on the negotiating table. The only reason there is free access to any of the religious sites in Jerusalem is because Israel has control over them. If they were under the "protection" of the Arabs - there would be no free access, and in a worse case scenario destroyed. (The Tomb of Joseph in Schem/Nablus was destroyed when handed over to the Arabs under a "piece" agreement and replaced with a mosque.)

Number Two: These 1600 homes are the "kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now" and is counter to building "an atmosphere to support negotiations". Blah, blah blah. That's right, Jews building homes in Jerusalem undermines trust. Is that right? You know what undermines "trust" and is counter to building the right "atmosphere"? Rockets.

Rockets have continuously been raining on southern Israel. No one bothers to report a favorite daily activity by Hamas - but shockingly enough - one of the rockets happened to murder a Thai worker the other day. Does Biden care? No.

Let's not only pin the "trust" issue on Hamas - we can look over at the Palestinian Authority (the moderates) and see what they have done to create trust and a good "atmosphere" for peace.

Could it be the dedication of a town square of in El-Bireh (near the friendly city of Ramallah) for Dalal Mughrabi and her attack on a civilian bus - murdering 37 innocents...
including Liat Gal-On, age 6, and Illan Hohman, age 3, Galit Ankwa, age 2, Moti Zit, age 9, and six other children, while wounding 73 other civilians. An attack incidentally that remains the deadliest of all the terror attacks in Israel's history.

A heartwarming interview with Mughrabi's sister - who calls her a "source of pride for Palestinian women", along with Mughrabi's letter explaining her "martyrdom" played on PA television on March 11, 2010 commemorating the massacre. A worthwhile watch. Yes, these are our "peace" partners. I feel better already.

* Never mind the other everyday attacks on the roads in Judea/Samaria (West Bank) that could be thwarted by the "moderate" PA. Just the other day a man and his nine-month old baby had their car firebombed, but never mind.

* Never mind the indoctrination aimed at children to become "martyrs".

* Never mind the riots and mayhem begun by the PA as a way of stopping Israel from declaring the Cave of Machpela/Cave of the Patriarchs (Hebron) and Tomb of Rachel (Bethlehem) as Jewish Heritage sites.

* Never mind the rock throwing off the top of the Western Wall onto worshippers as the result of the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue (destroyed by the Jordanian army in 1948 when the city was split) located in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

Shut up Biden. Don't speak these words of "peace" and "trust" while allowing murders to get away with the blood on their hands. Peace, peace... there is no peace. This is war.

04 March 2010

Individual vs. Government

Another wonderful example of how the individual's creativity is always better than government trying to create solutions.
Volunteers in Afghanistan -- both locals and foreigners from the MIT Bits and Atoms lab -- have been building out a wireless network made largely from locally scrounged junk. They call it "FabFi" and it's kicking ass, especially when compared with the World Bank-funded alternative, which has spent seven years and hundreds of millions of dollars and only managed its first international link last summer.

Amazing, but not surprising.

03 March 2010

Who Cares about Mahmoud al-Mabhouh?

Imagine a terrorist is living within your country. He is the head of a large terrorist organization. He is known for smuggling weapons from Iran terrorists for the express purpose of murder and mayhem. He himself personally has murdered innocents - then standing on the person murdered and praising Allah. Wouldn't you want your government to get rid of him?

This is the man who was killed January 19th in Dubai. Mahmoud al-Mabhoub, a senior Hamas commander.

A lot of outrage has been directed toward Israel and the Mossad for his murder and Israel has neither claimed or denied responsibility for his death. Dubai's chief of police has recently called for the arrest of Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the Mossad.

Australia and England are also upset over the situation - their passports were forged in order for the assassins to enter Dubai.

What's there to get upset about? The man was a murderer - plain and simple. It's irrelevant who knocked him off... we should give them all medals. The world is a safer place than it was before January 19th.

This situation reminds me of another assassination back in March 2004. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas. At the time Israel removed him from the land of the living, the World decried their actions never minding the purpose of the Hamas terrorist organization. By 2004, Hamas had
...orchestrated 425 terrorist attacks, murdered 377 Israelis and wounded 2,076 more since September 2000. They have been responsible for the deaths of Americans as well. These deaths include the attack in the Hebrew University cafeteria in Jerusalem, killing 5 American students of July 2002.(Jerusalem Post "Israel uses Yassin’s words against him" 3/22/04 )

Jihad is a way of life. Quoting the Oral Tradition of Islam, the Hadith, the Hamas website quotes clearly, "I swear by the holder of Mohammed’s soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed."

Hamas is not above using children in their actions. Even Amnesty International has called on Arab terrorists organizations to stop using children in their attacks....

Rather than praise Israel for doing what was necessary the World condemned their actions. Once again today, we see the stupidity of the West. Instead of condemning Dubai for allowing safe passage to a known Hamas murderer - they would rather condemn the Jewish State for defending their citizens. An easy way out rather than deal with the real problem - Islamic terrorism.