28 July 2013

I Feel Sick

Following is the text of an open letter to the citizens of Israel from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the proposal to resume the diplomatic process, that will be submitted to the Cabinet tomorrow (Sunday, 28 July 2013):

"From time to time, prime ministers are called on to make decisions that go against public opinion – when the matter is important for the country.

In order to make decisions that are supported by the public, there is no need for prime ministers.

At the present time, it seems to me that it is very important for the State of Israel to enter into a diplomatic process. This is important both in order to exhaust the chance of ending the conflict with the Palestinians and in order to establish Israel's position in the complex international reality around us.

The major changes in our region – in Egypt, Syria and in Iran – not only place challenges before the State of Israel but they also create considerable opportunities for us.

For these reasons, I believe that it is important for the State of Israel to enter a diplomatic process that will continue for at least nine months – in order to check if it is possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians during this time.

But even with all of the importance that I ascribe to the diplomatic process, I was not prepared to accept the Palestinians' demands for withdrawals and freezes as preconditions for entering negotiations.
Neither was I prepared to accept their demand to release Palestinian prisoners before the start of negotiations. I did agree to release 104 Palestinians in stages after the start of the negotiations and in accordance with the circumstances of their progress.

This is an incomparably difficult decision, it is painful for the bereaved families and it is painful for the entire nation and it is also very painful for me.

It collides with the incomparably important value of justice.

It is a clear injustice when depraved people, even if most of them have sat in prison for over 20 years as in this case, are released before they have finished serving their sentences.

The decision is difficult for me seven-fold because my family and I personally know the price of bereavement stemming from terrorism. I know the pain very well. I have lived with it every day for the past 37 years.

The fact that previous Israeli governments have released over 10,000 terrorists does not make it easier for me today, and did not make it easier when I decided to bring back Gilad Shalit.

Gilad Shalit's return home entailed an incomparably difficult decision for me – releasing terrorists. But I believed that the value of bringing children back home needed to overcome this difficulty.

People in positions of leadership need to choose between complex choices and sometimes the necessary decision is especially difficult when most of the public opposes it.

Thus I decided to end Operation Pillar of Defense after the elimination of arch-terrorist Ahmed Jabari and after the severe blows the IDF dealt to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.

I made the decision to end the operation even though most of the public supported continued action, which would have required entering the Gaza Strip on the ground. As Prime minister, I thought that the goal of deterrence had been mostly achieved by the determined actions that we carried out.

Today, almost one year after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, we are witness to the quietest situation in the south in over a decade. Of course, this quiet can fray at any minute but my policy is clear on all fronts: We will, as much as possible, foil threats against us in a timely manner. We will react strongly to any attempt to harm our people.

In the next nine months, we will consider whether there is a Palestinian element opposite us that, like us, truly wants to end the conflict between us.

Such a conclusion will be possible only under conditions that will ensure security for Israel's citizens and ensure our vital national interests.

If we succeed in achieving such a peace agreement, I will submit it to a referendum.

Such a fateful decision cannot be made by a close vote in the Knesset.

Every citizen must be allowed to directly influence our future and our fate on such a crucial issue.

The best answer we can give to those same base murderers that sought to defeat us through terrorism is that in the decades that they sat in prison, we built a glorious country and turned it into one of the most prosperous, advanced and strongest countries in the world.

I promise that we will continue thus.


Benjamin Netanyahu."

25 July 2013

Palestinians Negotiating in "Good Faith"? What Would Muhammad Do (WWMD)?

It looks like John Kerry, our esteemed Secretary of State, is working hard to earn his money - shuttling back and forth trying to return the Israelis and "Palestinians" to peace negotiations. It would be impressive if this meant something, but I guess he needs something relatively useful to do with his time.

For negotiations to be successful, one must assume that the partner with which they are negotiating with is actually trustworthy - otherwise, the whole thing is an exercise in futility and a farce. Of course, that is what these negotiations are.

Just this week we've seen Israeli Arab Knesset minister Ahmed Tibi threaten another intifada (I assume with requisite bus, pizza and cafe bombings) if talks didn't produce results - even before negotiations have resumed. How's that for blackmail? Treason?

What is even better is what was reported yesterday. A Palestinian Authority minister compared the upcoming negotiations with Israel and assumed subsequent treaty to the peace treaty Muhammad made with the Quraish tribe - one that was disregarded by Mohammed after he became strong enough to defeat them.
[Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud] Habbash then compared the decision of the PA leadership to negotiate with Israel to the agreement of the Prophet Muhammad on a 10-year truce with his rivals in the Quraish tribe of Mecca, known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya, reached in the year 628 CE. 
“The hearts of the Prophet’s companions burnt with anger and fury … this is not disobedience [of God's command], it is politics. It is crisis management, conflict management … in less than two years, based on this treaty, the Prophet returned and conquered Mecca. This is the example. It is the model.”
Really?! This is the model? Is this an example of negotiating in "good faith" - that treaties are meant to be broken?

There is absolutely no reason for Israel to negotiate with these "people" - especially after this revelation, it would be stupid of them to do so.

"Cease-fire" aka "Time to Rearm"

22 July 2013

Just for Fun

I got both these headlines in my twitter account this morning:

MK Tibi warns of intifada if talks fail

Both Abba's spokesmen say no deal yet to restart talks

Just the headlines crack me up - it proves the point that Arabs are ready to start another mini-war with Israel even before there are actual talks. Let us think about the fact that Ahmad Tibi is a member of the Israeli Kenesset (Parliament) - it's a tough life - and he's threatening another war with bus and pizza shop bombings... isn't that treason?

More Israel and mid-East news:
Imam calls for US and Europe’s destruction from Temple Mount pulpitAl-Aqsa worshippers enthralled as cleric predicts rise of Islamic caliphate that will wipe out enemies (I'm feeling good about peace now!)

And in other news.
George Zimmerman Emerged From Hiding for Truck Crash Rescue
It's a boy! Catherine gives birth to royal baby (I like good news)
Noonan: A Bombshell in the IRS Scandal
Jason Riley: Race, Politics and the Zimmerman Trial

15 July 2013

The Zimmerman Trial Was A Disgrace

I am not one who likes television cameras in the court room, but regarding the Zimmerman trial, I must make an exception.

I am angry with our justice system. As I watched day after day of the trial, it was obvious that the prosecution had no case. Almost every witness they brought to support their side ended up sounding like the defense had put them on the stand. It was an embarrassment. Reasonable doubt permeated the case from beginning to end.

The state had brought a 2nd degree charge of murder. It was clear from the evidence that the intent needed for that charge was nowhere to be seen. The "civil rights industry" (read Revs. Sharpton and Jackson) invented this case. George Zimmerman was not a racist, no matter how hard the state attempted to make him out to be one.  I believe that the state only brought a 2nd degree charge so that they would have a chance to catch him on manslaughter. (Professor Dershowitz agrees with me.) Thankfully they were unable to do that.

Television anchors and their expert guests kept excusing the prosecution's weak case by telling us that 'wait, the case isn't over yet' - like there was some bombshell to wait for. There wasn't. The prosecution rested and the defense basically played clean-up, clarifying, and explaining the facts of the case (read Dr. Vincent Di Maio who literally wrote the book on gunshot wounds). The facts. Not the emotionally based attacks the prosecution tried.

The tv anchors and guests also kept telling us that the prosecution was tied by the evidence and witnesses that they had... which begs the question: If these prosecutors were so knowledgeable, wouldn't it have been obvious to them before they began the trial that they certainly had no 2nd degree murder case as well as no manslaughter charge? Which makes it obvious to us that the prosecution of George Zimmerman was a show trial.

A young man was dead, someone needed to pay for it.  That's what this case was all about - not about race. For the family's attorney to compare Trayvon Martin to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till disgusts me.

The death of Trayvon Martin was no doubt a tragedy. But to paraphrase Zimmerman lawyer, Don West, it's good that the jury kept this tragedy from turning into a travesty. I'm happy the trial was televised so we could all witness this prosecutorial attempt at destroying a man's life.

09 July 2013

The Terrorists in Sheep's Clothing

One could think that between the soon-to-be civil war in Egypt and watching the Zimmerman defense team wipe the floor with the prosecution, that there is no other news happening around the world. I'm sorry to disappoint, but there is.

Unfortunately, news comes from Israel where we learn that none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been secretly meeting with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to begin talks again on what some call a two-state solution, some call a three-state solution and what I call a no-Jewish-state solution.

This comes the same time as the "moderate" Palestinian Authority TV had a child, seven or eight years old, reading a poem describing Jews as "barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs."
“Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets
Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood
You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship.
Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs.”
Creative, imaginative and colorful isn't it? I'm impressed and certainly not surprised. While the world media describes Hamas in the Gaza Strip as extremists, the Palestinian Authority is not any different. The methods may differ - Hamas sends rockets into Israel while the PA under the guise of "moderation", brings Israel to the negotiating table to talk "peace"... the final result is the same, the dismemberment and destruction of the Jewish state.

Children, as we all know, are not born hating anyone. A child reading such an horrible "poem" has had to been brought up in a culture of violence - being taught that Jews are less than human. Removing such terrible creatures (the Jews) would follow - we know this to be true since martyrdom is taught to such young children through television cartoons and advertisements glorifying death.

We are talking about the Palestinian Authority. The so-called "moderates" - not Hamas, who we know are clearly planning the next attack on Israel. I wrote about what the PA was doing with their children back in 2002. Nothing has changed. The culture of violence continues strong - creating the next generation of terrorists.

Why has PM Netanyahu jumpstarted talks with the Palestinian Authority? I have no idea.

This is Unacceptable  (Nov. 25, 2002)
The Culture of Violence (Dec. 2, 2002)

04 July 2013

Happy Birthday USA!

Life with two kids under 2.5 years old does not leave much time for anything else :) Nevertheless, I would be derelict in my duties if I didn't find a quick moment to wish the United States a very Happy Birthday!

The United States is a special place for many reasons, and we should be aware that we are blessed to live or have lived there. Americans are not Americans because we all happen to live in the same place. The United States was founded on certain ideas and ideals - and we believe in these ideas and ideals. No matter where in the world you were born, or into what social class you were born into - it is irrelevant.

The Declaration of Independence is where the United States was born, July 4, 1776, stating what we today see as obvious.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
While this is today obvious, 200+ years ago it was not. These ideas had been bandied around but to actually put them into practice was unexpected and unheard of. The Founding Fathers knew their ancient history - the rise and fall of the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, and all in between - and knew that the great experiment of the United States had to be successful.

We thank them for their insights and wisdom. We also thank G-d for blessing us with men with such deep understanding.

Happy Birthday USA!

02 July 2013

So Much to Read, So Little Time

Who has the time?

150th anniversary of Battle of Gettysburg provides a bigger story
Federalist Society success inspires campus copies
The Middle-Class Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

We Mourn

Please take a moment to pray for the families of the 19 brave firefighters that were killed fighting the terrible Arizona wildfires.
Eric Marsh, the unit's 43-year-old superintendent... Also killed, according to the city of Prescott: Andrew Ashcraft, 29; Robert Caldwell, 23; Travis Carter, 31; Dustin Deford, 24; Christopher MacKenzie, 30; Grant McKee, 21; Sean Misner, 26; Scott Norris, 28; Wade Parker, 22; John Percin, 24; Anthony Rose, 23; Jesse Steed, 36; Joe Thurston, 32; Travis Turbyfill, 27; William Warneke, 25; Clayton Whitted, 28; Kevin Woyjeck, 21; and Garret Zuppiger, 27.
Obama, McCain mourn Arizona firefighters
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on 19 killed firefighters: 'God bless them all'

01 July 2013

Happy Canada Day!

It's a bit late in the day, I do apologize, but it's important to recognize the great country of Canada. The United States (and Israel) are very lucky to have such a good friend and ally. Now if the XL Keystone Pipeline would be given the go-ahead...

Canada Day: Toronto is chock full of hidden Canadiana
Finding the graves of famous Canadians
Canada Day sees Canadians celebrating around the world