Is Israel Doomed?

31 12 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks.[2]  Neither Israel’s military, its security forces nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.[3]

The Israeli Apartheid vis-à-vis the Palestinians may have sown the seeds of the tiny Jewish state’s destruction.  Indeed, one prominent Jew has asked about the treatment of Palestinians: “Is this how I wanted to be treated when I was a minority in another people’s country?”

Months and years from now, Benjamin Netanyahu and his ilk will confront the legacy of their crimes against the Palestinians, including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza last year alone.  He has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors. He must be tried by the International Criminal Court, and arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” him, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.[4]

Each day that Netanyahu remains in power[5] brings Israel closer to its demise, and Jews globally closer to the first holocaust of the 21st Century—which may make the Nazi Holocaust of the last century seem like “child’s play.”  The human carnage might make even mass murderers like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung wince.[6]

The massacre and mindless slaughter of Jews—and especially Orthodox Jews—may be coming and might surpass anything that ISIS/ISIL or other global terrorist groups have done thus far.  The rape and enslavement of Jewish women—prior to their brutal torture and death—may make what the Soviets and Japanese did to German women[7] and Korean “comfort women”[8] pale by comparison.

The goal of Israel’s enemies would be to annihilate all Israelis, and then systematically focus on Jews around the world until they are exterminated.[9]  Today, Jews can be targeted globally and there is nothing that Israel or its vaulted Mossad can do to protect them.  This will only get dramatically worse.   Tragically, Jews are the most hated group of human beings on the planet, yet they respond out of fear and anger—and lash out with hatred toward others, including Islamophobia.[10]

American president—and the father of today’s Left—Franklin D. Roosevelt, turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe.[11]  The other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.  Soon, the world may turn a “blind eye” to the fate of Israel and global Jewry.[12]

Like the Jews aboard the MS St. Louis, they may be truly on the last “Voyage of the Damned.”

© 2015, 2016, Timothy D. Naegele

Israel flag burning

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[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search: Timothy D. Naegele

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

[3]  See, e.g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome#Effects_on_Israeli_society

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”) (see also the comments beneath these articles)

[6]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

[7]  See id. (“[A]s the Soviets moved through Germany, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history”)

[8]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-7778 (“The Tragic Story of Comfort Women”)

[9]  As I have written:

Years ago when I was in Germany visiting friends, I was told by someone that the only thing wrong with Hitler was that he did not “finish the job” of killing all of the Jews.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

[10]  Jews cowardly try to stifle debate at Web sites, and label anyone who does not agree with Netanyahu, AIPAC and the AIPAC-bought Republican lackeys in Congress as anti-Semites, which of course is absurd.

Labeling people as anti-Semites, much less on a wholesale basis, reverberates to the detriment of Jews, Israel and Israelis. Indeed, Jews are being urged to flee to Israel, as anti-Semitism spreads dramatically in Europe and globally.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

Netanyahu’s critics—Jews and non-Jews alike—are falsely labeled as “Israel haters,” “self-hating Jews” and anti-Semites.

Aside from the traitor Jonathan Pollard, no American should ever forget:

(A) The unprovoked Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which killed 34 brave Americans and maimed many more (see http://www.gtr5.com); and

(B) The Iraq War, which Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into—which resulted in thousands of Americans killed or maimed, and vast economic treasures wasted.

And these are only the ones that are generally known.  No friend or ally does this.

Yet, the “Israel Firsters” will leap to its defense as always, claiming that anyone who criticizes the tiny country and its practices is an anti-Semite, including Jews themselves.

Perhaps their most “unhinged” vitriol is reserved for those who believe in Islam—even though Islam has 1.8 billion followers, while at most Judaism has 14 million followers.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American”) (see also the comments beneath the article)

[11]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis (“MS St. Louis“)

[12]  See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)


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77 responses

31 12 2015
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy. I have some knowledge of this situation, not just from historical knowledge and my reading of genetic studies, but from having ethnic Jewish background (religiously I’m a Christian and have ignored my Jewish heritage most of my life) and having visited 5 Middle Eastern countries including Israel.

Israelis do seem to have learned the wrong lessons from the Holocaust. The whole point in not letting it happen again (the common slogan, “never again”) is also to not perpetuate one yourself. Apartheid, making Gaza into a modern day Warsaw Ghetto and denying all human rights to millions of people under their control does not legitimize them as a nation.They lack any Constitution.

In addition, well publicized genetic studies reveal that Ashkenazim (European Jews) are more than 80% lacking in any genetic connection to the Arabic Semitic Hebrews of the Bible. So, the Israel of today is not the Israel of the Bible.

This was true long before Netanyahu, bad as he is, and Ariel Sharon was worse, given his ordering of widespread massacres in Lebanon of Palestinian women and children during the Lebanese Civil War. It’s about Israel itself, not about the current leader. Previous leaders committed many crimes against humanity.

But some good news…………..according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (discussed in their Facebook site last year), the rejected Jews of the SS St Louis were taken in by other countries and did not return to Nazi Germany.

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1 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments as always.

First, Happy New Year to you and your family. 🙂

Second, I have lots of articles in draft form, and decided to publish this one before year’s end.

Third, I agree with your second paragraph. As I have written:

The famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal once spoke about the duty owed by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust to Jews and non-Jews alike to insure that other holocausts did not occur again, and of course he was correct.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

Tragically, Netanyahu has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors.

Like the Iraq War, he has been trying desperately to push the United States and the American people into a war with Iran—to do Israel’s bidding. Again, no friend or ally does this.

Fourth, I agree with your conclusion:

[T]he Israel of today is not the Israel of the Bible.

Yet, as you know all too well, there is an attempt made constantly to “preserve” the historical connection, which of course is nonsense. It is fostered in part by rabid Evangelical Christians, who represent a small sect within Christianity. Most Christians reject them and their views categorically.

Fifth, again, I cite to one source about the fate of the MS St. Louis survivors.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_St._Louis (“MS St. Louis“)

Sixth, as I have written, I grew up in West Los Angeles and have had lots of Jewish friends. They are my elementary school, junior high, and high school classmates; fraternity brothers in college; law school classmates; friends with whom I worked on Capitol Hill; law firm partners; other lawyers with whom I have worked; hiking and other friends; and clients.

With two exceptions, their families came to the United States long before World War II and the Nazi atrocities. They are Americans through and through; and they are wonderful and loving human beings. I will treasure our friendships for the rest of my life.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless- killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

However, there are totally-vicious and un-American “Israel Firsters”—and devout supporters of the murderous Netanyahu—who are as vile and evil as Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, and employ methods and tactics against their perceived “enemies” not unlike what the Nazis used.

Netanyahu—and his ilk—and Russia’s murderous Putin are moral equivalents, and deserve similar fates that cannot come fast enough.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”)

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1 01 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your nice reply, Timothy. Your link seemed to flesh out the statement about the SS St.Louis made by the Holocaust Museum. We are in agreement on the subject of Israeli hypocrisy and it’s cruel ironies. Netanyahu is likely one of the most despised leaders in the world, and seems to do more harm than good to his country, yet is supported there all the more to defy the world.

As I write this, we’re moving towards another new year, another hypothetical chance to grow and improve, or make the same mistakes. Our visiting grandson during the holiday season makes us happy as we enter 2016……..extended family issues had made it hard to see him for some time, but now at 18, he makes his own decisions and made sure he will see us regularly. I wish the same happiness for you and yours in the soon to come new year. Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

1 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Enjoy. 🙂

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1 01 2016
Richard

Timothy, sometimes I think your blind hatred for Benjamin Netanyahu, taints your perspective beyond reason.

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1 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Rick, and Happy New Year to you and your family. 🙂

Tragically, everything that Netanyahu has done has inured to the detriment of Israel and innocent Jews globally.

Barack Obama and other world leaders know this: the Rabins and Sharon knew this; the world knows this, which is among the reasons why anti-Semitism has grown dramatically; and lots of Jews know this, albeit many are scared and in denial.

This time period is reminiscent of the period before and during World War II, when the collective denials of so many led to their tragic deaths.

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4 01 2016
RayUSA

Mr. Naegele,

As always, a very interesting article with much thoughtful insight. I also found your comments, along with Jonathan Buttall’s observations well worth the read.

Also, your comments regarding meeting David Rockefeller, etc. (from a previous blog) was quite interesting to say the least. You certainly have had some rare and unique experiences!

Liked by 1 person

4 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your kind words, Ray; and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Actually, the experiences that I have touched on are merely a small part of the rare, unique and truly interesting experiences that I have enjoyed thus far.

Having grown up in LA and worked in WDC has produced some very special times, to say the very least.

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5 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

American Jews Stay Silent As Israeli Democracy Withers [UPDATED]

Netanyahu Nazi

This is the title of an article by Chemi Shalev in Haaretz, which states:

On Sunday, The Washington Post denounced the Israeli government’s proposed new legislation against leftist NGOs, euphemistically called “The Transparency Law.” In a sharply worded editorial, “A Danger to Israeli Democracy,” the newspaper wrote: “The proposal reflects the kind of tactic that Russia and China have employed to squelch dissent, and it is not in keeping with Israel’s core values as a democratic state.”

The editorial was one of the strongest reactions yet in the United States to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s efforts, transparent indeed, to suppress antigovernment NGOs and human rights groups by branding them, in effect, as foreign agents. And it resonates doubly loud when juxtaposed against the deafening silence of most American Jews in response to the waves of chauvinistic antidemocratic legislation and incitement in which Israel is increasingly drowning.

The authoritarian campaign, waged by Israel’s ruling coalitions since Likud returned to power in 2009, has accelerated in recent months. It is now all-encompassing. It is being waged in the Knesset, in government ministries, in universities, in schoolrooms and in the media, both social and general.

It includes legislative assaults on free speech, incitement against dissenters, the withholding of government funds for political reasons, regulatory measures against – and greater government control over – television and other media, compulsory changes to school curricula, reinforced Orthodox hegemony over religious affairs and repeated attacks on the Arab minority. All this is accompanied by the constant drone of victimhood and xenophobia emanating from Israeli cabinet ministers, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on down.

Cynically or genuinely, the proponents of this antidemocratic surge have convinced themselves and many others that Israel faces a grand conspiracy of internal, backstabbing “enemies of the state” who have joined forces with an irredentist Israeli-Arab fifth column and malicious anti-Semites abroad.

They have already succeeded in curtailing freedom of expression, chilling academic and media criticism of the government’s policies and inflaming vicious hostility against left-wing politicians and spokespeople – up to and including the Israeli president himself – on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. With every success they get bolder and more ambitious, while Israelis who disagree with their policies grow more despondent about the present and more apprehensive about their future.

Imagine the outcry among American Jewish liberals if the U.S. government in 2016 banned a book from public schools because it could promote racial intermarriage. Try to conjure the reaction to congressional legislation stipulating that Native Americans could not be taught in their own schools about the tragic history of their own people.

Picture the outpouring of horror and dismay if a desperate GOP presidential candidate tried to spur his white constituency to vote by telling them that Hispanics were flowing to the ballot boxes in droves. Envisage the shock if a U.S. president reacted to a murder or even a terrorist act carried out by an individual African American by pledging to “eradicate lawlessness” in the entire black community, as Netanyahu did Saturday regarding Israeli Arabs after the murderous attack on innocents in Tel Aviv.

Yet American Jews have kept mostly mum as such events and countless other manifestations of this dangerous drift have unfolded in Israel. Even though they rightly pride themselves on being the most liberal religious group in America, they have remained closemouthed about the Israeli assault on the values they hold most dear, the same values they describe as “shared” when lauding the supposed bedrock of U.S.-Israeli relations.

When Peter Beinart wrote in his famous 2010 New York Review of Books article that “the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door,” he was referring to the great divide between the military occupation of Palestinians and Israeli democracy inside the Green Line. Six short years later, it seems American Jews are “checking their liberalism at Zionism’s door” even when the malignant side effects of the occupation have infiltrated across the 1967 borders and are eroding the democracy that they and many Israeli Jews hold most dear. What’s good for the American-Jewish goose, it seems, is not necessarily applicable when it comes to the Israeli gander.

I am not talking about groups such as the Zionist Organization of America, whose chairman Morton Klein wrote this week in support of Shaked’s offensive against “phony NGOs that seek to demonize the Jewish State with falsehoods.” I would not expect Klein, whose organization has been heavily funded by Sheldon Adelson and others of similar ilk, to be bothered by the blatant hypocrisy of a right-wing government exempting its own interventionist billionaires from its war against so-called “foreign intervention.” I would expect, perhaps naively, that other American Jews would be up in arms.

In his end-of-year appeal for last-minute donations, for example, American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris proudly noted his organization’s main activities in 2015, a year marked by what he described as “fear and anxiety.” We convened a strategy conference in Brussels to fight global anti-Semitism, he boasted, “worked shoulder to shoulder with our elected leaders to help America show the necessary leadership abroad” and “leveraged our unparalleled diplomatic infrastructure to facilitate new and deeper friendships between Israel and countries around the world.”

Harris seems to have missed the “fear and anxiety” gripping a sizable portion of Israelis as they watch their country grow estranged from the values embodied in the Declaration of Independence, a document increasingly derided and undermined by Israel’s new leaders. Perhaps the AJC differentiates between Advocacy for Israel, the first item on its website agenda, and advocacy on behalf of Israelis themselves.

Of course, there are countless valid reasons as well as lame excuses for the American Jewish reluctance to confront the Israeli government or to dedicate funds or efforts to constrain it. First and foremost, it is not in the Jewish community’s nature. Whatever the faults of the current government – and they are too grievous and too blatant for anyone but the most zealous right-wingers to deny – the bulk of American Jews who remain committed to Israel are wary of lambasting Israel or, even worse, handing its enemies valuable ammunition. And contrary to last year’s divisive dispute about the Iran nuclear deal, there is no powerful U.S. administration pulling American Jews in the opposite direction.

Many Jewish groups are also wary of jeopardizing their own ties to Netanyahu and his ministers: trans-Atlantic hobnobbing at the top is often a measure of their own influence and prestige in Washington and other world capitals. They are understandably concerned about operating outside their comfort zone of helping Israel fend off its external adversaries, not least of which because their increasingly conservative, militant and influence-wielding benefactors might withhold financial support in return.

Most American Jewish groups, national or local, JCC or synagogue, are also afraid of joining the ranks of J Street and the New Israel Fund on the right wing’s Enemies List; the two organizations are wrongly but consistently ostracized and delegitimized as BDS-backers and Israel-haters. The same chilling effect that is already palpable in Israel can probably be felt in New York, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities as well.

Perhaps American Jews remain unconvinced by the cries of anguish emanating from Israel’s peace camp; it is certainly more convenient for them to accept the government’s reassurance that it’s all much ado about nothing. And they can certainly point to the lack of any convincing counterbalance to Israel’s persuasive prime minister, someone who could rally the troops and enlist American Jews in a just war for decency and democracy.

“We need a leader, we need a leader” is the mantra voiced nowadays by Israelis who oppose the government, and while it is an accurate reflection of the sad political situation of Israel’s center-left, it is also an excuse to continue sipping lattes and planning the next family trip abroad while moaning and doing nothing. If Israelis themselves aren’t up in arms, why should American Jews be bothered?

One can empathize with many American Jews, especially older ones, who prefer to keep on supporting the Israel of their dreams, the Israel of their youth, while averting their eyes and ears from the clear and the present. And one can understand why they would prefer to postpone a confrontation with Israel as long as its very real enemies such as Iran and Hamas continue to threaten its security and perhaps its existence. That is the fight they are used to, the battle that they feel most comfortable with, the war that has kept them united for so many decades.

But time is running out. By staying silent, by refraining from the kind of forceful, game-changing protest that the current situation warrants, American Jews are not only abandoning like-minded Israelis, they are betraying Israel itself. They don’t owe it to Israeli liberals to come to their aid: They owe it first and foremost to themselves.

After all, the biggest existential danger facing the Middle East’s only Jewish and democratic state may not be Iran, but Israel itself. And the time for American Jews to cry foul and raise hell against a government that is running roughshod over Israel’s liberal legacy while intentionally alienating a large part of the population will soon be gone. Notwithstanding the thousand differences, it would not be the first time American Jews stayed silent and hoped for the best as clouds gathered and a storm threatened their brothers and sisters – nor would it be the first time they came to regret it forever more.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/Thegreatbetrayal-AmericanJewsstaysilentasIsraelidemocracywithers.pdf (“The Great Betrayal: American Jews Stay Silent as Israeli Democracy Withers”) (emphasis added); see also http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.695351 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-danger-to-israeli-democracy/2016/01/02/22f90a2e-af3d-11e5-b711-1998289ffcea_story.html (“A danger to Israeli democracy”—”[T]he legislation is aimed at delegitimizing progressive groups in Israel that have long been advocates for human rights and opposed to Jewish settlements in the West Bank”—”Israel’s nongovernmental organizations are already required, under an earlier law, to file disclosure reports of their funding, so the only effect of the new requirement would be to force them to wear a public badge in a way that is odious”—”Vladimir Putin of Russia has made NGO groups register as ‘foreign agents,’ as if they were enemies of the state. In China, the new restrictions on nongovernmental organizations will forbid support from abroad and give oversight to the security apparatus. In both cases, dissent is being purposefully silenced, and valuable services will be denied to people who need them. Israel should not allow itself to be lumped with these regimes”)

This is so so tragic.

It has been described as:

[A} frontal assault on the democratic soul of the state of Israel . . . and it’s being met by deafening silence from most of the American Jewish community’s established leadership.

This bill did not come out of nowhere, and it’s not a small or isolated problem. It is part and parcel of a broader campaign being waged in Israeli society to undermine liberal democratic values, freedom of speech and those who believe that the settler dream of Greater Israel is strangling the Zionist dream of a Jewish democracy.

. . .

[I]t doesn’t apply requirements for transparency to right-wing organizations that engage in hateful incitement against fellow Israelis and who receive the majority of their funding from wealthy foreign individuals, as opposed to foreign governments. It does nothing to impede those who funnel millions into building settlement outposts in the occupied territory.

As stated in the article above, Netanyahu “has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors.”

He is as evil and sinister as his moral equivalent, the murderous Putin of Russia. Both must share fates similar to that of the fascist dictator Mussolini.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)

Is it any wonder that anti-Semitism is rising dramatically in Europe and globally, which may represent a precursor of epic tragedies to come.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7737 (“Netanyahu Sets Off Firestorm Of Criticism“)

. . .

Mexico has recaptured the notorious druglord “El Chapo.” Now, the murderer Netanyahu must be captured and tried by the International Criminal Court for his crimes against the Palestinian people—including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone.

He is an enemy of the United States and the American people.

Like Adolf Eichmann before him, Netanyahu must sit inside a bulletproof glass booth; and after the trial, he must be executed by hanging. Nothing less will suffice.

Netanyahu as a Nazi

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5 01 2016
Rick

Tim, I just got back from Israel,and I spoke to many, many people about Netanyahu , and most people love and respect him.. I just don’t understand where you are coming from… I think it’s personal..

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6 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

With all due respect, Rick, the Germans loved Hitler too.

And the Soviets loved Stalin, and the Chinese loved Mao, and the list goes on and on.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

As I have written in the article above:

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” him, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

Denial may have tragic consequences for Israel, Israelis and Jews globally.

. . .

If Israel disappeared off the face of the Earth tomorrow, it would not change Barack Obama’s life—or that of non-Jews globally—although he might feign sympathy.

He has hated Apartheid in South Africa all of his life; and he equates Israel with South Africa.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

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6 01 2016
Rick

That’s an oversimplification of the facts on the ground. The Israeli people are not stupid. The are very brave, and conditioned to their environment. They’ve been through numerous prime ministers, and the concensus is, that Netanyahu is who’s best for the survival of Israel..

Not to blow smoke here Timothy, you are an excellent writer, and your experience in government and world affairs, makes you an expert, as opposed to me, a self proclaimed ‘keyboard warrior’.you certainly deserve the respect of that acknowledgment.. But even with my limited knowledge, I can tell beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your blatant distane for Netanyahu, has become more of a personal vendetta… Does he not have any positive attributes?

Moreover, if not Netanyahu, then who? Who would be better for Israel? Please, name a solution, as opposed to only critiquing and hating Netanyahu.

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6 01 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello again. I’m a regular commenter here. I’ve traveled widely in six continents over my lifetime. I’m a Christian but was raised Jewish in a non orthodox household and like most US Jewish families, our family came to America escaping from the Russian Czarist empire. My wife (Hispanic) and I have been to 5 Middle Eastern countries before the failed revolutions, including a few weeks in Israel where I have relatives (oddly, former settlers and very right wing). I’m anti apartheid and haven’t seen a good Israeli leader since Yitzhak Rabin was killed by his own.

Just to add to my previous comments, a few factoids;

(1) Many American Jews do speak up against Israeli outrages. 70% voted for Barack Obama in 2012, no friend of Netanyahu, and thus against Netanyahu’s puppet, Romney. There is a popular anti apartheid site on Facebook named “Jewish Voice for Peace”. Netanyahu is a magnet for World revulsion and Israel support.

(2) Israel does not have a Constitution. Human rights thus are not protected. Over a million Palestinians each in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza do not have human rights and can lose their homes or lives on a whim by settlers or gov’t. This is not a democracy, only those within Israel itself have a limited democracy.

(3) Jewish women in orthodox areas do not have equal rights. Non orthodox women may face this if in a public bus (Egged lines) riding thru an orthodox neighborhood, where they must go to the back of the bus. They must circumcise their male children or face court.

(4) Israel is probably not in danger of destruction from without- there have been many leaks from excellent sources over the last decade about their nuclear weapon programs (Israeli scientists, Der Speigal investigative reporters, etc). They have a full nuclear Triad that includes Dolphin I and II submarines made by Germany. The Cruise missiles are fitted by Israel after delivery with nuclear warheads and they have a proven ability to get thru the Suez canal and be submerged for months (are they today in the Persian Gulf near Iran? Just my guess).

(5) I have traveled in 35 countries. Israelis are very different than other cultures; they appear to have virtually no social skills at all, with a level of rudeness and dishonesty to be found no where else. My wife and I have seen some unpleasant behaviors in some ME marketplaces, but even being long exposed to Jewish culture in the US, we were truly shocked at how Israelis interact and behave. Two Israelis, one a nephew, one a nieces boyfriend, told me Israelis can’t even stand each other. They are in a class of their own.
Well, that’s my two cents worth for the day. The friendliest and most impressive people we’ve met, by the way, are English, Australians, Peruvians and Nubians (upper Egypt).

Liked by 1 person

6 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments.

One observation: the death of Yitzhak Rabin was so so tragic; and perhaps history will record that it changed the course of Israel forever.

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6 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Rick.

With respect to your first paragraph, I will never forget what a Jew and strong supporter of Israel told me some years ago: (1) Israelis are stupid politically; and (2) their form of government permits the “tail to wag the dog” (e.g., giving small right-wing groups the opportunity to effectively control government policies).

Regarding your second paragraph, I appreciate your kind words. However, as I have cited, Netanyahu is hated globally—by Obama and others, just as he was hated by the Rabins and Sharon. If he died tomorrow, there would be few if any non-Jewish tears shed.

As for “positive attributes”—and not to be flippant—Hitler had them (e.g., he liked German Shepherds; he built the Autobahn, which was the forerunner of our freeway system; his scientists gave birth to our space program). And no, I do not believe Netanyahu has any.

What he, AIPAC and the AIPAC-paid GOP lackeys in Congress, and “Israel Firsters” tried to do with respect to the Iran deal will never be forgotten or forgiven. All participants should be indicted, tried, convicted and imprisoned, inter alia, for monies paid (directly or indirectly) by a foreign government to influence the American political process.

Also, as stated in my article above:

[Netanyahu] must be tried by the International Criminal Court, and arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

Nothing less will suffice.

Netanyahu and his ilk peddle Islamophobia far and wide—to all who will listen—which is just as insidious as anti-Semitism. Also, they have been playing the Nazi Holocaust “card” for sympathy since Jews terrorized the British before Israel was founded; and it too is falling on deaf ears globally.

As Jonathan Buttall has written in comments above:

Israelis do seem to have learned the wrong lessons from the Holocaust. The whole point in not letting it happen again (the common slogan, “never again”) is also to not perpetuate one yourself.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-7976

Also, as Joseph Miksis stated at the Wall Street Journal‘s Web site:

The Israelis murdered 34 American sailors and wounded another 174 in their assault on the intelligence ship USS Liberty during the Six Day War. I was there when [former Secretary of Defense Robert] McNamara had our Navy fighters return to their carrier rather than engage the Israeli Air Force jets and Naval boats that were killing all those Americans. I remember it like it was yesterday. So do the Liberty survivors whom I know.

That murderous Israeli attack on America was done to cloak the IDF assault on Lebanon and the takeover of the Golan the next morning. Israel has held on to the water aquifers under the Golan since that Israeli War in 1967. Israel is no ally of America.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/irans-hostage-triumph-1453053424; see also http://www.gtr5.com; see also http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-liberty_tuesoct02-story.html (“New revelations in attack on American spy ship”—”[F]our Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel [Liberty] on June 8, 1967″—”For [the] survivors, the anger is mixed with incredulity: that Israel would attack an important ally, then attribute the attack to a case of mistaken identity by Israeli pilots who had confused the U.S. Navy’s most distinctive ship with an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport that was half its size and had a dissimilar profile. And they’re also incredulous that, for years, their own government would reject their calls for a thorough investigation”—”[T]he Liberty’s survivors and their supporters, including a distinguished constellation of retired admirals and generals, have persisted in asking Congress for a full-scale formal investigation”)

No American should ever forget or forgive the unprovoked Israeli attack on the Liberty and the loss of American lives, and:

(1) The Iraq War, which Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into.

(2) The murderous Netanyahu’s and Israel’s efforts to push us into a war with Iran.

(3) The traitor Jonathan Pollard—who sold our secrets and jeopardized this country, and should be returned to Israel in a body bag, or as ashes.

At a minimum, Pollard must serve a five-year term of probation in the U.S.

And these are only the ones that are generally known.

No friend or ally does this!

Yet, the “Israel Firsters” will leap to its defense as always, claiming that everyone who criticizes the tiny country and its practices is an anti-Semite, including Jews themselves.

Next, Donald Trump is correct: let the parties in the Middle East fight it out; and when the dust settles—or the nuclear clouds part—we can then see who is still standing, if anyone.

The Middle East is not our fight, just as the Iraq War and the Vietnam War were tragic mistakes. The U.S. is the largest energy producer in the world again, and essentially energy independent. We do not need the Middle East anymore, including Israel—which has been a burden without benefits for almost 70 years.

Lastly, I do not see any alternatives to Netanyahu, given Israel’s political climate and structure, which is why I believe its future is not bright. The Middle East is imploding; and at some point in time, Israel may be “engulfed” and “consumed.”

Please reread the quote that I began my article with—which came from someone who cares about Israel just as deeply as you apparently do.

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8 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The Middle East Implosion And The End Of Israel?

Obama crying

The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer has written:

If you’re going to engage in a foreign policy capitulation, might as well do it when everyone is getting tanked and otherwise occupied. Say, around New Year’s Eve.

Here’s the story. In October, Iran test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile in brazen violation of a Security Council resolution explicitly prohibiting such launches. President Obama does nothing. One month later, Iran does it again. The administration makes a few gestures at the U.N. Then nothing. Then finally, on Dec. 30, the White House announces a few sanctions.

They are weak, aimed mostly at individuals and designed essentially for show. Amazingly, even that proves too much. By 10 p.m. that night, the administration caves. The White House sends out an email saying that sanctions are off — and the Iranian president orders the military to expedite the missile program.

Is there any red line left? First, the Syrian chemical weapons. Then the administration insistence that there would be no nuclear deal unless Iran accounted for its past nuclear activities. (It didn’t.) And unless Iran permitted inspection of its Parchin nuclear testing facility. (It was allowed self-inspection and declared itself clean.) And now, illegal ballistic missiles.

The premise of the nuclear deal was that it would constrain Iranian actions. It’s had precisely the opposite effect. It has deterred us from offering even the mildest pushback to any Iranian violations lest Iran walk away and leave Obama legacy-less.

Just two weeks ago, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards conducted live-fire exercises near the Strait of Hormuz. It gave nearby U.S. vessels exactly 23 seconds of warning. One rocket was launched 1,500 yards from the USS Harry S. Truman.

Obama’s response? None.

The Gulf Arabs — rich, weak and, since FDR, dependent on America for security — are bewildered. They’re still reeling from the nuclear deal, which Obama declared would be unaffected by Iranian misbehavior elsewhere. The result was to assure Tehran that it would pay no price for its aggression in Syria and Yemen, subversion in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and support for terrorism.

Obama seems not to understand that disconnecting the nuclear issue gave the mullahs license to hunt in the region. For the Saudis, however, it’s not just blundering but betrayal. From the very beginning, they’ve seen Obama tilting toward Tehran as he fancies himself Nixon in China, turning Iran into a strategic partner in managing the Middle East.

This is even scarier because it is delusional. If anything, Obama’s openhanded appeasement has encouraged Iran’s regional adventurism and intense anti-Americanism.

The Saudis, sensing abandonment, are near panic. Hence the reckless execution of the firebrand Shiite insurrectionist, Sheik Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, that has brought the region to a boil. Iranians torched the Saudi Embassy. The Saudis led other Sunni states in breaking relations with Tehran.

The Saudis feel surrounded, and it’s not paranoia. To their north, Iran dominates a Shiite crescent stretching from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. To the Saudi south, Iran has been arming Yemen’s Houthi rebels since at least 2009. The fighting has spilled over the border into Saudi Arabia.

The danger is rising. For years, Iran has been supporting anti-regime agitation among Saudi Arabia’s minority Shiites. The Persian Gulf is Iran’s ultimate prize. The fall of the House of Saud would make Iran the undisputed regional hegemon and an emerging global power.

For the United States, that would be the greatest geopolitical setback since China fell to communism in 1949. Yet Obama seems oblivious. Worse, he appears inert in the face of the three great challenges to the post-Cold War American order. Iran is only the most glaring. China is challenging the status quo in the South China Sea, just last week landing its first aircraft on an artificial island hundreds of miles beyond the Chinese coast. We deny China’s claim and declare these to be international waters, yet last month we meekly apologized when a B-52 overflew one of the islands. We said it was inadvertent.

The world sees and takes note. As it does our response to the other great U.S. adversary — Russia. What’s happened to Obama’s vaunted “isolation” of Russia for its annexation of Crimea and assault on the post-Cold War European settlement? Gone. Evaporated. John Kerry plays lapdog to Sergei Lavrov. Obama meets openly with Vladimir Putin in Turkey, then in Paris. And is now practically begging him to join our side in Syria.

There is no price for defying Pax Americana — not even trivial sanctions on Iranian missile-enablers. Our enemies know it. Our allies see it — and sense they’re on their own, and may not survive.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/defy-america-pay-no-price/2016/01/07/7d8da57c-b57c-11e5-9388-466021d971de_story.html (“Defy America, pay no price”)

To understand what Barack Obama is doing, one must first understand the man. His core beliefs were set forth in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which should be read and reread by anyone who cares about our great nation.

To him, Africa and the Middle East in particular represent the products and vestiges of colonialism and Apartheid—which he has hated all of his life.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“[T]hroughout the book, he expresses his intense dislike for ‘colonialism,’ which is perhaps summarized by his thoughts as he rides a train and imagines how a British officer might have felt on its maiden voyage: ‘Would he have felt a sense of triumph, a confidence that the guiding light of Western civilization had finally penetrated the African darkness? Or did he feel a sense of foreboding, a sudden realization that the entire enterprise was an act of folly, that this land and its people would outlast imperial dreams?’”)

If the Middle East implodes, quite literally, and if Israel is eradicated from the face of the Earth, Obama will not care. Yes, he might feign concern and sympathy but little more. His life will continue as if nothing had happened.

Krauthammer is naïve and tilting at windmills if he fails to understand this. By arming Iran, Obama brings the region closer to chaos, helter skelter and the end of Israel.

This will be his legacy; and on some level, he will be proud of it. To think otherwise is to delude oneself and engage in utter naiveté.

Just as Obama has feigned crying over gun control (see photo above), so too will he muster up a tear or two when Israel ceases to exist. Yet, Krauthammer—the consummate Washington “insider”—either does not realize this, or he is simply blinded and perhaps too stupefied to admit it publicly.

The best Hollywood actors cannot do it any better than Obama is doing.

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12 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Is The Wall Street Journal Islamophobic? [UPDATED]

Wall Street Journal

In an article entitled “Denying the Obvious About Islamist Terror,” Dorothy Rabinowitz—a member of the Journal’s editorial board—has written:

It required only half a minute for the mayor of Philadelphia, Democrat Jim Kenney, to achieve national fame. On Friday, an already sensation-crowded day, it fell to the mayor to take part in the official pronouncements on the attempted murder of city police officer Jesse Hartnett, shot and severely wounded as he sat in his patrol car when a would-be assassin emptied his gun at him—13 shots in all.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., appointed just three days earlier, delivered the details with noteworthy eloquence: The wounded officer, bleeding heavily from three wounds, one arm useless, had gotten himself out of the car, chased the attacker and shot him.

The drama of this recital needed no amplification, but there it was anyway: Clear security video images showed the assailant in his flowing white dishdasha—a robe favored by Muslim men—running toward the patrol car, shooting, sticking his hand in the window, and racing speedily away. Pictures too of the police officer lurching out of the car to give chase.

The wounded shooter, Commissioner Ross revealed, told police after his capture that he had mounted the attack in the name of Islam, that he believes that “the police defend laws that are contrary to Islam.” The man apparently wanted to talk only about his devotion to Islam.

Undaunted by anything he’d heard so far, Mayor Kenny then came to the microphone and declared: “In no way, shape or form does anybody in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam” had anything to do with the attack. “This was a criminal with a stolen gun.”

Mr. Kenny’s tone was fervent. Out of this event—involving a murderous assault on a police officer, and a heroic response by that officer—the mayor, awash in excitation, had divined what was, for him, the most important concern of this day. Namely, persuading citizens that this attack had nothing to do with allegiance to Islam.

It added to the surreal wonders of this scene that, immediately after the mayor’s pronouncement, the commander of the police department’s homicide unit calmly took the microphone. Capt. James Clark reported that the shooter (later identified as 30-year-old Edward Archer) had said, repeatedly, that he followed Allah, that he pledged allegiance to Islamic State and “That is the reason I did what I did.”

The mayor’s comments, so bizarre in their determined denial of the deluge of facts delivered by top police officials standing next to him, were, nonetheless, familiar enough. Americans have learned to expect, after every Islamist terror attack, lectures instructing them that such assaults should in no way be connected to Islamic faith of any kind.

To hear the mayor of Philadelphia was to grasp, more clearly than ever, the fury that has led to Donald Trump’s success in attracting voters—the fury of citizens who know official lies when they hear them, whether about border security, immigration, or the ever-expanding requirements of multiculturalist dogma.

These are not the easiest of times for the enforcers of such dogma, especially in Europe, as another mayor, a German, has reason to know. Much of Germany is, today, still in shock over the coordinated assaults that took place New Year’s Eve, when bands of young men surrounded, sexually molested and robbed women in the streets of Cologne—molesters unanimously described by eyewitnesses to have been of Arab and North African origins. For four days following the mass assaults, Germany’s ZDF public TV station reported nothing about the attacks.

Cologne’s police chief would soon stand accused of concealing that the assailants were Middle Eastern males. The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, found herself in instant trouble when she advised women that if they wanted to protect themselves, it was certainly possible to keep strange men at arm’s length. She ventured no explanation of how this might be done when a woman was tightly encircled by men grabbing at her private parts while others stole her handbag, as was typically the case during the assaults.

Mayor Reker also announced that it was “absolutely impermissible” to suggest that the perpetrators could have been part of the recent refugee flood into Germany. Within days investigators were able to report that most of the 33 suspects rounded up were asylum seekers.

The current political piety dictating what is and is not permissible to say about terrorism and Muslims didn’t spring from nowhere. Nor did the compulsion to preach on the subject. The Philadelphia mayor’s bewitching half-minute lecture on Friday was only the most recent example. The sermonizing reflex—a quintessential element in Barack Obama’s notion of leadership—has by now taken on a life of its own. Who doesn’t know now to expect, in a speech by the president, or in some exchange of his with reporters, the glum rebuke, “That’s not who we are”?

On no subject has there been more sermonizing than on Muslims and terrorism and on what the real Islam is and is not—no surprise in an administration which has from its outset tended to the apparent view that the American nation is essentially composed of yahoos whose barely controlled instincts to riot require regular monitoring and checks by their enlightened betters.

All this notwithstanding the history that shows that, after the slaughter of 9/11 and through all the bloody assaults since that were committed against them by rampaging soldiers of Islam—Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, San Bernardino—Americans have conducted themselves with exemplary courage and dignity. Neither the president nor other moral instructors who hasten forth after every terror attack to bring light unto the nation appear to have noticed.

Years of effort by this administration to deny, conceal and sermonize the nation out of its awareness of facts clearly evident to them is the sort of thing that doesn’t escape Americans in this election season, shadowed by the threat of terrorism. That is a fact Hillary Clinton might consider as she goes forth to celebrate her identification with the Obama years.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/denying-the-obvious-about-islamist-terror-1452556011 (emphasis added)

One commenter responded:

I sense that politicians in particular really bend over backward to avoid offending just this one religion [Islam] . . .

Nonsense, that religion is Judaism.

Indeed, some Jews cowardly try to stifle debate at Web sites such as the Journal, and label anyone who does not agree with Netanyahu, AIPAC and the AIPAC-bought Republican lackeys in Congress as anti-Semites, which of course is absurd.

I have read Dorothy Rabinowitz’s articles for many years; and I cannot recall disagreeing with any of them.

However, this one is clearly Islamophobic.

There is no other way to describe it. Both explicitly and with innuendos, she has targeted all followers of Islam—and labeled them, just as surely as Hitler’s Nazis labeled the Jews.

One must never forget that Christianity has 2.2 billion followers. Islam has 1.8 billion followers. At most, Judaism has 14 million followers. Yet, it was a Jew who killed Yitzhak Rabin.

Indeed, to her credit, the courageous Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

Should the world be targeting Netanyahu and his ilk, who were responsible for an estimated 2,200 Palestinian deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone?

The U.S. and the American people are not at war with Islam or its followers. Anyone who suggests otherwise is Islamophobic.

Islamophobia is evil and un-American, just as racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination are.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American“)

Fear spawns anger, unbridled hatred and retribution. Too much of it is evident in many of the articles and comments at the Journal‘s Web site, and in the writings of the Journal’s Bret Stephens and others.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7951 (“The Ugly Face of Islamophobia: Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens“)

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19 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

More Islamophobia From The Wall Street Journal And Bret Stephens [UPDATED]

Wall Street Journal

In an article entitled “Normalizing Iran,” the Journal‘s resident Islamophobe from Tel Aviv, Bret Stephens, writes:

In Syria, Bashar Assad is trying to bring his enemies to heel by blocking humanitarian convoys to desperate civilians living in besieged towns. The policy is called “starve or kneel,” and it is openly supported by Hezbollah and tacitly by Iran, which has deployed its elite Quds Force to aid Mr. Assad’s war effort.

So what better time for right-thinking liberals to ask: “Is Iran really so evil?”

That’s the title of a revealing essay in Politico by Stephen Kinzer, a former New York Times reporter now at Brown University. “The demonization of Iran is arguably the most bizarre and self-defeating of all U.S. foreign policies,” Mr. Kinzer begins. “Americans view Iran not simply as a country with interests that sometimes conflict with ours but as a relentless font of evil.”

Mr. Kinzer’s essay was published Sunday, as sanctions were lifted on Tehran and four of America’s hostages came home after lengthy imprisonments. The Obama administration publicly insists that the nuclear deal does not mean the U.S. should take a benign view of Iran, but the more enthusiastic backers of the agreement think otherwise. “Our perception of Iran as a threat to vital American interests is increasingly disconnected from reality,” Mr. Kinzer writes. “Events of the past week may slowly begin to erode the impulse that leads Americans to believe patriotism requires us to hate Iran.”

What a weird thought. My own patriotism has never been touched one way or another by my views of Iran. Nor do I hate Iran—if by “Iran” one means the millions of people who marched alongside Neda Agha-Soltan when she was gunned down by regime thugs in the 2009 Green Revolution, or the fellow travelers of Hashem Shaabani, the Arab-Iranian poet executed two years ago for “waging war on God,” or the thousands of candidates who are routinely barred from running for Parliament for being insufficiently loyal to the Supreme Leader.

This is the Iran that liberals like Mr. Kinzer ought to support, not the theocratic usurpers who claim to speak in Iran’s name while stepping on Iranian necks. But we are long past the day when a liberal U.S. foreign policy meant shaping our interests around our values—not the other way around—much less supporting the liberal aspirations of people everywhere, especially if they live in anti-American dictatorships.

Today’s liberal foreign policy, to adapt Churchill, is appeasement wrapped in realism inside moral equivalency. When it comes to Iran policy, that means believing that we have sinned at least as much against the Iranians as they have sinned against us; that our national-security interests require us to come to terms with the Iranians; and that the best way to allay the suspicions—and, over time, diminish the influence—of Iranian hard-liners is by engaging the moderates ever more closely and demonstrating ever-greater diplomatic flexibility.

That’s a neat theory, proved wrong by experience at every turn. The Carter administration hailed the Ayatollah Khomeini as “a saint.” Our embassy was seized. Ronald Reagan sent Khomeini a birthday cake, along with secret arms, to facilitate the release of hostages in Lebanon. A few hostages were released, while others were taken in their place. The world welcomed the election of “moderate” President Mohammad Khatami in 1997. Iran’s illicit nuclear facilities were exposed during his second term.

In 2009, on the eve of presidential elections, the New York Times’s Roger Cohen celebrated “the vibrancy of a changing, highly educated society” that he had found on his visits to Tehran. “The equating of Iran with terror today is simplistic,” he wrote. After the election, he ran for his life from the terror of the same street militia that had murdered Agha-Soltan.

Now we’re supposed to believe that the change Mr. Cohen and others had hoped for has finally arrived. The proof, supposedly, is that the regime has so far kept to its nuclear promises (in exchange for a $100 billion windfall), that it swiftly released U.S. sailors (after scoring a small propaganda coup), and that it let the other hostages go (though only after very nearly taking the wife and mother of one of those hostages in his turn, and then after an additional $1.7 billion reward from the U.S.).

Are these signs of a new-and-improved regime? Or merely one that is again being given good reasons to believe that it can always extract a bribe for its bad behavior? The notion of moral hazard, fundamental to economics, has a foreign-policy dimension, too. Any country that believes it will never be made to pay the price for the risks it takes will take ever-greater risks. It’s bad enough when the country in question is Greece. This is Iran.

Iran will become a “normal” country only when it ceases to be an Islamic Republic. In the meantime, the only question is how far we are prepared to abase ourselves in our quest to normalize it.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/normalizing-iran-1453162144 (emphasis added)

Another Islamophobic article by Stephens, who was previously editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. Indeed, he and his fellow Islamophobes at the Journal regularly attack others like Stephen Kinzer, but the Journal rejects and censors any serious criticism of them.

They have crusaded with the murderous Netanyahu, AIPAC, and the AIPAC-bought GOP lackeys in Congress against the Iran deal. This is what “Israel Firsters” do—just as Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into the Iraq War, and as Netanyahu and his ilk have been trying to push us into a war with Iran.

Indeed, all participants must be indicted, tried, convicted and imprisoned, inter alia, for monies paid (directly or indirectly) by a foreign government/Israel to influence the American political process. Stephens is an un-American Islamophobe and a vile “Israel Firster,” and he is certainly not an American patriot.

The “$100 billion windfall” to which Stephens refers is actually closer to $150 billion, but the funds constitute Iranian assets that were frozen by the United States. The release of Americans by Iran must be juxtaposed against the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which killed 34 brave Americans and maimed many more.

See http://www.gtr5.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/USSLibertyMemorial.pdf (USS Liberty Memorial Web site) and http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-liberty_tuesoct02-story.html and http://www.naegele.com/documents/NewrevelationsinattackonAmericanspyship.pdf (“New revelations in attack on American spy ship”)

While writing about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Stephens fails to mention that Netanyahu and his ilk have consistently tried to bring the Palestinians to heel by employing similar tactics that are equivalent to “starve or kneel.” Indeed, Israel is an Apartheid state; and Netanyahu—who has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors—must be tried by the International Criminal Court for his crimes against the Palestinian people, including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone. At the very least, he must be arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

He is an enemy of the United States and the American people; and to his credit, Barack Obama realizes this. Indeed, our president is not alone. Netanyahu is “detested” by other world leaders, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. The courageous Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

Is it any wonder that anti-Semitism is rampant all over the world?

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

It is a sad day in America when a major publication like the Wall Street Journal is Islamophobic, and employs vile Islamophobes like Stephens who attack Kinzer and others.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-8012 (“Is The Wall Street Journal Islamophobic?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7951 (“The Ugly Face of Islamophobia: Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran“)

Bret Stephens

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19 01 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Good new comments, Timothy. I’d love to see our politicians find the courage to speak the truth about our troublesome client state. The entire US Senate voted in favor of the Gaza atrocities a year ago and I won’t forget that come election time.

I remember when Cruz embarrassed himself badly when he spoke to a group of visiting Coptic Christians from Egypt, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. He stupidly thought they would be pro-Israel because they were Christians….so knowing nothing at all about Middle Eastern culture and history he praised Israel in a speech to them. When roundly booed, he insulted them. The media kept this a back page story, it should have been widely shown (and a video did appear on U-Tube).

Liked by 1 person

19 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments as always.

The tragedy is that so many of these actions inure to the detriment of Israel and Jews globally—which is among the reasons why anti-Semitism is growing dramatically.

Stephens’ attack on Kinzer and others is merely the latest.

I have stressed again and again the tragic issue of “denial,” which existed before and during World War II, and it is present now.

The Israeli Apartheid and oppression of the Palestinians continues unabated; and Israel and Jews globally will pay a terrible price for this.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“); see also http://freebeacon.com/national-security/lawmaker-obama-admin-fueling-campaign-destroy-israel/ (“Lawmaker: Obama Admin Fueling ‘Campaign to Destroy Israel’”) and http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/01/israel-gaza-blockade-bennett-objects-failure-netanyahu.html (“Why hasn’t Israel lifted the Gaza blockade?”)

Also, I have made my position crystal clear with respect to Israel—in the article above, and previously.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

It can be argued that there will be no peace, ever; and that “might will make right.”

Today, the Israelis “own” the land, after it was seized from the British by Zionist terrorists.

Clearly, history has twists and turns. “Tomorrow,” who knows who will own it.

One thing is certain: lots of American Jews are worried. Israel is rebuked on the international stage—and hated—and they realize the dangerous path that the country is on. As U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has stated:

Settler outposts are being legalized—despite earlier pledges to the United States not to do so—while routine, administrative demolition of Palestinian structures continues.

See

(“What Ambassador Shapiro Really Said During His ‘Controversial’ Speech”); see also http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21690180-blockade-stays-place-while-network-tunnels-expands-fears-are-growing (“Fears are growing of fresh hostilities in Gaza”)

Indeed, it has been said by American Jews who believe in Israel:

[T]he current Israeli leadership is protecting and prioritizing the settlement movement at the expense of Israel’s future. . . .

Sadly, if unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have expressed outrage in response to these statements by the United States and the EU. They have refused to acknowledge even an ounce of legitimacy to the critiques of their policy, to recognize that under international law Israel is occupying the West Bank illegally and that it is unacceptable to the world for Israel to control millions of West Bank Palestinians who lack the rights of the Israeli settlers who live alongside them.

The Netanyahu government and its close allies in the settler movement are choosing to stake Israel’s reputation on the legitimacy of the occupation. In their insistence that Israel is the settlements and the settlements are Israel, they have begun to treat all those who oppose the occupation and actively support the two-state solution as enemies of the state—including those who are in reality some of Israel’s best friends.

See also http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/gaza-2020-liveable-place (Report of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East: “GAZA IN 2020: A LIVEABLE PLACE?”); see also http://issuu.com/unrwa/docs/gaza_in_2020/1?e=0

Is it any wonder that anti-Semitism is rising dramatically, and both Israel and Jews are hated globally?

Again and again, the Journal‘s editors “carry water” against Iran, and—both explicitly and implicitly—for the murderous Netanyahu, Israel, AIPAC, the AIPAC-bought GOP lackeys in Congress, and of course the “Israel Firsters.”

Not satisfied with having lost, they continue to spew venom whenever possible, and berate Barack Obama, John Kerry and others who worked to make the Iran deal possible.

I voted against Obama twice, and against Kerry’s bid for the presidency. I am not a “fan” of Iran by any means. However, absent from the pages of the Journal are the facts that Netanyahu and his ilk are responsible for an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone. Clearly, they did more than “capture and humiliate” their victims.

Indeed, as stated previously, Netanyahu has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors. He must be tried by the International Criminal Court, and arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

But of course the Journal‘s editors are silent about this.

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3 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Blasts Islamophobia [UPDATED]

Tolerance

John Stanton has reported for BuzzFeed News:

During his first visit to a mosque as leader, President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on Americans to combat Islamophobia and slammed Republicans’ use of increasingly hostile rhetoric towards Muslims, calling it inexcusable and blaming them for a surge in attacks on Muslims.

“We’ve seen too often people conflating horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith,” Obama said in his speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Maryland.

“For some time, we’ve been asking for pushback,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said to the AP. “Perhaps this will start a trend.”

Obama also slammed Republicans, arguing their “inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslims…has no place in our country.”

“It’s no surprise than that threats against Muslims have surged,” he said.

Obama’s historic visit to the mosque comes as conservatives, particularly those on the campaign trail, have been using harsh language in talking about the Muslim world.

Donald Trump has staked out the most extreme position, calling for a complete ban on allowing Muslims to enter the United States. Sen. Ted Cruz has called for a halt on immigrants from countries with active Islamic terrorist organizations, which would amount to a de facto ban on Muslim immigration into the U.S.

Jeb Bush, meanwhile, has argued that Syrian refugees of Christian descent should be given priority over Muslim refugees in any future resettlements. All of the Republican candidates support at least a temporary halt on bringing refugees to the country.

At the same time, Muslim leaders say they’ve seen a spike in incidents of vandalism, threats, and physical assaults across the United States, particularly in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks.

Earlier in the day, Obama and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett participated in a roundtable with Muslim leaders from around the country, during which they discussed how Muslims contribute to their communities as well as the challenges of Islamophobia, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

See http://www.buzzfeed.com/johnstanton/president-obama-visits-us-mosque#.xkkxj2bOb0 (emphasis added); see also http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-to-make-first-visit-to-u-s-mosque-1454515229 (“Obama Makes First Visit to U.S. Mosque”—”Outreach to Muslim community comes as terror fears, hate crimes against believers are rising”—”Obama also argued against profiling Muslims in the fight against terrorism and called on Muslim leaders to more vocally combat what he described as a ‘radical, tiny minority’ seeking to hijack their religion”—”[C]onflating extremist attacks with all Muslims fuels the threat of terrorism”—”According to a survey published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, . . . 68 % of Americans believe that the problem is with violent people using religion to justify actions, not religion itself”—”Former President George W. Bush visited a mosque six days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, telling a group at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. that ‘the face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,’ and that those who intimidated Muslims in the wake of the attacks ‘represent the worst of humankind'”)

What the president failed to address is the blatant Islamophobia spewed by the Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens and others, by Israel’s murderous Netanyahu and others of his ilk, and by fanatical Jewish “Israel Firsters” and related groups.

They constitute the “800-pound gorilla” that neither Obama nor other American leaders dare to address politically.

The tragedy is that it is a two-way street. Anti-Semitism is increasing dramatically in Europe and globally—which may represent a precursor of epic tragedies to come.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (“Is Israel Doomed?”)

At the same time, Islamophobia is increasing—spawned at least in part by those who suffer from anti-Semitism.

It must never be forgotten that Christianity has 2.2 billion followers. Islam has 1.8 billion followers. At most, Judaism has 14 million followers.

The United States and the American people are not at war with Islam or its followers. Anyone who suggests otherwise is Islamophobic.

As I have written in the article above:

Islamophobia is un-American, and inconsistent with Jesus’ teachings as set forth in the New Testament—just as racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination are evil. Fear spawns hatred, anger and retribution. Too much of it is present in America and other countries.

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4 02 2016
Jonathan Buttall

I agree with your latest write up, Timothy. I have no personal Islamic friends except on Facebook (more than half of them Egyptians), but we were impressed by the four Islamic countries (Western friendly at the time) we visited years ago. My best friend is a Lebanese immigrant from a wealthy Christian family. Prejudice of any kind towards any ethnic or religious group reduces our national moral standing in our nation.

The Wall Street Journal has good financial articles, but their politics follows a party line.

Liked by 1 person

4 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

I agree.

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16 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Reports To Jail, But What About Netanyahu? [UPDATED]

Ben Caspit has written for Al-Monitor:

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister from 2006 to 2009, has reported to jail, where he will become a run-of-the-mill prisoner. Olmert, 70, will spend 19 months behind bars, serving a sentence for corruption for his involvement in a bribery scandal that occurred while he was mayor of Jerusalem.

In the brief history of the Jewish state, nothing like this has ever happened before at the prime minister level. In 2011, Israel’s eighth president (2000-2007), Moshe Katsav, was sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated sexual assault, a sentence he is currently serving. Before that, former Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson was sent to prison in 2009 for white-collar crimes. But never before has an Israeli prime minister been sent to prison. In Israel, the prime minister is the equivalent of the American president. He is the leader; he is the captain, the Israeli version of the “commander-in-chief.” And now he is going to jail.

Apart from the legal precedent and aside from all the tragedies — personal, familial and national — the situation is also a logistical nightmare. As a former prime minister, the Shin Bet’s VIP Security Unit provides Olmert with a security detail 24/7, no matter where he goes. He travels in a government limo and his home and office are under constant protection because Olmert is considered one of Israel’s “emblems of government” who requires round-the-clock security. The reason for that is simple: Olmert knows state secrets. He knows everyone and everything. Some of the most intricate and important classified military decisions were made personally by him. Someone like him would be a treasure trove of information for terrorist groups or foreign intelligence agencies. How can such a person be sent to prison?

The first question raised was what would happen with his security once he begins his sentence. Will the former prime minister bring his security detail to prison with him? Since Israel has never faced this kind of dilemma before, the prison service and the Shin Bet were forced to ponder the problem in depth before coming up with a special protocol to handle the logistics. It was decided that the VIP Security Unit will remain outside the prison walls, only joining Olmert in the event that he leaves the prison on furlough. Within the prison itself, he will be protected by a team of security guards who received special training under Shin Bet supervision. It isn’t every day that a prime minister becomes an ordinary prisoner, so the system must get used to dealing with this bizarre situation.

Another question raised was whether Olmert would be allowed to serve his sentence with other prisoners. The authorities came up with a creative solution here. A new wing, “Division 10,” was created in the minimum-security Maasiyahu Prison. Olmert will be kept in a cell designed for three prisoners in an isolated wing that will house only white-collar criminals, traffic offenders and other inmates convicted of bribery. Prisoners who will be in contact with him will be screened first. The prime minister’s cell will be covered by security cameras, which will keep track of everything happening there 24/7, and a special sentry will be posted by the door. Olmert will not come into contact with any unvetted prisoners, out of fear that they might attack him or attempt to extort him.

The big problem is how he will pass the time, as he will not be able to work like other prisoners. As of now, he is sentenced to 19 months, which is considerable, but there is certainly a chance that this time will be increased once the appeals process in other scandals in which Olmert has been convicted eventually ends. Olmert’s sentence could grow by many more months.

It is hard to believe that this is the very man who won an election less than a decade ago and served as the prime minister of Israel for almost three years. The rise and fall of Olmert could be the basis of a Greek tragedy or a Latin American telenovela. He reached the pinnacle of power in a historical twist of fate, after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke in January 2006. Olmert, who was then the deputy prime minister, benefited from the sudden lack of leadership. After winning the election, he led Israel through the Second Lebanon War (2006) and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (2008-2009). According to foreign sources, during Olmert’s tenure, Israel also bombed the nuclear reactor that the Mossad allegedly uncovered in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, effectively eliminating President Bashar al-Assad’s top-secret nuclear ambitions in a matter of minutes in a smooth operation that went completely under the radar (2007). The ongoing civil war in Syria erupted three years later.

As far as Olmert is concerned, he would prefer to go down in history not as someone who went to war, but as the person who went farther than anyone in the history of modern Israel to reach peace with the Palestinians. During his final year in power, Olmert held a long series of personal, intimate meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. These concluded with Olmert presenting Abbas with a written proposal, which expressed his readiness to give up almost all (94%) of the West Bank so that a Palestinian state could be formed. The proposal included the transfer of Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinians and a creative solution to the problem of the right of return. No other Israeli leader had ever made such a far-reaching proposal to a Palestinian leader. When Olmert informed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the details of his offer, she was visibly moved by it. In fact, she could hardly believe what she was hearing. Rice devoted an entire chapter to the issue in her book “No Higher Honor,” claiming that Olmert went even further and risked more than late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Ultimately, Abbas did not even reply to Olmert’s proposal, just as he did not respond to a proposal he received from President Barack Obama in the White House on March 17, 2014. Olmert eventually did not survive politically, but for entirely different reasons. Today, he has his own intriguing conspiracy theory about what actually happened next, claiming that his willingness to go so far unleashed great and powerful forces that financed a long campaign to depose him.

Olmert’s legal struggle to prove his innocence dragged on for years before it ended in his excruciating fall. His final appeal was accepted in part by the Supreme Court, which reduced his original six-year sentence to just a year and a half in prison. And yet, regardless of all that, as of today, Olmert will go from being a free citizen, a former prime minister and a respected Israeli public figure to a prisoner serving his sentence.

There are those who believe that putting an Israeli prime minister behind bars testifies to the resilience of Israel’s democracy. They say that it is evidence that Israel still has an independent judiciary and law enforcement system. The problem is that much has changed in Israel ever since the authorities went after Olmert. Today’s circumstances are completely different from those in which the police could investigate the prime minister fearlessly and without bias.

See http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/02/ehud-olmert-moshe-katsav-prison-security-democracy-rice-book.html (“From Israeli prime minister to prisoner“) (emphasis added)

Instead of being a shining city on a hill and a beacon to the oppressed peoples of the world, Israel and the likes of Netanyahu have morphed into their ancestors’ Nazi oppressors.

He must be captured and tried by the International Criminal Court for his crimes against the Palestinian people—including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone.

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5 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

What The Israelis Have Done

Israel's victims
[WARNING: The photos are graphic and disturbing]

These animals were left without food due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as staff were unable to feed or care for them properly.

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported that Mohammed Awaida opened South Forest Park in 2007, and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the zoo.

However, during the three-week 2014 Israeli offensive, Awaida said he could not reach the zoo, and many animals died of neglect and starvation.

As indicated above, Netanyahu has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors. He must be captured and tried by the International Criminal Court for his crimes against the Palestinian people—including an estimated 2,200 deaths in Gaza during 2014 alone.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3478261/Horrifying-mummified-corpses-remains-dozens-animals-starved-death-world-s-worst-zoo-Gaza-Strip.html (“Starved to death and left to MUMMIFY: Once proud animals including lions and crocodiles are now no more than horrifying ‘statues’ after carers had to stop feeding them”)

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6 03 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy. Just a few thoughts. I like your two articles on this, but thought the Daily Mail, a British Tabloid, tried to blame the zoo keepers and the Gaza gov’t for what happened, calling it the “worlds worst zoo” and that it wasn’t regulated. They clearly avoided blaming the only people responsible for what happened to those zoo animals; the blitzkrieg by the IDF. Perhaps “worlds worst neighbor” would be more apt.

On Olmert, interesting thought. Leaders who try to make peace with Palestine end up badly. While on a bus with our niece in Tel Aviv, she pointed out a spot on the street where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated for making a peace treaty with Palestine (like Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, he was killed by his own for making peace with the other side). Our niece, raised by a settler family, didn’t agree with my politics, of course, so we kept that out of our conversations.

With international heat on Israel, Olmert paid a lesser but still significant price for trying to make peace with Palestine. Every politician has a scandal somewhere that can be used to take him out if needed for unrelated reasons.

The gall of using this to make it look like it proves Israel is a fair democracy where criminals are brought to justice!!

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6 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments as always.

I agree that the Daily Mail consciously avoided blaming Israel and the murderous Netanyahu for what happened to the animals. There is systematic censorship in the news, certainly in the UK and US, which is deplorable.

To believe that this serves the long-term well being of Israel, Israelis and Jews worldwide is to ignore what is happening globally. Anti-Semitism is rising in Europe and elsewhere, and Jews are being urged to flee to Israel.

There is a cause and effect with respect to everything.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

I agree too with your comment: “Leaders who try to make peace . . . end up badly.”

Whether it is Neville Chamberlain, Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat or countless others, they seem to pay heavy prices—with their lives and political careers.

I agree too with your statement:

Every politician has a scandal somewhere that can be used to take him out if needed for unrelated reasons.

A recent example is Gen. David Petraeus.

Perhaps the real question is whether Hillary Clinton will pay a heavy price for her wrongdoing.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue“)

Only time will tell.

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11 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The Holocausts And Jewish identity

Israel flag burning

The Nazi Holocaust of the last century, and a 21st Century holocaust are explicit and implicit in an article written by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer:

Bernie Sanders is the most successful Jewish candidate for the presidency ever. It’s a rare sign of the health of our republic that no one seems to much care or even notice. Least of all, Sanders himself. Which prompted Anderson Cooper in a recent Democratic debate to ask Sanders whether he was intentionally keeping his Judaism under wraps.

“No,” answered Sanders: “I am very proud to be Jewish.” He then explained that the Holocaust had wiped out his father’s family. And that he remembered as a child seeing neighbors with concentration camp numbers tattooed on their arms. Being Jewish, he declared, “is an essential part of who I am as a human being.”

A fascinating answer, irrelevant to presidential politics but quite revealing about the state of Jewish identity in contemporary America.

Think about it. There are several alternate ways American Jews commonly explain the role Judaism plays in their lives.

1. Practice: Judaism as embedded in their life through religious practice or the transmission of Jewish culture by way of teaching or scholarship. Think Joe Lieberman or the neighborhood rabbi.

2. Tikkun: Seeing Judaism as an expression of the prophetic ideal of social justice. Love thy neighbor, clothe the naked, walk with God, beat swords into plowshares. As ritual and practice have fallen away over the generations, this has become the core identity of liberal Judaism. Its central mission is nothing less than to repair the world (“Tikkun olam”).

Which, incidentally, is the answer to the perennial question, “Why is it that Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic?” Because, for the majority of Jews, the social ideals of liberalism are the most tangible expressions of their prophetic Jewish faith.

When Sanders was asked about his Jewish identity, I was sure his answer would be some variation of Tikkun. On the stump, he plays the Old Testament prophet railing against the powerful and denouncing their treatment of the widow and the orphan. Yet Sanders gave an entirely different answer.

3. The Holocaust. What a strange reply — yet it doesn’t seem so to us because it has become increasingly common for American Jews to locate their identity in the Holocaust.

For example, it’s become a growing emphasis in Jewish pedagogy from the Sunday schools to Holocaust studies programs in the various universities. Additionally, Jewish groups organize visits for young people to the concentration camps of Europe.

The memories created are indelible. And deeply valuable. Indeed, though my own family was largely spared, the Holocaust forms an ineradicable element of my own Jewish consciousness. But I worry about the balance. As Jewish practice, learning and knowledge diminish over time, my concern is that Holocaust memory is emerging as the dominant feature of Jewishness in America.

I worry that a people with a 3,000-year history of creative genius, enriched by intimate relations with every culture from Paris to Patagonia, should be placing such weight on martyrdom — and indeed, for this generation, martyrdom once removed.

I’m not criticizing Sanders. I credit him with sincerity and authenticity. But it is precisely that sincerity and authenticity — and the implications for future generations — that so concern me. Sanders is 74, but I suspect a growing number of young Jews would give an answer similar to his.

We must of course remain dedicated to keeping alive the memory and the truth of the Holocaust, particularly when they are under assault from so many quarters. Which is why, though I initially opposed having a Holocaust museum as the sole representation of the Jewish experience in the center of Washington, I came to see the virtue of having so sacred yet vulnerable a legacy placed at the monumental core of — and thus entrusted to the protection of — the most tolerant and open nation on earth.

Nonetheless, there must be balance. It would be a tragedy for American Jews to make the Holocaust the principal legacy bequeathed to their children. After all, the Jewish people are living through a miraculous age: the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty, the revival of Hebrew (a cultural resurrection unique in human history), the flowering of a new Hebraic culture radiating throughout the Jewish world.

Memory is sacred, but victimhood cannot be the foundation stone of Jewish identity. Traditional Judaism has 613 commandments. The philosopher Emil Fackenheim famously said that the 614th is to deny Hitler any posthumous victories. The reduction of Jewish identity to victimhood would be one such victory. It must not be permitted.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-holocaust-and-the-jewish-identity/2016/03/10/0cfe842c-e702-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html (emphasis added)

I have made my views clear on this subject—in the article above, in comments that I have made, and in three other articles. I have not changed my beliefs.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”)

Perhaps the biggest issue facing American and non-Israeli Jews globally today is whether the end of Israel would affect their identity.

The tiny country was founded by Jewish terrorists, and it may end at the hands of non-Jewish terrorists.

What Krauthammer refers to as “Tikkun”—”Seeing Judaism as an expression of the prophetic ideal of social justice,” and “Love thy neighbor, clothe the naked, walk with God, beat swords into plowshares”—are at odds with the actions of Netanyahu and his ilk, who have morphed into their ancestors’ Nazi oppressors.

Regarding the question of “Why is it that Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic,” a devoutly Jewish friend of mine—whose parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust—believes that Jews are not very smart politically.

Indeed, they have embraced the Democratic Party since the days of FDR, even though (1) FDR turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe; and (2) the other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.

Lastly, if Israel disappears, it should not affect the identity of other Jews globally. Presumably they do not derive their identities from Israel, any more than I derive my identity from Germany, Britain, Ireland or Scotland—from which my ancestors hailed.

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11 03 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello., Timothy. I didn’t realize you were of Jewish ethnic background. Although I became a Christian in Middle age (I think my daughter and wife were an influence in this), I am also of Jewish background. My family had not been in the Holocaust. Like many US immigrants, my grandparents on both sides were from Czarist Russia or one of it’s subject countries, as with Russo Poland. The Grandfather I knew growing up told me about a Pogrom he experienced in the Polish farming town he lived in.

I’m afraid my experiences in the Jewish culture were very negative ones for many years and I found myself repulsed by all of it. That, and my negative opinion of Israel, a country I’ve traveled in to visit a niece (from a settler family run by my fanatical brother) and for my wife and I to see the holy land. I did not see my brother there; he refused to attend my wedding many years before as my wife is Hispanic.

I sometimes think that my making the US Holocaust Museum as my charity of choice is some sort of unconscious repentance for my distaste of all things Jewish. An odd irony.

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11 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

I am not Jewish, but—as I have written—I have had friends who are Jewish all of my life, since I was growing up in West Los Angeles.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

Some of their families were in the movie business; and in fact, the father of one headed what was perhaps Hollywood’s largest and most prestigious studio at the time. He came to elementary school (K-6) in a limousine—which, needless to say, was unusual even then.

He and I remain in touch to this day.

However, to put these comments into perspective, most of my Jewish friends have had no connection to the movie business, nor have they enjoyed the luxuries that this friend has.

Second, I understand your feelings. Guilt is rooted in the Old Testament (or Torah), while it is not in the teachings of Jewish, as reflected in the New Testament. You have spoken of “some sort of unconscious repentance for [your] distaste of all things Jewish.” I do not believe any guilt or repentance is necessary, for Jews or non-Jews, albeit lots of people attempt to “saddle” others with a sense of guilt.

Third, I have cited “a Jewish lawyer from the Midwest with whom I was working on a lawsuit. He came to Washington, D.C. and had never seen the Holocaust Museum, so I took him there. His family came to the United States in the 1800s, and he told me that none of his relatives were victims of the Holocaust, nor did he know anyone who was affected by it. In many ways, he did not relate to it, although he was moved emotionally after we toured the museum.”

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1825

There are lots of wonderful Jews like you and him, who have their own “identities” as Americans, just as I do. Indeed, most of us do not question where our ancestors came from, or the religious beliefs of others.

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12 03 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your nice and insightful response, Timothy. I found becoming a Christian gave me a faith I could believe in, and writing that reply gave me a chance to explore my complexities.

Liked by 1 person

11 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami And The Republican Jewish Coalition’s Matt Brooks Debate in Las Vegas

[Note: The fine moderator was journalist, political commentator, and talk show host Jon Ralston of Las Vegas. See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Ralston]

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14 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The Political Stupidity Of The Jews Revisited [UPDATED]

American Jews

This is the title of a Wall Street Journal article by Joseph Epstein, which states:

The story has it that during the George H.W. Bush administration, James Baker proposes to his boss an idea that would go against Israeli interests. “The Jews aren’t going to like it,” President Bush says. Mr. Baker replies: “They don’t vote for us anyway—screw ’em!” Fast forward 15 years, when Rahm Emanuel proposes a different idea to his boss that would also go against Israeli interests. “The Jews aren’t going to like it,” President Obama says. Mr. Emanuel replies: “They vote for us anyway—screw ’em!”

Such, one might say, are the advantages of bloc voting for ethnic groups. Just as Democratic politicians assume the support of black voters, the Jews have been in the pocket of the Democratic Party at least as far back as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and though there are few Jews alive today who were old enough to have voted for FDR, they, the Jews, are still in that pocket. This despite the fact that we now know that FDR was not such a grand friend to the Jews, for he did nothing to stop or even slow the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II, and instead, when told by Rabbi Stephen Wise of the death camps, counseled silence on the subject.

The best face that can be put on this unwillingness, bordering on a genetic-inability, of Jews to vote Republican is that Jewishness, if not Judaism, has at its center a hatred of injustice and a concomitant yearning for equality. All this, presumably, has been ingrained in Jews by their own long history as the scapegoats of tyrants. Being underdogs, the Jews ipso facto are themselves for underdogs. Republicans, traditionally, have been top dogs. Don’t, something in most Jews tells them, go there.

Older Jews, of whom I am one, have memories of so-called “restricted” neighborhoods and clubs—restricted meaning No Jews Allowed. They remember quotas against Jews put in place by private universities. I recall the writer Clifton Fadiman telling me that when he applied to graduate school at Columbia, he was told it wasn’t a good idea, for the English Department there already had accepted his undergraduate classmate, Mr. Trilling, the implication being that one Jew was enough. Large corporations in those days did not hire Jews, or if they did it was made clear that their chances for promotion were greatly limited.

All these arrangements against Jews—real-estate covenants, university quotas, job restrictions and more—were thought to be the handiwork of a WASP establishment that was, with only rare exceptions (FDR, Dean Acheson, Adlai Stevenson), at its heart, if not officially, Republican. To vote for a Republican now, more than half a century later, even though these arrangements are no longer in place, would for most Jews constitute a betrayal. They can’t do it; they simply can’t do it.

In 1999, Irving Kristol, a Jew who could do it, published in the quarterly journal Azure an essay called “On the Political Stupidity of the Jews.” The essay took up the yearning for universalist Enlightenment values on the part of many Jews—values that, on the subject of Israel, for example, worked directly against Jewish particularist interests. “Just because I’m Jewish,” I recall hearing an anti-Israel Jew named Mitchell Plitnick say on television, “doesn’t mean I have to be for killing”—this when the Israelis were defending themselves against Hamas attacks.

Irving Kristol also thought it foolishness for heavily Jewish-funded organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate against Christian prayer and symbols in national life, since the United States is a country that is Christian at its foundation and is overwhelmingly Christian in its population. Backing the ACLU and other groups in such matters, in the name of a utopian belief in a humanistic, therapeutic, universalist culture in which everyone will agree that none of us has any differences worth maintaining, seemed to Kristol what he called chutzpah—sheer effrontery and stupid in the extreme.

In his essay, Kristol made no mention of the Jewish difficulty in voting for Republicans, no matter how conservative individual Jews may be by instinct and in temperament and, often, even by interest. In the matter of interest, the Jewish vote, along with Jewish money in Hollywood and elsewhere, has helped put in office a president who can scarcely be called a friend to Israel. Jews have voted for Democrats who have over the years instituted such essentially anti-Jewish programs as racial preferences in higher education (the religion of contemporary Jews, it has been said, only half-jokingly, is diplomas). Through federal regulation and high taxation, the Democratic Party has done what it could to strangle the entrepreneurial spirit that was once the pride of the Jewish middle class. Only a schmuck works for someone else is, in some quarters, the 11th Jewish commandment.

For the current political season, I propose a 12th [Jewish commandment]: Vote your mind, not your ethnicity.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-political-stupidity-of-the-jews-revisited-1457906933 (emphasis added)

As indicated in my comments above:

I will never forget what a Jew and strong supporter of Israel told me some years ago: (1) Israelis are stupid politically; and (2) their form of government permits the “tail to wag the dog” (e.g., giving small right-wing groups the opportunity to effectively control government policies).

The parents of my friend—who is a first generation American—and the parents of my friend’s spouse are survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.

Also, as indicated in my article above:

American president—and the father of today’s Left—Franklin D. Roosevelt, turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe. The other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.

Thus, from a purely rational standpoint, the allegiance of Jews to the Democrats does not make sense. However, “tradition” often governs. As much as Barack Obama treats Netanyahu as a “lesser being,” American Jews still vote as a bloc for Democrats.

At a time when so many Americans are angry and turning away from both political parties, it is not surprising to see U.S. Jews do the same. After all, like the rest of us, they are Americans first and proudly so.

Also, like the rest of us, some have chosen to follow Judaism or not. Each of us has freedom of choice; and we must do what we feel most comfortable doing.

Even if Israel disappeared tomorrow, they would still be Americans, just like the rest of us.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/ (“Boycott The GOP And Ignore Foreign Naysayers“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)

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31 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The Nazi Holocaust Remembered

Ike at Dachau
[General and later President Dwight D. Eisenhower speaking with survivor at Dachau death camp, Germany]

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

The only British survivor of a Nazi concentration camp was forced to relive harrowing tales of ‘rampant’ cannibalism and brutal torture at the hands of the Gestapo, newly-released records show.

Harold Osmond Le Druillenec was one of thousands of Nazi persecution victims forced to confront the horrors of their past to get compensation for their suffering.

In a letter he wrote applying for compensation, he revealed the shocking ‘kill or be killed’ nature of the camp at night.

His experiences came to light as details of applications for financial assistance made in the 1960s by UK victims and their families were released by the National Archives for the first time.

In 1964 the Federal Republic of Germany agreed to pay the British Government £1 million – about £17million in today’s money – to those who had suffered, or to their dependants if they had died.

More than 4,000 people applied and 1,015 awards of compensation were made by the Foreign Office.

For many, filling in the applications marked the first time they had confronted their harrowing experiences. But compensation was far from guaranteed – only those who spent time in a concentration camp or similar and were a British citizen would get payments.

Among the files released by the National Archives at Kew, west London, is an application from Mr Le Druillenec.

The only British survivor found at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, who went on to give evidence at the Belsen Trials, was arrested in Jersey in 1944 for harbouring Russian prisoners and not cooperating with the Nazis.

In his application for compensation, he describes how he survived three concentration camps ‘by a bit of luck’.

‘Rarely do I admit, even to myself, any physical weakness, ailments or discomforts and only see a doctor when it is imperative to do so,’ he wrote in his application for disability compensation.

‘The filling-in of this form has been somewhat of a trial and I apologise for any incompleteness therein.’

Mr Le Druillenec’s first-hand account laid bare the horrors endured by prisoners under the Nazi regime.

He recalled his time at the Hamburg Banterweg camp, describing it as a ‘tough camp with torture and punishment’, in a tale of harrowing brutality as he fought to get compensation for his suffering.

‘Means of putting inmates to death included beating, drowning, crucifixion, hanging in various stances,’ he added.

He described Belsen as ‘not as malicious as Banterweg but infinitely more uncomfortable – no food, no water, sleep was impossible’.

‘All my time here was spent in heaving dead bodies into the mass graves kindly dug for us by ‘outside workers’ for we no longer had the strength for that type of work,’ he added.

‘Jungle law reigned among the prisoners. At night you killed or were killed; by day cannibalism was rampant.

‘The bulk of Auschwitz had been transferred to Belsen when I arrived and it was here that I heard the expression ‘there is only one way out of here – through the chimney [crematorium]!’

The camp was liberated just hours before he was due to die.

He was freed after 10 months’ imprisonment, during which he lost more than half his body weight, and spent almost a year recovering from the dysentery, scabies, malnutrition and septicaemia he suffered.

He interrupted his convalescence to give evidence against camp staff at the Belsen Trial in Luneburg in 1945 and went on to help the War Crimes Investigations teams as they examined atrocities at other concentration camps.

In his application for compensation he described how his experiences had left him ‘generally weak’, with his heart and lungs affected and how he had lost most of his memories of pre-war life.

He wrote of his life back in Jersey: ‘All in all I am in good shape but must needs live a quiet life’.

He was awarded £1,835 in compensation – equivalent to £28,707 now. Mr Le Druillenec died at the age of 73 in 1985.

Some 900 files have been released so far, with more than 3,000 to come by spring 2017.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3516690/The-British-survivor-Belsen-concentration-camp-battle-rampant-cannibalism-torture-hands-Gestapo-harrowing-new-records-show.html (“‘At night you killed or were killed – by day cannibalism was rampant’: Harrowing details of the horrors of Nazi concentration camps revealed in a letter from the only British survivor of Belsen”) (emphasis added)

I have been very critical of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, and of Israel itself. I have written about anti-Semitism that is spreading in Europe and globally. In my article above, I have questioned whether Israel will survive.

Yet, there is no question that the Nazi Holocaust took place. I toured Dachau 20 years after Eisenhower was there; I have visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; and I have been moved emotionally. Whether exactly 6 million Jews died is not the issue. The fact is that unspeakable atrocities occurred, which decimated global Jewry—and killed or maimed countless more, whether they be Brits, Americans or others.

I have been critical of the fact that billions of dollars in reparations were “extorted” from Germany and other sources, to compensate the survivors, yet monies were “siphoned off” by lawyers and others, and never reached the intended surviving victims, most of whom are dead now. In Japan, the issue is compensating “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-7778 (“The Tragic Story of Comfort Women“)

The global issue is always the same: human tragedies of unspeakable terms must be remembered forever, to prevent their recurrence again—whether they were visited on the human race by Hitler, Stalin or Mao, or in Armenia, Africa and elsewhere, or by human trafficking or war.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

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6 04 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Israel-Palestine Conflict Resolution By Obama In November? [UPDATED]

Israeli and Palestinian flags

Akiva Eldar—a columnist for Al-Monitor’s “Israel Pulse,” and formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz, who also served as the Hebrew daily’s U.S. bureau chief—has written:

Over the past century, the month of November has seen a slew of ground-breaking events in the annals of the Jewish state. There was the Balfour Declaration, the British Empire’s declaration of support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel (November 1917); the UN resolution on the establishment of a Jewish state (November 1947); the visit by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem (November 1977); and the Annapolis Conference, which launched the important negotiations between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on a permanent status arrangement (November 2007).

In between, following the Palestine Liberation Organization’s declaration of an independent state and its recognition of the State of Israel, US President Ronald Reagan decided to launch an official dialogue with the organization on reaching a peace arrangement with Israel. He made his move in November 1988, after the presidential elections and before George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president of the United States. The outgoing president, who had completed two terms in office, was no longer under pressure from Jewish voters. The incoming president, who inherited the PLO, was no longer under pressure from Jewish lobbyists. Before the Reagan-Bush handover, the right-wing government of the “Greater Land of Israel” led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was struck a crippling blow.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very familiar with the maneuver of taking on a difficult resolution at the end of a term. In 1988, he wrapped up four years in New York as head of the Israeli delegation to the United Nations. Before that he served as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. These days he is busy preparing for a possible diplomatic tsunami to hit at some point between Nov. 8, 2016, and January 2017. A senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem who asked to remain anonymous told Al-Monitor this week that Israel is operating on the assumption that President Barack Obama will not leave the White House with a failing grade in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Based on that assumption, the question is not whether Obama will make a diplomatic move, but what kind it will be.

The answer to this intriguing question is clutched tightly to the president’s chest. Obama learned the hard way that any hint of a measure that could threaten the status quo in the occupied territories will immediately provide fodder for Republican propaganda. According to a diplomatic source familiar with the hectic deliberations conducted recently by the Mideast Quartet, including a March 28 meeting in Jerusalem, Obama is weighing three formulas. One possibility is to support a proposed UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. The second is pushing through a decisive resolution against the settlements. The third option is a combination of the two.

When the time comes to decide, shortly before Obama clears off his desk in the Oval Office, he will be handed a document summing up each of the three alternatives. The National Security Council and the State Department are cautiously examining how the sides involved will react to each move. The way it looks on the surface, the Israeli side is expressing vehement opposition to any move that is not tiny baby steps, such as pulling Israeli military forces out of the West Bank Palestinian towns of Jericho and Ramallah and allowing more Palestinians to work in Israel.

But Netanyahu knows this won’t cut it. Therefore, the National Security Council in Jerusalem is formulating alternative proposals to an international initiative. Netanyahu, too, is keeping his cards close to his chest. If he veers slightly away from the radical right, for instance by even temporarily expressing reservations about an Israeli soldier’s execution of a wounded Palestinian, he risks the wrath of his coalition partners from HaBayit HaYehudi and from his own political home, the Likud.

The Palestinians are adopting the defensive tactics of a tennis player who waits patiently for his opponent to make a mistake and tries to avoid making any himself. They don’t budge from their demand for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem in the spirit of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. These principles are accepted by a decisive majority of the international community. Netanyahu is lobbing hollow balls into the Palestinian court in an attempt to score public opinion points. But Israel anticipated that Abbas would contemptuously reject the offer to pull troops out of Jericho and Ramallah. Accepting it would have been interpreted as agreeing to the continued presence of the Israel Defense Forces in Area A, in violation of the Oslo Accord.

Attempting to counter accusations that the Palestinian Authority incites terror, Abbas is once again proposing to reconvene the joint Israeli-Palestinian-American committee on the prevention of incitement. Netanyahu is once again ignoring the suggestion. With nothing to lose, Abbas tried to address the Israeli public over the heads of its leaders. In an interview with journalist Ilana Dayan on the popular program “Uvda,” aired March 31 on Channel 2, Abbas said that the PA’s security forces go into schools to search for knives in the children’s schoolbags. According to him, at one school they found 70 boys and girls carrying knives and confiscated them, with the message that “We want you to live, and for the other side to live as well.”

In consultations ahead of the November decision, the United States is reserving a special role for Egypt. In addition to Cairo’s traditional role as conciliator/mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as of January, Egypt is a member of the UN Security Council. Its vote could tip the scales in favor of a proposed Obama resolution on resolving the conflict or a resolution that Obama will not veto.

Cairo also has a symbolic value. In June 2009, five months after being sworn into office, Obama delivered a speech in Cairo in which he pledged to “personally” bring about the implementation of the two-state solution. He promised that “America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.” He added, “It is time . . . for all of us to live up to our responsibilities.” The last chance to live up to his promise to the Israelis and the Palestinians will come on Nov. 8, 2016, the day of the US presidential elections, and expire on Jan, 20, 2017, when the newly elected president and vice president are sworn in.

See http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/israel-palestine-conflict-resolution-obama-three-initiatives.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/opinion/international/israels-unsung-protector-obama.html?_r=1 (“[T]he president has grown so frustrated with trying to revive Middle East peace talks that he may lay down his own outline for an Israeli-Palestinian two-state peace agreement, in the form of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council”—”[S]ince 1967, every other American president allowed, or even had America vote for, Security Council resolutions taking Israel to task for actions and policies toward the Palestinians and other Arab neighbors”—”[T]he United States permitted resolutions saying that all Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem violated international law”—”The two-state solution is the only path to preserving Israel’s security and its character as a Jewish state and a democracy, while delivering freedom, dignity and sovereignty to the Palestinians. We can hope that President Obama may now recognize that preserving this solution for the future is the most important legacy he can leave in this arena. But to accomplish that, he must be willing to resist, rather than court, the anti-peace bullies in Israel and the United States; he must be willing to stand up for American interests in obtaining a Middle East peace, and to stand with America’s allies in the Security Council in supporting a two-state solution. If he does that, President Obama will not be betraying Israel. He will be Israel’s true friend. And he will walk in the footsteps of all eight other presidents since 1967, Democrat and Republican alike) and http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Is-Obama-planning-his-revenge-on-Netanyahu-451162 (“Is Obama planning his revenge on Netanyahu?”—”During his final year in the White House, US President Barack Obama is preparing a metaphorical roadside IED for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7220 (“The Green Line Between Israel And The Palestinian Territory“) and http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-claims-to-successfully-test-missile-that-can-reach-israel/ (“Iran claims to successfully test missile that can reach Israel“)

Both the first and second options should be adopted.

In terms of Barack Obama’s successor, it is likely that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would abide by such actions by Obama, but ultra-right-wing demagogue Ted Cruz would not—which is among the many reasons why so many Americans will never vote for him.

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10 05 2016
Kish

Tim, even lawyers can appear stupid. Your writing here solidifies that fact. Why are you so worried about Jewish fate? Or are you? Jerk. Or worse.

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10 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Kish, for your comments.

I have made my views very clear in the article above, and in other writings.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

You might wish to open your eyes and mind. The very dark clouds of anti-Semitism are gathering again.

I have seen their results when I toured Dachau, and when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington with an American Jew from the Midwest, whose family came to the States long ago and was not affected.

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11 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

What was the point of your comment? Your own views were not clear, nor the purpose and meaning of the insult. You seemed offended, but by what?

Liked by 1 person

18 05 2016
Rick

Why shouldn’t he be worried about the fate of Jews..? Without Jews, the world would not have half of the advances in technology that it has today..Do you have a problem with Jews, Kish?

Liked by 1 person

15 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Netanyahu: Iran Mocks Holocaust, Prepares Another [UPDATED]

Netanyahu Nazi

The Associated Press has reported:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at Iran Sunday for staging a Holocaust-themed cartoon contest that mocked the Nazi genocide of six million Jews during World War II and said the Islamic Republic was busy planning for another one.

Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel’s destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map. Israel fears that Iran’s nuclear program is designed to threaten its very existence. But Netanyahu said that it not just Iran’s belligerent policies that Israel opposed, but its values.

“It denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust,” Netanyahu said at his weekly Cabinet meeting. “I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia, said the United States was concerned the contest could “be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-Semitic speech, as it has in the past.”

“Such offensive speech should be condemned by the authorities and civil society leaders rather than encouraged. We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialization as inflammatory and abhorrent. It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust,” Toner said.

The denial or questioning of the genocide is widespread in the Middle East, where many regard it as a pretext Israel used for its creation and to excuse its actions toward the Palestinians.

“Holocaust means mass killing,” said contest organizer Masuod Shojai Tabatabaei. “We are witnessing the biggest killings by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine.”

He said the purpose of the Tehran event was not to deny the Holocaust but rather to criticize alleged Western double standards regarding free expression – and particularly as a response to depictions of the Prophet Muhammad by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and others. The exhibit featured some 150 works from 50 countries, with many portraying Israel as using the Holocaust to distract from the suffering of the Palestinians. Others depicted Palestinian prisoners standing behind concentration camp-style barbed wire fences, Netanyahu likened to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and a Jerusalem mosque behind a gate bearing the motto “Arbeit Macht Frei” that appeared at the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.

The contest was organized by non-governmental bodies with strong support from Iran’s hard-liners. A previous contest in 2006 got a boost from then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-liner who referred to the Holocaust as a “myth” and repeatedly predicted Israel’s demise.

See http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_IRAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-05-15-05-26-29 (emphasis added)

Like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” of Aesop’s Fables, Netanyahu’s words are falling on deaf ears.

The world has tuned him out.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf (“The Boy Who Cried Wolf“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2066 (“The Spymaster, Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, Compelled To Speak Out Because He Is So Opposed To Preemptive Israeli Strike Against Iran“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7059 (“Former Mossad Chief: I Don’t Trust Netanyahu, His Actions Will Cost Us“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-6443 (“Netanyahu Took Part In The Incitement Against Rabin That Preceded His Murder“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

Also, Netanyahu is viewed as an impediment to the peace initiatives that President Obama is expected to advance later this year.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-8656 (“Israel-Palestine Conflict Resolution By Obama In November?“)

As I have written in the article above:

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” him, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

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30 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

No One Should Be Surprised

Netanyahu Nazi

A Wall Street Journal editorial entitled “Democrats v. Israel” states:

Not too long ago Democrats were America’s pro-Israel party. Harry Truman recognized Israel moments after the Jewish state declared independence in 1948. JFK sold advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Jerusalem, ending a de facto U.S. arms embargo. Bill Clinton was famously close to the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

If that party isn’t dead, it’s close. This week Bernie Sanders named James Zogby of the Arab-American Institute and professor Cornel West to the party’s platform-drafting committee. The pair are expected to push hard for a more “even-handed” position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which in practice means denouncing Israel at every turn.

Mr. West offered a flavor of his even-handedness on Facebook in 2014 during Israel’s last war with Hamas. “Let us not be deceived,” he wrote. “The Israeli massacre of innocent Palestinians, especially the precious children, is a crime against humanity! The rockets of Hamas indeed are morally wrong and politically ineffective—but these crimes pale in the face of the U.S. supported Israeli slaughters of innocent civilians.”

Mr. Zogby has prominently endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, calling it “a legitimate and moral response to Israeli policy.” BDS has gained steam in recent years on college campuses, where Palestinian victimology plays well and students are easily misled about the causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

These views go well beyond the usual bounds of fair criticism of Israel. No other country—including a genuine occupier like China in Tibet—is being singled out for boycotts the way Israel is. The suggestion that Israel deliberately “massacres” innocent Palestinians is false based on everything we know about Israel’s military restraint and war practices. If Palestinians wanted to end Israel’s occupation, they could have taken the deal offered to them at Camp David in 2000 when Bill Clinton was President.

Pro-Israel Democrats might reply that Messrs. West and Zogby are only two of a 15-person panel, and Hillary Clinton has taken a more mainstream line. But there’s no gainsaying the increasingly anti-Israel tilt of progressive politics. A Pew poll from April found that while moderate Democrats still sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians by a 53% to 19% margin, self-identified liberal Democrats now tilt to the Palestinians, 40% to 33%.

Even Mrs. Clinton is only moderate on Israel when compared to the Democratic left. Her State Department was notorious for its denunciations of Israel, and some of her closest advisers are often quicker to denounce Israeli self-defense than Palestinian terror.

The shame of all this is that support for a robust liberal democracy like Israel should come naturally to the Democratic Party. Last we checked, it was better to be a woman, or homosexual, or environmentalist, or political dissident in Tel Aviv than in Gaza. As they write their party’s platform, Democrats might ask why Israel, the one Middle Eastern country that fully shares their values, should be the one they most seek to condemn.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-vs-israel-1464389180 (emphasis added)

Barack Obama may have a post-election “surprise” coming for the oppressive Netanyahu regime, which will make this editorial seem like a whimper.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-8656 (“Israel-Palestine Conflict Resolution By Obama In November?“)

The president and the Democrats’ stance vis–à–vis the oppressive Netanyahu regime is understandable and totally justifiable.

It is utter nonsense to state that an “‘even-handed’ position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . . in practice means denouncing Israel at every turn.” Like so many other editorials and articles in the Journal, this one is undergirded by Islamophobia, which is un-American.

Israel deserves and has earned—certainly under Netanyahu—no special or favored status. Indeed, Cornel West’s comments that are cited in this editorial are shared by many Americans, and certainly by the world.

Why should the Journal‘s editorial board be surprised in the least about “the increasingly anti-Israel tilt of progressive politics,” or the growing anti-Semitism in Europe and globally?

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” Netanyahu, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

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3 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Bernie Sanders Whacks Israel

Israel flag burning

This is the thesis and title of an article by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, which states:

Part of Bernie Sanders’ charm is that for all of his arm-waving jeremiads, he appears unthreatening. He’s the weird old uncle in the attic, Larry David’s crazy Bernie. It’s almost a matter of style. Who can be afraid of a candidate so irascible, grumpy, old-fashioned and unfashionable?

After all, he’s not going to win the nomination, so what harm can he do? A major address at the party convention? A say in the vice presidential selection? And who reads party platforms anyway?

Well, platforms may not immediately affect a particular campaign. But they do express, quite literally, the party line, a written record of its ideological trajectory.

Which is why two of Sanders’ appointments to the 15-member platform committee are so stunning. Professor Cornel West not only has called the Israeli prime minister a war criminal but openly supports the BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions), the most important attempt in the world to ostracize and delegitimize Israel.

West is joined on the committee by the longtime pro-Palestinian activist James Zogby. Together, reported the New York Times, they “vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.”

This seems a gratuitous provocation. Sanders hardly made Israel central to his campaign. He did call Israel’s response in the 2014 Gaza war “disproportionate” and said “we cannot continue to be one-sided.” But now Sanders seeks to permanently alter — i.e., weaken — the relationship between the Democratic Party and Israel, which has been close and supportive since Harry Truman recognized the world’s only Jewish state when it declared independence in May 1948.

West doesn’t even pretend, as do some left-wing “peace” groups, to be opposing Israeli policy in order to save it from itself. He makes the simpler case that occupation is unconscionable oppression and that until Israel abandons it, Israel deserves to be treated like apartheid South Africa — anathematized, cut off, made to bleed morally and economically. The Sanders appointees wish to bend the Democratic platform to encourage such diminishment unless Israel redeems itself by liberating Palestine.

This is an unusual argument for a Democratic platform committee, largely because it is logically and morally perverse. Israel did in fact follow such high-minded advice in 2005: It terminated its occupation and evacuated Gaza. That earned it (temporary) praise from the West. And from the Palestinians? Not peace, not reconciliation, not normal relations but a decade of unrelenting terrorism and war.

Israel is now being asked — pressured — to repeat that same disaster on the West Bank. That would bring the terror war, quite fatally, to the very heart of Israel — Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ben Gurion Airport. Israel is now excoriated for declining that invitation to national suicide.

It is ironic that the most successful Jewish presidential candidate ever should be pushing the anti-Israel case. But perhaps not surprising considering Sanders’ ideological roots. He is old left — not the post-1960s, countercultural New Left. Why, the man honeymooned in the Soviet Union — not such fashionably cool communist paradises as Sandinista Nicaragua where Bill de Blasio went to work for the cause or Castro’s Cuba where de Blasio honeymooned. (Do lefties all use the same wedding planner?)

For the old left, Israel was simply an outpost of Western imperialism, Middle East division. To this day, the leftist consensus, most powerful in Europe (which remains Sanders’ ideological lodestar), holds that Israeli perfidy demands purification by Western chastisement.

Chastisement there will be at the Democratic platform committee. To be sure, Sanders didn’t create the Democrats’ drift away from Israel. It was already visible at the 2012 convention with the loud resistance to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But Sanders is consciously abetting it.

The millennials who worship him and pack his rallies haven’t lived through — and don’t know — the history of Israel’s half-century of peace offers. They don’t know of the multiple times Israel has offered to divide the land with an independent Palestinian state and been rebuffed.

Sanders hasn’t lifted a finger to tell them. The lovable old guy with the big crowds and no chance at the nomination is hardly taken seriously (except by Hillary Clinton, whose inability to put him away reveals daily her profound political weakness). But when he makes platform appointees that show he does take certain things quite seriously, like undermining the U.S.-Israeli relationship, you might want to reconsider your equanimity about the magical mystery tour. It looks like Woodstock, but there is steel inside the psychedelic glove.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/lovable-bernie-whacks-israel/2016/06/02/28fe3334-28e3-11e6-b989-4e5479715b54_story.html (“Lovable Bernie whacks Israel“) (emphasis added)

With due respect for Krauthammer whom I like, this column could have been written in Tel Aviv by Netanyahu and his vicious thugs. Far too often Krauthammer turns a blind eye to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians and its other atrocities.

Netanyahu is a war criminal who should be arrested and tried for his crimes, when he sets foot outside of Israel. As I have written in the article above:

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” him, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

Both American political parties should end their lopsided support of Israel, which propelled the United States into the Iraq War—in which thousands of Americans died for nothing, while others were maimed for life and trillions of dollars were wasted. Not satisfied, Netanyahu and his thugs have tried to push us into another war, this time with Iran. Enough is enough. Israel, under Netanyahu, has ceased to be our friend or ally.

Also, I disagree vehemently with Krauthammer that Sanders cannot win his party’s presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton is dead in the water. It is likely that she will be indicted criminally, which will mean “game over” for her political aspirations; and she will spend the rest of the Obama presidency trying to get a pardon from the president so she does not wear an orange prison “jumpsuit” during the Trump presidency.

There is enough dirt on her to sink 10 battleships; and her e-mail scandal is only part of her problems. FBI director Comey and more than 100 FBI agents are “dedicated” to taking her down. She is on her way to becoming a political cipher.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8826 (“Hillary And Her Coke Habit“)

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10 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Well, interesting different views there……..I never agree with Krauthamer (the name is ironic). Bernie’s being Jewish is simply ethnic background, he is not part of the Jewish Religion or culture. Most American Jews voted for President Obama in 2012, an enemy of barbaric Netanyahu, and against Netanyahus puppet, Romney. The US must not be a tool and colony of Israeli atrocities. Odd that Krauthamer hates Hillary, an rabid Israeli supporter and puppet.

On a related note, high profile politicians do not get indicted. McCain committed very serious crimes of banking corruption and cost the tax payers 250 billion dollars in bail out money and only got a censure. Chris Christie, Joe Arpaio, Sarah Palin and Trump have committed crimes. They will never be charged for them nor will Hillary. These people are above the law.

At the time I’m writing this, Hillary got enough delegates to win the nomination. She had best pick Bernie as a VP. Having him waste time on Party platforms and convention rules is just busy work, no one pays attention to those. Without Bernie supporters voting for Hillary…….and they won’t if he isn’t on the ticket…………..she could well lose to Trump. I’m in the Sierra Club and a local officer in it. There’s controversy in the club right now as the leadership ignored Bernie and just endorsed Hillary. The club is aging and not enough young people have joined. They seem to face a similar disunity as the DNC and GOP now are. Ah, coming to the end of my rant……………

I suspect a major fight at both conventions would be good in the long run for both parties and for America as well. The status quo isn’t working and a nice shake up would move things along. Jonathan

Liked by 1 person

10 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

I actually like Krauthammer, but do not always agree with him (e.g., Netanyahu, Trump). He has certain “hot buttons” that when pushed, the results are very predictable.

You have written:

Bernie’s being Jewish is simply ethnic background, he is not part of the Jewish Religion or culture. Most American Jews voted for President Obama in 2012, an enemy of barbaric Netanyahu, and against Netanyahus puppet, Romney. The US must not be a tool and colony of Israeli atrocities.

I agree.

With respect to Hillary being indicted and forced to drop out of the race, I would bet this would happen, albeit I am not a betting man. There is too much against her, and it is mounting.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)

Indeed, if she is not indicted and forced out, it will signal that the United States is truly a lawless country; and that only the “little people” pay a price for not following our laws. It will underscore and perhaps galvanize the anger even more, which is reflected in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns.

If Hillary is the Dems’ standard bearer, I doubt she will pick Sanders.

I agree with your comments about the Sierra Club. I am a hiker, and spent time with Ansel Adams when he was alive.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/ansel-adams-has-an-heir/ (“Ansel Adams Has An Heir”)

However, the Club does not reflect my views, which is why I dropped out years ago and do not anticipate ever rejoining.

Lastly, you said:

I suspect a major fight at both conventions would be good in the long run for both parties and for America as well. The status quo isn’t working and a nice shake up would move things along.

I agree completely, but believe the two conventions will be “canned” now, with Trump staging quite a show, and Sanders being “sidelined” beyond belief, which will be very sad. My guess is that his followers will not have any real choice except not to vote.

That was my only choice in 1972, when McGovern ran against Nixon, and I was a young attorney working in the U.S. Senate. I could not vote for either of them; and I predicted that Watergate would take down Nixon.

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19 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Political Change Coming To Israel? [UPDATED]

Israel flag

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the enlightened leader of J Street—whose family members were among those who founded Tel Aviv—has written:

Political change is coming to Israel.

That’s the conclusion I came back with from a recent Congressional delegation to Israel and the West Bank.

Most Americans who care deeply about the future of Israel have watched in agony as Prime Minister Netanyahu has led the country ever further to the right politically in ways that challenge the democratic nature and Jewish character of the state.

I’m sure many viewed the replacement of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon with Avigdor Lieberman and the addition of his right-wing party to the governing coalition as simply a further reason for despair.

Yet what I saw on my visit — and what we saw this week in other political developments there — is the emergence of a fracture in Israeli politics that may well spell the end of two decades of Netanyahu dominance.

At the annual Herzliya Conference this week, Ya’alon announced his intention to challenge Netanyahu for Prime Minister in the next election.

His critique of Netanyahu and his leadership was scathing — accusing the government he quit of cynically using fear to divert attention from the nation’s real problems and expressing deep concern over the emerging fissures in Israeli society and the erosion of basic values.

Laying out a vision that he said could speak to the “sane majority” of the country, Ya’alon said, “The leadership of Israel in 2016 is busy with inflaming passions and causing fear between Jews and Arabs, between right and left and between different ethnic groups in order to survive in power and earn another month or year. The job of leadership is to bring together the people and not to tear it apart, incite and urge attacks.”

The number of figures on Israel’s political right and center who are alarmed by the rhetoric, ideology and policy emanating from the Prime Minister and his allies like Lieberman and Naftali Bennett is large and growing.

Bernie Avishai in a recent post in the New Yorker referred to this as a fissure between the ideological right, “driven by religiously inflected zealotry for the Land of Israel … and valorizing the settlement project as messianic” and the nationalist right that puts security concerns first, doubts its neighbors’ intentions and prioritizes military and national strength.

This nationalist right — now led by Ya’alon — is concerned that a government increasingly dominated by the “messianic” right is undermining the Israeli Defense Forces, threatening Israeli democracy and increasing the country’s international isolation.

In challenging the Prime Minister, Ya’alon could well be joined by other popular leaders formerly of the Likud — like current finance minister Moshe Kahlon and former minister Gideon Saar.

Polling released Friday in Israel shows such an alignment getting 25 seats and leading the typically crowded political field.

Most importantly, this new party reduces the bloc held by Netanyahu’s Likud, the settler party and Lieberman to under one-third of the Knesset and makes it possible to envision a re-alignment in Israeli politics after the next election that could put a centrist coalition back in charge.

Those who care about two states and ending occupation should have no illusion that this represents an impending shift to the left in Israeli politics.

And similarly let’s have no illusions about Ya’alon’s personal politics. This is a man who called John Kerry obsessive and messianic in his pursuit of peace, questioned whether Palestinian society grieves the loss of its children as Israeli society does and has expressed doubts about Palestinian readiness to accept or achieve a two-state solution.

But what we can now see is a political path to power for a government that puts the future of the state of Israel, its security, its democratic nature — not a Greater Israel ideology — at the heart of its agenda.

Above all else, driving such a government would be the question Ya’alon put at the center of his remarks: “What kind of state do [Israelis] want to live in and raise our children and grandchildren in?”

That is the question the founders of Israel asked themselves.

That is the question that Prime Ministers like Begin, Rabin, Barak, Sharon and Olmert asked as they tried to end the conflicts with Israel’s neighbors.

None of them pursued peace as doves. And several — like Ya’alon — were truly right-wing in their politics.

But they all sought to establish Israel’s borders and affirm its place in the region because it was in Israel’s national interest to do so.

And that is what will motivate the leaders who set Israel back on a path that ensures its security, reaches a regional agreement ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and integrates the country with its neighbors to address the strategic and economic challenges they must face together.

That is the first meaningful sign of potential change I’ve seen in quite some time.

Emphasis added. See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1825 (“Jeremy Ben-Ami, “A New Voice For Israel”—A Wonderful Book That Should Be Read By Anyone Who Cares About And Wants To Understand Israel’s Past, Present And Future”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) and http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Iranian-military-official-We-have-100000-missiles-in-Lebanon-ready-to-hit-Israel-459350 (“Iranian military official: We have 100,000 missiles in Lebanon ready to hit Israel“)

Let us hope and pray that Ben-Ami is correct.

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20 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello as always, Timothy!
I think I may have mentioned that our cruise with our grandson went well. Now he faces the real world of looking into college and/or work, but he has help for this.

It sounds like you’re still quite involved with Washington, as you were part of that Congressional delegation. Our trip to Israel in 2010 taught my wife and I a lot. I think I once also mentioned that despite my opposition to the Israeli system, I have relatives there, and we spent part of the trip visiting a niece of mine, although I did not visit my brother, a hard core ultra orthodox ex-settler who had his family in both the West Bank and Gaza,but now is in a town called Nitzan, which is mostly ex-settlers.

Ben-Ami will hopefully be safe……..I haven’t forgotten what happened to Yitzak Rabin, who, like Gandhi and MLK, died for wanting peace between warring cultural factions. Netanyahu has had a free ride for some time now, thanks to high profile Islamic terrorist attacks around the West, most of it domestic Muslims, and high profile economic concerns and news like Brexit (the Brits are smart….like the people in Catalunya, Puerto Rico and Scotland, they will reject independence).

Israels problems will not go away……I learned that the job and housing market there is scarce and the country has a very high cost of living, high taxes and mediocre salaries…….it’s been a few years since the last big protests there. The issue of Palestine will not go away, given that it’s been around (with a long interruption) for 3000 years.

On a different note but ultimately related to the Israeli future, Donald seems not to have toned down his message even though he’s now campaigning in the general election, when moderation is the tradition at this stage. This cannot be good for him, as he’s no longer just playing to the base. He has the charisma, but not the caution nor good advisement. Interestingly, Donald is apparently less supportive of Israel than Hillary is, which is more of a plus than a minus.

Hillary’s chances are likely influenced by whether Bernie supporters will vote for her………..internet comments by them are not favorable. It will be a close race and most voters will not be happy with the choices, including me, but I will still vote as I always do.

Glad you’re still involved in the process, gives you up to date intel.

Jonathan.

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20 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan.

It is wonderful that you and your grandson are spending quality time together. You are blessed.

What is an “ex-settler,” and I see that Nitzan “is a religiously observant communal settlement in southern Israel[, l]ocated among the Nitzanim sand dunes,” which seems like an inhospitable place.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitzan

You have written:

Ben-Ami will hopefully be safe. . . .”

He and J Street are based in Washington, D.C.; and he is a very special and caring person. He has built J Street from nothing into one of the two most prominent Jewish organizations in the United States. I believe his future and that of J Street are very bright.

You added:

Donald seems not to have toned down his message even though he’s now campaigning in the general election, when moderation is the tradition at this stage. This cannot be good for him, as he’s no longer just playing to the base. He has the charisma, but not the caution nor good advisement.

The Donald is the Donald. His appeal is to (1) the “best” of the GOP; (2) “Reagan Democrats,” who are fed up with the Clintons and the direction of their party; and of course, to (3) Independents, who comprise approximately 42 percent of the American electorate.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-3244 (“Record-High 42 Percent Of Americans Identify As Independents”)

I have been an Independent for almost 30 years, after first being a Democrat and then a Republican.

You have written:

Hillary’s chances are likely influenced by whether Bernie supporters will vote for her………..internet comments by them are not favorable. It will be a close race and most voters will not be happy with the choices, including me, but I will still vote as I always do.

My guess is that if Hillary Clinton is not forced out of the race (e.g., because of her criminal indictment), Bernie Sanders’ supporters will not support her; and either they will not vote, or they will switch to Trump. As you have gathered, he is courting their support.

Next, you said:

Interestingly, Donald is apparently less supportive of Israel than Hillary is, which is more of a plus than a minus.

I agree. However, he spoke before AIPAC recently, and was very warmly received.

Lastly, this is an exciting race, and so far one of the most exciting of my lifetime. 🙂

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21 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for the interesting feedback, Timothy!

Liked by 1 person

12 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Uses Taxpayer Money To Oust Netanyahu [UPDATED]

Netanyahu as a Nazi

The Washington Times has reported:

The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.

Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.

Mr. Netanyahu survived the election, and the U.S. spending was not deemed illegal because the State Department never put any conditions on the money. Investigators also said OneVoice didn’t turn explicitly political until days after the grant period ended.

“The State Department ignored warnings signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the investigative subcommittee. “It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed — immediately after the grant ended — against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East. American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said the Obama administration followed the law.

But she said their investigation exposed “deficiencies” in the State Department’s policies.

OneVoice had been politically active in Israel’s 2013 elections, which should have been a red flag to U.S. officials to put strict controls on how American taxpayers’ money was spent, the investigation said.

While it wouldn’t have necessarily disqualified the group, the State Department should have written a specific prohibition against using American money to influence a foreign election, the subcommittee said.

It’s part of a pattern of bad behavior at the State Department. The Government Accountability Office reviewed more than five dozen department grants and found officials cut corners and missed red flags in 80 percent of them.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/12/obama-admin-sent-taxpayer-money-oust-netanyahu/ (“Obama admin. sent taxpayer money to campaign to oust Netanyahu“) (emphasis added)

While I disagree with Barack Obama’s policies in large part, I agree completely with his stands vis-à-vis Netanyahu and Russia’s Putin, who are moral equivalents. Indeed, the United States has used the vast measures at its disposal to oust hostile regimes around the world since our great nation was founded, and there is no difference here.

As my article above states clearly and emphatically:

Barack Obama and other world leaders “detest” [Netanyahu], just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

Netanyahu has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors, and he should be removed. The Obama Administration is correct in this regard.

See also http://jstreet.org/blog/post/i-ran-israels-atomic-energy-commission-i-know-the-iran-deal-is-working-_1 (Uzi Eilam, former Director of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission: “I ran Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission. I know the Iran deal is working”)

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13 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy.

There’s quite a bit of irony in this article you just posted. The Washington Times is a conservative publication, which by itself isn’t a bad thing; I like to read the WSJ and Market Watch, for example. However, it was created by the Moonies, a religious cult, not known for it’s clear thinking.

They complain of this use of tax payers dollars by the State Department like it’s a bad thing LOL. Netanyahu directly tried to manipulate the US 2012 election and virtually declared himself the foreign policy adviser to failed candidate Romney. So, why not turn the tables on him? He’s a menace to us, after all.

The idea that Israel, a client state, is “our closest ally in the Middle East” was never true. Turkey, a Nato ally giving us bases to fight ISIS and a long time fighter against terrorism, along with Jordan, where US troops “secretly” are stationed on their military bases and train with Jordanian troops……..those are our allies in the Middle East.

We’ve been to all of the above countries, BTW. However, my knowledge of our soldiers and their activities with Jordanian soldiers on Jordanian bases comes from (1) two mothers of US soldiers stationed in Jordan who brag about their sons and (2) comments by Jordanian soldiers on comment sections who like to brag whenever they beat US troops on their base in a soccer game. Loose lips don’t sink ships, I guess, if you’re in sand instead of water.

Leaders, be they somewhat shady people with their own agenda like Erdogan in Turkey or Netanyahu in Israel, and controversial Presidents like George W. Bush or Dilma Rousseff in Brazil are usually re-elected. The reason, I once read, is that citizens don’t like changing leaders in times of significant crisis. This, even if the leaders are not optimum.

Liked by 1 person

13 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

You began:

They complain of this use of tax payers dollars by the State Department like it’s a bad thing LOL. Netanyahu directly tried to manipulate the US 2012 election and virtually declared himself the foreign policy adviser to failed candidate Romney. So, why not turn the tables on him? He’s a menace to us, after all.

I agree completely.

The Washington Times is trying to get a “rise” in WDC, knowing that Israel is perceived as being a “sacred cow” because of AIPAC’s efforts, and an “untouchable” politically. Needless to say, your comments and my beliefs echo the sentiments of the Rabins and Sharon.

I agree with your third paragraph too. Netanyahu has created a “climate” in Israel that does not bode well for its future. As we know, anti-Semitism is spreading in Europe and globally; and I believe Netanyahu’s policies of “Apartheid” have contributed mightily to this reemerging tragedy.

He has always been an ego-driven Narcissistic politician, who has not served Israel’s long-term best interests or those of global Jewry, or so I believe.

Indeed, it bears repeating:

I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks. Neither Israel’s military, its security forces nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.

I agree too with your last comments:

[C]itizens don’t like changing leaders in times of significant crisis. This, even if the leaders are not optimum.

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13 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks as always for your insightful replies, Timothy.

Liked by 1 person

25 10 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The New Chosen People? [UPDATED]

Israel flag burning

This is the title of an editorial in the New York Sun, which states:

Of all the scandals that have come to light with the internal communications of Secretary Clinton’s campaign, the most startling is the degree to which it has been infected by what could be called liberal supersessionism. Classical supersessionism is the notion that Judaism has been superseded by Christianity. “Supersessionism, in its more radical form,” according to the Christian Web site Theopedia, “maintains that the Jews are no longer considered to be God’s Chosen people in any sense.

This idea has been in retreat in recent years, with Pope Francis going so far as to call for an end to evangelization of Jews. What, though, are we to make of the emergence of the idea that secular liberalism supersedes all religious doctrine and is even superior to it? This is showing up in, among other places, the email messages in respect of Catholics that went back and forth among of members of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign camarilla, including her chairman, John Podesta.

One of the emails complains about how “Friggin’ Murdoch” had his children baptized where, according to the Christian Bible, John baptized Jesus. That cable is from John Halpin of the Center for American “Progress.” Mr. Halpin complains that “many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts),” from the Supreme Court “and think tanks to the media and social groups.” They “must be attracted,” he speculates, to Catholicism’s “systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations.”

Notice in respect of the Supreme Court the glancing religious test (it has long since crept in to the Democratic critique of the high bench). The emails among Mrs. Clinton’s campaign intelligentsia also include a wire from the president of a group called Voices for Progress, Sandy Newman, discussing the idea of fomenting a “Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.”

Mr. Newman writes that he worries about his own “total lack of understanding of the Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and priests.” Does he imagine that, say, the Little Sisters of the Poor would just love to purchase birth control insurance for their employees were but the dictators in Rome prepared to permit it? It’s for the rest of us a glimpse of how progressives think of themselves as the new chosen people. They are chosen not by God — Heaven forfend — but by themselves.

Then again, too, that would be fine were it not for the lunge for the political — meaning state — power that the Democrats are preparing to use against religious Americans in the new secular age. We didn’t start out our long newspaper career expecting to be ringing this alarm 50 years later. But that’s where the story has taken us in the 21st century. The biggest problem with the Democratic Party today is not its liberalism but its illiberalism, born of a secular supersessionism that has run amok.

See http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-new-chosen-people/89770/ (emphasis added)

Of course Judaism was superseded by Christianity; and Jews are not God’s “Chosen people” in any sense—except that it can be argued they were “chosen” to suffer, if history is any indicia.

Christianity has 2.2 billion followers. Islam has 1.8 billion followers. At most, Judaism has 14 million followers.

Again, I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks. Neither Israel’s military, its security forces nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (“Is Israel Doomed?“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?“)

All of God’s children have been chosen; none more so than any other—or so I believe.

Israel burns

See http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Arab-social-media-ablaze-with-viral-Israeli-is-burning-posts-473538 and https://www.yahoo.com/news/hundreds-evacuated-bushfires-near-israels-haifa-112640037.html (“Tens of thousands flee raging Israeli bush fires“) and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-fires-idUSKBN13J0YJ (“Wildfires tear across Israel; police chief suspects ‘political’ arson“)

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25 10 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. I just read what I think was the latest comment or article here, which was about Israel and some issues about liberalism having something to do with atheism.

There is a common superstition that the media and many conservatives perpetuate- that liberals are atheists and conservatives are Christian. My entire lifetime experience with people shows this not to be true. I’ve known many atheists, worked with them or they were a friend. Most Atheists I’ve met were staunch conservatives, even very right wing. At least half the liberals I’ve met in my life…….and I’ve worked around them all my adult life………believed in God although they weren’t part of church culture (which isn’t really Christian that much) or organized religion in general.

It’s like assuming all Christians are right wing due to the evangelical movement, while forgetting real Christians created and led the Civil Rights movement.

To sum up, Religion (or lack thereof), Politics and education/intelligence/science are three different things. One does not negate the other nor predict the other. It’s best never to mix them up in any way. They each deal with a different part of our universe, don’t contradict each other, and become corrupted when any attempt is made to mix them up in a negative or positive manner……….it makes a good meal into a toxic stew. Just my opinion based on experience. My apologies if I’m responding to a long letter that wasn’t current.

Best wishes as always, Timothy, have missed your articles lately. Jonathan.

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25 10 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan.

Yes, I agree with you: for the most part, it is impossible to generalize, and wrong to do so.

The Sun editorial that I cited did so, based on the release of e-mails. It set forth an interesting theory that is not consistent with your experiences.

You may be totally correct.

. . .

More articles will follow. Some are essentially complete; and I am just waiting for the right timing to release them. 🙂

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26 10 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your feedback, Timothy. We’ll be out of country in a week, so Wifi will be sporatic, but I’ll be able to check your articles periodically during that time (Wifi on a cruise ship is very expensive so we don’t get it). Best wishes, Jonathan.

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26 10 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for the update, Jonathan.

Have a wonderful time. 😊

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28 10 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Devastating Parting Shot At Israel And Netanyahu

Israel flag burning

The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer has written:

Last week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its connection — let alone its centrality — to the Jewish people and Jewish history.

This Orwellian absurdity, part of a larger effort to deny the Jewish connection to their ancestral homeland, is an insult not just to Judaism but to Christianity. It makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in Jerusalem and the Temple. If this is nothing but a Muslim site, what happens to the very foundation of Christianity, which occurred 600 years before Islam even came into being?

This UNESCO resolution is merely the surreal extreme of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. It features the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), now growing on Western university campuses and in some mainline Protestant churches. And it extends even into some precincts of the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders tried to introduce into the Democratic Party platform a plank more unfavorable to Israel. He failed, but when a couple of Hillary Clinton campaign consultants questioned (in emails revealed by WikiLeaks) why she should be mentioning Israel in her speeches, campaign manager Robby Mook concurred, “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.” For whom the very mention of Israel is toxic.

And what to make of the White House’s correction to a news release about last month’s funeral of Shimon Peres? The original release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” The correction crossed out the country identifier — “Israel.”

Well, where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka? Moreover, Mount Herzl isn’t even in disputed East Jerusalem. It’s in West Jerusalem, within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. If that’s not Israel, what is?

But such cowardly gestures are mere pinpricks compared to the damage Israel faces in the final days of the Obama presidency. As John Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently wrote (in Foreign Policy), there have been indications for months that President Obama might go to the U.N. and unveil his own final status parameters of a two-state solution. These would then be enshrined in a new Security Council resolution that could officially recognize a Palestinian state on the territory Israel came into possession of during the 1967 Six-Day War.

There is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East peacemaking — land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations in which the parties agree on recognized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition and declare a permanent end to the conflict.

Land for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to achieve peace with Egypt.

The result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. And irreversible, too, because the resolution would be protected from alteration by the Russian and/or Chinese veto.

As for the damage, consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of 1948-1949. It was rebuilt by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter constitutes a criminal occupation of another country.

Israel would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right, could possibly accede.

Before the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Clinton. His last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him, points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president.

Clinton’s supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-obama-preparing-a-parting-shot-at-israel/2016/10/27/770e7fb6-9c79-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html (“Is Obama preparing a parting shot at Israel?“) (italics in original; other emphasis added)

We can only hope!

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29 10 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Heh heh, Timothy, as a Christian of Jewish ancestry, I think Charles Krauthammer is full of it. He should realize he’s giving loyalty to a foreign power that’s often hostile to us instead of his own country. All President Obama is calling for, along with the rest of the world, is a two state solution, instead of permanent apartheid and occupation. I know you’re not an Obama fan, but I believe your views on Israel are the same as mine.

Islam was largely modeled after Judaism, with most of the same prophets and holy places. What Israel calls the Temple Mount is “the Holy Santuary” or “Nobel sanctuary” to Muslims. The Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple and six centuries later a Muslim of the new religion, Omar, built the Dome of the Rock on what had become a garbage dump. The modern, European and mostly secular, version of Israel came to being 2000 years after Biblical Israel, and needs to learn to share the land instead of stealing it.

I’m happy about the renovation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was in bad shape and contains the tomb of Christ. We were there in 2010.

I voted for Hillary by early ballot, a second choice when Bernie lost the primaries (I know you’re voting for Trump). Ironically, she’s very pro Israel, and Trump, who Netanyahu refused to meet with, is kind of neutral about it. Krauthammer seems unaware of that.

A bit of irony; the original Arabic Semitic Hebrews were the Jews of the Bible. My wife is from Mexico, looks a bit Native American and is partly Sephardi on her mothers side. These were Arabic Semitic Jews from North Africa who lived in Spain for a few centuries who were expelled in 1492 and returned to North Africa or went to Mexico when occupied by Spain some years later. Her family is Catholic. As an Ashkenazim, per genetic studies, I, like all “white” people of Jewish ancestry, am over 80% likely to have no ancestry from the Middle East………..so my wife is more Jewish than I am! My very racist brother (a former settler) in Israel, with his very European appearance, would not like to hear that! God is great, but humans are just goofy…………….Jonathan.

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29 10 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Great comments, Jonathan. I thought you were out of the country already, with no wi-fi. Also, I thought of you when I posted the Krauthammer article. 😊

What a history lesson you have provided. Yes, I agree with Obama regarding this issue, and his treatment of Putin.

As I have wriiten in my article above and elsewhere, Netanyahu has done more harm to Israel, Israelis and Jews globally than any other leader of the tiny country.

The Rabins and Sharon were right about him, in spades. He has spawned antisemitism worldwide; and he is a tragic figure in history.

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29 10 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks, Timothy. We leave November 3rd. Agree with your comment.

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26 12 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The UN Vote Condemning Israel [UPDATED]

Israel flag burning

Ira Stoll has written in the New York Sun:

One of the paradoxes of Zionism is that a movement for Jewish national self-determination has found itself so often at the mercy of gentiles. Precedent for this goes all the way back at least to Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who 2,600 years ago allowed the Jews to return to the promised land and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

In modern times, Lord Balfour, the British foreign secretary, issued the landmark declaration on November 2, 1917: “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” In 1947, the United Nations voted at Lake Success in favor of Israel’s creation.

President Truman formally recognized the modern state of Israel at its founding in 1948. In the 1950s, France supplied Israel with weapons and nuclear equipment. More recently, the United States has sent billions of dollars in military aid to Israel.

For Israel, the assistance of foreign powers, while crucial, has also proven erratic. The same United Nations General Assembly that had approved Israel’s creation later passed a resolution denouncing Zionism as a form of racism. The Persia of Cyrus has become the Islamic Republic of Iran, funding Israel’s deadly terrorist enemies and denying the reality of the Holocaust.

The same Britain that had issued the Balfour Declaration also, in 1939, issued the White Paper restricting Jewish immigration to the promised land at a time when the Jews of Europe were desperately seeking a refuge from the Nazi onslaught. The French who were so helpful with their arms sales to Israel in the 1950s also later helped build the Osirak nuclear reactor for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which aimed to destroy Israel. During the Vichy period of the 1940s, France had collaborated in sending 77,000 Jews to die in Nazi camps.

If it seems excessive to mention the Holocaust in response to Friday’s vote at the United Nations Security Council condemning the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and in its suburbs, forgive me. I invoke the authority of the late senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The U.N. Security Council vote sent me to my bookshelf and to the collected letters of Moynihan that were edited by Steven R. Weisman and brought out by PublicAffairs in 2010.

Moynihan had been President Ford’s ambassador to the United Nations in 1975 when the notorious “Zionism is racism” resolution passed. In 1991, looking back on it, Moynihan wrote a letter to a friend describing that vote as “the last great horror of the Hitler-Stalin era.”

As Moynihan put it in that letter: “I never came near to understanding the Holocaust until I encountered the Zionism resolution … It was the secret behind the Holocaust. The charge was too hideous to believe. The mind goes blank; denial sets in; avoidance. I thought of the voyage of the St. Louis in 1939. Outward bound from Hamburg with 930 German Jews. Twenty-two allowed to land in Havana. Then back up the Atlantic coast of the United States. Lights ablaze at night. Refused entry. Back to Antwerp and the death camps. We had denied the possibility of death camps.”

If Moynihan erred in that letter it was only, alas, in describing the 1975 vote as “the last great horror of the Hitler-Stalin era.” At the end of last week, a new horror was added. The Security Council voted to condemn as illegal the Israeli presence in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish presence at the Western Wall, the Jewish presence at the tombs of Abraham and Rachel, the Jewish presence in Jerusalem suburbs and in West Bank cities and towns whose positions secure the major population centers of the modern Jewish state from obliteration.

Among the Security Council members who voted to condemn Israel were France, Britain, Spain, Malaysia, Russia, China, Venezuela, Japan, Ukraine, and Egypt. The votes were reminders of Vichy France, of the Britain of the White Paper. They were a reminder of the Spain of the Inquisition, which not only expelled all its Jews but also, as Benzion Netanyahu recounts in his masterpiece “The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth-Century Spain,” put to death, by torture, even those Spaniards with Jewish ancestry who had genuinely converted to Christianity.

Malaysia’s prime minister between 1981 and 2002, Mahathir Mohamad, banned the showing of Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” from movie theaters; instead, the bookstores prominently feature Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” Russia, under Soviet rule, long forbade Jews from learning Hebrew or emigrating to Israel; dissenters, like Natan Sharansky, were banished to the gulag. China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim and Tibetan minorities would be a fine subject for an actual Security Council resolution; they make the cruelest things Israel has done to Palestinian Arabs look, by comparison, like gentle acts of loving kindness.

Venezuela’s strongman, Hugo Chavez, welcomed and embraced Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; the two countries cooperate militarily. Japan was allied with the Nazis in World War II. One and a half million Jews in Ukraine were killed in the Holocaust, 33,771 of them in two days at Babi Yar. Egypt has been cruel to the Jews back to the time of Moses and Pharaoh.

As for America, its abstention at the U.N. Security Council was reminiscent of how it treated the passengers on the St. Louis.

The point here is not to dwell on Jewish victimhood. It is simply to observe, from the extensive historical record, that not a single one of these nations other than Israel itself could be dependably relied on for Jewish security or even survival. If America does want to try to turn this around, the U.S. Constitution provides a path forward for both the Congress and President-elect Trump.

Article Two of the Constitution gives the president “Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Article Six adds the emphasis that, along with the Constitution, “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

In the absence of such a treaty, the U.S.-Israel relationship will rest on tenuous legal ground no matter how deep it is in other ways. The United States and Israel do have a free trade agreement enacted in 1985. We have a memorandum of understanding on military aid reached earlier this year. There have been countless other documents governing the relationship, some of which were undercut by Friday’s vote.

There was the letter from President Bush to Prime Minister Sharon of April 14, 2004, which stated, “the United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders… As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”

That letter was effectively torn to shreds by Friday’s U.N. Security Council resolution.

There was the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, a law that stated as the “policy of the United States” that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected” and “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.”

That law, too, was effectively shredded by Friday’s U.N. Security Council resolution — as it has been, on an ongoing basis, by the State Department’s refusal even to stamp the words “Jerusalem, Israel” on the passports of American children born in the Israeli capital.

What President-elect Trump and Congress could do with a treaty is to make it clear that neither America nor Israel recognize the validity of or will be bound in any way by the U.N. Security Council resolution passed on Friday. A treaty could make clear that the two nations are united in their dedication to pursuing peace and security in the face of the threat of extremist Islamist terrorism, which has emerged as the national security challenge of the 21st Century in the way that Nazism and Communism were the challenges of the 20th Century.

That doesn’t mean that America needs to embrace every Israeli settlement or every act by every settler. Nor does it necessarily mean that America or Israel needs to give up on the land-for-peace approach and replace it with a peace-for-peace approach. Israelis have their own internal differences on West Bank settlement policy. If the choice were living side by side with a peaceful Palestinian Arab state, a large majority of Israelis would happily give up the arduous responsibility of policing the West Bank. But that’s not the choice. Each time Israel has withdrawn from land — Gaza, Lebanon, Sinai — the land has been used as a staging ground for indiscriminate terrorist attacks on the civilians in the remaining Jewish-controlled territory.

A formal Senate treaty ratification vote, with the constitutionally required two-thirds margin, is something to which President Obama was never willing to submit his precious Iran nuclear deal. Such a vote on a future U.S.-Israel treaty has the potential to demonstrate dramatically in Washington — the city where President Obama has chosen to live after he leaves office — how far outside the American mainstream is Mr. Obama’s approach to Israel.

The depth of the bipartisan disgust with Mr. Obama’s handling of the issue is clear not only from the many Republican denunciations, but also from the furious statements by Democratic senators and senators-elect. Senator Schumer, the incoming Democratic leader, called the Obama administration’s action “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding.” Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut, another Democrat, called the American abstention “unconscionable.” Senator Donelly, a Democrat of Indiana, said he was “profoundly disappointed by the lack of American leadership shown at the U.N.”

Senator Mark Warner, another Democrat, said he was “dismayed.” Senator Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, said, “I am deeply disappointed that the administration set aside longstanding U.S. policy to allow such a one-sided resolution to pass.” Senator Cardin, a Democrat of Maryland, said he was “greatly disappointed” by the U.S. abstention. Senator-elect Hassan, a Democrat from New Hampshire, also opposed the U.N. resolution.

The signing ceremony for an Israel-America treaty could be held in a place with symbolic resonance. Perhaps at Brooklyn, or at Lake Success, or at St. Louis, or outside the United Nations at Turtle Bay, or on Ellis Island. Or at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Or perhaps in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where Prime Minister Rabin and Senator Moynihan gathered in 1995 for a commemoration of 3000 years of Jerusalem and Rabin said, “In Israel, we all agree on one issue: the wholeness of Jerusalem, the continuation of its existence as capital of the State of Israel. There are no two Jerusalems. There is only one Jerusalem. For us, Jerusalem is not subject to compromise, and there is no peace without Jerusalem. Jerusalem, which was destroyed eight times, where for years we had no access to the remnants of our Temple, was ours, is ours, and will be ours — forever.”

Any of those spots would be fine for a treaty signing. The U.S.-Israel relationship is special and deep, and it would be useful for both countries to get that relationship back on the right track after the damage wrought by Friday’s Security Council abstention. If the repair is successful, one measure of it would be to make sure that Moynihan’s phrase “the secret of the Holocaust” is not ever again applicable to a resolution approved by a body where America has a veto.

See http://www.nysun.com/foreign/an-israel-america-treaty-beckons-as-a-strategy/89850/ (“Israel-America Treaty Beckons as a Strategy Against a Hostile U.N.“) (emphasis added)

This is an articulate and well-reasoned presentation of a Zionist’s view of the world. It neglects to mention, however, that Senators Schumer, Blumenthal, Wyden and Cardin are Jewish.

It fails to add too that not one nation stood against the UN resolution; and that anti-Semitism is growing in Europe and elsewhere. Indeed, European Jews have been urged to flee to Israel for a long time now.

Also, it does not state that the father of today’s Left—Franklin D. Roosevelt—turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe. The other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.

Barack Obama does not stand alone today. Far from it. He and other world leaders “detest” Mr. Netanyahu, just as the Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated him. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed Netanyahu for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient.

I am forever reminded of what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks. Neither Israel’s military, its security forces (including Mossad) nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.

These are the facts that the author ignores, which add up to a far different reality than the one he presents, however well intentioned he may be.

Needless to say, this point of view will not be presented by the Sun, inter alia, because it does not comport with this fine publication’s worldview and biases.

Next, some will attack it and yours truly as being anti-Semitic, which is labeling that seeks to stifle legitimate dissent and debate by Jews and non-Jews alike.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

The murderer Netanyahu has lashed out in defiance.

See, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/world/middleeast/israel-settlements-un-security-council-benjamin-netanyahu-obama.html?_r=0 (“Defying U.N., Israel Prepares to Build More Settlements“) and https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-12-27/israel-to-build-in-jerusalem-mulls-more-steps-against-un-bodies (“Israel to Build in Jerusalem, Mulls More Steps Against UN“) and https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-says-reducing-ties-nations-over-un-vote-102205471.html (“Israel says ‘reducing’ ties with nations over UN vote“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/27/israel-urges-jews-leave-france-benajmin-netanyahu-continues/ (“Israel urges Jews to leave France as Benajmin Netanyahu continues to lash out after UN vote“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

He has morphed into his ancestors’ Nazi oppressors. He must be tried by the International Criminal Court, and arrested whenever he sets foot outside of Israel.

Ultimately, he should share the fate of Adolf Eichmann. Nothing less will suffice.

Lastly, Thomas Ras wrote at the Wall Street Journal:

I served in the IDF and guarded the settlements. Expanding them does nothing positive. Mr. Stephens and many others think “Pro-Israel” means let Israel do whatever it wants. They are gravely mistaken. The worst thing to happen to Israel since 1973 was the invasion of Iraq, and Israel was for it. Netanyahu and many in the Israeli right cannot see 3 feet in front of their face.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-fitting-finish-1482795381

Amen!

Lots of us are pro-Israel too, but have been turned off by its policies and “leadership.”

We were pushed into the Iraq War by Israel and its “neocon” surrogates; and thousands of Americans died or were maimed for life, with trillions of dollars wasted.

After Vietnam, this is the next greatest debacle in American history.

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28 12 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Kerry Response To Netanyahu [UPDATED]

Watch Kerry Response To Netanyahu

The Wall Street Journal has emphasized:

[Kerry’s] principles included borders between Israel and a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines with land swaps, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and Palestine as a state for the Palestinians, recognizing Jerusalem as a capital for both states, enabling normalized relations and providing for Palestinian refugees and Israeli security needs.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/john-kerry-defends-u-s-approach-to-israeli-settlements-1482944129 (“John Kerry Defends U.S. Approach to Israel After U.N. Vote on Settlements“)

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28 12 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

American Jews, Especially Younger Jews, Are Turning Away From Israel

Israel flag burning

Bruce Stokes wrote in Foreign Policy earlier this year:

No one ever said this would be easy. U.S.-Israeli relations are heating up as Vice President Joe Biden criticizes Israeli plans to build new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem against a backdrop of reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined to meet with President Barack Obama due to the U.S. election — even while Washington and Tel Aviv are negotiating new U.S. military aid to Israel. This latest flurry of activity comes in the wake of a new Pew Research Center survey highlighting the differences between American Jews and Israeli Jews and between Israeli Jews and Arabs within Israel on a range of contentious issues surrounding the Middle East peace process.

As might be expected, Israeli society is deeply divided on Jewish-Muslim relations. On a fundamental issue, nearly three-quarters of Israeli Jews say they do not see much discrimination against Muslims in their country. But roughly eight in 10 Israeli Arabs say there is a lot of discrimination in Israeli society against Muslims.

Such divisions between Jewish and Arab views are also reflected in their perspective on the peace process. A majority of Israeli Jews (56 percent) think their government is making a sincere effort toward peace. But 88 percent say the Palestinian leadership is not sincere in its efforts. In contrast, half of Israeli Arabs (50 percent) think the Palestinian leadership is making a sincere effort in the peace process, but 72 percent say the Israeli government is not.

Such differences between Jews and Arabs in Israel highlight the challenge their leaders face in reaching some accommodation. And differences between Israeli Jews and American Jews are a reminder of the divergence in perspectives between Washington and Tel Aviv on issues involving Israel and the peace process.

Jews in the United States and Israel have strong bonds. A majority of Israeli Jews feel they share a common destiny with Jewish Americans. And a 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that most U.S. Jews say they are either very or somewhat emotionally attached to Israel.

However, despite their connection to the Jewish state, Israeli Jews and American Jews have very different perspectives on a number of issues. And these differences are, at times, accentuated by political ideology and degree of religiosity.

They differ, for example, on the impact of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. A plurality of Jews in Israel (42 percent) say the continued building of these settlements helps the security of Israel. Only 17 percent of U.S. Jews agree. By contrast, in the United States, a plurality of Jews (44 percent) says the settlements hurt Israel’s own security interests; fewer Israeli Jews (30 percent) take this position.

Jewish Americans (38 percent) are also considerably less likely than Israeli Jews (56 percent) to say the Israeli government is making a sincere effort to achieve peace with the Palestinians. But, as with Israeli Jews, relatively few American Jews believe the Palestinian leadership is sincere in its peace efforts.

Meanwhile, Israeli Jews complain about a lack of support by Washington. About half (52 percent) feel their country should be getting more backing from the U.S. government, while roughly one-third (34 percent) say the amount of support the United States gives Israel is about right. Among Jewish Americans, these figures are flipped: Roughly three in 10 (31 percent) say the United States does not support Israel enough, while more than half (54 percent) say support for Israel is about right (as of 2013).

Notably, the ideological divide on these issues among Jews in Israel and in the United States only further complicates U.S.-Israeli relations around the peace process. About six in 10 self-identified politically conservative Israeli Jews (62 percent) believe that the United States is not supportive enough of Israel. Only 33 percent on the Israeli left agree. Among American Jews, a majority of conservatives (55 percent) say Washington is not doing enough, but just 17 percent of liberal Jews agree.

This division also exists along religious lines. Orthodox Jews in both countries are about equally likely to say the Israeli government is making a sincere effort to bring about a peace settlement. But non-Orthodox Jews in America are considerably less likely than their Jewish counterparts to say the Israeli government genuinely seeks a peace settlement (36 percent vs. 55 percent).

And, in a demographic finding that may portend U.S.-Israeli friction in the future, younger American Jews (those between the ages of 18 and 29) are more likely than their elders to take a more liberal stance on political issues involving Israel: They are more likely to say that a two-state solution is possible and that the United States is too supportive of Israel.

Recent events — Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed effort to restart the peace process and recent deadly attacks by Palestinians on Jews and Israeli security forces’ shootings of Palestinians — may have created a dispiriting sense of progress. American Jews surveyed in 2013, before the 2014 Gaza war and waves of violence in recent months, were more optimistic about the prospects for a two-state solution than Israelis surveyed in 2014-15. Most U.S. Jews (61 percent) said they believe a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully. Fewer Israeli Jews (43 percent) take this view, while 45 percent say a two-state solution is not possible and 10 percent volunteer that it depends on the situation.

The United States and Israel are home to an estimated 80 percent of the world’s Jews. But their faith does not mean they share a common perspective on the peace process. On the issue of the continued building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the prevailing view among Israeli Jews is that settlements help the security of Israel. By contrast, American Jews are more likely to say the settlements hurt Israel’s own security. And the most common view among Israeli Jews is that the United States is not supportive enough of Israel, while the most common opinion among American Jews is that the level of U.S. support for Israel is about right.

The recent contretemps between Washington and Tel Aviv may fade, as other disagreements have in the past. But differences in public sentiment between Jews in Israel and Jews in the United States suggest a divide regarding the peace process between Israeli Jews and their American counterparts. This could only complicate future efforts by the next U.S. president and the future Israeli government to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

It bears repeating. No one ever said this would be easy.

See http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/10/are-american-jews-turning-away-from-israel/ (“Are American Jews Turning Away from Israel?“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-9430 (“The UN Vote Condemning Israel“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-9434 (“Kerry Response To Netanyahu“)

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30 12 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Final, Most Shameful, Legacy Moment

Israel flag burning

This is the title of a Washington Post article by Charles Krauthammer:

“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”

— Barack Obama, AIPAC conference, March 4, 2012

The audience — overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible — applauded wildly. Four years later — his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or gentile again — Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it.

People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.

Nonsense. For the past 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.

An ordinary Israeli who lives or works in the Old City of Jerusalem becomes an international pariah, a potential outlaw. To say nothing of the soldiers of Israel’s citizen army. “Every pilot and every officer and every soldier,” said a confidant of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, “we are waiting for him at The Hague,” i.e. the International Criminal Court.

Moreover, the resolution undermines the very foundation of a half-century of American Middle East policy. What becomes of “land for peace” if the territories that Israel was to have traded for peace are, in advance, declared to be Palestinian land to which Israel has no claim?

The peace parameters enunciated so ostentatiously by Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday are nearly identical to the Clinton parameters that Yasser Arafat was offered and rejected in 2000 and that Abbas was offered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Abbas, too, walked away.

Kerry mentioned none of this because it undermines his blame-Israel narrative. Yet Palestinian rejectionism works. The Security Council just declared the territories legally Palestinian — without the Palestinians having to concede anything, let alone peace. What incentive do the Palestinians have to negotiate when they can get the terms — and territory — they seek handed to them for free if they hold out long enough?

The administration claims a kind of passive innocence on the text of the resolution, as if it had come upon it at the last moment. We are to believe that the ostensible sponsors — New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and a Venezuela that cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food — had for months been sweating the details of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.

Nothing new here, protests deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes: “When we see the facts on the ground, again, deep into the West Bank beyond the separation barrier, we feel compelled to speak up against those actions.”

This is a deception. Everyone knows that remote outposts are not the issue. Under any peace, they will be swept away. Even right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in one of these West Bank settlements, has stated publicly that “I even agree to vacate my settlement if there really will be a two-state solution.” Where’s the obstacle to peace?

A second category of settlement is the close-in blocs that border 1967 Israel. Here, too, we know in advance how these will be disposed of: They’ll become Israeli territory and, in exchange, Israel will swap over some of its land to a Palestinian state. Where’s the obstacle to peace here?

It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine.

The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in all of Judaism. That it should be declared foreign to the Jewish people is as if the Security Council declared Mecca and Medina to be territory to which Islam has no claim. Such is the Orwellian universe Israel inhabits.

At the very least, Obama should have insisted that any reference to East Jerusalem be dropped from the resolution or face a U.S. veto. Why did he not? It’s incomprehensible — except as a parting shot of personal revenge on Benjamin Netanyahu. Or perhaps as a revelation of a deep-seated antipathy to Israel that simply awaited a safe political interval for public expression.

Another legacy moment for Barack Obama. And his most shameful.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-final-most-shameful-legacy-moment/2016/12/29/ee04bcca-cdfc-11e6-a747-d03044780a02_story.html (emphasis added)

Krauthammer is an American Jew who is passionate about Israel. He is an American, not a despicable un-American Israel Firster. I respect his points of view, always, even though I may disagree with them, sometimes vehemently.

The notion that New Zealand “cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food” is ludicrous.

As stated previously, I believe Jerusalem should become an international city administered by the UN, and the capital of both the Jewish state and State of Palestine.

More importantly, genuine American patriots and lovers of Israel like Krauthammer do not comprehend the damage that Netanyahu has done to the tiny country, to Israelis, and to Jews globally. This may be their tragic mistake, as my article above suggests.

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3 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

A Despicable Israel Firster Rants Against Trump

Israel flag burning

Bret Stephens has written in the Wall Street Journal:

Donald Trump says “I know things that other people don’t know.”

He says: “I know a lot about hacking.” And: “Hacking is a very hard thing to prove.” And: “It could be someone else.”

He says he will tell us what he knows “on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Let’s hope so. The president-elect has taken it upon himself to be skeptic-in-chief when it comes to the U.S. intelligence community’s contention that the Russian regime hacked U.S. computer networks in an effort to swing the election to Mr. Trump. It’s entirely possible to believe that the basis for his skepticism is sound and prudent.

Then again, what if it isn’t?

The benefit-of-the-doubt case comes in three letters: WMD. As Mr. Trump noted Saturday, “If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster and they were wrong,” referring to the intelligence consensus that Iraq had a robust and active WMD program at the time of the 2003 invasion. He added: “And so I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know.”

Fair enough. The media spent the better part of a decade swearing they wouldn’t be fooled again by intelligence assessments the way they were before 2003. So why do they now seem prepared uncritically to accept President Obama’s conclusion that “the highest levels of the Russian government” had directed “data theft and disclosure activities” to influence the election? Why are we supposed to believe, as ironclad certainties, the judgment of intelligence officials who recently failed to anticipate the rise of Islamic State?

If these are the reasons for Mr. Trump’s skepticism, so much the better: “Intelligence,” as Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, “is not to be confused with intelligence.” But perhaps there are less creditable reasons.

Long before there was any hint of Russian meddling in the election, Mr. Trump had made no secret of his admiration for Vladimir Putin.

In 2007, Mr. Trump told Larry King that the Russian president is “doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.” In 2015 he called Mr. Putin “a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” Last week, he tweeted that Mr. Putin was “very smart!” for not responding in kind to Mr. Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian embassy officials.

The most innocent reading of these comments is that Mr. Trump is seeking to flatter his Russian counterpart into a cooperative relationship, much as George W. Bush and Mr. Obama sought to do in the early days of their presidencies. Maybe he thinks he’ll get a better result because he fancies himself a better deal-maker. Maybe he hopes Mr. Putin will see him as a kindred spirit: Big hombre, instinctive nationalist, zero use for liberals and their pieties.

Mr. Trump is likely to be disappointed in these hopes: Michael Flynn, his soon-to-be national security adviser, has described Russia as a key member of “an international alliance of evil countries” against which the U.S. is at war. And Mr. Putin’s idea of a tough leader probably looks more like a Spetsnaz commando than a former beauty pageant impresario.

However Mr. Trump’s overtures to Moscow work out, they raise the possibility that his desire for a better relationship is shaping his attitude toward the intelligence. This is the same approach the Obama administration adopted in its first term. Hoping to smooth Senate ratification of the 2010 New Start arms-control treaty, it played down information showing that Russia was violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

This is called politicizing intelligence, and it’s reprehensible whether done in the service of starting a war or passing a treaty. Since Mr. Trump shrugged off Mr. Obama’s actions against Russia last week by saying “we ought to get on with our lives,” it’s worth wondering whether the president-elect isn’t committing the same sin.

There’s something else worth wondering about.

It isn’t a secret that the Trump Organization has long been entwined with Russian business interests: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. told a real-estate conference in 2008. It isn’t a secret that Mr. Trump’s campaign was curiously studded by figures with deep business ties to Russian or pro-Russian figures, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Carter Page. It isn’t a secret that businessmen from Russia and other former Soviet states have been major investors in marquee projects such as the Trump Soho in New York and the Trump hotel in Toronto.

All this has been the subject of fascinating if inconclusive reporting, most recently by James Henry in the American Interest. Peter Schweizer, the author of “Clinton Cash,” also recently warned that he sees parallels between the Clinton Foundation and the Trump Organization.

If Mr. Trump wants to dispel the nagging suspicion that his views on Russia are driven by less-than-honest motives, he can begin by telling us what he knows about his Russia ties that the rest of us still don’t.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-does-trump-know-about-russia-1483398736 (“What Does Trump Know About Russia?“) (emphasis added)

What does the despicable un-American Israel Firster Stephens know about anything?

The raving Islamophobe has crusaded nonstop on the Journal‘s pages against our President-elect effectively since Trump launched his presidential campaign.

He should be fired summarily by the Murdoch family on or before Day One of the Trump presidency, and sent packing back to Israel where obviously he will feel more comfortable.

For Stephens to raise the spectre of the Iraq War is ludicrous. Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into that human tragedy—in which thousands of Americans were killed, while others were maimed for life, and trillions of dollars were wasted . . . for nothing.

Stephens’s rants are deplorable, but this one is worse than ever.

Lastly, I have been outspoken in my hatred of the killer Putin for years now, and believe he should be terminated.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)

But there are reasons to believe that Russia may not have been responsible for the hacking at all.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/#comment-9456 (“Obama Is Trying To Delegitimize Trump“)

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10 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Hasn’t Israel Killed Enough Brave Americans Already?

Israel flag burning

It began with the premeditated and unprovoked Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, which killed 34 brave Americans and maimed many more.

See http://www.gtr5.com

Next, came the Iraq War that Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into—which resulted in thousands of Americans killed or maimed, and trillions of dollars wasted, for nothing.

Now, Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written about Israel and the “War Party” (or Israel’s despicable shills in the GOP), and their efforts to push us into a war with Iran:

Though every Republican in Congress voted against the Iran nuclear deal, “Tearing it up … is not going to happen,” says Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Hopefully, the chairman speaks for the president-elect.

During the campaign, Donald Trump indicated as much, saying that, though the U.S. got jobbed in the negotiations — “We have a horrible contract, but we do have a contract” — he might not walk away.

To Trump, a deal’s a deal, even a bad one. And we did get taken.

In 2007 and 2011, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies assured us, “with high confidence,” that Iran did not have an atomic bomb program.

Yet our folks forked over $50 billion for an Iranian show and tell to prove they were not doing what our 17 intelligence agencies told us, again and again, they were not doing.

Why did we disbelieve our own intelligence, and buy into the “Chicken Little” chatter about Iran being “only months away from a bomb”?

Corker also administered a cold shower to those who darkly warn of a secret Iranian program to produce a bomb: “In spite of all the flaws in the agreement, nothing bad is going to happen relative to nuclear development in Iran in the next few years. It’s just not.”

Under the deal, Iran has put two-thirds of the 19,000 centrifuges at Natanz in storage, ceased enriching uranium to 20 percent at Fordow, poured concrete into the core of its heavy water reactor at Arak, and shipped 97 percent of its enriched uranium out of the country. Cameras and United Nations inspectors are all over the place.

Even should Iran decide on a crash program to create enough fissile material for a single A-bomb test, this would take a year, and we would know about it.

But why would they? After all, there are sound reasons of state why Iran decided over a decade ago to forego nuclear weapons.

Discovery of a bomb program could bring the same U.S. shock and awe as was visited on Iraq for its nonexistent WMD. Discovery would risk a pre-emptive strike by an Israel with scores of nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia and Turkey would have a powerful inducement to build their own bombs.

Acquiring a nuclear weapon would almost surely make Iran, a Persian nation on the edge of a sea of Arabs, less secure.

If, however, in the absence of a violation of the treaty by Iran, we tore up the deal, we could find ourselves isolated. For Britain, France and Germany also signed, and they believe the agreement is a good one.

Do we really want to force these NATO allies to choose between the deal they agreed to and a break with the United States?

If the War Party is confident Iran is going to cheat, why not wait until they do. Then make our case with evidence, so our allies can go with us on principle, and not from pressure.

Also at issue is the deal signed by Boeing to sell Iran 80 jetliners. Airbus has contracted to sell Iran 100 planes, and begun delivery. List price for the two deals: $34.5 billion. Tens of thousands of U.S. jobs are at stake.

Is a Republican Congress prepared to blow up the Boeing deal and force the Europeans to cancel the Airbus deal?

Why? Some contend the planes can be used to transport the Iranian Republican Guard. But are the Iranians, who are looking to tourism, trade and investment to rescue their economy, so stupid as to spend $35 billion for troop transports they could buy from Vladimir Putin?

The Ayatollah’s regime may define itself by its hatred of the Great Satan. Still, in 2009, even our War Party was urging President Obama to publicly back the Green Movement uprising against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In 2013, moderates voted Hassan Rouhani into the presidency, where he began secret negotiations with the USA.

New elections will be held this year. And while the death of ex-President Rafsanjani this weekend has removed the powerful patron of Rouhani and strengthened the hard-liners, Ayatollah Khamenei is suffering from cancer, and the nation’s future remains undetermined.

Iran’s young seek to engage with the West. But if they are spurned, by the cancellation of the Boeing deal and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, they will be disillusioned and discredited, and the mullahs will own the future.

How would that serve U.S. interests?

We still have sanctions on Iran for its missile tests in violation of Security Council resolutions, for its human rights violations, and for its support of groups like Hezbollah. But we also have in common with Iran an enmity for the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaida and ISIS.

We are today fighting in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as the War Party works to confront Beijing in the South China Sea, Russia in Ukraine and North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests.

Could we perhaps put the confrontation with Iran on hold?

See http://buchanan.org/blog/iran-nuclear-deal-alive-dead-126399 (“Iran Nuclear Deal — Alive or Dead?“) (emphasis added)

Of course, Buchanan is correct. Indeed, he asks the right question:

Why did we . . . buy into the “Chicken Little” chatter about Iran being “only months away from a bomb”?

These were the same falsehoods that were sold to us about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs, as a basis for the tragic Iraq War.

Enough is enough. Never again. Not one more American life lost for Israel—even if its survival is at stake!

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10 01 2017
Rick

I usually agree with you Tim, but not this time.. Your anti Netanyahu stance skews your judgment in respect to Israel, which otherwise is usually spot on…

Liked by 1 person

10 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Rick, as always. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Yes, you are correct that I am very anti-Netanyahu, for many of the same reasons that the Rabins and Sharon hated him. All of my reasoning is set forth in various articles and comments at this blog, which I will not repeat here.

However, I believe that if Netanyahu had his druthers, he would provoke a war with Iran, and let the United States fight it, with the attendant losses being of a magnitude equal to or greater than the tragic Iraq War.

I do not trust Iran, but I do not trust Netanyahu either. As I have written, I believe Netanyahu and Putin are moral equivalents. The ayatollahs in iran are equally despicable.

My grandfather believed that the United States should not be in the Middle East. I never discussed his reasoning with him, because I was too young. However, I share that view today. We are essentially energy independent, and the largest energy producer in the world, with truly vast and untapped resources.

We should open our “floodgates” wide, and export vast quantities of energy products to Europe, Asia (including China), and other parts of the world. This is in our best interests; and it would bolster our economy dramatically.

To get bogged down in the Middle East is insanity, or so I believe. If the countries of the region want to blow up each other, so be it. It is not our fight.

Food for thought.

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11 01 2017
Rick

Trump need to provide Israel with the required bunker busting bombs and delivery system required to flatten Iran, and their murderous regime. Trump has to keep Putin in line, while that goes on.

We don’t belong in the middle east, true. Obama made the war a joke. To be one of the parents that gave their life for nothing..its a tragedy. However, we helped put Israel in the middle east, and they are like our child in that way. An oasis in the middle of the desert. A democracy. How could we turn our backs on them? Netanyahu is a strong nationalist. So is Trump. You like Trump. Do you not see the similarities between the two men? Israel is there, because we, and the UN made it so. We must defend them, at least with air and naval power. We will never be out of that region, because terrorism is not going away. Especially when Iran funds so much of it. I respect you opinion, but I stand with Israel, 100%. Let’s see what Trump, Tillerson and General Matis handle this raw deal..

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11 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Rick. I respectfully disagree.

General George Marshall, among others, opposed the establishment of Israel, inter alia, believing it was not in the best interests of the United States. Indeed, if FDR had lived, he might have opposed it too.

As I have noted in the article above:

American president—and the father of today’s Left—Franklin D. Roosevelt, turned away the MS St. Louis from docking at American ports, and consigned most of the Jewish refugees aboard to their deaths in Europe. The other anti-Semites in FDR’s administration knew of the Nazi concentration camps, yet did nothing about them.

What Truman did, or so I believe, was done for domestic political reasons, not as a matter of righteous altruism.

Also, Israel was founded by Jewish terrorists, who fought the British. What goes around comes around.

As you know, many American Jews do not favor continued aid to Israel. I agree with them. The tiny country has been “suckling” at our economic and military “teets” far too long. It should stand on its own, or not at all. Enough is enough.

You have said:

We must defend them, at least with air and naval power.

I respectfully disagree. I do not believe we should defend them at all.

Next, I have written:

Israel could disappear off the face of the earth today, and it would not affect my life one iota. I could wake up tomorrow and go about my life as if it never happened—similar to the disappearance of Moldova as a nation, which is even larger. However, it might affect the lives of Jewish friends whom I love and care about.

. . .

I want Israel to survive and prosper, and for my Jewish friends and others to live in peace without worrying about their futures or those of their loved ones. This will not happen as long as Benjamin Netanyahu leads Israel and creates a climate of fear, hate and oppression.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”)

Lastly, I agree with what Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote in his book, “A New Voice For Israel.” His grandparents were one of the founding families of Tel Aviv, and his father was an activist and leader in the Irgun, working for Israel’s independence and the rescue of European Jews before and during World War II.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1825

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11 01 2017
Jonathan Buttall

That was an even handed and balanced analysis, Timothy. I support the Iran Deal, it delays any nuclear bomb ambitions, should they ever change their mind and decide they want it. There’s a political TV show called “Madame Secretary” in which Israel attacks Iran, ignoring US warnings.

I’m anti war, have been since Vietnam. I was one of those “radicals” in my late teens who was in many of those large anti Vietnam war rallies in New York and sometimes in Jersey. I think the only justified wars were the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWII. I outgrew the need to be a “radical” and joined the Army National Guard for six years at 20 (was not deployed during that time). Jill Stein is kind of a throwback to those “radical protester” days.

Some say Trump is an isolationist…….I’m okay with that if that means anti war, anti intervention, although we would go broke without continued international trade. Others say he’ll start WWIII. I hope the first idea is the accurate one. Predicting him is kind of a lost cause, it’s a wait and see.

We’re busy moving this month to a larger place, a whole 150 meters away in the same gated community. Quite a hassle, movers looked our place over today. Hope you and your family are doing well. Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

11 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your kind words; and happy new year.

I am anti-war too, since the Vietnam War in which friends of mine died for nothing.

I served as an Army officer assigned to DIA at the Pentagon before going to Capitol Hill.

I have a healthy respect for our military, and do not believe one American life should ever be wasted.

General and later President Grant, whom Lincoln credited with being his finest general along with Sherman, believed the same thing, as did Eisenhower.

Indeed, Grant wrote in his memoirs, which are considered the finest written by any American president:

To maintain peace in the future it is necessary to be prepared for war. . . . [U]nless we are prepared for it we may be in danger of a combined movement being some day made to crush us out.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”)

I believe President-elect Trump is much like Ronald Reagan: peace through strength. After all, we defeated the USSR without a shot being fired.

Good luck with your move, and enjoy your new home. 😊

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30 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Zionists: Trump Should Rectify Painful Omission

Israel flag burning

Newsmax has reported:

President Donald Trump failed to mention Jews in his Holocaust remembrance statement on Friday and made no qualms about the omission, an oversight the national president of the Zionist Organization of America is calling “painful.”

Morton Klein is also asking Trump and his chief of staff Reince Priebus to rectify the flub.

“We, at ZOA, know and appreciate that President Donald Trump is a great friend and supporter of America’s greatest ally, the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people. We also know that he was the Grand Marshall at NYC’s Israel day parade and has an orthodox Jewish daughter and grandchildren attending an orthodox day school,” Klein wrote on the ZOA website on Sunday.

“Nevertheless, especially as a child of holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others.”

Trump’s statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the details of the death of six million Jews under the leadership of German dictator Adolf Hitler, but pointed to remembering the victims, survivors and heroes of the Holocaust.

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent,” he continued, again referring only to “the innocent.”

Klein said he lost dozens of family members to genocide and that his father was a survivor of Auschwitz who lost his entire family.

Priebus on MSNBC said there weren’t any regrets about the statement and that he wasn’t whitewashing anything.

“As Elie Wiesel frequently stated, ‘while not all victims were Jews, all Jews were victims,'” wrote Klein. “Thus we were especially shocked by the disgraceful statement by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus proclaiming on “Meet The Press,” when asked about the conspicuous omission of Jews from the Holocaust statement, “”I don’t regret the words, Chuck [Todd].”

See http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/donald-trump-trump-holocaust-zionist/2017/01/29/id/770954/ (emphasis added)

So what?

There have been lots of holocausts in history, not just the Nazi Holocaust that killed Jews, Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, and others.

It is estimated that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.

China’s Mao Tse-tung was directly responsible for an estimated 30-40 million deaths between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what Mao’s regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.”

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust“)

The United States is not a Zionist country, or even remotely close. Christianity has 2.2 billion followers. Islam has 1.8 billion followers. At most, Judaism has 14 million followers, worldwide.

Anti-Semitism is growing in Europe and elsewhere, and European Jews are being urged to flee to Israel. Are the dark clouds gathering again?

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

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2 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Is The Two-State Solution Dead, And The Fate Of Israel Sealed? [UPDATED]

Israel flag burning

Barring a miracle, it is arguable that (1) the two-state solution is “dead,” (2) Netanyahu and his ilk have won, and (3) the proponents of a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians have lost, inter alia, because they are “bone-tired” of beating their heads against the wall, pushing for things that are not likely to happen.

The Rabins and Ariel Sharon hated Netanyahu. Indeed, Leah Rabin blamed him for her husband Yitzhak’s assassination. She saw “only doom for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process” with Netanyahu at Israel’s helm; and her views were prescient and are proving prophetic.

In a very real sense, the proponents of peace have been like salmon trying to “swim upstream” against the current. They have had boundless courage, and have been threatened and vilified in the process. Many have done so because of their love of Israel, and their hope that it will survive and prosper, as the homeland of the Jewish people.

But as my article above states unequivocally, it cannot be taken for granted that Israel will survive. Population growth/demographics alone will “kill” it as a Jewish state over time. Even more ominous is what a prominent American—who is a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, and who has written for the Wall Street Journal many times—told me several years ago:

I have long thought that Israel will not make it, if only because of what are cavalierly called WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and its very tight geographical compression. All else is immaterial, including the Palestinians, or us, or the nature of Israel’s [government].

WMDs come in many forms, such as deadly viruses, biological and chemical agents, and of course nuclear and nation-ending EMP attacks. Neither Israel’s military, its security forces nor its “Iron Dome” can protect against such threats.

If this is true, or that demographics will “destroy” the Jewish character of Israel, then there is reason for the proponents of peace to change course. Some Jews may pursue a new agenda or direction of “all-things-Trump” are evil. However, they need to realize that the forces arrayed against such an agenda—be it the DNC’s agenda or otherwise—are mighty, fierce and more dedicated than the Left or far-Left imagines.

They learned from the impeachment of Richard Nixon that the next battles would be “war.” They watched as attempts were made to destroy Ronald Reagan and his presidency as a result of Iran Contra. Today, his image is “Teflon-coated,” and they control the White House and both branches of Congress. It is entirely possible that their political gains across the country will be enhanced as a result of next year’s elections.

They watch with horror and disgust—and ever-increasing anger—the violence at my alma mater Berkeley, and the violence of the “Black Lives Matter” group and others. Despite the strongly-held beliefs of the Left (much less the far-Left), the “grass roots” folks supporting Donald Trump and his presidency want this country to come together in unity. They want to rebuild the United States economically, and for all Americans to prosper.

But they are prepared to fight viciously against opposing forces if necessary. And yes, they have learned the lessons of the past very well; and surrender is not an option. They held firm and persevered, and now they control state houses and political offices across the country; and they are determined to expand their gains, and implement their agenda.

Anti-Semitism is growing in Europe and globally; and European Jews are being urged to flee to Israel. The UN vote and Barack Obama’s “abstention” were significant, in that not one country voted to support Israel. Is night falling again for European Jews? Jews can be targeted globally and there is nothing that Israel or its vaulted Mossad can do to protect them.

These are very sobering issues, which cannot be taken lightly by anyone. And no, Donald Trump is not the genesis or progenitor of these issues or trends. To the contrary, he has large numbers of Jewish friends and supporters; and he may turn out to be a far greater champion of Israel than Barack Obama ever was.

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3 02 2017
Rick

Tim, I have to ask… Do you want Israel to survive? Do you think that the two state solution was ever a realistic and viable option? We’re the so called ‘Palestinian people’, ever really interested in peaceful coexistence with Israel?

Liked by 1 person

3 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Your questions and comments are always good, Rick. Thank you.

Yes, I want Israel to survive, and to achieve all of the expectations for it. I have been criticized for this, which I take as a given.

Compare https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-544 (“Why I Write And Say What I Do”) with https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-547 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-549; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (including its footnotes)

Second, with respect to the viability of the two-state solution, people who are much more experienced than I am believe that it was and is viable.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-1825 (“Jeremy Ben-Ami, ‘A New Voice For Israel’—A Wonderful Book That Should Be Read By Anyone Who Cares About And Wants To Understand Israel’s Past, Present And Future”)

Third, I believe almost all human beings everywhere want peace. It is an innate human striving.

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