Friday, June 15, 2012

Breaking: Obama Issues Executive Order Halting Deportations of Younger Illegal Immigrants, Will Be Given Work Permits —

Breaking: Obama Issues Executive Order Halting Deportations of Younger Illegal Immigrants, Will Be Given Work Permits — Update: Up To 800,000 Illegals Will Be Granted Amnesty…
Unbelievable abuse of power.
Via ThinkProgress:
President Obama will announce a new immigration policy this morning that will allow some undocumented students to avoid deportation and receive work authorization.
Under the president’s “deferred action” executive order, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.
An estimated 1 million young people could benefit from the deferral. To be eligible, applicants have to be between 15 and 30 years old, live in the U.S. for five years, and maintain continuous U.S. residency. People who have one felony, one serious misdemeanor, or three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible to apply. “Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.
Obama is expected to speak about this new policy later today.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.
The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Obama looking for love in lonely places


Unrequited love is a sad and mournful thing, as any teenager could tell you. Barack Obama, too. His European friends, who swooned with such ardor four years ago, are cooling off.
Mr. Obama still nourishes his lifelong crush on the Europeans, regarding them as the source of the type of government compassion and bureaucratic kindness he yearns to transplant to these shores. He even campaigned in Europe in the summer of 2008, before someone reminded him that Europeans are not allowed to vote in American elections (with or without proper identification).
The Europeans, and Angela Merkel’s Germans in particular, assembled by the hundreds of thousands at the base of the Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park to listen to the messiah speechify. He gave them a wowser, promising to make America more like Europe. Not only that, he assured them that he was not, repeat not, George W. Bush.
That was all our European cousins wanted to hear. Like many Americans in that faraway time, they expected the messiah to stretch out his arms and all unhappiness would give way to peace and joy unrestrained, all kittens would be cute and puppies would arrive housebroken, the earth would cool, men would smite their arms into ploughshares, and lambs would lie down with lions without becoming supper.
Now a new global survey  who could ask for anything more learned? reveals that approval of Mr. Obama’s policies has declined significantly, in some cases dramatically. In nearly every country polled, says the Pew Research Center, enthusiasm ebbed and is not likely to flow again. Calculated by median, support for Mr. Obama has declined from 78 percent in 2008 to 63 percent today. Muslims, who appeared to think the president would give Michelle and the girls a Koran for Christmas and put them in chadors before the year was out, have gone from hot to warm to cool to frigid. Median Muslim support has declined to merely 15 percent.
But if Mr. Obama could move the election to Europe, he should and no doubt would. Despite the cooling affection Europeans feel for him, nearly all of them would vote to re-elect him. They’re just disappointed, that’s all. He has turned out to be, in their view, more interested in protecting American interests than in pandering to their own. Such is the inevitable with all American presidents.
The opinions of the Europeans are inconsequential and irrelevant to reality, of course, and of real interest only to fans of the United Nations, the world soccer cartel and other international organizations that exist mostly to tut-tut whatever Americans do. Europeans, and Germans in particular, the Pew study finds, are crushed that Mr. Obama has acted “unilaterally” in certain crisis situations; they prefer that he act only in league with them.
Nobody is likely to pay any attention to any of this anywhere but in the White House, where “world opinion,” as shapeless and as crunchy as a bowl of lime Jell-O, is indeed taken seriously. It’s more bad news of a piece with the miserable spring and early summer. Mr. Obama’s campaign mavens have been so undone that they’re scavenging everywhere for pockets of voters to pander to, even a target as unlikely as the uncounted legion of potheads. Maybe marijuana referenda in several swing states will attract them to the November polls.
“Getting more young people to vote has long been a Democratic fantasy,” reports Atlantic magazine, “since they tend to vote so heavily Democratic.” But they rarely arrive to vote. “The problem is,” says one pro-pot canvasser, “our troops are not exactly itching to get up for the battle. It’s like, ‘hey, that’s great, dude, pass that joint, because tomorrow we get organized.’” Potheads were counted on two years ago to vote for a California referendum to legalize marijuana for everyone. The referendum failed.
But now there’s another “marijuana initiative,” to employ a contradiction in terms, in the state of Washington, and there might be others in Nebraska and Massachusetts if the potheads can get their stuff together. In Ohio, perhaps the most crucial swing state, supporters of two similar initiatives, one to allow “medical marijuana” and the second to establish a bureaucracy to regulate it, have until July 4 to collect the 400,000 voter signatures to get it on the ballot.
There’s considerable sentiment for approving medical marijuana in several states, but converting sentiment to votes is not always easy. Mr. Obama might be better advised to count on a big vote in Luxembourg or San Marino.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

40 Al Qaeda Jihadis Killed In Yemeni Military Operation

 Yemeni residents stand next to the houses destroyed during recent fighting between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants on a road leading to the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar on June 14, 2012. – Photo by AFP.


I had mentioned here at Holger Awakens that the Yemeni military had a tendency in the past for getting a lot pissed off at attacks on their troops and when the Yemeni military was bombed by al Qaeda back in May at their parade, I said that we could very well see the Yemeni army go apeshit on al Qaeda.  Well, we have seen, since then, things step up and the current offensive in the heart of al Qaeda country in the South reached an apex today when 40 al Qaeda jihadis were killed in the military operation.

From the report at DAWN:

At least 48 people, including 40 militants, were killed on Thursday in clashes in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan where al Qaeda and the army are battling for control, state media said.

The country’s armed forces “chased down terrorist elements being routed in the direction of the town of Shuqra,” the SABA official news agency said, noting that “300 terrorists are surrounded in their last strongholds.”

Forty terrorists were killed in the offensive and dozens have been wounded,” it added, citing a military source.

SABA said the air force had launched around 100 raids against militants holed up in Shuqra.

On Tuesday, the military drove the jihadists out of the provincial capital of Zinjibar and Jaar, with l Qaeda gunmen believed to have fled east to Shuqra, the only town in Abyan besides Mahfad which the extremists still hold.
This is actually pretty impressive on the part of the Yemeni army as some saw them as pretty much teetering a number of months ago.  Now, things in Yemen are far from settling down as although al Qaeda has lost some ground in the past week or so, we can't forget that most of that is ground they picked up over the past few months.  One thing to remember about the Yemeni military is that they have a tendency to withdraw and rest on their laurels after some major successes like this...only to lose ground later on.
At least 48 killed in al Qaeda clashes with Yemen army

ADEN: At least 48 people, including 40 militants, were killed on Thursday in clashes in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan where al Qaeda and the army are battling for control, state media said.

The country’s armed forces “chased down terrorist elements being routed in the direction of the town of Shuqra,” the SABA official news agency said, noting that “300 terrorists are surrounded in their last strongholds.”

Forty terrorists were killed in the offensive and dozens have been wounded,” it added, citing a military source.

SABA said the air force had launched around 100 raids against militants holed up in Shuqra.

On Tuesday, the military drove the jihadists out of the provincial capital of Zinjibar and Jaar, with l Qaeda gunmen believed to have fled east to Shuqra, the only town in Abyan besides Mahfad which the extremists still hold.

A military official speaking on condition of anonymity said earlier that six civilians, “three women, two children and one man, were killed in a Yemeni air raid” on Shuqra.

The official said the intended target had been militant fighters.

A local official said two soldiers were also killed on Thursday.

“Clashes using machine guns between al Qaeda militants and the army, backed by local militiamen, left two soldiers dead and 11 wounded,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

On Wednesday, nine civilians were killed by landmines planted by militants in Zinjibar, according to local official Mohsen Saleh.

He said the civilians, who had fled the city last May after al Qaeda took control, died in two separate landmine explosions.

According to Zinjibar’s deputy mayor, hundreds of displaced residents have returned since Tuesday to find their “homes flattened and the city destroyed.”

Today I arrived here with my family and was shocked by the total destruction of the city,” Ghassan Sheikh said.

He said the army has so far been unable to clear all the landmines planted by al Qaeda, adding they have been sown in most of the city’s streets.

In Jaar, meanwhile, residents said they were able to free some 20 prisoners from an al Qaeda detention centre, among them local clerics imprisoned by the jihadists for opposing their presence and speaking openly against terrorism.

Taking advantage of the weakening of central government control by an Arab Spring-inspired uprising last year, the militants had overrun most of Abyan, taking full control of Zinjibar, Jaar, Shuqra and several villages.

On May 12, Yemen’s military launched an all-out offensive to recapture territory lost to the jihadists.

A total of 540 people have died in the campaign – 402 al Qaeda militants, 78 soldiers, 26 militiamen and 34 civilians – according to an AFP tally compiled from various sources.

Tuesday’s military victories came just hours before the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution threatening sanctions against groups seen as undermining Yemen’s political transition.

The main targets of Resolution 2051 are the family and supporters of Yemen’s ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, although they were not named in the text, diplomats in New York said.

Saleh has been accused by his opponents of allowing al Qaeda to take hold of large swathes of the country’s south and east, and of meddling in the new government’s affairs.

The resolution also backed President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who pledged to destroy al Qaeda when he was sworn in as Saleh’s successor in February.

Fabricating Palestinian History


The Rhetoric of Nonsense

by Alexander H. Joffe

Fabricating Palestinian History

For nearly two decades the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been denying Israel's right to exist, and a recent "Nakba Day" was no exception. In a Gaza speech on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, his personal representative made the following statement:
National reconciliation [between Hamas and Fatah] is required in order to face Israel and Netanyahu. We say to him [Netanyahu], when he claims that they [Jews] have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E.—we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history B.C.E. This is the truth, which must be understood, and we have to note it, in order to say: "Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history."[1]
This remarkable assertion has been almost completely ignored by the Western media. Yet it bears a thorough examination: not only as an indication of unwavering Palestinian rejection of Israel's right to exist but as an insightful glimpse into the psyche of their willfully duped Western champions.

Unpacking Abbas's Speech

Archaeologists have only the dimmest notion of prevailing ethnic concepts in 7000 B.C.E. There may have been tribes and clans of some sort, and villages may have had names and a sense of collective or local identity, but their nature is completely unknown. Even with the elaborate symbolism of the period, as seen in figurines, and other data such as the styles of stone tools and house plans, nothing whatsoever is known regarding the content of the makers' identities. Writing would not be invented for almost another 4,000 years and would only reach the Levant a thousand years after that, bringing with it the ability to record a society's own identity concepts.
There were no Jews or Arabs, Canaanites, Israelites, or Egyptians. There were only Neolithic farmers and herders. In fact, none of the concepts that Abbas used developed until vastly later. The Plst—a Mediterranean group known to the Egyptians as one of the "Sea Peoples" and who gave their name to the biblical Philistines—arrived around 1200 B.C.E. Arabs are known in Mesopotamian texts as residents of the Arabian Peninsula from around 900 B.C.E. The concept of a "nation" emerged with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their neighbors sometime after 900 B.C.E. The Romans renamed the Kingdom of Judea "Palestina" after the biblically attested Philistines, the hated enemy of the Israelites, following the defeat of the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 C.E. The ethnic identity called "Palestinian," denoting the local Muslim and Christian inhabitants of the region south of Lebanon and West of the Jordan River, tenuously developed as an elite concept at the end of the Ottoman era and did not propagate to the grassroots until the 1920s and 1930s.[2]
Is there perhaps genetic continuity between modern Palestinians and Neolithic farmers and herders? Perhaps, but that is not what Abbas claimed. Is there cultural continuity, a nation with a name? Hardly.

Types of Palestinian Rhetoric

Why then should Abbas make such an incredible fabrication? And why lie in such a ludicrous and extravagant fashion? Part of the answer is that for Abbas, as it was for PLO leader Yasser Arafat before him, there is a reflex that simply and absolutely cannot accept the antiquity of Jews. Arafat famously told then-U.S. president Bill Clinton that there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem, causing the usually unflappable Clinton to nearly explode.[3] Denials regarding the Jewish historical connection to the Land of Israel generally and categorical denials that Jews constitute a nation are all frequently heard from Palestinian leaders, intellectuals, and others.
A useful avenue of investigation is to consider Abbas's words as a type of rhetoric with a form and underlying philosophy. When viewed in this way, Abbas's spokesman was not lying as such but doing something else.
As philosopher Harry Frankfurt put it
The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides … is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor to conceal it … A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it … For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: He is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.[4]
As Frankfurt describes it, such nonsensical rhetoric is constructed impulsively and without thought—entirely out of whole cloth. It is unconcerned with truth and so, unlike a lie, has license to be panoramic, unconcerned with context. The user is endeavoring to bluff, and the desire for effect is paramount. Whereas lying is austere and rigorous because it must triangulate against truth, nonsense loses, and loosens, the grasp on reality. In that sense, its effect is corrosive, a matter not discussed by Frankfurt.
Stating nonsense to suit one's purpose is only one of three obvious Palestinian rhetorical strategies. Lying, knowingly distorting the truth, is another. A paradigmatic example of this is "Pallywood," the staging of scenes for news cameras. These have ranged from orchestrated street scenes and rioting, which sometimes include fake casualties who leap off of stretchers when out of sight, to destroyed structures and grieving families, to manipulated photographs. Above all there was the so-called Jenin massacre of 2002 and the Muhammad al-Dura case in 2000. In the former, Palestinians accused Israelis of having killed hundreds or thousands of civilians and bulldozing their bodies into mass graves, deliberate lies that were then repeated by human rights organizations. In fact, some fifty-two Palestinian gunmen and twenty-three Israeli soldiers were killed in brutal house to house fighting.[5]

Stating nonsense to suit one's purpose is only one Palestinian rhetorical strategy. Knowingly distorting the truth is another. An example of this is "Pallywood," the staging of scenes for news cameras. This photograph was widely distributed with the observers cropped out and promoted as a picture of an Israel Defense Forces soldier stomping on a Palestinian child. The uniform is not an IDF uniform; the boots are not IDF boots, and the weapon is not one used by the IDF.
In the Dura case, a Palestinian stringer for French television purported to have observed a Palestinian father and son caught in a firefight in Gaza, during the course of which the boy appeared to have been killed. The iconic martyrdom and funeral of the boy became an international symbol of Israeli brutality. But examination of withheld footage showed other Palestinian "wounded" getting up and walking around and contained no death throes of the Dura boy. In fact, grave doubts exist whether a boy died at all in the exchange and whether his father was injured. A series of lawsuits have not resolved the situation, but the impact of what is at least in large part a fabrication is clear.[6] As French journalist Catherine Nay wrote with satisfaction, Dura's supposed death "cancels, erases that of the Jewish child, his hands in the air before the SS in the Warsaw Ghetto."[7] This statement holds the key to understanding the reception of Palestinian rhetoric in Europe. It is a means to erode historical and moral realities regarding the European treatment of the Jews, and it is eagerly embraced in some quarters.
The third Palestinian approach is to propagandize through the lens of pure ideology, specifically Islam. Thus, for example, the former Jerusalem mufti and chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, Ekrima Sabri, was recently quoted as saying "after twenty-five years of digging, archaeologists are unanimous that not a single stone has been found related to Jerusalem's alleged Jewish history." This statement is patently false, but the orientation of the religious lens is obvious, indeed, he goes on to state clearly: "We do not recognize any change to the status of Jerusalem, and we reserve our religious, historic, geographic, and cultural heritage in the city, no matter how long or how many generations succeed."[8] Islamic doctrine as it has evolved today simply cannot accept the reality of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem precisely on religious grounds. Sabri is, therefore, neither lying nor fabricating reality to suit his purposes but rather expressing what he regards as a true religious belief. This works in concert with lies and nonsense.

Swallowing Palestinian Rhetoric

Palestinian efforts to minimize or expunge Jews from history go back several decades but have intensified in recent years. Palestinian intellectuals make their own important contributions: Hayel Sanduqa recently claimed that the expression in Psalm 137:5, "If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill" was authored by a Crusader king and stolen by "Zionists."[9]
Palestinian denial of any Jewish connections to Israel and allegations that Israel is "Judaizing" Jerusalem are so routine as to be unheard by Israelis, accustomed as they are to Palestinian leaders blustering, lying, and simply making things up, from trivial allegations regarding Israeli "libido-increasing chewing gum" distributed in Gaza[10] to heinous allegations of all manner of war crimes. This is unfortunate since such claims of "Judaization," largely by means of archaeological excavations and infrastructure modernization, featured for decades in international forums such as UNESCO,[11]are central to the global efforts to delegitimize Israel by elevating the Islamic status of Jerusalem.[12]
By and large, the lack of Arab media attention suggests that they also take Palestinian claims with a heaping teaspoon of salt. In the absence of open warfare between Israel and the Palestinians, Arab media today appear preoccupied with more important events in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and elsewhere. Even so, why has there been so little attention to Abbas's statement?
The Palestinian reception of rhetoric such as Abbas's is a critical question. Palestinian nationalist rhetoric since the early 1920s was characterized by what even Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi has called "overheated prose."[13] From the beginning, it was also suffused with local, pan-Arab and Islamic themes that were sometimes complementary but often in tension with one another. In general, Palestinian rhetoric today takes place in an environment that has been progressively Islamized over the past two decades by Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in part through competition with Hamas and other Islamist and jihadist movements.[14] Islamic themes and imagery have helped frame and elaborate political discourse and in turn have intensified the Islamic dimension of Palestinian collective identity.[15]
While a full study of language and cognition in Palestinian culture is beyond the scope of this article, it is useful to bear in mind the analysis of Arab societies as "high context" cultures. In such cultures, the domination of in-groups with similar experiences and expectations requires fewer but more carefully selected words that convey complex messages using inferences supplied by the listener. By contrast, communications in "low context" cultures are not aimed at in-groups and, therefore, tend to be more explicit.[16]
Seen in this light, Palestinian political statements regarding their Neolithic origins and continuity, which can be regarded in historical, rhetorical, and philosophical terms as completely fictional, might be understood as simply innovative shorthand communications to an in-group. On the one hand, it nominally cites Western scientific frameworks, which demonstrates a sort of modernist orientation. But on the other, the emotive power and real intention is largely supplied by the listener, who hears in effect that Palestinians have existed forever, along with the implication that this fact is supported by history or even science.
Together with lies and ideological speech, fictional nonsense helps shape Palestinian culture, beliefs, and political behavior. To say that this is at odds with objective reality as recovered by science is to miss the point. To some unknowable but large degree, this is Palestinian reality. What from the outside appears to be disjointed and nonsensical bits in reality are seamless parts of a larger Palestinian whole, beliefs about the history, the world, culture, and the self. The question then becomes the relationship of that reality to others. And here the matter of media as a conduit and interpreter becomes paramount.
The problem is that in-group statements and the reality they create are never restricted to the in-group. Western reception of rhetorical nonsense varies widely. Western media have been silent about the Neolithic Palestinian nation, and this is most instructive. The simplest explanation why Abbas's comments were not mentioned in Western press accounts is that literal nonsense from Palestinians simply does not register. Although it is not acknowledged, to some extent Palestinian nonsense is likely recognized as such by Western media and filtered out, at least semiconsciously, as "overheated prose." Ironically, of course, objections to such cultural stereotyping are characteristic of the Orientalist critique although they are rarely made when such analyses come from Arab sources.

Willing Infidels

What Israelis regard as incitement—rhetoric designed to inflame populations and move them to hatred and violence—thus seems to register as mere epiphenomena to other Western audiences, who appear to seek a simple, moralistic tale with materialist underpinnings. By and large, Western media in particular, abetted by intellectuals, have created a singular distortion zone around "Israel/Palestine"—turning it into a clear-cut morality tale of colonial white people with F-16s oppressing indigenous brown people with stones and the odd suicide bomber.
A recent study of how the Arab-Israeli conflict is treated by the Reuters news agency noted the pervasive use of appeals to pity and to poverty, innuendo, euphemisms and loaded words, multiple standards and asymmetrical definitions, card-stacking, symbolic fictions, and atrocity propaganda, along with non-sequiturs and red herrings. The study concludes that "Reuters engages in systematically biased storytelling in favor of the Arabs/Palestinians and is able to influence audience affective behavior and motivate direct action along the same trajectory."[17]
For most journalists engaged with the moralistic narrative, fantastic stories about Palestinians having existed 9,000 years ago do not even rise to the level of cognitive dissonance; it is, for now, nonsense discourse and anti-realism. But another factor for the lack of Western attention to such statements is found in Frankfurt's discourse on nonsensical rhetoric; the sincerity of the user cannot be challenged since to do so would require making fundamental judgments. To preserve the fiction of rational interlocutors, sincerity must be accepted as a token of trustworthiness even as the simple words of the statement contradict such claims.
Three other factors also play a role: the postmodern downgrading of objectivity and the idea of a single shared reality; the elevation of multiple narratives as being equally valid, and the valuation of feelings over facts. Challenging rhetorical nonsense, in addition to potentially compromising journalistic access, could hurt interlocutors' feelings.
There is more than a little condescension at work in the Western reception of these strategies if not actual contempt. For one thing, Palestinians lies and nonsense are rarely challenged by the media or other interpreters besides those termed Israel advocates, something that has itself been transformed into a negative semantic and social category. It is almost as if Palestinians are expected simply to make things up as they go along, which then may or may not be accepted by the West according to how well they fit the Palestinian narrative.
Ideological religious statements are similarly ignored but in all likelihood for different reasons. Non-religious Western observers simply have no intellectual framework to interpret such strong statements outside materialist constructs that regard religion generally as epiphenomenal or false consciousness. For these reasons, the Islamic rather than nationalistic basis for the Arab-Israeli conflict has been systematically downplayed from the 1930s. Even the Hamas charter—which is nothing but forthright regarding its religious basis, theological anti-Semitism, and calls for genocide—is largely excluded from journalistic and even academic analyses because it makes no sense within the context of frameworks that are exclusively nationalistic and materialist in nature.
But the eagerness with which certain lies are accepted, such as talk of Israeli war crimes, and the flimsy nature of Western journalistic investigations strongly shows that at least two additional levels of bias are at work. At one level, the narrative of the oppressed underdog is so strong that there is little inclination to press for truths that would undermine that narrative, embarrass the Palestinians, and in doing so, incur their wrath and limit the media access they give to their territories, sources, and stories. At the deeper level, as perfectly illustrated by the quote from Catherine Nay above, there is a deep need to find Israelis guilty in order to relieve Holocaust guilt (and, one might argue cynically, to get back to old-fashioned anti-Semitism) particularly among European descendents of its perpetrators. The satisfaction of making this so is palpable.
These factors also illustrate how the Palestinian narrative, even with ludicrous bits thrown in and others excluded, is arguably not by or even about the Palestinians. It is propelled largely by Western needs to see the world through the post-colonial lens of noble indigenes and evil Western colonists. The Palestinians may in fact have lost exclusive control of the narrative decades ago, perhaps as far back as the 1920s or 1930s, when their cause was taken over by the Arab states and the Muslim world. A more comprehensive view of the Palestinian narrative would see them as secondary contributors to a process propelled by Arab and Muslim states and refracted through Western media and universities, ultimately minor subjects in a far larger discussion between Islam and the West.
The problem is that, thanks to mindless parroting by journalists and human rights organizations of Palestinian lies and nonsense, hatred, anti-Semitism, and ceaseless incitement are gradually overwhelming the filters against anti-realism, particularly in Europe where there are powerful cultural incentives to think ill of Jews and wish ill for Israelis. The effects of this process are seen even more clearly throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds where, though free of Jews, anti-Semitism is all-pervasive.


An example of the erosion of Western critical filters was the unchallenged appearance of an opinion piece in The Washington Post in December 2011 that effectively repeated some of Abbas's absurd statements regarding the antiquity of the Palestinians. Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO representative to the United Nations, stated that Palestinians had "lived under the rule of a plethora of empires: the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Persians, Greeks, Crusaders, Mongols, Ottomans, and finally, the British." Throwing history out the window, he added
we are Arabs with black, brown, and white skin, dark- and light-colored eyes, and the whole gamut of hair types. Like Americans, we are a hybrid of peoples defined by one overarching identity. Many in the United States forget that Palestinians are Muslims and Christians. They ignore the fact that Palestinian Christians are the descendants of Jesus and guardians of the cradle of Christianity.[18]
Palestinians can simultaneously be Arabs, who arrived in the Levant in the seventh century C.E., and be more ancient than the Canaanites. At the same time, the empires they endured and that infused them include everyone except Arab ones, notably the Umayyad and Abbasid, which brought Arabs and Islam to the region in the first place. The fact-checkers of The Washington Post editorial page fall mute and shared reality is eroded further. Unfortunately this sort of rhetorical nonsense resonates deeply, especially with some Christian supersessionists committed to anti-Zionism.[19] History no longer matters.
It is often stated that peace can only come when Israelis and Palestinians recognize one another's narratives. Claims regarding the Neolithic Palestinian nation indicate this unlikely to occur either in the future or in the past. In the meantime, anti-reality continues to spread.
Alex Joffe is a New York-based writer on history and international affairs. His web site
[1] Palestinian TV (Fatah), May 14, 2011.
[2] Louis H. Feldman, "Some Observations on the Name of Palestine," Hebrew Union College Annual, 61 (1990): 1-23.
[3] "Camp David and After: An Exchange, An Interview with Ehud Barak," The New York Review of Books, June 13, 2001.
[4] Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), p. 56.
[5] See the essays in Hersh Goodman and Jonathan Cummings, eds., The Battle of Jenin: A Case Study in Israel's Communications Strategy (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 2003).
[6] Philippe Karsenty, "We Need to Expose the Muhammad al-Dura Hoax," Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2008, pp. 57-65; Nidra Poller, "The Muhammad al-Dura Hoax and Other Myths Revived," Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2011, pp. 71-8.
[7] Ivan Rioufol, "Les médias, pouvoir intouchable?Le Figaro (Paris), June 13, 2008.
[8] Ahlul Bayt News Agency (Qom, Iran), June 23, 2011.
[9] Palestinian TV (Fatah), June 2, 2011, at Palestinian Media Watch, accessed Mar. 1, 2012.
[10] YNet News (Tel Aviv), July 13, 2009.
[11] See, for example, the summary in Craig Larkin and Michael Dumper, "UNESCO and Jerusalem: Constraints, Challenges and Opportunities," Jerusalem Quarterly, Autumn 2009, pp. 16-28.
[12] Yitzhak Reiter, Jerusalem and Its Role in Islamic Solidarity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 70-149.
[13] Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), p. 258, n. 76.
[14] Hillel Frisch, "Nationalizing a Universal Text: The Quran in Arafat's Rhetoric," Middle Eastern Studies, May 2005, pp. 321-36.
[15] Mahmoud Mi'ari, "Transformation of Collective Identity in Palestine," Journal of Asian and African Studies, Dec. 2009, pp. 579-98.
[16] Rhonda S. Zaharna, "Understanding Cultural Preferences of Arab Communications Patterns," Public Relations Review, 21 (1995): 241-55.
[17] Henry I. Silverman, "Reuters: Principles of Trust or Propaganda?" Journal of Applied Business Research, Nov./Dec. 2011, pp. 93-116.
[18] Maen Rashid Areikat, "Palestine, a history rich and deep," The Washington Post, Dec. 27, 2011.
[19] David Wenkel, "Palestinians, Jebusites, and Evangelicals," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007, pp. 49-56.
Alexander H. Joffe


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Dreamy foreign policies - By Caroline Glick

June 15, 2012, 7:04 AM - Caroline Glick


With her unbridled hostility towards Israel, the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton provides us with an abject lesson in what happens when a government places its emotional aspirations above its national interests.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, many of Israel's elite have aspired to be embraced by Europe. In recent years, nearly every government has voiced the hope of one day seeing Israel join the EU.

To a significant degree, Israel's decision to recognize the PLO in 1993 and negotiate with Yasser Arafat and his deputies was an attempt by Israel's political class to win acceptance from the likes of Ashton and her continental comrades. For years the EU had criticized Israel for refusing to recognize the PLO.

Until 1993, Israel's leaders defied Europe because they could tell the difference between a national interest and an emotional aspiration and preferred the former over the latter. And now, Israel's reward for preferring European love to our national interest and embracing our sworn enemy is Catherine Ashton.

To put it mildly, Ashton is not a friend of Israel. Indeed, she is so ill-disposed against Israel that she seems unable to focus for long on anything other than bashing it. Her obsession was prominently displayed in March when she was unable to give an unqualified condemnation of the massacre of French Jewish children by a French Muslim. Ashton simply had to use her condemnation as yet another opportunity to bash Israel.

Her preoccupation with Israel was again on display on Tuesday. During a boilerplate, vacuous speech about President Bashar Assad's slaughter of his fellow Syrians, apropos of nothing the baroness launched into an unhinged, impassioned, and deeply dishonest frontal assault against Israel.

The woman US President Barack Obama has empowered to lead the West's negotiations with Iran regarding its illicit nuclear weapons program stood at the podium in the European Parliament and threw an anti-Israel temper tantrum.

The same woman who couldn't be bothered to finish her speech about Assad's massacre of children, the same woman who is so excited about her Iranian negotiating partners' body language that she doesn't think it is necessary to give them an ultimatum about ending their quest for a nuclear bomb, seemed to lack a sufficiently harsh vocabulary to express her revulsion with Jewish "settlers."

As she put it, "We are also seriously concerned by recent and increasing incidents of settler violence which we all condemn."

It's not clear what "recent and increasing incidents of settler violence" she was referring to. But in all likelihood, she didn't have a specific incident in mind. She probably just figured that those sneaky Jews are always up to no good.

ASIDE FROM condemning imaginary Israeli crimes more emphatically than real Syrian crimes, Ashton's speech involved a presentation of the EU's policy on Israel and the Palestinians.

That policy is based on three premises: The EU falsely claims that all Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines are illegal.

It rejects Israel's legal right to assert its authority over Area C - the area of Judea and Samaria that is empty of Palestinian population centers.

And it will only soften its anti-Israel positions if the Palestinians do so first.

Aside from its jaw-dropping animosity towards Israel, what is notable about the EU's position is that it is actually far more hostile to Israel than the Palestinians' position towards Israel as that position was revealed in the agreements that the Palestinians signed with Israel in the past. In those agreements, the Palestinians accepted continued sole Israeli control over Area C. They did not require Israel to end the construction of Jewish communities outside the 1949 armistice lines. The peace process ended when the Palestinians moved closer to the EU's position.

The EU's antipathy towards Israel as personified in Ashton's behavior teaches us two important lessons. First, it is often hard to tell our friends from our foes. Israelis - particularly those born to families that emigrated from Europe - have traditionally viewed Europe as the last word in enlightened democracy and sophistication and style. We wanted to be like them. We wanted to be accepted by them.

Indeed we were so swept away by the thought that they might one day love us back that we adopted policies that were inimical to our national interest and so weakened us tremendously.

It never occurred to us that the fact that Europe insisted that we adopt policies that undercut our national survival meant that the Europeans wished us ill.

They seemed so nice.

The second thing we learn from Ashton's anti-Israel mania is that when we engage in foreign policy, we need to base our judgments about our ability to influence the behavior of our foreign counterparts on a sober-minded assessment of two separate things: our interlocutor's ideology and his interests. In Ashton's case, both parameters make clear that there is no way to win her over to Israel's side. She is ideologically opposed to Israel. And the citizens of Europe are becoming more and more hostile to Israel and to Jews.

These twin parameters for judging foreign leaders and representatives came to mind on Wednesday with the publication of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss's critical report on the government's handling of the Turkish-government supported, pro-Hamas flotilla in May 2010. Perhaps the most remarkable revelation in the report is that up until a week before the flotilla set sail, led by the infamous Mavi Marmara, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was under the impression that he had reached a deal with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Netanyahu believed that through third parties, including the US government and then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, he had convinced Erdogan to cancel the flotilla. He had a deal.

The fact that Netanyahu thought he had a deal with Erdogan is startling and unnerving. It means that Netanyahu was willing to ignore the basic facts of Erdogan's nature and the way that Erdogan perceives his interests, in favor of a fiction.

By May 2010 it was abundantly clear that Erdogan was not a friend of Israel. He had been in power for eight years. He had already ended Turkey's strategic alliance with Israel. In 2006, Erdogan was the first major international leader and NATO member to host Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh. His embrace of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood made clear that he was Israel's enemy. It is a simple fact that you cannot be allied with Israel and with the Muslim Brotherhood at the same time. The same year he allowed Iran to use Turkish territory to transfer weaponry to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.

In 2008, Erdogan openly sided with Hamas against Israel in Operation Cast Lead. In 2009, he called President Shimon Peres a murderer to his face.

By the time the flotilla was organized, Erdogan had used Turkey's position as a NATO member to effectively end the US-led alliance's cooperative relationship with Israel, by refusing to participate in military exercises with Israel.

THE NATURE OF the flotilla organizers was also known in the months ahead of its departure for Gaza. The IHH's ties to al-Qaida had been documented. Netanyahu's staff knew that the IHH was so extreme that the previous Turkish government had barred its operatives from participating in humanitarian relief efforts after the devastating 1999 earthquake. They feared the group would use its relief efforts to radicalize the local population.

In and of itself, the fact that Erdogan was openly supporting IHH's leading role in the flotilla told Israel everything it needed to know about the Turkish leader's intentions. And yet, up until a week before the flotilla set sail, Netanyahu was operating under the impression that he had struck a deal with Erdogan.

It is likely that Netanyahu was led to believe that a deal had been crafted by the Americans.

Obama is not the only American leader that has been seduced into believing that Erdogan and his Islamist AKP Party are trustworthy strategic partners for the US. Many key members of Congress share this delusional view.

According to a senior congressional source, Turkey's success in winning over the US Congress is the result of a massive Turkish lobbying effort. Through two or three front groups, the Turkish government has become one of the most active lobbying bodies in Washington. It brings US lawmakers and their aides on luxury trips to Turkey and hosts glittering, glamorous receptions and parties in Washington on a regular basis. And these efforts have paid off.

Turkey's bellicosity towards Israel as well as Greece and Cyprus has caused it no harm in Washington. Its request to purchase a hundred F-35 Joint Strike Fighters faced little serious opposition. The US continues to bow to its demands to disinvite Israel from international forum after international forum - most recently the upcoming US-hosted counter-terrorism summit in Istanbul.

Certainly Turkey's strategic transformation under Erdogan's leadership from a pro-Western democracy into an anti-Western Islamist police state has dire implications for American national interests. And the Americans would be well-served to look beyond the silken invitations to Turkish formal events at five-star hotels and see what is actually happening in the sole Muslim NATO member-state. But whether the US comes to its senses or not is its business.

Israel had no business buying into the fiction in 2010 that Erdogan could be reasoned with.

True, today no one in Israel operates under that delusion anymore. But the basic phenomenon of our leaders failing to distinguish between what they want to happen and what can happen continues to exist.

Ours is a dangerous world and an even more dangerous neighborhood. Everywhere we look we see cauldrons of radicalism and sophisticated weaponry waiting to explode. The threat environment Israel faces today is unprecedented.

At this time we cannot afford to be seduced by our dreams that things were different than they are. They are what they are.

We do have options in this contest. To maximize those options we need to ground our actions and assessments in clear-headed analyses and judgments of the people we are faced with. Their actions will be determined by their beliefs and their perception of their interests - not by our pretty face.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

‘Flotilla’ Backers Suspected of Funding Al-Qaeda

The Islamist group that funded the Mavi Marmara is under investigation for allegedly funding Al-Qaeda. 

 By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/15/2012, 12:27 PM

Terrorists on the Mavi Marmara
Terrorists on the Mavi Marmara
Flash 90
The Turkish Islamist group IHH is under investigation for allegedly funding global terrorist network Al-Qaeda, Turkish media outlets have reported.

IHH President Bulent Yildirim has been accused of funding the terrorist group secretly, without officiaL documentation. Two Turkish special prosecutors are conducting separate probes into the allegations.

Yildirim was the head of IHH in 2010 when the group funded a “flotilla” aimed at breaking Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Dozens of far-left American and European activists joined the cause.

One of the boats in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, refused to turn aside when ordered to, attempting instead to break the blockade by force. When IDF soldiers boarded the ship they were violently attacked. Soldiers opened fire in response, killing 9 Turkish activists.

The incident caused Israel’s relationship with Turkey, already strained, to break down completely. Turkish leaders demanded an apology, but Israeli leaders refused, saying Israel had acted in self-defense.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tar and Feather him! Americans have had enough!

Bee's note: .. Why not just tar and feather Bloomberg and run him out of town?!  From this WH administration's "food police" drummed up by Michele Obama, to Bloomberg's latest ideas on how to "save" Americans from themselves, I think all of us have had just about enough of government and politicians attempting to run our lives, our families, and undermining/robbing us of every single freedom under the Constitution we have enjoyed.  
And, just as a footnote, Michele's food policing of our children is not about "healthier" food, prepared for them by their parents; it is another way of teaching our children that Big Government "knows best" and undermines the choices made by their own parents.  Time to remove government and its silly politicians out of our homes, out of our kitchens, and send them all packing ... come on, come quickly - November!

Adolph Bloomberg’s Health panel talks about wider food ban

When Cyber Fox sent me the link to this she asked  ”How can we be the land of the free when the government is dictating what we are allowed to eat?”
It’s a valid question..  Government is sticking their nose into places that once would have gotten politicians tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail for even considering.
That could explain why Mayor Michael Bloomberg is so opposed to firearms. He’s afraid that at some point New Yorkers will get enough of his crap and rebel.

Health panel talks about wider food ban

By LUKE FUNK, Senior Web Producer –
One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.
“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,” Vladeck said.
Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.
“There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories,” said board member Dr. Joel Forman.
I figure is only a matter of time before New Yorkers start getting enough of Bloomberg and they run him out of town or they start leaving themselves. The Internet means businesses Even big businesses no longer need to have a physical presence in New York City. Scattered across United States there are dozens of small cities with underused airports, access to major highways and seaports. Most of the cities have plenty of inexpensive office and warehouse space thanks to the recession.. The cost of living for employees is dramatically less
What they do not have his New York and New York City taxes, regulations and regulatory costs.  More important, they don’t have Michael Bloomberg..
There was a time when it was necessary to be in close physical proximity with clients, suppliers and big banks so that if you needed to close a deal in a hurry everyone and everything was right there. Documents needed to be signed could be sent by courier signed off and returned in a couple hours. Now all of that could be done in minutes on the Internet. The Internet doesn’t care whether your office is on Wall Street or on some street in Anytown USA.
So why not make the move?

Congressional Leaders Call for Investigations of Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the Obama Administration

Bee's Note:  Hmm!  Congress can see the handwriting on the wall.  This may be a great beginning of cleaning up (and out) this White House administration

Washington, DC, June 14, 2012:

Five influential Members of Congress called yesterday for the inspectors general (IGs) of government departments with national security responsibilities to investigate whether their agencies are being subjected to influence operations mounted as part of what the Muslim Brotherhood calls its “civilization jihad.”  This initiative holds out hope that a grave, and largely unremarked, threat may thus be recognized and thwarted in time.

The authors of letters sent to the IGs for the Departments of StateJusticeDefense and Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are:
  • Rep. Michele Bachman, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and Chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus
  • Rep. Trent Franks, Chairman of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution a member of the House Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert, Vice Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Rep. Tom Rooney, Deputy Majority Whip and member of the House Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s   Oversight Subcommittee; and
In a joint press statement, each of these congressional leaders expressed profound concern about the dangers posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and the need to understand that threathere in the United States.  What is more, they cited in their letters evidence of the penetration of Brotherhood operatives and allies inside the Obama administration, and examples of policies that appear to have been influenced as a result.

The legislators explicitly draw upon documentation of that evidence contained in Parts 8 and 9 the Center for Security Policy’s new, ten-part online video curriculum: The Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within (   
Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. said:
    These five key legislators are to be commended for their exemplary leadership on a matter of utmost peril to this country – namely, the stealthy effort being made by avowed enemies of this country, the Muslim Brotherhood, to destroy us ‘from within.’  Their request for the five inspectors general to conduct investigations of the Brotherhood’s progress toward that end – and report back within ninety days – will hopefully be seconded by others in both parties and be swiftly addressed by the IGs, given their responsibility for conducting such independent inquiries within executive branch agencies.  The Center for Security Policy’s extensive research, and the online course that presents it, shows those inquiries are fully warranted and urgently needed – as are, for that matter, corresponding investigations by the Congress, as well.
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 11:00 pm


June 13, 2012

OPEC member Saudi Arabia has been pumping hefty amounts of oil to lower prices and do what it can to ensure that President Barack Obama is re-elected this November, says billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump on CNBC June 12.
CNBC HOST: Donald, you see the OPEC news this morning? Venezuela wants OPEC to stop pumping more, overproducing, they are saying, that, because Saudi Arabia is pumping above the limits it's supposed to be doing to help us out a little bit and Venezuela is complaining and right now you're looking at oil prices at about back around $82.
DONALD TRUMP: That's still very high, Becky, they should be at $30 if you look at free market. I think Saudi Arabia is doing Obama a big favor. Look, you have to do be a favor, I have to get elected, you can't do it like you've been doing the last three years driving it up to $150 because that's where it's going and I think Saudi Arabia is doing Obama a big fat favor. I think he asked for the favor and prices are coming down, but also the economy's going bad so maybe it won't help that much. but as soon as -- assuming if Obama got elected, you're going to see something with oil like you've never seen before, it will go through the roof. The favor will be repaid many times over.