Bee's Note: Israel has been pounded with heavy rains this past week, causing flooding throughout the country. Then, the snow - beautiful snow! (For more information about the storms, go to Israel Matzav and read Carl's report.) My friends on FB are posting photos of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas and I have the pleasure of sharing a few with you this morning. ... Enjoy!
Jerusalem of snow
more snow ...
let it snow ..
As the temperature in the northern region drops and snow covers the ground, the soldiers of the Golani Brigade keep their heads up as they continue protecting Israel's borders.
Tayelet in white
"Dolly" in the garden
Northern Command soldiers had begun to get used to the snow.
Warrior Battalion 12 of the Golani Brigade saves you even in the snow.
Good morning from Jerusalem!
Snow angel ..
The garden ..
Stunning landscape looking north toward Jerusalem. Photo by Laura Ben-David
Someone is planning on going skiing..
Jerusalem is blanketed with snow as stormy weather sweeps Israel. Roads to the capital have been closed off and school in various cities across the country has been canceled.
"Joy to behold!"
Hebrew Lesson: Snow = Sheleg - pronounced - sheh leg (both 'e's are the short 'e' sound)
Readers may (or may not) recall how many times this blogger commented that she has been more right than wrong, in her prognostications/assertions re Washington’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood Mafia. Like pigs to sh-t.
Their infiltration/penetration started years before Barack HUSSEIN Obama entered the fray. However, their trajectory – from junior varsity to varsity players – catapulted to top dog status under his “loving” and guiding hands. There is no doubt about it. Yours truly has been deeply embedded in tracking and tracing their ascension for quite some time.
But it often takes one of the initiated to spill the beans, intentionally or not. Yet it hardly matters why some revelations see the light of day, particularly when all of the facts mesh and tie into other investigations. Specifically:
‘EGYPTIAN MAG AFFIRMS BROTHERHOOD INFILTRATION OF WHITE HOUSE’ -WND
Claims 6 American Muslims have strong influence on U.S. policy
Effectively affirming the concerns of five much-maligned Republican House members and the evidence presented in an investigative book, an Egyptian magazine claims six American Muslim leaders who work with the Obama administration are Muslim Brotherhood operatives who have significant influence on U.S. policy.
Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine, in a Dec. 22 story, said the six men turned the White House “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
IPT said that while the story is largely unsourced, it is significant because it raises the issue to Egyptian readers.
The article names Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, or MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA; and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
The book also uncovered new evidence that CAIR directly funded Hamas and al-Qaida terrorist fronts.
When the book was released, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the bipartisan House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, pointed out at a press conference in Washington that groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America “have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States.”
She noted evidence presented at the trial of the Texas-based Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation, convicted of funding Hamas, exposed CAIR, ISNA and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
Myrick exposed the absence of a formal vetting process by Congress for screening radical Muslims invited to work or pray or speak at the Capitol. CAIR, consequently, placed a number of employees within the Capitol, including known terrorists and terrorist suspects.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, for example, invited al-Qaida terrorist Anwar Awlaki to speak and pray at the Capitol. Awad also helped get Awlaki into the Pentagon within months of Awlaki assisting the 9/11 hijackers, Catherine Herridge revealed in her book “The Next Wave.”
The Egyptian magazine noted Alikhan is a founder of the World Islamic Organization, identifying it as a Brotherhood “subsidiary,” IPT reported.
Alikhan was responsible for the “file of Islamic states” in the White House and provides the direct link between the Obama administration and the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, according to the magazine.
Elibiary, as WND reported in October 2011, was singled out by Gohmert at a House hearing. The Republican congressman confronted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano with a charge that Elibiary, who had a security clearance as a member of the DHS advisory council, accessed a federal database and shopped sensitive reports to a left-leaning media outlet to publicize his claim that the department is promoting “Islamophobia”
WND reported in 2004 that Elibiary spoke at a conference that honored the founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini. Elibiary has strongly criticized the U.S. government’s prosecution of fundraisers for Hamas and is a defender of CAIR.
He has criticized the U.S. government’s prosecution and conviction of the Holy Land Foundation and five former officials for providing more than $12 million to Hamas, characterizing the case as a defeat for the United States.
The Egyptian magazine, Rose El-Youssef, said Rashad Hussain maintained close ties with people and groups in the Muslim Brotherhood network in America. He took part, the magazine noted, in the June 2002 annual conference of the American Muslim Council, formerly headed by convicted terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi.
He also was on the organizing committee of the Critical Islamic Reflection along with key Brotherhood figures such as Jamal Barzinji, Hisham al-Talib and Yaqub Mirza.
MPAC’s al-Marayati has been among the most influential Muslim American leaders in recent years, IPT pointed out. The Egyptian magazine shows the links between MPAC and the international Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure.
Obama appointed Magid, chief of the Muslim Brotherhood-founded ISNA, as an adviser to the Department of Homeland Security. Magid also has also given speeches and conferences on American Middle East policy at the State Department and offered advice to the FBI, the Egyptian magazine said.
Patel maintains a close relationship with Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, Rose El-Youssef reported. He’s a member of the Muslim Students Association, which was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in a 1991 document introduced into evidence during the Holy Land Foundation trial.
In July, Gohmert, along with Rep. Michele Bachmann, R, Minn., and three other Republican House members, pointed to Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, as a possible Muslim Brotherhood influence on U.S. policy. The lawmakers asked the inspector generals at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State to investigate, prompting Democrats and Republicans to rush to Abedin’s defense.
The internal memo said Muslim Brotherhood members “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Gohmert and other advocates for an investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the U.S. government argue a simple reading of security clearance guidelines in reference to Huma Abedin’s family would warrant investigation.
The guidelines express concern for any “association or sympathy with persons or organizations that advocate the overthrow of the United States Government, or any state or subdivision, by force or violence or by other unconstitutional means.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the request for an investigation of Abedin and her family a “sinister” and “nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant”.
I thought Benghazi would be Obama's "Constitutional" crisis, leading up to both House and Senate seeking impeachment, as "aiding and abetting the enemy" is a treasonous act. However, the stalling and cover ups from the White House on down since Sept. 11, 2012, plus the refusal of the media to investigate the deaths of our Ambassador and Navy Seals at Benghazi, will not be the last straw to break Obama's un-American stance on issues that relate to the "best interests" of the United States.
Nor, will there be an outcry from Congress in relation to Obama's choices for the highest federal appointments that will also become the worst choices any President could make, if they had the best intentions to lead America to the shores of safety. Kerry, Hagel and Brennan are all men that give Iran and our enemies reasons to dance in the streets and clap for joy!
So, if it takes the issue of gun control by Executive Order, may this be the icing on the cake that will finally wake up Washington to the fact that we have a would-be dictator living in the White House.
After invading, Nazis used pre-war lists of gun owners to confiscate firearms, and many gun owners simply disappeared. Following confiscation, the Nazis were free to wreak their evil on the disarmed populace, such as on these helpless Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. —
Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog2 Comments
Ever since FDR made it his campaign song in 1932 while running for office during the Great Depression, the unofficial anthem of the Democratic Party has been that Tin Pan Alley classic, "Happy Days are Here Again." But no matter how often the old Victor spun, it would not be until well after Roosevelt's death that happy days would be here again.
Like Hope and Change, Happy Days are Here Again was a blandly optimistic and non-specific promise that good times were coming. Someday the happy days would arrive, an appropriate enough sentiment for a song whose pivotal moment came in the movie "Chasing Rainbows" where it was sung to reassure a cuckolded husband who is threatening to kill himself. And in an even more appropriate bit of symbolism, the actual movie footage of that moment is as lost as the happy times.
No matter how often the Democratic Party cheats on the American people, it can always break out a new rendition of "Happy Days are Here Again" to win them back. And even if the happy days never seem to actually arrive, the promise of "So long sad times" and "Howdy gay times" where "your troubles and cares are gone" is always a winner.
While the American Democratic Party may not have an official anthem, the British Labour Party does and its anthem, "The Red Flag" would be entirely appropriate for the new Democratic Party that no longer has anything in common with Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson.
It might be awkward to imagine Harry Reid or Joe Manchin trying to make it through verses like, "The people's flag is deepest red" and the sonorous chorus, "Then raise the scarlet standard high /Within its shade we live and die/Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer/We'll keep the red flag flying here."
They would probably look almost as awkward singing it as Labour Party leader Ed Milliband does, but you could easily imagine Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett belting it out. And that would be only right because while The Red Flag never gets around to mentioning Manchester, despite its popularity there, it does namecheck two cities. "In Moscow's vaults its hymns were sung/Chicago swells the surging throng."
These days red flag songs, once mandatory, are confined to all sorts of vaults in Moscow. The new Russian anthem is Putin's redress of the old Soviet one, with lyrics by the same composer. And the Soviet National Anthem, that secular hymn, has a familiar pedigree going back to the Anthem of the Bolshevik Party in 1938, which took its melody from "Life is better, Life is fun."
You might be forgiven for thinking that the Bolshevik Party had borrowed its melody from some Moscow musical, but that wasn't the case. "Life is better, Life is fun" was based on a statement by Stalin: "Life has become better, comrades. Life has become more fun." The year was 1935 and while it is impossible to know whether Comrade Stalin had decided to crib from the Democratic campaign of 1932, the theme was the same. So long sad times. Happy days were here again.
And just to remind everyone that happy days really were here again, Stalin began another round of brutal purges. A year earlier, Uncle Joe, as the Fireside Chatter liked to refer to one of the world's bloodiest mass murderers, had arranged for the murder of Sergei Kirov, who was everything that Stalin wasn't, and used the murder to begin a purge of anyone more popular than him, with the support of red flag wavers in Chicago, New York, London and Los Angeles.
Unlike Franklin, Stalin's idea of a campaign involved a lot of firing squads to properly soak the red flag in the deepest red, while the band played, "Life is better, Life is fun." After the purges were wrapped up, Stalin signed a pact with another red flag waver from Berlin. The Nazis and Communists might have disagreed on any number of things, but both of them had inherited the Jacobin fetish for painting a flag red with blood and then waving it while calling for more death.
While Moscow might have turned in its red card, Chicago's "surging throng" is still swelling the polls, and even though their shirts are purple, their fingers are red from the strain of repeat voting. If there is anywhere in the United States that the red flag has gone on flying, outside of Marin County, it's Chicago. In its shade, generations have lived and died, and now generations have begun living and dying in its shade across the country as the red flag keeps flying for another four years over D.C.
The red flags of the post-modern, post-American, post-British, post-everything revolutionaries aren't usually as obvious as a gang of wealthy politicians staggering to a microphone once a year and belting out, "We'll keep the red flag flying here". It usually sounds more like the parody of that anthem, known somewhat sarcastically as the "Battle Hymn of the New Socialist Party,"
"White collar workers stand and cheer/The Labour government is here/We’ll change the country bit by bit/So nobody will notice it." A policy of changing the country bit by bit so none of the workers who want their benefits notices that everything else they value is being dragged away to the rubbish heap while they sleep may be sneered at by the real reds, but it's worked quite effectively.
Tony Blair did a masterful job of changing Britain, leaving behind Neil Kinnock's threats to take the workers into the streets if the election did not go his way. (It did not. He did not.) Kinnock proved good enough for Joe Biden to plagiarize his biography from, but the future rested with a sensible left. A New Labour that would talk like technocrats while importing unprecedented number of immigrants to change the electoral balance of the country, so that the red flag would go on flying here, even if it was green and had a crescent and a pair of crossed swords in the middle.
Instead of the flying red flag, Tony Blair's New Labour used D:ream's "Things can only get better" as its election anthem, which despite a title that made it sound like another, "Happy Days are Here" or "Life is better, Life is fun" was more of a love song to a Labour messiah promising to cure "prejudice and greed".
"Walk my path/Wear my shoes/Talk like me/I'll be an angel," New Labour voters were promised and they fell for it. The age of the Me Generation PM was here and the new egotism resounded in lyrics like "Things can only get better/Can only get better/Now I've found you/(That means me)" that took both self-help and self-involvement to a whole new level. But British voters probably should have paid more attention to warning lyrics like, "I sometimes lose myself in me".
Bill Clinton was America's Tony Blair, but with enough Good Old Boy charm to leaven the false earnestness that led so many to hate Blair. If Blair was a liar pretending to be an honest man, Clinton was a liar pretending to be an honest man pretending to be a liar, a rotten sandwich of a paradox that you have to be a politician or an observer of them to properly appreciate. Like Blair, Clinton worked to change the country bit by bit, appealing to white collar workers and leaving the red flag in the trunk next to the road flares and the dynamite.
It's Chicago time now and the red flag is back. Talk of changing the country bit by bit is done. Now the country is being changed aggressively, every change a finger poke in the eye of the people who don't notice right what is in front of their faces. The cuckolding is no longer subtle. It's more out in the open than ever and the country is being bankrupted and the middle class is being wiped out to a rousing chorus of "Happy Days are Here Again", when an entire generation has come of age never knowing a time when happy days prevailed.
Whatever faults Kinnock and old Labour had, losing himself in himself wasn't one of them. But the Baby Boomer and Generation X leaders had the narcissistic habit of doing just that. Clinton and Blair both lost themselves in themselves and since then never appear to have found themselves again. And Barack Obama never lost himself in himself because he never stepped out of himself to begin with.
Obama marries the red flag radicalism of the old left with generational egotism to show us the spoiled brat as leader, the tyke born with a set of silver spoons in his mouth who not only waves the red flag, but who mistakes his shamelessness for political genius. Where Clinton limited his shamelessness to his personal life, for his Democratic successor, in the tradition of both the hard left and the fellowship of mirror gazers, the personal has always been political. To the Hope and Changer, the man is the office, the state is the man, and the whim is the national agenda.
Stalin famously told his mother that he was the new Czar, transmuting collectivist revolution into the egotistical authoritarianism of one man. Obama has managed the same trick, merging revolutionary politics with his own brand until there is no longer a difference between the man and his revolution. FDR only promised happy days, but Obama has become the actual incarnation of hope, which may explain why there is no longer any hope to go around.
There is a flag flying over Washington and it's no longer the stars and stripes, but the same red flag that flies over Chicago. It's the red flag under whose shade misery and tyranny spreads while the band strikes up the same anthem over and over again. "Happy days are here again." Life is better, life is fun." "Things can only get better" and of course Obama's victory speech promise; "The best is yet to come."
It might have been more honest if he had instead admitted, "We'll keep the red flag flying here."
Great Video Comment: “Four months into this and still not one word as to what Obama and Clinton were doing for seven hours while the state department watched ambassador get killed. And apart from FOX zero media coverage. Amazing.”
MORE EXPLOSIVE INTEL ABOUT THE BENGHAZI ATTACK!. THE PLOT IS DEEPER AND WIDER AND IS THE WORST "SECRET" IN THE INTEL WORLD. OUR CONGRESSMEN ARE BEING LIED TO AND THEY ARE CHUMPS FOR JUST WHINING ABOUT IT.
The hidden real truth about Benghazi: GET THESE DETAILS OUT SO THE BLIND CAN SEE THE LIGHT AND THE IGNORANT CAN SEE THE TRUTH! >>CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMEN<<<<< All 111th Congress Fax Numbers in one file:Excel or Ascii csv
Here are some of the facts... the MEDIA IS NOT TELLING YOU ABOUT....
According to the U.S. government, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during a spontaneous protest at the consulate office in Benghazi by a frenzied crowd of Muslims outraged over an obscure internet video. Recently released “sensitive but not classified e-mails” from Stevens to the U.S. Department of State painted a picture of poor security for U.S. personnel and the embassy, which was obviously true but had little to do with the events of September 11, 2012. The failure to dispatch an extraction team or otherwise rescue the men during a firefight that lasted upwards of nine grueling and tortuous hours was not the result of any intelligence failure, but caused by our unwillingness to widen the conflict and expose the nature and scale of our true mission in Benghazi.
Based on information provided by my source and corroborated elsewhere, the official account by administration officials is a mosaic of lies that were necessary to cover the unpalatable truth of covert actions taking place in Libya, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The primary objective of our covert actions was to secretly arm anti-Assad “rebels” in Syria by funneling arms from Libya to Syria via Turkey, with other destinations that included Jordan and Lebanon. Regarding the threat to Stevens and the other murdered Americans, the truth will reformat the persistent question posed to government officials, from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to White House Spokesman Jay Carney and others from “how could you not have known” to “how could you have done these things?”
First, it is important to understand that Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Dougherty and Tyrone Woods were not killed at a consulate office in Benghazi—as there is not such office there. They died at one of the largest CIA operations centers in the Middle East, which was located in Benghazi and served as the logistics headquarters for arms and weapons being shipped out of the post-Qaddafi Libya.
Although the U.S. government insisted that Stevens was involved in securing and destroying the numerous caches of arms and weapons once under the control of Qaddafi, the operation was more complex than that. The visual accounts of weapons being destroyed were indeed real, but those weapons were not operational. The working weapons were actually separated and transported to holding facilities for their eventual use in Syria. Russia was fully aware of this operation and warned the U.S. not to engage in the destabilization of Syria, as doing so would endanger their national security interests. Deposing Assad, as despotic as he might be, and replacing him with a Muslim Brotherhood-led regime would likely lead to unrestrained Islamic chaos across the region. The Turkish warning
According to my source, Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 to meet with his Turkish counterpart, who reportedly warned Stevens that the operation was compromised. They met in person so that Stevens could be shown overhead satellite images, taken by the Russians, of nefarious activities taking place in Turkey. But just what were these nefarious activities?
It is reasonable to suspect that these activities were more dire than just your average “gun running” operation. Since the overthrow of Qaddafi, it is estimated that upwards of 40 million tons of weapons and arms were shipped out of Libya to Syria. But it was also known inside intelligence circles that Qaddafi possessed chemical weapons in addition to numerous surface-to-air missiles. Could it be that Russia obtained unmistakable surveillance footage of the anti-Assad “rebels” being shown how to load chemical payloads onto missiles inside Turkey near the border of Syria? Weapons, of course, that were shipped from Libya by the CIA in conjunction with various Muslim Brotherhood rebel groups. If so, such weapons could be used as a “false flag” type of operation—one that would be implemented to “set-up” Assad by making it appear that he was using these weapons on forces dedicated to his overthrow.
The blowback by the international community would be swift and punishing, and the entirety of the civilized world would be demanding his overthrow. NATO would then be used to expedite his ouster, and Russia’s moral position within the international community would be weakened. Was the meeting held to show Stevens that the operation was compromised and that they had to stop? A Nation/State sponsored attack?
While the administration asserts that the attack in Benghazi was conducted by a group of rebels acting alone, the facts seem to indicate otherwise. The level of coordination was such that we did not deploy military assets, located just an hour or two away by air, to rescue Stevens and the others at the CIA operations center in their time of need. If, as the administration contends, that the attack was perpetuated by a group of frenzied rebels, our military could have easily handled them in short order. So why was there no rescue operation?
Perhaps the statements made yesterday by Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense provides some insight if one analyzes the essence of those statements. Among other things, Panetta said that “...the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on…” Well, it has been confirmed we did know what was taking place on the ground in Benghazi, so exactly what did Panetta mean by this statement?
Against the backdrop of the official story, it makes little sense. If, however, one considers the alternative, that the attack was coordinated and was a nation/state sponsored attack, then it becomes clearer. Panetta and the highest levels of this administration likely knew exactly what we were doing, and knew that the operation was compromised. They knew, or had reason to believe, that the attack was being conducted at a nation/state level in response to our covert operation in Libya and arming the anti-Assad Syrian opposition.
Although Russia figures prominently here, Iran now comes into focus as Russia is not likely to directly engage U.S. forces. They must, however, protect their interests. Much like we were using anti-Assad forces to advance our objectives in Syria, Russia was using Iranian-backed forces to protect theirs. It appears that the attacks were conducted or facilitated by Iranian assets—perhaps as many as three teams of assets in Benghazi. As the White House and other agencies monitored intelligence in real-time, they faced a dilemma. They knew that the nation/state sponsored attack teams were lying in wait for U.S. rescue forces to arrive, which is the reason the fight did not conclusively end sooner. They did not know exactly where all of the attack teams were, but knew they were present based on signal communication intercepts. Could they risk such exposure by deploying a rescue team to Benghazi, only to end up with another Black Hawk down type scenario? In addition to that scenario, the entire operation now becomes exposed for what it is. Take another look at Panetta’s statement in that context. Does it now make more sense? Bad PR in an election year, no?
As daylight approached with no response from the U.S. and no aid to the Americans under fire, the attack teams had to disperse into the cover of the remaining darkness, but not before their mission was accomplished. And sadly, it was. Fallout From the day of attack in Benghazi, Iran has been engaged in a full spectrum attack on the U.S. and NATO across the board involving embassies, bombing and even cyber attacks. All of this is the fallout from the arms and weapons smuggling operation, which was far greater than understood by the Western media.
Russia has now moved their contingent of S-400 missiles into much of Syria in anticipation of NATO establishing an “air cap” over Syria. A ten-mile “buffer zone” along Syria’s border has been created for Syrian refugees, but it also acts as a catalyst for the encroachment into Syrian territory. It sets the stage for further advancement and erosion of Syrian land, incrementally, of course.
It is also of critical importance to note that last weekend, Russia completed large-scale exercises of their Strategic Nuclear Forces under the watchful command of President Vladimir Putin. These were the first such nuclear exercises conducted since the fall of the Soviet Union.
To those with discernment, it is obvious that we are at the precipice of World War III. Putin himself stated as much, noting that WW III will not start in Iran but Syria, his own “red line in the sand.”
INFO FROM : Douglas Hagmann
Please contact the brave Congressman Jason Chaffetz and ask him to look at this story. I have posted there already. He is Investigating the Benghazi murders!
"Killing Stevens" was reported on Facebook by John Gaultier. The information provided has a few details I have not posted previously on this blog. However, John's report does raise questions that should be answered and I do suggest that you contact Congressman Jason Cheffetz to let him know that the American citizens have not forgotten Benghazi, or the deaths of our four men serving our nation, and we do expect the truth to be revealed - sooner, rather than later. As for the "media", except for one news station, the media has willingly gone along with the lies promoted from the White House and Susan Rice's first reports. I hear Hillary is "back to work" and yet we're told she may testify in "3 weeks". Are you kidding?! Hasn't the State Department stalled long enough? Why 3 more weeks?!
Americans will not forget 9/11 Benghazi attacks; nor will we rest until the truth behind Benghazi is fully revealed in an open hearing - no more closed doors!
This isn’t really about Israel, it’s about the liberal Democratic intellectual (or pseudo-intellectual) upper middle class milieu claiming Israel is wantonly throwing away support by acting irrationally.
US President Barack Obama Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
There’s been a strange phenomenon building in the past few weeks that’s been puzzling me. But I’ve just figured it out. Various people – there are many examples so you can insert your own – have been writing that Israel is making some big mistake. It is losing support, especially liberal and American Jewish support, they explain, because of the way it’s been behaving.
What’s puzzling about this is that nothing has actually happened to imply that any great opportunity is being missed that might justify this attitude. There has been no recent turn toward peace by the Palestinian Authority; no great new idea promising a breakthrough; no change in personalities that offers some shocking new opportunity.
The regional picture has been getting worse for reasons having nothing to do with Israel, Hamas has been getting stronger and the PA remaining intransigent.
Equally, Israel hasn’t done anything new or startling. The most important thing that can be said about Jewish settlements is that Israel hasn’t created any new ones in almost 20 years. True, there has been construction in existing settlements, but that’s been going on since 1993 on a fairly regular basis. If anything, I think it has declined in pace and mostly in Jerusalem rather than farther out in the West Bank. And, of course, all the settlements in the Gaza Strip have been dismantled.
ONE FACTOR that might be mentioned is that the critics are far out of date. They describe the situation as it existed, say, in the 1980s, when many Israelis believed a negotiated deal with the PLO was possible and claimed that rightists were blocking this great opportunity because they were so suspicious of the Palestinians and so fond of settlements.
Since then, that proposition was tested and found wanting in the 1993-2000 peace process era. Yet many American Jews and others simply haven’t noticed that things didn’t turn out the way the doves had hoped. To their credit, many of them (and I might as well say “us”) rethought their assumptions.
Yet that was a dozen years ago. The behavior of the PA since then and the rise of revolutionary Islamism, among other factors, have underlined the skepticism engendered by the terrible peace process experience. If you claim the right to determine Israel’s fate and put its people’s lives at risk, you might be expected to go to the trouble of doing a little research and putting some serious thought into these matters.
So what is the great urgency here, the dramatic change, the Palestinian moderation that offers a real chance for peace, or the Israeli misbehavior that throws away a great opportunity to achieve it? Other than pure perversity, ideological nastiness, panic derived from mass-media antagonism toward Israel, or the sharp Obama-era turn to the Left, the claim that Israel is doing something reckless which is antagonizing would-be supporters doesn’t make sense.
And then it hit me.
THERE HAS just been yet another in a long series of polls about what Americans think of Israel and the Palestinians. These polls have been broadly consistent. In 2012, about 71 percent of Americans say they side with Israel – as high as that number has ever been in all of history. And that’s compared to only 20% who say they side with the Palestinians, a figure that has been stable now for three years.
But here’s the point: apparently, Democratic and liberal support for Israel has gone down. The idea of supporting Israel’s control over Jerusalem was at first left out of the Democratic platform, then booed and opposed by a majority of the delegates voting (though undemocratically added anyway by the leadership). Of course, they did the same regarding the mentioning of God, so Israel is, as has so often been the case historically, in good company.
The point, however, is that this isn’t really about Israel, it’s about the liberal Democratic intellectual (or pseudo-intellectual) upper middle class milieu claiming Israel is wantonly throwing away support by acting irrationally.
After all, these people have a choice regarding how to respond to the situation:
Option 1: Israel is at fault for losing the Obama cult crowd and a small but vocal increasingly left-wing sector of Americans (many of whom aren’t that thrilled with the United States either) because of something that it has done.
If only Israel would show itself ready to take risks for peace, elect a prime minister who was ready to recognize a Palestinian state and give up almost all of the territory captured in 1967, show the Palestinians that Israelis aren’t horrible monsters, let Palestinians rule the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, help them get billions of dollars in aid and let them create the own armed force to stop the real extremists, then peace is possible! Oh, wait a minute, that already happened.
And there were three such prime ministers: Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak.
Option 2: Given an increasingly left-wing ideology that’s based on faulty assumptions and neglects the dangerous radicalism of Islamist forces and other enemies of America, it is the dominant worldview in the mass media, academia and ruling circles in America that is to blame for turning away from Israel.
Understand this well: Option 1 requires Israel to change; Option 2 requires the people voicing such complaints about Israel to change.
Well, these people don’t want to examine their assumptions and change their views.
They’d end up suffering for their support of Israel, they’d be out of step with the mob, they might have to – shudder! – step away from what’s popular and “in.” My goodness, they might even have to question Obama’s brilliance and policies! No contest.
So it’s not surprising that Option 1 wins out. And the exact same point would apply if you substitute the word America for Israel and revised as required the details.
Hey, do what you have to do to avoid admitting you’re wrong and paying some price for telling the truth. But don’t blame us.
The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, and editor of The Middle East Review of International Affairs(MERIA) journal. His latest book is The Truth About Syria(Palgrave-Macmillan). www.gloria-center.org