Tag: Michael Oren

OBAMA’S FANTASY CONFRONTS IRAN’S NUCLEAR REALITY

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iran's Global Business Is Murder Inc.
MICHAEL OREN
Wall Street Journal, February 11 2013
 
A bomb explodes in Burgas, Bulgaria, leaving five Israeli tourists and a local driver dead. Mysteriously marked ammunition kills countless Africans in civil wars. Conspirators plot to blow up a crowded cafe and an embassy in Washington, D.C. A popular prime minister is assassinated, and a despised dictator stays in power by massacring his people by the tens of thousands.
 
Apart from their ruthlessness, these events might appear unrelated. And yet the dots are inextricably linked. The connection is Iran.
 
In 25 cities across five continents, community centers, consulates, army barracks and houses of worship have been targeted for destruction. Thousands have been killed. The perpetrators are agents of Hezbollah and the Quds Force, sometimes operating separately and occasionally in unison. All take their orders from Tehran.
 
Hezbollah's relationship with Tehran is "a partnership arrangement with Iran as the senior partner," says America's director of national intelligence, James Clapper. The Lebanon-based terror group provides the foot soldiers necessary for realizing Iran's vision of a global Islamic empire. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah says his organization was founded to forge "a greater Islamic republic governed by the Master of Time [the Mahdi] and his rightful deputy, the jurisprudent Imam of Iran."
 
With funding, training and weapons from Iran, Hezbollah terrorists have killed European peacekeepers, foreign diplomats and thousands of Lebanese, among them Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. They have hijacked American, French and Kuwaiti airliners and kidnapped and executed officials from several countries. They are collaborating in Bashar Assad's slaughter of opposition forces in Syria today.
 
Second only to al Qaeda, Hezbollah has murdered more Americans—at least 266—than any other terrorist group. The United States designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997, though the European Union has yet to do so.
 
Above all, Hezbollah strives to kill Jews. It has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians and tried to assassinate Israeli diplomats in at least six countries. Its early 1990s bombing of a Jewish community center and the Israeli Embassy in Argentina killed 115.
 
The attack in Burgas occurred last July, and this month the Bulgarian government completed a thorough inquiry into who was behind it: Hezbollah. "The finding is clear and unequivocal," said John Kerry in one of his first pronouncements as U.S. secretary of state. "We strongly urge other governments around the world—and particularly our partners in Europe—to take immediate action and to crack down on Hezbollah."
 
Then there is the Quds Force, the elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, which takes orders directly from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The U.S. has repeatedly accused the Quds Force of helping insurgents kill American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of supplying weapons to terrorists in Yemen, Sudan and Syria. In 2007, Quds Force operatives tried to blow up two Israeli jetliners in Kenya and kill Israel's ambassador in Nairobi.
 
Hezbollah and the Quds Force also traffic in drugs, ammunition and even cigarettes. Such illicit activities might seem disparate but they, too, are connected to terror and to Tehran.
 
In 2011, the New York Times reported that Hezbollah was working with South American drug lords to smuggle narcotics into Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The terror group laundered its hundreds of millions of dollars in profits through used-car dealerships in America.
 
Also in 2011, the FBI exposed a plot in which senior Quds Force operatives conspired with members of Mexico's Los Zetas drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington by bombing the restaurant where he dined. The Israeli Embassy in Washington was also targeted. The middleman between the terrorists and the drug dealers was an Iranian-American used-car salesman.
 
And still the dots proliferate. U.S. authorities have implicated Hezbollah in the sale of contraband cigarettes in North Carolina, and Iran has manufactured and sold millions of rounds of ammunition to warring armies in Africa. So while skirting Western sanctions, Iran funds terror world-wide.
 
But Iran's rulers are counting on the West's inability to see the larger pattern. Certainly the European Union would take a crucial step forward by designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization, but terror is only one pixel.
 
Tehran is enriching uranium and rushing to achieve military nuclear capabilities. If it succeeds, the ayatollahs' vision of an Islamic empire could crystallize.
 
Iran and its proxies have already dotted the world with murderous acts. They need only nuclear weapons to complete the horrific picture.
 
Mr. Oren is Israel's ambassador to the United States.
 
Smugglers Galore:
How Iran arms its allies.
LEE SMITH
The Weekly Standard, January 7 2013
 
An explosion in southern Lebanon last week destroyed what is believed to have been a Hezbollah weapons depot. This latest in a series of mysterious “accidents” in Hezbollah-controlled precincts proved, as one Israeli official wryly remarked, that those who “sleep with rockets and amass large stockpiles of weapons are in a very unsafe place.” With the Party of God’s overland supply route through Syria choked off by the 22-month-long uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and Israel virtually in total control of the maritime route, Hezbollah’s stockpile is being systematically degraded.
 
Yet the arsenal of Iran’s other regional proxy force, Hamas, is growing. The Israeli Defense Forces’ campaign against Hamas last month in Gaza targeted Iranian missiles, including the Fajr-5, capable of reaching Tel Aviv and other points north, and destroyed most of them within the first hours of the conflict. But Hamas is already rearming, and it’s not clear that Israel or even Muslim Brotherhood-governed Egypt, which is ostensibly capable of controlling the Sinai tunnel networks through which Hamas receives its arms, can do much about it.
 
Israel’s next war with Hamas—a further confrontation is almost inevitable—may well feature not only Iranian missiles smuggled through Sudan, but NATO-quality small arms and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles that come by way of Hamas’s most recent weapons supplier, post-Qaddafi Libya.
 
Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense also zeroed in on Hamas commanders, most notably Ahmed al-Jabari, Hamas’s chief of staff, responsible for the group’s military operations. It was Jabari who replaced Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, assassinated in a Dubai hotel room almost three years ago in an operation usually attributed to Israel. In a sense, then, Pillar of Defense began back in January 2010 in that most profligate of the United Arab Emirates—which is also a veritable weapons bazaar.
 
“It’s the Casablanca of the Middle East, with all sorts of shady characters, money laundering, and arms deals,” says Michael Ross, a former Mossad operations officer. “With the Mabhouh assassination, the UAE authorities had all this video feed of what were allegedly Mossad operatives moving in and out of Dubai, but what they didn’t show was footage of Mabhouh meeting with a banker, then with his contact from the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps].” According to Ross, Mabhouh’s briefcase was a treasure trove of information detailing what items Hamas procured from the Iranians and the logistics of getting them to Gaza.
 
Arms smuggling was a problem in Gaza long before Hamas took control, says Major (Res.) Aviv Oreg, formerly in charge of the al Qaeda and global jihad desk in Israel’s military intelligence service and now head of a private consulting firm specializing in terrorism, CeifiT. “In the past, there was a maritime route via Syria or Lebanon, and when the smugglers approached the location they’d put the weapons in large flotation devices with the hope that the current would take it ashore,” says Oreg. “Sometimes it got tangled up in fishermen’s nets.”
 
When the Israeli Navy interdicted the Karine A freighter in 2002 and stopped a large cache of Iranian-made weapons from reaching Gaza, it not only turned George W. Bush against Yasser Arafat for good, it also signaled that Israel had closed Iran’s maritime route to Gaza once and for all. And yet as Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza cleared the way for Hamas’s 2007 takeover, the outfit sought more sophisticated weapons, and Iran’s support. The question for Tehran was how to get arms to their Palestinian clients.
 
“The ships usually start in the port of Bandar Abbas,” says Oreg. “They come through the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, around the Arabian Peninsula, and crossing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait, docking in Port Sudan.” Occasionally the Iranians will dock in Eritrea, “just to mix things up,” but their preferred point of entry is Sudan.
 
Sudan is critical, agrees Michael Ross. “This is where the parts for Iranian weapons are assembled. The guys in Gaza aren’t too swift in putting together complicated systems like the Fajr-5. Some assembly may be required when it hits Gaza, but the more complicated, high-tech aspects of the weapons systems are assembled in Sudan by Iranians, who have a large presence in Khartoum, at places like the al-Yarmouk factory.”
 
In October, an operation widely credited to Israel destroyed this key Iranian weapons depot. Other attacks on Sudanese soil attributed to Israel, such as the spring 2009 series of strikes on weapons convoys, have left some wondering what the government in Khartoum has to gain from painting a big target on its head for the IDF.
 
Money is part of it, says Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who points to extensive economic cooperation between Iran and Sudan. “But there are also ideological reasons. These are radical Islamists, they’ve been angry at the world since their president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted for war crimes, and they don’t like Israel.”
 
Even if it were possible to convince Khartoum to sever ties with Tehran, says Oreg, “the Iranians would find a replacement without too much difficulty, Eritrea or Somalia, both places where the central government is incapable of extending control over its territory.” In any case, the real problem is Egypt.
 
Sudanese smugglers, mostly from the Rashaida tribe, transport the weapons from Port Sudan in trucks across the Nubian Desert to the Egyptian border, all the way through Egypt’s Eastern Desert along the Red Sea, and through the Suez Canal deep into the Sinai Peninsula. “The easiest way to cut off Hamas’s weapons supply,” says Ross, “would be to shut down the shipments coming out of Sudan, at the source, rather than in Sinai. The routes are limited, and this could easily be accomplished if the Egyptian military made an effort. But the army has always been the problem. While Mubarak was president, it was the intelligence service under Omar Suleiman that stopped shipments, kept radical elements at bay, and cooperated very closely with Israel. The military looks the other way and just doesn’t care.”
 
In fact, since the August jihadist attack in the Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian border guards, the army has been more vigilant, recognizing that its own security, and not merely Israel’s, is at stake. The proliferation of foreign fighters in the Sinai, some of them aligned with Egypt’s Salafist movement, moreover, poses a big political risk for Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Judging by his actions during Pillar of Defense, Morsi believes that keeping the peace with Israel is in the national interest. That still leaves plenty of room for him to be outflanked on his right by the Salafists and armed fighters whose prestige rests precisely on the fact that they are fighting Israel. The problem, then, is that if Morsi closes the tunnels, affecting both Hamas and the Sinai jihadists, the latter will turn on him; if he doesn’t, the jihadists will eventually come for him anyway.
 
In any case, he has an excuse for the United States and Israel ready at hand: Practically speaking, it’s almost impossible to shut down the entire network of tunnels between Sinai and Gaza—and for that, he can lay some of the blame at Mubarak’s feet.
 
“The nomadic tribes in the Sinai were neglected by the government for years,” says Oreg. “There are no roads, no employment, and their main source of income became smuggling—not only weapons into Gaza, but routes into Israel also, smuggling drugs and women.” The Tarabin tribe, he explains, is the most dominant—and the wealthiest. “In Sinai, the biggest and most expensive houses belong to smugglers. For one AK-47, a smuggler gets $1,000.”
 
Besides the profit motive for smuggling, there are also geographical issues that make it difficult to close the industry. “With the high mountains in the Sinai,” says Oreg, “it’s easy for the smugglers to move around, and not even the Egyptian Army can do much about it.”
 
The Gaza side of the border is even more economically dependent on the tunnel networks that, since Hamas took over, have become highly regulated. “After the blockade of Gaza,” says Oreg, “everything went through tunnels. All of Gaza’s international trade is conducted through the tunnels, thousands of them. Hamas has basically institutionalized the tunnel industry, requiring registration for tunnels and imposing taxes on them. You can make up to $50,000 a month on a tunnel.”
 
Not surprisingly, Libyan entrepreneurs now want a piece of the action. The supply line, according to Oreg, is the same—via Sudan. “But eventually,” says Oreg, “they will likely build smuggling networks through the Libyan desert into Egypt.” What’s different, says Ross, is the materiel. “For instance,  they’ve got FN F2000s, a Belgian-manufactured military assault rifle. The Europeans, in their infinite wisdom, treated Qaddafi like just another client. And so after Qaddafi, people found warehouses full of munitions, and if you’re sitting on a stockpile, it’s not too tough to make contacts with middlemen and facilitators. What a wild west that’s become.” 
 
Israeli officials might be worried about the Sinai turning into an Afghanistan on their border, but with Hamas, they’re looking at a garrison equipped with Iranian missiles and European small arms. “We saw how much Hamas had at its disposal with Operation Pillar of Defense,” notes Ross. “There was no ground incursion this time around, but you’d have seen them breaking out all sorts of stuff, like NATO-quality small arms. We’ve come a long way from the First Intifada and 8-year-olds throwing rocks.”
 
Obama's Nuclear Fantasy:
The president is setting the stage for a world
with more nukes in the wrong hands.
BRET STEPHENS
Wall Street Journal, February 11 2013
 
As a young Soviet military officer, Viktor Esin was stationed in Cuba during the October 1962 crisis, where he had release authority over a nuclear-tipped missile targeting New York. On his first visit to Manhattan in December, I made sure to thank him for not obliterating our city.
 
Gen. Esin rose to become chief of staff for the Strategic Rocket Forces, and he is now a professor at the Russian Academy of Military Science. So what's been on his mind lately? Mainly the stealthy rise of China to a position of nuclear parity with the U.S. and Russia. "All in all, they may have 850 warheads ready to launch," he says. "Other warheads are kept in storage and intended to be employed in an emergency." He estimates the total size of the Chinese arsenal at between 1,600 and 1,800 warheads.
 
That is something to bear in mind as the Obama administration seeks to slash the U.S. arsenal to about 1,000 strategic warheads. That would be well below the ceiling of 1,550 warheads stipulated by the 2010 New Start Treaty. The administration also wants to spend less than the $80 billion it promised on modernizing America's rusting nuclear-weapons infrastructure.
 
On the strength of that promise 13 Republican senators gave President Obama the votes he needed to ratify New Start. Suckers! Now the president means to dispense with the Senate altogether, either by imposing the cuts unilaterally or by means of an informal agreement with Vladimir Putin. This is what Mr. Obama meant in telling Dmitry Medvedev last year that he would have "more flexibility" after re-election.
 
But what, you ask, is so frightening about having "only" 1,000 nuclear weapons? Surely that is more than enough to turn any conceivable adversary Paleolithic. Won't we remain more or less at parity with the Russians, and far ahead of everyone else?
 
It all depends on China. It is an article of faith among the arms-control community that Beijing subscribes to a theory of "minimum means of reprisal" and has long kept its arsenal more or less flat in the range of 240-400 warheads. Yet that is a speculative, dated and unverified figure, and China has spent the last decade embarked on a massive military buildup. Isn't it just possible that Beijing has been building up its nuclear forces, too?
 
When I broached this theory in an October 2011 column—noting that the U.S. had, in fact, underestimated the size of the Soviet arsenal by a factor of two at the end of the Cold War—I was attacked for being needlessly alarmist. But one man who shares that alarm is Gen. Esin. In July 2012, he notes, the Chinese tested an intermediate-range DF-25 missile, which Russia carefully tracked.
 
"In the final stage the missile had three shifts in trajectory, dropping one [warhead] at each shift," he notes. "It's solid evidence of a MIRV [multiple warhead] test." A month later, the Chinese launched a new long-range, MIRV-capable missile, this time from a submarine.
 
The general runs through additional evidence of China's nuclear strides. But what should really get the attention of U.S. military planners are his observations of how Russia might react. "If China doesn't stop, Russia will consider abandoning the INF Treaty," he warns. "Russia cannot afford not taking this factor into account."
 
The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, is a cornerstone of the settlement that ended the Cold War. If Russia abandons it and begins building a new generation of intermediate-range missiles, the U.S. would either have to follow suit or lose parity with Moscow. We'd be off to the nuclear races once again.
 
And not just with Moscow. As North Korea gears up for a third nuclear test, South Korea is eager to begin recycling plutonium—ostensibly for peaceful purposes, in reality as a nuclear hedge against its neighbors.
 
Then there is Japan, which is scheduled to bring on line a reprocessing plant at Rokkasho later this year. As nuclear expert Henry Sokolski notes, "the plant will produce eight tons of nuclear weapons usable plutonium each year (enough for 1,000 to 2,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs) at a time when Japan has no nuclear reactors to burn the material."
 
Like the South Koreans, the Japanese don't want a nuclear arsenal: They have lived peacefully under the nuclear umbrella of the United States for nearly seven decades. But as that umbrella shrinks, it covers fewer countries. Those left out will look to deploy umbrellas of their own. "The U.S. has obligations on extended deterrence in Asia," Gen. Esin says. "The problem has to be at the forefront, not avoided."
 
President Obama has often said that he wants to live in a world without nuclear weapons. Who wouldn't? Even Gen. Esin is a "Global Zero" signatory. But the real choice isn't between more nuclear weapons or fewer. It is between a world of fewer U.S. nuclear weapons and more nuclear states, or the opposite. In his idealism, the president is setting the stage for a more nuclearized world.
 
 

GAZA WAR: WESTERN MEDIA, STATES DON’T GET IT: ONLY FORCE CAN DETER TERRORIST WAR CRIMES

Contents:                             Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, Nov. 18, 2012 —The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others.

 

Israel’s Just War: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 19, 2012 — Were Israel truly to unleash its firepower in the manner of, say, Bashar Assad against his own people (37,000 dead and counting in Syria — as opposed to about 100 in Gaza during the current campaign), then all of Gaza would be a smoking ruin, and a million desperate Gazan refugees would be streaming into Egypt.

 

In Support of a Ground Offensive: Efraim Inbar and Max Singer, Mid East Forum, Nov. 19, 2012—In our view, an armored push into Gaza in order to deal the Hamas military wing a decisive blow is necessary. From a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot avoid confronting Hamas head-on, and must take action sooner rather than later.

Hamas Uses Palestinian Children As Human Shields: InfoLive.TV, Jan 1, 2010—A short video presenting visual evidence of the long-standing Hamas tactic of exploiting civilians as human shields, and civilian buildings as cover for terrorist attacks. 

 

On Topic Links

 

Who Wants to Defeat Hamas?: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2012

Should Israel Agree to a Cease-fire?: Robert Spencer, Front Page Magazine, Nov 20, 2012

Palestinian State 2.0: Asaf Romirowsky, YNet News, November 1, 2012
The ‘Kids’ Behind IDF’s Media: Allison Hoffman, Tablet Magazine, November 20, 2012

When Did Hamas Become Secular?: Hanin Ghaddar, Now Lebanon, November 19, 2012

 

 

WESTERN MEDIA ELITES JUST DON’T GET THE MIDDLE EAST
Barry Rubin

Jewish Press, November 18, 2012

 

The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others. They insist on imposing their own misconceptions on the situation while ignoring the evidence.

 

Consider Janine Zacharia. What a distinguished resume: Jerusalem bureau chief and Middle East Correspondent for the Washington Post (2009-2011); chief diplomatic correspondent for Bloomberg News (2005-2009) and before that five years working for the Jerusalem Post in Washington DC and another five years working for Reuters and other publications from Jerusalem. Right now she’s a visiting lecturer at Stanford University in communications.

 

Surely, such a person must understand the region’s issues and if anyone isn’t going to have an anti-Israel bias in the mass media it would be her. And she isn’t anti-Israel in a conscious, political sense. Indeed, she obviously views herself as being sympathetic. Rather, it is her assumptions that make her type of views inevitably anti-Israel and more broadly inevitably destructive of U.S. interests on other issues.

So here’s her article in Slate. The title is “Why Israel’s Gaza Campaign is Doomed.” Not, why this response is the best of a set of difficult options; not why the world should support Israel; not why Hamas should be removed from power with international support but why Israel is wrong and stupid to fight. “Doomed” is a pretty strong word.

 

The subhead—adapted from Zacharia’s text—is “Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bomb Hamas militants will leave Israel more isolated, insecure, and alone.” Not the decision of Israel’s unanimous leadership including first and foremost its military and defence experts but that of a prime minister who now plays a role for the American media most closely approximated to that held by former President George W. Bush.

 

And by defending itself against an onslaught of rockets—120 in one week–Israel will be worse off even though by the way every Western country I’m aware of has supported Israel. Why will Israel be more isolated, insecure, and alone? Because the unspoken assumption of the Western media elite is that anyone who uses force, even in self-defence, ends up worse off.

 

It is quite reasonable to state that the campaign will not end the problem. Everyone in Israel and in Israel’s leadership and all the generals and Netanyahu know this very well. They also know that a country that does not defend itself and maintain its credibility and deterrence is going to end up doomed, isolated, insecure, and alone.

 

They also know that the best that can be expected given this situation is to force Hamas to deescalate for two or three years before the next round. One of the goals of the operation is to destroy the large military stockpiles–especially longer-range missiles–that Hamas has accumulated since 2009. Thus, Hamas will have to start all over again to smuggle in weapons. The next time they start a war it will be from a far weaker position than if they had not taken such losses….

 

Zacharia…faithfully represents the current standpoint of the Western elite. Here is her prescription: “Israel needs a far more sophisticated, diplomatic, long-term strategic policy for dealing with Gaza and all the threats around it—from Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and perhaps Egypt. A new Israeli approach may have to include a willingness to at least try talking to Hamas, which is fighting its own internal battle against even more radical, anti-Israel groups in the Gaza Strip. It may mean putting more pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, languishing in irrelevance in Ramallah, to make peace with Hamas so there can be negotiations with Israel and a permanent end to this rocket-war madness.”

 

[For Zacharia:]

 

–The “Palestinian militant groups” want to drag Israel into an all-out war. Therefore, she reasons, Israel is foolish to engage in such a war. But the other side wanting a war that Israel prefers to avoid has been a common feature of Israeli history as in 1948, 1967, and 2006. The Palestinian leadership and Arab states misjudge the balance of forces (that is, they don’t know they lose) or feel such a losing war is worthwhile to mobilize popular support and to prove the individual group involved (in this case Hamas) is the best and most courageous of Fedayeen.

 

–The other side consists of “militant groups.” The problem with avoiding the word “terrorist” is not that it sanitizes those attacking Israel but that it downgrades their ideology and intentions. Hamas openly declares it will destroy Israel and commit genocide against Jews generally. Terrorism is a tactic. What lies behind it is a desire to murder all the civilians on the enemy side, whether or not any specific attack succeeds in killing a few of them….

 

–The fault is with Israel. It doesn’t have a proper diplomatic policy, you see, because there’s no willingness to talk to Hamas. Does Hamas [not have a] character of its own? Might it have an ideology and goals of its own? Might Hamas be to Israel what al-Qaida is to the United States?

 

If one actually knew anything about Hamas–and Israelis have three decades of experience in studying, fighting, and dealing with it—the idea of a negotiated solution would be ridiculous….Yet Zacharia is blaming Israel for not being good enough to negotiate a deal with a group whose televised children’s shows call for the physical extinction of Israel, the mass murder of its inhabitants, and future careers for kiddies as suicide bombers.

 

–Hamas is fighting even more radical groups in the Gaza Strip and therefore it must be moderate or at least potentially so. That isn’t really true. Of course, Hamas cracks down on groups that attack its own rule or prove to be inconvenient. But far more often it cooperates with Islamic Jihad and even al-Qaida affiliated groups. These attack Israel with Hamas’s cooperation and forbearance and then Hamas can claim innocence, thus waging war and claiming it isn’t doing anything at all. This is a transparent ploy but one that, as with Zacharia, many influential people in the West buy hook, line, and sinker.

 

–Israel can “put pressure” on Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, and end the attacks from the Gaza Strip permanently. Yet anybody—much less a journalist who spent years dealing with the Middle East—should know that Abbas has zero influence in the Gaza Strip and any deal he makes (and he doesn’t intend to make one) will have no effect on Hamas or the Gaza Strip….

 

In other words, what Zacharia writes—and this is common throughout Western academic, media, and governmental circles—is completely absurd. The solution not being taken up is to overthrow Hamas just like the Taliban was overthrown in Afghanistan…But there is zero support in the West for bringing down Hamas. President Barack Obama helped bring a pro-Hamas regime in Egypt. And the man who never pressured Abbas pressured Israel to reduce sanctions on the Gaza Strip, thus helping Hamas remain in power so it can continue firing rockets at Israel.

 

I do not expect the mass media to improve nor do I have any hope of educating the journalists who write this kind of thing. They are not going to change in the near- or even medium-term future. Hence, they will be ignored instead. Equally, the governments who follow this kind of line will have no effect—at least no positive effect—on regional problems. The new feature of the last few years is that the U.S. government has contributed to making things much worse.
 

And that’s why there will be no “permanent end” to this rocket war madness or all of the other varieties of madness that are getting worse in the region. It is the policy of those people who do not understand what they are talking about or dealing with who are doomed. They are the ones who need a new policy.

 

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ISRAEL’S JUST WAR

Jonathan Kay

National Post, Nov 19, 2012

 

This is the third time the world has seen this tragedy performed. Act I was in 2006, during Israel’s Lebanon War with Hezbollah. Act II played out in 2008 and early 2009, with the first Gaza War. And now Act III is being performed, once again in Gaza.

 

In all three instances, the pattern has been the same: A militant group provokes Israel through kidnapping, bombardment or terrorist attacks. When Israel’s collective tolerance reaches its limit, the IDF returns fire with its larger arsenal. In 2006 and 2008, Israel followed up with a ground invasion.

 

The media coverage also follows a predictable pattern. In all three cases described above, international reports generally were fairly balanced until such time as Israel actually exercised its right to self-defence. At that point, reporters began turning the struggle into a David-vs-Goliath narrative that ignores the morally essential question of who started the conflict.

 

As the conflicts dragged on, even the terrorists’ most hideous tactics — deliberately targeting civilian population centers — were re-imagined as heroic gestures of defiance. Great attention has been paid to the cheers of glee that always rise up among Arabs when some feeble trophy — destroying an Israeli house, or spreading temporary panic in the southern part of the country — is won.

 

The missile sites and rocket-launching cells that Israel destroys, on the other hand, receive relatively scant attention. Hamas and Hezbollah minders have little interest in taking a BBC or CBC reporter to see the wreckage of Iranian-made munitions….

 

Given the close confines of Gaza, and the cynical manner by which Hamas stores and operates its weapons near civilian areas, it is a tribute to Israel that the body count is not higher in the current conflict. But that is no comfort to the Arab parents, siblings and spouses who have seen their loved ones killed by Israeli weapons. This includes the surviving members of the Dalu family, whose two-storey home was demolished on Sunday, killing 12 at one blow. However this war came about, and whatever the religion of the victims, that is a hideous human tragedy, full stop.

 

Such examples show that Gazans are double victims — politically enslaved to warmongering Hamas Islamists, and also physically endangered when Israel inevitably retaliates. Even in death, these victims are exploited in lurid funereal displays that feature the corpses of young children held aloft by shrieking cadres as propaganda totems for the benefit of YouTube.

 

All wars are hell — which is why Hamas and Hezbollah, were they led by rational and humane men instead of unhinged anti-Semites, wouldn’t start them. What needs to be remembered — despite all the emotional power that the image of even one bloodied Arab child musters in the eye of the observer — is that Israel has done everything in its power to cut through the fog of war, and focus its firepower on missiles and militants.

 

Remember, too: Were Israel truly to unleash its firepower in the manner of, say, Bashar Assad against his own people (37,000 dead and counting in Syria — as opposed to about 100 in Gaza during the current campaign), then all of Gaza would be a smoking ruin, and a million desperate Gazan refugees would be streaming into Egypt.

 

Incidentally, if one substitutes the word “Jew” for “Gazan,” and “the sea” for “Egypt,” the apocalyptic scenario imagined in the immediately previous sentence is precisely the exterminationist fantasy that propels Hamas and Hezbollah jihadists to turn Gaza and southern Lebanon into one big suicide cadre.

 

As polls demonstrate, Israelis are proud of the way the war has been conducted on their side. Meanwhile, the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile system has shown residents that the IDF has an emerging answer to “asymmetric” Hamas and Hezbollah aggression. Widely cheered scenes of Iron Dome intercepting missiles over Tel Aviv actually have served to bring the nation together and raise morale — an ironic effect given jihadis’ delusion that their missile attacks can bring Israel to its knees.

 

Hamas no doubt will invent reasons to claim “victory” when the current conflict ends. But perhaps once all the bodies are buried, they will have time to reflect on how cruel and ultimately pointless their campaign against Israel has become.

 

But if they don’t, Israeli generals will be ready to do this all over again a few years from now, in Act IV. Israel can’t make Palestinian terrorists stop hating Jews. But they can teach them hate’s consequences as many times as it takes. Don’t blame Benjamin Netanyahu if they’re slow learners.

 

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IN SUPPORT OF A GROUND OFFENSIVE

Efraim Inbar and Max Singer

Mid East Forum, November 19, 2012

 

For nearly a week, Israel has been under attack from terrorist elements in Gaza, primarily Hamas. As the Israeli air force and navy respond with surgical, targeted strikes on Hamas facilities, the government is weighing the possibility of ordering a ground offensive too.

 

In our view, an armored push into Gaza in order to deal the Hamas military wing a decisive blow is necessary. From a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot avoid confronting Hamas head-on, and must take action sooner rather than later. For Israel to restore quiet to its borders and ensure its survival in the new Middle East, Arab governments and terror organizations must feel that it would be a mistake for them to militarily challenge Israel. Israel must demonstrate that even in the face of great political pressures it is strong enough and willing, when necessary, to take vigorous action.

 

While strong Israeli action carries serious risks, strength and victory also bring many benefits. In the current and developing environment Israel has no safe or good choices; it will have to take dangerous actions. Acting later will be more dangerous than acting now, and sooner or later Israel will be forced to act.

 

For some time, we have advocated the need to respond to attacks from Gaza with a large-scale military operation. We said that if no such action was taken, the attacks against Israel would surely increase, and indeed they have. Gaza is small enough for Israel to destroy most of the infrastructure and the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other terrorist organizations that are based there. The goal of such a ground offensive would be to restore deterrence and signal an Israeli determination to battle the rising Islamist forces in the region. By acting sooner in Gaza, Israel will also greatly reduce the missile retaliation it would face if and when it strikes Iran's nuclear facilities.

 

Current political conditions seem to weigh in Israel's favor for an incursion into Gaza now. Hamas is politically weakened, and most of the Arab world is busy with pressing domestic issues, or with other crises such as Syria. Today we can again say that attacks on Israel will surely further increase if the IDF does not now take the drastic and dangerous action involved in a full-scale military invasion of Gaza. A smaller operation, akin to Cast Lead, will create at most another short postponement of attacks on Israeli civilians and will be followed by further escalation.

 

When its environment is benign, a country should act prudently and cautiously avoid trouble. But Israel already lives in a different kind of environment, and there is every reason to expect that this environment will become more hostile in the next few years, as the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in more countries and consolidates its position in Egypt, and as the West sinks deeper into modes of appeasement. In particular there is likely to be a higher cost to an attack on Hamas in the future as the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt strengthens its ties with the terror group.

 

If Israel tries to "accommodate" the current nasty diplomatic environment, it will gradually see its security eroded. Instead, Israel must boldly protect its interests and make sure that its enemies are afraid of potentially devastating consequences. As long as they believe that political pressures prevent the Jewish state from harming them, these enemies will inexorably and assuredly increase their attacks on Israel. This is due partly to natural strategy and partly to the temptation in each country to seek internal political gain by acting against Israel. With growing Muslim Brotherhood power, and the growing partial rivalry between the Brotherhood and Salafi jihadists in Egypt, the political pressure on Cairo to act against Israel will grow….

 

Deterrence will be created if the military branches of Hamas and the PIJ are decimated. In addition to deterrence, important practical military benefits will be gained by destroying the physical and human infrastructure that Hamas, PIJ, and other organizations have built up in Gaza, even though such infrastructure can be and will likely be rebuilt….

 

It is likely that Israel will face very great pressure, even from the US, to desist from such an operation. Israel should resist such pressure. It should explain to the US administration and to the public what its objectives in Gaza are – the destruction of the military organizations that are threatening and attacking Israel – and the necessity of staying in Gaza for the weeks required to achieve these objectives, which will postpone the next crisis as long as possible.

 

If Israel is diplomatically forced to abort the effort before achieving its goals it will pay the full political price and get only a fraction of the benefits it needs in return. In fact, Israel will pay a greater political price for an attack that is prematurely cut short than it would if it were able to complete the job, no matter how much it would suffer in the court of public opinion.

 

Of course, a ground offensive runs the risk of getting bogged down in the Gaza quagmire and of costing Israel unexpectedly heavy troop losses. Obviously, the IDF needs to develop and effectively execute a plan designed to avoid these pitfalls. Our point is that from a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot wait any longer and must confront Hamas head-on.

 

The bottom line is that Israel is surrounded by enemies who will spare no efforts to kill as many Israelis as possible. Israel cannot respond effectively to each small attack, and the only way to prevent small attacks is to make the enemies believe that they cannot tell when Israel will respond to a small attack with a blow that the enemy is really afraid of. What the enemy is afraid of is the loss of power, and perhaps some of the terrorist leaders are also afraid of being killed. Therefore, an escalation of conflict via a ground operation, an idea that most of the international community opposes, is nevertheless necessary.

 

Prof. Efraim Inbar is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. Dr. Max Singer is a founder of the Hudson Institute and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

 

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HAMAS USES PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AS HUMAN SHIELDS

InfoLive.TV, Jan. 1, 2010

 

A short film presenting visual evidence of the long-standing Hamas tactic of exploiting civilians as human shields, and civilian buildings as cover for terrorist attacks. Footage shows examples of Palestinian terror groups hiding behind the Palestinian civilian population in order to launch attacks against Israeli targets.

 

“The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations…” Geneva Convention

 

 

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Should Israel Agree to a Cease-fire?: Robert Spencer, Front Page Magazine, Nov. 20, 2012—In all negotiations that may transpire, Israel will insist that the rocket attacks from Gaza must cease. But no cease-fire or previous negotiated settlement of any kind has ever accomplished this; why will this one be different? For that matter, no state has ever successfully reached a negotiated settlement with an enemy who had vowed to destroy it; why is Israel constantly expected to be different?

The ‘Kids’ Behind IDF’s Media: Allison Hoffman, Tablet Magazine, November 20, 2012 —The government still has to generate the talking points, what we want to achieve, and then we turn it over to the kids, and they translate it into this new language of social media,” said Daniel Seaman, deputy director general of the Ministry of Public Information and Diaspora Affairs, who ran the government press office during Operation Cast Lead. “I say it’s magic.”

 

When did Hamas become secular?: Hanin Ghaddar, Now Lebanon, November 19, 2012—The Syrian opposition can resist Assad as much as they want, but their cause will not be recognized by these leftists as long as some Islamists have joined them. Meanwhile, Hamas and Hezbollah can be as Islamist as they want; they will be forgiven, as long as they resist, or say they are resisting, Israel.

 

Who wants to defeat Hamas?: Neville Teller, Jeruslaem Post, Nov. 20, 2012 —Writing from Gaza during Israel’s current “Pillar of Defense” operation, one particular journalist from the UK called Hamas “the elected government in Gaza.” The idea that somehow Hamas is a legitimate administration has found widespread acceptance. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Palestinian State 2.0: Asaf Romirowsky: YNet News, November 1, 2012—While a functioning Palestinian State remains desirable, the fact that Palestinian leadership has refused to directly negotiate with Israel and uses bodies like the UN to endorse a "virtual" state that has no viable infrastructure is telling. Is the Palestinian goal a state of their own, or just the erasure of Israel, to be followed by what?

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

GAZA WAR: HAMAS’ MISCALCULATION, FAJR-5’s, LOOMING IRANIAN BOMB, DICTATED ISRAEL’S “DISPROPORTIONATE DETERRENCE”

Ambassador Alan Baker

Is Peace Possible? Israel, Palestinians & the  UN

 

Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

The Chevra  @  5237 Clanranald  |   $5 at the door

 

RSVP: 514-486-5544  |  cijr@isranet.org

 

 

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

Contents:

 

 

Only Disproportionate Deterrence Will Offset Hamas: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov 18, 2012 —In fact, a disproportionate response to aggression is fully consistent with international law in which the prime obligation of the state is to protect its civilians. Those seeking to deny us this basic right are maliciously hypocritical.

Hamas' Miscalculation: Barak Mendelsohn, Foreign Affairs, Nov. 18, 2012—In fact, two factors pushed Hamas to ramp up its bombing campaign: competition from Salafi groups and Hamas' belief that its strategic environment had improved in the wake of the Arab Spring.

 

With Longer Reach, Rockets Bolster Hamas Arsenal: Ethan Bronner, New York Times, November 17, 2012 — When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, November 18th, 2012

"IDF Did More to Safeguard Civilians Than Any Army in History of Warfare": Col. Richard Kemp, UN Watch, October 16, 2009

Eleven Reasons Why This Is Not Cast Lead: Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, Nov.18, 2012

Paz Azran, 12th grade student from Ashkelon speaking to 70 Ambassadors and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu About her experiences under bombardment: IraeliPM, YouTube Video, Nov 12, 2012

Dear North American Student: Rebecca, CIJR, Nov. 16, 2012 

 

 

 

ONLY DISPROPORTIONATE DETERRENCE WILL OFFSET HAMAS

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov 18, 2012

 

The Jewish state was created to overcome powerlessness and provide a haven for Jews – not to have them cringing in shelters. There had previously been considerable criticism of the government for its failure to adequately respond to the ongoing toll inflicted on over a million Israeli citizens obliged to endure thousands of missiles launched against them at the whim of a loathsome neighboring terrorist state….

 

Hamas is no longer a terrorist faction. It is in every respect an independent state the majority of whose citizens enthusiastically support the terrorist initiatives and missile launches initiated by its evil leaders, who are committed to our annihilation.

 

The situation deteriorated with the rise to power in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, the creators of Hamas. Since then, the Egyptian authorities stood by as Hamas accumulated vast quantities of sophisticated missiles and other lethal weapons including guided anti-tank missiles and shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft weapons from Iran, Libya Sudan and other states.

 

That explains why, despite awareness that Operation Pillar of Defense may escalate into full-scale war, all sections of Israeli society fervently support the IDF operation. It is also gratifying that Jews throughout the world are actively demonstrating solidarity with Israel.

 

Hamas was emboldened to test our resolve, believing that Israel would be fearful of confronting the new Egyptian regime and also encouraged by the active support from the Turkish government and the recent visit to Gaza of the emir of Qatar, who contributed $400 million to their coffers.

 

Israel was indeed sensitive to these issues, as well as the effect of a military conflict diverting attention from Iran – especially now as it proceeds with its uranium enrichment. There was also concern at the civil war in Syria and the dramatic rise of Islamic extremism throughout the region. To top it off there were inhibitions because of the US presidential elections.

 

Nevertheless, Hamas miscalculated. By intensifying the bombardment of the South, it obliged the State of Israel to respond harshly or forfeit any modicum of deterrence. The initial outcome was good. The IDF had clearly learned from the lessons of previous wars: intelligence was impeccable; action was systematic and rational with, to date, minimal civilian casualties.

 

It must be stressed that the targeted killings of terrorist leaders are not acts of revenge or showmanship. They are logical military actions which can be rationally justified in moral terms.

The killing of Ahmad Jabari, regarded as the Palestinian counterpart of Osama bin Laden, is a prime example….

 

The global response from most Western countries, which followed President Obama’s lead condemning the rocket attacks and endorsing Israel’s right to self-defense, has until now been satisfactory, despite the usual calls for restraint and for Israel to act in a “proportionate” manner.

 

But these are early days. Initially, we are unlikely to face problems at the UN Security Council. However, the General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council, controlled by Islamic and other anti-Israeli coalitions, have consistently viewed Israel as the aggressor and never the victim. Neither of these bodies has even once condemned the Hamas missile attacks and there is little doubt that they and NGO bodies such as Amnesty International will blame Israel exclusively for reigniting the armed conflict.

 

In addition, while the IDF is taking extraordinary precautions to minimize civilian casualties, there will invariably, as in any military conflict, be mishaps – especially in Gaza where Hamas ruthlessly employ human shields by locating armaments and launching missiles in civilian residential areas….

 

Clearly, the IDF would prefer to limit the conflict to pinpointed aerial strikes. However, if Hamas continue raining rockets against Israeli civilians, Israel will be forced into a ground offensive in which greater casualties are inevitable.

 

The main challenge for the government is to devise an end strategy to achieve long-term deterrence as well as a strategy to be implemented instantly should Hamas become sufficiently re-emboldened to recommence missile launches. Israel has no desire to return to the era of the tit-for-tat war of attrition whereby we respond to missile launches by bombing rocket launching sites and empty buildings.

 

Although some of our allies are already urging us not to respond “disproportionately,” such a concept has absolutely no relevance to the threat facing Israel. While still seeking to minimize civilian casualties, we must create genuine deterrence in order to avoid future full-scale conflicts of ever increasing magnitude. In fact, a disproportionate response to aggression is fully consistent with international law in which the prime obligation of the state is to protect its civilians. Those seeking to deny us this basic right are maliciously hypocritical.

 

The issue of Israel continuing to provide Hamas-controlled Gaza with services is another bizarre anomaly. It is one thing to be sensitive to the humanitarian needs of civilian noncombatants, but to continue providing electricity and other utilities to a neighboring state raining missiles on us is utterly perverse. If the lights went out automatically every time a rocket was dispatched, the inconvenienced Gaza residents might even influence their leaders to hesitate before launching missiles.

 

An intensive government campaign must be implemented to counter the impact of successive years of the world having become conditioned to regarding Israel under missile attacks as normative. We must highlight the fact that such attacks against civilians are unequivocally war crimes….

 

We must recognize that in future conflicts, the terrorists will continue accumulating more effective and lethal weapons to employ against us. We must therefore endeavor to resist calls for a cease-fire until such time as Hamas, in conjunction with the Egyptians, undertake to cease their aggression.

There must be a clear understanding that any breach would result in harsh “disproportionate” Israeli responses including the targeted killings of those responsible for initiating attacks. In the absence of such an agreement an enforced cease-fire will be perceived as a major victory for Hamas and our citizens will simply return to the life of terror they endured since the first Kassams were launched a decade ago.

 

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HAMAS' MISCALCULATION

Barak Mendelsohn

Foreign Affairs, November 18, 2012

 

The escalation in the fighting last week between Israel and Hamas caught many observers by surprise. Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 2008 campaign against Hamas, had led to an uneasy calm between the warring sides. And last year's release of Gilad Shalit (the Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped by militants in 2006) in exchange for a thousand Palestinian prisoners had even given observers hope that Israel and Hamas had found a way to manage their conflict. But then, Hamas attacked an Israeli mobile patrol inside Israeli territory on November 10 and Israel retaliated by assassinating Ahmed Jabari, Hamas's military chief. This time, the violence that has followed has not faded quickly; indeed, the fight is still intensifying.

 

Given the destruction wrought by Israel and Hamas' last major conflict, Hamas' calculations in the lead-up to this round of fighting are especially puzzling. The typical explanation is that Hamas ramped up its rocket campaign earlier this year in an effort to break Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip. Under fire, Israel had to retaliate.

 

That answer, though, is unsatisfying. In many ways, the siege had already been broken…Israel's efforts to tightly control the area's borders, which started after Hamas won elections there in 2006, had gradually wound down. After the public relations disaster that followed Israel's 2010 mishandling of the Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, the flow of goods over the Israeli border into Gaza increased substantially. Moreover, the tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, through which most of the goods coming into Gaza are smuggled, became so elaborate that they resembled official border crossings. In fact, the volume of trade that travels through the tunnels could be up to $700 million dollars a year.

 

To some extent, Hamas had a political interest in perpetuating the siege idea, which could be used to foment anger against Israel and drum up popular support. Further, it made sense for the movement to preserve some limitations on the movement of goods into Gaza, since the smuggling industry lined its coffers. Thus, although life in Gaza might not have been all that pleasant for Gazans, Hamas wanting to break the siege is not a compelling explanation for its renewed violence against Israel.

 

In fact, two factors pushed Hamas to ramp up its bombing campaign: competition from Salafi groups and Hamas' belief that its strategic environment had improved in the wake of the Arab Spring. Since Hamas was elected, it has found the Salafi groups in Gaza especially difficult rivals to manage….

 

Under pressure, Hamas repeatedly tried to quell the Salafi threat, and it did not shy from using brute force to do so. The clearest demonstration came in August 2009, when Hamas killed the leader of Jund Ansar Allah, a Salafi group that had openly challenged Hamas' authority, and a number of its members. But short of using extreme violence to suppress Salafism in Gaza, which would have been too costly for Hamas, Hamas could not eliminate the Salafi challenge. It watched with worry as new Salafi groups emerged and strengthened throughout the strip.

 

The pressure on Hamas only increased in the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings. The Egyptian revolution and the subsequent chaos in the Sinai Peninsula were a backwind in the sails of Gaza's Salafis. The collapse of authoritarian regimes in North Africa unleashed a flood of weapons and fighters, which Salafis channeled into the Sinai Peninsula. With the Egyptian military unable to control the area, Gazan Salafis turned the peninsula into a staging ground for attacking Israel. They believed (correctly) that Israel, anxious not to kill its peace accord with Egypt, would not dare to respond directly….

 

The new regional order presented Hamas with a serious dilemma. As the ruler of Gaza, it could not sit on the sidelines while Israel targeted territory under its control. But it was unable to fully rein in the Salafis without proving once and for all that it was no longer a resistance movement. For Hamas, then, the only choice was to tolerate the attacks. It portrayed them at home as a way to preserve the struggle against Israel. Abroad, it refused to acknowledge any role in them at all to reduce the danger of a backlash. Over time, pressure from Hamas rank and file led the organization to take a more active role in each round of violence.

 

The flaw in Hamas' logic, though, was that it assumed that Israel would cooperate and not retaliate. Israel would not let Hamas shirk responsibility, though, and demanded that Hamas assert its authority over the radical factions. To reinforce the message, this year, Israel carried out a number of strikes on Hamas targets. Once it became a target itself, Hamas was even less able to show restraint. It eventually resumed carrying out its own strikes on Israel, a move that was cheered by the Hamas rank and file, who, without such attacks, might have defected to the more radical groups.

 

Another of Hamas' miscalculations was expecting Egypt to be supportive of its actions, which, when combined with Israel's fear of alienating the regime in Cairo, would allow Hamas to escalate the conflict without it spinning out of control. The hope was not off base….But, the group was wrong again. Hamas' closer ties with Egypt did not discourage Israel from fighting back.

 

Simply put, Hamas' strategic environment was not as favorable as it thought. When it tried to push Israel's boundaries, Israel pushed back. Now the group is in a bind. It needs a face-saving resolution to the fighting, one that would allow it to claim some achievement worth of the devastation inflicted this month on Gaza. Even after that, the group will still face the same old tension between its ideology of resistance and the responsibilities that come with governing. And all the while, its Salafi challengers will be lurking, challenging its commitment to the struggle against Israel. If Hamas wants to avoid future such escalations, it will need to crack down on these groups.

 

But that would come with a price — in popularity and legitimacy — that Hamas seems unwilling to pay. Hamas must also finally make the transition from resistance movement to normal political party. It will probably take a push from Cairo for that to happen. Hamas' alliance with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood offers the group some of the cover it needs to make the much-needed transition. And the Muslim Brotherhood is a good model for Hamas to follow, besides. Absent Hamas' political transformation, no cease-fire with Israel will hold for long. The next round of violence awaits, just over the horizon. 

 

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With Longer Reach, Rockets Bolster Hamas Arsenal

 

Ethan Bronner

New York Times, November 17, 2012

 

When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

The commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, had shifted Hamas’s low-grade militia into a disciplined force with sophisticated weapons like Fajr-5 rockets, which are named after the Persian word for dawn and have significantly increased the danger to Israel’s major cities. They have a range of about 45 miles and are fired by trained crews from underground launching pads.

 

Hamas had perhaps 100 of them until the Israeli attacks last week, which appear to have destroyed most of the stockpile. The rockets are assembled locally after being shipped from Iran to Sudan, trucked across the desert through Egypt, broken down into parts and moved through Sinai tunnels into Gaza, according to senior Israeli security officials.

 

The smuggling route involves salaried employees from Hamas along the way, Iranian technical experts traveling on forged passports and government approval in Sudan, Israeli officials said.

Mr. Jabari’s strategy has been so effective and alarming for Israel that it is preparing for a possible next stage in the four-day-old battle: a ground war in which its troops would seek to destroy remaining rocket launching bases and crews and munitions factories.

 

Under Mr. Jabari, Hamas also developed its own weapons industry in Gaza, building long-range rockets as well as drones that they hoped to fly over Israel just as Israeli drones roam the skies of Gaza…The current operation to eliminate the Hamas rocket launchers could serve to cripple the ability of Iran’s allies in Gaza from retaliating should Israel ever carry out its threat to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

 

“Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are building weapons with experts from Iran,” one top security official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity. “What we took care of …was their own production facility for U.A.V.’s,” he added, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. “This was all the work of Jabari, who was a very sophisticated and strategic thinker.”

 

A number of recent Israeli military attacks were aimed at cutting the supply chain into Gaza. In late October, a munitions factory in Sudan was hit from the air. Israel did not acknowledge carrying out the attack, but the winks and nods of officials here make clear that it did. Israel has carried out several other such attacks on Sudan, including on convoys, in the past few years.

 

In addition, Mossad agents killed a Hamas official in a Dubai hotel in early 2010 because he was thought to be crucial to the Hamas supply chain of weapons and rockets into Gaza.  One official here said that until Israel ended its military occupation of Gaza in 2005, there were only primitive weapons factories there. The Hamas rockets had a flight capacity of about a mile, they could not be aimed and they flew in a wild cylindrical pattern. Hamas then built better rockets that could fly up to 12 miles.

 

That changed little until 2007, when Hamas fighters pushed the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority out of Gaza into the West Bank and took over governing the coastal strip. “At that point, Jabari turned his neighborhood defense operation into a real army,” said a retired Israeli general whose portfolio included Gaza and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He organized what was a militia into companies, battalions and brigades. He sent commanders to Syria and to Iran to be trained by the Revolutionary Guards. And then he built up this whole new branch to develop military technology focusing on long-range missiles.”…

 

In addition to the Fajr-5, Hamas has a few hundred of what are known as enhanced Grad rockets, which have a range of about 25 miles. The Grads are 122-millimeter rockets that have bigger warheads than the standard Grads, but their accuracy is relatively low. The Grads may also be coming from Iran but others are made in Gaza and imported from Libya. In addition, Hamas has hundreds of standard Grads that have a range of about 12 miles, as well as thousands of homemade mortars and Qassam rockets with a range of about six miles.

 

Israeli officials said the movement of the Fajr-5 rockets through Egypt could not go unnoticed there, given their size. Each is 20 feet long and weighs more than 2,000 pounds — the warhead alone weighs 375 pounds — and the trucks carrying them across Egyptian bridges and through roadblocks into Sinai would be hard to miss.

 

In the current conflict, Israel’s antirocket system, known as Iron Dome, has been more effective than expected, but still dozens of rockets have landed.  Whether the military operation against Gaza is a dress rehearsal for any future attack on either Iran or Lebanon — where Hezbollah has thousands of rockets pointed at Israel — is a matter under debate here. Some see it as clearing away any possible trouble from Gaza. Others say that makes little sense, given the difference of scale in the conflict in Gaza and any war against Iran or Hezbollah. Hamas’s arsenal is tiny compared with what Hezbollah in Lebanon is thought to have: thousands of rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

 

Yonatan Touval, an analyst with Prime Source, a private Tel Aviv risk-assessment company, said, “The Iron Dome system is ineffective in intercepting longer-range projectiles, such as those that would be launched from Lebanon toward the Tel Aviv area. To address this threat, Israel is currently developing the Magic Wand system, but it is not expected to become operational before 2015.”….

 

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Paz Azran, 12th Grade Student from Ashkelon Speaking to 70 Ambassadors and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu About Her Experiences Under BombardmentIsraeliPM, YouTube Video, Nov 12, 2012

 

Dear North American Student: Rebecca, CIJR, Nov. 16, 2012 — A letter from a Canadian, Jewish, Israel young woman who is currently studying in Israel having made aliyah  and after having served in the IDF. A unique perspective from a wise, younger person who is able to understand the comparison between a person living in Israel, versus a person living in any Western city.

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, November 18th, 2012—The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others. They insist on imposing their own misconceptions on the situation while ignoring the evidence.

 

"IDF Did More to Safeguard Civilians Than Any Army in History of Warfare": Col. Richard Kemp, UN Watch, October 16, 2009Statement to UN Human Rights Council, 12th Special Session — Debate on Goldstone Report— The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties.

 

Eleven Reasons Why This Is Not Cast Lead: Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, Nov.18, 2012— This isn't a second Operation Cast Lead, though. There are a number of significant differences in the circumstances and execution of the latest offensive which are affecting the way events are unfolding and will influence the eventual outcome.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

OREN: GAZA CRISIS SIMILAR TO MAY, 1967 (OR 1948) – POLLARD’S 28TH YEAR OF PRISON; QUEEN’S U. HONOURS JIMMY CARTER

Ambassador Alan Baker

Is Peace Possible? Israel, Palestinians & the  UN

 

Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

The Chevra  @  5237 Clanranald  |   $5 at the door

 

RSVP: 514-486-5544  |  cijr@isranet.org

 

 

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

Contents:

 

Israel’s Right Of Return Fire: Globe Editorial, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 15 2012— Israel is right to be responding swiftly and forcefully to bombardment from Gaza. For months, the leaders of Hamas have been building up a more powerful arsenal with which to assault their neighbours.

 

 

An Open Letter To President Obama: Esther Pollard, Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2012 —I write with some urgency to draw to your attention the request for clemency which my husband, Jonathan Pollard, filed more than two years ago during your first term in office.In the interim, Jonathan’s health has continued to deteriorate while calls for his release by senior American officials continue to mount.

 

Michael Oren: It’s May 1967—Or May 1948: Bari Weiss, Tablet Magazine, Nov. 15, 2012—“In the best of circumstances, it’s May 1967. And the worst, May 1948. Rarely in our history have we ever faced such a broad spectrum of monumental threats.”

 

Queen’s U. Faces Backlash Over Plan To Honour Jimmy Carter: Sarah Boesveld, National Post, Nov 15, 2012 —Queen’s University is facing a backlash from Jewish alumni over its decision to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter — a strong critic of Israel — an honorary degree next week.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive: Stratfor Gobal Intelligence, November 16, 2012

Montreal’s Debt to the Jews: Joe King

Hamas Military Leader Jabari Got What He Deserved: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012

Paul Ehrlich: A Petrified Pundit: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012
 

 

 

ISRAEL’S RIGHT OF RETURN FIRE

 

Globe Editorial

The Globe and Mail, Nov. 15 2012,

 

Israel is right to be responding swiftly and forcefully to bombardment from Gaza. For months, the leaders of Hamas have been building up a more powerful arsenal with which to assault their neighbours. For years, factions in Gaza had sent rockets into Israel that for the most part did no great harm – a nuisance that was occasionally dangerous to Israeli civilians, but rarely inficted serious injury.

 

Recently, however, Hamas has gained more confidence and has become more ambitious in its purchasing of missiles. As an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, it feels encouraged by that movement’s increasing ascendancy in Egypt and other countries of the region. By sending many more, and more lethal, rockets into Israel, it cannot do any good for the inhabitants of Gaza whom they rule, or for other Palestinians. Their attacks are merely vindictive and narcissistic, but they are a serious threat to the people of Israel.

 

The Egyptian government, which relies on American money, is unlikely to give any practical help to Hamas, but these events put it in a difficult and amibguous position.

 

Israel has so far wisely refrained from a ground offensive – let alone to a reoccupation – though it has moved troops toward its border with the Gaza Strip, and has called up reservists, quite properly to provide for contingencies. The Israeli Defence Force appears to be well informed on the locations of Hamas’s armaments, and can do most of what it needs to do by way of aerial bombardment….

 

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MICHAEL OREN: IT’S MAY 1967—OR MAY 1948

Bari Weiss

Tablet Magazine, November 15, 2012

 

Michael Oren has served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for the past three years. But his real trade isn’t diplomacy, it’s the past: Before Oren took on arguably the toughest job in Washington, he wrote books about Mideast history. So when I spoke to the ambassador yesterday afternoon [Nov. 14] about Operation Pillar of Defense, I asked him what historical moment he’d compare this one to: “In the best of circumstances, it’s May 1967. And the worst, May 1948. Rarely in our history have we ever faced such a broad spectrum of monumental threats.”

 

There’s the Iranian regime bidding for nuclear weapons, a Muslim Brotherhood government running Egypt, Hamas ruling Gaza, Hezbollah controlling southern Lebanon, and the civil war raging in Syria that spilled into Israel earlier this week. Jordan, a reliable Israeli ally since the mid-1990s, has become even more critical since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in Egypt. But many suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Arab upheaval fells King Abdullah II—especially given current protests.

 

That would be a worst-case scenario for Israel. “Jordan is what keeps Iran out of our backyard,” said Oren. “Our defense border is the Jordanian-Iraqi border”—that is, not the Jordanian-Israeli one.

 

It’s difficult not to see this operation— pinpointing and targeting Hamas leaders, while taking out underground missile sites—as intended for an audience beyond the Strip, namely the one watching in Tehran. (The Iranians have undertaken major air drills in the past few days, and revealed new missile systems.) But Oren insists the Islamic Republic has nothing to do with this operation: “This is not about sending a message to Iran. This is a message about defending a million of our citizens,” he said. “It would be the equivalent of 40 million Americans in bomb shelters.”

 

And yet Iran was the subject we kept coming back to. “I think that the key to it all is Iran,” Oren said. “Gaza’s basically an outpost of Iran. Lebanon is an outpost of Iran. Assad is a lackey of Iran.” Indeed, one key lesson Oren draws from Israel’s previous territorial withdrawals is that Iran’s proxies tend to fill the vacuum left behind. “Wherever we have withdrawn, the Iranians have filled it. In Lebanon, in Gaza.”

 

Since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon (2000) and Gaza (2005), the IDF has played an ongoing game of whack-a-mole with Hezbollah and Hamas. Oren argued that this tactic has been more successful than some have claimed. “After the Lebanon war [of 2006] we were very tough on ourselves, with the whole Winograd Commission. But I think we were too tough on ourselves. In fact, we deterred Hezbollah” in that war.

 

Four years since Operation Cast Lead, deterrence is once again the name of the game for the IDF in Gaza: “Hamas may have to just be reminded again, and reminded in large scale, that we will not allow our citizens to be shot at with impunity,” Oren said. “It will go on for as long as Hamas continues to escalate.” Israel said Wednesday that it is prepared to expand this campaign into a ground operation.

 

“We have nothing to be ashamed about, nothing to apologize for. This is our right,” said Oren. “Ahmed Jabari killed dozens and dozens of Israelis.”

 

And what would victory look like? “Victory looks like security restored to the inhabitants of the south,” said Oren. Longer term, the goal is a change in mindset. “The Palestinian people have to internalize that as long as they choose leadership like Hamas, that will bring them no closer to statehood, no closer to economic and social development, and no closer to peace.”

 

With weeks until Israelis go to the polls, some see a clear connection between the election and this operation. Oren dismissed the question: “This is not about the elections. We didn’t want war,” he said. “This government has exhibited superhuman restraint: 2,500 rockets since 2009. Last month, 800 rockets. In the last week, 300 rockets. What government in the world wouldn’t have responded with war a long time ago?”

 

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Esther Pollard

Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2012

 

Dear President Obama, Congratulations upon your election to a second term as president of the mightiest nation in the world, the United States of America. May your second term in office be a blessing to America, to its allies and to the world.

 

I write with some urgency to draw to your attention the request for clemency which my husband, Jonathan Pollard, filed more than two years ago during your first term in office.

 

In the interim, Jonathan’s health has continued to deteriorate while calls for his release by senior American officials continue to mount. I write in the sincere hope of urging you to respond favorably and speedily to Jonathan’s petition and to all of the official appeals for his immediate release.

 

Traditionally, some time next week, shortly before November 22, you will be pardoning this year’s American National Thanksgiving turkey, thereby sparing its life.

 

As the president of the United States, your granting clemency to a lowly barnyard bird demonstrates to the world the great respect that the American people have for the values of justice, compassion and mercy. It is in this light that I write to bring to your personal awareness once again, the urgent plight of my husband, Jonathan Pollard.

 

On November 21, 2012 – the day before Thanksgiving – Jonathan begins his 28th year of a life sentence with no end in sight. I urge and implore you, Mr. President, to include Jonathan in the list of holiday clemencies that are expected to be announced by the White House shortly, enabling those who are set free to get home in time for the holidays.

 

Mr. President, G-d has seen fit to elevate you for yet another term to the position of the head of the most powerful nation in the world, the president of the United States of America, and to invest in you powers of clemency second only to His own.

 

Clearly these gifts were bestowed upon you as a man worthy and capable of fulfilling the biblical injunction which describes what G-d requires of man, namely: “to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your G-d.” (Micha 6:8) Over the past two years, since Jonathan submitted his clemency petition to you on October 15, 2010, there has been a burgeoning public awareness of the injustice of his sentence. Many senior American officials as well as high-ranking legal officials and elected representatives have appealed to you, both publicly and privately, to release Jonathan.

 

In their words, his release is a matter of simple justice because “his sentence is grossly disproportionate.” And it is appropriate on humanitarian grounds because his health is failing after more than a quarter of a century of affliction in American prisons.

 

Those who know the case best have been very clear in their publicly stated opinions and in their letters to you, indicating that keeping Jonathan in prison any longer is a travesty of justice. These include, among many others: former secretary of state George Shultz, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former White House legal counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former attorney-general Michael Mukasey, former deputy attorney-general Phillip Heymann, former assistant secretary of defense Lawrence Korb and former CIA director James Woolsey.

 

As well, in a historic display of bipartisanship, a group of 18 prominent former United States senators wrote to you, Mr. President, and asked that you commute Jonathan’s sentence to time served. A number of the signatories served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, including senators Dennis DeConcini (D-Arizona), Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming), the late Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), Birch Bayh (D-Indiana), Connie Mack (R-Florida) and David Durenberger (RMinnesota)….

 

Another bipartisan congressional appeal to you, jointly sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith and Eliot Engel, is being circulated and has already acquired dozens of signatures in support of my husband’s release.

 

Internationally, Jonathan’s release is supported by a number of prominent organizations and individuals, including the European Parliament, the European Jewish Congress and the African Redeemed Church of Christ, which has more than 14,000 branches in 110 countries and has more than five million members in Africa alone.

 

My husband, Jonathan Pollard, has now served more than six to eight times the usual sentence for the offense he committed. After enduring 27 years of the harshest afflictions in prison, including seven years in solitary confinement, it is time to release him, now, while he is still alive – before it is too late….

Mr. President, if a lowly turkey is deserving of your compassion and merits the dispensation of justice by your own hand, how much more so does a man who has more than paid the price for the offense he committed and is now, after 27 years in prison, in danger of losing his life.

 

We are taught, “From Heaven did the Almighty look down upon the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to liberate those who are doomed to die.” (Psalms 102:20-21) While those who hold the reins of power are urged: “Let the groaning of the prisoner come before you; According to the greatness of your power, set free those who are condemned to die.” (Psalms 79:11) Mr. President, I implore you, set my husband free by commuting his sentence to the 27 years he has already served, and send him home to me in the Holy City of Jerusalem for the Holiday of Light which fast approaches – and G-d will surely bless!

 

Respectfully, Esther Pollard, Mrs. Jonathan Pollard.

 

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QUEEN’S U. FACES BACKLASH OVER
PLAN TO HONOUR JIMMY CARTER

Sarah Boesveld

National Post, Nov 15, 2012

 

Queen’s University is facing a backlash from Jewish alumni over its decision to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter — a strong critic of Israel — an honourary degree next week.

 

Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said his organization has received about 50 “angry and frustrated inquiries” over the past month from graduates of the respected Canadian university, worried their school will be tarnished by Mr. Carter’s view of Israel as an apartheid state and his controversial relationships in the Arab world.

 

“It’s just a huge lightning rod for distress and disappointment,” Mr. Fogel said. “He simply doesn’t meet the test of somebody that is seeking to offer a constructive contribution towards advancing peace. And it’s in that context that we’d express real disappointment that a leading institution like Queen’s would further legitimize or validate him by conferring on him this kind of award.”

 

The 88-year-old former president and his wife are expected to attend Queen’s convocation in Kingston next Wednesday to accept the degrees honouring “their philanthropic and advocacy work in areas such as housing and mental health,” according to a statement from Queen’s principal Daniel Woolf on the university’s website. It will be Mr. Carter’s first honourary degree from a Canadian university.

 

“They are wonderful examples of the same qualities that characterize the Queen’s spirit, and I’m sure their presence at convocation will be a memorable experience for everyone,” Mr. Woolf said.

 

And while the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, has indeed been a champion of human rights through his not-for-profit Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity, Jewish North Americans have bristled at his positions on Israel.

 

In his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Mr. Carter characterizes Israel as an apartheid state. He has also repeatedly said Israel has no interest in a two-state solution, Mr. Fogel said, and his comments and interventions supporting “Israel’s detractors” attempt to “isolate and delegitimize Israel” as the region’s only democracy.

 

“When it comes from somebody in the Arab world, it’s not met with any surprise,” Mr. Fogel said. “When it comes from and is articulated by somebody who is the leader of, in effect, the lead country in the democratic world, it has an entirely different impact.”

 

Lars Hagberg for PostMedia News Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., is honouring Jimmy Carter's philanthropic and advocacy work in such areas as housing and mental health, according to a statement from Queen’s principal Daniel Woolf on the university’s website. While he’s sure Queen’s fully intended to honour Mr. Carter for his human rights work alone, Mr. Fogel said the school “failed to do their due diligence that would have flagged [his views on Israel] as problematic.”

 

Michael Shafron, who graduated from Queen’s with an MBA in 1987, said he had a “freakout moment” when he received an alumni email bearing the news. The Atlanta, Ga., resident wrote a letter to Queen’s chancellor David Dodge “The area of his life that I find so egregious, the portion that I find so detestable, are his blatant anti-Israel/anti-Semitic positions he has staked out since leaving the presidency,” Mr. Shafron wrote.

 

He then forwarded the letter to Mr. Woolf, who responded, in part, by saying: “While I regret that the committee’s decision displeases you, it is a broad-based committee whose work we value and whose choices we support.” Mr. Woolf said the university will continue to give honourary degrees to people of many different political and ideological stripes and base its decision on the significant work that the recipient has done for the good of others.

 

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Montreal’s Debt to the Jews (pdf): Joe King — The extraordinary debt of Montreal to its Jewish community has never been widely acknowledged but has been recognized by some of Canada’s most important personalities.

 

 

Hamas Military Leader Jabari Got What He Deserved: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012 —The 52-year-old Jabari was a symbol of the nihilistic Jew-hatred that comprises Hamas’ foreign policy (and which is encoded in its founding 1988 covenant, where “the fight with the warmongering Jews” is a prominent theme).

 

Paul Ehrlich: A petrified pundit: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012 ­—Professor Ehrlich favours the dual stylistic approach of apocalypticism and cheap personal attack. Imagine a kind of grizzled, male version of Ann Coulter, but on the left – with the same ominously merry twinkle in the eye, but minus the wit.

 

Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive: Stratfor Gobal Intelligence, November 16, 2012

To begin to make sense of the escalating conflict in Gaza, we need to go back to the night of Oct. 23 in Khartoum. Around 11 p.m. that night, the Yarmouk weapons facility in the Sudanese capital was attacked, presumably by the Israeli air force.

 

 

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