Monday, May 31, 2010

Terrorism at Sea

The media reports keep coming in. Israeli soldiers have boarded a humanitarian convoy en route to help the suffering people of Gaza. Israeli soldiers attacked the ship and brutally killed peace activists. Gaza is under siege! Gaza is being blockaded! Israel murdered civilians to stop them from bringing food to the poor people in Gaza.

The people aboard the flotilla bound for Gaza were anything but civilian peace activists. They were pro-Hamas provocateurs, terrorists and terrorists sympathizers. They were attempting to violate Israeli sovereignty and deliver support to the Hamas regime in Gaza. They refused clear orders by the Israeli military to stop their advance and to turn back. When Israeli commandoes were forced to board the ship, they were greeted by a lynching crew.

The passengers greeted the soldiers armed with knives, bats, clubs and slingshots. The Israeli Navy commandoes, who were told that they would be confronting rioters, were only armed with crowd control paintball rifles. The terrorists aboard the ship attempted to kidnap commandoes, stabbed them repeatedly and threw stun grenades at them. Only after a difficult fight in which dozens of terrorists were killed were the commandoes able to take control of the ship.

An Israeli army reporter described:

‘The activists had many things ready for an attack on the soldiers,’ Lev-Rom said, ‘including, for instance, a box of 20-30 slingshots with metal balls; these can kill. There were also all sorts of knives and many similar things. These are what they call “cold” weapons, as opposed to live fire. It was quite clear that a lynch had been prepared.’

Lev-Rom said, however, that it appears the army, ‘even though it prepared for many different scenarios, was not ready for this one. The army seems not to have known what type of people were there and what type of weapons they had. It was hard for Israel to conceive that the ship, sponsored by the country of Turkey, would have such weapons. Israel was prepared to deal with anarchists, and instead had to deal with terrorists – that’s the feeling here.’

World leaders are issuing their regular condemnations of Israeli actions. The UN, EU and the US have denounced Israel. Yet, there is little discussion over the motives of the "Free Gaza" flotilla organizers. Their aim was never to alleviate the "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza, mainly because no such "humanitarian crisis" exists. Tons of food and supplies are brought into Gaza every single day. The Palestinian media recently reported the inauguration of Gaza's first Olympic size swimming pool. There are luxury hotels, cafes and restaurants in Gaza!

The goal of this flotilla was to support the Hamas regime in Gaza or to embarrass Israel by provoking a response from them. This armada of hate was organized by Turkey's Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization which serves as a major component for Hamas' fundraising efforts. IHH had a role in Islamic terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. ccording to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played ‘[a]n important role’ in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport. It was also involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. Before leaving the port in Turkey, flotilla organizers whipped up anti-Israel hysteria with a genocidal call for slaughter of Jews. These are no peace activists.

This terrorist flotilla achieved its goal of hurting Israel. Its members' "martyrdom" had the desired affect of bringing Israel international condemnation and embarrassment and further isolating and delegitimizing her. This comes at a time when Iran makes uranium enrichment deals with Brazil, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah have thousands of deadly rockets aimed at Israel's cities and the United States' president exudes hostility and aggression towards Israel. Thankfully, no Israeli soldiers were killed in the clash with the armada's thugs but the public relations damage to Israel is done.

What will be the fallout from this deadly encounter? The Middle-East comes closer to exploding into war...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red lines and the Green Line

Israel continues to march down the same dangerous path towards concessions and surrender. As proximity talks get under way, Palestinian demands and arrogance grows, without conceding anything towards Israel. They have made it clear that should the result of the talks not be to their liking, they will use all means at their disposal- economic, diplomatic and terror, to harm Israel.

Since the failure of the Oslo Accords, Israel's political establishment has committed itself towards the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. With each subsequent Israeli administration, the supposed "red lines" which Israel would not cross under any circumstances have disappeared. While it was at one point understood that a Palestinian state in Israel's heartland is an existential threat to Israel's survival, today total commitment to this idea is a sign of political moderation. It was once clear that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria were there to stay; now it is taken for granted by many that the Palestinian state will be judenrein. A repartitioned Jerusalem, once an idea rejected by even the most Left-wing Israelis, is now a subject for discussion.

Every Israeli retreat has whetted the Arab appetite for more Israeli concessions. The architects of the Oslo Accords sold the world and peace-craving Israelis on the necessity to create a second Arab entity in the territory of Mandatory Palestine (ignoring the fact that such a country already exists under the name 'Jordan'). Ehud Barak set the standard for maximum Israel withdrawal when he promised to retreat to Israel's 1949 armistice line. Ariel Sharon made the expulsion of Jews and the destruction of veteran settlements in Gaza a legitimate option. Ehud Olmert reinforced Barak's disastrous policies and capitulated on the last remaining settlements in Judea and Samaria. Because of this, Bibi has imposed a de facto building freeze in Jerusalem. A divided Jerusalem is now in the realm of possibility, with the help of the most anti-Israel American administration ever.

In the Israeli and Diaspora Jewish political spectrum, anyone who is to be considered a moderate favors the surrender of Judea and Samaria. This attitude is one that is leading Israel and the Jewish world to disaster. One cannot find a Jewish leader willing to speak up for the sake of Judea and Samaria. This must end.

It is commonly assumed by many moderate leftists that whatever falls within the pre-'67 Green Lines is Israeli territory while the territory past it is Arab. It must be made absolutely clear that the Green Line is not a border. It is simply where the Jordanian, Egyptian and Israeli armies marked an armistice in 1949. The Green Line marks a ceasefire, not a border. The only reason why what is inside is Jewish while what is outside is Arab is because the advancing Arab armies ethnically cleansed Judea and Samaria of its Jews. The concept of "East Jerusalem" is a result of the Jordanian expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem after they occupied the city in 1948. Jews built "settlements" after 1967 because Jewish communities were destroyed in 1948! Hebron had a Jewish community stretching from biblical times until 1929 when it was destroyed by Arab pogroms. The community of Kfar Etzion was razed when it fell to the Jordanians in 1948. Jews have had an unbroken presence in Judea and Samaria since biblical times, with the exception of the years between its occupation by Jordan in 1948 and its liberation by Israel in 1967. Jordan's illegal expulsion of Jews should not be enshrined under international law. The San Remo Conference and the Mandate for Palestine stipulate that the legal owners of Judea and Samaria are the Jewish people and therefore the Jewish state.

The conflict has never been about territory. It is ridiculous to assume that a return to the pre-'67 border will bring peace when there was no peace before 1967. The Arab states attacked Israel in 1967 to rectify the wrongs of the 1949 borders, which were the result of the Arab rejection of the UN 1947 partition lines. Beyond all of the talk about borders lies the cause of the first Arab assault against Israel in 1948: the refusal of the Arabs to recognize Israel's legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state.

The ultimate goal of the Arab states was laid out at the Palestinian national assembly in July 1968: “Our basic aim is to liberate the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. We are not concerned with what happened in June 1967 or with eliminating the consequences of the June war. The Palestinian revolution’s basic concern is uprooting the Zionist entity.” No Palestinian group has ever disavowed this objective, as seen by Mahmoud Abbas' most recent refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The aim of establishing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria is merely one stage to the ultimate liberation of all of Palestine. The goal is to deprive Israel of strategic borders, to make the state indefensible, to demoralize and demonize it while slicing off parts of it bit by bit. Even the most moderate Palestinian and Arab leader is determined to swamp Israel with millions of hostile Arab refugees through the so-called "Right of Return", demographically putting an end to Israel as a Jewish state.

The Arabs hate Israel because it is a Jewish state, whether its borders be those of 1947, 1949 or 1967. To appease their hunger for destruction, Israel need not surrender Judea and Samaria, its biblical homeland. Every concession has increased Arab demands, while their greed has not abated one iota. When we surrender Judea and Samaria, we make Jerusalem a legitimate target for their aspirations. "Land for peace" is an enormous failure because the conflict has never been about land. When the Arabs want peace, Israel will give them it- for peace.

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Jerusalem Forever!

On the 28th of Iyar 5727 (June 7, 1967), the dream became a reality. With fire and blood, Jerusalem fell and with fire and blood Jerusalem arose again. Finally, the 2000 year old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem" had been answered. Jerusalem, the centre of the Jewish people, which had been cut off from Israel when it was re-established in 1948, was reunited. The pledge made by our ancestors by the rivers of Babylon as they were marched off into captivity, of "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem!" was fulfilled by their descendants in the Israeli Defense Force.

Jerusalem is the very heart of the Jewish people. Since King David first conquered Jerusalem and made it into his eternal capital, Jerusalem has occupied a foremost place in the souls and essence of the Jewish people. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Tanach. It was here that King Solomon built the First Temple which stood for 410 years, where the returnees from captivity in Babylon built the Second Temple and where we await the rebuilding of the Third Temple, may it be speedily in our days. At a time when London was barely a forest clearing and Rome was only a collection of villages on the Tiber, Jerusalem was already in Jewish hands, seat of the Jewish kings. Long before Paul preached his gospel or Islam swept across the world, Jerusalem was already firmly implanted in the Jewish conscious for thousands of years.

When the wicked Romans cruelly suppressed the Jewish revolt in 70 CE, they razed Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. They drove the remaining Jews from the land and renamed it 'Palestinae', after Israel bitter biblical enemies. Victoriously, they marched the spoils of the Temple throughout the streets of Rome and minted coins declaring triumphantly "Judea Capta"- Judea is defeated. On the site of the destroyed city of Jerusalem, they built a pagan city dedicated to the idols of Rome. The Caesar and his legions were certain that the pesky capital of Jews, which had caused them so much pain and unrest, would never rise again.

Despite this, the Jew never forgot Jerusalem. In all of the lands of his dispersion, whether in Warsaw or Marakesh, Baghdad or the Pale of Settlement, like a magnet the Jew was drawn towards Jerusalem three times a day and lifted his eyes in prayer, beseeching the Almighty: "And to Your city Jerusalem return in mercy and dwell in it as You have spoken". In the middle of the night, Jews arose in lamentation and mourning over the destruction of their Temple and their holy city. Every single year, the Yom Kippur fast and the Passover seder would end with the solemn vow and fervent hope of "Next year in Jerusalem!". The Jew may have been in Iran or Lithuania, Yemen or France but his heart resided in Jerusalem.

In 1948, when G-d saw fit to return sovereignty to His people over His land, the Jordanians attacked Israel and occupied the eastern portion of Jerusalem. They marched every single Jew out of the Old City and proceeded to dynamite and desecrate every synagogue and study hall. The Jordanians used the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives as latrines and used the Western Wall as a garbage dump. Jews were denied access to their holy places for these 19 years.

On the 28th of Iyar, 5727, after being attacked by three combined Arab armies dedicated to "throwing the Jews into the sea", the Israeli army liberated Jerusalem from its Jordanian occupiers. Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. The earth-shattering call came out: "The Temple Mount is in our hands!" The Chief IDF rabbi blew the Shofar and recited the shehecheyanu blessing as tears poured down the faces of even the most secular soldier as he kissed the stones of the Kotel, realizing the historical significance of the moment. Jerusalem, despoiled and abused by Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, Turks and Arabs, had returned to its owners, the Jewish people. Never again would Jerusalem be empty of Jews. The Temple Mount is in our hands! Jerusalem is in our hands!

Today there is talk in the international community of the partitioning and division of Jerusalem. There is strong pressure to once again wrest the city from Jewish hands. However, the promise made by our ancestors in Babylon remains valid, "if I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning; let my tongue cling to my palate if I do not raise Jerusalem above my greatest joy." We today are guardians of this vow. One united Jewish Jerusalem forever. All of the forces in the entire world will never again separate us from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people. It is from Jerusalem that we derive our strength and our existence.

"And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it. And many peoples shall go, and they shall say, "Come, let us go up to the Lord's mount, to the house of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways, and we will go in His paths," for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." May we speedily see the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Yishayahu in our days.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Reminder in Time Square

Terror has returned to the streets of America. Despite all of Obama's attempts at outreach, his calls for brotherhood and acceptance, his distancing from Israel, the Islamic hatred for America has not diminished one iota. Obama's best efforts notwithstanding, Islamic jihadists remains as committed as ever to murdering as many American civilians as they can.

Maybe this latest foiled attack will remind Obama of what Israelis face on a daily basis. The same people who launch rockets at schools in Sderot and who detonate themselves up in Israeli cafes tried to blow up Time Square. Israel is threatened from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iran by the same people who America is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Obama tries to court the Palestinians to the negotiating table, he should remember that they are on the same team as the people who try to wreak havoc, murder and mayhem in the streets of New York.

Obama made it his mission to repair relations with the Islamic world. His first public interview after being inaugurated was with al-Arabiyeh television. He traveled to Cairo to grovel, apologize and make amends with Muslims. He has committed himself to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict, even at the expense of the United State's greatest ally. Obama has publicly flagellated Israel, condemned it mercilessly and humiliated its Prime Minister, without making any demands on the Palestinians, all for the same of without credibility from the Muslim street. He has already managed to extract a settlement freeze on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, tied Israel's hands as Iran races closer to the bomb, put the partition of Jerusalem on the map and damaged relations with Israel. Yet, despite all of these attempts at reconciliation and peacemaking with the Islamic world, Islamic jihadists remain committed to bringing down America.

Muslim extremists do not America because of its support for Israel or because of its interventionist policies. Muslims do not hate Israel because of settlements or "the Occupation". Muslim fundamentalists hate America because it is an Infidel society, based on human rights, democracy and liberty. Muslims hate Israel because they see it as an insult in the heart of the Muslim world- a dhimmi people refusing to submit themselves beneath the yoke of Islam. Islamic jihadists are at war with America because it is non-Muslims. They are dedicated to defeating America, regardless of its president or policies. They are dedicated to overrunning Europe (almost a fait accompli at this point) no matter how much Europe tries to appease or accommodate them. They are dedicating to destroying Israel, whatever its borders or size. Simply put, they are driven to wage war in the name of Allah in order to spread the rule of Islam.

Israel is but the first line in the Muslim assault on the West. As the foiled Time Square plot clearly shows, Israel is not the only victim of Islamic hatred and violence. As the well-known saying goes: "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people." When Obama promises them Jerusalem, he only whets their appetite for Rome and Washington as well. When he makes it seems that a judenrein Middle-East is in the making, Islamic jihadists are encouraged to take the battle to the streets of London and New York. Israel is the canary in the coal mine. Rest assured though, it always begins with the Jews, but never ends with the Jews.