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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Liberal Law Professor Alan Dershowitz Slams Obama

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 29, 2016

Since the election of Donald Trump, liberal pundits have come up with all sorts of excuses for the outcome. At best they look to voter apathy on the Left. More troubling excuses include racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., the “deplorables” according to Hillary Clinton. These head-in-the-sand excuses ignore the weakness of candidate Hillary Clinton and the difficult economic state many Americans find themselves in, which as not improved under Obama’s Presidency.

The excuse-making machine on the Left has ignored the fact that many liberals are displeased with the Obama Presidency. Many expressed this dissatisfaction by supporting Socialist Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary. Others have come out more recently with President Obama throwing Israel under the bus.

Last week the United Nations held a vote that basically blames Israel for the stalled Middle East peace process. While hidden behind the narrative that the vote was about Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the vote was a much more general combination of Israel. Such anti-Israeli votes in the Security Council have become commonplace in recent decades. However, votes the United States has historically used its veto power to block them. Incredibly, this lame-duck president in his last three weeks of office went against American policy back by both Republicans and Democrats and abstained, allowing the condemning of Israel to pass.

The outcry against Obama’s decision has been crosses political parties with many prominent Democrats coming out quite vocally in opposition. One example is Alan Dershowitz, a retired Harvard Law school professor who has been a lifetime Democrat and supporter of Barack Obama. His comments, included in the videos below, include:

He defined the president’s handling of the resolution as a “bait and switch”:

He pulled a bait and switch. He said to the American public ‘Oh this is all about the settlements deep in the West Bank’ and yet he allowed his representative to the U.N. to abstain, which is really for, a resolution that says Jews can’t pray at the Western Wall. Jews can’t live in the Jewish quarter where they’ve lived for thousands of years. And he’s gonna say ‘Whoops. I didn’t mean that.’ Well, read the resolution. You’re a lawyer. You went to Harvard Law School.”

Dershowitz went on to call Obama one of the worst presidents ever on foreign policy. Strong words from a liberal Democrat!

While this Blogger agrees with Dershowitz’s comments, the good Professor and others from intellectual Left bear responsibility for Obama’s policies and duplicity. It was known before Obama’s first election that he held questionable/radical political views and had contacts with some shady characters including Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayres of Weather Underground fame and others. Many on the Left made excuses for these associations, giving Obama a pass. Now, as Rev. Wright once so infamously said: “the chickens have come home to roost”.

 

Posted in Israel, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Middle East’s Artificially Created Countries Disintegrating

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 2, 2015

Until recently most discussions concerning Middles East territorial integrity issues related to Israel and its borders.  Arab countries and their supporters on the Left viewed the partition that created modern Israel, as created by the United Nations in 1947, the cause of the Middle East’s woes.  This led to the narrative that more “properly” redefining Israel’s borders, along with those of a to-be defined Palestinian state, would bring peace and tranquility to the Middle East.  The ongoing crises in many Arab countries today have not only proven this narrative false, but also a cover-up to more significant regional problems.

middle_eastMost Arab countries, excluding Egypt, were created in the last 100 years by European powers, mainly France and England.  They were not created based on any homogeneous characteristics of their new citizens, but instead for the perceived long-term benefit of their European creators.  While dictators of these created countries were able to keep their diverse populations under control through force and brutality, once they were removed the cauldron created by the Europeans boiled over with many Arab countries now involved in Civil Wars and anarchy.

Since the early 1970’s until recently the United States became the outside power with the greatest influence in the Middle East.  Its policies followed those of the Europeans with the goal being to protect America’s interests, supporting dictators who kept their populations under control.  While this policy was flawed, with the benefit of hindsight it worked reasonably well for nearly four decades.

America’s tacit support of Middle East dictators started to crack under President George W. Bush with the taking down of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein’s regime.  Barack Obama doubled down with similar policies, not only supporting so-called democratic movements in various Arab countries, but also supplying military support to bring down Libya strongman Qaddafi.  The results have been catastrophic.

The Obama Administration is scrambling to create a Middle East strategy for a region that has deteriorated significantly since the President’s first election.  Radical Sunni Islam is on the rise, as demonstrated by the growth of ISIS in Syria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.  However, the strategy is being created reactively, instead of proactively, which makes it doomed for failure.  In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry has proven e inept and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.

Charles Gave of gavekal.com has written a thought-provoking piece concerning the problems and complexities of the Middle East posted below.  The President and Secretary of State seem incapable of understanding the history of the Middle East and the root causes of its complex problems.  They also do not have any comprehension as to who our enemies and friends are in this region. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Middle East | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Journalist Blasts Danish Ambassador for Europe’s Double Standard Towards Israel

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 14, 2014

Followers of the diplomatic doubletalk from Europe concerning the Israeli-Palestinian matter is aware of the double standard Israel is often held to. Any attempt by Israeli at self-defense that results in casualties on the other side is made a world pressing problem, not only by Europe, but also in the United Nations. Any Israeli policy that could be detrimental to Palestinian interests receives similar treatment. However, when it comes to the damage Palestinians inflict on their own people, or the carnage that Arabs inflict on fellow Arabs, there is rarely international outcry.

When the issue of the standard towards Israel is raised, it is often trivialized by Progressive diplomats and the mainstream media. However, recently in a rare show of frankness, the Danish Ambassador to Israel, Jesper Vahr, came out and admitted to the double standard saying:

Those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by. So I think you have the right to insist that we apply double standards and put you to the same standards as all the rest of the countries in the European context.”

Vahr’s admission is both remarkable and scary. On the one hand it is condescending to the Palestinians and the greater Arab population insinuating that they are not capable of the “European standards”. It also reeks of anti-Semitism for which Europe has a sordid history.

During the roundtable discussion where made his remarkable comments, Jerusalem Post editor Caroline Glick ripped into the Ambassador, as included in the video below. Glick’s comments included: “Isn’t it kind of patronizing to the Palestinians to say that, ‘We hold Israel to a higher standard than we hold you’?”, to which Vahr incredibly responded: “I am not sure it is”. Glick then took Vahr to the woodshed saying:

I think that this patronizing attitude towards us that we should be happy that you have a separate standard for Israel is really, I’m sorry, a statement of contempt for our intelligence. I consider it to be an obsession. I consider Europe’s keen interest in the Middle East, specifically Israel, to be an obsession, and it’s an obsession that Jews have seen from Europeans from the time of Jesus. ‘We have this whole common culture,’ I mean, really? We respect international law. You guys make it up.” She then goes on to cite examples.

Unfortunately the double standard towards Israel does not end in Europe. The US State Department and current American President pursue this same Progressive agenda. The failure of this agenda and its related policies are significant reasons behind the current mess in the Middle East and the deplorable plight of many Palestinians and the greater Arab population. But reality does not deter Progressives who when confronted with their failed policies, often merely double down on the bad bets.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, Israel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iran’s Khamanei Calls for Israel’s Destruction

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 9, 2014

KhameneiIran has once again called for the annihilation of Israel.  This time its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used Twitter to spew his anti-Semitic rant, posts included below.  The fact that an Iranian mullah calls for Israel’s destruction is not new or newsworthy.  More troubling is that President Obama is trying to do business with these thugs.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that Obama sent secret communications to this same Khamenei suggesting that the United States and Iran should work together to fight ISIS.  Putting aside for a moment that this Iranian leader calls for the destruction of the only US alley it can count on in the Middle East, Obama’s vision is lame on a boarder scale.  ISIS is a radical Sunni-Islamic entity.  The radicals in Iran are Shia-based.  Shia’s represent less than 15% of the world’s total Islamic population.  Choosing them over the majority Sunnis cannot further America’s interests in the Middle East or great Islamic world.

It is fortunate that the Republicans are taking control of the Senate.  While they are unlikely to put forth great strategic policies, at least they will be able to temper what Obama can unilaterally do on foreign policy.  Given his myopic focus on cutting a deal with the Iranians, this is fortuitous.

Khamenei 2

Khamenei 1

Posted in Iran, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Kerry Claims Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Behind Rise of Radical Islam

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 22, 2014

John KerryUS Secretary of State John Kerry is at again proving a lack of knowledge of history and international affairs. At a ceremony at the State Department in honor of the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, Kerry tied increased recruitment of Muslim youths by radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq to the Israeli Palestinian-conflict saying:

“As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL (Islamic State) coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to. And people need to understand the connection of that.”

Adding insult to injury, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf denied that Kerry said what he said: “[H]e did not make any linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL, period. And we can go back over what he actually said, which I have in front of me. He did not make that linkage.” Either Ms, Harf does not understand English or is a liar. Kerry’s language and inference are clear.

The reaction from Israel was swept with its economic minister, Naftali Bennett, correctly pointing out the obvious:

  • The 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Israel.
  • Global Jihad has nothing to do with Israel.
  • Al-Sisi’s revolution in Egypt had nothing to do with Israel.
  • The disintegration of Iraq has nothing to do with Israel.
  • The massacre of at least 150,000 people, including women and children, by Assad in Syria has nothing to do with Israel.
  • The creation of ISIS had nothing to do with Israel.
  • ISIS’s military gains in Iraq and Syria have nothing to do with Israel.

In conclusion, Bennett pointed out that “the intense hatred between Sunni and Shiite Muslims has nothing to do with Israel”. This last point proves how naïve and uninformed John Kerry is since this Sunni and Shiite hatred predates the creation of the modern state of Israel by some one thousand years!

John Kerry’s Middle East dribble continues the State Department’s misguided approach to the Middle East over the past four decades. It incorrectly focused on the Israeli-Palestinian differences when the real challenges of the Middle East are broader and longer in duration. By avoiding the actual causes behind the stagnation and destitute of so many in many Muslim controlled countries, the State Department held the lid on a pressure cooker that is now exploding. Given history, Kerry’s misguided approach is inexplicable.

Posted in Middle East | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pro Israeli Letter Signed by Hollywood

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 24, 2014

Hollywooders are generally known for Leftist political views.  With that, they have not been known for supporting Israel and many have publicly criticized Israel for its military response to Hamas’s rockets.

However, not all in Hollywood are devoid of moral convictions.  A group called Creative Community for Peace recently came out with a strong pro-Israeli statement concerning its battle with Hamas. This statement includes: “Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage,” and “hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles.”

The list of 200 Hollywood signees below includes many on the Right, and Left.  This coming together shows promise coalescing around an issue with clear moral clarity.  It is unfortunate that the Obama Administration has shown no such clarity and more often than not acts like it is merely a mediator between two opposing groups.  The recent horrible events in Iraq perpetrated by another Sunni-based radical Islamist group ISIS, makes the White House’s position even less comprehendible.

Creative Community for Peace statement

We, the undersigned, are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. We are pained by the suffering on both sides of the conflict and hope for a solution that brings peace to the region.

While we stand firm in our commitment to peace and justice, we must also stand firm against ideologies of hatred and genocide which are reflected in Hamas’ charter, Article 7 of which reads, “There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”  The son of a Hamas founder has also commented about the true nature of Hamas.

Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage.  Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons.  Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles.  Children are our hope, not our human shields.

We join together in support of the democratic values we all cherish and in the hope that the healing and transformative power of the arts can be used to build bridges of peace.

Capture creative community for peace

Posted in Hollywood, Israel, Radical Islam | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Prager Middle East YouTube Goes Viral

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 7, 2014

Conservative radio talk show commentator, Dennis Prager, posted a YouTube video titled “The Middle East Problem” that has received significant press.  It proffers a very pro- Israeli leaning.  Those that support Israel against Hamas will affirmatively shake their heads after viewing the video.  Those who lean towards the Palestinian position will scoff at it.

Irrespective of one’s position on the current Israeli–Hamas conflict, it is hard to disagree with Prager’s conclusion when he rhetorically asks:  “If tomorrow, Israel laid down its arms and announced, ‘We will fight no more,’ what would happen?  And if the Arab countries around Israel laid down their arms and announced, ‘We will fight no more,’ what would happen?  In the first case, there would be an immediate destruction of the state of Israel and mass murder of its Jewish population.  In the second case, there would be peace the next day.”

Posted in Middle East | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Leftist Actors Accused of Anti-Semitism

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 3, 2014

In previous postings this Blog has proffered the view that the dangers of racism and anti-Semitism emanating from Progressives and Leftists are increasing.  This view is in opposite of the narrative the Left promotes of its views.  However, their actions demonstrate a dark side of their philosophies.

Relating to racism, or for that matter sexism, the Left often promotes the view that people of color, as well as women, are somehow unable to complete on a level playing field in the business and academic world.  The numbers of African Americans and women in high places of government and all sectors of the world proves this to be fallacious.  That raises questions as to the nations behind the Left’s continued use of this narrative.  At best it is to support industries that profit from the narrative.  The alternative is darker.

Jon VoightConcerning anti-Semitism, many on the Left now have a strong anti-Israeli bias.  In an effort to cover up the building anti-Semitism within the movement, criticism is typically couched with claims such as they are not anti-Semitic, but merely anti-Israeli policy.  While Israel, as with any country, should be open to criticism, the vitriol behind the Left’s attacks, as well as the disproportionate use of these attacks against Israel, indicate a motivation that goes beyond policy disagreements.  The open anti-Semitism openly promoted by Hamas, other Muslim radicals, and in the protests currently ongoing in various countries, also supports this conclusion.

Hollywood is not only one of the most vocal proponents of Leftist philosophies in the United States, but also a significant monetary contributor to politicians who promote Leftist causes, including President Obama.  That is not to say that all in Hollywood share the leftist dogma.

One actor who has been an outspoken critic of the Left is Jon Voight.  This week Voight attacked fellow actors including Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz for signing an open letter that was highly critical of Israel’s war against Hamas.  Voigt did not pull any punches accusing his fellow actors of fanning the flames of worldwide anti-Semitism.  Excerpts supplied by The Hollywood Reporter are included below, a refreshing view that is to avoid of political correctness or double-talk.

Jon Voight:

I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.

They are obviously ignorant of the whole story of Israel’s birth, when in 1948 the Jewish people were offered by the UN a portion of the land originally set aside for them in 1921 – and the Arab Palestinians were offered the other half.

The Arabs rejected the offer, and the Jews accepted – only to be attacked by five surrounding Arab countries committed to driving them into the sea.  The Arabs tried again in 1967 and again in 1973.

Each time, the Jews prevailed, but not without great loss of life.  And yet, Israel has always labored for a peaceful relation with its Arab neighbors.  It voluntarily returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace, and gave the Palestinians all of Gaza as a peace gesture.

What was the response?  The Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization, and they immediately began firing thousands of rockets into Israel.

I am asking all my peers who signed that poison letter against Israel to examine their motives.  Can you take back the fire of anti-Semitism that is raging all over the world now?

You should hang your heads in shame.  You should come forth with deep regrets for what you did – and ask for forgiveness from the suffering people in Israel.

Posted in Hollywood, Racism, Radical Islam | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Son of Hamas Founder Exposes Hama’s True Goals

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 30, 2014

The narrative proffered on Israeli-Palestinian (Hamas) conflict by Progressives including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry borders on the absurd. This often infers moral equivalency between the actions of Israel and Hamas. In essence they conclude that if both sides would restrain their actions, an environment could be created that would lead to a peaceful solution. This view ignores history, as well as the actual goals of each party. It also uses the same logic for the Middle East proffered by Western diplomats since World War I that has proven to be fallacious.

The broader Middle East conflict has been ongoing since long before the modern state of Israel was created in 1947. It predates the Crusades and began with a schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims for the control of Islam. The current crisis in Syria and Iraq is a continuation of this centuries-old battle. It is also the basis of the regional conflict between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Compared to this conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is in the noise. Assuming away the State of Israel would likely eliminate one of the few coalescing issues within Islam that kept the Sunni-Shia conflict from becoming a full-blown war in recent decades.

Now back to the current Israeli-Hamas issue and the lame logic from Progressives. From Israel’s perspective, most Israelis desire a two state solution, but one that includes security for a Jewish nation. Ideas concerning the final borders a two state solution vary within Israel depending on political views. This varies from an accommodating position, to others that are unreasonable.

From the Palestinian (Hamas) perspective, while they might give lip service to a two state solution, this is not possible within their charter. Hama’s charter includes the following comments about Israeli’s/Jews:

The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree.”

Progressives will make excuses for Hamas’s incendiary and anti-Semitic language, just as they did for Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. Cutting through the diplomatic jargon, it will relate to a theory that negotiations are always better than the alternative. However, actual negotiations require willing partners for a negotiated outcome. In addition, as Roosevelt and Churchill correctly concluded once World War II commenced, negotiations with the Nazis was never an appropriate choice.

Finally, the idea of a two-state solution sometimes promoted by Palestinians and Hamas is a red herring. The Palestinians have stated that they will never give up their “right of return”. Under the right of return, any Palestinian with a claim that their ancestors once lived in Israel will have the right to return to that country. This guarantees the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, if not by force, then by demographics. Obama, Kerry and their Progressive allies are well aware of the issues involved with the right of return, but ignore them as it would disrupt their narrative.

Some light on the true motivations of Hamas was recently shed by Mosab Hassan Yousef, a son of one of Hamas’ founders, during a recent CNN interview with Don Lemon included the video below. Yousef, who was being groomed for Hamas leadership when growing up, defected from Hamas and has since been disowned by his father. His comments below, while chilling, are at least comforting in their candor.

  • “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis, or Americans; they don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for sake of their ideology a way of worship.”
  • “Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise; Hamas is seeking conquest. The destruction of the state of Israel is not the Hamas’ final destination.”

Posted in Hamas, Islam, Israel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama, Syria and the Current Dilemma

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 3, 2013

The US Congress is debating whether to support a motion to back President Obama’s request to authorize a US attack on Syria for Assad’s use of chemical weapons.  The issue Congress faces is a dilemma without any good options.

Should the US not act it is likely that Assad will use the chemical weapons again in its war against the rebels.  In addition, US enemies including Iran and North Korea, not to mention Russia and China, will be emboldened and may act in more belligerent ways against US interests.

Alternatively, should the US respond it is difficult to foresee the consequences.  Will Iran and Hezbollah attack US or Israeli interests in retaliation?  Will the US be drawn into a conflict with Russia?  Will the US attack lead to the Assad government falling and Syria falling into more chaos or under the control of radical Islamists?  There are no guarantees.

There are currently no good options when it comes to Syria.  The United States finds itself in this untenable position because of Obama’s incoherent Syrian/Middle East policies of the past five years.  This issue is discussed in detail by Middle East expert George Friedman of Startfor.com in an article titled Obama’s Tightrope Walk.  Highlights are included below.  The bottom line is that Barrack Obama has proven inept when it comes to the Middle East and foreign policy in general.

“Last week began with certainty that an attack on Syria was inevitable and even imminent.  It ended with the coalition supporting the attack somewhere between falling apart and not coming together, and with U.S. President Barack Obama making it clear that an attack was inevitable, maybe in a month or so, if Congress approves, after Sept. 9 when it reconvenes.  This is a comedy in three parts: the reluctant warrior turning into the raging general and finding his followers drifting away, becoming the reluctant warrior again.”

“The United States did not have any overriding national interest in Syria.  It has been hostile for a long time to Assad’s regime.  It has sympathy for the Sunni insurgents but has drawn the conclusion that the collapse of Assad is not likely to lead to a democratic regime respecting human rights, but to an Islamist regime with links to al Qaeda.”

“What started to draw the United States into the matter was a statement made by the president in 2012, when he said that the use of chemical weapons would be a red line.  He didn’t mean he wanted to intervene.  He set the red line because he figured that it was the one thing Assad wouldn’t try.  It was an attempt to stay out, not an announcement of interest.  In fact, there had been previous evidence of small-scale chemical attacks, and the president had dodged commitment.”

“There were those, like National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who favored the use of military force in the events of war crimes and human rights violations on a major scale.  One would have thought that she would have supported the war in Iraq against Saddam Hussein, the epitome of war crimes and human rights violations, but she didn’t, and that’s another matter.”

“For them, the suffering in the Syrian civil war was the result of the repressiveness of the Assad regime.  This faction had an interesting perspective.  It focused on the current injustice, not always aware, interested or believing that what came later would be worse.  I remember arguing with academic colleagues before the fall of the Shah that while he was certainly a thug, we and the Iranian people would regret what came next.  There was a romantic belief that the crowd in the street was always more virtuous than the tyrant in his palace.  Sometimes they were right.  It is not clear that the fall of the Shah reduced the sum total of human suffering.”

“The real problem is this: After the Islamist wars, the United States has, as happened before, sought to minimize its presence in the world and while enjoying the benefits of being the world’s leading economy, not pay any political or military price for it.  It is a strategy that is impossible to maintain, as the United States learned after World War I, Vietnam and Desert Storm.  It is a seductive vision but a fantasy.  The world comes visiting.”

It is not easy to be president, nor is it easy to be the world’s leading power.  It is nice to be able to sit in moral judgment of men like Assad, but sadly not have the power to do anything.  Where life gets hard is when sitting in moral judgment forces you to do something because you can.  It teaches you to be careful in judging, as the world will both demand that you do something and condemn you for doing it.

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