Monday, June 07, 2010
Israel treats peaceful people peacefully
ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the peaceful ending to a stand-off between the navy and Gaza-bound foreign aid ship the Rachel Corrie, which concluded without violence. "We saw today the difference between a ship of peace activists, with whom we don't agree but respect their right to a different opinion from ours, and between a ship of hate organised by violent Turkish terror extremists," the premier's office cited him as saying.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the Navy boarded the boat and took control without meeting "any resistance" from the crew or the passengers. "Everything took place without violence," she added.
The stand-off follows Monday's bloody raid on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid ships where nine activists were killed following a raid by Israeli commandos, sparking world-wide condemnation.
The Rachel Corrie crew initially refused to respond to four requests from the navy to head for the southern port of Ashdod and stayed its course for the Gaza Strip, which is under an Israeli naval blockade.
Activists on board the ship previously indicated they would not heed Israeli calls to change course and would continue to head for their destination - although they were prepared to let their cargo be inspected. However, the ship was intercepted by the Israeli Navy in international waters shortly after dawn, with troops holding back from boarding the vessel for several hours. It later entered Ashdod five hours after it was commandeered by Israeli forces.
But the takeover prompted a furious response from the Dublin-based Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. "For the second time in less than a week, Israeli forces stormed and hijacked an unarmed aid ship, kidnapping its passengers and forcing the ship toward Ashdod port," it said.
In a statement, the Israeli Defence Forces defended their actions under international law. "The rules of warfare allow the capturing of naval vessels prior to their actual violation of a naval blockade," it said. "This is dependent on the vessels being on their way to a blockaded area, being outside the territorial waters of neutral states and when there is a substantial likelihood (based on credible evidence) that the vessels intend to violate the blockade.
"The Jewish problem" lives on
They just refuse to go away
By Charles Krauthammer
The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.
But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel -- a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.
In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded ("quarantined") Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.
Oh, but weren't the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel's offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza -- as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.
Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel's inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.
Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?
But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel's fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself -- forward and active defense.
(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense -- fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own.
Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks. It is for the same reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so you don't have to fight them here.
But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies -- and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.
Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land -- evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.
(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense -- military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama's description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.
The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N. Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel's defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli -- the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war -- effectively de-legitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.
(3) Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses -- a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international de-legitimation. Even the United States is now moving toward having it abolished.
But, if none of these is permissible, what's left? Ah, but that's the point. It's the point understood by the blockade-busting flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers, by the Turkish front organization that funded it, by the automatic anti-Israel Third World chorus at the United Nations, and by the supine Europeans who've had quite enough of the Jewish problem.
What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense. Why, just last week, the Obama administration joined the jackals, and reversed four decades of U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel's possession of nuclear weapons -- thus de-legitimizing Israel's very last line of defense: deterrence.
The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution.
Some strange claims about the origins of Jews
This is so confused I don't know where to start. Jews as proselytizers? Jews in Europe long before the Roman empire? I would like to know what evidence the unnamed "archaeologists" have for all that
The Jewish people, according to archaeologists, originated in Babylon and Persia between the 4th and 6th centuries BC. The modern-day Jews most closely related to that original population are those in Iran, Iraq and Syria, whose closest non-Jewish relatives are the Druze, Bedouins and Palestinians, the study found.
Sometime in that period, the Middle Eastern and European Jews diverged and the European branch began actively proselytizing for converts.
At the height of the Roman Empire, about 10% of the empire's population was Jewish, although the bulk of them were converts. Some Khazars were also incorporated during this period.
"That explains why so many European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blond hair," Ostrer says. It also explains another of the team's findings — that the population most closely related genetically to European Jews are Italians.
Obama loses the Left: suddenly, it's cool to bash Barack
Polls show that around 10 per cent of those who voted for Obama in 2008 now disapprove of his performance and the heavy turnout of young people and black voters among the 69 million who back him will not be repeated again. Americans have got over the historic symbolism of it all and are now moving on as they live with the reality.
That reality has now begun to dawn on some of Obama's natural constituency - Hollywood and the Left. The "no drama Obama" demeanour that served him so well on the campaign trail is now becoming a liability.
Bemoaning Obama's passivity after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the director Spike Lee thundered: "He's very calm, cool, collected. But, one time, go off! If there's any one time to go off, this is it, because this is a disaster." This is the same Spike Lee who once described Obama's election as a "seismic" change that represented "a better day not only for the United States but for the world".
The ladies of The View, the liberal-dominated morning talk show moderated by Whoopi Goldberg, spent a lot of time last week sympathising with Mrs Obama about how difficult it must be to argue with a husband who never shows any fire or emotion.
Even the liberal chattering classes are deserting Obama. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times jeered that his "Yes we can" slogan had been downgraded to "Will we ever?", while fellow colunnist Frank Rich blasted his "recurrent tardiness in defining exactly what he wants done".
Perhaps Obama's toughest critic over the BP oil slick has been James "Rajin' Cajun" Carville, the mastermind of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and one of those Democrats who represents the beating heart of the party. He blasted Obama's "political stupidity" and "hands off" attitude, concluding: "It seems the President is madder at his critics than he is at BP."
His point was proved when Robert Gibbs, Obama's hyper-aggressive spokesman, responded: "I don't think James understands all of what we're doing. I don't think James understood the facts." Carville is a Louisiana native who had spent more time viewing the oil-soaked coastal wetlands than anyone in the White House.
It is an irony of Obama's presidency - which came into being because he was the unBush - that it shares some of the worst traits of his predecessor's administration. Among these are insularity and a blinkered arrogance.
The young Texans who seemed genetically incapable of viewing any criticism of George W Bush as less than treason may have gone but a similar cult has replaced them. The Obamatrons who now populate Washington have iPads under their arms and greet each other with fist bumps. Earnest, geeky types, they look upon anyone who does not worship Obama with pity – such a being must be too stupid or bigoted to know better.
Obama has never been wracked by self-doubt and he is unusually self-contained for a politician. He seems not to need people or reassurance. In office, this is dangerous – he sometimes seems to be living in a cocoon.
The White House's attempts to deal criticisms of Obama's detachment have been comical. First there was Obama's own cringeworthy (and doubtless bogus) anecdote about his 11-year-old daughter Malia asking: "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?" Then there was Gibbs illustrating Obama's passionate concern for the people of the Gulf by relating that he had said "damn" and exhibited a "clenched jaw".
It is now permissible – even fashionable – to have a go at the man once hailed as the Messiah.
A witty article about love and marriage from an Australian author here
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:06 AM