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Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes

Michael Rubin, former Bush era Pentagon official who is currently a Resident Scholar at the Washington, DC –based American Enterprise Institute(AEI), has been engaged in intense media interviews since the launch of his new book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue RegimesDancing with the Devil covers Rubin’s research on fifty years of US and Western experience with rogue regimes and terrorist groups. The Encounter Books release on the publication of Rubin’s book noted:

The American response of first resort is to talk with such rogues, on the theory that, “It never hurts to talk to enemies.” Seldom is conventional wisdom so wrong. It is true that sanctions and military force come at high costs. However, case studies examining the history of American diplomacy with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Taliban’s Afghanistan, and Pakistan demonstrate that problems with both strategies do not make engagement with rogue regimes a cost-free option. Rogue regimes have one thing in common—they pretend to be aggrieved in order to put Western diplomats on the defensive. Whether they are in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad, rogue leaders understand that the West rewards bluster with incentives. The State Department, the process of holding talks is often deemed more important than results.

We met Rubin in 2005 when he returned to Yale to discuss his experience as a former Pentagon official on Iran and Iraq who also served as a political advisor to  the Provisional Coalition Authority. He spoke  about the emergence of the nuclear Iran threat under the ‘reformist’ regime in Tehran led by Ayatollah Khatami. See Rubin’s background and blog at the AEI website, here and here.

Our interview with Rubin ranged across an array of prevailing issues. Among these are the Iranian nuclear and ICBM threat and Putin’s great game of one sided politics in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also addresses Pakistan’s tolerance of terrorism and the  lack of US support for the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. He criticizes the folly of the Administration’s support of Turkey under Premier Erdogan and the folly of its lead in the Final Status negotiations with the Palestinians imperiling Israel’s security.

Here are some of his observations.

Dr. Michael Rubin

Back in 2000 to 2005 the EU’s pursuit of engagement with Iran under President Khatami enabled the Islamic Republic to devote 70 percent of its hard currency reserves to both ICBM and nuclear weapons development. Moreover Rubin’s research on that period revealed that Iran took the lead from North Korea in its negotiating posture with the West alternating bluster with soothing words about the dialogue of civilizations. That raises the question of whether the present P5+1 negotiations backed by the US Administration with another reformist, President Rouhani, might be what  baseball legend Yogi Berra  called “déjà vu all over again”? Rouhani was Iran’s nuclear negotiator under former President Khatami. On Putin’s great game strategy in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, in the midst of the crisis in the Ukraine, Rubin had the following observations.

The Administration’s current negotiations posture with the Russian President is the equivalent of ”Chamberlain negotiating with Machiavelli, and Machiavelli always wins.” Rubin believes that Putin is “playing a zero sum game” in both the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Based on recent speeches by an Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader, Iran believes itself the head of the Islamic world.

The Administration’s outreach to Islamist non-state actors like the Muslim Brotherhood he considers a catastrophe reflected in recent conversations with senior leaders in Kuwait and the UAE. Rubin believes that the Administration has made a mistake not supporting secular Kurdish regimes in the Iraqi regional government and the virtual autonomous Kurdish region in the Northeastern province of Hazaka in Syria.  He believes this stems from our support of Turkey under the Erdogan government. Rubin suggests that Turkey’s embattled Premier Erdogan may be creating another rogue regime in Ankara.

We will be publishing both an article based on our interview with Rubin and a review of Dancing with the Devil in the March edition of the New English Review.

Listen to senior editor Jerry Gordon’s interview with Michael Rubin, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

J-Street: Dividing the Jewish community’s support for Israel?

On Monday night of Presidents’ Weekend, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) premiered a new film, The J Street Challenge, to an audience of 400 at a theater in Miami Beach. It is the latest in a series of provocative films by Avi Goldwasser and Charles Jacobs.

These films include: Columbia Unbecomingabout intimidation of Jewish students by pro-Palestinian faculty at an elite university; Northeastern Unbecoming, a documentary about the hostility to Israel and Jews on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/HK0DRnbUziw[/youtube]

… and the award-winning film The Forgotten Refugees – which explores the history, culture, and forced exodus of over 900,000 Jews from Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities in the second half of the 20th century:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KH8RL2XRr48[/youtube]

Watch the trailer for  The  J Street Challenge here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABCDEFGH[/youtube]

The J Street Challenge makes effective use of  J Street video, direct interviews with notable critics and archival footage, removing  the mask from the face of J Street leader Jeremy Ben Ami. The film graphically shows the perfidy of J Street’s alleged “pro Israel” messaging versus its actions. The takeaway from watching this film is that J Street is misleading Jewish students on college campuses about its real intention — the isolation of the Jewish state. In her Arutz Sheva Israel National News film review, Phyllis Chesler, commented:

Jeremy Ben-Ami may be a far more dangerous and morally problematic traitor to his people than were any of the Judenrat leaders during the Shoah. I say this because no one is threatening Ben-Ami with imminent death (each kapo and judenrat leader was death threatened while in captivity). Ben Ami lives in the United States and is a free man.

Yet, in classic Orwellian style, he presents his organization as both “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” when he is neither. He condemns Israel at every turn and he does so in an era when Israel is under existential siege and a Second Holocaust is fully underway in slow motion. Jews are being blamed for and physically attacked outside of Israel because of Israel’s alleged “apartheid” and “occupation” policies. Israeli civilians are also being attacked—blown up, knifed—inside Israel proper.

The war against the Jews and the Jewish state rages on as never before at the United Nations, the European Union, among intellectuals and academics, on campuses, and within international human rights organizations. The Big Lies and filthy propaganda may be found 24/7 on the internet and in well-made documentaries as well as in prize-winning feature films.

The J Street Challenge is short, powerful, and an absolute must-see.

The J Street Challenge jpeg_ 2-19-14Among the J Street critics included in the film are: Lenny Ben-David, Alan Dershowitz, Carolyn Glick, Daniel Gordis, Charles Jacobs, Richard Landes, Andrea Levin, Bret Stephens, Ruth Wisse, Josh Block, Roz Rothstein and Noah Pollack.

Professor Richard Landes of Boston University commented in the film that many of J Street’s supporters are engaging in feel-good  “moral narcissism:”

[T]heir hyper-criticism of Israel functions as a way of showing their moral superiority. They contrast their own universalist concern for all the world’s people, with “small minded” Zionists who care only about their small tribe. J Street ally, Peter Beinert takes this to its logical extreme. Distorting Jewish prophetic tradition, he claims that Jewish values demand the creation of a Palestinian state at Israel’s pre-War 1967 borders, and the removal of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. J Street only blames Israel for the lack of peace and is notably silent about Palestinian terrorism and threats.

Lenny Ben David, former Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC reveals through his research into through IRS filings who funds J Street. Among those backers and partners are George Soros, and Muslim Brotherhood Front groups in the US, MPAC and the National Iranian American Council.

This film should be adopted by those who care about the future of Israel and the American Jewish community. It must be shown in Jewish high schools, temples and JCCs. It must be used to wake the Jewish community to the deception employed by J Street to exploit the idealism and naviete of many well intentioned young Jews.

There is the moral blindness among American mainstream Jewish organizations and leaders, who have adopted false belief in dialogue as the solution to all human conflicts. Take for example funding support for the Olive Tree Initiative by an affiliate of the Orange county California Federation, sending unwary UC-Irvine students  who “accidentally” meet leaders of Hamas. Is this any different from J Street U sending Jewish student to pay homage at the grave of the late Yassir Arafat in Ramallah? The Palestinian Authority’s corrupt Holocaust-denying leaders are portrayed in The J Street Challenge film as honest men ready to make peace with the Jewish state. The film shows how these Arab leaders espouse peace to naive Jews in English and in Arabic they spout the classic Islamic doctrine of Jew-hatred and murder. Only one Jewish Federation in America, the Sarasota-Manatee Federation, had the courage to sign the a pledge against self destruction of American Jews through similar programs espoused by J Street and anti-Zionist ally, Jewish Voices for Peace in the BDS movement. There are Reform Temples and Federations in Nashville, Tennessee who defend dialog with local Muslim community leaders, among them are those who converted Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who became a homegrown jihadi.  Bledsoe/Muhammad in June 2009, on his way to his fateful murder of Army Pvt. Andy Long at an Army recruiting center in Arkansas, firebombed the home of an orthodox rabbi in Nashville and shot up the home of a rabbi in Little Rock. (See the acclaimed APT production, Losing our Sons).

Chesler noted in her review the powerful J Street rabbinic cabinet. This makes it all the more important that members of the rabbinate who reject the moral perversion of J Street should be involved in promotion of the APT film. We refer to valued friends in this struggle, Rabbis Jonathan Hausman in Massachusetts, Aryeh Spero in New York, Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg in New Jersey and the venerable theologian and noted author Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein. They have been wrongly and unfairly criticized by their rabbinic colleagues for combating J Street, yet these stalwart rabbis are the Zionist truth tellers. Norman Podhoretz called this J Street perversion of Judaism the equivalent of “worshipping at the torah of liberalism.” See our Iconoclast post, “Why are Jews Liberals?.

There is an irony about J Street leader Jeremy Ben Ami’s family background. We have a copy of a Bergson Pageant, “We will Never Die” Program in Philadelphia circa 1943 courtesy of Rabbi Hausman’s late mother. In it is a picture of Jeremy’s father, Yitzhak, one of the six Revisionist Palestinian Jews who came to recruit a Jewish Army to fight the Nazis and to lobby Congress successfully to save the remnant of European Jews. We wonder what Jeremy father would say about how far his son has fallen promoting the isolation of the sovereign Jewish homeland and six million Jews who live there — an Israel providing a bastion for Jews endangered by degenerate anti-Semitic hatred in Europe and elsewhere.

Kol Hakavod to the APT team for producing The J Street Challenge. Now let’s do what we can to ensure that this production is viewed in local Jewish communities across America so that we can expose the perfidy of J Street and Jeremy Ben Ami.

 EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Has God changed from when He asked men, like Noah, to do strange things?

“As in the days of Noah,” God asked him to become the laughing stock of the world. But on Father’s Day, we might recall Noah was a better Dad than most other great men–he saved his whole family!

Abraham is another person who was willing to do strange things for God. He left home and all that he knew because he heard a voice? Later he accepted circumcision as a token of his faith, that even if amputated, he would still have children. His name meant “father of many.” And he insisted his servants be circumcised too–before the days of anesthesia! Embarrassing, but he was willing to be a fool for God.

Moses also heard voices, and life became harder for the Israelites—they had to make bricks without straw. Maybe they hated Moses with the frogs and lice, and then he asked them to kill a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts. Bizarre?

All of the above must have seemed weird. Looking back, we understand the reasons, but could God want us to do something strange?

Israel celebrated the Passover, the greatest event of Old Testament history, by eating the lamb and staying awake all night. We no longer need to kill lambs, but Christ asked His disciples to “watch and pray.” Those words are repeated throughout the New Testament and if we did them on the eve of Passover, it would commemorate the greatest events in Scripture.

Maybe Ellen White had that in mind when she wrote, “As [Christ] ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice.”1

We know it as “the Lord’s Supper” and we celebrate it as communion, but we haven’t done so “in its place.” on Passover. And because we don’t, we could be missing an important part that’s still enjoined, ”Watch and pray.” We spiritualize the word watch and think it means to be aware.

The Greek word for watch is gregorio, and it means to be awake. Paul wrote, “let us not sleep…let us watch.”2 and the context has several clues suggesting Passover.

  • Verses 1,2 imply a time we [should] “know perfectly.” Perhaps we’ve misunderstood something. Paul referred to the holidays like Passover as “shadows of things to come.”3
  • Writing of those times that we “know perfectly, the day of the Lord” comes as a thief. “The day of the Lord” is the Old Testament apocalyptic term and it’s linked to Passover as “the day of the Lord’s sacrifice” in Zephaniah 1:7,8 where God will punish “the king’s children clothed in strange apparel.” No wedding garment? Each wedding parable has Passover imagery, like the midnight cry in Matthew 25:6 and also in Exodus 12:29-30.
  • That cry was also the cry of childbirth. At Passover, God brought forth “my son…my firstborn.”4 “The day of the Lord comes” as travail on a woman with child and we are to know “perfectly.”

Paul kept Passover with Greek believers in Philippi and Corinth and he said, Follow me as I follow Christ. 5

Ellen White cited Christ’s death at Passover and said, “In like manner [at Passover?] the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service.”6

Perhaps we should see Passover also as when God said, “I will execute judgment.”7 Seventh-day Adventists believe in a pre-Advent judgment, but it may have three components:

1.  “the time of the dead that they should be judged”8

2.  “the nations were angry” (the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth—a time of judgment for the living when they face life and death situations as in Daniel 1-6. “Daniel” means “God is my Judge.” But the book of Judges shows judges as deliverers, and God may deliver us as the three Hebrews who also said, “But if not…we will not worship…the image”9

3.  “thy wrath is come” on those who worship the beast or his image.10

The point is, just as Adventists believe #1, the judgment of the dead, began on the Day of Atonement, perhaps we should consider that when judgment is executed, it could begin on Passover, as in the type.

If God isn’t going to do anything without revealing it,11 shouldn’t we consider it revealed and try to understand when?

Christ’s disciples were probably thinking of Passover as a time of judgment for those events in Matthew 24,25 when He said, You don’t know the day or hour.

We overlook the meaning of the Greek word, oida—be aware, consider, understand. Christ was saying, You don’t understand, and each time He said it, He gave an example that fit a provision in their law for Passover a month later, “as in the days of Noah.” But how much “as”? Could it include timing?

The Flood came with Passover timing. Noah entered the ark on the 10th day, the same day that the sacrifice was selected in Exodus 12:3, but it was the 2nd spring month because Noah had to bury Methuselah who died as a sign of the Flood. His name meant, at his death, the sending forth of waters.12 That delay of one month is specified in Numbers 9:10,11 as a reason to observe Passover later.

Again, after five women missed the wedding, Christ said, Watch (a word linked to being awake at Passover), for the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country.”13 Israelites didn’t travel in winter, but if they took a long journey in spring and couldn’t get back for Passover, they were to keep it in the 2nd month as specified in Numbers 9.

Could it be significant that Christ punctuated His two parables in Matthew 25 with instruction to watch and a qualification of when to watch, if we understood their law better. And didn’t Christ say, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law”?14

Could we be the “goodman” who doesn’t know when to watch [be awake] so that our house is broken by the thief? The King James has only one reference to goodman in the Old Testament. A harlot says, “The goodman…is gone a long journey…and will come home at the yom kece [full moon]. Passover comes on a full moon, but “long journey” means 2nd Passover.

Christ said, “If you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief.” But there’s Good News as well…

“Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes shall find watching [another link to Passover] Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself and make them sit down to meat and come forth and serve them.” Girding Himself and serving us is also Passover imagery—the Last Supper.
If we are “so doing” when He comes and “knocks…He will make [us] ruler over all that He has.” So much to gain and so little to lose!
Why we should do so this year is beyond the scope of this article, but this year, 2nd Passover (“as in the days of Noah,” falls on Wednesday evening, May 14. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our churches were filled with members seeking communion on the authentic time for Christ’s return from “a long journey”?

Our favorite author said those seeking the Lord’s return should be found in prayer meeting. Why not on May 14? We have many reasons for all night prayer vigils. “It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones…If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.” Why not share this article with your pastor and ask if we could do something crazy?

References:

1    The Desire of Ages, p 652

2    1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

3    Colossians 2:16,17

4    Exodus 4:22

5    Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 11:1

6    The Great Controversy, p 399.9

7    Exodus 12:12

8    Revelation 11:18

9    Daniel 3:18

10  Revelation 14:9,10

11  Amos 3:7

12  Genesis 5:21, King James, margin

13  Matthew 25:13,14

14  Matthew 5:18

[1]   Proverbs 7:19,20

[1]   Revelation 3:3

[1]   Luke 12:36,37

[1]   Luke 12:43-48

[1]   The Desire of Ages, p 83

Breaking: 13,000 high-school children graduate from Hamas paramilitary camps

Here in the U.S. we are proud of our children when they graduate from school. It means that they have an increased chance of a full, happy and prosperous life.

Graduation classes of the jihadist culture, however, are quite a different story, as the article below demonstrates.

The bottom line? The jihadist culture is one that values death over life. Therefore, it has no problem training children for suicide attacks. In fact, in their eyes it is something of which to be proud.

This is a culture that is fully committed – at all ages – to the destruction of Israel and the West.

HAMAS child soldier firing ak47

A child practices shooting at the ‘pioneers of liberation’ camp in Gaza. Photo credit: Hamas interior ministry website.

13,000 teens complete Hamas training camps to emulate ‘suicide martyrs’ by Elhanan Miller

The Hamas government in Gaza celebrated the graduation on Monday of paramilitary camps geared at training high-school children “to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.”

The camps, titled “the pioneers of liberation,” are run by Hamas’s ministries of education and interior. Some 13,000 students in grades 10-12 participated in the one-week training camps this year, compared to 5,000 last year when the program was launched, Israeli sources with knowledge of the program said.

The corps of instructors consists mainly of active members of Hamas’s security forces, and the curriculum includes weapons training, first aid, self defense, marching exercises and “security awareness” classes on identifying Israeli spies.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Interior Minister Fathi Hammad and Education Minister Usama Mzeini attended the graduation ceremony on Monday, each delivering fiery speeches stressing the importance of military training in developing a new generation of Palestinian combatants.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (center) attends the graduation ceremony in Gaza, January 13, 2014 (photo credit: Hamas interior ministry website)

“Beware this generation,” Haniyeh said, addressing Israel. “This is a generation which knows no fear. It is the generation of the missile, the tunnel and the suicide operations.”

The Hamas prime minister added that female trainers are also on staff “to oversee the training of the young women to follow in the footsteps of the female suicide operatives.”

Hammad, the interior minister, said the training was in preparation for the coming war with Israel.

“This generation is a sapling from God on earth. It will harvest the enemies of God and be the pride of all nations,” he said.

Hamdi Shaqura, deputy director of program affairs at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a Gaza-based watchdog, said that his organization issued no statement on the training.

“To the best of my knowledge no other organization in Gaza issued a statement either,” he told The Times of Israel.

A child practices shooting at the ‘pioneers of liberation’ camp in Gaza (photo credit: Hamas interior ministry website)

Omar Dawabha, an eleventh-grader who took part in the training, was quoted on the website of Hamas’s interior ministry saying that “he learned how to safeguard our rights and principles.” Another student, Mohammed Abu Nar, addressed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem at the graduation ceremony.

“We are the pioneers of liberation, we are coming to purify you from the Zionists,” he said.

Elhanan Miller is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel.

The Syrian Constellation before the Geneva 2 Peace Talks

Pinhas Inbari  published this timely Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) brief on the issues and dramatis personae at the opening round of the Geneva II talks in Montreux, Switzerland that began today.

We consider insightful Inbari’s analysis of the roiling seemingly intractable, inconclusive  civil war in Syria now in its 35 month. Israel is concerned about what may arise from these fractious discussions given the presence of both Assad regime and Syrian opposition, including  potentially intrusive  Al Qaeda-affiliates operating in the demilitarized zone on the Golan plateau. Further, as Inbari points out in this brief, should , mirabile dictu, should  an agreement  be reached and a new government installed in Damascus  are the be renewal of demands for return of the Golan, annexed by Israel in December 1981.

There have also been reports of both Israeli Arab Muslim extremists and Palestinians from Gaza  joining those al Qaeda opposition militias in Syria.  The Syrian Kurds have abiding concerns regarding attainment of possible hard fought  regional autonomy that has apparently vanquished Al Qaeda militia threatening their Rojava heartland in Syria’s North East.

This post should assist you in identifying the contending parties, including the Islamic regime in Tehran and its proxy Hezbollah, whose presence at the meeting was considered unhelpful. vigorous objections raised by the Syrian opposition, the US, UK and others forced  UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon  to abruptly ‘disinvite’ the Iranian delegation from attending this session.  Nevertheless, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who lauded the UN Secretary General’s invitation extended to Iran, may be both the assad regime;s and its  Shiite hegemon’s diplomatic proxy auditing the proceedings for the Islamic Regime.

The Syrian Constellation before the Geneva 2 Peace Talks

by
Pinhas Inbari
Vol. 14, No. 2    22 January 2014

* This report is based on telephone conversations with members of the Syrian opposition.

  • The Geneva 2 peace conference was convened after an agreement between the United States and Russia that the main danger posed by the situation in Syria is that of al-Qaeda, and that the course of events should be steered in order to obviate this danger.
  • The Syrian opposition sees a danger that the two powers will prefer to leave Assad in place since, if the choice is between him and al-Qaeda, then Assad is the better option.
  • The powers’ need to convene the Geneva 2 conference stemmed primarily from the failure of the Free Syrian Army under General Idris to defeat Assad’s army and bring about regime change.
  • Ironically, the success of the al-Qaeda groups against the Syrian army and the Free Syrian Army helped Russia convince the United States that, at least for the time being, Assad should be left standing. The result is that Assad’s loyalists will be in attendance at the conference.
  • If the Syrian opposition has trouble accepting the presence of Assad loyalists at the peace conference, it cannot accept an Iranian presence at all. They say their real opponent on the Syrian battlefield is the Iranian army, and they view Iran as an invading country that is also deploying Hizbullah against them.
  • Israel must pay attention to two possible outcomes: A Middle Eastern inter-bloc agreement may at some stage include the Palestinian issue. Another possible scenario may involve renewed pressure on Israel to give up the Golan Heights in order to “strengthen” the new Syrian government.

A U.S.-Russian Agreement

Geneva 2, the international peace conference on the future of Syria, began on January 22, 2014, in Montreux, Switzerland. Sources in the Syrian opposition say the conference has come about because of agreement between the United States and Russia that the main danger posed by the situation in Syria is that of al-Qaeda, and that the course of events should be steered in order to obviate this danger.

This inter-bloc agreement has put most of the Syrian opposition under great pressure. They see a danger that the two powers will meanwhile prefer to leave Assad in place since, if the choice is between him and al-Qaeda, then Assad is the better option.

The problem is that the opposition is very fragmented and the two powers can force it to accept their dictates. On the issue of Geneva 2, there indeed is such a dictate. Whereas, at first, the Syrian opposition refused to participate in the conference with Assad loyalists, after heavy pressure that included American threats to cease assistance to them, much of the Syrian opposition acceded to the two powers’ demand that they attend.

Who’s Who in the Syrian Opposition

What elements make up the Syrian opposition, what do they seek, and who stands behind them?

First, the Geneva conference will not represent the fighters on the battlefield; neither the different al-Qaeda groups nor the Free Syrian Army will be in attendance. Al-Qaeda will not be there because the talks are aimed at counteracting it, and in any case al-Qaeda does not ordinarily take part in gatherings of this kind. As for the Free Syrian Army and its commander Salim Idris, they still are not prepared to sit in the same room with Assad’s loyalists, though there are reports of enormous pressure on Idris to attend.

Basically, however, the talks will be attended by parties that are not active on the Syrian battlefield. Who are they?

One large body, known as the National Coalition of Syrian and Regional Forces (also called the Syrian National Coalition), will be representing the opposition that is based outside of Syria. It is headed by Ahmed al-Jarba, a scion of the leading families of the large Shammar Bedouin tribe, which migrates among Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and is considered pro-Saudi. Saudi Arabia indeed supports this organization.

Another group within the “coalition” is the representative body of the Syrian opposition before the “coalition” was formed. Called the Syrian National Council (SNC), it includes the Muslim Brotherhood and pan-Arab nationalists and is supported by Turkey and Qatar. Although it is formally within the “coalition” framework, the competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia influences its relations with the coalition. All this was evident when decisions had to be made on whether to attend Geneva 2. After al-Jarba announced that he would go, his rivals in the SNC declared that they would not. The reasons for al-Jarba’s decision are not clear. Whereas one would have expected that, given the Saudis’ anger at Washington, the pro-Saudi faction would try to impede the conference, the opposite is what happened. Sources in the Syrian opposition said the Saudis did not want to bring tensions with the United States out in the open, and perhaps also did not want to be associated with al-Qaeda; instead the talks could always be undermined from within.

Russia, too, has its favored groups, and there is no surprise in the fact that they agreed to attend. These groups are old leftist factions that were part of the Syrian Ba’ath party. Syrian opposition sources point to the “Internal Opposition Group” headed by Kadri Jamil and Ali Haidar, two veteran Ba’athists who abandoned Assad. Alongside them is another group of veteran Arab nationalists headed by Haitham Mana’a and Hassan Abd al-Azim, called the “Coordinated Administration,” an array of coordinating committees for the rebels in the field. This group maintains its independence and does not receive aid from any party; it opposes Assad and will not attend Geneva 2.

The powers’ need to convene the Geneva 2 conference stemmed primarily from the failure of the Free Syrian Army under General Idris to defeat Assad’s army and bring about regime change. Instead, the different al-Qaeda organizations have now prevailed in the local arena, and not long ago they handed Idris a defeat near Aleppo, taking over his main arms depot. The Free Syrian Army is also supported by Turkey and Qatar.

Al-Qaeda Forces in Syria

Who are the al-Qaeda forces operating in Syria? There are about forty groups with numerous names, but two are playing the main role on the ground. One is the Al-Nusra group led by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani; the other is “Daash” – the Islamic State of Iraq and Ash-Sham (the Levant), also called ISIS. Al-Nusra is made up of Syrian and Jordanian mujahideen, while the Syria and Iraq group has an Iraqi leadership.

Ironically, the success of the Salafi groups has worked in Assad’s favor. He claimed from the start that he was not dealing with a rebellion but with “terror,” and the al-Qaeda groups’ successes against the Syrian army and the Free Syrian Army helped Russia convince the United States that, at least for the time being, Assad should be left standing. The result is that Assad’s loyalists will be in attendance at the conference.

The opposition groups claim, however, that at least the ISIS organization is actually in league with Assad. They say the al-Qaeda fighters in this group were originally Syrian intelligence agents who were infiltrated into Iraq to operate against U.S. forces there, and after the revolt in Syria erupted, Assad’s intelligence service implanted them among the rebels as a way of proving that the revolt is nothing more than terror. These al-Qaeda groups have also acted against the Free Syrian Army and diverted it from the anti-Assad struggle.

The Kurds of Syria

The Kurds of Syria are a special case. They, too, are fragmented into many groups; among the leading ones is the Democratic Union Party (PYD). A radical-left organization that is a twin sister of the Turkish PKK, it is close to Assad’s Ba’ath regime and loyal to it. The Syrian army was able to withdraw from Kurdish areas and concentrate its forces against the rebels because the PYD managed Kurdish affairs on Syria’s behalf. There are now reports that under the PYD’s “administrative autonomy,” pictures of Assad have again appeared in the streets.

The PYD is opposed by the Yakiti party, which is close to Kurdnas – a large coalition of Kurdish parties that triggered the Kurdish revolt against Assad in the previous century. In contrast to the PYD’s radical leftism, Yakiti and Kurdnas are pro-Western parties that advocate a federal regime in Syria. The space between the PYD, at one end, and Yakiti and Kurdnas, at the other, is filled by numerous other parties. These, however, were concocted by Syrian intelligence as a means of fragmenting the Kurds. One “real” group that is not an invention of Syrian intelligence is the Azadi party.

All the Kurdish parties are demanding autonomy within the framework of the Syrian state. The difference between them and the Sunni parties (the Muslim Brotherhood, former Ba’athists, Arab nationalists) is that, whereas the Kurdish groups call for a decentralized regime of autonomous districts for the ethnic communities and minorities, most of the Sunnis favor retaining the centralized regime in Damascus.

Whereas the Kurds demanded to come to Geneva 2 as a separate delegation, the United States insisted that they attend as part of the “coalition.” The Kurds refused and will not be at Geneva. They see the U.S. refusal to recognize their separate delegation as stemming from its support for a centralized Syrian regime even after Assad’s departure.

If the Syrian opposition has trouble accepting the presence of Assad loyalists at the peace conference, it cannot accept an Iranian presence at all. They say their real opponent on the Syrian battlefield is the Iranian army, and they view Iran as an invading country that is also deploying Hizbullah against them. Saudi Arabia, too, can barely tolerate the Assad loyalists and rejects any Iranian role at the conference altogether.

The Question of Assad’s Future

Regarding Assad’s future, while the first Geneva peace conference in June 2012 came up with a plan for a temporary government and elections for a new president, Assad insisted on his right to run in these elections. Geneva 2, as well, will likely propose a temporary government and elections while offering Assad an honorable departure from political life in return for his physical survival. Whether such elections can be held, however, is in doubt since forces on the ground will reject any such plan.

Meanwhile, there are initial signs of a deal taking shape outside the framework of the conference, in which Iran, Russia, and the United States would agree on a new president while forcing Assad to acquiesce. But such an initiative – if it takes shape at all – will have to wait until Assad hands over all his chemical weapons.

Israel must pay attention to two matters. First, a Middle Eastern inter-bloc agreement may at some stage include the Palestinian issue; Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will fly to Moscow to clarify this option with the Russians. Israel must prepare for a scenario where a new central government is established in Damascus and the powers begin to pressure Israel to give up the Golan Heights in order to “strengthen” the new Syrian government.

About Pinhas Inbari

Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, and currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The Two-State Solution is Dead. Long live what?

Ted Belman, editor and publisher of the blog Israpundit writes: The Two-State Solution is dead.  All that remains is for the US to declare it so. Palestinians leaders and Israeli leaders have made it clear.

In a speech on Jan 10/14, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud  Abbas made it crystal clear that he would never abandon the “right of return”, would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state and would never make a deal unless East Jerusalem was given to the Palestinians as their capital, all of which cross Israel’s red lines.

When the latest “peace process was getting started, Israeli leaders kept referring to Abbas as a moderate, contrary to the truth, and even referred to him as a partner in peace, also not the truth. No more.

Upon Israel’s release of the third batch of murderers in December and in response to the leaders of the PA celebrating them as heroes, PM Netanyahu said:

“Murderers are not heroes. [..] This is no way to educate toward peace. This is no way to make peace. Peace can be achieved only when the education toward incitement and toward the destruction of Israel is stopped. There will be peace only if our security and settlement interests are ensured. Peace will be established only if we could defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat.”

In the past week, Netanyahu, Yaalon and Bennett all criticized Abbas.

Netanyahu told VP Biden that recent comments by Abbas were proof that he does not want peace.

Min of Defense Boogie Yaalon said, Mahmoud Abbas “lives on our sword,” “Once we leave Judea and Samaria, he is finished. In fact, throughout the recent months, there is no negotiation between us and the Palestinians – but rather, between us and the Americans. The only thing that can ‘save’ us is that John Kerry will get a Nobel peace prize and leave us alone.” and “I live and breathe the conflict with the Palestinians, I know what they think, what they want and what they really mean,” he went on. “The American security plan that was presented to us is not worth the paper it was written on.”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett denounced Abbas as “no different than Yasser Arafat,”

The fact that Yaalon was forced to apologize does not invalidate the truth of his remarks.

No doubt that Kerry is now looking for an exit strategy from his doomed efforts to force Israel to make concessions.

If not the Two-State Solution, then what?

Wm Galston writing in The New Republic on June 2011, said: “Benjamin Netanyahu offers no viable alternative to the status quo, and the opposition offers no viable alternative to Netanyahu. [..] The majority of Israelis actually seem comfortable to the point of complacency with today’s de facto truce and limited Palestinian autonomy.”

He was right. Netanyahu, Yaalon and many Israelis, though they prefer the Two State Solution on their terms, in its absence, are quite comfortable with maintaining the status quo.

But not everyone embraces the status quo. They fear Israel’s further isolation and deligitimation. They are clamouring to be pro-active rather than passive or defensive.

They all want to annex Judea and Samaria (West Bank) but differ on what to do with the Arabs that live there.

Deputy Minister of Transportation, MK Tzipi Hotovely recently said:

“The goal is for Judea and Samaria to be under Israeli sovereignty. It is ours and it was acquired legally in a bloody, defensive war. We must now implement the vision of the Greater Land of Israel and begin to apply sovereignty in all of the territory. This is the vision reflecting belief in the holy precept that the Land of Israel is ours and we have no right to revoke this precept. It is fidelity to the ideology of the Right and the religious public, which believes that this is our land.”

“We must begin a gradual process of 25 years under the heading of ‘annexation-naturalization’.”

‎” We must bear in mind that this is a hostile entity and it is impossible to ‎turn them into citizens overnight.”

Caroline Glick recently published her latest book, ‘The Israeli solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East’ arguing that whereas in Israel, the conversation has begun about alternatives to the ‘Two-State’ model, no such conversation is taking place in America. Instead American policy beginning with Nixon was and is to appease the PLO, now PA, at Israel’s expense.

“The only thing that should interest us is that Judea and Samaria is Israel,” she says and notes that even though providing the Palestinians with permanent residency and the right to apply for citizenship is not a perfect solution and will damage Israel on certain levels, “it is absolutely clear that it is better than establishing a Palestinian state. Such a state would be the ruin of Israel.”

Prof Martin Sherman, while totally supporting the annexation of Judea and Samaria, warns Glick and Hotovely, to “look before you leap” for reasons he makes clear.  He is adamantly against offering citizenship.

“Topping the list of bad ideas is the notion that, given the proven infeasibility of the two-state paradigm, Israel should extend its sovereignty over the entire area of Judea-Samaria and offer “immediate permanent residency to all its [Arab] Palestinian residents, as well as the right to apply for citizenship.” This is an approach so fraught with manifest disaster that it pains me that someone of the caliber of Caroline B. Glick, for whom I have the utmost regard and with whom I am seldom in disagreement, has chosen to advocate it.

“An almost childlike naiveté is required to entertain the belief that Israel could sustain itself as a Jewish nation-state with a massive Muslim minority of almost 40% – as the societal havoc that far smaller proportions have wrought in Europe indicate.”

Instead, he argues for a  “humanitarian solution” which envisages voluntary Arab emigration induced by generous compensation.

Glick rejects this and the Jordan Option as “irrelevant ideas that no one will accept, especially the Palestinians themselves.”

But were Sherman’s idea be adopted by the US and the EU, the conflict would be fully and finally solved in a decade.

Kerry for his part has resorted to threatening Israel with dire consequences should she not capitulate. In a November interview in Israel he said: “If we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s been taking place on an international basis,” In fact Governmental sources report that US Secretary of State John Kerry is behind the European boycott threats on Israeli products and companies operating in Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

At the Saban Conference in November, he said “Force cannot defeat or defuse the demographic time bomb.”

What Demographic Bomb

While the left, the EU and the USA continue to threaten Israel with claims that Israel is losing the demographic war, the opposite is the truth.  Amb (ret) Yoram Ettinger has been studying the demographics in Israel for a decade and has often written that the demographic trend supports Israel now in the foreseeable future. According to him, Jews outnumber Arabs from the river to the sea, excluding Gaza, by a 2:1 majority and the numbers will only get better.

But the Two-State Solution carries with it a real demographic bomb. If a  Palestinian state was created, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan would demand that the descendants of the original refugees now living in their countries, numbering now over 4 million, be returned to Palestine. If the PA gives up the “right of return”, and most of these “refugees” were to return to Palestine, both Palestine and Israel would be greatly destabilized. So much so, as to require no return to Palestine either.

Glick advises:

“I brief the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate several times every year. Each time I present this plan on Capitol Hill, the response borders on euphoria. In the United States, just as in Israel, there are millions of people who understand that the ‘Two-State’ solution is a disaster. They are just waiting for someone to tell them that they can abandon it. My book gives them, and the Israeli public as well, the alternative that they are waiting for.”

Let’s hope they adopt it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The Three Things You Don’t Need Robert Gates’s Book to Know

“Excerpts from a new tell-all book made quite a splash in Washington yesterday. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates apparently blasts President Obama on foreign policy and the U.S. military in his upcoming book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” writes Amy Payne from the Heritage Foundation.

But as Heritage’s James Jay Carafano said, “You don’t need a book from the former Secretary of Defense to know that many of the decisions Obama made during Gates’s watch were a disaster.”

Gates started as Secretary of Defense during President George W. Bush’s second term, and Obama asked him to stay on during his first term.

The revelations from Gates’s book come as no surprise to Heritage experts, who have been warning that Obama has made decisions based on his personal preference for domestic policy—at the expense of America’s standing in the world and our men and women in uniform.

Here are three things you don’t need to read the book to know.

1. President Obama is reaping what he has sown on foreign policy.

“The President has never had a coherent approach to foreign policy,” explained Heritage’s Ted Bromund. “Instead, he entered office with a string of liberal platitudes about the world and a deep desire to focus on domestic policy.”

Obama’s style? “Instead of leading from the front, the President emphasized multilateral institutions (such as the U.N.), international law, and engagement with hostile regimes,” Bromund said. The essence of the Obama Doctrine—the President’s foreign policy approach—is that Obama has “placed hope above reality” when dealing with countries like Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea, said Heritage’s Luke Coffey.

2. Lessons learned in conflict are costly.

Fighting terrorism and state-sponsored enemies is a deadly business. As the focus of 2014 turns to the Administration’s promise to pull out of Afghanistan, the specter of Iraq looms large.

“The withdrawal from Iraq was a colossal failure,” says Carafano, Heritage’s E. W. Richardson Fellow. “Violence is higher today than when Obama took office. The country is near civil war.”

And our enemies haven’t taken a break.

“We are already seeing the Taliban and al-Qaeda staging a comeback following Obama’s mishandling of the surge in Afghanistan and the drawdown of forces planned in 2014,” Carafano said. He wrote yesterday that “what we need from the White House is leadership that reestablishes America’s ability to influence outcomes in the region for the good—rather than trumpeting easy ‘fixes’ while doing as little as possible.”

3. The state of the U.S. military matters.

During Gates’s tenure, the military began to shed war-fighting capabilities, canceled missile defense programs, and compromised on readiness. Again, this reflected the place of defense among the President’s priorities. But this directly impacts America’s ability to respond to a crisis.

“Throughout his Administration, the President has sought—successfully—to cut the defense budget. But, inevitably, there came a time when he thought it was right to use force,” Bromund said. “His successors will, at some point, be in exactly the same position, perhaps when action really is in America’s vital national interest—but by that point, his cuts will have made successful action difficult or even impossible.”

America has to be ready to defend itself—and reducing the military’s capabilities carries the risk that the country may not be ready when action is needed.

Decisions have consequences. Heritage’s Carafano and Distinguished Fellow Kim Holmes predicted years ago that Obama’s approach to foreign policy would prove to be bad for America and the world.

“Ultimately, the Obama Doctrine will force friendly nations to look elsewhere, not to Washington, for arrangements that bring them greater security. And that will make this a far more dangerous world indeed.”

Why the Israeli-Palestinian Agreement Is Absurd

It makes sense that the Israel-Palestinian agreement is being made with Obama and Kerry in charge. The deal offers a kind of neo-mandate, with an American presence entrenched in the Jordan Valley for the next 10 years.  That’s no joke.

Let’s look at a different but parallel “pacification” effort and see what happened there. The Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban have gone absolutely dreadfully, and President Karzai is very dissatisfied. The results are–not surprisingly–unsatisfactory.

Let’s consider casualties in that case and a couple of others.

As of the end of 2013, roughly 3,000 Western troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Western forces will retreat with their tails between their legs and will probably abandon the government to horrible massacres and long wars following a Taliban victory.

Since the start of the ongoing civil war in Syria, there have been about 200,000 casualties–mostly civilians. A truly staggering number.

The population of the West Bank is about 3.1 million; if losses will be proportional to those in neighboring nations, the cost of American soldier’s lives would be high.

So, if the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

  • Dozens of Israeli civilians would be at risk of being killed by cross-border Palestinian-Arab and Islamist terrorist attacks, even if the settlements did not exist.
  • And of course, how fast would U.S. troops respond to such attacks?
  • Might there be an intifada in Jordan, a neighboring country with a Palestinian majority and a very strong Muslim Brotherhood opposition?
  • Remember too that the peace treaty would be incomplete, unable to involve the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. And incomplete peace treaties cannot stand.

In the Gaza Strip, there are more than 1.6 million people under the rule of Hamas. This government will do everything it can to sabotage the peace process. And U.S. help to the PA will be presented as collaboration with the infidels. There is no possibility of their participation in this agreement. That means that even in the best of circumstances, even if the PA is at peace with Israel, Hamas will be in an ongoing war with Israel.

So what great advantage is peace with the West Bank and war with Gaza?

It is predictable that Hamas will attempt to carry out cross-border raids and fire missiles at Israel. What is the U.S. position on that? Is the United States at war with Hamas? CIA director John Brennan, the architect of Obama ideology, publically–but not officially–has said that he wants to make peace with Hamas.

Is the PA going to cooperate with Hamas or at least radical segments of the PA? Remember during the Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2005, Fatah did cooperate with Hamas.

Moreover, if Fatah were to change its policy, it might get support from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and so on. Turkey, for example–which is now a conduit for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and al-Qa’ida obtaining arms–knows that most of its policy with the Arabs will be dependent on its degree of support to the Palestinians, including cooperation if there is a Palestinian state. The fact is that Turkey has pinned its hopes on Turkish influence in the Arab world, and to associate with aggressive support of Palestine would be key to its popularity. What if aid from Turkey and these other countries prepares Palestine to fight?

What is the United States, an ally with Israel, going to do if Palestine is created by its own agreement but wages a war of terrorism against Israel?

By the way, let’s remember that Mahmoud Abbas will probably be replaced in the next few years. It is very hard to predict whom he will be replaced by, but the most popular candidate is a serious hardliner.

Shaykh Abd al-Muhsin al-Mutairi stated, “Oh servants of Allah, how saddening and very painful it is to see many Muslim youths glued to TV screens at cafes or at home, passionately watching entertainment shows, like the Football World Cup, in despicable subjugation to the abominations of the other nations–as if we were not a nation with a brilliant history and a lofty civilization.”

And guess who they blame?

“The Jews were successful in preoccupying the Muslim youth–except those protected by Allah–with the most inane matters, distracting them from important things…”

It is important to understand that millions of people believe this–thoroughly and completely–and can be motivated by these kinds of arguments to the point of killing or supporting terrorism. This is reality; even if it is not unanimous, it is a major motive. If you don’t understand that a majority of people in the Arab-Islamic world believe this, you cannot understand this is the majority view. Certainly Obama and Kerry do not understand this.

So, what are the potential issues that stem from this mindset?

  • Any Muslim killed by a Christian American soldier will be a reason for revenge. This is to engage in a blood feud. Even if a terrorist band has captured a kindergarten and shot children, there will be sympathy in the streets among Arabs and Muslims. If Palestinians are killed by Americans, there will be retaliation.
  •  A terrorist attack at a Kansas airport, Boston, or Fort Hood would be viewed as justification for causalities in Palestine.
  • Remember that the prospects for Arab terrorist movements are much better than Afghan ones, because they have many weapon suppliers–including Libya, Lebanon, al-Qa’ida, Syria, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
  • Also, in comparison with populated Afghan villages, Palestinians are concentrated in villages and small towns. Let us consider the American patrol knocking down doors in Jordan Valley towns.

In short, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is not going to be a picnic. Hamas and likely Fatah as well will attempt to kill Americans and commit terrorism. Forget Iranian nuclear weapons; this will be a war of AK-47s and rockets from Gaza. Does Obama Care?

This is definitely a war in which America will get bogged down, or the United States may stay a few years and leave. Just look at the situation in Afghanistan–either this agreement will never be implemented or it will be a disaster.

A Year End Recap of Obama’s Foreign Policy

Obama has turned U.S. foreign policy on its head. It is hard to avoid the conclusion Obama thinks U.S. enemies (particularly Islamists) are friends and friends are enemies.

Obama threatens to veto a Congressional sanctions bill if Iran fails to end its nuclear program and Obama sides with Iran on the issue even though Iran has just announced it is building newer and faster centrifuges. The Saudi’s accuse Obama of stabbing them in the back. Undoubtedly Israel feels betrayed by Obama as well.

In his Cairo speech Obama apologized to Islam on behalf of America’s predominantly Judeo-Christian population who don’t believe they have anything to apologize for?

In Egypt Obama congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood for taking control of the country and tried to reinstate Morsi an Islamic dictator after he was expelled as a result of a popular uprising by Egyptians seeking democracy.

In Libya Obama supported the Islamists over the more secular Gaddafi. Now Libya where Ambassador Stevens and his assistants were murdered has become an Islamic terrorist haven and its weapons have been distributed to terrorist groups throughout the Middle East. .

In Syria Obama entered into an agreement with Putin and Assad which expanded Iran’s power in the region allowing Iran to extend its unique Islamic oppression and terrorism in the region. It is now reported the schedule to destroy chemical weapons will not be kept. Obama calls this a foreign policy success even though the agreement assures Assad and his killing machine will now remain in power. The death toll has risen to 130,000 Syrians and two million refugees.

Obama called Turkey’s Erdogan (a corrupt Islamic strongman) one of his five closet international friends and forced Israel an ally to apologize to Erdogan which Erdogan rejected. Erdogan’s corruption may soon force him from office.

Obama is pressing Israel to make dangerous security concessions to the Palestinians (Islamists) who call for Israel’s destruction and won’t recognize the State of Israel. The PA now refuses to negotiate with Israel.

Obama promised to reset relations with Russia. Instead it appears we are witnessing a resurgence of the ‘cold war’.

China is taking aggressive steps against U.S. interests in the Pacific and allies are very concerned.

India is retaliating against U.S. citizens and diplomats in India in response to the strip-search treatment of an Indian diplomat and a threatened prosecution

One thing is certain. Obama has reduced U.S. influence and credibility in the Middle East and around the world. America’s allies no longer trust Obama and our enemies no longer respect or fear the U.S. This may be what Obama meant when he said he was going to transform America; but it isn’t what the American people had in mind.

A rebuttal to Ari Shavit’s book “My Promised Land”

my promised land book coverWhen I opened David Hornik’s  FrontPage Magazine article, “Ari Shavit’s ‘Doomed’ Israel”, I felt compelled to answer him, as he had not read Shavit’s New York Times “best seller”, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.   Shavit’s book is the Winner of the Natan Book Award. On the reverse of the jacket are blurbs extolling his personalized view of Israel by the likes of Franklin Foer, Editor of The New Republic, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Rabbi Daniel Gordis author and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem college in Jerusalem, former Newsweek editor and author, Jon Meacham and author Daphne Merkin.  They extol it as “beautifully written”, “full of moral complexity”, “powerful book about the making of Modern Israel”, “passionate and fair minded”.  In the course of his polemic against Shavit’s theme of ‘gloom and doom’ for Israel, Hornik quotes a review by Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse:

However, a review by another of my esteemed authors and commentators, Ruth Wisse, makes me all the more leery of putting any time into the book.

“[E]verywhere in My Promised Land,” Wisse writes, “the techniques of literary foreshadowing are deployed to telegraph impending doom.” And yet, “according to Shavit himself, his fears arise less from what Arab and Muslim leaders intend to do to Israel than from what Israel has done to them.”

Israel, in other words, as a doomed country—as comeuppance for its own sins. Sounds all too familiar.

David Hornik may not have read Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land. I have. I found it morally flawed and in many cases redolent of the peace at all costs mentality of the marginalized left in Israel and their supporters here in the West.  Here is an Israeli leftist intellectual who engages in secular ‘yahrzeit’ memorializing all of the disappeared Arab villages and towns whose residents fled the UN partitioned areas at the behest of the Arab Higher Council warning Arabs to flee to let five invading armies crush the embryonic Jewish nation, the State of Israel.  Nowhere in Shavit’s book does he recognize the enormous toll of Jewish lives in the War for Independence, 6,000 or 1% of the 600,000 Jews.  As one graphic example he does not mention the massacre of  79 Jewish doctors, nurses and others in the April 1948 Mt. Scopus Hospital medical convoy.  His heart bleeds for  the ”massacre” of Lydda when the embryonic IDF was allegedly ordered by Ben Gurion in July 1948 to sweep out the Arab fifth columnists and Jordanian Legionnaires  from Lydda and Ramle after the Arab notables had agreed to surrender.

“Lydda 1948”, a chapter in his book,  becomes an iconic theme that Israel haters in the US and elsewhere used to promote Shavit’s book.  Note  Shavit’s article on “Lydda 1948”  that is published by the New Yorker in the October 21, 2013 issue.  Middle East media watchdog  CAMERA unloaded on Shavit five days later with a broadside of facts about what occurred in the battles for Lydda and who triggered it.   Witness the Margaret Warner interview with him on Friday, December 20, 2013, on the PBS New Hour in the venue of the historic Washington synagogue, at Sixth and I Streets, see here.  All Shavit talks about are the two pillars of ‘intimidation’ and ‘occupation’, that Israel is led by an unworthy government continuing the mantra of ‘woe is me’ Israel is doomed.

One of the more  revealing chapters in Shavit’s book is “Up the Galilee, 2003”, that recounts his journey with Palestinian–Israeli attorney Mohammed Dahla, his co-chair of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel  to visit Sheikh Raed Salah of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in the village of Umm el-Fahem. What I have taken to call Hamas in Israel. Then they visit Azmi Bishara, the traitorous former Knesset member of  the Arab List Balad party at his office Nazareth. Both Bishara and Salah are fervent Islamist enemies of Israel and the West.  Shavit says he “loves” his friend Dahla, a leader of “Israel’s Palestinian Community”.  Shavit concludes:

He is as Israeli as any Israeli I know. He is one of the sharpest friends I have. We share a city, a state, a homeland.  We hold common values and beliefs. And yet there is a terrible schism between us. What will become of us, Mohammed?  I wonder in the dark. What will become of my daughter Tamara, your son Omar?  What will happen to my Land, your land?

Perhaps fellow Israelis, including Hornik may have answered Shavit.  They are no longer buying Ha’aretz, what some have mockingly called  the New York Times of Israel.  Shavit’s colleague at Ha’aretz, Amira  Hass has been the center of controversy with her biased Pro-Palestinian coverage and allegations of radicalization of the newspaper.  Arnold Shocken publisher of Ha’aretz  has been forced to lay off staff for this newspaper of record in Israel because of its biased coverage and other competition. This is perhaps reflection of the free Hebrew version of Israel HaYom backed  by American magnate Sheldon Adelson that  has clobbered  the circulation of Ha’aretz, forced Ma’ariv to lay off its print staff  and threatened  many other Israeli dailies.

Most Israelis don’t harbor for one moment  the gloom and doom theme of Shavit and his book.  They are reinventing our world with their impressive high tech developments backed by savvy venture capitalists from around the globe.  They are producing oil and gas off and on-shore to achieve energy independence  generating royalty revenues and wealth to ensure a future.  Moreover, Israelis are committed to an active national defense of that future despite the existential threats of Iran’s nuclear project.  Why? Because their Jewish faith invented a future. A future embedded in the national anthem of the State of Israel,  Hatikvah,  “the Hope”.  That Promised Land is not Shavit’s promised land of gloom and doom.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

All Praises due Sens. Kirk and Menendez on Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act

Yesterday, as I entered a December monthly luncheon meeting of the Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola I was taken aside by a fellow member who told me how much he valued the work of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on the latest Iran sanctions effort.  We were there to hear David Wasserman of the Cook Report and assistant editor of the National Journalgive a presentation on the 2014 electoral map for the crucial midterm elections for President Obama. He is seemingly in trouble over the debacle of his keystone domestic program, the Affordable Care Act.  We have great respect for Sen. Kirk given our September 2008 NER interview with him when he was a Member of the US House of Representatives from a suburban Chicago  Congressional District, involved with the bi-partisan effort working on early Iran nuclear sanctions legislation.

My Tiger Bay colleague was referring to new bipartisan sanctions legislation, the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act co-sponsored by Sen. Kirk, a ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Prominent among the 26  co-sponsors of the new sanctions legislation were Sens. Casey (D-PA), Graham (R-SC), McCain (R-AZ), Rubio (R-FL), Schumer (D-NY), Warner (D-VA). Clearly, these Senators are skeptical that an ultimate agreement can be achieved with the Islamic Regime in Tehran based on the P5+1 interim agreement and Joint Plan of Action (JPA). This despite President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry’s lobbying effort aimed at providing a hiatus to resolve issues with Iran. They are not the only ones; French Foreign Minister Fabius also renewed his dour prediction that a final agreement to prevent nuclear breakout and a weapons delivery capability may not be possible.  The US Senators and French Foreign Minister Fabius can point to a Press TV news release with comments by Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian head of their Atomic Energy Organization.  Salehi said the country’s nuclear facilities, including Arak heavy water reactor, will continue running, dismissing Western governments’ call on Tehran to suspend activities at the facility”.

Kirk’s and Menendez’s statements introducing the new legislation reflected a deepening skepticism on Capitol Hill and in polls across America and in Israel that Iran will honor any agreements.  This is based on its track record of deception, relentless pursuit of nuclear hegemony in the Middle East and its global reach of terrorism against the West.  They commented:

“The American people rightfully distrust Iran’s true intentions and they deserve an insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception during negotiations,” Sen. Kirk said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan bill to protect the American people from Iranian deception and I urge the Majority Leader to give the American people an up or down vote.”

“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” said Sen. Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Iranians last week blamed the Administration for enforcing sanctions; now, they criticize Congress. The burden rests with Iran to negotiate in good faith and verifiably terminate its nuclear weapons program. Prospective sanctions will influence Iran’s calculus and accelerate that process toward achieving a meaningful diplomatic resolution.”

Jennifer Rubin in a Washington Post column, Friday, “Congress is trying to stop a war, not start one”, outlined what the new bi-partisan sanctions legislation contains:

. . . to enact sanctions if Iran cheats during the interim agreement or fails to reach a final deal and to reaffirm the parameters of a final deal (terms embodied in United Nations resolutions and articulated by three presidents, including this one).

Those parameters include “dismantl[ing] Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure, including enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and facilities, the heavy water reactor and production plant at Arak, and any nuclear weapon components and technology, so that Iran is precluded from a nuclear breakout capability and prevented from pursuing both uranium and plutonium pathways to a nuclear weapon.” In addition, Iran must come into compliance with all U.N. resolutions and allow round-the-clock inspections.

The bill includes broad waiver authority for the Administration. (This had been a concern for some Democrats.)

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, President Obama’s Press Spokesman Jay Carney fired back, “We don’t think this action is necessary. We don’t think it will be enacted. If it were [passed] the president would veto it.”

President Obama in his year end press conference, prior to his departure for a vacation with family in Hawaii, responded to questions about the new Senate sanctions initiative, saying:

What I’ve said to members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, is there is no need for new sanctions legislation, not yet.

Now, if Iran comes back and says, we can’t give you assurances that we’re not going to weaponize, if they’re not willing to address some of their capabilities that we know could end up resulting in them having breakout capacity, it’s not going to be hard for us to turn the dials back, strengthen sanctions even further. I’ll work with members of Congress to put even more pressure on Iran. But there’s no reason to do it right now.

Referring to a recent Administration action black-listing 12 Iranian companies following the P5+1 interim agreement, Jonathan Schanzer of the Washington, DC –based Foundation for Defense of Democracies commented in a Politico column, “The White House Can’t Have it Both Ways on Iran”:

Actively punishing Iran for its mendacity while trying to selectively reduce other sanctions (in this case, automotive, petrochemicals and precious metals) for the sake of diplomacy projects two competing messages. It should come as no surprise that this dual approach has inspired the confidence of neither Iran nor Congress. Indeed, the only actors out there who are heartened by Washington’s conflicted policies are the companies eyeing investments in Iran. They see confusion, and therefore ambiguity. And that’s a whole lot better than the investment environment of just a few months ago, when Iran appeared to be completely off limits.

Watch this Wall Street Journal video interview with Schanzer of FDD by Mary Kissel discussing “Totaling up Iran’s Sweet Sanction Deal”:

In our recent post on the efficacy of sanctions we concluded:

…military force coupled with improved sanctions may be the only option that brings the Islamofanatics in Tehran to heel.  Israel demonstrated that in both Iraq (Operation Opera 1981) and Syria (Operation Orchard 2007). Despite initial criticism, the US subsequently showed begrudging respect. That is not lost on the worried Saudis and the Gulf Emirates, critical of US policies in the roiling Middle East.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The Military Option may be the Only Way to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program

The other night I attended a Shiva (Memorial Service) for a revered member of the local Jewish community here in Pensacola. During the collation that followed I was approached by two acquaintances, and asked for my views on the US engagement with Iran.  There was a lunch and learn session sponsored by the local Federation the following day on the Iran P5+1 interim agreement to halt its nuclear program. In response to this question from my acquaintances, I said I believed in the reverse of the Reagan doctrine, i.e., “verify then trust’”. I cautioned one of my acquaintances how can you trust a country whose Islamic extremist rulers never miss an opportunity to spout propaganda to wipe the Zionist enterprise off the map of the world.

What I also expressed is that the US and the West has been consistently deceived about the Iranian  nuclear program and intentions. Witness the infamous National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 that noted Iran’s temporary stoppage of their nuclear program when the US and Coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003. Or the trumpeting by current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he fooled the West in the period from 2003 to 2005 when he was the Islamic Regime’s  chief nuclear  negotiator.  “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.  Perhaps multiple times given what has been revealed in the wake of the roll back in sanctions, part and parcel of the P5+1 agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.

US and EU Sanctions may have worked to bring Iran to the table given estimates that the Iranian economy suffered a 1% drop in GDP, and nearly a halving of its oil revenues.  While the Obama Administration said that sanctions relief for Iran was in the neighborhood of $6 to 7 Billion, according to independent estimates by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) it may exceed $20 billion.  Let’s take one example, the lifting of auto trading sanctions.  Mark Dubowitz and Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of FDD in an Iran Sanctions Analysis noted:

The White House fact sheet on the JPA notes that this relief, plus the easing of “certain sanctions” on gold, other precious metals and petrochemicals, will provide Tehran with “approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.” Of those funds, the White House projects that easing auto industry sanctions will yield only $500 million over the six-month interim period.

Note what Dubowitz and Schanzer reported happened after the lifting of the auto trade sanctions:

Shortly after the signing of the Joint Plan of Action, Iran held an international automotive conference attended by representatives from German, Indian, Japanese and South Korean auto companies. France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault SA have expressed optimism that they will be able to reap significant benefits in the coming months. A spokeswoman for Renault recently said, “Renault is satisfied by the signing of this accord… If the sanctions are lifted, our activity which is currently slowed could return to its normal course.” For Renault, this “normal course” could mean the sale of approximately 100,000 vehicles in Iran, while for Peugeot it could mean more than 450,000 vehicles.

The bottom line FDD estimate of auto trading relief in the six month time frame of the P5+1 is:

Even if Iran’s auto sector contributed only ten percent of the sector’s previous $50 billion annual contribution in GDP to Iran’s overall economy, that would be worth $2.5 billion in additional economic activity over the next six months not included in the White House’s calculations.

By helping to revive the auto industry, the most important economic sector after energy, the Obama administration may end up providing far greater economic benefits to the Iranian government, and to the IRGC, than previously believed.

Yesterday, the National Journal (NJ) drew attention to a new push for strengthened sanctions by US Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), “Iran Sanctions Bill is Coming”. This despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and  Banking Chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) acceding to White House and Secretary of State Kerry requests  to a ‘pause’ in new sanctions  legislation  until we see what eventuates in the P5+1 six month interim discussions with Iran.  The NJ noted:

Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois told reporters on Tuesday that he’s optimistic an Iran sanctions bill will come out soon and that members involved can push it forward.

Kirk said that the timing of a bill rollout and any consideration in the Senate will be up to his top Democratic partner on sanctions, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and of course Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“The timing will be up to Harry and Bob,” he said. “It’s coming up.”

[…]

Kirk sought to debunk perceptions that intense Obama administration lobbying has had a chilling effect on interested members, particularly Democrats.

Morton Klein and Dr. Daniel Mandel of The Zionist Organization of America in an Algemeiner op ed argued  in the opposite direction  that the P5+1  deal  and  a restart with strengthening of sanctions will simply afford time for Iran to reach nuclear breakout, “With Geneva, Military Force Only Remaining Option to Stop Iranian Nukes”.

Their principal argument was:

The Geneva interim agreement permits Iran to retain intact all the essential elements of its nuclear weapons program.

Klein and Mandel cite Emeritus Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton Bernard Lewis who said, “MAD, mutual assured destruction … will not work with a religious fanatic. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement.”

They concluded:

It will be extremely hard now for President Obama to credibly threaten military action: if he failed to honor his red line and take military action when Syria actually murdered thousands with chemical weapons. Iran is unlikely to take seriously any red line he might lay down now on building nuclear weapons. Yet he should do so without delay. But even if he does, there is now probably no way Iran can be prevented from going nuclear, except through military action.

Even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during a recent meeting in the Gulf Emirates indicated that diplomacy alone would not bring Iran to heel, without the equivalent of a steel fist in a velvet glove approach.

The realities of how rapier like military action can work against rogue nuclear powers is reflected in a Wall Street Journal Letter to the editor  today from the writer,  Bill Bloomfield of Manhattan Beach California,  “What’s Worked for Limiting Nukes?”:

What worked? Limited military action, in the case of Syria and Iraq. While both countries are still a hotbed of violence and political strife, fortunately they don’t have nuclear weapons to make matters much worse. Their reactors were destroyed by Israel. In the case of Ukraine, economic strangulation worked. The arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union, leading to its breakup. The newly independent Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, all former Soviet republics, gave up their nuclear weapons.

What didn’t work? Threats of economic retaliation, in the cases of India and Pakistan, and negotiation, in the case of North Korea. In 1994, the Clinton administration traded aid for a North Korean promise to give up its nuclear activity—a promise it did not keep. If history is our guide, it will take more than diplomacy to keep Iran free of nuclear weapons.

I hope this answers my acquaintances in Pensacola and across America asking why military force coupled with improved sanctions may be the only option that brings the Islamofanatics in Tehran to heel.  Israel demonstrated that in both Iraq (Operation Opera 1981) and Syria (Operation Orchard 2007). Despite initial criticism, the US subsequently showed begrudging respect. That is not lost on the worried Saudis and the Gulf Emirates, critical of US policies in the roiling Middle East.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

VIDEO: The global threat of a Red (Marxist) on Green (Islamist) alliance

Tom Trento, National Security Expert, Director of The United West.

Tom Trento, National Security Expert, Director of The United West.

Tom Trento, Florida talk show host, author and internationally known speaker on national security issues, spoke at the Villages TEA Party on September 17th. The topic was the global threat facing the United States, our allies and Israel. Trento covered topics including Syria, Iran, the 9/11 remembrance and the threat to Western civilization posed by a new/old alliance. This Red (Marxist) and Green (Islamist) alliance has strengthened recently with the reemergence of the role of Russia in the Middle East.

Trento takes questions from the TEA Party members and put into perspective what is happening in this and previous administrations. Please watch Trento’s presentation (video courtesy of The United West):

ABOUT THE UNITED WEST:

The United West is dedicated to defending and advancing Western Civilization against the kinetic and cultural onslaught of Shariah Islam, so that America remains a land of freedom, justice and opportunity grounded in the principles of our Constitutional Republic.The United West has taken up this challenge because the ever increasing forces of darkness, whether political, social, or philosophical seek to destroy, subvert or subjugate all that Americans hold to be right and true.The United West will succeed in this mission by educating, training and activating Americans to stand on proven principles, guide public opinion and amend public policy so that leadership is selected on November 6, 2012 which affirm the canons of jurisprudence.

Specifically, TUW educates and activates freedom minded people, wherever they may live, to effectively develop strategies and tactics which propagate the exceptionalism of Western Civilization over against the totalitarian choke-hold of shariah Islam. Immediately, our objectives include the mobilization of Americans and Europeans to stand firmly for the defense and protection of the State of Israel.

The United West combines top-shelf academics with a military-grade activism to distinguish itself from every counter-jihad organization. There is no other nongovernmental organization like it, in the world. Visit TheUnitedWest.org to learn more.

One Florida man’s successful war against Al Jazeera

David Caton is soft spoken and looks like Clark Kent but to many he is Superman when it comes to taking on the Goliaths and winning. Caton is the Executive Director of the Florida Family Association (FFA).

David Caton is one man in Florida who has been single handedly waging a war against Al Jazeera.

Procter & Gamble products.

CurrentTV officially became Al Jazeera America and started airing Al Jazeera content on August 20, 2013. Because of the efforts of FFA all major companies except Procter & Gamble stopped advertising on CurrentTV before its official name change to Al Jazeera America. One hundred eighteen (118) companies stop advertising.

According to Caton, “Florida Family Association tapes ten hours of programing on Al Jazeera America every day. The Florida Family Association office communicates with each advertiser no less than once per week. This monitoring effort and contact with companies influenced 105 companies to stop advertising on Al Jazeera America.”

“Companies that continue to advertise after receiving emails from the Florida Family Association office are categorized as a major corporation, smaller company or non-profit organization (free) and rated from most frequent to least frequent.  Florida Family Association features the top advertisers in email campaigns and web articles.  Major companies were targeted one at a time because there were so few of them.  Some smaller companies, even with frequent ads, may never be targeted with a campaign because of their inferior reputation,” states Caton.

The Florida Family Association launched twelve email campaigns that were all successful in influencing the thirteen companies to stop advertising on Al Jazeera America thanks to thousands of emails sent by FFA supporters.  All of the following companies, targeted in an email campaign, stopped advertising:  ADT, Allstate, Chrysler Group (Dodge Dart, Fiat) E-Trade, Foster Grant, Hershey, KIA, Nestle (Gerber Life Insur. Co.), Pfizer, Reckitt Benckiser plc, Red Lobster and Reputation.com.

The power of the internet is not unlike Superman’s super powers.

Caton states, “Regardless of how much oil money Al Jazeera spends to keep their American channel alive corporate America must be vigorously challenged not to support the channel.”

ABOUT THE FLORIDA FAMILY ASSOCIATION:

The Florida Family Association is a national organization that is made up of thousands of supporters across America who share in the same goal of defending American values and improving America’s moral environment.  These supporters send more than one million emails every month to Corporate America officials associated with issues posted on this web site.  Florida Family Association’s accomplishments are a direct result of the dedicated people across the country who support the efforts of this organization.

RELATED:

Snowden Document: NSA Spied On Al Jazeera Communications – DER SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

Egyptian Court’s Bold Move Against Al Jazeera

The following one hundred eighteen (118) companies stopped advertising on Al Jazeera America:

21st Century Insur. Co.
ABC network promotions
Acorn Stairlifts, Inc.
ADT
Allstar Products (Buyperfectpancake.com,Getforevercomfy.com, Sidesocket.com)
Allstate
American International Group (AIG Direct)
AmeriStar Tax Center
Amgen (Enbrel)
Anthony Huffman (Approvedcolleges.com)
Approved Colleges
Arriva Medical
BASF
Beachbody, LLC (P90X, Rockinbody.com, Try10now.com)
Beezid
Binder and Binder Law Firm
Blue Buffalo (True Blue Test)
Bosley Hair
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Certified Financial Planner Board
(Letsmakeaplan.com)
Chrysler Corporation (Dodge Dart, Fiat)
Consumer Cellular (Exclusively at AARP)
Craftmatic Adjustable Beds
Credit Kharma
Custom Ink (Trycustomink.com)
Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster)
Denny’s,
DeVry University
Dollar Shave Club
Dr. Pepper (A&W Rootbeer, Dr. Pepper)
DreamBrands MDrive
E*Trade
Earth School  Educational Foundation(Carbonnationamovie.com)
EncoreDental (Ageon USA, Inc.)
Esurance
EveryMemorabilia.com,
Exceptional Products, Inc. (Getcellens.com)
Expedia.com
FabriClear
Fast Auto Loans, Inc.
Fernando Becattini (Getneaterneeder.com)
Floororthopedic.com
Foster Grant
General Mills (Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Fiber One, Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamed Vegetables, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley Crunchy Granola, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Grand Biscuits, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Progresso Soup, Totino’s Pizza, Trix, Yoplait)
Global Wireless Entertainment (Skinit.com)
Greenlight Financial Services
Harvest Direct (Buycuttingedge.com, Go Go Pillow)
Healingsmith (Eczenil)
Heineken
Hershey
Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. (AccuCheck)
Home Box Office (Strikeback on Cinemax)
Home Delivery Incontinent Supplies Company (HDIS.COM)
Honda North America
Hoveround
Hubbard Media Group (Reelz.com)
iCan Benefit
Ideastream Consumer Products
(Buymagictape.com)
IdeaVillage Products (Microtouchmax.com)
Ilva Saronna SPA (Disaronno)nvent Help
James C. Ferrell, PC
Jay Mebane (Getthunderleash.com)
Johnson & Johnson (Rogaine, Skinid)
JP Morgan Chase (Chase Ink)
KIA
Kiva Microfunds
LaserSpine Institute
Lawyers Works
Lesson Nine GmbH (Babbel.com)
Liberator Medical Holdings (cath.com)
Life Alert
Little Caesar
Luminosity
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (X-Men Destiny)
Microsoft (Bing)
Microtouchmagic.com
Mr. Lid,
National Collector’s Mint
NBC network promotion
Nestle (Gerber Life Insur. Company)
News Corp. (The Following)
Oasis Legal Finance LLC
Pfizer
Plymouth Direct
PODS
Pulaski and Middleman, LLC (PMMESO.com)
Q.E.P., Inc. (Getinstagrip.com)
Quicken  Loans
Range Rover
Reckitt Benckiser, plc (Airwick, Cepacol, Clearasil, Delsym, Finish, Finish Power Up, Lime Away, Lysol, Mucinex, Resolve Bright and White, Resolve Easy Clean, Rid X, Scalpicin and Woolite),
Reputation.com
Samsung Electronics (Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy  Camera)
Scion (Toyota)
Select Quote
Senior Life Insur. Company
Shakespeare Co. LLC (Pivotrim.com)
Shell
Simplex Healthcare (Diabetescareclub.com)
St. Jude Children’s Hospital
State Farm
Steve Tolman (Buyeazycovers.com)
Sweetdreamblackberries.com
TD Ameritrade
The Weather Channel Reel Rivals promotion
Turner Broadcasting (CNN promos)
T-VScissors.com
United Benefits Direct
United Stated Department of
Energy (Energysaves.gov)
United States Marine Corps
United Way
Vapore (Trymypuremist.com)
Verizon
Viacom (Centric network, Star Trek into Darkness, WWZ)
Vistaprint
Wounded Warrior Project
Ziprecruiter.com

Advertising time as of August 20, 2013 was used for the following:

Percent of 
Subjects commercial time
Network and cable company promotions 18%
Free ads for non-profits
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation 2%
Fannie Mae (Makinghomeaffordable.com) 1%
Habitat for Humanity 1%
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America IAVA 2%
Volunteers of America (Actionteam.org) 1%
   Total free ads 7%
Small companies
A Place for Mom 1%
CashAmerica International, Inc. (Cashnetusa.com) 7%
Connect America (Medical Alert) 3%
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services 1%
E. Kenneth Wall & Associates 2%
Endless Pools 3%
Guthy-Renker Corporation (Proactive and Mycleanpc.com) 23%
Hampton Direct (Chillow, WaxVac) 11%
Kowa Corp. (Okinawa Life) 2%
Neat Company (Tryneat.com) 2%
Radiancy (Trynono) 3%
REVshare (Tax10000.com) 1%
Swift Maintenance Supply (Flex seal) 4%
Telebrands (Aeroknife.com, Greatkitchensecrets.com,
      Kansascitypocketwatch.com, Orgreenic, Pestcures,
      Stone Wave Cooker) 7%
Wipenew.com 5%
   Total small companies 75%

 

Florida synagogue to host lobbyist for Islamic Republic of Iran

Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch reports:

Reza Aslan is a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC),which has been established in court as a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

Said Michael Rubin: “Jamal Abdi, NIAC’s policy director, now appears to push aside any pretense that NIAC is something other than Iran’s lobby. Speaking at the forthcoming ‘Expose AIPAC’ conference, Abdi is featured on the ‘Training: Constituent Lobbying for Iran’ panel.”

According to Charles C. Johnson in the Daily Caller: “Iranian state-run media have referred to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) since at least 2006 as ‘Iran’s lobby’ in the U.S.” Iranian freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam “documented over a two-year period that NIAC is a front group lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.”NIAC had to pay him nearly $200,000 in legal fees after they sued him for defamation over his accusation that they were a front group for the mullahs, and lost. Yet Aslan remains on their Board.

Also, Aslan has tried to pass off Iran’s genocidally-minded outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer and has called on the U.S. Government to negotiate with Ahmadinejad himself, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas.

Aslan has even praised the jihad terror group Hizballah as “the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon,” as well as the anti-Semitic, misogynist, Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Aslan wrote: “The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing.” Millions of Egyptians obviously disagree.

He has also applauded and called for denying the freedom of speech to those he hates.

So why is a synagogue in Florida giving him a platform?

Temple Judea: (561) 624-4633 Email: contact@gotj.org. Be polite, courteous and informative.

“Member Appreciation Event, Dr. Reza Aslan in honor of Rabbi Joel and Susan Levine,” from Temple Judea, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida:

Help us begin our year long journey of honoring Rabbi Joel and Susan Levine for their 32 years of service and create their legacy…

Kick off event Tuesday, October 8th
4:00 PM at Temple Judea
Our first scholar in residence presenting in honor of Rabbi Levine
Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is the founder of AslanMedia.com, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world. Reza Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues; Abraham’s Vision, an educational, conflict transformation organization for Israeli and Palestinian youths; PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world; and the Levantine Cultural Center, which builds bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world through the arts. Aslan’s first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books .

Also, recalling Aslan’s recent arrogant and inaccurate touting of his own credentials on Fox, in praise of his even more inaccurate new book, I came across this in the Jihad Watch archives yesterday while working on my own new book. It seems as if Aslan has a long-standing habit of arrogantly citing his credentials as if they themselves proved what he was saying to be correct:

REZA ASLAN: There’s no such thing as values in Sharia law, that is what I was trying to explain, it’s understood in thousands of different ways by tens of thousands of different institutions, who really disagree with each other far more than they disagree with people of other religions, the values that you bring to Sharia are whatever values you yourself have, if you are a bigot, misogynist and a violent person, your interpretation of Sharia will be bigoted, violent and misogynistic, if you are a democrat and a pluralist and someone who is peace loving, that’s how you’ll see the Sharia.JENNY BROCKIE: Nonie, a response from you?

NONIE DARWISH: This is very evasive – Sharia law is a Malignant law, it’s totally based on the interpretation of the Koran and the Hajid [sic], and the way Islam and the profit [sic] lived. I don’t know understand why he’s white washing the meaning of Sharia – Sharia is a set of laws…..

REZA ASLAN: I’m a scholar of Sharia, that’s why.

Is there anything this intellectual and moral titan is not a scholar of? We know that Reza Aslan lies without any apparent pangs of conscience about the New Testamentpeople he hatesIsraeli “atrocities” (that will go over big at Temple Judea), the extent of Islamic supremacism in U.S. mosques, and about Muhammad’s career, and so there is no reason to assume that he will ever acknowledge that he is not the master of some subject or other.

EDITORS NOTE: Reza Aslan is the author of ZEALOT: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth and No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.