Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Reminders Of The Death Culture (includes videos)

Israeli columnist Dror Eytan was obviously seeking no kudos from the Ha'aretz set or the Obama administration when he wrote inter alia  last week:
 'What has the death culture that surrounds us sought to sell in the past hundred years? Look around: there are no Jews in Iraq and no “territories” in Syria, and nevertheless the angels of death gleefully slaughter each other. No science and no industry and no inventions that will benefit humanity. Just death, and it’s wrapped in a thick layer of damned political correctness that has distorted our thought process....
If we don’t realize that the executioners who pack the condemned into cattle trucks and lay them by the dozens or hundreds in ditches and put them to death amid devilish ululations, and if we don’t get that this bunch is operating on our borders, and that its successes encourage our own local death culture, we will have to pay heavier prices in the future.
We must employ full force against the emissaries of the death culture, those who aid them, their military and civilian infrastructure, their sources of funding, their families, their clans, and anyone who knows something but just nods his head and keeps quiet. We know the argument that keeps us emasculated: “It will only increase tension and give an incentive to terror and strengthen the cycle of bloodshed.” Not at all. The culture of death doesn’t need incentives—it kills and murders and kidnaps, because that's what it is....
.... In the eyes of our neighbors and some parts of the world we are all people who stole a land that wasn’t theirs. This blood libel is spread every day by anti-Semites and haters of Israel, as well as by useful idiots among us....
Various conquerors and nomads from the four ends of the earth have arrived in this country. But since we Jews were exiled, no other sovereign entity has sprung up in this land. What would this country be if it weren't for the Jews? What would Jerusalem be without the Jews? The groups of strangers never wanted to compromise with the Jews who survived extermination and came home after a long exile. Even today they refuse to compromise and seek to oust us from the entire country. From Tel Aviv, too.... The fight for Israel is our fight for life....'
American Jewish leaders have expressed firm support for Operation Protective Edge, Israel's current initiative against that antisemitic genocidal Hamas.  As they observe:
'....Millions of Israelis are spending a sleepless night as sirens go off across the country in response to the constant barrage of missiles fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, targeting the civilian population. No country would or should tolerate such a horrific onslaught as the one emanating from Gaza, which is controlled by the terrorist Hamas organization. The government of Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown great restraint seeking to avoid an all-out war and the civilian casualties that would entail. They have engaged in limited strikes against missile-launchers, storage facilities and manufacturing locations. Hamas has exploited this to expand the scope and range of its rocket attacks.  This puts the lie to the assertion that Hamas has changed and it remains a bloodthirsty terrorist entity. If there is to be any hope of a peaceful resolution of the conflict, it is imperative that President Abbas end the so-called unity government and disassociate in every respect from Hamas....'
The evil that characterises Hamas is seen in the following Palestine Media Watch video, which appeared on Al-Aqsa TV yesterday (9 July, and begins

'Zionists, wait and see stabbing attacks everywhere.
Wait for suicide attacks on every bus, café and street'

And then there is this footage showing how Hamas rockets are fired from civilian areas in Gaza, deliberately putting Gazan civilians in danger from Israeli fire:

And here's how Hamas targets its own people by encouraging Gazans to make themselves into human shields, knowing that despite the IDF's best intentions some will inevitably become casualties, and that much of the international community will condemn Israel for a "disproportionate response":

But even as the conflict between Israel and Hamas rages, another threat continues to loom.

Analysts Ali Alfoneh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, at the end of a  most useful pen portrait of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, have this to say:
'Those who argue that Rouhani has abandoned the nuclear ambitions that he has so proudly defended and advanced would be well advised to consider more closely the cleric’s words, deeds, associations, and pride. Most probably Rouhani wants the nuke as much as any officer in the Revolutionary Guard or Saeed Jalili, the one-legged, shrine-loving war veteran who so enjoyed ignoring and belittling European and American diplomats as Ahmadinejad’s nuclear negotiator. Rouhani just wants to be cleverer about how the regime becomes a nuclear state. The deal that he has likely cut with the supreme leader is a variation on what Rouhani believes he tried with the West after the clandestine nuclear program was revealed by an opposition group in 2002: temporary concessions on those things that no longer need further research, no concessions at all in areas requiring further work. To get the sanctions lifted—and Rouhani is convinced that once they start coming down, they are unlikely to go back up—the Islamic Republic should slow its nuclear program without diminishing its capacity to produce a bomb and the ballistic missiles to deliver it. 
This time round, this approach may work with the West. It may not work at home. Although Khamenei has solidly backed Rouhani’s diplomatic offensive, referring to the need for “heroic flexibility” when confronting the enemy, his support is undoubtedly conditional. The supreme leader is surely aware that Rouhani’s nuclear memoir is, among other things, a criticism of his preferred confrontational approach during Ahmadinejad’s presidency. And Khamenei today doesn’t give the impression that he considers 2005-2013 wasted time. For cause: The nuclear program’s greatest technical and industrial advances have been made in the last eight years. True, sanctions have mounted; the supreme leader may believe they were unavoidable. And Rouhani has to worry that the Guard Corps’s longstanding distaste for him and small appetite for concessions may derail his diplomatic efforts to test Western resolve and unity. In addition, the Corps has grown enormously powerful under the sanctions regime because its resources are vast and privileged: As private Iranian businesses have withered and foreign firms have fled, the Guard Corps has moved in. Khamenei has approved or acquiesced to the Guard’s economic expansionism because it is, as it proved in smashing the massive pro-democracy Green Movement in 2009, indispensable to his rule. 
Western observers of Iran often see the antagonism between Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guard Corps primarily as a test of wills over the nuclear program; it isn’t. It’s a struggle about the nature of the regime and the revolution. Rouhani’s politics aren’t reformist; they are revanchist. He wants his class—the first-generation, upper-tier revolutionary managers who made the republic under Rafsanjani—to again have the high ground. He wants educated civilians—primarily clerics—to determine the destiny of the Islamic Revolution, not coarse militiamen who, in his eyes, lost the great war against Saddam Hussein. Rouhani has conspicuously dumped guardsmen from his cabinet and provincial governments. He and his men have publicly attacked the Corps for trying to destroy private enterprise and exposed “private” firms that are really Revolutionary Guard front companies feeding on public finances. It’s unclear, however, whether Rouhani will have any better luck this time confronting the Guard than he did earlier. He may if the supreme leader believes that his praetorians have gone too far. But the odds aren’t in Rouhani’s favor. Khamenei knows—because his praetorians keep publicly reminding him—that the Corps is the guarantor of his rule and the revolution. 
President Obama is in a peculiar situation: He has hooked his diplomacy onto a cleric who can claim to have been a founding father of Iran’s theocracy and its nuclear-weapons program. Rouhani has arduously and vengefully worked to see the revolution succeed. He treated with the devil (the Reagan administration) to get what the republic desperately needed during the Iran-Iraq war. He appears willing to do so again to ensure the regime’s continuing dominion. Whether or not Rouhani has any intention of trading away his nuclear legacy for a better economy, he’s clearly shown that he was an attentive student to his mentors. President Obama may not appreciate the fact that his Iranian “moderate” is the same “moderate” Oliver North dealt with. Rouhani surely does. Persian humor is built on irony and a mordant appreciation for an unpleasant Middle Eastern truth: Nice guys finish last—if they even finish at all.'
AIPAC has not forgotten what's at stake, issuing this stark warning:


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