May the blessings of peace come to us all

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner presents a Torah scroll to Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, while visiting the Gulf state in early September, 2020. (Twitter/Avi Berkowitz)

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner presents a Torah scroll to Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, while visiting the Gulf state in early September, 2020.

Nothing is permanent in politics but one must always hope. There are many reasons for enmity between Israel and its Arab neighbours but there are as many for them to make peace and remain friends now and into the future. The picture makes me very happy and hopeful.

From here

Trump should of course win the Nobel Peace Prize

Comes with this: Trump Again Proves He Cares More for Israel Than Most American Jews.

And you know just how historic and significant this is from here: Trump Announces Peace Deal, Biden Wants Credit.

A president with an agenda who wants to get things done! As for the Nobel Prize, not a chance in the world since the resentment on the left is massive.

The Israeli peace proposal in the context of Israeli politics

I cannot say that I pay close attention to Israeli politics and may have been spoiled by not needing to since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister. There have been quite a few events over the last few months with the peace proposal with the Palestinians occurring simultaneously with the difficulties in creating a stable new government. The  interesting part of the peace proposal is that it is not really for negotiations. So far as I can tell, so far as the Palestinians are concerned, it is a take it as is, make some helpful suggestions, or it will be imposed it on you as it is. What I did not know is that the rival to Netanyahu is yet another fool seeking to accommodate the people who would murder every Israeli if they got the chance. This is the situation reported by Israel National News, which has been edited down by John Hinderaker at Powerline

Without our homeland [Judea and Samaria], we have no existence, we are left hanging – we have no past, we have no future. This is our identity and our legacy, and our future is here. Therefore, our enemies are trying to uproot us from the heart of our homeland. They will not succeed. We are here, and we will always remain here.

After the great euphoria of the Six Day War, a dangerous perspective became entrenched in the left. According to this perspective, Instead of fighting for Judea and Samaria, we need to give them up. They claimed that if we give these lands to our enemies, they will do us a favor and make peace with our existence. They said ‘land for peace’ and we received ‘land for terror’ – buses exploding, restaurants exploding, hotels exploding. The wave of weakness reached a magnitude such that a Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, was willing to give the Western Wall to the Palestnians. The same Olmert, friend and close adviser of [Blue and White Chairman MK] Benny Gantz, is planning to go soon to [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas so that they can work together against President Trump’s ‘deal of the century.’
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If for years this is what the Jews heard, what will the nations of the world say? They said and say the same thing exactly: Pull back, pull back, pull back. From my first day in public life I rejected this idea outright and I fought against it with all my strength from my first job in the United Nations. … But the demands for Israel to withdraw kept growing, and they reached their peak in the eleven years when I stood with my head held high against two US administrations. They worked against us, with the unending support of the left and Israel’s media, who always demanded that I withdraw and compromise.

I’ll tell you something I haven’t said until now. After the funeral of [former Israeli President] Shimon Peres, a senior US figure sent me a message: ‘If you want such a great funeral, you need to start giving in.’ I told her: ‘I’m not worried about my funeral, I’m worried about preventing the funeral of my country.’

I succeeded in standing up to all of the enormous pressure, because I have the ability to speak before tens of millions in the American public. For dozens of years, I’ve been speaking with them in their language, and they believe me and believe in me. Therefore, I can have an influence for the good of our country. The strongest influence in the US is public opinion, and anyone who cannot influence public opinion there will end up giving in to pressure.

Three years ago, we received a golden opportunity to change the path of history: President Trump was elected – a personal friend of mine for many years, and the greatest friend who Israel has ever had in the White House.

I saw this as an opportunity to move from defensive to offensive, and use a historic opportunity. Our rivals did not understand. When Trump wanted to visit Israel, three of Gantz’s party members signed an appeal calling to boycott Trump’s arrival. Benny Gantz’s senior advisers, Ronen Tzur and Joel Benenson, compared President Trump – the best president ever for Israel – to Hitler. …

For three years we have worked closely with President Trump and his staff. I have spoken with him about leaving the Iran deal, about Jerusalem, about the Golan Heights, about Judea and Samaria, and to my delight the policies did indeed change, thanks to his courage. At first he left the Iran deal, then he recognized Jerusalem, moved the Embassy, recognized our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and recently agreed to apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria.

Last week we reached the climax: The deal of the century. It includes a historic revolution. Until now, all the diplomatic plans required Israel to agree to make real concessions. They called it ‘gestures.’ The Palestinians were not required to give anything. Now the exact opposite has happened: Israel is receiving real things, and the Palestinians are required to fulfill a list of demands. Whether or not they fulfill those requirements, Israel will receive US backing to apply Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas and over all of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria – all of them, without exception.

We’re in the midst of mapping the area that according to the Trump plan will be part of the State of Israel. It’s a lot of land. We will lead this, and President Trump will agree to it. I trust him completely, and I trust myself completely. But I don’t trust [Blue and White Chairman MK] Benny Gantz. If it were up to Gantz – it would not happen.

With Gantz, we will have the loss of the century, instead of the deal of the century. He wants to implement the deal of the century with international backing. Will the United Nations agree? Will the European Union? Will [Blue and White leader MK] Yair Lapid, who wants to expel 80,000-90,000 settlers? Let’s say all of them agree, which will not happen: Even then Gantz will need the agreement of Ahmad Tibi, with whom he almost formed a government and without whom he has no government.

Arab-Israeli peace is possible

Bad though this is, it is part of the way forward: Why Arabs Hate Palestinians. Read all of it but this is the part that matters.

Many people in the Arab countries are now saying that it is high time for the Palestinians to start looking after their own interests and thinking of a better future for their children…. The Arabs seem to be saying to the Palestinians: “We want to march forward; you can continue to march backward for as long as you wish.”

“We should not be ashamed to establish relations with Israel.” — Ahmad al-Jaralah, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper editor, arabi21.com, July 1, 2019.

The shame is not establishing relations. Why be an enemy with people who would like nothing better than to be your friend?

And here as well

Via Instapundit.

MAY THE SAME THING HAPPEN HERE: There Is No Left Left In Israel. “The most far-reaching consequence of the 2019 Israeli election may well be that it verified, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there is functionally no left left in Israel. It has become a country with a center, a right, and a far right, but no electorally viable left to speak of.”

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It’s not as if there is no welfare state. There is. Everyone seeks to find ways to make life easier for everyone, while the left are a bunch of socialist freaks, who also are even lax beyond sense about border protection. The left is filled with screwballs with a constituency who have no obvious understanding of the damage they inflict. And in this, I am not just referring to Israel.

I hit him when he hit me back

palestinian mourners

The headline’s in quotation marks because the activist-journalist at the SMH thinks this is a preposterous over-reaction: ‘The terrorist was shot and killed; that is the right response.’ The picture also comes with the story, with this text beneath it:

Palestinian mourners cry at the family house upon the arrival of the body of Amjad Jundi, 19, who was killed after stabbing a soldier on a bus in southern Israel. Photo: Nasser Nasser

The story is worth a read, however, since it is a more than usually one-eyed, one-sided approach of the kinds we find everywhere. A 15-year old was shot down in the street in Sydney just last week because he had just murdered an employee of the NSW police. No one in Australia is asking for our police rules of engagement in dealing with murderers while in the midst of a murderous rampage. Ruth Pollard, the activist-with-byline at the SMH, ought to try a similar kind of argument as a think-piece on her editorial page. I suspect even regular readers of Fairfax might find her just a tad idiotic even for their own fellow-leftist tastes.

UPDATE: From Brett Stevens via the Wall Street Journal discussing these murders on Israeli streets under the heading, Palestine: The Psychotic Stage. No answers in how to deal with the problem but some moral rebalancing about who are the murderers and who are being attacked in the street:

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Apologists and accomplices they may be, but they feel as moral and pleased with themselves as if they had just put fifty cents into a beggar’s hat.

Ann Coulter is as good a friend as Israel has ever had

I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no one commenting on politics I like better than her. The ill will that she attracts from the left is directly proportional to her ability to get under their skin, which she is so well able to do because the left is so lacking in irony and sense. If you can’t see what she’s saying here, it’s only because you don’t want to:

“The GOP wastes half these debates on issues on which there is already 100 percent agreement,” she told THR. “The GOP is pro-Israel. I’m pro-Israel. … How, exactly, do these Republicans propose to defend Israel, when no Republican can get elected president anymore because of immigration? How is an endless series of President Obamas going to protect Israel?”

Coulter told THR that the charge that she is anti-Semitic is “laughable.”

“Anyone with a pulse knows I am pro-Israel and against the enemies of the Jewish people. I have a whole chapter in my current book praising Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s the people attacking me who couldn’t care less about Israel or Jews,” she said.

“The hypocrites who are mad at me are the ones who support anti-Israel college professors, who refuse to condemn Islamic barbarism, who supported the overthrow of Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood, who spread the deadly libel that Jews in America are only successful because of ‘white privilege.'”

You can disagree with her point if you like, but to even begin to think she is anti-Semitic only shows how dense some people are.

UPDATE: Wow! Someone else agrees with me about Ann Coulter. This is Susan L.M. Goldberg discussing The Lessons Lost in the Aftermath of Ann Coulter’s F-Bomb. Here’s her crucial point:

The problem isn’t Ann, it’s us. Instead of using jabs to make an argument, we’ve traded in arguments for jabs. Ann is not made for those who’ve pandered down the Twitter hole. Nor is she designed for those seeking to worship idols instead of cultivate their own opinions. Conservatives who aren’t afraid to think critically can still pull the meat from the fat of Ann’s arguments. Did Republican candidates pander to the same old tropes in that debate? Yes. Are they ignoring the realities of immigration policies, in particular the impact they have had and will have on American political attitudes towards Israel? Yes. So, what’s your f-ing problem, again?

Despite what my PJ colleague Rick Moran thinks, Ann is far from over. She not only took advantage of the Right’s seedy underbelly of anti-Semitism, she called attention to their faux anti-Israelism to boot, and all while addressing the issue of illegal immigration. And in the world of social media, we would have missed all of that if she hadn’t Tweeted about the “f-ing Jews.” That’s sad commentary, indeed. For the rest of us that is, not for Ann.

What forces has Obama let loose?

Found at Instapundit: Ruth Wisse in the Wall Street Journal on “Obama’s Racial Blind Spot”. She’s only, of course, being polite in calling it a blind spot.

Barack Obama’s election to the presidency represented to many Americans this country’s final triumph over racism. Reversing the record of slavery and institutionalized discrimination, his victory was hailed as a redemptive moment for America and potentially for humankind. How grotesque that the president should now douse that hope by fueling racism on a global scale.

Iranian regime is currently the world’s leading exponent of anti-Jewish racism. . . . Whereas Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich had to plot the “Final Solution” in secrecy, using euphemisms for their intended annihilation of the Jews of Europe, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweets that Israel “has no cure but to be annihilated.” Iran’s leaders, relishing how small Israel is, call it a “one bomb state,” and until the time arrives to deliver that bomb, they sponsor anti-Israel terrorism through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militias. . . .

Perhaps Mr. Obama is oblivious to what the scholar Robert Wistrich (who died in May) called “the longest hatred” because it has been so much a part of his world as he moved through life. Muslim Indonesia, where he lived from age 6 to 10, trails only Pakistan and Iran in its hostility to Jews. An animus against Jews and Israel was a hallmark of the Rev.Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago that Mr. Obama attended for two decades. And before he ran for office, Mr. Obama carried the standard of the international left that invented the stigma of Zionism-as-imperialism. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama felt obliged to repudiate his pastor (who had famously cursed America from the pulpit), and muted his far-left credentials. Mr. Obama was voted into office by an electorate enamored of the idea that he would oppose all forms of racism. He has not met that expectation.

Some Jewish critics of Mr. Obama may be tempted to put his derelictions in a line of neglect by other presidents, but there is a difference. Thus one may argue that President Roosevelt should have bombed the approach routes to Auschwitz or allowed the Jewish-refugee ship St. Louis to dock in the U.S. during World War II, but those were at worst sins of omission. In sharpest contrast, President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is an act of commission. This is the first time the U.S. will have deliberately entered into a pact with a country committed to annihilating another people—a pact that doesn’t even require formal repudiation of the country’s genocidal aims.

To which Elizabeth Price Foley has added:

Exactly. Why most American Jews are standing silently by, like sheeple, in the face of these facts is a utter mystery to me. Why did American Jews not demand, at a minimum, Iran’s repudiation of its genocidal aims against Israel? Admittedly, such a repudiation would not have changed the hearts and minds of the Iranians, but it would have at least forced the Administration to publicly recognize and discuss Iran’s genocidal intentions.

As it stands, however, the genocidal aims of Iran toward Israel have been swept under the rug, not even worthy of discussion, which is exactly what the Obama Administration wanted. The Administration’s failure to even discuss the inhumanity of Iran’s racist/ethnic hatred is both shameful and telling, particularly given that Obama is our first black president whose entire presidency has focused incessantly on issues of race and ethnicity. The Obama Administration’s indifference to Iran’s hatred of Jews will further fan the flames such hatred across the globe.

The only explanation I can fathom for American Jews’ acquiescence to the Iran deal is that most are liberals/progressives first, Jews second. How tragic that this attitude has emerged only one generation removed from the Holocaust.

And if you are looking for a bit more along these same lines, there is Sultan Knish discussing The Useless Jewish Organization. This is from somewhere near the end, but you should read it from the beginning.

If Obama’s nuclear deal is to be defeated, it won’t be done by the establishment insiders. The establishment is invested in its own credibility and its politics. It will make a show of fighting the Iran deal before fundraising off its miserable failure. And the money will go to fund its progressive causes.

The establishment will not stand up to Obama, just like it didn’t stand up to FDR. The real action will come from ad-hoc coalitions, like the one behind the Stop Iran Rally, that throw things together. And it will come from a handful of kids somewhat that do what the adults aren’t doing.

It’s not an answer for me that Israel could damage Iran if it started up. The aim of policy ought to have been never to give Iran even the opportunity, but perhaps that was too hard. It is certainly too hard now that they have stopped trying, for no discernible reason. We are all living on the edge of a volcano. When it will erupt, it seems to me, is now only a matter of time, not whether. On the other hand, in spite of its rhetoric, why should the Iranians risk having their country turned into a nuclear wasteland. Tragically, that kind of calculation is all that stands between Israel and a nuclear war.

“Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs”

The more I look at it, the more I am beginning to like this Obama fellow. Everything he tries to do he screws up, such as his attempt to bring on a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt or to wreck Israel on behalf of its enemies. So where are we now, incompetent fool that he is: The Saudis Team Up With Israel. It’s an amazing story, and entirely plausible, with this the best part. But in reading the small bit below, you have to know that “Eshki” is retired Saudi general Anwar Majed Eshki who is conducting talks with Israel on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Now proceed.

But take a look at the other points Eshki made.

He says Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs. Not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between Israel and the entire Arab world.

It’s awful, however, the damage that Obama has done to his own country, where they will soon start to build fences, not along the Mexican border but inside their own cities. But for the rest of us, he may end up being the un-Wilson. American isolationism may have its good points as well. But if America is to withdraw from the world, we need to bring back the British Empire while there’s still time.

Bruce Hoffman, ‘Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947’

From a review of Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947.

Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.

Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.

Life is short and time is getting shorter. I will probably never again be able to read a book like this but am grateful for access to such a helpful review.