State of Israel

Pro-Israel advocacy with news and views.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Middle East Quarterly
Since its founding in 1994, the Middle East Quarterly has become America's most authoritative journal of Middle Eastern affairs. Policymakers, opinion-makers, academics, and journalists turn first to the Quarterly, for in-depth analysis of the rapidly-changing landscape of the world's most volatile region. The Quarterly publishes groundbreaking studies, exclusive interviews, insightful commentary, and hard-hitting reviews that tackle the entire range of contemporary concerns – from politics to economics to culture, across a region that stretches from Morocco to Afghanistan.

Israel Size Comparison Maps
People commonly perceive Israel to be much larger than it really is. As a result, they fail to understand how difficult and painful it is for Israel to withdraw from land it holds.

Maps of Arab countries and Israel

Arab countries versus Israel
The Arab nations are represented by 21 separate countries. There is only one Jewish nation with a tiny country, Israel. The combined territories of Arab countries is 650 fold greater than Israel. Their population is 50 fold greater than Israel. The average per capita GDP in Arab countries is $3,700 versus $18,000 for Israel. This despite the fact that many Arab countries have world's richest oil resources.

Israel became a nation about 1300 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam. The people of modern day Israel share the same language and culture shaped by the Jewish heritage and religion passed through generations starting with the founding father Abraham. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

Dumb and Dumber Conventional ignorance about the present war (NR)
In a variety of subtle ways, it is alleged that the war is part of a neoconservative (read, Jewish) plot to force us to fight Sharon's battles. This conspiracy theory usually unfolds with preemptive — and often angry — disavowals that the suspicion is not at all anti-Semitic. Then it proceeds to round up the usual suspects: Perle, Wolfowitz, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, etc.

Yet if we choose to concentrate on individuals rather than on the American public (which is 98 percent non-Jewish and living outside New York and Washington, and is being polled weekly), there are really five people who are preeminent in crafting American foreign policy: George Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Three of them may be WASPs; the other two are African American. None are Jewish. All have a track record of being testy and independent, and hardly willing to be railroaded by anyone. And past history suggests that American successes in the Middle East usually lead to pressure on, not a free hand for, Israel.

There Will Never be a Palestinian Democracy (NR)
But it's unrealistic, I think, to expect anything like democracy in the southern half of the Middle East any time soon — and a dangerous illusion to expect a Palestinian democracy ever. Look, first, at Egypt, the population giant of the south. Most Egyptians still see Nasser — a megalomaniacal thug, much like Saddam Hussein — as a hero. Most still blame the same scapegoats Nasser blamed for Egypt's poverty, backwardness, and oppression: America and Israel. Egypt's current dictator, Hosni Mubarak, pretends to be our ally, but his government-controlled media is still pumping out the same old lies and excuses, still demonizing us, still pretending that Egypt's half-century of stagnation is our fault, still goading his people to channel their blind rage at us and at Israel. And what is true for Egypt is true for other southern Arab states as well.

Maimonides on War (NR)
Maimonides identifies two categories of justifiable warfare. There is the war which is a divine "commandment," including to save the nation "from the hand of the enemy that has come upon them." This requires no approval from other branches of government. There is also the category of war called "optional," driven by a need to ensure the future safety and prosperity of the country. The Talmud depicts the Biblical King David as making war against corrupt neighbors to provide his country, in danger of starvation, with sufficient sustenance (tractate Berachot, page 3b). This is not theft, but a matter of survival.

Terrorists at the Gate? War in Iraq and the escalating Palestinian rhetoric toward the U.S. (NR)
However, in the months leading up to the current U.S.-led war in Iraq, leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah have issued a chilling series of statements calling for holy war against American targets in and beyond the Middle East. This rhetoric, which unequivocally advocates the use of terrorism and violence, goes even beyond the anti-American sentiments that have exploded in the region.

Getting Syrious A lifeline to the remnants of Saddam. (NR)
With its "Arab" seat in the Security Council, Damascus managed to foment division in the West. Bashar Assad is not his father, but his technique is inherited from Hafez: Divide and rule. Jaques Chirac was conquered by the young dictator, and proceeded to enlist his German colleague, Schroeder. Syria's promise to the Rhine axis was as enticing as the one made on the Russian Volga. The coalition of the unwilling was built on Syro-Saudi promises of fat contracts. Better then pitting NATO's nations against each other, the Baathist elites of Damascus reconciled their Baghdad brothers with their Wahhabi financiers. The picture of Iraq's vice president embracing the Saudi crown prince immortalized the moment. Bashar Assad was like a new Nasser, or thought he was. In short, Syria had started the political battle before the U.S. started the war.

Appease Process Reporters disregard history
So reads the beginning of an Associated Press story last week that passes for objective but betrays the kind of insidious bias that permeates most mainstream news reports from Israel. This particular story is certainly no worse than many, and may in fact be better than most, which makes it useful as an example of what's wrong with the usual reportage.

Anti-Semitism in the Arab World (ADL)
The current profusion of anti-Semitic literature in the Arab world is far from a new-born phenomenon, having deep roots that go back to the rise of Nazism in Germany and the period following the Arab defeat in the 1948 war against Israel.

Islamic Anti-Semitism in Historical Perspective (ADL)(Requires Adobe Acrobat)

Damned If You Do Historians dare to criticize Islamic dhimmitude at Georgetown and pay a price (NR)
dhimmitude — the state of formal discrimination historically imposed on Jews and Christians living under Islamic occupation.

Arafat’s Legacy A case study in terror funding (NR)
The use of the illegal drug trade as a weapon was developed by the former Soviet Union as part of its unconventional warfare doctrine. The PLO simply added illicit drugs to its arsenal as another excellent source of funding. Other terrorist organizations — such as the IRA, the Basque ETA, Colombia's FARC, and radical Muslim organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda — have understandably followed suit.

Terror TV MEMRI brings English-speakers the world of Arab hate (NR)
MEMRI's website, which is updated daily, and their pamphlets and other materials, are invaluable, and should be read by every Westerner. Examplr: A woman from Muslim Woman Magazine interviews an Egyptian preacher, who tells mothers to "suckle their children . . . on stories that will sow hatred and loathing of Jews in the hearts of the next generation."

The Humanity Gap Palestinians and human dignity. (NR)
What Shawa does not seem to understand is that Palestinians cannot close the democracy gap before they close the humanity gap. Democracy is built on a fundamental respect for human dignity. It cannot coexist with the dehumanization of Israelis, which is what the justification of baby-killing is. Before Palestinians can recognize our right to exist as a nation, they must recognize the humanity of our children.

Telling It Like It Is The only process for peace. (NR)
Israel is not occupying Palestinian land. It is occupying disputed territory to which it has a substantial claim and which was never under Palestinian sovereignty, while trying in good faith to negotiate about the disposition of that land as required by Resolution 242.

The Truth About the Mideast Fourteen fundamental facts about Israel and Palestine. (NR)
The population of the Jewish state — a state envisaged in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, and confirmed by the U.N.'s 1947 decision — is now roughly 6,500,000, of whom roughly 20 percent are Arabs (120,000 Christians), Druze, and Bedouin citizens of Israel. Of the more than five million Jewish citizens, about one-half are those Jewish refugees from Arab countries, and their descendants, who fled or left their ancient homeland when massacres, arrests, and ostracism made life impossible (a further 300,000 emigrated to Europe and the Americas, where they number over a million).

Today, a tiny, vulnerable Jewish remnant — scarcely 5,000 persons — remains in all the Arab world, less than half of one percent from the near million who were there in 1948 (this does not include the 50,000 in Turkey and Iran, left of about 200,000 in 1945). These are the forgotten Jewish refugees from Arab lands, from countries that will soon be totally judenrein just as Jordan has been since 1922.

The 22 Arab League countries cover a global surface of over six million square miles, over ten percent of the land surface on earth. Israel, by contrast, covers barely 8,000 sq. miles.

Sandstorm (Martin Kramer)
Offering an alternative reading of the history and politics of the Middle East.

The Genocidal Hamas Charter Yasser Arafat & co. (NR)
The 1988 Hamas charter (an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement" in Arabic) is both political and genocidal — yet the United Nations has never denounced it. It claims to be a wing of the International Muslim Brotherhood, an organization founded in Egypt in 1922. Hamas is against any Middle East peace process: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13).

Why Invade? The truth about Iraq. (NR)
et me tell you the truth about our reasons for invading Iraq. We are not invading Iraq to protect the credibility of the United Nations. We are not invading Iraq to bring democracy to the Arab world. We are not invading Iraq to save the Iraqi people from poverty and oppression. The reason we are invading Iraq is to prevent Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Ray of Hope? The future for Palestinian reform. (NR)
The PLO is a conglomerate of terrorist organizations. Its core, Fatah, monopolizes the claim to represent Palestinian national aspirations. Even after the Oslo agreements were signed in 1993 — in essence establishing a government, the Palestinian Authority (PA) — the PLO was not dissolved. In fact, the PA remains subordinate to the more powerful PLO.

The PLO is an unelected body governed by primary documents enshrining violence and the destruction of Israel. One man, Yasser Arafat, is both the president of the P.A. and the chairman of the PLO. The role of the PLO in Palestinian politics mirrors the distorted condition of the Soviet Union, where state institutions were subordinate to an omnipotent Communist Party. Arafat's extra-constitutional role could be compared to the role of powerful party chairmen for whom the law was a mere tool.

The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (Book)
"One of the most important books on American foreign policy in years. There is no greater strategic challenge than Iraq, and nobody better qualified to tackle it than Kenneth Pollack. To have such comprehensive, high-quality professional analysis available publicly and in real time is simply extraordinary. From now on, all serious debate over how to handle Saddam starts here."
-Gideon Rose, Managing Editor, Foreign Affairs

Twenty Facts about Israel and the Middle East (Jewish World Review)
The world's attention has been focused on the Middle East. We are confronted daily with scenes of carnage and destruction. Can we understand such violence? Yes, but only if we come to the situation with a solid grounding in the facts of the matter—facts that too often are forgotten, if ever they were learned. Below are twenty facts that we think are useful in understanding the current situation, how we arrived here, and how we might eventually arrive at a solution.

Arafat’s Purse What it funds. (NR)
At least $4.5 billion in international aid has been given to the Palestinian Authority since 1994. According to the March World Bank study, the lion's share, $1.1 billion, was given by the U.S. to help build a civil society, establish the necessary infrastructures, and provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. Had all the aid money reached the Palestinian people as originally planned, every Palestinian could be living in his own little villa with at least a Ford in his garage. Instead, the PA leadership got richer even as the rest of the Palestinians remained poor — or became poorer — and terror became the law of the land.

Beyond KowtowingThe future of American foreign and energy policy. (NR)
There is no one birthplace for terrorism, but there are places where extreme ideologies flourish. In Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi clerics have a strangle-hold on freedom. The institutions of Church and State are one entity. Women live as third-class citizens. Textbooks teach hatred and disdain for the United States. Young men genuflect to jihad as they are indoctrinated into a bastardized religion of terror. The result is a absence of democracy. The result is 15 of 19 September 11 hijackers were from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Revenge and Competition Why the Palestinians keep terrorizing. (NR)
In this atmosphere, the main sources of continuing terror attacks are emotional and irrational demands for revenge and competition for leadership and power. The vengeance resulting from deep hatred and anger cannot be eliminated through negotiated agreements, but requires intensive security measures to destroy the explosives and unravel all of the terror networks. Arafat has never moved in this direction, and the competition between Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other militias is likely to grow until all these groups are dismantled by Israeli security.

Iraqi Interrogatories The usual questions about Iraq. (NR)

Balancing the AcademyThe West stakes a claim on campus. (NR)

Won’t Get Fooled Again Same story. Different season. (Some) much wiser. (NR)

9/11 (PBS)
"America Responds" is a snapshot of PBS's coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This Web site was maintained in the months immediately following the attacks, and now serves as an archive of related resources, analysis and discussion from that moment in time.

Librarians Index to 9/11 (

Palestinian Lies & Western Complicity (NR)

Vae Victis (Woe to the vanquished) (NR)

We Didn’t Start the Fire An anniversary. (NR)

Jihad and Jihadist Bombers (NR)

Behind the Hate The enemy’s problem. (NR)

America’s Unspecial Relationship A cold look at the Saudis. (NR)
Until recently, the official position of the government of Saudi Arabia was that it remained unproven whether there were any Saudi citizens involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. They meant "unproven" not in the sense that anyone really doubted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, but in the sense that the Saudis would really have preferred that no one take notice of that fact. The Saudi reaction to every terrorist attack against the U.S. to which the kingdom has had a connection in recent years has been a mixture of avoidance, dishonesty, and passive aggression.

Joseph’s Inheritance (NR)
For those familiar with the Bible, Shechem should ring a bell. It is the city where Joseph, son of Jacob (named Israel by God), was buried (Joshua 24:32) and where his tomb stands to this day. It is also the city where Levi and Simon, two other sons of Jacob, took vengeance for the rape of their sister Dina by a local chieftain, killing all the men of the city (Genesis 34). Despite its biblical identification with the city of Shechem, the modern city in the area is regularly referred to as Nablus in the general media. In that regard, Shechem is a symbol, a test case, of the subtle attempt, through the use of language, to disconnect Israel, the land, from the history of Israel, the nation.

Flunking with Flying Colors Failing the moral test of our times. (NR)
Palestine, in contrast, is a Potemkin democracy, with the sham facade of elections and republicanism but the dreary reality of an uninterrupted dictatorship since its inception under the Oslo accords. Arafat's initial election was rigged and the absence since then of a real opposition, parliamentary debate, and an independent judiciary proves that — along with the creation of a corrupt clique of hangers-on and often-murderous sycophants. The nature of the Palestinian Authority in and of itself lies at the heart of the entire crisis. Of course, there are sober and responsible leaders in Palestine, but they have no chance to come to the fore through a democratic and legitimate process.

Topple the House of Saud Worse than Saddam. (NR)
"Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies," Rand Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec told the Defense Policy Board last July 10. "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," he continued in remarks to this advisory panel of former elected officials and security experts. He blamed Riyadh for "a daily outpouring of virulent hatred against the U.S. from Saudi media, 'educational' institutions, clerics, officials — Saudis tell us one thing in private, do the contrary in reality."

The American Jewish Committe-A Brief Guide for the Perplexed
As the order of magnitude of the horrific events of September 11 sinks in and our nation implements its multifaceted military, diplomatic, and economic response, greater public attention is once again being paid to the Middle East – in the media, on college campuses, and elsewhere. Unfortunately, much of this discussion is misinformed and lacks historical context. This paper provides some perspectives and talking points, both historical and contemporary. It is not intended as an exhaustive examination of the subject matter. The case to be made on behalf of Israel is as strong today as ever. When presented with the facts, sensible people should instinctively grasp:

Israel’s 53-year-long quest for lasting peace and security

The real dangers faced by Israel, a tiny country no larger than New Jersey, in a tumultuous, arms-laden neighborhood

Israel’s unshakeable commitment to democracy and democratic values
The common enemies of extremism and fanaticism faced by Israel and the United States

Israel’s impressive contributions to world civilization in such fields as science, medicine, technology, agriculture, and culture – contributions that are even more remarkable given the country’s relative youth and its heavy defense burden.

Briefing Depicted Saudis as Enemies Ultimatum Urged To Pentagon Board (Washington Post)
A briefing given last month to a top Pentagon advisory board described Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States, and recommended that U.S. officials give it an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States.

"The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," stated the explosive briefing. It was presented on July 10 to the Defense Policy Board, a group of prominent intellectuals and former senior officials that advises the Pentagon on defense policy.

"Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies," said the briefing prepared by Laurent Murawiec, a Rand Corp. analyst. A talking point attached to the last of 24 briefing slides went even further, describing Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" in the Middle East.

Understanding Palestinian Terrorism
"When they will love their children more than they hate us, then there will be peace" - Golda Meir

Repubican Jewish Coaltion
The U.S.-Israel alliance is of tremendous importance to both countries. Israel is the only democracy in a region that is unstable and where rogue countries continue to be hostile to America. Israel is also the U.S.’s strongest ally in the War on Terrorism, and is in a unique position to facilitate the war effort in the Middle East, as well as share her extensive experience in battling terrorism domestically, militarily, and diplomatically. The evil and vicious September 11th terrorist attacks against the U.S. are indicative of the sort of terrorism Israel experiences every day.

Union of American hebrew Congregations-For the Love of Israel
News Sources-Activist Organizations-Educational materials
Example: Terror Victims