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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Lone voices against Terror
The institutions of liberalism, which ought to be their friends and donors, have been taken over by anti-liberal men and women. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch look with horror on those who speak out about murder, mutilation and oppression if the murderers, mutilators and oppressors do not fit into their script. The Guardian, New Statesman and BBC turn away with embarrassed coughs. The police want to keep the natives of the East End quiet by cooperating with Islamic Forum Europe. Although Labour ministers, particularly Labour women ministers, tried to speak out against the double standards during the last government, the policy of the Labour establishment has been to do nothing to upset the ethnic block vote. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile are as reliably anti-liberal on this issue as on so many others. It tells you all you need to know about the debased state of liberal-left politics that Sahgal and Tax are more likely to get a fair hearing from Cameron than Miliband or Clegg.(h/t Silke)

Barry Rubin: True Belief, Cynical Manipulation, Peer Pressure: How Arab Governments Manage the Israel Issue
"Peace Process": The Palestinian movement followed a different course and in doing so had some influence on the states. It advocated the creation of a Palestinian state that would not be bound or limited by any commitments to institute a second stage, using the territory and assets it possessed, to wipe out Israel. Until 1993 it was unable to make even the minimum steps necessary to bring this about. Yet while a handful of moderates and a larger group of cynics and those seeking economic benefit were ready for a deal with Israel, the overwhelming majority of the political leadership wasn’t.
Briefly, they wanted to follow a two-stage solution through a temporary two-state “solution” but were unwilling ultimately—as seen in the 2000 Camp David meeting—to take the compromises and commitments necessary to get a state. The creation of Hamas put Peer Pressure on them.

Diplomacy: Unlinking the linkage... again
Netanyahu wants to see more US action on Iran; Obama wants to see more Israeli action with the Palestinians. Don’t be surprised if linkage between the two issues is raised again during the US president’s upcoming visit.
Lerman said linkage between the Iranian and Palestinian issues implies that a nuclear Iran is an Israeli problem, not a global one, which is patently not the case. The reason why the discussion of how to solve the problem centers around Israel and the US – and why the US and Israel spend so much time and energy discussing the matter – is “because these are the only two countries capable of taking action, not because it is an Israeli problem.”
The only linkage between the two issues, Lerman said, was the ability of Israel to look out at the region with a greater degree of confidence after the Iranian threat was removed and, in that situation, believe that in a safer world it might be able to take certain risks.
Lerman’s words reflect what is clearly the thinking inside the Prime Minister’s Office on the eve of Obama’s visit: the Iranian cloud severely limits Israel’s capacity to take any significant risks with the Palestinians.

Into the Fray: Intellectual warriors, not slicker diplomats
Israel’s greatest strategic challenge, its gravest strategic failure, its grimmest strategic danger is the (mis)conduct of its public diplomacy.
For international understanding of Israeli policy and IDF actions, Israel must portray its adversaries – particularly the Palestinians – as they really are.
Unless this is done, such policy and action may well appear excessive.
To employ a rather stark metaphor – and without wishing to impute canine qualities to humans of any kind, if one insists that one’s antagonists are “cuddly poodles” rather than “vicious rottweilers,” one cannot expect others to understand why “rottweiler” action is appropriate.
Clearly, however, Israeli diplomats cannot portray Palestinian society in its true light: as a cruel, brutal society where women are suppressed, gays are oppressed and political dissidents are repressed; a society where journalists are harassed, press freedom is trampled, political opponents are lynched, honor killings of women by their male relatives are endorsed or at least condoned, and homosexuals are hounded.
That must be left to civil society intellectual warriors.

Widespread Palestinian rioting erupts in West Bank
Hundreds of Palestinians throw rocks, Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers near Ofer security prison in support of hunger strikers.
Widespread rioting erupted in the West Bank on Friday in support of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners, with groups of Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers, who responded with various riot dispersal means.
In Betunia, west of Ramallah, near the Ofer security prison, some 300 Palestinians rioted and threw rocks at the IDF. Two soldiers were lightly injured by rocks thrown, an army spokeswoman said. Four Palestinians were lightly injured by rubber bullets in the clash.

IDF arrests suspected Palestinian shooters
Soldiers detain two men shortly after they fired shots in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc
Soldiers in the IDF’s Kfir Brigade arrested two Palestinians overnight Friday for attempting to perpetrate a shooting attack in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.
The suspects were caught with an improvised weapon near the Migdal Oz settlement, southwest of Jerusalem, according to Israel Radio. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that soldiers detained the two men in the village of Bayt Fajar shortly after they had allegedly fired shots in an unknown direction.

Arab Israeli Woman: Jews Do Not Rape Arabs, Arab Men Do
Posting on a Facebook event page devoted to protesting the rape and torture of female activists in Egypt, Anet Haskia rejected comparisons between Israel and Egypt that others on the page had made. On her own page, Haskia had this to say:
“We are talking about the rape of Arab women in Egypt and other Arab states, and you still try to make a connection to Israel? Jewish men do not rape Arab women and girls! It is Arab Muslim men who are raping you, so focus this campaign on them and leave Israel alone.

The ‘Epidemic’ of Sexual Harassment—and Rape—in Morsi’s Egypt
Since the “Arab Spring” came to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power, sexual harassment, abuse, and rape of women has skyrocketed. This graph, which shows an enormous jump in sexual harassment beginning around January 2011, when the Tahrir revolts began, certainly demonstrates as much. Its findings are supported by any number of reports appearing in both Arabic and Western media, and from both Egyptian and foreign women.

Nick Xenophon detained in Malaysia
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has been detained in Malaysia as a ‘‘security threat’’ and is to be deported back to Australia within hours.
Senator Xenophon, who has raised serious concerns about the probity of the upcoming Malaysian elections, was stopped by immigration officials this morning on his arrival at Kuala Lumpur airport and told he was on a "watchlist".
Senator Xenophon was in Malaysia leading a bipartisan visit of Australian politicians for talks with the country’s opposition party about electoral systems. He has been highly critical of preparations for the election to be held later this year.

'Israel offered to lay pipeline through Turkey'
Ankara reluctant to accept Israeli offer for natural gas pipeline because of political tension, Turkish minister says.
Israel has offered to lay a natural gas pipeline through Turkey, but Ankara is reluctant to accept due to ongoing bilateral tension, Hurriyet quoted a Turkish energy ministry official as saying Friday.
“Israel has made a bid to build a pipeline to Turkey within the last two weeks,” Hurriyet quoted the official as saying. “But we have a policy regarding Israel and the claim that Turkey leans towards this idea is not true.”
The pipeline would allow Israel to sell gas to Europe, but the Turkish government has not given a response because of the tensions between the countries.

UK’s Chief Rabbi Praises Rupert Murdoch, Warns of Spreading Antisemitism in Europe
Making his last official visit to Israel this week, the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, praised media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, declaring that Israel did not have “a better or more significant friend in the world.”
Sacks was speaking at the Tel Hai academic college in Kiryat Shmona. During his talk he said that the “number one problem” facing the Jewish world is the return of antisemitism to Europe.