Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The Katyushas Cannot be Stopped without a Ground Invasion
1. SO how bad is it?
Death statistics and probabilities are always hard to explain to
non-statisticians. It sounds like between 25 and 30 Israelis have been
murdered so far by the katyushas and other missiles that Ehud Barak and
the Israeli Labor Party dropped this week on Israel through their
Hezbollah peace partners whom they installed on Israel's northern border.
But let us keep something in perspective. This is about the same as
the death toll from a SINGLE one of some of the worst suicide bombings of
buses and cafes Israel has known. For a while, Israel was having 3 such
bombings each week.
Another way of putting this is that a week of katyushas has produced
a death toll about the same as a week of Israeli traffic accidents.
Actually, because a quarter of the country is indoors and in shelters,
traffic accidents are probably down this week, offsetting Ehud Barak's
katyusha toll a bit.
True, the katyushas tend to frighten people more and are more
emotionally upsetting, because they can strike you at random inside your
home. But traffic accidents and suicide bombers also kill people at
random as they go about their lives.
SO get a grip everyone. And I say that from Haifa, in the top floor
of my building (the vulnerable floor)!
2. Ground troops
It is a complete delusion to think that Israel can resolve the
Lebanon Hezbollah problem with air strikes. The air strikes, mainly on
empty buildings, cannot stop firing of katyushas or kassams.
Only Israeli ground troops can stop the rockets. So far, the Israeli
government and chattering classes prefer to delude the public with
gee-whiz high-tech displays of air power. It is all show and a kind of
national video game. There will be no choice put to conduct a massive
ground invasion and re-conquer southern Lebanon. The only alternative to
THAT is to make the katyushas a permanent part of life in Israel.
Having said that, there is another way to read the Olmert reluctance
to introduce ground troops so far. I myself do not believe this is the
actual explanation, which I think is cowardice, but I mention it to you
For the past 58 years, almost every armed confrontation between Israel
and the savages was ended by international pressure to cease fire, always
much too early for Israel to complete its military program. The Six Day
War may be the only exception and even that was done quickly to beat the
stopper. In every other case, Israel was forced to race the clock to
accomplish as much as it could in artificial haste. So far , there is no
international pressure on Israel to hurry things along regarding Lebanon.
But the moment a ground invasion were to take place in south Lebanon, the
pressures would build at astronomical pace.
So someone less cynical than me might attribute that consideration
to Olmert's delay of the ground operations.
3. The Demise of the Left?
Israel's anti-Israel Jewish Left, led by the tenured traitors, is out
showing its solidarity with the Hezbollah this week at protests in Tel
Aviv (you know, the lattes in Sderot are not very good so why go there?).
But there are signs that the entire country has gone through an
ideological revolution and has earmarked the moonbat Left for special
hatred and denunciation, which probably will not become fully evident
until after the war ends. Why do I say this? Well, the "talkbacks" at
leftist Haaretz are viciously anti-Left (at the other papers they have
ALWAYS been so). Chat lists usually featuring leftist professors
denouncing Israel are being flooded with denunciations of the Left.
And there are other signs.
This past Friday, for the very first time, a mainstream columnist in
Israel denounced the Israeli Left as anti-Semitic. Incredibly, the writer
who wrote this is himself a left-of-center professor. Amnon Rubinstein
was among the founders of Meretz. A professor of law, he had been a
strong supporter of Oslo. But lately he has shifted towards center. He
writes a column this past Friday in Maariv, Israel's second largest daily,
and he explicitly denounced the "Post-Zionist" and anti-Israel professors
in Israeli universities as anti-Semites (his word), turning out
anti-Semitic propaganda, indoctrinating their students in anti-Israel
extremism, and working for anti-Semites all over the world. He notes that
some departments at universities are so filled with anti-Semites that if
all the anti-Semites were to be fired, those departments would be shut
Sure, I have been saying that for years, but it sounds better coming
from a founder of Meretz! (Article not available online or in English)
4. I continue to believe that there are some important advantages in
having the Left leading the battle against the Hezbollah. By that I mean
the Labor-Kadima coalition. If the Likud under Bibi were bombing the
bejeebers out of the savages in Lebanon, the Labor Party would be shutting
down the country in protests against the "war criminals" and "fascists"
from the Likud mistreating the Lebanese in their unnecessary war of
imperialism and colonialism.
5. Israel's Moronic Leaders:
6. Haaretz Columnists for a Hezbollah Victory:
7. The Israel Enigma:
8. A University of Haifa Leftist prof defends Israel's battle against
July 18, 2006
Hezbollah and Pericles
By FANIA OZ-SALZBERGER
July 18, 2006; Page A14
War does not preclude clear thinking. When Israel withdrew from southern
Lebanon six years ago, to the last inch, and from Gaza one year ago, to
the last inch, scenarios of over-the-border hostilities were high on the
public agenda. Thus, even as smoke rises over northern Israel, Lebanon and
Gaza, some clearheaded points are being made on the Israeli side of the
border. Here is a brief selection.
First and most crucial, a majority of Israelis consider this sad
unleashing of Israeli firepower in Gaza and Lebanon to be, up to now, a
just war. It has both a casus belli and a convincing rationale.
Hostilities were initiated by militias strongly associated with the
elected governments in both regions, targeting IDF personnel strictly on
the Israeli side of the border. Since many media consumers have short
memories, a reminder is in order: Over the last five months, some 800
Kassam rockets were fired at towns and villages in southwestern Israel.
The town of Sderot alone was hit several hundred times. Israel occupied
not an inch of Gaza at that time.
Israel certainly responded, as any sovereign state would; and it did so
not by reinvading Gaza, but with air strikes against militants and
launchers. Palestinian civilians were hurt; Europeans vocally reproached
us; the rockets kept coming. Then came the recent assault on soldiers
stationed within Israel, killing three and kidnapping one. Hezbollah of
Lebanon, wholly unprovoked, simply liked the idea and sent a force into
northern Israel and two follow-up ambushes, killing a total of eight
soldiers and kidnapping two. Both assaults breached a fully legitimate
international border, in the aftermath of a full Israeli withdrawal --
just in case some media consumers have forgotten. Possible lesson: A sense
of right still counts for something amidst all the smoke.
Which leads to a second clearheaded point. Why is Israel's response not
"proportional," and why don't we rush to negotiate with the kidnappers, as
so many peace-lovers in the Western world would like us to do? Let me be
blunt: A "proportional" response would please many Europeans no end, but
would scarcely move a hair in the beard of a Hamas or a Hezbollah leader.
They are not set to be gently pushed into moderation, or to hammer out an
exquisite compromise with the Jewish state, but to wipe it out as soon as
they can. If we shoot a little, they will shoot back all the way into
Islamic eternity. If we "negotiate," cave in to blackmail and release
Hamas and Hezbollah militants held in Israeli prisons in return for our
three kidnapped soldiers, they will send them back to bomb schools and
buses and pizza parlors in no time at all.
Negotiation? For sure. It worked with Egypt and Jordan. It would work with
Saudi Arabia. It would work with moderate Palestinians -- as soon as they
recapture their own polity from Hamas and Hezbollah. But it would not work
with the latter, who along with their Iranian allies openly declare that
they want us dead, not merely complacent. Possible lesson: Compromise with
ultra-extremists usually misfires.
And here is a sad, third clearheaded point: Democracy, in the Middle East
as elsewhere, is not just about universal suffrage. The Palestinians
brought Hamas to power, and Hezbollah is a coalition partner in the
Lebanese government. Please reflect on this, dear Western lovers of
democracy: Is majority vote truly the sole gist of it all? Here is a
painful truth: Israel is killing civilians -- inadvertently, though
arguably too freely -- as it targets militants in Gaza and Lebanon. Yet
the hair-raising aspect of it is that many of those civilians voted Hamas,
and some voted Hezbollah, into their own governments. Democratically
elected, these groups care little for the lives of their own citizens,
even less for the Israeli Arabs they have bombed and killed in recent
days, and null for Israeli civilians. Yet their voters keep applauding.
Gazan and Lebanese children are innocent victims of this policy, and many
Israelis -- I must assert this even in the face of disbelief -- truly
grieve for them.
But the adults? Are these men and women hostages of live-in terrorists,
dumb natives managed by shrewd colonialists, or are they perhaps
accountable civil agents who made a very bad choice in one of their first
democratic performances? Possible lesson: Reread Pericles.
Arab democracy is not hopeless, a fourth clearheaded reflection suggests.
The Middle East is divided between those who jeer with any rocket hitting
Haifa, and those -- in Lebanon, Palestine and Saudi Arabia -- who secretly
hope for both Hamas and Hezbollah to vanish into the limbo of lost
lunatics and make way for better and saner Arab regimes. In the aftermath
of the current war, Ehud Olmert's Kadima-Labor coalition government would
promptly talk with a peace-seeking Palestinian government; this is why a
majority of Israelis voted them in to begin with. Possible lesson:
Moderates don't easily lose their nerve these days.
My final point may be news to both friends and foes of Israel: This
society is holding strong. Opinions here are divided, for sure, about the
wisdom and morality of using force, and about the wisdom and effectiveness
of withholding force. The public argument keeps sizzling as the north of
Israel, including my own Jewish-Arab university of Haifa, is under fire.
For some reason, going beyond Israel and deeply linked to Pericles, I take
this to be good news.
Ms. Oz-Salzberger is a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa.
URL for this article:
9. Metropolitan News-Enterprise
Leftist Hooligan "Rabbi" at Hillel
Monday, July 17, 2006
Court of Appeal Allows Suit Over Rabbi.s Alleged Attack on Writer
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts
A Jewish writer who claims that a prominent local rabbi attacked and
injured her after they argued about Middle East politics can sue the
organization he works for, the Court of Appeal for this district has
Reversing a contrary ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James A.
Bascue, the panel said Wednesday there was sufficient evidence for a jury
to decide whether Chaim Seidler-Feller was acting in the role and scope of
his employment when he allegedly attacked Rachel Neuwirth three years ago.
Neuwirth sued Seidler-Feller along with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish
Campus Life and the Los Angeles Hillel Council. The rabbi has headed the
UCLA affiliate of Hillel, which serves Jewish students on more than 500
campuses throughout the world, for more than 30 years.
The suit resulted from a brouhaha outside Royce Hall on the Westwood
campus, following an address by Harvard Law School.s Alan Dershowitz, who
was promoting his book .The Case for Israel..
Outside the hall were some Palestinian or pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
The rabbi stopped to talk to one of them about an upcoming event involving
Sari Nusseibeh, a prominent Palestinian involved in an ongoing
non-governmental peace effort.
Neuwirth, who has suggested in her writings that peace between Israel and
the Palestinians is an impossibility, that responsibility for the
Palestinians should be placed on the Arab nations, and that President
Bush.s .road map. for Mideast peace is doomed to failure, attended the
speech and overheard the rabbi.s conversation.
She alleges in her complaint that she .calmly. told the rabbi that
Nusseibeh had been identified by Israeli intelligence during the Gulf War
as having phoned Iraqi officials and urged them to .send the Scud missiles
not to the Negev, but to more effective places..
Neuwirth claims that Seidler-Feller then .flew into a rage,. called her .a
liar,. grabbed and twisted her right hand and scratched her thumb and
index finger with his fingernails. Neuwirth said she was shocked and
outraged, causing her to exclaim that Seidler-Feller was a .kapo..the
title given to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis by helping administer
The rabbi had to be pulled off Neuwirth by .three or four large college
men,. Neuwirth claims.
Neuwirth alleged causes of action for battery and infliction of emotional
distress against the rabbi and claimed that Hillel was vicariously liable
on those claims and directly liable for negligent retention.
Violent Tendencies Alleged
The plaintiff asserted that attending the Dershowitz event, of which
Hillel was a co-sponsor; recruiting attendees for the upcoming event, and
engaging in public discussion on issues of Jewish interest were within the
scope of the rabbi.s duties. She also contended that Hillel should have
been aware of Seidler-Feller.s tendency towards violence.
Bascue sustained Hillel.s demurrer to the claims of vicarious liability,
finding that Seidler-Feller was not, as a matter of law, acting within the
scope of his duties at the Hillel event. He overruled the demurrer as to
the negligent retention cause of action, but later granted summary
adjudication to the defendants on that issue.
Neuwirth appealed, but only as to the issue of vicarious liability.
Justice Fred Woods, in an unpublished opinion for the Court of Appeal,
said she had shown enough evidence for the panel to conclude that the
issue was triable.
He cited a case in which the Court of Appeal held that a car rental agency
had ratified an employer.s assault on a customer because it knew the
employee was volatile, yet placed him in a sensitive situation where
customers were likely to get emotional.
.Although the alleged attack here was not as directly related to
respondents. business, it cannot be determined as a matter of law based on
the allegations of the SAC that the attack was purely a personal attack
such as if it had occurred in similar circumstances in a supermarket,. the
justice wrote. .It is not clear from the allegations whether the attack
was personal or business-related. Consequently, whether the attack was
attenuated from Seidler-Feller.s work, i.e., whether the attack arose out
of Seidler-Feller.s employment or whether he substantially deviated from
his duties for personal purposes, and whether the attack was unusual or
startling given this rabbi.s duties and his prior history are fact issues
which cannot be determined at the demurrer stage..
Attorneys on appeal were Charles L. Fonarow for the plaintiff and Matthew
J. Trostler and Casandra P. Cushman of Borton, Petrini & Conron for the
The case is Neuwirth v. Los Angeles Hillel Council, B18505.
10. Too little too late:
11. From columnist JAMES TARANTO
in his Opinion Journal (see
"Some have criticized Israel for not responding proportionately to
the attacks, but we'd counsel patience. After all, the Israelis
aren't done yet."
12. A Cycle of Nonsense:
13. Prager sums things up:
14. Hollywood Airhead: