Thursday, November 08, 2007
Questions And Answers About Israel, Annapolis, And 'Peace'
Questions And Answers About Israel, Annapolis, And 'Peace'
By:Steven Plaut Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Q: Should Israel attend the upcoming Annapolis peace conference?
A: No. Nothing positive can come out of it. For fifteen years Israel
has been attending .talks. with the Palestinians and these have achieved
absolutely nothing other than Israeli capitulation. In each round of talks
Israel has given away more and more assets and made an ever-growing number
of concessions, getting nothing in return.
Q: Why give up hope that the Palestinians will agree at Annapolis to
some sort of deal?
A: Because they have yet to comply with a single punctuation mark in
any of the agreements they have already signed.
Q: So what should Israel offer the Palestinians?
A: Nothing at all.
A: Israel should make demands instead of making offers of
concessions. It should make no new offers of anything until long lists of
its own demands are fully met.
Q: But how then can Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians?
A: It can.t. Making endless concessions has no more chance of
achieving peace than offering nothing. In other words, since the
Palestinians are uninterested in peace, no offer of any sort will produce
peace, and therefore they should be offered nothing at all.
Q: What is the best way to pursue a solution to the Arab-Israeli
A: By abandoning all attempts to pursue a solution. The pursuit of
.solutions. has been the root of all evil in the Middle East these past
two decades. Israel should stop looking for solutions and instead pursue
Q: Do you seriously want Israel to send troops back into Gaza after
the redeployment by Sharon and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza?
A: Yes, of course. It was obvious at the time of the Israeli
unilateral withdrawal that military reoccupation of Gaza was only a matter
of time, inevitable and necessary. The sooner it is done, the better.
Q: Doesn.t Israeli occupation cause terrorism?
A: No, removal of Israeli occupation causes terrorism.
Q: What should Israel offer Syria?
A: The right to retain Damascus and other Syrian territory east of
the Golan Heights in exchange for Syria.s abandoning its demands for the
.return. of the Golan Heights.
Q: Do you seriously expect Syria to agree to that?
Q: How should Israel deal with terrorism?
A: First and foremost, by recognizing that there is no non-military
solution to the problems of terrorism.
Q: What should Israel do with terrorists?
A: Summarily execute them without trial whenever they are captured
while engaged in violence. Capital punishment should be instituted for all
Q: How should Israel deal with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
A: By killing as many of their members as it can.
Q: How should Israel deal with the PLO?
A: By killing as many of its members as possible.
Q: What is the best strategy Israel can adopt with regard to the
Gaza Strip and the West Bank?
A: R&D, or Reoccupation and Denazification.
Q: How should Israel deal with the Kassam rockets?
A: By R&D, or Reoccupation and Denazification. There is no way the
Kassams will be halted through .talks.. They can only be halted by
Israel.s reestablishment of complete military control over the Gaza Strip.
Q: Should Israel return Jewish settlers to Gush Katif?
A: Yes, of course.
Q: What should Israel do about settlements on the West Bank?
A: Build more of them. It.s the best way to take Palestinian
statehood off the table once and for all. In any future deal based on
.limited autonomy. . which was of course the original concept Israel
accepted at Camp David . .settlements. will represent no impediment at all
Q: How should Israel deal with Hizbullah?
A: By helping to resolve the parking congestion problems in the
towns and villages of southern Lebanon that are strongholds of Hizbullah
and loyal to it. That is, by constructing large new parking lots there.
Q: How should Israel deal with domestic Arab radicals?
A: Israeli Arabs openly identifying with the enemies of Israel or
endorsing terrorism should be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and
deported. All Arabs sitting in the parliament, working as senior civil
servants or as judges must be required to take an oath of allegiance, on a
sacred book of their religion, to Israel as a Zionist state. The extended
families of any Arabs involved in terrorism or anti-Jewish violence should
be deported and their property seized.
Q: What about the Temple Mount?
A: The PLO and Hamas must be completely stripped of control over it.
Israel might negotiate with Turkey or Jordan to exercise administrative
control over it for the near future, allowing them to control the Muslim
Q: What can Israelis expect in the next election?
A: The usual. A choice between the post-Zionism and capitulationism
of the Israeli Left and the incompetence and cowardice of the Israeli
2. The Two Kinds of Leftists:
3. Haaretz - the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew:
Shame on 'Haaretz'
Isi Leibler , THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 6, 2007
We frequently boast that notwithstanding its limitations, the Israeli
media is unfettered by government intervention and could serve as a role
model for a free press in any democracy.
As in most Western countries, Israeli journalists are inclined to the Left
and substantially outnumber the more conservative-minded. In fact, one
constantly hears complaints that to hold right-wing views is a major
stumbling block in obtaining promotion in the media world. But that is not
unique to Israel.
The majority of Israelis who read a newspaper on a daily basis read one of
the tabloids. In that sense, the broadsheet Haaretz stands alone. It
presents as a serious liberal newspaper and aspires to assume the mantle
of a Hebrew-language counterpart to The New York Times. Despite a limited
circulation, it is extraordinarily influential and read by most opinion
Its news coverage and access to inside information exceeds that of the
tabloids. However, whereas it carries superb pieces on culture and
society, with especially insightful articles on religious issues, its
frequent endorsement of radical policies does tend to increasingly link
Haaretz with fringe rather than mainstream opinion.
Indeed, many would even argue that a considerable proportion of Haaretz
editorials and op-ed columns are politically off the wall. Its op-ed and
magazine articles demonizing Israel and inclined toward post-Zionism are
increasingly being quoted by Arabs and anti-Israeli propagandists. In
fact, a man from Mars observing the level of the newspaper's frequent
vitriolic condemnations of Israeli governments could understandably be
misled into believing that some Haaretz writers are consciously acting as
propagandists for the Palestinian cause.
CURRENT EDITOR David Landau is an observant Jew wearing a black kippa. He
made aliya from London and is a highly talented writer. His book on
haredim published in 1993 to this day remains the best reference work on
the subject in the English language. And the English edition of Haaretz
was unquestionably his brainchild.
I first met him in March 1987, when he was a senior staffer at The
Jerusalem Post, then being edited by Ari Rath and Erwin Frenkel. Landau
had been sent to cover the second Asian Jewish Colloquium of scholars in
Hong Kong, which I had organized on behalf of the World Jewish Congress
and the Asia Jewish Pacific Association.
Since he assumed the role of editor at Haaretz, the newspaper's
traditional bias relating to the Israel-Palestinian conflict has
Landau concentrates much of his wrath on religious Zionists, regarding
those who settled across the Green Line as messianic lunatics and the
greatest threat to Israel. This obviously makes him a darling of the
Today Landau allegedly even refuses to correct articles containing
blatantly false information if they conflict with his political agenda.
According to the Web site of the highly respected American Jewish media
watchdog organization CAMERA, not only did Landau decline to consider its
complaints regarding alleged falsehoods published in Haaretz, he even went
on record informing the JTA that "as a matter of principle" he had
instructed his staff not to respond to criticism from CAMERA because they
were a "McCarthyite" organization.
NEEDLESS to say, this casts an ugly shadow on a daily newspaper purporting
to represent the highest levels of journalistic integrity. It is now
widely accepted that many policies promoted by Haaretz are effectively
supportive of Israel's adversaries.
In fact, Nahum Barnea, the distinguished Yediot Aharonot columnist, went
so far as to describe senior Haaretz journalists Gideon Levy, Amira Haas
and Akiva Eldar as failing to pass the "lynch test" - i.e., even failing
to condemn Palestinians when they murdered two Israelis in a lynch mob in
Ramallah at the onset of the second intifada.
More recently, consistent with frequent Haaretz depictions of Israel as a
racist entity, the paper's chief Arab affairs expert, Danny Rubinstein,
told a UN body that Israel was indeed an apartheid state.
Of course, behind this torrid situation stands the publisher of Haaretz,
Amos Schocken, who is personally convinced that Israel does indeed
BUT IT was only recently that Landau threw away all semblance of
journalistic integrity and publicly confessed to crossing the ultimate red
line that distinguishes reputable journalism from propaganda.
According to The Jerusalem Post, at the recent Russian Limmud Conference
in Moscow, Landau, one of the few non-Russian-speaking participants,
dropped a bombshell. He stunned those present by boasting that his
newspaper had "wittingly soft-pedalled" alleged corruption by Israeli
political leaders including prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert,
when, in the opinion of Haaretz, the policies of those leaders were
advancing the peace process.
When participants challenged him concerning the morality of such an
approach, Landau responded with the extraordinary assertion that "more
immorality happens every day at a single roadblock [in Judea and Samaria]
than in all the scandals put together."
He then unashamedly assured those present that Haaretz was ready to repeat
the process in order "to ensure that Olmert goes to Annapolis."
Even former Bolsheviks in the audience must have gasped at such views,
openly stated, which incorporated all the hallmarks of the Stalinist era.
It is surely scandalous for the top editor of what purports to be a
reputable and prestigious daily newspaper to publicly proclaim - and take
pride in - having deliberately "soft-pedalled" and possibly even covered
up acts of corruption by senior political leaders in order to promote his
own political agenda, and, moreover, boast that his paper would continue
to do so in the future.
Could one, for instance, visualize The New York Times suppressing
information about an American president involved in corruption out of a
desire to promote the administration's foreign policy objectives? No
newspaper of integrity in the world would tolerate an editor making such
an outrageous statement.
THE ISRAELI Press Council code of ethics contains clauses explicitly
condemning such practices. Article 40 (and 16a): "A newspaper or a
journalist shall not refrain from publishing information where there is a
public interest in its publication, including for reasons of political,
economic or other pressures."
Article 7: "Mistakes, omissions or inaccuracies which are in the
publication of facts must be corrected speedily.."
If in the face of such violations of their charter by the editor of one of
their most prestigious newspapers the Press Council fails to publicly
condemn such behavior, it should be dissolved and the public must demand
Exploiting a newspaper as a propaganda vehicle for a clique of leftist
ideologues willing to do anything, including suppressing or
"soft-pedalling" information about potentially criminal actions in order
to pursue a private agenda must not be tolerated in a country which
purports to adhere to ethical and democratic norms of conduct.
The writer chairs the Diaspora-Israel relations committee of the Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs and is a veteran international Jewish leader.
4. Che's Victims:
5. November 7, 2007
Democrats and Waterboarding
By ALAN DERSHOWITZ
November 7, 2007; Page A23
I recently had occasion to discuss the Bush administration's war on
terrorism with one of the highest ranking former officials responsible for
planning that war. He asked me what I thought the administration's biggest
I told him that it was not immediately going bipartisan following the
attacks of 9/11. President Roosevelt had invited Republicans to join his
cabinet as the U.S. prepared to fight the Germans and the Japanese, and
President Lincoln had included political opponents in his efforts to
preserve the union. Creating a united political front against an external
enemy may blunt the partisan advantage expected from a successful military
effort, but it helps to keep the country together at a time when partisan
bickering can undercut the effort. The former Bush official agreed,
regretting that the war against terrorism had become essentially a
Now the Democrats appear to be making the same mistake as they move toward
what seems to be an inevitable retaking of the White House. Most of the
Democratic presidential candidates are seeking partisan advantage from
what many Americans see as the Bush failures in the war against terrorism
and especially its extension to Iraq and possibly, in the future, to Iran.
This pacifistic stance appeals to the left wing of the democratic
electorate, which may have some influence on the outcome of democratic
primaries, but which is far less likely to determine the outcome of the
general election. Most Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, independents
or undecided -- want a president who will be strong, as well as smart, on
national security, and who will do everything in his or her lawful power
to prevent further acts of terrorism.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans may watch Michael Moore's movies or
cheer Cindy Sheehan's demonstrations, but tens of millions want the Moores
and Sheehans of our nation as far away as possible from influencing
national security policy. That is why Rudy Giuliani seems to be doing
surprisingly well among many segments of the electorate, ranging from
centrist Democrats to Republicans and even some on the religious right.
It may seem strange that a candidate, who came to national prominence as
the New York mayor, and one with a mixed record in that job, would be the
choice of so many on security issues, despite his lack of experience in
the national and international arenas. But the post- 9/11 Rudy conveys a
sense of toughness, of no-nonsense defense of America.
I am not suggesting that Democratic candidates seek to emulate Mr.
Giuliani. But they cannot ignore his tough stance on national security if
they want to succeed in the 2008 election, as distinguished from selected
state primaries. Marginal Democratic candidates certainly benefit from
moving to the left on national security issues, but serious candidates --
candidates who want to have any realistic chance of prevailing in the
general election -- must not allow themselves to be pushed, shoved or even
nudged away from a strong commitment to national security.
Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the
use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about
imminent acts of terrorism -- the so-called "ticking bomb" scenario. I am
not now talking about the routine use of torture in interrogation of
suspects or the humiliating misuse of sexual taunting that infamously
occurred at Abu Ghraib. I am talking about that rare situation described
by former President Clinton in an interview with National Public Radio:
"You picked up someone you know is the No. 2 aide to Osama bin Laden. And
you know they have an operation planned for the United States or some
European capital in the next three days. And you know this guy knows it.
Right, that's the clearest example. And you think you can only get it out
of this guy by shooting him full of some drugs or waterboarding him or
otherwise working him over."
He said Congress should draw a narrow statute "which would permit the
president to make a finding in a case like I just outlined, and then that
finding could be submitted even if after the fact to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court." The president would have to "take
personal responsibility" for authorizing torture in such an extreme
situation. Sen. John McCain has also said that as president he would take
responsibility for authorizing torture in that "one in a million"
Although I am personally opposed to the use of torture, I have no doubt
that any president -- indeed any leader of a democratic nation -- would in
fact authorize some forms of torture against a captured terrorist if he
believed that this was the only way of securing information necessary to
prevent an imminent mass casualty attack. The only dispute is whether he
would do so openly with accountability or secretly with deniability. The
former seems more consistent with democratic theory, the latter with
typical political hypocrisy.
There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works
-- it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as
evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under
Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and
The kind of torture that President Clinton was talking about is not
designed to secure confessions of past crimes, but rather to obtain real
time, actionable intelligence deemed necessary to prevent an act of mass
casualty terrorism. The question put to the captured terrorist is not "Did
you do it?" Instead, the suspect is asked to disclose self-proving
information, such as the location of the bomber.
Recently, Israeli security officials confronted a ticking-bomb situation.
Several days before Yom Kippur, they received credible information that a
suicide bomber was planning to blow himself up in a crowded synagogue on
the holiest day of the Jewish year. After a gun battle in which an Israeli
soldier was killed, the commander of the terrorist cell in Nablus was
captured. Interrogation led to the location of the suicide bomb in a Tel
Aviv apartment. Israel denies that it uses torture and I am aware of no
evidence that it did so to extract life-saving information in this case.
But what if lawful interrogation failed to uncover the whereabouts of the
suicide bomber? What other forms of pressure should be employed in this
This brings us to waterboarding. Michael Mukasey, whose confirmation as
attorney general now seems assured, is absolutely correct, as a matter of
constitutional law, that the issue of "waterboarding" cannot be decided in
the abstract. Under prevailing precedents -- some of which I disagree with
-- the court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at
stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the
conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases
involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found
no violations of due process.
The members of the judiciary committee who voted against Judge Mukasey,
because of his unwillingness to support an absolute prohibition on
waterboarding and all other forms of torture, should be asked the direct
question: Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other
non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible
way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the
kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? Would you want
your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a
situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept
responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?
Perhaps political campaigns and confirmation hearings are not the
appropriate fora in which to conduct subtle and difficult debates about
tragic choices that a president or attorney general may face. But nor are
they the appropriate settings for hypocritical public posturing by
political figures who, in private, would almost certainly opt for torture
if they believed it was necessary to save numerous American lives. What is
needed is a recognition that government officials must strike an
appropriate balance between the security of America and the rights of our
Unless the Democratic Party -- and particularly their eventual candidate
for president -- is perceived as strong and smart on national defense and
prevention of terrorism, the Bush White House may be proved to have made a
clever partisan decision by refusing to make the war against terrorism a
bipartisan issue. The Democrats may lose the presidency if they are seen
as the party of MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich
and those senators who voted against Judge Mukasey because he refused to
posture on a difficult issue relating to national security. They will win
if they are seen as just as tough but a lot smarter on how to deal with
real threats to our national interests.
Mr. Dershowitz teaches at Harvard Law School. He is the author, most
recently, of "Finding Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery,
and the First Amendment in an Age of Terrorism," published this week by
John Wiley & Sons.
URL for this article:
6. Helping Hamas:
7. Lying Leftists and Iraq:
8. Terrorist gets a college job (no, not at Ben Gurion University):
9. Free Speech for Terrorists:
10. Land swaps?
11. Israeli Leftist Columnist working as Propagandist for Syria: