Tuesday, February 03, 2009
CRASH went the Moonbette
a major national issue in Israel, with politicians from all stripes taking
positions on it.
As we have been reporting to you, a petition of leftist anti-Israel
extremist faculty members at Tel Aviv University petitioned the university
to block a lecturing appointment to the law school for Colonel Pnina
Sharvit-Baruch, who heads the IDF's international legal division. The
moonbats claim she is a war criminal because she refused to issue a ruling
that IDF operations against terrorism are illegal. The Dean of the Law
School somewhat uncharacteristically rejected the petition of the
moonbats. I say uncharacteristic because the Tel Aviv University Law
School is a biased politicized den of extremists engaged in in-classroom
indoctrination against Israel. It is NOT me who claims that, but Prof.
Amnon Rubinstein, who founded the school. For details, see this:
http://www.jewishpress.com/content.cfm?contentid=20547 and this
The army spokespeople denounced the petitioners at TAU. Haaretz
editors and the Lord Haw-Haw of Israeli journalism Gideon Levy came out in
support of the petitioners and demanded that the colonel be banned, and
that an anti-Israel litmus test be applied to those seeking to teach in
the law school. Prof. Shlomo Avineri, the leftist dean of Israeli
political science, denounced the petitioners as "McCarthyists" and also
denounced Haaretz' position.
Then the politicians started chiming in. Ehud Barak from Labor came
out in support of the colonel and against the moonbat petitioners, but
that is because he is Minister of Defense and also because calling the
heads of the military war criminals would smear him as well. Yuli Tamir,
Israel's Minister of Education and herself a professor (of education) at
Tel Aviv University, came out in support of the petitioners and against
hiring the colonel. Of course Tamir's ideas of education including
teaching that Israel's existence is a Nakba-catastrophe, and also that
"female circumcision" in the Third World is the nicest thing since sliced,
er, oh, never mind.
The Minister of Justice, Daniel Friedmann, denounced the professors
who petitioned to block the colonel. Then the law professor who began the
whole thing, Chaim Ganz, backed off somewhat and issued a partial
repudiation. The Attorney General of Israel, who on principle disagrees
with Friedmann on everything, including on the rule of law, surprisingly
came out and supported the same position, denouncing the petitioners.
Finally, Ehud Olmert, still Prime Minister for the next few moments,
not only denounced the petitioners but threatened to block public funds
from any institution that refuses to hire army officer veterans. THAT got
the attention of the campus entrenched Left!
Finally, registration for the colonel's course was just opened and it
is being packed with interested TAU students, undeterred by the campus
2. Speaking of campus trench wars, there is some good news for a change!
Ultra-Moonbette Ariella Azoulay denied tenure at Bar Ilan!!
She was in the philosophy department, expert in hermeneutics - whatever
and active in the Israel-is-Nakba,
destroy-Israel movement (http://www.nakbainhebrew.org/index.php?id=674),
a member in the anti-Israel organization ZOCHROT, the Arab nationalist
organization Adalah, and the anarcho-fascist Alternative Information
She was active in the Boycott-Israel movement
and in the treasonous Gush Shalom organization directed by Uri Avnery.
She was active in promoting a "right of return" for Palestinians to
Israel and a "One-State Solution" in which Israel would cease to exist
and the Israeli Jews would become dhimmis in an Islamic Arab state.
Other expressions of her leftism:
Most of her academic work was on the philosophy of photography. I think
should better be called Kodakeutics than hermeneutics, which sounds like a
naked middle aged guy named Herman.
Let us be clear . she was not evicted because of her extremist politics
but because she is a laughingstock of a "scholar." But that is what
makes this newsworthy. At any other Israeli university, including my own,
someone like her would have sailed through to tenure, all on the BASIS of
her "sensitive progressive political ideology." She has essentially an
empty academic publishing record (I found one paper in a French journal.)
It is only at Bar-Ilan that being a leftist is neither a sufficient nor a
necessary condition for getting tenure!
Since a write-in campaign is being organized by the usual tenured
leftists to pressure Bar-Ilan into reversing their decision, you might
want to write the heads of Bar Ilan to express your support and gratitude
for this brave decision.
http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/ February 1st, 2009 9:40 pm
February 1st, 2009 9:40 pm
How To Talk To A Mullah (Not) by Michael Ledeen
Last fall, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.a man well known for his
prudence as well as thoughtfulness.remarked on the many failed efforts by
the United States to reach some sort of modus vivendi with the Iranian
Every administration since 1979 has reached out to the Iranians in one way
or another and all have failed. Some have gotten into deep trouble
associated with their failures, but the reality is the Iranian leadership
has been consistently unyielding over a very long period of time in
response to repeated overtures from the United States about having a
different and better kind of relationship.
Leave aside the fact that, before becoming SecDef, Gates was one of many
who recommended "engaging" the Iranian regime in talks; things look
different from inside the Pentagon, when daily reports document the extent
of Iranian evil doing to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the
murderous activities of their proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah.
"Consistently unyielding" is a significant understatement. The "reality,"
as he puts it, is that there is no reason to believe that the Iranians are
interested in anything other than our destruction or domination. They are
our enemies, as they have proven over the past thirty years.
Which is not to say they won't talk. They love to talk, and they excel at
talking, which they view quite differently from the way we look at
"engagement" or "negotiations." We seek durable agreements to resolve
fundamental problems; The Iranians are quite capable of striking
temporary deals with their worst enemies, fully intending to resume
hostilities when circumstances are more favorable.
I saw their methods at first hand. For a few months in the summer and
early autumn of 1985, I was the only American official in the room during
talks with various Iranians, including some very high-ranking ayatollahs,
and I was privy to telephone conversations with Iranian officials in the
office of President Mir Hussein Moussavi.
The circumstances certainly favored a positive result, much more so than
today's situation (even though there are some important similarities).
The Iranians were then at war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and they were
having a rough go of it. Iraq had the upper hand on the battlefield, and
was attacking inside Iran. Iran had hardly any night radar, and once the
sun set, the Iraqis routinely bombed Iranian targets, including the
cities, which saw a nightly exodus of tens of thousands of people swarming
to the safer darkness of the countryside. The regime was becoming more
unpopular by the day, as citizens attacked government and religious
leaders in the streets. There was even open conflict between different
factions of the Revolution Guards, and there were reports of workers
walking off the oil fields.
Under the circumstances, it was not surprising that the mullahs were
prepared to deal, even with the satanic forces of Israel and the United
States. The Ayatollah Khomeini, the country's unchallenged tyrant, had to
wonder if destiny had turned against him. Iran desperately needed help.
And the Iranians had cards to play with us, in the form of several
American hostages held by Hezbollah. One of these was particularly
important, both to President Reagan and to CIA chief William Casey:
William Buckley, the station chief in Beirut. While never admitting they
controlled Buckley's fate, the Iranians said that if the relationship
between the two countries improved, they would be as helpful as possible
in obtaining the release of the American hostages. The Americans replied
that the relationship was the central issue, but that Iran would have to
call a halt to all terrorist attacks against American targets, and
moderate its rhetoric ("Death to America!", then, as now, was loudly
chanted in the streets). If that happened, and if Iran helped with the
hostages, the United States was prepared to sell weapons to the mullahs as
a sign of good faith.
Over the course of several months, the United States sold weapons (and
later provided military intelligence), terrorist attacks ceased, and
Iranian leaders pointedly omitted America from its enemies list on major
public occasions. Two hostages dribbled out, but never Buckley, who was
brutally tortured to death. Despite numerous meetings, the relationship
was certainly not improved. Each side blamed the other, and there was
plenty of blame to share, as I made clear in a detailed account (Perilous
Statecraft; An Insider's Account of the Iran-Contra Affair). But, for
those who think they can reshape the relationship today, a few important
lessons can be learned:
.The degree of ignorance, distrust and treachery at the highest levels of
the Iranian regime is so great that the "process" on their side is almost
totally opaque. Officials do not tell one another what is going on, they
threaten one another if they suspect anyone is trying to make a deal with
the Americans, and their inability to understand the workings of the
American Government is almost limitless. Our Iran experts constantly
bemoan American failure to understand Iran, but the Iranians' ignorance of
us is often spectacular. They believed that George H.W. Bush, not Ronald
Reagan, was the most powerful man in Washington (after all, he'd run the
CIA, which runs much of the world). They did not know who Robert
McFarlane was, despite his rank as national security adviser. They
believed America controlled Saddam Hussein at will;
.They made promises they never intended to keep, such as promising to
arrange for the release of all American hostages if only sufficient arms
or spare parts were delivered to Iran. Time after time, meetings were
organized on the basis of promises that had been communicated to
Washington, only to discover that the relevant Iranian officials had not
only not made the promises, but had never been informed of them. This
problem is structural, it is not just a question of one personality or
another, for it was repeated several times, involving different
intermediaries and different Iranian officials;
.The only person who really matters in Iran is the supreme leader
(Khomeini at the time, Khamenei today), but his power is so awesome that
underlings are reluctant to go to him unless they feel they are able to
deliver a full package, not just steps en route to an agreement. No
bargain can be struck that way. It takes time to work out a deal, but we
can't have any confidence that any of the pieces have really been
approved, whatever our interlocutors may say. At the end of the process,
and only then (assuming that the talks themselves have been approved),
will we get approval or rejection. For thirty years, it's been rejection.
It seems the Clinton Administration had similar experiences. The
president and Secretary of State Albright were so convinced that a grand
bargain was within their grasp, that they publicly apologized to the
Iranians for past presumed American sins. But Khamenei rudely brushed
them aside; he was not interested in better relations with the Great
Satan. This came as a great shock to the Americans, who had been
negotiating for months, had lifted elements of the embargo, facilitated
cultural exchanges, and the like. Ken Pollack summed it up like this:
In the Clinton Administration in 1999 and 2000, we tried, very hard, to
put the grand bargain on the table. And we tried. We made 12 separate
gestures to Iran to try to demonstrate to them that we really meant it,
and we were really willing to go the full nine yards and put all of these
big carrots on the table if the Iranians were willing to give us what we
needed. And the Iranians couldn't.
Pollack's choice of words is spot-on: the Iranians couldn't. They
couldn't, because hatred of America is the very essence of the Islamic
Republic. To cease that enmity, to call off the thirty years' war against
us, would be tantamount to changing the nature of the regime itself. Can
you imagine Hitler striking a grand bargain with the Jews, or Mao with the
bourgeoisie? It's much the same with the mullahs.
The only really promising element in the talks with Iranians in 1985 came
from a senior Iranian government official, who told us he and his allies
wanted to work for a better relationship with America, and understood this
entailed a change in the nature of the regime. It was never pursued, so I
have no idea if he was serious (it could well have been a deception). But
he was not the supreme leader, and he told us he knew he and his friends
would have to challenge Khomeini in order to accomplish his objective.
No doubt there are still senior Iranian officials who want better
relations with America, but they are not in a position to deliver it. To
do that, they would have to change the nature of the regime. That might
be worth discussing, but formal talks between the two governments will not
involve such people. We will be talking to representatives of the regime,
and they have no interest in regime change. To put it mildly.
We had real leverage on the Iranians back in the mid-80s, when the
regime's leaders actively feared for their survival. Today's mullahs also
fear their own people, and some of their internal enemies are killing
mullahs and Revolutionary Guardsmen, just as during the Iran-Iraq war.
While Iran is not actively at war, it has suffered severe setbacks on
several fronts: Iraq (where its proxy al Qaeda was defeated), Gaza (where
its proxy Hamas was defeated), and even Lebanon (where its proxy Hezbollah
failed to do anything while Israel was drubbing Hamas). Back in the
mid-80s, Iran was willing to stop calling for the destruction of America
for a few months, and put a stop to the killing of Americans by Iranian
proxies. Today, the Iranians demand that America apologize and "reform."
The terms of reference have been inverted. And sadly, the president seems
inclined to accept the inversion.
But if all we want to do is talk, they'll certainly talk. They may not do
it publicly, but most talks between Iran and the United States have been
private, like those apparently involving former Defense Secretary Perry,
and those.little discussed in print so far.with former Ambassador William
Miller. As the Iranians see it, if we're talking, they can continue to
pursue their atomic bomb. So talking is good for them.
It's very unlikely to be good for us.
4. Speaking of the anarcho-fascists:
5. From Tom Gross: BRITISH POLICE: "WE DIDN'T RUN AWAY FROM GAZA
PROTESTORS. IT WAS AN ORDERLY WALK BACKWARDS"
I sent this amateur video to various people, including journalists, a week
ago, and some have now written about it, including a story in yesterday's
Mail on Sunday.
For those who haven't seen it, it is quite an extraordinary ten minutes of
footage as the police run away from a pro-Hamas mob and allow traffic
cones and other items to be thrown at them on some of London's grandest
streets. At one point in the video, one can see St James's Palace, the
Ritz hotel and the Wolseley restaurant on Piccadilly. The police appear
outnumbered and too intimidated to make any arrests.
Chants of "Allah Akbar" (Allah is Greatest) can also be heard. Two
orthodox Jews were severely assaulted after the demonstration, including a
student who is a co-chair of a Jewish-Muslim friendship society at Oxford
As I mentioned in a dispatch last month, a policeman protecting the
Israeli embassy was beaten unconscious following one of these
GAYS FOR HAMAS?
One demonstrator in the video shouts: "Run, run, you cowards. Run, you
poof. Allah Akbar." His use of the word "poof" (homosexual) is interesting
because in the item below from San Francisco, demonstrators held up
banners saying "Gays for Palestine." As I have pointed out many times over
the years, the attitude of Islamist movements, including Hamas, towards
homosexuals is not exactly enlightened.
Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Broadhurst yesterday told The Mail on
Sunday that his force's rapid retreat in the face of pro-Hamas protestors
was "not running away" but "going backwards in an orderly manner."
You need to watch the full ten minutes to see just how disturbing this
"ZIONIST TERRORISTS STARTED OPERATING IN THE DAYS OF JESUS"
Israeli/Nazi comparisons and anti-Semitic incidents are now commonplace,
particularly on the Norwegian left, Toje said.
Last month, Trine Lilleng, a senior Norwegian diplomat in Saudi Arabia
sent out a mass email, saying: "The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors
from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to
them by Nazi Germany."
As reported at the time on this email list, in August 2006, Jostein
Gaardner, Norway's most famous living writer (author of the book "Sophie's
World," which has been translated into 53 languages and sold 26 million
copies), wrote an article for the leading Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten
saying Israel should be dismantled.
"Zionist terrorists started operating in the days of Jesus," he wrote,
among other anti-Semitic slurs.
6. From the WSJ: Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil
When will our luminaries stop making excuses for terror?
By JUDEA PEARL
This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. My wife Ruth and I wonder:
Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?
The answer does not come easily. Danny was an optimist, a true believer in
the goodness of mankind. Yet he was also a realist, and would not let
idealism bend the harshness of facts.
Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have
possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh,
according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts
from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a
military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi
supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in
European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas,
Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped
young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity
with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether
his kidnappers deserve international recognition.
No. Those around the world who mourned for Danny in 2002 genuinely hoped
that Danny's murder would be a turning point in the history of man's
inhumanity to man, and that the targeting of innocents to transmit
political messages would quickly become, like slavery and human sacrifice,
an embarrassing relic of a bygone era.
But somehow, barbarism, often cloaked in the language of "resistance," has
gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society. The words "war
on terror" cannot be uttered today without fear of offense. Civilized
society, so it seems, is so numbed by violence that it has lost its gift
to be disgusted by evil.
I believe it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to
find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy,
but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism -- the
ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of
civilized society -- was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable
This mentality of surrender then worked its way through politicians like
the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In July 2005 he told Sky News
that suicide bombing is almost man's second nature. "In an unfair balance,
that's what people use," explained Mr. Livingstone.
But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of
political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book
"Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of
suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all
significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the
suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and
the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts
of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective
tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.
Mr. Carter's logic has become the dominant paradigm in rationalizing
terror. When asked what Israel should do to stop Hamas's rockets aimed at
innocent civilians, the Syrian first lady, Asma Al-Assad, did not hesitate
for a moment in her response: "They should end the occupation." In other
words, terror must earn a dividend before it is stopped.
The media have played a major role in handing terrorism this victory of
acceptability. Qatari-based Al Jazeera television, for example, is still
providing Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hours of free air time each week to
spew his hateful interpretation of the Koran, authorize suicide bombing,
and call for jihad against Jews and Americans.
Then came the August 2008 birthday of Samir Kuntar, the unrepentant killer
who, in 1979, smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl with his
rifle after killing her father before her eyes. Al Jazeera elevated Kuntar
to heroic heights with orchestras, fireworks and sword dances, presenting
him to 50 million viewers as Arab society's role model. No mainstream
Western media outlet dared to expose Al Jazeera efforts to warp its young
viewers into the likes of Kuntar. Al Jazeera's management continues to
receive royal treatment in all major press clubs.
Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al
Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick
to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with
honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9
TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the
cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to
oppression." He then stated -- without blushing -- that for readers of the
Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of
violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of
reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as
immutable as DNA.
When we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables
genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend
every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we
should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently
being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.
At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned
into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director
of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers
for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the
greatest criminal in human history.
The primary purpose of the event was evident the morning after, when
unsuspecting, uninvolved students read an article in the campus newspaper
titled, "Scholars say: Israel is in violation of human rights in Gaza," to
which the good name of the University of California was attached. This is
where Hamas scored its main triumph -- another inch of academic
respectability, another inroad into Western minds.
Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as
reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes
and say: You did not die in vain.
Mr. Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, is president of the
Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded in memory of his son to promote
7. Peres the Old Liar: Erdogan's Chutzpah
Turkey's Prime Minister forgets who his friends are.
From today's Wall Street Journal Europe.
Turkey's Prime Minister threw a metaphorical shoe at Shimon Peres in Davos
last week, before stomping off the stage at the yearly gabfest. When Recep
Tayyip Erdogan cools off, a little introspection might be in order.
His outburst -- calling the Israeli President "old" and "a liar" --
tarnished the well-earned Turkish reputation for hospitality and
tolerance. Mr. Erdogan told the 85-year-old head of the Jewish state,
apropos the recent Israeli incursion against Hamas in Gaza, "When it comes
to killing, you know well how to kill."
If only the incident were merely about Mr. Erdogan's manners. Israel and
the U.S. are Turkey's best, arguably only, friends in the Middle East. Yet
anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Turkey, and Mr.
Erdogan's outbust won't help on either score.
Perhaps most telling, Mr. Erdogan blew his lid while the Israeli President
challenged him, "What would you do if you were to have in Istanbul every
night a hundred rockets?" Since the 1970s, Turkey has also been at war
against terrorists who fight from sanctuaries in and outside the country
on behalf of a stateless Muslim people. Militants from the Kurdistan
Workers Party, or PKK, attack the Turkish military mainly in the southeast
but also in cities. Some 30,000 have been killed. So far, the PKK hasn't
fired missiles into Turkish cities, though presumably Hamas or Hezbollah
could pass on the know-how.
Like Israelis, Turkish leaders have vigorously defended their right to go
after PKK hideouts in northern Iraq with tacit U.S. support -- including
during Israel's Gaza offensive, though it didn't make news on al Jazeera.
If anyone can sympathize with President Peres, it should be Mr. Erdogan.