Posts Tagged ‘Muslim world’

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Unless you’re Israel—then you can fool me over and over

September 29, 2011

The Israeli government is inexorably annexing conquered Palestine territory, in contravention of international law and against continual requests by the United States. That’s earning them the anguish of much of the Israeli population and the condemnation of most of the world.

Israel shows exquisite timing in its defiance of the rules of civilization. As the United States shows support for Israel, Israel takes odious actions that outrage the entire Muslim world and wreck America’s credibility with that world.

In March 2010 Vice President Biden traveled to Israel to demonstrate “a total U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.” Israel picked that occasion to announce a plan to build 16oo new homes in East Jerusalem. Biden denounced the Israeli plan, but to no effect,

Last week at the United Nations President Obama cravenly surrendered to the Israeli government’s demand that we oppose the Palestinian request for admission to the UN, and called instead for resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Two days later Israel torpedoed negotiations by announcing yet another 1100 homes would be built on occupied land in East Jerusalem. Secretary of State Clinton condemned the announcement, as if that would have any effect on Israel’s reckless plans.

United States support for Israel has become a blank check for relentless expansionism that threatens to plunge the Middle East into another war, one that Israel will do everything to draw the United States into.

Is Turkey becoming anti-American, anti-Israeli, pro-Iran, and radical Islamist? What in the world is going on with Turkey?

June 18, 2010

Turkey, long America’s most reliable, and Israel’s only, ally in the Muslim world, is now being called anti-American, anti-Israel, and most alarming, Islamist, especially after the deadly May 31 incident when Turkish activists sailed into an Israeli blockade of Gaza and came off second best.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recap Erdogan (pronounced Re-jep ERD-uh-WAN) is the favorite whipping boy of just about anybody who is for Israel or against Iran, radical Islamists, or Muslims in general. It’s ironic that Erdogan, who has led Turkey toward most of the western democratic-style reforms demanded by the European Union as a condition for Turkey’s acceptance, is at now being accused by many, including many Turks, of wanting to return Turkey to the Muslim caliphate of pre-Ataturk days.

One of the West’s most insightful observers of Turkish affairs is South African journalist and author Hugh Pope, who for years headed the Istanbul office of the Wall Street Journal. Pope has an op-ed in today’s Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper headlined Erdogan is not the bogeyman. In it he debunks the idea of an “Islamist foreign policy for Turkey, (more…)

The mosque at Ground Zero is friendly, unobtrusive, and as American as the 92nd Street Y

June 12, 2010

I went to see for myself what the mosque at Ground Zero is like. Considering the fuss made over the mosque by the New York Post and by the thousands of people who post rabid anti-mosque messages every three minutes on a Facebook group, I thought it would be easy to find; just go to Ground Zero and look around.

Nope, you can’t see it from Ground Zero, and none of the half-dozen locals I asked had any idea what I was talking about. I finally remembered that it was in a former Burlington Coat Factory store. I googled “Burlington Coat Factory Ground Zero New York,” and there it was: 45 Park Place (closed). Two blocks up Church Street from Ground Zero and a half-block into Park Place.

You can’t see the mosque from Ground Zero, and you can’t see Ground Zero from the mosque. We walked in and were greeted by Kemal, the caretaker, who was busy scrubbing the floor. He invited us to take off our shoes and look around. There wasn’t much to see—old drab retail space, completely empty except for the indoor/outdoor carpet that serves as a prayer rug.

The Imam is Feisal Abdul Rauf, a graduate of Columbia University who has worked for twenty years to build bridges between American Muslims and the broad public, and between America and the Muslim world. (more…)

Israel’s policy on Palestinians and their supporters: An eye for a tooth

June 3, 2010

The Bible says “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand.” (Exodus, 21:23) The Israeli government has long since amended this commandment. Israel’s policy appears to be eye for tooth.

Israel’s latest military action was to interdict an attempt to run an Israeli blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The blockade-running flotilla sailed from Turkey with humanitarian supplies. It was stopped by Israel Defense Forces, who subdued the crews, killing ten of them, seized the boats and supplies, and brought the 700 activists, mostly Turkish, to Israel. The Israeli government said it would deport almost all of them within the next two days, but about 50 would be held for investigation into their part in the violence at sea.

It was another great victory for the once vaunted Israel Defense Forces over unarmed civilians. Here’s the recent scorecard of deaths:

· 2010 Gaza blockade incident: Israelis 0, Turks (and a few others) 10

· 2008-9 Gaza invasion: Israelis 13, Palestinians 1300

· 2006 Lebanon invasion: Israelis 162, Lebanese 1035

Israel asserts the right of self defense, and clearly some of the people they killed were fighting against Israel, including against the civilian population. But most opinion inside Israel is that the vast majority of those killed by the IDF have been unarmed non-combatants.

Israel’s relentless war on Palestinians and those who support them (more…)

Joe Lieberman’s “enemies” aren’t America’s

March 16, 2010

The flap intensifies over Israel’s announcement of
plans to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem. After strenuous objection from Joe Biden and the State Department , Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the timing of the announcement but not for the substance,  telling the Israeli Parliament that construction of Jewish housing in Jerusalem was not a matter for negotiation.

The New York Times quotes a senior administration official as saying, “What happened to the vice president in Israel was unprecedented. Where it goes from here depends on the Israelis.” But the Israelis seem intent on continuing to expand into East Jerusalem and more broadly into the West Bank.

The U.S. is in a difficult position, caught between the uncompromising Israeli ally on one side and  (more…)


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