Saturday, December 18, 2010

Erekat Pulls Wool Over 'Guardian' Readers' Eyes

Published: 12/16/10, 8:04 PM / Last Update: 12/16/10, 8:06 PM
Erekat Pulls Wool Over 'Guardian' Readers' Eyes
by Gil Ronen

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat penned an opinion piece for the British Guardian last Friday in which he defended the PA's insistence on the "Right of Return" - the demand that Israel allow into its borders Arabs who fled Israel in 1948, as well as their descendants, numbered in the millions.. However, Erekat did some rewriting of history in the process.

Erekat opened his article by mentioning Count Folke Bernadotte, the first UN mediator to the Arab-Israeli conflict, who stated: "It would be an offense against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent [Arab] victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine."

Israel's recognition of the Arabs' "refugee rights," Erekat argued, "will lead to a lasting peace – the kind of peace envisaged by Lord Bernadotte and hoped for by Palestinians and Israelis alike."

What Erekat failed to note was that the Arab world bluntly rejected Bernadotte's plan for peace between Jews and Arabs and opted for war against the nascent state of Israel instead. As Syrian officer Muhammad Nimr al-Khatib said at the time, “Most of these mediators are spies for the Jews anyway.”

Bernadotte was appointed mediator by the UN General Assembly on May 20, 1948, and on June 11, succeeded in arranging a 30-day cease-fire. After visiting Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Tel Aviv, he proposed that the UN partition plan for the Land of Israel be scrapped, and proposed instead a plan to unite Arabs and Jews in one state consisting of a very small Jewish entity on the coast and in the Galilee, and an enlarged Transjordan. Jerusalem would be under Arab sovereignty, as would the entire Negev.

The Arabs refused to accept even this plan, however, and the Jews rejected the plan after the Arabs did.

Bernadotte noted in his journal that the "Palestinian" Arabs had little desire for independence.

The Palestinian Arabs had at present no will of their own. Neither have they ever developed any specifically Palestinian nationalism. The demand for a separate Arab state in Palestine is consequently relatively weak. It would seem as though in existing circumstances most of the Palestinian Arabs would be quite content to be incorporated in Transjordan.

Bernadotte was later assassinated by Jewish nationalists from the Lechi group - hated by the British, who named them the "Stern Gang" after their founding leader, Avraham 'Yair' Stern, who was killed by the British occupying forces.

Erekat is presumably aware of British sensitivities and probably chose Bernadotte for a reason. However, as noted - it was the Arab side that was first to reject Bernadotte's generous plan. The Arabs then launched a genocidal war against Israel - and lost it. The result included many more refugees, whom the Arabs now wish to put back into Israeli territory, along with their descendants.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nothing is Scarier Than Being Quoted

By Barry Rubin

When you write a sentence, or present an idea, you never know how it is going to be reproduced by someone else. At times, especially nowadays, people may deliberately distort what you write in order to prove you are peddling some outlandish proposal that you are totally against.

Part of my problem is that I also get blamed by confused or careless people for things written by people who have a first or last name similar to mine. [I'm tempted to joke that I'm glad the current president doesn't use the first name "Barry" but I won't.]

There is no experience stranger than being passionately attacked for allegedly believing something when you hold the exact opposite viewpoint.

Recently, a number of places--I think with good intentions--quoted from a Bangladesh newspaper that reprinted a blog article of mine (why they don't go to the blog itself I just don't understand). The quotes were correct but my point misunderstood. Their claims grew out of the idea--theirs, not mine--that Muslims were some sort of monolith (or at least almost completely so), which is a mistake made by both sides in the debate.

The argument being made was over the claim that I somehow said it was naive of President Barack Obama to reach out to Muslims. I would never make such a claim.

Of course, Obama or any U.S. president should reach out to Muslims. That's not the point. What is essential here is:

--Which Muslims? He shouldn't put the emphasis on showing radicals that he means them well--Iran, Syria, Muslim Brotherhoods, the Turkish government--but work with the relatively moderate politically, meaning in the Middle East most Arab regimes and liberal reformers. Yes, I'm aware these last two groups are often at odds.

--In what way can we define the nature of the current conflict? It is not between "Muslims" and "others" but rather between Islamists who want to take over countries in order to transform those societies and those, at home and abroad, who don't want to see that happen. More specifically, within Muslim-majority countries, the conflict is between revolutionary Islamists and their supporters, on one hand, and on the other a large group of conservative-traditionalist Muslims and a much smaller group of liberal ones.

What is critical here is that millions of people whose religion is Islam hold political views that can be defined as patriotic-nationalist, Arab nationalist, communal loyalism, and other categories. This is discussed HERE.

--How should the United States reach out? Show that the United States is a strong ally, protector, and represents desirable things in cultural and economic terms, not by fawning, appeasing, or apologizing. That sends the message: If revolutionary Islamists by scaring and attacking the West are able to get them begging already, what can they achieve by killing a lot more people and seizing power?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Federalist Papers and Obamacare

Patrick Jakeway
While publishing the Federalist papers in 1787/1788, two of the major architects of the Constitution, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, made some highly pertinent comments that apply to Obamacare.

James Madison, Federalist Number 14:

“In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those objects, which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.”

James Madison, Federalist Number 10:

“When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest, both the public good and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquires are directed.”

Concerning Article 1, Section 8(3) of the Constitution that “Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes," Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 17:

“The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same state; the supervision of agriculture, and of other concerns of a similar nature; all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction.”

(Note: if a transaction between a doctor and patient is not local and therefore subject to local and not general jurisdiction, like buying produce from a farmer, then I don't know what is. Article I, Section 8 was clearly focused on regulating commerce with foreign nations, eliminating multiple currencies within the states and removing inter-state tariffs in place during the Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers are turning in the graves at this massive intrusion into individual liberty.)

Last but not least Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 16 something very profound considering the situation we find ourselves in:

“The success of it [an illegal usurpation of authority] would require not only a factious majority in the legislature, but the concurrence of the courts of justice, and of the body of the people. If the judges were not embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature, they would pronounce the resolutions of such a majority to be contrary to the supreme law of the land, unconstitutional and void. If the people were not tainted with the spirit of their state representatives, they, as the natural guardians of the constitution, would throw their weight into the national scale, and give it a decided preponderancy in the contest.”

The Founding Fathers defined the citizens as the natural guardians of the Constitution. Ultimately, it comes down to us. Remember the immortal motto of Gen. Nathaniel Greene who led his rag-tag militia across the Carolina in 1779-1780, "lost" every battle until providing the Continentals their first major victory at Kings Mountain and cut down Cornwallis' troops from 30,000 to 15,000 before he quit Charleston and headed to Yorktown:

"I fight, I am defeated, I rise and fight again."

It is precisely now that one must not despair. Now is the time for lovers of liberty to throw themselves into the national scale. You are the natural guardians of the Constitution. Now is not the time for Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots; now is the time for the heirs of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, James Monroe, John Adams, John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Nathaniel Greene and Ethan Allen.

You have a choice. What will it be? Acquiescence? Submission? Defeat? Where would we be if all the aforementioned had quit when they faced a little headwind (and, comparatively speaking, this is light breeze next to Valley Forge). Be ashamed; be very ashamed if you choose to go gently into that dark neo-Soviet night. Be assured; a new dawn of American liberty will rise as American Patriots resolve to protect their Constitution and use all of its provisions to protect their liberties.

Page Printed from: at March 23, 2010 - 07:56:18 AM CDT

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Obama and Reality

Miguel A. Guanipa
The rather peculiar manner in which our current president reacts to what at face value is perceived as an imminent crisis versus the contrived serenity (some would call it aloofness) with which he confronts what by all accounts can be classified as bona fide disasters raises some important questions about the true character of the man we still know so little about. This is even truer when when in hindsight, many of these so-called crises can be fairly characterized as no more than the overstated prognosis of hurdles that never materialized, while the alluded-to disasters are real, irrevocable tragedies that could have been prevented in the first place.

Consider, for example, the severity of President Obama's rebuke to his detractors at the genesis of his administration, when he cautioned that the world's financial markets would collapse unless everyone indiscriminately supported his drastic measures to address the looming economic downturn. He wielded a similar iron fist in Copenhagen, in tandem with other anxious world leaders, and berated a complacent world for not sharing his sense of urgency to avert the coming global climate Armageddon. Both deliveries were served promptly, vigorously, and with a potent supply of moral exigency. Yet it is fair to say that as far as real scientific consensus is concerned, one of these dire predictions is simply not in the cards for at least another couple of centuries (if at all), while the other is a posthumous economic catastrophe that we were presumably spared from in lieu of virulent remedies which are now posing a greater hardship than the anticipated woes.

Now examine by contrast the president's initial reaction to the news of a dedicated Nigerian terrorist boarding an airliner with a homemade bomb snugly tucked in his underwear. Airport security scanners have yet to encounter a more impenetrable fortress -- but I digress. Shortly after a somewhat disjointed, impromptu spiel (presumably intended to reassure the country that he had been duly made aware of the potentially catastrophic incident), the president was all too eager to resume his snorkeling sessions -- evidently the next vacation activity scheduled after the few rounds of golf that preceded the rather inopportune press conference. He was on vacation, after all.

The president made an even less valiant effort to veil his appalling indifference on the heels of a tragedy that has too quickly faded from the popular consciousness. The latter transpired in Fort Hood, Texas, when a disgruntled jihadist executed fourteen innocent people in cold blood (the unborn baby of a pregnant victim included). In what called for a more solemn disposition in deference to the relatives of the victims of this atrocious attack, the first few minutes of the president's expiatory (but no less phlegmatic) address included some precursory remarks about a Native American relations event he had just attended and a jovial "shout-out" to one of his acquaintances present in the audience. If Obama wanted to convey that terrorism is the least of his concerns in his agenda, he did a superb job at that particular conference.

But from a more charitable point of view, one may surmise that our young president is striving to remain cool, calm, and collected in the wake of what he recognizes are panic-engendering tragedies. At the same time, he wants to appear genuinely concerned about the unavailability of reliable health care and the negative repercussions of a protracted economic slump for millions of the already less fortunate. But this does not satisfactorily explain his initially tepid response to concerns that rank very high on the scale of fears that most Americans live with -- and the ferocious urgency with which he undertakes his own pet issues, one of which is steadily losing support from even some in his own camp.

A more sober assessment would accurately characterize Obama's first response as the intuitive reaction of a reckless, aloof, and shockingly indifferent commander in chief -- one who is disproportionately concerned about things unlikely to happen and supremely disinterested in tragic events that are bound to be repeated if we do not take the necessary precautions. This posture has been labeled as a pre-9/11 mindset.

What is at play here is that Obama is a man for whom all other issues are marginal when compared to his own agenda. Thus he has not yet learned how to respond to crises other than the ones theatrically crafted by him and his minions as vehicles to accomplish this agenda. When it comes to a real crisis like a domestic terror attack, Obama is a man in a perennial holding pattern, waiting for his media-savvy advisers to prod him to address things inimical to the progressive milieu he inhabits. Such crises are to him as background noise, but they unexpectedly register as grave concerns to the populace. And so he displays a curious detachment from reality. He stumbles, as many people feared long ago, upon that which he is ill-prepared to address with the gravitas befitting a president. Yet as unconventional as his responses are, it is a safe bet that President Obama has finally gone past the point of being immune to the stagnating element of predictability.

The great leader has emerged, and he has been found wanting. Except perhaps for the barely-sentient Obama groupie, sooner or later everyone will come to realize that it takes more than just proper diction to be an effective leader. Sure, eloquence may fool some at first. But eventually, the real man behind the words must surface, and what a colossal disappointment -- especially for those who had vested such vain hopes in him -- has Mr. Obama turned out to be in so many respects. How paltry and useless his renowned oratory skills have proven in sparing him from this cruel destiny. The premier lament is, of course, that this decisive epiphany did not dawn upon the faithful prior to his coronation.

Page Printed from: at January 16, 2010 - 04:27:34 PM CST