Posts Tagged ‘Nasrallah’

Three cheers for Fareed Zakharia, who yesterday announced he was returning the award and the $10,000 honorarium he got from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) after their abominable support of bigotry and hate in the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy in New York.

The ADL and its leader, Abe Foxman, have come under a great deal of criticism, and a significant amount of it has come from unusual sectors.

ADL President Abe Foxman

It isn’t enough.

The ADL’s hypocrisy when it comes to Israel should have discredited the organization some years ago, after many decades of their being a legitimate leader in the fight for civil rights in America.

Consider these words, which Foxman wrote in 2007: “The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past. The Jewish community shouldn’t be the arbiter of that history, nor should the U.S. Congress, and a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.”

Do we even have to guess how Foxman (or most any Jew) would react if the Holocaust was spoken about in such a manner? The notion that such political considerations should factor in any way into the acknowledgment of genocide should be profoundly offensive to anyone, certainly to a Jew steeped in Holocaust memory. (more…)

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The precise details of the events on the Israel-Lebanon border Tuesday are still unclear. But from what we have now, a picture is starting to develop.

UNIFIL has confirmed that the Israelis who were shot at were on their side of the Blue Line, the de facto border between Israel and Lebanon. There is a security fence near there, but it does not follow the Blue Line precisely, and in

Israel-Lebanon Border

the area where the incident took place, the fence is inside of Israeli territory, leaving a small area of “no man’s land” that Lebanon claims as its own, but which is recognized internationally as part of Israel.

Back in 2006, Hezbollah operatives used surrounding growth to launch a sneak attack against Israeli troops, precipitating the massive Israeli response that led to the war that summer. As a result, Israel routinely removes some of the brush in the area. In this case, it seems UNIFIL and the Lebanese army was notified and, while UNIFIL asked Israel to delay for a day for their commander to return, Israel waited only a few extra hours. But the area in question was on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, so this cannot possibly be called anything more than an annoyance.

The Lebanese army commander in the area apparently was ordered to fire warning shots, and it remains unclear whether he ever did that or whether shots were immediately fired at an Israeli observation post behind the fence, where the one IDF officer was killed and another wounded. In the moment, when soldiers are fired upon from a distance, it is often impossible to know where the bullets were aimed—and, in fear for one’s life, one is not apt to start an investigation on the spot. (more…)

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Check out Mitchell Plitnick and “Those We Can Talk To and Those We Cannot.” Exploring some new thinking in the American military and the important distinctions between Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda.

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A senior officer in the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that “Putting Hizballah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda in the same sentence, as if they are all the same, is just stupid.” He was referring to a statement made by that prince of idiocy, Danny Ayalon, Israel’s perpetual embarrassment of a Deputy Foreign Minister.

As shameful as it is that a man as crude, boorish and ignorant as Ayalon holds such a position in Israel, the source of that statement is just one element in what appears to be evolving thinking in the US military.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

An article at Foreign Affairs on the so-called “Red Team” report regarding policy toward Hamas and Hezbollah should not be given more weight than it is due. The purpose of the Red Team deliberation is specifically to challenge existing policy. Still, the thinking that the article reports is quite promising.

There is a real understanding reflected in their recommendations that Hezbollah and Hamas are not transitory political forces, but are here to stay, and they need to be dealt with in a serious fashion. Merely writing them off as terrorists and refusing to engage them has already proven counter-productive. Eventually, both groups will, in fact, be dealt with in an open fashion. That day is likely a long way off, which is unfortunate; a lot of bloodshed could be avoided by hastening, rather than delaying, that day.

Different kinds of Islamist groups

It’s easy to lump all of those groups together. It’s a useful propaganda tool for the inane “war on terror.” And it produces a backlash among leftists, who often overlook the abhorrent acts Hamas or Hezbollah have committed, identifying them primarily as freedom fighters. Given that all of these groups have used the tactic of terrorism, they make it easy for people to lump them together.

The reality is that al-Qaeda and similar groups, on the one hand, and national-religious groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are real forces in the world, and if we don’t do a better job of both distinguishing between them and understanding them, the conflicts we are in today are going to go on for a long time. (more…)

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