In the News
by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
August 9, 2014
As Israeli operations against Hamas wind down, here are seven insights into the month-long conflict:
Missile shield: The superb performance of Iron Dome, the protective system that shot down nearly every Hamas rocket threatening life or property, has major military implications for Israel and the world. Its success signals that “Star Wars” (as opponents maliciously dubbed it upon introduction in 1983) can indeed provide protection from short-range and also presumably from long-range rockets and missiles, potentially changing the future of warfare.
Tunnels: Tunneling behind enemy lines is hardly a new tactic; historically, it has had success, such as the 1917 Battle of Messines, when British mines killed 10,000 German soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) knew of Hamas’ tunnels before hostilities began on July 8 but failed to appreciate their numbers, length, depth, quality of construction, and electronic sophistication. Jerusalem quickly realized, as the Times of Israel wrote, that “Israel’s air, sea and land supremacy is not mirrored underground.” The IDF thus requires additional time to achieve subterranean dominance.
- Read the entire article Lessons of the War in Gaza :: Middle East Forum.
By Joshua Muravchik
“Unfortunately . . . Israel [has] suffered from bias—and sometimes even discrimination” at the United Nations, said none other than the UN’s highest official, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Jerusalem in August. Back at headquarters a week later, Ban withdrew the substance of the comment without denying he had made it. The retraction was less surprising than the original assertion, which was remarkable because of the identity of the speaker, not for what was said, the reality of which is about as well concealed as the sun on a cloudless noon.
- Read more at World Affairs Journal.
by Richard Schifter
Published in the Washington Jewish Week, January 2, 2014
As the year 2014 begins, the Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations sponsored by the United States have been underway for five months. Under the current schedule they are to conclude at the end of April. It is clear that Israel is prepared to agree to a two-state solution. The Palestinians, by contrast, continue to insist on their claim of a so-called “right of return”, the migration to Israel of more than 5,000,000 persons of Palestinian descent, 1% of whom are refugees of the 1948 war and 99% of whom are the descendants of refugees. That wave of migrants would end the existence of Israel as a majority Jewish state and is thus clearly unacceptable to Israel. Peace can be brought about only if that demand is dropped, as President Clinton proposed at the end of the Camp David talks of 2000.
If no agreement is reached, the Palestinians are expected to step up their anti-Israel campaign at the United Nations. Statements made on behalf of Fatah suggest that consideration is being given to proposing a resolution similar to the one adopted by the General Assembly in 1981 against South Africa, calling “upon all States … to impose comprehensive mandatory sanctions … [and] … strongly urging all States… to cease forthwith, individually and collectively, all dealings with [South Africa] in order to isolate it politically, economically, militarily, and culturally.”Continue Reading …
Address to the United Nations General Assembly, Agenda Item 18
By Ambassador Ron Prosor, Israel’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations
November 25, 2013
Thank you Mr. President,
John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie… but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”
This is the third year that I am standing before this Assembly to address this agenda item and once again, I experience a sense of déjà vu as I listen to a distortion of history. The greatest legends of Greek mythology cannot rival the fables and fabrications that have come to be associated with this debate.
This debate may take place only once a year, but anti-Israel bias pervades the UN system all year round. In 2012, this Assembly found the time to pass 22 resolutions condemning Israel – compared with only four that single out other nations.Continue Reading …
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. 10:35 A.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.) It’s great to be here. It’s great to be here. (Applause.) Hey, Debbie.
Ladies and gentlemen, oh, what a difference 40 years makes. (Laughter.) I look out there and see an old friend, Annette Lantos. Annette, how are you? Her husband, Tom Lantos, a survivor, was my assistant, was my foreign policy advisor for years. And Tom used to say all the time, Joe — he talked with that Hungarian accent — he’d say, Joe, we must do another fundraiser for AIPAC. (Laughter.) I did more fundraisers for AIPAC in the ‘70s and early ‘80s than — just about as many as anybody. Thank God you weren’t putting on shows like this, we would have never made it. (Laughter.) We would have never made it.
My Lord, it’s so great to be with you all and great to see — Mr. President, thank you so much for that kind introduction. And President-elect Bob Cohen, the entire AIPAC Board of Directors, I’m delighted to be with you today. But I’m particularly delighted to be with an old friend — and he is an old friend; we use that phrase lightly in Washington, but it’s real, and I think he’d even tell you — Ehud Barak, it’s great to be with you, Mr. Minister. Great to be with you. (Applause.)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. It is a real honor to be here at AIPAC’s Policy Conference. It’s a particular honor to be here with my good friend and one of Congress’s strongest pro-Israel allies that you will hear from in just a minute, Steny Hoyer.
Tonight we celebrate a friendship between two countries, simple in concept but mighty in force. This friendship is centered on commitment to community and dedication to faith. It values education, human progress, and the guarantee of opportunity for all. With this friendship the world is a better place.
The alliance between the United States and Israel is often tested but never shaken. We’ve helped protect each other. We’ve helped protect our friends, and we’ve helped protect humanity. If there is a tsunami, our military and aid ships are the first to set sail. If disease is ravaging a nation, whereas is the case of AIDS in Africa, an entire continent, we send help, and we save lives. Israel shares our moral compass. When massive earthquakes struck Haiti and Turkey, Israel was among the first to offer assistance, and hundreds of Israeli rescue workers responded. They responded to the deadly terrorist attacks in East Africa, saving the lives of Africans injured in the attacks on our America’s embassies.
For those of us who visited Israel, you know what a special place it is. You’ve walked down the Tayelet in Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon, and you’ve seen the people leisurely lingering in cafes as the waves of the Mediterranean crash in the background. But for many Americans the only images of Israel that they see are blown out clubs and cafes, missiles firing, death, and tragedy. That in itself is a tragedy. These news stories often miss the beauty and the human element of why our nations care so much for one another. But these stories do serve as a constant reminder of the threat Israel faces and why Israel needs our friendship and needs it now.
Good morning. Thank you, Lonnie, for your gracious introduction and above all your support and friendship over many years. And thank you to AIPAC for the warm welcome you have always given me at every event that I have attended. I appreciate your advocacy.
And let me also recognize in the Jersey delegation there are some 500 of you here today. Many of you are here and I know friends like Steve Klinghoffer, Mike Levin and others are leading the way. So again, let’s hear it for New Jersey. Thank you for your engagement.
And let me just say to all of you at AIPAC, all who are committed to the strongest possible relationship between the United States and Israel, as I have been throughout my public service career, that I look forward to working with you in my new role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is one of the Senate’s it is one of the Senate’s original 10 standing committees and it has helped shape American foreign policy through the complex geopolitics of an ever-changing world.
Thanks so much, Roger! As you just heard, Roger accompanied me on my first trip to Israel back in 2002, and he and Linden have become dear friends to my wife, Sandy, and me.
I want to thank Roger, Howard Kohr, Marvin Feuer, and all my other good friends at AIPAC for inviting me to speak here tonight. I’m especially grateful given the latest approval ratings for Congress.
In all seriousness: I understand why many Americans look at Washington, D.C., and shake their heads. It often seems that every single issue has been turned into a political football.
However, I want to assure you, on the issue of U.S. support for Israel, we’ve been able to maintain an overwhelming bipartisan consensus.
But that should come as no surprise. We all know that the strong support for Israel on Capitol Hill reflects the strong support for Israel in cities, towns, and communities across America. We know that Americans feel a kinship with Israel because our countries share common values, such as liberty, equality, and human rights. America and Israel have stayed true to these values even as we have responded to murderous attacks by some of the most ruthless terrorist organizations on the planet.
By Claudia Rosett
On Wednesday, under the crystal chandeliers of Vienna’s ornate Hofberg Palace, the prime minister of Turkey delivered a speech in which he called Zionism “a crime against humanity” — equating it with fascism, and, for good measure, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Following his remarks, Erdogan was thanked, and applauded.
The occasion was a February 27–28 meeting of an outfit called the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, launched in 2005 by former secretary general Kofi Annan for the purpose of “bridging divides.” Among those attending this latest conclave of the Alliance were U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon; director general Irina Bokova of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and such celebrities of the diplomatic circuit as Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi.