Curtis Sliwa, voice for Israel temporarily silenced

By GARY BAUMGARTEN

Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels Safety Patrol, best known for patrolling New York City’s subways but now in scores of communities across the United States and around the world, and an indefatigable supporter of the state of Israel, is making public his battle against prostate cancer – a battle that will take him off the airwaves for at least a week, perhaps a month.

Sliwa reveals in a letter that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a year ago, and tried, unsuccessfully, to use alternative treatments to abate the threat. Unfortunately, these have not worked. And so, to Mt. Sinai Medical Center he goes.

First attempt will be at a less-invasive surgery. If that’s unsuccessful, a full prostate removal may be necessary.

Sliwa’s condition is exacerbated by the shooting he suffered in 1992, an attempt on his life as he climbed into a cab for the pre-dawn trip from his apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to WABC’s studios – where he’d been hammering away at mob boss John Gotti and his cohorts. The shooting, which was so severe that it should have left him dead, an attempt to silence him.

Now, all these years later, that attack may complicate his recovery. So he’ll be taking a break from the microphones at The Apple 970, where he holds forth during mornings and afternoons and on Saturday as well.

His resilience in fighting back from the shooting is an indication that, no matter how invasive the surgery, he will be back on the air. But prayers for this voice for Israel couldn’t hurt.

Sliwa doesn’t just rally support for Israel on his program, fact checking erroneous assertions in the news media about the Jewish state, but lends his support by participating in numerous rallies and events in the metro New York area for Israel.

Curtis, we will anxiously await your glorious return to the airwaves after your successful recovery from your surgery!

Gary Baumgarten is editor of The Jewish Reporter.

Israel to ban release of child killers

Fogel family massacred at Itamar

ISRAEL TODAY

JERUSALEM – Israel’s Knesset is advancing a bill that would prohibit the release of terrorists who killed children in any future prisoner exchange deals with the Palestinians.

“I think this bill will send the message that although all terrorism is bad, terrorism against children is unforgivable,” the bill’s author, MK Yoel Hasson of the Kadima Party, was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.

Hasson said it is time for Israel to make clear that such killers can never hope to regain their freedom. “This bill will go a long way in strengthening Israel’s deterrence,” he noted.

The bill was initiated in the wake of the massacre of Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their young children in the northern Samaria Jewish community of Itamar last month.

Last week, Israel confirmed that it had captured the two terrorists responsible for butchering the Fogel family. Already, Palestinian officials have said they will insist that the two killers go free as part of a future peace deal.

Hasson’s bill is also in response to ongoing efforts to win the freedom of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israel has signalled that it is willing to free thousands of jailed Palestinians in exchange for Shalit, but will not meet Hamas demands that terrorists who have succeeded in killing Israelis be among that number.

Many Israelis argue that even freeing terrorists who failed to kill Israelis is going too far, as most of them are certain to take a second shot at becoming murderous “martyrs.”

The new bill enjoys the unquestioned support of lawmakers from across the political spectrum, and is expected to easily pass into law.

Article courtesy of Israel Today Magazine.

Will the UK release another terrorist?

By SpecialKRB/Flickr

By CASSANDRA WOOD

LONDON – The United Kingdom is fast developing the reputation for being soft on terrorists!

Why do I say this? Well, we saw the release of the Libyan Al Magrahi who had been jailed for his part in the blowing up of Lockerbie bombing. His early release on ”compassionate grounds” was one that divided opinion in the UK, but a quirk in Scottish law allowed for this to happen. Now we see the possibility of yet another terrorist being given parole, the Arab terrorist Nazir Hindawi who duped his pregnant girlfriend into carrying a bomb onto an Israeli jumbo Jet flying between London and Tel Aviv.

Hinduri had promised marriage to his girlfriend and persuaded her to travel to Israel. However, the vigilance of El Al security personnel thwarted this plot and investigations led to the arrest and detention of Hinduri.

He was tried and imprisoned for 45 years, considered to be a stiff sentence. However, he became eligible for parole in 2001, having served just one third of his sentence. His attempts at achieving early release were turned down, following objections from ministers. An appeal to the High Court by Hindawi’s lawyers have resulted in the ruling that the early release of this terrorist be referred back to the parole board for adjudication.

The Ministry of Justice has stated that it will refer Hindawi’s case to the parole board immediately, although no specific time scale was offered.

Parole is usually only offered when the parolee has expressed remorse for the crime and the board is assured that there will be no repeat of the crime. An earlier application for parole in 2009 was granted by the parole board but vetoed by then-Home Secretary Jack Straw. This latest High Court ruling has ruled out the possibility that this happens again.

At the time of the trial the judge who handed down the 45 year sentence had vowed that he would spend at least three decades in jail; that terrorists could expect no mercy from our courts. This latest judgment makes a mockery of these comments.

One has to ask the question in view of these two cases of terrorists being treated leniently – are we our own worse enemies?

Stalemate over peace

Ashwari/By Carsten Sohn

By GARY BAUMGARTEN

It’s becoming a familiar refrain.

The Palestinians want their own state. The Quartet; the EU, Russia, the USA and the UN, push for an agreement.

The Israelis want to negotiate. The Palestinians claim they do. But not so long as the Israelis continue to build on the West Bank.

Stalemate.

Now, a PLO official is rejecting out-of-hand a proposal being drafted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The AFP quotes Hanan Ashrawi as saying the plan is a “reinvention of Israeli occupation.”

The plan, mind you, hasn’t even been released yet. Ashrawi is rejecting based on reports of possible pieces of the plan that have been leaked.

Stalemate.

Those leaked reports, if accurate, reflect a proposed resolution. That’s what happens in negotiations. One side proposes. The other side counter-proposes. Somewhere along the way there is a give and take. And then, hopefully, as a result of the negotiations, there is, ultimately, an agreement. But the Palestinian leadership, isn’t interested in first seeing the proposal, then counter proposing. Any proposal, the report says, that doesn’t give them everything they want, will be rejected.

Stalemate.

The Palestinian game plan, it seems, is to say “no” to anything Israel offers even before it’s offered. In the hopes of getting the UN to believe that Israel is being unreasonable and uninterested in a negotiated settlement. In the hopes that a Palestinian state, with boundaries to their liking, will be declared and imposed. Leaving the Israelis out of the equation.

It’s not a strategy likely to work. Because, even an Obama administration that’s viewed as less-than-friendly toward Israel by many Israelis, isn’t likely to favor a non-negotiated settlement.

Stalemate.

The Palestinians want a full and unconditional withdrawal from the West Bank of all Israelis, who they argue are illegally occupying land. The Israelis argue that ownership of the land’s in dispute. But even if they were successful in displacing about half-a-million Jews, a question remains. Would that actually result in a peace?

Given that the complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza in the name of peace hasn’t stopped the rocket attacks, launched, literally, from land the Israelis abandoned, one must wonder.

Israel is placed in a poor light even when it makes a complete withdrawal. Palestinians fire rockets into Israel. Israel retaliates. Israel gets criticized. Because its military prowess and weapons arsenal so surpasses that of the Palestinians. Palestinians who wanted them to leave in the name of peace. Then continued to attack when they did.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United States Congress next month. Perhaps, then, he will detail his plan for a negotiated peace. Chances are, whatever he says, will be immediately rejected as unpalatable and a non-starting point by Ashrawi and company.

Stalemate.

Gary Baumgarten is editor of The Jewish Reporter.

Obama calls Bibi with Passover wishes


By Gary Baumgarten

WASHINGTON – President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday to convey his best wishes before the start of Passover.

Noting that he would host a seder at the White House, the president recalled that the story of Passover is one of liberation and freedom and expressed his hope that the Israeli people would be able to celebrate in peace, the White House said. The two leaders also discussed U.S.-Israeli cooperation on counter-terrorism, how best to move forward in efforts to advance Middle East peace and the recent violence near the Gaza strip the White House says.

Netanyahu expressed his deep appreciation for U.S. funding for the Iron Dome rocket and mortar defense system, which he noted has successfully intercepted several rockets aimed at Israeli communities. With the signing of the fiscal year 2011 budget appropriation, the president approved $205 million in U.S. funding for Iron Dome, which is above the annual package of Foreign Military Financing for Israel.

Middle East peace: The impossible dream

By AVI PERRY

For the past 43 years, since the conclusion of the Six-Day-War in 1967, the American administration has recruited its best political minds and muscles for the task of bringing about a lasting peace between Arabs and Israelis. There have been some successes; Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with the Jewish state, and although peace between Israel and its two key neighbors has been holding for more than a decade, it has been a cold peace. The two “friendly” Arab neighbors continued their support of broad antisemitism campaigns through their government-controlled media and via their government-controlled education system; they participated actively in anti-Israel political maneuvering in international forums, including the UN and limited their commercial ties with the Jewish state to a minimum.

It is important to note that both Egypt and Jordan have no territorial disputes with Israel. Egypt traded territory (the Sinai Peninsula) and plenty of American cash for peace; Jordan abandoned its claim to Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank) in favor of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a future Palestinian state. At the same time, Lebanon, under Hezbollah’s manipulation, has been acting on behalf of Iran while continuing its active hostilities toward its southern neighbor, Israel; Syria continues to pose a potential threat with persistent talk about a looming war, and the Palestinian territories — the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — are boiling with hate while talking about the “peace process.”

When scratching the shiny surface and unearthing the true meaning behind the Palestinians’ code words, (which worm their way into the hearts and minds of the world’s peace lovers), one may decipher the true objective behind all Palestinian’s peace declarations. The key word Palestinians bring into play when referring to Israel is “the Occupation.” To the western naïve ear, the ironic title implies  the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, a.k.a. the so-called Palestinian territories. However, there are no Israelis in Gaza; Gaza is not occupied, and 90 percent of the West Bank is controlled and administered by the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas. What does Israel occupy?

When Palestinian refer to “the Occupation” they mean Israel proper. In their mind, Israel proper, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beer Sheba, etc., constitute occupied Islamic land.

They have not reconciled to the fact that Israel exists as a Jewish state. This reality has been evidenced in Abbas’s recent, public refusal to admit to it “Yes, Israel exists,” he confirmed. “It’s a fact,” he approved. But he resisted the critical part: “as a Jewish state.”

His words echoed a recent Palestinian TV game show quiz, in which Haifa was defined as a Palestinian coastal city, while as recently as a few weeks ago, PA TV called for Israelis to leave Israel and “return” to Germany and Poland (Helen Thomas only reiterated it). What’s more, a recent official PA TV has been teaching children to envision a world in which Israel does not exist and all of Israel is part of the “State of Palestine,” poisoning their minds to make certain that their Jew-hatred agenda subsisted for the next one hundred years and beyond.

The following lesson was on a very recent educational PA TV children’s program. The map used in the studio was named “Palestine” and included all of Israel.

Host: “Show me where you’ve been on the map of Palestine.”

Girl: “We went to the Sea of Galilee [northern Israel] and to the Dead Sea.”

Boy points on map: “Jaffa, Haifa.” [Israeli cities]… and Jenin and Nablus [West Bank].”

Host: “So you’ve visited many different places in Palestine, and that’s very good. It’s very good that we’re always visiting new places in our state, Palestine.

There are thousands of other similar examples. Official Palestinian maps show Israel and the Palestinian territories (of the West Bank and Gaza) as a single country named Palestine. Palestinian schoolbooks teach hate while rewriting history. Palestinian newspapers, Palestinian TV programs, especially those intended for children —  every single one of them emphasizes Jew-hatred by way of Nazi style antisemitic propaganda. They promote Shahada (death for Allah), invent conspiracy libels, demonize Jews, glorify terrorists and terror — all premeditated to deny Israel’s existence or its right to exist.

In short, Palestinians contention to a two-state solution is dishonest at best. It sounds righteous to all since the West interprets that declaration as a compromise, but the Palestinian audience understands the veritable intent — the Arab interpretation of the two-state solution does not recognize the Jewish state as one of a two-part upshot. The Arab leaders are talking about two Palestinian states living side by side before they will be unified to become one Palestine in a later phase once the Jews are eliminated.

It was Habib Bourguiba, president of Tunisia in the late 1950’s, who first came up with a “revolutionary” thinking. He suggested that Arabs should resort to a peace offensive (or a peace process) as a smoke screen in pursuit of what has been called the Salami Principle — putting international pressure on Israel to weaken itself through a series of withdrawals to earlier borders.

“It would be a first step,” he asserted, “preceding the final assault on what’s left of the Jewish state whose indefensible borders would make it an easy prey.”

The immediate reaction by the rest of the Arabs was rejection. Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s president and leader of the Arab world, was quick to remove any doubt or misunderstanding about the Arabs’ true intentions. “The liquidation of Israel,” he announced on March 8, 1965, “will be liquidation through violence. We shall enter a Palestine not covered with sand, but soaked in blood.”

Since that time, Palestinians have recognized Bourguiba’s wisdom. In his quest for “peace,” Khaled Meshaal, the current Palestinian Hamas leader, has said in his coded language, “We want to have peace in the region, but peace will not be achieved before the removal of the occupation.” He then added, “We have agreed that peace can be achieved with the removal of the occupation and the end of aggression.” One needs to understand that the term “the occupation” is synonymous to “Israel,” and the term “aggression” is a code word for “Israel’s existence.” In other words, Meshaal‘s peace initiative has called for peace with Israel as long as Israel ceased to exist.

Arabs intentions became transparent after the Camp David conference in the final days of the Clinton administration. Ehud Barak, then Israel’s prime minister, offered Arafat 95 percent of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; 100 percent  of the Gaza strip, plus a corridor connecting the two detached territories in return for the promise of peace. It was the most any Israeli leader would ever put forward as a peace concession to any future Palestinian leader. But the offer was rejected, and the Palestinians declared war (Intifada) on Israel in its aftermath.

Palestinians reinforced Israel’s suspicion and belief that Arabs are not serious about peace, even though Palestinian leaders have been promoting their desire for peace whenever interviewed by a western reporter. Following Israel‘s withdrawal from Gaza in 2007 and emptying Gaza of all and every Israeli, Palestinians began shooting thousands of deadly rockets at “the occupation”—towns and villages of Israeli civilians who had never occupied anything Palestinian— from the same real estate vacated by the Jewish settlers as a good will gesture and given back to the Palestinians.

Responses following Israeli withdrawals from territories occupied during defensive wars had always been met by Arab deadly aggression in return. It was true in the West Bank following the Oslo Accords when suicide bombing inside Israeli cities became a daily affair; it was true following Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon when Hezbollah took over the territory and began shooting rockets at Israeli towns and it was true all over again following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

In the present environment, where Muslim religious clerics call for jihad against Jews, it has become apparent that Palestinian talk of peace is designed to mask their ever so violent intentions. Only lately, they have repeated their genocidal threat claiming that the subjugation of the Christian world will begin in Rome and that “No Jew will be left on the face of this earth.”

Any intelligent person would recognize that this kind of talk is not conducive to peace. Still, world leaders, including our own President Obama, refuse to listen, to interpret, to believe these death threats. As long as words like “peace process,” “occupation,” “aggression” supplement any Muslim’s hate speech, our leaders find comfort in the Webster Dictionary interpretation of these words rather than their genuine intent.

The only conclusion that a reasonable person can infer from a logical analysis based on actual precedents is that further Israeli concessions toward peace with the Palestinians would only bring about more violence in return. Unfortunately, Palestinians’ talk about a peace process is unmistakably consistent with their view of the Salami principle, while their Islamic teaching forbids treatment of Jews as worthy human beings.

A two-state solution is a mirage, an illusion borne by western leaders and the world’s media. It is a nightmare for sober Israelis who understand the consequences of the so-called peace; yet, it is a dream of Paradise, a lifetime ambition for all Islamic martyrs and those who send them on their jihadi mission.

Read Avi Perry at www.aviperry.org.

To build, or not to build in Ramat Shlomo

 

By JONATHAN WOLFMAN

Every U.S. President since George H.W. Bush in 1988 has lobbied very hard with each successive Israeli government not to build new housing units in Ramat Shlomo because all U.S. presidents have seen that as a deliberate attempt on the part of the Israeli right to complicate/end negotiations. The fact that, for example, a cabinet minister decided to throw this in Vice President Biden’s face when he visited last year (and behind Prime Minister Netanyahu’s back) far from showing just how fundamentally impossible it is to get serious talks going, shows that negotiations may have been closer than some wanted and that it isn’t just some Muslims who do not want a settlement.

We must reject any mythology, religious or political mythology, Jewish or Muslim, that determines at the outset and at the expense of real people, what every detail of future territory must be. We must equally reject any religious culture’s claim to a purity so precious that it simply cannot live next to others.

That has been the increasingly self-immolating, xenophobic nature of that Islam which has held the Near East in an inward-looking, backward-seeking vise-grip for 400 years and which has permeated North Africa and much of Southeast Asia.

It would be one thing were this to cripple old-world Muslims only but it doesn’t. It threatens the basis for international market economies, trade and civil libertarian ideals accepted from the start in Israel, even by Judaism’s fundamentalists, and, ironically, to an extent, by the more future-oriented, more globalist Muslim states.

Critiques aside, here’s an idea for Ramat Shlomo, one not at all for Jews and Muslims who regard one another in every place and at all times as incipient murderers. If you’re one of those, stop reading now.

New apartments-or-no needn’t be the question. Half the apartments could be allotted to Muslims, or, alternatively, a lottery could ensue with an equal number of Muslims and Jews permitted to apply (regardless of the outcome). No one would imagine immediate kumbaya moments. (No one imagined those when the Court ordered school desegregation either but they happened and the South and the Nation’s better for them.

Recall, please, though, the difference between a cynic and a skeptic:

-A cynic, because she believes nothing much good is ever really possible, never tries anything new regardless of the potential benefit – and in the end is a boring person lost to history.

-A skeptic, while wary because she believes everything, good and bad, is possible, eyes the landscape for new ideas and so fearful that she won’t test some out. She creates history.

Is this idea worth testing? Could it do more good than ill?

I can’t know yet; neither can you. Come up with other new ideas. Be a skeptic.