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The Day In Israel: Monday Aug 23rd, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to be begging to be attacked.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Israel is too weak to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, the French AFP news agency quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as telling the Al-Jazeera network on Sunday, adding that Iran would act decisively against anyone who dared attempt a military strike against it.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came a day after Iranian and Russian engineers began the weeklong operation of loading uranium fuel into the Bushehr nuclear power plant, a major milestone as Tehran forges ahead with its atomic program, despite UN sanctions.

Speaking to the Qatari-based satellite network in an interview translated from Farsi, Ahmadinejad reiterated the warning against a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, saying he rejected the “possibility of an attack by Israel.”

“Israel is too weak to face up to Iran militarily,” the Iranian president said, adding that Jerusalem did not have “the courage to do it… and I do not think its threat is serious.”

Referring to the possibility of a U.S.-led strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad claimed “America is not interested in sparking a military confrontation,” but vowed “decisive response” if Washington indeed went ahead with its threats military action.

“There are no logical reasons for the United States to carry out such an act,” Ahmadinejad told Al-Jazeera.

“Do you believe an army that has been defeated by a small army in Iraq can enter into a war with a large and well trained army like the Iranian army?” he asked, referring to the insurgents in Iraq.

Regarding Israel sitting back, I wouldn’t count on it, Gorilla Boy. As Bob Hope once said: “The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.”

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

4:15PM: Some Lebanese are unhappy that palestinian “refugees” have been granted access to property ownership, social security benefits, and various professions in Lebanon.

Because G-d forbid they’ll decide to stay in Lebanon for good.

The leader of Lebanon’s Change and Reform block voiced his movement’s concern Sunday that the conferring of work rights to Palestinian refugees by parliament last week will lead to their naturalization.

MP Ghassan Moukheiber told the Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar that the decision to naturalize is in the hands of the Israelis and the international community and not the Lebanese or the Palestinians.

Several political figures have voiced similar fears over naturalization following Tuesday’s parliamentary decision to grant Palestinian refugees in Lebanon the right to free-of-charge work permits and severance payments, the news site NOW Lebanon reported. Other parties, however, have hailed the move as an “historic step.”

In June, the Progressive Socialist Party and the Syrian Social National Party forwarded a draft law to the Lebanese parliament granting Palestinians in Lebanon access to property ownership, social security benefits, and various professions.

Voting on the bill was delayed on several occasions as government sought to achieve a consensus vote. In July, a Lebanese MP warned of Israeli and US plans to naturalize Palestinian refugees, urging locals not to emigrate or sell land, Lebanese media reported.

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun told Zahle residents during a three-day tour that “This is an issue that we reject, and we will not be subject to any foreign policy planning to execute certain plans,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.

Approximately 425,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon with many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps. According to UNRWA, the UN body set up to assist Palestinian refugees, in 2005, officially registered Palestine refugees born in Lebanon were allowed by law to work in the clerical and administrative sectors for the first time.

However, refugees remain unable to work as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, or accountants.

Shortly after the bill was proposed, PLO representative to Lebanon Abdallah Abdallah said there was no intent for Palestinians to ask for political rights or access to state social services. “What the Palestinians want is the right to work like any other foreign nationals,” he said.

Yet more proof that despite their claims, the palestinians’ Arab and Muslim brothers do not care about them, except as a demographic weapon to use against Israel. If they truly cared about the “refugees” welfare, they would have jumped at the chance to grant them rights and have them naturalized, instead of living in squalor in refugee camps for over 60 years.

In contrast, consider how Israel has absorbed Jews from around the world, and even gone into other countries to rescue them. There are no Jewish refugee camps, despite the fact hundreds of thousands of Jews have been expelled from Arab and Muslim countries since the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

12:40PM: My latest song parody effort.

10:18AM: Israellycool correspondent Brian of London takes on the New York Times latest example of media bias, noticing what I also noticed in this post.

9:30AM: Terror supporter Mairead Maguire is one of many who have taken issue with the BBC’s surprisingly accurate Panorama program on the Mavi Marmara raid by IDF naval commandos (posted here).

Via the Free Gaza mailing list:

2lst August, 2010

Open Letter to the Panorama BBC Team

Dear BBC Panorama Team

I write to you regarding your programme of 16th August, 2010, about

The Freedom Flotilla and particularly the killings of unarmed civilians by Israeli Navy Seals on the ship MV “Mavi Marmara’, on 3lst May, 2010.

I have been campaigning for the rights of Palestinians for over ten years.  I have visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories many times.  I was part of the Freedom Flotilla in May on the MV ‘Rachel Corrie’, my third journey on a Free Gaza boat. I am deeply disappointed at the misrepresentation, lack of truth, and bias displayed by your programme.

This programme had an opportunity to inform and educate the public about the background to the flotilla, the motives of the passengers and crew on board the MV ‘Mavi Marmara’, who (like all of us on the boats trying to get to Gaza) were concerned for the suffering of the people of Gaza.  Over 650 people – from all faiths and none, – from over 40 countries, representing the human family and uniting in nonviolent resistance to break a cruel siege (collective punishment is illegal  under International Law) to bring hope and support to the people of Gaza.  Before leaving their various ports, as part of the undertaking, all passengers made pledges of nonviolence, all people, and cargoes were searched, and all undertook to go in a spirit of peace to resist (as is our moral right and duty) the breaking of Human Rights and International Law by Israel through its siege of Gaza and occupation of Palestine.

This journey of courage and call for justice by people on board the MV ‘Mavi Marmara’ and the flotilla represented the conscience of the world.  The boats carried no arms, and were no threat to Israel, but what they did carry were voices of dissent from every corner of the world, (including Jews) saying to Israel ‘no more sieges, occupations, wars and threats of violence’, we refuse to be silent in the face of your ethnic cleansing and persecution of the Palestinian people.

Our motives were honourable, we did it for the children of Gaza, knowing that in the end, truth and justice will prevail.

Sadly, the Panorama programme did not see the true significance of this historic journey and missed an opportunity for the media to fulfil its responsibility to ‘tell the truth and nothing but the truth’. They choose instead to try to demonize the passengers on the from the word go MV ‘Mavi Marmara’ by trying to make them out as violent terrorists. They choose to collude with the Israeli propaganda of lies and manipulation of facts thus trying to turn the victims into aggressors.

The fact that Israeli commandoes started shooting from the zodiac assault boats and the helicopters from the word go was not stated. The audio and video footage used (provided by Israeli military intelligence) was proven to be doctored, and the IDF have admitted this.

Your programme showed audio containing what was purported to be anti-semitic remarks issued over the radio by members on the flotilla, and you showed a clip of a percussion grenade exploding in one of the Israeli zodiac assault boats.  These things never happened.   There is so much commentary in this documentary that is inaccurate that it does a grave disservice to investigative journalism and the BBC.

But the real people hurt by this programme, are the families of the 9 unarmed passengers who were assassinated in this unprovoked, illegal, massacre by the Israeli navy seals. So too the more than 40 unarmed people who were injured on the illegal military assault in International waters, whose only crime was to care about Gaza and its people.

The programme failed totally to cover the real suffering of the Palestinian people, it failed totally to cover the fact that the mass kidnapping of 650 unarmed world citizens and the high-jacking of 7 boats, was in International waters and it failed totally to ask the real questions of Israel ‘why is this Port of Gaza – the only port in the Middle East to be a closed military zone (42 years) – not open for the people of Gaza and Palestine to travel and trade with the world as is their human right?

Perhaps, the BBC Panorama will stop taking the propaganda of the Israeli Government (Jane Corbin travelling on Israeli Zodiacs embedded with Israeli military, hardly leads to objective report of facts).  These same zodiacs which boarded all the flotilla ships (including the one I travelled on) kidnapped unarmed citizens, hijacked boats (an act of piracy), confiscated all possessions (which Israel still hold onto), forced all under military arms to go to Israel, detained all, violently assaulted many, imprisoned and repatriated foreigners – all an abuse of our human rights and most of which was not reported by BBC Panorama.

The role of the BBC is not to give credibility to the Israeli military but to report facts and allow the public to make up their own minds.  By planting doubt in the minds of the public about the events on board the MV ‘Mavi Marmara’.  It has done a grave injustice and further injury to the families of all those who were assassinated by Israeli Navy seals, on that terrible morning of 3lst May, 2010.

I would like to ask the BBC Panorama Team, ‘what do you intend to do to redress the injustice you have done to the good names of all those who were killed, and injured, and their families on board the MV ‘Mavi Marmara’ on 3lst May, 2010?

I await your response.


Mairead Maguire

Nobel Peace Laureate (

Tel:  0773 614 7713

Anyone who has seen the footage and followed this story will know Maguire is plain lying. Even without the preponderance of evidence shown in IDF photos and footage – which were never proven to be doctored –  we have photos from Turkish daily Hurriyet clearly showing armed passengers and injured IDF naval commandos, not to mention the admissions by passenger Ken “KoK” O’Keefe.

It’s a shame there is no Nobel prize for lying, because I’d nominate Maguire myself.

Meanwhile, she’s very foolishly left her phone number in the mail.

Just saying.

6:20AM: Photo of the day (AP):

Mariam ship
"I came to engage in a propaganda campaign against Israel and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"

Report here.

6:10AM: Ma’an has a piece on palestinian keffiyehs being made in China.

Yeah, join the club.

6:05AM: Mandatory reading of the day: Many possible Israeli concessions would be suicidal by George F. Will.

‘Twas a famous victory for diplomacy when, in 1991 in Madrid, Israelis and Palestinians, orchestrated by the United States, at last engaged in direct negotiations. Almost a generation later, U.S. policy has succeeded in prodding the Palestinians away from their recent insistence on “proximity talks” — in which they have talked to the Israelis through American intermediaries — and to direct negotiations. But negotiations about what?

Idle talk about a “binational state” has long since died. Even disregarding the recent fates of multinational states — e.g., the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, the former Czechoslovakia — binationalism is impossible if Israel is to be a Jewish state for the Jewish people. No significant Israeli constituency disagrees with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: “The Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders.”

Rhetoric about a “two-state solution” is de rigueur. It also is delusional, given two recent, searing experiences.

The only place for a Palestinian state is the West Bank, which Israel has occupied — legally under international law — since repelling the 1967 aggression launched from there. The West Bank remains an unallocated portion of the Palestine Mandate, the disposition of which is to be settled by negotiations. Michael Oren, now Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said several years before becoming ambassador:

“There is no Israeli leadership that appears either willing or capable of removing 100,000 Israelis from their West Bank homes. . . . The evacuation of a mere 8,100 Israelis from Gaza in 2005 required 55,000 IDF [Israel Defense Forces] troops — the largest Israeli military operation since the 1973 Yom Kippur War — and was profoundly traumatic.”

Twenty-one Israeli settlements were dismantled; even the bodies of Israelis buried in Gaza were removed. After a deeply flawed 2006 election encouraged by the United States, there was in 2007 essentially a coup in Gaza by the terrorist organization Hamas. So now Israel has on its western border, 44 miles from Tel Aviv, an entity dedicated to Israel’s destruction, collaborative with Iran and possessing a huge arsenal of rockets.

Rocket attacks from Gaza increased dramatically after Israel withdrew. The number of U.N. resolutions deploring this? Zero.

The closest precedent for that bombardment was the Nazi rocket attacks on London, which were answered by the destruction of Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities. When Israel struck back at Hamas, the “international community” was theatrically appalled.

A senior cabinet member — Moshe Yaalon, strategic affairs minister and possible future prime minister — says “our withdrawals strengthened jihadist Islam,” adding, “We have the second Islamic republic in the Middle East — the first in Iran, the second in Gaza: Hamastan.”

Israel’s withdrawals include the one that strengthened the Iranian client on Israel’s northern border, in southern Lebanon. Since the 2006 war provoked by Hezbollah’s incessant rocketing of northern Israel, Hezbollah has rearmed and possesses as many as 60,000 rockets. Today, Netanyahu says, Israel’s problem is less the Israel-Lebanon border than it is the Lebanon-Syria border: Hezbollah has received from Syria — which gets them from Iran — Scud missiles capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. A leader of Hezbollah says, “If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

Because upward of a million immigrants have come from the former Soviet Union, today one-sixth of Israelis speak Russian. Israel has Russian-language newspapers and television. Russian Israelis are largely responsible for Avigdor Lieberman being foreign minister. Yoram Peri, professor of Israel studies at the University of Maryland, says these immigrants “don’t understand how a state that can be crossed in half an hour by car would be willing to even talk about relinquishing territories to its seemingly perpetual enemies.” These immigrants know that Russia’s strategic depth — space — defeated Napoleon and Hitler.

Netanyahu, who is not the most conservative member of the coalition government he heads, endorses a two-state solution but says that any West Bank Palestinian state must be demilitarized and prevented from making agreements with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran. To prevent the importation of missiles and other arms, Israel would need, Netanyahu says, a military presence on the West Bank’s eastern border with Jordan. Otherwise, there will be a third Islamic republic, and a second one contiguous to Israel.

So, again: Negotiations about what?


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About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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