Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Truth Behind the Palestinian Water Libels

by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman
February 24, 2014
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 238

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the
result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the
regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own
significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination
plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage
treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern
water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage,
leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into
Israel’s water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and
streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using
water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in
practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people’s water shortages, but
rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.

A significant public debate has been sparked by the assertion of European
Parliament President Martin Schulz that the amount of water available to the
average Israeli unfairly overwhelms the amount of water available to the
average Palestinian. The main issue that should be discussed – and has not
been sufficiently analyzed – is: What are the causes of Palestinian water
supply problems?

The discussion must be informed by the following basic facts:

1. The Oslo agreements grant the Palestinians the right to draw 70 million
cubic meters from the Eastern Mountain Aquifer (ground water reservoir). Yet
this water resource is not currently being capitalized on by the
Palestinians; the waters spill untapped underground into the Dead Sea. As
per the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, some 40 sites were identified for
drilling into this aquifer in the eastern Hebron hills region, and permits
were granted to the Palestinians by the Israel-PA Joint Water Committee.
Nevertheless, over the past 20 years, the Palestinians have drilled at just
one-third of these sites, despite the fact that the international community
has offered to finance the drilling of all sites. If the Palestinians were
to drill and develop all these wells, they could have completely solved the
existing water shortage in the Hebron hills region. But the Palestinians
have preferred to drill wells on the Western Mountain Aquifer, the basin
that provides groundwater to the State of Israel. Instead of solving the
problem they have chosen to squabble with Israel.

2. The Palestinians do not bother fixing water leaks in city pipes. Up to 33
percent of water in Palestinian cities is wasted through leakage. Upkeep on
the Palestinians’ urban water infrastructure has been completely neglected.
By comparison, leakage from Israeli municipal water pipes amount to only 10
percent of water usage.

3. The Palestinians refuse to build water treatment plants, despite their
obligation to do so under the Oslo agreement. Sewage flows out of
Palestinian towns and villages directly into local streams, thereby
polluting the environments and the aquifer and causing the spread of
disease. Despite the fact that donor countries are willing to fully fund the
building of treatment plants, the Palestinians have managed to avoid their
obligations to build such facilities. (Only over the past two years has
Israeli pressure moved the PA forward a bit on this matter.)

4. The Palestinians absolutely refuse to irrigate their agricultural fields
with treated sewage effluents. By comparison, more than half the
agricultural fields in Israel are irrigated with treated waste water.
Irrigating Palestinian agricultural fields with recycled water instead of
fresh water would free up large amounts of water for home usage. This would
greatly reduce the water shortage in many places.

5. Some Palestinian farmers irrigate their fields by flooding, rather than
with drip irrigation technology. Drip irrigation, as practiced in Israel,
brings water directly to the root of each plant, thereby reducing water
consumption by more than 50 percent. Flooding fields causes huge water
evaporation and leads to great waste.

6. The international community has offered to build a desalination plant for
the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have refused this gift.
A desalination plant could completely solve the Gaza Strip’s water
shortages. The Palestinians refuse to build this plant because they claim
they have the right to access the fresh groundwater reservoir in Judea and
Samaria, and they are prepared to suffer until they realize this dream. In
the meanwhile, Gaza residents suffer from severe shortages of water.

These basic, undeniable facts are extremely important because they have
wide-ranging consequences.

Today, the Palestinians consume some 200 million cubic meters of water per
annum in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians could easily raise that amount
by at least 50 percent, without any additional assistance or allocation from
the State of Israel. This would require several simple actions:

If the Palestinians were to begin drilling the Eastern Mountain Aquifer, at
the sites already approved for drilling, they very quickly would secure an
additional 50 million cubic meters of water per year.

If the Palestinians were to reduce urban water waste from 33 percent to 20
percent by fixing the main leaks in their urban water pipes (something that
can be done without great effort), they would immediately benefit from 10
million additional cubic meters of water per annum.

If the Palestinians were to collect and treat their urban waste water, they
would gain at least 30 million cubic meters of water a year. This would free
up 30 million cubic meters (per annum) of fresh water, currently used for
agriculture, for home usage. This would allow them both to improve their
urban water supply and to expand agricultural lands.

If the Palestinians were to adopt drip irrigation technology, they would
save 10 million cubic meters a year. This would allow them to expand their
irrigated lands.

In the Gaza Strip, too, the Palestinians could easily double the amount of
water available, without additional assistance from the State of Israel. If
the Palestinians agreed to build a desalination plant on the Gaza coast
(funded entirely by the international community), they would increase the
amount of water available by 60 to 100 million cubic meters a year. If they
fix leakages, treat and recycle sewage, and adopt drip irrigation, they
would double their water allocation, as well.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority’s deleterious policies – as
evidenced in the six facts listed above – are a function of the Palestinian
water war against Israel. There is no real Palestinian desire to solve water
problems; they prefer to perpetuate the water problems in order to besmirch
the State of Israel. They view water as a tool with which to bash Israel.

The warlike strategy adopted by the Palestinian Authority regarding water
explains several additional realities.

Illegal drilling of wells: As of 2010, the Palestinians had drilled about
250 unauthorized wells into the Western and Northern Aquifers, in violation
of the Oslo agreements. Since 2010 the number of unauthorized wells being
dug has continued to rise at an alarming pace. This has caused a reduction
in the natural discharge of water in the Beit Shean and Harod valleys,
forcing Israeli farmers to reduce their agricultural plantings. Ultimately,
the State of Israel has been forced to reduce its pumping at the Mountain
aquifer from 500 million cubic meters per annum in 1967 to about 400 million
cubic meters per annum today.

The Palestinians also steal water by pirate tapping into pipes belonging to
Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. As a result, Mekorot’s ability to
supply water to Israelis and Palestinians alike has been compromised. The
stolen water is used mainly for agriculture, not for home usage.

Sustainable development: The PA purposefully flaunts the principle of
“sustainable development” – a core standard of effective and modern economic
management – in every way. Authorities that do not fix water leaks, do not
collect and treat sewage, refuse to conserve water used for agriculture, and
do not collect payment for water usage are in flagrant violation of this

Which brings us to another dirty little secret about the Palestinians: most
West Bank and Gaza residents and businesses do not pay the PA for the water
they use, in either their homes or fields. There are simply no water meters
on pumping wells and no water meters at the entry to most homes, so it is
impossible for the PA to measure the amount of money owed by individual
consumers. This, of course, leads to widespread water waste. People who don’t
pay for their water usage have no motivation to conserve.

Reliance on Israel: The Palestinians purchase about 50 million cubic meters
of water from Israel’s Mekorot water company each year, but the Palestinian
Authority does not pay for this water directly. Rather, the State of Israel
pays Mekorot, and then deducts the costs of the water from the customs and
tax monies that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority at
Israeli ports. However, it must be noted that the Palestinian Authority pays
Mekorot for just 80 percent of the actual cost of the water it consumes.
Negotiations to raise water prices have dragged on for more than 10 years,
and Israel has given up many times.

Because the water market is administered in an opaque fashion, the Israeli
consumer effectively subsidizes the Palestinian consumer. The average
Israeli pays approximately 10 shekels per cubic meter of water. About 0.2
shekels of that fee goes to subsidize the water provided to the Palestinians
below cost.

The sum total of the situation described above is that the Palestinian
Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is more
interested in reducing the amount of water available to Israel, polluting
natural reservoirs, harming Israeli farmers, and sullying Israel’s
reputation around the world than truly solving water problems for the
Palestinian people. The Palestinians are not interested in practical
solutions to address shortages; rather, they seek to perpetuate the
shortages, and to blame the State of Israel.

Unfortunately, President Schulz’s Knesset address, with its
seemingly-straightforward but baseless accusations against Israel, suggests
that the PA is succeeding in this effort to befuddle international observers
and besmirch Israel.

Beyond the conclusion reached above, it is worthwhile to consider a broader
perspective on the water situation in the Middle East. The Palestinians live
in the shadow of the State of Israel, a world superpower in terms of water
technologies. Consequently, the Palestinians enjoy a relative Garden of
Eden. Only in Israel, in the West Bank, and in Gulf States does sufficient,
safe, drinkable tap water exist in 96 percent of households. Residents in
almost every other country in the region suffer from terrible water

In Amman, the Jordanian capital, water is supplied to private homes just
once every two weeks. In Syria, agricultural fields in the Euphrates Valley
are drying up due to the upstream diversion of water by the Turks. In recent
years (before the “Arab Spring” began), about three million farmers migrated
from the Euphrates Valley to the outskirts of Damascus because their lands
had dried up. In Damascus, too, the water running in the river beds, which
used for drinking, is mixed with sewage. In Iraq, agricultural fields are
drying up because waters upstream on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are
being diverted by the Turks. There too, millions of farmers lost their
lands. In Egypt, enormous amounts of water are lost due to flood irrigation.
The Nile provides 30 times more water than Israel’s annual usage and Egypt’s
population is just 10 times greater than Israel. Therefore, we would expect
to see a water surplus. Nevertheless, Egypt suffers from severe hunger and
thirst due to severe wastage of water. In North Africa too, there are
insufferable water shortages.

By contrast, the State of Israel creates artificial water (desalinated
seawater and recycled sewage) and behaves frugally and effectively, and as a
result there is no shortage of water, despite having experienced many years
of drought. Furthermore, the State of Israel is a net exporter of water!
Israel supplies 55 million cubic meters of water each year to Jordan, and
sells 50 million cubic meters to the Palestinians.

In the future, if and when peace is achieved, and cooperation is truly
desired by the Palestinians – which they do not currently seek – the State
of Israel will be ready and able to assist its neighbors in overcoming their
water shortages.

Prof. Haim Gvirtzman is a professor of hydrology at the Institute of Earth
Sciences at the Hebrew University and a member of the Israel Water Authority
Council. He is also a long-time advisor of the Israel-PA Joint Water
Committee. He authored the BESA Center’s groundbreaking 2012 study on
Israel-Palestinian water issues.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the
Greg Rosshandler Family

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why I love AIPAC

It’s one of the odd quirks of history that Israel’s No. 1 diplomatic enemy — the United Nations — is located not far from Israel’s best friend, the United States Congress. These two bodies are arguably the most influential political entities in the world.

This has the makings of a perverse Hollywood script. Right in the middle of the informal Jewish capital of the world, New York City, a global parliament continuously condemns the Jewish state, while an hour away in Washington, D.C., the world’s most powerful parliament continuously defends it.

“Israel is the U.N.’s punching bag,” my friend Uri Dromi wrote last week after participating in a conference in New York. “From the infamous ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution of 1975, to the Goldstone Report of 2009 (which was overwhelmingly slammed by the U.S. Congress), the U.N. organization seemed to be obsessed with blaming and censuring one country only: Israel.

“During the 2006-2007 session of the General Assembly, for example, it was busy passing 22 resolutions condemning Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, while not even bothering to criticize Sudan for the Darfur genocide.”

It’s mind-boggling that in 2013, according to UN Watch, the U.N. General Assembly adopted 21 resolutions condemning Israel-- and only four for the rest of the world. 

So, just as I’m repulsed by this blatant and immoral discrimination against Israel, I am immeasurably grateful for the U.S. Congress’ support of the Jewish state.

This support is unparalleled in the annals of Jewish history. Take a look at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2011. He got 29 standing ovations from Republicans and Democrats alike. Members of Congress may have been at one another’s throats on things like Obamacare and the budget, but on Israel, they all stood as one. That’s just short of a miracle.

When I see the growth of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism around the world, I shudder to think where Israel would be without the undying support of the U.S. Congress.

That’s why it was so dismaying to see 150 Jews last week release an open letter attacking New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for expressing his enthusiasm for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-- a group that, over the years, has done more than any other to rally support for Israel in the U.S. Congress.

At a private gala, de Blasio had the nerve to say things like, “City Hall will always be open to AIPAC. When you need me to stand by you in Washington or elsewhere, I will answer the call, and I’ll answer it happily ‘cause that’s my job.”

De Blasio’s remarks evidently riled up the anti-AIPAC liberal crowd, because, as they wrote in their open letter, “AIPAC speaks for Israel’s hardline government and its right-wing supporters, and for them alone. It does not speak for us.”

Seriously, this is not only rich, it's narcissistic chutzpah of the highest order. AIPAC, by definition, respects the democratic wishes of Israeli voters. It would respect the policy of any Israeli government in power. 
AIPAC conferences are full of supporters, including many liberals, who might disagree with certain Israeli policies but who show up because they understand something bigger: Israel is under unrelenting attack from its enemies and needs all the support it can get. And nobody can provide that support — from military security to global diplomacy — like the U.S. Congress.

It’s astounding that these same Jews who attack AIPAC rarely, if ever, release open letters to defend Israel's honor or castigate groups like the United Nations, who routinely discriminate against the Jewish state.
Where was their letter of outrage last month when UNESCO tried to abruptly cancel the landmark exhibit, “The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel,” because of pressure from Israel’s enemies? 

For the liberal Jews who blasted AIPAC for “not speaking for us,” the real enemy, it seems, is not those who insult Israel or aim to destroy her, but Jewish groups whose policies or politics they abhor.
It’s funny how this liberal group didn’t publish any letters against AIPAC when the latter gamely agreed to help President Obama get congressional support for controversial military action in Syria. But now that AIPAC has decided not to parrot the White House line on Iran, well, it’s time to take out the knives.

And these days, apparently it’s not enough to have your own opinion and express it. To show you really mean business, you have to get 150 co-signers and gang up on the unsuspecting target with a public letter.
Frankly, it’s beyond me how Jews who say they love Israel feel compelled to publicly rebuke a New York mayor for...for what? For supporting a group that has done the most to build a bond between Israel and the world’s most powerful political entity.

If Israel lovers in New York City really feel like ganging up on a target, they ought to look not toward City Hall, but a few miles away at the hypocritical Israel-haters at the United Nations.

Disagreeing with Israeli policies doesn’t preclude defending Israel.
I may not agree with everything the Israeli government does, or with everything AIPAC does. But I’m aware of the bigger picture: Regardless of what it does, Israel is surrounded by enemies who want to destroy and undermine her, and the U.S. Congress is our most important ally to help Israel survive in a hostile world.

Policies come and policies go, but the need to defend Israel only grows.

That’s why I love AIPAC.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Thursday, July 31, 2008 
Subject:  Concerns. Malley, Hamas, Obama

I know nothing about  Malley and Hamas. Can you tell me more about that.

The Jewish Voice and Opinion
Englewood, NJ

Subject:  Senator Obama’s campaign staff’s back-channel communications with Hamas (Robert Malley) and some possible harmful consequences of these communications for the United States and Israel.

Nearly all veteran political observers report that Barack Obama runs a very tightly controlled campaign staff.  Thus, the likelihood that Robert Malley’s communication with Hamas was an unauthorized or rogue operation is practically nil.

As Senator Obama has noted, “words matter.”   Recall that some careless United States remarks (that South Korea was “not included within America’s defense perimeter”) helped trigger North Korea’s invasion of South Korea; that President Kennedy’s overconfidence and lack of experience which were read by Soviet Union’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev as weakness and lack of resolve led directly to the Soviet’s construction of the East German wall and their introduction of nuclear missiles into Cuba; that some careless State Department remarks made by an ambassador (United States “policy is not to interfere with the internal affairs of other nations”)  helped trigger Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait; and that Jacques Chirac’s personal assurances to Saddam Hussein that France would forestall any UN action emboldened Hussein to ignore UN and US threats and triggered the US-led coalition invasion of Iraq (and all that has followed).  

While it will never be possible to know exactly what Malley communicated to Hamas, the messages that Hamas believes that they received (and that they have already transmitted to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran)  are clear.  Short term:  keep all assaults and other provocations ambiguous utilizing proxy third parties;  disclaim any responsibility for policing or enforcing any agreements (with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.);  make bold demands and stand firm on your current demands such as prisoner exchanges (numbers, specific individuals, etc.).  Long term:  that when Senator Obama becomes President, his “appropriate action” in response to any major attack on Israel will be to turn the problem over to the United Nations for “agreed upon international action.”  (Then, at the UN, no matter what the United States may publicly advocate “as the United States recommended appropriate international response,”  not much action will happen.)  [Unfortunately, it appears that Hamas is already acting on Malley’s (and presumably Senator Obama’s) guidance.]


In recent days, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has seized on relatively obscure accusations of anti-Semitism made by hardly significant Israeli actors to delegitimize and distract from valid criticism of his approach to Middle East peacemaking.
This tactic was previously used effectively by Democrats in the 2012 U.S. general election when party activists seized on offensive statements about women made by extreme Republican figures,most notably Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, and thrust them into center stage. Made to look guilty by association, the GOP was forced to address the comments, and was immediately put on the defensive. The real issues were effectively sidelined for large segments of the election season.
Here is what happened.
Earlier this month in Munich, Kerry said, and not for the first time, that if the current framework peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority fail, Israel would inevitably face, among other things, violence, boycotts, de-legitimization and isolation.
Being that Kerry is by no means an impartial observer and is, in fact, a very active and significant player, his comments drew heavy backlash from Israelis who, for the most part, criticized his tacit legitimization of the threats against Israel and the actors behind them.
In all the reports on the extensive and varied criticism leveled against Kerry, I was able to identify only three individuals who referred to anti-Semitism at all.
The most senior of them was Economy Minister Naftali Bennett who said, “We expect of our friends in the world to stand by our side against the attempts to impose an anti-Semitic boycott on Israel, and not to be their mouthpiece.” He did not accuse Kerry of being an anti-Semite himself, but said that his words may have boosted an anti-Semitic initiative.
The second was Knesset Member Motti Yogev, a member of Bennett’s party who said, “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is acting under Kerry’s obsessive pressure, which may have anti-Semitic undertones.” Yogev is certainly closer to a direct accusation of anti-Semitism, although his comment is speculative and his use of the word “undertones” softens the charge.
“Until now, I thought that Kerry just didn’t understand the Middle East,” he said at the time. However, he added, “Tonight I realized that he is motivated by anti-Semitism, too. ‘Hit the Jew in his pocket’ – that has always been an anti-Semitic slogan.”
“Anti-Semites think that Jews are motivated by just one thing: money. And if you want to hurt them, hit them in the pocket,” he explained.
Mintz directly accused Kerry of anti-Semitism, fair and square.
But Adi Mintz is a super marginal and hardly relevant figure and Yogev is a low ranking freshman in Israel’s parliament. Putting the accusations in their correct place, a Reddit user, in a highly rated comment, compared them to “the TEA Party calling Obama a socialist.”
So for a U.S. Secretary of State to pay attention to Mintz’s comments would be unheard of, unless of course there was another play in motion.
And some play it was.
“Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable,” she tweeted.
A full ten days after that, extending the furor far beyond its sell-by-date, John Kerry’s Jewish brother (he converted) penned a dramatic ode to John Kerry’s love of the Jews, replete with oodles of Holocaust imagery and stories about Israel, for Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.
“…some have recently suggested that my brother, John Kerry, had expressed ‘anti-Semitic undertones’ in his pursuit of a framework for negotiations,” he wrote. “Such charges would be ridiculous if they were not so vile.”
Of course there is no way Cameron Kerry would have published something like this without specific permission from his brother, John. In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv actively promoted it on Facebook, translating it in full from the original Hebrew to English.
Even as I write these words, almost three full weeks since Kerry made his comments, Israeli leaders are still on the defensive, reasserting that John Kerry is not, in fact, an anti-Semite.
Like the Democrats in 2012, Kerry is free from addressing the real issue, which, as I wrote last month, is that he insists on talking to the Israelis like he is a mafia kingpin.
Israeli cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen put it well in his Dry Bones comic strip. “I aint threatening youse guys with boycotts and stuff, I’m just sayin’ that these things can ‘happen,’” he depicts Kerry as saying. “And without our ‘protection’ you Israelis could get hurt. Real bad.”
The point is that Kerry should never refer to anti-Israel boycotts, violence or de-legitimization as an inevitable outcome of anything, never mind a failure of peace talks, the success of which will likely not ever be in Israel’s hands anyway.
Kerry may not be an anti-Semite, but talking like he does surely enables anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate whether deliberate or not.
By inflating the anti-Semitism charge, he is walking away scott free.

Americans' Mideast Country Ratings Show Little Change 

Israel alone is viewed highly favorably; Iran viewed least favorably
by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' views of eight important Mideast countries were fairly stable over the past year, after a decade that saw shifts in several of their ratings. Roughly seven in 10 Americans continue to view Israel favorably -- making it by far the most positively reviewed Mideast country of those Gallup tested. Just under half view Egypt and a third view Saudi Arabia favorably, while less than 20% have a favorable view of the remaining five, including Libya, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
Positive views of Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Territories are up slightly from 2013; however, the shifts are not statistically significant and, in any case, current attitudes are similar to those found in 2012.
These results are based on Gallup's 2014 World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Gallup's annual World Affairs poll measures Americans' views on a variety of foreign policy issues, as well as the favorable and unfavorable images of a number of countries. The poll was initiated in 2001 and is updated each February.
At 13%, Syria's minimal U.S. favorable rating is similar to what it was a year ago, but down slightly from 2012, continuing a gradual slide in that country's image since 2005.
As the U.S. and other world powers are engaged in high-level talks with Iran over its nuclear program, Gallup finds little change in the overall percentage viewing Iran favorably, remaining near 85%. However, there has been some decline in the percentage viewing Iran very unfavorably, now at 42%, down from 52% in 2012.

Egypt's U.S. image had been quite positive from 1991 through 2009, but grew mixed around the time of the 2011 popular uprising in that country drove President Hosni Mubarak from power. Egypt continued to experience tumult, including violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in December 2012, which may have been the reason for the spike in Americans' negative reviews of Egypt in 2013. Although Morsi was removed from power in July, the relative calm in Egypt in recent months may help explain the decline since last year in the percentage of Americans viewing it unfavorably.


Views of Libya and Iraq are mostly negative, but less so than in 2001. Americans' negativity toward Libya eased after its former leader, Moammar Gadhafi, took responsibility for the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and agreed to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction in 2003. Attitudes soured again after Libyan rebels killed the U.S. ambassador and other officials in a raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012. But views have since stabilized at a level still better than before Gadhafi's capitulation.
Americans' favorability toward Iraq has been gradually sinking since it hit a recent high in 2009, immediately after Iraqi governorate elections, and just two months after President George W. Bush signed a status-of-forces agreement that laid out a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. However, as with Libya, views continue to be more positive after the landmark event in the U.S.-Iraq relationship, which was the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Older Americans More Partial to Israel
The poll reveals modest generational differences in how the Mideast countries are viewed. Gallup finds young adults, those aged 18 to 34, holding somewhat more positive views of several of the Arab countries than do adults 55 and older. This applies to Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories. At the same time, older Americans have more favorable views of Israel, while there is no difference by age in views of Saudi Arabia.
The two countries, Libya and Egypt, that experienced successful Arab Spring revolutions -- inspired in part by frustrated young adults -- are most likely to receive positive evaluations from the youngest Americans. In particular, Egypt, which has seen massive youth-led protests even after the Arab Spring and as recently as July of last year that helped force President Mohamed Morsi from power, is most favorably viewed by 18- to 34-year-old adults.
Bottom Line
Events in the Middle East often trigger modest to significant changes in how Americans view the various countries. By the same token, a year absent major political or military incidents on the scale of the Arab Spring, the Iraq war, or the Benghazi incident produces stability in U.S. attitudes, as seen this past year. Gallup's 2014 World Affairs survey finds no significant changes in the mostly positive image Israel enjoys among Americans, or in the more negative images of several of the major Arab countries.
As is typical, Gallup finds some generational differences in the country ratings. The greatest of these is toward Israel -- with adults 55 and older more positive by 17 percentage points than young Americans. The gap by age is nearly as wide for Libya, however, with young adults the more positive of the two groups.
Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 6-9, 2014, with a random sample of 1,023 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline telephone and cellphone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

At a time when Saudi Arabia and other US allies in the region should be  worried that the U.S. has turned its back on them as part of President Obama’s misguided pursuit of détente with Iran, the president has called back to service Robert Malley, one of the foremost enemies of Saudi Arabia, the current regime in Egypt, the current regime in Jordan, and Israel.
 Malley's  joining the NSC removes any remaining doubt about where Obama's foreign policy is heading.
His prior actions, giving an explicit  back-channel green light to terrorists should have been enough to keep him out of any administration , But,by putting him in charge of relations with the Gulf states, President Obama is also demonstrating that he is determined to continue a policy of downgrading relations with traditional allies in favor of better relations with Iran and other radicals.
The Saudis have many reason to worry. including the administration’s failure to act in Syria, where Iran’s ally Bashar Assad appears to be winning his war to hold on to power. The Saudis are right to dismiss the president’s attempts to reassure them on Iran. 
 Israel has cause for concern about the US's headlong rush to embrace Iran. 
The appointment of Robert Malley is a clear sign sign of just how far President  Obama has strayed from his campaign pledges on the Middle East. The U.S. thrust  toward appeasement of radical Islamists is no longer a matter of speculation but a fact. Any constraints on administration policies based on concern about alienating America’s allies are now a thing of the past.
Now that he has appointed a longtime advocate of embracing America’s foes, it’s not likely that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and many other US allies in the middle East will feel any better about U.S. policy.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Jewish Claim to Jerusalem: The Case Under International Law  By  Dr. Jacques Gauthier 
Dr. Gauthier's comprehensive thesis entitled Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem was completed in 2006 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Published on Nov 19, 2013
Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem by Dr. Jacques Gauthier

Dr. Gauthier's comprehensive thesis entitled Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem was completed in 2006 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

He has served as legal counsel to various governments including the governments of France, Spain, Mexico and Canada. In 2000 he was knighted by the government of France as Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite.

 Dr. Gauthier has been involved in the pursuit of human rights in China, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Canada. He has served as the Vice Chair, Acting Chair and President of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Canada).

The coming crash of American diplomacy in the Middle East
By John Bolton  February 18, 2014  , Los Angeles Times

Obama's policy failures on Iran, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will have devastating effects.

President Obama has three significant Middle East diplomatic initiatives underway, treating, respectively, Iran's nuclear weapons program; Syria's deadly, exhausting conflict; and the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Into these negotiations, Obama and his administration have poured enormous amounts of American prestige, time and effort.
Although rarely considered collectively, these three efforts constitute a significant strategic package for a White House that all too often hardly bothers with foreign policy. These initiatives truly reflect Obama's view of America's international role: His is a world of rhetoric and talk, not power.
Thus, Iran has not feared U.S. military strikes against its nuclear weapons program, and now, as a result of November's interim agreement in Geneva, it does not even fear international economic sanctions. Neither the Bashar Assad regime nor Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria see any prospect of material U.S. intervention. And the main pressure being applied in the Israeli-Palestinian matter is against Israel, heretofore Washington's strongest regional ally.
As described below, all three of Obama's diplomatic maneuvers are based on errors and will almost certainly fail. And what will happen then? Failing on one is bad enough, but failing on all three will be devastating.
And it is no answer to say that deals may yet be signed. Covering failure with a piece of paper changes nothing. The Iran interim agreement, for example, is not a partial success simply because its later collapse will be due merely to poor implementation. Without a real meeting of minds, there is no true deal, as Iran's all-too-evident disdain already amply demonstrates.
The coming crash of U.S. diplomacy is not idle speculation about a remote future. Our declining prestige is already apparent globally; when all three Middle East negotiations fail conclusively, America's influence will fall further. Friends and adversaries alike are recalibrating their policies accordingly, particularly because the underlying causes of the three impending failures will spell trouble and misfortune elsewhere.
Obama's ongoing failures could have been avoided. A less ideological, more realistic and clear-eyed leader would comprehend American power and interests, knowing how to use the former to protect the latter, rather than making Obama's basic mistakes.
Obama's first error: misreading your adversary. There was never any chance Iran could be negotiated out of a nuclear weapons capability it has pursued for nearly 30 years. Efforts during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations demonstrated how Iran deftly uses negotiations to gain political legitimacy, buy time to continue work on its nuclear program and evade international punishment. Hassan Rouhani followed precisely this playbook as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator 10 years ago. He is doing so again today as Iran's president.
The second error: not knowing who your adversaries are. Obama argued for three years that Russia shared his objective of a peaceful transition from the Assad regime in Syria to something else. This was never true. Moscow's support for Assad (as well as Iran's, directly and through Hezbollah) guaranteed he would only depart feet first. The U.S. could either have aided Syria's opposition or tackled the problem's root cause: the mullahs' regime in Tehran. Obama chose to do neither. His equivocation regarding Syria's chemical weapons program has provoked giggles or dismay at White House weakness.
The third error: not knowing who your friends are. The Palestinians lack legitimate governing institutions capable of hard decisions, including making perilous concessions and compromises, and overcoming resistance by Hamas and other terrorists. Without such institutions, no long-term solution is possible. Negotiating with the Palestinian Authorityhas less substance than negotiating with a hologram. Perversely, however, Obama treats Israel as the problem.
Not apprehending these realities or foreseeing their consequences debilitates the United States, discourages its allies and emboldens its adversaries. The coming collapse of all three of Obama's negotiations will convince foreign governments that his policies are dooming Washington's Middle East influence to precipitous decline. And since appearance is reality in international politics, America's ability to influence events — in Egypt for example, where the military government is already reverting to pre-Sadat days, purchasing arms from Russia — will sink further. Moreover, the opportunity costs of not focusing on threats elsewhere, such as China's belligerent territorial claims in its coastal waters, are enormous.
Iran will emerge more powerful, verging on deliverable nuclear weapons, while still financing and arming terrorists worldwide. Assad seems likely to survive, which is bad enough by itself, but it will be compounded by the affirmation it affords Iranian and Russian strength. Israel will trust Washington even less than now, and ironically, Palestinians will be even more anti-American because Obama will not be able to deliver to them the Israeli concessions he predicted.
Perhaps this prospect of massive strategic failure will awaken Obama and America as a whole, but that seems unlikely. Instead, the increasing danger is that only another 9/11, another disaster, will produce the necessary awakening. There is tragedy ahead for our country if we continue on this course.
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad."
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

Monday, February 17, 2014

Iran: A Black Hole in the Islamic Space
 Rafael Ofek  2-13-14
Like a black hole that swallows everything around it, Iran aspires to swallow the countries surrounding it and reestablish the Persian Empire “from India even unto Ethiopia”. How will the world in general, and Israel in particular, respond?

A black hole, in the physical sense, is a tiny star with a tremendous mass: the diameter of a black hole whose mass is 3 times as high as the mass of the sun is less than 10 kilometers. This celestial body contains only neutrons – the sub-atomic particles which, along together with protons, make build up the nuclei of the atoms of all chemical elements. Owing to the tremendous density of the neutrons in it, a gravity field is created around the black hole which is so powerful, that no element, including light, can break loose escape from it. Consequently, the black hole itself does not emit light – hence its name. Moreover, any element approaching the black hole beyond a certain distance, which the theory of general relativity defines as the “event horizon”, is swallowed by it and crushed into neutrons.
The black hole is the allegory for Iran: although territorially it is by no means tiny, it aspires to draw into itself everything within the “event horizon” surrounding it in the Islamic world – in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Persian Empire
It is a well-known fact that even under the reign of the Shah Iran aspired for the status of a regional superpower, and made no attempt to conceal its aspirations. However, since the Khomeini revolution of 1979, additional tiers have been built – Iran has become the flag bearer of Shia Islam worldwide, and has positioned itself as the sworn enemy of the USA and the West. It started hammering stakes at any site of Shiite presence: in the early 1980s, while IDF elements were deployed in Lebanon, it began developing Hezbollah as a militia which, after the pullout of the IDF, evolved into the dominating force in that country. At the same time, Iran embraced the Assad regime in Syria, with one contributing factor being the affiliation of the Assad family with the Alawi sect, which is closely associated with Shia Islam. The Iranian regime also annexed Iraq into its camp. Following the pull-out of the US troops from Iraq, a pro-Iranian government, supported by the Shiite majority (about 35%), was established in Iraq.
Apparently, that is not enough for the regime in Tehran, and it covets the natural treasures of the Arabian Peninsula as well. In any case, Iran has recently embarked on a “smile offensive” toward the Gulf region, by dispatching Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Zarif, in early December 2013, on a visit of Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. Zarif expressed his desire to visit Saudi Arabia as well, very soon. The visit was intended to appease Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, which feel betrayed pursuant to the nuclear agreement signed in Geneva. They are concerned about the tightening of relations between the USA and the West and Iran at their expense. They also fear that, as a result, the Shiite minorities within their own populations will gather strength. Bahrain, in particular, is apprehensive about the new situation, in view of the Shia terrorist activity within its boundaries which, according to foreign sources, is supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
In this context, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, in an article published in the newspaper Makor Rishon weekly  (December 20, 2013), addressed a meeting held a few years ago in Tehran between a Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation and Rouhani, who at that time was the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iranian Majlis (parliament). Rouhani made it clear to the Kuwaiti delegation, rather bluntly, that in his country’s opinion, the entire western coast of the Persian Gulf – from Kuwait in the north to Oman in the south, was Iranian sovereign territory that Iran will dominate when the time comes.
Apparently, Iran intends to dominate even Afghanistan, her eastern neighbor. In a meeting in Tehran between Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, and Iranian President Rouhani, both agreed to sign a friendship agreement to enhance “regional security” opposite the Americans’ efforts to persuade the President of Afghanistan to sign a security pact with Washington.
However, the numerous natural treasures of Afghanistan, which are yet to be exploited, are also highly important. According to geological surveys, Afghanistan has oil and gas reserves as well as deposits of various metals and minerals. Iran clearly covets lusts for these resources.
Back in 2006, Karzai rejected any attempt by Iran to intervene in Afghanistan. Today, however, in view of the fact that the US armed forces will finally pull out of this country in about a year’s time, and his sense that the USA is about to forsake him, he has no choice but to yield to the dictates of Tehran. For this reason, Karzai will have to reject the attempts by Washington to reach an agreement that would allow American military bases to continue to operate in his country.
Dr. Kedar explained in his article why Tehran wishes to prevent Afghanistan from allowing foreign troops to remain on her soil. Firstly, Iran wishes to demonstrate that it is the “landlord” in central Asia and in the Islamic world. In Iran’s view, driving the USA out of the region will be perpetuated as a victory of Shia Islam over the infidels, including Sunni Islam led by Saudi Arabia. The other reason, according to Dr. Kedar is that US bases in Afghanistan will be used by American intelligence for monitoring communication in Iran and operating agents inside Iran, especially opposite the Iranian nuclear program.
Thus far, terrorism has served as a primary instrument employed by the regime in Tehran for the purpose of promoting its objectives, either directly through the activists of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or through members of Hezbollah, or by providing support, in the form of financing and arms shipments, to Palestinian terrorist organizations. The terrorist activities of Iran and Hezbollah spread throughout the world: to Asia and the countries of the Middle East in particular, but also to Europe, Africa and America (particularly Latin America). Admittedly, these terrorist activities focused primarily on such Israeli objectives as embassies or tourist groups (for example, the terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, in which 6 Israelis were murdered), but were also aimed at other targets, such as the attempt uncovered in 2011 to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the USA. At the same time, it may be assumed that pursuant to the Geneva agreement, Iran will moderate, for the time being, its own terrorist activities and those of its proxies.
But the future crown jewel of the Iranian regime is the establishment of a pretentious technological infrastructure, with the emphasis placed on the nuclear program and the space program. The world has not been convinced yet that these programs are intended “for peaceful purposes”, as Tehran proclaimed. The Geneva agreement may slow down Iran’s nuclear weapon program, but it is reasonable to assume that once Iran’s economy has recovered, it will revert to its evil ways and speed up its military nuclear program.
Presumably, as a result of the feebleness of the West, as reflected in the Geneva agreement, Iran’s appetite for dominating its neighbors will increase. While initially it will adhere to the “diplomacy of smiles”, as its self confidence increases, it will prefer to use threats, especially if it came to possess nuclear weapons, and probably even intensify its terrorist activities. Another country located close to Iran’s “event horizon” is Pakistan, whose population also includes a sizable Shiite minority. Unlike Iran, however, Pakistan already possesses a nuclear weapon arsenal. Additionally, even some African countries could become the objectives of the spreading of Shia Islam.
If the world fails to stop Iran, then in a few years’ time it will expand further and further, and we might, heaven forbid, once again witness a Persian Empire extending “from India even into Ethiopia” (Esther 1, 1), as in the days of king Ahasuerus (Xerxes).

How Will the World Respond?
Presumably, Washington will stand aside, making no attempt to stop the potential expansion of Iran in the future. This will be the outcome of President Obama’s “active passivity” policy, which advocates courses of action that avoid the use of force for the resolution of conflicts, even if the effectiveness of such courses of action is doubtful. This has been pointed out recently by Robert Gates, former US Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, in his new and fascinating book “Duty” – which does not compliment Obama. Still in the context of the conduct of the Obama administration, Dr. Kedar wrote in his article that Chuck Hagel, the current US Secretary of Defense, prefers to accept an agreement where Afghanistan has fallen into Iran’s hands, provided no more US servicemen return home in coffins.
Why has Obama courted Iran recently? It seems that even more than his willingness to lift the sanctions that had weighed heavily on Iran’s economy he wanted to open the Iranian market to the American industry, thereby helping the growth of the US economy. The same applies to the European countries: when they signed the Geneva agreement, they envisioned themselves standing, together with the USA, in line to enter the Iranian market.
On the other hand, the strengthening of Iran and its potential expansion through the Asian territories could challenge Russia and China, which have thus far provided Iran with political support and helped it economically. They would definitely be damaged if the scenario outlined above materialized. How will they respond?
Finally, the realization of this scenario will undoubtedly constitute an existential threat as far as the State of Israel is concerned, and then Israel would be compelled to respond using the full extent of its strength.

Lt. Col. (Res.) Dr. Rafael Ofek is an expert in the physics and technology of nuclear power. He had served in the Israeli intelligence community as a senior researcher and analyst.

Why Didn’t FDR Help European Jews? Hints in His Decision To Intern Japanese Americans
By Rafael MedoffFebruary 14, 2014 

Now, 70 years after the Supreme Court upheld the internment of civilians in WWII, it may revisit the ruling

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in December 1941, some of the United States’ most senior military officials began advocating for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to order the mass detention of Japanese Americans. “The Japanese race is an enemy race,” wrote Lt. Gen. John DeWitt, the man in charge of the Western Defense Command. “And while many second- and third-generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.”
Although there were a few voices in the administration against internment—particularly Attorney General Francis Biddle and Gen. Mark Clark, the Army’s deputy chief of staff—the president disregarded the dissenters. On Feb. 19, 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the military to remove anyone from any area of the country, if deemed necessary for national security. During the months that followed, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were rounded up throughout California and shipped to internment camps in Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, and elsewhere. Fred Korematsu, a resident of San Leandro, on the San Francisco Bay, resisted deportation and was arrested, setting in motion a legal struggle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the court ruled, 6-3, in favor of the government’s action.
That ruling has quietly remained on the books all these years. But it may be revisited shortly if the court accepts a recent request to hear Hedges v. Obama, in which the plaintiff is challenging a 2012 law permitting the detention without trial of suspected supporters of terrorism. The wording of that 2012 legislation relies in part on the 1944 Korematsu decision. In a possible hint of which way the court is leaning, Justice Antonin Scalia said in a speech at the University of Hawaii last week that the internment of the Japanese was “wrong”—although he added, “You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing would not happen again.”
But while the Supreme Court may reconsider the issue, not everyone is willing to take a fresh look at the controversy. The recently re-opened Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in upstate New York includes a section on the roundup of the Japanese but skirts the most explosive research about Roosevelt’s motives. And that research, in turn, has an unexpected but important connection to the ever-simmering issue of FDR’s response to the Holocaust.
In 1980, Congress established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Its final report, titled Personal Justice Denied, concluded that the internment was motivated by “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership,” and recommended reparations of $20,000 to each surviving internee. After additional lobbying by Japanese American activists, legislation was eventually passed to distribute those funds, and both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush issued public apologies for the internment.
More recently, in response to additional public education efforts by Japanese Americans, 10 sites of former detention camps were designated historical landmarks. Last April, a Japanese American Internment Museum was established near the site of the Rohwer camp, in Arkansas. The ceremony opening the museum was headlined by actor George Takei, best known for his role as Lt. Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek television series and movies. Takei described how, at age 5, he and his family “were forced from our home in Los Angeles at gunpoint by U.S. soldiers and sent to Rohwer, all because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor.” His childhood was spent “in the swamps—fetid, hot, mosquito-laden. … Block 6, Barrack 2, Unit F. We were little more than numbers to our jailers, each of us given a tag to wear like a piece of luggage. My tag was 12832-C.”
Takei’s fame has helped open doors for him to educate the public about the internment, and he has lectured widely on the subject in recent years. (He also recently starred inAllegiance, a Broadway musical based on the experiences of a family similar to the Takeis during their years of detention.) The Star Trek alumnus has visited the site of the Dachau concentration camp, in Germany. The all-Japanese 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was one of the U.S. army units that liberated Hurlach, a slave labor site that was a sub-camp of Dachau. They also liberated a group of Jewish prisoners who were on a death march out of Dachau. “In my mind, I’ve always tried to draw a strong distinction between the internment camps and the extermination camps,” Takei told the San Diego Jewish Journal in 2012. “And what had the Jews done to deserve death? The stereotype was that they were ‘shrewd.’ Just like we’re supposed to be ‘inscrutable.’ That was our crime.”
As it turns out, the parallels between anti-Jewish and anti-Japanese stereotypes to which Takei alluded are crucial to understanding both Roosevelt’s decision on Japanese internment and his response to the Holocaust. Even FDR’s most ardent supporters today concede that the internment was wrong. The website of the Roosevelt presidential library, in Hyde Park, N.Y., calls the decision “a blemish on Roosevelt’s wartime record,” and curriculum materials designed for schools by the museum characterize it as “a great injustice.” At the same time, however, the museum, which recently re-opened after a nine-year, $30-million revamp and expansion, portrays the president as the victim of irresistible pressure from his military advisers and public opinion.
The museum’s exhibition on the Japanese internment makes no mention of the last decade’s most important new research findings concerning the motives behind the internment decision. By Order of the President, a critically acclaimed 2001 book by Greg Robinson, an American historian at the University of Quebec, revealed a number of incendiary articles about Asians that Franklin Roosevelt wrote in the 1920s. In those articles, the future president asserted that “the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.” FDR argued that because “Japanese immigrants are not capable of assimilation into the American population,” they could not be trusted and their right to purchase land should be restricted.
Interestingly, the museum does include the cover of By Order of the President, and a brief excerpt from the book, in a side panel—so nobody can claim the museum completely ignores Robinson’s book. But the excerpt they chose is from a passage that does not mention FDR’s writings about Asians. That choice says a lot about what the museum wants visitors to see.
Robinson concluded that FDR’s longstanding “negative beliefs about Japanese-Americans” played a significant role in the internment decision. Those beliefs help explain why Roosevelt was so quick to agree with the pro-internment positions of some of his advisers, despite the paucity of evidence of disloyalty among Japanese Americans. It also helps explain why he chose to imprison Japanese Americans, while not taking similar action against German Americans or Italian Americans despite their relation to countries America was fighting in the war.
Roosevelt’s views about the Japanese dovetail with his privately expressed opinions about Jews. In my own recent research in the diaries and correspondence of Roosevelt Cabinet members and others close to FDR, I have found a number of troubling remarks by the president in this vein. For example, he complained about Jews “overcrowding” certain professions in Germany, North Africa, and even in Oregon. He was one of the initiators of a quota on the admission of Jews to Harvard. He boasted to one friend—a U.S. senator—that “we have no Jewish blood in our veins.” He claimed antisemitism in Poland was a reaction to Jews dominating the local economy. And he embraced an adviser’s proposal to “spread the Jews thin” around the world, in order to prevent them from dominating their host countries.
FDR’s writings and statements indicate that he regarded both Jews and Asians as having innate biological characteristics that made it difficult, or even impossible, for them to become fully loyal Americans. Certain individual, assimilated Jews could be useful to him as political allies or advisers, but having a substantial number of Jews, especially the less assimilated kind, was—in his mind—inviting trouble.
FDR’s private views help explain an otherwise inexplicable aspect of his response to the Holocaust–his administration’s policy of suppressing refugee immigration far below the legal limits. The quota of immigrants from Germany (about 26,000 annually) was filled in only one year out of Roosevelt’s 12 in the White House. In most of those years, it was less than 25 percent filled. If public or congressional opposition prevented liberalizing the entire immigration quota system, why not at least permit the existing quotas to be quietly filled? The answer is that Franklin Roosevelt’s vision of America did not make room for substantial numbers of Asian or Jewish immigrants.
It’s not that prejudice was the only factor that went into Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese or his response to the Holocaust. Obviously there were various political, military, and other factors that figured into the mix. But museum curators and historians who discount the importance of the president’s personal feelings are missing a crucial, and undeniable, aspect of the story.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Speaking in Munich recently, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that the absence of a Palestinian State is what fuels violence against Israel. ( 

“Ask yourselves a simple question: What happens if we can’t find a way forward?” he asked. “Is Fatah going to be stronger? Will Abu Mazen be strengthened? Will this man who has been committed to a peaceful process for these last years be able to hold on if it fails? What is the argument for holding on? Are we going to then see militancy? Will we then see violence? Will we then see transformation? What comes afterwards? Nobody can answer that question with any kind of comfort.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair , in a speech to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles in August 2006said :
“It is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault,” Blair said. “For a start, it is indeed global. No-one who ever half bothers to look at the spread and range of activity related to this terrorism can fail to see its presence in virtually every major nation in the world. It is directed at the United States and its allies, of course. But it is also directed at nations who could not conceivably be said to be allies of the West.”
“It is also rubbish to suggest that it is the product of poverty. It is true it will use the cause of poverty,” he added. “But its fanatics are hardly the champions of economic development. It is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism, but a specifically Muslim version.”


ISRAELI Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to insist that PA leader Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state for this very reason.
 If Abbas will recognize Israel as Jewish and accept the presence of the Jewish homeland, then it can reasonably be assumed that his grievance is over territory.
However, his stubborn refusal to do so amounts to a blatant admission that he is motivated by religious bigotry that will never end with the establishment of a Palestinian state. {And by adopting this stance, Abbas has also thoroughly rejected America’s understanding of the Israeli-Arab conflict { THAT IT IS A PARTICULAR GRIEVANCE OVER LAND}.