Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekly News Roundup, October 24 - 30, 2009

Welcome to another exciting week in Israel news. This week, we find Iran stalling for (even more) time to build a bomb, J-Street claiming to be pro-Israel while acting completely opposite, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) antagonizing Israel, and Israeli baller, Omri Casspi, making his NBA debut with the Sacramento Kings. As usual, let's do it to it.

When Will We Learn?: As predicted by moi last week, Iran has summarily rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) uranium enrichment offer, under which Iran would ship 70% of its low enriched uranium to France and Russia for enrichment to the 20% level, well below the level needed for weapons purposes. Iran instead countered with an offer to enrich its uranium in Iran under IAEA supervision which, judging by the IAEA's past efficacy with this issue, would lead to an Iranian bomb in no time. Meanwhile, both the US House and Senate passed sanctions legislation which would impede Iran's ability to import gasoline, but will the Prince of Peace, I mean President, sign the bills? For now, Iran continues to march toward the bomb while the International Community dithers and waffles, but what else is new?

My J Street Rage Boils Over: I haven't written about the abomination that is J Street yet, but this week I've simply had enough and could stay silent no longer. J Street was founded in April, 2008 and claims to be 'pro-Israel, pro-Peace,' yet manages to be neither. With regards to the pro-Israel aspect, just this week J Street dropped this requirement from their college campus arm, J Street U, saying:
"The student groups don't need to say they are explicitly pro-Israel so long as their programming and outreach operate from the premise that the Jewish state has a right to exist as a Jewish state"
"'We don't want to isolate people because they don't feel quite so comfortable with 'pro-Israel,' so we say 'pro-peace,'" said American University junior Lauren Barr of the "J Street U" slogan, "but behind that is 'pro-Israel.'"
In other words, J Street doesn't want to offend anyone who would be insulted by the notion of being pro-Israel, yet desires these same people to join their ranks? Right. So J Street is just implicitly pro-Israel now, while remaining pro-Peace. But can they even make this claim? No, says I.

Contrary to 78% of the American public, the House and Senate, J Street believes that "the immediate imposition of harsher sanctions on Iran would be counterproductive." Furthermore, J Street is "strongly opposed to any consideration at this time of the use of military force by Israel or the United States to attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure." According to J Street, being pro-Peace means wanting Iran to get the bomb. Really?!

During Operation Cast Lead, during which Israel finally responded to 8,000 rockets launched by terrorists and aimed at Israeli civilians, J Street had this to say after the first Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets:
"While this morning’s air strikes by Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza can be understood and even justified in the wake of recent rocket attacks, we believe that real friends of Israel recognize that escalating the conflict will prove counterproductive, igniting further anger in the region and damaging long-term prospects for peace and stability."
So Israel defending its civilians from rocket attacks is hurting the prospects for peace, yet there's no mention or condemnation of the terrorists who are launching the rockets in the first place? It's as if J Street can't blame Hamas for attacking Israel, while at the same time expects Israel to stand by while its citizens are murdered.

From what I can gather, J Street could best be described as pro-Iran, pro-Hamas, and pro-Dead Israelis. J Street held a conference in DC this week, but I don't think my blood pressure could handle me writing about this despicable group any longer. On to another despicable group then!

OIC Behind Goldstone Report: Color me unsurprised by this revelation. I had no idea any organization was behind the Goldstone Report, but if I had to guess last week, my top choices would have been Hamas, J Street, or the OIC. Now it turns out that it was the OIC, a group of 57 Muslim nations, that was responsible for commissioning this anti-Israel report on Operation Cast Lead. While digging for information on the OIC, I came across this juicy quote from Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, during the OIC's 2003 meeting in Malaysia:
"They [the Jews] invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them”
Like I said, I'm not surprised at all that the OIC was behind the Goldstone Report. To wit:

Al Jazeera: The UN's Goldstone report has been in the headlines in the past few weeks - not without controversy - and has brought to light the conduct of the Israelis and Hamas during the war on Gaza earlier in the year. Does the OIC see this as a step forward in recognising what
transpired during that war and in bringing the plight of the Palestinians to the fore on an international scale?

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu [Secretary General of the OIC]: Let me first start by completing the story of the history of the Goldstone report. What I would like to put on record is that the OIC was the initiator of this process.

On January 3, during the attacks on Gaza, we convened the executive committee of the OIC on a ministerial level. It was decided that the OIC group in Geneva should ask the Human Rights Council to convene and consider the possibility of sending a fact-finding mission to Gaza.

I've written at length about the Goldstone Report before (here) and won't get into it again, but this admission by the OIC, a virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organization, sheds light on why the Goldstone Report was so incredibly biased against Israel and easy going on Hamas.

The NBA Welcomes its First Israeli: After Maccabi lost to the Knicks and Clippers during the pre-season, it was up to Omri Casspi to improve Israel's basketball stature in the NBA. Luckily, the Israeli rookie had a very solid start to his NBA career, netting 15 points, on 7-9 shooting, and three rebounds in only 19 minutes. Casspi should get a lot of minutes this year as he plays on an atrocious team, the Sacramento Kings, and seems to have legitimate talent. Then again, he's on a lousy team, which kind of stinks for him. I'll update Mr. Casspi's situation as the season goes on and, as much as it pains me, try to watch some Kings games so I can see him live.

Have a great Halloween/Dia de los Muertos and remember to wear reflective clothing and not to eat too much candy; you'll get a stomach ache!

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