Syriasly Delicious Apples

“Returning” the Golan Heights to Syria, from whom the land was captured following an attack in 1973 culminating in the Yom Kippur War is probably not such a smart notion. Not today. Not tomorrow. Perhaps nor the day after tomorrow would it be a good notion to cede land to Syria.

Here is what Israel can do to honor justice:

They can donate apples to the Syrians. Actually, 12,000 tons were transferred by IDF forces across the border via the Quneitra crossing.

These apples, grown in the Golan Heights by Druze farmers, carry diplomatic significance:

“Each apple equals assistance to Druze farmers on both sides of the border..”

explained Captain Adham Rad, commander of the Quneitra crossing.

“Some Druze families are separated by the border…and Israel, showing its desire for peace, works to accommodate their needs, making sure they lead normal lives.”

Israeli authorities approved the project that began six years ago, and the Red Cross is the neutral envoy required for launching the project.

The Red Cross has representatives on either side of the border and supplies the trucks and Kenyan drivers who transfer the apples from Israeli to Syrian trucks. Then, from Syria, the apples are marketed to Persian Gulf countries.

The videos below are about as close as you would want to be to Syria, under Baath Party control, these days:

On The Brink: Iran and Saudi Arabia

Two United States emissaries sent to meet with the Saudi King, Abdullah: Defense Secretary Robert Gates on April 6 and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, a week later, were informed that Saudi Arabia cannot forgive America for allowing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to be overthrown by an anarchic rebellion, and for allowing Iran, a country who continues to enrich uranium, clearly on the road to the development of nuclear weapons (and funds terror activity throughout the Middle East in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon, with its proxy army, Hezbollah) to remain in power.

Iran PresidentLast year, the Saudis even gave Israel permission to fly over the kingdom, en route to a military operation on Iran. A WikiLeaks document dated July, 20, 2007, revealed that Binyamin Netanyahu had urged then-Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to attack Iran. Netanyahu’s request was part of discussions to form a national unity government between Likud and Kadima. (PM Netanyahu, early in his term, invited Kadima leader Tzippi Livni to join forces — she declined).

This year, Saudi Arabia is resolute in leading the Gulf region to a confrontation with Iran – including military action if necessary in a move to defend the oil emirates against Iranian conspiracies. On Monday, April 18, the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, requested that the United Nations Security Council to take action for stopping Iran’s “provocative interference in their countries’ domestic affairs.” This “flagrant interference” posed a “grave security to, and risked flaring up sectarian strike, in the GCC countries.”

The resolution continued:

“The GCC will not hesitate to adopt whatever measures and policies they deem necessary vis-à-vis the foreign interferences in their internal affairs”.

The Saudis are positive their combined missile, air force and naval strength is capable of inflicting damage on mainland Iran.

Then, Saturday, April 16, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the Pakistani chargé d’affaires to issue a caveat against allowing Saud Arabia and Bahrain to continue conscripting Pakistani military personnel. Tehran claims that by offering exorbitant paychecks, Riyadh raised 1,000 Pakistani recruits for its military operation in support of the Bahraini king and another 1,500 are on their way to the Gulf.

Saudi ground-to-ground and anti-air missiles have been transferred to the Bahrain capital of Manama and naval units are positioned in that country’s harbor.

Monday, April 18, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa announced that Saudi and allied GCC troops would remain in the kingdom of Bahrain until Iran no longer poses a menace. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, also claims the spreading revolt against his regime, now entering its second month, was instigated from Riyadh.

But Iran’s problems do not stop there. On April 11-12, the Arabs of Ahwaz in the western Iranian province of Khuzestan staged a two-day uprising against the Ahmadinejad regime. Government forces murdered some 15 demonstrators before cancelling incoming flights, blocking roads to the town and cutting off telephone and Internet communications.

Last Saturday, Iran urged Egyptian officials, now running that country in a caretaker capacity, to snub the U.S., who sided, eventually, with the coup. Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, “Cairo should resist the opposition from the United States and Israel, and take independant decision to bring the two Islamic countries closer together.”

Earlier last week Reuters and Iran’s Press TV reported Iran had appointed an ambassador to Egypt for the first time in 30 years, as a post-Mubarak Egypt will see diplomatic ties restored between the two countries.

As if you did not realize, dear OneJerusalem.com readers, Iran’s hand in assisting the grizzly murderer, Bashir al-Assad of Syria, read this.

On Choosing the Right Battles (in the face of a syrias situation)

by Scott Crane

Today we are living in the Islamic Democracy Revolution, the Arab Spring; an unmistakable contrapuntal song of freedom. A tune that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, two countries that “did good” in their respective democracy-fueled coup d’états. Sudan heard the cry but to no apparent avail, as did Yemen, Bahrain and Iran (and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cites the last twenty-four months in Tehran as the exposition of the movement), as did poor little Lebanon, which continues to be strangled and poisoned by the Hezbollah, that venomous snake.

A critical assessment of the Middle East leads us to analyze the recent history of Syria and the recent history of Libya.

In the latter country, Muammar el-Qhadaffi thought he had the world duped. The financier of worldwide guerilla groups, he is single-handedly responsible for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 innocents. And he funded Black September, the Palestinian group that murdered eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics in Munich. However, the world – that is the West and Africa – was under the verisimilar impression he had reformed his evil ways; or at least, did not pose a threat to the West. (Does he?)

U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to call a “no-fly zone,” and bomb that country is crazy; more so considering America’s budget deficit and the cost of such military operations, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and counting. Certainly there are countless other humanitarian nightmares happening around the world that America, were they the world’s humanitarian vigilantes, would cite and quell.

So, as I read in a recent editorial in Haaretz:

“The West’s intervention in Libya may undermine future civil revolts.”

And if we fear Libya acquiring nuclear weapons, then for goodness sakes what is taking so long to do something about Iran.

Recent events in Syria, as they pertain to the Jewish State, are the exact opposite. With President Bashar al-Assad at the helm, Syria has spent more than $3 billion on weapons in three years. As we well know, they have done all they can in the way of assassinations to squash democracy in Lebanon – they have done with their geographic advantage what Iran, who has in that state a terrorist proxy, cannot. According to Haaretz, Syria has received $1 billion from Iran to purchase rockets, surface-to-surface missiles, anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft systems.

David Schenker of The New Republic wrote:

“During the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Syria’s Assad regime was helping insurgents to cross the border and kill Americans. In response to the Syrian provocation, the Bush administration considered a broad range of policy options. But one family of options always remained off the table: regime change or any combination of pressures that might destabilize Damascus.”

document by Syrian government to assassinate members of the rebellionFurthermore, recent WikiLeaks documents indicate that:

“Syria placed long-range missiles equipped with chemical warheads on high alert after an attack on a Syrian nuclear plant in 2007.”

Mossad obtained information about the nuclear plant, built for Syria by North Korea, from a laptop stolen from a senior Syrian official. Israel launched the stealth attack that took out the Syrian reactor. Though, first they asked the U.S. to carry-out the strike, however, then-Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, refused.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a cheap equivocator, who in the last month murdered 100s of his own people in attempt to put the lid on protests. While he told his people to expect constitutional amendments, sweeping reforms and the ditching of despised state emergency laws that give to the government carte blanche to arrest citizens, sans charges, no such reforms have actually happened.

Meanwhile, Michael Isikoff of MSNBC wrote:

“A document drafted by senior Syrian intelligence officials details a plan to infiltrate the ranks of anti-regime protesters, arrest and assassinate their leaders, and link anti-regime demonstrations to the work of Zionist and other outside agitators.”

The reason that Israel may want to get involved in ousting Assad makes the U.S. invasion of Libya, (where French and NATO forces were already eyeing, where al-Qaeda, America’s other enemy is on the side of the rebellion), look well, silly.

Syria has been a direct threat to the Jewish State forever and in the last weeks, more so than ever.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said:

“Syria is an Iranian acquisition, and it is clear that Iran is concerned that this investment will go down the drain…Therefore, Iran has shown more involvement [in Syria] than in other Arab countries.”

According to intercepted communications among Iranian officials:

Iran is materially assisting the Syrian government in its efforts to suppress their own people“.

If the time has come to sing democracy in the Middle East, let’s make sure military invasions are worth our while. Let’s not forget Syria is among the most noteworthy bankrollers of Hamas. Why not nip this nightmare in the bud? So America is in Libya, fighting alongside al-Qaeda, their back seemingly turned to Iran. The reality is Syria needs Israel’s help. And, let’s face it, Israel needs theirs.

On Bibi, Bieber and Buber

We are now living in the month of springtime and this brings to mind three B’s, along with the brisket I will be eating at the family Passover seder. They are: Bieber, Bibi and Buber. That is, Justin Bieber, Binyamin Netanyahu and Martin Buber. All influential figures will go down in the hall of fame, though, one is not Jewish. Can you guess which?

Justin BieberThe former B – Justin Bieber is not a Jew. Actually, rumor has it his family is not that keen on God’s chosen. Record exec, Scooter Braun, found an amateur Bieber’s 2007 YouTube videos by accident while surfing the web. Braun contacted the boy’s mother, Pattie Mallette was reluctant to give permission for Justin to do a demo with Braun because of Braun’s Jewish religion.

She recalled praying:

“God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! … you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?”

Apparently, God wanted just that – Bieber went on to become an international pop sensation. This week, on the heels of the Passover holiday, 700 children from southern Israeli communities hit by recent rocket fire from Gaza were given free tickets to see 17-year-old Justin Bieber’s conert.

The tickets for the show in Tel Aviv, as well as transportation, are a gift of The Schusterman Foundation-Israel, The Morningstar Foundation and ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators.

According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, ROI approached The Schusterman Foundation to help cover the costs of the tickets. Bieber arrived in Israel on Monday and is scheduled to tour the country. He will visit Christian sites in the Galilee, Masada, the Dead Sea, Acre and Caesaria. He will also meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Though an official date has not been set for the meeting of Bibi and Bieber.

This meeting between Bibi and Bieber may be due in metaphysical part to Buber. That is, Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher.

Martin Buber (1878 –1965) was an Austrian-born Jewish philosopher known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship. Buber observes the God-Man relationship as I-It, or I-Thou, perhaps, more I-Thou in Bieber’s Catholic religion and more I-It in terms of Bibi’s Jewish religion.

However, all religions see the God concept as an It. Moreover, Bieber and Bibi must build bridges based on Buber’s I and Thou philosophy of dialogues to appreciate the respective culture of each.

God Bless.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: One of Lear’s Daughters “heaves their hearts into their mouths”

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, two months ago, forced out of office by rioters, says he is willing to cooperate with any investigation to prove he did not own property abroad or posses foreign bank accounts. He recalls for me the misunderstood King Lear.

Mubarak said in a recent speech:

“I was hurt very much, and I am still hurting — my family and I — from the unjust campaigns against us and false allegations that aim to smear my reputation, my integrity, my (political) stances and my military history…”

Former President Mubarak, who with his family has been under house arrest at a presidential palace in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh since his ouster insists he only possessed a single account in an Egyptian bank and held property only in Egypt. He said he would agree in writing to allow the prosecutor-general to contact other countries to investigate whether he or his wife, Suzanne, owned any accounts or property abroad.

“I agree to authorize the prosecutor-general in writing to allow him to contact, through the Foreign Ministry, all countries in the world to prove to them that I and my wife agree to show any accounts or properties I have possessed starting from my military and political career until now to prove to the people that their former president only owns domestically according to previous financial disclosure.”

Meanwhile, in Egypt:

“Egypt’s security forces shot and killed at least two protesters and wounded dozens before dawn Saturday in an attempt to disperse peaceful demonstrators spending the night in the capital’s iconic Tahrir Square, officials and witnesses said. The crackdown was the most brutal since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 and since the military started running the country.”

Mona el-Naggar reported in the New York Times:

“And in a page that could have been taken from Mr. Mubarak’s manual, the military also asserted that the protesters had been infiltrated by ‘thugs’ and ‘outlaws.’”

She reported, however:

“The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized political force, which had endorsed the protest on Friday, issued a statement on Saturday under the heading, ‘The Army and the People Are One Hand,’ a popular chant among protesters when they were calling on the military to take their side during the revolution.”

The Beat Goes On

And the beat goes on. According to Human Rights Watch, Palestinian journalists are regularly “abused with impunity” (Reuters) by both the security services of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and his Islamist rivals Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian man sells newspapers in front of his shop in Gaza StripThe 35-page report cited reporters’ charges of arbitrary arrests, beatings and equipment seizures by government enforcers.

Ahh, yes, the Palestinians, the human rights victims of Israel’s abuse, poised for new statehood. New reforms by the International Monetary Fund allow the Palestinian Authority to reduce its dependence on foreign aid for its regular budget, from $1.8 billion in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2010, and now, less than $1b for 2011.

Fatah in the West Bank, the governing part of the Palestinian Authority denies the accusations of abusing journalists.

Meanwhile, Fox News correspondent, Jeniffer Griffin and her husband, Greg Myre have a new book called, “This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” In the book, Griffin talks about when her colleague, Steve Centanni of Fox News and Olaf Wiig a cameraman from New Zealand, were kidnapped on August 14, 2006 by Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City by the Holy Jihad Brigades.

In another story, al-Arabiya claims 1 of 2 people killed in a strike in Sudan was senior Hamas military commander; the Sudanese FM says the fatal hit was “absolutely an Israeli attack” and meant to keep Sudan on the U.S. list of terrorism sponsors, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, provoking the attack. Also, Sudanese and Iranian weapons were seized en route to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Doctors on Strike

Magen David Adom Tel AvivTalks between the Israel Medical Association and the Treasury fell short of yielding results last Wednesday, causing fears the doctors’ strike that began last week could continue into the new week. Doctors began a warning strike last Tuesday, treating only emergency cases.

They are demanding higher wages and better working conditions, including an end to back-to-back shifts which leave hospital doctors on duty for more than 20 hours straight.

The ministry said it will publish “guidelines for hospitals and health funds, and set the limits of the strike to help the public.”
The Israel Medical Association responded, “It should be remembered that all instructions about the strike will be issued by the union’s strike committee.”

Globes reported:

“The gaps between the sides are still wide. The Ministry of Finance is prepared to grant doctors a 1% pay hike per year as part of a 5-8 year labor contract. It is also offering a special supplement of NIS 600-1,200 for specialists, doctors in the periphery, and doctors in professions where there is a shortage. The Israel Medical Association is demanding a 50% increase in doctors’ hourly wage, plus changes in employment terms which will amount to an estimated additional 50% pay hike.”

OneJerusalem.com Jew of the Year: Richard Goldstone

South African corporate and intellectual property barrister and judge, head of United Nations Human Rights Council fact finding crusade for Operation Cast Lead and 21st century bard, Richard Goldstone, has much of Israel singing a familiar tune. The “See I Told To You So Blues.”

Richard Goldstone as fruhmHis Op-Ed in the Washington Post last week was sent to the wrong newspaper. Why wouldn’t Goldstone have sent it to Yediut Achronot or Haaretz? Does the South African Jew not know Hebrew? Does he need ulpan? Nefesh bNefesh perhaps?

Goldstone wrote:

“To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government.”

So Goldstone said, “whoops, I forgot to let the Judenräte explain itself.”

He also wrote:

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes…”

Justice Goldstone gave the impression that Israel is an acerbic cum sadistic child-killing pariah state, that carpet bombs refugee camps stuffed with innocent Arabs (the punching bag of Hitler’s victims as it where). Hitler’s victims that sell the organs of Palestinian children.

However the United Nations is resolute in its artful, underhanded anti-Semitism. The very same UNHRC which:

“Commissioned an investigation of Israel’s 2009 incursion into Gaza will continue to treat it as a legitimate working document, even though the lead author has backtracked from some of the report’s most damning allegations against Israel.”

In other words, they will continue to damn Israel.

U.N. reports are not canceled on the basis of an op-ed in a newspaper,” said one representative.

Bibi told his cabinet that Goldstone’s article in The Washington Post was a rare instance “in which those who disseminate libels retract their libel.”

He said:

“This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone report…”

Ironic timing though. Operation Cast Lead was in response to hundreds of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilians. Israel is still, two years later, under an almost-constant rain of rockets fired from Gaza.

Click here to see how Israel responds to post-Operation Cast Lead bullying.