For many, the world’s favorite sport is not the ongoing Football World Cup, but...
(Cartoon above from The Washington Examiner.)
* Please see the various videos below
* U.S. taxpayer-funded Woodrow Wilson Center honors Turkish foreign minister with “Public Service Award” just days after he compared Israeli action on the flotilla to the 9/11 attacks
* Israeli President Shimon Peres: If the Hamas leadership in Gaza would stop amassing rockets, and instead turned toward peace with Israel, no flotillas or restrictions would be necessary
* Organizers of Lebanese flotilla that is scheduled to sail soon for Gaza have ties to Hizbullah
* The Shelby Steele article below is a classic. It’s impossible not to feel small, when one considers the world of hardship and prejudice people like Steele and Thomas Sowell and their parents and grandparents have come out of, and how much wisdom and courage they have been able to achieve -- Tom Gross
(This is a further dispatch concerning the recent and planned future flotillas to Gaza. There is one additional item at the start.)
1. U.S. warships and Israeli vessel sail through the Suez Canal
2. Turks kill 130 Kurds
3. The Egyptian blockade that no-one reports
4. Toys in Gaza
5. Another teenager shot dead
6. Wilson Center honors Turkish foreign minister with “Public Service Award”
7. Organizers of Lebanese flotilla planned to sail soon for Gaza “have ties to Hizbullah’
8. The useful infidels (German branch)
9. New video: The briefing given to the “peace activists” the day before they fought Israelis
10. Casualties on board the Mavi Marmara now conclusively identified as Islamist radicals
11. The three tenors (or the three terrors)
12. “Israel and the Surrender of the West” (By Shelby Steele, Wall St. Journal, June 21, 2010)
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
U.S. WARSHIPS AND ISRAELI VESSEL SAIL THROUGH THE SUEZ CANAL
A fleet of a dozen U.S. warships including the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman have reportedly sailed through the Suez Canal under heavy Egyptian guard. They were reportedly joined by at least one Israeli vessel. The fleet is the largest military armada in years to head from the Mediterranean toward the Red Sea.
The London-based Arabic paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted unnamed eyewitnesses saying the Egyptians had closed down the entire canal over the weekend to commercial and civilian traffic and confined Egyptian fishermen to ports in the southern lakes as a security precaution. The Israeli navy declined to comment on the report. Egyptian opposition figures were quoted as saying that the move was in preparation for a possible strike on Iran, although I think this seems unlikely in the immediate future.
In a separate development, representing a hardening of his previous stance, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told “Fox News Sunday” yesterday:
“I don’t think we’re prepared to even talk about containing a nuclear Iran. Our view still is we do not accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons. And our policies and our efforts are all aimed at preventing that from happening... We obviously leave all options on the table.”
TURKS KILL 130 KURDS
If you look extremely closely around the Western media you will find reference to the killing of Kurds by the Turkish government last week. (I attach a small item from the website of America’s CBS News below).
Of course, the Kurds are far more numerous than the Palestinians, many centuries older as a nation, are far more persecuted, both historically and today (millions are not even allowed to speak in their own language, other Kurds have been subjected to chemical warfare), and are arguably more deserving of an independent state than the Palestinians (though the Palestinians too, like around another 200 stateless people around the world, ought to have their own state if that is what they want, so long as they don’t threaten to use it as a launching pad to kill citizens of a neighboring state).
But charities like Oxfam – obsessed with demonizing the world’s Jewish state – haven’t spent tens of thousands of pounds taking out adverts in British newspapers this month highlighting the plight of the Kurds, as they have on anti-Israel ads (jointly paid for with their fellow “charities”) in British newspapers.
Nor could they seemingly care less about the over 2,000 dead and one million Uzbeks made homeless in Kyrgyzstan last week. The victims are only Sunni Muslims after all.
Turkey: Air Raid Kills 100 Kurd Rebels in Iraq
Military Commander Says U.S. “Providing Intelligence About Kurdish Rebel Positions”
ANKARA, Turkey, June 18, 2010
Maj. Gen. Fahri Kir, the head of the military’s internal security operations, said the rebel casualties occurred in a series of raids in the Hakurk area.
Another 20 rebels were killed in northern Iraq this week, he said.
Kir said the number of rebels killed since March has exceeded 150, including 30 guerrillas killed in clashes inside Turkey. Turkish security forces have suffered 43 losses in the same period, he said.
The United States has been providing intelligence about Kurdish rebel positions, he said, in what he described as successful cooperation.
Tom Gross adds: The above news report makes no reference to the dozens of Kurdish civilians killed over the last month by Turkey.
THE EGYPTIAN BLOCKADE THAT NO-ONE REPORTS
I attach an item below from AFP, reported in The Egyptian Gazette, but not in thousands of other news outlets around the world that subscribe to AFP.
Egypt bans Gaza activists
June 14, 2010
RAFAH - Egypt banned hundreds of activists from Gaza, igniting protests at the Rafah border that is the only non-Israeli entry into the Palestinian enclave, a security official has said.
Hundreds of Egyptian activists headed to the Rafah border crossing on Friday (11 June) but were denied entry into the Gaza Strip, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“They spent the night in front of the crossing asking to be let in and continued protesting on Saturday (12 June),” the official said.
Authorities also denied entry to two trucks carrying humanitarian aid sent by the people of the Egyptian province of Daqahliya.
The Egyptian opposition has long campaigned against the government’s refusal to fully open the Gaza border.
Tom Gross adds: Egyptian border guards opened fire on Palestinians trying to cross over into Egypt this weekend, wounding several people. This was reported in Middle East media but not in most Western media.
TOYS IN GAZA
The world’s biggest news broadcaster, the BBC, lead its world news bulletin yesterday with a report telling its audience of up to 230 million people that there were no children’s toys in Gaza. This is just a blatant lie.
For example, here is a photo of a toy shop from a pro-Hamas newspaper in Gaza from last November:
The BBC implied to its audience in four different reports on Gaza last week that people don’t have enough food there.
Below, a photo of a Gaza supermarket taken last week:
And this from an outdoor food market in Gaza:
ANOTHER TEENAGER SHOT DEAD
Those in the U.S. media so quick to condemn Israel are strangely silent about deaths in America this month, like the ones mentioned below…
Mexico anger high as US Border Patrol kills teen
June 9, 2010
By Olivia Torres and Christopher Sherman
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) - Mexicans are seething over the second death of a countryman at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents in two weeks, an incident near downtown El Paso that is threatening to escalate tensions over migrant issues.
U.S. authorities said Tuesday a Border Patrol agent was defending himself and colleagues when he fatally shot the 15-year-old as officers came under a barrage of big stones while trying to detain illegal immigrants on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.
About 30 relatives and friends gathered late Tuesday to mourn Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka, whose shooting Monday evening came along the border with Texas. He died on the Mexican side of the river.
“Damn them! Damn them!” sobbed Rosario Hernandez, sister of the dead teenager, at a wake in the family’s two-room adobe house on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez…
“May God forgive them [the U.S. border agents] because I know nothing will happen” to them, his mother Maria Guadalupe Huereka said.
Above the casket was a photo of the youth wearing his soccer uniform and his junior high school grade cards, which showed A’s and B’s. His mother said he was a good student who never got in trouble. He was the youngest of five children, played on two soccer teams and had just finished junior high school, she said…
The boy was shot once near the eye, Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s office, said… Sandoval said Mexican investigators were questioning three teenagers who were with the victim at the time of the shooting.
The boy’s sister, Rosario, told Associated Press Television News that her brother was playing with several friends and did not plan to cross the border…
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said its records indicate that 17 Mexicans have been killed or wounded by U.S. immigration authorities so far this year…
Tom Gross adds: You can read the full story here.
I am waiting for Obama administration officials, the EU and the UN to call for an international investigation into this as they have so vehemently demanded of Israel…
WILSON CENTER HONORS TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER WITH “PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD”
The U.S. taxpayer-funded Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, headed by former Congressman Lee Hamilton, presented its annual award for public service last Thursday to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Davutaoglu “personifies the attributes we seek to honor at the Woodrow Wilson Center,” Hamilton said at the event, adding that his “contributions have been numerous and significant.”
Among those “contributions” not mentioned by Hamilton was the Turkish foreign minister’s statement a week earlier that the Israeli incident aboard the Gaza flotilla “is like 9/11.” (And Hamilton, who serves on President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, was formerly the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.)
Davutoglu (below) was also a key figure in the Brazilian-Turkish drive to head off new U.N. sanctions on Iran, an agreement the Obama administration has dismissed as inadequate and unhelpful.
House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee chairman Gary Ackerman, D-NY, wrote to Hamilton to express his “deep concern and dismay” over the award to Davutoglu.
“Turkey’s foreign policy under Foreign Minister Davutoglu’s leadership is rife with illegality, irresponsibility and hypocrisy,” Ackerman wrote, citing Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide, its occupation of northern Cyprus, its vote against new Iran sanctions, and its ongoing “demonizing” of Israel as exhibited in its latest form during the flotilla crisis.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, called recent actions by Turkey “disgraceful.”
The Wilson center was created in 1968 by an act of Congress as a private/public partnership, and U.S. taxpayers contribute about a third of its annual budget.
In a statement, the Wilson Center explained, “Awardees are not chosen for their political views ... and we do not endorse the views of Woodrow Wilson Awardees on specific issues.”
ORGANIZERS OF LEBANESE FLOTILLA PLANNED TO SAIL SOON FOR GAZA “HAVE TIES TO HIZBULLAH”
The organizers of a new flotilla that is planning to set sail soon from Lebanon to Gaza has ties to Hizbullah and to those involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, according to this report:
Tom Gross adds: The Lebanese government said yesterday that it will not allow the flotilla to embark for Gaza. The Lebanese Labor Minister reiterated that “Lebanese law requires official permit for every ship leaving Lebanese ports.”
THE USEFUL INFIDELS (GERMAN BRANCH)
Those on the previous Turkish flotilla have ties to Milli Gorus (Islamist nationalists) and BBP (Turkish nationalist extremists) according to this German TV report from ARD, the respected German public broadcaster. Among other things, the BBP are wanted for the murder of a Christian Armenian journalist.
ARD questions why German “peace activists” aligned themselves with Islamist extremists.
(You will almost certainly never see this kind of report on the British, French or American public broadcasters.)
These German “peace activists” (in the communist era Lenin would have referred to them as “useful idiots” – today we might call them “useful infidels”) aboard the Mavi Marmari claim not to have noticed the 400 Islamic radicals, who held battle rallies like this the day before their clash with Israelis. See video below.
NEW VIDEO: THE BRIEFING GIVEN TO THE “PEACE ACTIVISTS” THE DAY BEFORE THEY FOUGHT ISRAELIS
Please see this newly-released video footage, taken on board the Mavi Marmari on May 30, 2010, in which IHH leader Bulent Yildirim clearly instructs his followers to throw any Israelis overboard. His speech was made in Turkish and repeated in Arabic by a translator.
CASUALTIES ON BOARD THE MAVI MARMARA NOW CONCLUSIVELY IDENTIFIED AS ISLAMIST RADICALS
Almost all of the casualties on board the Mavi Marmara have now been identified as members of Turkish Islamist organizations, and about half of those killed had publically declared their wish to die as “martyrs,” according to new findings by the well-connected and reliable Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (the director and staff of which subscribe to this email list). You can read their new report here.
Here are pictures of the expired medical supplies the Turks were attempting to bring to Gaza.
The population of Gaza has plenty of medical supplies, given to them by Israel (and which helps to explain the above average heath enjoyed by the population of Gaza compared to the rest of the Arab world) – supplies which have not expired.
There is nothing humanitarian about the activists trying to smuggle expired medicine, which is course can be dangerous to one’s health if used, into Gaza.
THE THREE TENORS (OR THE THREE TERRORS)
Below is a new satirical video, featuring the leaders of Turkey, Syria and Iran (Erdogan, Assad and Ahmadinejad), that you may find amusing. It was made by Latma, which is headed by Caroline Glick, a subscriber to this email list, and who previously produced the highly popular “We Can the World” video:
I attach a piece below by Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and one of the leading African-American intellectuals of our age.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]
ISRAEL AND THE SURRENDER OF THE WEST
Israel and the Surrender of the West
One of the world’s oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
By Shelby Steele
The Wall Street Journal
June 21, 2010
The most interesting voice in all the fallout surrounding the Gaza flotilla incident is that sanctimonious and meddling voice known as “world opinion.” At every turn “world opinion,” like a school marm, takes offense and condemns Israel for yet another infraction of the world’s moral sensibility. And this voice has achieved an international political legitimacy so that even the silliest condemnation of Israel is an opportunity for self-congratulation.
Rock bands now find moral imprimatur in canceling their summer tour stops in Israel (Elvis Costello, the Pixies, the Gorillaz, the Klaxons). A demonstrator at an anti-Israel rally in New York carries a sign depicting the skull and crossbones drawn over the word “ Israel .” White House correspondent Helen Thomas, in one of the ugliest incarnations of this voice, calls on Jews to move back to Poland . And of course the United Nations and other international organizations smugly pass one condemnatory resolution after another against Israel while the Obama administration either joins in or demurs with a wink.
This is something new in the world, this almost complete segregation of Israel in the community of nations. And if Helen Thomas’s remarks were pathetic and ugly, didn’t they also point to the end game of this isolation effort: the nullification of Israel ‘s legitimacy as a nation? There is a chilling familiarity in all this. One of the world’s oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
“World opinion” labors mightily to make Israel look like South Africa looked in its apartheid era – a nation beyond the moral pale. And it projects onto Israel the same sin that made apartheid South Africa so untouchable: white supremacy. Somehow “world opinion” has moved away from the old 20th century view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a complicated territorial dispute between two long-suffering peoples. Today the world puts its thumb on the scale for the Palestinians by demonizing the stronger and whiter Israel as essentially a colonial power committed to the “occupation” of a beleaguered Third World people.
This is now – figuratively in some quarters and literally in others – the moral template through which Israel is seen. It doesn’t matter that much of the world may actually know better. This template has become propriety itself, a form of good manners, a political correctness. Thus it is good manners to be outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza, and it is bad manners to be outraged at Hamas’s recent attack on a school because it educated girls, or at the thousands of rockets Hamas has fired into Israeli towns – or even at the fact that Hamas is armed and funded by Iran. The world wants independent investigations of Israel , not of Hamas.
One reason for this is that the entire Western world has suffered from a deficit of moral authority for decades now. Today we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past – racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on.
When the Israeli commandos boarded that last boat in the flotilla and, after being attacked with metal rods, killed nine of their attackers, they were acting in a world without the moral authority to give them the benefit of the doubt. By appearances they were shock troopers from a largely white First World nation willing to slaughter even “peace activists” in order to enforce a blockade against the impoverished brown people of Gaza . Thus the irony: In the eyes of a morally compromised Western world, the Israelis looked like the Gestapo.
This, of course, is not the reality of modern Israel . Israel does not seek to oppress or occupy – and certainly not to annihilate – the Palestinians in the pursuit of some atavistic Jewish supremacy. But the merest echo of the shameful Western past is enough to chill support for Israel in the West.
The West also lacks the self-assurance to see the Palestinians accurately. Here again it is safer in the white West to see the Palestinians as they advertise themselves – as an “occupied” people denied sovereignty and simple human dignity by a white Western colonizer. The West is simply too vulnerable to the racist stigma to object to this “neo-colonial” characterization.
Our problem in the West is understandable. We don’t want to lose more moral authority than we already have. So we choose not to see certain things that are right in front of us. For example, we ignore that the Palestinians – and for that matter much of the Middle East – are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want – a sovereign nation and even, let’s say, a nuclear weapon – they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority. For better or for worse, modernity is now the measure of man.
And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity – no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority, while my enemy’s wealth proves his inhumanity.
In other words, my hatred is my self-esteem. This must have much to do with why Yasser Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s famous Camp David offer of 2000 in which Israel offered more than 90% of what the Palestinians had demanded. To have accepted that offer would have been to forgo hatred as consolation and meaning. Thus it would have plunged the Palestinians – and by implication the broader Muslim world – into a confrontation with their inferiority relative to modernity. Arafat knew that without the Jews to hate an all-defining cohesion would leave the Muslim world. So he said no to peace.
And this recalcitrance in the Muslim world, this attraction to the consolations of hatred, is one of the world’s great problems today – whether in the suburbs of Paris and London , or in Kabul and Karachi , or in Queens , N.Y. , and Gaza . The fervor for hatred as deliverance may not define the Muslim world, but it has become a drug that consoles elements of that world in the larger competition with the West. This is the problem we in the West have no easy solution to, and we scapegoat Israel – admonish it to behave better – so as not to feel helpless. We see our own vulnerability there.