Netanyahu is well aware that the UN is not about to jump into action. The last time the UN jumped into action was when it was essentially run by NATO members. And that's no coincidence. Instead Netanyahu has attempted to provide cover for future Israeli action by demonstrating the UN's uselessness, much as Bush and Powell went through the motions at the UN before launching Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The UN is a forum, not a force. Netanyahu understands that, and his speech set up the moral high ground for Israel to take unilateral action against Iran.
While I'm not pleased with some of the concessions Netanyahu made in his speech, it was an essentially strong showing that demonstrated once again that Israel is open to peace, and by contrast that its enemies are not.
Shirat Devorah has the full text of Netanyahu's speech for those who would rather not watch the video
Various commentators have unloaded their own views. At the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick writes of An Enfeebled Obama
The fact of the matter is that Brzezinski's view is in line with the general disposition of Obama's foreign policy. Since entering office, Obama has struck a hard-line position against Israel while adopting a soft, even apologetic line toward Iran and its allies.
For eight months, Obama has sought to force Israel to the wall. He has loudly and repeatedly ordered the Netanyahu government to prevent all private and public construction for Jews in Israel's capital city and its heartland in order to facilitate the eventual mass expulsion of Jews from both areas, which he believes ought to become part of a Jew-free Palestinian state.
In the meantime, in his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday and in his remarks at his meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas on Tuesday, Obama made clear that, in the words of former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, he has "put Israel on the chopping block." He referred to Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines as "illegitimate."
Moreover, Obama explained that Israel can no longer expect US support for its security if it doesn't bow to his demand that it surrender all of the land it has controlled since 1967.
Apparently it is immaterial to the US leader that if Israel fulfilled his demand, the Jewish state would render itself defenseless against enemy attack and so embolden its neighbors to invade. That is, it matters not to Obama that were Israel to fulfill his demand, the prospect of an Arab war against Israel would rise steeply. The fact that Obama made these deeply antagonistic statements about Israel at the UN in itself exposes his hostility toward the country. The UN's institutional hostility toward Israel is surpassed only by that of the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Obama's failures in both foreign and domestic policy have weakened him politically. His response to this newfound weakness has been to put himself into the public eye seemingly around the clock. Apparently the thinking behind the move is that while Obama's policies are unpopular, Obama's personal popularity remains high, so if he personalizes his policies, it will become more difficult for his opponents to argue against them.
But alas, this policy too has failed. The more Obama exposes himself, the less he is able to leverage his personal celebrity into political power.
The question for the US's spurned allies in general - and for Israel in particular - is whether we are better off with a politically strong Obama or a politically weak Obama. Given that the general thrust of his foreign policy is detrimental to our interests, America's allies are best served by a weak Obama. Already this week Israel benefitted from his weakness. It was Obama's weakness that dictated his need to stage a photo-op with Netanyahu and Abbas at the UN. And it was this need - to be seen as doing something productive - that outweighed Obama's desire to put the screws on Israel by preconditioning talks with a freeze on Jewish construction. So Obama was forced to relent at least temporarily and Netanyahu won his first round against Obama.
These are key excerpts, but the entire article is certainly worth reading.
Muslims Against Sharia has the Hamas rebuttal
At IsraPundit, Ted Belman describes what he sees as The Master Plan
The best way for Britain to gain control of Palestine was to act ostensibly on behalf of the Jews. This was born out in the Balfour Declaration in 1917 in which the British Government backed the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, mind you, not Palestine as the Jewish homeland. Britain would have Palestine and the Jews would have a homeland in it. Britain had no fears that too many Jews would want to come. Afterall they were not pioneers and certainly not fighters. The blueprint evolved: the Arabs when required would “revolt” against the “foreign invasion”; the Jews would be forever a threatened minority. Thus Britain would be called upon to maintain the peace. Unfortunately for them, as Robbie Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,”
Throughout the twenties and thirties the British encouraged the Arabs to “revolt”. But because of the Holocaust, the Jews kept coming. Britain in order not to lose control had to limit their entry. Thus the Peel Commission in the late thirties recommended in a White Paper that only 75,000 Jews more, be allowed into Palestine by 1944. The Jews had to be kept to a minority at all costs. In fact Hitler’s Final Solution played into their hands as there would be less Jews left to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel. The British spin machine went into overdrive and overtime. “Afterall, couldn’t let German spies into Palestine, could we.”
The US is now the big power in the ME and she is following Britain’s Master Plan. The US wants Israel to be shrunk but not exterminated.[See The conspiracy to Shrink Israel] Thus the US will be needed to protect them. To this end she trains Fatah and keeps Hamas alive. The Saudis also depend on them for protection.
The US uses the same technique. In response to the Second Intifada after the failure of Camp David, the US sent Sen. Mitchell to Israel to investigate the violence, and wouldn’t you know it, he recommended a settlement freeze just as the Peel Commission recommended an immigration freeze. In both cases, Jewish rights were restricted as a result of Arab violence.
The United Nations does the same thing. As a result of Hamas rocket violence and Israeli self-defense, the UN appointed Goldstone to head a commission of enquiry. The Goldstone Report did what it was expected to do, namely, recommended Israel be tried for war crimes and perhaps crimes against humanity.
Israel Matzav has bitter reaction from Israel's left to Netanyahu's speech
You see, Barack Obama and the Arab world aren't the only ones who believe that theHolocaust is the only justification for the State of Israel's existence: So does Israel's religion rejecting Left. In the minds of Levy and his colleagues on the Left, if only Israel would forget about the Holocaust, it would be able to give the entire country away to the 'Palestinians,' peace would magically break out and the wolves and the sheep would lay down together.
That's why Levy is horrified that Binyamin Netanyahu reminded the world again that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between 1939-45. That reminder may produce international sympathy for an Israeli position that is less generous than committing national suicide. And that's the last thing Levy wants to see happen.
Gideon Levy is a bitter man because his vision for a secular, 'humanitarian' state of all its citizens is losing out to a vision of a Jewish state that is much closer to what Israel's founders originally envisioned. Levy's friends the 'Palestinians' bear much of the blame for his vision's rejection. But like much of the world, for Levy and the bitter Israeli Left, the 'Palestinians' can do no wrong.
The Muqata blog has a focused take on both Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad's appearances
Oh My Valve who has been sharply critical of Netanyahu gives him some praises
In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Bibi Netanyahu stood up and defended Israel, and the Jewish people against the racism of the Iranian Theocracy, and the racism of the UN. He shamed the worthless sons of bitches in that worthless piece of crap building that houses that worthless piece of crap organization which watches silently while we are murdered by rockets and homicide bombs; while genocide is committed in Darfur, and then condemns us for fighting back against those that have sworn to enact and execute our destruction.
Beyond Israel, Atlas Shrugs has a look at the Islamic day of DC Colonization in photos.
Iran's second nuclear facility has come to light, at Gateway Pundit
Jonah Goldberg remembers Irving Kristol.
“I am so nostalgic.” That’s the phrase I associate most with Irving Kristol, who died last week at the age of 89.
What piqued Irving’s nostalgia, at an American Enterprise Institute conference I worked on in 1992, was old-fashioned censorship. In the good old days, he explained, local communities were able to determine their own standards without inviting lawsuits from the ACLU and overwrought invocations of “Fahrenheit 451.” In fact, hanging a “Banned in Boston” banner in a bookstore window, he explained, was the surest way to sell that book in New York. Local censorship, tethered to common sense and grounded in community norms, gave communities a say in how they would live. It made the world a more diverse, sane place.
“Though they continue to speak the language of Progressive reform,” Kristol wrote, “in actuality they are acting upon a hidden agenda: to propel the nation … toward an economic system so stringently regulated in detail as to fulfill many of the traditional anti-capitalist aspirations of the Left.”
It's unfortunate that too few have remember Kristol, in contrast to the outpouring of grief for Bob Novak. HotAir, which ran not one but two pieces by Robert Stacy McCain in defense of Novak, did not bother to note Kristol's passing. I guess a pro-terrorist 9/11 Truther who obsessively hated Jews and Israel trumps a man who genuinely made a difference.
Show me the values, and I'll show you the man.
Jack Kemp in American Thinker puts brother's keeper' issues in a new light
After hearing Obama state at the U. N. that Israel's settlements are not legitimate, I believe the time has come for Israel to call out Obama's worldview versus theirs.
We know that Obama's step brother lives in a hut in Kenya on ten dollars a year.
In reply to the Biblical question "Am I my Brother's Keeper?",
I propose that the Israeli government offer to move George Obama from his Kenyan hut to a newly constructed settlement building in Judea or Samaria and give him a job. Whether George will accept this offer is debatable, but the offer should be made, nonetheless.
It is time to let the world see the contrast between Barack Obama's values and those of the Bible and the State of Israel.
Indeed. After all Israel took in Vietnamese boat people and today takes in Sudanese refugees, both from wars Israel has not at all been involved in.
Sherik Yermani at Winds of Jihad takes CNN to task for again covering up the religion of terror. It's interesting how hard it is to get the media to use the M word, for Muslim. By contrast we had numerous articles on Madoff's Jewishness and a priest who's investigated for child abuse has his religion put front and center, even though in neither case was religion the motivation, but the media can't point out the religion of an Islamically motivated terrorists.
At Soccer Dad, the Watcher's Council appears to have its results in, with my article as the second highest non-council submission, though of course who could top Big Government's Acorn takedown.
The council has spoken, again.
This week's winning entry was Bookworm Room's Liberals are correct: I have a serious problem with Obama's color, but it's his political color. This week's runners up were Mrs. Rhymes With Right's A Reflection On The First Anniversary Of Hurricane Ike, which isn't as well remembered as Hurricane Katrina and The Razor's Why Obama Ignores the War in Afghanistan, which struck me as being rather similar in theme to the winning entry.
On the non-council side the winning entry was Big Government's big splash Chaos for Glory: My Time With ACORN which drove a lot of the news this week. The runner up was the politically incorrect (though, I think, strategically correct Sultan Knish'sThe Future of the War on Terror, is the War on Islam.
Last week's winners are here.
I'm proud to announce that my take on the Goldstone Commission based on the UN's history, Verdict first; investigation afterwards was the winning entry. Thank you for the votes. The runner up last week was The Glittering Eye's Keep Faith With the Promise a fine rebuttal (of a sort) to the President's message to American students.
The winning non-council post was Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate / WSJ's How a Detainee Became An Asset. Said detainee was KSM. The non-council runner up was Villainous Company's Own It, Mr. Secretary on the unconscionable decision to publish the picture of a dying soldier.
Congratulations to all the winners!
From Earl at Another Pundit, Michael Barone's excellent article pointing out Obama's temporal disability
In the early 1980s, while planning a vacation in Latin America, I went to bookstores to look for histories of the region. All I could find were Marxist tracts arguing that "the people" were exploited by greedy corporations and military dictators, all propped up by the United States.
Available literature on Latin America today includes much more sensible accounts. But some people, including Barack Obama, whose college thesis written in those years has never been made public, seem stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy.
That, at least, seems to explain Obama's latest foreign policy moves, starting with Honduras, where the president was ousted by the country's supreme court for violating a constitutional provision that forbids any moves to seek a second term. (Other Latin countries, notably Mexico, have similar constitutional prohibitions.)
Today I appeared on The Gathering Storm at BlogTalk radio. Thank you to my hosts, please stop by their respective blogs, The Gathering Storm and Always on Watch. You can listen to the entire show here.
Finally with Yom Kippur coming up, an old Spengler article, It's Easy for the Jews To Talk About Life
What makes the Jews different is their unique belief that the Covenant gives them eternal life, a belief grounded, to be sure, by thousands of years of history, and survival against all odds against the depredations of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Alexandrine and Roman empires, not to mention more recent unpleasantness. It is not changing the baby's diapers or changing grandma's bedpan to which the Jews refer when they speak of delight in life, but rather the idealized, perpetual life of a kinship community.
From an old article of mine on Jewish chaplains in the US military
At the Yokosuka Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, chaplains will be specifically flown in to hold Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services. In South Korea, where American troops help democratic Korea hold the line against the forces of Kim Jong Il's Communist dictatorship, Jewish soldiers from all across the Korean pennisula will be gathering in Seoul for prayers under Chaplain Avrohom Horovitz.
The matter is not as simple as it sounds. Jewish chaplains have been wounded in the Korean war, though none fatally. Al Jolson, born Asa Joelson in Lithuanaia, son of a cantor who became a famous Jewish entertainer in America, starring in numerous shows, musicals and even movies including most famously the Jazz Singer. During the Korean War, he traveled against the advice of his doctors to entertain American Troops there. He spent months there entertaining the troops and continued on even though he developed a bronchial infection of which he finally died. And the lights of broadway were dimmed for ten minutes to mark his passing.
There is a famous story told about a Jewish soldier on Yom Kippur during the Korean war. A Jewish Marine corporal named Abraham Geller was engaged in combat at the Seoul-Kaesong road and under fire by snipers. It was Yom Kippur and difficult as it was to pray under those circumstances, Abraham Geller did his best. After encountering a company of North Korean soldiers near Seoul, Corporal Abraham Geller saved his Captain's life and took a bullet meant for him. The bullet penetrated his abdomen and several loops of his intestines. It would under ordinary circumstances have caused peronitis as the contents of the intestines would have spilled out into the body which would have been fatal, but according to the military surgeons, what saved Geller's life; was that there was no food at all in his stomach.