Tag Archives: War

HOW’S EGYPT COMING ALONG?

The media has not said much about the “Arab Spring” lately. Could be that
summer’s coming and the world is waiting for hot news to explode from Iran. Whatever.

During the lull, we should take a look at Egypt and see what’s unfolding. All is not quiet on the Western front!

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political gains have provided a worrisome trend
that could be a factor in causing more instability in the Persian Gulf region. Unending demonstrations in Egypt remain a factor in creating unrest. Recently, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador and shut down their diplomatic mission because of protests over the detention of an Egyptian lawyer. The Saudi’s position was that the lawyer was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs. Street protestors in Egypt disagreed and started demonstrations that threatened Saudi staff member.

The incident doesn’t amount to much but demonstrates the unsettledness that still
has a major impact on Egyptian affairs. Moslems continue to dominate; Copic Christians remain frightened. A state of conflict between the emerging culture and what had existed under Mubarak continues. In the midst of this turmoil, Egyptians will have a national election on May 23.

How’s that in a country that has virtually never embraced democracy?

The Egyptian man-on-the-street isn’t sure what to think. Former government
officials have faced off against newcomers in a battle over who wasn’t Mubarak’s big
buddy. Until the upheaval, the ruler of the country sat in an exceptionally high place
overseeing the state and politics. Mubarak and Sadat before him were like pharaohs
embodying divine and earthly rule. A ruler’s health and wealth could not even be
examined in the press. One journalist who tried to approach Mubarak about his wealth ended up in jail for even speculating about it. Today the candidates take jabs at each other about every possible subject. The debate leaves people confused. Political respectability is going down the drain.

The citizens have never seen such attacks and don’t know how to respond.

The presidential race has turned into turmoil and confusion. As two of the prominent candidates debated, a simple question revealed the new landscape in Egypt. A moderator asked about the health condition and wealth of each man. Probably having a clue about what was coming, Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh presented a copy of his medical records, revealing slight blood pressure and diabetes. Arm Moussa wasn’t as well prepared and claimed the entire issue was a smoke screen. And so the debate goes on with the audience mystified by such personal attacks and candor from their potential leader.

What will May 23 bring? A startled electorate certainly will not be electing
another pharaoh. Possibly the question of reopening the peace treaty with Israel will be somewhere in the mix. Egypt’s ruling military generals probably remain as concerned as any group in the country. The crisis from a year and a half ago may have eased some, but the revolution is far from over.

Keep your eye on Egypt. How the country votes may yet prove to be a
telling omen of what the Arab Spring now means.

Question : Do you think Egypt will come out of this chaos a stronger country?
Could we be entering another stage of confusion? Is there any light at the end of the
tunnel?

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ANOTHER LOOK AT THE INTELLIGENCE PROBLEM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

ANOTHER LOOK AT THE INTELLIGENCE PROBLEM
AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Syria claimed to accept the cease-fire agreement proposed by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, but the guns never stopped roaring. Assad said one thing to Kofi Annan, and another to his troops. “Okay,” to Kofi. “Sick ‘em” to the army. In response, Prince Saud al-Faisal called for the arming of the rebels and saw doing so to be “a duty.” Speaking for the opposition, Lt. Col. Qassim Saad al-Din indicated he wanted the truce, but the government continued to keep tanks and troops in the villages. For the freedom fighters to stop under these conditions would be a slaughter. Shouldn’t the world have known that Assad would not stop? Well, yes and no. No, if we base decisions on his previous behavior. Possibly yes, if we were aiming at insider information for his defense leaders. In an earlier blog, I noted that spying on Iran is tougher than ferreting information out of North Korea. Spying hasn’t proved easy in Syria. Why hasn’t the intelligence gathering been better? There are larger reasons for American reluctance.

A recent front page story from The New York Times noted that the ghosts of Iraq hang heavy around the CIA. Months after the war began, one of the CIA analysts had an emotional breakdown because he realized that he had misguided the Bush administration. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! The fear that the intelligence community might get it wrong again continues to spook current analysts and advisers. As shouts for military intervention increase, the Central Intelligence Agency knows that its credibility is on the line. They can not afford to be wrong again.

Charges are being made against the American spy system that range from sloppy work to reluctance to being blamed for sending the country down a dead end street again. Former agents point to murky information that is difficult to always understand. Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst on the Middle East, warns of overcompensation for past errors. At the same time, other authorities recognize that there are gaps in what we know. One of the previous problems was former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s frequent visits to CIA headquarters pressuring officials to document his concerns just before the Iraq war began. On the other hand, conversatives now claim the Obama administration may be doing the same thing. When there is top down pressure on intelligence gathering, the results have to become warped. One conservative critque accused the CIA of superficial information gathering in order to influence the coming election and political Thomas Fingar, former chairman of the National Ingelligence Council, added a thoughtful note. “Learning from past mistakes is imperative. Worrying about them is

As I try to pull together past mistakes and current concerns, I conclude its imperative to keep politics out of intelligence gathering. Keep the politicians of both parties up on Capital Hill and let the spies do their work in the dark. We don’t need politicians in the kitchen stirring the soup. As we attempt to discover what Assad’s next moves will be in this bloody campaign, let’s hope poor judgments about Iraq aren’t contaminating precise insights about the current Middle East situation.

Question: Can Americans trust the CIA if politicans continue to influence decisions? Do
we need a new approach to intelligence gathering?

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WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SUNNIS AND SHIˇITES?

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SUNNIS AND SHIˇITES?

Sunni Muslim rulers shunned an Arab League summit held in late March. The

meeting ended with a joint call on President Bashar Assad to stop his bloody crackdown

on Syrian citizens. Unfortunately, an important element didn’t show up. Shi˜ites weren’t

there. Having watched this tension within the Muslim world for years, I still find myself

baffled by how passionate these divisions are in Islam.

Following the completion of America’s war and withdrawal from Iraq, the on-

going bombings made it clear that Sunnis and Shi˘ites have big problems riding in the

same boat. During the so-called Arab Spring, the relationship between these two

fundamental Islamic sects has not improved. To put the struggle in a Western context,

the situation is like the Baptist shooting at the Methodist because they don’t practice

immersion. (And that’s with bombs and AK-17 rifles.)

How can the two major Islamic groups have such a hate for each other? Few

Westerners actually understand the differences. Here’s the inside scoop.

Sunnis constitute 84% to 90% of the Muslim population while Shi˚ites sweep up

most of the rest. The Shi˜ite name literally means “party” or the party of Ali, the younger

cousin of Muhammad who grew up in the prophet’s home and married his daughter

Fatima. The basic Shi˘ite principal is that the head of the Muslim community must be a

descendent of Muhammad. Ali carried the Muslim flag when Islam captured Mecca in

630 A.D. and came out a hero. Long dead Ali is the central figure in this dispute.

The first three caliphs of the Moslem era weren’t of this linage and are considered

illegimate rulers by Shi˘ites, believing God imposed the years of corrupt rule to separate

true believers from hyprocrites. This conviction sets the stage for the ongoing strife and

struggle with the Sunnis.

The population of Iran contains the extremists Shiˇa element while next door

neighbor Saudi Arabia, once allied with Egypt, supports the Sunnis. The fall of Hosni

Mubarak has thrown these struggles into a turmoil, further pitting Sunnis and Shiˇa

against each other. In Iraq, as refugees returned home following the war, the tension runs

high with neither side trusting the other. Consequently, as the Americans left, the old

tensions between these groups returned, but with even greater suspicion and anomisity.

The differences between these groups are complex, but the basic apprehension is

that Sunnis will impose Islamic law and Shi’ites fear they will be required to follow

Sunni law. Sunni’s are highly offended because Shi˜ite ritual still curses the first three

caliphs. In addition, Sunni’s accuse the other group of hypocrisy and immorality because

of their practice of dissimulation and acceptance of temporary marriage.

Sound strange that two Muslim groups could still be at war with each other over

events that stretch back 1500 years? Westerners shake their heads and can’t decipher the

facts. With our separation of religion from government, Americans find Moslem hostility

toward each other to be strange, foreboding, and hostile.

Back to the recent Arab summit. The cold shoulder from Sunni-led monarchies

only re-enforced Shit˘ite suspicions. Iraq’s Shi˘ite leadership and Iran’s identical position

keep them on the outside of Arab League gatherings.

Make sense? Well, not really, but that’s the role Islam plays in the Middle East

and it won’t be changing anytime soon.

Question: Can you see any basis for reconciliation between these two groups? Will they
ever trust Americans when they don’t trust each other?

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GUESS WHO’S FIXING SUPPER FOR SYRIA

 

Who has been Syria’s constant target? Or go back a few decades. Who did Syria attack without provocation or warning? You got it.

Israel.

With that bit of history in mind, you might be surprised to learn that on March 4, Israel offered humanitarian aid to Syria through the International Red Cross. Can you beat that?

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman reasoned that the Jewish state couldn’t watch atrocities occurring in a neighboring nation and do nothing. He saw the problem as a humanitarian crisis, not a political issue.

Israel?

“We are human beings first, before we are politicians, leaders, commentators and jouirnalists,” Liberman said. “The pictures are more shocking than Hollywood horror movies.”

Liberman instructed Evyatar Manor, his deputy director-general to contact the Red Cross and offer services. Unfortunately, Syrian ground forces barred entry into to city of Homs, but who offered?

Israel!

Of course.

While it doesn’t get headlines from the media, the nation of Israel has always functioned according to the Torah. The salute is always “L’chayim”! To life! Jews support the sacredness of life and preserving human lives.

Unfortunately, the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad doesn’t.

Remember this story the next time you hear a discrediting story about Israel.

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WHY CAN’T WE GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER ON IRAN?

WHY CAN’T WE GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER ON IRAN?

Israel says one thing; American says another.

Netanyahu says go; Obama says wait.

Why the disconnect?

In 2010, a crisis erupted in America’s intelligence gathering community. Sixteen different agencies struggled to decide if the Iranians were in a crash program to develop nuclear explosives. The opinions were far from unanimous. In the end, many within this select and clandestine group concluded Iran might not have decided to pursue such a weapon yet.

These assessments certainly face a new pressure. During the Bush years, the United States badly mis-assessed Iraq’s race for nuclear weaponry. With a grinding of the teeth, officials of Bush’s administration now admit they were wrong. In spite of loud mouthed radio commentators, no missiles were found in the desert sands. Consequently, the current administration is reading and re-reading reports carefully.

However, there is another factor in this equation that makes the matter even more difficult. Accurate intelligence on Iran is harder to gather than was the case in Iraq.  A senior intelligence official recently stated it is even more difficult that it is with North Korea.

Why?

It is highly difficult to determine who speaks authoritatively on what. Serious divisions of opinion exist within Iran. While they all hate America and Israel (because we live in the 21st century while Iran is stuck in the 6th), the country has deep divisions. Several years ago, I was in Damascus, Syria when a group of tourist from Iran came through. Thinking I was a Canadian, a couple sat down to talk. with me. I discovered that they were trying to immigrate to Canada as they feared what was ahead for Iran. The couple whispered that they believed “craziness” ran the country. I hope they were able to get out.

We do know Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains Iran’s supreme leader and is more rigid than President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, both are extremist. On the other hand, some estimates say that 80% of the country are opposed to these rulers. With their economy headed toward the bottom and international sanctions piling up, many predict it is only a matter of time before Tehran’s theocratic regime is pushed out of office.

No one can tell how accurate these reports are, but they do reflect highly significant divisions within the country. Actually, Iran is a weak and vulnerable country. Their recent decisions have made them increasingly isolated.  Of course, no one wants the military option. The problem is that a small group in that country do.

In the vacuum of solid information, it appears the Ayatollah holds the trump card. Would he play it? The Iranian couple I met in Damascus believe he would.

One of the great strengths of American life and politics is the recognition of the country’s founders that church and government must not mix. The shadow of the Ayatollah reminds us of how deadly religion can be when stirred up as a position in politics.

Back to where we started. America and Israel aren’t really that far apart. Mossad leaders tilt toward more aggressive action because of the existential threat to the Jewish state. Making sure of the facts concerning Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons remains the unresolved issue

Question:

What’s your guess? Do you think Iran is hotly pursuing a nuclear weapon?

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CHILDREN DYING IN SYRIA

CHILDREN DYING IN SYRIA

 

In a recent blog, I reported evidence that confirms Iran has troops in Syria combating the uprising of local citizens. Verification came to me through a local citizen who worked with refugees fleeing the country. During the indiscriminate bombing of the town of Homs, the Local Coordination Committee stated that 45 were killed with children found among the dead. Pictures have been posted online by activitist showing the bodies of five terribly disfigured children. It would appear they were struck by weapons or sharp objects.

One of the ironies of this situation is that the wife of Bashar Assad came from Homs. Often touted as a fashion diva wearing the finest from Paris, she looks far more like a Westerner. Forget the burka that most Syrian women wear. Her city of origin did nothing to bring any mercy to the shelled city. Homs has  been the hardest hit city since the violence erupted a year ago. Several areas of the city that had been controlled by the rebels have now fallen and been recovered by government troops.

The government’s response to these children’s death is to publically claim that the killings in Homs are the result of “armed terrorists” haunting the streets. The yearlong uprising against Assad is attributed to this same element. Of course, the government controlled media never reports on the true situation among the resistance.

Information has also been declared by the Britain-based group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights who claimed that “shabiha” gunmen took part in the killings. The shabiha element does the government’s biding and have played a major role in attempting to stop the uprising.

Back at the United Nations, the Secretary-General appealed to a divided Security Council, pleading for them to speak in a unified voice and call on Syria to halt the bloodshed. Both Washington and Moscow agreed fighting should stop, but differed radically on how it should occur. Moscow continued to oppose any intervention which would stop the Syrian governments continuing the killing. Outraged activists had already held a candlelight vigil outside the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv, protesting Russia’s action during this crisis.

Even with the blood of children on their hands, the Assad govenment continues to plow ahead regardless of the cost. They seem to be unmoved by the tragic deaths.

A number of years ago, I was among the first responders when the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed in what was then the largest terrorist attack on American soil in national in our national history. I stood in the rubble while bodies were carried out and later assisted when the victims were relocated in a nearby church foyer. Among the dead were a number of children who had been playing in the building’s child care center moments before the explosion. I will never be able to remove this scene from my memory. The images continue to haunt me. Nothing conveys the horror of war like the death of a child.

Apparently, Bashar Assad isn’t move by such apparitions.

 

Questions

Should the deaths of children affect American response to this crisis?  Can the world turn its back on the Syrian crisis?

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UPDATE ON ISRAEL’S VULNERABILITY

UPDATE ON ISRAEL’S VULNERABILITY

 

Not long ago I was in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Sometimes identified as the sight of the great battle of Armageddon, the peaceful, rolling green pastures look like a gentle farming area. Not far away is the Meggido Pass which holds some of the most ancient ruins in Israel because Meggido had always been a major crossroads in journeying from Egypt to the Fertile Crescent. A fascinating vacation area. Not so!

Hidden within those hills is Ramat David Air Force Base housing F-16 fighter jets that come roaring out every few hours to patrol the skies. Jets are scrambled daily to intercept civilian aircraft failing to respond to Israel’s air traffic control demands and thus prevent a 9/11 disaster in Israel. Because of this strategic location, Ramat David would be a prime target for Syria or Hezbollah in a future war. Currently, Syria remains bogged down in what amounts to a civil war so I’m sure the base is not a primary interest for the Al-Assah regime. However, an assault would probably come from another direction.

When (assuming Iran remains intransigent) Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ramat David would probably be the point of departure should the attack on Iran come from the sky. In a mission of considerable distance, saving every drop of fuel would be paramount. Ramat David’s location in the far north provides that advantage. But can they accomplish the goal of knocking our Iran’s program? The answer depends on who you listen to.

Three recent chiefs of staff includind Dan Halutz, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Benny Gantz believe Israel can knock out some of Iran’s facilities, but not destroy their program because Iran has already mastered the technology to build a bomb. A strike on buildings, storage tanks, etc., would be feasible but difficult. To avoid what happened to Syria and Iraq, Iran has built their facilities across a wide area, making one strike impossible to stop the program. Still, knocking out the facilities at Natanz, Arak, and Isfahan would deal a serious blow to Iran’s attempt to create nuclear weapons.

The hidden joker in the deck may yet prove to be Israel’s three Dolphin-class German-made submarines which can carry large warheads. These vessels might be capable of carrying nuclear-armed Popeye Tubo cruise missiles. If I was sitting in the driver’s seat in Iran, I’d be giving more than a second-thought to what this backdoor approach could accomplish if provoked.

Probably, the most important element in this situation is the unequivocal support President Obama gave publically to Israel in exchange for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to give more time for sanctions to work. Mr. Obama gave Israel the green light that the USA will stop Iran at all costs, including use of military force.

I conclude that Israel’s front and back doors are covered. While President Obama has not been trusted by Israelis for some time, this recent confirmation that America stands behind Israel reshuffles the cards.

Israel is secure; Iran is not.

The mullahs better give the situation a great deal more scrutiny. My bet? They won’t.

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UPDATE ON ISRAEL: GUARD DOGS ON ALERT

UPDATE ON ISRAEL:

GUARD DOGS ON ALERT

 

As the week of March 5 began, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee brought 14,000 American Jews together to bring super-charged pressure to bear on the Obama administration and Republican hopefuls, pushing them to stop Iran’s nuclear pursuits of a bomb. Mr. Obama had Prime Minister Netanyahu waiting for him at the White House, intending to squeeze from the other side. Mr. Obama emerged from the ringer with the most forthright statement yet about the possibilities of an American attack on Iran. I listened in relief to hear President Obama made an unequivocal statement to keep Iran out of the nuclear club.

But what if Iran charges ahead and attempts to drop missiles on Israel?

Good news from the home front!

Former head of the Defense Ministry’s Home Missile Defense Agency, Arieh Herzog told The Jerusalem Post Israel’s Arrow missile defense system could intercept barrages of Iranian long-range missiles. While there is no such thing as 100% defense, Herzog believes the Arrow system is fully capable of stopping Iran’s Shahab and Sajil ballistic missiles.With 12-years on the job under his belt, Herzog knows what he’s talking about.

Currently, Israel has two operational Arrow missile batteries deployed in the north and the south of the country. A third battery is currently being installed. An Arrow 3 system is currently under development that will serve as the upper layer of Israel’s protection system. The existence of such a system gives me encouragement. Israel is prepared!

Iran has made significant advances in developing ballistic missiles that now have a range of 1,200 miles. They have also switched from liquid fuel to solid fuel which allows for storage without refueling before a launch. After purchasing BM25 long-range missiles from North Korea, Iran has gone into production of similar projectiles. It is also believed Iran is developing cruise missiles. However, Israel is also developing a sophisticated response to Iranian warheads that can split during flight designed to deceive the Arrow system, causing Israel to miss the target. However, Herzog noted Israel is developing technology to counter this threat.

If the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) should attack Iran, it is assumed that missiles could be fired from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, as well as Iran. Herzog tells us the Arrow system is prepared for this event as well as stopping Syria’s Scud C and D missiles. What can we conclude from the former Defense secretary’s statements?

1. Israel is not backing off of its stated intentions of stopping Iran’s pursuit of the      “bomb.”

2. The IDF is already at work batting down the hatches for a response to any attack.

3. Israel is in a superior position to defend itself.

Sounds like the Iranians better think twice. Maybe backing up on there nuclear program might not be such a bad idea.

Earlier, I blogged that an attack by Israel is at hand. During Mr. Obama’s closed door discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the president pressed for more time to allow sanctions to work. Rational people are praying Mr. Obama is correct. No one wants a war. However, we also do not know what actual decisions the new leaders came to during their conversations. As he returned to Israel, the Prime Minister made it clear that Israel was willing to allow more time for sanctions to work – but only a little!

 

Question

Even with a significant missile defense system, is Israel throwing the dice in attacking Iran? Could the Iran problem push the Middle East into a maelstrom of chaos?

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DUMPSTER DIVING IN SYRIA

DUMPSTER DIVING IN SYRIA

 

During the week of March 5, Senator John McCain called on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to start military action in Syria. McCain seemed irritated at Panetta’s hesitancy. However, the secretary retorted that he had to give long and careful thought to sending American military into of harm’s way. McCain retorted that what Panetta had left out of his reply was the need for America to maintain its military superiority and pre-eminence in the world. I noticed the press didn’t give much space to this two-man debate.

As I stated in beginning these blogs, I am not promoting a political point-of-view or a theological ideology. My objective is to clarify the current situation in as correct and comprehensive a light as possible. Therefore, I’m not debating whether saving lives is more important that maintaining global pre-eminence. I leave it to you sort out whether you feel McCain or Panetta were on the right track. My concern is highlighting a serious situation that continues to escalate. As noted earlier, the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the United Nations have only resulted in more deaths.

Through a personal conversation this week with a Muslim born, raised, and now living near Syria, I had the fact confirmed that Syria has called in Iranian troops that are major players in the atrocities occurring daily. Iranian soldiers have raped many Syrian women suspected as supporting the uprising. I listened to a Syrian cleric in a Friday sermon in a Mosque proclaim, “What a humiliated life a man has when his sisters are being raped and his brother oppressed and their dignity and religion is trampled over.” The clergyman was urging his hearers to rise up and not wait for NATO to protect them. His point was the audience in the mosque must assert themselves to fight against the invaders from Iran.

Well-fed Americans sitting on comfortable leather couches watching large screen televisions in climate-controlled houses have a hard time grasping the terror these good people face because they could be killed at any moment by a rocket dropping indiscriminately on their roof. Syrian government troops running down the street could kill them with mortars or automatic weapon fire while randomly targeting any house. Such is the current situation in Syria.

What should be done?

Unlike Libya, Syria has strategic importance because it sits in the midst of ethnic, religious, and regional rivalries that could turn the entire region upside down. If the Assad regime topples, it could send the entire area into a tail spin. A proxy war might pit the gulf states and Saudi Arabia against Iran. Who knows where that conflict could go?

Israelis worry while juggling their problems with Iran’s nuclear program. They must consider what a change in the leadership in the Syrian government could mean for their nation.

So, I return to Senator John McCain’s question. Is this the right time for American intervention? While I certainly have no knowledge that this assertion is true, my hunch is that the United States has already begun sending military supplies to the insurgents behind the scenes. If this is correct, we have another of those old “under the table” wars going on with the Russians.

Does that make your stomach churn? It does mine.

 

Question:

Should the United States enter the Syrian conflict? Can the world standby and allow innocent people to be killed?

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ISRAEL CAN’T WIN REGARDLESS

ISRAEL CAN’T WIN REGARDLESS

Jews know what it feels like to have the press and public opinion against them. They’ve been faced with the problem forever.

France’s Dreyfus Case in the 1890’s sent Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus to Devil’s Island to live under hellish conditions. As the evidence demonstrated, Dreyfus was not guilty although convicted . In 1896, a French solider was discovered to be the real culprit. The anti-Semitism and injustice convinced Theodor Herzel that it was time to start a Jewish state and 50 years later Israel came into being.

Nothing new for Jews. Being blamed for something they didn’t do was an old story.

I’ve been following how events are reported internationally for over 40 years. After reading stories in the American press, I would turn to the Jerusalem Post (which I read religiously every week) and find a different view. I’m not promoting an attack on the press and I remain suspicious of people who react negatively every time a story comes out that they don’t like. However, I am pointing out that there has been a consistent misrepresentation of much that has happened in Israel. Often, it turns out that some journalist needed a story for headquarters and blews an anthill into a Himalayan mountain. I’ve been in Jerusalem and observed minor demonstrations in the Temple Mount area that were later reported as if they have been catastrophic warfare. My eyes told me a different story. Often a half-truth can be more destructive than an outright lie.

Recently, Jordan’s King Abdullah II blamed Israel for the deadlocked Mideast peace process. King Abdullah said the problem was Israel’s “unilateral policies.” He forgot to mention that Yassar Arafat had walked out of talks held by President Bill Clinton because Israel had offered him more than anyone expected, but Arafat knew the war would be over and he didn’t want to stop fighting Israel. Israelis left the Gaza Strip they had taken in battle and walked away. What did this offer get them? Rockets fired daily into Israelis cities. The PLO pulled out of peace talks this Fall and went to the United Nations in an end-around attempt to gain recognition as a nation. Israel didn’t pull out of the peace talks; the Palestinians did!

Our present problem is facing up to the current critical situation as Iran continues to pursue building a nuclear arsenal. Regardless of the American government talk about pressing sanctions, Israel knows that the Obama administration will not order US forces to take military action to stop Iran’s journey down a path that will lead to catastrophe. Israel must face up to the situation alone and without American support.

Nothing new – but it is distressing to say the least.

My point? Will Rogers may only have known what he read in a newspaper, but we can’t settle for that today. I’m suggesting that you take a broader view. Look at many newspapers, including the foreign press. Turn off the politicians running for national office as they’ll say anything to get a few votes. Build up a back log of data to inform you on what is the truth. The world has come to our doorstep. We need to be ready to decipher the issues!

Question:

Is the media possibly prejudiced? How can Israel get a fair deal with the press? Do you believe everything you read in the newspapers of see on television?

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