If Israel goes down, we all go down

Hat Tip: Doris Wise Montrose
From: Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors

Anger over Gaza is a distraction.
We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region

By José María Aznar
former Spanish Prime Minister published in the British newspaper ‘The Times‘ on 17 June 2010

For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.

In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship. In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.

In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN. Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.

Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.

Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.

Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.

For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.

The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfilment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.

The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East. Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.

Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down. To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.

The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith. To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.

This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.

It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.

What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defence of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.

Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.

José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.


More Flotillas Bound for Gaza in Coming Days and Weeks

From: The Israel Project

Examples of previous Gaza-bound ships carrying weapons
Israel Continues to Transfer Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

Ships from several countries, including Iran and Lebanon, have left or are planning to leave for Hamas-controlled Gaza in defiance of an Israeli maritime blockade on that territory.

Israel considers Gaza-bound convoys a security risk because of Hamas’ ongoing efforts to smuggle Iranian rockets and other weaponry into Gaza since the Iran-backed group overthrew the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup there in 2007. Israel Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin has said that a port in Gaza would “pose a huge security threat to Israel.”

Iran arms, funds and trains Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States, Israel, Canada and Australia. Since Israel voluntarily withdrew from all of Gaza in August 2005 in hopes of paving the way for a peaceful, independent Palestinian state, Hamas has fired more than 6,500 rockets and mortars into Israel.

Reports about the new flotillas come in the aftermath of a May 31 Israeli campaign to prevent an illegal flotilla from reaching Gaza, in which nine activists – all Turks or of Turkish descent – were killed after passengers on board the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship in the convoy, attacked Israeli military personnel. Israel had ordered the vessels to dock in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod to unload the cargo for security inspections and subsequent delivery to Gaza. Despite the refusal of all six ships to detour to Ashdod, the Mavi Marmara was the only vessel where a violent confrontation took place.

Although two individuals coordinating the Lebanese convoy have denied they are receiving support from Hezbollah, another proxy of Iran, one of them has written in praise of the terrorist group’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and the other has met and thanked Nasrallah publicly. Nasrallah called for more ships to Gaza at a June 4 rally, stating that “only diplomacy which is built on strength and arms is effective.” Since the end of Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah, the terrorist group has rearmed far beyond its pre-2006 capacity.

Following are details about new ships heading for Gaza, collected from published reports as of June 16, 2010.


  • One Iranian ship left for Gaza June 12 from the Iranian port of Khorramshahr and plans to sail through Omani, Yemeni and Egyptian territorial waters before it tries to reach Gaza.
  • Two Iranian ships organized by Iran’s Society for the Defense of Palestine are scheduled to depart shortly: one ship is named Toward Gaza and will set sail from the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, while the other ship will leave from northern Iran and stop in Turkey before making its way to Gaza.
  • Despite a previous statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that it was willing to provide a naval escort to any additional aid ships wishing to reach Gaza, an IRGC commander and an official in charge of the ships both said June 14 that IRGC forces would not accompany the ships.
  • An Iranian official in charge of the convoy said those aboard the ships “are willing to become martyred in this way.”
  • Three members of the Majlis (Iran’s parliament) also intend to travel to Gaza by way of Egypt later this week.
  • An Iranian ambassador recently threatened that “if the (Zionist) entity dares to direct any aggressive attack (against the ship) then it is certain [Israel] will be met by a much stronger and firm blow.”


  • Two Lebanese organizations – Journalists without Borders and Free Palestine – are sponsoring the Naji Al Ali, with at least 50 journalists and 25 European volunteers on board, including European parliament members.
  • Palestinian businessman and Free Palestine chairman Yasser Kashlak is funding the Naj Al Ali vessel, as well as an all-women’s ship, the Mariam. Kashlak has insisted he has no connection with Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran, but in 2009 Kashlak sent a letter to Nasrallah in which he wrote, “We ask Allah to extend your life and the lives of all who support Palestine and the noble resistance.” Additionally, in a blog post, Kashlak criticized Arab governments and media for failing to embrace Nasrallah’s self-proclaimed victory in Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel.
  • Samar Hajj, who is organizing the Mariam, said the ship “has nothing to do with Hezbollah even though it is an honor for us to be supporters of the resistance.” She is the wife of Ali Hajj, a former Lebanese general imprisoned until recently for his suspected involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The couple met with Nasrallah three weeks ago to thank him for his support.
  • A U.S.-based group, the Council for the National Interest Foundation, has asked its supporters to volunteer to join the Lebanese convoy.


  • The Insani Yardim Vakfi, or “humanitarian relief fund” (IHH), the hardcore Turkish Islamist group that partly organized and funded the previous flotilla that included the Mavi Marmara, said it will send six more ships to Gaza in July. A 2006 study conducted by the Danish Institute for International Studies showed that the IHH was involved in planning an al-Qaeda attack against Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. The IHH reportedly acquired forged documents, enlisted operatives and delivered weapons to al-Qaeda in preparation for the attack, which was ultimately foiled.


  • A German organization called Jewish Voices for a Just Peace is sponsoring a ship with 14 activists aboard, scheduled for departure in mid-July. According to the group’s spokeswoman, that vessel may be delayed because 40 additional German-Jewish activists wish to participate, requiring them to charter another ship. The port from which the ships plan to depart has not been announced.
  • European leaders have reportedly reacted positively to Israel’s request that they take action to prevent Gaza-bound vessels from leaving European ports and forbid their citizens from participating.

“Freedom Fleet II”

  • Free Gaza – the group that sponsored the flotilla intercepted by Israel May 31 – and Viva Palestina, a UK-based group, are planning another convoy of 10 – 15 ships, slated to leave for Gaza by October. One of the main organizers is Iyad el-Sarj, based in Norway.

Historically, ships bound for Gaza have carried tons of weapons among their cargo.

Examples of previous Gaza-bound ships carrying weapons:

  • “Francop” (2009)

    In November 2009 the Israeli Navy intercepted the “Francop,” a ship containing 320 tons of arms sent from Iran and destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Weaponry and ammunition were disguised as civilian cargo in the hundreds of containers the ship was transporting.

  • “Abu Hasan” (2003)

    On May 21, 2003 Israeli naval commandos intercepted a fishing boat, the Abu Hasan, sailing from Lebanon to Egypt carrying a Hezbollah explosives expert bound for Gaza. Also seized were CD discs with instructions on how to assemble bomb belts for suicide bombers, a radio-activation system for remote-control bombs and 25 detonators for Kassam rockets.

  • “Karin A” (2002)

    In January 2002 a ship carrying weapons intended for the Palestinian Authority was captured in the Red Sea by Israel’s Navy and Air Force. The boat’s cargo included 50 tons of advanced weaponry including Katyusha rockets, rifles, mortar shells, mines and a variety of anti-tank missiles. Senior figures in the Palestinian Authority were involved in the smuggling.

    Ashkelon and other coastal cities would have been threatened by these Katyusha rockets if they reached Gaza.

  • “Santorini” (2001)

    On May 7, 2001 Israeli naval forces intercepted a Lebanese ship destined for Gaza, which contained anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank missile-launchers, RPG rockets, mortar shells, mines, rifles and guns. The shipment, some of which originated in Iran, had been loaded in Lebanon by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Santorini and another boat, the Calypso-2, made three successful smuggling operations of which the first was in November 2000.


A Poll From Fly-Over Country

By: Nancy Morgan
Right Bias

Politicians increasingly rely on polls to indicate which positions they should take, which buzz words to use, and which segments of the population to target. With this in mind, I decided to conduct my very own poll here in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Granted, I’m I’m no expert. But then again, these days the majority of “experts” seem to be consistently wrong on the issues that affect us here at the local level.

For clarity’s sake, I define flyover country as including the 98% of America that is geographically situated outside of the major cities, major media markets, and “the beltway.”

A whopping 80% of those that I polled had the same answer when asked how they voted in last Tuesday’s primary elections. They all cast their votes for the outsider and against the incumbent. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of the local firefighters, about 60% of all the volunteers at Helping Hand, and almost 80% of my friends and neighbors were pretty vehement about voting out all incumbents. Even a few of my bleeding-heart friends are now ashamed that they cast their vote for Obama.

Having lived in this neck of the woods for almost eight years now, I can say with a certainty that I have never seen everyone so riled up. In years past, politics was but one of many topics discussed during friendly gatherings. These days, it seems to dominate every conversation.

Most people I polled here in Murrells Inlet are scared. They feel the America that they know and love is in the process of being hijacked by radicals with an anti-American agenda. They’re angry because their voices are never among those that the media chooses to report. And they’re frustrated that none of their elected officials are standing up to what they see as a progressive tsunami. A tsunami that is anti-ethical to them, their values, their children, their businesses and their God. In a nutshell, they’re mighty ticked off.

Here in Murrells Inlet, common sense reigns – the very common sense that is missing in Washington. Most of us see very clearly that every single solution offered by the Obama administration to date has exacerbated the very problem it was supposed to solve. And we’re starting to wonder why.

Many of us are now aware that our tax dollars are being used as political payoffs. We know we’re being lied to, manipulated and condescended to. We’re appalled by Obama’s incompetance and arrogance. And we’re frustrated because the media isn’t reporting basic facts we all need in order to make informed decisions.

Most of the locals here in Murrells Inlet believe that our elected officials are more concerned with amassing political power than with looking out for “we the people.” A clear majority are convinced America is on the path to socialism.

Residents here don’t like the idea of different rules for different groups. We think “multiculturalism” as practised by Obama is dangerous. We don’t like having to be afraid of our government. We cringe when we see Obama kowtowing to our enemies and alienating our allies. And most of us object to having our wealth confiscated and used against us. Isn’t that tyranny?

The good news is that we are at our breaking point. So, on the one-in-a-million chance that you’re reading this President Obama, we have a message for you: “Extrapolate this sentiment by 150 million ( we have it on good authority you can count that high) and you might get an idea of how the majority of Americans really feel.”

Joe Six-Pack and Susy Homemaker wish you would resign, for the good of the country. Knowing that you will never give up power voluntarily, we will be taking on you and your Chicago machine this November. We will not let you hijack our country. You can bank on it.

Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina


16 Burning Questions About The Oil Spill That We Deserve To Have Answered

Hat Tip: Glenn Beck
From: Business Insider

1. What are those 17,000 National Guard troops actually doing?

Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used “as needed” by state governors. So what are all of these National Guard troops going to be doing exactly? Are the troops going to be used to stop the oil or to control the public?

2. Is appointing an Oil Czar supposed to fix anything?

Barack Obama has also announced the creation of a “Gulf recovery czar” who will be in charge of overseeing the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region following the oil spill. So is appointing a “czar” Obama’s idea of taking charge of a situation?

3. Why is BP using a dispersant so toxic it was banned in British waters?

Because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK’s North Sea, BP would not be able to use it. So why is BP being allowed to use Corexit 9500 in the Gulf of Mexico?

4. Why are we letting BP continue using this fish-killing dispersant?

It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours. That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish. So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren’t they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?

5. If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to crops? What are they going to do to people?

6. If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns your nostrils, then what in the world is this oil doing to to wildlife that encounter it?

Read more: The Guardian

7. Is it a bad sign that birds from the Gulf region are flocking north by the thousands?

Read more: The Intel Hub

8. Why is BP being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites?

Source: The Raw Story

9. Why is BP openly attempting to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo?

Read more: The Times

10. Why has the FAA shut down the airspace above the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? What don’t they want the American people to see?

Read more: FAA

11. What is BP doing about the ruptures from the sea floor?

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida says that there are reports that there are additional ruptures in the sea floor from which oil is leaking. If there are quite a few of these additional ruptures, then how in the world does BP expect to completely stop this oil leak?

12. Why are scientists finding concentrations of methane at up to 10,000 times normal background levels in Gulf waters?

Read more: NYT

13. Why haven’t people been warned about toxins in the waters?

At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion, and levels of hydrogen sulfide have been detected as high as 1192 parts per billion. Considering that these levels would be highly toxic to humans, why hasn’t the general public been warned?

14. Why are so many Gulf oil spill disaster workers showing up at local hospitals complaining of a “mysterious illness?”

15. Can anything prevent oil from eventually plastering the shore?

If “70% or 80%” of the protective booms are doing absolutely nothing at all to stop the oil, then what is going to stop the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf from eventually reaching shore?

16. What happens to the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone?

It is being reported that the deepsea oil plumes are creating huge “dead zones” where all creatures are dying as they are deprived of oxygen. If this oil spill continues to grow could the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico become one gigantic “dead zone”?


Links To Visit – 06/17/10

WSJ – Medvedev Sees Risks for BP, Euro

WSJ – Russian President Warns on Stability in Mideast, Central Asia

Power Line – The Wilson Center honors a turkey

The U.S. taxpayer-funded Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, led by former Congressman Lee Hamilton, is giving out its annual award for public service Thursday, and the winner is … Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu!


Xinhua Net – Iran to retaliate if planes, ships inspected: speaker

AP – Iran Plans more nuke reactors

Reuters – Europe Could Face Hundreds Of Iranian Missiles: Gates

RealClearPolitics – SHE DECIDES: Clinton: Administration To Sue AZ Over Immigration Law

AP – Defying sanctions, Iran plans more atomic reactors

AP – Julius Commeth! FCC set to reconsider broadband regulations

The 912 Project Network – UT Rep. Warns: Illegal Alien Invasion Intensifying; Drug Cartels Seizing American Land

Bookworm Room – Keeping each other honest

Ron The Cop – Michael Ormsby for US Attorney – Akin to Barney Madoff for SEC Chair

The Andrea Shea King Show – Ron Wright, Sheriff Tony Bamonte, Larry Shook

Business Week – High-Speed Internet Rules Might Prove Costly

Google – R.I. School Bans 8-Year-Old Son’s Patriotic Hat With Army Men

Language Monitor – Language guru: Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos

Rasmussen Reports – ARK. SENATE: Boozman opens 29-point lead over Lincoln


The Washington Times – PAPER: Obama working on secret missile defense deal with Russia

Business Week – 30 Attorneys General Discuss GOOGLE Wi-Fi Data Collection

The Sacramento Bee – Sacramento approves economic sanctions against Arizona

Fox News – Eco Laws Blamed as Mexican Gangs Seize Slices of U.S.

Fox News – Four Years Later, Feds Have ‘No Plans’ To Retake Lands From Mexican Illegals

Continue reading


Financial News Update – 06/17/10

NIA Releases 2010 U.S. Inflation Report

Reality of America’s fiscal mess starting to bite

Authorities reveal mortgage fraud crackdown, 485 arrests

RUSH: Gold Hits New Record High

San Diego Urged to Consider Bankruptcy

UK Suspends $12.6 Billion in Spending Projects, Axes Other Programs

Taxpayers paid almost $1 billion to promote and fund abortion

House Democrats Drop Ron Paul’s Audit Of Federal Reserve (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Now Spain Takes a Tumble

NRA Makes a Terrible Deal

More Than 90 Banks Miss TARP Payments (Are we just plain out of money?) (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

LIEBERMAN: ‘Balance’ is crucial in global-warming policy prescription

Barack Obama: the most unpopular man in Britain?

Obama, BP reach agreement on $20b oil spill fund

Senate rejects more stimulus funding

Once retired, Pelosi can drink to enviable portfolio (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Government Expanded ‘Like a Cancer’ (affecting the health of the world economy) (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Experts: Lumber Prices Fall, and Economy May Follow (Hat Tip: Jean Stoner)

Morning Bell: An Offer BP Couldn’t Refuse

Still Not Greece, But Getting Closer Every Day

Congressional Gimmicks leave Doctors and Taxpayers in a Lurch

U.S. banks may end free checking accounts: report

Reich: Why Main Street Economy Isn’t Getting Better

Obama to throw truckloads of more borrowed cash at homelessness

EU Vows to Disclose Bank Stress-Test Results, Rebuffing Industry Concerns

Stocks in U.S. Halt Global Rally; Treasuries, Gold Gain on Economy Concern

U.S. Economy’s Expansion Creates Little Job Growth as Inflation Controlled

Fed Disclosure Measure Proceeds in Negotiations on U.S. Bank-Overhaul Bill

BP Bonds Escape Distressed List, Trade as Junk; Gross Buys: Credit Markets

Swaps-Desk Ban Opposed by Democrats’ Coalition as Increasing Systemic Risk

Natural Gas Price Spreads Trigger New Amaranth Speculation: Energy Markets

Rep Joe Barton (R-TX) Apologizes to BP for Obama’s “$20 Billion Shakedown” (Video)

Bachmann: White House Is Extorting Cash From BP to Create “Pot of Money For Themselves” (Video)

“Rogues of K Street” – GP Makes Playboy Mag’s Tea Party Spread

It’s Sheriff Joe Biden’s Big Summer Recovery Tour!


New Orleans runs $5 million anti-British campaign — paid for by BP


WASHINGTON POST CO first to ‘break circuit’; Trading halted after share prices doubled in one second



Dems Dig for Savings in New Spending Bill


The Death of Las Vegas

Niall Ferguson: Debt Has Taken Down Empires Before, There Is No Reason Why It Won’t Happen Again

Europe Troubles Are About to Start: Wilbur Ross

State Wants to Borrow From Pension Fund, to Pay the Fund

In 1930, They Didn’t Know It Was “The Great Depression” Yet

Homebuilders Less Confident in Housing Market

US and Other Countries Buy US Treasury Debt

US Stocks Rise After European Markets Climb

German Investor Confidence Tumbles Amid Crisis

Markets Braced as Greek Credit Rating Cut to Junk Again

Slide in Home Construction Hurts Stock Futures