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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Larry Derfner, "Israel’s Next War Is Always ‘Inevitable’": Hezbollah and Syria Are Not Crazy?

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Israel’s Next War Is Always ‘Inevitable’," Larry Derfner observes:

"Hezbollah and Syria are well and truly deterred, and if Israel were to simply let them be, they would have to be crazy to strike first."

Got it: Hezbollah and Syria (that is to say, what is left of Syria) are not crazy. It obviously doesn't matter to Derfner that Syria's Assad is a mass murderer and a war criminal willing to gas his own people, as per those hotbeds of right wing thinking, New Republic and The New Yorker.

It also doesn't matter if Hezbollah's head, Nasrallah, has repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel in his rabidly anti-Semitic diatribes. After all, sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. (Now if only you could tell that to the Jews in Europe who refused to believe what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf.) Moreover, a rational Nasrallah would of course never launch his 100,000+ missiles at Israel's ammonia plant in Haifa and its nuclear facility in Dimona, notwithstanding his threats to the contrary. And even if instructed to do so by his masters in Tehran, who are also sane, notwithstanding their savage persecution of Kurds, Sunni Muslims, Baha'is, Christians and homosexuals and calls to annihilate Israel, Nasrallah would refuse, notwithstanding the fact that he sent his fighters to be slaughtered in Syria's civil war at Iran's behest.

Yeah, right.

Larry Derfner? At the bottom of the Times op-ed we learn that "Larry Derfner, a journalist, is the author of the forthcoming memoir 'No Country for Jewish Liberals.'" No mention by the Times that Derfner was fired by The Jerusalem Post after writing in his blog in August 2011, following a terrorist attack outside of Eilat (my emphasis in red):

"But if, on the other hand, we were to say very forthrightly what many of us believe and the rest of us suspect – that the Palestinians, like every nation living under hostile rule, have the right to fight back, that their terrorism, especially in the face of a rejectionist Israeli government, is justified – what effect would that have? A powerful one, I think, because the truth is powerful. If those who oppose the occupation acknowledged publicly that it justifies Palestinian terrorism, then those who support the occupation would have to explain why it doesn’t. And that’s not easy for a nation that sanctifies the right to self-defense; a nation that elected Irgun leader Menachem Begin and Lehi leader Yitzhak Shamir as prime minister.

But while I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us, I don’t want them to use it, I don’t want to see Israelis killed, and as an Israeli, I would do whatever was necessary to stop a Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my countrymen. (I also think Palestinian terrorism backfires, it turns people away from them and generates sympathy for Israel and the occupation, so I’m against terrorism on a practical level, too, but that’s besides the point.) The possibility that Israel’s enemies could use my or anybody else’s justification of terror for their campaign is a daunting one; I wouldn’t like to see this column quoted on a pro-Hamas website, and I realize it could happen."

Derfner subsequently removed the post and apologized, saying in part:

"My intention was to shock people into recognition, but I ended up shocking many of them into revulsion, and twisting what I wanted to say into something I didn’t and don’t mean at all."

All of which raises the question what it takes to get a guest opinion piece published by The New York Times. If you are Jewish, or better still Israeli, and write something horrible about Israel, does this increase your chances exponentially? As pointed out by Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and by others, it sure seems this way.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Fed Opts for Suicide

Have a look at the US Debt Clock, which informs us that US national debt is just a hair under $20 trillion and growing by the second. US total debt now stands at more than $825,000 per family. Yup, that's unsustainable.

As reported by The New York Times in a lead article entitled "Trump Wants Faster Growth. The Fed Isn’t So Sure." by Binyamin Appelbaum:

"Mr. Trump and Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, appear to be headed toward a collision, albeit in slow motion. Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that he is determined to stimulate faster growth while the central bank, for its part, is indicating that it will seek to restrain any acceleration in economic activity.

On Wednesday, the Fed plans to make a first move in the direction of restraint. The central bank has all but announced that it will raise its benchmark interest rate at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee."

Raise interest rates and slow the economy? Not a bad idea if national debt was significantly less than $20 trillion; however, given what it is, higher interest rates mean a slowing of US government income from taxation and higher amounts of interest to be paid on American debt, thereby compounding the problem.

Plain and simple, the Fed has opted for suicide.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New York Times Editorial, "Israel Says Dissenters Are Unwelcome": More Israel Bashing

I sent the following email to Liz Spayd, the public editor of The New York Times, today. Let's see if she responds.

Dear Ms. Spayd,

Editorial Headline: "Israel Says Dissenters Are Unwelcome"
Date Published: March 9, 2017

My Concern: This editorial already needed to be corrected on March 10 ("An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated the United States’ position on settlement building in the occupied territories. It has been highly critical of the activity, but has not consistent [sic] held it to be illegal."), which in and of itself is indicative of the Times's bias and further evidences the Times's preoccupation with and hostility to Israel.

More to the point, the editorial states:

"No doubt there are haters of Israel among B.D.S. supporters. But there are also many strong supporters of the Israeli state, including many American Jews, who ardently oppose the occupation of the West Bank and who boycott products of the Israeli settlements in occupied territories."

"Many strong supporters of the Israeli state" among B.D.S. supporters? Excuse me, but where are the facts to back up this claim?

And if there are haters of Israel among B.D.S. supporters, shouldn't the Times provide data explaining whether these "haters" compromise the majority or even an overwhelming majority of B.D.S. supporters/leaders?

And shouldn't the Times examine whether the B.D.S. movement has been known to publish falsehoods and disseminate grotesque anti-Semitic remarks?

And shouldn't the Times have noted that there has not been a new Israeli settlement in almost 20 years, and that whereas existing settlements have grown, territorial swaps involving existing settlements have been a principle underlying all negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel?

As reported by The Jerusalem Post on December 7, 2016:

"[Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union] likened BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the 'new clothes of the 21st century' as anti-Zionism, the party said.

'The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as antisemitic. The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces. The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,' the resolution read."

I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter, but first, as a favor, I would be extremely grateful if you might be willing to read the following article that I recently published, "New York Times Editorial, "Donald Trump’s Answer to Anti-Semitism? You Don’t Want to Know": Look Who's Talking!"