9/04 Links Part 2: 9 Challenges for the IDF, Peter Beinart’s illiberal mission, PA Demands Gas Masks

From Ian:

Areas of anxiety: 9 New Year challenges for the IDF
Israelis, facing external threats from every point of the compass, would like to believe that Obama is correct, notwithstanding his last-minute decision Saturday to delay a strike on neighboring Syria’s WMD-using President Bashar Assad.
But the IDF, however closely it coordinates with its American colleagues, functions on the assumption that its task is to protect Israel without outside assistance.
The IDF has never been stronger, its commanders say. But as they take stock this Rosh Hashanah, the challenges have rarely been as acute and varied, in a region that has seldom been so unstable. These are nine of the more immediate areas of concern.
Poll: Israeli Jews not worried by security situation
The US is expected to go to war as early as next week against Syria, which has vowed to “set Israel on fire” in retaliation. Lebanon could get embroiled, which could lead to Hezbollah unleashing its stockpile of 60,000 missiles and rockets. And an International Atomic Energy Association’s report last week indicated that Iran has escalated its nuclear program.
Nevertheless, only 16.4 percent of Israeli Jews believe their security situation will worsen in the new year of 5774 that starts on Wednesday evening, according to the Peace Index, an Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University poll released on Tuesday.
The surveyors found that 46.1% of Israeli Jews believe their security will remain the same, while 28.3% think it will improve.
Oren: US becoming more isolationist, but support for Israel higher than ever
During his term as Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren found himself faced with a rapidly changing America, a Middle East on fire, and an Israel that had to deftly navigate between the seismic changes taking place in both locations. But looking at the polls, which continuously show high support for Israel among Americans, Oren is satisfied, saying they show that support for Israel in American public opinion is "the highest it's ever been."
"At a time when the Middle East is turbulent, Israel is an island of stability," Oren says.
Bennett: International peace guarantees are meaningless
“When you see everything that’s going on around us, I can’t even comprehend signing an agreement that’s based on international guarantees, UN or other, and to trust anyone that is not the IDF, which is the only one that can protect us,” Bennett said in an interview with Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, published Wednesday.
Commenting on the ongoing Syrian civil war, Bennett assessed that the West seems disinclined to enter the conflict, and suggested that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan deterred US and European citizens from stomaching military action in the Middle East.
Senior PA official: Peace talks with Israel are going nowhere
In the most damning Palestinian assessment to date, Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the negotiations, which kicked off in late July after a three year hiatus, had made no progress.
"These negotiations are futile and won't lead to any results," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio.
"I don't expect any progress at all unless there is huge and powerful American pressure, such as the one we are seeing from America to deal with the Syrian issue," added Abed Rabbo, one of just two officials authorized by Abbas to discuss the talks.
An Israeli official in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office declined to comment on the remarks, saying the two sides had agreed that only the United States should speak about the talks. "We are abiding by that agreement," the official said.
Saudi Arabia donating $200 million for Palestinian cities to prevent Judaization
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has decided to grant $200 million for the development of Palestinian cities, and for protecting their Arab and Islamic character against “Judaization.”
Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Prince Mansour bin Miteb announced the news on Sunday while opening a conference of the Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities in Saudi Arabia, Saudi newspaper Arab News reported on Monday.
Palestinian Authority Demands Israel Provide it with Gas Masks
A Palestinian Authority official has demanded that Israel provide civilians living in PA-controlled areas with gas masks in the event of a spillover of violence from Syria.
Israel has been distributing gas masks to its citizens over the last two weeks amid fears of reprisals against the Jewish state, following anticipated US military intervention in neighboring Syria.
Islamic Jihad Issues Call to Abduct IDF Soldiers
Hader Habib, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, called on fellow terrorists to abduct an IDF soldier, in a speech Sunday at a protest tent for identification with Palestinian Authority (PA) prisoners that was erected next to the Red Cross Headquarters in Gaza.
Hader called for the abduction of soldiers so that they can be exchanged for PA prisoners.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday in his speech at the Fatah convention that releasing Fatah Tanzim commander Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life sentences, and Ahmed Saadat, the PFLP commander who ordered the assassination of Minister Rechavam Ze'evi, as well as other senior terrorists, are on his political agenda.
Peter Beinart’s illiberal mission: To subvert Jewish & non-Jewish support for Israel
I can assure Beinart that the more American Jews get to know the truth – not the liberal-tinted glasses view, nor the propaganda view – they will be even more pro-Yesha, pro-Jewish retention of Judea and Samaria and more anti-Palestinianism.
They will learn of the “Temple Denial” phenomenon. They will become acquainted with the anti-Semitism at the root of Islamist ideology which drives (and, with the Grand Mufti El-Husseini’s pro-Nazism beginning in 1933, drove) their bloodthirsty opposition to Zionism. They will know that the dispute is not territorial nor where a boundary line will be drawn but it is existential. They will come to acknowledge the deeply rooted fanaticism and extremism that guides their anti-Zionism thinking and actions. They will recognize the lies and half-truths that form the basis of Palestinianism, the inventivity model of nationalism.
I publish their words. Many other bloggers and web sites do as well. With Google Translate, even the Arab-language sites are open to us all. There is no shortage of getting to know “the enemy”. In fact, we are commanded to, in a sense, to “know thy enemy” which, in Jewish thought was expressed in the Ethics of the Fathers, 2:14, by Rabbi Elazar who would say: ‘Be diligent in the study of Torah. Know what to answer a heretic’.
Legitimizing Israel's Destruction
What do a Norwegian government employee, a director of a "co-existence" program and several academics from the University of Exeter have in common? They are all happily colluding with a front group of the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas.
On September 7, the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) will be hosting an "International Conference on the Oslo Accords," which it has planned with the support of the Exeter Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, part of the University of Exeter.
Intelligence agencies regard the PRC as one of the leading lobby groups in Britain for Hamas, and claim that three of the PRC's trustees are "Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain" during the 1990s. Hamas leaders also regularly address the PRC's conferences.
The London-based Palestine Return Centre (PRC), it turns out, was originally established on the basis of opposition to the Oslo peace process. The conference is therefore unlikely to reach any positive conclusions about the Oslo Accords, or to recommend its revival.
The Cold War’s Arab Spring: How the Soviets Created Today’s Middle East
Russian exile Pavel Stroilov argues just this in his forthcoming book, Behind the Desert Storm. “Not a word of it is true,” he writes. “It was the Soviet Empire—not the British Empire—that was responsible for the instability in the Middle East.”
Stroilov, a historian now living in London, fled Russia in 2003 after stealing 50,000 top-secret Kremlin documents from the Gorbachev Foundation archives, where he was working as a researcher. He was given access to the archive in 1999, but Gorbachev refused him permission to copy its most significant documents. Having observed the network administrator entering the password into the system, Stroilov reproduced the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.
Why Literally Everyone in the World Hates the Jews, and What To Do About It
Two new scholarly books show how even the most neutral academic can feel bound to answer anti-Semites’ demonic vigor in kind
In many parts of the world, Jews are increasingly unwelcome in the 21st century. The number of countries in which wearing visibly Jewish clothing such as a kippa means risking physical violence has hit an all-time high. On both the individual and the national level, Jews are targeted with extraordinary ferocity: We hear Israelis (but no one else) being compared to Nazis; we are told that Jewish nationalism is oppressive and archaic; that Israel is a uniquely racist country; that Israel’s terrible misdeeds explain why people hate Jews. Instead of being seen as ordinary or all too human, Jews are seen as carriers of a uniquely transcendent evil. No other group of people on the planet is accused so much and of such fantastic wrongs. For a few decades after the Holocaust, it seemed that anti-Semitism might wane or even die out. That hope has now been defeated. Could anything we do or say stem the tide, or will Jew-hatred persist as long as there are Jews to hate?
Druze Village’s Character Shaped by Education, Sport, and Loyalty to Israel
The enclaves of one of Israel’s most loyal and ardently Zionist indigenous populations lie not far from the coastal city of Acre. This community is no historical remnant—it is a modern group of Israelis whose service and sacrifice for the Jewish state is legendary. Residents are lawyers and doctors, entrepreneurs and merchants, teachers and engineers, and political activists. The community’s young men serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with great honor, and its young women are beginning to enter national service.
That description applies not to one of Israel’s Jewish communities, but rather to the Druze village of Julis, one of the smallest of the Druze communities in northern Israel.
Recalling the 1943 Rosh Hashanah Holocaust Escape of Danish Jews
In the late summer of 1943, amid rising tensions between the occupation regime and the Danish government, the Nazis declared martial law and decided the time had come to deport Danish Jews to the death camps. But Georg Duckwitz, a German diplomat in Denmark, leaked the information to Danish friends. Duckwitz was later honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. As word of the Germans’ plans spread, the Danish public responded with a spontaneous nationwide grassroots effort to help the Jews.
Daphne Anson: Simon's Story Upsets The Israel Bashers
And what a wonderful series Schama's BBC2 documentary series "The Story of the Jews" promises to be, as the first episode, screened on 1st September, shows:
And a gang of well-known Israel-bashers (Sarah Colborne, Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor; Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine; Abe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine; Ismail Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa; Diana Neslen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians) have written an Open Letter of protest to the Controller of BBC2, Janice Hadlow, dated 3rd September, that says in part:
".... In an interview in the Radio Times (31 August-6 September), Schama describes himself as an ‘historian-Zionist’ and says he will be making ‘the moral case for Israel’ in the final episode of this five part series.
We find it alarming that the BBC is giving a platform to an openly pro-Israeli commentator to make the ‘moral case’ for Israel. Schama’s views will go unopposed, unchallenged and unanalysed. This is a far cry from the balanced and impartial broadcasting that the BBC claims to champion...."
15-year-old Syrian Girl Released from Ziv Medical Center
Israel Defense Forces transferred the young girl to Israel from a field hospital in Syria where she underwent surgery for abdominal wounds and shrapnel injuries on both of her legs. The Syrian medics decided to amputate one of her legs, while the Israeli medical team was able to save the girl’s other leg from being amputated.
"I wish the people of Israel a happy new year and wish that we will be able to meet again in a saner Middle East, as we are all human beings," said the victim’s mother, who accompanied her throughout the six weeks of her hospitalization.
Her mother then thanked the medical team for their devoted treatment and for saving her other leg from amputation. Additionally, she was grateful the Ziv Medical Center facilitated the donation of an artificial leg from a generous private donor.
Israel Daily Picture: New Year's Greeting to Our Jewish Readers
Israel Daily Picture normally focuses on pictures of the Holy Land in the Library of Congress archives' American Colony collection.
In honor of Rosh Hashanna, we present pictures of the holiday in New York City, taken in the early 1900s by George Bain and also housed in the Library of Congress archives.