Currently viewing the tag: "Attempt"

As a reminder that leftists have been poisoning the wells of civility and basic human decency for a very, very long time, I present these two items from the Associated Press and United Press International on April 1 and 2, 1981, respectively:

  • Via AP, dateline Tulsa — "Teachers Stunned as Children Cheer Reagan Shooting"
  • More generalized coverage from UPI — "Children Cheer News President Was Shot"

Details are after the jump.

Here's the AP item, which deals with the reaction at one Tulsa school:

APonTulsaSchoolkidsCheeringReaganShot041981

Here's the UPI item, which mentions similar incidents in Minnesota, Chicago, and New Orleans:

UPIonKidsCheeringReaganShot041981

This search at the New York Times indicates that the paper did not find the children-cheering story newsworthy.

Look at who these educators were trying to blame, namely "an insensitivity to violence that has built up over a long exposure to television." Puh-leeze. I can see how that might conceivably transfer to indifference about people being killed, but that doesn't explain why someone would be happy about it. Someone — parents, teachers, possibly others — taught these children that Ronald Reagan getting shot would be something to cheer about. I suspect that those who were quoted were distracting from a situation they had caused.

Those who weren't around at the time or who were apathetic won't recall that Reagan was intensely despised by the media, the intelligentsia, and the educational establishment. All of them waged a non-stop campaign during the 1980 election season to convince people that electing Ronald Reagan president would be the equivalent of signing a nuclear holocaust death warrant — and that if he didn't do that, he'd starve them to death by cutting government spending. I remember because, sad to say, I was sufficiently persuaded by the first argument to feel compelled to vote for John Anderson that November.

That early teens would find these lines of non-reasoning especially persuasive shouldn't surprise anyone.

There was a silver lining to the ugliness: As a result of learning about children cheering the Reagan assassination attempt, one man turned himself in to police and confessed to a murder he had committed eight years earlier:

ManTurnsSelfInAfterKidsCheerReaganShot041981

That noted, it may be that the man involved, Daniel Kariem, was not prosecuted because the case was so old. The Internet news trail goes cold here. Info concerning whether the conviction led to jail time for Mr. Kariem would be welcome.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

NewsBusters.org blogs

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On this day thirty years ago-the presidency of Ronald Reagan almost ended just ten weeks into his first term. After a luncheon speech to leaders of the AFL-CIO at the Washington Hilton, James Hinckley, a mentally-ill Coloradan obsessed with actress Jodie Foster, shot Reagan, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty, and White House Press Secretary James Brady.

Reagan was shot in the chest and suffered a punctured lung. The wounded president was quickly transported to George Washington University Hospital in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Although Reagan was able to fire off several quips in the emergency room, such as “Honey, I forgot to duck” to Nancy Reagan, and “I hope you’re all Republicans” to his doctors, the Gipper went into shock and came close to dying. But the seriousness of Reagan’s condition was not known until years later.

On the upper-right is the ambulance entrance to GWU Hospital. As you can see in the photograph, which I took last month, the hospital is now home to the Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine. Reagan was hospitalized at GWU for thirteen days, by the fall of 1981 he had made a complete recovery. McCarthy also made a full recovery, Delahanty suffered nerve damage to his left arm and was compelled to retire from the police force. Brady was the most seriously wounded of the victims-he was shot in the head. He is partially paralyzed and speaks in a slurred manner.

I was a student and a dormitory resident at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1981. Radio coverage of the breaking news from a room down the hall was blaring, it awakened me from an afternoon nap. I was accustomed to the radio wake-up call, but it was usually rock music that nudged me from my slumber from that very same room. Yeah, that guy was loud.

With the exception of Delahanty, each of the victims had ties to Illinois. Reagan was born in Tampico and spent his formative years in Dixon. Brady is a Centralia native, and McCarthy, a Chicagoan, is an alumnus of the very college I was attending on that fateful day.

Reagan mural, Tampico, IL
February 6, 2011

Two months later that day echoed when Pope John Paul II was shot in Rome.

Related posts:

Report from Tampico, Illinois on Reagan’s 100th birthday

Reagan centennial: Tampico’s churches

Reagan centennial: Ronald Reagan Park in Tampico, IL

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Marathon Pundit

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From Al Ahram:

Unknown attackers attempted on Sunday to blow up an Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan, but the explosives failed to detonate, a security official said.

Six armed men stormed the gas terminal in the northern Sinai town of Al-Sabeel at dawn on Sunday and placed explosive devices there, the official said.

“They failed to detonate the bombs and fled the scene. Even the security guard was missing when police arrived,” he said, adding police officers managed to remove the explosives.

Last month attackers used explosives against the pipeline, cutting off gas supply to Jordan and Israel for more than a month.



Elder of Ziyon

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It’s become a Monday morning routine: a Democratic warning about the alleged dire effects of Republican plans to cut the federal budget.

A week ago, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, held a news conference to warn proposed budget cuts could crimp port security.

On Monday, Wasserman Schultz briefed about 100 seniors at the Southeast Focal Point Senior Center in Hollwyood about the impact proposed budget cuts could have on them.

Background and pictures below, on the continuation:




Broward Politics

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Ma’an has an Arabic-only article that tries to draw an equivalence between the murder of the Fogels and a brutal  October 2009 attack in Rishon LeZion where six members of the Oshrenko family were stabbed to death, including a 3-year old and a three-month old baby. The implication is that Israelis have a knee-jerk reaction to automatically blame Palestinian Arabs for all murders, even though that one was found to have been allegedly done by Israelis (the trial for the accused murderers has not yet taken place.)

However, the Oshrenko case proves the opposite.

At no time was that massacre ever assumed to be terrorism. From the beginning, police knew that the Oshrenkos owned a restaurant and had business dealings that could have, and evidently did, lead them to the murderers. 

The Rishon LeZion murders prove that Israelis are not blinded by bias when confronted with evil. And any implication that the Fogels, part of a small, tight-knit religious community, were killed by members of that same community - on a Friday night, no less - is simply the worst example of deflecting the blame for the crime to the victims.


After I wrote this, Ma’an “reported

Israeli forces on Monday afternoon rounded up all Thai workers employed in the Itamar settlement, site of the murder of five members of the Fogel family, and held them for questioning, informed sources told Ma’an.

Though Palestinians have been forbidden from working in the settlements of the northern West Bank, foreign workers, mostly from Thailand and the Philippines, have been contracted for labor in the area.

Sources close to some of the Thai laborers said that all of the workers had been gathered and taken for questioning in relation to the stabbing deaths of a settler family on Friday night.

So I held off on posting this until I could get confirmation or denial of this story.

And while I cannot give full attribution, security forces in Israel have informed me that the Ma’an story is, and I am unofficially quoting here, “total bullshit.” No Thai workers have been arrested in connection with the Itamar murders.

Classic misdirection, times two, courtesy of Ma’an.



Elder of Ziyon

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As predicted, moonbats have wasted no time attempting to exploit the tragedy in Japan by linking it to the nonexistent global warming crisis.

Hours after a massive earthquake rattled Japan, environmental advocates connected the natural disaster to global warming. The president of the European Economic and Social Committee, Staffan Nilsson, issued a statement calling for solidarity in tackling the global warming problem.

“Some islands affected by climate change have been hit,” said Nilsson. “Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity — not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming?”

“Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do,” he added.

Maybe Mother Nature will be satisfied if we just throw some virgins down a volcano.

Moonbats quickly took to Twitter to sound off on this latest catastrophic consequence of Global Warming Deniers selfishly using the wrong light bulbs. Some samples collected by Lee Doren of the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

AliceTMBFan said “2 hours of geography earlier talking about Japan has left me thinking… maybe global warming is way more serious then we thought…”

Arbiterofwords tweeted “I’m worried that Japan earthquake, on top of other recent natural ‘disasters’, is a sign we’ve passed point of no return for climate change.”

Tayyclayy noted her frustration by tweeting “An earthquake with an 8.9 magnitude struck Japan… And some say climate change isn’t real?!”

And TeamIanHarding tweeted “While Japan witnessed an earthquake we were talking about the problems that global warming leads to in school. Think. Pray. And change.”

The enviro-kooks at Grist ran a story with the headline “Today’s Tsunami: This Is What Climate Change Looks Like.” But apparently someone pointed out that to anyone outside their liberal amen corner, they sounded like gibbering lunatics. They revised the headline and issued a disclaimer:

The intent of this piece isn’t to attribute today’s tragedy to climate change. Apologies to those whom I misled with the headline.

No, only birdbrains like the tweeters above could be convinced that harmless CO2 causes earthquakes. The intent was to establish a vague link in the murky muddle of sanctimonious bumper sticker slogans that serves the typical liberal for a mind, hyping the true believers a little deeper into an alternate reality where crazed conviction counts for more than fact or reason.

glboal-warming-earthquake.jpg

On tips from Doug, G. Fox, Air2air, BURNING HOT, and lunaticcringeradio.

Moonbattery

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As you will recall, former former Bush/Cheney Administration Special Counsel Scott Bloch destroyed evidence by wiping government computers clean, lied to Congress about it and conspired with the DOJ to minimize the conduct and slough it off with a sweetheart plea deal. Then, outrageously, when the court indicated it was inclined to impose the a month in jail, which was mandated by the statute Bloch pled guilty to, Bloch and the DOJ conspired to get the plea, which had already been accepted and entered by the court, withdrawn.

When Bloch and DOJ both worked together to get the plea withdrawn, and frustrate justice, the egregious nature of the attempt was documented here in a fully argued and supported post published on Tuesday March 1, 2011. Subsequent to that post, the court also found questions with the attempt to withdraw the plea and ordered Bloch to file a reply supporting the attempt.

Seeing the specious nature of Bloch’s reply filed on March 3, 2011, the Emptywheel blog got involved and initiated a formal filing with the court. We combined much of the material from the previous blog post on March 1 with new argument directly responsive to Bloch’s Reply, and additional general argument, into a formal sentencing recommendation and filed it with the court. The document was lodged on March 4 and can be seen in full here.

Late last night, after consideration of the various pleadings related to the attempt to withdraw Bloch’s plea, the court filed its decision on PACER. Scott Bloch’s motion to withdraw from his plea, despite the collusive help from the DOJ, is DENIED!

For all of the foregoing reasons, the court finds that Defendant, at the time he pled guilty to a violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192, was well aware that he could have been sentenced to a period of incarceration of up to one year. His assertion, through his affidavit, that he would not have pled guilty had he “been informed” that he would not receive probation is, simply put, not entitled to credence. This court–like the Circuit, when confronted with a comparable contradiction between the defendant’s answers under oath during the Rule 11 colloquy and the affidavit in support of his motion – finds that “[Defendant’s] argument – if not his affidavit – amounts to a claim that the defect in the taking of the plea consisted of his committing perjury, when, under oath, he acknowledged the truth of the factual recitals in the plea agreement and in the government’s proffer. Lying to a court is not a ‘fair and just reason,’ Fed.R.Crim.P. 11(d)(2)(B), for allowing a plea to be withdrawn.” (emphasis added)

The entire ruling by the court is 20 pages long and takes apart every argument Bloch makes limb by limb. As it should have been. Perhaps the best line of Judge Robinson’s decision, and a point we argued strongly, is:

Confidence in the fair and orderly administration of justice is undermined by the suggestion that the court should participate in a process by which a sentence is first determined by Defendant and the government, and then an offense expected to guarantee such sentence is alleged.

Boy, the court sure got that right. Not to mention that confidence in fair and honest government is undermined when the DOJ is willing to not prosecute and/or minimize clear crimes committed by other Executive Branch officers. They tried to soft walk Scott Bloch out of this, and it is still awfully small punishment considering Bloch’s crimes, but at least they did not get away with further obfuscation and frustration of justice. Now let’s get the Obama DOJ to get some more prosecutions for all the other egregious Executive Branch crimes of the previous administration going. It is about time.

Bloch’s sentencing is set for this afternoon at 2:30 pm at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse.

Related posts:

  1. Court Should Deny DOJ & Scott Bloch Collusion to Avoid Accountability
  2. Our DOJ Refuses to Send Officials to Jail - Scott Bloch Edition
  3. Whistleblowers Concerned that DOJ Refuses to Jail Scott Bloch, Too


Emptywheel

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At least one person has been arrested by federal authorities in connection with a bomb found along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., earlier this year, KHQ reports.

A viewer told KHQ that “at least nine FBI vehicles sped towards a house near Highway 395 south of Colville. At least two counter-assault vehicles were also at the house.”

In January, the FBI said the bomb was left in an act of “domestic terrorism,” but did not have yet have a motive identified.

“Clearly the confluence of the parade route, the timing, the fact that the device was likely placed on that route roughly an hour before the parade … falls squarely within the realm of domestic terrorism,” Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of FBI operations in Spokane, told TPM at the time.

Later in January, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told a reporter that the bomb had some sort of chemical in it.

City workers found the bomb in a backpack about three hours before the parade began.

A FBI spokesman in the Seattle office referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Late Update: The Seattle Times reports the suspects “are apparently affiliated with white supremacists.”

An FBI source in Washington D.C. told the Times one man was arrested east of Spokane, and agents were preparing to search a home where other people with connections to the suspect live.

Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly







TPMMuckraker

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At least one person has been arrested by federal authorities in connection with a bomb found along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., earlier this year, KHQ reports.

A viewer told KHQ that “at least nine FBI vehicles sped towards a house near Highway 395 south of Colville. At least two counter-assault vehicles were also at the house.”

In January, the FBI said the bomb was left in an act of “domestic terrorism,” but did not have yet have a motive identified.

“Clearly the confluence of the parade route, the timing, the fact that the device was likely placed on that route roughly an hour before the parade … falls squarely within the realm of domestic terrorism,” Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of FBI operations in Spokane, told TPM at the time.

Later in January, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told a reporter that the bomb had some sort of chemical in it.

City workers found the bomb in a backpack about three hours before the parade began.

A FBI spokesman in the Seattle office referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Late Update: The Seattle Times reports the suspects “are apparently affiliated with white supremacists.”

An FBI source in Washington D.C. told the Times one man was arrested east of Spokane, and agents were preparing to search a home where other people with connections to the suspect live.

Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly







TPMMuckraker

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At least one person has been arrested by federal authorities in connection with a bomb found along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., earlier this year, KHQ reports.

A viewer told KHQ that “at least nine FBI vehicles sped towards a house near Highway 395 south of Colville. At least two counter-assault vehicles were also at the house.”

In January, the FBI said the bomb was left in an act of “domestic terrorism,” but did not have yet have a motive identified.

“Clearly the confluence of the parade route, the timing, the fact that the device was likely placed on that route roughly an hour before the parade … falls squarely within the realm of domestic terrorism,” Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of FBI operations in Spokane, told TPM at the time.

Later in January, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told a reporter that the bomb had some sort of chemical in it.

City workers found the bomb in a backpack about three hours before the parade began.

A FBI spokesman in the Seattle office referred questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Late Update: The Seattle Times reports the suspects “are apparently affiliated with white supremacists.”

An FBI source in Washington D.C. told the Times one man was arrested east of Spokane, and agents were preparing to search a home where other people with connections to the suspect live.

Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly







TPMMuckraker

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by Javier Manjarres

The ‘Awake the State’ campaign organized throughout the state of Florida to protest Governor Rick Scott proposed budget on the first day of  the Legislative got underway in Tallahassee with about 400 event attendees. Armed with signs , activists made no bones about their opposition to  the Governor’s budget, and the Republican controlled legislature”s stance on wholeheartdly support the Governor. I confronted a couple of protesters holding anti-Scott signs in hopes to get into a intelligent conversation about their signs, but…

The Shark Tank

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Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused in the Tuscon, Arizona shooting massacre has been indicted on 49 counts including murder and attempted murder that left six people dead and critically wounded Arizona US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Among the indictments is the assassination attempt of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that carries a potential death sentence.

The full Federal indictment can be read HERE.

A grand jury had indicted Loughner, 22, on three counts of attempted murder, including one alleging that he tried to kill Giffords with a Glock semiautomatic handgun during an event for constituents at a Tucson grocery store in January.

The new indictment, returned by a federal grand jury Thursday, includes those three charges and adds murder charges connected to the deaths of John M. Roll, a federal district judge, and Gabriel M. Zimmerman, a staff member for Giffords. He also faces charges in the deaths of Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, Dorwan C. Stoddard, and a child, referred to in the indictment as C-T G.

 

Forty-sex new indictments were added to the existing three counts of attempted murder against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and two aides as U.S Attorney Dennis K. Burke stated that Loughner violated the civil right of all attending the Giffords’ event. Burke stated, “These victims were exercising one of the most precious and fundamental rights of American citizens: the right to meet freely, openly and peaceably with their member of Congress.”

But, employing a novel legal argument, prosecutors persuaded a federal grand jury to indict him on 46 new charges, on the theory that the shootings occurred on protected federal ground, as if it happened in Congress. Six people, including a chief federal district judge, were killed, and 13 - including Giffords - were injured.

 Prosecutors have yet to say whether they will seek the death penalty; however, the option is certainly available.

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Scared Monkeys

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With revolutions sweeping the Arab world, autocratic leaders from China to Vietnam to Zimbabwe are leaving nothing to chance, cracking down hard on potential troublemakers. Burma’s eccentric military ruler Than Shwe, on the other hand, had a different idea for hanging on to power:

And so many Burmese were baffled earlier this month when Than Shwe and other top generals, appearing at a nationally televised ceremony, shed their dress uniforms for the Burmese equivalent of women’s dresses. "I don’t understand why the generals were wearing women’s [sarongs] but they looked very weird," said a Rangoon mechanic, Myint Oo. Others put a more sinister spin on the generals’ sartorial selection. "It’s yadaya," said a Rangoon-based astrologer who asked not to be named, referring to Burma’s particular brand of black magic. [...]

According to Wai Moe, a journalist with the Irrawaddy, an online magazine run by Burmese exiles, two interpretations of the the general sporting a ladies’ sarong have gained the most currency. The first is that astrologers have predicted a woman will rule Burma, and so by donning women’s clothes, Than Shwe and the other generals are attempting to fulfill the prophecy through some superstitious sleight of hand. The second, fuzzier interpretation, is that by dressing in women’s clothing, the generals are somehow trying to neutralize Suu Kyi’s power. After Than Shwe brutally suppressed an uprising led by Burmese monks in 2007, anti-regime activists launched a campaign asking people to send women’s underwear to the leader because they said the generals believe that contact with women’s underwear will sap their power. By wearing sarongs, they may believe they are cancelling out Suu Kyi’s ability to sap what they view as the virile male power that underpins their leadership.

Time for a ladies underwear revolution?

This isn’t the first time Than Shwe has made some odd decisions for allegedly astrological reasons. He also replaced Burma’s 100-kyat note with a 90-kyat note because it was luckier, and he moved his capital to a remote outpost, reportedly, because his star was in decline.

FP Passport

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The campaign by pro-union demonstrators in Madison, Wisconsin to silence Fox News and prevent it from reporting continued over the weekend. Protesters did their best to prevent FNC's Mike Tobin from reporting on the protests, all the while shouting - apparently oblivious to the irony - "Fox News lies!"

A few protesters even struck Tobin, though he later downplayed the assault, and said he had declined to press charges. Another protester threatened to break Tobin's neck, he said during one report.

"I find the whole thing a terrific distraction, and terribly frustrating, because I want to cover the story," Tobin told Fox News Radio host Scott Allen Miller on Monday. Tobin brushed off the physical abuse he says he has endured from a few protesters, and insisted that the real frustration was being "harassed with every live shot" (video below the break via J$ P).

While reporting from Madison over the weekend, Tobin told Geraldo Rivera that someone had "just hit me!" (Video of that segment below.) Tobin also tweeted on Sunday: "Demonstrator just hit me twice."

During the Monday interview with Miller, Tobin seemed to refer to his being struck twice by one of the protesters, saying "it amounted to a charlie horse." He stressed that his inability to effectively report from Madison troubled him more than the physical harassment from protesters there.

The perception that Fox is institutionally opposed to union demonstrators is the source of the harassment, Tobin explained. "The whole organization lies" is the sentiment Tobin says he heard from demonstrators - "if you can get that much of a coherent sentence," he added.

Tobin noted that he has seen a number of protesters with professionally-printed anti-Fox slogans on them, but that demonstrators' hatred of the channel seemed to be more of a "collective mentality."

I elaborated on that mentality last week in the context of other efforts to shut down Fox's reporting. Miller expressed a similar sentiment in his interview with Tobin. Protesters, he said, are "not trying to shut down your quote-unquote message, they're trying to stop you from reporting period. They don't care what you're saying."

That fact is made plain by the complete lack of interest in what Tobin was actually saying during the segments protesters attempted to shut down. Indeed, as he noted in his Miller interview, none of the protesters shouting Tobin down even knew who he was, let alone anything about his political leanings.

Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik has been one of the few non-Fox media personalities who has unequivocally condemned efforts by pro-union demonstrators to shut down Fox's field reporting operation. He called the efforts "ugly, bully-boy, thug tactics," and said that the anti-Fox demonstrators "should be ashamed."

But Zurawik's comments notwithstanding, the media has been, on the whole, deafeningly silent on these efforts to stifle reporting from Madison.

Exit question: what would the media reaction be if a protester struck, say, an MSNBC reporter at a Tea Party rally?

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

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The following is from Arlene Kushner’s From Israel series, and is reposted here with permission

February 28, 2011

“Standing Tough”

The international community is forging ahead with those plans to advance “peace negotiations”: Later this week, Quartet representatives hope to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials, in Brussels. The goal of these meetings is said to be determination of the position of each side with regard to core issues. Then it is hoped that agreement can be reached on how to resume negotiations.

According to an article in Haaretz, Prime Minister Netanyahu is still debating about whether to send his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho to this meeting.

His concern is that of being unduly pressured by the international community to restart negotiations based on the ’67 armistice line (erroneously referred to as a border). A Quartet summit is scheduled for two weeks from now in Paris, and he is worried about an official statement coming from that meeting.

~~~~~~~~~~

Currently, Netanyahu is attempting to determine more precisely the purpose of the Brussels meeting via contact with the US administration. He will then call a meeting of the Septet (the inner cabinet of seven) before making a decision.

~~~~~~~~~~

And so now I think is the appropriate time for us to deliver a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He needs to know that he has enormous support if he will stand strong in making decisions that protect Israel’s rights. Implore him not to cave to international pressure. Remind him that he must believe in Israel’s value to the international community.

Please! Keep this very short and very direct, in a gracious manner. No speeches, no history lessons.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)

E-mail: [email protected] and also [email protected] (underscore after pm) use both addresses

~~~~~~~~~~

Then, if you are inclined, please send a similar message to the following members of the Septet. This must be done today, if they are meeting tomorrow. Indicate that you are writing with regard to the Septet meeting on Tuesday, at which there will be a discussion about Quartet involvement in the peace process.

In all instances, when faxing from the US: 011-972-2 followed by the regular seven digits.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Fax: 02-640-8921 E-mail: [email protected]

Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai
Fax: 02-666-2909 E-mail: [email protected]

Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon
E-mail: [email protected] (no fax number available)

Minister Benny Begin
E-mail: [email protected] (no fax number available)

~~~~~~~~~~

I continue to suspect that the PA will prove to be such a stumbling block to Quartet attempts to bring them to the negotiating table that no advance will be made. They have already decided to go another route (see below).

However, as it continues to be the tendency of the international community to lean on Israel first, there is no need to take unnecessary chances. Pressure on Israel is precisely what the PA would prefer.

~~~~~~~~~~

Fatah has come out in opposition to the attempts by PA Prime Minister Fayyad to promote unity with Hamas. This is according to Amin Maqboul, secretary-general of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, as cited by Khaled Abu Toameh.

The party, explained Maqboul, objected to two matters in particular: that Fayyad said unity would be declared before all issues were resolved (I had thought that rather strange when he said it, and an indication of Fayyad’s desperation), and that Fayyad was willing to allow Hamas to continue to control Gaza (a key stumbling block between the parties previously — this was Fayyad providing Hamas with huge incentive).

Fayyad is an independent, and not a member of Fatah. Fatah has let it be known that it is within the party’s jurisdiction, and not his, to determine reconciliation with Hamas.

Fayyad’s rush to unity was motivated, I believe, by the desire to get them to permit elections in Gaza — something they’ve said they would not allow until the dispute with Fatah was resolved. Fatah, you see, is in something of a bind. Elections are past due, which makes everything a bit illegitimate (although almost everyone turns a blind eye to this). There is however, no way to allow all Arabs in Palestinian areas to participate in voting as long as Hamas is blocking the way. The election would be very truncated if held under such circumstances.

Fayyad, who has said he is aiming for a Palestinian state by September, was hoping for PA elections by then, to maximize legitimacy.

Of course, the fact that Fayyad’s approach to the matter of unity was considered unacceptable by Fatah does not mean they won’t have their own approach.

Stay tuned…

~~~~~~~~~

Caroline Glick’s piece from last Friday, “Playing Israel’s good hand,” makes several important and highly relevant points.

First of all, she emphasizes precisely the message I’ve suggested be delivered to Netanyahu:

“As our region is consumed by the flames of rebellion and revolution, the challenges and threats Israel faces multiply by the day. In these new and trying times, our leaders must shed their failed concepts of statecraft based on weakness and adopt new ones founded on strength.”

This is THE message that members of our government must hear.

She also takes a closer look at the PA-US relationship:

“The revolution in Egypt happened just after the PA was thrown into a state of disarray. Al- Jazeera’s exposure of PA documents indicating the leadership’s willingness to make minor compromises with Israel in the framework of a peace deal served to discredit Fatah leaders in the eyes of the Israel-hating Palestinian public.

“In the wake of the Al-Jazeera revelations, senior PA leaders escalated their anti-Israel and anti- American pronouncements…

“The shift in the regional power balance following Mubarak’s fall has caused Fatah leaders to view their ties to the US as a strategic liability.

“If they wish to survive, they must cut a deal with Hamas. And to convince Hamas to cut a deal, they need to abandon the US.

“…the likes of Abbas and Fayyad understand that no matter what they say or do, the West will probably not abandon them. Europeans need them to continue carrying out their political war against Israel because that is what their constituents demand. US leaders will continue to support them because they follow Europe’s lead.

“On the other hand…PA leaders have to bend over backwards to appease Hamas and Iran if they wish to survive.

“…not only are the Palestinians unwilling to pay any price for maintaining Western support for them.

“They are willing to initiate ugly confrontations with the US and humiliate Obama in order to win the approval of Hamas and Iran.

“Facing this reality, Israel’s best bet is to initiate a few confrontations of its own to demonstrate its strategic importance to the US and Europe.

“With the conflagrations raging in the Arab world essentially making its argument that a strong Israel is imperative for the West, Israel should be going on the offensive against the Palestinians and the international Left that supports them.”

But Netanyahu isn’t doing this — he’s too busy being a “team player” and trying to avoid confrontation. Thus is the message to him recommended above extremely timely.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=209768

~~~~~~~~~~

“The Good News Corner”

Especially because we must emphasize reasons to be proud of Israel, I would like to share some lovely observations.

The first is by Charles Moore, writing in The Telegraph (UK):

“It is often said that anti-Israeli feeling is growing in the West because Israel does not, despite its claims, live by Western values. I sometimes wonder if the opposite is the case: Israel, because of the constant threat to its existence, reminds us of the high cost of defending our freedoms. And that, to Western wishful thinkers, is intensely irritating.”

~~~~~~~~~~

And then, from the Harvard Crimson, of all places, comes a piece by Lee M. Hiromoto, “My Israel”:

“’Discrimination is built into Israel.’ Zionism ‘has at its core the replacement of one people with another.’
“These were two claims I heard at a law school panel discussion on ‘boycotting the Israeli occupation’… As the speakers attempted to ascertain the best practices for attacking and dismantling the State of Israel, I thought back to the four years I spent there before starting law school last fall.

“The Israel I experienced differed starkly from the fascist dystopia of which the panelists spoke. That Israel, my Israel, hopes for peace with its neighbors and respects the rights of minority groups, sometimes to a greater extent than the U.S. does.

“My military service as a dual citizen gives me great respect for Israel’s deep yearning to co-exist with its Arab neighbors…

“As part of my service, I visited hospitals in Jerusalem where Palestinian children, with Israeli military coordination, receive critical dialysis treatments several times a week (such treatment is unavailable in the West Bank). I saw a Jewish Israeli surgeon, an Apache pilot in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, treat Palestinian, Iraqi, and African children in an intensive care unit. At the crack of dawn I welcomed Palestinian workers to the Israeli community of Qedar outside Jerusalem, where they worked with their Israeli neighbors for much higher wages than they would earn in a Palestinian city.

“The upshot here is that Israel doesn’t have to let thousands of Palestinians, many of whom still deny Israel’s basic right to exist, into its communities for medical care or work (as happens every day). But Israel does.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/22/israel-israeli-palestinian-israels/

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In line with the above, see this video about Rambam hospital, in Haifa, which treats 700 Palestinian Arabs children every year. In this film we see a charming little girl from Gaza whose life was saved by Israeli doctors who did emergency brain surgery on her:

http://www.youtube.com/user/rambamhospital#p/u/6/fUaU7cVfE0Q

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Israel has just brought 23 of the 33 Chilean miners, who had been trapped underground for 68 days, to Israel, with spouses. Guests of the Ministry of Tourism, they were given an opportunity to visit Christian sites, in order to celebrate their faith and offer thanksgiving.

“It is a great honor for us to be here, because the God who rescued us from the bowels of the earth is the God who brought us here, and we are so grateful,” said miner Jose Enriques.

Marc Israel Sellem

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© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

see my website www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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