GAVRIEL QUEENAN: Netanyahu: Israel ‘Master of Her Own Fate’ Netanyahu: Israel ‘Master of Her Own Fate’ PM Binyamin Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama that Israel’s right to defend itself would not take a back seat to US interests. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself at his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Monday. Netanyahu made clear that […]


He can’t fool anyone most of the time, certainly not Iran or Israel.When President Obama meets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu today, he will have only two goals. He may succeed in one and will certainly fail in the other.

Obama’s goals are simple. First, to avoid a repeat of the televised lecture by Netanyahu immediately after the two met. Before Netanyahu’s arrival last year, Obama harshly criticized Israel and demanded peace talks based on the pre-1967 war borders with the Palestinians. In what was supposed to be a friendly televised chat after their Oval Office meeting, Netanyahu politely but firmly took Obama to school and bluntly rejected the 1967 baseline. It was a public relations disaster for Obama that he can prevent this time by just refusing another such event. He may even deny Netanyahu the side-by-side press conferences common to meetings with other nations’ leaders.

Second, Obama wants Israel to commit that it will not attack Iran this year. His administration has been frantically trying to persuade Israel to delay any attack, and has been met with quiet opposition and growing silence from the Israeli side.

Obama’s two goals are based only on avoiding damage to his campaign. If there is another public break with Israel or if — as is most likely — Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Obama’s campaign will be distracted and damaged. Any resemblance between Obama’s goals and America’s national interest is purely coincidental.

Obama is playing for time. He wants the world’s nuclear cauldron — Iran, North Korea, Pakistan et al. — not to boil over before his election. That is the primary reason that we’ve — again — filled the North Korean begging bowl to cease nuclear production. This is, what, the third or fourth time we’ve done this? And this time, like every time before, we’ll deliver the bribes (fuel oil, food, whatever) which will be used to prop up the Norks’ regime, their people will continue to starve, and they will go on with their nuke program. But nothing will be noisy until after the election.

IMAM SUGGESTS THAT MOHAMMED’S BIRTHDAY SHOULD BE MADE A NATIONAL HOLIDAY A Jackson Heights imam has started a campaign to make April 26, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, a national holiday. Mohd Qayyoom, head of the Muhammadi Community Center, at 37-46 72nd St., said he believes having a national celebration for the prophet’s birthday would enable the growing Muslim population in America to have […]


The Middle East’s real apartheid The Jewish State’s supporters find it difficult to agree on the best response to Israel Apartheid Week. In light of Israel Apartheid Week, which hit cities and campuses throughout the world recently, supporters of the Jewish state find it difficult to agree on the best response to this hate […]

RUTHIE BLUM: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE Addressing the annual AIPAC conference in Washington on Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama made it clear which side of the Israeli-Jewish divide he was on – that of Israeli President Shimon Peres. Peres, who immediately preceded Obama on the podium, was given a glowing greeting by his partner in preferring diplomacy to all else, […]

CAROLINE GLICK: OBAMA MAKES THE CASE FOR ISRAEL’S STRIKE ON IRAN In his commentary in Maariv’s Friday news supplement, the paper’s senior diplomatic commentator Ben Caspit laid out a hypothetical lecture that Obama might give Netanyahu when the two leaders meet alone in the Oval Office this afternoon. In Caspit’s scenario, Obama used the one-on-one to set out the law to the Israeli premier. If […]


Dear e-pals: I am delighted that James Kirchick who is a fine and scholarly reporter has exposed the execrable Seymour Hersh…..but it is a tad strange that no attributions are made to Rael Jean Isaac who pioneered the outing of Hersh as a biased soldier of the hard left and an unprincipled enemy of truth. ….so I am recirculating the columns posted by Rael Isaac…..rsk


The Case Against the Israel Lobby [incl. Rashid Khalidi] by Don Casler

The Dartmouth

With the primary season heating up and a general election looming, America stands at something of a foreign policy crossroads, having just limped out of Iraq but with boots still on the ground in an increasingly hopeless war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, one foreign policy issue that is unlikely to be raised by any candidate or party is U.S. support for Israel. Given the strategic and political implications of any issue related to the Middle East, it is vital for Americans to be able to speak freely and seriously about the influence of Israel over our foreign policy decisions.

As political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted in their groundbreaking 2006 essay “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Israel has received generous and special treatment from the United States, even though it lacks both strategic value and a persuasive moral justification for continued American support. Mearsheimer and Walt conclude that the United States’ policy toward Israel is due to the dominance of the Israel lobby, specifically the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Essentially, the United States’ Israel policy is a case of special interest influence taken to an extreme level. The Israel lobby is a classic example of an attentive public, albeit one that has enjoyed extraordinary success in accomplishing its goals. It is a public relations machine that leverages its access to Congress and the executive branch to gain tacit American support for Israeli actions, like the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, and to stifle any debate about American support for Israel.

Almost two years ago, Peter Beinart wrote an article in New York Review of Books that sent shock waves through the Jewish community. He argued that liberalism was losing out in Israel to a far-right, anti-democratic, and even racist form of Zionism largely rooted in an ultra-Orthodox interpretation of Judaism. Worse still, the organizations of the American Jewish establishment were too reflexively supporting the policies of the Israeli government, and failing to criticize its illiberal behavior. Consequently, young American Jews perceive that there is a conflict between their own liberal values and Israel’s policies, and they are withdrawing their support from Israel and the American Jewish organization that support the Zionist cause.

Beinart has elucidated these ideas in a book, “The Crisis of Zionism,” that’s slated to go on sale in late March. Yet, at least two fawning assessments have already appeared. Jacob Heilbrunn, a senior editor with the National Interest, has a lengthy review essay in the March/April issue of that journal. Roger Cohen devoted one of his New York Times columns to the book. You can expect that the publication of Beinart’s book will spawn many more articles that viciously attack Israel.


Thank you, Judge Heitler. It’s a pleasure to be here with this distinguished group of alumni. I want to start by thanking Fordham Law School for educating generations of public-service-minded attorneys. The school is an incredible resource for this city, whether it’s the 150,000 hours of volunteer service completed by the graduating class of 2011 or the thousands of professionals who’ve gone on to do outstanding legal work, including in the ranks of the Police Department.

In recent years, as the NYPD has taken on the mission of counterterrorism, the legal questions we face have grown in complexity. We’re constantly looking at how to safeguard civil liberties and defend society from acts of terrorism. In some ways, these are issues we could have and should have addressed years earlier.

Nineteen years ago, on February 26th 1993, I was New York City Police Commissioner. It was a Friday afternoon, and I was in my office on the 14th floor of Police Headquarters when a massive explosion rocked the World Trade Center. The blast tore a hole in the building seven stories deep. I remember seeing the smoke rise and the mass of emergency vehicles at the scene when I got there just ten minutes later. The bomb, which was detonated in an underground garage, killed six people and wounded more than 1,000. At the time it was said to be a miracle there weren’t more fatalities.

That attack should have been a wake-up call for the nation and the city. It was not. The suspects—the first of whom was found when he tried to reclaim the deposit on the rental van used in the attack—were dismissed as incompetent.

In fact, their associates were already plotting another attack. The investigation of the World Trade Center bombing focused the attention of authorities on Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an extremist cleric affiliated with a mosque in Brooklyn. He told worshipers it was their religious duty to fight enemies of god. Rahman, also known as the Blind Sheikh, was at the heart of a plan to attack the U.N., the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, and the FBI’s New York office. That plot was thwarted by an informant who infiltrated the group.