Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is Emotions have run high over recent events in Gaza. And in this impassioned and searching essay, our writer argues that just below the surface runs a vicious strain of ancient prejudice

I was once in Melbourne when bush fires were raging 20 or 30 miles north of the city. Even from that distance you could smell the burning. Fine fragments of ash, like slivers of charcoal confetti, covered the pavements. The very air was charred. It has been the same here these past couple of months with the fighting in Gaza. Only the air has been charred not with devastation but with hatred. And I don’t mean the hatred of the warring parties for each other. I mean the hatred of Israel expressed in our streets, on our campuses, in our newspapers, on our radios and televisions, and now in our theatres.
A discriminatory, over-and-above hatred, inexplicable in its hysteria and virulence whatever justification is adduced for it; an unreasoning, deranged and as far as I can see irreversible revulsion that is poisoning everything we are supposed to believe in here – the free exchange of opinions, the clear-headedness of thinkers and teachers, the fine tracery of social interdependence we call community relations, modernity of outlook, tolerance, truth. You can taste the toxins on your tongue.

But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism. It is, I am assured, “criticism” of Israel, pure and simple. In the matter of Israel and the Palestinians this country has been heading towards a dictatorship of the one-minded for a long time; we seem now to have attained it. Deviate a fraction of a moral millimetre from the prevailing othodoxy and you are either not listened to or you are jeered at and abused, your reading of history trashed, your humanity itself called into question. I don’t say that self-pityingly. As always with dictatorships of the mind, the worst harmed are not the ones not listened to, but the ones not listening. So leave them to it, has essentially been my philosophy. A life spent singing anti-Zionist carols in the company of Ken Livingstone and George Galloway is its own punishment.

But responses to the fighting in Gaza have been such as to drive even the most quiescent of English Jews – whether quiescent because we have learnt to expect nothing else, or because we are desperate to avoid trouble, or because we have our own frustrations with Israel to deal with – out of our usual stoical reserve. Some things cannot any longer go unchallenged.

My first challenge is implicit in the phrase “the fighting in Gaza”, which more justly describes the event than the words “Massacre” and “Slaughter” which anti-Israel demonstrators carry on their placards. This is not a linguistic ploy on my part to play down the horror of Gaza or to minimise the loss of life. In an article in this newspaper last week, Robert Fisk argued that “a Palestinian woman and her child are as worthy of life as a Jewish woman and her child on the back of a lorry in Auschwitz”. I am not sure who he was arguing with, but it certainly isn’t me.


The ability of the Jews in their State of Israel to defend themselves against an ongoing barrage of rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists in Gaza has lifted the thin veil of supposed objectivity claimed by major media outlets.

Instead of condemning Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists for terrorizing a country with 8,180 million people (6,135 million Jews; 1,694 million Arabs, and 348,000 non-Arabs), and holding them responsible to all of the casualties both in Gaza and in Israel, the Washington Post is protesting against “The lopsided death tolls in Israel-Palestinian conflicts.” Time’s “Civilian Casualties Rise as Israel Hammers Gaza From the Air,” audaciously claims Israel is to blame for Hamas’s attacking “Israel any way they can, and the way that works best is missiles.” And the New York Times, commiserates: “For Gazans, a Tense and Somber, Ramadan.” The obscene refusal to point the finger at the cause for all this — Hamas — attests to the success of Hamas’s and the Palestinian’s virulent decades-long anti-Israeli propaganda campaign.

Like the media, U.S. President Obama, has failed to tell Hamas “Stop shooting! Stop attacking Israel and stop ordering Gaza residents to ignore Israeli warnings.” Instead, Obama and the media call on Israel to stop defending its citizens, i.e., stop retaliating against Hamas.

Yossi Kuperwasser, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told Time’s reporter, “We have to make sure that we end this confrontation with a clear result, that Hamas stops the launching of rockets and terrorist attacks on Israel, and that it has no appetite to resume these kind of activities in the future. That is the goal of this operation.”

Time and again Israel has caved in to U.S. and European pressure. American-dictated “cease-fire” has only lead to increased Palestinian terrorism, by Hamas, the PLO, or others. It’s time Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu does not cave in to American, or “world opinion” pressure. He and the country he leads cannot afford it anymore.

For too long Israel has jeopardized its national security by oversimplifying Palestinian terrorism. Fed up with wars they deluded themselves again and again that the Palestinians also wish to raise their children peacefully, develop businesses and become good neighbors. This wishful thinking led to ” the credulous notion that “talking minimizes shooting,” wrote Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger, in Israel Hayom.


Today, in David Wilder’s letter from Hebron, Israel he notes “The existence of the “Iron Dome” system, which shoots the terror missiles while still in the air is a double miracle. The very fact that such a weapon exists, and the fact that it actually works. According to IDF statistics, the success rate stands (or flies) at 90%. The system not only identifies the attacking missiles’ trajectory, but also where it is expected to land. If the targeted area is populated, the ‘iron dome’ explodes into action. If it projects that the rocket will land in an unpopulated place, it does not operate. ” I thought immediately of the American patriot who worked tirelessly to develop and implement a missile defense system “Star Wars”.

This is a tribute from November 20, 2012


Born in Portland, Oregon, Daniel O. Graham attended college at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He later attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. During his 30 years in the military, Graham saw active duty in Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. Some key assignments included Estimator of Soviet and East European Affairs; the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army; the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency, Chief of Current Intelligence and Estimates for the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam; and Director of Collections, and Director of Estimates of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
From 1973-1974, Graham served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and from 1974-1976 as Director of its military counterpart, the Defense Intelligence Agency. During his military career, Graham received some of the highest decorations our nation bestows: the Distinguished Service Medal; the Distinguished Intelligence Medal; the Legion of Merit with two oak-leaf clusters; and in 1980 the National Armed Services Award presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as military advisor to Ronald Reagan in both the 1976 and 1980 Presidential campaigns. In 1978, Graham became Co-Chairman of the Coalition for Peace through Strength.
In 1981, he founded and became Director of High Frontier. Lieutenant General Graham (Ret.) passed away on 31 December 1995 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

in the House of Representatives
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, Gen. Daniel Graham’s service to this country has been matched by few Americans. As a tribute to him and his achievements, I would like to submit for the Record, a letter that Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote to General Graham last year, and General Graham’s obituary as it appeared in the January 3, 1996, edition of the New York Times.
U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, May 10, 1995.

Dear Dan: I am sorry I am not able to join you this evening. However, I do not want my appreciation of your achievements to go unstated.
Your contributions to U.S. national security and the U.S. space program are exceptionally well known in Congress. As Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, your unflinching analysis of Soviet capabilities and intentions reminded us that the Soviet Union was an unfailing adversary that wished the United States immense harm. Your fortitude in telling elected officials the cold, hard truth, even when they sometimes did not want to hear it, served as a guidepost by which we could reorient U.S. foreign policy and win the Cold War.

Even in retirement, General Graham, you were dedicated and forward-thinking which you proved by founding High Frontier, a citizen’s organization dedicated to leading the United States towards a secure future in space. Your leadership helped President Reagan launch the Strategic Defense Initiative, which has brought us ever closer to ending the threat of nuclear annihilation. However, you were not satisfied to simply improve national security, but you led High Frontier and its sister organization, the Space Transportation Association, to creatively think about the U.S. future in space. Today, under you care and instruction, these two organizations are among the most creative sources of thinking on developing outer space as a national resource. The X-33 program to create a reusable rocket that dramatically lowers the cost of access to space, for example, would not be happening today without the contributions of you and your colleagues.

In closing, I can only say thank you for your past service in the Cold War and your wonderful contributions to America’s future. In formulating a vision for space development, you planted, watered, and nurtured a seed that is growing as we speak and will one day surpass our wildest imagination. Thank you Lieutenant General Daniel O. Graham for helping save America.
Your friend,
Newt Gingrich.

U.S. Navy and Marine Team: A Global Combat Force for Good by THE HONORABLE EDWARD TIMPERLAKE

Debate over the type of response America should demonstrate against the fanatical Islamic killers called ISIS is cloudy, confused and murky in DC.

This is especially true inside the Obama Administration.

Vice President Biden early on wanted a three part geographic division of Iraq, Sunni, Shia, and Kurds.

While Ambassadors’ Susan Power, now at UN, and Susan Rice, now NSC Director, along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initiated a war in Libya called Odyssey Dawn, which they justified, by the ever evolving Obama Doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” or in DC speak R2P.

However right now – today – the President heeding the advice from his team’s previously offered insights, could initiate truly significant U.S. combat action to save lives while also degrading the combat capability of ISIS.

Protecting Kurdistan and saving Christians could be a brilliant military move.

Time is short but fortunately a Navy Marine Combat Force, to challenge ISIS with both airpower and an insertion force of US Marines are now ready on station in the Persian Gulf.

First to arrive was the USS George H.W. Bush with escort ships the Destroyer USS Truxton, and the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea.

The Bush has been joined by a Navy/Marine Amphibious Group; USS Bataan including the USS Mesa Verde and USS Gunston Hall with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked.

The 22nd MEU is a battalion sized force of Maries with indigenous air assets the MV-22s, MH-53, MH-60 and AV-8 Harrier.

Additionally, one of the unheralded contributions of the Navy/Marine team being combat ready at all times is at sea support from our Military Sealift Command (MSC).

That fleet’s ready professionalism was expressed in a recent interview with MSC Commander Rear Admiral T.K. Shannon USN.

Daniel Greenfield on The Invasion on Our Southern Border – on The Glazov Gang

This week’s special guest on The Glazov Gang was Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center who writes the blog, The Point, at

Daniel discussed The Invasion on Our Southern Border, unveiling the horror of Obama’s border disaster. He also discussed Israel vs. Hamas, Obama’s Iraq Throwaway, Hillary’s Rape Defense Lies, and much, much more.

Don’t miss it:

House Affirms Support for Israel ‘As It Defends Itself Against Unprovoked Rocket Attacks’ Posted By Bridget Johnson

The House passed a bipartisan resolution by unanimous consent today to support Israel “as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) introduced the resolution two days ago, and it was fast-tracked to the floor with more than 140 co-sponsors.

“I applaud the passage of this bipartisan resolution affirming U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself against violence,” said Israel, who is also chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It demonstrates the strong and unwavering partnership between the U.S. and the State of Israel and sends a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organizations that acts of terror against Israel will not be tolerated.”

Cole said the House “reinforced its support of our friends in Israel during times of great tension and unrest in the region.”

“Over the last several weeks, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, putting the lives of our Israeli friends in grave danger. As Israel combats these acts of terror, I am pleased that this resolution shows that America stands behind our friends,” he said. “I am also very proud that the Iron Dome, a joint Israeli-American project that intercepts missiles, has helped in the fight against terror and protected millions of lives. During these times of unrest, this technology is proving indispensable.”

The Iron Dome battery has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress since they went into action in 2011.

The resolution “reaffirms [House] support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel, condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel, and calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel.”

It included an amendment from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) noting that Iran is an enabler of Hamas.

“Hamas and their supporters remain committed to armed struggle against Israel’s right to exist–as they deliberately target Israeli population centers using many weapons provided by Iran,” Royce said. “With these threats arrayed against Israel, we will continue stand with the Israeli people.”

A Strange Way to Say Thank You Gaza- Rockets are the Bitter Fruit of Israeli Generosity. By Deroy Murdock

White House Middle East coordinator Phillip Gordon scolded Israel on Tuesday, even as Israelis hid from Hamas rockets that plunged from the heavens like deadly hailstones.

Israel “cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely,” Gordon said in a Tel Aviv speech. “Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability.” Gordon added that Israel’s leaders “should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate.”

Gordon addressed Israel’s role in the West Bank and its relationship with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. However, Gordon just as easily could have invoked the Gaza Strip.

As if psychically predicting Gordon’s speech, Israel in August 2005 decided that it could not “maintain military control of another people indefinitely.” So it capitalized on “the opportunity to negotiate” and did something astonishing:

Israel expelled from Gaza some 9,000 Jews in 25 settlements. Those who lingered were ejected by Israeli soldiers. And then — in a major confidence-building gesture — Israel bequeathed the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, like a landlord handing a tenant a home deed. Jew-free at last, which pleased many Palestinians, Gaza’s denizens faced a golden opportunity.

“We want to build the most dynamic bank between Gibraltar and the Taj Mahal,” Gaza’s leaders could have said. Financiers from Wells Fargo to Sumitomo would have flown in and shown them how — pro bono.

“We want the deepest-thinking university in this time zone to blossom in this soil,” top Gazans could have announced. Deans and professors from Stanford to Georgetown to Oxford would have rushed there to develop curricula, erect academic buildings, and stock libraries with Earth’s most compelling books and periodicals. World-class faculty would have flocked in.

“We want the loveliest tourist spot on the eastern Mediterranean,” Gaza’s honchos could have stated. Experts from Hilton to Club Med to Carnival Cruises would have sailed in with their talents.

By now, Gaza could be developing into the Hong Kong, Berkeley, or Cancun of the Middle East. “And we, the Palestinians, built this — once Israel left,” Gazans could have said, as proud as Americans after Cornwallis and the Redcoats sailed home in defeat.

The ‘Independent’ Counsel Mirage: Don’t Hand the IRS Investigation Over To a Special Prosecutor. By Andrew C. McCarthy

I confess to being amazed that President Obama and his trusty attorney general, Eric Holder, have not mollified their detractors by appointing an “independent counsel” to investigate the IRS scandal.

“Why,” you ask, “would Obama sic a prosecutor with independence from Holder’s Justice Department on a component of the Obama administration?” The real question is: Why hasn’t he?

The disconnect here lies in the public’s perception — and, perhaps, the perception of some congressional Republicans who ought to know better — of what an “independent counsel” really is. Independence is a mirage: Obama’s critics crave an evenhanded investigation of executive lawlessness and, in the Washington fashion, they have convinced themselves that wishing can make it so. As it actually exists, however, an “independent counsel” would be tailor-made for letting the administration and the IRS dodge accountability.

Let’s talk reality. As a matter of constitutional law, there is no such thing as an independent counsel. In our system, prosecution is a plenary executive power. All federal investigations and prosecutions proceed under the authority of the president; neither the Congress nor the courts have police powers. Any prosecutor, regardless of how “independent” we’d like him to be, would have to serve at the pleasure of the president, and would report to Eric Holder.

Is the constitutional bar to true prosecutorial independence a fatal blow to the goal of structuring a legitimate investigation of executive-branch misconduct? Not necessarily. For a scrupulous administration, careful political steps could address this legal conundrum.

Let’s say you had a president and attorney general who were regarded by even the opposition party as trustworthy. They could appoint a lawyer widely respected by both major parties as a pillar of rectitude and competence. Such an attorney’s reputation might convince the public to overlook the technicality that the lawyer would answer to the AG and, ultimately, to the president. But the attorney’s reputation on its own wouldn’t suffice. This “independent” counsel’s appointment would have to be accompanied by the president’s own very convincing demonstration that he regarded the investigation as a serious matter and was cooperating earnestly — in particular, by directing his subordinates, on pain of termination, to answer all questions and disclose all relevant evidence.

Now, let’s consider the Obama administration. President “I’m not interested in photo ops” is notoriously cynical and slippery — indeed, flat-out dishonest at times. His attorney general has already been held in contempt of Congress, owing to his penchant for providing misinformation. The president has publicly prejudged the IRS scandal as bereft of a “smidgeon” of corruption. The attorney general — notwithstanding the ethical canon that lawyers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety in the administration of justice — assigned this abuse-of-power probe to Barbara Bosserman, a heavy Obama and Democratic-party campaign donor.


Obama, Translated- Whenever the president talks about himself, flip it so he’s saying the opposite.

I think I’ve stumbled onto a handy heuristic — or, if that word makes you want to smash my guitar on the Delta House wall, rule of thumb — for listening to Obama. Whenever he talks about himself, immediately flip it around so he’s saying the opposite. Think about it. “I’m not interested in photo-ops.” Boom. Translation: “I think photo-ops are really, really important. And that’s why I’m not going to have my picture taken with a bunch kids at the border.”

Now, sometimes, a literal reversal of meaning doesn’t work. But the key is to look at any statement he offers about others as an insight into his own mental state.

When Obama denounces cynicism, he’s actually being cynical. What he’s doing is expressing his frustration with people who are justifiably cynical about him. Why can’t you people fall for what I am saying!?

When he says he doesn’t care about “politics,” just problem-solving, what he’s really saying is he wants his political agenda to go unchallenged by other political agendas.

And — as I wrote about at great length here — whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem. That is, unless, you’re the sort of person who actually thinks Obama isn’t an ideologue, which is just adorable.

It’s not so much that he’s lying. Though if he were a Game of Thrones character, “Obama the Deceiver, First of His Name” would be a pretty apt formal title. No, he’s projecting. It’s an ego thing. I am fond of pointing out Obama’s insufficiently famous confession, “I actually believe my own bullsh*t.” What I like about it is that’s it’s like a verbal Escher drawing. He believes his own b.s. but by calling it b.s. he acknowledges it’s not believable. It’s like sarcastically insisting that you’re being serious. It’s earnest irony or ironic earnestness. If you take the statement too seriously, you could end up like android #1 in “I, Mudd.”

(Speaking of earnestness and deceit, am I the only one to find the White House press secretary’s name mildly amusing? Josh Earnest? “To josh” means to playfully kid with someone, “I’m just joshing ya!” Earnest means to be overly sincere and deadpan serious. The official voice of the White House is living up to both the verb and the adjective; he’s saying humorously unbelievable things in an overly serious way. He’s a poor man’s Steven Wright. Or maybe I’m overthinking things again. As Steven Wright himself said, a “conclusion is just the place where you get tired of thinking.”).

James Longstreet : Maybe DoJ Stands for Delaying of Justice.

Illinois attempt to stop corruption short-circuited by DoJ

Maybe DoJ stands for Delaying of Justice.

One more investigation designed, allegedly, to get to the bottom of the issue, has been launched by the Obama DoJ. This time, in Illinois, the bastion of Democrat games and finances, a bald-faced delaying tactic to save the machine has been put in play.

At issue is Illinois a multi million dollar defunct program of Governor Pat Quinn’s. Playing the game of naming a program / money hole by such an attractive moniker that no politician could be against it, he funded the cleverly named Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (an anti-violence program) with $54.5 million in public money. All one has to do is read the headlines in Chicago to know the program failed. Now the question is asked, where did the money go?

Even with the tilted game board in Illinois, authorities launched an investigation. But it won’t go far in tracking down the potential graft and fraud. Enter the Federal Government and Eric Holder’s DOJ. The Chicago Tribune reports,

“…the Department of Justice has requested a 90-day delay before Illinois lawmakers question seven former Quinn aides who have been subpoenaed to testify next week….What’s odd about the Justice request for state lawmakers to stand down is that it didn’t come from prosecutors, as has been customary in other investigations. Instead it came by phone to Illinois House and Senate lawyers from Justice’s Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. That’s a liaison and lobbying office, not an office that typically has interjected itself into criminal cases here.”

Once again, the Federal government dictates in the affairs of the States. Not much different than the DOJ telling Arizona it can’t deal with illegal immigrants, the DOJ now tells Illinois to “relax” their efforts to fight corruption within their own State. The suggestion for such a request is that State efforts might interfere with federal efforts. This is usually an indication of no federal effort.

The “on going” investigation excuse is a favorite of this administration. The President can’t comment on the Benghazi scandal because of the “on going” investigation. And now Illinois is to “stand down” so as not to disrupt the federal investigation of the same matter. Can not States manage their own affairs?

Will Governor Quinn now issue this statement, “There is not a smidgen of evidence.”?