Hamas

Jews Brace For Next Phase In Iran Battle

New sanctions surge could lead to new dilemmas for groups that have banked on issue.

06/23/2010
Washington Correspondent

Recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-led effort to squeeze Iran could change the political calculus for American Jewish groups that have benefited hugely from their decades-old focus on Iran — and which have largely succeeded in making Iran’s threat to both U.S. and Israeli interests a top policy for Congress and  the White House.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Making Waves For Gilad Shalit

On Thursday, a small "flotilla" of boats will make their way down the Hudson River and up the East River to the U.N. to call attention to the plight of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas for what will soon be four years. What's the point, some people will ask. Is this the best way to help?

Senators To Obama: Probe Flotilla Leaders

06/22/2010

The Obama administration should probe whether the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation —  whose activists engaged in a violent clash with Israeli soldiers aboard a Gaza flotilla ship on May 31 — is tied to terrorist groups, 80 U.S. Senators said in a letter to the president this week.

A Flotilla for Gilad Shalit?

I have to confess: I don't know exactly what to say about the planned “True Freedom Flotilla” for Gilad Shalit, a project of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

Israel Surrenders - Blockade Eased Without Shalit

Israel did what it was told, giving in on the blockade without getting anything back, not even a Red Cross visit for Shalit, so everyone can feel better about themselves -- particularly those leftist American Jews who have had such a hard time supporting Israel lately -- except Shalit and his family won't feel better about themselves, Shalit still is in his his fourth year of isolated suffering, getting nothing out of this.

We'll see how much pressure anyone keeps on Hamas to release Shalit. Everyone who wanted Israel to be "smart," well, this is what they asked for. Let's see how much the pro-Beinart bloggers will ever mention Shalit again. And now let's see if it works for Shalit or if this whole episode will be exposed as yet another scamming of Israel. The Palestinians see this for what it is, a sign that they can take even more chances  -- with Israel increasingly being stripped of its right to self-defense.

Heilman, Chabad & Abraham Lincoln

Nothing is easier -- or more intellectually sloppy -- than to take shots at Chabad for believing that the Lubavitcher rebbe is still alive or for thinking that the rebbe is the messiah.

Here, take a look at the official Chabad-Lubavitch website. Go ahead. Here's the link to their section on the rebbe. Find even one reference to the rebbe being alive or the messiah. You won't find it.

Support For Gaza Blockade Seen Sinking in Israel

International pressure causing some Israelis to question sanctions.

06/15/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv—Amid heavy international pressure on the issue, domestic political support for Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip border passages has badly frayed.

Once confined largely to the Israeli left, criticism of a policy that banned basic goods such as fresh meat, margarine and plaster has spread to security hawks who acknowledge the closure is not serving its original policy goal of weakening Hamas. That may make it easier politically for the government to make concessions on a blockade that, until now, has enjoyed widespread popular support.

Hoary Bugaboo

06/15/2010

 Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e.,  public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.  

And the Band Didn’t Play On: Why a Cultural Boycott of Israel is Wrong

06/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In what one concert promoter has called “cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” more musicians seem to be trumpeting the latest Palestinian efforts to undermine movement in the peace process as they cancel scheduled tour dates in Israel.

How ironic that these artists are boycotting Israel, a nation that has a lively and vibrant cultural arts scene, to make a political statement about Gaza, a region where “cultural police” inhibit free expression.

Daniel S. Mariaschin
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