You asked for change! Probably never thought it came with a cost.
Avi thinks it is time to get serious. (See 1 below.)
Victor Davis Hanson's reflects. (see 2 below.)
This has been going around and I have no way of verifying it.
It certainly could be something that has surfaced to discredit Obama and go after the relationship between him and his confidant - Valerie Jarrett. You can decide. (See 3 below.)
As one might expect, Cheney is critical of Obama for not using certain information gathering techniques which have proven quite effective. (See 3 a below.)
Will a naive and hostile president, giddy from the vapors of having bin Laden killed, now confront Israel with his eagerness to embrace The Musim Brotherhood? (See 4 below.)
And what about the Brit's attitude and position. (See 4a below.)
A day late but still wonderful - all about 'Mom and Momism!' (See 5 below.)
Henry Kissinger once asked Chou En-Lai to theorize on what might have happened if Nikita Khrushchev had been assassinated instead of John F. Kennedy.
After a moment's thought, Chou En-Lai answered: "I don't believe Mr. Onassis would have married Mrs. Khrushchev."
1)It's Time to Get Serious about the Tri-Border Region
By Avi Jorisch
The Tri-Border Area (TBA) along the junction of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay is a hotbed of illegal activity that includes money launderers, arms traffickers, counterfeiters, drug traffickers, and terrorists. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous places in the world. According to a recent U.S. Government study, this area annually generates over $6 billion of illicit money and is nearly devoid of all governmental control.
Given the combination of a porous border and known terrorist activity, the TBA has quietly become a top priority for U.S. policymakers since the September 11 attacks. According to former FBI director Louis Freeh, the area is a "free zone for significant criminal activity, including people who are organized to commit acts of terrorism." Numerous U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies believe that many of the area's approximately 20,000 Muslim and Arab residents give financial support to groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and al-Qaeda. South American and U.S. officials have concluded that money raised in the TBA is used to finance training camps, propaganda operations, and bomb attacks in South America.
Yet all three TBA governments generally deny the problem, claiming that they have not detected terrorist activity or cells in the region. Counterterrorism officials from other countries disagree, with the U.S. and Israel reportedly going so far as to dispatch CIA and Mossad operatives to the region to neutralize what they believe could be an imminent terrorist threat.
Hizballah is perhaps the most active terrorist group in the TBA, and its role there has been extensively documented. For example, a U.S. congressional report stated that the group "clearly derives a quite substantial amount of income from its various illicit activities in the TBA." The organization reportedly used the TBA to plan and finance two major terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires, the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy and the 1994 attack on the city's main Jewish community center.
Twice in recent years, the U.S. Treasury Department has taken action against Hizballah in the TBA. In 2006, Adam Szubin, Director of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) charged that Assad Ahmad Barakat was a "major financial artery to Hizballah in Lebanon." That same year, the Treasury Department designated nine individuals and two businesses in the region for providing financial and logistical support to Hizballah.
What can the three TBA countries and the international community do to reduce illicit activity in the TBA? First, while Brazil and Argentina, after tremendous international pressure, have criminalized financing of terrorism, Paraguay has yet to do so. This represents a significant challenge to counter-terrorism and anti-money-laundering efforts, and the Argentinean government and its allies should stress how important it is for Paraguay to implement this type of reform.
The financial industry should also be marshaled into action. Banks in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, in addition to major financial institutions around the world, should carry out enhanced due diligence on all transactions emanating from the TBA. These countries should also force their banks to implement strict controls to prevent abuse of the financial industry. A significant number of financial institutions operate in the zone, and most are complicit to some degree in the illicit activity. For example, Ciudad del Este, in the Paraguayan part of the TBA, reportedly has 55 different banks and foreign exchange houses, despite a population of only 300,000. Since other cities of similar size average 5-10 banking facilities, this appears to indicate that many of those institutions are involved in illicit activity.
The three TBA countries may wish to emulate a successful U.S. law enforcement model known as High Intensity Financial Crime Areas (HIFCAs) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs). These "areas" were conceived as a means of concentrating law enforcement efforts—investigations, analysis, and prosecution—in regions with significant illicit activity. The creation of such zones has historically proven effective in curbing illicit activity. The U.S. government should offer massive foreign aid to encourage TBA governments to undertake this initiative.
Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay can do much more to confront the threat of illicit financial activity. Implementation of measures to detect and prevent such activity, coupled with a robust ability to enforce financial controls, is vital if the international community is to make serious headway against money laundering and terrorism financing.
2)Thoughts on a Surreal Depression
Posted By Victor Davis Hanson
Here in Fresno County, in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley, the official unemployment rate in February to March ranged between 18.1 and 18.8 percent. I suspect it is higher in the poorer southwestern portions, especially near my hometown of Selma, about two miles from my farm.
Since 2000 we have both lost jobs and gained people, and the per capita household income is about 65% of California’s average, the average home price about half the state norm.
In some sense, all the ideas that are born on the Berkeley or Stanford campus, in the CSU and UC education, political science, and sociology departments, and among the bureaus in Sacramento are reified in places like Selma — open borders, therapeutic education curricula, massive government transfers and subsidies, big government, and intrusive regulation. Together that has created the sort of utopia that a Bay Area consultant, politico, or professor dreams of, but would never live near. Again, we in California have become the most and least free of peoples — the law-biding stifled by red tape, the non-law-biding considered exempt from accountability on the basis of simple cost-to-benefit logic. A speeder on the freeway will pay a $300 ticket for going 75mph and justifies the legions of highway patrol officers now on the road; going after an unlicensed peddler or rural dumper is a money-losing proposition for government.
The subtext, however, of most of our manifold challenges here in the other California are twofold: we have had a massive increase in population, largely driven by illegal immigration from Latin America, mostly from Oaxaca province in Mexico, and we have not created a commensurate number of jobs to facilitate the influx.
I often ask business people on the coast why there are not more industries in places like Selma other than agricultural related work that is locale specific. I would sum up their responses as something like the following: Our workforce does not have the educational and linguistic skills to justify, in global terms, the amount of wages and benefits necessary to employ them, hence jobs are mostly in service and government. Software engineering, computers, or Silicon Valley-like industry are out the question. But apparently so are large manufacturing jobs, despite an abundant workforce. As I understand employers, they seem to suggest that steel pipe, electrical wire, or radios would not be better manufactured or fabricated here, and yet still cost two to three times more than a counterpart assembled abroad.
In addition, they believe that the state government would look upon any employer of a large industry not as a partner that would alleviate unemployment and lessen county expenditures, but more or less a sort of target to regulate, advise, lecture, and chastise, both to justify the expanding government regulatory work force and to achieve a fuzzy sort of social justice. There are, of course, large plants and businesses here, but hardly enough to absorb the thousands entering the work force.
The result is about one in five adults is not working in the traditional and formal sense. A morning drive through these valley towns confirms anecdotally what statistics suggest: hundreds, no, thousands, are not employed. Construction is almost nonexistent. Agriculture is recovering, but environmentally driven water cut-offs on the West Side (250,000 acres), increasing mechanization, and past poor prices have combined to reduce by tens of thousands once plentiful farm jobs.
We live in one of the most blessed climates in the world, without major floods, earthquakes, fires, or tornadoes. The soil is unmatched. The Sierra and its rich snowpack loom immediately to the east with all its recreational, hydroelectric, and timber wealth; we are but three hours from either San Francisco or Los Angeles. And yet this is now one of the most impoverished areas in the United States, statistically in many categories of income, education, and employment well behind Appalachia.
But we are experiencing a funny sort of depression, or rather a surreal sort. I grew up with stories from my grandparents of 28 people living in my present house. My grandmother, she used to brag, had a big kettle of ham bones and beans cooking nonstop each day and fed assorted relatives as they came in from the vineyard and orchard. My grandfather made one trip to Fresno (16 miles away) every 10 days for “supplies.” The pictures I have inherited from my mother show an impoverished farm — this house unpainted and in disrepair, ancient cars and implements scattered about, a sort of farm of apparent 1910 vintage, but photographed in the 1930s — one that I could still sense traces of as a little boy here in the late 1950s.
And yet all I heard were stories of happiness, hard work, and collective sacrifice. Relatives would say that the “’30s” were the worst and best years of their lives, as they related sagas of real genius involving fruit canning and curing, ad hoc repairs to equipment, and cobbled together furniture and clothing —all without spending any money. I just looked in my grandfather’s diary; he has a happy entry in 1958 about raisin prices over $200 a ton — quite in contrast to $40 a ton he received in 1936. (A ton of raisins would fill two of those huge watermelon bins you see in the supermarket.)
In contrast, in the present depression, the out of work and poor are as numerous, but both unhappier and yet far better off than prior generations. This is not the rant of some right-wing laudator temporis acti, or the death throes of an aging old white guy, but rather empirically based and shared by most of my friends in the ascendant Mexican-American middle and upper-middle classes, many of whom are becoming quite conservative.
The cars of our poorer brethren in our major discount stores are late model and often expensive. People get into them with full carts of food and clothing. Housing here is cheap and good. How to square this circle between official poverty and misery and the veneer of a well-off general public?
I’ve been discussing these disconnects with farmers, a professor or two from CSU Fresno, and local business people. All come to the same conclusions. There is a vast and completely unreported cash economy in Central California. Tile-setters, carpenters, landscapers, tree-cutters, general handymen, cooks, housekeepers, and personal attendants are all both finding work and being paid in cash. Peddlers (no income or sales taxes) are on nearly every major rural intersection. You can buy everything from a new pressure washer to tropical fruit drinks. For this essay, I stopped at one last week and surveyed their roto-tillers, lawn mowers, and chain saws, new and good brands.
New “restaurants” are sprouting all over the highways — mobile stainless-steel encased canteens with awnings and chairs set up along the road. And yet for all the cash economy, it seems almost everyone in the food stores and doctors’ offices are on food stamps, Medi-Cal, and rent subsidies. A carload of people drove in last week, inquiring about a house nearby; the occupants assured me that they had county housing vouchers.
A third ingredient is easy credit, whether for credit cards or late model cars. The result is statistically we are impoverished with near 20% unemployment; but in reality something stranger and weirder is transpiring. Prosperity and well-being are mostly assessed in relative not absolute terms. There is little appreciation of the wonders of the iPhone, whose computerized, and GPS-driven gadgetry would have been confined to millionaires ten years ago; there is frequent lamentation that the iPhone in question is not the latest model as others enjoy. A Camry is not worshipped as a wondrous machine that can get one 200 miles in 3 hours, in air-conditioned and musical luxury, only that one has a 4, not a 6 cylinder model, without leather seats and 6-disc CD.
The combination of 2 billion Indians and Chinese in the world marketplace, exporting cheap goods, has meant fewer jobs for Americans and far more material playthings now accessible to every stratum of society. Again, easy credit, combined with little shame or penalty in defaulting on what one owes, has allowed a superficial parity with the upper-middle class. Massive government transfers and relaxed eligibility have ensured households thousands of dollars in entitlements and subsidies. We have printed $5 trillion since 2009, and borrowed $1.6 trillion just this year. And the huge influx of easy government cash shows here.
Cash wages have meant augmented entitlement money and are competitive with those who are formally employed and who pay 30% of their money in payroll, health care, and federal, state, and local income tax deductions. The result is an odd sort of poverty, in which superficially the unemployed and poor to the naked eyed are almost identical to the upper middle classes.
Indeed what distinguishes the latter — the ability to pay a child’s tuition at college, frequent travel, higher end clothes and cars, a pool, or boat — seems rather superfluous. Need-based student loans and grants are now ubiquitous, one can learn more about Florence on a cable TV in-depth tour than going there, and a Lexus or Mercedes is not much different in reliability and comfort from a Honda or Nissan. I did an experiment the other day. I priced “wicker” furniture at Kmart and Wal-Mart and then drove up to an upscale North Fresno design outdoor living boutique. In short, the local version from China was about $300 for an ensemble, the high-end version was priced at $1700. To the naked eye, they were again almost identical and explain what I mean by the “veneer” of affluence. Ditto everything from jogging clothes to watches, and one can be outfitted in Selma for 10% of the cost of the brands of those popular in Palo Alto.
Some final tesserae in this confusing mosaic: The rhetoric of poverty and oppression is far more strident than the Depression-era, spread the wealth, Huey Long sort. The sense of injustice voiced by the SEIU  or public employee unions suggests wide scale Dickensian malnutrition, not an epidemic of obesity so amply chronicled by the first lady.
History’s revolutions and upheavals — whether the Nika rioting in Constantinople, the periodic uprising of the turba in Rome, the French upheavals, or the Bolshevik Revolution — are rarely fueled by the starving and despised, but by the subsidized and frustrated, who either see their umbilical cord threatened, or their comfort and subsidies static rather than expansive — or their own condition surpassed by that of an envied kulak class. Perceived relative inequality rather than absolute poverty is the engine of revolution.
These are strange and dangerous times. An insolvent federal government, an exporting China and India, and an almost complete indifference to federal immigration, tax, and regulatory laws have all combined to create a well-entitled but increasingly angry population, one “empowered” and made more, not less, bitter by the last two years of governance in Washington.
3) "What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound."
Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?
A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.
(Notice that Panetta is NOT in the room)
This update comes some 24 hours after our longtime Washington D.C. Insider first outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden. What follows is further clarification of Insider’s insights surrounding that event.
I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.
Q: What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?
A: Nothing changed with the president’s opinion – he continued to avoid having one. Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta. A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act. It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated – he was that frustrated. Both Panetta and Clinton convinced him to stay on and see the operation through.
What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta. Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be “…significant to the point of political debilitation.” It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid. This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett. Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure. The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr., Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound. Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him. What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound. Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go – including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice. Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault. This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other. Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself. Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority – namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat. Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk. During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary. Similar support was then followed by Gates. The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan. Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval. Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval. Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion. Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order. At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.
This insulation ended at some point with an abort order that I believe originated from Valerie Jarrett’s office, and was then followed up by President Obama. This abort order was later explained as a delay due to weather conditions, but the actual conditions at that time would have been acceptable for the mission. A storm system had been in the area earlier, but was no longer an issue. Check the data yourself to confirm. Jarrett, having been caught off guard, was now scrambling to determine who had initiated the plan. She was furious, repeating the acronym “CoC” and saying it was not being followed. This is where Bill Daley intervened. The particulars of that intervention are not clear to me beyond knowing he did meet with Jarrett in his office and following that meeting, Valerie Jarrett was not seen in the West Wing for some time, and apparently no longer offered up any resistance to the Osama Bin Laden mission. What did follow from there was one or more brief meetings between Bill Daley, Hillary Clinton, a representative from Robert Gates’ office, a representative from Leon Panetta’s office, and a representative from Jim Clapper’s office. I have to assume that these meetings were in essence, detailing the move to proceed with the operation against the Osama Bin Laden compound. I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military – both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States. There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier. The operation at this point, was in effect, unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it was already underway. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the “situation room” where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation. A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was. The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants. What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates. The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room.
At the conclusion of the mission, after it had been repeatedly confirmed a success, President Obama was once again briefed behind closed doors. The only ones who went in that room besides the president were Bill Daley. John Brennan, and a third individual whose identity remains unknown to me. When leaving this briefing, the president came out of it “…much more confident. Much more certain of himself.” He was also carrying papers in his hand that quite possibly was the address to the nation given later that evening on the Bin Laden mission. The president did not have those papers with him prior to that briefing. The president then returned to the war room, where by this time, Leon Panetta had personally arrived and was receiving congratulations from all who were present.
In my initial communication to you of these events I described what unfolded as a temporary Coup initiated by high ranking intelligence and military officials. I stand by that term. These figures worked around the uncertainty of President Obama and the repeated resistance of Valerie Jarrett. If they had not been willing to do so, I am certain Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today. There will be no punishment to those who acted outside the authority of the president’s office. The president cannot afford to admit such a fact. What will be most interesting from here is to now see what becomes of Valerie Jarrett. One source indicated she is threatening resignation. I find that unlikely given my strong belief she needs the protection afforded her by the Oval Office and its immense powers to delay and eventually terminate investigations back in Chicago, but we shall see.
3a)Cheney: Interrogation Techniques Justifiable
By Hiram Reisner
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he gives President Barack Obama credit for the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, but he also believes that interrogation techniques that have been “taken off the table” should be renewed. Cheney also said on "Fox News Sunday" that Obama’s Libya strategy is confusing.“I think you’ve got to give him a lot of credit for making the decision to have SEAL team six conduct the raid that got bin Laden," Cheney said. “There's no question that was his responsibility, and I think he handed it well. I give him high marks for making that decision."Cheney said he remains concerned that the Obama administration has stopped using some of the enhanced interrogation techniques first instituted under the Bush administration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4)Israel's next challenge: Obama's outreach to Muslim Brotherhood
Israelis celebrate the 63rd anniversary of their independence this week in good cheer. Neither by word nor hint have its leaders referred to the challenge facing the country in the year to come: Barack Obama, President of Israel's best friend and ally, has picked the Muslim Brotherhood movement of the Middle East as his chosen partner for promoting American interests in the Arab world in place of its ousted rulers. His courtship of this organization, which he regards as moderate, was the rationale, say Washington and counter-terror sources, behind his bold decision to get rid of Osama bin Laden, a step which his two predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, held back from although they knew where he was.
Many people forgot the vow Obama made in Cairo on June 4 to mend America's fences with the Muslim world, but he meant every word. His White House has made forging a pact between the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood their ultimate policy objective, although they do not expect to achieve it in one fell swoop.
Bin Laden's death was part of the US president's unfolding game plan:
1. He needed to demonstrate unswerving resolve to eradicate the terrorist threat posed by Islamic extremists;
2. The Muslim Brotherhood and its national chapters needed to be held back from falling into the arms of Islamic radicalism if it were to qualify as the centerpiece of America's new beginning with the Arab world.
Another part of the Obama game plan was the "Arab Spring" for paving the way to that beginning by making decades'-old autocratic rulers redundant.
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak had to go first - and he was therefore the only Arab ruler whom the US president told bluntly to leave, unlike Muammar Qaddafi or even Bashar Assad – very simply because Egypt is the center of the many-branched Muslim Brotherhood's and its Shura Council.
More than any other Middle East party or organization, the Brotherhood holds powerful levers of influence in Libya, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian arena and even in Saudi Arabia through its presence in national religious institutions and broad membership. It is therefore suppressed by all those regimes as it was in Egypt.
Mubarak's fellow Arab rulers watched and noted how quickly and ruthlessly Obama disposed of him and mustered all their resources to defeat the US-backed revolts against their regimes before they too were tossed on the rubbish heap.
Saudi King Abdullah fought back with a divorce from Washington. He is bitterly hostile to the Obama administration – not just over Mubarak's humiliating downfall, but because he believes that a US-Muslim Brotherhood pact would threaten the royal House of Saud by engulfing the clerical institutions which give the throne its legitimacy.
Libya's Qaddafi tried to save himself by pointing to his common cause with the US against a rebellion penetrated by Al Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. When he realized that Washington did not share his view and favored the Muslim elements, he decided to fight back against the rebellion and defy their NATO backers.
Syria's Bashar Assad, who represents a secular regime and creed, has resorted to tanks, artillery and live bullets for a ferocious crackdown to end what he regards as the continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood-led challenge to the Alawite Assad family rule launched first against his father 19 years ago.
Another piece of the Obama game plan was put in place in Cairo Wednesday, May 4, with the inking of the Palestinian unity pact by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for Fatah and Khaled Meshaal for Hamas.
After Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Abbas that the Palestinians must choose between peace and Hamas, Abbas is reported by Cairo sources as privately asking why the Israelis complained to him. They should complain to Obama, he said. Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian and Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood branches. "I am only acting out his guidelines by helping the Brotherhood's integration in Middle East government."
The US president has taken certain steps to get his plan in motion. It will be far from plain sailing. In Israel and in some Western capitals, the military junta which has succeeded Hosni Mubarak in Cairo is not expected to tamely open the door to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian generals have meanwhile taken the lead in steering Palestinian moves in the hope of focusing the Muslim Brotherhood's attention on the Palestinian issue rather than its drive for power. This device worked for Gemal Abdul Nasser in the 60s and 70s.
But sooner or later, the Brotherhood and Washington will realize that the military rulers fully intend to hold onto power. Instead of standing aside for a Brotherhood presidential candidate, they will run one of their own. President Obama will then be confronted with a hard decision.
Sensing the supportive winds blowing in from Washington, Muslim activists attacked a Coptic Christian church in Cairo Saturday, May 7, sparking a violent sectarian clash that raged through Sunday night leaving more than 20 dead and raising fears of a Muslim power grab.
With the White House busy juggling the balls of its primary Middle East policy, there is not much Israel can do. Therefore, Prime Minister Netanyahu's meeting with Obama on May 21and his speech to the joint Houses of Congress during his Washington visit are not expected to yield momentous changes.
There is not much point in his unveiling any new peace proposal as long as the Palestinians are stuck betwixt and between their next moves, or trying to warn Obama against a US-Muslim Brotherhood rapprochement. While a Brotherhood takeover in neighboring Arab countries, however gradual, would pose a direct threat to Israeli security, Obama in the full flush of success of his initial steps will not be receptive to Israel's arguments.
4a) Summary: British Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2010 that one of the foundations for peace in the Middle East must be the willingness of all parties to speak “unvarnished” truth about the conflict. In that spirit, this new Beyond Images Briefing lists twenty “unvarnished” facts about Britain and Israel. We cover British government policies, Hamas in British political life, British media, British public opinion, non-governmental organisations, and boycotts, ‘Israel Apartheid’ campaigns and the so-called ‘delegitimisation’ of Israel in the UK.
Britain upgrades diplomatic status of the Palestinian Authority
Britain supports one-sided UN Security Council Resolution
Britain abstains over the Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly
Britain is publicly silent on the ‘Right of Return’, and PA incitement
Palestinian leader singles out UK for praise for its anti-settlement policies
Denis McShane MP on the climate of opinion in the UK Parliament
The Foreign Affairs Committee calls for “engagement” with Hamas
The International Development Committee calls for “dialogue” with Hamas
Hamas gains respectability in liberal Britain: Jeremy Greenstock, the ICA
Thinktank identifies Britain as hub for Hamas propaganda
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broadcasts Christmas message on Channel 4 TV
Cartoons and photographs: Ariel Sharon, The Times, The Telegraph, Metro
The BBC Governors rejection of allegations of bias, and the word ‘terrorism’
Just Journalism on Financial Times editorials; Camera on The Economist
Peter Kosminsky’s drama ‘The Promise’ on Channel 4 TV
YouGov public opinion survey on British attitudes to Israel
BBC World Service and Economist Intelligence Unit public opinion surveys
NGOs organised in the UK and working together to condemn Israel
Britain as a hub for delegitimisation: Ron Prosor, Natan Scharansky
Grassroots boycott campaigns and ‘Israel Apartheid’ campaigns
British Government policies
1. Britain upgrades the diplomatic status of the Palestinian Authority, coinciding with its intensified drive for unilateral statehood, and despite the PA’s refusal to negotiate with Israel: In February 2011 the British Government upgrades the diplomatic status of the Palestinian Authority. This coincides with intensified PA efforts to declare a Palestinian state unilaterally via the UN General Assembly in September 2011, and soon after the PA walks away from two-state solution negotiations with Israel. Following a meeting in early May 2011 with Prime Minister Netanyahu, sources close to Prime Minister Cameron hint that Britain may recognise a unilaterally declared Palestinian state on all the West Bank in September 2011 (reported on YNet News, and in The Guardian, 5 May 2011). These events occur on the day that a ‘unity agreement’ is entered into between Fatah and Hamas: Hamas restates that it rejects a two-state solution and negotiations with Israel, condemns the killing of “holy warrior” Osama bin Laden, and refuses to renounce violence. Cameron tells the House of Commons that Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas, despite “all sorts of difficulties”, should be a “step forward” (Jewish Chronicle, 6 May 2011). These British moves follow shortly after the Fatah Revolutionary Council, which is the leading force in the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority, again refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish state because ‘Jewish state’ is, in their words, a “racist” concept (the relevant resolution was reported by Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post, 28 November 2010). The British Government makes no public comment. Meanwhile, at a press conference David Cameron describes his support for Israel as “unshakeable” (BBC News, 5 May 2011).
2. Britain supports a UN Security Council Resolution which one-sidedly condemns Israel for the deadlock in the peace process: In February 2011 Britain supports a proposed Resolution in the UN Security Council in New York which is promoted by the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority and which describes all Israeli settlements as “illegal” and a “major” obstacle to peace. The proposed Resolution omits to mention any policies or actions of the Palestinians which might be ‘major obstacles to peace’, for instance their refusal to negotiate with Israel, media incitement to violence, missile attacks from Gaza, the PA’s refusal to recognise Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and the past Palestinian rejection of Israeli offers of territorial withdrawal and settlement evacuation. The USA alone vetoes the Resolution, calling it “one-sided” (BBC, Jerusalem Post, other reports, 19 February 2011). British Prime Minister Cameron tells an audience in Qatar, and MPs in Parliament, that he is “proud” that Britain voted for the proposed Resolution.
3. Britain abstains over the Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly: In November 2009 Britain abstains in a vote at the UN General Assembly which endorses the Goldstone Report, sponsored by the UN Human Rights Council, into Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza. The USA, Canada and Australia vote against the Report. So do seven European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Macedonia. The US Congress condemns the Goldstone Report and the manner in which it was drawn up as “irredeemably biased” (3 November 2009, 111th Congressional session, House Resolution 867), but British Foreign Secretary Miliband calls its allegations “credible and serious” (Parliament Today, 2 December 2009). In January 2010 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agrees with an MP’s question in Parliament that Israel “undoubtedly” committed war crimes (Parliament Today, 6 January 2010). Even after Richard Goldstone retracts his main accusation against Israel, in April 2011, Britain refuses to disassociate itself from the Report. In March 2011 Britain votes in favour of another resolution at the UN Human Rights Council condemning Israel as the “occupying power” of Gaza (Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005).
4.The British Government remains silent on uncompromising demands by Palestinian ‘moderates’ for a ‘right of return’ into Israel, and in the face of continuing incitement against Israel in PA media and political culture: British government ministers remain silent following public statements by leading Palestinian ‘moderates’ Saeb Erekat and Nabil Shaath that the Palestinians are not prepared to compromise over the Palestinian ‘right to return’ into Israel and that the right is ‘non-negotiable’. Erekat’s statement appears in The Guardian (Comment is Free, 10 December 2010) and provokes an outcry across the Israeli political spectrum. Shaath’s statement is made at a press conference reported by the Jerusalem Post (23 April 2011). No British ministers declare publicly that the stance of Erekat or Sha’ath is an ‘obstacle to peace’. Meanwhile, British government ministers are virtually silent over persistent Palestinian media incitement against Israel, the obliteration of Israel in Palestinian books (including schoolbooks), and the honouring of Palestinian suicide bombers in Palestinian political culture (exhaustively chronicled in Palestinian Media Watch – see www.palwatch.org). British financial support for the Palestinian Authority continues without the Government making any visible linkage to the inflammatory output of PA-controlled TV and radio. Meanwhile, at a Jewish community dinner in London, Prime Minister Cameron states that his “belief in Israel” is “indestructible”.
5. Successive British governments affirm the position that all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, are illegal, and the Palestinian Prime Minister congratulates Britain for being the leading anti-settlement force in Europe: Successive British governments take the position that all Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law. Britain also considers the building of Jewish neighbourhoods in ‘East Jerusalem’ to be illegal settlements, which could include building in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Britain rejects Israel’s long-standing claim that the West Bank territories are ‘disputed territories’ under international law. British ministers demand a return to the pre-1967 armistice lines, while vaguely hinting at land swaps, but give the Palestinians no reason to agree to land swaps. In November 2008 Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad singles out Britain as a “model” in Europe for its anti-settlement policies, and calls on other EU states to follow Britain’s lead (Jerusalem Post, 27 November 2008).
6. Senior Labour MP Denis McShane says that Israel has “few friends in British politics...”: Denis McShane is a Labour MP, a former Minister for Europe, and chaired the all-party Parliamentary Enquiry into Anti-semitism. He is broadly supportive of Israel. In November 2009 Channel 4 TV broadcasts a documentary about an alleged ‘Israel lobby’ in the UK. Following public protests about the programme, McShane states that “if there is a Jewish / Israel lobby in the UK it is not very successful. Israel is almost treated as a pariah state in the media, and has few friends in British politics..” (quoted in Jerusalem Post, 15 November 2009). Two days later McShane writes: “Why, if the Jews have such lobbying power, are they so spectacularly unsuccessful? Israel has the worst press of any UN member state in the British media. The House of Commons is far more likely to hear a denunciation of Israel than any criticism of any neighbouring Arab country, let alone the openly anti-semitic Hamas....” (Independent newspaper blog, 17 November 2011)
The rise of Hamas in British political life
7. British MPs specialising in foreign affairs twice call on the British Government to “engage” with Hamas: In 2007 the influential Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the British Parliament, comprising Members of Parliament from all political parties, issues a report about Gaza and other regional issues. The Committee calls on the British Government to “engage” with what it calls the “pragmatic wing” of Hamas and it condemns Israel for carrying out “collective punishment” against Gaza Palestinians (Eighth Report of the Select Committee, 13 August 2007). In July 2009 the same Committee states that the EU’s policy of non-engagement with Hamas is “not effective” and they call for British engagement with “moderate elements” in Hamas (source: BBC News, 26 July 2009).
8. MPs specialising in international development call for “dialogue” with Hamas: In 2009, the International Development Committee of the UK Parliament, comprising Members of Parliament from all political parties, issues a report on the UK and the international community. The MPs state that it is “important to bring Hamas into dialogue and into the peace process”. The MPs make no demands of Hamas in the report, such as renouncing the Hamas Charter, or renouncing Hamas’s past track record of killings of Israeli civilians (Source: The UK Government and the international community, August 2008). At the time of publication of the Report, Hamas alone had carried out around 26 suicide bombings in Israel and dozens of foiled attacks, killing at least 450 Israeli men, women and children and injuring and traumatising thousands (source: Beyond Images Briefing 169, 27 March 2006, and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website)
9. Hamas steadily gains respectability in mainstream liberal Britain: Sir Jeremy Greenstock is a former British Ambassador to the UN, and he is frequently interviewed on the BBC World Service and on other media about Israel and the Middle East. He writes that “Hamas has no charter for the destruction of Israel in its political programme” and describes Hamas rocket attacks and bombings as “resistance to occupation” (Guardian, 16 January 2009). The Economist newspaper describes Hamas as “still rejecting fully-fledged peace with Israel” (6 October 2007), implying that Hamas has accepted ‘partial peace’ with Israel. In October 2008, Hamas spokesman Usamah Hamdan gives a live, in-depth presentation and interview at the prestigious Institute for Contemporary Arts in Central London. The event is called ‘Talking to Hamas’ (source: ICA promotional literature, October 2008). In October 2009, the BBC Trust, which is a senior regulatory body of the BBC, publishes a statement in response to a viewer complaint that Hamas has a ‘Right of Reply’ under the BBC’s Code of broadcasting ethics if it is criticised on the BBC (source: Beyond Images Briefing 246, dated 8 November 2009)
10.Britain is identified as centre for Hamas propaganda: In March 2008 Israeli thinktank The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (‘Malam’) publishes a comprehensive report which identifies the UK as a “major source of publishing and distribution of Hamas incitement...” It claims that “Britain does not stop the distribution of hateful propaganda against Israel and the West and publications glorifying suicide terrorism”. The carefully documented Malam report, written by Arabic-speaking expert analysts, highlights online publications by Hamas for adults and children, which “inculcate into children admiration for terrorism”. Malam concludes that “Hamas.... enjoys relative freedom of action on British territory, particularly in the sphere of propaganda”(See: www.terrorism-info.org.il)
11. Channel 4 TV gives Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a platform to broadcast a Christmas Day messages to its viewers: In September 2008 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. He states that “the dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule number, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner....”. He accuses Zionists of being “murderers” who have followed a policy of “invasion and assassination” of Arabs for 60 years, and labels the “Zionist regime” a “cesspool” which is “on a definite slope of collapse”. Denis McShane (see 6/above) calls the speech “probably the most consistently anti-semitic speech since the Third Reich”. In December 2008, just three months later, Britain’s Channel 4 TV invites Ahmadinejad to deliver a Christmas message of “goodwill” to viewers. Ahmadinejad’s message is broadcast in the UK on Christmas Day.
12. Newspaper cartoons and photographs: In 2003, a cartoon depicting then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with blood dripping from his mouth, and eating a Palestinian child while grinning grotesquely, wins a British national press award for best political cartoon of the year. The cartoon had first appeared in The Independent newspaper. In 2007 a series of photographs by The Times’ Peter Nicholls on “the pain and fury” in Beirut as consequence of Israel’s “devastating” air strikes in Lebanon in 2006 win a prestigious Canon news photography award (Times, 12 April 2007). Photographs of the 4000 Hizbollah rocket attacks against Northern Israel in 2006 do not feature in the winning entries. In July 2008, the right-of-centre Daily Telegraph newspaper publishes a cartoon called ‘Danger on the Streets’ (Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2008). It depicts Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Iranian President Ahmadinejad as street thugs in jeans, loitering in semi-darkness on a street corner. Each is brandishing a long dagger, and scowling at the other. The cartoon is published at a time of heightened public concern in the UK over knifings in the street. Metro is London’s free daily newspaper, and is read by hundreds of thousands of Londoners on their way to work. A photo appears in its news section of two Palestinian children in Hebron, each around 7 years old, “playing out a confrontation” between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian child, to mark the first day of the Muslim religious holiday of eid al-Fitr. The Palestinian boy is being shot in the head at point blank range by the Israeli boy (Metro newspaper, 21 September 2009).
13. The BBC Governors accept the findings of an independent expert panel that there is no bias at the BBC and that the BBC should cover Palestinian life under occupation more fully, and they decide against use of the word “terrorist”: In 2006, the BBC governors accept the finding of an independent panel of media experts that there is “no systematic or deliberate bias” against Israel in BBC coverage (Source: see Independent Panel Report on Impartiality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2 May 2006). The experts conclude that the BBC needs to provide more context on “the difficulties faced by Palestinians in their daily lives”. The Governors accept a recommendation to appoint an extra BBC correspondent to be based in the West Bank. The experts also state it “might not always be appropriate” for the BBC to seek balance in its coverage as the Palestinians are ”wholly under occupation” and Israel is “the occupier”. The BBC Governors accept this finding too. The experts recommend that the BBC should use the word “terrorism” to describe random violence against Israeli civilians. However, this recommendation is rejected by the BBC Governors. Instead they confirm that the BBC will continue as a matter of policy not to use the word “terrorist” in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (or any other) because that word “can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding” (Source: see Beyond Images Briefing 178, 10 July 2006)
14. Financial Times editorials are shown to be persistently slanted against Israel; The Economist publishes fantasy as factual news: Media monitoring group Just Journalism (www.justjournalism.com) surveys 121 editorials published about Israel in 2009 in the globally recognised UK newspaper The Financial Times. Just Journalism concludes that the FT “views Israel as primarily responsible for the perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, while downplaying other factors such as Palestinian terrorism...”. The FT describes Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 as a “cynical ploy”. Meanwhile, US-based media monitoring group Camera highlights a claim by The Economist (www.economist.com) in a news report from Jerusalem that “traffic lights flick green only briefly for cars from Palestinian districts while staying green for cars from Jewish settlements for minutes....” – ie accusing Israel of operating racist traffic lights. On a speaker tour of Britain in March 2009, Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz describes the British newspapers The Guardian and The Independent as “the most hostile newspapers to Israel in the world” (source: personal attendance)
15. Channel 4 TV broadcasts Peter Kosminsky’s drama series The Promise: British broadcaster Channel 4 screens four part TV series The Promise in February 2011. Jonathan Freedland from the Guardian, a forthright critic of Israeli policies, says publicly after just one episode that he “cannot bear” to watch the programme. Booker Prize winning writer Howard Jacobson calls it a “ludicrous piece of brainwashed prejudice”, and “over-simplified” drama which “creaks with bad faith” (Jewish Chronicle, 29 April 2011). Israeli extremism from the 1940s to today is magnified and portrayed as normative. Arab extremism is ignored completely. Jews are portrayed as callous, manipulative, deceitful and cruel. Arabs are portrayed as warm, sincere and charming. However, the writer and director of The Promise, Peter Kosminsky, and senior management at Channel 4, brush aside criticisms of the programme by Jewish community leaders, extolling its qualities and balance, and citing the high viewing figures and critical acclaim it has received. Media regulator Ofcom rejects all 42 complaints it has received. The Promise is nominated for a prestigious BAFTA award for best drama series of the year, and it is broadcast in France.
Some surveys of British public opinion regarding Israel
16. YouGov survey: Israel is among the world’s ‘least democratic countries’: In 2005, respected polling company YouGov polls a cross-section of 2058 British people for their attitudes to 24 countries around the world, including Russia, China, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Canada and Israel. Twelve specific criteria are examined. Israel comes out top of the list of 24 countries where people would “least like to live”. The British people questioned also consider Israel to be “the least deserving of international respect” of the 24 countries covered, and that Israel is “among the world’s least democratic countries” (source: YouGov poll reported in Daily Telegraph, 3 January 2005)
17. Israel ranks poorly in public opinion surveys from the BBC World Service and the Economist Intelligence Unit: A succession of annual BBC World Service surveys of public opinion reveal extremely low ratings for Israel. In 2007 the annual survey of 28,000 people ranks Israel, together with Iran and the USA, as the countries with the most negative influence in the world. In 2008 Iran and Israel receive the most negative ratings (17,100 people are surveyed that year). In 2011 the same BBC World Service survey shows that only 14% of British people have a positive view of Israel, with 66% having a negative opinion. The number of people expressing negative views rose 16% in a year (2011 report covered in news section of Hamodia newspaper, 17 March 2011). In the survey overall, Israel comes out fourth from bottom out of 27 countries, with only Pakistan, Iran and North Korea beneath Israel. Meanwhile, in a separate survey called the World Peace Index, which is supported by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Israel comes 141st out of 144 countries on a list of the world’s most peaceful countries. Countries which rank higher include Zimbabwe, Sudan, Lebanon, North Korea and Iran. The only countries which Israel beats are Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia (Jewish Chronicle, 31 July 2009).
Non-Governmental organisations in the UK
18. A coalition of NGOs works together in the UK to condemn Israel: In March 2008 a coalition of British-based NGOs publish a report describing the situation in Gaza as the “worst since 1967”, and blaming Israel as the “occupying power” in Gaza. The report is silent on the Hamas Charter and the statements of Hamas leaders, ignores Israeli medical assistance to the Palestinian population, and ignores the fact that Israel physically withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and destroyed all settlements there. The NGOs include Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save The Children UK and Christian Aid. This NGO ‘coalition’ is organised in the UK and publishes a further report later in the year again condemning Israel and criticising the international community for not bringing sufficient pressure on Israel. In 2009 leading UK charity War on Want launches a book called ‘Israel Apartheid: A Beginners’ Guide’.
‘Delegitimisation’ of Israel in British public life
19. Britain is identified as a global hub of hostility towards Israel, and as a hub for ‘delegitimisation’: Israeli Ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor writes that the UK is “a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment” (Daily Telegraph, 13 June 2008). Iconic Israeli statesman Natan Scharansky states at a conference in the UK Houses of Parliament that “if you look at the ‘new anti-semitism’ [ie demonization of Israel] the leading force is the UK....” (Jewish Chronicle, 27 February 2009). The head of the influential Israel-based thinktank Reut describes London as a “mecca of delegitimisation” of Israel (Gidi Grinstein, Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference, September 2010). In October 2007 John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of ‘The Israel Lobby’ which alleges a sinister Israel lobby in US public life, which works against US interests, enjoy a sell-out audience for their presentation at leading British international affairs thinktank Chatham House. And a report from The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (www.jcpa.org) on global delegitimisation of Israel, published in December 2010, states that Britain is a “hub” for delegitimisation, from where it “reaches out to the rest of the world.....”
20. Grassroots boycott and ‘Israeli Apartheid’ campaigns multiply in the UK: Campaigns to boycott Israel proliferate at grassroots level in the UK, including among church and other faith groups, lawyers, academics, student unions, performing artists, architects, trades unionists and many other groups. ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ events grow in size and impact each year on campuses across the UK, and many pro-Israel speakers face intimidation and hostility when they try to speak on UK campuses. In February 2006 students in a packed chamber at the Cambridge University student union vote that Zionism is a danger to the Jewish people. In the same year, Oxford University hosts its first ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ which later becomes an annual event. In February 2007 the Guardian newspaper publishes a 16-page expose of ‘Israeli apartheid’, spread over two days. In 2010 Unison, which has 1.3 million members and is the largest workers’ union in the UK, votes for a complete boycott of Israel. The successful motion accuses Israel of being a “war state” which carries out “ethnic cleansing”, has “no appetite for peace or coexistence” and is building an “apartheid wall” (Report: Jerusalem Post, 24 June 2010). Earlier, Ronnie Fraser, chairman of the Academic friends of Israel, wrote: “More than any other country in the world, it is the UK that has embraced the Palestinian call for academic, trade union, media, medical, architectural and cultural boycotts of Israel....” (Source: The Academic Boycott of Israel, JCPA paper, September 2005)
5)Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related..
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.
What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.
Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom.. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.
What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.