Referring to the criticism levied against Israel for their building on "occupied territory," Mike Huckabee stated: "I think we ought to be more concerned about Iran building bombs than Israelis building bedrooms." Read the full AP story here.
Macy Grey has been contemplating whether or not she should perform in Israel. Despite a heavy onslaught of encouragement from anti-Israel protesters for her not to perform, she says she will perform in Israel in about 2 weeks. We will keep you updated on this story.
Giulio Meotti of FRONTPAGEMAG writes: "According to Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident who was pivotal in the creation of the famous NGO Human Rights Watch, many of these organizations are currently being used by dictatorships to fight democracies. NGOs have become crucial in biased reports against Israel submitted at the United Nations, like the Goldstone Report on the Gaza War. Their “humanitarian” lamentations are often generously funded by the European Union, which supports many anti-Israel enterprises."
J-Street has billed itself as the pro-peace alternative to what they see as the hawkish, conservative pro-Israel groups, such as AIPAC. But are they really pro Israel? Liberal Jewish Congressmen Gary Ackerman doesn't seem to think so. He said: "The decision to endorse the Palestinian and Arab effort to condemn Israel in the U.N. Security Council is not the choice of a concerned friend trying to help. It is rather the befuddled choice of an organization so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out." Read more about this story here.
Remember when President Obama and his administration made such a big deal over Israel's announcement to build more houses in Jerusalem? Matthew Brodsky of the Guardian reports on why this made absolutely no sense: "The most telling aspect of the leaked papers is what it says about President Barack Obama's approach to the peace process. If his preoccupation with gaining an Israeli settlement freeze appeared mystifying before, it seems positively foolish now. It was during Vice President Biden's trip to Israel in March 2010 that the Jerusalem Municipality authorised 1,600 new housing tenders. This led the White House on the tactical diversion of demanding an Israeli settlement freeze. It turns out, however, that the area affected most by the announcement – Ramat Shlomo, in northern Jerusalem – was already discussed with Palestinian negotiators in 2008 as a town that would be annexed to Israel. This reaffirms that the notion that Israeli settlements are the greatest obstacle to peace is a mere canard." Read his entire article here.
According to Reuters: "Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s Now Israelis fear pro Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tacticsagainst their country, with increasing effect. Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Faithless, Leftfield, Tindersticks, Meg Ryan and film director Mike Leigh have all decided not to go to Israel in recent months....White South Africa was ostracized in a campaign lasting years. Today, Facebook and Twitter can flash protest messages globally in seconds, putting pressure on entertainers to stay away from Israel, and drawing the attention of millions of fans. For Israel, it is not just a matter of feeling isolated and misunderstood. There are serious strategic implications."
In agreement with the findings of the Turkel Commision, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "The truth is simple. IDF soldiers defended themselves and their country. It is not only their privilege but also their duty and the State of Israel stands behind their actions...The whole world saw how our soldiers were attacked and were forced to defend their lives. We established an independent panel of inquiry and the report that it submitted clearly shows that both the blockade on Gaza and its enforcement are legal, and that IDF soldiers acted legally and in self-defense." Read more about the commissions findings here.
There is a very troubling trend among Democrats with regards to support for Israel. Several months ago a pro Israel petition was circulating Congress -- Every member signed the petition except 91 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Furthermore, according to a McLaughlin Poll: "Among Republicans, 69% are more likely to vote for a pro-Israel candidate, 15% less likely; among Democrats, however, 40% are more likely to vote for a pro-Israel candidate, 33% less likely. A mere 5% of self-described liberals currently consider themselves pro-Israel." It has become abundantly clear that the Republicans are the Pro-Israel party. Although there are still many rock solid Democratic supporters of Israel, this is still a very troublesome trend. Support for Israel should remain a bipartisan issue. You can read more about Republican and Democratic support for Israel here.
Time Magazine recently published an article criticizing Israel for its "Rightward lurch," and for oppressing the Arab minority within the country. The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu responded with a very eloquent defense: "Israel has upheld its democratic values despite being threatened like no country on earth. In defending itself against wars of aggression, unparalleled terror campaigns and continuous promises to annihilate it, Israel has a track record on the protection of rights that would compare favorably to the record of any democracy, much less democracies under threat. Even in peacetime, other democracies enact laws that would be inconceivable in Israel. The Swiss ban on minarets and the French restrictions on headscarves passed in Europe, not Israel."
You can read both articles in their entirety here.