Friday, 14 May 2010

The dishonourable Mr. Gavri Bargil and his treason of Israel

The Israeli Embassy in London had invited Mr. Gavri Bargil to give a speech/conference/lecture/ at the LSE (London School of Economics) on 13th May 2010.

According to the information around (in the internet) "Mr. Bargil is or has been the Secretary General of the Kibbutz Movement since 2000. A member of Kibbutz Ramot Menashe, during the years 1996-1999 Bargil was the head shaliach (emissary) of the Kibbutz Artzi in North America. He previously served as the Executive Director of Peace Now and as a brigade commander holding the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1994 Bargil received his M.A. in Political Science, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since June 2004."

My friend called me yesterday and told me about this speech that was going to take place at 18:00 at the LSE - Holborn - London. I got very excited and decided to come with her, as both of us were actually expecting to hear something refreshing from our beloved Eretz ha'kodesh.

We arrived a little early, but waited until Mr. Bargil arrived, which by the way was 30 minutes late. And since we were not informed that the room used for this spech would have to be vacated by 19:00, we were expecting a good flow of conversation.

There were only 10 of us there, including Mr. Bargil, who politely introduced himself, did not fail to mention over 15 times (during the mere 30 minutes) that he was working with Peace Now for the last 20 years (as if we did not hear the first time, and yes, I did count), and spent the remaining 30 minutes spouting an absurd and unsupported version of the Israeli people's opinions and even claimed to "know" the mentality of the Palestinians. I kid you not!

Ah, notwithstanding his complete disregard for Israel and her people, he also alleged to have spoken/and having been negotiating directly with the Palestinian leaders regarding a treaty for peace, although he failed to tell us the name of these Palestinian leaders he spoke to, failed to tell us what this "peace treaty" entailed both for the Israeli and the Palestinian people, and failed to tell us on whose authority he was negotiating. What he did instead, and very orchestrated at that, was to completely change the subject, behaving somewhat like some sort of politician.

Mr. Bargil, also gave a very disturbing, erroneous, biased, and very ignorant view of the situation not only in Israel but also in the Palestinian territories, made opinions that did not and do not reflect even 30% of the opinion of Israelis, and failed miserably to acknowledge modern and historical facts, such as the terminology PALESTINIAN being used to refer to JEWS, before the Arab invasion of our lands. In fact he looked quite puzzled when I reminded him of this detail.

After the pathetic 30 minutes of his speech, I tried to approach him to ask him what he thinks will happen if his plan works, and we cut our minute land in half, giving away this half to our mortal enemies, the Muslim Palestinians, which are not really Palestinians, but Arabs from Syria, Iran, Libya, Egypt and Lebanon. Mr. Bargil simply replied that he HOPED the Palestinians would "behave", and commit to their peace agreement.

After that extremely naive and somewhat childish reply I was taken aback, repulsed and angry.

I also asked Mr. Bargil if after this so-called peace deal, I would for example, be able to buy a house in Gaza. He looked astounded and surprised with my question, and in return questioned me why I would want to buy a house there. I said: "Maybe I may wish to live there, after all it will all be peaceful, no?" Then he said I could live there, but at my own risk, which clearly and doubtlessly means that it had all been a show. He could not have contradicted himself better than that.

To my friend and I the message was clear; he is willing to allow Israel to be raped and plundered by the Arab Muslims. The very land that gave birth to him.

I am also posting here below my friend's comments regarding the lecture:

"We entered the lecture room early and found one student waiting the lecture. I asked him some questions about Mr Bargil, for instance, was he pro- or anti-Israel, what was his background. The student smiled and said Mr Bargil was pro-Israel, had served in the army as a commander and was now involved in Peace Now. As I personally do not believe Peace Now knows what it is doing and certainly has not contributed to peace of any kind, I became skeptical. Nevertheless I wanted to hear this man's views as he was an Israeli. The student also told us the Israeli embassy had encouraged the visit and asked him to find a room for him to speak. When I asked if the talk had been advertised, the young man told me "no". When I asked why, he could not tell me.

We thought there was only going to be 3 people at this talk but eventually there were about 10, gathered it seems, in the last minutes before Mr Bargil arrived late. They all seemed to be Jewish students, one girl announced she was Spanish, but she appeared more arab.

We did not realise we only had half an hour to listen and question Mr Bargil.

Mr Bargil seemed confused and kept contradicting himself. Also he got annoyed with a question I asked him and nearly lost his temper. Having visited Israel and stayed on a kibbutz I was puzzled by the man's lack of forthrightness, clarity and enthusiasm about Israel. He did not answer any questions either me or my friend put to him directly; he was very vague and confused.

His main point seemed to be that the "palestinians" were good partners for peace. When I mentioned that land-Gaza - had been given up for peace and no peace had ensued, he could not explain why. When I said that from my personal research I was convinced that Hamas and Fatah were both dedicated to the same end, ie pushing all Jews into the sea, all the students, barely 20 years old, all laughed patronisingly as if to say, "we know better". Mr Gavril was probably expecting to give is talk to a group of credulous, unthinking, programmed students. And he did but he was not expecting 2 people who refused to toe the propaganda line and wanted real answers to real questions.

Unfortunately there was not enough time to question Mr Gavril on recent statements by Hamas about Fatah members joining them and the contents of the Hamas charter, the gathering of Hezbollah on Israel's northern border and their digging of tunnels there.

If this was sanctioned by the Israeli embassy, I can only presume it was for propaganda purposes. They wanted to let, through LSE students, people know that Israel is committed to peace. Unfortunately, he proved convincingly and probably without intention, that Israel has without a doubt, no partners in their search for peace.

If this man was meant to show the intellectual power of the Israeli pro-peace discourse, he was a pathetic and abject failure."

To us, Mr. Bargil sounded nothing but a traitor to his country and his people.


Sunday, 2 May 2010

Fight Terror. Support Israel

By CAROLINE GLICK, The Jerusalem Post
April 30, 2010

By using support for Israel as a wedge issue in the upcoming
elections, Republicans will do more than simply constrain Obama’s
ability to harm the Jewish state.

Bipartisan support for Israel has been one of the greatest casualties
of US President Barack Obama’s assault on the Jewish state. Today, as
Republican support for Israel reaches new heights, support for Israel
has become a minority position among Democrats.

Consider the numbers. During Operation Cast Lead ­ 11 days before
Obama’s inauguration ­ the House of Representatives passed Resolution
34 siding with Israel against Hamas. The resolution received 390 yea
votes, five nay votes and 37 abstentions. Democrats cast four of the
nay votes and 29 of the abstentions.

In November 2009, Congress passed House Resolution 867 condemning the
Goldstone Report. The resolution urged Obama to disregard its
findings, which falsely accused Israel of committing war crimes in
Cast Lead. A total of 344 congressman voted for the resolution.
Thirty-six voted against it. Fifty-two abstained. Among those voting
against, Thirty-three were Democrats. Forty-four Democrats abstained.

In February 2010, Fifty-four congressmen sent a letter to Obama urging
him to pressure Israel to open Hamas-ruled Gaza’s international
borders and accusing Israel of engaging in collective punishment. All
of them were Democrats.

In the midst of the Obama administration’s assault on Israel over
construction for Jews in Jerusalem, 327 congressmen signed a letter to
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for an end to the public
attacks on the Israeli government. Of the 102 members who refused to
sign the letter, 94 were Democrats.

These numbers show two things. First, since Obama entered office there
has been a 13-point decline in the number of congressmen willing to
support Israel. Second, the decrease comes entirely from the
Democratic side of the aisle. There the number of members willing to
attack Israel has tripled.

As discouraging as they are, these numbers tell only part of the
story. The pro-Israel initiatives the remaining Democrats agree to
support today are less meaningful than those they supported before
Obama entered office.

Resolution 34 during Cast Lead was substantive. It unhesitatingly
blamed Hamas for the conflict, supported Israel and asserted that
future wars will only be averted if Hamas is forced to fundamentally

Last month’s letter to Clinton was much more circumscribed. It focused
solely on ending the Obama administration’s very public assault on
Israel, and ignored the nature of that assault. At the insistence of
the Democrats, the administration was not criticized for its bigoted
demand that Jews not be allowed to construct new homes in Jewish
neighborhoods in Israel’s capital city.

This week, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited Washington. Reps. Eric
Cantor and Peter Roskam ­ the Republican co-chairmen of the House’s
Israel caucus ­ held a public event with Barkat where they voiced
strong support for Israel’s right to build in Jerusalem without

In contrast, their Democratic counterparts refused to meet publicly
with Barkat. They also refused to issue any statements supporting
Israel’s right to its undivided capital.

In the midst of administration’s assault on Israel’s right to
Jerusalem last month, Representative Doug Lamborn drafted Resolution
1191 calling for the administration to finally abide by US law and
move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Lamborn gathered 18 co-sponsors for
the resolution. All of them were Republican.

THEN THERE is Iran. Acting on orders from Obama, House and Senate
Democrats have removed from consideration the sanctions bills that
passed overwhelmingly in both houses. This week Obama asked
congressional Democrats to water down the sanctions bills to permit
him to exempt China and Russia. In so doing, Obama exposed the entire
push for sanctions as a dangerous, time-consuming joke.
No sanctions
passed in Congress or at the UN will make Iran reconsider its decision
to build a nuclear arsenal.

This, of course, has been apparent for some time to anyone paying
attention. And recognizing this state of affairs in January, Lamborn
and Rep. Trent Franks authored a letter to Clinton and Defense
Secretary Robert Gates urging the administration “to support Israel’s
sovereign right to take any action it feels compelled to make in its

Their letter was signed by 22 other congressmen. All were Republican.

Similarly, since November, Rep. Louie Gohmert has been working on a
resolution supporting Israel’s right to attack Iran’s nuclear
installations. Gohmert’s resolution condemns Iran’s threat to commit
nuclear genocide against Israel and expresses “support for Israel’s
right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear
threats posed by Iran, defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the
lives and safety of the Israeli people, including the use of military
force if no other peaceful solution can be found within a reasonable

To date, Gohmert has racked up more than 40 co-sponsors. All are Republican.

Recent opinion polls show that the Republican-Democrat divide on
Israel in Congress reflects a growing partisan gap among the general
public. A Gallup poll conducted in February showed that whereas 85
percent of Republicans support Israel (up from 77% in February 2009),
and 60% of Independents support Israel (up from 49% in February 2009),
only 48% of Democrats support Israel, (down from 52% in February

To date, both the Israeli government and AIPAC have denied the
existence of a partisan divide. This has been due in part to their
unwillingness to contend with the new situation. One of Israel’s
greatest assets in the US has been the fact that support for the
Jewish state has always been bipartisan. It is hard to accept that the
Democrats are jumping ship.

AIPAC also has institutional reasons for papering over the erosion in
Democratic support for Israel. First, most of its members are
Democrats. Indeed, AIPAC’s new President Lee Rosenberg was one of
Obama’s biggest fund-raisers.

Then, too, AIPAC is concerned at the prospect of its members
abandoning it for J Street. J Street, the Jewish pro-Palestinian
lobby, is strongly supported by the Obama administration.

According to congressional sources, AIPAC’s desire to hide the
partisan divide has caused it to preemptively water down Republican
initiatives to gain Democratic support or torpedo Republican proposals
that the Democrats would oppose. For instance, an AIPAC lobbyist
demanded that Gohmert abandon his efforts to advance his resolution on
Iran. Sources close to the story say the AIPAC lobbyist told Gohmert
that AIPAC opposes all Iran initiatives that go beyond support for

And now, of course, as Obama makes a mockery of AIPAC’s sanctions
drive by watering them down to nothingness, AIPAC’s sanctions-only
strategy lies in ruins. But, again in the interest of promoting the
fiction of bipartisan support for Israel, AIPAC can be expected to
pretend this has not happened.

And many prominent Republican congressmen are loath to call its bluff.
Like the Israeli government itself, Republican House members express
deep concern that blowing the lid off the Democrats will weaken
Israel. As one member put it, “I don’t want to encourage the likes of
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attack Israel by exposing that the Democrats
don’t support Israel.”

WHILE THIS argument has its merits, the fact is that many Democrats
remain staunch supporters of Israel. Representatives like Shelley
Berkley, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel, Anthony Weiner, Jim Costa and many
others have not taken stronger stands in support Israel because,
thanks to AIPAC, they haven’t been challenged to do so.
If going into
the November midterm elections House Republicans were to initiate an
aggressively pro-Israel agenda as members like Lamborn, Franks,
Gohmert, Cantor, Roskam, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and others are already
doing, they would compel Democratic members to join them or risk being
criticized for abandoning Israel by their Republican opponents in
November’s elections.

And that’s the thing of it. While under Obama bipartisan support for
Israel has eroded, popular support for Israel has grown.
Indeed polls
show a direct correlation between Democratic abandonment of Israel and
popular abandonment of the Democrats. What this means is that the
partisan divide on Israel is a good election issue for Republicans.

If as projected Republicans retake control of the House of
Representatives in November, they will be in a position to limit
Obama’s ability to adopt policies that weaken Israel.
And due to the
widespread expectation that Republicans will in fact take over the
House, if the Republicans set out clear policy lines on Israel today,
their declared policies will immediately impact Obama’s maneuver room
on Israel. So, too, a clear Republican policy on Israel will motivate
pro-Israel Democrats to more stridently distance themselves from Obama
on issues related to Israel.

Take the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s threat
that he will unilaterally declare Palestinian independence in August
. To date, Obama has refused to say if he will recognize such a
unilaterally declared Palestinian state. Fearing that he may recognize
such a state, Israel has gone out of its way to appease Obama.

If House Republicans and Republican House candidates were to
collectively pledge to cut off US funding for the PA in the aftermath
of such a declaration, they could neutralize the threat. And if they
pledged not to fund a US embassy in such a Palestinian state, they
would make it impossible for Obama to continue holding his decision
over Israel’s head.

As for Iran, if Republicans win the House, they will be in a position
to use omnibus budgetary bills to force the administration to provide
Israel with the military equipment necessary to win a war against Iran
and its allies. This would limit Obama’s capacity to threaten Israel
with an arms embargo in the increasingly likely event that the Iranian
axis attacks the Jewish state.

In some House races, Democratic abandonment of Israel is already a key
issue. For instance, in Illinois, the race between Republican
challenger Joel Pollak and incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky has been
dominated by Schakowsky’s close ties to J Street and tepid support for
Israel. And recent polling data indicate that once a long-shot
candidate, Pollak is steadily closing in on Schakowsky’s lead.

Exposing the Democrats’ abandonment of Israel will be an unpleasant
affair. But it won’t add to the dangers arrayed against Israel.

Israel’s enemies are already aware of Obama’s animus towards the
Jewish state. Demonstrating that the Democrats on Capitol Hill are
following his lead on Israel will not add or detract from Iran’s
willingness to attack Israel either directly or through its Arab
proxies, or both.

Moreover, forcing Democrats to account for their behavior will have a
salutary long-term effect on their party and on the US as a whole.
Support for Israel is a benchmark for support for US allies generally.
Obama’s abandonment of Israel has gone hand in hand with the cold
shoulder he has given Colombia, Honduras, Britain, Poland, the Czech
Republic, Japan, South Korea and other key US allies worldwide. In the
long-term, it will be catastrophic if one of the US’s two political
parties maintains this strategically disastrous policy.

By using support for Israel as a wedge issue in the upcoming
elections, Republicans will do more than simply constrain Obama’s
ability to harm the Jewish state. They will be setting a course for a
Democratic return to strategic sanity in the years to come. And
nothing will guarantee the return of bipartisan support for Israel
more effectively and securely than that.