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The IAF brings us this April-Fools-worthy story of deception and intrigue. In 1948, as Israel fought for its independence, the Jewish state needed to procure military planes for its air force. At the time, the United Nations’ arms embargo was still imposed on Israel, so Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was forced to get creative. Sending aviation pioneer Emanuel Tzur on a seemingly impossible operation to somehow get Bristol Beaufighters from England, the Israelis were able to hoodwink the British and wangle six of the needed aircraft:
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To execute the mission, Tzur had to be creative and find a cover story that would allow him to smuggle six Beaufighter bombers in defiance of the UN-imposed embargo. Ultimately, Tzur came up with a bold idea: he would smuggle the planes to Israel under the pretext of shooting a film about war heroes from New Zealand who served as pilots in WWII.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 8:57 AM | Stand For Israel
Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, looks at yesterday’s framework agreement for talks between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) and Iran and concludes not only that the talks are at a dead end, but that everybody involved knows they’re at a dead end:
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Critics of the administration suspect either the talks will never end because it is impossible to conceive that Iran would do this or the president will try to peddle a phony deal that does none of these things in an effort to claim success. So the administration is back to its fundamental problem. It has carefully delineated what Iran must do, a standard less than the United Nations but higher than anything Iran would remotely do.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Every year, the U.N. General Assembly considers a host of anti-Israel resolutions and this year is no different. Thankfully, the U.S. always votes with Israel and 2013 was no exception. But we hope friends of Israel will express their gratitude to the governments of Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Elliott Abrams tells the story at the Council on Foreign Relations:
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The votes of Canada and Australia are particularly worthy of note. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird, Canada has proved to be a resolute and determined friend of Israel. Australia under Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard was not, but as in Canada elections have consequences. The new prime minister, Tony Abbott, sworn in on September 28th, and new Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have swung Australia back to the position of the previous conservative government of John Howard.
Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Stand For Israel
December 10 marks the 129th anniversary of the publication of Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book’s history has found it read by most, beloved by many, and even questioned by some people through the years, and it has lived on as a masterpiece of American writing, as well as a scathing look at the slavery and racism faced by African Americans.
But Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) was not just a defender of African Americans — he defended the Jewish people, as well, writing in an essay from 1898:
He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
This article from the Virtual Jewish Library tells of Twain’s relationship with Jews in America and around the world. As you’ll see, Twain’s relationship with the Jewish people was sometimes colored by stereotypes and sometimes misinterpreted, but he ultimately meant well and was remembered fondly by the Jewish press:
“In one of Mr. Clemens’s works he expressed his opinion of men, saying he had no choice between Hebrew and Gentile, black men or white; to him, all men were…Read More » Comments (2) »
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Stand For Israel
On Friday, we reported that Saudi Arabia had been elected to the U.N. Security Council – arguably the only truly meaningful committee at that world body. Later that day, the Saudis surprised virtually everyone by refusing the seat. Walter Russell Mead, writing at The American Interest, analyzes both the reasoning and the potential fallout:
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The Saudis could move more aggressively to fund the kind of jihadis we don’t like in Syria and perhaps elsewhere; they could switch to a more aggressive price policy in OPEC; they could cut the legs out from under the Palestinian moderates on the West Bank; they could aggressively promote radical Salfism in Egypt to take advantage of the Muslim Brotherhood’s eclipse. With Saudi help, however quiet and in the background, Israel’s calculations about an attack on Iran could change, and a conflict could start that the White House might not be able to stay out of.
Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
Same old, same old. Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary, says that the Iranians are playing out the charm offensive of new President Hassan Rouhani for all it’s worth – and it looks as though the West is backing down and acceding to long held Iranian demands with nothing in return:
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The Iranians appear to have impressed the representatives of the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany with a power point presentation that supposedly demonstrated how they could go on enriching uranium, hold onto their stockpile of nuclear fuel and yet somehow be trusted not to build a bomb. But once the Rouhani-inspired rose-colored glasses are off, it’s more than obvious to objective observers that the Iranians showed up in Geneva with nothing new to say.
Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 8:11 AM | Stand For Israel
Elliott Abrams, National Security Advisor under former President George W. Bush, puts himself in the shoes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and writes what he believes the leader of the Jewish State might be thinking. It’s a little confusing — Mr. Abrams is writing as though he is Mr. Netanyahu — but the result is a fascinating piece:
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Speaking at the UN General Assembly is like addressing a mixed crowd—half Nazis and half mummies. But the real audience outside got the point: Iran can’t have nukes, no way, no how. Dunno about Obama. Good meeting, hours long; he treats me better now than before his election, which is weird. The thought struck me that he knows these talks with Iran may fail, and if they do he’s gonna want me to hit Iran.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 at 8:07 AM | Stand For Israel
During his speech to the U.N. General Assembly today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to stop Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons — and presented ample evidence that, despite Iran’s claims, that pursuit is as alive today as it ever has been. He closed with this powerful and moving story:
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Ladies and gentlemen, one cold day in the late 19th century, my grandfather Nathan and his younger brother Judah were standing in a railway station in the heart of Europe. They were seen by a group of anti-Semitic hoodlums who ran towards them waving clubs, screaming “Death to the Jews.”
My grandfather shouted to his younger brother to flee and save himself, and he then stood alone against the raging mob to slow it down. They beat him senseless, they left him for dead, and before he passed out, covered in his own blood, he said to himself “What a disgrace, what a disgrace. The descendants of the Macabees lie in the mud powerless to defend themselves.”
He promised himself then that if he lived, he would take his family to the Jewish homeland and help build a future for the Jewish people. I stand here today as Israel’s prime minister because my grandfather kept that promise.
And so many other Israelis have a similar story, a parent or a grandparent who fled every conceivable oppression and came to Israel to start a new life in our ancient homeland. Together we’ve transformed a bludgeoned Jewish people, left for dead, into a vibrant, thriving nation, a defending itself with the courage of modern Maccabees, developing limitless possibilities for the future.
In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized. As the prophet Amos said, they shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine. They shall till gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again.
[Repeates paragraph in Hebrew.]
Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 at 1:19 PM | Stand For Israel
The annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly is a time for freedom-loving, clear-eyed observers of the international organization to sit back and watch the rogues’ gallery of dictators, despots, strongmen, warlords, and thugs that make up the majority of the worlds’ leaders take to the rostrum and lecture Western democracies about … democracy. The speeches range from amusing to bizarre to offensive – although the offensive ones tend to be from leaders so inconsequential that it’s hard to get too bent out of shape.
And so it was that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem delivered his country’s speech at the U.N. yesterday and – in addition to denying that there was a civil war in his country – called for Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (more…)Comments (6) »
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Stand For Israel