Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today is our 5th Anniversary and the start of our 6th year!
400-408 – • Rasmussen (12/31/08) Americans Closely Divided Over Israel's Gaza Attacks.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans back Israel's decision to take military action against the Palestinians, but only half as many Democrats (31%) agree. A majority of Democrats (55%) say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first, a view shared by just 27% of Republicans.
While 75% of Republicans say Israel is an ally of the United States, just 55% of Democrats agree. Seven percent (7%) of Democrats say Israel is an enemy of America, but only one percent (1%) of Republicans say the same. For 21% of Republicans, Israel is somewhere in between, and 28% of Democrats agree.
• Natan Sharansky (1/6/09) How the U.N. Perpetuates the 'Refugee' Problem:  Nowhere on earth do terrorists get so much help from the Free World.  Sharansky is former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.
Palestinian children are dying today not because of Israeli brutality, but because their own leaders have chosen to use their children as human shields, and their pain as a battering ram against Western sensibilities.
Of course, it is easy to blame Hamas. It is they, after all, who deliberately put their weapons caches in mosques, their rocket launchers in schoolyards, and their command centers in hospitals -- all with the explicit goal of maximizing the tragedy of an Israeli response.
In withdrawing from Gaza, Israel made painful concessions for peace by forcibly removing Jews from their homes. And yet even the Palestinian Authority, the most moderate among Palestinian political groups, would not consider easing their own people's plight in the wake of Israel's compromise. This is because the suffering of the refugees is essential to their broader political struggle.
And so, invariably, the script is played out: Hamas fires its missiles, Israel responds with military force in Gaza, children are killed, their pictures are played countless times on televisions in the West, articles are published saying both sides are evil, and Israel is pressured to stop.
413-423Shahar Azani, he is the Consul for Culture, Media and Public Diplomacy at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles (, where in about 15 minutes, there is going to be a rally taking place out front in support of Israel to ask as a counter demonstration to those protesting Israel's defensive action against Hamas.  Drive by and at least honk your horn if you can!  They're at 6380 Wilshire Blvd in LA, between cross streets San Vincente and Crescent Heights.  And, tomorrow, there will be a rally at noon in front of the federal building in Westwood, and you're invited.
• Israeli Consulate (1/6/09), Update: Gaza by the Numbers.
428-437 – • Bret Stephens (1/6/09)  An Endgame for Israel.  Do you agree with "rocket for rocket?"
Israel will also have to practice a more consistent policy of deterrence than it has so far done. One option: For every single rocket that falls randomly on Israeli soil, an Israeli missile will hit a carefully selected target in Gaza. Focusing the minds of Hamas on this type of "proportionality" is just the endgame that Israel needs.
Regardless of what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may say to Western audiences, his message to the Arab world is that Palestinians should put aside their internal divisions and, as he put it in 2007, "direct our guns against Israeli occupation." To anyone outside Brussels or Foggy Bottom, that cannot be a surprise: Fatah, Abbas's organization, is pledged by its constitution to the destruction of Israel. (See, e.g., Article 12: Fatah's first stated "Goal" is the "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence"; see also, e.g., Article 19: "Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.")
When we appraise hostile countries, it has become de rigueur in our foreign policy circles to distinguish the "people" (always good) from their nasty governments. So it is with the noble Palestinians. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted in a 2006 interview, for instance, that the "great majority" of them — i.e., upwards of "70 percent" — are "perfectly ready to live side by side with Israel because they just want to live in peace."
This is preposterous. Palestinians are weaned on Jew-hatred through schools and media controlled by the competing factions and other jihadists. Their national heroes are those dedicated to killing Jews, most especially the "martyrs" (or shahid) who self-implode in suicide attacks. It is to be expected, then, that when the public is polled in the actual Palestinian territories, rather than in Condi-world, a very different reality is reflected: About three in four Palestinians deny Israel's right to exist, a figure that soars to over nine in ten when only the fighting-age demographic (between 18 and 25) is considered.
Fighting a defensive war for survival is not a war crime. It is an obligation. It is primarily what governments are created for. To claim otherwise is make a perverse mockery of international law. We must defend Israel full-throatedly on this point. In doing so, we are defending ourselves.
528-538 Calls
T 555 – [1:30] "Your Independent, Unbiased, Advisors: The Money Guys" Robert Micone/Bill O'Connor at Applied Financial, 866-SEEK-COUNSEL, and online at
• Gideon Rachman (1/5/09) Israel's self-defeating Gaza offensive.  Should Israel have relaxed the blockade?
Then there are the Palestinians – who will still be Israel's neighbors after the bloodletting has stopped. Israeli official rhetoric suggests that the government hopes a massive attack on Gaza will turn the population against Hamas. But violence against Israelis has always made public opinion there more hawkish. Why should the Palestinians be any different? In their more reflective moments, even senior Israeli politicians recognize that more killing is likely further to radicalize the Palestinians. A columnist in Haaretz, a liberal Israeli paper, recalled this week that Ehud Barak, the defense minister, who is masterminding the attack on Gaza, once told him that if he were a Palestinian "I would join a terror organization".
The Israelis sometimes suggest that their ultimate goal is in fact to displace Hamas, which still refuses to recognize Israel, rather than simply to stop the rockets. But any new Palestinian government that rode to power on the back of Israeli tanks would be maimed from the start.
The Israeli government may acknowledge the force of some of these objections. But its response is that it had no alternative. Hamas is a terrorist organization that forced Israel's hand.
In fact, there was an alternative that was never tried: relax the blockade of Gaza in return for a renewal of the ceasefire that ran out in December. Israel appears to have done the opposite. In November the blockade became harsher, putting serious pressure on the supply of food and fuel into Gaza.
Ending the blockade of Gaza in return for a ceasefire remains the best option – for both humanitarian and strategic reasons.
701 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 550
Glendale, CA 91203
Office (818) 956-5552 
Frank's Assistant Nate Hanson