The American Kafir

2011/10/28

US denies sale of F-16 jet to Egypt in Grapel deal

Source Link: JPost
F-16 fighter jet in flight
Photo by: REUTERS

US denies sale of F-16 jet to Egypt in Grapel deal

Ma’an news agency report: US participated in negotiations, worked to sweeten deal over dual US-Israeli citizen Grapel, held on spying charges.

By JPOST.COM STAFF

The US on Thursday denied reportsthat they agreed to sell an F-16 fighter plane to Egypt in connection with the release of Ilan Grapel.“There is no truth to [these] press reports,” a US statement read. “Since 1982, the US government has sold over 220 F16s to Egypt as part of our long standing bilateral defense relationship,” the statement continued.

Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Thursday quoted Egyptian military expert General Sameh Sayf al-Yazal as saying that the United States was called into the negotiations to help Egypt exact the best possible deal for Grapel’s release.

According to the report, Israel refused to release all 81 Egyptian prisoners in Israel for a deal that included both Grapel and Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Beduin who, like Grapel, is being held in Egypt on spying charges.

Grapel is expected to be released on Thursday after five months in prison in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners. He is expected to fly from Cairo to Ben Gurion airport at 5 p.m., and meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before setting on his way.

2011/10/23

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Filed under: Gaza, Gilad Shalit, Hamas, Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine, Terrorism — - @ 6:11 pm

Marketing Gilad Schalit

Source Article Link: Caroline Glick.com

hamas celebrations.jpgGilad Schalit is home. And that is wonderful. The terrorists Israel released in exchange for the IDF soldier held hostage by Hamas for more than five years are running around Judea, Samaria and Gaza promising to return to terror. And that is a nightmare.

But so far, the Israeli public is happy with the outcome. Indeed, the polling data on the government’s decision to swap 1,027 terrorists for Schalit are stunning.

According to the New Wave poll carried out for Makor Rishon, for instance, 75.7 percent of the public supported the deal and only 15.5 percent opposed it. In a society as rife with internal divisions as Israel, it is hard to think of any issue that enjoys the support of three quarters of the population. But even more amazing than the level of support is that the poll also shows the vast majority of Israelis believe that the deal harms Israel’s national security.

Sixty-one-and-a-half percent of respondents believe the deal increases the Palestinians’ motivation to commit acts of terror. Only 23.4 percent disagree.

The New Wave poll’s results are in line with the polling data reported by other firms. Down the line, the numbers are consistent:

Three quarters of the public supported the deal and two-thirds of the public said it endangers the country. What this means is that two-thirds of the public listened to their hearts instead of their heads in supporting the Schalit-for-murderers swap.

How can this triumph of emotion over reason be explained? Israelis are not a society of overgrown adolescents, enslaved by their urges. So what brought a large majority of Israelis to favor a deal they know endangers them?

Part of the answer was provided in an article in the Globes newspaper on Monday. Titled “Lucky the kidnapping happened in the technological era” and written by Anat Bein-Leibovitz, it analyzed the five-year advertising campaign that shaped public perceptions about Schalit and built public support for a deal that obviously harms the country.

The Shalmor Avnon Amichai firm ran the campaign to free Schalit. Shlomi Avnon, a partner in the agency, described the goals of the campaign as follows: “The first goal was to generate empathy for Gilad and his family. We did not know when the government needed to make a decision, but we wanted the Schalit family to enjoy wide public support when a decision came. It was clear that Gilad’s return would be at a high price to Israel, and in order to make sure that Gilad would be returned, it was critical that there should be public support to put pressure on the government.

“The second goal was to keep Gilad in the public consciousness so that he would not be forgotten…. We attacked on all fronts: emotionally, by comparing Gilad with Ron Arad, and on a security level, by bringing in security personalities who supported his release.

“We made a decision that our target audience was the public and not decision makers, because we knew that with decision makers all could be lost….”

Avnon and his colleagues marketed Schalit like a commercial product. As advertising executive Sefi Shaked explained, “This was a battle between two brands. One was ‘Bring Gilad back,’ and the other ‘Woe if we free murderers.’ The challenge for the Gilad brand was to maintain awareness of it, to keep going forward….They did much better work than the rival brand, which is a strong brand, but it didn’t do much. They gave it the knockout.”

While the PR executives interviewed for the article are correct in their assessment that the Shalmor Avnon Amichai agency’s campaign was well conceived and professionally executed, the fact is that over the past 20 years, hiring PR firms to conceive and implement public campaigns has become standard operating procedure in Israel. And yet, it is hard to think of any such campaign that succeeded as overwhelmingly as the terrorists-for-Gilad campaign did.

For instance, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza paid a king’s ransom for its public relations campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria. The council’s leaders mobilized more than a million Israelis to take part in the campaign that lasted for more than a year. And yet, they failed to accomplish their mission.

Other campaigns were successful in forcing the government’s hand. But they still didn’t enjoy anywhere near the support levels that the Gilad-for-murderers deal did. The campaigns for the Oslo accords with the PLO, for the withdrawal from southern Lebanon, for the release of hostages or bodies in return for terrorists, and for the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria were all successful. But they were carried out in the face of a divided public.

As the polls show, the consensus formed around the cause of Schalit’s release at all costs does not owe to public approval of terrorist-forhostage swaps. So what formed this consensus?

In Schalit’s case, the reason that the PR campaign worked so well is because the media and the national security community – the two national institutions that are supposed to be the watchdogs of Israel’s national interests against the advertising executives – opted to behave like lapdogs.

Speaking to Globes, the PR executives were unanimous in their judgment that the success of the campaign was due to the media’s total mobilization on behalf of the cause.

As Gil Samsonov put it, “The first target audience was the media, which were mobilized, and everyone did their jobs while minimizing the opposition.”

Yair Geller added that Schalit is “lucky that the abduction happened at a time when the media are the strongest power…. The media left the government no option not to act.”

The executives are correct that the media are the strongest force in Israeli society. Their power owes to the fact that the major media organs are ideologically uniform and therefore act consistently as a pack.

It was the media’s overwhelming support for the Oslo process, for the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, and for previous hostages-for- terrorist swaps that forced the hand of the government time after time. It was similarly the media’s opposition to the PR campaign against the withdrawal from Gaza that doomed it to failure.

By choosing sides, the media ensure there is no substantive public debate about the controversial campaigns they support. Rather than debate the substance of an issue, the media, together with PR firms, personalize disputes.

In the case of the Lebanon withdrawal, the media cast the debate as one between indifferent IDF commanders and concerned mothers of soldiers. The Gaza withdrawal was cast as a dispute between Ariel Sharon, a wise grandfather who loved the country and was democratically elected, and settler zealots who wanted IDF soldiers to die so they could keep their profitable farms and fancy villas. Hostages-for-murderers swaps are cast as battles between innocent soldiers and evil politicians who would let them die.

In all cases, the threat posed by surrendering to Israel’s enemies is ignored or glossed over.

By barring a real debate on the most contentious issues of the day, for the past two decades the media have been able to dictate policy on the most contentious issues facing the country. Still, none of these media victories were won with the consensus support enjoyed by the Schalit campaign.

What distinguished the Schalit campaign from those that preceded it was not the media mobilization but the complicity of the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad. In all the other campaigns, the security services either opposed the campaigns or stood on the sidelines.

In an interview with Haaretz this past Sunday, Col. Ronen Cohen, who recently retired from IDF Military Intelligence, said the IDF never tried to put together an operation to rescue Schalit. In his words, Schalit’s prolonged captivity “was a resounding failure of the IDF…. The IDF never took responsibility for the soldier and did not even set up a team to deal with bringing him back.”

As a consequence, the IDF gave the government no choice other than to pay a ransom for Schalit.

According to PR executive Geller, the IDF’s abdication of its responsibility to rescue Schalit was influenced by the media’s full mobilization on behalf of the PR campaign. “That [Schalit] was not hurt in a rescue operation is due, among other things, to the high value that the media placed on him.” The IDF was too afraid of media criticism to risk a rescue raid.

Even in the face of the IDF’s abdication of responsibility to save Schalit, the previous heads of the IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad all opposed the swap as dangerous, and so Israel rejected it.

But, in the end, the media won out. Defense Minister Ehud Barak replaced the security bosses with successors who agreed to subordinate their professional judgment to the media’s demands. They all adopted the demonstrably false position that releasing 1,027 terrorists would not endanger Israel. This is what enabled the public consensus to form.

It is possible that now that Schalit and the terrorists are free the media will permit a debate on the wisdom of future deals. For instance, a debate has already begun on mandatory capital punishment for terrorist killers.

But there are more pressing issues that need to be resolved today if we want to prevent the public from being manipulated again into adopting positions wholly at odds with reason and the national interest. The first issue is that of the media.

Given the media’s unchecked power to repeatedly manipulate public opinion to adhere to its radical ideological agenda, it is essential that the government and Knesset step in and reform the media market. Broadcast licensing procedures for television and radio must be deregulated. Television and radio must be open to competition. Broadcasters should be allowed to broadcast whatever they want whenever they want, and the market should dictate who rises and who falls. This is the only way to protect the public against manipulation, and the government from blackmail.

Then there is the IDF. To fix what has clearly become broken in the IDF we must have a serious public discussion about its irresponsible, unprofessional behavior throughout Schalit’s period of captivity. The public must be made aware of the apparent leadership crisis at the top ranks of the IDF in order to force the government to enact necessary changes in personnel and compel serving commanders to change their behavior.

The internal contradiction at the heart of the consensus for ransoming Schalit for terrorists renders it likely that the unanimity now surrounding the deal will evaporate soon. But to prevent PR firms and the media from successfully manipulating the public and blackmailing politicians in the future, we must check the power of the media and hold the IDF accountable for its failures today. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the public again is convinced to support policies that it knows endanger the country.

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done

Source Article Link: AmmonNews

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done

Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done
By Shaherah Katatbeh & Anas Damra

AMMONNEWS – The former released Jordanian prisoner, Ahlam Tamimi called on the Arab youth to continue pressuring their governments for keeping their efforts in using the Palestinian prisoners file as an important pressure element in any negotiations policy with Israel.

The most horrible part of being in jail is to be locked alone in a cell and not being able to do anything while you see your enemy moving freely, she expressed.

‘I have never regretted what I have done, and if given another chance I’ll do it again’ she added.

Tamimi expressed her believes in the rightness of what she has done.

Tamimi said in an interview with Ammon News Tuesday that the hostility and aggression is the basic character of the Israeli officials, unless the are forced to negotiate.

Ahlam Tamimi, 31, was serving 16 life sentences for her role in a suicide bombing, including taking the assailant to the Sbarro franchise in Jerusalem where he killed 16 people in 2001. deported to Jordan last Wednesday early morning.

She thanked Jordan and stated that Jordan people are the heart beat of the Palestinians.

Hundreds of Jordanians flocked to Diwan Tamimi in Dahiyat Al Rashid neighbourhood on Wednesday to celebrate the release of Ahlam Tamimi the only Jordanian prisoner among the first group of 477 prisoners released in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

About the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, she commented that the deal allowed the release of many prisoners who were sentenced a long life terms in jails, and that was a victory to hamas.

It’s a brilliant move of the ‘Izz al Dein Al Qassam’ the military branch of Hamas negotiators to include my name in the swap deal although the Israeli military Courts recommended not to include my name in any prisoners swap in the future, she added.

Ahlam Father, Arif Tamimi expressed happiness to see her freed and looking forward for her marriage to a released prisoner in the same swap.

Related Video:

Ahlam Tamimi Chose Sbarro’s ‘Religious Jews’ as Murder Target

2011/10/18

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine

Will the World Ask Why Palestinians Celebrate Murder?

Jonathan S. Tobin

The painful debate about Israel’s decision to trade 1,000 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit​ continues this week with the families of terror victims attempting to sue the government to prevent the swap. Though the vast majority of Israelis support the trade and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s willingness to pay the ransom for Shalit, the impending release of so many murderers is nothing to celebrate. That is, unless you are a Palestinian.

Mass rallies and celebrations are being planned in Ramallah to celebrate the freedom of those who were convicted of mass murders. Who will they be cheering? As the New York Times reports:

Those being freed include the founders of Hamas’s armed wing and militants who kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers and civilians. A mastermind of the 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria who killed 15 will walk out of prison, as will a woman who used the Internet to lure a lovesick Israeli teenager to a Palestinian city and had him murdered.

Most of the prisoners were serving life sentences, some for being involved in attacks like the 2001 bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21 people and a suicide bombing a year later of a Netanya hotel in which 29 died.

Apologists for the Palestinians will argue those in Israeli jails were resisting the “occupation” of the country, though few will own up to the fact that as far as the prisoners are concerned, the territory of pre-June 1967 Israel is just as “occupied” as the West Bank. But even if you think the Palestinian cause is just, how can anyone justify the slaughter of innocents such as at the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem? Even if you think Israel should withdraw back to the 1967 lines, how can any civilized person condone the Palestinian decision to treat those who committed such atrocities as heroes?

What is on trial this week is not the moral calculus by which Netanyahu decided that saving the life of one Jewish soldier was worth the subversion of justice–freeing murderers as ransom. What ought to be discussed is the upside-down ethos of Palestinian political culture in which the spilling of Jewish blood grants the killer not only absolution but also heroic status.

The world turned away in horror a decade ago when a photograph captured the moment when one of the ringleaders of a Palestinian lynch mob showed his bloodstained hands to a cheering crowd after he had helped murder an Israeli. Yet today, the Palestinian political elite, including many whom our government deems “moderates,” will not only facilitate the release of this miscreant but treat him like a conquering hero.

The prisoner swap has unfortunately reminded us of the depths of degradation to which the Palestinian political culture sank during the second intifada, as mass slaughter became not merely a tool of war but the touchstone of a people’s identity. We would have hoped the passage of years and the realization of the cost in Palestinian suffering that this terror war incurred would have sobered them up. It would be one thing if these murderers were taken back in an atmosphere that showed some recognition their crimes were nothing to emulate. But instead, the release is proving to be yet another indication nothing has changed.

Those, like the Obama administration, who repeat tired clichés about the need for Israel to take risks for peace, never seem to own up to the costs of those risks. The second intifada and the 1,000 Jewish lives lost to terrorists were the price of earlier risks previous Israeli governments took in the hope of securing peace. The celebration that will convulse Palestinian society tomorrow is sad proof that similar risks taken today will also be paid for in blood.

Rather than ask why Israel is willing to trade so many terrorists for one soldier, the world should be asking why the Palestinians are cheering the release of sociopaths.

2011/10/12

Israel: Deal Reached, Gilad Shalit Could be Home in Days

Filed under: Gilad Shalit, Hamas, Israel — - @ 9:22 am

Source Article Link: Family Security Matters

Israel: Deal Reached, Gilad Shalit Could be Home in Days

By Steve Emerson

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that a deal has been reached with the Hamas terrorist organization to bring home kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit (Shalit). The two-stage arrangement would exchange a total of 1,027 Palestinian militants for the soldier that had been kidnapped in June 2006.

“There was great tension between bringing Schalit home…and maintaining the security of Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu saidon Israeli television. He was also quoted saying “the window has been opened for a historic deal,” following a show of flexibility in negotiations by both sides.

Schalit’s freedom is a matter of days, Netanyahu said.

“We are waiting here like everyone else,” Schalit’s father Noam Schalit said Tuesday. “We are receiving updates, but we don’t really know anything new other than what has been published.”

As part of the deal, Israel agreed to first release roughly 450 terrorists, with another 550 to follow at a later date. Netanyahu convened a cabinet meeting to approve of the plan, with various reports attributing the breakthrough to German or Egyptian intervention.

Hamas reacted jubilantly to the plan, with a celebratory graphic posted on the home page of the Izz al-Deen Qassam Brigade, Hamas’s military wing.

“This is a national achievement for the Palestinian people, we tried to include all Palestinian detainees in the Israeli jails, and we promise the rest of the Palestinian detainees to liberate them,” said Khaled Meshaal, the head of the Hamas Political Bureau. “My Appreciations to Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades and the Palestinian factions which managed to capture the Israeli soldier Shalit, My thanks to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and the West Bank for their steadfastness against the Israeli siege, also my thanks to the Egyptian role in accomplishing this deal.”

FamilySecurityMatters.org  Contributor Steve Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and the author of  five books on these subjects, most recently “Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US.” Steve also writes for the Counterterrorism Blog and he is the CEO of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)