Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~US Intervention in the Middle Eastern Governments by elan
June 22, 2009, 5:24 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , , , ,

This is going to be short and sweet, since I’m dealing with finals right now. Almost done though!

President Obama made a short statement today about the controversial Iranian presidential election. Obama was careful to say that US will not consider, and thinks it innappropriate, to intervene in or even weigh in on, the disputed results. As the Volokh Conspiracy points out this policy stands in direct opposition to Obama’s blatant attempts to change Israeli policy regarding West Bank settlements. Some even accuse Obama of trying to topple the Netanyahu government.

What do you think? Is US putting too much pressure on Israel? (Oznia writer Ron Shapiro thinks so.) What should Obama do and say about the Iranian election incident? Is it right for Obama to apply different methods and philosophies to his diplomatic interactions with Israel and Iran?


~Unconditional Support? by ronshapiro
June 8, 2009, 6:24 am
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

At least Clinton is being reasonable.

The world was very excited when the White House changed hands from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. I was one of those, but am no longer in that state of ecstasy, as some of his approaches have been a little questionable, especially in the Middle East.

I do not remember where I heard this, and do not know who to credit the idea, but I love it. President Obama, while dealing with Middle East, is holding diplomats with a higher degree of respect than one would in the United States.

I understand that President Obama wants to give everyone a chance, but does he really believe that EVEN IF Hamas renounced terror, they would stick to their word? Or if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to shut down the Iranian Nuclear Program, would he follow through?  We don’t even expect our OWN politicians to deliver everything they promise!

Hamas, for those who don’t know, translates to Islamic Resistance Movement; speaking Obama’s language will never matter, especially when their name implies violence.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the person who wants to “wipe Israel off the map” and uses rhetoric to deny the Holocaust constantly, will he suddenly claim he has no intention to stop funding Hezbollah, the Islamic Brotherhood, Hamas, and other terrorist groups? And if he does, how should someone believe him?

President Obama also takes a different stance on how to advise Israel. Unlike President Bush who supported Israel nearly unconditionally, President Obama is trying to force his beliefs onto Prime Minister Netanyahu.

By no means do I believe that the American President should support everything Israel does, many times it is important to disagree. However, to take a way a nation’s sovereign right to rule is in no way acceptable.

On one side, I understand President Obama’s reasoning that communities in the West Bank are detrimental to feelings toward peace. And I agree that no new settlements should be built, it obviously is counter productive. And every ‘illegal outpost’ should be eliminated as well. But can President Obama say that natural growth is not allowed? Who’s right is it to tell parents that they may not have children. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being free and having the ability to make our own decisions. Should we become like China and limit childbirth to one per couple?

I am also not ready to just give over the West Bank entire to the Palestinian Authority. Eventually, it is almost impossible to conceive a region where the Palestinians will not have full control over that area, but at the current moment, are they ready? Are WE ready right now? Can we allow the West Bank to become another Gaza Strip and be taken over by Radical Islam?

I know that while President Obama will do great things in his presidency, I am worried by what he may force onto Prime Minister Netanyahu by using the media and speeches like his recent one in Cairo.

At least Secretary of State Clinton is right next to him. When asked if the United States would attack Iran if they were to drop a nuclear bomb on Israel, she replied with, “I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation.”

No matter whether Prime Minister Netanyahu decides to employ President Obama’s plan word for word, at least we know that they highest ranking official in the United States Foreign Affairs will protect our homeland.

~Ahmadinejad Speaks at Durban II by samsitt
April 21, 2009, 9:05 pm
Filed under: opinion, politics | Tags: , , , ,

Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, spoke out against the Durban 2 conference.  The speech came at a ceremony commemorating one of the worst human rights disgraces of all time, the Holocaust.  He proclaimed that the anti-racism summit currently being held in Geneva is really “an acceptance of racism, not a fight against it.”

Ahmadinejad gave a speech on the second day of the conference, without a translation from Farsi.  Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz stood up at the beginning of the speech and commented on the lack of translation prevented attendees to participate.  When Iran’s President mentioned Israel as a racist state, delegates from many European countries walked out.  Other interruptions, like people interrupting Ahmadinejad with shouts of  “racist, racist!” happened on several occasions.

This explicit example of racism is the reason that the United States did not want to legitimatize the conference with its presence.  This is a a noble but incongruous position for the US to take.  Under President Bush, this stubborn policy would have made more sense.  Obama’s approach has been different.  Since his election campaign, he has stated that he would be willing to meet with Iran with out preconditions.  Congressional Black Caucus chair, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, pointed out that this non-confrontational strategy is only going to make the United States a less prominent player in the determination of what will be the future of global human rights policy.

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~Durban II – An Upside Down UN by ronshapiro
April 20, 2009, 7:51 pm
Filed under: opinion | Tags: , , ,


In 2001, the United Nations held a conference in Durban, South Africa which was focused on racism and racial discrimination in the world. The conference quickly developed into a forum for singling out Israel, which caused the United States and Israel to withdraw. Many countries and individuals objected the declaration, including United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. The conference ended on September 8th, 3 days before the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.

This week, the UN is holding the Durban Review Conference (termed “Durban II”) to review the declaration and program from the 2001 conference. According to the UN website, the conference “will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.”

Many European countries are criticizing the convention for focussing on western countries instead of the world as a whole. They also were concerened over the fact that Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is one of the main speakers. Today, during his speech, dozens of diplomats walked out when Ahmadinejad began his address. They said that the Iranian President quickly began a tirade about Israel, which caused them to walk out. Ahmadinejad is probably the most vocal Holocaust denier currently and claims that Israel should be “wiped off the map” on a regular basis.

The facts that the conference began on Adolf Hitler’s (yemach shemo, may his name be forgotten) 120th birthday, or that Yom Hashoah, the day to remember the tragedies of the Holocaust, begins tonight.

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