A threat to Israel: Iran exploiting Western pacifism

A CNN/ORC International Poll released Tuesday indicates a Democrats and Republicans don't see eye to eye on foreign policy.
Americans have grown increasingly reluctant to use U.S. military force around the world, but - unlike Democrats and independents - Republicans feel that the U.S. should be ready and willing to take military action. Overall, 53% of all Americans say the U.S. should be very reluctant to use military force, up from 38% in 2002, about a year after the 9/11 attacks. But there is a big partisan divide on that question, with a majority of Democrats and independents expressing reluctance but only four in ten Republicans feeling that way.  
A large number of Americans don't think the U.S. should take immediate military action to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program, and on this topic Democrats, independents, and Republicans agree. Overall, only 16% of all Americans support military action now; two-thirds want to see the U.S. use economic and diplomatic efforts against Iran rather than military action. Republicans are slightly more likely to support military action, but even among that group support rises to only 22%.
Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence, Nov. 22, 2011
U.S. troops are in the process of completing their withdrawal from Iraq by the end-of-2011 deadline. We are now moving toward a reckoning with the consequences. The reckoning concerns the potential for a massive shift in the balance of power in the region, with Iran moving from a fairly marginal power to potentially a dominant power. As the process unfolds, the United States and Israel are making countermoves. We have discussed all of this extensively. Questions remain whether these countermoves will stabilize the region and whether or how far Iran will go in its response.
. . .
The main Iranian threat is not nuclear. It might become so, but even without nuclear weapons, Iran remains a threat. The current escalation originated in the American decision to withdraw from Iraq and was intensified by events in Syria. If Iran abandoned its nuclear program tomorrow, the situation would remain as complex. Iran has the upper hand, and the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all are looking at how to turn the tables.
. . .
The United States has three choices. Accept the evolution and try to live with what emerges. Attempt to make a deal with Iran — a very painful and costly one. Or go to war. The first assumes Washington can live with what emerges. The second depends on whether Iran is interested in dealing with the United States. The third depends on having enough power to wage a war and to absorb Iran’s retaliatory strikes, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz. All are dubious, so toppling al Assad is critical. It changes the game and the momentum. But even that is enormously difficult and laden with risks. We are now in the final act of Iraq, and it is even more painful than imagined. Laying this alongside the European crisis makes the idea of a systemic crisis in the global system very real.
Read more: Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East | STRATFOR

Pro-Palestinian activists push cause within Occupy Wall Street movement


An Occupy Oakland protester holds a sign on Nov. 2 featuring the slogan
"Occupy Oakland Not Palestine!" and expressing support for
Jewish Voice for Peace. (B. Hartford and J. Strong/Via Creative Commons)

Some Jewish pro-Palestinian groups have tried to tie the Palestinian cause to Occupy Wall Street.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue to spread across America, an internal struggle is percolating over how the movement relates to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Pro-Palestinian activists are trying to insert the issue into the protests and are co-opting the Occupy Wall Street movement’s language to attack Israel. But some left-wing Jewish activists warn that these efforts will give ammunition to the movement’s critics and make it harder to build a big tent in support of Occupy Wall Street’s main economic agenda.
“We are being sidetracked by some in our community and some outside our community who are insisting on integrating this into the Occupy Wall Street platform,” said Daniel Sieradski, the organizer of Occupy Judaism, which has staged Jewish religious services by Occupy Wall Street’s main encampment at New York’s Zuccotti Park and inspired similar efforts at other protest sites.

Mother's experience during Kristallnacht: a reality check. Author of "Hitler's Willing Executioners," Daniel Goldhagen

Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein retells his mother's experience during Kristallnacht at this ceremony by the Simon Wiesenthal Center at the Museum of Tolerance.



Exclusive video from 2009 ceremony. Museum Executive Director, Liebe Geft, introduces survivors present, prior to presentation by Daniel Goldhagen, author of "Hitler's Willing Executioners."

Alternative Jewish "Unity Pledge" contrasts with AJC & ADL's initiative to mute Jewish voters aganst Obama

ADL & AJC attempted to quiet Obama's
treatment of Israel as a campaign issue
National Conference for Jewish Affairs, a coalition of Jewish leaders and organizations across America, interprets the ADL & AJC's Call For Israel Pledge, and produced its own pledge:

"The two, towering pygmies of American “organized” Jewish “leadership,” the ADL’s Abe Foxman and David Harris of the AJC, issued a call on October 19th, for Jewish organizations and individuals to join them in signing what they called the “National Pledge for Unity on Israel,” the aim of which was, they said, “to rally bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish State from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.”   After receiving little support but lots of withering criticism, the twins pouted about being misunderstood and their message distorted.  

We at the National Conference on Jewish Affairs offer for your viewing pleasure what we think is an accurate translation of their pledge, followed by our own pledge, which we think is pretty clear.