Archive for the ‘Alex Liff’ Category

Commentary: Anti-Semites becoming ever more creative

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment
By Alex Liff 

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Looking across the spectrum of recent news one can’t help but be amazed at the creative ways that in the words of Dennis Miller, “adjacent Jew haters” i.e so called Palestinians and their beloved friends are finding to express their unbridled anti-Semitism.  The last month or so has brought a literal treasure trove of events to illustrate that point.


On a visit to Turkey, the recently minted PM of Britain, David Cameron unequivocally stated that “Gaza can not and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp”.   He also characterized Israel’s interception of the Turkish flotilla as “completely unacceptable”.  Where have you gone Gordie Brown, we miss you already.  It’s nice to see that it hasn’t taken your supposedly conservative successor, long to see which way the British foreign policy wind is blowing.  In fact Cameron showed himself to be a remarkable quick study with comments that were sure to delight both the domestic audience as well as the Turkish hosts.  Of all the issues that are pertinent to Turks, Brits or the rest of Europe, of course the central one had to be the Gaza situation.  I wonder if the Brits mint these anti-Semites in boarding schools or it’s in the genes.  What sweet music this must have been to the unrepentant Islamist’s ears of PM Erdogan who quickly and delightfully jumped on the Zionist (i.e Jewish) bashing band wagon, once again demanding deepest Israeli apology, reparations, and a shipment of additional Drones he can use to exterminate more Kurds across the border.   (Someone should have whispered in his ear that Israeli apology is coming as soon as he sends his own bit of an apology to the Armenians for cleansing 1.5 mil of their brethren not so historically long ago and provides oh say 20 billion in reparations). 


Perhaps PM Cameron was biased in his view by the recently released British report funded by the “Medical Aid for Palestinians” group.  This apparently completely unbiased and scientific research was carried out by the apparently prestigious university of Birzeit in the West Bank.  The findings?   Well some of you may be shocked to hear that apparently a whopping eighty-five percent of respondents reported moderate or high levels of insecurities, fears and threats, and 49 percent said they had moderate or high levels of distress.  So is the global financial crisis getting to the “we just can’t catch a break” Gazans?  Well apparently, not quite.  To quote the study, “ Asked to say what had been the biggest causes of suffering in Gaza, the respondents named, in order of magnitude, the Israeli siege of Gaza; the previous Israeli occupation of Gaza; the Israeli attack; and internal Palestinian fighting.” So there you have it, despite leaving Gaza 5 years ago, the big bad Zionists are continuing to stress out those impressionable and frail souls in Gaza.  Unfortunately, the study did not specify exactly when the stress levels were at their highest.  For example was it before or after a Gazan would fire an indiscriminate Qasam rocket into Israeli women and children and then run for cover trying to escape the fury of the Zionist drones. Perhaps the interviews were taken during the tunnel smuggling operations, the ones used to bring in vast amounts of weapons to enable the peace loving Gazans to kill as many of the Zionists as possible during the sneak attacks across the border.  Finally, the authors did nor precise if Gilad Shalit’s captors were interviewed and if they also exhibited higher levels of distress and anxiety having to be on the constant lookout for those bad Zionist spies, looking to free a kidnapped soldier illegally held now for 4 years.  So as you can see, the details were a bit murky but of course the all important conclusions were quite clear and well covered in the British press. 


So while the Brits were busy bashing the Zionists on their side of the Atlantic, Boney M, an iconic 1970’s disco group, got a chance to entertain the oppressed inhabitants of  Ramallah, Samaria, (West Bank).  The concert goers had a chance to enjoy many of the old favorites with one notable exception.  The Palestinian Authority, expressly forbid the group from performing its best known hit, Rivers of Babylon, deeming it “inappropriate”.  So the question naturally arises, what so offended the peace seeking, harmony loving Palestinians in the well known international hit song?  Well, the answer is that the song’s chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people’s yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.  The exact wording is in fact as follows:  “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.  Yeah, we wept when we remembered Zion. When the wicked carried us away in captivity.”  The Palestinian powers that be, did not want the impressionable young Palestinian minds to be confused by any deviation of the official line stating that Jews simply descended from Europe to usurp the Arab land and have not historical connection to Israel whatsoever.   In other words, more of the same triple D offense they have engaged in for years now, demonizing, denying, and destroying anything remotely resembling facts and the truth. 


Now, on the way to the concert, many of the attendees undoubtedly had a chance to stop by and enjoy the newly opened Mughrabi square in the adjoining town of El-Bireh.  In fact as is documented by Arlene Kushner of the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, the square was recently named after Dalal Mughrabi, a 19 year old female terrorist who led the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history – the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978.  Mughrabi and her squad of terrorists came down from Lebanon via the Mediterranean by raft; they landed on the beach south of Haifa. First they killed American nature photographer Gail Rubin, and then they hijacked a bus.  Ultimately, they killed, in cold blood, 38 innocent Israeli civilians, including, I repeat including, 13 children, before Mughrabi herself was shot by IDF.  The large scale of the carnage, the devastation and of course the fact that young Israelis were killed during this glorious operation have made Dalal a beloved figure among the Palestinians.   It should be noted that during the inauguration ceremony, a large banner was held aloft, which read: “On the anniversary of the Coastal Road Operation we renew our commitment and our oath that we uphold the charge and that we will not stray from the path of the shahids.”     

In fact, according to Palestinian Media watch organization’s recently released report,  Contrary to the PA’s moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to delegitimize Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence”.


While all of that was going on, the great moderate, PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas found time to put on a bit of a charm offensive in a meeting with the so called Jewish leaders in U.S.   A bit unusual you may say but hey give credit where credit is due.  I mean the man is no fool. After seeing 79% of the Jews vote for the Israel bashing Hussein Obama  and with fine pro-Palestinian organizations like J street springing up left and right, Abbas figured why not to also try to impress the malleable American Jewish minds and maybe even raise a couple of bucks for the Swiss bank coffers while he’s at it.


Abbas tried to charm the audience by stating that “Nobody denies the Jewish history in the Middle East. A third of our holy Koran talks about the Jews in the Middle East, in this area. Nobody from our side at least denies that the Jews were in Palestine.” Abbas conveniently forgot to add that while Koran does mention the Jews it does so comparing them to monkeys and pigs or to call for their extermination.  Also, the budding historian, Abbas,  did not explain exactly what this entity called Palestine was, as all attempts to find that nation in numerous historical publications were unsuccessful. 

To their credit, the so called Jewish leadership, unlike the world press, did not immediately fall for the slickster’s nicely combed hair and a well pressed suit but actually threw a few questions of substance at the great moderate.   According to the meeting notes, at the dinner Abbas was  pressed repeatedly on the issue of incitement among Palestinians.

“I accept your accusations,” Abbas said, referring to charges of incitement on PA-run TV, according to the transcript. “I will say, OK, let us say there is incitement. How can we deal with this? Shall I talk about Israeli incitement?” Ah yes, least one forget, offense is the best defense. 

Furthermore, one participant, described it as “a polite but pointed exchange over a series of questions that were asked again and again, because Abbas avoided the questions each time they were asked.” He pointed particularly to questions about what Abbas was doing to condition his people for peace. Abbas instead spoke of the recent interview he did with Israel’s Channel 10, concluding, “I asked Netanyahu to appear on our TV. He refused.”  Ah yes, spoken like a true visionary representative of the peace loving, peace seeking nation, indeed. 

Given Abbas’ previous track record and his non-answers to even a semblance of tough questions I think most rational, sane minds would look at the above and agree that the man is a fraud, emptier than a water reservoir in Sahara.  Not so for  the leader of the J Street organization, Jeremy Ben-Ami,  who summed up Abbas’s basic message as one that recalled past Israeli characterizations of the Palestinians as never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. “He basically said, ‘Now it’s your turn. Don’t mess this up.” Ben-Ami added, “Israel will never have a better partner than Mahmoud Abbas.” 

So what’s one to make of all of these seemingly disconnected events?  Let’s connect the dots shall we.  The bottom line is that when it comes to the Palestinians, there is no partner for peace, there never has been and given their clearly documented approach there never will be.  To the world at large that fact is irrelevant.  And so the David Camerons of this world will continue to use the Palestinian issue as a kind of modern day stick with which to perpetrate the politically correct pogrom on the Zionists whom the world loves to hate.  Some call it madness but in reality it’s all quite rational you see.  It’s pure unadulterated anti-Semitism of the highest degree, and it needs no reason.  For Israel and its supporters world wide, it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.  So let’s do, and state unequivocally to Abbas, Cameron, Erdogan and anyone else who questions our resolve, the weeping is over, we never forgot Zion, we came back and we’ll do whatever it takes to stay.

Liff is a freelance writer based in San Diego

Turkey, Israel’s best friend in Middle East? That reminds me of the story…

June 7, 2010 Leave a comment

By Alex Liff

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Watching the aftermath of the so called Gaza flotilla unfold can’t help but remind one of the following old joke that goes something like this.   A gentleman comes out of a building and sees a crowd gathered below, gesturing angrily toward a roof where one can observe a young man dragging an old lady toward the edge of the roof, in an attempt to throw her down.  The crowd, visibly upset, yells insults at the young man, telling him to let the old woman alone.  Suddenly another person emerges from the building and announces that the old lady is the young man’s mother in law at which point the crowd exclaims, “ah the witch, the nerve of her to resist”.  Substitute Israel for the old woman and the world for the crowd and the whole absurdity of the affair comes clearly into focus. 

In fact the whole affair can be characterized by the following analogy.  The door bell rings, you open it and in barges one of the neighbors, the one you used to play poker with but lately he has been acting kind of weird.  He punches you in the face, gives you a bloody nose and then declares that he won’t play poker with you anymore, until of course you apologize for not leaving the door open and then getting some blood on his shirt with your darn, squirting nose.  The neighborhood is up in arms at your brutality and your neighbors from Norway and Sweden in fact drop you from the neighborhood poker night all together.  Which brings us to Israel’s so called old friend, Turkey.  “Israel cannot find any better friend in the region than Turkey. And Israel is about to lose that friend,”  declared Turkey ‘s ambassador to U.S, Namik Tan.  He then went on to kindly outline the steps that Israel could take to keep its “good” friend, Turkey, from severing those dear ties.  And so with a straight face, can we have some drum roll please. 

 First, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have to publically apologize to Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan specifically and to the Turkish nation in general for the dastardly assault at sea that killed the nine peace loving Turks who were last seen in a video called “bash an Israeli soldier’s head in with a peace loving metal pipe”.  The esteemed ambassador unfortunately did not specify if PM Netanyahu would have to be standing on one, or two knees while giving that apology leaving those wicked Israelis to guess about the proper protocol that would satisfy the aggrieved, peace loving Turks. 

Second, Israel would have to consent to, practically beg the U.N to organize a so called international investigation into the Flotilla affair.  Here again the details remained a bit murky as the honorable ambassador did not specify if it would be Iran or Saudi Arabia or perhaps some other equally deserving and unbiased world actor chairing such an impartial commission.  Perhaps it would be Hamas itself,  given all of its significant human rights credentials and even handedness (as in they are equally adapt at throwing people off of buildings with left as well as right hand) that would get the honorary chairmanship of such a commission. 

Third, the distinguished ambassador Mr. Tan outlined a demand for Israel to essentially lift the blockade of Gaza.  As in the first two demands, the details remained a bit incomplete,  and thus it was unclear if the Iranian missiles would need to be delivered directly to Hamas via Haifa or Ashdod ports.  It was also a bit unclear if the Israelis needed to reserve aisle or window seats for the Iranian revolutionary guard instructors who would of course be needed to teach the peace loving Hamasniks how to use such sophisticated equipment.  Of course there has been quite a bit of press lately about the bestial Israeli blockade and how it was denying the long suffering, peace loving, oppressed people of Gaza, such basic human necessities as coriander, ginger and yes, the French croissants.  It’s clear that no spontaneous suicide bombing celebration is complete without a bit of ginger and coriander.  In fact it is said that the attendees to the famous suicide bombing museum in Gaza, you know the one the graphically depicts the Pizza place bombing in Tel Aviv that peacefully killed and maimed dozens of Israelis, listed French croissants as one of the key missing items off of the cafeteria menu.  Ah, such travesty indeed. 

So what is one to make of Mr.Tan’s statement?  Well, today, saying that Israel can not find a better friend than Turkey in the region is kind of like saying that in a prison full of criminals, the one who merely killed a few people is morally superior to the rest who are mass murderers.  It is true that Turkey was a friend, in the pre-Erdogan days.  It was a relationship based on mutual benefit and befitting of a Nato member with aspirations to join the European union.  The Turks benefitted by getting Israeli military technology and economic know how while also enjoying massive Israeli tourism and the hard currency that it brought.  That all changed in the last 5 years or so, as Mr. Erdogan steered a steady course away from western orientation and toward Islamism of Iran.  Turkey has cuddled up to Iran and has done everything possible to shield Iran from international sanctions.  It has been quite clear for all but most naïve observers for quite some time that Turkey is a friend no more, not for Israelis and not for the Americans.  And just like in real life when one’s friend decides to leave you, the best reaction is to bid them a fond farewell, and ask that the door not hit them on the way out.  Groveling and begging is very unbecoming in life and politics alike. 

What does it all mean for Israel, U.S and Nato?  It’s time to face the facts, Turks are friends no longer and appropriate conclusions need to be drawn.  U.S would be well served to do the right thing and finally declare that Turkish genocide against the Armenians did take place.  Military contacts should be cut appropriately and economic cooperation curtailed.  And as for Israel?   How should Bibi respond to Mr. Tan’s tantalizing request?  Well, in 1980 at the height of the cold war, at the Olympic games, one American reporter would run into his Russian counterpart who would use his fingers to proudly show how many medals the Russians won that day.  Naturally the American was a bit frustrated.  That all changed the day the U.S Hockey team won the gold medal.  The next morning the American bumped into the Russian, and proudly held up just one finger, and you can probably guess which one it was.  The humble suggestion to Bibi is to use that one finger to respond to Mr. Tan’s proposition.  I hope it means the same in Turkish, if not, perhaps the U.N commission can help to translate. 

Liff is a freelance journalist based in San Diego

Scuds to Hezbollah indicate true purposes of Iran and Syria

April 25, 2010 Leave a comment

By Alex Liff

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Following is an open letter sent to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday, April 23:

Dear Senator Feinstein,

 I am a long time resident of California, a citizen of the United States, a voting and an involved member of your constituency.   I am writing to you today to express concern and solicit your explanation regarding an aspect of a statement that you made yesterday in connection to some very troubling developments in the Middle East.   According to published reports, yesterday you stated the following: “”I believe there is a likelihood that there are Scuds that Hezbollah has in Lebanon. A high likelihood. The rockets and missiles in Lebanon are substantially increased and better technologically than they were and this is a real point of danger for Israel.” 

As a senior member of Senate and the head of the important Senate Intelligence committee your pronouncements carry a lot of weight and importance.  So the statement above was timely, right on the money and critical for calling the world’s attention to this   new, dangerous and very destabilizing development.  As you are well aware the transfer of this type of technology into Hezbollah’s hands has been significant in several respects:

It has once again shown that the Syrian regime, which initiated this transfer, has no interest in playing a constructive role in the region and contrary to Senator Kerry’s pronouncement a few weeks ago, is not committed to peace.  Therefore, I call on you to object to President Obama’s plan to send our ambassador to Damascus after a 5 year absence.

For the first time in history, a purely terrorist group, Hezbollah, has acquired weapons that can cause massive, indiscriminate civilian damage and do so very quickly.  As you very well know, all of Israel is now within the terrorists’ bull’s-eye. 

This transfer has crossed the so called Israeli Red line which was clearly stated on numerous occasions and is bound to elicit a justified reaction from Israel, whose government has a duty to protect its citizens from this new mortal danger.  This step has significantly increased the chances for a new and significant Middle East conflict. 

Given the above you are to be applauded for coming out with the statement denouncing this development and focusing attention on it.   I support you actions in this regard completely and unequivocally. 

 However you then proceeded to make the following statement which frankly was quite baffling  “There’s only one thing that’s going to solve it, and that’s a two-state solution”. 

The above statement was not accompanied by any kind of explanation and so one was left to fill in the blanks.  In the statement you essentially linked the aspirations of an Iranian financed, created, supported, radical terrorist Lebanese Shia organization with the goals of the Sunni Palestinians and their ongoing conflict with the state of Israel.   In other words if one is take your words literally, all that needs to happen to resolve this bit of an issue is the establishment of the Palestinian state. 

With all due respect Senator, I beg to differ with your premise and propose that the statement above is completely erroneous, short sighted and does nothing to help us deal with real issues at hand.  As an ordinary citizen of course I don’t have access to the kind of intelligence information that you have at your disposal but I am a student of history and have been following Middle East for a long time now.  Here are the facts as I see them.

Hizbollah is radical Islamist Shia organization which was created by Iran shortly after the 1979 revolution that brought to power one of the most extreme, radical, hate mongering regimes in the world today.

The burgeoning Shia majority in Lebanon had long been dispossessed and marginalized in Lebanon by the ruling Sunni and Christian elites who were typically wealthier, better educated and had more opportunities for advancement.  So when the Iranian mullahs beckoned they found a very willing audience of their Shia cousins who were all too happy to link forces with them. In turn, for Iran, the Shia of Lebanon represented a wonderful opportunity to expand their influence in the region while starting to build a deadly noose around their main adversary, the state of Israel.

Initially Hizbollah’s main focus seemed to be on resisting Israel’s presence in southern Lebanon but that factor ceased to exist after Israel’s hasty withdrawal in 2000.   Nevertheless, Hizbollah never stopped its subversive activities in Lebanon or its Iranian financed, Syrian facilitated arms build up. 

In fact most of the atrocities committed by Hizbollah never had anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but were ordered and executed on behalf of their masters in Tehran who had their own regional goals.  We all remember the Beirut marine barrack bombings, the Khobar tower attacks, the Jewish center attack in Argentina and the recent Hariri assassination in Beirut.  None of these events had anything to do with the desire to promote a separate state for the Palestinians. 
If Hizbollah is so concerned about the Palestinians they could start by helping the hundreds of thousands if not millions of them who are housed in squalid refugee camps.  In fact the opposite is true, the Lebanese have completely disenfranchised these folks, denying them basic rights and keeping them locked up in miserable conditions.  There has been no attempt whatsoever to integrate, resettle or even improve the basic daily conditions of that group.  The truth is that for Hizbollah and the rest of the Arab world, Palestinians are simply a convenient lever to use to continue to question Israel’s legitimacy. 

I can go on, but hopefully these are all facts familiar to you and your staff.  The point is that there is absolutely no connection between the Sunni Palestinians’ desire for a state and Hizbollah’s Iranian dictated objectives.  Their goal as stated on numerous occasions by head of Hizbollah, Sheikh Nasrallah as well as President of Iran, Ahmadinajed is the complete and final destruction of Israel.  In fact, Nasrallah was quoted on several occasions, stating that his utmost wish was for all Jews to gather in Israel so that Hizbollah can eliminate them all once and for all.  I hope you would agree with me, those are not the words of a man, whose goal is a peaceful resolution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Senator Feinstein, I hope you will agree with me, the historical facts do not support in any way your statement linking the resolution of the Hizbollah issue with the two state solution.  Stating so is misleading, confusing and flat out wrong.  These types of statement prevent us from dealing with and resolving real issues in the region but worst of all they detract us from focusing on the real problems at hand. 

As a senior and powerful senator, you are privy to much information which is not available to regular citizens like myself.  All I can do is look at the historic facts and interpret them intelligently.  As the old saying goes, “the truth may not always win, but it is always right”.   The truth, as underpinned by recent undeniable history, is that Hizbollah, is nothing but an extension of a dangerous, fanatical, radical Iranian region whose goal is the total and complete annihilation of one of our staunchest and most important allies, Israel.  The latest moves by the Hizbollah is just one of the numerous steps it has taken to bring that goal closer to the reality.  That reality has absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinian issue or the so called two state solution. 

Senator Feinstein, it is my humble request that you look at the facts carefully and not fall into the common traps of repeating old, overused mantras, which have nothing to do with reality.  As Iran is racing to acquire game changing nuclear technology and Hizbollah is arming to the teeth, it is imperative that the leaders of our great country take the time to understand the situation and make conclusions based on actual facts and history, not fiction or empty one liners. 

I thank you for your attention and look forward to hearing your views on this topic.

Liff, born in the Soviet Union and a former resident of France, has an MBA from Stanford with a Global Management certificate.  A well-traveled student of the Middle East, he currently resides in San Diego.