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According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, moderately religious Muslim women bear on average four children, while those with fundamentalist views have just three children. If true, the data reveals that unlike their Jewish counterparts, religious Muslim women have no goal to maximize child-bearing, which would mean that the secularization of Arab society works against Jewish demographic goals in Israel.

Meanwhile, atheist Jewish women bear 2.1 children, on average.

Palestinian family

Dov Lior, an authoritative rabbi from Kiryat Arba, was detained for refusing to heed a police summons. The police want to interrogate him about his endorsement of Torat haMelech, a religious book which explores halachic attitudes toward the killing of enemies of the Jews.

Efforts to ban Jewish religious books did not succeed even in Ukraine and Nazi Germany, but in Israel the book’s author is prosecuted on charges of incitement.

Dov Lior

Journalists discovered that Abbas  granted Palestinian diplomatic passports to two terrorists from Kazakhstan. In that Central Asian state, they were charged with terror and racketeering. Diplomatic passports gave them immunity.

The government introduced highly insufficient restrictions for jailed terrorists in order to pressure Hamas into releasing Shalit. Their meat rations were reduced, and about 5% of inmates who were studying while in jail lost their access to textbooks. Such slight measures won’t force any concessions from Hamas, nor indeed they are much burden for the prisoners. Taking away TV sets, reducing visitation rights to once-a-year Red Cross visits, and doing away with phone privileges would be much more effective, though also insufficient. Executing terrorists at a steady rate of one per hour would guarantee Israel, if not Shalit’s release, then at least a cessation of future kidnappings.

Israel’s Open University, which offers courses to the terrorists, condemned the restrictions as ‘immoral.’ As if we owe any morality to those murderers.

British authorities detained Raed Salah, a maverick Islamist from Israel, when he was about to address the parliament.

In Israel, his freedom of speech is unencumbered.

Erdogan and ObamaHaving failed in all his diplomatic endeavors, Erdogan seems willing to accept Obama’s call to attack Syria. Obama has seen that he can wage war on Libya without the Congress’ approval, and he now may be preparing to intensify the air war against Gadhafi and provide air cover to a Turkish campaign in Syria.

Assad has proven himself as shrewd and ruthless a leader as we suggested years ago. Unlike Gadhafi, who for some odd reason refuses to deploy his SAM batteries against the NATO planes, Assad won’t shrink from launching missiles at Israeli targets to retaliate for an American-sponsored invasion of his turf.

A strong Israeli leader would use this chance to strike at Syria and destroy its 1,400 SCUD missiles. But as during the Desert Storm, Israel would be asked to swallow the blows so that Turkey wouldn’t find itself in the awkward position of joining Israel in an attack on a fellow Muslim state.

Iran is unlikely to unleash its ballistic missiles at Israel to avenge Syria, but might well give such an order to Hezbollah. Iran, though, has overextended its hand in Lebanon: since it brought Hezbollah into the government, the terrorist group has acquired substantial income sources of its own and won’t be eager to risk its government position by attacking Israel.

Small protests erupted in Jerusalem after police detained Rabbi Lior for endorsing a book on halacha.

Contrary to media reports, demonstrators were not protesting the arrest. Rabbi Lior was released within an hour as there was really nothing to question him about; the police merely harassing him. The protests centered around the highly unequal application of law on Jews and Arabs: while right-wing Jews are routinely investigated on spurious charges of incitement, no similar charges are brought against Israeli Arabs, including their politicians and preachers. Indeed, no charges were ever filed against left-wing Jews for incitement against settlers, which sometimes include open calls to kill them.

Human Rights WatchAmnesty, HRW, and a number of Israeli ultra-left groups penned a letter to Hamas asking for ‘humane’ treatment for Shalit. Superficially, the letter criticizes Hamas and places various demands on the terrorist group.

On closer reading, the letter says something entirely different.

The ‘human rights’ groups deliberately omitted any demand for Shalit’s release. That signals to Hamas that they view him as a captured combatant rather than a kidnapped hostage, and so the terrorist group is entitled to hold him until hostilities with Israel are over—that is, indefinitely.

Legally, their position is doubtful, as Israel had already disengaged from Gaza at the time of kidnapping. And indeed, those very groups refused to recognize Gazans as combatants during the 2009 war.

Under the guise of preserving human rights, the letter actually furthers the Shalits-cum-Israeli-leftists agenda. It pushes the Israeli government to release 1,400 terrorists, including dozens of major criminals, in exchange for Shalit.

The government is beating its chest over the upcoming flotilla interception, promising to handle it differently than it handled the Mavi Marmara. To that end, the army invested significant resources, woefully needed in other areas, in developing the interception techniques.

Which reminds us of an old story. After numerous discoveries in the first half of the twentieth century, physics became immensely popular, with unrealistic numbers of candidates applying to universities. Einstein then jokingly suggested that every hundredth applicant be shot in order to ensure that only the most determined of them applied. And that is exactly the prescription for human-rights activists. If a Russian-made torpedo missile launched from an unknown direction were to drown a boat or a two once in a while, we could be sure of diminished efforts to launch subsequent flotillas.

June 2011
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