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Posted by Olivier Guitta, April 30, 2007.

This article is reprinted with permission of The Weekly Standard. where it first appeared in Volume 12, Issue 32.

A few days before the March 11 suicide bombing that rocked Casablanca, Moroccan police arrested a big fish: Saad Husseini, number two in the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), the outfit responsible for terror attacks in Casablanca in 2003 and Madrid in 2004 that killed a total of 236 people.

But while Husseini sits in jail, his boss, Mohamed Guerbouzi, lives a free man in Britain, despite being sentenced in absentia to a 20-year term by a Moroccan court.

Morocco has sought Guerbouzi's extradition, but the British government refuses even to arrest him, deeming the evidence provided insufficient, according to the newspaper Aujourd'hui Le Maroc.

Indeed, London still hosts a Who's Who of dangerous Islamists -- Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the main Tunisian Islamist party; Anjem Choudary, deported from Lebanon to the United Kingdom in 2005 and seen taking part in the violent protests of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad; the Saudi national Saad al-Faqih, listed as a supporter of al Qaeda by both the U.S. Treasury and the United Nations, and so on.

There's a reason for the moniker the British capital earned in the 1990s (also the title of a 2006 book by the journalist Melanie Phillips) -- Londonistan.

For over a decade, French authorities have been frustrated by their British counterparts' relative inaction on extremism.

In the 1990s, when a French investigative magistrate went to London to interview eight suspected members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), for instance, British authorities denied him access to the suspects.

In 1998 and 1999, the DGSE, the French equivalent to the CIA, reportedly mounted its own surveillance of London's Finsbury Park mosque and of extremist leaders such as Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.

Christophe Chaboud, head of the French antiterrorism coordination unit, told the Guardian that Britain failed to take action against Abu Hamza long after it was given ample evidence of his extensive involvement in terrorism.

It wasn't until 2004 that Hamza was finally arrested.

He is now serving a seven-year sentence for soliciting murder and inciting racial violence. And it took Britain ten years to finally extradite Rachid Ramda, the mastermind of the 1995 terror campaign in France that killed 8 and injured more than 100.

One explanation for the tolerance British authorities display toward Islamic radicals was offered by Alain Chouet, former head of the antiterrorism unit at the DGSE.

Citing British colleagues, he told authors Stéphane Berthomet and Guillaume Bigot in 2005 that Islamists had deposited hundreds of millions of pounds in London banks.

Said Chouet, "Nobody wanted to kill the golden goose."

Defenders of British policy reasoned that by allowing radicals to stay in Britain, the authorities could keep them under surveillance and thus prevent attacks on the homeland.

Unfortunately, that calculation turned out to be wrong.

On July 7, 2005, London was attacked, at a cost of 52 lives, and Prime Minister Blair announced, "The rules of the game have changed."

He appointed a select committee to advise him on tackling extremism. One of its members, however, was none other than Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Swiss Islamist denied entry to the United States in 2004 and to France as long ago as 1995 for his dubious connections.

Unsurprisingly, the first recommendation of this task force was to cancel Holocaust Memorial Day (instituted in 2001) because it was "offensive to Muslims," a recommendation that so far has not been adopted.

One of Britain's main Muslim nongovernmental organizations, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), describes Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi -- who defends suicide attacks on civilians in Israel and U.S. troops in Iraq in his popular commentaries on Al Jazeera TV -- as a "defender of human rights."

The MCB spokesman recently stated, "To call for violence against British society is unacceptable," implying that against other countries it might be fine.

The longtime general secretary of the MCB, Iqbal Sacranie -- knighted by the queen in 2005 -- said of writer Salman Rushdie back in 1989, after the Ayatollah Khomeini deemed Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses blasphemous and called for his murder:

"Death perhaps is a bit too easy for him." Rushdie recently retorted: "If that's the only moderate Muslim Blair could find!"

According to conservative MP Michael Gove, this picture is dispiriting for genuinely moderate Muslims. They see the most religiously conservative and politically provocative groups enjoy the lion's share of attention, and they wonder how serious the British government is about countering extremism.

By and large, though, British Muslims are the most radicalized Muslim community in Europe.

An ICM Poll survey in February 2006 found that 40 percent of British Muslims favor the institution of sharia (Islamic law) in Britain.

Another sometime adviser to the British government, Ahmad Thomson -- a Rhodesia-born convert to Islam and a member of the Association of Muslim Lawyers -- used this smooth formulation in the Cambridge University magazine Ar-Risaakh a couple of years ago:

"I look forward to the day when the majority of British people have voted in favour of being governed in accordance with the Sharia of Islam."

Thomson has argued that "Blair decided to go to war in Iraq because he is under the influence of a sinister group of Jews and Free Masons."

Since the bombings of 7/7, British authorities have clamped down on a few of the most vocal radical preachers, prosecuting Abu Hamza, for example, and expelling Omar Bakri. Yet proselytism is still going strong, if a little more discreetly. Lord Carlile, who was a parliamentary "reviewer" of Britain's antiterrorist laws, estimates that more than 20 radical imams are still preaching.

Mosques are no longer the preferred recruiting ground, however, according to journalist Dominique Thomas: Prayer rooms, college campuses, and prisons have assumed that distinction.

The director of the London-based Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Patrick Sookhdeo -- who predicted several years ago that the next wave of radical Islam in Britain would involve suicide bombings -- is critical of British authorities.

In 2006, Sookhdeo told the Telegraph: "The whole approach towards Muslim militants was based on appeasement; 7/7 proved that that approach does not work--yet it is still being followed." He envisions Islamic communities within Britain eventually forming a state within a state if the government does not stop making concessions to Islamist leaders.

If that sounds alarmist, consider that in September 2006, British police agreed to consult with a panel of Muslim leaders prior to launching counterterrorist operations.

Panel members will offer to assess whether the information police have regarding a suspect is adequate and how a raid will impact community relations. This general approach is having an impact on Britain's foreign policy.

Pressure is mounting from the Muslim community, seconded by Labour party politicians, for Britain to abandon its close links with America.

Arabists in the Foreign Office also advocate closer links to Islamists like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and a drawing back from the Atlanticist legacy. [Editor's Note: read about the Muslim Brotherhood in Think-Israel Featured Articles for March-April 2007.]

The young man in charge of Islamic affairs at the Foreign Office, Mockbul Ali, is himself an Islamist, who successfully lobbied to allow Sheikh Qaradawi -- still barred from the United States -- to visit London.

Almost two years after 7/7, British authorities seem oblivious to the consequences of their tolerance.

But they might ask themselves: Why should anyone assume that British shoe bomber Richard Reid was an isolated case?

The truth is, as long as extremist recruiters continue to operate more or less freely in the United Kingdom, Britain must be considered a potential source of danger to American security -- a state of affairs that could seriously damage relations with our best ally in Europe.

Olivier Guitta is a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant based in Washington, D.C. He speaks four languages, including Arabic; he has long experience in international banking and portfolio management; he has a solid reputation for significant articles in serious journals and newspapers; and he is a contributing editor for the prestigious counterterrorism blog:

He has recently launched The Croissant (http://www.thecroissant.com/), a foreign affairs and counterterrorism newsletter. The first two issues are free and can be accessed directly: First Issue and Second Issue.

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Posted by Andrew Bostom, April 30, 2007.
This comes from the April 22, 2007 Jihad Watch

Pennsylvania Imam Fouad ElBayly said: "Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be put to death. But only in a Muslim country, not in America," and "it's a very merciful religion if you try to understand it."

A "community debate" in Pennsylvania: "Furor over author Ayaan Hirsi Ali's visit stirs debate on religious freedom," by Robin Acton in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, (with thanks to Joe):

...A community debate over religious freedom surfaced in Western Pennsylvania last week when Dutch feminist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who has lived under the threat of death for denouncing her Muslim upbringing, made an appearance at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Islamic leaders tried to block the lecture, which was sponsored through an endowment from the Frank J. and Sylvia T. Pasquerilla Lecture Series. They argued that Hirsi Ali's attacks against the Muslim faith in her book, "Infidel," and movie, "Submission," are "poisonous and unjustified" and create dissension in their community.

Although university officials listened to Islamic leaders' concerns, the lecture planned last year took place Tuesday evening under tight security, with no incidents.

Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.

"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.

Hirsi Ali, an atheist, has been critical of many Muslim beliefs, particularly on subjects of sexual morality, the treatment of women and female genital mutilation. In her essay "The Caged Virgin," she also wrote of punishment, noting that "a Muslim's relationship with God is one of fear."

"Our God demands total submission. He rewards you if you follow His rules meticulously. He punishes you cruelly if you break His rules, both on earth, with illness and natural disasters, and in the hereafter, with hellfire," she wrote....

Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.

"If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment," he said. "It's a very merciful religion if you try to understand it."

Zahida Chaudhary, a member of the education council and education secretary at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Monroeville, insisted that Islam is a peaceful religion.

"The Prophet Mohammed was a peacemaker and a role model for humanity," she said. "My understanding is that he was a peaceful person who believed that religion was a choice. He tried to teach people and bring them into it, not punish them."

In fact, he said, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him'" (Bukhari 9.84.57).

Editor's note -- Ian Fletcher added this comment:

"You know something is wrong when only the extremists are willing to speak the truth.

" There was a dreadful article in the Times of London the other day, claiming that a new poll proves British Moslems are "model citizens." The only decent rebuttal I've found is by the British National Party, the post-fascist party in England. Post-fascist! The mainstream is totally in thrall to this "moderate Moslems" myth.

This is BNP's rebuttal of London Muslim poll. It appeared at

The recent Times article (Michael Binyon, "Poll reveals Muslims as model citizens"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1662695.ece), claiming that a new poll shows Muslim Londoners are 'model citizens', is merely the latest example of the time-honoured art of deliberately-biased polling. It proves basically nothing, except that the Times, once the house organ of the old-time establishment, is now the perfectly-tuned spokesman of the new, liberal, establishment.

The poll numbers are probably not literally faked, though this cannot be ruled out. The trick is all in the selection of rigged questions, and knowing how to call the right people, at the right time, so as to get the desired result.

For start, many of the responses simply do not support the 'model citizens' claim. When the poll cheerfully reports that '81% of London Muslims condemn violence even if used in a noble cause', this implies that 19% of London Muslims do support violence in (their idea of) a noble cause. As there are 600,000 Muslims in London, this implies that 114,000 of them support violence.


One-hundred-and-fourteen thousand -- in London alone.

Given that this number is somewhat larger than the number of soldiers on active service in the British Army (107,730), it would seem to present a problem. No wonder MI5 reports there are more than 200 terrorist cells in Britain.

We must wonder similarly about the reported fact that '74% are loyal to Britain', which implies that 26% (156,000 people) are not, and that '82% respect other religions,' which implies that 18% (108,000 people) do not.

And these figures are based upon self-reported information, from believers in a religion that explicitly condones lying to non-believers, which they call in Arabic taqiyya, usually translated 'dissimulation'.

One could easily have titled the Times article 'Over one hundred thousand London Muslims support violence'. By the same logic, the Times would have reported, during the Blitz, about how a majority of German aircraft were sitting peacefully in their aerodromes, and only a small percentage were bombing Britain on any given day.

Passive majority fraud

This article is a virtual case study of a classic type of liberal sophistry: the fraud of the passive majority. It may be quite true that most Muslims in Britain have no interest in attacking or taking over our society. But the same was probably true of Hitler Germany. It was certainly true of Soviet Russia, where during the Cold War the author knew many perfectly nice Russians, who had no interest whatsoever in their communist rulers' attempt to conquer the world.

But this was irrelevant, as these nice Russians weren't the ones holding the launch keys to the SS-22 nuclear missiles. In any society, the politically active population, the ones who take a real part in government, affect relations between that society and others, and attack others or behave themselves, are a small percentage. The fact that most of the population is not like them, but is passive, does not make them go away, or cease to have potentially lethal effects.


What is the right interpretation of this polling data?

For a start, it follows that, if nearly a fifth of Muslims support violence against us, we should not admit any more of them. After all, we will never be able to tell, who sincerely renounces violence and who doesn't, until too late.

Even worse, letting 'benign' Muslims into the country is no guarantee that they will remain benign forever. Muslims are getting more radical, all over the world, all the time, and Britain is no exception.

And even 'benign' Muslims harm us, by giving social, demographic, political, and economic mass to Islam in Britain, and by providing camouflage to radicals. When push comes to shove, they may not support violence themselves, but they will side with their own people against the rest of us.

Finally, even 'benign' Muslims believe, if they are genuine Muslims at all, in spreading their faith -- which is contrary to our interests, and an assault upon our identity as a people, even if done without force.

Other aspects of this poll border on the comical. For example, it reports that London Muslims have twice the confidence in government as the general public, as if this were obviously a good thing. But since our government is dreadful, and has amply demonstrated its dishonesty over Iraq and a dozen other issues, why is 'confidence' in it necessarily the appropriate attitude?

Confidence in government is an attribute of tyranny: Hitler, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein could probably have produced impressive polls about 'confidence' in themselves. A healthy scepticism towards power, and thus towards government, is the fitting attitude for a democracy. No wonder every Muslim nation is a tyranny, albeit of varying degrees of severity. Perhaps Muslims like our government so much because they realise that it takes their side against us, and is dedicated to forcing foreigners like them down the throats of an unwilling native population.

How was this nasty piece of spin arranged? The poll states, on its own website, that it was designed with the help of 'a panel of world-renowned scientists ... [who] include John Esposito.' Mr. Esposito is the founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, USA. This institution received a gift of $20 million from the 'prince' (gangster, more like it, given the character of the Saudi regime), to further the Saudi aim of penetrating and Islamifying the West. He also happens to be the single largest shareholder in the holding company that owns the Times. Hopefully, the British people can't be bought as easily as a single newspaper.

Andrew G. Bostom, M.D., M.S., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School. He is the author of The Legacy of Jihad.
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Posted by Israel Zwick, April 30, 2007.

This was published in CNPublications.net March 30, 2007.

(Author's Note: The Socratic Method is a technique which utilizes a series of questions to expose inadequacies and inconsistencies in the beliefs of an interlocutor. Ultimately a new and better hypothesis is formed. The technique is commonly employed in legal education, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and forensic investigations. Peter Falk humorously employed this technique in his popular TV detective series, Colombo.

In the following fictional article, a spokesman for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IMFA, uses the technique with a reporter from the BBC at a press conference) The article is archived at

IMFA: Now that I have explained my government's opposition to the Saudi Peace Initiative because it omits dialogue, negotiation, and regional cooperation, I'll take some questions. I'll start with Richard from BBC.

BBC: Sir, why is the Government of Israel (GOI) opposed to dismantling the illegal Jewish settlements that were built on occupied Palestinian territory?

IMFA: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. Could you please explain it?

BBC: I'll try to phrase it simply. When will the GOI begin to dismantle the Jewish settlements that were built illegally in the West Bank?

IMFA: Are you referring to the established Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria?

BBC: You can call them that, but former Secretary of State James Baker and former President Jimmy Carter have referred to these settlements as "obstacles to peace." So wouldn't it advance the cause of peace if these illegal settlements were removed?

IMFA: Why are they illegal settlements?

BBC: Everyone knows that they were built illegally on occupied Palestinian lands, not Jewish lands.

IMFA: Are you suggesting that Jews have no right to live in the environs of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Shechem, and Shiloh, where they have strong historical connections?

BBC: I'm only suggesting that illegal settlements built on occupied Palestinian lands should be dismantled and returned to the Palestinians so they can build a contiguous independent state.

IMFA: I'm not sure that I understand. There are also Jewish communities in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Toronto, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Miami, Buenos Aries, and hundreds of other cities. Should they also be dismantled because they aren't built on Jewish lands and are interfering with the contiguity of the host state?

BBC: Oh, no! I would never suggest that. Jews have been living in those cities for many years and should continue to live there. But there were no Jews in the West Bank when the illegal settlements were established.

IMFA: When Israeli troops entered the area in June, 1967, they discovered many desecrated Jewish cemeteries there. What does that suggest to you?

BBC: I suppose it suggests that Jews once lived and died there? Apparently they abandoned the area.

IMFA: How do you think that happened?

BBC: I suppose it had something to do with the population shifts during the war in 1948 and 1949, which resulted in the Armistice Lines of 1949.

IMFA: So Jews have no right to live there anymore?

BBC: Well, they shouldn't be living on occupied Palestinian lands that are needed for a Palestinian state.

IMFA: I'm not sure that I understand. There are hundreds of ethnic minority groups in the world that are involved in "liberation" movements. Do they all deserve their own sovereign independent state?

BBC: No of course not. We can't have the world carved up into hundreds of microstates which may not be able to function independently. But the Palestinians are a dispersed and oppressed people who have been suffering since 1948. They deserve their own state, free from oppression and occupation.

IMFA: Suppose a group of African Muslims from Darfur established a community in Judea, would you say that they should leave also?

BBC: Oh, no. Those people have been subjected to enormous persecution and torture. It would be immoral to uproot them from an area where they can live in peace, free from harassment and discrimination. They're entitled to that and should be given every consideration to live in freedom and tolerance. As long as they are peaceful and productive, there would be no valid reason to uproot them.

IMFA: So perhaps they should also be given a sovereign, independent state since they are a dispersed minority group.

BBC: That wouldn't be necessary since they can continue to live elsewhere as a minority group with full democratic and civil rights.

IMFA: Yet, the Jewish settlements in the area should be dismantled?

BBC: They had no right to build settlements on occupied lands when they could have built communities in the northern Galil and the southern Negev, there's plenty of undeveloped land there.

IMFA: So Jews have no right to live a few kilometers from their holy sites in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem?

BBC: Not if the settlements were established illegally on occupied Palestinian lands.

IMFA: Why do you call them "occupied Palestinian lands?"

BBC: Because the Israeli military invaded them in June 1967 and occupied them.

IMFA: Who was controlling those lands when the Israeli army entered in June 1967.

BBC: I believe it was King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

IMFA: Was King Hussein a Palestinian?

BBC: No, he was a Hashemite and controlled the areas since the Armistice lines of 1949.

IMFA: Who controlled the areas before that?

BBC: The British government controlled them for about 30 years under a mandate from the League of Nations.

IMFA: Before that, who controlled them?

BBC: For many years, they were part of the Ottoman Empire.

IMFA: So the Palestinians controlled the Ottoman Empire?

BBC: Oh no, the Palestinians never had an independent state, and were always dominated and controlled by others, so it's time for them to have their own state.

IMFA: And no Jews should be allowed to live there?

BBC: Well, the Jews fled and abandoned the area after the Hebron Massacre in 1929 and during the war in 1948. So when Israel defeated Jordan in 1967, there were no Jewish homes or synagogues in the West Bank.

IMFA: So if I understand your question correctly, you are asking when will the GOI dismantle established Jewish communities that were built on liberated, reclaimed, and purchased Jewish lands. Is that correct?

BBC: Well, not exactly, I mean umm...that...umm...well...may I ask another question?

IMFA: Sure, go right ahead.

BBC: When will the GOI dismantle the concrete barrier that is creating an apartheid system and violating the humanitarian rights of the Palestinian people?

IMFA: I'm not sure that I understand the question, could you please explain it?

BBC: I hear my cell phone ringing; I think my editor is trying to reach me. Perhaps you should call on the representative from Reuters. Excuse me.

Contact Israel Zwick at israel.zwick@earthlink.net or go to his website:

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Posted by Bryna Berchuck, April 30, 2007.

This was published March 8, 2007 as a New York Sun Editorial.

If one were to distill 110% wrongheadedness and then distill it again a second, third, and fourth time, one couldn't come up with a speech as purely wrongheaded as the one that the Hashemite king, Abdullah II, delivered yesterday to a joint meeting of Congress. The king's aim amounted to blaming Israel for all the world's problems. "The wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine," the king said. "This is the core issue. And this core issue is not only producing severe consequences for our region, it is producing severe consequences for our world."

Balderdash is the kindest way to describe it. It doesn't track with the actions of the violent terrorists, and it doesn't track with their statements. If the terrorists are upset about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, why are they setting off bombs in Indonesia and Spain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which are hardly in the vanguard of support for Israel? Given that the terrorists state publicly that their end goal is to make all of Europe and America subject to Islamic law, why should we believe that in fact they have the far more modest goal of merely seizing land belonging to the Jewish state?

In a speech on American soil, Abdullah incredibly snubbed his own country and his own family when he referred to "Sixty years of Palestinian dispossession." Why, his family knows all about Palestinian Arab dispossession. The gall of the son of King Hussein, who perpetrated what the Arabs call Black September, fetching up in the Congress to lecture the Americans on Palestinian Arab dispossession is astounding. Abdullah well knows that Jordan controlled the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967. If the Palestinian Arabs were dispossessed during that period it was no one's fault but the Hashemites', who didn't exactly use those decades, or the years after, to race to establish a Palestinian Arab state.

Abdullah made reference to a Saudi proposal from 2002 that he described as the "Arab Peace Initiative." That plan would be more accurately described as the Arab Destruction of Israel Initiative. Its aim was to seek to reward the second so-called intifada, which followed the collapse of President Clinton's Camp David II, by giving the Palestinian Arabs half of the Israeli capital of Jerusalem. The Saudis not only sought to divide Israel's capital in Jerusalem but also to force Israel to abandon Jerusalem's Old City, retreat to militarily indefensible borders, and absorb within those borders enough Arab "refugees" so that its character as a Jewish state would be eradicated. No one fell for it save for Thomas Friedman of the New York Times.

Abdullah's speech yesterday won negative reviews from many of the Democratic lawmakers who now control Congress. The New York Times' Paris edition quoted Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island as saying, "I was troubled to hear the suggestion that the fact that Sunni and Shia are murdering each other is somehow the fault of the Israelis. This implication is a dangerous one and completely unacceptable." The chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rep. Thomas Lantos, was quoted by Fox News as saying the speech was "Profoundly disappointing... a missed opportunity." One of the effects of the Islamist terrorist onslaught of recent years is that more Americans have thought more deeply about these matters. They will not be gulled by a foreign potentate offering up Israel as a scapegoat for troubles that originate with the failings of the Arab and Islamic world and their nondemocratic leaders, Abdullah among them.

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Posted by Bryna Berch, April 30, 2007.

This was written by Michael Medved and it appeared April 4, 2007 on the Townhall website
(http://townhall.com/Columnists/MichaelMedved/2007/04/04/ a_palestinian_right_of_return). Michael Medved is a film critic, best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.

Mr. Medved analysizes what's wrong with a major Arab PR item. The Arabs who fled Israel when the Arab states invaded the fledgling country, have, unlike any other group of refugees ever, have been living generation after generation supported by UNRHA Their right of return is presented as innocuous, reasonable, worthy of human compassion. Medved tells us why it is not innocuous.

One of the most annoying quirks of our major media outlets involves their consistently misleading characterization of the current debate about demands for a Palestinian "right of return."

The latest Arab League peace proposal, recycled with much fanfare from a 2002 Saudi plan, includes a requirement that Israel should accept untold millions of Palestinians who would relocate into Israel itself, rather than making their homes in the newly created Palestinian State. Leading newspapers invariably describe this demand in terms that suggest that refugees would get "the right to return to their original homes inside Israel." (New York Times, front page, 3/31/07). Of course, this endlessly repeated phraseology sounds fair, compassionate, appropriate -- conjuring up images of patient, oppressed, long-suffering innocents, finally able to return to their ancient roots and ancestral lands, shedding tears of joy as they renew and rebuild the "homes" they lost nearly sixty years ago.

Even worse, America's Journal of Record (and nearly all other publications and news sources) summarize Israel's objection to this "right" as a "fear that admitting large numbers of Palestinians would undermine the Jewish nature of the state."

Unfortunately, this ridiculously distorted description of Israel's point of view carries the connotation that the objection is purely racist: that the Israelis feel that the continued existence of their "Jewish State" is so precarious that they can't even consider admitting non-Jews (Actually, thousands of non-Jews arrive in Israel every month, prominently including workers from Thailand, the Philippines, Rumania and other nations).

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently re-enforced the impression of Israeli intransigence and anti-Palestinian racism with an unequivocal Passover-eve interview with the Jerusalem Post. "I'll never accept a solution that is based on their return to Israel, any number," he declared. "I will not agree to accept any kind of Israeli responsibility for the refugees."

Without doubt, overwhelming majorities of Israelis agree with the Prime Minister in rejecting the "right of return" concept, but his inability to express the proper basis for that rejection helps explain why his approval rating in polls has fallen lower than that of any prior leader in Israeli history.

The ongoing dispute over the fate of the refugees actually proves that the basis for the Arab-Israeli struggle hasn't changed in 60 years. The "War of Independence" began in 1948 because the Palestinians and their Arab supporters refused to accept the idea of an independent Jewish state in their midst, regardless of its borders or the clear-cut Jewish majority in the land originally mandated by the UN. Today, the insistence on a "right of return" shows that the Arabs still refuse to accept Israel as a sovereign nation, entitled to control its own destiny.

After all, they demand not only a right for any Palestinian to make his home in the new Palestinian State that the peace plan proposes, but they insist on an equal right for Palestinians to live in Israel proper. In other words, they demand not one Palestinian homeland, but two: one of them east of the Jordan, and the other one west of the Jordan. As part of the ludicrous "peace proposal," Israel would give up two of the basics of national existence: the right to control entry into the country, and to define citizenship. (And yes, as I've long acknowledged, immigration activists in the US are right to insist on our need to similarly control our own borders and to limit and regulate who gets the chance to live here. Without that ability * for Israel, or for the United States*sovereignty is hollow and meaningless).

Tzipi Livni, Israel's popular Foreign Minister, articulates the core issue far more clearly than Prime Minister Olmert. "Just as Israel is the homeland for 800,000 Jewish refugees who fled or were expelled from Arab countries," she says, "so a new state of Palestine should be the homeland for Palestinian refugees."

Actually, the Arab League and the United Nations currently count some 4.3 million Palestinians as "refugees" or the descendants of refugees -- a hugely inflated figure which, if nothing else, gives the lie to claims of Israeli "genocide." After all, if 700,000 Palestinian refugees of 1948-9 have now become 4.3 million -- multiplying by some 600% in less than 60 years -- it's hardly an indication of genocide. Few populations on earth -- certainly not American or Israeli -- have boasted that sort of explosive growth during this period. Moreover, only a small minority of the refugees (and of the Palestinian population in general) were actually land-owners. Most were tenant farmers or "fellahin" or urban tradesmen, and most had arrived only recently in the area from their homes in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, lured by the economic opportunities presented by the surging Jewish population in the 1920's and '30's. The idea that the great-great-grandchildren of such arrivals possess some inviolable connection to specific landscape in today's bustling Tel Aviv or Haifa is both illogical and altogether unenforceable.

The Israeli position may sound harsh in Prime Minister Olmert's formulation, but it remains eminently reasonable: if the Palestinians will negotiate peace, they get to decide who lives in their new state, but they don't get to decide who lives in the neighboring state of Israel. What's the sense behind the very idea of a "two state solution" if the Palestinians insist upon a similar "right" to live in both states?

No, the debate isn't about compassion for refugees, or protecting the "Jewish character of Israel" (a phrase that brings up the old, discredited "Zionism-is-racism" charge), or ethnic cleansing, or any other distracting issue cited by the American press.

The issue, as always, is Arab refusal to accept Israel's existence and sovereignty. Until the Palestinians and their Islamic allies come to terms with the reality and permanence of a restored state on the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, and drop the ludicrous demands about a "right to return," peace negotiations will go absolutely nowhere.

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Posted by David Haimson, April 30, 2007.

This appeared in http://www.amfac.net//Brodetzky.html

Moshe Brodetzky in Jerusalem, 1948

I am not much of a writer, however, I feel that there has been an important story that has been neglected, the story of a modest Jewish hero. You can obtain more information about his heroic efforts from Moshe Arens.

I met him in September, 1941 at the City College of New York when he was changing his clothes next to me in a gym class. I struck up a conversation when I noticed his Tzitzit. He asked me if I was interested in Zionism, and since I am a seventh generation Sabra I said, "Of course."

He invited me to attend a meeting of a Betar group of students, which eventually included Moshe Arens who later became Defense Minister of Israel three times.He indicated that he was in the R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officers Training Corps of the U.S. Army). Since the U.S. was not at war, I asked him why he had joined the R.O.T.C. He said that in the near future the Jewish people would need trained soldiers to fight for an independent Jewish state.

The U.S. did get into the war, of course, and Moshe soon found himself in Europe, fighting the Nazis. By the time World War II was over, he was a hero and a highly-decorated officer.

Moshe went to Palestine to study at the Hebrew University. At that time the fight against the British Mandatory regime was in full swing, so he joined the Etzel (the Irgun Zvai Leumi underground).

When the State of Israel was declared in 1948, he remained in the Etzel batallion in Jerusalem and joined the fight against the attacking Arabs. He fought at Ramat Rachel, and was one of the heros of that battle. He was also in command of the Irgun force on Mount Zion.

In The History of the Irgun, (David Niv Inc.), there is a partial description of the battle of Ramat Rachel:

One of the commanders, 'Daniel' (Moshe Brodetzky), an American Betari ex-serviceman who, as a student at the university had joined Etzel (Irgun) at the outset of the fighting, was one of the first to be wounded at Ramat Rachel.

He lay with his wounded comrades without aid or even water to sustain him. Looking around him and seeing what was happening, he took a sten and ran to the firing aperture.

He knew there was no hope of leaving Ramat Rachel alive unless everyone fough to the bitter end. He went back to the wounded, encouraged them, and sent them to the firing aperture. Everyone who could drag themselves to the front did so and fought.

The battle was now focusing on the enemy's armored column. Wounded men tried to repel the onslaught with stens in their hands. The attack was checked, and the tanks suddenly stopped advancing.

His citation read:

APO 360, U. S. ARMY 22 MAY 1945







In the 1950's, Brodetzky lived in Washington, D.C., and was in the forefront of the fight for the right of Soviet Jewry to leave for Israel.

Moshe now lives in East Talpiot, Jerusalem.

This modest Jew deserves to be lauded for his valiant fight for the realization of our people's dreams.

Dave Haimson

[Editor's Note: Moshe Brodetzky lived in the Washington D.C. area in the 1950s and '60s. He was the leader in the "Let My People Go" campaign to persuade the USSR to let Jews leave for Israel. He developed innovative and creative ways of dramatising the plight of the Soviet Jews. I remember when he got people who worked in D.C. to use their lunch hour to stand in a silent vigil in front of the Russian embassy. Every day there were people standing in front of the embassy. I remember thinking it was pointless just standing there. It wasn't. I don't know if it had any effect on the Russians inside the building but it raised awareness in the community. His was the leadership that persuaded the official Jewish leaders to take a stand for the Jews of Silence.]

Contact David Haimson at DvHaimson@aol.com

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Posted by UCI, April 30, 2007.

This report comes from the Institute for National Strategic Studies

TEL AVIV -- Israel must conquer territory in Lebanon or other areas to halt what is expected to be heavy missile strikes in the next Middle East war.

A report by the Institute for National Strategic Studies said the 2006 war against Hizbullah demonstrated the ineffectiveness of an air attack against unconventional militaries. The report, "The Limitations of Stand-off Firepower-Based Operations: On Stand-off Warfare, Maneuver, and Decision," asserted that Israel must employ its ground forces to invade enemy territory and destroy missile launchers.

"It seems, therefore, that in Israel's security reality there is no alternative to maneuvering and conquering territory in order to win wars," stated the report, authored by reserve air force intelligence officer Ron Tira.

"This is reinforced by the assessment that in the next war -- including its closing stages -- the Israeli home front will be subjected to enemy rocket and missile fire."

During the 34-day war that ended in August 2006, Hizbullah fired an estimated 4,500 rockets into Israel. Israel's air force destroyed Iranian-origin medium-range Hizbullah launchers, but largely failed to locate short-range Katyushas, which represented the bulk of the attacks.

The report, which envisioned a near-term war with Syria, marks a departure of nearly a decade of Israeli doctrine that saw the air force as the prime solution to missile and rocket strikes. During the Hizbullah war, Israeli politicians and commanders insisted that the army would be used sparingly and not capture Lebanese territory.

"Indeed, in the years leading up to the second Lebanon War, the scope of training and the allocation of resources for classic formations were reduced to the extent that at the outbreak of the second Lebanon War, it is doubtful whether the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] had adequate classic capabilities," the report said.

The report said Israel's military sought to adopt the U.S. concept of standoff firepower operations, albeit with insufficient technology and training. Tira said the SFO concept failed during the Lebanon war.

Tira said the Israeli military employed air power in an effort to force the Lebanese government to stop Hizbullah rocket attacks and intimidate the Iranian-sponsored militia into a ceasefire. Israel's military and government believed that they could force a change Hizbullah behavior without defeating it, he said.

The report said the army was more effective than the air force in ensuring a halt in enemy operations. Tira pointed to the Israeli war in Lebanon in 1982, in which Palestinian missile fire was halted within 48 hours.

"In such a situation, in which each side uses strategic firepower against its enemy, conquering territory may serve as a clear indicator of victory that successfully exacts the heavy price of war," the report said.

"Moreover, at the tactical level, capturing territory may be the more efficient means of preventing, or at least reducing, rocket launches. And in a war against terror, presence in the field offers intelligence and operational superiority, which cannot be achieved by standoff measures."

The report warned that the SFO concept would not work in future wars in either Lebanon or Syria. Tira pointed to the 2006 war in which Israel failed to identify threats despite numerous ground- and air-based sensors, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Due to the structure of Hizbullah, which was planned in advance to withstand SFO and therefore made Israeli fire less effective, Israel failed on the strategic, operational, and tactical levels," the report said. "Israel did not succeeding in generating decapitation, paralysis, blindness, or any other effect that substantially harms the will or functioning of the organization's command and control echelon."

UCI -- The Unity Coalition for Israel --
(http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Justice for Jonathan Pollard, April 30, 2007.

This is from Esther Pollard's Speech at Midreshet Moriah, April 29, 2007.

A chronology of betrayal and abandonment bodes ill for the fate of all of Israel's captives.

Successive Prime Ministers have always maintained that the Government of Israel has done, and continues to do, everything in its power to bring all of Israel's captives home. But is this true? Can we believe our leaders when they tell us that they are doing everything to bring Jonathan Pollard and all of our boys home? Is it even possible to investigate?

Israel's captives, Ron Arad, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zarcharia Baumel, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and of course, my husband Jonathan Pollard, have been in captivity some for as long as 25 years, and others for a matter of months. We do not know what happened, and what is currently happening to most of our captives and MIAs. We do not know, for the most part, where they are, who is holding them, and what has ultimately been their fate.

We do know however, what has happened to one of them, my husband, Jonathan Pollard. If we look into his case, and study the attitude and action (or shall we say lack of action) of the government of Israel over the last 22 years, we may be able to learn something about the fate all of our captives and MIAs.

First of all a little background:

  • My husband, Jonathan Pollard, is an Israeli agent in captivity, currently completing his 22nd year of a life sentence in the United States for his service to the security of The State of Israel.

  • The information that Jonathan provided to Israel included Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities -- all being developed for use against Israel. He also provided information on ballistic missile development by these countries and information on up-coming terrorist attacks planned against Israeli civilian targets.

  • Israel was legally entitled to this vital security information according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding signed by both countries. But the information was deliberately being withheld from Israel as the result of an illegal intelligence embargo implemented by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and former Deputy Director of the CIA Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, whose pro-Arab tilt did not jibe with declared US foreign policy.

  • In the beginning Jonathan volunteered his services and only later did he become a bona fide agent on behalf of the State of Israel. His zeal to save Israeli lives was his sole motivation. Even the sentencing judge -- who was no friend of the case -- recognized that Jonathan was an ideologue, not a mercenary, and therefore declined to impose a monetary fine.

  • The median sentence for the offense that Jonathan committed -- passing classified information to an ally with no intent to harm the US -- is 2 to four years. Jonathan is the only spy in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for this offense. Jonathan is now in his 22nd year of a life sentence with no end in sight.

Now that we have some background, let's go back to the beginning and have a look at Israel's role. From the time that Jonathan was first arrested in 1985, Israel cravenly denied all ties to him, and cooperated fully with the American prosecution to secure a life sentence for him. In fact, Israel handed over to the US all of the evidence needed to prosecute Jonathan. Without this evidence, the US had no case against him and would have been forced to set him free.

In betraying Jonathan and by handing over the evidence against him, Israel earned for itself the dishonorable distinction of becoming the first and only country in the history of modern espionage ever to assist in the indictment and prosecution of its own agent!

Israel was duplicitous towards her agent, right from the time the case broke. The very first thing Israel did at the time was to order Jonathan to hold off the FBI while it evacuated all the rest of the team to Israel. Jonathan did as he was told, stalling his American interrogators until all the rest of the Israelis involved in his operation were whisked away to safety. Only Jonathan was left to face the wrath of the Americans. Although he did not know it at the time, there was never any intention of rescuing him; he had been designated by Israel, from the outset, to be the scapegoat that would take the blame for the whole operation.

After his arrest Jonathan at first refused to cooperate, while he waited for Israel to make good on its promise to rescue him. But instead of implementing a rescue plan, Israel returned the documents to the United States with Jonathan's fingerprints still on them. When that happened, Jonathan had no choice but to cooperate with his interrogators and to plead guilty.

Jonathan never had a trial. He gave up his right to a trial in a plea agreement, which Jonathan honored and the US violated on every count; but which Jonathan's original attorney never protested. You see, Israel cunningly paid for Jonathan's first lawyer, Richard Hibey, a Lebanese American. And, as you know, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Because of Hibey's treachery, instead of the usual 2 to 4 year sentence for the crime he committed, Jonathan received an unlimited life sentence. After the sentencing hearing, Hibey had 10 days to file a document -- a "notice of intent to appeal" -- to protect Jonathan's right to appeal his life sentence. Taking all his cues from his paymasters not his client who at the time was held incommunicado, Hibey did not file the document. As a result, to this very day, Jonathan has never been allowed to appeal his life sentence.

Ever since Israel secured and paid for the lawyer who secured an unlimited life sentence for Jonathan without possibility of appeal, the Government of Israel has refused to pay a cent for the lawyers who are trying to help Jonathan! This is such an important fact that I will repeat it: Israel bought and paid for the lawyer who secured an unlimited life sentence for Jonathan and who deprived him forever of his right to appeal that sentence; and ever since then, Israel has refused to pay a cent for lawyers who have been trying to get Jonathan out of prison!

After his sentencing hearing, Jonathan was whisked off to a prison facility for the criminally insane, where he was held in solitary confinement, naked and incommunicado, and in inhumane conditions for a year. The Americans, in consultation with the Mossad, eventually transferred Jonathan to USP Marion in Illinois. USP Marion is the harshest prison in the American federal system. Jonathan was assigned to solitary confinement in K Unit, the harshest unit of USP Marion. Having studied Jonathan's psychological profile, the Mossad advised the Americans that Pollard was unlikely to survive the rigors of solitary confinement.

I should point out here that Jonathan did not work for the Mossad. He worked for a competitor of the Mossad, LAKAM. Jonathan's operation severely embarrassed the Mossad by providing the information to Israel that the Mossad should have been providing, but did not. To this very day, the Mossad has never forgiven Jonathan and continues to collaborate with his captors to keep him buried alive.

Thus, right from the outset, it was through under-handed collaboration between Israel and the Americans that the evil plan was hatched to have Jonathan Pollard die in prison. He was either supposed to become so depressed in solitary confinement that he would choose to die by his own hand, or if that failed, arrangements would be made to have him killed by "accident" by one of the guards. If we had hours and hours, I could tell you many anecdotes of attempts on Jonathan's life, but for now, suffice to say that there are numerous examples.

Why did they want Jonathan to die, you ask? Very simple. For Israel, it would solve the problem. When Jonathan was arrested, Israel's top officials, all of whom were involved in the operation up to their eyeballs and wanted to protect their own careers, lied and said they knew nothing about Jonathan's operation. They claimed that Pollard was a "freelancer" who acted on his own. If he died in prison, Israel's top officials would never have to admit the truth.

All of the same officials who were holding high government office or were a key part of the Defense/Intelligence establishment in Israel when Jonathan was first arrested are still in government service to this day. This is an unusual phenomenon; one that simply does not occur in other countries. These officials may have changed hats or offices here and there, but by and large the same inept, corrupt, self-serving politicians and officials are still around to plague us some two decades later. They are still waiting for Jonathan to die in prison to absolve themselves of any last vestiges of responsibility for him.

As for the US, they wanted Jonathan to die in prison so that their own lie, that the Israeli spy Pollard was "the worst spy in the history of the United States", would similarly endure forever. For the heavily pro-Arab US State Department and others in the Administration, the arrest of Jonathan Pollard, the Jewish spy for the Jewish State, was a goldmine of opportunity. The Pollard case has been used by these anti-Israel officials for two decades to call into question Israel's reliability as an ally, and the loyalty of the American Jewish community. For these hostile elements in the US administration, the myth of a dastardly Jewish super-spy is one that is so valuable politically that they cannot afford to ever have it disproven. It would have been convenient for them as well, if Jonathan were to just die in prison.

But, G-d has had other plans for Jonathan. In spite of Israel's betrayal, neglect, abandonment, and its endless lies; and in spite of the US perversion of justice and inhumane treatment, Jonathan survived nearly 7 years of harsh treatment in solitary confinement at USP Marion.

While still in solitary confinement, he fought a difficult battle, on his own, without any assistance from Israel, to be transferred to an open population prison. In 1993 he won the battle, and he was transferred to FCI Butner, the same federal prison where he is housed to this day. Jonathan's transfer to Butner did not change Israel's plan for Jonathan at all.

Within a couple of weeks of the time Jonathan was transferred to open population, the Government of Israel sent a Mossad agent to visit him. The agent came with an official suggestion for Jonathan: that he solve the problem for Israel by killing himself. The agent said that the Government of Israel would even assist him to kill himself, if he wished. When Jonathan declined this "solution", the Mossad agent mocked him, saying that if he were really a man, he would kill himself.

That was in 1993. Up to and including that time, the Government of Israel was still denying that Jonathan worked for the State, and pretending that its only interest in him was purely humanitarian -- Jewish charity, so to speak.

In attempt to get the Government of Israel to stop its lies and abandonment and to force it to protect Jonathan, he requested Israeli Citizenship. The government, of course, refused. So Jonathan took the government to court. He filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Israel, based on the law which states that all those who serve the security needs of the State have an automatic right to citizenship.

Out of fear of what might come out in court if a hearing were to be held, the government backed down. In return for Jonathan canceling his petition with the Supreme Court, the government granted Jonathan citizenship in 1995. This was a major event. It was the moment when everyone, including the US, expected that Israel would step up to the plate and begin an intensive push to bring Jonathan home. But that did not occur. On the contrary, Israel gave him citizenship and then quickly turned its back on him again. Israel did absolutely nothing to help him or to protect him.

Neglected, abandoned, and ill, two more years went by without any improvement in his situation. Jonathan had to sue again to try to get Israel's attention. This time he sued to force the government of Israel to admit that he was an Israeli agent who had served the security interests of the country. Again Jonathan filed a petition in Supreme Court. -- By the way, contrary to popular belief, the Supreme Court has never ruled in favor of Jonathan. The Supreme Court, as a matter of routine, always provides cover for the Government, and no relief for Jonathan. -- In this case, once again, the State feared that the Court might intervene and that there was a risk of the truth coming to light, so the State agreed to formally recognize Jonathan as its agent, provided that he dropped his lawsuit. Jonathan obliged and was formally recognized as an Israeli agent in 1998.

As soon as Jonathan was recognized as an Israeli agent, the Government of Israel had only to do 2 things in order to precipitate critical changes in Jonathan's situation. First of all, it was supposed to include his name on the list of captives held by the Ministry of Defense. By adding his name to list, the Ministry would be able to immediately implement all of his rights as an agent in captivity, including taking steps to secure his immediate release.

The second thing the State of Israel was supposed to do was to officially inform the United States Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons and the American State Department that Jonathan Pollard is an Israeli agent and that the Government of Israel intends to seek his release.

Sounds simple doesn't it? Just put Jonathan Pollard's name on a list at the Ministry of Defense in Israel ; and officially inform the Americans of his status as an agent in captivity. That is all that Israel had to do! But, even these simple, basic steps were never taken by Israel!

To this very day, the Government of Israel has never officially informed the US that Jonathan is her agent. If that were done, the US would be forced to treat Jonathan as an agent in captivity, and not as a common criminal. The US would not have dared to afflict him or abuse him, if he were classified as an agent in captivity. But, to this day, the US still considers Jonathan to be nothing more than a common criminal, and continues to treat him as such.

Moreover, because Israel never officially informed the US that Jonathan is her agent, Israel refused to put his name on the list of captives at the ministry of defense, for fear of how the Americans might react. As long as Jonathan's name is kept off of the list, and as long as he Israel never treats him appropriately, as an agent in captivity, the Americans can continue to rest assured that Israel has no plans to seek his release.

What exactly does it mean that Jonathan's name does not appear on the list at the Ministry of Defense? It means, among other things, that he is effectively deprived of all of his rights as an agent in captivity. For example, in 22 years, neither Jonathan nor I have ever received a cent from the Government of Israel --- even though Jonathan has a right to his salary and other benefits while in captivity. Jonathan and I receive no medical, legal or moral assistance from the Government of Israel and never have. I am a cancer survivor and have undergone surgery and treatment for this illness, without any assistance from the government of Israel. Indeed, during the worst of times of my illness, when my husband was worried sick about me and could not be at my side to comfort or assist me, not a single Israeli official ever picked up the telephone to even inquire about my health.

People often ask where I live, given our precarious situation. A kindly Jerusalem widow heard of our financial distress and offered me a room in her small apartment. That is where I, the wife of an Israeli agent in captivity, live.

Worst of all, the most serious implication of Jonathan's name being left off of the list of captives at the Ministry of Defense is that Jonathan's release has never been a priority on the official agenda of the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry, or of the Prime Minister's office, as it is with every other agent in captivity.

Instead for the last 22 years, successive governments of Israel have maintained the charade, pretending that Jonathan is not an agent, and not in captivity. This is accomplished by studiously keeping his file out of the hands of the appropriate office at the Ministry of Defense, and instead always keeping it in the hands of some special official who has neither the interest, nor the authority, nor the mandate to do anything for Jonathan. The official who holds Jonathan's file has always been someone high up in the Mossad, or high up in the prime Minister's office. In the past the file was held by the likes of Danny Yatom -- the Mossad attaché to Peres and Rabin; or Moshe Kochanovsky, a special ops agent at the Ministry of Defense; and today it is held by Cabinet Secretary, Israel Maimon. What this means in practical terms, is that each of these 'guardians' of Jonathan's file are "the address". Anyone with questions about Pollard's treatment or his situation can turn to this special address. Anyone wanting to move his case forward can turn to them. But, of course, because they are a special address, there is no law which obliges them to respond! Get it? Anyone can ask about Pollard, but absolutely no one in charge of his file has to answer!

To this day there is still no Israeli plan for Jonathan's release. There never was. To this day, the original plan for Jonathan Pollard remains in place; and the special official holding his file, maintains the plan with no exception. According to Jonathan's file, he is still supposed to die in prison. And of course, since the special guardian of the Pollard file answers to no one, there is no oversight, no appeal, and no protest possible.

What about Wye, you ask? Didn't Israel try to get Jonathan at Wye? Let's look at the facts: Jonathan was supposed to be the quid pro quo for the 750 murderers and terrorists that Israel released as part of the Wye Accords. The Knesset Record in the aftermath of the summit states that the deal that was made at Wye for the release of Jonathan Pollard was not a deal between two individuals (Clinton and Netanyahu) but between the two countries and the deal is still in effect. Nevertheless, Israel released the murderers and terrorists, but never collected Jonathan's freedom! Think about it! This was the first time that Israel released murderers with blood on their hands, and they used Jonathan as the excuse. He was supposed to be the quid pro quo, not the excuse! In all of the time since then, Israel has conveniently "forgotten" that she has already bought Jonathan's freedom and paid the full price. Tell me, how does a country pay the price in blood, and then just "forget" to collect its part of the deal, our captive!?

The fact that my husband Jonathan Pollard is still alive after 22 years of abuse and affliction in some of the harshest conditions of the US Federal Prison System; the fact that he still lives and breathes; and every single day that he survives, is an absolute and utter miracle!

As for the Government of Israel, their original plan for Jonathan has not changed one iota in 22 years. Mr. Olmert and his buddies, including Shimon Peres and Rafi Eitan, and a whole gang of Mossadniks are still waiting patiently for Jonathan to die in prison, G-d forbid!

As we asked earlier, can we trust what our Prime Minister and other government officials are telling us about their devotion to our captives? I maintain that we can trust them. But not when they are speaking publicly or talking to the media; only when they are speaking behind closed doors.

Here are a few examples of what Israeli officials, who are obliged to seek Jonathan's release, have had to say about the matter privately:

ARIK SHARON: Former Prime Minister of Israel, scandalized the late Rechavam Ze'evi, when he told him point blank: "The only way I will ever agree to bring Pollard home is in a coffin."

YITZHAK SHAMIR: another former Prime Minister of Israel, in separate meetings with Jonathan's attorney Larry Dub, and with his parents, told them: "A sovereign state has to know how to abandon those who serve the state, if the need arises."

EZER WEIZMAN: the former President of Israel, acting on behalf of the Government of Israel, arranged a meeting with Jonathan's brother, Harvey and attempted to give him a message of condolences for Jonathan's parents on the loss of their son. Harvey was outraged and angrily responded, "My brother is still alive! How dare you refer to him as if he were dead?!"

SHIMON PERES: Israel's deputy Prime Minister, speaking to 2 ministers who sought his assistance in advancing freedom for Pollard said, "Pollard is a lost cause. Nothing to do. Just forget him!"

RAFI EITAN: Pollard's former handler and today a Government Minister told me, and Larry Dub that his only regret about the Pollard case was that he had failed to put a bullet through Jonathan's head when he sought refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. To this day, Eitan tells reporters that he feels no personal sense of responsibility for Pollard; that what happened to Pollard was "an operational failure, nothing personal."

As for EHUD OLMERT, Israel's current Prime Minister, his only interest -- as expressed to behind-the-scenes contacts -- is in freeing the terrorist murderer, Marwan Barghouti, not Jonathan Pollard. He does not even feign interest in Pollard. Olmert envisions sharing the Nobel peace prize with Barghouti!

Let me remind you, Jonathan was not a drug dealer or a scoundrel, who betrayed the State to Hizbullah for profit, like Elchanon Tanenbaum. But then Tanenbaum was a personal family friend a former prime minister. So, the State of Israel paid a disproportionate price for his release, despite the damage that Tanenbaum did to our national security.

Jonathan was and is a bona fide Israeli agent. From what I myself have heard from top level government officials, the information that Jonathan gave to Israel virtually saved us from another holocaust.

And this is how the Government of Israel treats a man who served the State and who saved the lives of countless Israeli citizens? Payback is 22 years in prison on behalf of the State of Israel??!

Are Israel's top officials so in thrall to the US that they cannot, will not, defend Israel's own national interests? But they do go to bat for anyone who, like Tanenbaum, promotes their own personal agenda. Have all of our captives, Jonathan included, become as dispensable as throw-away paper cups because their release does not serve the personal interests of Israel's elected officials?

Jonathan is now in his 22nd year of a life sentence with no end in sight. The Government of Israel claims that it is doing all that it can for Jonathan Pollard. As we have seen, the facts do not support the Government's contention.

Moreover, if this is the way that the Government behaves towards a thoroughly visible captive like Jonathan, one who is able to speak for himself, one who can be visited, one who writes and phones and whose condition is known; then you can surely imagine how the Government is behaving towards those captives who are not visible, who cannot speak for themselves, and whose condition we do not know. If you think about it, and you ask yourself some very simple questions, you will come to the same conclusions that Jonathan and I were forced to come to, by our own experience.

Then you will surely understand a very basic premise. Namely, that we have both a right and an obligation to remember those who have fallen in the service of the State. We must honor the memory of those who are no longer alive. We must appreciate the sacrifice that they made for our continued existence. But there is no reason to memorialize those who still live: Ron Arad, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zarcharia Baumel, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and my husband Jonathan Pollard. Remembering them, while they are still alive and in captivity, instead of bringing them home is a travesty! It is the height of hypocrisy! And it is a crime against humanity. There is an absolute obligation to bring them home, without any further delay!

And, I am not recommending that Israel free murderers and terrorists to bring them home. No other nation in the world --- only Israel ---opens the doors to its jails and frees murderers and terrorists to secure the release of its captives -- and even after doing so repeatedly, still does not secure the release of her captives.

Recently, 15 British sailors were taken captive by Iran. Does anyone know how many terrorists Britain released in order to secure their release? Not a single one! That is right! Not a single terrorist or murderer was released by Britain to secure the release of their hostages from Iran. They were freed the way normal nations free their captives -- intensive behind the scenes "negotiations", or threats or whatever, but no release of murderers and terrorists. Only Israel claims that it has to release murderers and terrorists! This is not the way to secure the release of captives, and this is not the way a nation with any self-respect behaves!

Enough is enough! It is time to stop the lies and hypocrisy by the government of Israel! It is time to stop releasing murderers and terrorists! It is time to stop holding memorial services for our captives and MIAs! It is time to rescue our boys in captivity, instead of memorializing them! I do not have to tell our government how to free a captive! Nor do they need me to teach them that negotiation does not mean capitulation to terror! Or that when negotiation fails there are other means!

It is time for the Government of Israel to fulfill its obligation to those who have faithfully served the State, and have gone into captivity as a result. It is time to bring Jonathan Pollard and all of our captives and MIAs home, now, while they are still alive! No more charades; no more games; no more lies; and no more excuses! No other alternative is acceptable.

See Also:

Did You Know? (An Updated Quick and Dirty of the Facts) by Esther Pollard

Bashing Pollard does not comport with the Facts

(Marking the 21st anniversary of incarceration) by Nissan GanOr

The Facts Page http://www.jonathanpollard.org/facts.htm

The Information Page http://www.jonathanpollard.org/info.htm Contact Justice for Jonathan Pollard at justice4jp@gmail.com

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 30, 2007.

TO: jmeyers@rabbinicalassembly.org

Dear Rabbi Meyers,

I learned recently that the Rabbinical Assembly is considering a resolution to urge our Congress and President to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in accordance with a time-table that has been described by others as 'cut and run' (or 'trim and trot'). It seems to me that the Rabbinical Assembly has entered, apparently unprepared, in to an arena in which the expertise of the Assembly is not adequate for the task of assessing the strategic and/or tactical needs of the United States, Israel, and the free world, with regard to the current war in Iraq.

As I understand it, having been a conservative Jew both in the United States and in Israel for most of my adult life (I was bar-mitzvah'd in an Orthodox synagogue but thereafter found the Conservative setting far more appropriate for my spiritual needs), the Rabbinical Assembly is highly competent to offer guidance on issues of religion, morality, Torah learning, Halacha, and social dynamics relating to any of the aforementioned.

The Iraq war is none of the above. Decisions about the Iraq war demand expertise and clear-sighted analysis, of both strategy and tactic, regarding a host of complex geo-political and military issues.

No disrespect (God forbid!), but I must question the competence of the RA to offer guidance in these arenas.

And, indeed, it seems to me fair to request that you and other leaders of the RA explain to your constituency (which includes me and my family) what exactly are your credentials which equip you to pass judgment on the decisions of, or to offer countervailing direction to, our generals and those of our political leaders who see the need to remain engaged in Iraq until the country has been stabilized and the terrorist enemy defeated.

This is not to say that our generals, and/or our political leaders, are above criticism; but rather I inquire as to the ways and the means whereby the RA can ascertain that one course of action in this problematic and perilous military arena is clearly superior to another. And my primary motivation for raising this inquiry is the errors of fact that I detect in your resolution.

There is much debate about the current strategy, and about the effectiveness of the 'surge' in troop support for the anti-terrorist offensive: but it is clear that our top general and his support staff, as well as speakers at the recent AIPAC conference, are united in their belief that a 'cut and run' (or 'trim and trot') strategy is a recipe for disaster...and a recipe for an Islamo-fascist victory.

The latter is the reason why the elected leaders of Iraq are also adamant that the USA, and other coalition forces, must remain in Iraq until the terrorist guerrilla forces have been defeated. Otherwise, there is no hope for stability and freedom, democracy and social progress, in Iraq.

Even worse, a victory for the Islamo-fascist terrorists is most likely to result in:

a. a bloodbath from civil war in Iraq, the likes of which will make the current terror war look tame

b. a powerful strategic and PR victory for Iran, whose leader has vowed the nuclear destruction of Israel, the annihilation of Jews everywhere, as well as 'a world without America'

c. a WMD arms race among the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, as well as Egypt and Libya (a dynamic that bodes ill for the entire world, but puts Israel in immediate and extreme existential peril)

d. a catastrophic blow to the economy of the western world, as a triumphant Iran (no matter who wins the civil war, the real winners will be Iran, and Syria and Hezbollah) gains control directly or indirectly over nearly 40% of the world's petroleum reserves, and uncontested supervision over the straits of Hormuz through which most of the world's oil is shipped.

e. the probable break-up of Iraq into its three warring constituencies, with the additional regional geo-political upheavals of an independent Kurdistan that immediately presses for an irredentist Turkish Kurdish secession, and of a terrified Sunni heartland which calls upon its Saudi allies to support it in its fight against Iranian and Iraqi Shi'ite revenge

f. the emergence of a greatly strengthened Syria and Hezbollah, who, as vassals to victorious Iran, now boast greater political and military power in the eastern Mediterranean, more and better weaponry, and far less reluctance than ever before to flex their muscles against both Lebanon and Israel

g. a significant enhancement of Iran's ability to export, and support, Islamo-fascist terrorism world-wide as a natural next step in the inexorable march of Islam to global ascendancy with the coming of the hidden Imam and the catastrophic end-of-days scenario of a Moslem Armageddon

h. and, perhaps most ominous of all, the heightened motivation of Islamo-fascist terrorists everywhere to attack Israel and the west because, as will be manifest by our retreat, godless secular materialistic America is a 'paper tiger' (just as bin-Laden has prophesied) and has been defeated by Islamic religious God-fearing Iran. Such a perception of American weakness will, as supporters of 'staying the course in Iraq' have argued, bring the front line of the terror war from Iraq to the shores of the USA.

The real question that faces our leaders regarding our continued efforts in Iraq is: where do you want the casualties?

This is an ugly question. But it is one that our Islamo-fascist terrorist enemies force us to answer.

On one hand, continued American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, until the defeat of el-Qaeda, the defeat of el-Qaeda-in-Iraq, the defeat of the resurgent Taliban, the defeat of Muqtada es-Sadr's Mahdi army, and the suppression of Iranian aspirations of nuclear supremacy and Middle Eastern hegemony, have all been achieved, will entail more fighting, more casualties, more destruction in Iraq. This is bad.

On the other hand, a 'cut and run' strategy now will energize the terrorist visionaries, as described above, and leave us with a far stronger and more motivated enemy whose ultimate goal is nothing less than the destruction of Western civilization. This is far worse, far more costly, than the first option.

It seems to me that the RA resolution makes the wrong choice, if indeed its rabbis are aware that they are in fact making this choice.

And then there is another aspect of the issue which the RA seems to have ignored (and please correct me if I am wrong): Senator Joe Lieberman, in his speech at the AIPAC conference, condemned those politicians who "elevate party interests over the national interest."

This is a very serious accusation. According to Senator Lieberman, some American politicians are willing to sacrifice American national interests in the current war, in order to make political gains against President Bush and the Republican party. Such a partisan attitude toward American policy in Iraq, and toward the need for the United States to lead the world in the current war against global Islamo-fascist terrorism, is typical of venal politicians...not enlightened statespersons.

Has the RA tested the motives for some Democratic Party leaders, who condemn the current White House strategy in Iraq, against the possibility that their rush to condemn, and the urgency of their strident calls for retreat, are functions of their personal political aspirations, and not the product of thoughtful analysis and objective evaluation of what is best for the USA, for Iraq, for the world?

Finally, consider the input from Israeli leaders. Prime Minister Olmert and Tzipi Livni both made impassioned pleas at the AIPAC conference for continued American involvement in the stabilization of Iraq, the defeat of the terrorists there, and the suppression of Iranian hegemonic aspirations. They, probably more so than the rabbis of the RA, have a clear picture of what will happen in and to Israel if Iran and its terrorist minions win.

In light of the above, I most sincerely and emphatically urge you to speak out against this RA resolution. Even if one believes that we got in to this war for the wrong reasons, and perhaps should not have entered it in the first place, it is beyond rational debate that a premature retreat will leave only greater and more horrific destruction and destabilization in its wake; and the victory of Iran and her terrorists will bring about only more terror, more war, more destruction, and, perhaps, a nuclear attack on Israel as well.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Jerry Jonas, April 30, 2007.

The first is a news item in World Net Daily
(http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55417). The second is a review of Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad by Hal Lindsey.

The Kansas City International Airport has added several foot-washing basins in restrooms to accommodate a growing number of Muslim taxicab drivers who requested the facilities to prepare for daily Islamic prayer, WND has learned.

The move concerns airport police who worry about Middle Eastern men loitering inside the building. After 9/11, the airport beefed up its police force to help prevent terrorist attacks.

"Why are we constructing places of worship for them inside our airports?" said an airport official who requested anonymity. "Why are we catering to their rituals? We don't do it for any other religion."

Other major airports also are dealing with increased demands from Muslim cabdrivers.

For instance, cabbies at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recently caused a stir when they refused to carry passengers possessing alcoholic beverages or accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and dogs are considered unclean.

There are approximately 250 taxicab drivers operating at KCI Airport in Missouri, one of the largest airports in the U.S., linking some 10 million passengers between mid-America and other U.S. cities. Approximately 70 percent of the drivers are of Middle Eastern heritage and practice the Islamic faith, sources say.

KCI Airport Police are responsible for the cab drivers, including the holding areas of the building. The KCI Aviation Department, which oversees the police, recently expanded the taxicab facility restroom area to include the construction of four individual foot-washing benches.

The cost of the project is not immediately known. A spokeswoman for the engineering department said she could not break out the figures.

KCI Airport Police Capt. Jim Harmon declined comment, explaining, "This is a touchy subject."

He referred questions to the KCI Aviation Department.

In a cleansing ritual known as ablution, Muslims are required to wash their feet before praying to Allah five times a day. They often complain that public restroom sinks do not accommodate their needs. Floor-level basins make it easier for them to perform their foot-washing ritual.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has pressed government agencies and businesses to install the foot basins in restrooms.

The controversial Muslim lobby group advises employers to allow Muslim workers time to perform both the washing ritual and prayer, which "is usually about 15 minutes," according to a pamphlet CAIR publishes called, "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices."

The Islamic purification ritual, known in Arabic as wudu, involves a 10-step process, which includes:

1. Praising Allah while washing both hands up to the wrist three times, making sure that the water reaches between fingers and under rings.

2. Rinsing out the mouth thoroughly three times, using the right hand (the one not used for cleaning private parts) to bring the water to the mouth.

3. Snorting water into the nostrils from the right hand, three times, to cleanse them of demons that Muslims believe reside there, clearing the passages of any mucous using the left hand.

4. Washing off the tip of the nose with the left hand.

5. Washing the entire face three times from right ear to left ear.

6. Continuing to wash from forehead to throat.

7. Washing the right arm and then the left arm, three times, from the wrist up to the elbow, removing watches.

8. Moving wetted palms over the head from the top of the forehead to the back of the head.

9. Passing the wetted tips of the fingers into the grooves and holes of both ears, and also passing the wetted thumbs behind the ears and ear lobes.

10. Finally, washing both feet to the ankles starting with the right foot, including between the toes, then reciting: "Ash-hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wa ashhadu anna Muammadan 'abduhu wa rasuluh" -- meaning there is no god but Allah and he has no partners, and Muhammad is his servant and messenger.

Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad by Hal Lindsey.

Best-selling author Hal Lindsey explains how, on Sept. 11, an ancient fight-to-the-death conflict exploded on the shores of the U.S. Though most Americans didn't realize it, we were already involved in this struggle. A struggle driven by a hatred that goes back over 4,000 years. Islamic fundamentalism's purpose is to replace the Judeo-Christian world order with an Islamic world order. Every American needs to understand the enormity of the threat we face -- and why.

In the aftermath of 9/11 most Americans are asking:

Why do so many Muslims hate Jews?
Why do Islamic fundamentalists hate the United States and call it "The Great Satan?"
Why did Islamic terrorists sacrifice their own lives to kill Americans?
Do Islamic fundamentalists have access to weapons of mass destruction?
Could Islamic terrorists imperil the survival of the United States?
What light does Bible prophecy shed on this?
Does the Koran call for violence and conquest?
Are the Islamic fundamentalists an aberration of the Muslim religion, or are they - as they claim - the "True followers of Mohammad?"

This book will answer these questions with both Biblical and secular history. It will also bring new hope to the coming "perilous times."

Contact Jerry Jonas at jdjonas@yahoo.com

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 30, 2007.

Interesting isn't it? Our Government has spent billions of taxpayer's dollars trying to cover-up "Allied" (Saudi-Pakistani etc.) involvement in the attacks of 9-11 and subsequent campaigns against the United States and Judeo-Christian culture.

Within the last several weeks one of our investigators has been told that "Al-Qaeda" is not a threat, and "we are most concerned with computer hackers"......by the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami FBI Office. The same SAC dismissed as "crackpots" and "persons with zero credibility" such extremely credible individuals as; Dr.Hamid Mir, John Loftus, and former CIA Director James Woolsey.

The question is "why"?

Why the insulting cover-up, and why have we been charged billions of dollars that should have been spent fighting terrorists...and not apologizing for them.

George Tenet is merely one of thousands of former government officials and journalists who have attempted to warn the American people of the danger posed by the Islamists in our midst. Hopefully Tenet's efforts will fall on a few patriotic ears before Mainstream Media goes back to more important subjects; like Angelina and Brad, Madonna, and Britney Spears.

"In one especially chilling assertion, Tenet reveals that several intelligence sources were indicating in fall 2001 that a small nuclear weapon may have been smuggled into the United States."

This article by Robert Windrem and Alex Johnson of NBC News is called "The long reach and ambitions of al-Qaida." It is archived at
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18357494/ MSNBC InteractiveRobert Windrem is an investigative producer for NBC News. Alex Johnson is a reporter for MSNBC.com.

Tenet book details chilling plots to kill Gore, acquire nuclear weapons

NEW YORK - Former CIA Director George Tenet's defense of his agency's performance in the lead-up to the war in Iraq will echo from now through Election Day next year, but other disclosures in his new book are equally sobering and, in laying out the scope of al-Qaida's ambitions, sometimes far more frightening.

The book, "At the Center of the Storm," which is being published Monday, reveals that al-Qaida or groups affiliated with it have undertaken several other operations aimed at equaling or even surpassing the carnage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The operations, which either were thwarted by authorities or were canceled for one reason or another, included efforts to assassinate Vice President Al Gore with anti-tank missiles during a trip to Saudi Arabia, release cyanide in the New York subway system and procure weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, from Pakistani nuclear scientists.

In one especially chilling assertion, Tenet reveals that several intelligence sources were indicating in fall 2001 that a small nuclear weapon may have been smuggled into the United States.

The plot to kill Gore

Tenet discloses that in 1998, Saudi officials foiled a plot by Abdel Rahim al-Nashiri to smuggle four Sagger anti-tank missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia a week or so before Gore was scheduled to visit the kingdom. But their reluctance to let the United States know what was going on created significant tension between the two nations.

Tenet writes that it was reasonable to have expected the Saudis to pass the information along as soon as possible, but they did not.

After low-level discussions failed to produce a sense of urgency among the Saudis, Tenet flew to Riyadh to meet with Prince Naif, the interior minister and the man in charge of the Saudi secret police.

Tenet describes meeting with Naif in an opulent palace in Riyadh. He was accompanied by two colleagues, Deputy Director John McLaughlin and John Brennan, director of the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center. Naif, by contrast, was joined by dozens of Saudi officials.

Tenet said he struggled to remain polite as Naif filibustered. Eventually, he had enough. He edged toward the prince, put his hand on his knee and asked, "Your royal highness, what do you think it will look like if someday I have to tell the Washington Post that you held out data that might have helped us track down al Qaeda murderers, perhaps even plotters who want to assassinate our vice president?"

Tenet told the prince he would be coming back each week to make sure intelligence flowed both ways.

Overall, however, Tenet makes it clear that he had warm relations with Saudi leaders. He says King Abdullah was instrumental in breaking logjam of the flow of intelligence and cites Naif's son, the Saudis' counterterrorism chief, as one of Washington's best friends in countering al-Qaida.

Al-Qaida's WMD plans

Tenet's most frightening chapter is on al-Qaida's plans to develop weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. It is titled "They Want to Change the World."

Tenet writes that U.S. intelligence agencies "established that Al Qaeda had clear intent to acquire chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons to cause mass casualties in the United States."

According to Tenet, intelligence officials learned that Saudi extremist elements were planning to conduct a cyanide gas attack on the New York subway system in fall 2003 using a homemade device. But first, they requested permission from al-Qaida leaders.

"Chillingly, word came back from Ayman al-Zawahiri in early 2003 to cancel the operation and recall the operatives who were already staged in New York 'because we have something better in mind.'"

Al-Qaida's nuclear ambitions

It is the story of al-Qaida's efforts to acquire weapons or weapons technology from Pakistan that anchors the most chilling part of that section.

The terrorist network made two separate efforts to persuade Pakistani scientists to provide it with nuclear weapons from their stockpile of about 50 nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and vast weapons infrastructure.

In 1998, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida's leader, was rebuffed, for unclear reasons. About two years later, he had better luck when al-Qaida reached out to a charity for Afghan refugees run by Pakistani nuclear scientists. Although some of the details of this effort have been previously reported, the extent of the effort went much further than what was publicly known.

In 2000, Tenet writes, the charity's founder, Sultan Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood, and others at Pakistan's nuclear weapons agency agreed to help Mahmood in his effort to share weapons of mass destruction with the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan.

In fact, Tenet said, U.S. intelligence learned that bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's leader, had met with Mahmood and an aide in August 2001 in Afghanistan.

Tenet describes the initial Pakistani investigation as "ill-fated" and writes that the Pakistanis treated the charity officials with deference in their interrogations.

Showdown with Musharraf

So he went to Pakistan and met with Musharraf, warning about the outrage that would explode if it emerged that Pakistan was allowing nuclear scientists to help bin Laden acquire nuclear weapons.

Musharraf pooh-poohed the concerns, arguing that bin Laden and his associates were "men living in caves" who could not possibly take possession of such weapons, Tenet writes. Under interrogation, however, Mahmood subsequently confirmed the details of the August 2001 meeting with bin Laden.

At the same time, in the fall of 2001, Tenet writes, U.S. intelligence began picking up rumors from several reliable sources that a small nuclear device had been smuggled into the United States, for probable use in New York City. The Energy Department sent detection equipment to New York, he adds.

Tenet concludes that a nuclear detonation in a U.S. city is al-Qaida's ultimate goal.

"I'm concerned this is where UBL and his operatives want to go," he writes. "If they can arrange to set off a mushroom cloud, they make history. ... My deepest fear is that this exactly what they intend."

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Posted by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, April 30, 2007.

Last week PMW released the text of this call for the killing of all Americans and Jews, preached by the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Ahmad Bahar on Palestinian television. Israel is referred to as a "cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation," and the US is said to be "on its way to disappear." Due to its importance PMW is now releasing the subtitled video.

The following is the transcript:

Dr. Ahmad Bahar (acting Speaker, Palestinian Legislative Council):

"This is Islam, that was ahead of its time with regards to human rights in the treatment of prisoners, but our people was afflicted by the cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation... Be certain that America is on its way to disappear, America is wallowing [in blood] today in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is defeated and Israel is defeated, and was defeated in Lebanon and Palestine... Make us victorious over the infidel people... Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies... Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don't leave even one."[PA TV, April 20, 2007]

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW -- Palestinian Media Watch -- (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Barbara Crook, a writer and university lecturer based in Ottawa, Canada, is PMW's North American representative. Contact pmw@pmw.org.il

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Posted by Batya Medad, April 30, 2007.

Last summer, when it was clear to everyone, even the Israeli Government, that there had to be a "commission of inquiry" to "investigate" and affix blame for the badly-managed war, the public wanted an "independent" commission. That wasn't what Prime Minister Olmert wanted. He did not want ambitious politicians, from the coalition and opposition and "independent do-gooders" to have control over the investigation.

So Olmert appointed his own "inspection team," the Israeli public was disappointed. It was just another example of the political corruption. Everyone expected the Winograd Commission, which met in secret, unlike Israel's previous commissions, to find ways of white-washing the disaster. That's common sense, nu?

But this is Israel, where common sense does not rule. Just like the elections that brought Arik Sharon to power, when we celebrated the election of pro-Eretz Yisrael politicians. We were certain that this new government would be the best ever. But what did we get? We got Disengagement, the unilateral withdrawal from Gush Katif and the Northern Sinai! Jewish communities were destroyed, and thousands of innocent, patriotic Israeli citizens were exiled from their homes. Their businesses were destroyed, and now almost two years later, most are listlessly, idling their days in "caravilla"-refugee camps, buying food with the lasts cents of their "compensation."

And what did the Winograd Report say?

Winograd Blames Olmert, Peretz, Halutz
Winograd report: PM was unprepared
Olmert, Peretz, Halutz failed in their roles, war report says
War probe report accuses Olmert of 'severe failure' PM to Kadima: I have no intention of resigning

Yes, it put most of the blame on the politicians in charge, Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz.

Now, of course we all knew that Olmert and Peretz were out of their league, trying to run the country. That's no surprise. The report also had some serious things to say about the top army brass. Personally, I think that the ones most to blame are Ehud Barak and Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz. Barak, former Chief of Staff and the one competing with Olmert as Israel's worst Prime Minister. Remember that he was PM when the intifada became most deadly, and his government didn't last. Now he considers himself rehabilitated and is running against Peretz and others to head the Labor Party. Mofaz is a former COS and also Minister of Defense. They built today's IDF.

The question is: Why didn't the Winograd Commission concentrate its criticism on the army?

I think that because most of us had such little faith in them, it bothered them. The commission is made up of good people, and they wanted to show that Olmert didn't control them. That's why they made a point of blaming him over all others.

If the same people had been appointed by the Knesset or courts as an independent commission, they most probably would have been more even-handed.

Of course, Olmert's still in power and I'm pretty sure that the government, or at least this Knesset, will hold onto their seats until the two-year pension kicks in. Hem lo friyerim! They're not fools to miss out on such a good deal, nu?

But in the meantime, down in the Heartland, we're working hard and praying.

If a cool operator like Olmert can miss-calculate, what about ordinary folks like us?

Batya Medad lives in Shiloh. She can be reached by email at Shilohmuse@yahoo.com or visit her website
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/ or go to http://www.shilo.org.il This article is archived at

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 30, 2007.

After the Haaretz Canaanites came out in favor of dumping Hatikva as the national anthem, they were answered by Prof. Shlomo Avineri. Avineri is hardly a hardcore rightwinger. He was a cheerleader for Oslo, even endorsing the leftwing campaign of McCarthyism against free speech for the Right (endorsing the false claim that rightwing rhetoric caused the Rabin assassination).

In the past he was quite close to Peres' positions, but recently has shifted a bit toward center. Here is his piece. It's called "Don't sing, but show respect" and it was in Ha'aretz (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/853684.html).

It is not every day that a publisher decides to print his positions in his newspaper, and therefore great importance should be attached to what Amos Schocken wrote in his article, "Toward the next 60 years" (April 19). Many of the points he raises are correct and logical, especially regarding the imperviousness of the government and Israeli society to many material and social aspects of the Arab public's life in Israel.

It is difficult, however, to agree with him on one point - the issue of the national anthem. It is certainly possible to understand the feelings of Israel's Arab citizens who find it difficult to identify with "the Jewish soul's yearning," but making this the starting point for a proposal to replace "Hatikva" with what Schocken calls a democratic and egalitarian anthem is a far cry. If the anthem is nothing but the lowest common denominator acceptable to all groups in Israel, then one must take into account the ultra-Orthodox Jewish public, for whom "Hatikva" is not acceptable due to its Zionist nature. Furthermore, for the Jewish national-religious public, "Hatikva" is defective because it does not mention the Lord.

A serious look at national anthems around the world - and I am sure Mr. Schocken will not object to going beyond the provincial Israeli confines - finds the large majority to be problematic. It is enough to cite as examples two strictly democratic countries - Britain and France. The British national anthem entreats the Lord to watch over the country's monarch, who is also the head of the Anglican Church. Millions of Catholics, non-Anglican Protestants, Muslims and Jews, among others, live in Britain today. There is also no small number of republicans there who would like to do away with the institution of the monarchy completely. Did Jews or Muslims ever suggest changing the British national anthem? Did any British liberal ever claim that the anthem's words affect his rights or status?

The French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," is a revolutionary song full of violence and threats against those who oppose the Republic. It is no secret that to this day, there are many millions in France who consider the execution of Louis XVI a historic crime, and one could imagine that they disagree with the words of the anthem. However, they do not propose changing it.

For better or for worse, a national anthem symbolizes the dominant historical trend - which sometimes (as in France) was born of blood and fire. I understand the difficulty of Israeli Arabs, just like that of Jews or Muslims in Britain, or royalists or Muslims in France - but the latter are not suggesting their national anthems be changed. Citizens may decline to sing the anthem, but they should be expected to respect the symbols of the majority.

In neither Britain nor France does the minority question the legitimacy of the body politic that represents the beliefs, the symbols and the narrative of the majority. In Israel, the Arab proposal to change "Hatikva" stems not from the difficulty of singing the words of the anthem, but rather from the desire to question the State of Israel as the national state of the Jews. It is preferable to say these things openly.

The Schocken family, like tens of thousands of other Jewish families in Germany, enjoyed equal rights and unprecedented economic prosperity during the period of the German emperors, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Did any one of them consider demanding that the German national anthem be changed because it was an anthem of emperors and Christians?

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 30, 2007.

This essay is excerpted from remarks by Princeton historian Bernard Lewis, who was awarded the Irving Kristol Award at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington last week. His most recent books include "What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East" (2002); "The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror" (2003); and "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (2004).

In the eyes of a fanatical and resolute minority of Muslims, the third wave of attack on Christendom and Europe has clearly begun.

The first wave dates from the very beginning of Islam, when the new faith spilled out of the Arabian Peninsula, where it was born, into the Middle East and beyond. It was then that Muslims conquered Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa -- all at that time part of the Christian world -- and went beyond into Europe. There, they conquered a sizable part of southwestern Europe, including Spain, Portugal and southern Italy, all of which became part of the Islamic world, and even crossed the Pyrenees and occupied for a while parts of France.

The second wave was conducted not by Arabs and Moors but by Turks and Tartars. In the mid-13th century, the Mongol conquerors of Russia were converted to Islam. The Turks, who had already conquered Anatolia, advanced into Europe and in 1453 they captured the ancient Christian citadel of Constantinople. They conquered a large part of the Balkans, and for a while ruled half of Hungary. Twice they reached as far as Vienna, to which they laid siege in 1529 and again in 1683. Barbary corsairs from North Africa went to Iceland -- the uttermost limit -- and to several places in Western Europe, including notably a raid on Baltimore (the original one, in Ireland) in 1631.

The third wave is taking a different form: terror and migration. The subject of terror has been discussed frequently and in great detail. What I want to address here is the other aspect, which is of more particular relevance to Europe today -- the question of migration.

In earlier times, it was inconceivable that a Muslim would voluntarily move to a non-Muslim country. Muslim jurists have discussed at great length in the textbooks and manuals of shari`a whether it permissible for a Muslim to live in or even visit a non-Muslim country -- and what he must do if he finds himself in a non-Muslim country.

Generally speaking, this was considered under certain specific headings. A captive or a prisoner of war obviously has no choice, but he must preserve his faith and get home as soon as possible.

The second case is that of an unbeliever in the land of the unbelievers who sees the light and embraces the true faith -- in other words, becomes a Muslim. He, too, must leave as soon as possible and go to a Muslim country.

The third case is that of a visitor. For a long time, the only purpose of a visit to a non-Muslim country that was considered legitimate was to ransom captives. This was later expanded to also include diplomatic and commercial missions.

With the advance of the European counterattack, there was a new issue in this ongoing debate. What is the position of a Muslim if his country is conquered by infidels? May he stay or must he leave?

We have some interesting documents from the late 15th century, when the reconquest of Spain was completed and Moroccan jurists were discussing this question. The general answer was that it is not permissible for a Muslim to stay.

But what if the Christian government that takes over is tolerant? This proved to be a purely hypothetical question, of course. The answer, though, was no; even then they may not stay, because the temptation to apostasy would be even greater. They must leave and hope that in God's good time they will be able to reconquer their homelands and restore the true faith.

This was the line taken by most jurists. There were some, at first a minority, later a more important group, who said it is permissible for Muslims to stay provided that certain conditions are met, mainly that they are allowed to practice their faith. This raises another question: What is meant by practicing their faith?

Here I would remind the reader that we are dealing not only with a different religion but also with a different concept of what religion is about, referring especially to what Muslims call the shari`a, the holy law of Islam. Shari`a covered a wide range of matters regarded as secular in the Christian world even during the medieval period, and it certainly does so today in what some call the post-Christian era of the Western world.

There are obviously now many attractions that draw Muslims to Europe, including the opportunities for employment and welfare offered, particularly in view of the growing economic impoverishment of much of the Muslim world. They also have freedom of expression and education, which they lack at home. This is, by the way, a great incentive to the terrorists who migrate. Terrorists have far greater freedom of preparation and operation in Europe -- and to a degree also in America -- than they do in most Islamic lands.


Assimilation is another issue much discussed nowadays. How far is it possible for Muslim migrants who have settled in Europe, in North America and elsewhere to become part of those countries in which they settle, in the way that so many other waves of immigrants have done?

To answer this question we need to address the basic differences in what precisely is meant by assimilation and acceptance. Here there is an immediate and obvious difference between the European and American situations. For an immigrant to become an American means a change of political allegiance. For an immigrant to become a Frenchman or a German means a change of ethnic identity.

Changing political allegiance is certainly very much easier and more practical than changing ethnic identity, either in one's own feelings or in one's measure of acceptance. England had it both ways. If you were naturalized, you became British but you did not become English.

There is also the important difference in what one means by religion. For Muslims, issues such as marriage, divorce and inheritance are covered by shari`a. Since antiquity in the Western world -- the Christian world -- these have been secular matters. The distinction of church and state, spiritual and temporal, lay and ecclesiastical, is a Christian distinction that has no place in Islamic history and therefore is difficult to explain to Muslims, even in the present day. Until very recently they did not even have a vocabulary to express it. They have one now.

What are the European responses to this situation? In Europe, as in the United States, a frequent response is what is variously known as multiculturalism and political correctness. In the Muslim world, there are no such inhibitions. They are very conscious of their identity. They know who they are and what they are and what they want, a quality that we seem to have lost to a very large extent. This is a source of strength in the one, of weakness in the other.

The Islamic radicals have even been able to find some allies in Europe. They have a left-wing appeal to the anti-U.S. elements in Europe, for whom they have, so to speak, replaced the Soviets. They have a right-wing appeal to the anti-Jewish elements in Europe, replacing the Axis. They have been able to win considerable support under both headings. For some in Europe, their hatreds apparently outweigh their loyalties.

There is an interesting exception to that in Germany, where the Muslims are mostly Turkish. There, they have often tended to equate themselves with the Jews, to see themselves as having succeeded the Jews as the victims of German racism and persecution.

I remember a meeting in Berlin convened to discuss the new Muslim minorities in Europe. In the evening I was asked by a Muslim group of Turks to join them and hear what they had to say about it, which was very interesting. The statement that sticks most vividly in my mind from one of them was, "In a thousand years they (the Germans) were unable to accept 400,000 Jews. What hope is there that they will accept two million Turks?"

Some Turks in Germany used this very skillfully in playing on German feelings of guilt in order to inhibit any effective measures to protect German identity, which, I would say, like others in Europe is becoming endangered.


Finally, let me address the question of tolerance. You will recall that at the end of the first phase of the Christian reconquest, after Spain and Portugal and Sicily, Muslims -- by that time numerous in the reconquered lands -- were given a choice: baptism, exile or death. In the former Ottoman lands in southeastern Europe, the leaders of what you might call the reconquest were somewhat more tolerant but not a great deal more. Some Muslim minorities remained in some Balkan countries, with troubles still going on at the present day in Kosovo and Bosnia.

Nevertheless, I mention this point because of the very sharp contrast with the treatment of Christians and other non-Muslims in the Islamic lands at that time. When Muslims came to Europe, they had a certain expectation of tolerance. They felt that they were entitled to at least the degree of tolerance that they had accorded to non-Muslims in the great Muslim empires of the past. Both their expectations and their experience were very different.

Coming to European countries, they got both more and less than they had expected. They got more in the sense that they received in theory and often in practice equal political rights, equal access to the professions, all the benefits of the welfare state, freedom of expression, and so on and so forth.

But they also got significantly less than they had given in traditional Islamic states. In the Ottoman Empire, for example, non-Muslim communities had separate organizations and ran their own affairs. They collected their own taxes and enforced their own laws. There were several Christian communities, each living under its own leadership and recognized by the state. These communities ran their own schools and education systems, and administered their own laws in such matters as marriage, divorce, inheritance and the like. The Jews did the same.

This meant that three men living on the same street could die and their estates would be distributed under three different legal systems if one happened to be Jewish, one Christian and one Muslim. A Jew could be punished by a rabbinical court and jailed for violating the Sabbath or eating on Yom Kippur. A Christian could be arrested and imprisoned for taking a second wife. Bigamy is a Christian offense; it was not an Islamic or an Ottoman offense.

Muslim immigrants do not have that degree of independence in their own social and legal life in the modern state. It is quite unrealistic for them to expect it, given the nature of the modern state, but that is not how they see it. They feel that they are entitled to receive what they gave. As one Muslim friend of mine in Europe put it, "We allowed you to practice monogamy, why should you not allow us to practice polygamy?"

Such questions -- polygamy, in particular -- raise important issues of a more practical nature. Isn't an immigrant who is permitted to come to France or Germany entitled to bring his family with him? But what exactly does his family consist of? They are increasingly demanding and getting permission to bring plural wives.

The enforcement of shari`a is a little more difficult. This has become an extremely sensitive issue.

Another extremely sensitive issue, closely related to this, is the position of women, which is of course very different between Christendom and Islam. This has indeed been one of the major differences between the two societies.


Where do we stand now? Is it third time lucky? It is not impossible. Muslim immigrants have certain clear advantages. They have fervor and conviction, which in most Western countries are either weak or lacking.

They are self-assured of the rightness of their cause, whereas we spend most of our time in self-denigration and self-abasement. They have loyalty and discipline, and perhaps most important of all, they have demography. The combination of natural increase and migration that is producing major population changes could lead within the foreseeable future to significant majorities in at least some European cities or even countries.

But we also have some advantages, the most important of which are knowledge and freedom. The appeal of genuine modern knowledge in a society that, in the more distant past, had a long record of scientific and scholarly achievement is obvious. They are keenly and painfully aware of their relative backwardness and welcome the opportunity to rectify it.

Less obvious but also powerful is the appeal of freedom. In the past, in the Islamic world the word freedom was not used in a political sense. Freedom was a legal concept. You were free if you were not a slave. They did not use freedom and slavery as a metaphor for good and bad government, as we have done for a long time in the Western world.

The terms they used to denote good and bad government are justice and injustice. A good government is a just government, one in which the Holy Law, including its limitations on sovereign authority, is strictly enforced. The Islamic tradition, in theory and, until the onset of modernization, to a large degree in practice, emphatically rejects despotic and arbitrary government. Living under justice is the nearest approach to what we would call freedom.

But the idea of freedom in its Western interpretation is making headway. It is becoming more and more understood, more and more appreciated and more and more desired. It is perhaps in the long run our best hope, perhaps even our only hope, of surviving this developing struggle.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 30, 2007.

The following by Efraim Inbar of Bar Ilan University is an accurate evaluation of the inept bungling by Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Chief-of-Staff (resigned) Dan Halutz and their advisor and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni in the brief War against the assault by Hezb'Allah Summer 2006.

These people are directly responsible for the unnecessary deaths and injuries of soldiers and civilians which should have driven them from their offices of power immediately after the debacle.

Instead, they were allowed to keep their jobs and go on to do further damage to Israel's security. The Knesset could have closed down the most incompetent government Israel has ever known but instead, they remained silent in order to keep their paying jobs with the perks to which they have become accustomed. By not taking such action they thereby became partners to the disgrace and the loss of so many lives.

I also include the Olmert appointed Winograd Investigating Commission who deliberately dragged their feet to issue a partial report which could have been assembled in 30 days. The final report will be issued in August 2007 - insuring that Olmert and Peretz will keep their seats until then.

The so-called elite of Israel, including politicians, politicized generals, the Leftist Hebrew Media have dragged the nation of Israel down to levels where crooks are controlling Israel's future.

Clearly, it is past time to clean house, fumigate those offices and select a new breed of leaders.

This is by Efraim Inbar, and it appeared in Mid East Quarterly, Summer 2007 published by the Middle East Forum (http://www.meforum.org/article/1686). Efraim Inbar is Professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan U. and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. He thanks Ian Blomberg, Sara H. Krulewich and Tamara Sternlieb for research assistance.

Israel's leadership was ill-prepared for the summer 2006 war against Hezbollah. Israeli politicians and planners displayed strategic blindness. While denying the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) victory, they squandered an opportunity to destroy the bulk of Hezbollah's military presence in southern Lebanon, settle regional scores, enhance Israel's deterrence, and strengthen Jerusalem's alliance with Washington.

The Failure of Deterrence

For more than six years, between Israel's May 2000 unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and the outbreak of war in July 2006, Israeli officials sought to contain the Hezbollah threat. Preoccupied with a renewed Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza and a protracted terrorist campaign, Israel policymakers hoped restraint would suffice. They stuck to their policy despite such Hezbollah provocations as soldier abductions, Katyusha barrages, and cross-border terrorist attacks.[1] Not only would a tough response against Hezbollah risk a second front and perhaps escalation with Syria but Israeli politicians were loath to disrupt the economic development in northern Israel that followed the Lebanon withdrawal.[2]

This does not mean that Israeli officials did not take Hezbollah seriously. After leaving southern Lebanon, Israeli officials considered the group to be a nuisance, but in recent years, their assessment changed, and they acknowledged Hezbollah to be a strategic threat.[3] In July 2003, outgoing IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, who subsequently became defense minister, warned of the growing Hezbollah threat.[4] His successor, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, cautioned that much of northern Israel was vulnerable to Hezbollah's missiles.[5] Politicians and former intelligence officers also said that they had warned the government.[6]

Still, many IDF leaders believed that minimal force if not diplomacy would suffice to minimize the threat. Chief of the Northern Command Maj. Gen. Udi Adam, for example, said, "There is nothing that can be solved just by the military ... There is a need for a diplomatic solution," adding, "I do not believe that anyone wants to go back into Lebanon."[7]

Restraint ended on July 12, 2006, when Hezbollah terrorists attacked an Israeli patrol on the Israeli side of the border and abducted two soldiers.[8] The attack came just nineteen days after Palestinian terrorists staged a similar cross border raid from Gaza.[9] Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Amir Peretz ordered a forceful reaction.[10] IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz, who had not even mentioned Lebanon in his tour d'horizon at the Herzliya Conference seven months earlier, acknowledged that "the way we finish this [operation in Lebanon] will have ramifications for the entire Middle East."[11] He was right. The end of military operations on August 14, 2006, with the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701[12] had implications not only in Israel and Lebanon but also across the region.

Failure to Prepare

As soon as the guns fell silent, Israeli officials began to take stock of their new situation. There was unease. Declarations of victory rang hollow. While politicians and military officials squabbled over responsibility, the government appointed an inquiry committee headed by judge Eliyahu Winograd to sort the situation out. Still, the fact that there were serious strategic errors was clear.

Israel's highest political and military echelons committed serious strategic errors in preparation for, during execution, and in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon campaign. Together, these errors enabled Hezbollah to persevere against the larger, better-equipped Israeli military and emerge as perhaps an even greater threat.

Failure to prepare undercut Israeli operations from the start. Before the war, Israeli planners had unrealistic expectations about armed conflict with Hezbollah. They planned for small skirmishes, not for a large-scale, conventional military campaign. Some of Israel's reluctance to plan for action inside Lebanon might have been rooted in former prime minister Ariel Sharon's legacy. As defense minister, Sharon presided over the 1982 Lebanon war, and many Israelis consider him responsible for the subsequent imbroglio.[13] In 1983, the Kahan Commission found Sharon negligent for his failure to predict and stop a Lebanese militia's massacre of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla.[14] Sharon's subsequent attempts to rehabilitate his image during his premiership (2001-06) would be undercut if he again involved Israeli forces in Lebanon.

Inattention by the General Staff toward Lebanon reflected Israeli assumptions about the unlikelihood of any land war on its borders. Udi Adam complained that the highest military forum hardly discussed the Lebanese front.[15]

Perhaps as a result, the IDF failed to estimate adequately its needs prior to the war. Effective March 2007, Shaul Mofaz, defense minister between November 2002 and March 2006, had scheduled a gradual reduction in conscript military service and also initiated a new law shortening reserve duty and reducing training. According to Maj. Gen. Benny Ganz, chief of Israel's ground forces, the government had cut allocations for training reserve units by US$800 million since 2001.[16] Budgetary constraints also led the IDF to reduce the size of tank formations, and budgetary officials pressured the Israeli military to discontinue production of its top-line Merkava tank. In addition, because of cost, the IDF declined to install the Trophy anti-missile system on most tanks and did not provide the Israeli air force with bunker buster bombs.[17] Only a number of special forces received training geared to operations in southern Lebanon, but even these units lacked the latest intelligence when ordered across the border because the heads of military intelligence refrained from transferring data collected on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon to units in the field.[18]

Further underlying Israel's lack of preparation was the failure of its leadership to acknowledge the operation against Hezbollah to be a war rather than a retaliatory raid or more limited military action. The Israeli government, for example, never declared a state of emergency, nor did it enact its wartime administrative and legal powers. Delays in mobilization of reserve forces reflected the military leadership's failure to realize it faced a war.

Israel's leadership also failed to understand the strategic significance of the cumulative Katyusha strikes. An IDF statement of its strategic goals presented to the Israeli government at the beginning of the conflict failed to even mention home-front defense.[19] Over the course of several years, Israel's intelligence organs had neglected to collect intelligence regarding Hezbollah's short range Katyushas.[20] Military officials had considered such rockets as weapons of little consequence because of their inaccuracy and small warheads. In the initial stage of the war, Halutz said that "short range rockets are not a decisive weapon." [21] But the war showed Israel's northern population to be ill-prepared to withstand a large rocket barrage. Most of the short-range Katyushas fell in empty fields and caused little damage, but 25 percent of the nearly 4,000 missiles launched hit urban areas and paralyzed the whole of northern Israel, its main port, refineries, and many other strategic installations.[22] Over one million Israelis lived in bomb shelters and about 300,000 temporarily left their homes and sought refuge in the south. Olmert was very wrong in stating on August 3, 2006, that the war could not be measured by counting thenumber of missiles falling on Israel.[23] The continuous barrage of Katyushas at Israel's northern cities supported Hezbollah's claim to victory. Only in the last stages of the war did the attempt to limit the Katyusha salvoes become an operational goal.

Israel's failure to allocate sufficient funds towards the development of an adequate missile defense system to provide protection against the Hezbollah threat was a strategic mistake. While Israeli military industries mastered several technological responses against short-range missiles, Israel had refrained from turning them operational. Only after the war, in February 2007, did the Ministry of Defense approve the development of defensive weapon systems against short- and intermediate-range missiles. The newly-approved Rafael Armament Development Authority's Iron Dome and Magic Wand systems will eventually defend against Qassam rockets, short-range Katyushas, and medium-range Iranian-made Zelzal missiles while existing Arrow missiles can protect Israel from longer-range Syrian and Iranian missiles.

Over-reliance on airpower was another strategic folly. While the IDF had long invested in its airpower, until the 1990s, it believed land forces to be critical for victory. Yet, after the 1991 Kuwait war, many military strategists, not only in the United States, but also elsewhere, began to consider airpower to be seductive.[24] Among political leaders, airpower is especially tempting. It offers great destructive capability without high risk in home casualties. Maj. Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, former chief of the Israeli air force, admitted that the fixation with new technologies was addictive and obscured thinking.[25]

The Israeli Air Force leadership convinced Israeli politicians that they could expand their military role beyond traditional air missions and cope effectively with new security challenges. Halutz had commanded the air force between April 2000 and July 2004, and his enthusiasm for airpower was unequivocal.[26] As chief of staff, Halutz planned cuts in the IDF's ground forces and emphasized reliance on the air force.[27] The IDF sought to tackle low-intensity conflict with a combination of airpower and special forces.[28] Yuval Steinitz, former chair of the Knesset (parliament)'s Committee on Security and Foreign Affairs, questioned the wisdom of giving airpower such a high priority on both a budgetary and a doctrinaire level,[29] but he was the exception rather than the rule.

Over-sensitivity to casualties also hampered Israeli operations. Maj. Gen. Elazar Stern, head of the IDF's manpower branch, complained after the war that the IDF did not complete some missions due to casualties, [30] an assessment with which Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoram Yair, head of one of the postwar IDF inquiry committees, agreed.[31]

During the war, Halutz opposed a ground incursion into Lebanon as anything but the last resort.[32] Even when Olmert and Peretz decided to insert special forces into Lebanon to deal with the Katyusha threat, Halutz resisted a large-scale land operation.[33] His hesitation enabled Hezbollah to continue its rocket salvoes into Israel for a month.

The reluctance to commit ground troops to battle betrays a gap between Israel's leadership and its people. Both political and military leaders misjudged the resilience of Israeli society. At the beginning of 2004, Ya'alon asserted that the weakest link in Israel's national defense was the lack of public stamina.[34] While vice premier in 2005, Olmert said, "We are tired of fighting; we are tired of being courageous; we are tired of winning; we are tired of defeating our enemies." [35] The current chief of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Benny Ganz, said that while worried about Hezbollah's missiles, he was more concerned about the ability of Israeli society to withstand the pressures of war.[36]

Such concerns were misplaced. Israeli society demonstrated high stamina, even during wars of attrition. Israelis did not surrender to the post-September 2000 Palestinian terror campaign,[37] a sentiment reflected in recent polls.[38] Israeli society would have been willing to absorb greater casualties to bring an effective end to the Hezbollah threat. Even parents who had lost a child in the Hezbollah war backed its expansion. Nor did combat unit recruitment suffer because of the war.[39]

The cost of the Israeli leadership's miscalculation of societal strength goes beyond opportunities lost. Israel's reluctance to commit troops to battle signaled weakness. The widespread perception within the Arab world that Israeli society is sensitive to the loss of human life invites aggression. It was such a perception that motivated Palestinians to renew their terror campaign in September 2000.[40]

Unrealistic Goals

Unrealistic goals compounded poor preparation. Israeli political and military leaders erred in their belief that Israeli pressure on Hezbollah and the weak Lebanese government could generate a political process in which the Lebanese army could achieve a monopoly over the use of force in Lebanon.[41] From the earliest stages of the war, Israeli leaders insisted that they could encourage Lebanon to become a regular state and that the Israeli army could crush Hezbollah's Lebanese state-within-a-state. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saw force as instrumental to implementing UNSCR 1559, which called for strengthening the central government in Lebanon by both removing foreign forces and disbanding militias.[42] He stated that the military operation constituted "an almost unique opportunity to change the rules in Lebanon."[43]

Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni declared that the goal of the campaign was "to promote a process that will bring about a long-term and fundamental change in the political reality" and to create a regime in Lebanon that would be responsible for its entire territory.[44] She argued that the harder the IDF hit Hezbollah, the easier it would be for the Lebanese government and the world to implement UNSCR 1559.[45] Peretz's statement that Israel would not end its campaign until reality changed in Lebanon reflected the broad view of the Israeli political leadership.[46]

The military from at least the time of Ya'alon's tenure as chief-of-staff accepted the same logic. Both Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizencott, chief of operations in the general staff, and Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former director of research at the IDF intelligence branch, believed that Israel's use of force could change the political equation in Lebanon.[47]

From the first day of the campaign, Halutz advocated attacking infrastructure beyond southern Lebanon to pressure the Lebanese government to counter Hezbollah.[48] This logic of transformation through force was reminiscent of the earlier attempt to transform Lebanese society through force. In 1982, Israeli officials sought not only to expel the Palestinian Liberation Organization but also to normalize relations with Beirut and its newly-empowered government.

In the contemporary Middle East, though, force seldom creates a new political environment.[49] For years after signing the Oslo accords, Israeli politicians turned a blind eye to Palestinian Authority actions rather than acknowledge that Yasir Arafat's administration did not live up to its agreements. In Lebanon, Israeli leaders might have adopted more modest goals. Rather than seek to change Lebanon's reality, they might have instead sought only to eviscerate Hezbollah's ability to harm Israel.

Fear of escalation clouded Olmert's strategic judgment. On the first day of the conflict, Mossad chief Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan recommended the Israeli air force target Syrian sites.[50] Instead, Olmert sought to placate. Israeli leaders repeatedly said Israel had no intention of expanding its military activities to target Syria.[51] Peretz even called for a renewal of peace negotiations with Syria.[52] Even when Hezbollah was launching Syrian missiles at Israeli cities, Israeli military officials announced that retaliating against Syria was not under consideration.[53] Rather than pressure Damascus to stop its resupply of missiles to Hezbollah, such statements, in effect, blessed the Syrian government's proxy warfare.

Such rhetoric contrasted sharply with past practice when the threat of escalation coerced Israel's adversaries into accepting its conditions. The Syrian government was susceptible to such pressure. After the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, apparently at the Syrian leadership's behest, joint condemnation by Washington, Paris, and Riyadh reverberated through Damascus.

Israeli officials enjoyed similar sympathy after Hezbollah initiated the summer 2006 conflict. At the Group of Eight (G8) heads of states meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 17, 2006, an open microphone caught U.S. president George W. Bush saying that they needed "Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit."[54]

But, Israel's military restraint cost it an opportunity to eliminate Syria's long-range missile capability. The risks of regional escalation were minimal. Iran was in no position to intervene directly. Tehran, rushing to complete its nuclear program, did not want to create a pretext for international action against it.

A successful campaign against Syria could have weakened Hezbollah and might even have strengthened the Lebanese government more than destroying Lebanese infrastructure did. An Israeli strike against Syrian targets would have signaled Israel's determination to deal with terrorist and proxy threats, enhancing Israeli deterrence. It would have also diminished both Iranian influence in the region and Tehran's ability to retaliate through Hezbollah in the event that its nuclear installations were attacked.

Bungling the Aftermath

How Israel ended the war augmented its failure. UNSCR 1701 marked the first time in Israeli history that Jerusalem had sought a U.N. resolution to end a war. Jerusalem's involvement in drafting the Security Council resolution reflected a new, misplaced faith in the U.N. Israeli foreign minister Livni said that prevention of Syrian arms transfers to Hezbollah,[55] the group's disarmament, and an overhaul of the U.N. forces in southern Lebanon were among Israel's requirements for a cease-fire. The Israeli foreign ministry sought to replace the ineffective United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), deployed there since 1978, with a more "robust" international force,[56] at least in the interim period before the Lebanese army could deploy southward and exert its authority over all Lebanese territory.[57] According to Livni, the Israeli government expected the U.N. contingent to have coercive military capability to enable it "to control the passages on the Lebanese-Syrian border, to aid the Lebanese army in deploying properly, and to fully implement UNSCR 1559, particularly in disarming the Hezbollah."[58]

Olmert initially sought to have the Lebanese army deploy its forces southward. In a meeting with Israeli diplomats on July 18, he said that the idea of an international force was "a good headline" but that Israel's experience "shows that there is nothing behind it."[59] Yet, after learning of the weakness of the Lebanese army, he agreed to deploy a U.N. force instead. The Israeli military concurred that an international force in south Lebanon and a U.N.-imposed arms embargo could be effective.[60]

But the U.N. mandate determines that in the event that UNIFIL personnel come across caches of weapons or gunmen, they should call upon the Lebanese army to handle the situation. The European-enhanced UNIFIL not only shows little inclination to use force to implement UNSCR 1701 but also hampers Israeli monitoring of weapons trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border. The French government, for example, denounced Israeli flights over Lebanon to monitor continuing violations of the arms embargo by Hezbollah. On October 19, 2006, the French commander of UNIFIL even threatened to shoot at Israeli planes if they came too close to his troops.[61] A few days later, Berlin complained that Israeli planes had taken aim at one of their ships.[62]

Unfortunately, the U.N. favors ineffectiveness over conflict. Secretary-general Kofi Annan advocated "flexibility" in the deployment of UNIFIL along the Syria-Lebanon border,[63] in effect blessing non-enforcement. Damascus has continued to funnel arms to Hezbollah, something that both prominent Lebanese officials and the U.S. government acknowledge.[64]

By November 2006, according to Israeli military officials, Hezbollah had replenished nearly half of its prewar stockpiles of short-range missiles and small arms.[65] In December 2006, Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Syria continued to arm Hezbollah and sought to overthrow the independent-leaning Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.[66]

While the new UNIFIL might be no more effective than its pre-2006 incarnation, its damaging impact is greater. It now not only restricts possible Israeli action against Hezbollah but also creates a precedent for an international force in the West Bank and/or Gaza, a move long sought by the Palestinian Liberation Organization that successive Israeli governments have resisted.


When war erupted in summer 2006, Israel enjoyed overwhelming military superiority and favorable political conditions. However, its strategic follies and operational deficiencies resulted in a faltering, indecisive war. The Israeli military could have administered a serious blow to Hezbollah from the air during the first few days of the war or, alternatively, destroyed most of Hezbollah's military presence in southern Lebanon with a large land invasion. Unfortunately, Israel's political and military leadership had no clear concept of what victory over Hezbollah entailed.

Israel squandered an important opportunity to settle regional scores. It left unchecked Iran's apparent efforts to expand Shi'I influence in Lebanon and left untouched Syria's potential for mischief in Lebanon. Hezbollah's resilience against the Israeli bombardment emboldened it to withstand future Israeli assaults, and Israel's failure to succeed emboldened regional radicals.

Israel is a strong state, but it can ill-afford such failure. It lives in a dangerous neighborhood in which military might is the guarantee for survival. Halutz has initiated an intensive and comprehensive inquiry process and resigned. In the past, the IDF has proved its capacity to learn from its mistakes and improve. Some deficiencies can be easily corrected. Increases in the defense budget could provide the means to implement some lessons learned, for example, longer training for reserve units and procurement of better weapon systems. Less easy to correct are deficiencies in strategic thinking.

Post-modern notions have blurred the strategic clarity of Israel's political leadership and its defense and foreign affairs establishment. The economic cost of building a strong military force may be high, but it is not an optional expense. Too often, wishful thinking supplants reality.

Should Israeli officials recognize their mistakes, however, they will find much with which to restore unquestioned Israeli regional deterrence. The war demonstrated that Israel is a strong state. It has the spirit to fight. Its soldiers won each encounter with Hezbollah. The Israeli home front displayed great resilience, and Israel's economy continued to bloom. With adequate preparation, Jerusalem might attain a clear victory in the next round, which, however unfortunate, the outcome of the 2006 war makes inevitable.


[1] For a chronology of Hezbollah attacks and incursions, see "Hizbullah Attacks along Israel's Northern Border May 2000 - June 2006," Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 1, 2006.
[2] Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), July 24, 2006.
[3] See Eyal Zisser, "Hezbollah & Israel: Strategic Threat on the Northern Border," Israel Affairs, Jan. 2006, pp. 86-106.
[4] Ariella Ringel-Hoffman, "Time Works against Us," Yedi'ot Aharonot (Tel Aviv), July 5, 2002.
[5] Ari Shavit, "Colleagues Undermine You," Ha'aretz, Aug. 8, 2003.
[6] See the interview with Yuval Steinitz, Defense News, Jan. 29, 2007; comments of Aharon Zeevi-Farkash, former chief of the intelligence branch of the IDF, Channel 2 (Jerusalem), Nov. 5, 2006.
[7] The Jerusalem Post, July 21, 2006.
[8] The Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2007.
[9] The Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2007.
[10] Ilan Kfir, Haadama Raasha (Tel Aviv: Ma'ariv, 2006), pp. 21, 23.
[11] The Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2006.
[12] Resolution text:"Situation in the Middle East," UNSC Resolution 1701, U.N. NY, Aug. 11, 2006.
[13] Zeev Schiff and Ehud Yaari, Milhememet Sholal (Tel Aviv: Schocken, 1984), pp. 380-8.[14] 104 Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut (The Kahan Commission), Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 8, 1983.
[15] Ofer Shelah and Yoav Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon (Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2007), p. 128.
[16] Ha'aretz, Nov. 29, 2006.
[17] Kfir, Haadama Raasha, p. 178.
[18] Ha'aretz, Nov. 4, 2006.
[19] Zeev Schiff, "Let Us Be Realistic," Ha'aretz, Oct. 20, 2006.
[20] Ha'aretz, Feb. 16, 2007.
[21] Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, p. 160.
[22] For a detailed analysis of the Katyusha attacks, see Uzi Rubin, "The Rocket Attacks on Northern Israel during the Summer of 2006", Mideast Security and Policy Studies (Ramat Gan: The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, forthcoming).
[23] Kfir, Haadama Raasha, p. 189.
[24] Eliot A. Cohen, "The Mystique of U.S. Air Power," Foreign Affairs, Jan./Feb. 1994, pp. 109-24.
[25] Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, public lecture, Tel Aviv University, Dec. 19, 2006; Meir Finkel, "The Rites of Technology in the IDF -- Return the Balance to the Land Build-Up," Maarachot, June 2006, p 40-5.
[26] Biton Heil Haavir, Israeli Air Force, May 2000, p. 7.
[27] Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, p. 137.
[28] Shmuel Gordon, The Vulture and the Snake, Mideast Security and Policy Studies, no. 39 (Ramat Gan: Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, July 1998).
[29] Yuval Steinitz, "The Sea as Israel's Strategic Depth," Maarachot, May 2002; idem, "It Is Missiles," Maarachot, Dec. 2005, pp. 70-4.
[30] Ha'aretz, Nov. 4, 2006.
[31] Ha'aretz, Oct. 18, 2006.
[32] The Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2006; Kfir, Haadama Raasha, p. 293; Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, pp. 118.
[33] Ha'aretz, Jan. 23, 2007.
[34] Ha'aretz, Jan. 13, 2004.
[35] Ehud Olmert, remarks, Israel Policy Forum Tribute Dinner, New York, June 9, 2005.
[36] "The Chief of the Northern Command: The Struggle of the Right Is More Dangerous than theHezbollah Missiles," Globes (Tel Aviv), Jan. 11, 2005.
[37] Avi Kober, "From Blitzkrieg to Attrition: Israel's Attrition Strategy and Staying Power," Small Wars and Insurgencies, June 2005, pp. 216-40; Meir Elran, "Israel's National Resilience. The Influence of the Second Intifada on Israeli Society," memorandum 81 (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Jan. 2006); Nadav Morag, "The Economic and Social Effects of Terrorism: Israel, 2000-2004," Middle East Review of International Affairs, Sept. 2006.
[38] "Maagar Mochot" poll reported by Israeli radio Reshet Bet, Dec. 28, 2006.
[39] The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2006.
[40] Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff, Hamilchama Hashviit (Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2004), p. 54.
[41] Schiff, "Let Us Be Realistic."
[42] Ehud Olmert, Knesset statement, July 17, 2006, official transcript, p. 2; UNSC resolution 1559.
[43] Ehud Olmert, statement to heads of municipalities, July 31, 2006, official transcript, p. 4.
[44] Tzipi Livni & Javier Solana, EU envoy, news conference, July 19, 2006; Tzipi Livni, statement to the Knesset, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aug. 8, 2006; The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 2006.
[45] The Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2006.
[46] The Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2006.
[47] "Interview with Yossi Kuperwasser," Hatzofe (Tel Aviv), Oct. 20, 2006, p. 7-8; Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, p. 50; Ha'aretz, Sept. 15, 2006.
[48] Kfir, Haadama Raasha, p. 22; Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, p. 50.
[49] For a discussion of attaining goals, see Avi Kober, "Israeli War Objectives into an Era of Negativism," Journal of Strategic Studies, June 2001, pp. 176-201.
[50] Kfir, Haadama Raasha, p. 22; Shelah and Limor, Shvuyim Bilvanon, p. 51.
[51] Channel 7 News (Ofra), July 26, 2006; The Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2006.
[52] MSN News, Aug. 15, 2006.[53] The Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2006.
[54] The Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2006.
[55] Tzipi Livni, foreign minister, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Knesset, Aug. 8, 2006.
[56] Ha'aretz, Oct. 1, 2006.
[57] The Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2006.
[58] "Interview with Yossi Kuperwasser," Hatzofe.
[59] The Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2006.
[60] Shelah and Limor, Haadama Raasha, p. 167; "Interview with Yossi Kuperwasser," Hatzofe.
[61] Yedi'ot Aharonot, Oct. 20, 2006.
[62] The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2006.
[63] Ha'aretz, Aug. 31, 2006.
[64] The Washington Times, Nov. 1, 2006.
[65] Time, Nov. 24, 2006.
[66] Ynet, Dec. 18, 2006.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at winstonmedia@comcast.net

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Posted by Moshe Feiglin, April 30, 2007.

On the morning of the recent Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel announced that it would allow the transfer of fifty million dollars worth of weapons to the personal security force of PA President Abu Mazen. Does anyone doubt that these weapons will ultimately be used against us? Reality has proven time and again that Jews are murdered as a result of these weapons transfers. So why do we allow them to continue?

"How did the Jews of the Holocaust era allow the Germans to do what they did?" the brave Israelis arrogantly proclaimed. "After all, those Jews knew where they were being led."

And what about us? We clearly understand that Jews will be killed with these weapons. What are we doing about it? It seems that as we mark the 59th year of Israel's independence, the blood of the Jewish People is still cheap. The prevailing thought is that It is only natural that the Arabs of Gaza must be supplied with weapons and that in half a year or so those weapons will kill Jews. Then we will supply them with more weapons to protect us from the weapons that we gave them today, that were supposed to protect us from the weapons that we gave them yesterday. That's just the way it is; we have no control over it. We must come to terms with this Russian roulette and absolve ourselves of any responsibility and hope that we or our loved ones will not pay the price.

Luckily, we can still demonstrate. And there actually were demonstrations just before Holocaust Memorial Day. They were even stormy. However, these demonstrations were only about the rise in university tuition. Were there demonstrations against the weapons being transferred to Gaza? About the Jews that will die? No. Why demonstrate? It is a fact of life that a certain percentage of Jews will be killed in terrorist attacks. It is like the sun that rises in the east. Have you ever seen a demonstration against the rising of the sun?

After Israel's news announced the weapons transfer, Holocaust survivor and former Knesset Speaker Dov Shilanski was interviewed. "For me," he said, "the State of Israel is the guarantee that the Holocaust will never happen again." I deeply respect Dov Shilanski, but I can not understand the basis of his opinion: Israel's military strength? That has turned out to be disappointing, at the very least. Anyone who can't figure out why should drive over to Sderot and watch the Arab rockets falling like rain every day. And what about the exile mentality that has supposedly ended? It has only gotten worse. We have recently encountered a new Iranian mass-murderer who unabashedly announces his intentions to destroy Israel: "Why do the Arabs have to pay the price of your Holocaust?" And the brave, new Israelis have no answer. They are helpless.

According to all logic, Shilanski is wrong. The State of Israel that denies its own heritage is leading us toward another Holocaust. If I did not believe in G-d, I would get my family out of Israel post haste. But I believe in the G-d of Israel and His Nation. I believe that G-d's will is that we remain in Israel. I believe in the Torah and in the prophecies that reassure us that the final redemption will be eternal.

The question is not if we will survive, but what will be the price. And that depends on us. When we flee our Jewish identity and destiny, our enemies flourish. I believe that when we connect to our national identity, new, fresh forces of life awaken within our Nation. It is then that we will understand the importance and power of our State. We will understand that although the State of Israel has been used to deny our Jewish destiny, it is actually the tool that will express it. When we connect to our destiny, we will do much more than merely exist or survive. We will thrive. And no one will dare dream of destroying Israel.

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Moshe Feiglin, its cofounder, has emphatically said he does not want a theocracy, but he does want a State based on Jewish values. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is http://www.manhigut.org. To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit www.jewishisrael.org. or send an email to news@jewishisrael.org

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 30, 2007.

Shameful. There is no other word for it: The conclusions of interim report on the conduct of the War in Lebanon, as presented by Judge Eliyahu Winograd, who chaired the committee charged with the investigation.

I knew it, and yet facing it now, I find it still takes my breath away, as it must the breath of most persons in this nation.

Olmert "formulated his stance without a second thought, without being presented with a detailed military plan, without considering the complex conditions of fighting in Lebanon. There was no organized consultation with others, mainly outside of army, despite his lack of diplomatic and military experience.

"The prime minister is responsible for failing to clearly set out the aims of the war, and for there not being a clear definition of aims of war and ways to achieve them...All of these factors come together to form a serious failure of judgment, responsibility, and caution.

"The decision to go forward with a harsh, immediate military response was not taken on the basis of a well-planned strategy....

"The IDF's response would result in massive fire on the home front, which the IDF didn't have an answer to. There was no information on the state of the army, despite the need for such information.

"The IDF didn't show creativity in making options available. It didn't demand that reserves be called up, which would have allowed them to be trained and equipped ahead of a needed ground operation.

"The main responsibility for these severe failures are placed on the prime minister, the defense minister, and the former chief of staff. Had they acted differently, the results would have been different. .."

Peretz, says Winograd, had no experience in military procedures, yet made decisions unilaterally without consulting others or compensating for his lack of knowledge.

Chief of Staff Halutz's "culpability is made more severe in light of the fact that he knew that the prime minister and the defense minister had no experience." He led them to believe that the army was ready when it wasn't..."he did not act with responsibility, good judgment, and professionalism."

Winograd said "many others" share culpability for this state of affairs. He pointed to the previous governments that had allowed Hezbollah to strengthen at our border..."The ability of Hezbollah to sit on the border, and dictate the level of escalation, was made possible by the 2000 retreat of the IDF from southern Lebanon..."

Winograd also faulted the rest of the government (i.e., the ministers) who exhibited "unjustified faith in the decision makers."

"For 25 years, there [hadn't] been a war. The IDF was not ready for war, for a number of reasons, among them being that the political and military leaders decided that the age of wars [had] ended, and that the IDF had enough deterrence power...

"We believe that we must look beyond the decision making failures, at these issues which form central questions, raised by the Lebanon War. These are the questions standing at the heart of our existence as a Jewish and democratic state."

Please G-d, let this serve as a signal lesson, so that next time will be different. Let us move to a healing of the nation.


What will happen now? I cannot yet say. I have no crystal ball, only my deepest hopes.

Are Olmert and Peretz, along with the coalition, so shameless, so without sense of responsibility, that they will maneuver and fight to stay in power in spite of this report? Without a doubt.

Kadima ministers have met in special session and are formulating responses. Olmert went into the meeting declaring, "The last thing the nation needs is early elections." In fact, he actually said, "It would be wrong" for him to resign, as if he's being noble to refrain from doing so. Peres agreed, saying "Elections would serve no purpose." From other members of the coalition we're also starting to see the spin: This is a chance to correct things, let's not make this political. Let's focus on the future, not the past. Let's not give Nasrallah a victory by bringing down the government. It is a positive thing if changes are made within the system that was criticized. Olmert plans to appoint a special committee from within the cabinet tomorrow to review the report.

But this doesn't mean the clamor will not be such that ultimately the government will have to fall. Reports are that Olmert's opponents are waiting for the final Winograd report which will be released this summer and promises to be even more damning. YNet cited one unnamed "Kadima official" as saying: the report "did Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a favor. Now he can go home of his own accord, or he'll be sent home in July. The report is extremely clear. It allows Olmert to pack up his things himself. Only someone illiterate wouldn't understand the Winograd report."

And Dan Halutz, who resigned as Chief of Staff said: "I didn't shrug off my responsibility for the military's performance on others, and I condemn anybody else's effort to evade responsibility."


In recent days, as other members of Olmert's Kadima party rushed to defend him, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been silent. This has not escaped notice, and her claims of just being distracted by other matters or whatever are not playing well. I am hearing that -- whatever happens to him -- Olmert is sufficiently irritated that he would move to block Livni from taking his place.


According to Attorney Yossi Fuchs -- a very fine lawyer and expert on constitutional law -- this is the scenario as it may unfold:

Fuchs says that Olmert must resign because the precedent has been set by the Kahn Commission that investigated Sabra and Shatila in 1982. The Commission declared that one who is "found to bear ministerial responsibility for a grave security or political fiasco, must resign or be fired" -- and Ariel Sharon, who was found responsible for not preventing the Sabra and Shatila massacre, resigned immediately.

Says Fuchs, the Kahn Commission had status as a governmental commission of inquiry, a status that the Winograd Committee (a review committee) was not endowed with on its establishment. However, in response to a suit that was brought, the Government of Israel stated that the Committee would have the same authorities as those of a governmental commission of inquiry. (This, I must add, is an issue I've seen much debated of late.)

Therefore, if Olmert does not resign within a reasonable length of time, Fuchs and others will file a suit in the High Court to force him to do so. Will this play? It depends on the High Court. I would not hold my breath, although Fuchs had some marked successes with suits filed on behalf of the residents of Gush Katif after their expulsion.

In any event, Fuchs says that it is not just Olmert who would resign. According to Clause 19 of Basic Law (Israel functions with basic law, not a written constitution), if the prime minister resigns, the entire government resigns with him. Livni now has the title of Acting Prime Minister, but that only applies if the prime minister falls ill, not in a situation such as this. She cannot just step into Olmert's place and carry on.

The president -- in this instance Acting President Dalia Itzik -- then selects an MK to establish a new government. Normally the MK most likely to be able to formulate a new coalition is selected, and, undoubtedly, Netanyahu is waiting for this moment. But the choice is strictly up to the president.

(In theory, if Livni were to be awarded leadership of the Kadima party via an internal process, I imagine she could be called upon. However, her election as successor to Olmert is not a certain thing -- as others would vie for this position and Olmert would presumably block her to the best of his ability.)

During the interim of time allocated to the MK for formulating a new government, the old government stays in place. If the MK fails to form a new government, elections would be held.


Joke of the day: I read a statement made by PM Abbas, indicating that he hopes the Winograd Committee results will not interfere with the peace process.


Doesn't seem to me that Abbas is doing his part for the "peace process." According to a report released today by the Middle East News Line, even after receiving training and new equipment from the US, Abbas's Presidential Guard is failing in its role at the border between Gaza and Egypt. Guard commanders are reluctant to use force to stop Palestinian infiltrators into Gaza (who may be terrorists or may be smuggling material) -- especially if they are from Fatah. Just a few days ago Fatah gunmen attacked the security forces at the Rafah Crossing.

The lessons here are significant (if only the US were to learn them): It is impossible to effectively bolster forces "loyal" to Abbas in actions against other Palestinians.


The IDF operating in Nablus last night, found a bomb ready to be set off and dismantled it. Meanwhile, 17 Palestinian Arab fugitives throughout Judea and Samaria were arrested.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 30, 2007.


The Arabs keep firing missiles at Siderot, but most still land in fields and the rest cause few casualties (latest was 4/10, reported in IMRA).


No wonder some American youth support terrorism or become terrorists! At least (which is more reasonable), no wonder many American college students have no respect for authority -- many American textbooks are biased against America.

Popular textbook author Howard Zinn writes that a wealthy elite benefited from WWII. (Japan attacked the US and the Axis would have murdered millions more people, if the Allies did not stop them. Those millions benefited.) Claiming that Abraham Lincoln signed bills that catered to business lobbyists, Mr. Zinn derides the Emancipation Proclamation as without moral decency. (I don't know about the business legislation, but that would not degrade the value of the Emancipation.) Zinn explains his purpose, that if recruits knew "the history of lies and violence that have accompanied American foreign policy, they would not be enticed into joining the armed forces" (Alicia Colon, NY Sun, 4/10, p.2).

How the pendulum has swung away from the exaggerated praise for America in my school days, which I was skeptical of! There are negatives and positives about American history. History books should not stress the one or the other but be objective. We are not responsible for what people did in totally different eras. For example, the US is not bad now for having had slavery long ago. Our past age of imperialism has been incorrectly cited as evidence against our intervention in Iraq, which intervention is not imperialistic.


Instead of killing off the terrorists until the remaining ones release the one prisoner of the P.A., Israel is considering another lopsided exchange of many terrorists for him (although half the terrorists released resume terrorism and kill more Israelis). The question then becomes which ones to release.

The government used to set as its criteria that it may, in good conscience, release only those without "blood on their hands." What does that mean? (1) Terrorists whose raids did not succeed in drawing blood, would be released for another attempt, this time perhaps successful. (2) Suicide bombers usually die in their own blast. The several members of their cells who ordered, planned, and arranged the bombings do not literally have blood on their hands. They could be released, too, although they are more responsible for the war crimes than the minions who actually set off the explosions. Now, however, the government is considering releasing convicted murderers (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 4/10).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, April 29, 2007.

This was written by Paul E. Marek and it was published on March 18, 2007 in Arutz Sheva

At the risk of offending, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, can contribute to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.

History lessons are often incredibly simple.

I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.

"Very few people were true Nazis," he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" is the "silent majority," and it is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians - most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Editor's Note: This was a comment by a reader of the original article:

"Moderate"? "Peace-Loving"? How about "lazy"?

Let's get this straight. Jihad, according to the Koran, is a POSITIVE MIZVAH. All Moslems everywhere are obligated as a collective entity to wage war upon Dar al-Harb "until there is no more tumult, nor oppression, and the religion is for Allah". In other words, until the subjugation of the entire world under the banner of Islam. Further, when any territory that formerly belonged to Dar al-Islam falls back under the control of Dar al-Harb (e.g. Spain, India, Sicily, the French Riviera, portions of the Alps, most of the Balkans and, oh yes, Eretz Israel), it is an OBLIGATORY INDIVIDUAL IMPERATIVE for every Moslem to PERSONALLY participate in Jihad until the territory is reconquered. This is Islam. There is no school of Islamic jurisprudence that disagrees with this. So, what, pray tell, is a Moslem "moderate"? Any Moslem "moderate" is as Moslem as a reform "rabbi" is a rabbi.
mike, Vienna, VA (21/03/07)

See Fred Reifenberg's photo art on his website:

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, April 29, 2007.

Celebrating Independence

59 years ago, the Jews were finally able take control over part of the Jewish ancestral land and create the State of Israel. It was a time of national climax and the triumph of modern Zionism. We lost 1% of the Jewish population in Palestine during the Independence war later, and were not able to retrieve most of the Jewish land. But nothing could dim the fact that after 2000 years of life in exile, Jews were once again in charge of their land!

At this moment, during the celebration of our independence, the current gutless and traitorous political leadership of the country is talking about "painful sacrifice". We had already made them in 1922, by letting Britain to cut off Trans-Jordan and the Golan Heights, respectively 77% and 5% of our land; in 1948, by agreeing on a ridiculous maze-map the left over crumbs that the UN had allocated for Jews in order to facilitate 'Holocaust-2' by Arab states.

Now Olmert is paving the way for more concessions to the Arab terrorists. It will create more demands from Arabs and more Jewish lives will be lost. Nothing will please the enemies of the Jewish people, Arabs and other 'well-wishers', until they extort the final 'concession' -- destruction of Israel!

Under unyielding pressure from the International anti-Semitic hypocrisy, Israel has made an endless string of concessions and sacrifices during the past 59 years. Unfortunately the pressure has been severe during the last two decades. And the corrupt, aimless and gutless leadership of Israel was not able to resist it. As a result, Israel has being ruled by people with no integrity or national character! At the moment, the Jews are in a worse position than we were in 1948. The years of political impotence, corruption and selfishness have only brought the denigration of our national, moral and spiritual identity.

With a weak Israel, we are experiencing the rise of the international anti-Semitism conducted by Muslims and the predominately Left political spectrum. The Jews in Israel and the Jewish communities worldwide have been continuously losing their national identity Self-criticism has become the national trait; support of true Zionism is highly unpopular among Jews.

Jews have nothing to be proud about or celebrate this year! Israel must shake off its "they will not allow us" mentality and elect a new, vibrant, nationalistic government, which is prepared to end the hypocrisy forever and re-unite all Jewish land and Jewish people. Only then will Jews have something to celebrate next year!

Food for Thought

The process of restoration of the Jewish state in Palestine started long before the WW-2. Creation of the state of Israel, contrary to Muslim and anti-Semitic propaganda, is not a result of Holocaust. It is the conclusion of many years of relentless Zionist work and of the League of Nation resolution of 1922, which unfortunately was highly distorted by anti-Semitically inclined world powers.

More Criminal Offences?

Ehud Olmert is facing a third criminal probe after a government watchdog's recommendation that police investigate his role in granting a multimillion-dollar loan to a former business partner. Mr Olmert is already being probed about allegations that while he was finance minister he tried to influence the sale of the Israeli State's stake in a major bank, Bank Leumi. The comptroller is also investigating how Mr Olmert came to acquire a house in Jerusalem's up market German Colony area from an overseas backer. (It is time to clean the house of the rubbish!)

Fostering Thuggery in IDF.

MK Tzvi Hendel (NRP/National Union) has asked the Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to investigate what he calls the army's "scandalous behavior" towards thousands of people who marched to Homesh on Independence Day. "Not allowing drinking water to get through to the people, including women and children; prevention of medical treatment to marchers who fainted..." "A unmistakable political stench emanates from these draconian decisions," Hendel wrote in his letter, "and they were manifest in the soldiers' vulgar behavior towards the marchers..."

Security Fence -- Traitor's Admission. During a recent meeting UN representative Livni admitted that while local Arabs often complain that the fence will hurt their chances to build a state in the area, the fence actually promotes their goal. (There is no more pretence that by building the fence, Kadima traitors care about the lives of Jews in Israel. It was covert plan of surrender and betrayal from the beginning!)

Facing Second War of Independence.

MK Israel Hasson (Israel Our Home) stated that former Balad MK Azmi Bishara, who left Israel nearly three weeks ago and announced his resignation from the Knesset while in Egypt, would already be in prison in a "normal" country. "If we don't wake up now, we will have to fight for our independence again very soon. It will be a second war for independence against Israel's Arabs who will be supported by Hamas," he said. (Does anyone listen? But in the next war, we must set clear objective! Arabs view moderation as a weakness.)

Cost of Oslo War.

Arab terrorists have killed 864 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others since they launched the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada, in October 2000. The number of terrorism fatalities represents half of the 1,635 citizens who died in terrorist attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Sixty-six people in Israel died in terrorist attacks in the past year. (Killing Jews in Israel has become the sickening normality! Who needs the War when we have such a 'wonderful' Peace!)

Quote of the Week:

"The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized... Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever."- Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.

'Go to hell' from Moderate Muslim. Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has called for peaceful dialogue with the West, but cursed Israeli journalists who approached him at the sixth Eurasion Media Forum in Kazakhstan, saying, "Go to hell!" (Will the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) vote for boycott of Iran for this despicable behaviour, as they did against Israel?)

Truce or Convenience of Hudna.

Hamas ended its 'truce' with Israel by firing 40 rockets and 70 mortars from Gaza, declaring an end to a five-month cease-fire which actually never existed - more than 230 rocket attacks were launched against Israel. A spokesman for Hamas' armed wing said "This is a message to the Zionist enemy that our strikes will continue. We are ready to kidnap more and more, and kill more and more of your soldiers." (This is a "hit and run" policy. Whenever Arabs want to, they break the truce, knowing that Olmert's government will welcome another Hudna! Yet again, Olmert has opted for another limited response to a major terror attack.)

UN and PA Building on Jewish-Owned Land in Jerusalem.

Land in Jerusalem owned by a Jewish group, estimated to be worth about $38 million, and purchased primarily using Jewish donor funds has been used for the illegal construction of dozens of Palestinian apartment buildings, a refugee camp and a United Nations school. The Jewish National Fund, which owns the properties, has done little to boot the Arab squatters from its land "One can almost say this is a fraud being perpetrated on the donors of this land. If the JNF doesn't do something about it, a message will be sent that we don't care that Arabs steal Jewish-donated land." said Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America. (These politically correct 'idiots' have been silent about Jewish-owned land left behind in Syria and Jordan, and selling out the Jewish dream in Israel now. But no one cares!)

Was Elvis a Jew?

In 1998, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled, "All Shook Up in the Holy Land" exposing Elvis Presley's unlikely Jewish lineage. Apparently, Elvis' maternal great-great grandmother, Nancy Burdine, was a Jew. Her daughter gave birth to Doll Mansell who gave birth to Gladys Smith who gave birth to Elvis. Although it sounds improbable, according to Jewish law, which confers Jewish lineage by way of the mother, (strangely) that makes Elvis Presley Jewish. (Rabbis and Israeli governments are unwilling define the Jewish land clearly. In order to avoid controversy, the issue of "Who is a Jew?" had been buried deep long ago! We will never achieve our goals by "keeping our heads in the sand"! Ambiguity creates uncertainty. Uncertainty destroys the people's will. Only well defined objectives are easily attainable!)

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement. For the last 3 years, he has been publishing internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict -- independently, not as a member of any organization or political movement. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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Posted by Barry Rubin, April 29, 2007.

The world's approach to the Middle East is largely based on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thousands of diplomatic hours, plane tickets, innocent reams of paper, and posh hotel rooms are being devoted to this effort. The pace of time, cost, and attention is accelerating.

But what if the problem cannot be fixed, at least for decades? Doesn't this require serious thought?

Instead, the actual, unpleasant, reality is denied. This approach, while ultimately unsatisfactory and even dangerous, makes some sense. Spending lots of time trying out various unworkable options might keep these issues from becoming worse. It also covers those who do so from being blamed for the inevitable failure and future crises we can expect.

Still, there should be a lot more people explaining the true situation. Here is what we are told about the range of current policy options:

- Talk a lot. A good dialogue never hurts and they might even serve food. So Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Palestinian Authority (PA) nominal chief executive Mahmoud Abbas every couple of weeks. No harm. Let's both sides look cooperative and eager for peace. But nothing will come out of this either.

- Throw in lots of money. Estimates are that around $1.2 billion was given as aid to the PA last year. This is more than during several previous years before the declared sanctions against the Hamas-led regime, not including money smuggled in by Hamas itself. Palestinians are the biggest per capita aid recipients in the world, even in a period when aid has supposedly been reduced.

And yet, this does not mean that Palestinians are living well. The aid disappears into corruption or paid to PA employees who do nothing useful or as welfare payments to people prevented by bad regime policies and chaos from anything economically productive. At best, aid maintains the status quo, thus preventing material pressure for change (a more moderate government, peace with Israel, a crackdown on corruption and lawlessness). At worst, it subsidizes terrorist gunmen, schools that teach Jews are sub-humans who should be killed, and continued Hamas rule.

- Sanctions to put pressure for moderation, peace, and change. See previous item. If such sanctions have failed, it is partly because so much money is being provided any way. While there is an attempt to target the sanctions against Hamas itself, funds can simply be moved around too easily to really fulfill this goal. European governments seem to feel that aid originally provided on condition that the Palestinians achieve a full and lasting peace with Israel should continue after they have rejected this option.

- Build up "moderate" Fatah to counter radical Hamas. This is a clever strategy, which would be very appropriate except for one small problem--Fatah does not support it. Of course, in saying this I don't mean that Fatah opposes Western help to itself (in fact, it is largely waiting around for outsiders to solve its problems and put it back into power.)

The first problem is that Fatah is not doing anything to help itself. Since Hamas took power in January 2005, it is impossible to detect any effort by Fatah to reform itself, strengthen its leadership, fight corruption in its ranks, or develop its unity. All the shortcomings that led Fatah to defeat in the January 2005 elections are still present. Nobody can save an organization that acts as if it is so bent on its own destruction.

The second problem is that Fatah's main strategy in "combating" Hamas is to imitate it. Not that everyone in Fatah is radical and certainly not Islamist. But aside from the statements of a few, including Mahmoud himself, there is no big difference between them.

The third problem is that Fatah has accepted a role as Hamas' junior partner. The two groups are rivals. But at present, they are allies.

- Make Hamas moderate. Take one percent of Hamas leaders' statements in English. Discard the rest and everything said by them in Arabic. Throw in the belief that no one can really be radical. Ignore the fact that they think they are divinely directed and need not change since they are winning. Mix well with ignorance and voila, Hamas Moderation Stew, makes millions of portions.

So if the two-state solution won't work, what does one do? Here, too, there is a bad back-up plan: the one-state solution. Since the Palestinians have produced a failed state, this brilliant concept proposes that having wrecked Palestine, one might as well wreck Israel too. Sort of expand outward the corruption, hatred, violence, and chaos. No, thanks.

However, the good news is that since this is unsolvable, the Middle East, with whatever appropriate help from the world, could try to solve a few other problems like terrorism, dictatorship, economic and social backwardness, inequality for women, inadequate educational systems, and so on.

For now, however, we are out of space or I would tell you how the United States can simultaneously stabilize Iraq; win Iraqi Shia away from Iran; keep the Sunni happy; reconcile U.S with Iranian and Syrian interests; and defeat an insurgency by those happy to see the country leveled and millions murdered as long as they could claim to rule it.

The true proper option, though this isn't going to happen, is to "decertify" the Palestinian movement. Since it did not deliver on its peace process promises and has essentially reverted to the pre-1993 policies (Hamas, actually, is back beyond 1974), the world should return to its positions of that era. That was when people understood that the movement sought to destroy Israel and was using terrorism. One day, was the hope, the movement would become moderate and a compromise solution could be negotiated with it. Until that happened, it would receive neither aid nor recognition. We're still waiting. Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center university. He is co-author of Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography, (Oxford University Press). His latest book, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East, was published by Wiley in November 2005. Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online at: http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html.

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Posted by Kannan Devan, April 29, 2007.

Discrimination, harassment and brutalization against Jewish people are on the increase in France because of emerging anti Semite groups and Holocaust deniers. Deniers simply refuse to admit that anti-Semites are a threat at all, and commonly accuse Jews as alarmists suffering from hysteria. Despite a global wave of attacks on Jewish targets, they either dismiss the evidence point blank or blame the victims. Phony liberals, bogus intellectuals and misguided politicians come up with phony theories to justify anti-Semites. They are not only betraying Jewish people but also digging graves for freedom loving people around the world. It seems that more than a half-century after the Holocaust has anti-Semites returned with a vengeance in France? Islam generate hatred that is now threatening not only Jewish people but the entire world.

This was written by Ezra HaLevi and it was published in Arutz-Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) A young Jewish woman was brutalized by two Muslim Arabs in France Thursday.

Audrey Brachelle, 22, was attacked in the French city of Marseilles Thursday evening. The attack began as she walked back from her job as an accountant at a textile factory toward the metro station in the La Rose neighborhood of the city, which is home to many Jews.

Two Arab men followed her and attempted to steal her cell phone. After they grabbed it, the attackers noticed the Jewish ornament on the woman's necklace, at which point she says they realized she was Jewish and began focusing on brutalizing her rather than stealing her phone.

The men then punched her in the face, sliced her dress with a knife and carved at least one Nazi swastika into her chest. They also cut off a clump of her hair.

Despite the swastikas and epithets expressed by the attackers, the French government is hesitating to admit that the attack was an anti-Jewish one. French Jews say the government is hesitant to admit the attack was anti-Semitic as that would have political ramifications and sway the upcoming presidential elections set to take place May 6.

France is home to a huge community of Muslim Arabs, who have enjoyed the nation's liberal immigration policies but brought with them the anti-Semitism of their nations of origin.

Violence and anti-Semitism of French Arabs has been a cause espoused by candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, who has accused his left-wing opponent Segolene Royal of being lenient in dealing with the phenomena.

Local Marseilles Arabs have been quoted in the left-wing press in France and elsewhere positing that the attack was staged in order to score votes for Sarkozy. They point to a case in 2004 where a woman with similar claims, including that swastikas were carved into her body, later admitted to have made the story up. As it turned out, she was not even Jewish.

The Jews of France are still reeling from the events of last year. In February, 2006, the murder of Ilan Halimi shocked the French Jewish community. Halimi was kidnapped by French Muslims and brutally tortured to death.

Just last week, Rabbi Elie Dahan, rabbi of Nord-Pas-de-Calais in northern France, was violently attacked by a man who yelled "dirty Jew" at him while pummeling him in the face at the Paris North train station.

In a step reminiscent of pre-Holocaust times, the Chief Rabbis of France and Norway have called on Jews in those countries not to go outside with obvious Jewish symbols.

Contact Kannan Devan at kannanivmn@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, April 29, 2007.

Or be buried in it forever.

Since last summer's disastrous war against Hizbullah, Israel has continued on a suicidal downward slope.

Just as Lebanon 2006 failed due to years of inexcusable poor planning and political decisions (regardless of admitted external pressures from "powerful friends"), Israel will face even worse to come if it persists in acting like the proverbial ostrich.

As is well known by now, many in the Arab/Muslim world have been deeply encouraged by Israel's lack luster performance against Hizbullah. The Syrians are said to be setting up traps similar to those encountered by Israel in south Lebanon to add to their formidable arms and troop modernization and build up. Scores of thousands of more advanced rockets and missiles are ready to do far more damage than those Hizbullah tasted success with...despite Israel's advantage in the air.

Hopefully, Baby Assad understands that if he starts something, Damascus will look like the Hizbullah part of Beirut last year. But -- with the current Israeli leadership -- that's not necessarily the case...and it should be.

Emboldened by Hizbullah's relative success and Israel's willingness over the decades to repeatedly trade hundreds or thousands of Arab prisoners -- many with blood on their hands, who get released only to kill more Jews again and again -- for one or two of their own (or sometimes just the latters' bones), Hamas is now threatening to kidnap more Israelis and Jews worldwide.

There is nothing we can do to change the nature of the beast Israel faces.

It is what it is...regardless of what Dr. Condoleezza Rice, her State Department, and unfortunately the President, himself, say or try to make it look like.

Fatah...Hamas...when it comes to the subject of living in peace and accepting the permanency of the Jewish State of Israel, it makes no difference. The recent Mecca Accords should have proved this to any doubters who had their brains, eyes and ears functioning properly.

So, there is no one more to blame for Israel's current predicament than Israel itself.

Recently, a group of Jews having an Independence celebration picnic were surrounded by thousands of Israeli Arabs threatening them with violence, waving Hamas and PLO flags, and so forth. And Olmert's Government's reaction was stalled, minimal, and late in coming.

A bit earlier, the same thing happened to Jews in Jaffa.

Indeed, these stories -- like those involving actions against the state by Arab members of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset -- have been on the rise and not uncommon for many years.

Decades ago, the late Rabbi Meir Kahane warned of such things and the need to take solid action and was branded a racist and extremist.

He was as correct then as he is now.

What nation would put up with the events mentioned above committed by its own citizens...in this case, the freest Arabs anywhere in the Middle East? Over twenty thousand Arabs who opposed Hafez al-Assad in Syria were eliminated in short order in his Hama Solution. Ditto in Iraq and all over the Arab world...and those folks just opposed the regime -- not the very state in which they lived.

The time is running out for the Israeli Left's delusions and cowardice to continue.

The time to act -- and act decisively -- is now.

Israel must unabashedly confront this problem head on.

It must try its best to reason with its Arab citizens. Some will undoubtedly prove to be loyal.

Many, indeed, know how good they have it -- especially when glancing at what Abbass and Hamas have to offer.

But, for those who take aim at their Jewish neighbors and the very state in which they live, the time for play has passed.

Arabs have almost two dozen states to date, conquered mostly from non-Arab peoples.

Trials for treason must be forthcoming with expulsion as the punishment. These are long overdue.

Let the guilty choose from those above states or the Palestinian Arab territories where to go.

Jews just have one, tiny, reborn state -- and they don't need to be intimidated in it by fellow Arab citizens who have more rights in Israel than they would have in any Arab and/or Muslim state.

Just as half of Israel's Jews are from refugee families who lived in so-called Arab states, Israel's Arab citizens live in a Jewish state. Why is it alright for the one but not the other?

I don't care how politically incorrect it sounds...As Kahane wrote decades ago, They Must Go.

No nation would tolerate a potentially deadly fifth column openly aiding and abetting avowed enemies sworn to that very nation's destruction. Putting these folks in jail will just cost the Israeli tax payer money and will be yet more temptation for the blackmailers.

Israel must send a new message in this post-Lebanon '06 era if it wants to avoid utter catastrophe.

Leaving the treason issue and moving onto another, Israel must enact swift execution for those who murder Jews and their accomplices. That will also mean getting rid of Lefty suicidal judges as well.

Murderers of Jewish babes and other innocents need to be dispatched quickly...or not taken alive in the first place. Such folks think nothing about blowing buses and restaurants up along with everyone inside. If Arabs insist on continuously using their folks as human shields, then let the international community intervene since this is most certainly against the Geneva Conventions -- the Perfidy Clause, among others. If this is continues to be ignored, then those same Conventions authorize Israel to do what needs to be done anyway to engage its deadly enemy.

By swiftly executing capital offenders, Israel will avoid the constant blackmail it is subjected to (and going on right now yet again) for the return of a few prisoners who, unlike the Arab ones, have never been visited by the International Red Cross to determine if they're even still alive.

Next, as stated in the beginning, the Arabs have boasted that they're hunting for more Jews to kidnap.

So what's Israel going to do about it? React and call for more alerts?

Not anywhere near enough...

Israel needs to be more proactive, not reactive...like in the good 'ole days.

And it needs to be unpredictable. Very unpredictable. I've been screaming this for years...

It must leave all Arabs worrying about what its next move may be. The next meeting of "militants" must fear having that very meeting.

Arab leaders must come to fear for their own lives if they threaten Jews this way...and they are doing just that. Israel knows how to do this well. It just needs to start once again...and even better this time around.

Israel needs to have surprises waiting for those Arab gatherings where hundreds of "militants" -- amassed together, with rifles firing into the air -- are screaming for Jewish blood. The latter need to be taken out en masse...not just one or two at a time, a waste of very expensive missiles.

Anything less than fighting to win is unacceptable at this point.

The Arabs have made clear (if there was ever really any doubt) both with their Mecca Accords and the Saudi Peace (of the grave ) Plan what their intentions are...the same as they always have been -- regardless of what their assorted whitewashers say.

Israel must have exponentially devastating increments of justice awaiting enemies sworn to the death of both Jews and The Jew Of The Nations...and it must not hesitate at putting it into effect -- regardless of what the hypocrites elsewhere will say. Worrying about the latter is what has gotten Israel into the mess it's in right now.

And, again, it's time for Arab leadership itself to also pay the price for its behavior.

Both the head and the body of the snake must be dealt with.

If a state can't or won't control (or actually promotes) the violence of its citizens against its neighbors, then it can't complain when those neighbors do what's necessary for their own security.

America's own Powell Doctrine calls for massive retaliation against our own enemies.

An Israel roughly the size of New Jersey can't afford to do less -- especially given the neighborhood it lives in. It must put fear back into the Arabs' thinking. While this is unfortunate, it's true. I wish there was another way. Unfortunately, for Arabs, there isn't -- short of Israel's disappearance.

The earlier peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan came about not due to any Arab love for Jews.

The fear of Pyrrhic victory did the trick.

But 1967 and 1973 are long in the past...memories have faded, and so forth.

Israel must take extreme care not be lured to fight according to the Arabs' game plan as it did in Lebanon last summer. It must come up with major, conclusive new shocks of its own.

The Jews did not ask for this war. But if the Arabs insist on deliberately waging it from amidst their own non-combatants, using them as human shields, then -- as the Geneva Conventions say -- the consequences will rest upon their own heads. Israel must lose no sleep over this. If it means withdrawing from the United Nations, taking cuts in American aid, or whatever...so be it.

Enough of fighting a murderous, inhumane enemy -- which deliberately targets Jewish children and uses its own kids as shields -- with one hand tied behind the back.

Both Hamas and Fatah must be taught the long overdue, excruciatingly painful lesson Hizbullah was unfortunately spared.

The State Department and the President won't like this (not to mention others), as they're still trying to shove Fatah's latter day Arafatians down Israel's throat as "moderates."

Israel must act decisively anyway. It's very existence is at stake at this point.

It may mean that new Israeli elections must be ushered in, if at all possible, first. Olmert's crew and their delusions brought about Lebanon 2006 and other potential disasters.

If Israel does what it takes to follow through on all of this, it may yet avoid the next costlier war with Syria and perhaps Iran as well.

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php

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Posted by Martin Sherman, April 29, 2007.

Israel could win battle for global public opinion -- if it truly wanted to

An article recently published in Yedioth Ahronoth ("Entire world is against us," by Yonatan Yavin) attempted to paint a depressing picture of Israel's international isolation, and to propose a reason for this unfortunate state of affairs.

Its analysis, however, was regrettably misleading, both as to the diagnosis of the malady and to the prescription for remedy -- allegedly the need for Israel to "change its perception rather than its image," whatever that might mean.

Reality is of course very different. The truth is that in many countries across the globe, there are huge pools of enthusiastic support for Israel, and identification with the Zionist endeavor, which could, and should, be effectively tapped and marshaled.

For example take the Evangelical Movement, which constitutes an enormous and rapidly-growing segment of humanity -- by most accounts even more rapidly than Islam -- from the Americas through Africa and into Asia. With estimated membership of between 500 million and one billion, and increasing economic and political clout, this is a group that is staunchly -- some would say, fiercely -- pro-Israel.

In the USA, their numbers are estimated at around 60-80 million with some sources suggesting that this may be as high as 100 million. Clearly, if properly mobilized, no US president could be elected against the collective will of this group.

Israel's accomplishments do not go unnoticed

There is also widespread international esteem for Israel's manifold accomplishments -- not only in the military sphere, although this should not be understated -- but also in agriculture, science and hi-tech, with the country often being held up as a model for emulation. Just why this abundance of positive sentiment is not converted into political support is detailed below.

Moreover, the question of Israel's international stature should not only be approached in terms of the affinity manifested toward it but also by the animosity, both latent and overt, that prevails, or can be caused to prevail, towards Israel's foes.

In this regard, the suppression of women (gender apartheid) and the persecution of all non-Muslim religions (creed apartheid) across the Arab and Islamic world constitute sensitive pressure points for Israel to mount an effective diplomatic offensive designed to alienate liberal Western support from its opponents.

In particular, the question of the status of women in the Arab (and the wider Islamic world) is becoming an issue of acute interest and increasingly harsh criticism in growing sectors of Western public opinion.

Indeed half the population of the world (the female half) -- and certainly half of that portion of the world that purports to subscribe to a libertarian value-system -- has good reason to feel both trepidation and aversion toward Israel's enemies.

Sadly, however -- and again for reasons detailed below -- Israeli diplomacy has been alarmingly remiss in mustering this potential antipathy against Israel's antagonists in order to put them on the defensive in the battle for world opinion.

This of course raises the question of "why?" Why is all the potential affinity for Israel not being energetically harvested; why is all the latent aversion towards its adversaries not being resolutely harnessed? For in under any dispassionate analysis of the objective parameters, the poor image of Israel on the international stage is difficult to fathom. So why does the county fare so poorly in the media war?

Size of Israel's PR budget revealing

The answer to this is shocking but simple: Israel is losing the war for international opinion because -- in the final analysis -- she does not really want to win it! Or at least the official organs charged with administering this war do not.

If this appears to be a rather radical and far-fetched explanation consider the following: How does one gauge the resolve of an organization to attain a given objective? Among other things, by the amount of resources it allots for the attainment of the said objective.

In this regard, the size of Israel's official PR (Hasbarah) budget is very revealing, for it is little more than a medium-large commercial company would spend on advertising. This dearth of resources devoted to winning over the hearts and minds of the international community is not to be explained by any objective paucity.

For when the government wishes to accomplish a goal, it has little trouble in finding the means to do so. When it decided to build the separation barrier it found billions of unbudgeted shekels; when it decided to "disengage" from Gaza, it hastily raised billions of unbudgeted dollars; and when it planned to "converge" from Judea and Samaria, it was undaunted by the estimates of tens of billions of dollars needed for implementation.

So what lies behind the blatant half-heartedness and faint-heartedness of Israeli efforts to win international support?

The key to the answer lies in the worldview of the entrenched elites in Israeli society -- the legal establishment, media establishment and that portion of the academic establishment which interfaces with the media (notably the social sciences and humanities but not the natural and exact sciences.)

This is the body that de facto influences the course the country takes, far more than the de jure results of any elections, and its worldview is one that that is incompatible with portraying the Arabs, Arab society, and Arab regimes as they truly are.

It is therefore also incompatible with achieving victory in the battle for public opinion. This worldview, motivated more by socio-cultural animosity for their domestic adversaries rather than any genuine affinity for the national interest, cannot be reconciled with an accurate portrayal of the Arab world -- especially the Palestinians -- as a viciously cruel and intolerant society permeated by violence and corruption at almost all levels.

For any such portrayal would make nonsense of the support for Israeli withdrawal to frontiers that would leave the country in a perilously precarious situation -- with its international airport, its maritime harbors, its major roads and railways, power stations, water installations all hopelessly vulnerable to attack.

How could anyone justify, especially in the wake of the recent war with the Hizbullah, abandoning such vitally important territory to a regime dominated by radical Muslim elements, where journalists are harassed, press freedom trampled on, political opponents lynched, honor killings of women by their male relatives endorsed or at least socially condoned, homosexuals hounded, and Christians persecuted?

So to vindicate adherence to a worldview that advocates far reaching concessions to the Palestinians -- something that has perversely and paradoxically become the cultural litmus test of "enlightened liberal" identity -- the propagation of two falsehoods has become an essential prerequisite. Both are highly detrimental -- indeed crippling -- to Israel's ability to garner international support:

  • Projection of a fallaciously favorable image of the Palestinians -- which precludes victory in the battle for the hearts and minds of the international community.

  • Creation of an equally fallacious illusion that without capitulation to Palestinian demands, ubiquitous international isolation and animosity are unavoidable -- which creates the impression that defeat in this battle is inevitable

Unless the Israeli public realizes this and rises up against the detrimental conduct of its establishment elites, it will be impossible to arrest the country's ongoing slide into oblivion.

Editor's Note: These were some of the comments made by readers of the article when it appeared on Ynet.

Our official Hasbara adopts the untruths propagated by Israel enemies, such as that Western Palestine is Palestine, and this is in clear distinction, to Israel's official Hasbara until Oslo began, when Israel's MFA propagated the message that "Jordan is Palestine"

Israeli hasbara has to revert to its objectively true pre-Oslo line and inculcates in the world some basic facts, in particular that there is already a Palestinian Arab State on four-fifths of Palestine (see in particular Julius Stone's book; chapter in pp 22-25) and that there is already an Arab state (being one nation according to their own documents means they deserve one state only). This is cardinal since the whole world thinks that Israel "occupies" "Palestinian land" and thus prevents Palestinian Arab "self-determination". If we kept hammering and focusing on these basic facts, also mentioning Jewish refugees from Arab countries, in particular whenever "Palestinian refugees" are mentioned, than we could change Israel's position dramatically.
Dr Yoram Shifftan, Darom, Israel (04.01.07)

The leftist media has portrayed Israel as the oppressor and the Palestinian Arabs as the underdog.They downplay the terrorism and the intolerances in the Arab culture.This perception should be fought!!
Sam, Beer-Sheva (03.28.07)

i agree -- the budget is small -- thnx god; otherwise it would be wasted incompetently.

the major problem is that it goes primarily to the foreign office.

now, when you have in charge of "hasbara" (both at the helm in the fo headquarters & abroad in the embassies) a kid (albeit hard working, intelligent and well-intentioned) who yesterday was in charge of some diplomatic desk, whose training is either law or foreign relations or some such, and today he/she is a press officer or some such, that person has not the foggiest idea of what to do. press officers who are posted to a country for years at a time have no idea of who the leading journalists are, how to approach them, how to utilize them. offers by evangelical broadcasters for free time are cast asside. the diplo's themselves are so full of themselves, their self-righteousness and importance (the cadets course is more ego inflating than a pilots course) that they put off nearly everyone they meet.

the result is so many macherim and charlatans selling ideas that they stand to make alot if money from. there are simply no professionals doing the job (take for example the "branding of israel" recently by a public relations firm for the tourism ministry -- their report and proposals were a joke -- an expensive joke, and implementation is a joke even further and many shekels more off.

and so much could be done: israel had a great coup (one) with the bus at the hague, and even that was an idea fed to them under the desk by a well-wisher.

unfortunately we ourselves are the ones who through pure shlemmielity provide such brilliant coverage of ourselves (mossad criminals getting caught, big-mouth idiot politicians, blatantly and stupidly corrupt politicians, really well-behaved tourists, company reps abroad who treat the "locals" like "natives", an establishment that's run by its own guards, the list is endless), and you realize that any positive pr we're getting is probably the best we deserve.
oferdesade, israel, (03.28.07)

Finally someone gets it
Rod, Fargo N.Dakota (03.28.07)

But truth be told the Israeli Govt. takes advice from the Leftist
Jewish groups in the U.S. Rod, Fargo N.Dakota (03.28.07)

what is it about liberal, secular education that makes Jews gutless. There used to be something called "hope and wisdom" which seems to have been abandoned by most intellectuals.
Stewart Miller, USA (03.28.07) stewartmiller@engineer.com

Dr. Martin Sherman is a political scientist at Tel Aviv University This article was published March 28, 2007 in Ynet News
( http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3382250,00.html).

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 29, 2007.

The interim Winograd report on the Second Lebanon War has not yet been published, but leaked previews have already prompted calls for the government's resignation.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and ex-IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz all came in for varying degrees of sharp criticism regarding their functioning in last summer's war with Hizbullah. Some details of the preliminary findings were publicized by Channel Ten news over the weekend.

Though the members of the Winograd Commission were practically hand-picked by Olmert, they found him to have "failed" in the way he oversaw the war. The word "failure" repeats itself several times in the Commission's summary of his performance, though neither he, nor anyone else, is specifically called upon to resign.

Findings in Brief

Olmert "acted with hastiness and arrogance," the Commission found. He did not consult with bodies other than the IDF, such as the National Security Council, and did not even convene the mini-security Cabinet before ordering the army to act. He was led by the army, instead of leading. The Prime Minister did not demand that the army provide him with alternatives, and did not properly deal with the "local operation" becoming a full-fledged war.

Peretz was castigated for assuming the position of Defense Minister altogether without having been properly prepared for such. He also did not properly study the problems at hand, and did not consult sufficiently with the experts in his office. Peretz was cleared of responsibility for the army's lack of preparation, which largely occurred in the years before he became Defense Minister.

Gen. Halutz, who resigned following the army's internal investigation of the war three months ago, was found to have belittled Hizbullah's Katyusha rocket capacities, and did not provide alternatives to the government.

Full Version on Monday

The full version of the report is to be publicized at 5 PM on Monday, and Olmert will receive a copy one hour earlier.

Though the Commission was appointed in order to review the errors of the Second Lebanon War so that the proper lessons might be learned and the deficiencies be corrected, the immediate result of the leaked findings appears to be only political. The question at hand is: Will public opinion force the Prime Minister to resign? Olmert and allies are bracing to remain in power, the Opposition has already begun steps to oust the government, and some members of Kadima and other coalition parties are remaining on the fence, waiting to see what develops.

Opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud met on Friday with far-left Meretz party leader MK Yossi Beilin, to discuss the report's political ramifications. Beilin said, unsurprisingly, that he would not support a replacement government headed by Netanyahu. Despite this, following the Channel Ten revelations, Beilin said that Olmert must resign immediately.

Within the coalition, Labor's Danny Yatom -- an underdog in the Labor race for party leader next month -- said the entire government must resign. MKs Zevulun Orlev and Aryeh Eldad (National Union/National Religious Party) also called, once again, for Olmert's resignation.

National Union faction chairman MK Uri Ariel has already submitted a legislative proposal for the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections. "The Winograd conclusions and the resulting public sentiment require that we prepare for new elections," Ariel explained, "and we might as well come up with an agreed-upon date among the various parties."

Anti-Government Rally on Thursday

A large anti-government protest rally has already been announced for this Thursday in Tel Aviv. The protest has been called by the Civil Coalition, headed by retired IDF General Uzi Dayan.

A critical question is whether Olmert's Kadima party will stick with him. On the one hand, Kadima generally supported the war effort whole-heartedly, but some pockets of resistance were heard within a few days of the beginning of the war. Most worrisome for Olmert is the fact that his main competitor, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, will be able to say that she asked for limitations on the offensive and the opening of diplomatic channels just days after the war started, but Olmert did not agree.

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Israel National News.

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Posted by Bryna Berch, April 29, 2007.

This was written by Anshel Pfeffer and was published March 9, 2007 in the Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=3&cid=117317 Contact him at anshel@ejemm.com

There were a couple of good ideas that came in as comments by readers of the article:

Gili -- Canada
03/09/2007 17:35
In my view the government should present the press with two options: 1) Find a way to deliver the same level of reporting on both sides or 2) Accept limits on its reporting A war is not about being nice. It's about winning. If the press can't do its job of reporting of what is really going on on the other side then they lose their right to do the same on our side during the war.

Total Collapse of Information Security
03/09/2007 16:49
The "live war" had caught the Directorate of Military Intelligence unprepared. The Information Security Department was a total disaster. Irresponsible Israeli correspondents encouraged by the dysfunctional Military Censorship Department disclosed waypoints to the enemy. In one instance more than 10 paras from the headquarters companies were killed as the enemy received pinpoint information as to the whereabouts of the company. The IDF doesn't have a functional information security policy!!

An important study on last summer's war has just been published by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. It is the first to give a comprehensive explanation of how, in an asymmetrical war "between a state [Israel] and a militant, secretive, religiously fundamentalist sect or faction [Hizbullah]," the fight is just as much about information and image as it is about military gains.

After reading dozens of articles on the role of the media in the war (and writing quite a few myself), I can safely say that this insightful study
(http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/presspol/research_publications/papers/ research_papers/R29.pdf), written by veteran reporter, author and broadcaster Marvin Kalb, makes real sense of what we were doing during those fateful 34 days. It is a must-read for journalists, the military, politicians, spokesmen and news consumers.

Kalb writes that Lebanon was "the first really 'live' war in history." The two wars in Iraq, with broadcasts of the bombing of Baghdad and reporters "embedded" with advancing units, were a mere taste of what technology has to offer. This time, every aspect of warfare -- the troops going in and out of the battlefield, bombs and missiles falling, the dead, the wounded, the refugees -- was brought to viewers in real time, "as though the world had a front-row seat on the blood and gore of modern warfare."

The implications of this are only now beginning to be understood.

Al-Arabiya's director of news and current affairs, Emile Nakhle, called the technological breakthrough "broadcast via broadband. In places not accessible by car, in the middle of conflict areas for example, a sole reporter with a laptop and small camera can shoot, edit, feed and do live interviews."

This stream of immediate images, seemingly without any filtering, would seem like a positive development -- in principle enabling viewers to reach their own conclusions. But, as Kalb shows, the new coverage is anything but objective.

Miniaturization, wireless broadcasting and high-speed links enable news organizations to overcome technical obstacles. Censorship and intimidation, however, still remain. Which means that democratic societies living by the ideals of a free and unfettered press will always be at a disadvantage to dictatorships and oppressive ideologies, adept at manipulating the media. As Kalb writes: "A closed society conveys the impression of order and discipline; an open society, buffeted by the crosswinds of reality and rumor, criticism and revelation, conveys the impression of disorder, chaos and uncertainty."

Israel's campaign was remarkably transparent: Journalists achieved unprecedented levels of access to its forces. As a result, every failure and mishap on the battlefield -- and relative chaos on the home front -- was highlighted. On this point I have only a minor factual argument with Kalb, who writes that Israeli "officials made a clumsy effort to control and contain the coverage, but essentially failed."

As a reporter who covered the war on all three fronts (Lebanon, Gaza and the quiet but tense Syrian front), I was not aware of any real effort on the part of the IDF to limit media access -- except, perhaps, for the faceless clerks in the military censorship office who occasionally crossed out minor details in my reports. The only significant censorship I felt was my own, in the cases in which I realized that the timing of certain reports might put our forces in danger.

At no stage was I barred from roaming the border area, talking with soldiers and officers about to enter Lebanon or fresh from battle. From the experience of colleagues, I know that there were very few instances of this happening, and it was almost always the result of local initiatives by field commanders, not orders from above. The normally closed field headquarters and even air force bases were routinely opened to media visits. Even openly hostile Arab TV networks, such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, were allowed to operate in almost total freedom and film IDF units preparing for battle.

ON THE other side, Hizbullah controlled the journalists covering the situation in Lebanon with an iron fist. Media tours of Hizbullah-controlled areas, where the IDF's bombing was mainly concentrated, were tightly managed, with foreign reporters being sternly warned against wandering off and talking to local residents unsupervised. Infringement of these rules would be punished by the confiscation of cameras and disbarment from any further visits or access to Hizbullah members. According to Kalb, only CNN's Anderson Cooper openly admitted to having operated under these rules.

Hizbullah also forbade any photographs of its fighters. Cameramen were warned never to show men with guns or ammunition. The only armed personnel seen during this war were IDF soldiers; Hizbullah remained throughout a phantom army.

Another scene almost never shown was the hundreds of Hizbullah firing positions and missile launch sites within residential areas and private homes, the cause of many civilian deaths and a violation of international law. The one exception was when the Australian Herald Sun smuggled a series of incriminating photos out of Beirut, but they were only shown after the IDF managed to capture some of these sites intact.

These methods, Kalb writes, created "a narrative that depicted a selfless movement touched by God and blessed by a religious fervor and determination to resist the enemy, the infidel, and ultimately achieve a 'divine victory,' no matter the cost in life and treasure. The narrative contained no mention of Hizbullah's dependence upon Iran and Syria for a steady flow of arms and financial resources."

Not that there was any shortage of footage coming out of Lebanon. But it dealt almost exclusively with the results of the IDF bombing and the Lebanese civilian casualties. Few news organizations made an effort to balance these pictures with those of the damage from Hizbullah's indiscriminate bombing of Israeli civilians. Neither was any effort made to show that Israel's attacks were concentrated mainly on areas of Hizbullah activity, leaving the rest of Beirut and other Lebanese towns and cities relatively unscathed.

Kalb quotes New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger, who was upset by a photo in his paper of the leveled Dahia quarter in South Beirut. Erlanger said that it "bothered me a great deal. We did a satellite photo of southern Beirut, of Dahia, which was quite destroyed, and we didn't print near it a larger photo of the rest of Beirut, which I think was a failure to provide context."

This style of coverage is what changed the general tone of reporting, which in the first few days of the war still reminded that it was Hizbullah that had begun the war, and turned the accusation of "disproportionality" made by Israel's critics into common media currency.

Kalb describes the "combustible mix of 24/7 cable news, call-in radio and television programs, Internet bloggers and on-line Web sites, cellphones and iPods" which has deeply influenced much of the mainstream media, giving it a populist slant and transforming "the media from objective observer to fiery advocate, becoming in fact a weapon of modern warfare."

He believes that we have entered a new media age in which the reporter has become the commentator and very often is himself a "part of the story."

This new reality has both positive and negative implications which are only now coming to light.

MOST OF the details in Kalb's paper were already known to media observers, though his keen analysis offers the first real perspective on this "information war."

Two crucial questions he raises have special relevance for the Israeli media. One is the prominence that every IDF screw-up received in the local media. The other is that the war's result was so inconclusive that it caused feelings of disappointment and anger among the public toward both the military and the political leadership.

There is no proof that the IDF made more mistakes or was in any way less professional than in past wars. What has changed is the media's viewpoint, thanks to official openness and modern technology. As Kalb remarks in a slightly different context, "Scholars say that if the media had had the technology during World War II to show photos and videotape of Allied bombing attacks on German and Japanese civilians, and to hear their tales of woe on 24/7 cable news programs, the morality of the war (though unlikely the outcome) would have been significantly different."

This week I interviewed a veteran paratrooper, one of the officers who led the assault on the Old City of Jerusalem in the Six Day War. "We made all the same mistakes then," he said. "The commanders were no better, probably even worse. It just wasn't reported."

HOW CAN the media balance between its duty to report failure and incompetence, which in many cases might remain neglected if not for the publicity, and the need to create a proper perspective from which to view the war?

Which leads us to the next question. In a confrontation in which information is a weapon, should a democracy curb freedom of the press when its adversary is craftily manipulating the media and utilizing every report in the free press as military intelligence? (Hizbullah had a special section that monitored every detail in the Israeli and international press, and passed on up-to-date information to its forces in the field.) Is the price of living in an open democracy too heavy in time of war? How can a free country put its case across to a free press?

Kalb quotes former US secretary of state Colin Powell who, when asked how he would have responded to a reporter revealing the exact location of his forces during battle on live television, answered: "I'd have locked all of you up... the American people would have stripped your skin off."

That was a decade ago, today's generals are not so sure in their answers.

The unavoidable conclusion as Kalb sees it -- and it is very difficult to argue with him -- is that "in strictly military terms, Israel did not lose to Hizbullah in this war, but it clearly did not win. In the war of information, news and propaganda, the battlefield central to Hizbullah's strategy, Israel lost this war."

And he makes a worrisome prediction that the outcome on other battlefields of the war on terror could be similar. One of the most interesting quotes in his paper is from Col. David Kilcullen, an Australian counterinsurgency expert, who explains that when insurgents attack a US convoy in Iraq, "they are not doing that because they want to reduce the number of Humvees we have in Iraq by one. They're doing it because they want spectacular media footage of a burning Humvee. If [Osama] bin Laden didn't have access to global media, satellite communications and the Internet, he'd just be a cranky guy in a cave."

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Posted by Arlene Peck, April 29, 2007.

Talking to the wall on America's Left Coast.

Sometimes, I think I'm talking to the wall when I seek to educate the Hollywood crowd in the hope of somehow getting them to realize that we are in a war. We're facing a real war, with an enemy who wants to actually kill us. If the Islamist savages had their druthers, we'd all be beheaded or living in submission to whatever it is that they think is Allah's will.

Actually, I think that we, in the US, are so soft that we have no concept of what terror is. In the star-studded surroundings in which I live, I am usually astounded at the utter lack of comprehension of what is facing us. When I say "us," it's a collective thing -- Jew, Christian, Buddhist, white, black or purple. If you're not one of them, the Islamists want us dead.

Theirs is a culture that thrives on, and lives for, death. It's difficult to face the reality of terror when you live in a home with security systems and bodyguards behind gated walls. Most of us don't know what it's like to walk outside and find the car gone, or up on blocks with the wheels gone. For sure, we can't imagine catching a bus on which someone is riding next to us with a bomb under his or her coat. With the Hollywood crowd, everything is "over there." The media gives coverage to

A "terror attack" would be when the hair stylist moves without leaving a forwarding address.

people who make their livings pretending to be someone else. And courage in Hollywood is getting up the guts to ask for another five or ten million dollars for a picture.

I tend to speak in basic terms. Some have even dared to call me "politically incorrect," and frankly, I don't give a diddly-squat. The people out here, and probably most people around our wonderful country, don't have a clue as to the dangers lurking. I tell it like I see it, folks; and Hollywood, as I know it, is oblivious to the real terror. Their version of a "terror attack" would be when the mechanic for their new Lexus goes back to visit family in Tijuana, or the hair stylist moves without leaving a forwarding address. A shortage of Botox would be a major disaster. Frankly, I find it difficult to work with people who have no sense of mission. Out here, the only "mission" that I see concerns whether the agent called with an audition.

To tell the truth, I think I'd rather deal with the stupid than the indifferent. Although I truly think that most of those living around me have the IQ of an eggplant when it comes to realizing the immediate danger we're facing, there is an off chance that they can be educated. How do I get them to see that they cry for endangered baby seals and dolphins at peril in the sea, yet ignore that men treat their farm animals better than the women in many Middle Eastern countries? Somehow, Hollywood cannot grasp the significance of 'honor killings' when one of these women is raped. In sick, evil minds, this brings shame to the family and, naturally, the victim must be killed.

I am surrounded by an elite group of stars who have fashion shows for children, yet somehow fail to see that there is a culture that glorifies sexual contact with infants and "marrying" children less than ten years old. Worse, Hollywood holds major fund-raisers for the new boy on the horizon with an educational background in a Wahabee school -- that scares the begeeses out of me. Obama for President?

Yet, folks, it's even more heartbreaking to see that Israel is floundering, having lost the fire in her belly. Until the past few years, I may have been upset and angry with Israel's leadership, which I saw was becoming increasingly more corrupt and incompetent, but it's difficult to have any warm fuzzy feelings when the President of Israel is suspected of rape. Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, has a stack of charges for which he is being investigated; the least of which should be gross incompetence. No one trusts the candidate in the running for Commissioner of Police. Who else? Oh, the Tax Commissioner is on the verge of being charged for criminal activity and has already resigned. Did I leave anybody out? Oops. Let's not forget the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee being investigated, as probably most of the Knesset ought to be.

It's bigger than George Bush or Dick Cheney or Olmert's thirst for power and greed combined. I never once felt that the Jews of Israel wavered in their commitment. And, because of that and despite the distance, it was easy for me to think and respond to the Jewish State as if I was an "American-born Israeli." When living there, I found it amazing how even the secular Jews were proud to be Jewish. They cherished their Jewishness to the core. Because they were proud to be Jewish, so was I. I was ecstatic to be part of that. It was that sense of purpose that made us all feel that we were one people.

That's why, after going to a few breakfast meetings with some powerful ministers and good old down home preachers, interspersed with some well-known rabbis, I was also delighted to see that there is now a Christian-Israel nexus in place, with both of these communities working together to face the serious issues that concern us. This is an annex of the organization that I have named "Hollywood Against Terrorism". I figured, this way, you could be a red or blue state. It would be possible to be either Right or Left, with the blandness of the title. However, the mission isn't bland.

Even the secular Jews were proud to be Jewish.

For some reason, the people in Hollywood are listened to. Why, I'm not too sure, as I've rarely found anyone here familiar with the problems facing us, or well educated or well traveled enough to know the situation enough to discuss it.

Just to give you an idea of what a coma they exist in, I'll tell you about a lovely lady I recently had on my television show. She is a very big soap star and truly a caring person who works selflessly on several organizations, and even travels to Africa every year to bring a child back for heart surgery. Yet, when I tried to get her to put her name on the list of concerned celebrities, she looked blankly at me and said, "I don't think so. I'd really like to help but it's really not my thing."

Her "thing"? She, and the rest of us, better start making it our "thing" or we're lost.

For years, I have been writing in my columns that we better pay attention and accept the fact that nothing that has been going on in the Islamic 'crusade' -- which seems to have exacerbated over the past ten or 15 years -- has anything to do with Israel (other than the pure hatred that Muslims, as taught from Islamic texts, have for the Jews). And now, the Islamists are openly showing that the Christians are also in their sights. For that matter, so is any other group that doesn't grovel at the foot of their prophet, Mohammad.

Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at: bestredhead@earthlink.net and www.arlenepeck.com This was published as an opinion piece in Arutz-Sheva and it is archived at

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Posted by Bryna Berch, April 29, 2007.

This was written by P. David Hornik. It appeared March 28, 2007 in Front Page Magazine
(http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27565). Contact him at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com

"It is impossible to ignore the fact that the chairman of the PA blatantly breached commitments that he gave Israel, especially the commitment that a national unity government would not be established before Gilad Shalit was released," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet on Sunday. He was referring to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas; and to the Israeli soldier abducted by terrorists who infiltrated Israel from Abbas's PA last June.

Olmert added that Abbas's commitment was "given to me time and time again, also during the trilateral meeting [between Olmert, Abbas, and Condoleezza Rice five weeks ago], and it was also given to leaders of foreign states. These leaders, who heard this clear commitment, wondered how it was possible to break this commitment so blatantly."

Olmert also complained that "the political platform of the Palestinian unity government grants legitimacy to violent resistance, violating [Abbas's] promise..."

Olmert, not notable for moral backbone or consistency, publicly berated the sainted Abbas knowing that both Secretary of State Rice and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had arrived for another flurry of diplomatic activity centering on the PA chairman. Olmert may be surprised at the relentlessness of even American Palestinianism, which continues on the same track even at a time when Abbas has formally "united," in a subservient role, with Hamas.

The corrupting influence of Palestinianism was dramatically on display Sunday when Ban, as part of a visit to Abbas in Ramallah, proceeded to the tomb of Yasser Arafat, where he laid a wreath of white flowers and closed his eyes in reverential silence. On Monday Ban went on to visit Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. It is hard to imagine a more grotesque sequence of events. Whereas the Nazi mass murderers, some of whose work is on display at Yad Vashem, are still generally reviled in the West and sometimes were even punished, Arafat's grave is now a pilgrimage site for world leaders.

Being a Palestinian figure, Arafat was given a status as a sainted statesman that Israel itself finally endorsed in the 1990s. Arafat died royally in Paris, was gushingly eulogized by President Chirac, and was buried with full honors in Ramallah as an international rostrum of dignitaries attended. And his legacy lives on. Every time you hear about another attempt to blow up passenger planes, or about the latest suicide bombings in Baghdad or elsewhere, think of Arafat, who did more than any other individual to pioneer these forms of savagery.

And now the head of an organization that was created sixty years ago to promote world peace, on a visit to Arafat's longtime lieutenant and successor, goes to Arafat's grave to pay homage. Such is the corrupting influence of Palestinianism.

As for Rice, one might dismiss her latest round of Ramallah-Jerusalem parleys as a passing performance meant to shore up America's standing with its putative Sunni allies, who are said to require "progress on the Palestinian issue" before agreeing to cooperate against Iran. True, Rice left Israel after browbeating Olmert to commit to"political horizon" talks with Abbas. Olmert had previously said such talks were no-go as long as Abbas was officially a cog in a Hamas mechanism. Not to mention Olmert's bitter words on Sunday about Abbas's credibility.

But Abbas is, in any case, powerless and the Olmert government may be on its last leg. The Bush administration is well into its tenure and faces both Republicans and Democrats in Congress who are not pushovers for Palestinianism.

One problem with such complacency is that according to reports, the Americans are, nevertheless, serious. "State [Department] officials," claims ynetnews.com, "have made it clear ... that the US is working toward an Israeli-Arab summit, mediated by the Quartet, by the end of May." Akiva Eldar of Haaretz says he was told by Ban that "the international Quartet is planning to invite to its next meeting Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab Quartet -- comprising Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. ... "

Whether or not the US and the rest of the Quartet are actually pursuing such a gang-up -- a dire scenario in which representatives of a tottering, radically unpopular Israeli government would face representatives of profoundly anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist regimes in a supposed quest for peace -- the damage is being done. Rice and Ban, with their latest antics in Israel and the PA, are further driving home some basic tenets of Palestinianism: that the Palestinians are a legitimate society, needing and deserving a state, no matter how they and their leaders behave, and no matter -- according to more extreme Palestinianism, which Rice sometimes adopts -- what concerns Israel has about its security and survival.

And no matter what the costs in regional stability and longer-term American interests. Heedlessly transferring land from Israeli to terrorist control, whether in the West Bank, Lebanon, or Gaza, does not have a good record so far. Even an Israeli leader of Olmert's ilk somewhat grasps this by now. One does not expect much from the head of the UN. One still hopes the US is not hell-bent on pushing Israel into "peace" with Fatah-Hamas.

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 29, 2007.

1. Richard Posner is one of the most distinguished law professors and judges in America and arguably in the world. He long served as professor at the University of Chicago, is considered one of the fathers of the "law and economics" school of thought, was the chief justice of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. His name has sometimes been raised as a possible US Supreme Court judge. He has written numerous books and academic articles (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/posner-r). And he thinks Judge Aharon Barak, who recently retired as Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court, was one of the worst senior judges in the world. He is not shy about saying so.

Haaretz today (Hebrew only)
(http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo= 853377&contrassID=2&subContrassID=21&sbSubContrassID=0) reports at length on Posner's attack on Judge Aharon Barak. Posner calls Barak a legal buccaneer, reports Haaretz. Posner claims that he agrees with Robert Bork when the latter characterized Barak as breaking all records for judicial hubris. Posner's comments also appear in a review of Barak's new book in the New Republic
Posner attacks Barak for his anti-democratic "judicial activism" and claims Barak invented out of thin air and with no legal basis a right of "judicial review" of laws in Israel by its judges. He compares Barak's invention of judicial powers to Napoleon crowning himself emperor. He accuses Barak of seeking to grab rule away from legislators for judges. He warns American courts not to rely on foreign legal opinions such as those written by Barak, because they are not based on proper respect for democracy and the role of judges.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Sara Shomron, April 29, 2007.

Recently it was reported that the Israeli govt. approved 500 million NIS additional compensation for Gush Katif expellees. There were several reports in the press detailing the distribution of monies to individual families, particularly Ynet, April 25, 2007 "Gush Katif evacuees to get new aid package" by Itamar Eichner.

According to a recent pamphlet compiled by involved Knesset members, the amounts of money to be given to expelled families have been exaggerated in the press. For example: former residents of Gush Katif over 3 years of age will not receive any "vetek" money (based on years of residence). That is, family members will not receive the 7000 NIS as reported on Ynet. Children 3 years of age and under, who previously did not receive vetek compensation will now receive 1-3 years of vetek money for years lived in Gush Katif. Also the lump sum grant of 230,000 NIS as reported in Ynet was exaggerated. The grant varies from 125,000 to 185,000 NIS depending on the number of minor children and only applies to home owners. Further, this payment will be paid out over several installments over several years from now. Families that lived in public housing receive only 50% of this grant and families that rented private housing in Gush Katif do not receive this grant. Private renters, who in the original compensation law received no housing compensation will now receive a paltry 35,000 NIS per adult and 15,000 NIS -- 20,000 NIS for each additional minor child up to 4 children only. Again this money is paid in installments over several years and ONLY paid if the family builds a home in a reestablished Gush Katif community.

The new allocation does allow families from "unrecognized" communities (eg. Tel Katifa, Shirat Hayam) to receive what their fellow residents received in "recognized" communities. Additionally, home owners who were paid the minimum ($750 per meter) housing compensation will be upgraded to $850 per meter -- still far below the average building costs in Israel. Those reestablishing their businesses will receive 15% of the startup costs instead of the previous 10%. There will be a continuation of rent subsidies for those in temporary govt. "caravillas" provided they build new homes in reestablished Gush Katif communities.

As for unemployed residents, only those who are currently unemployed and previously qualified for unemployment payments (histaglut) will be able to receive an extension of this benefit.

Finally, no benefits will be given unless the residents sign a form that gives up their right to sue the govt. for any additional compensation.

For those who previously were unable to afford to buy a new home in their new location outside Gush Katif or the northern Shomron, they will still be unable to afford such a purchase. Bottom line, the government continues to deny the former residents of Gush Katif the financial means to recreate their previous housing and high levels of unemployment will continue to plague expellees.

[Editor's note: Read David Bedein's article, where he writes how the Israeli Government told the American Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations that the expellees were well-compensated. "PR firms working with the PM office marketed that false data -- making it nearly impossible for disengagement evictees to raise funds, since every Jewish federation had the word from these PR firms that every family was fully compensated and relocated to a new homes."]

Sara Shomron is a former resident of Gush Katif. Contact her at shomron@email.com

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Posted by Antonio de la Cruz, April 29, 2007.

What was the Lod Airport Massacre? (Please refer to this link in order:

During the the May 30th 1972 Lod Airport Massacre sixteen American civilians from Puerto Rico were mass murdered by the same terror that now haunts civilization. That night, the blood of those killed and wounded, Israelis and Puertorricans, mixed together at that airport terminal. America suffered at Lod the highest death toll by a terror attack on Americans in foreign soil 11 years before the US Marine Barracks in Beirut and the worst death toll of US civilians 29 years before 9-11.

Following are nine points that I hope can answer your questions and give you an idea about what can you do to help do justice to these victims of terror:

1) Memory and conscience...

I am seeking your help in order to raise conscience and memory in the mainland and the world of what happened at Lod airport on May 30th 1972. Can op/ed articles, letters to the editor, phone calls to talk radio can be made? What can be donde?

2) Bring survivors together....

Senator Garriga, the sponsor of the bill made into Law (find Law 144 attached) declaring every May 30th Lod Remembrance Day received this e mail on occasion of May 30th 2007 being the FIRST Day of Remembrance:

" -----Original Message-----
From: Joel R.
Sent: Miércoles, 18 de Abril de 2007 02:03 p.m.
To: José Garriga Picó (Senador)
Subject: Día de Recordación de la Masacre de Lod

Ley para declarar el día 30 de mayo de cada año el "Día de Recordación de la Masacre de Lod". Ley Núm. 144 de 2 de agosto de 2006

Hon. José Garriga Picó:

Excuse me for writing in English -- I know some Spanish, but not enough to make myself clear.

I understand that you sponsored the law recognizing 30 Mayo as a day to remember the tragic events at Lod Airport in Israel. Your law is an eloquent way to remember the many victims, and I laud you for it.

I am a survivor of the massacre. I was 19 years old at the time, traveling alone. I vividly remember the Puerto Rican pilgrimage group on the plane -- their joyous singing and anticipation made everyone else feel good about the journey. I am saddened to this day, nearly 35 years later, when I think of them.

I presently live in the Washington, DC area. If there is a memorial service planned for 30 May, is there anything I can do to contribute? It is the least I can do to repay those wonderful people who made my own lone pilgrimage a happy one until evil struck us all.

Joel R.

The Senator answered that his attendance will be most welcome and housing arrangements can be made to host him in the island.

Contribute.....Can anymore Lod Massacre survivors from Virginia or New York or Puerto Rico or wherever can be made aware of the MAy 30th Remembrance Day? Can this be made a nationwide issue of interest? It should. Friends, can you lend us a little help? Ideas? How can the boat can be rocked?

3) Primary sources...

We are compiling primary historical references. CAn anyone seek into a library like NYC or DC for this article?

Steinhoff, Patricia G., "Portrait of a Terrorist: An Interview with Kozo Okamoto," Asian Survey, 16 (9), September 1976: 830-45

Dr Steihoff made an interview in 1976 with Kozo Okamoto for Asian Survey Magazine where he opened up his twisted mind. COLOD -- the Support Group for Lod Massacre Victims and Families -- is intersted in finding a copy that can be copied and faxed or scanned or an original magazine to be sold for their coming webpage.

4) Whats your story...?

It always irked me the fact that Lod was all but forgotten. here...unspoken of..not teached...not reported...all the while reading literature related to terrorism where the Lod Massacre was widely known and discussed ! Why the censorship I asked myself...

I enede up as panelist on a radio talk show together with members of the Jewish community analizing/cometing the news coming from Israel,Irak,Iran,Europe,etc regarding Islamist terror, anti Semitism, etc and historuy of the Middle East. There we started talking about Lod, ended up finding survviors,reuniting them on air. I have been active for 5 years now in bringing back to the collective memory the historical significance and the need for memory and conscience of what happened there as a way to educate about hate ideologies, the need for tolerance, to stand firm for basic human democratic values and conscience that terror do not discriminate...innocents are "inconsequential" as Kozo Okamoto, the sole surviving terrorist stated when asked how did he felt about the fact that for every Jew killed at Lod two Puertorrican pilgrims were killed.

5) Well....We Are On The Way To Make Them "Inconsequential" No More...!

Many groups in Puerto Rico (Church and civic) have joined COLOD -the Support Group for Lod Massacre victims and Families in the eforts to have a day of remembrance. The Jewish community with whom I am honored to share with and help in information initiatives in the media, schools,etc and in a radio talk show has been instrumental in informing the people af a non fact, a piece of history conveniently brushed under the rug. Israel memorializes them and even supported the amputees and orphans economically, our Jewish community remembers too as well as the Methodits,Baptist and Pentecostal churches. But it is not teached at all and remebered sporadically by media and goverment on 1985,2000 and 2002 nd not oficially recognized....until now.

Senator Jose Garriga Pico authored a Senate Bill to create a Lod Massacre Remembrance Day and finally after some hairy moments and a lot of lobbying and cajoling was made into Law 144 of 2006. If you read Moises Behar op ed article in the island's main English language newspaper The San Juan Star take note that the Bill (810) was defeated at the House....but thanks to the Senator, public outrage and survivor lobbying the Bill (now 1535) was re submitted and voted for unanimously on both houses and sent to the Governor for signing...in a week...seldom seem speed in legislative bureaucracy! On Augst 2, 2006 it was signed into Law 144.

6) Why it was forgotten....?

Why taking Lod MAssacre out of history, from local,national history ? Some of it has to do with many in the media and academia-even a few in government- hushing something ideologically inconvenient as Marxist terrorists redeeming the Arab Palestinian cause by murdering humble,chanting,Puertorrican religious pilgrims from rural Puerto Rico. Other reasons are apathy, ignorance, intellectual cowardice, vanality, callouness, anti Semitic/Anti Zionist prejudice, old anti Protestant prejudice(tough the Methodist Choir and the Catholic choir of the town of Hatillo travelled together and was murdered/maimed together) and social prejudice because of the fact they for the most part were countryside people.

7) The importance...

The Lod Massacre was the first attack of its kind, the first event of the phenomena of transnational terrorism. The JRA and PFLP shared Marxism Leninism revolutionary zeal that viewed guerrilla warfare as an essential tool for accelerating change, both organizations were composed primarily of urban middle class students and "intellectuals" and a common revolutionary strategy of terror and urban guerrilla warfare......and they shared anti Semitism/antiSionism. The terror attack at Lod was made more heinous by the violence enhancing/rationalizing properties Anti Semitism/Anti Zionism has on groups from the PFLP and the Red Japanese Army to Al Qaeda

8) Justice pending to be done......

I understand that no warrant on the head of Okamoto exists. I have searched but to no avail for any such document. If so, I believe Kozo Okamoto, the surviving terrorist of the JRA, has to be indicted by the United States on charges of murder and other charges that may be appropriate against American Citizens particularly on the person of the late wife of Rev Jose Vega Franqui, Vasthi Zila Morales, who was personally killed by Okamoto as the Rev testified during Okamoto's process in 1972 and later in 2000 when Interpol interviewed him regarding the failed extradition efforts to bring Okamoto to justice from his safe haven in Hizbullah/Sirian controlled Beirut.

Okamoto is now free in Lebanon, granted political asylum and later honorary citizenship in 2000 after the Lebanese government was pressured by Hezbollah, Syria and extremist activists the world over since he was engaged in "acts of resistance against Israel" and was a "political prisoner" in Israel.

There is no US warrant for his capture for the Lod atrocity. Why, one may ask, if the Lod pilgrims were US citizens, there have been no such federal action taken as it has been the case for acts against other US citizens? The Japanese government has a warrant for Okamoto and other few JRA members still at large. Why this lapse? Why the Achille Lauro or TWA Flight 827 terror murders and not the Lod Airport Massacre victims? I believe that it is time for action now that Senator Garriga Pico's Senate Bill is now Law (Law Num 144 August 2, 2006) after signing by the Governor Acevedo Vila.


We hope our efforts could be known nationwide, so all of us can work shoulder to shoulder for the common good and further the cause of Freedom, Liberty, Justice and Civilization as we know it.


COLOD can be reached at kolamipr@yahoo.com,
**Mr David Guzman coordinator. (939)645-6682 C.......(787)897-8895 H.
**Vasthi Vega Morales -daughter of Rev Vega Franqui -survivor-and Vasthi Zila Morales(killed at the Lod Massacre) at vnvm77@yahoo.com
**Rev Jose Vega Franqui -survivor-at iglesiafeliz@yahoo.com


Its historic importance.

San Juan Star, The (Puerto Rico)
"Remembering the Lod Massacre -- Commentary"
by Moisés Behar, a Puerto Rican analyst of Middle Eastern issues.
June 24, 2006

A few nights ago, I watched a commercial announcing the premiere of a TV program on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, explaining that the U.S. diplomats held hostage by the Khomeini regime were the first American victims of Islamic fundamentalist terror. Aware that there were previous attacks against Americans committed by "secular" and "nationalistic" Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, I decided to do some research to find out who were the first American victims of Middle Eastern terrorism.

The results of my research confirmed my suspicion that the Puerto Ricans victim of the Lod Massacre were among the first American victims.

Prior to the attack on the Puerto Rican pilgrims, 47 people died, and among them six Americans, when a bomb planted by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) exploded aboard a Swiss Air jet on Feb. 21, 1970.

Two years later, on May 30, 1972, a threeman hit squad from the Japanese Red Army, under the direct orders of the PFLP, massacred 24 people and injured 78 at the Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Sixteen of the dead were Puerto Ricans on a pilgrimage tour. The hit squad entered the terminal dressed in business suits and carrying what appeared to be violin cases. As the three men passed the ticket counter area, they suddenly pulled automatic weapons from their cases and began firing on the crowd indiscriminately. They also threw hand grenades into the bodies of the victims.


During the Israeli counterattack at the airport, one of the terrorists, Yasuyuki Yasuda, ran out of ammunition and was killed by his companions. A second terrorist, Tsuyoshi Okudaira, committed suicide by detonating a grenade against his body. The third terrorist, Kozo Okamoto, was captured while attempting to flee from the terminal. Israel sentenced Okamoto to life in prison, but was released as part of a 1983 prisoner exchange with Palestinian militant factions.

By now, the reader might be asking what is the connection between a Japanese hit-squad, a Palestinian Marxist terrorist organization, and radical Islamic Fundamentalism. Here is the answer. During the 1970s, Middle Eastern terrorist organizations of all ideologies -- fundamentalist, nationalistic and communist -- jointly trained and coordinated attacks against Israel and the West. To avoid raising suspicion by security forces, these organizations sometimes used the Japanese Red Army as their "mercenaries." Funding came from Libya, Syria, and after the Shah's topple from power, from Iran. The Japanese Red Army conducted its training in Baalbek, Lebanon, a region that has been described as the "lion's cage of terrorism."

Although more than 30 years have passed since the Lod Massacre, this tragedy still remains a vivid memory for those who survived and for the relatives of the deceased. Carrying a message that is never too late to remember, these survivors and relatives walked the hallways of the Legislature of Puerto Rico.Responding to their call, Sen. José Garriga Picó introduced a bill establishing an annual remembrance day to honor the victims. The Senate unanimously approved the bill, but the House of Representatives voted against it. Some House members publicly disregarded the importance of approving this bill.*

* The project was re submitted

It is important to recognize the Lod victims, especially when we are living in times when anyone can become a victim of terrorism.This tragic event serves to remind us that terror does not distinguish or discriminate and it can happen anywhere in the world.Whether there is an official remembrance day or not, we should all remember and educate about this tragic event.Every May 30 should be a day of observance to honor the victims. Schools should invite the survivors for presentations. Our educational process should not stop in the island, but extend to the mainland as well.All of our fellow Americans should remember that Puerto Ricans were among the first American victims of terrorism.

Antonio de la Cruz is from Puerto Rico. Contact him at highlanderpr51@yahoo.com

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Posted by Batya Medad, April 29, 2007.

Morning Haze

Dawns and sunsets are usually very beautiful, with glorious spectrums of color. The key word here is "usually."

Here in Israel the transition between winter and summer is sometimes grey and depressing.

Usually, when I focus my camera on the west at the end of the day, I photograph gorgeous colors. Not now. Dawn and dusk are dull at best, and sometimes even frightening.

Is Israeli society also going through some sort of winter to summer transition?

Shimon Peres is the last of the politicians who was involved in pre-state activities and is still active. But unlike most, he denies the importance of history. (hat tip: Moshe Burt, "Israel and The Sin of Expulsion" from

Emotionally healthy and successful people are always learning from the past, building on it and going forward. What horrors await a country and people who only think of the here and now?

Nobody lives forever, and even Shimon Peres will die someday.

Forty years after the Six Days war, Israeli society is beginning to resemble that pre-war time, when it looked like the struggling young country was about to fold.

A popular joke ended with: Will the last person leaving, please turn out the lights?

Our 59th Anniversary statistics included the depressing fact that some statisticians claim that more Israelis are leaving than immigrants are arriving.

Contrary to the first 19 years of the state, today, Israel is one of the most modern and technically advanced nations on the earth. Materially, we are on par if not higher than western Europe. People come from the third world to work and save money.

The Left wing and the media (actually one and the same) have been predicting a "civil war." They demonize the most patriotic sector of society. [Editor's note: see below, here and here.] That's how they motivate the police to attack the innocent.

Israeli society is now in a stage of transition. It is up to us whether Redemption is next.

Batya Medad lives in Shiloh. She can be reached by email at Shilohmuse@yahoo.com or visit her website
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/ or go to http://www.shilo.org.il This article is archived at

The photo art accompanying "Dawn" is not part of the original article. It was made by Fred Reifenberg and is from

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Posted by Avodah, April 28, 2007.

This was writen by Ari Soffer and it appeared April 26, 2007 in Arutz-Sheva
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7087). Ari Soffer, a student in London, England, is a youth coordinator for a local religious Zionist organisation (called Sinai). He hopes to soon accomplish his dream of making Aliyah.

A few months ago, there were two stories that gained much attention from the media in Israel, as well as internationally. The first was the much-talked-about sleaze and corruption that has hit almost every single politician and public figure in Israel. The trail has lead from more minor MKs, to the former Justice Minister Chaim Ramon, Israeli President Moshe Katzav, Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Chief of Police Moshe Karadi. (In fact, so far had this stench of corruption emanated, that the authorities were seemingly unable to find a single "clean" public figure to take up the post of Chief of Police. Yaakov Ganot, who succeeded Karadi, was in fact implicated in a corruption scandal in 1994, although he was acquitted.)

The other major story to burst into the headlines at the time was that of the violent riots by Muslims in Jerusalem, lead by the popular Muslim leader Sheikh Raad Salah, in what they said was a response to a series of repairs being carried out on a walkway at the Rambam (or Mughrabim) Gate, which was damaged during a snowstorm not so long ago. Muslims worldwide accused the Israeli authorities of seeking to "undermine" and "vandalise" the "Al-Aksa Mosque" and its surroundings -- despite the fact that the dig was located far away from the Al-Aksa complex.

In the face of a significant amount of international pressure, coupled with violent Arab intimidation, the Israeli government once again caved in, in part, agreeing to allow Turkish officials to "inspect" the site. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski joined in calls to suspend, or even scrap, the dig altogether. Once again, the Islamic world was shown that if they want to get their own way, all they need to do is resort to violence.

At a first glance, these two stories seemed completely unrelated, but upon further examination, each is revealed as just a symptom of a far greater problem.

It is said that "he who controls the Temple Mount, controls all of Israel," and today this could not be more obviously true. After the insane move of actually handing the Temple Mount over to the Waqf (Islamic religious authority) only hours after its conquest in 1967, the Israel authorities and media, as well as the international community, have ignored the criminal desecration by the Islamic authorities of thousands of years' worth of valuable artifacts, dating back to the times of the First and Second Jewish Temples, which once stood on the Temple Mount. This blatant attempt by the Waqf to deny a Jewish connection to the Mount (as expressed in their many sermons), is only compounded by the fact that legally, only Muslims may pray on the Mount, with Jews often forbidden even to enter the area (that is, the areas that are permitted to be entered by Jewish Law). The latest rioting was, in fact, totally within the overall policy of the Waqf to deny entry to the Mount to all non-Muslims -- the Rambam Gate just so happens to be the only path up to the Temple Mount that is used by non-Muslims.

What greater corruption can there be, what greater "sleaze" exists, than when Jewish politicians and supposed "leaders" hand away our holiest site to be desecrated? And it is not only the Temple Mount; we all remember the sites of Muslim rioters tearing apart and burning down the Tomb of Joseph, the burning down of the ancient Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho, among other instances.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, z.tz.l., went to great pains to stress the importance of the "secular Zionist" movement of his time, in that it was rebuilding Eretz Yisrael when religious communities were shirking their duty to do so. Yet, at the very same time, he emphasised that if the secular Zionists would remain devoid of Torah, then eventually the time would come when they would turn rotten and have to be "shed" as a klippa ("shell"), which covers the holy light of the Jewish Nation.

Today, we see that the rabbi's analysis could not be truer. Corruption began the moment the politicians decided that Israel would be a mere "State of the Jews," in which Judaism was no more the state religion than Islam or Christianity. This, instead of a true, Jewish State, in which the Torah would be accepted in full by the nation and all hostile elements would be excluded.

But the religious are not blameless, either. Besides the lamentable lack of religious participation in the setting up of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael, even today we continue to ignore the tragedy that happens before our very eyes. We pray at the Kotel, and we think that is enough. Never mind that our holiest site is still off-limits to us, and that the Muslims daily desecrate it, digging up and destroying or dumping all remains from the Temples -- no, the Kotel is all we need. How sad that we have indeed forgotten Jerusalem, as it says in the Kuzari: just as the spiritual centre of Israel is Jerusalem, the spiritual centre of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount.

Right-wing, left-wing, "centrist" -- they have all failed us; as have the pseudo-religious parties of the Knesset, whose MKs have had many years to shout out loud about abandoning the Temple Mount and many other sins, but who have chosen not to in exchange for ministerial positions and government funding. It is time for the Jewish people as a whole to shake off these corrupt individuals and demand the Law of Israel in the Land of Israel. It is time that we stood up for the honour of Jerusalem, as it is being trampled by those who wish to deny our connection to it (and how sad it is that the Muslims are willing to take to the streets for the sake of Jerusalem, but we are not).

If we do not, then we are all complicit in the national corruption; what is at stake here is more than just the reputation of the Israeli government or of one or another minister, but the very sanctity of the Land of Israel itself.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Avodah, April 28, 2007.
This was written by Mark Silverberg and it appeared April 26, 2007 in Arutz-Sheva
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7085). Mark Silverberg is a former member of the Justice Department and a past director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office). He served as a consultant to the secretary general of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Intifada. An attorney, Mark is currently executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Scranton. He has published extensively on Middle East affairs and American foreign policy in the region, and is the author of The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad (Wyndham Hall Press, 2005).

Matters of war and peace involve issues of mutual perception as much as ideologies or interests. Historically, when enemies perceived each other to be strong, the deterrent effect of that perception prevented war. During the Cold War, the concept of "mutually assured destruction" led both America and the former Soviet Union to conclude that nuclear war was a "zero-sum game" that neither could win.

Similarly, history tells us that peace can prevail when enemies perceive themselves as weak. After the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) ravaged much of England and France, the memory of that destruction kept both nations out of direct conflict with one another for more than two centuries.

Unfortunately, history is replete with wars that were caused by incorrect perceptions of an enemy's true power. In World War II, Hitler miscalculated the collective strength of the Allies in the European theater just as Japanese General Hideki Tojo underestimated the massive power of the United States in the Far East. Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese fleet, wrote in his diary immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant."

Nowhere, however, are these misperceptions of power more clearly delineated than in the Arab-Israeli conflict. When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, the fact that it withdrew so quickly, abandoning equipment to Hizbullah and placing Israel's Lebanese Christian allies at grave risk, signaled weakness to its enemies. Hizbullah and the Palestinians concluded that Israel was not prepared to accept casualties in defense of its national interests.

In the summer of 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat unthinkable concessions, including a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, control of the Temple Mount and ninety-five percent of the West Bank. Arafat balked, concluding that each Israeli concession signaled weakness and the hope of greater opportunities if he turned up the violence. Within three months of the Lebanon withdrawal, he unleashed the second intifada.

Again, between 2000 and 2006, despite Israel's knowledge that Hizbullah was building massive reinforced underground concrete bunkers along its northern border, the Israeli government refused to authorize the necessary action to destroy the threat. Despite overwhelming evidence that Hizbullah was rearming, Israel made no attempt to interfere with the transfer of Iranian weapons to Damascus, refrained from attacking Syrian convoys transferring those advanced weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon, and failed to attack Hizbullah missile sites in southern Lebanon. This restraint reinforced Hizbullah's perception of Israeli weakness, and that perception ultimately led to the Second Lebanon War last summer.

What Israel perceives as restraint in the face of provocation, Hizbullah, Hamas and the other enemies of Israel perceive as opportunity in the face of weakness. Although Israel emerged from the Lebanon War tarnished but victorious (objectively speaking), subjectively, in the eyes of Hizbullah and rest of the Arab world, Israel had been "exposed" as weak, disorganized, demoralized and, most of all, no longer invincible. With uninterrupted Iranian and Syrian financial, military and logistical support behind it, Hizbullah was able to damage an Israeli naval cruiser, rain 4,000 missiles down on Israel's northern population, force over a million Israelis to live in bomb shelters for weeks, and destroy many of Israel's armored vehicles with advanced Iranian RPGs -- all of which created the perception of vulnerability, weakness and fear.

In the south, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza during the summer of 2005 was interpreted as yet another manifestation of Israel's weakness. As a result, Hamas, the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad continue to prepare for war. By fighting a defensive war, based on the faulty strategy that aggression can be contained or otherwise "managed," the government of Israel has created the false perception of weakness in the minds of its enemies.

This will have serious repercussions because, perceptions aside, the truth is that the Israeli war machine continues to retain the capacity to vanquish not only Hizbullah and Hamas, but any state (Arab or Persian) that threatens its existence. Unfortunately, in the eyes of these enemies (whose delusions of grandeur are surpassed only by their unmitigated arrogance), the perception is that Israel is now ripe for the taking; and Israel has done little to alter that perception.

When Hamas spokesmen deliver sermons in Palestinian mosques citing the religious duty of the faithful to slaughter "the Zionist occupiers," and Palestinian television broadcasts these sermons live, when the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education introduces 12th-grade textbooks denying the Holocaust ever happened, while the Prime Minister of Israel continues to conduct "business as usual" with the Palestinian Authority President -- who has neither the ability nor the intention of stopping the incitement and hatred -- the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

When the Prime Minister of Israel gives his approval to the training and arming of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian security services, knowing from past experience the probability that both will, at some point in the near future, be turned against IDF soldiers, the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

When the Saudi Initiative (which includes, inter alia, a call for the "right of return of Palestinian refugees") is presented to Israel as "non-negotiable," and the government of Israel responds that the initiative is "interesting," the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

When, in the face of negative Arab responses, the Prime Minister proposes that Israel enter into talks with any available combination of Arab governments, the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

When Israeli security sources document that Hamas is preparing for war, and is constructing tunnels and underground concrete bunkers along the lines of Hizbullah's fortifications in southern Lebanon, that Hamas is being financed by, and armed with advanced weaponry from, Iran, and that it is providing missiles for Islamic Jihad's attacks on Israel -- all without fear of massive Israeli retaliation -- the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

When senior Israeli defense officials warn of an unprecedented missile build-up on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and note Syrian threats to "liberate" the Heights by force, while the government of Israel continues to signal a willingness to deal with Syria, the perception of Israeli weakness is reinforced.

In the Middle East, if history is any judge, this perception will inevitably lead to war. In democratic societies, seeking a resolution of international issues through negotiation, mediation and compromise is considered standard diplomatic practice. But in the Arab Middle East, where the lines between the interests of secular nationalists (who seek the establishment of a viable, stable Palestinian state) and radical Islamists (who want an Islamic Palestinian state and a judenrein Middle East) are fading fast, any effort at compromise is perceived as an opportunity to vanquish the weaker adversary.

The probability is that Israel's enemies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Iran have incorrectly concluded that Israeli resolve is faltering and that its fighting spirit can be broken. That perception is not only wrong, it's dangerous.

Today, Israel is hearing the same "extermination rhetoric" it heard four decades ago in the months and weeks preceding the Six-Day War. What we are witnessing is a replay of history, tragic as it is, because the false perception of Israeli weakness can only end when the perception of Israeli invincibility has been restored in the minds of Israel's enemies. Unfortunately, as has so often been the case, it will take a major war to do it.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by P. Kaufman, April 28, 2007.

This comes from the book jacket summary.

This comprehensive, meticulously documented collection of scholarly articles presents indisputable evidence that a readily discernible, uniquely Islamic antisemitism -- a specific Muslim hatred of Jews -- has been expressed continuously since the advent of Islam. Debunking the conventional wisdom, which continues to assert that Muslim animosity toward Jews is entirely a 20th-century phenomenon fueled mainly by the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict, leading scholars provide example after example of antisemitic motifs in Muslim documents reaching back to the beginnings of Islam.

The contributors show that the Koran itself is a significant source of hostility toward Jews, as well as other foundational Muslim texts including the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters) and the sira (the earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad). Many other examples are adduced in the writings of influential Muslim jurists, theologians, and scholars, from the Middle Ages through the contemporary era. These primary sources, and seminal secondary analyses translated here for the first time into English -- such as Hartwig Hirschfeld's mid-1880s essays on Muhammad's subjugation of the Jews of Medina and George Vajda's elegant, comprehensive 1937 study of the hadith -- detail the sacralized rationale for Islam's anti-Jewish bigotry.

Numerous complementary historical accounts illustrate the resulting plight of Jewish communities in the Muslim world across space and time, culminating in the genocidal threat posed to the Jews of Israel today. Scholars, educators, and interested lay readers will find this collection an invaluable resource for understanding the phenomenon of Muslim antisemitism, past and present.

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Posted by Rachel Ehrenfeld, April 28, 2007.

This article was published April 20, 2007 in American Thinker http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/04/the_muslim_bortherhoods_duping.html The original article has live links to additional material.

Making the Muslim Brotherhood a major player in Middle East politics seems to be one of the few subjects on which both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree. Neither the State Department nor the White House commented after U.S. House Majority Leader Stanley Hoyer met in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentarian leader, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni. Hoyer and el-Katani discussed recent developments in the Middle East, and the "Brotherhood's vision."

This meeting took place just one day after the conclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood 5th Cairo Conference: The International Campaign Against US & Zionist Occupation, in which delegations from Hizbollah and Hamas took part. The participants cheered as Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef declared, "the devil Bush and his allies were now the ones sowing terror and aggression worldwide."

Akef's rant, translated from Arabic by MEMRI, blamed Bush for

"sending American youth to die by the thousands ...at the expense of the poor in the U.S. and across the world." His statement sounds similar to the claim of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that "The president's policies have failed, and...[he] endangers our troops and hurts our national security."

While the Democratic leadership does everything possible to demonstrate their diplomatic acumen before the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, it is less clear why the Administration is also courting this radical Muslim organization. Indeed, both the Democrats and the Administration are playing right into the Muslim Brotherhood's hand, inadvertently supporting its propaganda offensive against the U.S.

Still more worrisome is the apparent dismissal by American political leaders on both sides of the aisle, of ongoing declarations and fatwas hostile to the U.S., issued by MB leaders since 9/11.

In his February 22 weekly address posted until recently on the MB Arabic website, ikwanpress.com, Akef claimed that the cracks in "the Western offensive against Islam," are

"the failure the American war machine to break the rock of the Iraqi opposition, the difficulties facing the coalition forces in Afghanistan, and the military defeat of the Israeli armed forces in Lebanon and against the Palestinians."

Akef called on the Arabs and Muslims to continue terrorist attacks against the U.S. and Israel "until they withdraw completely from the Middle East." Akef reassured his followers that "the jihad will lead to smashing Western civilization and replacing it with Islam which will dominate the world," according to a translation by Jonathan D. Halevi, director of Orient Research Group.

As this demonstrates, the MB under Akef's leadership follows in the path of its predecessor Mustafa Mashour, who in August 2002, stated: "we will not give up (the goal) of restoring the Muslim Caliphate." (Asharq Al-Awsat, 9 Aug. 2002).

But none of this is reported in the mainstream media. Instead, the press, rather than objectively covering the MB's declared mission to establish a global Caliphate, has joined the ranks of political advocates portraying the MB as "moderate" and "reformist."

Meanwhile, Hamas, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, busily fortifies its economic and military strength. According to recent Hamas disclosures, theirs is the largest military force in the Gaza strip, comprising 15,000 combatants. Through its rapidly growing power, Hamas is evidently laying the groundwork for full control of the PA, and the election of Khalid Mashaal as the next PA chairman, thus, solidifying the MB takeover.

Despite these alarming developments, U.S. State Department officials (under heavy Saudi pressure) continue to lean on Israel to negotiate with the inconsequential current PA chairman, Mahmoud Abbas. Moreover, the U.S. ban on financial aid to the Hamas-led PA did not prevent the international community in 2006, from sinking more than $1.2 billion- mostly U.S. funds -- in aid into the corrupt, terrorist Palestinian government.

Hamas, allegedly, had no access to these funds. However, Hamas runs most PA government offices. Moreover, Hamas members on many occasions have boasted that funds and weapons given to Abbas' Fatah end up in their hands.

Although the U.S. says it will have nothing to do with Hamas, it has approved a $59 million package in "non-lethal" assistance (weapons and military training) to PA security forces, ostensibly controlled by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

U.S. pressure led Israel to agree to this arrangement, despite the fact that similar provisions since the 1994 establishment of the PA, resulted in the murders of at least 1,064 Israeli civilians, and the wounding of more than 15,000. Most of these atrocities were perpetrated with weapons, training and funding supplied by the international community.

The failure to hold the PA accountable since its inception only encouraged Palestinian corruption and violence, and facilitated Hamas' rise to power. Now, dependence on Saudi oil and investments seem to push the U.S. and the international community to accept demands to legitimize Hamas, thereby establishing MB reign over the Palestinians.

Democrats and Republicans alike are only deluding themselves in believing that negotiations with the MB and their terrorist offspring will alter their drive to establish a global Caliphate.

Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of American Center for Democracy (ACD), and a board member for the Committee on the Present Danger; Alyssa A. Lappen is a senior fellow at the ACD.

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Posted by Daily Alert, April 28, 2007.
This article was written By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff and it appeared April 25, 2007 in Haaretz

From Israel's perspective, the timing of Hamas' attack on southern Israel on Monday was problematic. With the government and army virtually paralyzed by fear of the upcoming publication of the Winograd Committee's report, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cannot easily order a harsh reprisal in Gaza. And this time, good intelligence and the army's preparedness foiled what was apparently another kidnapping attempt, which ostensibly enables Olmert to make do with a limited response.

Yet the premier must ask himself whether this would not be a mistake. Just as Hamas did in its kidnapping of Gilad Shalit last June, the organization, or parts of it, is signaling that all its promises of a cease-fire are nonbinding. Since Hamas agreed to the cease-fire in Gaza, more than 200 Qassam rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza and some 50 bombs have been planted along the border fence. Hamas' military wing was involved in many of these attacks.

On the tactical level, the lessons of Shalit's kidnapping were learned: For instance, the army is now allowed to penetrate a few hundred meters into Gaza in order to thwart kidnappings. Yet it must be remembered that last July's kidnapping of two soldiers along the northern border by Hezbollah was preceded by many attempted kidnappings that Israel successfully foiled; it was Israel's muted response to these attempts that convinced Hezbollah that it would only pay a minimal price for a successful abduction.

Unlike its response to previous thwarted kidnappings, the army refrained from celebrating on Monday. This was partly due to the two successful abductions that occurred last year, but also to awareness that a major escalation in Gaza is likely relatively soon.

Olmert will remain unenthusiastic about a large-scale operation in Gaza even after the Winograd report is published. But for years, Israel's response to Palestinian attacks has been based on one thing only: the attacks' results. A successful kidnapping, or a Qassam rocket that causes multiple deaths, will hasten the decision to act.

Olmert is well acquainted with the situation assessment of GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant: that a military confrontation with Hamas is inevitable. The organization's ideology, its ongoing attacks and its military buildup in Gaza all lead to this conclusion. And from Israel's perspective, Galant believes, the sooner the better, before Hamas' military might grows any further.

Meanwhile, the army is preparing, and on a scale that some liken to the preparations preceding the first Lebanon War in 1982. In Israel, such preparations tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies.

Hamas' claim of responsibility for Monday's rocket and mortar fire was unusual. Since November, it has refrained from such announcements. This time, Hamas was apparently motivated by a desire to regain its fighting image in the eyes of the Palestinian public. Its statement even exaggerated the number of rockets and missiles fired. The attack was apparently timed for Independence Day to maximize its effect.

Palestinian security officials on Monday claimed that Hamas deliberately aimed at open areas, in order to prevent a massive Israeli response, but fired enough rockets to create the impression that it is once again leading the fight and to divert attention from the failures of the new Palestinian unity government. This government has not managed to end the bloody gang wars in Gaza, nor has it ended the Hamas-Fatah rivalry: Both sides are busily arming and recruiting in preparation for renewed infighting. It seems the only thing that can save the Gazans from civil war is a large-scale Israeli military operation.

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).

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Posted by Noam Bedein, April 28, 2007.

This is in response to a New York Times article[1]. Jennifer Medina writes about the thriving youth culture which exists in the shelters of Sderot. She neglects to mention that 25 out of 58 public shelters in Sderot are currently unfit for human habitation.

Sderot has suffered over the past six years from the missiles from Gaza which have reigned on the city -- 1400 missiles since the disengagement, and almost 200 missiles since the "cease fire" was declared on November 26th.

As the head of Sderot security told our agency[2] "...in 18 of them there isn't any electricity source nor a functioning faucet, seven others are flooded with rain water and are in terrible condition...".

We cannot get a straight answer from the Israeli government as to why that is so.

What is clear is that no youth culture thrives in these 25 shelters.

This is a short film that illustrates the neglect of the government of Sderot and a modest project facilitated by the Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev.

If you have 12 minutes, please watch this movie. It takes a few seconds to download.



1. "Give Them Shelter: Where Rockets, and Drums, Go Boom", by Jennifer Medina appeared in the April 27th 2007 edition of the New York Times,

2.  http://sderotmedia.com/?p=244

Noam Bedein is Director News Service for Sderot and the Western Negev, Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev Ltd. Contact him at noam@sderotmedia.com

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Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, April 28, 2007.

Iran and its proxies prepare for war against the United States and Israel. U.S. battleships float menacingly along the Persian coast, ready to launch missiles. Mesmerized jihad junkies, perhaps worldwide, shrouded in demonic de rigueur suicide attire, wait ominously for commands to explode, believing such acts of martyrdom will stamp their visas to a Koran sanctioned brothel in paradise. Is a blood soaked catastrophe inevitable, or is there a better way to confront radical Islam, a metastasizing twenty-first century cancer that must be eliminated? Like all malignant tumors, jihadist endeavors must be nourished, in this case financed by extorted fossil fuel revenues from civil mostly non-Muslim industrial nations. Indeed, a throwback energy source responsible for financially enabling an anti-secular in effect anti-survival mutated throwback mentality, is furthermore unfit to fuel a consequentially feverish planet beginning to rebel against its presumably most intelligent species as well as mostly all currently adapted life forms. Weaning off oil dependency is win win, no doubt starving radical Islam while concurrently respecting our only home in the universe.

If war is to be avoided, even at this late hour, prescient logical strategic planning is vital. The civil world must intensely consider recent intelligent reports suggesting Iran and its extending jihadist tentacles are no military pushovers, then ruminate over the perilous possibly calamitous consequences of all out war against Iran, Syria, possibly Sudan and other kindred spirit Islamic nations, and most ominously the terrorist cells disseminated in all directions. Yet, illogic abounds in other matters, suggesting nations do not always act in their best interests. We note forces commanded by the House of Saud, itself financer of Islamic fanatics indoctrinated in Wahhabi madrassas a/k/a human bomb factories, itself ironically allied in a symbiotic relationship with the presumed 'war on terror' Bush Administration, just arrested 172 Islamic fanatics, many if not most, perhaps even more ironically, monetarily nourished in those same madrassas financed by those same Saudi captors, caught most propitiously before blowing up oil installations, attacking Saudi public officials, and storming prisons to free terrorist suspects. Hmmm! Lets get this straight. Civil non-Muslim industrial nations underwrite the very enemies yearning to annihilate 'the infidel'-namely them-by buying their oil. The royal House of Saud, an ally of America, finances then captures Islamic fanatics, bent on in effect overthrowing that Saudi government as well as destroying the oil infrastructure ruled by those same Saudi robed rogue financers. With disconnected thinking of that magnitude, might a possibility exist that such muddled leaders craft a well thought out plan, avoid a blood bath, disassemble fanatical Islam, and propel mankind into an emerging twenty-first century relatively unscathed?

The civilized secular world is in dire need of a wise leaders, possessing formidable skills, able to convince the sane segment of our beleaguered species that the per barrel price of oil must forthwith drop drastically, at least temporarily, thus choking off much of the metaphorical blood supply nourishing the Persian malignancy and its perilous proxies. This will require extensive cooperation by the House of Saud, OPEC's prime mover and shaker, as well as Big Oil, and each oil producing power affixed to this planet not totally in bed with Iran, including non-Muslim nations ruled by the likes of Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin, both cozy with Iran; no easy task. Yet, if the monetary cost of war is not made prohibitive for Iran and its henchmen, they will continue to enhance the potency of and further distribute their weaponry, likely pushing the world towards a military confrontation of immense proportions in the near future. Indeed, intelligence estimates concerning the military prowess and extent of a growing evil empire are likely accurate. The fact that out-of-control Iraq has become a training ground for jihadists, the fact that American troops and coalition forces remain bogged down in Iraq's dysfunctional uncivil war, does not help matters from a military perspective. Furthermore, if Iran loses the lion's share of its revenue, economic hardship could spur a major revolution manned by disgruntled Iranian youths yearning to throw off the shackles of fundamentalist Islamic repression. Hizbullah, Hamas, and other jihadist groups, as well as Syria, would also suffer from lack of funding, perhaps spurring revolutions in their enclaves as well. This could only make the world a safer place. Let us hope that the right secular leaders 'seize the day', effectuating such a strategy, dropping the price of oil sufficiently to slay today's maniacal beast. Let us further hope that the world also begins to wean itself off a fossil fuel dependency for the sake of our challenged planet. Might an intelligent Knesset increase funding for Israeli scientists to develop a cheap and efficient energy alternative? If such strategies are not soon enacted, mankind will get what it deserves, a most bitter lesson to absorb!

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant, working for the Social Security Administration. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at luniglicht@snip.net

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 28, 2007.

This appeared in Maan News (www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=21579).

Gaza -- Ma'an -- The Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades renewed its confirmation that the truce with the Israelis has ended and accused the Israeli government of forcing the cessation of the truce by its continued killing and decimation of the Palestinians.

Spokesman of the brigades, Abu Fuad, condemned the killing of four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, saying "the Israeli escalation seeks to export the Israeli internal crisis and target Palestinian unity".

Abu Fuad blamed the Israeli government for the escalation and threatened that resistance operations will now include all Israeli cities.

He said "the recent Israeli escalation came at a time that the Israeli government is experiencing its worse era; as the scandals haunt its ministers." He described the current Israeli government as "the weakest government in Israeli history."

Abu Fuad criticized the Arab position and described the Arabs as "sycophants" that are "begging Israel to accept their initiative." He added that since there is no preventative element on the Arab and the Islamic sides the Israelis will continue their "aggression against the Palestinians, profiting from the Arab weakness and western bias in favour of Israel".

Abu Fuad called on all faction leaders to unite in their stance and to form a united operation. He says "the Israeli aggression will not stop as long as we are not united in our political and military operations."

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Aramy, April 27, 2007.

This was written by Avi Issacharoff and it was published today in Haaretz

Members of the Abu-Sharah family, one of the most famous clans in the Gaza Strip, marched through the streets of Gaza City on Tuesday, carrying the body of Hassan Abu-Sharah. They took the body straight to the courtyard of the Palestinian parliament. Palestinian policemen tried to prevent the group from entering, but several dozen armed men from the clan easily pushed past them and started shooting in the air. They demanded that the Palestinian Authority arrest Hassan's murderers, although they were aware that the chances of the security forces taking such action were virtually nil. Hassan, 54, had been shot dead two days earlier by members of one of the largest and strongest clans in the city: the Durmush clan.

Supporters of clan head Mumtaz Durmush -- who call themselves the Army of Islam -- had apparently, due to a mistake in identity, abducted Abu-Sharah and then executed him, disposing of his body in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood. On the day that the Abu-Sharah clan marched with the body, the Army of Islam published a statement admitting its responsibility for the murder and claiming it had been a mistake. Mumtaz Durmush's men even apologized in the statement and called on the Abu-Sharah family to show restraint. But the family was not placated by the announcement and demanded revenge. It was only when some members of the parliament emerged from the building to speak with the demonstrators that they were persuaded to stop their protest and to bury Hassan.

Mumtaz Durmush was also apparently involved in the abductions of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston. "Everyone in Gaza knows who is holding Johnston," a Palestinian officer who is a member of Fatah says bitterly. "But no one dares to take action against them. The Sabra neighborhood where the Durmush clan members live looks like a giant army camp. Hamas and Fatah are busy fighting each other rather than preparing a plan to take over Sabra."

Incidents like the killing of Abu-Sharah have become common in Gaza. On Saturday, the day before Hassan was murdered, the following incidents were recorded in the Strip: Militants from Hamas' Operational Force kidnapped a member of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' presidential guard in the Jabalya refugee camp; in response, members of the victim's family abducted a Hamas activist; and during negotiations to stop escalation of the confrontation, one of the soldiers in the Hamas force threw a hand grenade in the family's direction and wounded three of its members. Additionally, a few hours earlier, armed men, apparently from the Army of Islam, blew up part of the American International School in the northern Gaza Strip. They did not touch the guards on duty there, but explained to them that "it is forbidden to guard an institution belonging to infidels."

Casualty lists

In addition to the murder of Hassan Abu-Sharah, on Sunday, two members of the Abu-Amer family were murdered and a third was injured. The background for this was apparently a feud between clans. On that same day, the deputy head of the Palestinian manufacturers' association was also shot and wounded while someone tried to steal his car. Two passersby were injured by gunshots during an attempt to attack a toy salesman in Gaza City, and a member of the Hamas Operational Force was injured by shots fired at the organization's headquarters in the center of the Strip.

On Monday, 12-year-old Muhammad al-Saadi was killed in northern Gaza by a stray bullet shot during an exchange of fire by rival clans near his home. Five-year-old Iyat al-Jarad was critically injured in the head also by a stray bullet while playing near her house in Beit Lahia. In other incidents, another seven Palestinians were injured by gunshots and in fights, and one Hamas activist who was working with explosives in his house was wounded when some of them went off. In addition, unidentified gunmen fired at two buildings housing the headquarters of security forces controlled by Fatah, but there were no casualties.

On Wednesday, two 12-year-olds were killed in the northern Strip and in Gaza City. One was killed by a bullet accidentally fired from a weapon found in his home; the other was killed in a random shooting near his house. Also a 27-year-old woman was killed in the Bureij refugee camp during a shoot-out between clans. In other incidents, a member of military intelligence and a 12-year-old boy were wounded by gunfire during a confrontation between rival families; two youths were injured in the northern part of Gaza when an explosive device went off; and the car of Ahmed al-Marani, the attorney general in the Gaza Strip, was stolen in an armed robbery.

According to data released by the Ramallah Center for Human Rights, since the start of 2007, 63 Palestinians have been killed and some 400 injured in clashes because of the chaos in the security situation. Most of the casualties were in the Gaza Strip, which is beginning to resemble the Somalian capital of Mogadishu. Tens of thousands of men armed with light weapons and RPGs do whatever they think fit; the Palestinian police are not effective and the courts are not functioning. In armed feuds between clans, the Palestinian security forces do not get involved at all.

Heavy price

The "council of elders," a body that consists of the heads of clans, tries to effect a compromise that will make it possible for the families of a murdered person to receive suitable compensation. However, because of the financial situation in Gaza, most of these rivalries continue to claim a heavy price in blood. One of the worst hit sectors of the population, because of the absence of proper legislation, is women: Almost every week, women are murdered in Gaza because of what is called "family honor." They are buried in secret and in haste without any publicity.

The Christians in Gaza have also become victims of violence. A library owned by a Palestinian Christian was set on fire, apparently solely because of the owner's religion.

Dozens of Internet cafes have been set alight or bombed by Islamic extremists, who consider them dangerous for the youth. The bombing of the American school is yet another example of the activity of fundamentalist elements that do not have the support even of Hamas.

People who deal in weapons, drugs or prostitution are enjoying unprecedented prosperity, even though the Hamas security mechanism referred to as the "implementation force" brags about its ability to counteract these phenomena.

"The implementation force sends text messages every day to journalists in which it reports that hashish dealers, or those dealing in prostitution, have been caught," says A., a Gaza journalist. "But why don't they deal with the armed robbery of vehicles or with those who abducted Johnston? No one prevents blood revenge between families. What would I do if someone attacked a member of my family? I'd also murder the murderers, who are immediately released from jail. Every armed man has a clan or organization behind him, of which the police are afraid, and therefore the police release the suspects."

The journalist adds: "There are two options today that could take us out of this situation: Someone strong in the Gaza Strip who does not care about a confrontation with the clans, or an Israeli occupation. Many people in the Strip hope that Israel will reoccupy it because these phenomena were not prevalent during the Israeli occupation."

Hamas is becoming Fatah

Tuesday was a relatively quiet day, compared to the last few weeks in Gaza: Unknown assailants attacked and seriously injured a resident of Khan Yunis, hitting him over the head with a blunt instrument, and armed gunmen shot at the car of Majdi Arabeed, head of the Voice of Freedom radio station in Gaza, but there were no casualties. Two years and three months ago, Arabeed was very seriously wounded by shots from an Israel Defense Forces unit operating in the Gaza Strip while he was filming a report together with Channel 10 correspondent Shlomi Eldar. He recovered and went back to work. But in recent days he has once again become a target -- this time of Palestinian armed men. It is not clear whether they are from one of the Islamic movements or one of the rival clans.

"There is no law in Gaza," he says. "No one talks any more about negotiations or about freeing prisoners. They are all busy with the question of who killed whom and how. The police are afraid of the gunmen because if they try to arrest them, they will immediately be depicted as collaborating with Israel. In addition, the competition between the various forces of Fatah and Hamas has become destructive from their point of view, and their image is negative. Everyone stores up weapons at home to defend themselves. Even if the state prosecutor publishes an arrest order against a resident of Gaza, who is able to arrest him if he and his family are armed?"

Arabeed claims that the responsibility lies with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's Hamas government, which is not able to function. Some analysts in Gaza believe that Hamas' decision to fire Qassam rockets at Israel on Independence Day was an attempt to make the Palestinian public forget the movement's failure to restore order in the streets of the Strip. It seems as if Hamas is trying to remind the Palestinian public once again of its "good old" image as a terrorist organization that fights Israel fearlessly. But the chaos in Gaza has also had an effect on its ranks.

"They have become like us," one Fatah activist says. "They fight over everything: money, positions, ranks, who will be director general and who will be captain in the offices and the security mechanisms that they are responsible for. There is no longer one leader who decides everything. The authority of Khaled Meshal, the head of the political bureau, has been badly eroded since the Mecca agreement. Their message to the Palestinian people is not uniform; all of a sudden, they sound like a supermarket of different ideas, just like Fatah was at one stage: [Hamas co-founder] Mahmoud al-Zahar speaks about destroying Israel, while Haniyeh broadcasts a moderate message. The military wing does whatever it wants."

Israel doesn't need to take comfort in these remarks. In the reality that is Gaza, where economic hardship screams out, there are quite a few Palestinians who wish to send Qassam rockets at its northern neighbor -- and not necessarily for ideological reasons. The head of a unit of launchers gets $5,000 from the organization that sends him on his mission for releasing a salvo of rockets -- an enormous sum in Gazan terms. The members of the unit receive several hundred dollars. The economic temptation is immense. It is less important to those launching the rockets whether the target is actually hit. That may be important only to those who wish to see the IDF return as an occupier to Gaza.

Contact Aramy at aramy964@gmail.com

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Posted by Salah Choudhury, April 27, 2007.

Intolerant are the Islamist radicals. They don't want anyone to raise voice and say -enough to the increasing trend of spreading religious hatred and provoking people with the false interpretations of Koran, saying "Jews and Christians are your enemies, go for jihad (holy war) against them". When the Islamofascist clerics openly give sermons saying, "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people", Islamic scholars like Imam Sheikh Abdul Haadi Palazzi, terming the interpretation of this verse of Koran said, "This quotation is based on a false translation, since the word "Awliya'", does not mean "friends", but rather "tutors". A correct translation is "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for tutors. They are respectively tutors to each other. And whoso among you takes them for tutors is indeed one of them. Verily Allah guides not the unjust people".

The verse refers to a time when Islam was developing, and is an appeal to avoid considering it as a sort of sub-sect depending on Judaism or Christianity. "Do not take as tutors" means "Do not depend on them for your understanding of religion, for guidance in theology and ethics, etc." Apart from this, Islam surely does not forbid friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims, to the point that a Muslim man can take a Jewish or a Christian woman as his wife and mother of his children.

The Qur'an describes marriage as a relation of "intimate love and mercy" and explains that this same relation can actually exist between a Muslim man and a Jewish or Christian woman. Were ordinary friendship with Jews and Christians forbidden, the Qur'an itself could never permit a relation of "intimate love and mercy" with those with whom friendship is not permissible."

Certainly there are thousands of hidden axes of the Islamist radicals, waiting to execute voices like Imam Palazzi at the first chance, because, if such noble message will get spread, possibly in a very near future, blood-monger Islamofascists will not find any more innocent pray to fall into their traps of so-called holy war.

This had been quite a regular experience for me and my family since 2003, when for the first time, I wrote in my own newspaper, Weekly Blitz, about how the jihadist were being bred in madrassas and kindergarten madrassas. We wrote that, cadres for the militant organizations have been recruited from the thousands of madrassahs (Islamic schools), that have mushroomed throughout the country. Many are located along the Indian border in the west and north, where young radicals from both countries are taught the virtues of orthodox Islam. Funding for the madrassas comes from donations from local communities and international Islamic charities, such as the Saudi Arabia based and immensely wealthy Rabitat Al Alam Al Islami.

The madrassas fill an important function in a country where basic education is available only to a few, especially in the impoverished countryside, but, as Bangladeshi journalist Salahuddin Babar said: "Once the students graduate from the madrassas, they either join mosques as imams or similar religious-related jobs. There are hundreds of thousands of mosques, so there is employment in that field. But they find it difficult to get employment in secular institutions. Certain quarters grab this opportunity to brainwash them, make them into religious fanatics rather than modern Muslims."

A retired civil servant has called the madrassahs a "potential political time bomb". According to latest estimates, there are at least 64,000 in Bangladesh, most of which are beyond any form of governmental control or supervision. Moderate Muslims note that the Taliban was born in similar madrassahs in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and in Afghan refugee camps, where they promoted a new radical and extremely militant model for 'Islamic revolutions'.

Evil forces became active in suffocating my voice by bringing extremely ridiculous false sedition, treason and blasphemy charges. To justify their notoriety, they said, "By praising the Jews and Christians, by demanding relations between Bangladesh and Israel and by forecasting the so-called rise of Islamist militancy in this country." I have tarnished the image of Bangladesh in the international arena. Almost each month, I have to face a radical inclined judge in Dhaka, who has the absolute power to award me capital punishment for my 'crime' mentioned above. Only during 2006, they tried twice to kill me, while each of the moment, my family and I live in extreme danger.

Radical Islamist leader, Noor Hussain Noorani, personally threatened my life terming me as an 'agent of Ahmedias'. Noorani heads the radical Khatmey Nabuat Movement (KNM), which clashed with police several times when it tried to attack the Ahmadi prayer services in Bangladesh. The Ahmadi are a Muslim group that has angered fundamentalists by its belief that Muhammed was not the final prophet, and for their belief in the crucifixion of Jesus. KNM and others have been demanding that the government declare the Ahamadi non-Muslim. They are allied with various Muslim extremist groups in pressing that agenda and the imposition of Sharia (Muslim law) throughout all of Bangladesh. The reason behind Noorani's anger was publication of a number of articles and editorials in Weekly Blitz exposing the nasty attack on the Ahmedia community by Islamofascists. Although, these threats were not new to me. Wgen I was arrested on 29th November 2003 and sent to prison, some of the prisoners, who were considered to be fans of Saddam Hussain or Ossama Bin Laden tried to physically assault me or even kill right inside the prison. They were instigated by several notorious elements in doing this.

Some of my friends abroad several times suggested me to leave Bangladesh and take asylum abroad. But, to me, there is no dignity or honor in retreating from my mission of peace. I know for sure, if I will retreat from this very 'battle field', which is filled with religious fanatics or abandon my mission, anyone else might think twice before raising a strong voice to say no to jihad.

Thanks to my Jewish brother Dr. Richard Benkin, thanks to US Congressman Mark Steven Kirk and Nita Lowey, thanks to European Parliament, thanks to Senator Ursula Stephens and many more esteemed people and my friends, admirers and supporters around the world, who are kindly putting their extremely important support to my mission. Although such substantial international concerns are yet to raise the Bangladesh authorities from their state of virtual demise in fear of Islamist radicals. The case brought against me possibly stands as witness that, Bangladesh at least does not deserve to claim as a moderate Muslim nation.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a journalist, columnist, author, and publisher and editor of "Weekly Blitz" published from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Internet edition of this newspaper is available on www.weeklyblitz.net. Email him at salahuddinshoaibchoudhury@yahoo.com

This article is archived at

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 27, 2007.

I, among others, have been fighting Israel's lack of defensive "Hasbara" for the last 24 years. Israel's Foreign Minister, coupled with most of her Prime Ministers, have purposely crippled any formal efforts to provide the world Media (including her own Media) with accurate, on-time and/or pre-emptive information.

Think of all the past blunders where false information about Israel flooded the world Media. Only after weeks had passed was any effort made to correct the false record and the false impression world wide. We find Israel's Foreign Ministers either remain silent or apologizing for things that never happened. Some may recall the apologies blurted out by Israel in the video that showed Mohammed al Dura and his father being shot and killed -- only later by doing forensic journalism, determined that the shots came from Palestinian Arabs shooting. But, the Media buried the rebuttal of the false story that al Dura was killed by Israeli shooters.

Something deep in Israel's ruling class psyche seems to mandate only "they" may say the words to defend the nation's image and are quick to accept blame where there was none. Most are inept, non-professionals in "Hasbara" (information) and their comments are usually late, inarticulate and the result of inner circle party hacks who do not have a clue about Israel's image in the world, particularly during a time of crisis, war and/or counter-terror operations.

Worse yet, foreign journalists are free to offer any negative or inaccurate spin on the stories they write, film or broadcast back to their home base corporations. The journalists have usually been treated with kid gloves. Even if they are responsible for egregiously false stories or manipulated photos, no attempt is usually made to lift their credentials and send them packing.

One excellent exception: a Reuters photographer issued doctored photos from Beirut and a story supposedly about Lebanese rescuing dead babies from a building in Qana, bombed by the Israelis at a Hezb'Allah missile launching site -- 7 hours before the building collapsed. Fortunately, the website or blog called LittleGreenFootballs exposed this "Faux-tography" (while coining this new word). The Reuters photographer was fired and all of his photos were taken off the Reuters archive. This may have been only a drop-in-the-bucket or the tip-of-the-iceberg, but it shows what's out there and proves how corrective action can be taken by alert civilians with today's communications and internet technology.

This is not true of reporters stationed in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Iran, Saudi Arabia...et al.

Here the reportage is invariably favorable to their host governments and fearful of being scooped up to be chained to a radiator for months as happened during Yassir Arafat's 12 year Civil War in Lebanon. At least 10 media people were killed during that terror war and the rest of the journalists remained holed up at the Commodore Hotel in Beirut, receiving and forwarding the Press Releases handed out by Arafat's brother. I would call this the "Commodore Syndrome".

Israel, on the other hand, allows reporters and film crews to wander unimpeded, to report fairly or to fabricate and spin their stories any way they (or their editors' prejudices) want. One can understand why the U.S. had sequestered journalists when they attacked Grenada. Journalists who write erroneous stories intended to arouse the civilians back home against the government's efforts have, in effect, joined the enemy.


Joseph Goebbels' doctrine of tapping in on the Church-driven hatred already in place across Europe as he created his Nazi propaganda demonizing the Jewish people. What often was just below the surface, he encouraged to vomit up so even nations like the 'cultured' France became anxious to pre-emptively turn their Jews over to the Gestapo for transport to concentration camps and almost certain death by starvation, work, disease, or outright execution.

Today, once again, we see hostile anti-Israel stories in LeMonde, Figaro and other French media sources, encouraging the public to hate the Jews more openly and therefore to presumably, appease the hostile Muslim immigrants who have taken over large sections of French cities as they flow in and achieve "critical mass".

In England, one is sometimes reminded of the Dark Ages as the elite of England say publically that they can now forget the Holocaust and speak openly about their dislike for Israel and their own Jewish citizens. Remember it was during Great Britain's Mandate of Palestine that they imported Arab Muslim cheap labor without counting them and put a quota on the number of Jews who could enter. Instead, they cut off 70% of what was to supposed to be the Jewish homeland and gave it over to Emir Abdullah of Jordan. The British Mandate was created to give the Jews their own Land back "to create a Jewish homeland and closely settle the land." (1)


The Media! Just listen to the BBC and its ever-present pro-Arab/anti-Israel-Jew slant, filling the ears of the English-speaking citizens of the world who might own radios. Read The Guardian and the London Times for their twisting screed against the Jews and the Jewish State of Israel which gives you an idea what disinformation/propaganda can do in a nation with a well-documented history of Church and Aristocracy anti-Semites.

Naturally, media disinformation and manipulation is even more blatant in the Arab world as al Ahram of Egypt consistently rants against Israel and the Jews. Al Jazeera.net began offering Net News to the Arab world in 2000 and initiated an English channel in 2006. Since 2003 Al Arabiya, based in Dubai Media City, Al Arabiya started 24-hour Arabic-language news channel broadcasting across five continents to millions of viewers. Together they offer TV propaganda so the ill-informed street masses can be stirred into a constant state of rage against the Jews and "Crusaders", their euphemistic term for westerners and Christians.

Hezb'Allah started the 2006 Summer Hezb'Allah War, firing thousands of Katyusha rockets from Lebanon into Northern Israel. Within weeks (or less) Global Media began to spin the news that "somehow" it was Israel who provoked Hezb'Allah. The Media consistently downplays Syria's role of weapons' supplier to Hezb'Allah -- aided by Iran. The Left Liberal Global Media barely mentions Syria's shipment of arms and explosives to Hezb'Allah -- or the U.N. abdication of their claimed role in keeping Hezb'Allah from re-occupying southern Lebanon on Israel's borders.

This propaganda spin effectively stopped Israel from achieving a conclusive win, thereby leaving in place the basic organization of Iran to Syria to Hezb'Allah. This also permitted the world nations to emplace the totally ineffective U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon. This allowed the Syrians and Iranians to increase the re-supply of Hezb'Allah to at least 20,000 missiles and nurturing the rat-lines of terrorists, explosives and weapons flowing from Syria and Iran into Iraq to blow up American soldiers and construction workers, as well as Iraqi men, women and children in massive daily massacres. Where is the Media rage on this matter?

As you can see, information and dis-information is a vital part of War and Terrorism. Regrettably, Israel's leaders invariably failed to answer in time or pre-emptively help the Media speak about the realities of Hezb'Allah, Hamas/Fatah, Syria and Iran as to their ultimate openly and loudly declared purpose to savage Israel and drive her off the map/into the sea.

Can Israel adopt a more aggressive stance with respect to Hasbara? They could BUT they are invariably late, using inarticulate spokespersons. When they get a good spokesperson, they restrict whatever information he or she might impart. Or they find that person "politically incorrect" because he or she might defend the Jewish right and need to keep Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Golan Heights, Jordan Valley and all of Jerusalem. Because the U.S. State Department has convinced Israel that this is NOT what they wish. Almost all of the "politically correct" politicians/spokespersons/media people are driven away from any position of being helpful.

Jewish activists world-wide have proven themselves over the years by putting out Hasbara information in real time and with a correct, positive and pro-Israel/pro-Jewish point of view. Will Israeli leaders ever use these sources? Of course not. They would rather fail than to admit that their political leaders cannot direct their own Foreign and Prime Ministries to do the job.

We occasionally hear from Shimon Peres who is the darling of the liberal Global Media as he panders to the Arab Muslim point of view. One can only cringe when Shimon in his Polish accent speaks about the benefits of "piss" (how he invariably says: "Peace") -- with Arafat before and now with Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen)...and even with Hamas. Peres (Hebrew word for 'vulture') speaks about surrendering Land G-d gave to the Jewish people and building islands out into the Mediterranean Sea which he believes the Palestinians could not possibly claim as Islamic Land. (Oh no? Just watch them.)

Of course, he never divulges how Israel will pay for all this. First he has to uproot and evict the 500,000 Jewish men, women and children (250,000 from Judea and Samaria plus 250,000 from those parts of Jerusalem the Muslims claim that Jordan controlled for 19 years from 1948 to 1967). Then who would pay the Billions to build his floating islands.

Peres has another favorite gambit. He has said at open Press Conferences that it would better to give up the Golan and have Arab/Muslim hotels on the Heights rather than Jewish tanks. Of course, he means to dispense with 20,000 or more Jewish men, women and children who have built their beautiful homes up there, and the vineyards, and the famous wineries, etc.

What then would I do if charged with the responsibility of Israel's Hasbara?

First I would bring in every accredited correspondent and tell them that any misleading or false information in their reportage would cause them to forfeit their credentials.

If they persist or their home-based newspapers, TV stations persist in provoking their civilians in a Goebbels-like hate propaganda theme, I would insist that their representatives pack their bags and go back home.

I would not, as is common among Arab Muslims -- be they so-called Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, Hezb'Allah, Hamas, Fatah or from any other Terror organization, threaten their lives, kidnap correspondents, photographers or videographers -- or otherwise use life threatening fear to insure flattering stories -- as in the "Commodore Syndrome" (see above).

It is highly probable that a War is coming, possibly this summer. Israel should be putting out accurate information NOW! Instead they are consumed with the investigations of Olmert and other ministers and Olmert's plans to install Tzippi Livni as Prime Minister should he, Olmert be forced out of office by any one of the many probes into various corrupt practices of his.

Have you ever hear Livni speak English? Let alone be articulate in explaining Israel's position? Amir Peretz is worse as his psycho-babble makes him look and sound like a dunce.

Of course, the very articulate Binyamin Netanyahu (Bibi), who seems to be holding back, awaiting Olmert and Livni's commitment to abandon Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, Jordan Valley and divide Jerusalem in a choreographed war meant to satisfy Bush, Rice and Baker. Presumably, he hopes to then become Prime Minister with all the blame of battle casualties falling (rightfully) on Olmert and his Kadima/Labor rabble. Bibi can then become the great orator -- too little and too late.

The Israeli leadership, such as it is, could call upon Jews and Christians world-wide to flood the Media with very loud objections to their bias. Those who are already able to communicate through E-mail and Blogs should be contacted so there will be no repeat of the silence of the Jews during WW2. Flagship journals like the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Times, NPR, CNN, et al would not be allowed to pump out disinformation or no information as they once did and are now once again doing. I must say that FOX NEWS generally does make the effort to give us straight news with excellent anchor-persons, such as Jennifer Griffin.

As I suggested earlier, Media-persons stationed in Israel should get a new standard of ethical reporting or simply have to leave the country. Of course, they could always be shipped off to Syria, Iran, Beirut or Gaza and accept the rule of reporting as laid out by the Terrorists.


1. British Mandate for Palestine "The Palestine Mandate, The Council of the League of Nations" from July 24, 1922 ...from the "[Winston] Churchill White Paper of 1922, which again reiterated the right of the Jews to a Homeland in Palestine. At this time, Britain detached all of the area east of the Jordan river from Palestine and gave it to the Hashemi family as an independent Arab state. Many historians believe that this was a sop to the Hashemites, who had lost Syria to the French and Saudi Arabia to ibn Saud." & See Article 6: "Administration of Palestine...shall facilitate Jewish immigration and shall encourage...close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purpose."

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at winstonmedia@comcast.net

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Posted by Judith Prewitt, April 27, 2007.

Contact Judith Prewitt at madameprofessor@sbcglobal.net

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 26, 2007.


Kalkilya is one of the "quieter" P.A. cities. ("Quiet" is the English word Israelis use to mean few terrorist attacks emanating from there.) During the period of "quiet," Kalkilyans did not attack Israel, because they weren't ready to, not because they were peaceful there. Thanks to help from Iran, Hamas has built a terrorist structure there, and is ready to attack several places.

Recently a Kalkilyan drove explosives into Tel Aviv, to strike Passover crowds. But he drove back, where his car exploded by accident.

He did he penetrate the security fence, on which Israel is spending billions? By marrying an Israeli Arab, he was able to get Israeli ID and license plates. Israeli forbearance at checkpoints, lest it harm the Arabs' quality of life, let him in. In Israel, one hand doesn't wash the other, it scratches the other.

Israeli security forces arrested 19 Hamas operatives involved in that mission and in planning other attacks (Arutz-7, 4/10).

The concept of "quiet" is false. Sparing the Arabs' quality of life costs innocent lives. Multiculturalism allows the enemy to live in Israel and bring in terrorists from outside. Liberalism is suicidal.

PRISONER SWAP -- chilling Arab demand

Hamas listed 45 prominent terrorists it wants to exchange for one Israeli. The 45 have murdered and wounded hundreds of Israelis (Arutz-7, 4/10).

This is confusing, because earlier the list was said to include about 1400. Neither exchange is reasonable, because to save one Israeli, enough terrorists would be released to murder another hundred Israelis! In a war of attrition, the Arabs can afford more losses, but it would be Israel that suffers more losses.

No exchange would be right, because terrorists deserve jail or execution, whereas the Israeli was kidnapped specifically for exchange. I think that Israel must crack down on the terrorists with such force that they never again dare to kidnap an Israeli. Ideally, Israel simply should wipe out all the terrorists.


Youssef Ibrahim thinks that if the West makes war on Iran, the whole population would participate against the West (NY Sun, 4/9, p.5).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Buddy Macy, April 26, 2007.

Dear UJC Professional/Supporter:

It is critical that you read the entire 2 links below by David Bedein of the Israel Resource News Agency.

The Jews of Sderot depend on you.

Buddy Macy
Little Falls, NJ

Will the UJC Fulfill its Pledge to Sderot?

(partial quote) "At this point in time, the commitment of the UJC philanthropy to provide $4 million in aid to the mental health services in Sderot is only on paper."

UJC Misrepresentation of News Piece on UJC Allocations to Sderot

(partial quote) "The question remains: What will be the UJC 2007 allocation to health, education and social services of the Jewish communities of Sderot and the Western Negev, in light of the fact that these communities have suffered more than 100 missile attacks SINCE Israel's self-imposed cease-fire on November 26th, 2006?"

Contact Buddy Macy at vegibud@gmail.com.

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, April 26, 2007.

This comes from the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG). Contact Bennett Zimmerman at 310 617 4180.

As Israel's Celebrates 59th Independence Day, American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) reports acceleration in Jewish demographic momentum and rapid convergence of Arab and Jewish fertility levels in Israel. The AIDRG current trends and updated "Forecast for Israel 2025" projects a 79% Jewish majority population and long-term population stability between Jewish-Arab population groups in Israel.

  • By 2025, Israel's most Orthodox Jewish communities will grow from 16% to 23% of Israel's total population (and from 20% to 29% of Jewish sector)

  • Israel's secular/traditional Jewish sector will fall from 64% to 56% of Israel's total population (and from 80% to 71% of Jewish sector)

  • Israel's Arab sector will grow from 20% to 21% of Israel's total population

After 2025, the Jewish majority will rebound past its current 80% position as natural growth in high growth Jewish sectors overtakes growth in Arab population groups.

Demographic Leadership in Israel is shifted from Arab to Jewish population groups As the current Jewish 'baby boomers' begin to enter their childbearing years while the current contraction of births and an aging Arab community will limit growth rates in Israel's Arab community.

The mid-case 2025 forecast holds current Jewish fertility levels steady at 2.75 births per woman and annual net aliyah of 20,000 based on the recent 5 year average and internal targets of Israel's Jewish Agency.

The AIDRG forecast gradually reduces Arab fertility levels to 2.4 births/woman by 2025 where they stabilize at this long-term intermediate rate. As aliyah has lessened, the Jewish total fertility rate (TFR), or the number of children a woman is likely to bear over her lifetime, has been rising.

Faster convergence in Arab and Jewish fertility or upturns in aliyah would increase the Jewish percentage to 83% by 2025 from the current 80%. If Arab fertility only declines to 3.0, the current Arab rate in northern Israel, the Jewish population will decline to 77%.

Breakout in Jewish Demographic momentum

Fertility rates in Israel, the highest of any advanced industrial nation, rose steadily to over 2.75 births/woman among Jews.

  • Jewish births surged from 80,000 in 1995 to 109,000 in 2006, an increase of 36% and an acceleration of 4% in 2006 alone. Jewish births have grown from 69% of all births in 1995 to 74% in 2006 and 76% in January 2007. These changes have been recorded ahead of an expected surge in Jewish births following a markedly higher pregnancy rate recorded shortly after Israel's month long Lebanon war last summer.

  • Net annual aliyah (immigrants plus returning Israelis less emigrants) has averaged over 50,000 as recently as 1996 through 2000 and 20,000 per year from 2001 through 2005, adding further demographic strength to the Jewish sector. (ICBS, Sources of Population Growth, 2001-2005, 99.4K Net Migration to Jewish sector, http://www1.cbs.gov.il/shnaton57/download/st02_02.xls).

AIDRG Introduces Spotlight Forecast Israel's Fastest Growing Orthodox Jewish Sector

The AIDRG introduces a growth forecast for the 20% most Orthodox segment.. Based on ICBS regional population and fertility data, AIDRG has derived fertility in this group as currently 4.5 births/woman.

While the ICBS rightly releases detailed reports on the Druze and Christian Arabs, communities each totaling only slightly over 100,000 persons, there is almost no information segregated for large communities within the Jewish community that display similar fertility patterns.

The Orthodox sector is as large as Israel's entire Moslem community, as example, and is experiencing no signs of letup in robust fertility, yet it has remained under-analyzed in Israel.

A separate population forecast was conduced for this community through 2025 and Beyond. Fertility are held steady through 2025 and beyond to understand the impact of continued robust patterns by Israel's most furtive major population group.

The highest fertility rates in Israel on a sustained basis act to propel Jewish demographic momentum, especially after children being born today in these sectors begin to have children two decades from now. Maintenance of their patterns over time has a very powerful impact on Jewish growth rates in Israel.

The separation of the groups does not have a dramatic impact initially to population levels, but after 2025 the demographic momentum in births accelerates as children in the community today begin to have children.

AIDRG Spotlights Rising Fertility in Israel's Majority Secular Jewish Sector and Normalization of Immigrant Fertility to Israeli Norm

Births in the corresponding 80% of the Jewish population are 2.1 births/woman.

While it is often anecdotally true that religious person in Israel with high fertility characteristics will indeed have more grandkids than his or her secular counterpart with lower fertility patterns, the long-term Jewish demographic breakout in Israel depends on the participation of all sectors of the larger Jewish population group.

Because the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews live in large urban zones such as Tel Aviv and the Central District, the upturn in the fertility rate in Israel's more secular zones has immediate impact on increasing the number of children today.

Childbearing choices have the potential to add most to the Jewish demographic momentum in exactly the large sectors where it was least expected in Israel's prior forecasts.

Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union who were expected to repeat fertility characteristics in this group are now adopting Israeli norms as their family size increases while in Israel.

Orthodox, secular and new immigrants sectors all experienced increased fertility in 2006 and all sectors are leading to a demographic breakout in the Jewish community.

Convergence of Arab fertility patterns to Israeli norms

The increased momentum on the Jewish sector is occurring as lower fertility patterns are measured in all sectors of Israel's Arab community. The lower fertility is occurring among an Arab generation that was expected by Israeli demographers to repeat fertility patterns of their mothers, while these women are not even repeating fertility patterns of their older sisters.

  • Israel Arab births in Israel rose from 36,500 in 1995 to 41,000 in 2000 and then stabilized [for five years]. In 2005, Israel Arab births fell 5% in one year to 38,800 and have remained at this level in 2006, similar to levels recorded a decade ago

  • Arab fertility rates have plunged from over 9.0 births/woman in the 1960s to 4.4 in 2000 to 3.6 in 2006. Arab and Jewish fertility have converged in the most heavily Arab populated zones in Israel:

  • Half of Israel's Arab population lives in the North where fertility levels have fallen to 3 births/woman, a rate now almost equal to the overall Israeli Jewish rate.

  • Christian Arabs continue to exhibit fertility levels of 2.1, barely at replacement level while Israeli Druze now match the Israeli Jewish norm.

  • In Jerusalem, rapidly falling Arab fertility from 4.5 births in 2004 to 3.9 births in 2005 now match a steadily rising Jewish fertility of 3.9 births/woman while Jewish fertility of 4.7 births/woman in West Bank suburbs stands above all other groups in the Jerusalem Metro Area

  • 150 thousand Bedouin in Northern Negev, the last Arab community with high fertility rates, have witnessed a decline from 9.6 2004 to 7 births/woman in 2006. The full impact of reduced government monetary incentives is yet to be measured.

Bedouin in the Negev still present critical sociological and demographic challenge for Israel

Focused policies to normalize the Bedouin community's behavior would bring a further convergence in Jewish and Arab fertility levels. If Israel wishes to maintain the current convergence of Arab and Jewish fertility, Israel must address the issue now. Only 2% of Israeli 20 year old women are from the Bedouin Negev, but 4% of Israeli 10 years olds are from the same community.

High teenage pregnancy rates and early marriage of Israel's youngest citizens to men many times their age remains both a sociological challenge and human rights challenge for many young Israeli Arab women who do not have the life choices characteristic of a modern society. High Bedouin fertility also involves law enforcement issues including polygamy, smuggling of women, birth under false identity, and fraud in collection of government support payments.

AIDRG analysis of emerging trends in Israel is based on data released by the ICBS and published for public use.

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

The American-Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), is led by Bennett Zimmerman, Roberta Seid, Michael L. Wise, and Yoram Ettinger. The AIDRG authored "Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza: The Million Person Gap," (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies) and debuted their Forecast for Israel and West Bank 2025 at Israel's Herzliya Policy Conference and at the American Enterprise Institute. The studies can be found at www.aidrg.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 26, 2007.

This was written by Robert Spencer and it appeared on Front Page

(http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27980) Magazine. p>Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of six books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith and the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.

On Thursday, April 12, a gang of Somali thugs on a downtown Oslo street attacked Kadra, a Somali woman who now lives in Norway, and beat her senseless, breaking several of her ribs. They were enraged at her for her recent statement that the Qur'an's views of women needed reevaluation. They also might have been angry because of her role in revealing the widespread support among imams in Norway for female genital mutilation; Kadra exposed their support for this horrific procedure using a hidden camera in a 2000 documentary for Norwegian television.

As they beat her, Kadra's attackers shouted Allahu akbar -- Allah is great -- and recited verses from the Qur'an. "I was terrified," she said. "While I lay on the pavement they kicked me and screamed that I had trampled on the Koran."

The following Tuesday, two men in Mississauga, Ontario, attacked journalist Jawaad Faizi, who writes for the Pakistan Post, a newspaper based in Mississauga. The attackers told Faizi to stop "writing against Islam," and particularly to stop criticizing an Islamic organization, Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran, and its leader, a Muslim cleric named Allama Tahir-Ul-Qadri.

Faizi, a native of Lahore, Pakistan, said, "I had so many problems back home as a journalist, but I'm shocked that this is happening here."

Of course, "writing against Islam," or being perceived as having done so, has always been dangerous, as Salman Rushdie and many others can attest. The New York Times reported in 2002 that a professor at the University of Nablus in the West Bank, Suliman Bashear, who "argued that Islam developed as a religion gradually rather than emerging fully formed from the mouth of the Prophet," was for this novel and, from the point of view of traditional Islam, heretical teaching, thrown out of a second-story window by his students.

In 1947, the Iranian lawyer Ahmad Kasravi was murdered in court by Islamic radicals; Kasravi was there to defend himself against charges that he had attacked Islam. Four years later, members of the same radical Muslim group, Fadayan-e Islam, assassinated Iranian Prime Minister Haji-Ali Razmara after a group of Muslim clerics issued a fatwa calling for his death. In 1992, the Egyptian writer Faraj Foda was murdered by Muslims enraged at his "apostasy" from Islam -- another offense for which traditional Islamic law prescribes the death penalty.

Foda's countryman, the Nobel Prizewinning novelist Naguib Mahfouz, was stabbed in 1994 after accusations of blasphemy. Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, many non-Muslims have been arrested, tortured, and sentenced to die on the slimmest of evidence.

But for such things to happen in Iran and Egypt, two countries where Islamic radicalism is widespread, is one thing; to have them happen in Oslo and Mississauga, Ontario is quite another. But this kind of thing has happened before in the West. On November 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam when Mohammed Bouyeri, a Muslim wearing traditional Islamic clothing, began shooting at him.

After Van Gogh fell off his bike, Bouyeri ran up to him and began slitting his throat, attempting to behead him. In his agony, van Gogh pleaded with his killer, "Can't we talk about this?" Bouyeri replied by stabbing van Gogh repeatedly and leaving a note on a knife stabbed into the body. The note contained verses from the Qur'an and threats to other Dutch public figures who opposed the flood of Muslim immigrants into the Netherlands.

Bouyeri killed van Gogh because of the filmmaker's twelve-minute video Submission, which had aired on Dutch TV a few weeks before the murder. A collaboration between van Gogh and the Somali ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was then a member of the Dutch Parliament, Submission decried the mistreatment of Muslim women -- and even featured images of battered women wearing see-through robes that exposed their breasts, with verses from the Qur'an written on their bodies.

At his trial, Bouyeri was unrepentant -- and absolutely clear about why he murdered van Gogh. "I did what I did purely out my beliefs," he explained, Qur'an in hand. "I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted...If I ever get free, I would do it again." He was, he said, acting in accord with Islamic law: "What moved me to do what I did was purely my faith. I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet."

The attacks on Kadra and Faizi show that there are many others in the West today who believe that they must likewise act upon Allah's commands and victimize those whom they deem to have offended Islam.

This is a challenge to all Western governments, for it is a challenge to the freedom of speech that is rooted in the constitutions and laws of Western states, and ultimately is intimately connected with the freedom of conscience and the Judeo-Christian view of the dignity of the human being before God. Western leaders should move now to make it abundantly clear that attacks on "blasphemers" and "heretics" will not be tolerated; that those who believe that Sharia should be the highest law of the land are not welcome here; and that the West will defend our Judeo-Christian culture and heritage.

Otherwise, only one thing is certain: there will be many, many more such attacks.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 26, 2007.

Whenever the issue of the death penalty arises, including in Israel, its opponents start screaming about all the "wrongfully convicted and executed" people. The urban myth of wrongfully executed innocents is one of the most common in the media.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week, judge Morris B. Hoffman (Colorado district court judge and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado) takes a serious look at that claim. It is complete nonsense.

Hoffman observes:

"One of the earliest and most oft-cited works on wrongful convictions was a 1987 study done by Hugo Bedau and Michael Radelet, claiming that 23 of the 350 capital defendants whose cases they examined (including Sacco and Vanzetti) were executed despite their factual innocence. Yet the method by which Mr. Bedau (a philosopher) and Mr. Radelet (a sociologist) determined whether the executed defendants were actually innocent was to reconstruct from the trial record, and contemporaneous newspaper reports, a one-sided narrative from which some doubt about factual guilt might plausibly be argued. Scholars immediately criticized this methodology, and challenged Messrs. Bedau and Radelet to come up with a single case of a demonstrably innocent person executed in America in the modern era. Messrs. Bedau and Radelet have not only been unable to do so. One of them has recently admitted that their label "innocent" was really just a way of saying there were errors in the trial, that guilt seemed to them to be a "close call," and that some of those close calls must surely, as a statistical matter, have involved some factually innocent people....It is a giant leap from an erroneous trial ruling to reversible error, and another giant leap from reversible error to actual innocence."

Hoffman goes on to calculate the wrongful post-trial conviction rate in the US as only 0.013%. But since only 5% of cases go to court trial in the US, the overall wrongful conviction rate is around 0.00065%. And there is no evidence that any wrongfully convicted person was ever executed in the US.

So instead of trying to deal with terrorism through capitulation and appeasement, maybe Israel should try capital punishment! The entire country was forced into the Oslo debacle under the slogan "Let's give it a try." So regarding capital punishment, why not give it a try?

This is called "The 'Innocence' Myth," and was written by Morris B. Hoffman, who is a Colorado district court judge and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado. This article was adapted from a forthcoming issue of the Chicago-Kent Law Review.

Criminal defendants in the United States are sometimes wrongfully convicted. If that's news to you, you don't know much about human fallibility. You must also have somehow managed to avoid the increasingly shrill polemics issuing, daily it seems, from our nation's law schools and their "innocence projects," which have spent the last 20 years trying to paint a picture of our criminal justice system so dismal that a rightful conviction seems the exception and not the rule.

The director of one of those innocence projects said in a 2002 magazine interview that "we as a nation" would rather have the criminal justice system convict 10 innocent people than let one guilty person go free, inverting the famous Blackstone Ratio. Today, that project's Web site lists as one of its missions the duty to educate the public about the "prevalence" of wrongful convictions.

But what is the real wrongful conviction rate? Innocence projects, and the liturgies that have grown up around them, are strangely silent when it comes to that question. And of course in imperfect complex systems, it is the error rate that matters. That means we must look not only at the number of wrongfully convicted defendants, but also at the number of rightly convicted ones. And there lies the empirical challenge.

Before the advent of DNA testing, there were only a few narrow circumstances in which we could confidently assess a defendant's guilt by any method other than the trial itself. In the era before the corpus delicti rule was vigorously enforced, "victims" of "murder" occasionally resurfaced very much alive. Fingerprints and some other kinds of pre-DNA forensic evidence discovered after trial could sometimes do the trick. Later confessions by the "real" criminal could also prove convictions wrongful, though, of course, there is the problem of false confessions.

Perhaps because of these definitional challenges, there has been very little in the way of comprehensive study of wrongful conviction rates. But that hasn't stopped the mythmakers. One of the earliest and most oft-cited works on wrongful convictions was a 1987 study done by Hugo Bedau and Michael Radelet, claiming that 23 of the 350 capital defendants whose cases they examined (including Sacco and Vanzetti) were executed despite their factual innocence. Yet the method by which Mr. Bedau (a philosopher) and Mr. Radelet (a sociologist) determined whether the executed defendants were actually innocent was to reconstruct from the trial record, and contemporaneous newspaper reports, a one-sided narrative from which some doubt about factual guilt might plausibly be argued.

Scholars immediately criticized this methodology, and challenged Messrs. Bedau and Radelet to come up with a single case of a demonstrably innocent person executed in America in the modern era. Messrs. Bedau and Radelet have not only been unable to do so, one of them has recently admitted that their label "innocent" was really just a way of saying there were errors in the trial, that guilt seemed to them to be a "close call," and that some of those close calls must surely, as a statistical matter, have involved some factually innocent people.

The mythmakers also directly conflate trial error rates with wrongful conviction rates. Studies showing astonishingly high error rates in capital trials have very little to do with the question of the rate at which innocent people are being convicted. I can't remember a single trial over which I have presided -- including dozens of homicides -- in which, looking back, I didn't make at least one error in ruling on objections. It is a giant leap from an erroneous trial ruling to reversible error, and another giant leap from reversible error to actual innocence.

Much of the empirical confusion about wrongful conviction rates has been driven by histrionics over the death penalty. To a large and unfortunate extent, the debate about wrongful convictions in a capital context has become a proxy for arguments in favor and against the death penalty. Lost in the cross fire is any reliable data about the actual wrongful conviction rate.

But the innocence data can be mined for some approximations. And those approximations suggest that the actual rate of wrongful convictions in the United States is vanishingly small.

In the first place, almost all criminal defendants plead guilty. The national plea bargaining rate is around 95%. That means that even if juries get it right only 80% of the time (an assumption at which most sensible scholars would cringe), the overall post-trial wrongful conviction rate would still be only around 1%.

But the real wrongful conviction rate is almost certainly lower, and significantly so. Earlier this week the innocence project at Cardozo School of Law issued a press release celebrating the 200th person exonerated by DNA testing. But in the 20 years innocence projects have been operating, there were roughly two million criminal trials in the U.S. Assuming as many as 25% of those trials resulted in acquittals (and ignoring, as the innocence merchants are wont to do, the problem of wrongful acquittals), the wrongful post-trial conviction rate is only 0.013%. Since only 5% of cases are tried, that would place the overall wrongful conviction rate at around 0.00065%.

Of course, this is just a lower bound estimate, based on several admittedly questionable assumptions, including that the innocence-project data is representative, and that no innocent people plead guilty. But even if this estimate is an order of magnitude or two low, it is still considerably less than the mythmakers would have us believe.

Even cases that make it to trial are rarely about factual innocence -- that is, whether the defendant actually committed the acts with which he is charged. Yes, there are the occasional "whodunits" -- I even had a homicide whodunit earlier this year -- and even categories of cases in which factual guilt is more likely to be a legitimately contested issue, such as sex assaults. But those cases are very much the exception. The vast majority of criminal trials in America are not about factual guilt or innocence, they are about the defendant's state of mind at the time of the crime, and therefore about the level of offense of which the defendant will be convicted.

Exaggerations about the unreliability of the criminal justice system are not just matters of scholastic impurity and pedagogical extremism; they threaten to become self-fulfilling. In a system as dependent on plea bargaining as ours, a widespread belief that the system is hopelessly unreliable will only encourage innocent defendants to plead guilty to lesser offenses. It also leaves many jurors, who expect "whodunits," unprepared for the real work of the typical criminal jury -- to decide the defendant's level of culpability -- and therefore unduly resistant to defenses based on lack of culpability.

Of course, the work of innocence projects is incredibly important and should be celebrated, even if the projects had identified just one wrongfully convicted defendant, let alone hundreds. That's because trials should be about truth, and errors in truth detection -- whether convicting the innocent or acquitting the guilty -- should concern us all. Innocence projects may also have significant things to teach us about discrete points in the criminal justice system that are particularly prone to error (such as coerced confessions and cross-racial identification).

But it is a mistake for them to stretch their results beyond all statistical sense. All defendants are entitled at trial to the scrupulous presumption of their innocence. They are not entitled to the post-conviction presumption that the criminal justice system is about as reliable as tossing a coin.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, April 26, 2007.

This is by Frida Ghitis and it appeared April 22, 2007 in World Politics Watch
(http://worldpoliticswatch.com/author.aspx?id=36). Frida Ghitis writes on world affairs.

While the war between Israel and Hezbollah raged in Lebanon and Israel last summer, it became clear that media coverage had itself started to play an important role in determining the ultimate outcome of that war. It seemed clear that news coverage would affect the course of the conflict. And it quickly transpired that Hezbollah would become the beneficiary of the media's manipulation.

A close examination of the media's role during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon comes now from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, in an analysis of qthe war published in a paper whose subtitle should give pause to journalists covering international conflict: "The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict." Marvin Kalb, of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, methodically traces the transformation of the media "from objective observer to fiery advocate." Kalb painstakingly details how Hezbollah exercised absolute control over how journalists portrayed its side of the conflict, while Israel became "victimized by its own openness."

The lessons from the Harvard paper go well beyqond historic analysis. Kalb's thoroughly and persuasively documented case points to the challenges to journalists in future "asymmetrical" conflicts in which a radical militia provides access only to journalists agreeing to the strictest of rules.

Journalists did Hezbollah's work, offering little resistance to the Islamic militia's effort to portray itself as an idealistic and heroic army of the people, facing an aggressive and ruthless enemy. With Hezbollah's unchallenged control of journalists' access within its territory, it managed to almost completely eliminate from the narrative crucial facts, such as the fact that it deliberately fired its weapons from deep within civilian population centers, counting on Israeli forces to have no choice but defend themselves by targeting rocket launchers where they stood. Hezbollah's strong support from Syria and Iran -- including the provision of deadly weapons -- faded in the coverage, as the conflict increasingly became portrayed as pitting one powerful army against a band of heroic defenders of a civilian population.

Gradually lost in the coverage was the fact that the war began when Hezbollah infiltrated Israel, kidnapping two of its soldiers (still held to this day) and killing eight Israelis. Despite the undisputed fact that Hezbollah triggered the war, Israel was painted as the aggressor, as images of the war overtook the context.

Israelis by the hundreds of thousands became the target of rocket fire aimed at civilian centers. Women and children, Jews and Arabs, young and old, spent more than a month living in underground shelters while nearly 4000 Hezbollah rockets rained on Israel. The coverage from Israel, however, quickly moved away from the anxiety-filled civilian areas, which were not terribly telegenic, and onto the front lines where armed, uniformed soldiers could be seen by television cameramen and reporters.

By contrast, armed Hezbollah fighters were all but invisible to the media. Also invisible were Hezbollah's thousands of rockets and rocket launchers strategically positioned near schools, hospitals and apartment buildings.

Within Hezbollah territory, journalists were led through scenes of the destruction caused by Israel. Journalists rarely complained about Hezbollah's restrictions, but they frequently complained about Israel's efforts to limit coverage deemed useful to the enemy. Still, circumventing Israeli restrictions proved easy in a country like Israel, while in Hezbollah-controlled areas it proved all but impossible. Cameras enjoyed full access to civilian victims of Israel's actions, but never to the perpetrators of violence against Israel. And in Israel journalists could interview soldiers complaining about the weaknesses in Israeli tactics. On more than one occasion, Hezbollah choreographed theater for visiting journalists, with ambulances ordered to parade on command for journalists, who rarely challenged the inconsistencies in what they saw. Bloggers, for example, noticed a perfectly unharmed Lebanese man standing in a picture, not long after he had been seen being "rescued" from the crushing rubble of a building.

Before long, Hezbollah had achieved a definitive propaganda victory. The media had not only acquiesced to tell Hezbollah's version of the war, they had started contributing to the creation of the narrative, with at least one Reuters photographer altering photographs to make Israeli attacks look more damaging. And many reporters simply failed to offer much context. The study quotes the New York Times' Stephen Erlanger commenting on a satellite picture published by his paper. The picture showed a southern suburb of Beirut, which was largely destroyed. Erlanger said it "bothered me a great deal," because the image with no context failed to show that this was a small part of a Beirut, and the rest of the city was largely undamaged by the war.

According to the Harvard paper, Arab TV network Al Arabiya portrayed Arabs as the victims in 95 percent of its stories, while Al Jazeera did it in 70 percent of its reports. Arab journalists' bias against Israel is hardly surprising, but consider this: Al Jazeera's coverage portrayed Israel as the aggressor just as often as did the four main German television programs. And if you think American journalists held no bias against Israel, you may be surprised to know that "On the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, Israel was portrayed as the aggressor nearly twice as often in the headlines and exactly three times as often in the photos."

The Harvard paper shows the need for journalists to brace themselves and remain vigilant when they cover conflicts between open societies on one side, and media-controlling militias on the other. These conflicts, which we will undoubtedly continue to see, demand that journalists make a greater effort to provide context and to keep from become willing collaborators with one side. Islamic militant groups, such as al-Qaida and others, have openly described their strategy of manipulating the media and winning on the "information battlefield." Hezbollah, too, had a well crafted, and ultimately successful media plan.

The challenge to keep from being used will be greatest for journalists in the field, but editors back in the newsroom also must look closely at what their organizations produce. They must be aware that their reporters on the ground are the target of media campaigns by those they cover, and that reporters can become emotionally allied with one side, as we saw last summer in Lebanon.

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

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Posted by Unity Coalition for Israel, April 26, 2007.

This was written by Susan MacAllen and it was published April 23, 2007 on the Family Security Foundation website (www.FamilySecurityMatters.org).

I was recently present at a dinner conversation that became heated when the subject of Islam and terrorism came up. As usual, the liberals shouted down the conservative voice, convinced of their own infallible belief in the good of all religions, their commitment to multiculturalism at all costs, the stupidity of those who think Islam a threat. "It's about a few radicals!" they exclaimed in exasperation. "Islam is a peaceful religion!"

The truth is, this is the belief of many in the West. Given the foundations of our way of thinking, the values at the very core of our societies, it is nearly impossible to get the truth into people's heads: that Islam ITSELF is a problem. So why should it matter whether people get this concept as we go about our daily lives or to our dinner parties? To the extent that people fail to realize the blatant fact that Islam itself is the problem, we remain unprepared, and the danger to us all increases.

Over time, societies change. Power shifts from one group to another, one cultural background to another, one religious system to another. This is the history of human kind, and such change is inevitable. However, not all changes in history have been for the good of the populace. Some changes have resulted in a supreme power shift, bloodshed and destruction. Which are we headed for?

The answer to that question will depend upon how honest we are about discussing the coming change. But we in the West tend to misunderstand fundamental realities about Islam, and thus we make dangerously inaccurate assumptions about its values. In this limited space, I would like to address just a few of the myths about Islam one hears at dinner parties and at water coolers, and unfortunately on the nightly news...

Myth: Islam is a peaceful religion.

Truth: When we hear this, we understand the meaning of the statement from a very Western perspective, but the meaning intended by the Muslim speaker is very different. "Peaceful religion" to a Judeo-Christian trained mind means a religion that embraces and practices peaceful intentions toward all others. When an Islamist says "peaceful religion" he means a religion whose ultimate goal is peace upon earth -- when all non-believers submit to it. "Islam" does not translate to "peace" as some people falsely believe. Its meaning is "submission;" -- that is, submission to Allah and to Islam, of all peoples of the earth. This is the mission of Islam -- using violence against non-believers to achieve that goal is absolutely condoned and is a stated legitimate tenet of Islam.

Myth: Mohammed was a prophet for peace and a "good person".

Truth: It is true that Mohammad had some wise things to say. In his early days of preaching he was peaceful. However, as his following grew, his frustration at his political rivals also grew. He became a killer -- a leader of a band of thugs who "converted" by the sword. (When not by sword physically, it was by social deprivation and isolation -- forced submission to Islam.) He was brutal and merciless, intent on spreading his ideology primarily for political purposes. Many "moderate" Muslims struggle greatly with reconciling this history with their desire to see good in their faith. What do you do when you hunger for wisdom and your prophet is a brute?

Myth: Most Muslims don't believe in violence.

Truth: This is a moot point. Those who don't embrace violence are silent and intimidated, while those who do are in power -- in Muslim society, in the Middle East, and in the West. An opposition which has been bullied into acquiescence is not a real opposition threatening the bullies in any realistic way.

Myth: We need to embrace Muslims as peaceful people and be inclusive in our culture.

Truth: For us, practicing multiculturalism means showing respect for the beliefs of others. But for many Muslims it means that we should implicitly acknowledge the superiority of Islam or, in other words, our own submission. We fail to comprehend that Islam is not a religion in the same sense Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taosim, or Judaism are. It is not a code for ethical living in relation to morality and all humankind, including the propagation of peace. In fact, Islamism is more a political ideology, advocating openly for the establishment of Islam as law of the land. The idea of ethical Islamist living is not separable from political power. There is NO separation of church and state in Islam.

Myth: Suicide bombers come from poor families, are underprivileged, uneducated and war-weary.

Truth: The majority of suicide bombers are middle class or even wealthy. They are usually literate and educated. They have in common that they have been indoctrinated by an Islamist-philosophy-based society to believe that killing the infidel is a path to glory and that their faith requires it as the ultimate sacrifice for the good of Islam.

Such few examples only begin to illustrate the enormous differences between the mind of a person raised in the West or in Buddhist tradition, or Hindu tradition, and that of one raised in Islam. Recently I read a piece where the very articulate writer, whom we'll call Larry X, made a common mistake in judgment -- precisely the type of which we are speaking. He speaks of the radicals who have hijacked Islam and made it violent. I wrote to him:

"I appreciate your thoughts very much. But you seem to be making the mistake many in the West make. For example, when you say the radical Islamists "have taken Islam and turned it into a violent medieval ideology", you are mistaken. Islam IS and always HAS been a violent medieval ideology. Assuming that Christians and Muslims can somehow get together, sing Kumbayah and write up a list of human rights declarations is naive: the very core, the very values of Islam are so different from those of the West, that this common ground would be evasive."

I realize that it makes Westerners uncomfortable to be confronted with the statement that negotiation with Islam is not possible. We want to believe that there is always room for negotiation, for joint efforts in peace building. However, clinging to that belief in the face of the reality of an Islamist mindset is not realistic, and it will be the death of Western society. As we spin our wheels trying to negotiate peace with a religion that does not define peace in the same way we do, the political agenda of a political religious ideology is easily establishing itself within our shores, and this is in direct opposition to many of our constitutional values. The issue isn't all about us versus them. It's about our commitment to peace not only for ourselves, but for millions of Muslim lives caught up in the violence of Islam. And so our final most important myth:

Myth: Islam is a religion like any other, worthy of respect.

Truth: It is unlike any other. True Islam advocates violence, is political in nature, embraces dominance, tortures its own followers, and does not contain a seed of tolerance for other belief systems. When one understands this, one cannot in good conscience treat it as an equal to other religions. We need to correct our teachers, politicians and newscasters who make incorrect assumptions that we all share values in common.

I wish you were right about it, Larry. But I know you aren't. We need to be better informed, and to be brave enough to say at the next dinner party: Islam IS the problem.

UCI -- The Unity Coalition for Israel --
(http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Avodah, April 26, 2007.
This was written by Youssef Ibrahim and it appeared April 23, 2007 in the New York Sun

Keeping Saudi Arabia's royal family safe from radical Islamists is the West's strategic concern and delusion.

The only intelligent question for America about Saudi Arabia is: Should we deal with the royals of the house of Saud or go directly to their bearded, Kalashnikov-toting Osama bin Laden-loving followers?

For half a century, the West has preferred to believe that its choice in Saudi Arabia is the moderate, friendly Saudi royal family or the wild-eyed, sandal-clad zombies of jihad, disregarding the seamless relationship between the two.

We have blithely ignored that Mr. bin Laden was a product and a protégé -- even a full-fledged member -- of the ruling establishment in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, his 52 brothers and other members of his family have intermarried widely with the royal family.

Since Abdulaziz Al-Saud founded his kingdom in 1932, power in Saudi Arabia has rested in the hands of one rabid group of Muslim jihadists: the 40,000 perfumed princes and princesses of the Saud tribal dynasty. They are the public face of Saudi Arabia, the folks who show up in the White House as ambassadors to America.

In Saudi Arabia, these royals nurture a vast entourage and infrastructure of palaces, attached mosques, religious schools, and charitable networks at home and, more important, abroad. These institutions are tied to elegant public princes, but also to many more we never see overseas. They dole out the money and in return demand blind obedience and a steady stream of Wahhabite devotees.

Saudi royal wealth has funded not only hundreds of religious schools inside the kingdom, but also hundreds more in Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Britain, America, and Asia. The network stretches far and wide, and Wahhabi recruits create the fodder that supplies suicide bombers for Hamas, the Taliban, Iraqi jihadis, and Pakistani-British transit bombers.

There is little difference between the royals and their infrastructure. The idea of two camps is a fiction brilliantly spun by American public relations artists aided by legions of purchased lobbyists and American politicians.

So the question, again, is whether we want to deal with the royals or the nuts. I propose the latter. For starters, it serves transparency.

Why allow an enemy to hide behind seductive royals when most of the family consists of die-hard jihadists who fund Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamic terror groups worldwide? The game allows "royals" to pose as friends as they supply our former presidents and politicians -- President George H.W. Bush, President Clinton, President Carter, and our current commander in chief, among others -- with hefty business deals and promises of more to, in effect, give cover to a jihad agenda.

Dealing directly with the bearded and the sandaled also makes America far more secure.

Thanks to the current system of bribery, the Saudis have gotten away with murder. In the 48 hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the White House -- under pressure from the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar -- permitted more than 50 members of the bin Laden family to leave America secretly when almost every other flight in and out of the country was grounded.

Detaining and questioning some of this group would have landed a few of them in Guantanamo and yielded crucial information, but they purchased a White House pass to escape. And had it not been for the "special relationship" between America and Saudi Arabia, 15 of the 19 hijackers who flew planes into buildings that day would not have been allowed to live and train here in the first place.

Most of all, the ability to call a spade a spade would increase America's credibility in the Muslim world immensely. This royal family, so beloved by the Bush administration and other White Houses, carries out beheadings, cuts off legs and hands, orders women stoned for adultery, and has reduced half of its society to the status of concubine.

Dumping it will give a considerable boost to any noble American project in the Arab world.

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 26, 2007.


The US and Israel are arming Fatah. Their rationale is that its leader, Abbas, is moderate and would use those arms to defeat Hamas and make peace with Israel. One of the commanders of Fatah, however, wanted by Israel for past terrorism, took responsibility for another, recent terrorist attack. He said he doesn't care what Abbas says, the armed struggle goes on (IMRA, 4/5).

His sentiment is common. The premise for arming Fatah is mistaken for that and other reasons. The means and ends of Fatah are similar to those of Hamas. The same thing was said about Arafat, and he, too, did not make peace. Is that too difficult a lesson to learn? Being pro-Arab or appeasement-minded, the governments of the US and Israel don't have the sense to promote their national security. Instead, they cripple Zionism. Israel's Left thinks peace is something to negotiate with fanatics rather than to force from them.


The Palestinian Arabs want statehood for the P.A.. They nevertheless also want to be able to live in Israel (Prof. Steven Plaut, 4/5). Then the Jews wouldn't have a state of their own, while the Palestinian Arabs already have a state, called Jordan. They are greedy.


Israeli Arabs like matzos. Jews eat them for religious reasons, whereas the Arabs enjoy them as crackers. They want more and more of them (IMRA, 4/6).


There is so much internecine warfare in Gaza that the UNO might evacuate all its personnel from it. The P.A. is concerned that Gaza is filled with thugs, whose rampages will forfeit international aid (IMRA, 4/6). Thugs, not moderates.

The P.A. doesn't work, it fights, and it fights dirty, then begs for international aid.


Tens of billions of dollars are involved (IMRA, 4/7).

The West should be shutting up the Iranian economy, to bring down the regime without war. Instead, except for Bush's US, it is shoring up that economy.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 25, 2007.

After you read the following you may conclude that the Jewish group was not accompanied by armed guards who, after a time, would simply have shot to defend their fellow Jews.

Arabs understand only force and simply ignore pleas to behave peacefully. It will always be so. Therefore, the sooner Jews follow the ways of the Middle East, the sooner they will be respected by a predatory culture that is the way of Muslims.

This was written by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz.

(IsraelNN.com) An Arab mob of several thousand -- including young men on horseback and others waving PLO flags -- surrounded and threatened about 150 Jews from Haifa who went "A few of the Jewish young men, with Israeli flags in hand, charged the gathering Arab mob." to a public forest to celebrate Israeli Independence Day. A Jewish young man was lightly injured in the ensuing clash.

On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the group of Haifa families made their way to the Megiddo Forest, in the north of the country, a group of Arab youths on horseback accosted the Jewish celebrants, jeered and threatened them. As the young Arab men continued their menacing behavior, they called more Arab youths to join them. Some of the new arrivals were waving flags of the PLO terrorist organization.

"Within a short time, there were hundreds of Arabs surrounding us," one of the Jewish celebrants said. "We felt threatened. We are here with little children and they are threatening us. We called the police. They promised they would handle it and send a patrol car, but the car never arrived. We called the police again and again, but the help never arrived."

At this stage of the incident, a few of the Jewish young men, with Israeli flags in hand, charged the gathering Arab mob. Within moments, a fight broke out, during which one of the Jewish youths suffered a light injury to the face. The Arabs, still threatening the Jewish families, called for more of their comrades to join them.

Within forty minutes of the start of the incident, 6,000 Arabs waving PLO flags and making menacing threats had gathered around the group of Jews in Megiddo Forest. It was only at this point that a border guard patrol jeep showed up on the scene, with just six soldiers.

Speaking from the forest at about 3:40 pm, one member of the Jewish group described "It is sad that this is the picture in the center of the country on Independence Day." the outcome of the day's events: "The border guards are handling [the group of Arabs] and trying to block them. They are a few dozen meters from us. We are folding up to go. They are staying here. We can't stay here when we have so many little children with us. ...It is sad that this is the picture in the center of the country on the Independence Day of the State of Israel." In response to an Arutz-7 query, the regional police department said that they were aware of the incident; however, "both sides promised they would press charges with the police, but neither side did. Therefore, the matter was not handled [by the police]."

In August of 1999, Megiddo Forest, a planned fir forest located adjacent to Kibbutz Megiddo and the Arab-Israeli city of Umm El-Fahm, was the scene of a terrorist ambush and double murder. Two young hikers from Haifa, Yechiel Finfeter and Sharon Steinmetz, were murdered there by an Israeli Arab carrying out what was called "a nationalistic crime of opportunity."

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at winstonmedia@comcast.net

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 25, 2007.

Many years ago I did my best to persuade the Chicago Consul General Ehud Avriel, z'l, that the nations of the world would respect and honor the Jewish State of Israel as the Holy Center of the Planet Earth. Avriel was a hero and the author of "Open the Gates" (a book about his work in evacuating the remnants of European Jewry.) He thought the idea had no merit. He was a practical man of action and lived the role well. What he missed, however, was that the world was immersed in religion and religious faith played a significant role in how people think, particularly about the Jewish State of Israel.

Israel is (and always will be) the spiritual center of the religions of One G-d on this planet. It's not that Israel lacks tourist attractions but, clearly, this article speaks to those who would try to make Israel's image as that of all nations.

But, the nations of the world have refused to accept the Jewish nations as like all other nations. Presently, they are gathering to support pagan Islamists against Israel.

Regretfully, (except for Menachem Begin) most of Israel's Prime Ministers were so secular that speaking to the world of a "Jewish" nation is repulsive to them. Too bad. They don't know what they're missing. Moreover, even Mohamad in his time recognized the rightful position of Jews in the Land as gifted by G-d.

Israel could have commanded respect beyond her ability to defend herself militarily had her leaders adopted their own religion as Israel's raison d'etre (reason for being).

This was written by Yishai Fleisher and it apeared on the Aish website:
www.aish.com/jewishissues/middleeast/Bikini-Brand_or_Holy_Land$.asp Yishai Fleisher is the founder of Kumah (www.kumah.org), a grassroots pro-Aliyah organization, and a broadcaster at Israel National Radio


What does it mean to be independent? Certainly freedom from foreign rule. But in the case of Israel, independence should also mean the freedom to develop an independent self-image not based on borrowed culture.

Not everyone sees it that way. In fact, Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, is about to embark on a massive PR campaign painting Israel as a sexy modern country with beautiful beaches and a successful high-tech industry to boot. Livni believes that by embarking on this "nation branding" campaign, she can move Israel's perception away from war-torn and fanatical, to an image of the great Israeli dream -- normalcy.

No doubt Israel does have something to offer those looking for beaches, night life, and technology. But as the focus of a public relations campaign, this direction is doomed for failure.

I heard a story, attributed to the Lubavicher Rebbe, that illustrates this point:

After the Six-Day War, France, unhappy with Israel's grand victory over the Arabs, stopped their sales of the Mirage fighter jets to Israel. Israel, in need of fighter jets, turned to the United States with a request to buy American jets.

The US sent a delegation to Israel. The Israelis wanted to impress the American group and promptly took them to what the Israeli's thought the American's would be most interested in. They took them to Tel Aviv, the playhouses, the bars, to all the modernity that Israel could muster up at the time.

However, the delegation was nonplused. They returned to America, gave a lukewarm report to Congress, and the sale did not go through. A few months went by and again the Israelis requested the sale of fighter jets. Again a delegation was formed and was flown to Israel. This time, however, the Israelis took the delegation to the Western Wall, and to the great yeshivas of Mea Shearim where the Americans saw the old study benches that were brought over from Europe.

When the Americans returned home and testified in front of Congress, they said: "We saw the Holy Land." The sale, of course, went through.

The point is so obvious, yet Israel's image makers cannot seem to grasp it.

Israel's image strength is not in its limping normalcy. Nor can Israel ever compare to the US's flesh-pots, Amsterdam's night life, or the beaches of South America.

Israel's real image strength is in its unparalleled link to the Bible. Have you ever seen the ecstasy of someone who sees the Kotel for the first time? Is it a coincidence that both Jews and Gentiles cry when they arrive in Israel? Israel has emotional impact, not because of the beaches or the hi-tech, but rather because this place is the spiritual capital of the world.

How can you beat the branding effect of the most widely read book in the world? The Bible is the globe's all-time bestseller and Israel should capitalize on it. But Israel's image makers distance Israel from this kind of image. Their world view is dissonant with Jewish history and religion, and therefore they do not see, nor want to see, the public relations benefit of Israel's Biblical/spiritual PR image.

Yet it is precisely by embracing and not blunting our image as the real-life successors of the Biblical past that we will create a winning PR campaign.

Examples: Imagine marketing the festival of Sukkot as the mega-season for spiritual tourism. Or presenting Hebron, the great burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, as a must-see for anyone seeking to connect with the roots of monotheism. The Old City of Jerusalem is a natural-habitat, authentic Biblical experience, and we should market it as just that.

The Biblical perspective also has hasbara advantages. In our continuing struggle with the war on terror, Israel would do well to paint its story in a Biblical context. Today's Israel and yesteryear's Israel are the same -- the same nation, the same land, and the same problems. By providing such historical perspective, we can help people reframe the conflict in the Middle East. Suddenly, Ahmadinejad's Iran is akin to Haman's Persia, and superpowers meddling in our affairs is a familiar phenomenon. Girded with Biblical perspective the world will root for Israel, just as they do when they read the Bible.

Another important aspect of a Biblical Hasbara perspective is Tikvah, hope. The Bible is full of hope for the Jewish people and for Israel. In today's dreary climate we need to broadcast that message of positivity loud and clear.

Yes, we can create a successful image of Israel abroad, but we need to start by creating the right self-image within. Israel must learn to see itself as a light unto the world, and not just as a bastion of normalcy. Israel's 'light' includes a unique blend of medicine and technology, law and spirituality. Where else in the world can you find a country that is a world leader in microchip development, in-vitro fertilization, farming innovation, Talmudic law and Kabbalah?

For the last 3000 years the Holy Land has been the pre-eminent destination for all mankind -- travelers and conquerors all sought this piece of real-estate. Today, maybe more than ever before, Israel can quench the world's thirst for authenticity, spirituality, and purpose -- but it has to rise to the occasion. Let's be truly independent and not cheapen and degrade the image of Israel by bikini-branding it. Let us market it for what it is: the most special place on the Earth -- the Holy Land.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at winstonmedia@comcast.net

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Posted by Aleksandra Fliegler, April 25, 2007.

This was written by Professor Paul Eidelberg and it appeared April 11, 2007 on
http://foundation1.org/wp-en/2007/04/11/ an-exercise-in-political-logic-a-challenge-to-american-zionists/

Professor Eidelberg is in the San Francisco Bay Area! Please join us for his lecture series:

Sunday, April 29 in Oakland: http://bayjews.org/EVENT_DETAILS.aspx?ID=9192
Monday, May 7 in San Francisco:

1. It is well known that Ehud Olmert, who is primarily responsible for Israel's defeat in the Second Lebanese War, is the most inept and least respected prime minister in Israel's history.

2. Therefore, in view of the emerging nuclear threat from Iran and the proximate threat of its proxies, Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, Mr. Olmert is a clear and present danger to Israel's survival.

3. Nevertheless, Mr. Olmert is safely ensconced in office. Although his Kadima Party won only 29 seats in the Knesset, Olmert has a solid Knesset majority, thanks to the seats of his coalition partners: Labor (19), Shas (12), Israel Beiteinu (11), and Gil Pensioners (7) -- in all, 78 out of 120. Hence, there is virtually no chance of his succumbing to a Knesset vote of no-confidence. Since such a thing has never happened to any Labor- or Likud-led government, and since impeachment is out of the question, Mr. Olmert will probably remain Israel's prime minister for another three years (Heaven help us!).

4. I say "Heaven help us" because there is almost no possibility of Israel being saved by its reputedly democratic system of government. Indeed, if political theorist Henry Mayo's criterion of democracy is correct, namely, that "A political system is democratic to the extent that the decision-makers are under effective popular control," then Israel's reputation as a democracy is undeserved, for it's quite obvious the people of Israel have no effective control over the Olmert government. Olmert himself has a public approval rating of only 3 percent! Clearly, something is very wrong -- dangerously wrong -- with Israel's political system. And it's hardly a consolation to say that Israel is democratic compared to its autocratic Arab neighbors.

5. It follows that the existential threat confronting Israel is magnified by its undemocratic political system, more precisely, by the simple fact that citizens are compelled to vote for party slates. To be still more precise, members of the Knesset -- from which the nation derives its prime minister and cabinet ministers -- are not individually elected by, or accountable to, the voters in constituency elections. Since Israel's cabinet ministers are party leaders, the Knesset is subservient to the government. In other words, the Knesset is not an independent body. It is almost impossible for the Knesset to topple the government and save Israel from its bungling prime minister.

6. Surely every Knesset member is aware of the decadent nature of this parliamentary system. Yet we look in vain for any concerted effort to change it -- perhaps because MKs hope to become cabinet ministers, the road to power and political longevity. If so, it would follow that what animates virtually all MKs is not the good of the nation but their own personal interests.

7. Now, inasmuch as Israel's political system undermines Israel's national security, then, to the extent that America's own security depends on Israel, it becomes the duty as well as the right of American Zionists to expose the flaws of Israel's political system.

8. That the security of the United States depends, to no small extent, on Israel can be gleaned from the following considerations. Gen. George Keegan, former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, said that Israeli intelligence is worth five CIA's. Hence Joseph Sisco, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, could say to Israeli author Samuel Katz: "I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us." America needs a strong Israel, but Israel is often paralyzed by its dysfunctional system of government, which entrenches incompetents and worse in power.

9. Unfortunately, American Zionist organizations have, as a matter of policy, and not from ignorance, refrained from criticizing Israel's political system. Perhaps some are inhibited by the fear that such criticism may diminish their sources of income. Yet they freely indulge in criticizing the defeatist policies of Israeli governments -- as if the policies of a government, persisted in for decades, are utterly unrelated to the structure of the government itself!

10. Of course, these Zionists have been told, "If you want to change Israel's political system, make aliya." But the same remark could be made to Zionists who merely criticize Israeli policies. Besides, Israeli politicians are ever cozying up to American Zionist organizations for financial and other support. Time for such organizations to challenge these politicians: "You want our support? Change your rotten political system! Our safety as well as yours depends on it!" Contact Sasha F. at thelady@bayarea.net

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 25, 2007.

It's the day after Yom Ha'atzmaut, and still my mind will not let go. My sadness is deeper this year -- that there is so much legitimate cause for cynicism and discontent with the Israeli government, and consequently so much cynicism and discontent in circles that I have considered staunchly Zionist. Yet pondering this has strengthened my own vision and my own certainty -- that the problems with the government call out for immediate and thorough repair (tikun, in Hebrew), but that the failings of the state in no way abrogate the incredible value of the state or our obligation to treasure her and see that she is strong.

I think I have been clear about this, throughout my postings, but feel the need to state it upfront here: My laments about the current political and security conditions in the country constitute an attempt to improve the situation. My devotion to the State of Israel is solid and I am proud to call myself an Israeli. I go to the Beit Knesset (synagogue) on Yom Ha'atzmaut to sing Hallel precisely because I believe we have received a gift from Heaven and the Almighty is to be praised for this gift.

I call on everyone, whether here in Israel or outside of Israel, who has considered him/herself to be part of the Zionist venture in any respect to hold fast now. We are forbidden to despair. And equally, I believe, are we forbidden to turn away, even in spirit.


Two pieces have come to my attention that I would like to share. The first is by Michael Freund, who, in "A Broom and a Flag," tells the story of Rabbi Avraham Yaakov, who had been the Rebbe of Sadigora and later came to Israel, where it was noticed that this pious rabbi was particularly joyous on Yom Ha'atzmaut. When he was asked why, he explained thus: He was in Vienna when the Nazis entered, and to humiliate the Jewish community, they gave him -- a learned rebbe -- a broom and ordered him to sweet the streets. While working, he looked to Heaven and said, "Master of the Universe, may I yet merit to sweep the streets of the Land of Israel." Then the Nazis gave him a large flag and forced him to raise it over a building. This time he intoned, "Master of the Universe, may I yet merit to raise the flag of Israel over a high place in the Land of Israel." When he came to Israel after the war, he was determined to fulfill his vision. And so, on Yom Ha'atzmaut, he rose very early, and went out and swept the street, and then raised an Israeli flag over his building.

Concludes Freund:

"So the next time you find yourself down in the dumps, reading the newspapers and wondering about this country and its leadership -- think back to the Rebbe of Sadigora, with a broom in one hand, a flag in the other, and a heart full of gratitude to G-d for the miracle that is the modern State of Israel."

To which I say, Amen.



Then there is an article, "On Spirit and Sacrifice," by JP Editorial Page Editor Saul Singer. Says Singer, "Contrary to popular belief, Zionism is not dead." He then proceeds to describe a situation that is best referred to here as "more good news about Israel." Saul's brother, Alex, made aliyah from the US after his college graduation, and subsequently was killed in Lebanon, 20 years ago. While in the army, he wrote to an American friend: "There are many things about this country which I truly hate. ... But because I see this place as my home, I don't pile the cons on one side and the pros on the other, and decide whether it is 'worth' staying here. Home is home and it will take more than irritations to force me to leave. I want to make this place better." Saul expresses a desire to be able to show Alex projects that are going on now: "They recall his spirit, are worthy of his sacrifice, and would make him still feel at home."

www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1176152835333&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


And now back to my several descriptions of a situation that is less than lovely:

The news of the hour is that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss today informed the attorney-general that Olmert may be guilty of criminal behavior because of his part in certain financial dealings. The alleged criminal behavior involves conflict of interest during the time that he was minister of commerce and industry and Uriel Messer -- Olmert's close friend, former partner and personal lawyer -- represented a company seeking funds from the ministry's investment center. According to a report just released by Lindenstrauss, Olmert -- instead of disqualifying himself -- sat in on meetings and pushed for a decision that was preferential, involving the sum of $10 million.

I'd like, for once, to see one of these charges -- this is hardly the first -- followed through with at least an indictment.

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU) is calling for a criminal investigation; MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP) says there is no choice for Olmert except to suspend himself until this issue is resolved. The Knesset State Control Committee will be meeting to discuss the matter.


A gag order has, until now, been in place regarding the court investigation of matters involving former (recently resigned) MK Azmi Bishara. That order has now been partially lifted and it seems that he is suspected of transferring information to Hezbollah during the war last summer. Well then, of course he would not choose to be in the country at this time. MKs are looking into ways of preventing him from receiving his Knesset pension; there are rumors that he hopes to settle in Syria.

Said Bishara to al-Jazeera:

"This is not a matter of my personal conduct. This is an attempt to make our opinions a security offense or treason, as they call it, or other Israeli terms that we do not recognize. We have clear political opinions, one of my opinions was postponing their (Israel's) aggression during the first week of the war, and clarifying the plot on Lebanon -- and this is a position that angered them. It joined other previous positions that made us a 'problem' for the Zionist establishment."

He is, you see, a misunderstood man. Helping Israel's enemy during the war isn't treason, it's just a matter of his having a right to his own opinions.


Of a piece with Bishara's statement is this from Maan, an official PA news agency:

"The Palestinian Prime Minister's office has denied reports in the Israeli media of the existence of tunnels for smuggling sophisticated weapons to the Palestinian territories and the presence of Iranians in the Gaza Strip.

"The office said in a statement that these claims are part of the Israeli policy of finding excuses to practice aggressive policies on the Palestinian people."

Don't you love it?

In Rome, where Abbas met with the Italian prime minister, he declared that the barrage of rockets that hit Israel yesterday was a "one-time violation of the truce."


Right now the Palestinians are more than a bit afraid of "aggression" that may come their way in Gaza.

The IDF plans to ask Olmert to approve a pinpoint operation inside of Gaza aimed at Hamas terrorist chiefs and infrastructure.

According to some analysts, while he is waiting for release of the Winograd report on his conduct of the Lebanon war, Olmert feels constrained with regard to ordering a major attack in Gaza -- although I frankly see no evidence that he would be predisposed in any event.

Head of the IDF Southern Command, Gen. Yoav Galant, states that he believes a major operation is inevitable because of Hamas's on-going attacks and military build-up. A man with forthright courage, in my opinion, he would rather see this sooner than later. According to a piece in today's Haaretz, preparation for an operation is going on right now on an extremely significant scale.

Israel, however, is much more likely to act after a terrorist attack that has been successful. It provides justification, goes the political thinking; if an attempt is unsuccessful, it's as if nothing happened and we run the risk of looking like the aggressor. I have long mourned this mind-set, which, in essence, waits for some Jews to die before we take the action that will prevent more from dying. I pray for the day when we will have leaders with enough national self-esteem, enough sense of being in the right, that they are willing to take pre-emptive actions to save Jewish lives.


Things are going along as smoothly as ever within the PA unity gov't. After only five weeks in office, PA Interior Minister Hani Kawassmeh attempted to resign yesterday; Haniyeh has now gotten him to agree to wait until next week.

Kawassmeh's alleged complaint is that his security plan, which would restore law and order, was being thwarted by key members of Fatah, notably Abu Shabak and Muhammad Dahlan. Hamas officials said that Shabak had given instructions to the security forces to ignore Kawassmen's orders. But Fatah officials denied this, saying that Kawassmeh's resignation was in protest because he didn't think the PA security forces should be involved in stopping Kassam launchings. One official thought it a "ploy" to blame Fatah for the chaos.

It's only a matter of time...

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Stephanie Levy, April 225, 2007.

Middle East has been the most important and controversial international issue in the hard-fought French presidential election campaign. And depending on the results, the election may mark the first major change on that issue for over three decades.

Both Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal, the candidates of the center-right and Socialists, respectively, have promised major shifts in France's stance on the Iranian, Lebanese, and Israeli-Palestinian issues if they win. They are reacting against the regime of outgoing President Jacques Chirac, who for 12 years--following in the footsteps of predecessors back to Charles de Gaulle--has allied with such Arab dictators as Yasir Arafat and Saddam Hussein. By making France the Arabs' favorite Western state, Chirac and other Gaullists have tried to create an alignment to counter the great--and in France, much-despised--primacy of the United States.

Yet, many say this strategy has brought little benefit to France, either directly or in terms of making it a credible world power. There are many contradictions. For example, French policy seeks to protect Lebanon while refusing to regard Hizballah as a terrorist organization. Moreover, last January, Chirac stated that Iran's possession of nuclear bombs would "not be so dangerous," reversing previous official positions.

The two main French newspapers, Le Figaro and Le Monde, have highlighted this debate in reviews of a new book entitled Chirac of Arabia: The Mirages of French Policy, by Eric Aeschimann and Christophe Boltanski, two journalists at the leftist French newspaper Liberation. The authors underline French errors in particular on the Palestinian issue, which was perceived by Chirac solely through Yasir Arafat's eyes.

They also document the close personal relations between Chirac, then prime minister, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the mid-1970s, when Chirac received substantial funds from Baghdad for his political party in exchange for French support for the Iraqi nuclear program. Chirac stated then: "Saddam will be the De Gaulle of the Middle East." The same story goes for Chirac's ties to Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi in the 1980s. Ironically, though, when Libya recently wanted to break out of international isolation, it turned not to France, but to the United States and Great Britain.

For Chirac's would-be successors on the left and right, and indeed among large sectors of the French political spectrum, the broad consensus on the country's historic Middle East policy is crumbling. Candidates have been anxious to dissociate themselves from Chirac's line on Syria, Iran, Israel, and the Palestinians.

In the Socialist camp, Segolene Royal adopted a very hard stance regarding Iran's nuclear weapons program. She declared that Iran ought to be denied even control of nuclear power, because it could be a cover for weapons-making. According to her analysis, "The prospect of Iran equipped with nuclear power is not acceptable," since it would give "a government whose president threatens the existence of the State of Israel... access to such power."

On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Royal dissociated herself from the French pro-Palestinian stance. Expressing concerns about the security of Israel, she declared herself in favor of the construction of the safety fence so disparaged by French officials.

Sarkozy, who is actually the Gaullist candidate, has adopted a strategic stance in total opposition to Chirac's Middle East vision. He prefers close cooperation with the United States over an alliance with the Arab world that, to some extent, is aimed against America.

Regarding Israel, Sarkozy promised a more balanced French policy. Thus, last March, he asserted that French decision-makers must be able "to say a certain number of truths to our Arab friends, for example... the right for Israel to exist and to live safely is not negotiable, and that terrorism is their true enemy." He also declared himself ready to defend "the integrity of Lebanon," including the disarmament of Hizballah.

As for the centrist candidate Francois Bayrou, the third main contestant, he stated that while remaining faithful to a Realist, power-oriented conception of international affairs, he also wishes "to establish a French foreign policy which would have as a main theme the right to democracy. No dictatorship is acceptable, even if, at short term, it appears in favor of the national interests" of France.

It should be noted that there is no question of appealing to a "Jewish vote" in such statements. Muslim voters vastly outnumber Jewish ones. Rather, there is a genuine conclusion that France's policy has not worked and indeed has undercut both French interests and ambitions.

This challenge to France's historic pro-Arab policy could lead to a new vision of the Middle East. In this alternative approach, France could play a major role in the defense of Lebanon's independence, containing the Iranian threat, combating terrorism, building strong relations with Israel, playing a truly central role in peacemaking efforts, and even cooperating with the United States.

When it comes to Middle East policy, there is a chance of a real French revolution.

Stephanie Levy is a research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. She previously worked for the French Ministry of Defense.

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Posted by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, April 25, 2007.

This is my article at

Referring to the 8/17 bomb blasts in all the 63 districts in Bangladesh, Ambassador Howard Schaffer expressed the view that Bangladesh is probably being used by Islamic fundamentalists and insurgents as a safe haven to enable them to carry on with their activities in an unrestricted manner.

Between August and December 2005, a series of attacks hit Bangladesh, collectively killing 12, wounding hundreds of others and involving the country's first suicide strikes. In the most audacious assault on August 17, 434 homemade bombs were set off in 63 districts over the course of just one hour. This unprecedented bout of violence has thrust the country to the forefront of regional and global terrorist attention, generating fears that a new jihadist beachhead is emerging in this predominantly Muslim nation of roughly 144 million people.

"This is surely terrorism. It can't be anything else. What was astonishing about these bombings, which took place in late August, was that they were coordinated throughout the country. Only a couple of districts were not affected. Not too many people were killed, and that many people think is evidence that what these terrorist groups were seeking to do was to send a warning to the government and the country, becxause you can't have such a coordinated attack unless you have a very strong organization," he said.

Schaffer said inability of the government to rule the country was a major contributor of growing extremism.

"Bangladesh is badly governed. And under those circumstances, there is a tendency to turn to moderate Islamic countries, moderate Islamic parties, or more radical groups. It sets up an environment in which these radical groups can operate," he said.

Two main militant organizations currently exist in Bangladesh: Jama'at ul-Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB, or the Bangladesh Assembly of Holy Warriors) and Harakat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (HuJI-B, or Movement of Islamic Holy war-Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that the masterminds of the notorious Islamist militancy group JMB, Shykh Abdur Rahman studied in Medina University, who later came back to Bangladesh and worked for Saudi Embassy for some years. During his student life, Shykh Rahman managed to establish relations with Al-Qaeda.

Incidents of extremism and terrorism have witnessed a sharp increase in Bangladesh in recent years, with the number of attacks last year exceeding the total number of incidents in the preceding five years. Most of the attacks have been directed against religious minorities, secular intellectuals and journalists as well as against politicians belonging to secular parties and leftist activists. Islamist extremists have sought to impose an Islamic way of life on people in rural areas, often through the use of force. Women have been coerced into veiling themselves and men have been forced to grow beards and wear skull caps.

According to terrorism experts and several analysts, Bangladesh is increasingly recognized as the locus of a significant and expanding threat emanating from radicalized Islamist extremist mobilization and its systematic transformation into political and terrorist violence. Notwithstanding vociferous official denials, it has, for some time now, been an established staging post for terrorism within the region, and is seen as a potential center of Islamist consolidation for the "global jihad" as well.

Worse, these processes are rooted in an entrenched political dynamic that has progressively diminished the space for secular or moderate politics in the country. Given the polarization and extreme hostility between the two dominant political parties in Bangladesh, and the near complete split down the middle in voting patterns, the Islamist parties have become central to the processes of government formation in the country, and have gradually expanded their political presence as well. These trends have been compounded further by the combination of religious mobilization, intimidation and extremist violence that these radical parties and their armed allies engage in, as well as their very wide and expanding presence in the social sector, particularly education. Given these broad trends, the scope for any reversal of the Islamist extremist consolidation in Bangladesh has shrunk progressively.

It is necessary to understand the dynamics of these processes, as well as to make an objective assessment of their real and potential threat, both in terms of internal stability and external security. Firstly, what are the real dimensions and magnitude of the threat of Islamist extremist mobilization in Bangladesh? The coastal area stretching from the port city of Chittagong south through Cox's Bazaar to the Myanmar border, notorious for piracy, smuggling and arms-running, is the principal area of activity of the Harkat-ul-Jehadi-e-Islami Bangladesh (Movement of Islamic Holy War, HuJI-BD), which is a signatory to Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front and a designated terrorist outfit in many countries, including the United States. Further, the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB or Awakened Muslim Masses), a vigilante Islamist group, is reported to have created strong bases mostly in northwest Bangladesh, in the districts of Rajshahi, Satkhira, Naogaon, Bagerhat, Jessore, Chittagong, Joypurhat, Natore, Rangpur, Bogra, Chittagong, and Khulna. Elsewhere, the Jama'atul Mujahideen (Party of the Mujahideen) is training small groups of youths for jihad in the northern districts of Natore and Bogra, one in the southwestern district of Chuadanga and another in the mid-eastern border district of Chandpur. It also has a network in the Shaghata, Sundarganj and Sadullapur areas of Gaibandha district as also in Rajshahi district and parts of Khulna city. While both of them espouse the ideal of a "Italianized" Bangladesh, JMJB leaders have openly proclaimed links to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. There have also been reports that JMJB's training of recruits includes recorded speeches of bin Laden and video footage of warfare training at al-Qaeda's (now defunct) Farooque camp in Afghanistan. Professor Abu Sayeed, in his two books, Aghoshito Juddher Blueprint (Blueprint of an Undeclared War) and Brutal Crime Documents, claims that around 50,000 militants belonging to more than 40 groups are now controlling a vast area of the country. Sayeed also says over 50 camps are now in operation across Bangladesh, where Islamists are getting military training and that militant groups have their recruits in all sections of society, including mosques, seminaries, educational institutions, the judiciary, mass media and even the armed forces.

The prevailing socio-political dynamics lend themselves to the consolidation of Islamist extremism in the country. For instance, the JMJB is believed to have exploited the countryside's abhorrence towards left-wing extremism to spread radical Wahhabism among the rural populace and in the process also emerged as a significant force to be reckoned with. The group's rapid spread has been primarily achieved through an assumption of the role of "protector" in areas of widespread mal-governance, support of local administration and perceived linkages and claims of contact with the al-Qaeda-Taliban combine. Taking recourse to a policy of appeasement, the Khaleda Zia regime had initially remained largely indifferent to the growing power and clout of such radical Islamist groups. Although, lately after the countrywide bomb explosion by JMB, the former ruling coalition was rather forced to go into a massive drive to arrest the main kingpins and put them on trial.

A sharp polarization of the country's polity has led to a situation in which the just past-government sought to maintain an electoral balance, while the Islamic extremists seek to broaden their political and social base. This is crucial and is expected to continue, considering the past trajectory. In the October 2001 Parliamentary elections, BNP secured 40.97% of the votes, with its coalition right-wing parties, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh securing 4.28%, and the Islami Oikyo Jote (Islamic Unity Council, an alliance of seven radical Islamist groups) wining 0.68%. At the other end, the opposition AL received 40.13% of the vote. This extremely close competition between the two main parties gave the Islamists disproportionate leverage, considering their tiny electoral base. It is this battle for electoral balance among the BNP and AL that is being exploited by the Islamic extremists.

While it is true that Bangladeshi Islamic extremists, with some exceptions, have not been linked to major international terrorist incidents, it would be perilous to consider the Islamist ensemble as purely internal developments. These movements are, to a certain extent, local variants of an international Islamist enterprise and a significant number of these groups and individuals maintain links with the "global jihad". To that end, it would be hazardous to focus only on the transient geographical location of Islamist terror.

Anti-US rhetoric has continued. In December 2001, Maulana Ubaidul Haq, the khatib (grand cleric), of Bangladesh's national mosque, Baitul Mukarram, and a Jamaat associate, publicly condemned the US war on terror and urged followers to wage holy war against the USA. "President Bush and America is the most heinous terrorist in the world. Both America and Bush must be destroyed. The Americans will be washed away if Bangladesh's 120 million Muslims spit on them," the cleric told a gathering of hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims which included several high-ranking government officials.

Much of the violence in the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar area has been blamed on the Rohingyas, a refugee community of Muslims from Myanmar's Arakan State. In 1991, over 250,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, claiming religious persecution in Myanmar. They were sheltered in more than 20 camps near the border south and east of Cox's Bazar. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) managed to repatriate most of them, but an estimated 20,000 destitute refugees remain in two camps between Cox's Bazar and the border, which is heavily mined in some areas on the Myanmar side to prevent smuggling and cross border guerrilla activities. There is also an undisclosed number of Rohingyas living in villages outside the UNHCR supervised camps. In one village, Gumdrum, located only a few hundred meters from the Myanmar border, virtually everyone is of Rohingya descent. Some are recent arrivals, while others have settled here over the past three or four decades. According to officials, new refugees arrive daily.

In January 2001, Bangladesh clamped down on Rohingya activists and offices in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar. Hundreds were rounded up, and the local press was full of reports of their alleged involvement in gun- and drug-running. Local Rohingya leaders vehemently deny such accusations, and refute claims that they are connected with Islamic fundamentalist groups in and outside Bangladesh: "These are pure fabrications to discredit us," said Nurul Islam, president of the Arakan Rohingya National Organization, a moderate Rohingya group active in the border areas. Another Rohingya spokesman blamed local Bangladeshi gangs with high-level connections for the violence, smuggling and lawlessness in the area. The paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles have also been accused of involvement in smuggling activities around Cox's Bazar.

There is little doubt that extremist groups have taken advantage of the disenfranchised Rohingyas, including recruiting them as cannon fodder for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. In an interview with the Karachi-based newspaper, Ummat on 28 September 2001, Bin Laden said: "There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Myanmar to Kashmir." He was most probably referring to a small group of Rohingyas on the Bangladesh-Myamnar border.

Many of the recruits were given the most dangerous tasks in the battlefield, clearing mines and portering. According to Asian intelligence sources, recruits were paid Tk30,OOO ($525) on joining and then Tk10,OOO ($175) per month. The families of recruits killed in action were offered Tk100,000 ($1,750). Recruits were taken mostly via Nepal to Pakistan, where they were trained and sent on to military camps in Afghanistan. It is not known how many people from this part of Bangladesh -- Rohingyas and others -- fought in Afghanistan.

According to Asian intelligence reports, many of HUJI's members may also have been recruited from Rohingya settlements in the southeastern corner of the country HUJI is headed by an extremist cleric from Chittagong, Maulana Sheikh Farid, who also maintains links with like-minded groups in Pakistan.

Bangladesh is far from becoming another Pakistan, and the rise of extremism should be seen in the context of the country's turbulent politics since breaking away from Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh was formed in opposition to the notion that all Muslim areas of former British India should unite in one country. Bangladesh is the only state in the subcontinent with one dominant language group and very few ethnic and religious minorities.

The rise of fundamentalism in Bangladesh is not just a side effect of military politics. Enayetullah Khan, editor of the Bangladesh weekly Holiday, says that a Muslim element has always been present; otherwise, what was East Pakistan could have merged with the predominantly Hindu Indian state of West Bengal, where the same language is spoken. "We're having a bit of an identity crisis here," said Khan. "Are we Bengalis first and Muslims second, or Muslims first and Bengalis second? This is the problem. And when Muslim identity becomes an Islamic identity we're in real trouble."

This is a dilemma that Bangladesh has to tackle very carefully. The urban middle class may resent the fundamentalists and dismiss them as irrelevant, and the government -- which is heavily dependent on foreign aid -- has to contain the extremists so as not to upset relations with its powerful donor countries, the West and Japan.

However, extremist influence is growing, especially in the countryside. A foreign diplomat in Dhaka said: "In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the leftists who were seen as incorruptible purists. Today, the role model for many young men in rural areas is the dedicated Islamic cleric with his skull cap, flowing robes and beard." As Indonesia has shown, an economic collapse or political crisis can give rise to militants for whom religious fundamentalism equals national pride, and a way out of misrule, disorder and corrupt worldly politics.

The writer is a journalist, columnist, author, amd editor of "Weekly Blitz". Email him at salahuddinshoaibchoudhury@yahoo.com

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Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, April 25, 2007.
Jonathan Pollard was honored at a Yom HaZikaron/ Yom Ha'atzmaut ceremony and celebration at Mevo Choron this week (23 April 2007). The theme of the event at which Pollard was singled out for special honor was "V'Shavu Banim L'Gvulam" where tribute was paid to all of Israel's captives and MIAs. Mevo Choron is a large, pastoral community located between Jerusalem and Modi'in and is one of the oldest settlements in the Binyamin region.

Jonathan's wife, Esther, was invited to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the event. Following a ceremony and torch-lighting event at Mevo Choron, the entire community proceeded to an adjacent windswept barren hilltop, Meirom Ayalon, for an outdoor banquet and ceremony. At Meirom Ayalon, (which is about to be settled and built by Mevo Choron) a short video about Jonathan Pollard was screened and then Esther Pollard spoke. Esther shared a view of the Pollard case and of the fate of Israel's MIAs and Captives that was both novel and startling. The English translation of Esther Pollard's speech which was originally delivered in Hebrew, and her remarks at a torch-lighting ceremony which preceded the main event follow below.

Torch-Lighting Ceremony at Mevo Choron:

Preceded by speeches honoring Jonathan Pollard and all of Israel's captives and MIAs, Esther Pollard was invited to light the memorial torch and make a brief statement. Here are her remarks:

"The culture of betrayal and abandonment, perpetrated by successive governments of Israel, one after the other, severely impacts upon the fate of our captives and MIAs.

"As we shall understand later tonight, the culture of betrayal and abandonment in Israel began in 1985 with the abandonment of my husband, Jonathan Pollard. Israel's leadership learned from their experience with Jonathan and went on to abandon soldiers, land, territories, collaborators, citizens, and countless others.

"I light the memorial torch this evening with the hope and prayer that HaShem will have mercy on our captives and MIAs and speedily return them home, healthy and whole, at once -- and of course among them, my husband, Jonathan Pollard. "

Esther Pollard's Speech at Meirom Ayalon (near Mevo Choron):

Following an out-door dinner and a video presentation about Jonathan Pollard, Esther Pollard spoke. Her speech was presented in Hebrew. This is an English translation:

Today is Remembrance Day. Today we are remembering. We are remembering the sons of our Nation, heros of the IDF who fell and gave their lives on behalf of the nation and the homeland. We are also remembering the sons of our nation who are still alive in captivity, our captives and MIAs. We are remembering Ron Arad, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zarcharia Baumel, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and of course, my husband Jonathan Pollard.

The question that needs to be asked is: why are we remembering our native sons who are alive in captivity, instead of rescuing them? Why do we persist in holding memorial ceremonies for them, as we do for our war dead, instead of bringing them home?

If one were to ask this question of our prime minister he would not be pleased. No doubt he would reply something to the effect that the 'Government of Israel continues to work, night and day, to do everything in its power to bring all of Israel's captives home.' But is it true? Can we believe our leaders when they tell us that they are doing everything thing to bring our boys home? Is it even possible to investigate?

We do not know what happened, and what is currently happening to most of our captives and MIAs. We do not know, for the most part, where they are, who is holding them, and what has ultimately been their fate.

We do know however, what has happened to one of them, my husband, Jonathan Pollard. If we look into his case, and study the attitude and action (or shall we say lack of action) of the government of Israel over the last 22 years, we may be able to learn something about the fate all of our captives and MIAs.

As you certainly know, Jonathan was an Israeli agent who passed vital security information to Israel about our enemies who were plotting to destroy us. Israel had a right to this information according to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two nations in 1983, but the United States was deliberately withholding this critical information in an illegal embargo.

The median sentence for the offense that Jonathan committed -- passing classified information to an ally with no intent to harm the US -- is 2 to four years. Jonathan is now in his 22nd year of a life sentence with no end in sight. The Government of Israel claims that it is doing all that it can for Jonathan Pollard.

If that is so, why we are forced to remember him tonight, instead of having him here with us?

I would like to share with you some parts of the Pollard story that you did not see in the video tonight, and that you are not likely to have read anywhere else. This is information that is not very well known about Jonathan's case. I am sure that by the time I am through, you will be able to draw your own conclusions, not only about what has happened to Jonathan, but about all of our MIAs and captives.

Let me begin by reminding you that almost all of the same officials who were holding high government office or were a key part of the Defense/Intelligence establishment in Israel when Jonathan was first captured and when the rest of our boys were taken captive, are the same people who are still in government service to this day. They may have changed hats or offices here and there, but by and large the same inept, corrupt, self-serving politicians and officials are still around to plague us some two decades later. This is an unusual phenomenon; one that simply does not occur in other countries.

Going back to the beginning. When Jonathan was arrested in 1985, Israel used him to hold off the FBI while it evacuated all the rest of the team to Israel. Jonathan did as he was ordered, stalling his American interrogators until all the rest of the Israelis involved in his operation were whisked away to safety. Only Jonathan was left to face the wrath of the Americans. Although he did not know it at the time, there was never any intention of rescuing Jonathan. He had been designated by Israel, from the outset, to be the scapegoat that would take the blame for the whole operation.

As you saw in the video tonight, Jonathan never had a trial. He gave up his right to a trial in a plea agreement, which Jonathan honored and the US violated, but which Jonathan's attorney never protested. You see, Israel paid for Jonathan's first lawyer, Richard Hibey, a Lebanese American. And, as you know, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Because of Hibey's treachery, instead of the usual 2 to 4 year sentence for the crime he committed, Jonathan received an unlimited life sentence. After the sentencing hearing, Hibey had 10 days to file a document to protect Jonathan's right to appeal his life sentence. He did not file the document. As a result, to this very day, Jonathan has never been allowed to appeal his life sentence.

Ever since it found and paid for the lawyer who secured an unlimited life sentence for Jonathan, the Government of Israel has refused to pay a cent for the lawyers who are trying to help Jonathan! This is an important fact so I will repeat it: Israel bought and paid for the lawyer who secured an unlimited life sentence for Jonathan and who deprived him forever of his right to appeal that sentence; and ever since then, Israel has refused to pay a cent for lawyers who have been trying to get Jonathan out of prison!

After his sentencing hearing, Jonathan spent a year in a prison facility for the criminally insane, where he was held in solitary confinement, naked and incommunicado, and in inhumane conditions. Acting on the advice of the Mossad, the Americans eventually transferred Jonathan to USP Marion in Illinois. USP Marion is the harshest prison in the American federal system. Having studied Jonathan's psychological profile, the Mossad advised the Americans that Pollard was unlikely to survive in solitary confinement.

I should point out here that Jonathan did not work for the Mossad. He worked for a competitor of the Mossad, LAKAM. Jonathan's operation severely embarrassed the Mossad by providing the information to Israel that the Mossad should have been providing, but did not. To this very day, the Mossad has never forgiven Jonathan and continues to collaborate with his captors to keep him buried alive.

Thus, right from the outset, it was through under-handed collaboration between Israel and the Americans that the dastardly plan was hatched to have Jonathan Pollard die in prison. He was either supposed to become so depressed in solitary confinement that he would choose to die by his own hand, or if that failed, arrangements would be made to have him killed by "accident" by one of the guards. If we had hours and hours, and were to remain here all night, I could tell you many anecdotes of attempts on Jonathan's life, but for now, suffice to say that there are numerous examples.

Why did they want Jonathan to die, you ask? Very simple. For Israel, it would solve the problem. When Jonathan was arrested, Israel lied and said it knew nothing about the operation; and claimed that Jonathan was a "freelancer" who acted on his own. If he died in prison, Israel would never have to admit the truth. As for the US, they wanted Jonathan to die in prison so that their own lie, the Israeli spy Pollard was "the worst spy in the history of the United States", would similarly endure forever.

But, G-d had other plans for Jonathan. In spite of Israel's betrayal, neglect, abandonment, and its endless lies; and in spite of the US perversion of justice and inhumane treatment, Jonathan survived nearly 7 years of harsh treatment in solitary confinement at USP Marion.

While still in solitary confinement, he fought a difficult battle, on his own, without any assistance from Israel, to be transferred to an open population prison. In 1993 he won the battle, and he was transferred to FCI Butner, the same federal prison where he is housed to this day. Jonathan's transfer to Butner did not change Israel's plan for Jonathan.

Within a couple of weeks of the time Jonathan was transferred to open population, the Government of Israel sent a Mossad agent to visit him. The agent came with an official suggestion for Jonathan: that he solve the problem for Israel by killing himself. The agent said that the Government of Israel would even assist him to kill himself, if he wished. When Jonathan declined this "solution", the Mossad agent mocked him, saying that if he were really a man, he would kill himself.

That was in 1993. Up to and including that time, the Government of Israel was still denying that Jonathan worked for the State, and pretending that its only interest in him was purely humanitarian -- Jewish charity, so to speak.

In attempt to get the Government of Israel to stop its lies and abandonment and to force it to protect Jonathan, he requested Israeli Citizenship. The government, of course, refused. So Jonathan took the government to court. He filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Israel, based on the law which states that all those who serve the security needs of the State have an automatic right to citizenship.

Out of fear of what might come out in court if a hearing were to be held, the government backed down. In return for Jonathan for canceling his petition with the Supreme Court, the government granted Jonathan citizenship in 1995. This was a major event. It was the moment when everyone, including the US, expected that Israel would step up to the plate and begin an intensive push to bring Jonathan home. But that did not occur. On the contrary, Israel gave him citizenship and then quickly turned its back on him again. Israel did absolutely nothing to help him or to protect him.

Neglected, abandoned, and ill, two more years went by without any improvement in his situation. Jonathan had to sue again to try to get Israel's attention. This time he sued to force the government of Israel to admit that he was an Israeli agent who had served the security interests of the country. Again Jonathan filed a petition in Supreme Court. -- By the way, contrary to popular belief, the Supreme Court has never ruled in favor of Jonathan. The Supreme Court, as a matter of routine, always provides cover for the Government, and no relief for Jonathan. -- In this case, once again, the State feared that the Court might intervene and that there was a risk of the truth coming to light, so the State agreed to formally recognize Jonathan as its agent, provided that he dropped his lawsuit. Jonathan obliged and was formally recognized as an Israeli agent in 1998.

As soon as Jonathan was recognized as an Israeli agent, the Government of Israel had only to do 2 things in order to precipitate critical changes in Jonathan's situation. First of all, it was supposed to include his name on the list of captives held by the Ministry of Defense. By adding his name to list, the Ministry would be able to immediately implement all of his rights as an agent in captivity, including taking steps to secure his immediate release.

The second thing the State of Israel was supposed to do was to officially inform the United States Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons and the American State Department that Jonathan Pollard is an Israeli agent and that the Government of Israel intends to seek his release.

Sounds simple doesn't it? Just put Jonathan Pollard's name on a list at the Ministry of Defense in Israel; and officially inform the Americans of his status as an agent in captivity. That is all that Israel had to do! But, even these simple, basic steps were never taken by Israel!

To this very day, the Government of Israel has never officially informed the US that Jonathan is her agent. If that were done, the US would be forced to treat Jonathan as an agent in captivity, and not as a common criminal. The US would not have dared to afflict him or abuse him, if he were classified as an agent in captivity. But, to this day, the US still considers Jonathan to be nothing more than a common criminal, and continues to treat him as such.

Moreover, because Israel never officially informed the US that Jonathan is her agent, Israel refused to put his name on the list of captives at the ministry of defense, for fear that the Americans might find out.

What does it mean then, that Jonathan's name does not appear on the list at the Ministry of Defense? It means, among other things, that he is effectively deprived of all of his rights as an agent in captivity. For example, in 22 years, neither Jonathan nor I have ever received a cent from the Government of Israel --- even though Jonathan has a right to his salary and other benefits while in captivity. Jonathan and I receive no medical, legal or moral assistance from the Government of Israel and never have. I am a cancer survivor and have undergone surgery and treatment for this illness, without any assistance from the government of Israel. Indeed, during the worst of times of my illness, when my husband was worried sick about me and could not be at my side to comfort or assist me, not a single Israeli official ever picked up the telephone to even inquire about my health.

Worst of all, the most serious implication of Jonathan's name being left off of the list of captives at the Ministry of Defense is that Jonathan's release has never been a priority on the official agenda of the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry, or of the Prime Minister's office, as it is with every other agent in captivity.

Instead for the last 22 years, successive governments of Israel have maintained the charade, pretending that Jonathan is not an agent, and not in captivity. This is accomplished by studiously keeping his file out of the hands of the appropriate office at the Ministry of Defense, and instead always keeping it in the hands of some special official who has neither the interest, nor the authority, nor the mandate to do anything for Jonathan. The official who holds Jonathan's file has always been someone high up in the Mossad, or high up in the prime Minister's office. In the past the file was held by the likes of Danny Yatom -- the Mossad attaché to Peres and Rabin; or Moshe Kochanovsky, a special ops agent at the Ministry of Defense; and today it is held by Cabinet Secretary, Israel Maimon. What this means in practical terms, is that each of these 'guardians' of Jonathan's file are "the address". Anyone with questions about Pollard's treatment or his situation can turn to this special address. Anyone wanting to move his case forward can turn to them. But, of course, because they are a special address, there is no law which obliges them to respond! Get it? Anyone can ask about Pollard, but absolutely no one in charge of his file has to answer!

To this day there is still no Israeli plan for Jonathan's release. There never was. To this day, the original plan for Jonathan Pollard remains in place; and the special official holding his file, maintains the plan with exception. According to Jonathan's file, he is still supposed to die in prison. And of course, since the special guardian of the Pollard file answers to no one, there is no oversight, no appeal, and no protest possible.

What about Wye, you ask? Didn't Israel try to get Jonathan at Wye? Let's look at the facts: Jonathan was supposed to be the quid pro quo for the 750 murderers and terrorists that Israel released as part of the Wye Accords. Israel released the murderers and terrorists, but never collected Jonathan's freedom. This was the first time that Israel released murderers with blood on their hands, and they used Jonathan as the excuse. He was supposed to be the quid pro quo, not the excuse! In all of the time since then, Israel has conveniently "forgotten" that she has already bought Jonathan's freedom and paid the full price. Tell me, how does a country pay the price in blood, and then just "forget" to collect its part of the deal, our captive!?

Ladies and Gentlemen: the fact that my husband Jonathan Pollard is still alive, the fact that he survives after 22 years, each and every single day that he survives, is an absolute and utter miracle! As for the Government of Israel, there is not enough time to go into details right now, but let me assure you again that their original plan for Jonathan has not changed one iota in 22 years. Mr. Olmert and his buddies, including Shimon Peres and Rafi Eitan, and a whole gang of Mossadniks are still waiting patiently for Jonathan to die in prison, G-d forbid!

As we asked earlier, can we trust what our Prime Minister and other Government officials are telling us? I maintain that we can trust them. Not when they are speaking publicly or talking to the media, but when they are speaking behind closed doors.

Here are a few examples of what Israeli officials, who are obliged to seek Jonathan's release, have had to say about the matter privately:

ARIK SHARON: Former Prime Minister of Israel, scandalized the late Rechavam Ze'evi, when he told him point blank: "The only way I will ever agree to bring Pollard home is in a coffin."

YITZHAK SHAMIR: another former Prime Minister of Israel, in separate meetings with Jonathan's attorney Larry Dub, and with his parents, told them: "A sovereign state has to know how to abandon those who serve the state, if the need arises."

EZER WEIZMAN: the former President of Israel, acting on behalf of the Government of Israel, arranged a meeting with Jonathan's brother, Harvey and attempted to give him a message of condolences for Jonathan's parents on the loss of their son. Harvey was outraged and angrily responded, "My brother is still alive! How dare you refer to him as if he had already died?!"

SHIMON PERES: Israel's deputy Prime Minister, speaking to 2 ministers who sought his assistance in advancing freedom for Pollard said, "Pollard is a lost cause. Nothing to do. Just forget him!"

RAFI EITAN: Pollard's former handler and today a Government Minister told Esther Pollard and Larry Dub that his only regret about the Pollard case was that he had failed to put a bullet through Jonathan's head when he sought refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. To this day, Eitan tells reporters that he feels no personal sense of responsibility for Pollard; that what happened to Pollard was "an operational failure, nothing personal."

As for EHUD OLMERT,Israel's current Prime Minister, his only interest -- as expressed to behind-the-scenes contacts -- is in freeing the terrorist murderer, Marwan Barghouti, not Jonathan Pollard. He does not even feign interest in Pollard. Olmert envisions sharing the Nobel peace prize with Barghouti!

Let me remind you, Jonathan was not a drug dealer or a scoundrel, who betrayed the State to Hizbullah for profit. Jonathan was and is a bona fide Israeli agent. From what I myself have heard from top level government officials, the information that Jonathan gave to Israel saved us from another holocaust.

And this is how the Government of Israel treats a man who served the State and who saved the lives of countless Israeli citizens, and who has served 22 years in prison on behalf of the State of Israel??!

If this is the way that the Government behaves towards a thoroughly visible captive like Jonathan, one who is able to speak for himself, one who can be visited, one who writes and phones and whose condition is known; then ask yourself, how is the Government really behaving towards those captives who are not so visible, who cannot speak for themselves, whom we cannot see, and whose condition we do not know. If you think about it, and you ask yourself some very simple questions, you will come to the same conclusions that Jonathan and I were forced to come to, by our own experience.

Then you will surely understand the premise that we started out with tonight. Namely, that we have both a right and an obligation to remember those who have fallen in the service of the State. We must honor the memory of those who are no longer alive. But, as for the others: Ron Arad, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Zarcharia Baumel, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and my husband Jonathan Pollard, remembering them, while they are still alive and in captivity, instead of bring them home is a travesty! It is the height of hypocrisy! And it is a crime against humanity. There is no reason to memorialize those who still live. There is an absolute obligation to bring them home, without any further delay!

And, I am not recommending that Israel free murderers and terrorists to bring them home. No other nation in the world --- only Israel ---opens the doors to its jails and frees murderers and terrorists to secure the release of its captives -- and even after doing so repeatedly, still does not secure the release of her captives.

Recently, 15 British sailors were taken captive by Iran. Does any one know how many terrorists Britain released in order to secure their release? Not a single one! That is right! Not a single terrorist or murderer was released by Britain to secure the release of their hostages from Iran. They were freed the way normal nations free their captives -- intensive behind the scenes "negotiations", or threats or whatever, but no release of murderers and terrorists. Only Israel claims that it has to release murderers and terrorists! This is not the way to secure the release of captives, and this is not the way a nation with any self-respect behaves!

Enough is enough! It is time to stop the lies and hypocrisy by the government of Israel! It is time to stop releasing murderers and terrorists! It is time to mourn our dead, not the living! It is time to stop holding memorial services for our captives and MIAs! It is time to rescue our boys in captivity, instead of memorializing them! I do not have to tell our government how to free a captive! Nor do they need me to teach them that negotiation does not mean capitulation to terror! Or that when negotiation fails there are other means!

It is time for the Government of Israel to fulfill its obligation to those who have faithfully served the State, and have gone into captivity as a result. It is time to bring Jonathan Pollard and all of our captives and MIAs home, now, while they are still alive! No more charades; no more games; no more lies; and no more excuses! No other alternative is acceptable.

If I may, I would like to make a personal request of everyone here tonight, to please pray and pray and pray and pray some more for Jonathan and for all of our captives and MIAs. I have brought prayer cards with me for distribution to the community. If possible try to pray in groups. The power of prayer is our most potent weapon, and the power of prayer in groups is exponentially astronomic!

Before I end, let me thank you, the people of Mevo Choron for honoring Jonathan and all of our MIAs and captives tonight; and for inviting me to speak at this unforgettable event! I am deeply moved by the devotion to the land and people of Israel that I have seen demonstrated by the People of Mevo Choron tonight. Your devotion to developing the land at Meirom Ayalon is deeply commendable and touches our hearts! Jonathan and I wish you much blessing and success!

Contact Justice for Jonathan Pollard at justice4jp@gmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 25, 2007.


Islamists try to rally support against the US in Iraq by claiming that the US wants to destroy their mosques. Actually, the US tries to be respectful of other religions. Meanwhile, the Islamists of different sects blow up their rivals' mosques. They also use mosques as firing positions, thereby drawing damaging return-fire.


One guest brought a gadget containing a countdown to the end of the Bush administration. I suggested she not hasten the day, for his successor is likely to get us conquered and the Democrats seem about to restore capital gains and dividend tax cuts that had boosted my net income. There was no comment.

She complained that he got the whole Muslim world angry with us. The host observed as if wisely that Pres. Bush has made the US reviled among the nations and is a stupid person. I didn't have time to explain why it is the nations that should be reviled and Europe that is stupidly letting itself get taken over by the Muslims. Our Democrats are taking up European pacifism, long discredited. I did mention that the Muslims had been attacking us before he took office; even 9/11 was before he had settled in. The Islamic anger comes from the Muslims, indoctrinated by S. Arabia and Iran, regardless of what the US does. As for France and Russia, I said, their reviling the US is largely jealousy over commercial rivalry and to losing top diplomatic place to the US. To that, there was no comment.

They made some more remarks against Bush. It is difficult to defend him, because it isn't a case of either he is right or his opponents are right. They all are largely wrong and he was only a little right. But I observed that Bush has been intimidated into relying upon the UN and negotiations, just as the Democrats demanded; doesn't that gain him some credit among the Democrats? I emphasized that, but nobody concurred or commented. If my remarks don't go their way, they ignore them.

I think that Democrats repeat standard themes like a mantra, know little, and think less. Their hatred of him is childish. And they call him stupid?

We were gathered to celebrate our ancestors' liberation, but nobody brought up the current threat to exterminate us descendants. In this, Bush is guilty of letting the State Dept. strip Israel of much of its defenses. That guilt my friends fail to perceive. They seem to have some perverse instinct that causes them to work against their own interests, legitimate as they may be.


The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem touted freedom of worship as a general principle. IMRA wonders whether he includes the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron (IMRA, 4/6).

The declaration is vague. Sometimes, other faiths don't include Jews in such declarations. It also is too vague to comfort his Christians, who, in the P.A., are harassed when going to church and are oppressed when not in church


"1. What is so important about Arab summits, if anything?
2. What is so important and new about the Saudi "peace plan"?
3. Why would the Sunni Saudis offer a plan that seems to help the positions of their Iranian and Syrian adversaries?
4. Why is America seemingly supporting Saudi ideas that fly in the face of the Bush Administration's anti-terror policy...?
5. Why are so many dovish Israelis in favor of the Saudi plans?"

Arab summits usually end in a consensus that conceals their fears and differences. Although Arab summits are about power, survival, and rivalry, and although the Saudi king admitted their disunity, journalists dwell on the calls there for unity. The participants, however, strive to distract their people from their corruption and other failures. Part of the distraction is to make certain statements that happen to have been in past summits. This material includes anti-Israel positions that their populations will not criticize them for. It also was safe regionally for the king to criticize the US presence in Iraq that he actually wants to stay as a counter-balance against Iran. But the king and other Arab leaders make overtures towards Iran, as they see US determination weakening.

Arab leaders are afraid to raise real issues [low Arab technological achievement, low literacy and health levels, high levels of corruption, and low national self-esteem] realistically, "that might inflame domestic populations."

Arab politics often neglects clear analysis in favor of elegant use of language. Arabs often believe the opposite of what they say in public or even in private (Michael Widlanski in IMRA, 4/6).

Mr. Widlanski did not explain explicitly why Westerners praise the Saudi plan. Did he imply that they don't know the cultural background for the plan? Dovish Israelis have been more ideological than logical, practical, or patriotic.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Janet Lehr, April 25, 2007.

Articles on Jordan follow -- Jordan is a dangerous neighbor, not given sufficient coverage. For starters, who among Israel Lives readers has noticed that every picture in the media of jerusalem includes the golden dome of the rock? That gold is thanks to a gift to the tatty monument 10 years ago of gold to be used to brighten up their symbol of dominance -- like a dog marking their spot.

"Jordan's King Abdullah To U.S. Congress -- No Justice For Palestinians Is Cause Of Regional & World Problems"

New York -- King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday addressed a joint session of Congress in which he essentially blamed Israel for the absence of peace in the Middle East and failed to mention, let alone condemn, Arab anti-Semitism and terror and incitement against Israel. Prior to leaving for Washington, D.C., Abdullah blamed Israel even more starkly, stating that "The main responsibility (for achieving peace) lies with Israel, which must choose either to remain a prisoner of the mentality of 'Israel the fortress' or to live in peace and stability with its neighbors" (Washington Post, March 7).

Statements by Abdullah in his speech to Congress:

"The wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine.

This is the core issue. And this core issue is not only producing severe consequences for our region, it is producing severe consequences for our world."

"Sixty years of Palestinian dispossession, 40 years under occupation, a stop-and-go peace process -- all this has left a bitter legacy of disappointment and despair on all sides."

"Palestinians and Israelis are not the only victims. We saw the violence ricochet into destruction in Lebanon last summer. And people around the world have been the victims of terrorists and extremists who use the grievance of this conflict to legitimize and encourage acts of violence. We must work together to restore peace, hope and opportunity to the Palestinian people, and in so doing we will begin a process of bringing peace "to the region."

"[Muslims] want to know how it is that ordinary Palestinians are still without rights and without a country. They ask whether the West really means what it says about equality and respect and universal justice."

"Nothing can achieve that [legacy of justice] more effectively, nothing can assert America's moral vision more clearly, nothing can reach and teach the world's youth more directly, than your leadership in a peace process that delivers results not next year, not in five years, but this year."

"The commitment we made in the [Saudi] Arab Peace Initiative is real." [This so-called peace initiative demands Israel's return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders, its acceptance of Palestinian Arab refugees and their millions of descendants and the relinquishing of half of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and other Jewish holy places].

Some reactions to Abdullah's speech:

House Majority leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD): "Disappointed" (New York Sun, March 8).

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA): "profoundly disappointing ... a missed opportunity" (New York Sun, March 8); [The speech was filed with] "platitudes. [it] is sort of unrealistic at a time when the dominant element in the Palestinian area does not recognize the existence of Israel" (New York Times, March 8).

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY): "I was troubled to hear the suggestion that the fact that Sunni and Shia are murdering each other is somehow the fault of the Israelis. This implication is a dangerous one and completely unacceptable" (New York Sun, March 8).

New York Sun editorial: "If one were to distill 110% wrongheadedness and then distill it again a second, third, and fourth time, one couldn't come up with a speech as purely wrongheaded as the one that the Hashemite king, Abdullah II, delivered yesterday to a joint meeting of Congress. The king's aim amounted to blaming Israel for all the world's problems. Balderdash is the kindest way to describe [his speech]. It doesn't track with the actions of the violent terrorists, and it doesn't track with their statements. If the terrorists are upset about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, why are they setting off bombs in Indonesia and Spain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which are hardly in the vanguard of support for Israel?" (New York Sun, March 8).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "King Abdullah's speech to Congress, despite the use of some nice-sounding phrases about America and one reference to Israel having a place in the region was actually an exercise in playing to Arab and Muslim hostility against both Israel and the United States. Abdullah basically blamed the Israelis for all the ills of the Middle East by falsely claiming that the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict is the source of all regional and world problems. Really? What has this conflict got to do with Syria's desire to dominate Lebanon? What has this got to do with the Sunni and Shiite warfare in Iraq? What has this to do with Islamists murdering tens of thousands in Algeria over the last 15 years? What has this to do with the genocide committee by Arab Muslims against non-Muslims in Sudan? What did this have to do with the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? One doesn't need to read between the lines too carefully to see that he is blaming Israel for Palestinian Arab statelessness rather than decades of Arab/Muslim hostility to the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state. In fact, Palestinian Arab statelessness is the direct consequence of Palestinian Arabs rejecting statehood three times in the last century (1937, 1947, 2000) in favor of continuing to wage war on Israel and deny its legitimacy in an attempt to destroy it.

"It is nonsense and dishonest for Abdullah to speak of 60 years of Palestinian dispossession and 40 years of statelessness. Palestinian Arabs fled to make way for Arab armies promising to erase the new state of Israel in 1948. Those who didn't flee became Israeli citizens with full rights. In contrast, Jews who lived in areas seized by Jordan and other Arab armies were completely driven out and their homes and communities were simply destroyed. In Jordan, it is illegal for Jews to reside there, yet Abdullah has the gall of speaking about the denial of justice by Israel.

Additionally, why is Abdullah speaking of only 40 years of Palestinian Arab statelessness? Because his own kingdom seized most of the territories earmarked by the UN for a Palestinian state in 1947. From 1948 to 1967, Jordan controlled all of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Did Jordan create a Palestinian Arab state?

"He is also demanding greater US involvement in the Arab war against Israel as if the U.S. is not strongly involved already and as if American involvement is the issue rather than the fact that the Palestinian Authority

(PA) refuses to end terrorism, jail and arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism. Clearly, Abdullah's interest in even greater U.S. involvement clearly means to him more pressure on Israel to make still more territorial concessions to Palestinian Arabs.

"Once again, instead of honesty and taking responsibility for Arab attitudes and conduct, Abdullah seeks to deflect the responsibility for the absence of peace throughout the Middle East on Israel and the United States. Some American ally. Some Israeli peace partner. Some moderate.

"King Abdullah has insulted the intelligence and knowledge of the U.S. Congress by preaching falsehoods and distortions about the causes and resolutions of the problems in the in the Middle East and the world. These problems can only be solved by facing the truth and reality of the increase of radical Islamic radical jihadist movements whose goals are the Islamization of the West and the destruction of Israel and the reality that the Palestinian Authority Has not fulfilled a single aspect of its agreements with Israel for 13 years. Unfortunately, the so-called moderate king ignored every truth and fed Congress lies.

"We agree with the New York Sun whose editorial stated that the U.S. Congress "will not be gulled by a foreign potentate offering up Israel as a scapegoat for troubles that originate with the failings of the Arab and Islamic world and their nondemocratic leaders, Abdullah among them."

"Jordan: Why did Abdullah II really come to congress?"

Jordan is in trouble, That's why Abdullah II really came to Congress this past March. The desperate monarch faces a demographic revolution. The population of Jordan on July 2006 was estimated to be 5,906,760, the Iraqi war has brought 600,000 refugees into Jordan. Add to the 600,000 Iranian refugees a figure of 1,780,701 total palestinean refugees (283,183 being confined in 10 UNRWA camps), fully 40% of Jordan now are refugees. (2,380,701 people in a total population of 5,906,760) Population data http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/jordan.html [Parenthetically, 6,669 staff serve the UNRWA camp population, these elites have a major interest in continuing the camps.]

"Officials Say Arab Kingdom Using Shell Firms To Buy Key Properties With Access To Holy Site"
By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM -- Jordan has been quietly purchasing real estate surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in hopes of gaining more control over the area accessing the holy site, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The officials confirmed to WND the Jordanian Kingdom has been using shell companies during the past year to purchase several apartments and shops located at key peripheral sections of the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem The officials said Jordan also set up a commission to use the companies to petition mostly Arab landowners adjacent to eastern sections of the Temple Mount to sell their properties. They said profits from sales at any purchased shops would be reinvested to buy more real estate near the Mount and in eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The shell companies at times have presented themselves as acting on behalf of the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, WND has learned.

Sheik Azzam Khateeb, who was installed last month as the new manager of the Waqf, is known to be close to the Jordanian monarchy. The previous Waqf manager, Sheik Adnon Husseini, was loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and had relations with Israel and some Jewish groups.

"Khateeb answers directly to Jordan," a Fatah official told WND.

The Israeli and Palestinian officials said Jordan recently placed a bid to purchase Jerusalem's Intercontinental Hotel, which is situated on an important road that leads to an ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, adjacent to the Temple Mount. Informed sources tell WND the hotel is owned by groups representing the Israeli government and is leased every 10 years to a new company. The last lease was signed in 1997 and expires later this year. It was not immediately clear whether Jordan's bid was accepted.

The Mount of Olives is site of many biblical events and is considered important to Judaism and Christianity.

Real estate ownership in Jerusalem's Old City is widely considered a sensitive matter. Previous Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals tentatively divided parts of the city based on Jewish or Arab residence.

Jordan previously controlled eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from 1948 until Israel liberated the territory in the 1967 Six Day War. During the period of Jordanian control, Jews were barred from the Western Wall and Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest sites, and hundreds of synagogues were destroyed. Jordan constructed a road to the Intercontinental Hotel that stretched across the Mount of Olives, bulldozing hundreds of Jewish gravestones.

Jordan the past few months has boosted its public profile on the Temple Mount. The appointment of Khateeb as the new Waqf manager for the Temple Mount was widely seen as a nod to Jordan.

In January, (www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54041) Israel granted Jordan permission to replace the main podium in the Al Aqsa Mosque from which Islamic preachers deliver their sermons. The podium is considered one of the most important stands in the Muslim world. Muslims believe it marks the "exact spot" their prophet Muhammad went up to heaven to receive revelations from Allah.

The new stand bears the emblem of the Jordanian Kingdom. It replaces a 1,000-year-old podium believed to have been shipped to Jerusalem by the Islamic conqueror Saladin. That stand was destroyed in 1969, when an Australian tourist set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Last month (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54056) WND first reported Prime Minister Ehud Olmert granted permission to Jordan to construct a large minaret at a site on the Temple Mount where Jewish groups here had petitioned to build a synagogue.

A minaret is a tower usually attached to a mosque from which Muslims are called to the five Islamic daily prayers.

There are four minarets on the Temple Mount. The new minaret will be the largest one yet. It will be the first built on the Temple Mount in more than 600 years and is slated to tower over the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. It will reside next to the Al-Marwani Mosque, located at the site of Solomon's Stables.

A top leader of the Waqf told WND Olmert's granting of permission to build the minaret in the synagogue's place "confirms 100 percent the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) belongs to Muslims.""This proves Jewish conspiracies for a synagogue will never succeed and solidifies our presence here. It will make Muslims worldwide more secure that the Jews will never take over the Haram al-Sharif," the Waqf official said.

"Jordan to Join Mideast Nuclear-Power Club"
The Media Line Staff
Apr 02, 2007

Amman is the latest Middle-Eastern capital to announce it intends building a nuclear power plant. The country wants an operational facility by 2015. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Muhammad Al-Baradei', is slated to visit Jordan later this month to consult with local officials to determine a path forward.

Other countries already embarked on a path towards atomic energy are Iran, Egypt, Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council members (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates). Syria would also like to produce nuclear energy, but admits it is a long way from reaching its goal.

For many in the Middle East, nuclear power represents a logical alternative to oil. In Yemen and Syria, reserves are beginning to run low and they will have to seek replacements over the next decade. Arab countries are also looking nervously at developments in Iran and remain unconvinced that Tehran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

While the Arab states deny they intend developing nuclear weapons, some analysts suggest that could be the inevitable outcome of any Iranian production of nuclear weapons.

"Jordan's King Risks Shah's Fate, Critics Warn Abdullah II, who has closely allied himself with the U.S., is accused by reformers and traditionalists alike of alienating his people"
Borzou Daragahi,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 1, 2006
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/ la-fg-jordan1oct01,0,3931407,full.story

AMMAN, Jordan -- A politically inexperienced king takes control of a Middle Eastern monarchy from his powerful father, surrounds himself with U.S. military hardware and spies, loses touch with his people and is finally ejected in a popular uprising.

That was the tale of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, the pro-American ruler of Iran whose ouster ushered in the reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and three decades of Islamic rule.

Now many in this Arab country of more than 5 million people fear that a similar fate could befall King Abdullah II, the Jordanian monarch who assumed power after his charismatic father died in 1999.

"Until now in Amman we don't have a Khomeini," said one mid-ranking official serving the Jordanian Cabinet. "If there was a Khomeini, then this family would be in trouble." The king's father, Hussein, deftly balanced his country's contradictory pressures. He paid respects to the conservative East Bank tribes' demands for stability while also attending to calls from the nation's more cosmopolitan majority Palestinians for democratic change.

But critics on both sides of the Jordanian divide say the 44-year-old king has failed to garner popular support. Descendants of the tribes that are the monarchy's base criticize the king for failing to abide by tribal customs and losing touch with his supporters. They whisper the name of Abdullah's popular younger brother, Hamzeh. Palestinian groups and activists fear that the government in Amman has gotten too close to Washington, has adopted the Bush administration's with-us-or-against-us worldview too thoroughly and is sliding on human rights and democracy.

"King Hussein was an artist," said Ivan Eland, for 17 years a staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and now an analyst at the Oakland-based Independent Institute, a think tank. "He was roundly criticized for supporting Saddam [Hussein] in the first Gulf War. But in retrospect, he looked pretty smart."The son has gotten more in bed with the United States," he added. "He hasn't been distancing himself from American policy. That has put him in a hole he hasn't been able" to get out of.

Numerous parallels exist between the shah's rule and that of Abdullah. Like the shah's SAVAK security and intelligence service, Jordan's General Intelligence Department, now in a new hilltop complex in an Amman suburb, operates as a "subdivision" of the CIA, said Alexis Debat, a former French Defense Ministry official who is a counter-terrorism consultant and a senior fellow at the Nixon Center in Washington.

By Debat's estimates, the Jordanian intelligence agency receives at least $20 million a year in U.S. funding for operations and liaison work. "They're doing all the legwork for the CIA," he said.

The Jordanians have become one of Washington's closest allies in the intelligence-gathering business, second only to Britain's MI6, counter-intelligence experts say. They are closer to the CIA than the Mossad, Israel's much-touted intelligence agency, which is considered to have too much of an agenda of its own to be completely reliable, Debat said.

Like the Iran of the 1970s, Jordan has become a receptacle of U.S. interests and trade. American aid to the kingdom has totaled $3.59 billion over the last five years, compared with $1.36 billion during the previous five years, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Like the shah's regime, the Jordanian monarchy has surrounded itself with American hardware. Just before Hussein's death, Amman took delivery of 16 advanced F-16 fighter jets. "That was a sort of threshold that Jordan crossed," said Michael R. Fischbach, a professor of history at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. "They got truly advanced weaponry. It made Jordan have aircraft on par with Israel."

U.S.-made military hardware abounds on Jordan's streets. Jordanian soldiers carrying American-made M-16 assault rifles and riding in olive-green U.S.-made Humvees watch over sensitive military and political sites in Amman, the capital. Convoys of U.S. military transport trucks move in and out of the country.

Perhaps most controversially, say Amnesty International and other human rights groups, Jordan has become an important nexus in U.S. intelligence's subterranean "renditions" network, in which terrorism suspects are secretly detained and interrogated in countries with blemished human rights records. Jordanian officials deny participation in the program.

Many worry that bolstering Jordanian security forces amid widespread reports of abuses against detainees has hampered the country's baby steps toward democratization.

"The security forces are improving at the cost of democracy," said Hamzeh Mansur, a leader of the Islamic Action Front, the main Islamist parliamentary bloc.

Jordanian officials say the security apparatus has been ramped up and civil liberties laws tightened out of fear the country will become a staging ground for secretive cells plotting violent operations in Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Jordan has also been victimized by terrorism, including the Nov. 9, 2005, bombings of three Amman hotels that killed dozens.

"You have to combat terrorism while it's in its planning stage," said Nasser Joudeh, a government spokesman. "We will not allow Jordan to be used as a scene for any activity relating to non-Jordanian problems. We will not allow anyone to bring militant or extremist ideas into Jordan or export them elsewhere."

But the Hashemite kingdom's evident close ties with Washington and its leap into the U.S.-declared war on terrorism threaten to put the government on what some call a collision course with many of its people, especially in light of a sharp increase in anti-American sentiment after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Israel's recent bombing of Lebanon in the Jewish state's war against Shiite Muslim militants.

"Being darlings of the U.S. is considered bad, bad, bad," said a Western analyst based in Jordan who requested anonymity.

Jordanian government officials say the security forces have become less heavy-handed in their approach. "I am liberal-minded," said Maj. Gen. Mohammed Dahabi, the chief of Jordanian intelligence, who says he was appointed in December with a mandate to clean up the service's reputation as well as confront the growing threat of Islamic militants in neighboring Iraq and the West Bank.

However, confronted by the recent allegations of torture, the officials acknowledge that the past casts a long shadow on the country.

"Old habits die hard," said Dahabi, who represents a segment of the tribal-dominated security forces that strongly supports the king.

Few publicly speak out against the king because of a law that can be used to prosecute those who do. "Criticisms of the king and the intelligence forces are strictly taboo and carry serious penalties," says a January 2006 Human Rights Watch report. "Articles of the penal code criminalize speech slandering public officials, criticizing the king and his family, and harming relations with other states."

But Abdullah has emboldened a legion of critics among the country's tradition-minded tribes that are the backbone of the monarchy.

"He talks about information technology and foreign investment, but he doesn't really know his own people," said the government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his sensitive position within the Cabinet.

"The tribes are very upset with him," said the Western analyst in Amman.

"The impression is that he's too Westernized."

Many critics say the monarch has been too busy pursuing a Western agenda instead of forging ahead with a vision for uniting the country, which remains divided between the powerful tribes and the numerous Jordanian nationals of Palestinian descent.

"He has ambitions to make Jordan a modern country," said Jean-Robert Leguey-Feilleux, a scholar of Middle East politics, diplomacy and terrorism at St. Louis University. "You can't do that without the support of the people."

Jordan, Pa Arrest 2 Palestinians For Selling Hebron House [Peace House] To Jews
Nadav Shargai and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents

The Palestinian Authority and Jordan earlier this week arrested two Palestinians suspected of selling a house in Hebron to settlers who have been occupying it since March 19.

One of the suspects is being held in Jordan, and the other in Jericho. PA laws call for a death sentence for anyone found guilty of selling land to Jews.

Hebron's Jewish Committee condemned the arrest, saying, "The arrest exposes once again the anti-Semitic nature of the PA. We call upon the government to accept the racial hatred prevalent in the PA.

"Israel Allows Minaret Over Temple Mount"
Aaron Klein
February 4, 2007
World Net Daily (www.wnd.com).

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given permission for Jordan to build a large minaret adjacent to a mosque on the Temple Mount to call Muslims to prayer at the holy site, WND has learned.

The minaret will stand at a site on the Mount where rightist Jewish groups had petitioned to build a synagogue.

A minaret is a tower usually attached to a mosque from which Muslims are called to the five Islamic daily prayers.

There are four minarets on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and third holiest in Islam. The new minaret will be the largest one yet. It will be the first built on the Temple Mount in over 600 years and is slated to tower over the walls of Jerusalem's old city. It will reside next to the al-Marwani Mosque, located at the site of Solomon's Stables.

Sources in the Jordanian monarchy and the Waqf told WND Olmert earlier this month gave Jordan's King Abdullah official permission to build the minaret. The sources said the minaret will rise 130 feet above the ancient walls of Jerusalem.

A senior Olmert adviser today confirmed to WND the Israeli prime minister told Abdullah he will allow the minaret's construction.

The adviser said he could not speak on the record because Israel has been waiting for an "opportune time" to officially announce permission for the new minaret.

In October, King Abdullah announced plans to build the fifth minaret, although at the time the Jordanians reportedly did not have Israel's permission to commence construction. Abdullah said the minaret would bear the symbol of the Jordanian monarchy.

The Temple Mount's first minaret was constructed on the southwest corner in 1278; the second was built in 1297 by order of a Mameluke king; the third by a governor of Jerusalem in 1329; and the last in 1367.

Aryeh Eldad, a Knesset member from Israel's National Union party, last year drew up plans with rightist Jewish groups to build a synagogue near the Marwani Mosque.

The synagogue was to be built in accordance with rulings from several prominent rabbis, who said Jews can ascend the Mount at certain areas.

'Olmert turning his back on Jewish heritage'

A top leader of the Waqf -- the Islamic custodians of the Mount -- told WND Olmert's granting of permission to build the minaret in the synagogue's place "confirms 100-percent the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) belongs to Muslims."

"This proves Jewish conspiracies for a synagogue will never succeed and solidifies our presence here. It will make Muslims worldwide more secure that the Jews will never take over the Haram al-Sharif," the Waqf official said.

Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, blasted Olmert's decision to allow the minaret as "repugnant to anyone who knows what it is to be a Jew."

"The decision and Israel's general attitude toward the Temple Mount is the manifestation of spiritual bankruptcy in the country's leadership. Olmert is turning his back on our Jewish heritage while the rest of the world looks at us with amazement at how we can be so insensitive to our own spiritual legacy."

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century BC. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 BC after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in AD 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The al-Aqsa Mosque now sits on the site.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The al-Aqsa Mosque was constructed around AD 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al-Aqsa was meant to mark the place where Muslims believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

[Editor's Note:
A reader, Linda Rivera of New York, wrote this comment:

STOP REWARDING and EMPOWERING the Wicked Arab Defilement and Destruction in the Muslim War against G-D and Islamic War against the Holy places of Israel's G-D!

The HOLIEST place on earth, the sacred Temple Mount is exclusive Jewish property given by G-D for the worship of Israel's G-D -- Creator of the Universe. It is not for the worship of any other gods.

Photos: Arabs Ransack Samuel´s Tomb, Vandalize Hevron Graveyard
Jan 28, '07
by Ezra HaLevi

Over the Sabbath, Arabs destroyed property and religious items in the Tomb of Samuel, north of Jerusalem. On Sunday morning, Hevron's Jewish residents found their graveyard had also been attacked.

Samuel's Tomb, called Kever Shmuel by Jews and Nebi Samwil by Arabs, is located just north of Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood and can clearly be seen from many areas of the capital. Police are investigating the incident, in which the main prayer hall in the tomb was smashed and phones and fax machines from an adjacent office were stolen....

The Iron door of the ark inside the tomb was broken into, its contents stolen and the decorations and pillars surrounding the ark smashed...

A cabinet with religious articles and prayerbooks was pried open and the books torn and destroyed...

Hevron's Jewish cemetery was vandalized over the Sabbath as well, with headstones overturned, graves smashed and covered with graffiti...

There is also a mosque in the tomb complex.

Hevron's ancient cemetery is located near the Admot Yishai (Tel Romeida) neighborhood. It also has a new section, which was targeted by the attackers....

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of a daily e-mail called "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at israellives@gmail.com

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Posted by Bryna Berch, April 25, 2007.

Does PBS, which is supported by ALL the people who pay taxes, have the right to have a political agenda? Should it be allowed to be responsive just to the folks who "ignore and deny" Islamofascism?

This article was written by Kevin Mooney, staff writer for CNSNews.com. This comes from today's NewsMax.com

Islamists are working to build "parallel societies" with the aim of imposing strict Islamic law in parts of the West, according to a documentary the Public Broadcasting System has chosen not to air.

"Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" highlights the work of moderate Muslims who oppose the Islamist agenda and are willing to speak out. PBS officials decided against airing the film, which PBS's Robert MacNeil told the Diane Rehm Show earlier this month was "one-sided" and "alarmist."

Some of the key Muslim figures featured in the documentary believe PBS is practicing censorship and doing a disservice to the American public. The film, which was supposed to be part of a PBS series, cost taxpayers more than $600,000.

Danish lawmaker Naser Khader has been at the center of debate in his own country over the practice of Islamic law (shari'a). An imam has sought to impose shari'a outside the framework of Danish law, the film contends. Khader, a Muslim originally from Syria, has argued against the move.

"For such opinions, he has aroused the wrath of those who want Islamic parallel societies within Denmark," says the film's voiceover.

Khader discusses some of the menacing messages he has received, including threats such as, "We will kill you," "We will make your life a hell," and "If you participate in democracy you are a traitor."

Radicals who oppose the parliamentarian's views often "turn his election speeches into chaos," the documentary states.

"It reminds me of what happened to Germany in the 1930s," Khader says in the film.

Zuhdi Jasser, president of Islamic Forum for Democracy, also is featured in the film. He told Cybercast News Service that the mainstream media and public television officials are responsible for the unbalanced coverage of America's Muslim community.

He also said there is a concerted effort by well-organized, well-financed Islamist organizations to silence moderate voices.

Jasser and other participants on Tuesday named the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as among those groups. One of the film's co-producers, Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy, called CAIR "as radical as they come."

Attempts to get CAIR's reaction Monday and Tuesday were unsuccessful.

"Those of us who try to raise debates are not responded to [with] scripture, or in an intellectual way," Jasser said. "We are instead responded to with ridicule and told we are false Muslims."

Jasser said PBS and other media outlets spend too much time "excusing the other side" and giving credence to organizations with radical ties.

"The definition of censorship is when the government or some other entity decides for us what is alarmist and what isn't," he said.

As a long-term goal, Jasser said he hopes to create "non-political organizations" separate from mosques, which operate as think tanks and create "new bodies of literature and a new body of thought."

"I'm not against shari'a personally. I'm against the mixture of shari'a with government," he said. "Shari'a is my family law but it needs to be consistent with the greater law of society, which is based on the natural law."

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-N.Y., is among those who have criticized the PBS decision to drop the film. He thinks it should be shown. Having seen the film, he said he found it to be quite compelling. Walsh said he could not see that the film was in any way unfinished.

PBS spokesman Joe Deplasco told Cybercast News Service the film was unfinished and could not be shown. He said films that did not make the cut for the PBS series may still be considered for airing later as "stand alone" pieces.

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 25, 2007.

Friends, we are on the verge of a significant victory over the Jihadniks at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario Canada.

For the first time in its forty-eight year history, the nuclear reactor at McMaster has the furtherance of it's license subject to a legal challenge.

Papers filed this week by at least half a dozen citizens of Ontario precede a Provincial hearing in May. Our objective is to force a comprehensive formal investigation into charges made by Paul Williams and other researchers in the past several years. Most importantly, we intend to bring to the Canadian government's attention the university's systematic attempts to use public funds to provide cover for Al Qaeda operatives (i.e. Adnan El Shukrijouma) operating in Canada and the United States.

The next few weeks will be critical to our mission. We must get all the press we can, and make our voices heard by the Canadian and American citizenry. The public hearings in the Canadian capital of Ottawa will afford us the opportunity to make a huge dent in the credibility of "Jihad U" and their terror enabling staff and supporters.

Support Paul Williams in his battle against terror and injustice ......you may be next!

This is called "Cancer rates more lethal in Hamilton" and it was written by Joanna Frketich (jfrketich@thespec.com). It appeared in the Hamilton Spectator.

Kol tuv,

Hamiltonians are more likely to get the most common cancers and die of them than the average Ontarian.

Lung, colon and breast cancer all are more prevalent and deadly in Hamilton, reports the public health department.

Lifestyle is the main culprit. Hamilton has higher rates of smoking, obesity and alcohol consumption, which all increase the risk of getting cancer.

More people die of it because it's diagnosed too late, said associate medical officer of health Dr. Matthew Hodge. That's largely because the poor and immigrants are less likely to get cancer screening.

Hamilton has among the highest rates of both in the province.

"Poverty is associated with not going to the doctor," said Hodge.

Prostate cancer is the one exception. Only 243 per 100,000 Hamilton men over the age of 40 are diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to the provincial average of 291.

But this is largely thought to be due to fewer men getting prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for the disease because it's not covered by OHIP and costs between $20 and $40.

Another major factor is Hamilton's aging population. Cancer is more likely to occur in people over the age of 50. Hamilton has an older population than average.

The report also shows:

-- Breast cancer is diagnosed in 258 per 100,000 women 40 and older in Hamilton compared to the provincial average of 237.

-- Lung and bronchus cancer is diagnosed in 158 per 100,000 men 40 plus and 138 for women in Hamilton. That compares to the provincial average of 146 for men and 108 for women.

-- Colon and rectum cancer is found in 148 per 100,000 men aged 40 and older and 111 for women in Hamilton. That compares to the provincial average of 137 for men and 109 for women.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 24, 2007.

In recent months, instead of screaming "Butcher all Jews," the anti-Semites have been whining about Israel's "Apartheid Wall". It is an "Apartheid Wall," because it makes it harder for Arab terrorists to murder Jewish civilians, and the people who oppose the wall all support mass murder of Jews. Even seemingly respectable people, like Professor Juan Cole, an Israel-basher whose attempt to take a job at Yale was blocked last year by a sudden attack of common sense, these days calls it the "Apartheid Wall." Juan of a Kind has never bothered to mention on his web site that the wall was constructed to stop Palestinian mass murderers. An irrelevant detail.

Basically, anyone who refers to Israel's wall as an "Apartheid Wall" should be regarded as a pro-terror, pro-murder anti-Semitic slimeball.

Now comes a story about another security wall, one the moonbatocracy is not labelling a "Apartheid Wall" (yet). Seems that the US is now building a wall to keep the Sunni and Shiite terrorists in Baghdad from murdering one another. The Islamofascists are already complaining about it because if the bloodshed in Baghdad were to drop, how would they organize the entire Middle East in anti-Americanism. It might even disarm the anti-American campus Left in the US!

In recent months, instead of screaming "Butcher all Jews," the anti-Semites have been whining about Israel's "Apartheid Wall". It is an "Apartheid Wall," because it makes it harder for Arab terrorists to murder Jewish civilians, and the people who oppose the wall all support mass murder of Jews. Even seemingly respectable people, like Professor Juan Cole, an Israel-basher whose attempt to take a job at Yale was blocked last year by a sudden attack of common sense, these days calls it the "Apartheid Wall." Juan of a Kind has never bothered to mention on his web site that the wall was constructed to stop Palestinian mass murderers. An irrelevant detail.

Basically, anyone who refers to Israel's wall as an "Apartheid Wall" should be regarded as a pro-terror, pro-murder anti-Semitic slimeball.

Now comes a story about another security wall, one the moonbatocracy is not labelling a "Apartheid Wall" (yet). Seems that the US is now building a wall to keep the Sunni and Shiite terrorists in Baghdad from murdering one another. The Islamofascists are already complaining about it because if the bloodshed in Baghdad were to drop, how would they organize the entire Middle East in anti-Americanism. It might even disarm the anti-American campus Left in the US!

So building gated neighborhoods to keep Sunnis and Shiites from being murdered seems to be legit. But preventing Jewish children from being murdered is an act of racism and imperialism.

Here's a thought. How about instead of an "Apartheid Wall" Israel builds an "Anti-Apartheid Gallows," on which Arab and Jewish traitors may be hanged with fraternity and egalitarian compassion, and no artificial barrier separating them?

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

This article is archived at

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Posted by Israel Zwick, April 24, 2007.

Written in honor of Israel Independence Day, 5 Iyar 5767

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in May, 1948, thousands of articles and millions of words have been written about the "suffering of the Palestinian people." It has been well established that many of the 4 million people who now identify themselves as Palestinians, are living in poverty and squalor in over 50 UNRWA "refugee camps" scattered around the Israeli territories, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. There is universal agreement that the "plight of the Palestinian refugees" needs to be resolved in order to bring peace and stability to the Middle East.

Before developing a suitable intervention to resolving a problematic situation, it is first necessary to do a thorough assessment to determine the cause of the problem. When the Palestinian spokesmen are interviewed about the problem, they are adept at using CYA techniques to explain the reasons for the "suffering of the Palestinian people." As most Americans know, CYA is the initialism for Cover Your Derrière. It is a common expression used when the blame for wrongdoing is ascribed elsewhere to avoid the possibility of personal liability. CYA techniques are among the first lessons that journalists and diplomats learn on the job. So if something goes wrong, "It can't be my fault, I followed all the appropriate procedures, you need to look elsewhere to find fault."

Using CYA techniques, the reason for the "suffering of the Palestinian people" can be readily determined:

Could the reason be related to the involvement of the Palestinians in violence and terrorism? No, of course not. There is no Palestinians terrorism, only "legitimate resistance." So that can't be the reason.

Could the reason be the endless perpetuation of refugee status by UNRWA? No, the UN has always supported "solidarity with the Palestinian people" so they would never do anything that would be detrimental to the Palestinians. So that can't be the reason.

Could the reason be the refusal of the Arab governments to absorb and incorporate the Palestinian refugees into their countries? No, the Arab governments have always been concerned about the best interests for the Palestinian people. So that can't be the reason.

Could the reason be related to corruption and mismanagement by the Palestinian leadership? No, all the Palestinian leaders are selfless public servants who would never consider taking an extra cent for themselves. So that can't be the reason.

Could the reason be related to the international sanctions and boycotts imposed on the Hamas government? No, the UN statistics clearly demonstrate that the Palestinians have received more economic aid per capita than any other ethnic or minority group in the world. So that can't be the reason.

That leaves only one possible reason left for the suffering of the Palestinian people: The suffering of the Palestinian people in the Israeli territories is due to the oppressive, violent, aggressive, genocidal, apartheid policies of the Zionist entity.

But wait, you may ask, there are also suffering Palestinians in Jordan. Why are they suffering? By extension, the suffering of the Palestinian people in Jordan is due to the oppressive, violent, aggressive, genocidal, apartheid policies of the Zionist entity.

But what about the suffering Palestinians in Lebanon? Why are they suffering? By further extrapolation, the suffering of the Palestinian people in Lebanon is due to the oppressive, violent, aggressive, genocidal, apartheid policies of the Zionist entity.

But the Palestinians in Syria are also suffering. Why are they suffering? By now it should be readily understood, the suffering of the Palestinian people in the Syria is due to the oppressive, violent, aggressive, genocidal, apartheid policies of the Zionist entity.

But the Palestinians in Iraq are also suffering. Why are they suffering? You guessed it! The suffering of the Palestinian people in Iraq is due to the oppressive, violent, aggressive, genocidal, apartheid policies of the Zionist entity.

Now that the reason for the suffering of the Palestinian people has been conclusively determined with certainty, we can develop an appropriate intervention to alleviate their suffering. The first thing that the Palestinians have to do to alleviate their suffering is to make money. The money is needed to build smuggling tunnels, purchase advanced armaments, build reinforced concrete bunkers, and finance luxurious mansions in Europe for the Palestinian leadership. The next thing that the Palestinians must do is to continue to use CYA techniques to protect themselves from any blame whatsoever.

There is one solution that would resolve both of these issues and bring prosperity and contentment to the Palestinian people: They need to build a big underwear factory in Gaza. Underwear manufacturing in China is a huge industry involving many factories and billions of dollars. If the Palestinians had only a small portion of this business, they would be able to have all the money they need and be able to cover their derrières as well.

Underwear manufacture would be a suitable industry for the Palestinians. Cotton is one of Egypt's major exports. So the Palestinians could use their smuggling tunnels to import cotton from Egypt. Eventually they could grow their own cotton in the Gaza strip. Irrigation water could come from the Mediterranean, and fertilizer could come from recycled sewage since they produce so much of it. In a short time, the Palestinians could become the main underwear providers for the entire Arab world. Any Arab, and many Israelis, would be proud to cover their derrières with underwear that boasts that it is "Made in Gaza."

There is one additional benefit for manufacturing underwear in Gaza: It would provide the Palestinians with a little more protection when they are full of hot air, which happens so often.

Contact Israel Zwick at israel.zwick@earthlink.net or go to his website:

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Posted by David Ben-Ariel, April 24, 2007.

A new network of insightful professionals have devised a course of action that citizens can take to resuscitate the Jewish people and Israel. They propose alternatives to the sterile, deadlocked Oslo/roadmap approach and advocate approaches that take charge. Where the current fearful Israeli leaders peddle helplessness, Hashkem promote hopefulness and self-respect.

Hashkem Yisrael (a Jewish alternative for Israel)


Situated at the crossroads of three continents, Israel has always found itself caught in the middle of global conflicts. Currently, Israel is pulled into the maelstrom of a subtle, almost invisible global conflict. When President Bush talks repeatedly about a New World Order, he refers to plans of a cabal, an organization called CFR Trilateral Commission whose dictates are routinely obeyed by frightened Israeli leaders. Fearful Israeli leaders would have us believe that we have absolutely no self-determination, that we cannot vanquish the enemy, and as such have to ingratiate ourselves by begging for Peace at any price. These fearful leaders believe that the oil interests have such a monopoly on world opinion, that there is no alternative but to kowtow to their whims. These "leaders" justify their self-defeating actions as defusing a demographic time bomb.


A new network of insightful professionals have devised a course of action that citizens can take to resuscitate the Jewish people and Israel. They propose alternatives to the sterile, deadlocked Oslo/roadmap approach and advocate approaches that take charge. Where the current fearful Israeli leaders peddle helplessness, Hashkem promote hopefulness and self-respect. Specifically, Hashkem advocate redefining Palestinians as Jordanians, resolving land disputes by valid title, creating buffer zones, nurturing Jewish farms and homesteads, fostering stronger local government, defining non-citizen residency rights, providing virtual citizenship for permanent residents and full citizenship to those eligible to serve in the IDF, providing refugee compensation including Jewish refugees, protecting emigration rights, withstanding international pressures, reforming courts and the supreme court, electing members of Knesset by winner-take-all district elections, requiring personal responsibility of elected officials and fighting to win.


We need fearless leaders who will exercise the power we always had, but refused to use. We need intelligent fearless leaders who realize that the Jews have the brain power and Israel has the natural resources to end the stranglehold of petroleum producing nations. Israel must develop alternative energy to an extent that the Arabs' power is deflated. For example, Israel has developed new technology to exploit their own extensive own oil shale deposits. This technology if used in the Colorado basin and in Venezuela can produce as much oil as all OPEC nations produce. In point of fact, petroleum could be made obsolete within twenty to thirty years and end the emission of greenhouse gases. The technology exists, right now, to make crude oil an agricultural product grown in salt water on desert land that no one else can use. The technology is Israeli. The technology exists, right now, to generate electricity in quantities that are, in practical terms, limitless by harnessing the static charge of the earth. Israel is the ideal place to implement it. We need rational leaders that deal with reality, not haunting illusions.

There is no demographic time bomb. Arab fertility rates dropped significantly because many young men cannot afford to buy a wife. Moreover, over a million Arabs appear to have emigrated over the last six years and the majority want to if they could. They need only the opportunity to sell their assets. We need resolute leaders with a strong sense of Jewish self-determination and national destiny.

David Ben-Ariel is author of "Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall." Contact him at http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com The article is archived at
http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com/2007/04/ hashkem-yisrael-jewish-alternative-for.html

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 24, 2007.

"Kassams on Independence Day"

Yom Ha'atzmaut now draws to a close. As Arutz Sheva so aptly put it: "3,500 years old and 59 years young."


"We have won before and we will win again, for we have no other choice. We have been living for 59 years in a war, the end of which is not yet in sight. Thus spoke Acting President Dalia Itzik during ceremonies in honor of the day.

"Residents of Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority: has there not been enough blood spilled, yours and ours? Replace your Katyushas and Kassams with computers and education, and finally, be rewarded with peace and quiet Israel lives and lets live."


But it is clear that residents of the Palestinian Authority weren't listening. A barrage of at least 12 Kassams and 20 mortar rounds were fired on the western Negev this morning.

By this afternoon the IDF announced that this was meant to be a diversionary action so that terrorists might infiltrate into Israel and kidnap more soldiers. The IDF, however, was ready, as there has been a high alert for weeks with regard to intelligence that a raid similar to the one in which Shalit was captured was being planned by Hamas, and indeed Hamas's military wing took credit for the rocket and mortar attack. Our ground troops were ready, however, and IAF helicopters were hovering over Gaza; no cell got into Israel.


This should provide a lesson: Even negotiating the release of terrorists in exchange for Shalit, never mind actually making the exchange, is enough to motivate terrorists to accomplish further abductions. It's a tactic that works. This is apparent to them. And if it's apparent to them, it should be apparent to our government that carrying on the negotiations is very very bad idea.

Olmert said the government viewed the attacks and attempted kidnapping "severely." Wow! That'll teach them. Show them, Olmert, don't tell them. Reports are that Olmert is consulting officials about a possible response. Possible? At most, it will be what is called a targeted response. Our prime minister is not ready yet to take them on in a major action.

The official response from Hamas is laughable. PM Haniyeh said the Palestinians want to continue the ceasefire. They are very surprised by the aggression that Israel is showing towards them. PA Spokesman Ghazi Hamed said that the calm would collapse if Israel continued with its aggression. Which calm was he referring to?

Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beitenu), Minister of Strategic Affairs, said tonight that our restraint is seen as weakness and cannot continue. And he could not be more correct.

The words of MK Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud), opposition head, reflected a similar theme (with a jab at the Olmert gov't): "...the government must act to remove the Qassam threat in the south. But this time, unlike during the Second Lebanon War, it should make sure to complete military and civilian preparations before taking action..."

The Likud party is calling on Olmert to also stop all meetings with Abbas. This is absolutely appropriate as well. It is less than pointless to deal with one part of the unity gov't when another part is openly attacking us.


Mahmoud Zahar (Hamas), former foreign minister of the PA, said yesterday that if Israel agreed to withdraw to the pre-'67 lines and released the prisoners, then the PA would have to negotiate with Israel because such negotiations would serve a national purpose. However, he clarified, "negotiations" did not mean recognition of Israel.

Just last Friday Zahar said that the Koran forbids recognizing Israel.


Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations were held on the site of the former community of Homesh in northern Samaria, and thousands of activists attended. The declared goal of the activists is a re-establishment of the community, which was dismantled as part of the "disengagement." It is clear, they say, that this action was a huge mistake that needs to be rectified.

At first the IDF was going to provide permission for this event, but then withdrew permission and put up roadblocks. Those roadblocks, however, only prevented cars from entering the area, while those on foot went easily and were not detained. The activists vowed to be peaceful and to leave this evening. Only a couple of people accused of blocking IDF vehicles were arrested.


Violence between Hamas and Fatah is on the increase again. In Gaza last night seven were wounded and a 12 year old boy was killed by a stray bullet.

Mashaal and Abbas are scheduled to meet in Cairo on Saturday.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Janet Lehr, April 24, 2007.

Here are some facts to help you spread the word of what a terrific little country Israel is.

Demographic Statistics

Our cuisine -- an essential element of Israeli life

Agricultural advances

Medical Research and Advances



Foreign Aid
In recent times Israel sent teams and financial aid to Mexico, Turkey, the USA -- Katrina, Tsunami, even Sri Lanka which initially refused Jewish Aid accepted was given enormous help and now in Darfur, Israeli teams were among the first, also bringing several refugees to Israel. We give our knowledge willingly to many African countries, presenting a fishing-rod rather than the fish.
humanitarian aid

Pride and determination

Despite the extremely questionable (for me) source -- these are wise words. Listen; absorb and take note.
take pride

Be proud. Israel is 59 years old, somewhat battered, on occasion confused, less naïve and certainly wiser, aware of who she is and more magically beautiful by the day!!

Chag Atzma'ut Sameach
Happy Independence Day

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of a daily e-mail called "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at israellives@gmail.com

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Posted by Buddy Macy, April 24, 2007.

Please send a brief note to the following people:

howard.rieger@ujc.org, malcolm@conferenceofpresidents.org,samastrof@ujc.org, aronson@jfmd.org, anitaf@jfcs.org, stevennasatir@juf.org, hgoldman@philafederation.org, barrys@cjp.org,tomd@sfjcf.org, jsolomon@gmjf.org, ruskayj@ujafedny.org, shoffman@jcfcleve.org, lwunsch@houstonjewish.org, mterrill@associated.org, mikhail.galperin@shalomdc.org, rlauder@jnf.org,rrobinson@jnf.org, zeevik@jafi.org.il,

demanding that they help financially the Jews of Sderot who were/are victims of the constant rocket attacks from Gaza.

Thank you so much.
Buddy Macy,
Little Falls, NJ

A concerned Jew from Toronto wrote:


Last fall my husband and I were in Sderot as part of a UIA mission and our synagogue mission (Beth Tzedec Synagogue of Toronto). We were so disturbed by the plight of the people of Sderot. We were taken to the police station and saw first hand the Kassam missiles that have hit Sderot, as well a social worker spoke to us about the horrific situation particularly for the children. I was very moved by our visit and upon returning to Toronto I wanted to do a project from our synagogue to the people of Sderot. I am chairperson of the Israel Action Committee at Beth Tzedec. My idea is to send funds to purchase indoor play equipment for the young children. Such equipment could include a jumping castle, small slides, lego tables, etc. I have contacted UJA, and have also tried to arrange this project through Masorti or Noam. It has not worked. I am writing to you directly to hear your thoughts on this project. It would be very meaningful for our congregants to support a specific project for children who are very much in need of some enjoyment in their lives. I got your name from the Canadian Jewish News "Sderot needs You". I look forward to your reply and your comments about this proposal.

Most sincerely, Eileen Wunch eswunch@yahoo.ca

A reply from Izzy Kaplan of Toronto:

Hi Eileen,

My name is Izzy Kaplan of Toronto and I am currently in Israel. We are taking particular interest in Sderot at this time for the reasons that you have stated in your email to Alon Davidi. While the rocket attacks on Sderot have lessened these last two weeks [ed. note: They have since resumed, causing much devastation -- www.SderotMedia.com] it gives us an opportunity to review the situation in the community and pin-point the more vulnerable of issues. A group of us spent the day in Sderot this past Sunday and visited many of the schools. Some schools have been protected with tall cement barriers, that in many cases do not allow light to enter the rooms -- while other parts of the building are unprotected entirely. A number of the nursery and early grade schools have no protection whatsoever, which shows at best inconsistency in the govt. policy. Our Toronto community, while well meaning, has not been able to launch an aggressive campaign to help Save Sderot; a number of us will not allow this to go on. We would encourage you to do your own campaign and to send funds directly to Alon Davidi, who has a handle on the pulse of the community.

Providing equipment for children and youth is of paramount importance due to the serious trauma that they have and will endure. The Mayor of Sderot Eli Moyal, who visited Toronto last month, spoke at a series of meetings that I attended. His constant criticism of the Israeli govt. was that they will have to bear the responsibility of sending traumatized, scared and damaged citizens into the next generation. These kids will not have had the opportunity of living normal lives, will not have wholesome relationships and may be on medication for years to come. Anything that can be done to expand your concerns into other synagogues in the Toronto community will certainly sanctify the name of G-d.

Thank you for your concern
Izzy Kaplan
Toronto Zionist Council VP
Save Sderot chairman

Contact Buddy Macy at vegibud@gmail.com.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 24, 2007.


When Saudi Arabia revived its alleged peace plan, really a plan for Israeli surrender, it nevertheless turned away from the US. It canceled its appearance at a dinner at the White House in favor of rapprochement with Iran and support for Hizbullah and Hamas, leaving Abbas weaker. It and fellow Arabs described the plan as all or nothing, and war as the alternative to Israel's not acquiescing to its untenable demands. That hardly is a way to reconcile with Israel.

Reconciliation with Israel is not the plan's purpose. The original purpose was to seem peaceable, after Saudis blew up the World Trade Center. But now S. Arabia is worried about Iran's destabilizing Shiite imperialism, hardly being opposed by the West.

The plan demands more of Israel than did Security Council Resolution 242, and offers less, since it does not promise peace but only to "work for" some lesser degree of normalization. It reflects the Islamic tactic of deceitful wording (IMRA, 4/2 from Dore Gold).

How international affairs are not what they seem! My friends read the papers and take the parties' claims seriously.


"...the Boston Globe on Sunday March 25, portrayed the outlawed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as a reforming tool to promote democracy and stability there and throughout the Middle East, and praised the MB for 'surviving' decades of oppression by previous Egyptian regimes." Actually, the MB "is busy preparing the ground to establish Islamic global dominance, successfully using Western democracy to legally inject itself into the political process, while using the free media to portray the Brothers as reformers and protesting any attempt to limit their subversive activities."

The Wall Street Journal, however criticized Egypt's crackdown on the MB, arguing that a ban increases its popularity. Human Rights Watch demanded the release of hundreds of MB prisoners in Egypt. In Foreign Affairs, Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke argued that "the differences between the Brotherhood and the jihadists abound, and it is imperative to differentiate them." Nonsense, the Muslim Brotherhood is the parent of the Sunni Islamist organizations.

Meanwhile, The New York Times whitewashes one of the MB's most corrosive European leaders, Tariq Ramadan, who was barred last September from the U.S. because he helped finance Hamas. This was proved in European courts. Although the journalists assert falsely that he is not Islamist, his MB website declares "the jihad will lead to smashing Western civilization and replacing it with Islam which will dominate the world." Hamas demonstrates the MB in action (Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld & Alyssa A. Lappen, 4/2).

Journalists get taken in by Islamists who use moderate language to take in journalists. They don't realize that if allowed to campaign legally, the Brotherhood could win and give democracy no chance.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 23, 2007.

Commemoration of Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers and terrorism victims, began at 8:00 Sunday evening with a country-wide siren and minute of silence.

The opening ceremony took place at the Western Wall, with the participation of Chief Rabbis Amar and Metzger.

A second siren will be sounded Monday morning, at 11 AM, once again bringing all activity to a standstill and marking the beginning of memorial ceremonies at the 43 military cemeteries around the country. A Knesset Member or government official will speak at each ceremony.

A special ceremony will also be held in memory of Jews murdered by terrorists and anti-Semites around the world. Some 200 such Jews will be remembered at Monday's ceremony at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. The event is being organized by the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish National Fund, and the UJC of North America. A monument with the names of the victims will be unveiled.

The names of all Israel's fallen soldiers and terrorist victims will be broadcast on Israel's public television channel Sunday evening and Monday, one after the other, for 4-5 seconds each.

The somber day comes to an end Monday with the onset of Israel's 59th Independence Day.

Both Memorial Day and Independence Day are commemorated one day later than usual this year, by order of the Chief Rabbinate, in order to prevent the Sabbath desecration that would have resulted from having Memorial Day begin on Saturday night.

The number of soldiers and security personnel who have fallen since November 29, 1947, when the United Nations accepted the partition thus mandating the creation of a Jewish State, is 20,526. The struggle to re-create a Jewish homeland, beginning in the year 1860, when Jews began to move outside Jerusalem's Old City walls, claimed an additional close to 1,500 victims.

The 1948 War of Independence was Israel's costliest war, with more than 6,000 dead, one percent of the Jewish population at the time, and 15,000 wounded. The war consisted of 39 separate operations, fought from the borders of Lebanon to the Sinai Peninsula and Eilat, and was fought for about a year, until 1949.

Then followed seven years of relative quiet -- during which there were "1,339 cases of armed clashes with Egyptian armed forces, 435 cases of incursion from Egyptian-controlled territory, and 172 cases of sabotage perpetrated by Egyptian military units and fedayeen [terrorists] in Israel," in which 101 Israelis were killed, as Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban explained to the Security Council on October 30, 1956. Eban gave these statistics the day after Israel began the Sinai Campaign -- its military response to Egypt's violation of international agreements by sealing off the Israeli port of Eilat, effectively stopping Israel's sea trade with much of Africa and the Far East. A total of 231 Israeli soldiers died in the fighting. In March 1957, after receiving international guarantees that Israel's vital waterways would remain open, Israel withdrew from the Sinai and Gaza -- yet the Egyptians still refused to open the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping.

The Six-Day War broke out on June 5, 1967. Along with the stunning victories, over 770 Israelis were killed.

Then began the period of the War of Attrition, which claimed 424 soldiers and more than 100 civilians. A ceasefire was declared on August 8, 1970.

Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, 1973. The IDF ultimately emerged victorious, but a total of 2,688 soldiers were killed.

In June 1982, in response to continued terrorist attacks and Katyusha shellings from across the Lebanese border, as well as an assassination attempt upon Israel's late Ambassador to Great Britain Shlomo Argov, Israel attacked the terrorists in Lebanon in what was known as Operation Peace for Galilee. Close to 460 soldiers were killed between June and December 1982, and another 760 in daily ambushes against Israeli forces over the next two and a half years.

Between December 1987, when the first Arab "intifada" broke out, and the signing of the Oslo Accords in late 1993, 90 Israelis were murdered.

Between the Oslo signing and the beginning of what became known as the Oslo War in September, 2000, 251 Israelis were murdered by terrorists.

Another 1,287 have been felled by Palestinian Authority terrorists and gunmen since September 2000.

Memorial Day Messages

In the year 2000, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak wrote to the bereaved families,

"We visit today the rows of graves that extend to infinity... we still refuse to believe and we refuse to be consoled. Because there is no consolation. Heavy, maybe too heavy, is the price we bear for our independence and building the 52 years of the State of Israel."

The late Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the first Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces and the man who was responsible for setting the date of Memorial Day, explained the day's significance differently:

"We view the warriors who fall in battle as those who sprout forth life. The life of a nation grew out of this blood... This day must be more than mourning: We must remember, we must grieve, but it must be a day of mourning, majesty, and vision."

Interestingly, Barak himself took a similar tone when he spoke at the Mt. Herzl ceremony in 2000, saying,

"...their deaths are the precious price of freedom and our re-establishment. It is my hope that a strong and secure State of Israel will be, with the help of G-d, the consolation of the bereaved families."

Rabbi Goren explained, in a 1974 speech, how he came to set Memorial Day just before Independence Day:

"The merit of doing this fell in my lot.. We first thought of setting Memorial Day on Lag BaOmer, the day that historically symbolizes the Bar Kokhba war, and that which is still celebrated by Jewish children as the day of Jewish strength. In this way, we thought that we could combine the heroism of our early ancestors with that of our own children in this generation. But doubts crept in. Would we not cause harm to the general significance, shrouded in mystery as it is, of that historic day?

"One of the Fast Days, or during the Three Weeks in which we remember the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temples, was then proposed. But we could not accept the fact that the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers would be solely a day of mourning. It was felt that this day must be more than that. We must remember, we must grieve, but not only that -- it must [also] be a day of... majesty and vision.

"We realized, therefore, that we could not assign this day to any existing holiday. But the first Independence Day was rapidly approaching, and so we did what we did -- without announcing it formally and without setting any specific format for the day. I went to Voice of Israel studios on the day before Independence Day and read aloud the Chief of Staff' s Daily Military Order [including an announcement of remembering the fallen soldiers], which he wrote according to my request. And so I became the narrator and the one who set Memorial Day on what became its date."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Israel National News.

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 23, 2007.

As Israel prepares for Independence Day by remembering its fallen soldiers and terrorist victims, stories of great heroism continue to surface.

Lt.-Col. Emanuel Moreno, for instance, who was killed upon returning from a major operation deep inside Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War, has been likened to a modern-day Bar Kokhba (the legendary hero of the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome 1,900 years ago). Moreno has been awarded at least two posthumous prizes for his bravery, including the Jerusalem Conference Award for Jewish Heroism and the Menachem Begin Prize.

Friends of Moreno, speaking (in Hebrew) with INN-TV this week, said, "Without a doubt, he was one of the most talented and praiseworthy fighters we have ever had in this country. Not for naught was he often likened to Bar-Kokhba in our unit -- both because of his faith and also in terms of his combat ability and dedication. He would always pull things one step further, to places that no one believed they could be taken."

Lt.-Col. Moreno, 36, lived in Moshav Telamim, and is survived by his wife Maya and their three little children -- Aviyah, Neriah and Noam. He was a fighter in the IDF's most elite unit, the Sayeret Matkal, and took part in many secret operations. He planned many of them, and took part in more of them than any other fighter.

The Critical Operation

The battle operation in which Moreno was killed, details of which have still not been publicized in full, involved an attack on a school building in the Baalbek region of south-eastern Lebanon, not far from the Syrian border. The school was being used to store Syrian weapons given to Hizbullah, and was also a hideout for Hizbullah terrorists. Lt.-Col. Moreno headed a unit of 100 men in the surprise attack, and two Hummer jeeps were helicoptered in to the area for the battle, in which three terrorists were killed. Moreno was killed and two soldiers were wounded after the successful operation, when Hizbullah ambushed the forces.

"The operation was necessary," an official in the Prime Minister's Office said afterwards, "because Hizbullah is violating the ceasefire by smuggling in war materiel from Syria and Iran. It was a necessary operation, and it is good that we did it."

"He never thought of himself," a comrade in arms says about Moreno, "but only about the group. At the end of very hard treks, he always first worried about the team, not himself. And when he had to think of his future plans, he didn't think what was good for him himself, but what the country and the army needed from him at that time... His modesty was simply unbelievable, especially in terms of what kind of person he really was... He always made little of his own accomplishments in comparison to others -- and you have to understand that this man was in places that -- it simply can't be grasped that an Israeli fighter was in places like that and did things like that..."

Another friend said, "I spoke to him a day before the operation [in which he was killed], complaining to him about our army's poor showing in the war. He said that this had to happen this way so that the Nation of Israel should wake up and understand... He was very calm, even though I understood that he was on the way to an important and secret operation... I think about Emanuel all the time -- what he would have done, what he would have said -- and I hope that this will help us to be better people..."

Family Didn't Know

During the week of mourning for Emanuel, his brother Rabbi Shmuel Moreno said, "We always knew that there was no point in us asking him what he was doing in the army, because his character was simply one of modesty; he wouldn't talk about it. But we saw that he always felt that he was on a mission during his military service to raise up the Kingdom of Israel in anticipation of the Full Redemption... I just talked to a fellow officer of his, and he couldn't believe how little we knew about what Emanuel did. We are now hearing about his years in the unit, and we're collecting the stories... His picture has not even been publicized, by request of his unit. Emanuel was in very many strange and varied places, and publication of his picture could hurt national security."

"He did not lose his nerve, even under extreme and dangerous situations," stated the Begin Heritage Center judges in awarding his prize, "and this often made the difference between success and failure. He many times endangered himself to save his underlings and comrades... He was a warrior who saw his military service as an important mission to which he totally dedicated himself -- and was also a passionate student who used every spare minute for Torah study and acts of kindness to others."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Israel National News.

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Posted by Sarah Bedein, April 23, 2007.

This past Sunday marked Israel's memorial day, when the Jewish state marked 2more than 22,000 Israelis who were killed in battle or murdered by Arab terrorists since the genesis of the State of Israel in May 1948.

The following story gives a human face to one family who fell victim to Arab terrorists.

This story was written by Sara Bedein, the coordinator of home visits for the Koby Mandell Foundation, an agency which provides service for the families whose loved ones have been murdered or injured by Arab terrorists.

The Koby Mandell Foundation is named for Koby Mandell, the 13-year-old son of American immigrants to Israel, Seth and Sherry Mandell. Koby and his friend Yosef Ishrin were beset upon and hacked to death by Arab terrorists in May 2001.

Jerusalem -- Daniel Harush was 16 years old when he was murdered in a suicide bus bombing attack on March 5, 2003 in Haifa.

The pain could have still been too much for the parents Tzippi and Manu.

But Tzippi confronted her grief by going on one of the Mothers Healing Retreats.

Even when guests come to discuss Daniel, Tzippi and Mano receive them graciously into their beautiful home.

The presence of their son is there -- an entire wall of the living room serves as a memorial wall for Daniel. An electric memorial candle burns day and night alongside the many pictures showing various stages in Daniel's short life. Most prominent are pictures of Daniel in the military academy at the Riali School in Haifa, receiving various awards and pictures in army uniform training with his classmates. Two of Israel's chiefs of staff are graduates of this prestigious academy. Daniel's dream was to become a pilot.

Facing the memorial wall is a wall covered with pictures of the couple's three older daughters' weddings, as well as pictures of their grandchildren.

Around their necks and close to their hearts, Tzippi and Mano, as well as their three daughters, wear at all times a gold necklace with a pendant engraved with Daniel's smiling handsome face. Daniel was their only son, born 9 years after the couple's third daughter. Mano says, " I had a crown, and Daniel was the jewel in the crown."

As they sit around the dining room table eating the wholesome dinner Tzippi has prepared, both Tzippi and Mano take turns talking about the special person Daniel was and what a loss he is to his adoring family, his friends who looked up to him and the promise of the great leader that was nipped in the bud by a cruel killer consumed with mindless rage and hatred. Time has only served to intensify the loss.

"Daniel was every parent's dream of a child," said Tzippi. "You never heard the word 'no,' from him. No matter what you asked him to do, he always willingly went about the task. He gave us the utmost honor and respect."

When Daniel became bar mitzvah, he reached a turning point and became torah observant. His enthusiasm for observance of Jewish tradition was infectious, and Daniel served as a bridge between nonobservant and observant Jews. Though attending a secular military academy in Haifa, Daniel would charm his friends into getting up early on Shabbat mornings to make up the quorum needed to conduct the Sabbath service in the small synagogue on the premises of the school.

At Daniel's shiva, the father of one of Daniel's classmates related how his son had asked Daniel to study with him for a very difficult upcoming test. Daniel agreed but on the condition that the friend got up on Shabbat morning to make up the quorum needed for the services. The friend balked, saying that it was the only morning he could get up late and, besides, what did he know about praying. Growing up on a Shomer Hatzair kibbutz, he didn't even have a bar mitzvah. Daniel would not be deterred. He repeated: "This is the condition. Take it or leave it." The friend knew that Daniel was the only one in the class capable of helping him pass this test. He agreed to the condition, and true to his word, Daniel sat up with his friend until 2 a.m. and helped him get a good grade on the test. The friend also kept his end of the promise and showed up bright and early for Shabbat morning services. Daniel had written out on small flashcards the blessings his friend needed to say when called up to the Torah. When services were over, the friend told Daniel that though he had lived his entire life in a Jewish country, this was the first time he felt Jewish! When the boy returned home, he asked his kibbutz secular parents to buy him a pair of tfillin (phylacteries).

After Daniel's murder, his friends renovated the small school synagogue and named it for him.

Tzippi visits her son's grave without fail every Friday. She spends several hours there, tending to the "Garden of Eden" that she planted around the grave, updating Daniel with what's going on with the family and pouring out her heart filled with pain. Mano visits the grave on Thursdays, spending several hours there.

The family donated a Torah scroll in Daniel's memory. The Torah Scroll was placed in the Abuhav Synagogue in Tsfat's Jewish Quarter, where Daniel's bar mitzvah ceremony was held. To pay for the high cost of the Torah scroll, the couple used the money they had been saving up for Daniel's higher education and the wedding day he will never have.

Every Shabbat, Mano attends services at the Abuhav synagogue, and when the Torah scroll is brought out, he holds it close to his heart in a tender embrace, making believe for those brief moments that he is embracing his slain son.

It is difficult to look into Mano's eyes as he recounts story after story about his son. His eyes are so filled with pain, and often fill with tears that roll down his cheeks unchecked. Pointing to the memorial wall in the living room, he says, "When I feel really, really sad, I sit facing this wall for a long time and feel like I can't go on living. When the feeling is about to consume me, then I turn around and look at this wall -- the pictures of my daughters and the lives they have built for themselves and know that I need to find the strength to go on."

Sara Bedein is with the Israel Resource News Agency. This article appeared on April 20, 2007 in The Philadelphia Bulletin
(http://www.thebulletin.us/site/printerFriendly.cfm?brd=2737& dept_id=585832&newsid=18239138). Contact Sarah Bedein by email at media@actcom.co.il

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 23, 2007.

1. At Israel's 59th anniversary, one of the best contemporary explanations for what is happening to Israel and the Jewish people:

'Everyone must ask: Why were the Jews so blind as not to see the evil coming? Why were they so complacent when the sword was being brandished before their faces? But the fact is that for many years our "prophets" so lulled us that we no longer saw reality and failed to anticipate the evil...

'Every charge made by the Jew-haters has thus been repeated without change by some of our own brethren. Is it any surprise, therefore, that these uncircumcised of heart did not attempt to prevent the disaster and were not aroused to come to the rescue of their people in its time of trouble? On the contrary, we can be sure that their ilk have been, and always will be, a stumbling block and a plague to the whole House of Israel...

'It is useless to try to convince those Jews who hate Zion and Jerusalem, and whose sole wish is to make us forget the memory of our ancestors, our beliefs, and our sense of kinship. Having destroyed our traditions and mocked and derided the whole heritage of Israel, why should they spare the Land from their venom?'
-- Peretz Smolenskin, "Let Us Search Our Ways" (1881).

2. The Protocols of Herr Sivan:

INN (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/122203) reports that the vicious anti-Israel leftist Eyal Sivan was chosen to serve as the official governmental marketer of Jaffa oranges. Sivan specializes in making anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate propaganda films. He who also teaches in the cinema department of Israel's Sapir college in the Negev. Tom Gross reports that he was one of the clowns participating in "Israel Apartheid Week" Nuremberg Rallies. Sivan may be best known for having filed a frivolous SLAPP "libel suit" against French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, after the latter called him an Anti-Semite. The French court eventually tossed Sivan's case out. Israel Media Watch claims that Sivan's film "The Specialist" showed senior Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in a favorable light. Sivan, says IMW, did not deny he had used cinematic manipulation to achieve this end, and this film, too, hurt the feelings of many.

From a previous posting from July 2006:
French Court Dismisses Malicious SLAPP "Libel" Suit against Jewish Philosopher:

PARIS (EJP)--- French-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut has been discharged by a Paris court after being sued by an Israeli film director whom he described as "one of the current actors of Jewish anti-Semitism".

Interviewed in 2003 on the French Jewish radio RJC about Eyal Sivan's film, "Route 181, fragments d'un voyage en Palestine-Israel" (Road 181, Extracts from a Palestinian-Israeli journey), which was broadcast on a TV station, Finkielkraut called the film maker "one of the actors of today's particularly hard and frightening Jewish anti-Semitism".

The philosopher criticised Sivan for having made a link between the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the Holocaust.

"But those who are sewing a Star of David on our chest want to claim the yellow star for themselves," Finkielkraut said at the time. Eyal Sivan, a leftwing militant, decided to sue Finkielkraut for his "slanderous words which constitute an infringement to my honour and consideration". In the past, Eyal Sivan has supported actively the boycott of Israeli products in order to denounce Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Israeli professor and former ambassador to France Eli Barnavi testified in court for Alain Finkielkraut while two other Israeli professors, among them Haim Bresheeth, testified in favour of Sivan.

Film maker Eyal Sivan -- Critical analysis

Finkielkraut, who also received the support of Claude Lanzmann, director of the famous film "Shoah", said that he reacted to the "violent unilateral character" of Sivan's movie which represents the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations "as the aggression of one people crazed by the Shoah against a profoundly peaceful people."

"I don't know why this man is indignant about being called anti-Semitic, that's what he is," Lanzmann said when he testified in favour of Finkielkraut.

Sivan's "Road 81" film was distributed in small independent Paris theatres.

The film maker accused Finkielkraut of being one of those people "ready to fight against the last Israeli citizen, including myself, to preserve the state of Israel". "This is not my position," he added.

The court rejected Sivan's complaint.

"Finkielkraut only credited the other side with intellectual attitudes and never attributed a precise fact which could be proved," the presiding judge, Nicolas Bonnal, said.

"Above all he gave a critical analysis of Sivan's work and of its political positions," he added.

Sivan told EJP he was surprised by the ruling.

"It is clear to me that I was the victim of defamation," he stressed. "This has nothing to do with a simple opinion debate."

In another case, Finkielkraut has been sued and accused of libel by French anti-racist association MRAP (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among Peoples) for comments made during a conference in 2003 on "Anti-Semitism: the Left against itself".

In a reference to the failure of the Durban conference on racism in 2001, Finkielkraut said: "a movement was created in Durban against racism and for popular anti-Semitism".

Comments about French identity

MRAP's president Mouloud Aounit, took it as a personal attack and accused Finkielkraut of hinting that MRAP was anti-Semitic. A public prosecutor representative has asked for Finkielkraut's discharge. The decision will be made shortly.

Finkielkraut, who is one of France's most notable French intellectuals along with two other Jews, Bernard-Henri Levy and Andr Glucksmann, already made headlines at the end of last year when he had to apologize for comments about the riots which took place around France in an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

In the interview, Finkielkraut underlined that many immigrant do not identify with France.

"If immigrants say 'the French' when they are referring to the whites, then we are lost. If their identity is located somewhere else and they're only in France for utilitarian reasons, then we're lost.

"I have to admit that the Jews are also starting to use this France. I say to them, 'if for your France is a utilitarian matter, but your identity is Judaism, then be honest with yourself: you have Israel."

Some of Finkielkraut's answers were translated to French and published in the national newspaper Le Monde before they grew into a general controversy and condemnation of Finkielkraut, who was accused of racism.

From left to right

Considered as a free-speaker in politically-correct France, Alain Finkielkraut has been described by some as one of the leading "neo-reactionary" figures along with interior minister and presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Finkielkraut started his career as a militant of the left but drifted through the years to the right, making many enemies on the way.

In 2005 he strongly defended a petition against anti-white racism in French suburbs. Controversial French comic Dieudonne told EJP Finkielkraut was "one of his main enemies."

The philosopher claims he is being harassed by his opponents with repeated lawsuits but other intellectuals accuse him in private of provoking controversies in order to get publicity and sell more books.

Finkielkraut has a weekly show on national French radio and on the Jewish radio RCJ.

Afterword: Had Sivan been allowed to forum shop the suit into Nazareth Court, Finkelkraut would have been found guilty of "slander", as would Deborah Lipstadt. David Irving however would have been awarded a large cash award in damages.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Jerusalem Prayer Team, April 23, 2007.

The U.S. is attempting to impose an American-made solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Just before Easter, Condoleezza Rice flew to the Middle East to meet with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. General Secretary of the UN Ban Ki-Moon was also lent his support and flew to the Middle East. The plan is to force Israel to return all lands captured in the 1967 war and allow the millions of Palestine-Hezbollah refugees in Lebanon to return to Israel. In exchange for Israel's dividing Jerusalem and giving us Judea and Samaria, many Arab nations have said they would recognize Israel's right to exist. This is not something I read in the newspaper; I was staying in the same hotel as Dr. Rice and also met and talked with several Prime Ministers regarding this matter.

Should the U.S. support a plan to divide Bible lands?


Your Vote will be forwarded to President Bush.

Mike Evans
Jerusalem Prayer Team

Michael Evans is the author of "Beyond Iraq: The Next Move," and founder of Jerusalem Prayer Team, America's largest Christian coalition praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Contact them at www.JerusalemPrayerTeam.org

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Posted by Eli E. Hertz, April 23, 2007.

About six months before the War of Independence in 1948, Palestinian Arabs launched a series of riots, pillaging, and bloodletting. Then came the invasion of seven Arab armies from neighboring states attempting to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in accordance with the UN's 1947 recommendation to Partition Palestine, a plan the Arabs rejected.

The Jewish state not only survived: It came into possession of territories -- land from which its adversaries launched their first attempt to destroy the newly created State of Israel.

In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and Israel declared its independence, the combined Arab armies of: Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen aimed at a small Jewish militia with three tanks and five artillery pieces. Israel had no air force, and until arms were rushed in from abroad and a regular army could be organized, it relied on the only strength it had: 70 years worth of social solidarity inspired by the Zionist endeavor.

Israel's citizens understood that defeat meant the end of their Jewish state before it could even get off the ground. In the first critical weeks of battle, and against all odds, Israel prevailed on several fronts.

The metaphor of Israel having her back to the sea reflected the image crafted by Arab political and religious leaders' rhetoric and incitement. Already in 1948 several car bombs had killed Jews and massacres of Jewish civilians underscored Arab determination to wipe out the Jews and their state.

There were 6,000 Israeli dead as a result of that war, in a population of 600,000. One percent of the Jewish population was gone. In American terms, the equivalent is 3 million American civilians and soldiers killed over an 18-month period.

Israel War of Independence in 1948 was lawful and in self-defence as may be reflected in UN resolutions naming Israel a "peace loving State" when it applied for membership at the United Nations. Both, the Security Council (March 4, 1949) and the UN General Assembly (May 11, 1949) declared:

"Decides in its judgment that Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter ..."

Eli Hertz is with the Myths and Facts Organization. Contact them at today@mythsandfacts.org and visit their website: www.mythsandfacts.org

To read the entire article, download the PDF file:

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Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, April 23, 2007.

The 'Peacock Effect' transcends the bird kingdom, nesting within the collective mindset of Earth's presumably most intelligent species. In lieu of dominant males displaying colorful arrays of feathers, enormous spans attracting mates in order to perpetuate the strongest genetic pools of their species, dominant humans display their prowess verbally, reinforced successfully by actions or credible threats of action in order to perpetuate their respective positions and perhaps the viability of the tribes or nations they represent. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, alas has had his feathers clipped in a perceived unsuccessful attempt to subdue Hizbullah terrorists, underwritten by the emerging perilous Persian power Iran truly giddy over this failure. Furthermore, three kidnapped Israeli soldiers; Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev; remain captive, held by slimy jihad junkies, financed by Iran, demonstrating only disdain and disrespect for Olmert thus Israel, weakened in their beady eyes by that recent perceived feckless military display. With utter disregard for psychological concerns, Olmert seems to be willing to make nice nice with Muslim wolves, bedecked in white robes and Armani suits, controlling events in the dysfunctional Middle East; not demanding the immediate release of the Israelis, not commanding Israeli jets to soar over Tehran with menacing potential, not declaring that 'Iran will be wiped off the map' unless the soldiers are returned forthwith and unharmed. Not effectively declaring war on Iran is beyond foolish, sending a message that Israel is no longer a military juggernaut, no longer a formidable force that since her inception has survived the machinations of hostile neighbors against all odds, and can be pushed around with impunity like a mortally wounded eagle morphed to sparrow.

Enough! Israel must confront her sworn enemies, utilizing appropriate in-your-face strategies. Furthermore, Israeli citizens must overcome a collective enervating morose state of mind, no doubt exacerbated by a feeling of vulnerability, influenced to a large extent by misguided thinking. The IDF was substantially disadvantaged in its recent justifiable foray into Lebanon, fighting on Hizbullah' s home turf, against craven terrorists willing to shield their sorry butts behind Lebanese civilians, including women and children. Israeli troops were morally compelled to restrain their firepower, thus could not clean Hizbullah's clock. Warfare, indeed, is rarely a successful venture when forced to battle one's enemy on his familiar soil, especially while attempting to avoid inflicting damage upon presumably innocent civilians. The psychological edge gained by Hizbullah and its supporters, their bar set so low, Israel's bar set so high, bolstered by a chronic worldwide disrespect for Israel's daunting dilemma, surrounded by neighbors yearning to annihilate the Jewish State, must not thwart Israel's resolve! If Olmert wishes to become a credible competent Prime Minister, he must vigorously attempt to reverse the perilous momentum favoring Israel's many enemies by demonstrating strength, both verbally and through aggressive carefully planned actions, not by negotiating from a weakened position. If he is not up to that essential task, Israeli movers and shakers must consider ways to replace him, perhaps pushing for a vote of confidence or early elections by members of the Knesset. The beleaguered State of Israel needs a strong determined leader who will 'seize the day'. Might Bibi Netanyahu consider assuming that role?

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant, working for the Social Security Administration. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at luniglicht@snip.net

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 23, 2007.

It always astounds me: the way in which we move from a day of sadness to a day of joy in a sudden transition. But that's life and here in Israel we live life large. As darkness falls, marking the end of Yom HaZikaron and the advent of Yom Ha'Atzmut -- Israeli Independence Day -- the national mood shifts significantly. Properly, the celebration begins with prayers and the joyous reciting of Hallel, psalms of praise and celebration reserved for holidays of joy. There will be fireworks tonight, and programs of dancing and comedy. And tomorrow? It has become the almost universal pass-time to do a barbecue -- in Hebrew, mangal.

Time enough to talk again in a day or two about Hamas and Olmert, and all the rest. I will design this posting as a reflection of the Israel experience at a different level:


In today's Post there is an interview of a woman who lost her son in Lebanon this past summer, and it touches precisely on the issue I raised yesterday -- the agony of knowing the loss may have been unnecessary.

Pearl Novik lost her son Asher, who was serving as a reservist and got caught in what is considered one of the worst mistakes of the war. Asher and eight other soldiers from a paratrooper unit were killed when they were sent into what turned out to be a booby-trapped house in a place called Debel, sent in spite of the reservations some of them had voiced. "I still don't know why we went into the war -- for the sake of three kidnapped soldiers? And where are we today? We are still negotiating [for their release], so what did Ashie die for?

"When I think about what he will miss out on -- raising his children, living the rest of his life -- it is just unbearable."

I read this and wept.


But with all of the mistakes, and all of the pain, Israel is a miracle. That we are here, as a Jewish state and a vibrant society. It's been a very long time I have spoken "good news about Israel." Now is the time, as a gesture of celebration.

-- Haifa University has established what is probably the only degree program in the world for "medical clowning." There are already 36 medical clowns who operate in 16 Israeli hospitals working to enhance the healing process -- creating distractions, reducing fears and stress. The goal now is to make this professional, so that the clowns are part of the medical team and treated seriously. Students will study such things as the psychology of someone in pain.

-- Israel has the highest rate in the world -- 70% -- of water purification and re-use. Three Israeli companies have developed technologies for treating wastewater that results in higher quality water for re-use at a lower cost.

-- Wild wheat growing here in Israel may be a key to addressing malnutrition internationally. Turns out that a gene in this wheat increases the nutritional value of the grain-- raising levels of protein and iron; This gene has been introduced into domesticated wheat strains and seeds will be distributed internationally.

-- Israeli Yehuda Shinar has spent 20 years developing a model for winning -- whether the "winning" involves sports or corporate accomplishment. The key is a "winning mentality" that allows an individual to think clearly under pressure, and he has identified 12 behavior patterns connected to this ability. Turns out talent alone does not correlate well with winning -- it's the way a person thinks that makes the difference. This approach is now attracting international attention.

-- A professor at Ben Gurion University has developed an new anti-inflammatory drug that will help sufferers of arthritis without the side effects of current anti-inflammatory drugs.

-- Two Israeli have developed a coral propagation technology that allows coral to be developed in captivity in a closed system. The coral can then be transferred to coral reefs to keep them alive. This is no small matter as there is danger that the coral reefs -- which are exceedingly important for the ecosystem -- might become extinct because of poaching and changing conditions. This propagation technology may turn things around, both by strengthening the reefs and supplying potential poachers with another source of coral for commercial purposes such as fish tanks.

-- An Israeli scientist at the Weizmann Institute here is doing cutting edge research on slowing the effects of auto-immune diseases, utilizing a vaccine.

-- Researchers in Israel are doing work that may alleviate world hunger. They have discovered a gene in fungus at the bottom of the Dead Sea that provides tolerance to salinity. Implantation of this gene may enable plants to grow in saline soil where nothing can grow now.

-- Israeli doctors from Sheba Medical center are traveling to third world countries to provide free treatment for the disfiguring and disabling cleft-palate and lip condition. The project is called "Operation New Smile."

I could go on and on and on. In the face of terrorism and political anguish and all of the rest, we are doing all of these things, and I think we're very special indeed, and a blessing to the world (though the world is loathe to acknowledge this).


I close this very unusual posting with a message from two people in Beit Shemesh. Phil and Chanie Rosenfelder. They put their message out on their BS list, and I believe that portions of it are very worth sharing here. It addresses what we have to be grateful for on Yom Ha'Atzmut, even with all of the many imperfections of Israel, and speaks to those who declare themselves disenchanted with Israel now because of her many failings:

"Go back in time 65 years if you will -- picture my grandparents in Auschwitz. Imagine someone telling them that...they would have great-grandchildren born in a room overlooking Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), that many of the attending medical staff would be wearing kipot and these great-grandchildren would go to religious schools, paid for by taxes of over SIX MILLION JEWS LIVING IN ERETZ YISRAEL...

"Think for a minute of the alternative to the state of Israel -- of the British and Arabs continuing to not allow Jews safe refuge in Eretz Yisrael, of repeats...pogroms, assimilation, intermarriage, and in the end, Jews being kicked out of their homes repeatedly. Think of the 60+% assimilation rate worldwide. (Or is it more than that already? In South America it is over 90%.) Think of Jews who have never heard a word of Hebrew, who do not know that they are Jewish, who have never seen a mezuzah....

"...Yom Ha'atzmaut is not a day to thank the prime minister or the chief of staff. It is a day to thank Hashem that we have what we have.

"...What dates are schools and government offices on vacation ? On the Jewish holidays. Why was Yom Ha'atzmaut moved a day this year? To avoid hillul [desecration of] Shabbat. Have you seen lately an office, a hotel room, a supermarket without a mezuza?

"...What is written on the stones at the beach in Rishon? Psukim [verses] from the Torah. What is written on the buildings of the electric company, the water company, the main traffic circle in Eilat, etc? Psukim, psukim and more psukim...

"It is to Hashem that we owe thanks on the date that the British left, because all we have, and it is a lot."

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 23, 2007.

This appeared as "The Finkelstein Affair" today in Front Page Magazine.

Academic hiring and promotion processes are mysterious procedures poorly understood by the public. While supposedly designed to ensure quality control and the maintenance of standards of scholarship, in fact they are all too often subordinated to intentional subversion, including when this is done out of political ideology.

The most notorious example in recent days of corruption of the promotion process has been the attempt by radical leftist faculty members at DePaul University to obtain tenure for the pseudo-scholar and Holocaust trivializer Norman Finkelstein. The Finkelstein affair is unusual in that the politicization has been exposed so thoroughly in the media and is now so obvious and explicit. In part, this has been thanks to the fact that Finkelstein himself, or his close followers, have published the supposedly classified secret documents related to his promotion on the web. How can it be that someone like Finkelstein was hired in the first place, especially by an institution with ties to the church and committed to Catholic ethical standards? Ironically, the answer was provided inadvertently by Finkelstein and his followers when they publicized (probably illegally) these key documents related to his tenure bid. These documents show how easy it is for extremists with no scholarly credentials to recruit on their behalf respected academics who share their political agenda.

Finkelstein, the assistant professor in political science at DePaul University best known for his cheerleading the Hizbollah and his endless smearing of Holocaust survivors, has a completely empty record of academic publication. He has never produced a single paper published in a refereed scholarly journal. Instead, he turns out one anti-Semitic book after another, as well as hate screeds for propaganda magazines and web sites. His "books" are published by firms making editorial decisions based on commercial considerations rather than the quality of their scholarship.

Finkelstein's long history of Jew-baiting is by now well known, as is his history of vulgarity and juvenile smear mongering. Finkelstein has proclaimed Holocaust denier David Irving (who insists there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz) a great historian. Finkelstein's personal web site is a collection of bigotries, including death threats and pornographic cartoons, as well as countless smug smears against all Holocaust survivors. Finkelstein's "books" have been dismissed as pseudo-scholarship by nearly every serious historian to review them. He has used his position at DePaul University in Chicago to promote his open celebration of Middle East terrorism. He maintains the most intimate ties with Holocaust Deniers and he is himself considered by the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and many others to be a Holocaust Denier.

It would be hard to find a more illuminating lesson about the dark side of campus hiring and promotion than the Finkelstein affair. From the classified documents that Finkelstein himself has illicitly (and probably illegally) published about his promotion, anyone can see the obvious political forces at work. Finkelstein was hired in the first place because his crude anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism endeared him to academic radicals generally and to those who dominate the political science department at DePaul in particular. Despite the fact that Finkelstein's antics have served to make DePaul into something of an international laughingstock of higher education, the political science department recommended granting Finkelstein tenure by a vote of 9 to 3. Were Finkelstein pro-Israel, he would not have stood a chance of getting tenure with his existing "academic record."

The syllabi of Finkelstein's courses have appeared on the web and they consist of nothing more than one-sided political indoctrination. Naturally, his courses are popular among his students, who just happen to be the radical and jihadi DePaul students, not driven away by his in-classroom harangues. The politically conscripted tenure committee at DePaul lauded his "teaching popularity" on such a basis. Even more amazingly, it cited Finkelstein's frequent anti-Semitic speeches and racist public incitements, including his famous collaborations with the Hizbollah and with neo-Nazi organizations, as valuable "service to the university."

To achieve their goal, his political science comrades saw to it that only two outside "experts" wrote letters of evaluation for Finkelstein's tenure consideration. These two happen to share Finkelstein.s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agendas. The first was John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, whose tract written with Stephen Walt maintaining that the American media and America.s foreign policy is controlled by a Jewish cabal has made him infamous. His assault on Israel and American Jews has made him a propaganda favorite of radical Islamic groups like CAIR, and he makes no secret either of his antipathy for Israel nor his desire to see America weakened and "deterred."

The second academic reference for Finkelstein was provided by Professor Ian Lustick, of the University of Pennsylvania, who has hosted Finkelstein several times at Penn, is a far leftist, anti-America and unabashedly anti-Israel. He earned some notoriety for his expressing regret that America did not lose more soldiers in the campaign to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan. Lustick likes to describe America's foreign policy as being under the control of a "cabal" (his word); writing in the anti-American, anti-Israel magazine, The Nation, a magazine hostile to America and Israel and sympathetic to radical Islamicists, wrote:

"This campaign for an invasion of Iraq is thus aptly understood as a supply-side war because it is not driven by a particular threat, a particularly accentuated threat or a "demand" for war associated with the struggle against Al Qaeda, but because of the combination of an enormous supply of military power and political capital and the proximity to the highest echelons of the American government of a small cabal long ago committed to just this sort of war."

His deconstruction of terrorism runs like this:

"Lustick dismisses the concept of terrorism as a valid conceptual term. Instead, he embraces what he terms an 'extensive', as opposed to an 'intensive', definition of terrorism that is not bound by any limiting 'conditions'. This, he claims, enables one to classify activities as 'terrorist' if they encompass any violent 'actions and threats' by governmental militaries and even 'tax collectors', as well as insurgents."

Lustick was an instrumental player in getting a pro-Israel professor at Penn, Francisco Gil-White, fired. Gil-White did not benefit from the same mass political conscription on his behalf that Finkelstein enjoys. Lustick is an advocate on behalf of, and evidently sees himself a member of, the "New Historian" group of pseudo-academics who rewrite Middle East history from the Arab point of view. He has close ties the with Michael Lerner, editor of the radical magazine Tikkun, and is active in several anti-Israel leftist groups.

DePaul's recruitment of Lustick and Mearsheimer to "evaluate" Finkelstein's "scholarship" is a bit like asking Hezbollah imam, Hassan Nasrallah, to evaluate Noam Chomsky's service to America.

But Lustick and Mearsheimer have not been the only professors to supply academic support services on behalf of Norman Finkelstein. The moment news came out that the Dean at DePaul was seeking to deny Finkelstein tenure, an outpouring of support for Finkelstein's "scholarship" took place from tenured radicals and academic jihadi. The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) which is boycotting a scholarship program designed to train American students in Arabic to help their country.s defense publicly endorsed Finkelstein's tenure bid. Legions of other political extremists, from DePaul's Palestinian radicals to Professor Peter N. Kirstein who regards America as a terrorist state, to journalist Robert Fisk (who holds identical views), joined in support of Finkelstein.s tenure.

In the midst of the Ward Churchill affair a couple of years back, one of the key questions the media failed to raise was how a charlatan like Churchill could have been hired and promoted at a major university in the first place. After all, his "academic record" was little more than a joke, a collection of shallow anti-American hate propaganda tracts. He was a notorious liar, faking his Indian ethnicity, and had been involved in academic fraud. So how on earth could a serious university have hired him?

These mysteries are explainable only by understanding how academic hiring and promotion take place, and how that process may be subverted and corrupted. This process is largely unknown to the general public and even to students and alumni. In far too many schools, the process is easily subordinated to political agendas. In all cases, the outward appearance of the de jure hiring and promotion procedures work pretty much in a similar manner. The academic records of faculty members are reviewed, evaluations from outside experts are solicited. The publication and teaching records of the candidate are critically examined. Campus promotion committees and other university officials form an opinion and make recommendations.

All very nice, on paper.

The problem is that the system lends itself to easy manipulation, especially by those operating on behalf of a political agenda. Every stage of the faculty evaluation process can be twisted and perverted by those seeking to hire or promote someone out of a sense of personal or political solidarity. This subversion may be the greatest open secret in all of academia. My guess is that in any honest survey of professors, nearly every one could attest to knowing of such cases. The result of this subversion of academic hiring and promotion is that hundreds, and probably thousands, of faculty members with ludicrous and embarrassingly insipid academic records have been hired and tenured by the university system as acts of political and personal solidarity.

Occasionally, university insiders rebel against the attempt to impose upon them politicized hiring decisions, sometimes with the help of outraged alumni. The prospective hiring last year of Juan Cole by Yale University was regarded by many as a done deal until pressures forced the university to take a clear and unbiased look at his real academic record. At the University of Colorado, Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano recently issued a notice of intent to dismiss Churchill from his faculty position there, defying the massive leftist public campaign on Churchill's behalf. Some other less-publicized rebellions have similarly blocked attempts at politicized hiring and promotion.

Two things are certain. Not a single one of the academics raving about Finkelstein's remarkable "scholarship" would be supporting him if it were not for his hatred of Israel and America -- in short his political credentials as a member in good standing of the academic left.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 23, 2007.


Hamas has 8,500 troops in Gaza both on the P.A. payroll and militiamen not on it. By contrast, Fatah has 23,400 on the official P.A. payroll for Gaza, besides thousands of militiamen, and is recruiting thousands more.

Egypt is training Fatah troops ostensibly to fight against Hamas, but Abbas, the head of Fatah, refuses to launch such an attack. The fighting between the two forces is more sporadic (IMRA, 4/1).

The IDF has completed plans for a major offensive into Gaza. The government, however, does not permit it to engage, even though the enemy is building up its offensive and defensive capabilities (IMRA, 4/1).

Why doesn't Fatah crush Hamas? Because they are more allies than enemies. The P.A. will end up with a big, illegal army matching in size Israel's standing army and having the advantage of taking the initiative (aggression) and in fighting the close-in warfare that cancels out Israel's superiority in long-range, strategic warfare. Israel is unlikely to bombard the enemy as strongly as necessary, being inhibited by potential criticism, but the uninhibited Arabs would fire rockets at Israel's defenseless cities. Israel's forces would be stretched out if Hizbullah diverts them. Notice that the IDF's plan is for a major offensive. If the government of Israel had not deferred the offensive, it would have made do with a much smaller offensive costing less in troops and ordnance.

If Rice realizes her goal, all the P.A. forces would be combined. That would enable them to plan a coordinated war. Meanwhile, Sec. Rice further discourages the weak PM Olmert from interfering with P.A. plans for warfare, partly with her prattle about Abbas being moderate. My Secretary of State pals around with serial killers and enemies of her country.


He scorned the investigations of his record as Cabinet Minister and Mayor, because they were in the past and not about his performance as Prime Minister. He believes that in five years there will be a comprehensive peace agreement with all the Arabs. But Abbas did not keep his promise to Olmert that he would fight and stop terrorism and would not form a government with Hamas unless the Israeli prisoner were released. Abbas does not control the government and represents a minority view. His promises are not credible. Olmert admits that unilateral withdrawal doesn't work but still believes in it ideologically. He takes credit for Israel's economic improvement that was started by Netanyahu without Olmert (Arutz-7, 4/1). As years of corruption catch up with him, his excuse sounds petulant. There are no signs of the Arabs making comprehensive peace but many signs of war. How he hates to admit that withdrawal helps the enemy!

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Daryl Temkin, Ph.D., April 22, 2007.

The famous words of Theodor Herzl, "If you will it, it will not remain a dream" were uttered many years before the probability that a state for the Jews could ever enter into the realm of the possible. In the face of rapidly growing European anti-Semitic movements, Russian pogroms, and the Dreyfus trial, the kindling of the idea for rebuilding a Jewish state in the land of ancient Israel was ignited. An idea that was thought to be farfetched and even crazy became a reality. The 2,000 year dream pursued passionately with a renewed vigor became a reality.

Who would have known in the late 1800's when the first Zionist Congress met to discuss this pipedream of an idea, that a few decades later, anti-Semitism would become the core of a political movement that would gain wide acceptance in the "great" European cities previously known for being steeped in civilized culture? Who would have known that from the pogroms of Russia which destroyed one Jewish town after the other, would come the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany and the expulsion of Jews from their "safe" European homes? Who would have known that the world would close its eyes to the Jews of Europe and stand by idly, tacitly enforcing their helplessness and their destruction?

The world, including the United States, basically chose to close its doors on Jewish immigration leaving Jews no place for sanctuary. Vast open countries used absurd and disingenuous excuses claiming that their immigration quotas were full. Canada's claim was that there was not enough available land to settle the unwanted population. The message became clear, that without a Jewish homeland, Jewish life would be relegated to continual threats of deportation and annihilation.

The remarkable story is that the fortunate survivors of the Nazi attempt to destroy all of Jewish life became the builders and pioneers of the modern Jewish State of Israel, the rebirth of Jewish life. Through a series of seemingly miraculous events, Russia cast the first vote followed by a majority of the United Nations' participants which allowed the historic re-establishment of the national Jewish homeland -- a 2,000 year dream was suddenly fulfilled.

Jews from around the world came home to live in Israel. Over 800,000 Jews who had resided in Arab countries and were expelled by the tyrannical Arab Islamic governments, now had the Land of Israel to call their home. In the six decades of Israel's life and in spite of tragic wars and horrific terrorism, Israel's Jewish population of about half a million has grown over ten fold -- making it the Jewish population center of the world.

In spite of the Land of Israel being devoid of oil and rich minerals, despite being surrounded by countries bent on its destruction, despite Israel housing a large Arabic-Muslim population which is committed to end the Jewish State, despite six wars, a war of attrition, and two intifadas, worldwide trade embargos, boycotts, and divestments, and well financed hate filled anti-Israel media propaganda assaults, Israel has done the unimaginable -- it still exists. Not only does it still exist, its citizens continue to win a disproportionate number of Nobel awards in science and the humanities. It continues to make enormous discoveries in science, technology, and medicine. It still accepts, houses, feeds and trains immigrants from all parts of the world -- saving Russian Jewry and Ethiopian Jews, as well as Cambodian Boat People. Even with years of Islamic terrorists blowing up buses, schools, markets, discothèques, and restaurants, the majority of Israelis have chosen to live the dream and not to give up.

The review of almost sixty years of Israel's humanitarian accomplishments, it's scientific and technological accomplishments, and its gifts to the world is stunning and inspiring. These advancements and impressive accomplishments would normally gain great worldwide praise and recognition. But in the case of Israel's plethora of discoveries, the world's only gives a muted acknowledgement. Being thankful to the Jews still remains a psychological impasse yet acknowledging and acquiescing to terrorists has becomes acceptable and even expected.

After six decades of trying to be accepted and recognized by its Arab neighbor states, most Israelis have begun to realize that true peace is not at hand. With its Arab neighbors becoming more radicalized, indoctrinated with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred, requiring conditions for "peace" that spell out Israel's destruction, and with the nations of the world pressuring Israel to conform to those deadly conditions, Israel has had to once again stand alone in its struggle for justice.

In turn, the world has chosen to supply ample weapons, public relations, and funds to the nations most outraged that Israel still exists. In the politically correct name of "fairness" -- more accurately called anti-Israelism, or even more accurately called anti-Semitism, or nowadays the most accurate term "anti-Jewishism" -- the United States which is Israel's friend, the European Union, and certainly the UN have championed causes which aim to weaken and even destroy the success of the Jews.

The six decades of Israeli leadership are highlighted by many successes, but recently there has been a period of regression. In the unsuccessful hope of winning the favor of the world, Israeli leadership has ventured into agreements, prisoner releases, land giveaways, withdrawals, road maps, and so called "peace plans" all to its detriment and resulting in the deaths of many more of its citizens. Israel's last "good will" Arab prisoner release has already netted 35 additional Israeli civilian deaths. The Olso Peace Accords led to over 1,000 dead Israelis, and the Gaza Disengagement brought about the Lebanon War as well as an almost daily barrage of missles into Israeli towns and villiages. It appears that all attempts to "try to be liked" have ended up with more Israeli deaths and Israel being more vulnerable to its physical destruction.

Both the First and Second Jerusalem Temples were destroyed by invading armies and a decline in Jewish unity. Israel today stands at a similar turning point. There are major armies poised for its destruction, and the Israeli people have to determine how to remain strong and unified in order to survive.

Now Christians are realizing their duty to stand up and support Israel and its moral cause. Large groupings of Christians are aware that they can no longer sit idly by as they did in previous decades. They also realize that the plan of the vocal Islamic leaders is not designed to stop with the destruction of the Jews but only to be followed with an advance upon Christianity.

Just as the period of the First and Second Temple was considered a time of greatness, being alive to witness and participate in Israel's historic return is also remarkable. Yes, people will ask, 'How can you speak of greatness when so much tragedy is happening?" It is in the face of tragedy that greatness can arise and be recognized by those who are ready to see and act. In spite of the growing blindness and deafness in the world, Israel must strive to be a "light unto the nations".

Like no other historic experience, Israel's initial six decades have established a deeply meaningful, uplifting, and everlasting impression upon this world. Israel's future depends upon those who will not remain silent, complacent, or submissive to the destructive enemy's desires. As long as Israel chooses to remain strong and convinces the world that it is here to stay; then opposing forces aimed at darkening her image, disparaging her mission, and destroying her existence will never prevail. As Theodor Herzl indicated, "If you will it, it will come to be!"

Daryl Temkin is the founder and director of the Israel Institute and can be contacted at: DT@Israel-Institute.com.

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Posted by Janet Lehr, April 22, 2007.

This is the introduction to a major article on the 6-day war that can be found at

The missed opportunities after the Six Day War reflect the political unpreparedness of Israel for the spectacular success of the conflict and the lack of US State Department support. Israel preempted the action, seeing in the immediate days preceding battle, weeks of military battle preparedness from their Arab neighbors. As today in Iran Iraq and Syria, Russia [then the Soviet USSR] was intent on protecting the pro-Soviet government of Syria (Ba'athist's) The UN was useless, if not detrimental to support Israel's existence. The United States State Department and the Congress were then as now, not in sync. France and Britain wanted to distance themselves from Israel and the Middle East.

Having conquered all this territory, Israel was unsure what to do with it. Some wanted to annex at least part of the territory. The entire government understood that having conquered Jerusalem, it would politically impossible to give it up. For reasons that cannot be understood today, the government also thought to annex Gaza, ignoring the presence of a large number of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. One plan called for resettling these refugees in the West Bank, which would be returned to Jordan. Diplomatically, Israel was in an unenviable position, since it had lost the support of its previous major ally, France, and had not gained the unequivocal support of the United States. Israel vastly underestimated the obduracy of the Arab states, as well as their ability to recover from the military catastrophe, and naively believed that it would now be able to make peace on its own terms.

If it sounds like 2007 is a redux of 1967, it is. 1967 was no different from today, Israel lacks political leadership.

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of a daily e-mail called "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at israellives@gmail.com

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Posted by Michael Devolin, April 22, 2007.

I'm writing this letter as an ordinary Canadian citizen, to officially voice my objections to McMaster University's application for a seven-year renewal of its operating license for its nuclear program.

I strongly object to McMaster University being granted license for a seven year extension of its nuclear research program precisely because of the fact that many of its staff are not only Muslims, but also, and more importantly, because these same Muslims originate from countries where the generally desired efficacy of Islam as a religion is hatred and acts of violence, not only against Muslims of opposing sects and doctrines, but also against all non-Muslims, and especially Jews. These Muslims I'm referring to -- Muslims involved in McMaster Univerity's nuclear research program-were surely inculcated by what is known most commonly by now as Islam's culture of violence and hatred during their years living in those countries where this same malefic violence and hatred [of the West] is regarded as unremarkable.

I am most anxious about the fact that these particular Muslims now have access to Canada's "nuclear capabilities." Has the staffs (those who are of the Muslim faith) of McMaster University with access to the Nuclear facilities been fully investigated as to what sect of Islam is their personal choice? Please consider that those of the Wahhabists sects of Islam (and there are many) are not at all forthcoming about this fact. Fanaticism within Islam is widespread, and this same fanaticism does not remain in the Muslim Middle East immediately those who follow its tenets immigrate to our Canada.

CISIS has been warning for quite some time that Islam's fanaticism is now a reality for Canada. Luc Portelance of CSIS has stated, "Terrorism is dangerous ideology, and a global phenomenon...Canada is not immune from this ideology." What is missing in his statement is the fact that, without exception, the terrorism Mr. Portelance refers to is an Islamic phenomenon. We are told that "Islamist" is now the preferred, politically correct term for the adherents of Islam who choose to murder innocents as means of palliating their religiously-inspired and discomposing contempt for the less observant and less-enlightened of mankind, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. But the truth of the matter-a most portentous truth, in my opinion-is that these so-called "Islamists" are inconspicuously invariably of those whom we refer to in the politically-correct, phrasal idiom as "moderate" Muslims, and only later (and this is the security imbroglio we are now facing as a nation) do they become the terrorists and insidious elements we read about daily in the newspapers.

Raheel Raza (Their Jihad, Not My Jihad) has written of Islam's many extreme and varied ideologies that, "It had been happening here in Canada to the extent that hate was being spouted through places of worship and by people who make it their day job to incite young people in this hatred. Towards what they perceive to be the imperial powers, the western occupation of parts of the world." My questions to these Muslims involved in McMaster University's nuclear research program would be in regards to how they deem this democracy they live in, the values it espouses, and how compatible is their preferred sect of Islam to this same democracy. Are these same Muslims perhaps of those who "make it their day job to incite young people in this hatred"? What other Islamic organizations are they involved with? What are their preferred politics? Do they condone and/or advocate Islam's barbaric Sharia Law, as opposed to our Western style justice system? Sharia Law is not a justice system I would ever welcome into this country. Neither would I welcome those of Islam who condone its implementation into our present justice system. Much of the Middle East and Africa is suffering from the insalubrious effect of this atrocious "rule of law."

As part of my objection to McMaster University being granted another seven years to continue its nuclear research program, I ask that his commission give much thought to the words of the journalist Steven Stalinsky, who wrote, "As the war on terror continues, the voices from the Arab and Muslim world celebrating death over life have been heard more often than those criticizing this philosophy." I would ask you to consider how active have these Muslim scientists been or with what manners of voice have they protested against the bloodshed and carnage perpetrated upon innocent Muslim, Jews, and Christians around the world? If not actively and loudly contumacious toward those of Islam's more disagreeable and dark side, then in what measure does their religion figure in their involvement in McMaster University's nuclear research program? Is there even the slightest possibility of the knowledge they garner from McMaster Univerity's nuclear research program one day becoming complicit in catastrophic acts of terrorism not only against Canada and innocent Canadians, but also against our Western allies and their civilian populations?

The above are prudent questions indeed. I believe these are not the questions, however uncomfortable and politically incorrect, the governing body of McMaster University are asking those Muslims involved in their nuclear research program. I also believe that now is far too late to begin asking these questions: the advantage and safety of prudence has already been forfeited by the incautiousness of those of McMaster University who cannot see beyond their zeal for discovery the grave and threatening possibility of a cataclysmic terrorist attack as a direct consequence of their foolish obduracy.

I beg this commission to consider that there is nothing for you to lose in refusing McMaster University another seven years to wilfully endanger the entire continent of North America, and maybe beyond. And there is only prestige for you to gain in preventing acts of terrorism upon Canadian soil against Canadian citizens who deserve to feel safe within the borders of this great and noble country we call home.

"Why do expressions of tolerance, moderation, rationalism, compromise, and negotiation horrify us [Muslims], but when we hear fervent cries for vengeance, we all dance the war dance... Why do other people love life, while we love death and violence, slaughter and suicide, and even call it heroism and martyrdom? -- Al-Afif Al-Akhdar, Tunisian intellectual

With sincerity and respect and an intense love for my country.

Michael Devolin

Michael Devolin is a Noachide and lives in Canada. Contact him at devolin@reach.net

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Posted by Paul Lademain, April 22, 2007.

To the editors and publishers of the New York Times:

Only servile dhimmis refer to Jewish Israelis as "settlers".

The rancid scheme to redefine Jews (who have always had the absolute right to live anywhere they chose in "Palestine") as "settlers" was a lie concocted by the likes of Jimmy Carter and his Saudi handlers. The lands of Palestine NEVER belonged to the Arabs and only the Hebrew Peoples and Jews were known as "Palestinians" ... and this was the case until Jimmy Carter came along to help the Egyptian terrorist, Yasser Arafat, concoct the poisonous nostrum that magically transformed this fascist Egyptian butcher into a "Palestinian".

That there are so many cowering Jews at the NYT who allowed these oily imperialists to use the bully press to impose their lies and arrogant ideologies upon the unknowledgeable public is a disgrace; their servility to the Saudi cause of Islamic colonialism embarrasses decent Americans who still possess values higher than just making a quick buck.

The Arabs were allowed to pour into Israel by the greedy Jews who thought piecing away Israel would become their personal ticket that would "allow them" to "do deals" with the oilies as if they were Brits. You, of all people, should have warned these foolhardy Israelis that they were signing their own death warrants. But you didn't; instead, you legitimized the invading hordes of vicious Arabs following Arafat into Lebanon and Jewish Palestine and thus the NYT played an important role in helping the Saudis and their Islamic terrorists destroy American allies, Balkanize our nation, and infect our political infrastructure, from top to bottom.

If the NYT was an honest rag, their publishers and editors would refer to the Arabs as the "occupiers" and describe them, not the Jews, as "settlers". Honest publishers would describe the state sponsors of the Arab invaders for what they really are: the most racist, jingoist, bigoted regimes on this planet. (We are referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE... who lard our X-POTUS's libraries, purchase US bureaucrats with mega-buck speakers' fees, and throw crumbs at the feet of Jews and Baptists so they can laugh at the way these pathetic souls scramble to pick them up ... and this holds especially true for certain hypocritical Baptists whose hearts are filled not with lust for sex but rather and always, lust for money.

We are the NON-evangelical, secular, Christians for Zion. We say: "restore Jewish Palestine from the ocean to the sea the way it was originally intended to be. Viva to the Patriots of Israel.

Contact Paul Lademain at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Bryna Berch, April 22, 2007.

This article was written by Jennifer Medina for the New York Times. It appeared today.

You'd never know from this article that Hebron was King David's first capital before Jerusalem. You'd never know it is Israel's second most holy city. The New York Times treats Arabs and their holy spots with great respect. But how do they treat the Hebron Jews? They quote an unsympathetic Marxist reporter from Ha'aretz (Ha'aretz is justifiably referred to as the Palestinian English language newspaper), who habitually sides with the Arabs, no matter what acts of terror they commit.

Don't you just love the way the Times handles the Jews' right to live in the building: "When an Israeli officer arrived to investigate, they handed him papers that they said proved they were the new rightful owners." They didn't just say it. The hostile leftist Israeli Judiary -- it sides with the Arabs whenever possible -- was forced to admit the Jewish ownership. Did they want to let the Jews live in Hebron? No, because Olmert is robotically trying to implement the Bush-Rice fantasy that they can have one victory in the Middle East -- the creation of a Palestinian state. They are so focussed on this demonic plan, they have never asked themselves whether that's what the "Palestinians" want. They have never asked themselves what the impact of this "Palestinian" state would be on Israel, America's only reliable friend in the Middle East. Realistically, there is no room for two viable states in tiny Israel. Making the Palestinian state a single entity requires cutting Israel in half and forcing Israel to entrust her water supply to the good will of the Arabs.

The Times is also happy to give a phony status report on the rights of the Jews to live in Samaria and Judea. Medina writes, "The settlements are viewed by much of the world as illegal because they are built on land taken in war, and as an obstacle to peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Medina is to be congratulated that she could stuff so much misinformation into a single sentence.

1. If by "much of the world" she means the Arab-dominated U.N., she certainly is right. Of course, she probably knows that the U.N. is legally obligated -- by a trust handed down from the League of Nations -- to help the Jews settle in Samaria and Judea, these areas being part of Mandated Palestine.

2. Israel reaquired this territory defending herself when the Arab countries attacked her in 1967. So by this criterion, again, Jewish possession is not illegal!

3. It is standard for the MainStreamMedia to mouth that the settlements are an obstacle to peace. But what does that mean, considering that the Arabs have openly announced their goal is to destroy Israel? It means that Jews living in the territories are a defense against Arab aggression -- they can keep an eye on the hostile Arabs and thwart their plans to give the Jews the peace of the grave.

The New York Times seems to long for a Palestinian state much more than the Arabs themselves do. You have only to think about how the Arabs used Gaza when the Jews were expelled. Did they plant seeds in the greenhouses? Did they use the classrooms to teach their children mathematics? Did they cultivate the fields? No. They used the buildings for training terrorists of all ages and for assembling missiles. That kind of work does not create the infrastructure you need for a viable state. Its only use is to develop the weaponry to try to destroy another State.

Yesca Levinger, right, and other settlers in Hebron whose residence tests a policy to restrict settlement. (Rina Castelnuova, NY Times)

HEBRON, West Bank, April 20 -- One night last month, 100 Jewish settlers marched down the main road here with little more than a stack of sleeping bags and claimed a vacant four-story building in the middle of an Arab neighborhood.

When an Israeli officer arrived to investigate, they handed him papers that they said proved they were the new rightful owners. After he left, they danced and sang to celebrate the first major compound that Jews had acquired in the ancient city of Hebron in two decades.

Spring 2007 was not expected to be a time of settler assertion. After the evacuation of 9,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza 20 months ago, Ehud Olmert was elected prime minister on a platform that included removing thousands more settlers from the West Bank and an end to the occupation of large swaths of that territory.

But much has changed in the past year. The militants of Hamas are in power in the Palestinian government, and Israel's war with the Lebanese militia Hezbollah last summer has left Mr. Olmert politically weak.

Those who took over the Hebron building now say with confidence that they will stay for many decades.

"We know that we must say, 'This is my place,' and be determined to live in it," said Yesca Levinger, 31, who is sharing a small room in the building with her husband and three children.

Political analysts say the settlers see an opening.

"They finished licking their wounds," said Akiva Eldar, a columnist for Haaretz. "They feel much stronger because there is a kind of consensus that the disengagement was a mistake. They paid the price for the mistake, they are the underdogs and everybody in the Israeli mainstream has to ask for their forgiveness. The government will be very careful not to touch them."

On Tuesday, Israel's Independence Day, thousands of advocates plan to march to the site of Homesh, a northern West Bank settlement that the government evacuated in 2005. This week, the Israeli news media quoted military officials offering approval of the march, but on Friday they appeared to reverse that decision. A spokesman for the Israeli Army said officers would "take legal action" against anyone who tried to enter the area.

But organizers say warnings are not likely to matter in the West Bank, where blue and white posters proclaiming "Return to Homesh" were plastered on nearly every bus stop. Such protests have already had some success -- when an evacuation of a settlement in Amona erupted in violent clashes, the army and the government were criticized as much as the settlers.

Mrs. Levinger is pursuing the same strategy as her father-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who led the first group of Jews to settle in the area 39 years ago, just months after the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 that led to the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Then, as now, the Israeli government debated how to handle the conquered areas while the settlers established a foothold in this city.

Hebron, according to the Bible, is the first place in ancient Israel where the patriarch Abraham bought land. On that land is a tomb said to hold the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs.

The newly seized building atop a barren dusty hill here has become another symbol in the battle among settlers, Palestinians and the Israeli government. But it also represents the diminishing hopes for any chance of Israel making a deal with the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

"We have to put an end to this idea that if we give up our homes we will get something peaceful from terrorists," said Yishai Hollender, a spokesman for the Yesha Council, which represents settlers in the West Bank.

"Have we learned nothing from our history, from Lebanon, from Gush Katif?" he added, referring to the largest bloc of settlements, Harvest Bloc in Hebrew, to be removed from Gaza and to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. "We have hope that there is or will be quiet, but there never is."

The settlements are viewed by much of the world as illegal because they are built on land taken in war, and as an obstacle to peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Over nearly four decades they have grown, with many of the enclaves looking like ordinary suburbs. There are now 240,000 Jews living among 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and another 200,000 Jews living in areas of Jerusalem also conquered in 1967.

For each of the last five years, the population of the settlements has grown by nearly 5 percent, twice the rate of the previous average growth, according to Peace Now, a group that opposes the settlements and closely tracks them. Kiryat Arba, the Jewish settlement less than a mile northeast of Hebron, has more than doubled in the last two decades, to 7,000 residents today. Hebron itself, considered to have some of the most uncompromising of the settlers, has some 700 Jews.

Settlers in Hebron have occupied a site in the heart of an Arab area.

Settlers in Hebron say they bought their new building legally, but Defense Minister Amir Peretz has said their takeover is illegal because they did not get permission from security forces and the settlers should be evacuated. He was overruled by the attorney general, who gave the settlers two weeks to make their case to a civil court.

Mr. Olmert has said he wants to avoid the kinds of emotional confrontations that marked the Gaza evacuation so it is unlikely he will remove the settlers before all legal avenues are exhausted.

Supporters and opponents say the outcome of the building in Hebron will show how much the government is willing to confront the settlers in what the fiercest critics say amounts to a new settlement, with close to 100 residents already.

The back of the building abuts an old Arab cemetery, on a small road used frequently by Palestinian residents. The settlers say the building is the best spot they could find.

For years, the settlers have wanted to claim a spot on the road that leads to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and connects Hebron to Kiryat Arba. In 2002, 12 Israelis were killed in an ambush on that road.

Palestinian advocates have raised concerns that the building will eventually prompt tighter curfews or shut off another part of the city.

"Everybody is scared and very angry, because it means a whole area is in danger," said Emad Hamdan, who runs the Hebron Rehabilitation Center and is representing the man who says he owns the house. "It's going to be another disaster."

Mr. Hamdan also said the Palestinian man was prepared to take the issue to the Supreme Court to get his house back. Beyond that, there are fears of violence -- there have been some reports of young Palestinians throwing rocks at the settlers. And a white Star of David is spray-painted on the front door of a Palestinian family living across the street.

For now, the settlers are calling their compound "House of Peace," but are also considering "Martyrs' Peak." To express their displeasure, some of the Israeli news media have termed it the "House of Dispute."

From the balconies, it is possible to see the curved terrain for several miles south, east and north. A few Israeli soldiers say they had a weekly training meeting on the roof there every Saturday, even before the settlers took over. Now, about a dozen of them are sleeping on the top floor every night.

It is not a luxury complex, but the residents are settling in. They have installed basic electrical wiring and plumbing in the last week, though there are still no functioning showers. The crews on the top floor are working quickly to install drywall over the bare concrete and put up their first few bedroom doors.

As they sweep the floors and tack posters on the walls, the boys here chat excitedly about a permanent study hall, several apartments and perhaps a local store.

"We know how to fight again, how to show this is our future," said Malkiel Bar-Hai, 18, who came from his home in the Golan Heights after his friend sent him a text message saying they were looking for more volunteers.

His face, sweaty and dusty, stiffens as he talks about the recent violence. "We bring it onto ourselves if we act as if this is not our land, like somebody is doing us a favor to let us be here," he said. "Now we know that if we leave, they still hate us and attack us."

The settlers say they used money from a wealthy American donor to buy the building from a man living in Jordan. Palestinian advocates deny that, saying that the man who owns the property still lives in Hebron and will fight to reclaim it. There have been reports that the Palestinian who sold the house is being interrogated by the police in Jericho.

For now, the settlers are capitalizing on the government's silence. But they also have vocal support from many quarters. Several members of Parliament, including some from Mr. Olmert's party, Kadima, say they support the settlers' actions.

"If they are not allowed to stay, it will create a terrible situation," said Otniel Schneller, a member of Parliament and a settler who has helped the government negotiate with fellow settlers in the past and who supports giving up part of the West Bank under certain conditions. He said he could not think of an argument to persuade them to abandon the building in Hebron.

"Who do we have to talk to any more?" he said. "There is no Palestinian government. They call it a government, but it is not a government, it is a collection of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."

Children play in a disputed building in Hebron where 100 settlers have moved into an Arab neighborhood (Rina Castelnuovo, NY Times)

You can contribute directly to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com

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Posted by Gabriele Goldwater, April 22, 2007.

This comes from Ynet News
(http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3390826,00.html). It was written by Roee Nahmias with contributions from Amnon Meranda and Lilach Shoval.

Balad chairman submits his resignation in letter sent to Israeli Embassy in Cairo. MK, who left Israel amid police investigation, tells al-Jazeera he decided to set new rules to game. 'Exile is not an option. I will definitely return, the question is only when,' he adds

Balad Chairman, MK Azmi Bishara, resigned from Knesset on Sunday.

According to Foreign Ministry officials, Bishara submitted his resignation letter to Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Shalom Cohen. His faction member, MK Jamal Zahalka, also confirmed the report. Bishara:

Bishara left Israel several weeks ago, and since then has been the subject of rumors that he plans to resign from Knesset.

In the resignation letter he wrote, "Since the elections I made up my mind to resign from Knesset and dedicate more time to contemplative and literary writing. In addition, I have always believed that I was at the Knesset out of duty, and not as a profession."

The resignation will come into force on Tuesday and he will be replaced in the Knesset by Attorney Said Nafa.

Shortly after submitting his resignation Bishara gave an interview to the al-Jazeera television network, in which he explained the reasons for his decision. "Recently, the accusations voiced against me at the Knesset have become stronger. It appeared as if I was taking advantage of my immunity, but this was not the case. I don't want to give the Right this opportunity and in any even I had planned to resign, and therefore I submitted my resignation.

"The resignation can be submitted either to the Knesset or to Israeli representatives abroad, so I submitted my resignation to the ambassador."

Bishara continued, "I decided not to wait, and to submit my resignation and end my plans here before returning to Israel. I did not want to give the Israeli Right the opportunity to hold this festival against me.

"Now I have lost my immunity and have become a normal citizen. I have decided to set new rules for the game just like I want, and not under the pressure put on me.

"In the end I will definitely return to Israel. The timing depends on consultations I will hold. I belong to this country with everything that I represent. I am a citizen of the country and nothing has changed. Exile is not an option. I will definitely return, the question is only when," he said.

Asked whether he plans to end his political career in Israel, Bishara replied, "Not at all. Since I was young in the 1970s, I have taken part in the political life and reached the top."

Report: Bishara may not return to Israel

Bishara, who left Israel amid a police investigation into his foreign contacts, was quoted Saturday as saying in Egypt that he is considering staying abroad because he fears a long term jail sentence and an end to his political career.

Bishara, a fiery nationalist Arab lawmaker, left the country earlier this month after Israeli media outlets speculated that the police investigation could lead to charges ranging from treason to corruption.

Bishara told a group of Egyptian intellectuals late Saturday that he might not return to Israel, to avoid a trial.

According to several people who attended the meeting with Bishara at the Egyptian Press Syndicate, the lawmaker said he was being investigated in Israel on accusations that include "providing enemy with information at a time of war, visiting an enemy country and bringing money illegally into the state of Israel".

"I will not venture going back while these threats still stand," Bishara was quoted as saying by the intellectuals meeting with him. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Earlier Saturday, Bishara and his party member MK Wasil Taha met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Cairo, according to the Balad-affiliated website Arabs48.

According to the report, the three had an hour-long meeting in Aboul Gheit's office in which they discussed "the recent political developments in the region, the diplomatic efforts and the Arab peace plan. Opinions were exchanged in an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect."

Last Sunday, the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court revealed for the first time that an investigation was being carried out against the Balad chairman, but did not allow details of the case to be published.

In an interview with al-Jazeera last week, Bishara addressed the investigation, saying that "there is a gag order, and on the other hand there are constant leaks. I was very surprised while I was abroad by the hysteria and the unprecedented incitement against me. I was investigated, I heard what I was suspected of, I was surprised and I provided my answers."

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 22, 2007.

It has been said, no doubt, by you Binyamin Netanyahu, that you have learned from your past mistakes and, therefor, would be a qualified leader of the nation of Israel. So, let us ask pertinent questions now, before all the electioneering hype and promises.

1. Ariel Sharon reversed himself on every commitment he made to Israel and her citizens to NOT surrender Jewish Land -- by actually following his opponents' platform to give away Gaza, Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Are you, Bibi, prepared to state categorically you will NOT abandon the above named territories?

2. Are you now or have you ever been on a leash to the U.S. State Department, CIA, or any other policy making U.S. institution with respect to Israeli doctrines?

3. You have given away 80% of Hebron to gain the approval of the U.S., the U.N., the E.U. Do you accept this now as a misjudgment? Would you do it again if ordered to by U.S. and/or Arab interests?

4. The Saudis have returned to a 'plan' supposedly inspired by the State Department to return Israel to the 1949-67 Armistice Lines, which Abba Eban called the "Auschwitz borders". Would you ever accept this dictum IF pressed by the U.S. State Department?

5. When the P.M. Ehud Olmert is defeated, will you pursue Tzippi Livni as a partner in Likud -- despite the fact that she agrees to the Olmert/Saudi return to Israel's 1967 Armistice Lines. Moreover, it is no secret that Livni is a former (so-to-speak) member of Shabak (Israel's Secret Service) and, no doubt, continues to report to her 'home' organization and take directions. Here again, even under pressure from the U.S. State Department (now under the management of Condoleezza Rice), would you take Livni into Likud as Sharon did?

6. Would you sign a contract with the Israeli people, stating that you will keep all of your commitments or, if broken, submit your resignation as Prime Minister?

7. Will you release more convicted and jailed terrorists so they can kill more Israelis while knowing that 50% of the jailed terrorists previously released by Prime Ministers from Yitzhak Rabin through to Arik Sharon have returned to kill hundreds of Israelis? Will you as PM release more terrorists as Ehud Olmert is now about to release 1,400 Arab security prisoners?

8. Will you accept State Department pressure to release Marwan Bargouti who is now serving 5 life sentences for murder?

9. Will you support Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) with more funds and weapons?

10. Will you close the Rafah entry into Gaza from Egypt so weapons, explosives and terrorists will cease flooding into Gaza?

11. Will you break the Olmert Doctrine of holding back the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) from sweeping through Gaza to remove the stored weapons and then destroy the Terrorists' underground bunkers?

12. Can you bring back some semblance of ethics, belief in the G-d-given Land and the Jewish people?

13. Can you be the role model as was President Kennedy when he brought a sense of pride to his nation?

14. Many of the former and present Prime Ministers politicized the army's officers corps to serve their political parties. They corrupted the Mossad and Shin Bet by appointing political hacks to run these once admired organizations. Will you clean house and allow these organizations to return to their prime, vital purposes?

15. Will you cease the practice of using police, soldiers and Shabak to attack the pioneering settlers as if they were the peoples' enemies instead of the best of our people?

16. What will you do about a Supreme Court who has run amok and adopted the role of a Leftist Political Party?

17. What will you do to promote a law for Honest Reporting, given that the leading newspapers have adopted the role of a secondary Leftist Political Party, wedded to the Olso state suicide plan of abandoning vital territory and defense lines?

18. Will you make up for your political avoidance at the Wye fiasco by NOT demanding the release from prison of Jonathan Pollard (now approaching 23 years)? This error will, no doubt, float over your election campaign like the sword of Damocles.

19. Will you, in any way, shape or form, accept the immigration into Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem of several million so-called Arab Muslim refugees into the towns given over to Yassir Arafat by the Rabin-Peres Oslo Accords?


You have made an indelible reputation by NOT keeping your prior commitments but, now you say that you have matured and learned from your prior mistakes. That now you can lead with ethical backbone and not compromise where the good of the nation is at stake.

Granted that, like Arik Sharon, you would/might go back on your word -- expecting the average Israeli NOT to make much of a fuss. Perhaps that too is coming toward an end as we see the incompetence of Sharon -- followed by the incompetence of Olmert, Peretz, Livni, Peres whose actions set in motion Kassam Rockets and Katyusha Missiles blasting into Israeli cities.

Now, we hear that members of the Al Qaeda terror organization have entered into Gaza to join Hamas.

Would Olmert's planned actions called "Convergence" to make Judea and Samaria "Judenrein" allow Judea and Samaria to become war zones like Lebanon and Gaza -- only this time with Katyushas lined up to reach all of Israel's major cities and Ben Gurion Airport? Perhaps the Israeli people will not be so passive as they have been for so long.

In your earlier days as Prime Minister, you left a bad image, e.g., that of a pompous king, full of himself, waving a large cigar as if it were a scepter of royalty. Hopefully, your arrogance has left you and the family bloodlines of your father, Ben Zion and your brother, Yoni, have emerged within you to make you stronger.

You are now old enough to see the contamination of Israel's government where arrogant leaders made bad, self-serving decisions, stolen from the Treasury using the power of office.

Three more Big Questions to be answered by you are:

Can you, Bibi Netanyahu, rise above your past and be equal to your abilities to make a artful speeches?

Is this a new Bibi or the old Bibi merely re-packaged?

Are you going to morph into a butterfly or remain a caterpillar?

Please tell us, Bibi, because most assuredly, Israel needs a wise, honest, courageous leader at this time and NOT one on short leash to world powers who are desperate to please Arab oil sheiks and State Department spokespeople.

Emanuel Winston is a commentator and Middle East analyst. His articles appear often on Think-Israel and Gamla. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies (http://www.freeman.org/online.htm). Contact him at winstonmedia@comcast.net

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 22, 2007.

Tonight begins Yom HaZikaron, Memorial day, the day for honoring all those who have fallen in defense of Israel over the years. Israel is a small country, and, so proportionately within the population, there are many many families that have endured a loss. And because we are a small country, there is a sense of unity, of family, so that the mourning is shared by all.

Tonight at 8 PM the observance began with a one-minute siren, during which time the nation came to a halt and people almost everywhere stood in respectful silence. There was as well an opening ceremony at the Kotel, at which a bereaved young Sarah Klein kindled the memorial flame; she is the widow of Maj. Roi Klein, who threw himself on a grenade during the Lebanon war to save others. Said Acting President Dalia Itzik, "Tonight, Israel weeps...We have no words of comfort, but we embrace you, the families, with endless love."

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, speaking at the ceremony, said that "Only the army can advance peace." Only a strong Israel will convince our enemies that suing for peace is in their best interest.

"As someone who stood too many times on the threshold of families whose world collapsed in an instant, as a commander and a combatant, I wish to tell you: There is nothing more accursed, more difficult and more painful than war...We are not an army that seeks war, but a defensive army. But if a war is forced on us, we shall not back down."

Another, two-minute, siren will follow tomorrow morning at 11 AM. The main memorial service will take place at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

This day of remembering is particularly raw because we have soldiers dying now. There are those who died last summer during the Lebanon war, and those who died at the hands of terrorist forces, or in combat with these forces, in Gaza and Judea & Samaria. In all 233 soldiers have given their lives in the past year, 119 in the Lebanon war.


I will say something here that I have not given voice to before. My heart is with all parents who have endured the loss of a child in serving the nation. But I am struck with particular pain when contemplating the bumbling way the war in Lebanon was fought; for there is a distinct possibility that had it been fought properly, and had the political echelon given the word for our boys to use their strength in a proper invasion instead of remaining like sitting ducks, and had there been sufficient preparation, there might have been fewer dead. And I find myself unable to comprehend how parents who suffered losses in this war deal with this unbearable knowledge.

In the face of this, what we must celebrate is the sure knowledge that -- while the political echelon leaves a great deal to be desired -- the people in this country are the finest, and our soldiers immeasurably brave.


The nation is mindful tonight as well of the abducted Israeli soldiers who remain in the hands of enemies, if at all they are still alive. Uppermost in national consciousness, of course, are Gilad Shalit, taken into Gaza on June 25, and Eldad Regev and Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser, taken into Lebanon on July 12. But there are also five others taken in Lebanon in the 1980s and 90s.

A high ranking defense official has come out with a statement regarding the risks of trading prisoners for Shalit. They will pose an immediate threat to Israeli cities and communities, he said, and the IDF would have to modify the way it operates immediately.

I think Efraim Inbar, who is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, has it right when he says, "It is hard to believe that a country that was successful in saving Jewish hostages from Entebbe, thousands of kilometers away, is giving in to blackmail by bandits located just a few kilometers from Israel's border. Most Israelis view this as humiliating...The solution is not a prisoner swap, but military action in Gaza."


On Friday it was revealed by a high-ranking IDF officer that Hamas -- having failed to build strength in Judea and Samaria -- is attempting to take over PA security forces. It has been infiltrating the police and National Security Force.

In recent weeks, the US gov't has worked out a "plan" -- named for Gen. Keith Dayton, who devised it -- that includes allocation of $59 million for the revamping and strengthening of the PA Presidential Guard forces, forces presumed loyal to Abbas. It seemed to me from the beginning an exercise in foolishness to presume that forces loyal to Abbas could be separated out for support (never mind the foolishness of thinking that supporting Abbas forces would be a good thing). With this news comes exposure of the ultimate futility of what is being attempted -- even if at this point that particular force is still nominally pro-Abbas.

Last week I attended a conference regarding Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah. One point that was made -- it stares us in the face! -- was that Hamas has turned from a revolutionary group attempting to take down the PA to one that intends to co-op it, and in time the PLO as well, I will add. With this news we see the evidence.


If you remember, the other day US Sec. of Defense Gates, when here, assured us of the US desire to help us retain our military edge (even if the US will sell advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia).

Well, the Post now reports that Israel intends to seek acquisition of F22s, US cutting edge stealth jets -- the most advanced fighter jets in the world, which have not yet been sold outside the US. No word yet on the US response, but a deal that includes smart bombs and other equipment is in the works.


Four Kassam rockets hit Sderot yesterday, with one hitting a house. The air force quickly located the cell inside of Gaza that was responsible for the attack and responded with a missile strike that killed one member of the cell.

Three terrorist groups -- Al Aksa Brigades, Islamic Jihad, and Popular Resistance Committees -- claimed responsibility for the attack in a joint statement. They were reportedly avenging the deaths of three known Al Aksa terrorists who had been taken out in Jenin by border police earlier in the day.

Today according to YNet, Defense Minister Peretz declared, with regard to this attack, "Six years of turning a blind eye have ended, and from now on no one will be immune. We will operate across the border." Tough words. It should only be. But then Peretz, sounding more like himself, added that he thought a diplomatic resolution could be reached. Would he care to reconcile these statements?


Ozri Bishara has submitted his resignation from the Knesset to the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. Not exactly a surprise. Nor is the fact that he now says he may stay abroad indefinitely because of fear of a jail sentence.

From several MKs, such as Yuval Steinitz (Likud), has come a call to bring him to justice. MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP) commented: "I praise Bishara for his decision, and call all members of Arab Knesset factions to follow in his footsteps and rid the Israeli Knesset of the presence of those who aid enemies of the state. I hope Bishara seeks political asylum in Syria or among his friends from Hizbullah."


Finance Minister Abraham Hirschson has voluntarily suspended himself for three months because he is under investigation for embezzlement. This is a truly pathetic situation.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 22, 2007.

Prof. Yosef ben-Shlomo, who died over the weekend, was one of the most interesting intellectuals in Israel. In a country where being a professor is almost synonymous with being a leftist pinhead, Ben-Shlomo was one of the most interesting and most entertaining of the counter-exceptions. Born in Krakow, he had been a professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and after he retired virtually the entire philosophy department at TAU was taken over by far-leftist anti-Zionists, becoming politically one of the worst academic departments in all of Israel.

Ben Shlomo, while not religious himself as an adult, was a student of Gershom Sholem, wrote about Sholem, and also wrote extensively about Rabbi Kook (the intellectual godfather of religious Zionism)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/ 103-2822704-3770249?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index= books&field-author=Yosef%20Ben-Shlomo). While Ben-Shlomo had been a leftist before the Six Day War, thereafter he found himself in the position of arguably the leading anti-Left intellectual in Israel
(http://www.think-israel.org/benshlomo.transfer.html). He often appeared on television and in the rest of the media. Haaretz dubbed him the "Yishayahu Leibowitz of the Right", referring to the far-Left but extremely religious anti-Zionist professor of philosophy and chemistry at the Hebrew University, who died several years ago. While Leibowitz was a total moonbat politically, denouncing Zionists as "Judeo-Nazis", his writings about rabbinic sources and the Torah portions are insightful and deep, and frankly they are part of my regular study tools. Ben-Shlomo, who was something of a prophet of secularism and was an admirer of Spinoza, was completely on the mark politically when it came to national issues. He also was a sharp critic of the emerging emptiness of secularist culture in Israel. At the same time, he endorsed the mainly-religious Gush Emunim movement that built settlements. After Oslo, he emerged as one of the most militant opponents of the "peace process"
(http://www.acpr.org.il/publications/policy-papers/pp054-xs.html). He should have won the Israel Prize many times over, but the prize is usually reserved for far-leftists (like Shulamit Aloni and Yigal Tomarkin).

He insisted that Israeli secularists could be returned to the roots of Zionism and pioneering, rescued from the post-Zionist Left and cultural emptiness. He vocally denounced Sharon and Olmert for the abandonment of Gush Katif and the driving out of the Jewish settlers of the Gaza Strip. He even endorsed the refusal of soldiers to carry out the evictions of those settlers. He regularly denounced the leftist hegemony over Israel's media.

He denounced the self-hatred and defeatism of the Israeli Left. After A.B. Yehoshua called for an Israel that would be "normal" and like all other states, Ben-Shlomo denounced him for going to a protest against the Begin government for the Sabra and Shatilla events. If you want Israel to be like all other nations, and so refuse to say "You have Chosen us from All Nations" in prayer, then what were you doing there?, asked Ben Shlomo. You should act like the British and French would have in a similar situation.

A typical yet interesting anecdote was reported in the Israeli media just before he died. Ben-Shlomo was once debating with a leftist about "Palestinian rights". Palestinians have no rights at all, Ben-Shlomo told the leftist, because a Palestinian came into the palace in the days of King David and stole all the jewels there. Nonsense, replied the leftist, there were not even any Palestinians in existence back then. Exactly, said Prof. Ben-Shlomo with a mischievous grin.

Last year Tel Aviv University held a day long conference in his honor. The hall was so jammed that students were hanging on to the windows to hear him speak

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Boris Celser, April 22, 2007.

From the weasel zippers website:

Mullah Khamenei is the Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic. His proxy in western Azarbaijan is the exceedingly vicious and hot-headed Mullah Hassani, who, in his Friday prayer in the city of Rezaiyeh, said this against unveiled women.

He divided women into 3 groups:

The first group... he said are the women who are badly veiled who are like buses who everyone and anyone can ride.

The second group... are women who are wearing scarves without the Islamic overcoats; they are like taxis who only pick up certain passengers.

And finally, in the third group ... there are women like my wife who are like donkeys who give only let one person ride them!

Contact Boris Celser at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Lee Caplan, April 22, 2007.

This was written by Daled Amos and appeared on his website:

HOW TO OBTAIN THE RELEASE OF REGEV AND GOLDWASSER: Apparently the White House discussed the return of Iranian officers captured in Iraq, possibly as a bargaining chip in the release of the kidnapped British sailors. Rice made the suggestion and she was turned down.

Well Ms. Rice, if the US was willing to consider helping one ally to retrieve their kidnapped people, why not help another ally--Israel.

Shouldn't the US be willing to help Israel obtain the release of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser--by making the return of the Irbil 5 to Iran contingent on the release of Regev and Goldwasser by Iran's proxy Hizbollah?

At the very least, shouldn't the US be willing to use the captured Iranians to apply pressure on Hizbollah--through Iran--to allow the Red Cross access to the kidnapped soldiers and determine their condition?

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, April 22, 2007.

Lee Iacocca CBS Sunday (April 22nd) Morning News: Washington is clueless, stirring the (USA) ship off a cliff...Something is very wrong at the White House..." Democrats and Republican alike are: The axis of embarrassment!

"Mr. Gaubatz verbally told the Iraq Study Group (ISG) of his findings, and asked them to come with heavy equipment to breach the concrete of the bunkers and uncover their sealed contents. But to his consternation, the ISG told him they didn't have the manpower or equipment to do it and that it would be 'unsafe' to try."

According to Mr. Gaubatz, the reason is a concerted effort by the US intelligence and political world to stifle such an explosive revelation of their own lethal incompetence

Saddam's nuclear research, scientists and equipment, have all been relocated to Syria, where US satellite intelligence confirms that uranium centrifuges are now operating -- in a country which is not supposed to have any nuclear programme. There is now a nuclear axis between Iran, Syria and North Korea -- with Russia and China helping to build an Islamic bomb against the West. And of course, with assistance from American negligence.

'Apparently Saddam had the last laugh and donated his secret stockpile to benefit Iran's nuclear weapons programme. With a little technical advice from Beijing, Syria is now enriching the uranium, Iran is making the missiles, North Korea is testing the warheads, and the White House is hiding its head in the sand.'

Saddam's nuclear, biological and chemical material is in the hands of a rogue terrorist state -- and one with close links to Iran. Of course, we don't know whether any of this (below) is true. But given Dave Gaubatz is pretty well as near to the horse's mouth as you can get, perhaps someone be trying to find out all about his testimony; shouldn't we?

Something is very, very wrong in Washington...in our country! Do you feel safe? I don't!

Melanie Phillips is a Daily Mail columnist. This article is entitled "I found Saddam's WMD bunkers" and was published April 21, 2007 in The Spectator
www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/29092/ i-found-saddams-wmd-bunkers.thtml

It's a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It's also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam's Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam's use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Dave Gaubatz, however, says that you could not be more wrong. Saddam's WMD did exist. He should know, because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don't know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, 'lost' his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam's WMD to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war.

You may be tempted to dismiss this as yet another dodgy claim from a warmongering lackey of the world Zionist neocon conspiracy giving credence to yet another crank pushing US propaganda. If so, perhaps you might pause before throwing this article at the cat. Mr Gaubatz is not some marginal figure. He's pretty well as near to the horse's mouth as you can get.

Having served for 12 years as an agent in the US Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, Mr Gaubatz, a trained Arabic speaker, was hand-picked for postings in 2003, first in Saudi Arabia and then in Nasariyah in Iraq. His mission was to locate suspect WMD sites, discover threats against US forces in the area and find Saddam loyalists, and then send such intelligence to the Iraq Survey Group and other agencies.

Between March and July 2003, he says, he was taken to four sites in southern Iraq -- two within Nasariyah, one 20 miles south and one near Basra -- which, he was told by numerous Iraqi sources, contained biological and chemical weapons, material for a nuclear programme and UN-proscribed missiles. He was, he says, in no doubt whatever that this was true.

This was, in the first place, because of the massive size of these sites and the extreme lengths to which the Iraqis had gone to conceal them. Three of them were bunkers buried 20 to 30 feet beneath the Euphrates. They had been constructed through building dams which were removed after the huge subterranean vaults had been excavated so that these were concealed beneath the river bed. The bunker walls were made of reinforced concrete five feet thick.

'There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there', says Mr Gaubatz. By speaking to a wide range of Iraqis, some of whom risked their lives by talking to him and whose accounts were provided in ignorance of each other, he built up a picture of the nuclear, chemical and biological materials they said were buried underground.

'They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the US to remove them,' says Mr Gaubatz. 'Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity -- gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that WMDs were hidden there.'

There was yet another significant piece of circumstantial corroboration. The medical records of Mr Gaubatz and his team showed that at these sites they had been exposed to high levels of radiation.

Mr. Gaubatz verbally told the Iraq Study Group (ISG) of his findings, and asked them to come with heavy equipment to breach the concrete of the bunkers and uncover their sealed contents. But to his consternation, the ISG told him they didn't have the manpower or equipment to do it and that it would be 'unsafe' to try.

'The problem was that the ISG were concentrating their efforts in looking for WMD in northern Iraq and this was in the south,' says Mr Gaubatz. 'They were just swept up by reports of WMD in so many different locations. But we told them that if they didn't excavate these sites, others would.'

That, he says, is precisely what happened. He subsequently learnt from Iraqi, CIA and British intelligence that the WMD buried in the four sites were excavated by Iraqis and Syrians, with help from the Russians, and moved to Syria. The location in Syria of this material, he says, is also known to these intelligence agencies. The worst-case scenario has now come about. Saddam's nuclear, biological and chemical material is in the hands of a rogue terrorist state -- and one with close links to Iran.

When Mr Gaubatz returned to the US, he tried to bring all this to light. Two congressmen, Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Curt Weldon, were keen to follow up his account. To his horror, however, when they tried to access his classified intelligence reports, they were told that all 60 of them -- which, in the routine way, he had sent in 2003 to the computer clearing-house at a US airbase in Saudi Arabia -- had mysteriously gone missing. These written reports had never even been seen by the ISG.

One theory is that they were inadvertently destroyed when the computer's database was accidentally erased in the subsequent US evacuation of the airbase. Mr Gaubatz, however, suspects dirty work at the crossroads. It is unlikely, he says, that no copies were made of his intelligence. And he says that all attempts by Messrs Hoekstra and Weldon to extract information from the Defence Department and CIA have been relentlessly stonewalled.

In 2005, the CIA held a belated inquiry into the disappearance of this intelligence. Only then did its agents visit the sites -- to report that they had indeed been looted.

Mr. Gaubatz's claims remain largely unpublicised. Last year, the New York Times dismissed him as one of a group of WMD diehard obsessives. The New York Sun produced a more balanced report, but after that the coverage died. According to Mr. Gaubatz, the reason is a concerted effort by the US intelligence and political world to stifle such an explosive revelation of their own lethal incompetence.

After he and an Iraqi colleague spoke at last month's Florida meeting of the Intelligence Summit, an annual conference of the intelligence world, they were interviewed for two hours by a US TV show -- only for the interview to be junked after the FBI repeatedly rang Mr. Gaubatz and his colleague to say they would stop the interview from being broadcast.

The problem the US authorities have is that they can't dismiss Mr. Gaubatz as a rogue agent -- because they have repeatedly decorated him for his work in the field. In 2003, he received awards for his 'courage and resolve in saving lives and being critical for information flow'. In 2001, he was decorated for being the 'lead agent in a classified investigation, arguably the most sensitive counter-intelligence investigation currently in the entire Department of Defence' and because his 'reports were such high quality, many were published in the Air Force's daily threat product for senior USAF leaders or re-transmitted at the national level to all security agencies in US government'.

The organiser of the Intelligence Summit, John Loftus -- himself a formidably well-informed former attorney to the intelligence world -- has now sent a memorandum to Congress asking it to investigate Mr. Gaubatz's claims. He has also hit a brick wall. The reason is not hard to grasp.

The Republicans won't touch this because it would reveal the incompetence of the Bush administration in failing to neutralise the danger of Iraqi WMD. The Democrats won't touch it because it would show President Bush was right to invade Iraq in the first place. It is an axis of embarrassment.

Mr. Loftus goes further. Saddam's nuclear research, scientists and equipment, he says, have all been relocated to Syria, where US satellite intelligence confirms that uranium centrifuges are now operating -- in a country which is not supposed to have any nuclear programme. There is now a nuclear axis, he says, between Iran, Syria and North Korea -- with Russia and China helping to build an Islamic bomb against the West. And of course, with assistance from American negligence.

'Apparently Saddam had the last laugh and donated his secret stockpile to benefit Iran's nuclear weapons programme. With a little technical advice from Beijing, Syria is now enriching the uranium, Iran is making the missiles, North Korea is testing the warheads, and the White House is hiding its head in the sand.'

Of course, we don't know whether any of this is true. But given Dave Gaubatz's testimony, shouldn't someone be trying to find out? Or will we still be intoning 'there were no WMDs in Iraq' when the Islamic bomb goes off?

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Judy Lash Balint, April 22, 2007.
Jerusalem--It's eerie how often the elements reflect events occurring here in Israel. At last week's Yom Hashoah commemoration at Yad Vashem, participants huddled together in the chill of the Jerusalem evening as the ceremony marking the systematic murder of six million European Jews unfolded. The youthful members of the choir were shivering in the frigid air. Six survivors delegated to light the memorial torches stood stoically at attention as a cold wind blew across the hilltop.

But just one week later, as the State of Israel pauses to remember her fallen soldiers, the ritual takes place as a soft, warm, almost comforting breeze envelops hundreds of bereaved families gathered in the plaza facing the Kotel.

The flag at half mast barely flutters in the gentle wind flurries, and the memorial flame remains virtually immobile in front of the subdued crowd.

Those commemorated on Yom Hazikaron are not the mass victims of yesteryear's death camps, they're our youth who died and continue to die, defending the state and its citizens. We need the warmth and gentleness to reassure us, to enable us to look to the future.

It's slightly disconcerting to see the Kotel bereft of worshipers, replaced by rows and rows of men and women with sadness in their eyes. A significant number of the men choose not to wear any head covering--I can't help wondering if it's an indictment of God or an expression of secularism that has nothing to do with their loss. Apart from the ultra-orthodox who generally do not serve in the army, the full spectrum of Israeli society is represented at the service--national religious and secular; Ashkenazi and Sephardi; rich and poor; old and young. Bereavement itself is a social strata here --according to the Defense Ministry 23,305 soldiers have died in the fifty nine years of statehood leaving thousands of families to join the ranks of the bereaved.

This year, thanks in large part to last summer's Hizbollah war, another 233 names have been added to those we mourn.

As the siren sounds marking the beginning of the ceremony, I notice a young child next to me dropping her head along with the formal honor guard who face us across the plaza. Sadly, the culture of grieving and remembering is ingrained at an early age here in Israel.

At the end of the formal program, acting President Dalia Itzik, Chief of Staff Gabi Askenazi and Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski pass among the families offering brief words of comfort. The gesture reinforces a remark made by Itzik during her address to the gathering--that each loss is a national loss, felt keenly by the entire country.

As we wait to leave at the close of the 30 minute ceremony, I fall into conversation with the young couple sitting next to me. The wife is the sister of Oded Bachrach, a soldier murdered in 1996 while on a hike in Wadi Kelt. Michal, 33, tells me she finds it difficult to attend the Memorial Day observance. "There were a few years when I actually got ready to go, but just couldn't make myself get here," she says with tears in her eyes. Her parents have never come to the Kotel ceremony. They find it easier to sponsor a Torah lecture in Oded's memory in their community of Beit El.

What upsets Michal most is the fate of her younger brother's murderer. Captured by officers of the Palestine Authority in Jericho, the terrorist spent just one month in jail before being released in Yasser Arafat's notorious revolving door policy. Today, Israel is considering releasing 1,400 Arab security prisoners in return for the safe return home of captured IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit.

As we walk together out of the Old City through Dung Gate, the warm breeze evaporates into the night, leaving a chill wind in its place.

Judy Lash Balint is an award-winner investigative journalist and author of "Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times" (Gefen). It is available for purchase from www.israelbooks.com. Jerusalem Diaries II: What's Really Happening in Israel (Xulon Press, 2007) is now also available.

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Posted by Gerald Steinberg, April 22, 2007.

Most journalists and pundits who talk and write so much about Israel miss the main point. While Herzl and his colleagues sought political sovereignty to insure physical survival, the Zionist movement also saw this in the context of a Jewish renaissance. The constant wars, both military and political, in which Israel has been embroiled and which get most of the attention, are a tragic by-product of Arab rejectionism. But Jews did not and still do not come to Israel in order to fight these external battles -- we came to reclaim, restore and rebuild our culture.

From this perspective, as Israel enters its 60th year, we can be proud of our accomplishments, and also prepare to meet the considerable challenges that go beyond Iran and Palestinian terror. First, the good news. The renaissance and revival of 4000 years of Jewish cultural life has succeeded far beyond what was considered realistic when Ben Gurion proclaimed Israeli independence in May 1948. Two thousand years after the Exile, Hebrew is a living language again, and with this achievement, the original texts -- from the Bible through the Talmud and the Rabbinical commentaries -- are accessible to millions of Jews, as well as non-Jews. This has spawned an amazing growth in creativity. Journals such as Azure, and newspapers such as Makor Rishon (First Source), both founded a few years ago and dedicated to promoting this renaissance, have growing lists of contributors and expanding readerships to match. (There is no English edition of Makor Rishon, making access to the articles difficult, and as a result, few journalists outside of Israel are aware of its existence.)

This cultural resurgence is also no longer restricted to a narrow group of religious Israelis, and the cultural barriers are slowly being overcome. The attempt to replace the Jewish tradition with a new "Israeli man" has given way to an effort to merge the two approaches. With the exception of a few diehards, the militant anti-religious ideology has been replaced by a dialogue. Many non-religious intellectuals, artists, and leaders have a "Jewish bookshelf", and use these texts in their writings and performances. Their children attend "secular yeshivas" and similar frameworks, giving them the background necessary for this dialogue. The Jewish cultural renaissance taking place in Israel has also spread to the Diaspora, and Israel is now the senior partner in this relationship.

At the same time, these achievements do not offset or justify Israel's failures -- including the widespread leadership failure (secular and religious) and the unacceptable level of poverty and lack of economic opportunity. While the quality of education for the richer sectors is growing, schools in the poor neighbourhoods and peripheral towns are neglected and underfunded. Social services are highly inadequate, particularly for "olim" from non-western countries. And the antiquated political system that encourages corruption has alienated many younger Israelis. Good people do not seek leadership positions, and the results are very costly. To meet this challenge, the new generation must find a way to take part in the process without becoming infected by the corruption.

The corruption among Israeli leaders reflects the "get rich quick" and materialistic mentally that replaced the pioneering spirit which prevailed during the first decades of Israel's existence. This has blinded many Israelis to the growing level of poverty that is entirely foreign to Jewish tradition. Past promises to offset this situation have not been fulfilled, and while Prime Minister Olmert has pledged to cut poverty by 25 percent, implementation will require a sustained effort and moral leadership.

Israel's future success depends on the readiness to meet these challenges, which exist in the shadow of the ongoing threats of war and terror. We cannot afford to address only one dimension -- success requires the same investments directly internally as are applied in fighting our external enemies.

Gerald M. Steinberg is editor of NGO Monitor and director of the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University. Contact him at steing@mail.biu.ac.il

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 21, 2007.

This comes from CAMERA

After the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel prevented an attempt by surrounding Arab nations to destroy it militarily, the United Nations Security Council prepared a carefully-worded resolution to guide the parties. Since then, U.N. Resolution 242 has been invoked as the centerpiece for negotiation efforts, including the Israeli-Egyptian Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords and the Road Map peace plan.

But while many sources correctly describe the wording and intent of Resolution 242, others have misrepresented it as requiring Israel to return to the pre-1967 lines -- the armistice lines established after Israel's War of Independence.

Such an interpretation was explicitly not the intention of the framers of 242, nor does the language of the resolution include any such requirement.

Sometimes, the misrepresentations are redressed, as was the case when the New York Times and others corrected errors about the resolution. In other cases, inaccurate characterizations still await formal correction, as is the case with Jimmy Carter's repeated distortion of the resolution in his book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

Below are statements by the main drafters of Resolution 242 -- Lord Caradon, Eugene Rostow, Arthur Goldberg and Baron George-Brown -- as well as others, in which the meaning and history of Resolution 242 are explained.

Lord Caradon (Hugh M. Foot) was the permanent representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, 1964-1970, and chief drafter of Resolution 242.

  • Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, pg. 13, qtd. in Egypt's Struggle for Peace: Continuity and Change, 1967-1977, Yoram Meital, pg. 49:
    Much play has been made of the fact that we didn't say "the" territories or "all the" territories. But that was deliberate. I myself knew very well the 1967 boundaries and if we had put in the "the" or "all the" that could only have meant that we wished to see the 1967 boundaries perpetuated in the form of a permanent frontier. This I was certainly not prepared to recommend.

  • Journal of Palestine Studies, "An Interview with Lord Caradon," Spring -- Summer 1976, pgs 144-45:
    Q. The basis for any settlement will be United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, of which you were the architect. Would you say there is a contradiction between the part of the resolution that stresses the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and that which calls for Israeli withdrawal from "occupied territories," but not from "the occupied territories"?

    A. I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can't justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it's a rotten line. You couldn't have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It's where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It's got no relation to the needs of the situation.

    Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong. In New York, what did we know about Tayyibe and Qalqilya? If we had attempted in New York to draw a new line, we would have been rather vague. So what we stated was the principle that you couldn't hold territory because you conquered it, therefore there must be a withdrawal to -- let's read the words carefully -- "secure and recognized boundaries." The can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it's only when you get agreement that you get security. I think that now people begin to realize what we had in mind -- that security doesn't come from arms, it doesn't come from territory, it doesn't come from geography, it doesn't come from one side domination the other, it can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding.

    Therefore, what we did, I think, was right; what the resolution said was right and I would stand by it. It needs to be added to now, of course. ... We didn't attempt to deal with [the questions of the Palestinians and of Jerusalem] then, but merely to state the general principles of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. We meant that the occupied territories could not be held merely because they were occupied, but we deliberately did not say that the old line, where the troops happened to be on that particular night many years ago, was an ideal demarcation line.

  • MacNeil/Lehrer Report, March 30, 1978:
    We didn't say there should be a withdrawal to the '67 line; we did not put the "the" in, we did not say "all the territories" deliberately. We all knew that the boundaries of '67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier... We did not say that the '67 boundaries must be forever.

  • Daily Star (Beirut), June 12, 1974. Qtd. in Myths and Facts, Leonard J. Davis, pg. 48:
    It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to ...

  • Interview on Kol Israel radio, February 1973, qtd. on Web site of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
    Q. This matter of the (definite) article which is there in French and is missing in English, is that really significant?

    A. The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary...


Eugene Rostow, a legal scholar and former dean of Yale Law School, was US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, 1966-1969. He helped draft Resolution 242.

[Editor's Note: Read Professor Rostow's articles by clicking here.]

  • Telegram from the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic summarizing Rostow's conversation with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin:
    Rostow said ... resolution required agreement on "secure and recognized" boundaries, which, as practical matter, and as matter of interpreting resolution, had to precede withdrawals. Two principles were basic to Article I of resolution. Paragraph from which Dobrynin quoted was linked to others, and he did not see how anyone could seriously argue, in light of history of resolution in Security Council, withdrawal to borders of June 4th was contemplated. These words had been pressed on Council by Indians and others, and had not been accepted.

  • Proceedings of the 64th annual meeting of the American Society of International Law, 1970, pgs 894-96:
    ... the question remained, "To what boundaries should Israel withdraw?" On this issue, the American position was sharply drawn, and rested on a critical provision of the Armistice Agreements of 1949. Those agreements provided in each case that the Armistice Demarcation Line "is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims or positions of either party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question." ... These paragraphs, which were put into the agreements at Arab insistence, were the legal foundation for the controversies over the wording of paragraphs 1 and 3 of Security Council Resolution 242, of November 22, 1967. ...

    The agreement required by paragraph 3 of the resolution, the Security Council said, should establish "secure and recognized boundaries" between Israel and its neighbors "free from threats or acts of force," to replace the Armistice Demarcation Lines established in 1949, and the cease-fire lines of June, 1967. The Israeli armed forces should withdraw to such lines, as part of a comprehensive agreement, settling all the issues mentioned in the resolution, and in a condition of peace.

    On this point, the American position has been the same under both the Johnson and the Nixon Administrations. The new and definitive political boundaries should not represent "the weight of conquest," both Administrations have said; on the other hand, under the policy and language of the Armistice Agreements of 1949, and of the Security Council Resolution of November 22, 1967, they need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines. ...

    This is the legal significance of the omission of the word "the" from paragraph 1 (I) of the resolution, which calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces "from territories occupied in the recent conflict," and not "from the territories occupied in the recent conflict." Repeated attempts to amend this sentence by inserting the word "the" failed in the Security Council. It is therefore not legally possible to assert that the provision requires Israeli withdrawal from all the territories now occupied under the Cease-Fire Resolutions to the Armistice Demarcation Lines.

  • Jerusalem Post, "The truth about 242," Nov. 5, 1990:
    Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 ... rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to "secure and recognized borders," which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949. ...

    The omission of the word "the" from the territorial clause of the Resolution was one of its most hotly-debated and fundamental features. The U.S., Great Britain, the Netherlands, and many other countries worked hard for five and a half months in 1967 to keep the word "the" and the idea it represents out of the resolution. Motions to require the withdrawal of Israel from "the" territories or "all the territories" occupied in the course of the Six Day War were put forward many times with great linguistic ingenuity. They were all defeated both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council. ...

    Those who claim that Resolution 242 is ambiguous on the point are either ignorant of the history of its negotiation or simply taking a convenient tactical position.

  • The New Republic, "Resolved: are the settlements legal? Israeli West Bank policies," Oct. 21, 1991:
    Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy in 1967 made it perfectly clear what the missing definite article in Resolution 242 means. Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from "all" the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the "fragile" and "vulnerable" Armistice Demarcation Lines, but should retire once peace was made to what Resolution 242 called "secure and recognized" boundaries, agreed to by the parties. In negotiating such agreements, the parties should take into account, among other factors, security considerations, access to the international waterways of the region, and, of course, their respective legal claims.

  • The New York Times, "Don't strong-arm Israel," Feb. 19, 1991:
    Security Council Resolution 242, approved after the 1967 war, stipulates not only that Israel and its neighboring states should make peace with each other but should establish "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East." Until that condition is met, Israel is entitled to administer the territories it captured -- the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip -- and then withdraw from some but not necessarily all of the land to "secure and recognized boundaries free of threats or acts of force."

  • The Wall Street Journal, "Peace still depends on the two Palestines," April 27, 1988:
    ... Resolution 242 establishes three principles about the territorial aspect of the peace-making process:

    1) Israel can occupy and administer the territories it occupied during the Six-Day War until the Arabs make peace.
    2) When peace agreements are reached, they should delineate "secure and recognized" boundaries to which Israel would withdraw.
    3) Those boundaries could differ from the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 1949.

  • Institute for National Strategic Studies, "The Future of Palestine," November 1993:
    The second territorial provision of Resolution 242 is that while Israel should agree to withdraw from some of theterritories it occupied in 1967, it need not withdraw from all those territories. The Resolution states that there should be"withdrawal of Israeli's armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict." Five and a half months of vigorous diplomacy, public and private, make it very clear why the wording of the sentence took the form it did. Motion after motion proposed to insert the words "the" or "all the" before the word "territories." They were all defeated, until finally the Soviet Union and the Arab states accepted the language as the best they could get.

Arthur J. Goldberg was the United States representative to the United Nations, 1965-1968, and before that a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He helped draft Resolution 242.

  • American Foreign Policy Interests, 1988:
    The resolution does not explicitly require that Israel withdraw to the lines that it occupied on June 5, 1967, before the outbreak of the war. The Arab states urged such language; the Soviet Union proposed such a resolution to the Security Council in June 1967, and Yugoslavia and other nations made a similar proposal to the special session of the General Assembly that followed the adjournment of the Security Council. But those views were rejected. Instead, Resolution 242 endorses the principle of the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" and juxtaposes the principle that every state in the area is entitled to live in peace within "secure and recognized boundaries." ...

    The notable omissions in language used to refer to withdrawal are the words the, all, and the June 5, 1967, lines. I refer to the English text of the resolution. The French and Soviet texts differ from the English in this respect, but the English text was voted on by the Security Council, and thus it is determinative. In other words, there is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to withdraw from the (or all the) territories occupied by it on and after June 5, 1967. Instead, the resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal. And it can be inferred from the incorporation of the words secure and recognized boundaries that the territorial adjustments to be made by the parties in their peace settlements could encompass less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories.

  • Christian Science Monitor, "Middle East peace prospects," July 9, 1985:
    ... all parties are apparently in agreement that the basis for negotiations would be Resolutions 242 and 338 adopted by the UN Security Council. These resolutions, although often referred to in the news media, are inadequately analyzed or explained. I shall attempt to provide a measure of enlightenment.

    * Does Resolution 242 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council require the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from all of the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war? The answer is no. In the resolution, the words the and all are omitted. Resolution 242 calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict, without specifying the extent of the withdrawal. The resolution, therefore, neither commands nor prohibits total withdrawal.

    * If the resolution is ambiguous, and purposely so, on this crucial issue, how is the withdrawal issue to be settled? By direct negotiations between the concerned parties. Resolution 242 calls for agreement between them to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement. Agreement and acceptance necessarily require negotiations.

    * Any ambiguity in this regard has been resolved by Resolution 338, unanimously adopted by the Security Council on Oct. 22, 1973. Resolution 338 reaffirms Resolution 242 in all its parts and requires negotiations between the parties concerned aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.

    * Is Resolution 242 self-executing? The answer is no. Negotiations are necessary to put flesh on the bones of the resolution, as Resolution 338 acknowledges.

    * Is Israel's withdrawal confined to "minor" border rectifications? No. Resolution 242 reaffirms the right of every area state 'to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.'

    * How are secure and recognized boundaries to be achieved to enable every state to live in peace free from threats or acts of force? By negotiation, agreement, and accepted settlement.

  • U.S. Senate, The Arab-Israeli Dispute, 6, pgs 14-16, qtd. in Egypt's Struggle for Peace: Continuity and Change, 1967-1977, Yoram Meital, pg. 50:
    At no time in my meetings with Foreign Minister Riad did I give him such an assurance [of a complete Israeli withdrawal]. It would have been foolish to make such an assurance, when the whole object of Resolution 242 was to allow flexibility in negotiations of territorial boundaries.

  • New York Times, "What Goldberg didn't say," letters, March 12, 1980:
    Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate. I wanted to make clear that Jerusalem was a discrete matter, not linked to the West Bank.

    In a number of speeches at the U.N. in 1967, I repeatedly stated that the armistice lines fixed after 1948 were intended to be temporary. This, of course, was particularly true of Jerusalem. At no time in these many speeches did I refer to East Jerusalem as occupied territory.

Baron George-Brown (George A. Brown) was the British Foreign Secretary from 1966 to 1968. He helped draft Resolution 242.

  • In My Way, pgs 226-27, qtd. in the American Journal of International Law, "The illegality of the Arab attack on Israel of October 6, 1973," Eugene Rostow:
    [Resolution 242] does not call for Israeli withdrawal from "the" territories recently occupied, nor does it use the word "all". It would have been impossible to get the resolution through if either of these words had been included, but it does set out the lines on which negotiations for a settlement must take place. Each side must be prepared to give up something: the resolution doesn't attempt to say precisely what, because that is what negotiations for a peace-treaty must be about.

  • Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 1970, qtd. on Web site of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
    I have been asked over and over again to clarify, modify or improve the wording, but I do not intend to do that. The phrasing of the Resolution was very carefully worked out, and it was a difficult and complicated exercise to get it accepted by the UN Security Council.

    I formulated the Security Council Resolution. Before we submitted it to the Council, we showed it to Arab leaders. The proposal said "Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied," and not from "the" territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories.


J. L. Hargrove was Senior Adviser on International Law to the United States Mission to the United Nations, 1967-1970:

  • Hearings on the Middle East before the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 92nd Congress, 1st Session 187 (1971), qtd. in the American Journal of International Law, "The illegality of the Arab attack on Israel of October 6, 1973," Eugene Rostow:
    The provision of Resolution 242 which bears most directly on the question which you raised, Congressman, is subparagraph (1) of paragraph 1 of the resolution, which envisages "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict."

    The language "from territories" was regarded at the time of the adoption of the resolution as of high consequence because the proposal put forward by those espousing the Egyptian case was withdrawal from "the territories." In the somewhat minute debate which frequently characterizes the period before the adoption of a United Nations resolution, the article "the" was regarded of considerable significance because its inclusion would seem to imply withdrawal from all territories which Israel had not occupied prior to the June war, but was at the present time occupying.

    Consequently, the omission of "the" was intended on our part, as I understood it at the time and was understood on all sides, to leave open the possibility of modifications in the lines which were occupied as of June 4, 1967, in the final settlement.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, April 21, 2007.

To my Jewish brothers
To my Arab brothers
so that we can all
be free men at last

In honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, National Public Radio had a program focusing on Israel's nominating a deceased man from Tunisia, Khaled Abdulwahab, as its first Arab Righteous Gentile...one of the non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

It was a great program and interviewed family members from both sides...a Tunisian Jewess and her new friend and Arab counterpart.

Having given NPR its due, this all begs the question...

Why the silence over all the years about the other side of this story?

Hajj Amin al-Husseini--the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the era of World War II--was Hitler's great friend and ally. Among other things, he personally recruited the Bosnian Muslim Hanjar (Saber) Division of the Waffen SS. And there were not a few other examples of Arab/Muslim collaboration with Nazis as well.

The normal Arab response has often been that in their war against the Jews, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And, "After all," Jew hatred and the Holocaust were a "Western" problem.

Nice try...and the often all-too-willingly gullible--like NPR--buy into it.

Were politics involved in the Arab decisions to join the Nazis?


For Arabs, politics mixed with religion are always involved.

During the very same NPR program, the subject of Darfur came up...another genocide against another people.

Yet--surprise (not)--while the hero of the Holocaust 's identity, Arab, was highlighted (while ignoring Arab collaboration with the Nazis), no mention was given to the identity of the perpetrators of the decades old massacres, rapes, expulsions, enslavement, etc. and so forth of some two million black African Sudanese...Arabs.

A little comparison, please.

Imagine the unimaginable...Jews raiding Arab villages and doing the above to millions of Arab civilians posing no threat, harboring no terrorists, or committing no aggression against them.

Would the world have stood by for decades and not stopped this? Would the identity of the perpetrators have been ignored or, at best, placed in the umpteenth paragraph of the news article where it could be very likely missed altogether? Would it have taken NPR decades to do a program about this? Do I even need to ask these questions?

You see, there is, unfortunately, a good analogy here.

Arabs opposed the rebirth of Israel because of religio-politcal reasons. But religion and politics are virtually always intimately intertwined in Islam.

Once a land is conquered in the name of Islam, it can never revert back to its non-Islamic identity--the age-old Dar al-Islam vs. the Dar al-Harb thing.

The rebirth of Israel--half of whose Jews who are descendants of refugees from Arab/Muslim lands--was thus opposed on religious grounds.

But the other, political side of this coin is that upon the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire (which ruled most of the region for over four centuries), Arabs declared the whole area to be purely Arab patrimony. And woe unto those who didn't play ball.

Scores of millions of non-Arabs were caught up in this racist Arab game...including fellow non-Arab Muslims.

That's what Darfur is about today, Arab genocide against black African fellow Muslims. But you would have never known this listening to that NPR program discussing Darfur while praising Abdulwahab. Decades earlier, the main Arab targets in the Sudan were non-Muslim blacks in the south whose crime was wanting freedom from the oppression of the Arab north.

A similar story can be told about Arab actions and attitudes towards Kurds, Assyrians, Copts, Berbers, and so forth...massacres, gassings, subjugation, outlawing of native cultures and languages, etc. and so forth. As I frequently point out, how dare others demand a sliver of the justice Arabs so forcefully demand for themselves.

Now, please revisit the opening quote at the very beginning of this article..

It is the beginning of Professor Albert Memmi's book, Jews And Arabs.

Memmi--like the Jewish family saved by Khaled Abdulwahab--is a Tunisian Jew.

Despite having actively fought for independence against the French, Memmi and the vast majority of Tunisia's Jews felt unable to stay upon the creation of the new Muslim state. Most went to Israel or France and became part of the other side of the refugee coin--created after the attack by a half dozen Arab nations on a miniscule, resurrected Israel in 1948--no one ever talks about.

As for the Arab line--too often repeated by the ignorant abroad--that Jewish suffering was solely a Western Christian problem, "so why should Arabs be 'victimized' for it?," please listen to how Memmi, the Tunisian Jew who fought for Tunisian independence and whose ancestors very likely predated the Arab conquest of Berber Tunisia, answers this...

"...The truth is that we lived in the Arab countries amidst fear and humiliation. I will not take the time here to recite another litany, that of the massacres that preceded (Memmi's own emphasis) Zionism, but I can make it available to you whenever you wish. The truth is that these young Jews from the Arab countries were Zionists before Auschwitz. The State of Israel is not the result of Auschwitz but of the Jewish condition everywhere, including the Arab countries."


Now, NPR travels the world to conduct interviews for its programs. Too often those interviews are slanted against Israel.

Memmi has been a world famous academic and author for decades--and, by the way, very much a "left-winger" as well. Should be right up NPR's alley, don't ya think?

The litmus test for fairness and objectivity when it comes to the study of any conflict should be whether the same lenses of moral scrutiny are used when critiquing the parties involved.

So, to answer my own question about that proposed NPR Memmi interview...

Don't hold your breath.

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 21, 2007.

This comes from the Gathering Storm website
(http://the-gathering-storm.blogspot.com/2007/04/ storm-track-infiltration-keystone-cops.html).

Federal authorities are accusing a former engineer at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station of illegally taking software codes to Iran and downloading details of control rooms, reactors and designs of the nation's largest nuclear plant.

Officers arrested Mohammad "Mo" Alavi, 49, in Los Angeles this month and charged him with one count of violating a trade embargo, which prohibits Americans from exporting goods and services to Iran. Authorities say there is no evidence to suggest the use of the software was linked to terrorists or the Iranian government, which has clashed with the U.S. over attempts to develop a nuclear program.

Officials with Arizona Public Service Co., which operates Palo Verde, said the software does not pose a security risk because it doesn't control any of the nuclear plant's operating systems and is mostly used to train employees.

I'm at a loss for words. Authorities say there is no evidence to suggest the use of the software was linked to terrorists or the Iranian government!!!

Let me see. He downloads software that contains details of control rooms, reactors and designs of the nation's largest nuclear plant. He takes off for Iran with the software. It's used to train plant employees. AND HIS NAME IS 'Mohammad?!

It gets better.

Authorities said Alavi asked a Palo Verde software engineer to recommend a laptop and help him obtain a user name and password to access the software system. Another employee saw Alavi with that laptop in the simulator room, with a 3KeyMasterand screen displayed. The employee didn't raise any alarms.

Gee. I wonder what the employee's name was who gave him the laptop and access.

On Aug. 9, Alavi bought a one-way ticket to Tehran, Iran. His last day at the company was Aug. 14. Two days later, he left the country with his wife. In October, authorities say, the software system was accessed from a person using the Palo Verde user ID in Tehran. The software's maker, Western Services in Maryland, had no idea that Alavi had resigned from Palo Verde and did not try to restrict his access, according to a federal affidavit. Nobody from Palo Verde informed Western Services that Alavi had quit his job at the power plant, the FBI said. The nuclear plant did not instruct the software company to remove Alavi's user name or password from the company's Web site.

A Keystone Cop performance if we ever saw one. I hope the fine people of Phoenix where the plant is located are sleeping will tonight.

Since the incident, APS has changed its policy and now requires plant managers to check a box to make sure former employees don't have access to external software systems.

So our security against a terrorist attack that can radioactively poison millions of residents of the Phoenix -- from Iran -- is a checkbox. Oh, just wonderful.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in February downgraded Palo Verde's rating to the rank of most regulated nuclear power plant in the nation, triggering more rigorous oversight and additional inspections.

Gee. I wonder why?

So, do we feel safer now?

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, April 21, 2007.


First, Go Back to Basics-Become a ZIONIST

When you turn on a computer THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST

When you use a cell phone THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST

When you need disaster relief THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST

When you have a stent put in your heart THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST

When you think about defending America, THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST who is on the front line for us

When you think about America's frontline democratic ally in the Middle East, THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST

THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST for developing a straw that one can drink dirty water with and the straw instantly eliminates all the unhealthy objects in the water. (America is going to buy this invention from Israel and it will be on the market in a few years.

THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST for advancing the world in finding cure for diabetes. The JEWISH ZIONIST uses a part from a pig to be implanted in the human pancreas and the body will be able to create its own insulin... and there will be NO MORE diabetic illness. (hmmmmm...I guess this does not apply to Muslims...using a part from a pig!)

The JEWISH ZIONIST invented a machine that can milk 37 camels at the same time and...Dubai already bought it through an intermediary in Morocco, as Dubai does not buy directly from Israel.

THANK A JEWISH ZIONIST researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology who, by using human embryonic stem cells, have created new heart muscle with its own blood supply. The researchers say that the newly engineered muscle could replace cardiac tissue damaged in heart attacks. (This study was published online on January 11 2007 in the Journal of Circulation Research.)

Jews may be spread across all four corners of the earth, but it is God's plan to use them to repair the world. It needs a bit of work, but you get the idea-BE PROUD TO SAY: I AM JEWISH!


Yes I am very proud being a The JEWISH ZIONIST!

I am so very proud...and the world thinks they can exist without us?

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 21, 2007.
This was written by Abdul Satta, Associated Press writer and it appeared on Yahoo News
(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070420/ap_on_re_as/ pakistan_child_executioner_1&printer=1;_ylt=ArQYHaRyCXuHaulH3CxgQuj9xg8F).
Ghulam Sakhi, father of a militant, Ghulam Nabi, shows the video picture of his son distributed by executioners in the area, during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in a remote village Kili Faqiran in southwestern Pakistan, Thursday April 19, 2007. A video received by The Associated Press this week records the grisly death of Ghulam Nabi, a militant accused of betraying a top deputy to Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, who was killed in a December airstrike in Afghanistan. Sakhi said his son was a loyal Taliban member who had fought in Afghanistan and sheltered its leaders in the mud-walled family compound -- and said he wanted to avenge his death. (AP Photo/Abdul Rahman)

The boy with the knife looks barely 12. In a high-pitched voice, he denounces the bound, blindfolded man before him as an American spy. Then he hacks off the captive's head to cries of "God is great!" and hoists it in triumph by the hair.

A video circulating in Pakistan records the grisly death of Ghulam Nabi, a Pakistani militant accused of betraying a top Taliban official who was killed in a December airstrike in Afghanistan.

An Associated Press reporter confirmed Nabi's identity by visiting his family in Kili Faqiran, their remote village in southwestern Pakistan.

The video, which was obtained by AP Television News in the border city of Peshawar on Tuesday, appears authentic and is unprecedented in jihadist propaganda because of the youth of the executioner.

Captions mention Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's current top commander in southern Afghanistan, although he does not appear in the video. The soundtrack features songs praising Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and "Sheikh Osama" -- an apparent reference to Osama bin Laden, who is suspected of hiding along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The footage shows Nabi making what is described as a confession, being blindfolded with a checkered scarf.

"He is an American spy. Those who do this kind of thing will get this kind of fate," says his baby-faced executioner, who is not identified.

A continuous 2 1/2-minute shot then shows the victim lying on his side on a patch of rubble-strewn ground. A man holds Nabi by his beard while the boy, wearing a camouflage military jacket and oversized white sneakers, cuts into the throat. Other men and boys call out "Allahu akbar!" -- "God is great!" -- as blood spurts from the wound.

The film, overlain with jihadi songs, then shows the boy hacking and slashing at the man's neck until the head is severed.

A Pashto-language voiceover in the video identifies Nabi and his home village of Kili Faqiran in Baluchistan province, which lies about two hours' drive from the Afghan border.

A reporter went to the village, and Nabi's distraught and angry father, Ghulam Sakhi, confirmed his son's identity from a still picture that AP made from the footage. He said neighbors had told him the video is available at the village bazaar, but he had no wish to see it.

Sakhi said his son had been a loyal Taliban member who fought in Afghanistan and sheltered the hard-line Afghan group's leaders in the family's mud-walled compound.

He blames the Taliban and wants to avenge his son's death.

"The Taliban are not mujahedeen. They are not fighting for the cause of Islam," the 70-year-old said. "If I got my hands on them I would kill them and even tear their flesh with my own teeth."

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, told AP he had no information about Nabi or the video. None of the group's commanders he contacted could confirm the execution, he said.

The method of Nabi's death was not unusual for Pakistan's lawless tribal regions. Suspected informers are regularly found beheaded and dumped along the side of the road in the lawless, mountainous regions along the Afghan-Pakistani border where al-Qaida and Taliban militants find sanctuary.

But such al-Qaida-style killings are rarely featured in the Taliban's increasingly frequent propaganda videos. The use of a child to conduct the beheading stands out even among those filmed by militants in Iraq.

"This is outright barbarism," Iqbal Haider, secretary-general of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said after viewing the video. "Whosoever has committed this, whether they are Taliban or anybody else or any Afghan or al-Qaida or anybody, they are enemy No. 1 of the Muslims."

The video accuses Nabi of responsibility for a U.S. airstrike that killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, who was regarded as one of the top three associates of Omar, the Taliban supreme leader. He was hit while traveling by car in Afghanistan's Helmand province Dec. 19.

Osmani was the highest-ranking Taliban leader to die since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan that ousted the hard-line regime in late 2001 for refusing to hand over bin Laden following the Sept. 11 terror attack on the United States.

The U.S. military said at the time that Osmani's death was a serious blow to militant operations, and NATO commanders said this week that a feared spring offensive had yet to materialize.

Sakhi, a retired mosque preacher with a long gray beard, spoke unashamedly of his son's Taliban affiliation and wept twice during an interview in his simple home at the foot of a mountain valley in Baluchistan province.

He said Nabi fought against the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance that helped U.S. forces to victory in Afghanistan.

After returning to Pakistan, Nabi ran a religious school in the Baluchistan capital of Quetta and had regularly sheltered both Osmani and Dadullah at the family compound, the father said.

He said Nabi also bought weapons for Taliban fighters and organized medical treatment for those injured during fighting in Afghanistan.

Some days after Osmani's death, Nabi went to Peshawar and then to Wana, a tribal town considered a militant stronghold, to collect money from Taliban officials to buy guns and food for militants in Afghanistan, Sakhi said.

He said his son called at the end of January to reveal that a tribal council had sentenced him to death on charges of tipping off U.S. forces about Osmani's movements, despite his denials.

His son passed the phone to Dadullah, but the militant leader ignored his pleas for clemency, Sakhi said.

"I talked to him and said you visited us and my son was a close friend so why are you going to hang him? He just said, 'How are you?', and switched off the phone," Sakhi said.

"They are the enemies of Islam," he said of the Taliban. "They are behaving like savages."

Sam Zarifi, Asia research director for Human Rights Watch, said the use of a child to commit such an act constituted a war crime and was a "new low" in the conflict in Afghanistan.

He noted the Taliban had teenage combatants but they were not recruited on a large scale because of the availability of adult fighters. He said he had seen children in the background of some jihadist videos but none in which they were directly involved in violence.

"I don't know why they would do this," Zarifi said. "The Taliban have to some extent tried to play to the public in Afghanistan and have not engaged in the complete sowing of mayhem that we have seen in Iraq. But this kind of act is really egregious. It's off the charts."

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

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Posted by Michael Travis, April 21, 2007.

This was written by Joe Kaufman and Gary Gross and it appeared yesterday in Front Page Magazine
(http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=27885) Joe Kaufman is the chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. Gary Gross is the director of the Let Freedom Ring blog.

"[I]f they don't trust the security, this is their problem, not our problem."
-- Omar Shahin, teleconference about imam lawsuit

On November 20, 2006, when six imams were removed from a plane headed for Phoenix, Arizona, little was known about them. All that could be determined was that they were Muslim and that they were acting in a way that was deemed suspicious -- the two things at an airport that sound the loudest alarms in our post-9/11 world. Who they were and why they were in Minnesota were things yet to be determined. However, knowing what we know today, given the venue that they were coming from, given at least some of their extremist pasts, given whom they ally themselves with, and given the fiasco that took place at the airport and its carefully produced aftermath with a known terror front, it's safe to say that it was probably a mistake to allow them to board the plane to begin with.

Omar Shahin and NAIF

The North American Imams Federation (NAIF) held its 2006 annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Attending the three-day event were one newly elected Congressman -- Keith Ellison -- and a surplus of Islamist radicals masquerading as holy men. They included Siraj Wahhaj, an individual whose name is found on the U.S. Attorney's list of "unindicted co-conspirators" of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and Mazen Mokhtar, an Al-Qaeda web designer that has used the internet to proclaim his support for Hamas and suicide bombings. In fact, all three of the aforementioned are pictured on the same page of the NAIF conference program, side-by-side one another.

The President of NAIF (and one of the removed imams) is Omar Shahin. Before NAIF's founding in 2004, Shahin was the imam and President of the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), a mosque that represented one of Al-Qaeda's main hubs in America, prior to the '93 attack. One of Shahin's predecessors at the mosque was Wael Hamza Julaidan, a former colleague of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam. Shahin, himself, has admitted to once supporting bin Laden.

ICT, Tucson
Throughout his time with and after leaving ICT, Shahin was involved in terror financing organizations. He was the Arizona Coordinator for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a Hamas charity whose funds were frozen by the U.S. government soon after 9/11. Under his leadership, thousands of dollars were raised for HLF through ICT. As well, Shahin was a representative for KindHearts, another Hamas charity that was shut down by the U.S. (February 2006). In both cases, Shahin walked free.

As ICT's imam, Shahin has used his pulpit to target Jews and Christians, even with death. During his October 4, 2002 sermon, he stated, "Allah almighty has described his servants with a precise description in order for us to follow in their footsteps. Allah Almighty started by saying 'the slaves of (Allah) Most Gracious' as an indication to their real loyalty. What an honor for any one to be called by Allah 'the slaves of (Allah) Most Gracious.' Allah has dignified those alone among all humanity. Because of them, Allah will also dignify the whole Islamic Nation. Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him said: 'you will keep on fighting with the Jews until the fight reaches the east of Jordan river then the stones and trees will say: oh Muslim, oh (servant) slaves of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him...'"

During his December 20, 2002 sermon, he stated, "We should invite them [Christians] to investigate the religion of Islam especially nowadays we should give them the right information about Islam. And now let us open our hearts to what our great prophet said: Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: You would tread the same path that was trodden by those before you span by span and cubit by cubit (inch by inch and step by step) so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean the Jews and the Christians (by your words)? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?"

Another of the flying imams is Marwan Sadeddin, the Coordinator of the Imams Council of Arizona. Soon after the incident, Sadeddin discussed the matter of being ejected from the plane, on KFYI-Phoenix. When the host of the show confronted him about Omar Shahin's involvement with Hamas-related charities, he responded by defending Hamas. He stated, "Hamas has nothing to do with [the] United States. Talk about Al-Qaeda only, because this is [sic] where they hit America. Hamas never said, 'We are against America.' They extend their hand many times to America, but America consider[s] it -- the foreign policy of America consider[s] Hamas -- as a terrorist. That's their business." Just as recently as December of 2006, Hamas has threatened attacks on the U.S.

NAIF has a Board of Trustees comprised of seven individuals, including Shahin. One of them is Siraj Wahhaj (mentioned earlier). Another is Mohamad Mwafak Algalaieni, the imam of the Grand Blanc Islamic Center, located in Grand Blanc, Michigan. In December of 2001, Algalaieni showed up in support of terror charity head Rabih Haddad, at Haddad's INS hearing. Haddad was deported, after having been arrested for his leadership role in the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), an organization that was shut down by the U.S. government for raising millions of dollars for Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

A third trustee is Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam of Dar Al-Hijrah, located in Falls Church, Virginia. On his radio show, in September of 2004, discussing the impact of 9/11 on the Muslim community, Abdul-Malik took the opportunity to laud one of his congregants, Ismael Selim Elbarasse, who had just been arrested for videotaping structural parts of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Elbarasse, who has been described as a "high-ranking Hamas operative," held a joint bank account with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook for the purpose of financing the terror group. Another congregant, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, in March of 2006, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for providing material support to Al-Qaeda, whilst plotting to assassinate President Bush. About the charges against Abu Ali, Abdul-Malik stated, "Our whole community is under siege."

In addition to a Board of Trustees, NAIF has an Executive Committee. One of the committeemen is Ashrafuzzaman Khan, the former Secretary General (President, Amir) of the Islamic Circle of North America (see below). Prior to coming to the States, Khan was located in Bangladesh -- then Eastern Pakistan. To this day, he stands accused of being a death squad leader for Al-Badr, the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan's (Jamaat-e-Islami's) former paramilitary wing, during the 1971 massacre that led to Bangladesh's independence, personally responsible for the murders of numerous individuals.

On the NAIF website, one finds many pictures from past events. Two of the pictures contain Ibrahim Dremali, the imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines (Iowa). Shortly before 9/11, Dremali was the contact for a group that was telling its followers to provide material support to a website that was raising funds and recruiting fighters for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda related groups. At an October 2000 rally, amidst burning Israeli flags and shouts of "Zionist blood will wet the sand,' Dremali told a crowd 'not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in."

Three of the pictures contain Wagdy Ghoneim, who, in January of 1999, was denied entrance into Canada for being a member of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and who, in January of 2005, was deported from the United States. In a November 2006 essay, Ghoneim stated, "We must all equip ourselves, and be prepared for jihad at any moment" and to constantly renew the intention [for jihad]... We must all strive in praying that Allah -- the Exalted and Majestic -- have revenge on the damned Jews and to weaken them, them and their allies, helpers, and those who aid them..."

One more pic contains Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Milwaukee. Prior to it being shut down, Shah was the South Asian Director of KindHearts. In June of 2001, he is quoted as saying, "If we are unable to stop the Jews now, their next stop is Yathrib (The Prophet's city of Medina), where the Jews used to live until their expulsion by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That's the pinnacle of their motives."

According to its website, "NAIF seeks establishing relationships with Islamic organizations (IOs) that are licensed to operate in North America.' The site states that this relationship is 'collaborative, complementary, and cooperative." These "partner organizations" include:

* The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an umbrella organization for South Asian-oriented mosques and Islamic centers that was established, in 1971, to emulate the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami
* The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization for Arab-oriented mosques and Islamic centers that was co-founded, in 1981, by convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian
* Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), a Michigan-based 'charity' that was raided, in September of 2006, by federal agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force and has been linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
* The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a defense mechanism for terrorists that was created, in June of 1994, by leaders of the now-defunct American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

CAIR and the Choreography

The last organization mentioned, CAIR, and another group, the Muslim American Society (MAS), have played large roles in the saga of the six flying imams. MAS, which led a "pray-in" for the imams at Reagan Washington National Airport on November 27, was created as a Muslim Brotherhood activist organization in June of 1993.

According to an officer in the police report concerning the November 20 affair, both he and a U.S. Federal Air Marshal "agreed the seating configuration, the request for seatbelt extensions, the prior praying and utterances about Allah and the U.S. in the gate area and the seating configuration chosen among the traveling group was suspicious." [A U.S. Airways official added that three of the six only had one-way tickets and no checked luggage.] The officer then states that an FBI Agent "requested we detain the six passengers until he could arrive and interview the six individuals on their suspicious behavior." The report later goes on to say that the imams were escorted off the plane and detained for further investigation. The removal took place sometime after 5:30 p.m.

After the removal, the magnified role of CAIR took form. According to a spokesperson for the airport:

* The imams contacted CAIR that evening.
* The imams spent the night at a CAIR members' home.
* The next morning CAIR put out a press release.
* Following the pr, CAIR accompanied the imams to the airport and appeared with them on camera.

In Shahin's own words: "Since minute one of this incident, I then contacted Ibrahim Hooper and brother Nihad Awad, and we arranged everything... [W]e already coordinate with them everything, and we update each other every once [in] a while, every two hours, three hours. And everything is being coordinated with CAIR and with MAS. Even today, I asked MAS-Arizona chapter, please, whatever you want to do, just let brother Nihad Awad and Ibrahim Hooper know about it before you [do]. That's what we are doing, and we are going to do that in the future. Inshallah."

In addition, within days, Congressman Keith Ellison asked for a meeting with executives from U.S. Airways and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), and Congressman John Conyers drafted a House resolution giving Muslims special civil-rights protections.

Now, the imams have filed a legal complaint against US Airways and MAC, and they are looking to sue individual passengers from the flight, those who alerted authorities, as well. The lawyer for the imams is Omar Mohammedi, the President of CAIR-New York, who is currently representing the Al-Qaeda-linked World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), in a 9/11 lawsuit for the murders of 3000 people, in which CAIR is also named a defendant.

While there is no mention of it in the NAIF program, CAIR is said to have participated at the NAIF conference. As well, pictures of CAIR's National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, speaking at previous NAIF events are found on the NAIF website.

All of the above leads towards the question: Has all of this been pre-planned -- some grand scheme to make those in society hesitant about reporting activity which they deem to be suspect in nature?

Considering the fact that all of those concerned, in some way, shape or form, have been involved in extremist pursuits, the answer may very well be yes. Of course, if that is the case, that makes those that spoke out and those that took action unwilling partners to an unsuspected crime. Regardless of the answer, though, the fact that these imams are radicals, in itself, suggests that they should not have been permitted on the plane and, instead, should have been placed on a "no-fly" list. It is measures, such as this, that need to be taken, in order to ensure that our nation is protected from those that wish to destroy us from within' and above.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

The original article on Front Page Magazine has live links to additional information.

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Posted by Uniglicht, Lawrence, April 21, 2007.

How might a gradual influx of fundamentalist Muslims affect European attitudes towards Israel in particular and Jews in general? If Europeans collectively retain native cultures, remaining dominant over philosophies imported by fundamentalist Muslims, the status quo will be preserved. However, if the reverse materializes, overall attitudes toward Israel and Jews will deteriorate. Is anything more obvious? Anti-Semitism will either rear its ugly head occasionally or increase in frequency and intensity, depending on dominating states of affairs within respective European nations. Thus, it is in Israel's vital interest, as well as the interest of Jewish citizens populating Europe, to insure cultures do not morph adversely. This will require strategies promoting vigilance on the part of native Europeans, as well as an aggressive willingness to thwart all efforts by Muslims bent on crafting a dominant devolved twenty-first century fundamentalist anti-secular Islamic society in their perceived new homeland. No doubt, faint-hearted acquiescence to such socially transforming inroads, rationalized by indulgent conceptualizations requiring tolerance of intolerance, even when manifesting into strict adherence to misogynistic sharia laws, will lead to the demise of collective secular European culture as it now exists. The denouement of such a bleak scenario will further challenge the security of European Jews and further increase antipathy towards the State of Israel.

One must distinguish between moderate tolerant practitioners of Islam and orthodox intolerant Muslims when assessing the necessity and/or urgency of enacting counteracting strategies. The former, of course, have no active ambitions dedicated to altering the make-up of any European way of life or encouraging or committing acts of violence against Jews or the Jewish homeland. Degree of tolerance and respect for the proclivities of one's neighbors indeed are the overriding factors when analyzing any potential threats. However, the latter members of Muslim society, labeling all those outside their cultural subset 'infidels', are extremely dangerous, especially the more aggressive and calculating adherents of that philosophy who refuse to live and let live.

It is the right and indeed obligation of every European government, privy to compelling evidence, to investigate leaders of presumed 'houses of worship' suspected of inciting members to commit acts of violence for the sake of their twisted 'gospel', and incarcerate or deport them if warranted. Any and all measures justifiably exercised to reduce or hopefully eliminate the threat of subhuman homicide/suicide martyrdom or other deadly acts of violence is ever critical. Surely, it will require a high degree of skill to balance individual rights with the right of a society to remain safe and secure, as well as retain its right to maintain its native culture free of duress. Charges of profiling specific ethnicities, in this case certain Muslims, will likely surface. In these troubling times, however, profiling practiced judiciously, based on reasonable analysis, leading to successful results, is ever necessary for the greater good.

Israel, a nation that must fight for its survival on a continuing basis, familiar with methods that can successfully be employed elsewhere, ought to invite European movers and shakers to its capital Jerusalem, to confer on such pertinent matters. A wake up call is needed before the grimly reaping consequences of inaction deals a mortal blow to their vulnerable continent, resulting in perhaps even more pernicious blows to its Jewish population and eventually the tiny Jewish homeland. Even moderate Muslims, especially women, will suffer from such a calamity. Might they belatedly lend a hand to vigilant non-Muslim kindred spirits, perhaps disclosing the location of insidiously infected Mosques in their neighborhoods? Isolating and destroying the true enemies of civil mankind are the duties of every sensible civil individual. There is little time to lose.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant, working for the Social Security Administration. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at luniglicht@snip.net

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 21, 2007.

Yuval Zaliouk writes the Truth Provider columns. To subscribe, send an email to ynz@netvision.net.il

A recent poll conducted by NEC (Near East Consulting) among Arabs in Judea and Samaria showed that an overwhelming majority think Israel does not have the right to exist. Although these results have far reaching ramifications, they should not be as worrisome to Israelis and Jews as the erosion among Jews of our Zionist values and goals. The gravest danger to Israel is that a significant number of Israelis appear to concur with the Arabs.

May I submit to you that without Zionism in its historical sense, there is no raison d'etre for a Jewish State, yet there are many among us who do their utmost to eradicate Zionism.

I am not even referring to lunatics like Chomsky and Pappe, who while denying nationhood for the Jewish people, recognize the "Palestinians" as a separate (from the Arab world) nation deserving a country. Surely, this must be one of the biggest historical travesties of all time.

This Jewish month of Adar marked 87 years since the story of Tel Hai and the death of Joseph Trumpeldor, one of the greatest mythological heroes of modern Zionism.

In 1919, the question arose as to where the boundary line was between Syria and Palestine. Three tiny Jewish settlements, Metulla, Tel Hai, and Ayelet Hashachar lay in the disputed region from which both the French and the British troops withdrew until the matter was decided. The Arabs decided to take advantage of the void by attacking these villages. Metulla was almost entirely destroyed and the villages of Kefar Giladi and Tel Hai were under attack. It was then that Trumpeldor, realizing the importance of retaining that region as part of Eretz Israel, organized a group of volunteers, consisting of thirty-five men and two women, and set out to defend Tel Hai.

On the morning of the 11th of Adar, March 1, 1920, several hundred Arabs attacked and were beaten off. They soon returned with reinforcements. Again they were repelled. This time Trumpeldor was severely wounded but continued to command his men. For the third time the Arabs approached, now under a white flag, and asked to speak to Trumpeldor. When he appeared, there was a rifle volley and the Arabs turned their horses and fled. Trumpeldor fell, pierced through the abdomen.

That night he spoke to console his grief stricken companions as they stood around his death bed: "En davar, tov lamut be'ad artzenu." ("It matters not, it is good to die for our country"), were his last words.

The story of Tel-Hai, like Massada, became a modern symbol of Zionism. It was adopted by all political parties in Israel, from Jabotinsky on the right to Ben-Gurion, Galili, Tabenkin and Yaari on the far left. The core of the story is clear: A Zionist must claim and defend with his life every piece of Eretz Yisrael.

Trumpeldor and his comrades became a legend because they sacrificed their lives to defend a tiny remote little Jewish settlement. Their heroic stand bequeathed Israel the entire Upper Galilee which otherwise would have remained part of Syria.

If Sharon could only have seen in 2005 what Trumpeldor foresaw in 1920.

Had it been today, many Israelis would derogatively name Trumpeldor "settler" instead of a hero and pioneer, and Tel Hai would be marked for demolition as an illegal outpost.

In 2001, during his election campaign, Ariel Sharon promised the nation that "the fate of Netzarim (a Gaza Jewish settlement) is as vital as that of Tel-Aviv." One year later, he reversed himself and with it 100 years of Zionism. As a result, the monumental achievements of the Zionist giants of yesteryears, such as Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinky, have now been degraded into some post-Zionist nonsense perpetrated by dwarfs like Peres, Beilin and Olmert.

Today, the government of Israel and a large number of Israelis see it as appropriate to evict 10,000 Jews from their homes and would allow Hamas and terrorists to take control of lands in the heart of Eretz Yisrael. Worst still, a large number of Israelis see this tragic fallacy as necessary for achieving peace.

Unfortunately, we Jews suffer from a terrible inferiority complex. Some call it "ghetto mentality." We try to be nice. We want to be liked. We think that compromise is the path to approval by others. They call those of us, who see no reason to beg for the "affection" of other nations, "dangerous right-wing extremists."

In the still evolving story of Zionism and the survival of Israel, who would you prefer as our leader, a Trumpeldor or an Olmert?

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), April 21, 2007.

New York -- New York's Pace University apologized to members of the university's Jewish community after the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and others complained that the Pace administration had threatened and intimidated Hillel members into cancelling a showing of the documentary, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," after Muslim students objected to it. In addition, after these complaints to the university, Hillel was finally permitted to screen the film at Pace, without the university's interference, on Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

"Obsession" chronicles the influence of radical Islam in the Middle East. It has been shown on dozens of campuses and other venues across North America, and has contributed to an understanding of this serious problem. Hillel had originally scheduled the screening for November 16, 2006, during Hillel's Jewish Awareness Week, and had followed university procedure for showing the film.

On or about October 23, 2006, Hillel gave Pace University's Muslim Students Association (MSA) notice of the upcoming screening, although it was under no obligation to do so. Hillel invited the MSA to collaborate in presenting the event, and to participate on a panel after the film to discuss the important issues it raised.

The MSA did not respond to Hillel's overture. But the Hillel's president began hearing rumors that a university dean was going to prevent the film from being shown. At a meeting with administrators initiated by the Hillel president, a dean gestured toward the two Hillel students at the meeting and threatened them that if they went ahead and showed the film, the police might begin to look into their personal records. (There had been several hate incidents on campus, including some that involved the Koran, and the implication was that the Hillel students might be considered suspects). Because of these threats, Hillel did not show the film on November 16, 2006.

When the administration's conduct toward Hillel received public attention, the Pace administration issued a public statement on January 10, 2007 -- entitled "Pace University Statement on Hillel Charges" -- to every member of the campus community and posted the statement on the Pace Web site. The statement personally attacked Hillel and its president, questioning his honesty and credibility and repeatedly noting that the Hillel president had "misconstrued" the university's intentions. The statement also urged members of the community to "feel free to share this statement with others."

Troubled by the administration's actions, which were threatening, intimidating and creating a hostile environment for Jewish students at Pace, the ZOA took action. Susan Tuchman, the Director of the ZOA's Center for Law and Justice, wrote a detailed letter to David A. Caputo, the President of Pace University, criticizing the university's conduct and alleging a possible violation of Pace's obligation to provide Jewish students with an educational environment free from harassment, intimidation and discrimination, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ZOA letter chastised Pace for its "bullying" conduct, and urged the university to "take immediate remedial action," including issuing a public apology to the Pace Hillel and its representatives, permanently removing the offensive public statement from the Pace Web site, and issuing a public statement affirming Hillel's right to show "Obsession."

After receipt of the ZOA letter, Pace removed the offensive statement from its Web site. Additional communications between Pace and the ZOA followed, including a telephone call from Pace President Caputo to Susan Tuchman, which resulted in a conversation between them about the issues in dispute. On March 26, 2007, President Caputo issued a public statement to the members of the university community. In the statement, President Caputo "assured [members of Pace's Jewish community] that no ... coercion or intimidation was intended," and "apologize[d] for any action that may have unfortunately led to that belief. I also want to apologize for any hurt we may have caused [the Hillel president] and other members of Hillel in issuing the University Statement on Hillel Charges in January."

President Caputo's apology statement was posted on the Pace Web site and also e-mailed to the Pace community. It also noted that Obsession was scheduled to be shown on campus. The screening took place on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, without incident.

The ZOA's National President, Morton A. Klein, commended the Jewish students at Pace for not bowing to coercion and intimidation. "These students were in effect threatened because they wanted to show a film about radical Islam. And then they were threatened because they had the courage to stand up for their right to show the film. We congratulate them on their courage and perseverance in achieving such a favorable result."

Susan Tuchman, the Director of the ZOA's Center for Law and Justice, commended Pace University for resolving matters without the need for legal action. "President Caputo has made a commitment to making Pace a welcoming place for all, regardless of race religion, ethnicity and gender. The public apology and the university's cooperation in the showing of the film last Wednesday have gone a long way in healing the hurt that many Jewish students felt as a result of the administration's actions."

The president of Hillel at Pace thanked those who helped achieve these results. He said, "The continued efforts of Susan B. Tuchman, Esq. from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) have been of tremendous help. The legal advice that was continuously provided before and after the incident went public and the legal pressure that was placed on the Pace administration have resulted in great rewards."

The Zionist Organization of America (www.zoa.org), founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.

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Posted by Boris Celser, April 20, 2007.

This is from Ynet News and was written by Efrat Weiss.

Nili, an 11th grader from Jerusalem, was photographed standing alone against dozens of black-clad policemen during evacuation of Amona. [See below.] Though photo earned photographer Balilty a Pulitzer, Nili says it is 'nothing to be proud of'

Israeli photographer Oded Balilty's photo of the violent clashes in Amona between police and settlers, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize for for breaking news photography this year, is "a disgrace to Israel" says Nili, the high school girl pictured in the shot.

Nili with Pulitzer-winning photograph (Photo: Guy Asiag)

In a conversation with Ynet, Nili, a 16-year-old from Jerusalem who studies at an all-girls religious high school, had nothing but criticism for the acclaimed photograph.

"The picture is simply an embarrassment to the nation of Israel. Instead of defending the people and land of Israel, security forces destroy Jewish homes. A picture like this one is a mark of disgrace for the state of Israel and is nothing to be proud of. The picture looks like it represents a work of art, but that isn't what went on there. What happened in Amona was totally different."

The moment after

Nili says that after the photo was taken, police beat her and she absorbed numerous blows. "People who see the picture ask me: What were you thinking? What were you doing, one girl against a wave of policemen in black? Why didn't you run away?

Nili being beaten and manhandled by police in Amona

"The answer is that we came to fight. We didn't come to give in or run away. We felt and thought that all this injustice and evil must run into the wall of our determination. You have to understand that there is a whole generation of youth that grew up in Israel, that believe in Israel and in the Torah and want and insist on leading the people of Israel in a different direction. And we're willing to fight for it."

Nili's mother, Devorah, described what happened after the snapshot was taken. "What happened afterwards was completely different, and there are pictures documenting that too. The police pulled Nili by the hair and beat her with clubs. It was simply horrifying.

"You see that the photo presents a problematic situation. It shows a civil war, with the government going against the people. The people of Israel are for the land of Israel, and only the prime minister and the Knesset go against it," she said.

The picture was taken during violent clashes that erupted when police evacuated illegal homes in the West Bank settlement of Amona, west of Ramallah, in February 2006. Security forces were operating in conjunction with a court ruling which authorized the razing of nine houses on the settlement.

Some 200 people were wounded when hundreds of settlers and their supporters forcefully resisted the evacuation.

The Associated Press photographer Balilty said that he and a number of other photographers were covering the events, and at a certain point they decided to split up to capture different views.

'We're not broken'

"The violence and cruelty at Amona didn't break us, but strengthened us," said Nili, who says she would willingly stand up to the police and the army again. "Policemen in black don't scare us. They can break our skulls but they can't break our spirits. What I did in Amona -- I'm willing to do again and again if need be. I've been in Hebron and I told the Jewish families living in the 'Shalom House' that if forces come to expel them -- I'll be there. And I believe that likewise the thousands of youths that were in Amona.

"You see me in the photograph, one against many, but that is only an illusion -- behind the many stands one man -- (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert, but behind me stand the lord and the people of Israel."

* This photo is from Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com)
(http://www.web-view.net/Show/0X6B97A98A3713867DFBAE7ED2BF43E28FBA2505BCBC 5FC9530A2BFDDBE467C819.htm)

Contact Boris Celser at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Morris J. Amitay, April 20, 2007.
Inevitably after the tragic Virginia Tech. shootings much attention was focused on why, despite the warning signs raised by the shooter's previous behavior, no action was taken. On a much more macro scale the question must be asked why are we not taking effective action against the very overt threats posed by Iran and the spread of Islamofascism?

Surely unambiguous warning signs are there in abundance. We have the resurgence of the Taliban, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, its support of jihadists terrorists worldwide, and its proxies killing Americans in Iraq. The bellicose statements of Iran's leaders calling for the annihilation of Israel, their national slogan of "death to America", and the calls for even more "martyrs" make perfectly clear their future intentions. Fueling this bitter enmity toward Western civilization is a fundamentalist religious belief that inevitably a caliphate will be established to rule over the entire world.

This kind of threat is very different and much more dangerous than the conflicts we faced in the past century. The old fashioned wars were fought between nations' armies for control over territory. The winners would dictate terms to the losers, who would have to relinquish land, and in some cases their national sovereignty. This is what World War I was about. In the Second World War we also saw a clash of ideologies with democracy triumphing over totalitarian nazism. This was followed immediately by the Cold War, pitting the West against communism. But, with weapons becoming more destructive, certain rules of the game applied between two rational antagonists, with mutual deterrence preventing catastrophe. Today, however, nationalism and political ideologies are not the driving forces behind the conflict we now face. It is extremist religious beliefs which pose an existential threat to all non-believers. What we better start acknowledging sooner, rather than later, is that we are facing fanatics who want us either converted or dead.

The motivation here is above and beyond the desire of Iran to become a regional super-power by acquiring nuclear weapons. It was starkly exemplified by Iranian President Ahmadinejad's description of a vision he asserts he had when he addressed the United Nations. Ahmadinejad is not known for mincing words, and we should take him at his word when he describes an apocalyptic future. This is definitely not just another religious "nut", but someone who represents a growing force which must be taken seriously. He represents the deeply held convictions of those who rule over a nation of 70 million people, and followers throughout the world.

So far, however, the reaction to this growing menace has been a pathetic mixture of wishful thinking and empty threats. By now, it should be clear that reliance on the United Nations to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions has become nothing but a bad joke. We have our State Department, echoed by the equally feckless foreign offices of our allies in "the war on terror" calling for "tough diplomacy" -- surely an oxymoron. Since 2003 when we finally awoke to Iran's covert pursuit of nukes the Iranians have played us like a violin, and continue to do so. Just earlier this week the USA Today headline proclaimed "Diplomacy with Iran Appears to be Working, Gates Says." We can certainly wish that our Secretary of Defense's assessment was correct, but where is the evidence of this? Our diplomats, who often have seen many different faces of Iran, invariably prefer to acknowledge only the smiling ones. They attribute to the Iranian mullahs the same rationality and common interests they would expect if they were negotiating with Norwegians. This is much like the mindset Chamberlain must have had in 1938 when he traded away Czechoslovakia to Hitler for "peace in our time" more recently, when Kofi Anan announced he could "do business" with Saddam Hussein.

Those calling for engagement with Iran simply refuse to accept the reality that they are dealing with evil men who interpret any offer of compromise as weakness, and who consider their own commitments as being revocable at will. We have seen this same charade played out time and time again. Even though Lucy removes the football every time, poor Linus tries to kick it again and again. Hope springs eternal in those who are unwilling to face the ugly truth that their interlocutors regard them as fools. So when we now hear the mantra that a "diplomatic solution" is the only way to convince the mullahs to abandon their nuclear quest, what signal does it send to our adversaries? It means that we are doomed to continue to talk and talk some more, and set deadlines which are not met, while eschewing effective sanctions because the Russians and Chinese won't let us, and the Europeans are of little help. In the meantime, the Iranians are trying as fast as they can to develop nuclear weapons while continuing to arm and train Iraqi Shiite militias, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other assorted terrorist groups.

The only real solution, then, is the most obvious -- the much reviled "use of force". When we hear Israeli leaders publicly pronouncing that a diplomatic solution is the answer, we can only hope those wily Jews are only saying this for public consumption. Admittedly, it will involve a much more complicated military operation than the strike on Iraq's Osirik reactor in 1981 to significantly degrade Iran's nuclear progress. And, of course, the United States could accomplish this task more effectively than Israel. But will an American (or Israeli, for that matter) leader have the courage to take such a step in the face of the defeatist attitudes so rampant here and among our traditional friends? So far, the only major presidential candidate to speak out clearly on this issue has been Senator John McCain. He has expressed the view that the only thing worse that the use of force against Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran. It should be difficult to argue with this straightforward proposition. But apparently it makes too much sense for those who prefer to keep their heads in the sand and to put their trust in the diplomats. The reality is that unless this new threat is acted upon in time, the consequences could be truly catastrophic. And with each passing day, there is less and less time to act.

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Posted by Buddy Macy, April 20, 2007.

Essential reading:

Excerpted from: http://www.hirhome.com/israel/pal_mov4.htm

Part 4. How did the 'Palestinian movement' emerge? The British sponsored it. Then the Nazis. And after that, the United States.

The British went quite out of their way to sponsor Hajj Amin al-Husseini, an antisemitic terrorist, as the leader of the 'Palestinian' Arabs, rewarding him with more power every time he organized an anti-Jewish terrorist riot.

Soon, the German Nazis were assisting Hajj Amin's anti-Jewish violence in British Mandate 'Palestine,' and when the World War exploded, Hajj Amin became co-architect, with Adolf Eichmann, of the German Nazi Final Solution.

After the war, Hajj Amin mentored Yasser Arafat and the PLO continued Hajj Amin's genocidal movement. From here on, US Intelligence took over as the movement's main patron.

A second piece of essential reading:

Excerpted from: http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/attack_iran.htm

Israel is a country surrounded by Arab states pledged to destroy it, and these states have made good on their word by launching genocidal wars. [31] In these conflicts Israel has actually returned land that its genocidal enemies lost in battle, something no victorious victim of aggression had ever done in interstate warfare before. Why this remarkable behavior? Because the Israelis were hoping in this manner to buy a promise of peace from these states. It is true that after the 1967 Six Day War Israel retained the West Bank and Gaza, but this is because the Arab states refused to accept these territories back (which they had previously held illegally) if this meant they had to promise never again to attempt the extermination of the Israeli Jews! [32] And then, in the early 1990s, Israel did the unbelievable: it allowed the PLO into the West Bank and Gaza, setting in motion the 'Oslo process,' ever since which date Israel has given the PLO more and more power over the Arab population. But the PLO does not flinch from murdering children in the street, or from sending their own children -- even girls -- to blow themselves up in order to do it. In particular, the PLO is fond of killing Jews.

Why in the world did the Israelis bring such people into the Jewish state? Because Israeli leaders lied to the Israeli people, telling them that the PLO was interested in a piece of land, and therefore that giving land to the PLO would end the killings of Jews. Trusting in hope, rather than reason, the Israeli Jews accepted an argument that amounted to saying the following: that an antisemitic terrorist organization will kill fewer Jews it if is made more powerful and brought closer to its Jewish targets.

But...why did the Israelis believe any such absurdity from their leaders' lips?

Part of the reason is that hordes of Israeli journalists and intellectuals, as well as Jewish journalists and intellectuals in the Diaspora, have always managed to find the argument that makes 'the Jews' once again to blame every time another Arab terrorist kills another innocent Jew. Such arguments, believe it or not, find an echo among many ordinary Israeli Jews, in part because the ethical culture of Judaism conditions Jews to think that self-criticism is always virtuous, so if they are blaming themselves surely they must be acting out of a sense of compassion and justice, and surely the other side, after noticing that the Jews are trying to be nice, will reach Enlightenment and stop all the killing. Hence: 'land for peace.' Isn't it obvious that this will work?

Alas. The less rosy truth is that those Israelis who supported the 'Oslo process' deluded themselves. First, because -- contrary to what they like to think -- they really did not show compassion for the West Bank and Gaza Arabs over whom they empowered the PLO thugs, who, when they are not extorting or murdering these Arabs, or sending them to blow themselves up, daily bludgeon them with antisemitism [32a]; and second, because Oslo supporters certainly did not show any compassion for the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. Pro-Oslo Israelis have tried hard to convince themselves that the Jewish settlers, as opposed to the antisemitic murderers who kill them, are the enemies of peace! But what makes the delusions in the pro-Oslo camp especially amazing is that these Israelis have not been murdering reason to serve their own selves; on the contrary, they have put themselves in great peril. Partly out of pride for their own ethics, and partly disguising their own antisemitism (Jewish 'self-hatred') as ethical self-criticism, many Israelis collectively bent over backwards to accommodate those who wish to destroy them, twisting the humanitarian impulse into an abrogation of self-defense: a kind of self-immolation that has begun with the sacrifice of the settlers...

Malcolm and Howard: Please speak out against the irrational pseudo-liberals in Israel and North America. Please speak out against the Israeli Government's insane policies that are bringing the Jewish State to the brink of destruction. Otherwise, you will go down in history as being among those Jewish leaders who were silent as the second 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated.

Contact Buddy Macy at vegibud@gmail.com.

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 20, 2007.
This was written by Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). Contact him by email at imra@netvision.net.il or go to the website: http://www.imra.org.il 2

"First, they will discuss immediate concerns, like movement and access, management of the passages, and preventing arms smuggling and rocket fire by terrorists in Gaza. On this trip, however, it became clear to all of us that establishing clear benchmarks to measure progress will help us move forward. So this is one immediate task that the parties will undertake with the assistance of General Keith Dayton."
-- Secretary Condoleezza Rice remarks to the press -- Jerusalem March 27, 2007

More than three weeks have passed since Ms. Rice talked about the need for performance benchmarks.

And in the apparent absence of any Israeli suggestions, Washington is preparing its own list that it plans to present to the Israelis and Palestinians in the coming weeks.

Judging by past plans, one can expect a list of amorphous benchmarks for the Palestinians and measurable benchmarks for the Israelis.

While the Palestinians will be expected to make some photo-op deployments of security forces and "make efforts" to "prevent attacks" or even "prevent smuggling", Israel will be given benchmarks in the form of numerical goals (number of roadblocks removed, flow of trucks per day from Gaza, etc.).

It doesn't have to be this way.

Not if the Olmert team wakes up now and develops its own proposed timeline with a series of benchmarks for Palestinian security compliance.

A "put up or shut up" proposal that puts "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas to the test by setting a series of well defined "bite-size" confrontations between "moderate" PA forces and the "terror infrastructure".

The timeline could start with confrontations to destroy such high profile targets as illegal militia training facilities. The PA forces could then graduate to seizing illegal weapons stores and handing them over to General Dayton's people for elimination.

Mahmoud Abbas already has many thousands of well armed soldiers. Certainly magnitudes more than what he needs in order to launch these kinds of operations if he wants to.

That's if he wants to.

And that's really the point.

Because up to now "moderate" Abbas has repeatedly explained that he has no intention to confront other Palestinians.

And for some reason this refusal to fight has been rewarded by programs to give his forces even more weapons and training.

The choice is in the Olmert team's hands:

Either sit back and wait for asymmetric performance benchmarks from Washington or seize the initiative and pre-empt D.C. with a detailed timeline of Palestinian performance benchmarks that, if honored, would genuinely move the Palestinians in the direction of security compliance.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Missy Woodward, April 20, 2007.

In one of the most extensive demonstrations ever staged by American college conservatives, close to one hundred university and college campuses across the country yesterday held an "Islamo Fascism Awareness Day." Thousands of students were involved in the event, which was coordinated by the Terrorism Awareness Project, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center whose objective is to counter college students' lack of awareness about the War on Terror and the disinformation about it propagated by radical faculty and student groups.

A total of 96 colleges and universities, including Pace University, Columbia, Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Purdue, Ohio State, Alabama, Colorado and other prominent schools, together with three high schools and two military bases, marked the event by showing Obsession, a documentary film using materials from Arab TV rarely seen in the West and interviews with authorities on Middle East politics, former jihadists, and experts on terrorism to take the viewer inside the worldview radical Islam and its plans for world domination.

Freedom Center President David Horowitz said that the event represented a clear challenge to faculty and administrators who, in the name of political correctness, have sought to shut down debate about Islamic extremism: "The simultaneous showing of a film exposing the Islamist threat at nearly 100 universities is a tremendous victory for the forces of freedom and for intellectual diversity, which are now under attack."

Reports from many of the participating schools gave a sense of the success of the event. Ryan McCool, Chairman of the College Republicans at Temple University commented after the showing that "the student who participated left with a better understanding of the evil that exists in the world." And Harrison Sontag, a student at Dartmouth who coordinated the event there, said, "Everyone was completely blown away by the film. Many had no idea exactly how large and credible a threat our enemy is."

But on some campuses, students attempting to present this program about the nature of radical Islam complained about being pressured, and in some cases openly harassed, to cancel the eventintimidation, they said, that proved exactly how necessary the Terrorism Awareness Project is. Josiah Lanning, a student at Ohio's Columbus State Community College, recounted how, when he was filling out the paperwork for the event, the school's activities center required him to "tone down" his proposed flyer for the showing of Obsession because it referred to Hezbollah and similar groups as terrorist organizations, Lanning was next told to suspend the film until further notice because of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Only after he appealed to the dean of students at the college was Lanning finally permitted to proceed with the showing.

Carl Soderberg, chair of the University of New Haven's College Republicans chapter, encountered similar resistance: "There were some faculty members who pressured me to postpone the film until they could find someone who could properly frame the issue,'" he says. But he went forward, and the film was shown to some 50 students and faculty. For Soderberg the outcome was worth the difficulty: "The point of the film was to raise awareness about a problem that many have stopped thinking about in the last five and a half years, and the best place to do that is on a college campus."

Ruth Malhotra, a student at Georgia Tech and a member of the school's College Republicans chapter, had perhaps the most difficult time. Among the hurdles erected by the school, Malhotra faced interference by opposed faculty and school administrators, boycotts and counter-demonstrations from left-wing student groups -- and even death threats designed to prevent the screening. Given day long police protection as she presented Obsession on the Tech campus, Malhotra observed: "It's important for students to know that violent Islamic extremism does pose a threat to our way of life, and to challenge that threat we have to understand what it is we're up against."

Stephen Miller, a senior at Duke University and national coordinator of the Terrorism Awareness Project, summed up the meaning of the historic, day-long experience: "Islamo Fascism Awareness Day is necessary because of the denial and ignorance about terrorism on the part of many students," says "These factors, combined with the unholy alliance between anti American and pro jihad groups on many campuses has made for a lethal combination. We're in a fight for survival and many students are on the sidelines."

In one of the most extensive demonstrations ever staged by American college conservatives, close to one hundred university and college campuses across the country yesterday held an "Islamo Fascism Awareness Day." Thousands of students were involved in the event, which was coordinated by the Terrorism Awareness Project, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center whose objective is to counter college students' lack of awareness about the War on Terror and the disinformation about it propagated by radical faculty and student groups.

A total of 96 colleges and universities, including Pace University, Columbia, Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Purdue, Ohio State, Alabama, Colorado and other prominent schools, together with three high schools and two military bases, marked the event by showing Obsession, a documentary film using materials from Arab TV rarely seen in the West and interviews with authorities on Middle East politics, former jihadists, and experts on terrorism to take the viewer inside the worldview radical Islam and its plans for world domination.

Freedom Center President David Horowitz said that the event represented a clear challenge to faculty and administrators who, in the name of political correctness, have sought to shut down debate about Islamic extremism: "The simultaneous showing of a film exposing the Islamist threat at nearly 100 universities is a tremendous victory for the forces of freedom and for intellectual diversity, which are now under attack."

Reports from many of the participating schools gave a sense of the success of the event. Ryan McCool, Chairman of the College Republicans at Temple University commented after the showing that "the student who participated left with a better understanding of the evil that exists in the world." And Harrison Sontag, a student at Dartmouth who coordinated the event there, said, "Everyone was completely blown away by the film. Many had no idea exactly how large and credible a threat our enemy is."

But on some campuses, students attempting to present this program about the nature of radical Islam complained about being pressured, and in some cases openly harassed, to cancel the eventintimidation, they said, that proved exactly how necessary the Terrorism Awareness Project is. Josiah Lanning, a student at Ohio's Columbus State Community College, recounted how, when he was filling out the paperwork for the event, the school's activities center required him to "tone down" his proposed flyer for the showing of Obsession because it referred to Hezbollah and similar groups as terrorist organizations, Lanning was next told to suspend the film until further notice because of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Only after he appealed to the dean of students at the college was Lanning finally permitted to proceed with the showing.

Carl Soderberg, chair of the University of New Haven's College Republicans chapter, encountered similar resistance: "There were some faculty members who pressured me to postpone the film until they could find someone who could properly frame the issue,'" he says. But he went forward, and the film was shown to some 50 students and faculty. For Soderberg the outcome was worth the difficulty: "The point of the film was to raise awareness about a problem that many have stopped thinking about in the last five and a half years, and the best place to do that is on a college campus."

Ruth Malhotra, a student at Georgia Tech and a member of the school's College Republicans chapter, had perhaps the most difficult time. Among the hurdles erected by the school, Malhotra faced interference by opposed faculty and school administrators, boycotts and counter-demonstrations from left-wing student groups -- and even death threats designed to prevent the screening. Given day long police protection as she presented Obsession on the Tech campus, Malhotra observed: "It's important for students to know that violent Islamic extremism does pose a threat to our way of life, and to challenge that threat we have to understand what it is we're up against."

Stephen Miller, a senior at Duke University and national coordinator of the Terrorism Awareness Project, summed up the meaning of the historic, day-long experience: "Islamo Fascism Awareness Day is necessary because of the denial and ignorance about terrorism on the part of many students," says "These factors, combined with the unholy alliance between anti American and pro jihad groups on many campuses has made for a lethal combination. We're in a fight for survival and many students are on the sidelines."

Missy Woodward is with the the Horowitz Freedom Center. Contact her by email at mwoodward@horowitzfreedomcenter.org

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Posted by Steven Plaut, April 20, 2007.

1. Israel at 59 -- Facing Unpleasant Facts in the Middle East

The world is now well into the post-Oslo. post-911 era, in which the delusions and denials of reality that were the foundations of the "Middle East peace process" are at last being acknowledged for what they were. For those returning to the planet Earth from Fantasyland in the "Oslo" parallel universe, it behooves them and us all to bear in mind some of the unpleasant facts of life about the Middle East.

1. The Arab world has never come to terms with Israel's existence within ANY set of borders whatsoever and is still seeking the annihilation of Israel and its population.

2. ANY Palestinian state, regardless of who rules it, will produce escalated violence, terror and warfare in the Middle East, and neither stability nor peaceful relations. ANY Palestinian state will seek warfare with Israel and not solutions to the economic and social problems of its citizens.

3. The only reason Arafat and the PLO ever wanted control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was to use them as bases for attacks on Israel. This is the only real use to which they will be put by any future Palestinian state.

4. There is no alternative that will stop the bloodshed and war in the Middle East other than the adoption by Israel of an unambiguous policy of R&D, that is, of Re-Occupation and Denazification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Every other alternative proposal for stabilization and pacification is delusional.

5. Denazification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip must be based partly on the programs of Denazification imposed on Germany and Japan by the Allies after World War II, but in part must be different. Such Denazification policies will have to stay in place for decades. There is no other way by which Israel can prevent the daily massacre of its civilians by Palestinian terrorists.

6. The bulk of Palestinians have lived outside Israeli "occupation" for years, and their "liberation" from Israeli "occupation" only produced Nazification, terrorism, mass murders, and violence. Their pacification requires re-imposing of open-ended martial rule upon them by Israel.

7. The instability of the Middle East is not caused by Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands but by PLO occupation of Israeli lands.

8. There was never in history an Arab Palestinian state. There is no justification whatsoever for one now (other than perhaps in Jordan).

9. The Palestinians have no legitimate claim to the right to set up their own state. It is doubtful whether they ever did have such a right, but -- even if they once did -- they forfeited it thanks to decades of terrorism, savagery, mass murders and barbarism.

10. Palestinians are Arabs. The Arabs already rule 22 states. There is no reason why they should be entitled to a 23rd state, and creation of a 23rd Arab state, "Palestine", in the West Bank and Gaza will escalate Middle East violence and world terrorism.

11. The Palestinians are not and never were a "nation". They are not even a tribe. They are a branch of Arabs with only minor and secondary cultural differences that distinguish them from Syrians, Lebanese or Jordanians.

12. The Middle East conflict cannot be resolved through endless exhibitions of niceness and restraint by Israel. Israeli niceness, restraint, and goodwill gestures are interpreted by the Arab world as weakness and as signs that the Jews, like Paul McCartney's Band, are on the run.

13. The Palestinians are not "mistreated" by Israel, but ARE poorly treated by the Palestinian Authority. The treatment of Arabs by Israel is a thousand times better than the treatment of Arabs by Arab countries.

14. The only Arabs in the Middle East with any semblance of civil rights are those who live under Israeli rule.

15. If the intifada "uprising" were in fact a product of oppression and mistreatment of Arabs by a government, then Israel should be the only country in the Middle East that does NOT have an intifada.

16. Oslo has radicalized and Sudetenized most Israeli Arabs, who now identify with and openly support Arab parties and politicians who call openly for terror violence against Jews and the destruction of Israel.

17. There exists no set of concessions by Israel that would result in the Arab states coming to terms with Israel's existence.

18. There are no Arab democracies and no support for democracy among significant minorities within the Arab world.

19. Israeli assassination of Palestinian terrorists is in fact a substitute for retaliation in kind against the Palestinians for bombings of Israeli children and other civilians. The alternative to such assassinations is bombings of Palestinian civilians.

20. Israeli settlements are the "mine canaries" of the Arab world. There is no reason why Jewish civilians should not be free to live in peace within Arab countries truly seeking peace with Israel, just as Arabs live at peace within Israel and within the United States. The attitude of the Arab world in general and of the Palestinian Authority in particular towards such "settlements" is indicative of their attitudes towards Israel and Jews in general. If the Palestinians are NOT seeking peace with the Jews, and indeed they are not, then the real problem is that Israel has built too few settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

21. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that does NOT deal with Islamist terror through wholesale massacres of the people in whose midst the terrorists operate.

22. There is an inverse relationship between the material comfort of Arabs living under Israeli rule and political moderation. The better off they are in a material sense, the more violent and radical they are. More generally, Arab radicalism and terror are positively correlated with comfort and education and wealth. Bin Laden and his people are filthy rich. There have been no undernourished Palestinian suicide bombers. Many have been college students.

23. Palestinians endorse terrorism and violence against Jews by near-universal majorities.

24. Israeli Arabs endorse terror and violence against Jews by large majorities. They also support bin Laden and the Hizbollah.

25. There are no visible Palestinian public figures who oppose violence, terror and Islamist fascism. There are no Palestinian "moderate" leaders, only a few Palestinian fascists who speak English well and elegantly, like Hanan Ashrawi.

26. There is not and never has been a Palestinian "peace movement" nor a Syrian "peace movement".

27. Syria has no legitimate claim to the Golan Heights. Its claim to the Golan is far less legitimate than German's claim to Alsace and Lorraine.

28. The PLO, and not just the Hamas, is itself very much a manifestation of Islamist fascism and was founded by Islamist fundamentalists. Its head, Abu Mazen, is no more "moderate" than the heads of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

29. Asking Arafat to arrest the terrorists is a bit like asking Osama bin Laden to arrest those responsible for the September 11 attacks on the US or asking Hitler to take steps against those who invaded Poland. It is all part of the Oslo era of mass delusion and make-pretend.

30. Peace cannot be achieved through pretending that war does not exist.

31. The Israeli Left is responsible for the bloodshed in Israel. The Israeli Left rescued the PLO from oblivion in the early 1990s, armed it, and allowed it to become entrenched in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Israeli Left is as wacky as is the pro-Taliban, pro-Saddam campus Left in the United States. It is today as anti-Israel as the US far Left is anti-American.

32. Ehud Olmert and his crew have yet to detach themselves from the pipe dreams and denials of reality imposed on the country by the Israeli Left, those that produced the Oslo debacle. They continue to insist they favor creation of a Palestinian state.

33. The only peaceful terrorist is a dead terrorist.

34. Israel cannot restore the credibility of its military prowess through "signaling," but rather only through using that prowess and putting its military might to actual use.

35. Unilateral withdrawal by Israel produces massive terrorist aggression. Anyone nursing doubts should contemplate what Israel's 2000 withdrawal from Southern Lebanon produced in the summer of 2006.

2. Moonbrits:

So let's see if we have this clear.

First, BBC reporter Alan Johnston gets himself kidnapped in Gaza by the same "activists and militants" his TV station so adores. Then according to his apparent captors he gets murdered in cold blood as an act of protest against the Israeli occupation of Gaza, which the BBC has yet to discover was ended. Then his colleagues in Britain's National Union of Journalists (NUJ) decide to a strong stand. In favor of terrorism. Really.

With 35,000 members, the NUJ officially declared a boycott of tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, and other products from Israel. Next time the IRA blows up buildings in London, the NUJ will demand that all visiting Israeli professors in the UK be jailed.

By doing so, it joins the other Moonbrits already denouncing Israel, which is the only Middle East regime that is NOT an apartheid regime, for being an apartheid regime. The Wall Street Journal comments:

'For British journalists working in the field, the NUJ's political grandstanding cannot be entirely welcome. Besides the further damage this does to their reputation among Israelis, they also have little choice but to eat those dreadful Zionist tomatoes. We suspect, too, that Mr. Johnston's kidnapping has probably made them feel secretly grateful for the safety and freedom that living in stable, democratic Israel affords.'

Islamofascist terrorists blow up the London tube trains? The Moonbrit response is to condemn dem Joos. If bin Laden and his friends ever decide to protest the illegal British occupation of Redding by crashing some planes into Westminster, the NUJ will call for an appropriate response in the form of making British Jews wear yellow stars...

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments -- both seriously and satirically -- on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Or write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 20, 2007.


The head of Hamas said that his organization is determined to conquer Israel but first must humiliate and degrade it. He said that Hamas promotes its objective by statements such as, "we love peace," or "we have given up the option of war," while still planning conquest (Steven Stalinsky of MEMRI, NY Sun, 3/28, p.7).

Semantic deceit is an Islamic-sanctioned tactic. If the West as a whole knew about it, the tactic would fail. The NY Sun now exposes it, but the Sun claims a circulation of only 150,000. Meanwhile, most of the West gets taken in. The State Dept. and the Israeli Left keep supposing there are Muslim moderates or at least influential ones, and keep scrutinizing the inflammatory statements by Islamic leaders for moderating tendencies. A little deception goes a long way, when it serves to undermine Western support for the Jewish state.


Although 9/11 was a dramatic example of the many Islamic attacks on other cultures, the Muslims claimed that there was a severe reaction to it against all Muslims. They called this Islamophobia. But there was no such major reaction. In Europe, national governments reassured the Muslims that they would not be blamed in general. Local governments subsidized Islamic after-school classes and even the training of imams. Islamists exploit and inflame fears of Islamophobia to gain influence.

Europeans went further. Typical example: English prison guards were reprimanded for wearing a cancer charity's badge that had the banner of St. George, because it was flown in the 11th century crusades.

While the Muslims claim to be persecuted like past Jews, they are not persecuted but are putting Jews under threat. Jews are attacked when wearing Jewish symbols. Their stores or institutions are defaced. Hate crimes against Jews in Europe has doubled and is redoubling. It rises with Muslim immigration, birth rates, and conversions. Mostly Muslims, mostly Arabs, commit those crimes, but governments deny it or suppress the truth about it, even though they advise Jews not to let their religious identity show! Europe prefers pretending that antisemitism is a crime of the past.

The Muslims already count France as theirs. Their schools indoctrinate in hatred and supremacy. Half of them want to impose their religious law upon Europe. Europe is paralyzed by a divisive multi-culturalism. Muslims refuse to integrate and accept the legitimacy of non-Islamic values. They just manufacture grievances (Efraim Karsh & Rory Miller, Commentary, 4/2007, p.49). The Left believes Muslims complaints and rejects Jewish complaints, without checking

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, April 20, 2007.

This was written by Etgar Lefkovits, and appeared today in The Jerusalem Post.

A group of 12 Orthodox priests have called on their Church to review its longstanding theological positions toward Jews and the State of Israel, and to excise anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy.

The dissident priests made their demands in a 12-point declaration adopted during a weeklong visit to Israel that is meant to spur debate in the Orthodox Christian world and to challenge centuries-old anti-Semitic views.

"Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who propagate disgusting anti-Semitism under the banner of Orthodoxy, which is incompatible with Christianity," said Rev. Innokenty Pavlov, professor of theology at Moscow's Biblical Theological Institute.

"We have to raise our voices and call on Orthodox laity and the Church leadership to formulate an official position of the Orthodox Church toward our relations with Judaism, as it was formulated a few decades ago by the Catholic Church," he added, referring to the Second Vatican Council of 1962 to 1965.

The 10-page declaration issued Thursday calls for the renunciation of replacement theology and the removal of anti-Semitic passages from Church liturgy -- particularly Easter services -- and endorses the eternal connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The passages appear in the standard Orthodox liturgy all over the world.

The dozen Orthodox priests who signed the declaration -- some in open defiance of directives from church leadership -- represent five different Orthodox churches, including the Russian, Greek, Ukrainian, Georgian and Ecumenical Orthodox Churches.

"We came to the firm belief that it is high time for the Orthodox Church to correct its attitude toward Jews and Judaism," the declaration states.

Unlike the Catholic and Protestant churches, the Orthodox Church has never removed anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy, which still refers to Jews as Christ killers, said Dr. Dmitry Radyehsvky, director of the Jerusalem Summit, a conservative Israeli think tank that co-sponsored the visit.

He said the anti-Semitic passages were most conspicuous during Easter services, and included statements such as "the Jewish tribe which condemned you to crucifixion, repay them, Oh Lord," which is repeated half a dozen times, and "Christ has risen but the Jewish seed has perished," as well as references to Jews as "God-killers."

"Orthodox Christianity lives up to its name: it's extremely conservative -- even more than Catholicism," Radyehsvky said.

"For them to even pose the question about the need to throw out Judophobic passages from the liturgy, which were there for 1,500 years, is a revolution," he said.

Radyshevsky said that while some of the best Orthodox Christian philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries, like Vladimir Soloviev and Sergiy Bulgakov, were philosemites, it never filtered down to the masses.

Now, however, some Orthodox Christian intellectuals feel their church needs revival and that this has to start with their roots: reconciliation with the Jews.

"It is high time to start the dialogue between Orthodox Christianity and Judaism," said Rev. Ioann Sviridov, editor-in-chief of the Russian Christian radio-station Sophia.

"In light of rising anti-Semitism and other manifestations of nationalism in Russia, our church has to respond to this ugly phenomena and review some of the aspects of its relations with Jews and Judaism," he said.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglicans For Israel. Contact him at simon.mcilwaine@ormerods.co.uk Or visit the website: www.anglicansforisrael.com

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Posted by Ted Belman, April 20, 2007.

As a result of the Muslim atrocity of 9/11, Pres Bush declared war on terror.

On Sept 20th he spoke to the combined houses and declared "On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country." Although he did call it an act of war, he limited the perpetrators to "enemies of freedom" even though all 19 hijackers were Muslims motivated by the Koran. And 15 of these were Saudis.

He went on to name the perpetrators as members of al Qaeda.

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.

Aside from the fact that within 24 hours of the attack, his administration enabled all Saudis to leave the USA by plane when no other planes were allowed to fly, he also was at pains to dissemble. It was not enough for him to say that they practice "Islamic extremism" but he goes on to limit it to "a fringe form". Plus he characterizes such act as a perversion of the peaceful teachings of Islam. In reality the acts of these terrorists are according to the teachings of Islam which supersede, not pervert, the peaceful teachings. Finally the directive he refers to comes not from the terrorists but from the Koran.

He continued to take pains to whitewash Islam then made another fatal error

Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

This is flat out wrong. They want to drive Israel and the US out of the ME and all lands which they characterize as Muslim (Dar al'islam) and then to infiltrate our own countries (Dar al'harb) and subjugate us.

He then asks rhetorically, how will we fight and win this war?

We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network. [..] Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

Afghanistan was invaded in November and Bush delivered his State of the Union Address in Jan 2002 in which he identified the "axis of evil".

In it he reiterated his resolve and expanded his targets to the producers of WMD namely N. Korea, Iran and Iraq. In contrasting his well intentioned resolve and the meager results, one cannot but be disappointed.

It only took a year for Angelo M Codevilla to pen his brilliant essay Postmortem on a Phony War, which was published by Middle East Quarterly

"For them, war would consist of fighting as little as possible." -- Charles de Gaulle, on Franco-British policy between September 1939 and June 1940.[1]

By spring 2002, the Bush administration's pretense that it was making war had worn thin. The Bush team had declared that September 11 had "changed everything," that "those who are not with us are against us," and that its "war on terrorism" would dispense with latter-day American reticence about foreign engagements and warfare. Nevertheless, the Bush team fought a classic phony war, because its chief priority was to change as little as possible the visions, objectives, assumptions, and modus operandi of late-twentieth-century American elites. This calls for something of a postmortem on the "war" that never was.

The Bush team's chief objective, "stability," was the least possible of things. The vision of an orderly, multicultural, "international community" was as powerful in Bush's Washington as it had been in Woodrow Wilson's and as far removed from reality. The right of Third World regimes to sovereign existence under housebroken tyrants, America's right and capacity to make peace in places it does not rule, America's unworthiness to stigmatize foreign cultures (much less to kill foreign regimes), the U.S. government's need to heed "the allies," especially "the Europeans," and to restrain the "unsophisticated," "unilateralist" American public -- these and a host of other unserious assumptions continued to reign. Moreover, the Bush team employed the same kind of people and modus operandi as its predecessors. They spoke loudly and wasted America's stick on the least significant enemies.

After Arabs had terrorized America on behalf of Arab causes, the Bush team refused to fight or even to indict any Arab entity at all. It did this to shore up "friendly" Arab governments that (it chose not to notice) were in thrall to the terror states of Iraq, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority (PA). By mid 2002, the Bush team's war on terrorism consisted chiefly of impotent, counterproductive, and silly security measures at home and, in the Middle East, of restraining Israel.

Who can argue with this assessment?

I can, in one respect. He leaves out Iran as a terror state and he is wrong to suggest Saudi Arabia is "enthralled" to the terror states. Iran as we know is largely responsible for the terror in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza but the US has given them a pass. It hasn't even financed democratic movements in Iran to bring about regime change. Saudi Arabia continues to spread the Wahabbi doctrine of active Jihad throughout madrassas and mosques all over the world including in the US with nary a word from the US. Surely this puts the lie to the war on terror.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are the engines of terror through out the world.

Codevilla goes on,

The Bush team decided to make war on "terrorism" (an abstract noun), rather than on real people. Rather than destroy regimes whose demise might make the American people safe from terrorist attacks, the Bush team pursued only the "shadowy" al-Qa'ida, as if a private organization could organize worldwide mayhem from Arab police states without being one of their tools. Why this James Bond-ish fiction? Because the Bush team did not deem the events of September 11 sufficient warrant for going against the predominant views of American elites (which it shares) about real people.

Through most of the twentieth century, American elites have willed to believe that all peoples are created equal and that, if all were ruled by their own kind, a stable, decent, peaceful world would result. Hence in the 1950s in the Middle East as elsewhere, the U.S. State Department and especially Central Intelligence (CIA) fostered nationalism, socialist parties, and the replacement of European colonial rule by native regimes. [..] As early as 1958, however, the political ancestors of Saddam Husayn had taken over Iraq and Syria as well as Egypt. Yemen became a Soviet ally. Much of the region (like the rest of the Third World) would be neither peaceful nor decent -- much less, pro-American.

Although this is a failed idea, it has not been abandoned. The elites continue to believe in either a peaceful Palestine, once created, or the destruction of Israel as a colonial outpost. To this end the US continues to protect the "Palestinians" and their institutions. No amount of terror or violations of agreements will deter them from their goal. The CIA has been training the Palestinian "security forces" for years and is now about to spend another $56 million to support them in total disregard of the Mecca Accords.

They also believe that an independent Kosovo for Muslims even though ruled by the KLA, a terrorist entity, will further such goals. But aren't we supposed to be at war with the terrorists. Oh I'm sorry, only "global terror networks" so I guess this doesn't count.

So why isn't Saudi Arabia the enemy?

Who to kill is the decision that defines any war. In response to the attacks of September 11 by Arabs from "friendly" Arab countries -- on behalf of causes embodied by Iraq, Syria, and the PA -- the Bush team decided to do nothing against any Arab entity but rather to kill people in Afghanistan. No one argued that this would make America safe from the rising enmity of the Arab world or avenge the attacks. When pressed, the Bush team did not deny that Arab governments were abetting this enmity. But it deferred the whole matter to an undefined next phase because securing the support of friendly Arab governments was the sine qua non of everything else.

Saudi Arabia conditioned its support of the war, however, on Americans not killing any Arabs at all. Later, it conditioned its support even further. Competent people know that to ask dubious allies to support action that one has shown a willingness to defer and redefine amounts to asking for further pressure to defer, redefine, and derail. Thus, from the outset, this was a war defined in terms of what must not be done and aimed at validating a view of the world according to which the war should never have started -- that is, a phony war.

Subsequent to this article being written, Saudi Arabia and the US made another deal. They agreed that the US could kill Arabs in Iraq by invading it providing the US would endorse the Roadmap and continue to dismember Israel. And so within one week of attacking Iraq the Roadmap was announced. I covered this thoroughly in my articles "A Unifying Theory"
(http://israpundit.blogspot.com/2003_04_01_israpundit_archive.html#200090223) and "Perfecting the Unifying Theory"

I wonder if the US elites think Iraq has worked out as anticipated. No matter, they made a lot of money from government contracts, higher oil prices and increased demands for military munitions and hardware. Judging from Baker's report it's clear they want to engage Syria and Iran with a view to stabilizing the ME. So what if this requires the sacrificing of Israel. What is clear is that Saudi Arabia is backing Al Qaeda and the Sunnis in killing Americans and Shia. Not to be out done, Iran is backing the Shia and the Sunnis in killing each other and Americans.

So why is America staying there? Are they there for the reasons stated or are they really there because Saudi Arabia wants them to stay.

Will the sky fall if they leave. Certainly a new power structure will evolve that may absorb Lebanon and Jordan and the Palestinians. Certainly not good for Israel but how about America?

A new study has concluded that Iraq's oil reserves are double what was originally thought placing it second behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iran. Surely the elites want a piece of the development work and the oil revenue. Then there is the $650 billion in development work that Saudi Arabia intends. Reason enough to retain Saudi goodwill.

What American interest is served by stabilizing Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq. What do they do for America? If the US withdraws from the ME it will be less hated by the Arab street and will still be able to buy oil and do deals. True, it will still have to worry about Saudi Arabia and Egypt being taken over but so what? Any new regime will do business with the US. Look at Viet Nam.

But the real debate is whether the US wants to yield its hegemony in the ME to the Iranians. If the Americans depart, there is nothing to stop Iran from dominating Iraq and Lebanon. It will then destabilize Saudi Arabia and perhaps ferment revolt among the Shiites in Iraq who are in the majority in the area containing the largest oil fields. Thus barring any aggressive action against Iran by the US, Iran will control most of the ME oil and will have Russian and Chines backing and nuclear weapons.

Another problem for America, I think, is Jihad whether advanced by terror or by infiltration. I tend to believe that the Islamification of Europe and ultimately America is a bigger danger to our way of life than terror.

The elites seem to accept Islamification as evidenced by them not acting to prevent it. This amounts to giving the Islamists a licence to infiltrate and transform our society. Bat Ye'or has written about the deals done in the seventies to create Eurabia. Apparently the US has accepted the same deals. I guess we will call it "Amerabia". Do they also accept Iranian hegemony?

If the America people are willing to fight to prevent such an outcome, what are they to do? Where do they draw the line?

One of the rationals of invading Afghanistan or not leaving Iraq was to prevent safe havens for terrorists to exist or to come into being. If America decides to leave Iraq, NATO will certainly leave Afghanistan. Thus al Qaeda and other terrorists groups will flourish uninhibited and in fact abetted. And they aren't going away. They will continue to come after the US.

Just look at the havoc they are producing in Bagdad. What's to stop them from doing the same in Paris or any other city in which there is a sizable Muslim population. They have already trained thousands of martyrs and send them throughout the world.

Osama Ben Ladin said in 2004,

All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.

This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat.

So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah.

He also wans to destroy the regimes that are friendly to the US including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Dick Cheney continually argues against giving up the fight and says the "terrorists will follow us home" if we do. He also said, fear of the detonation of a nuclear weapon inside an American city is "a very real threat... It's something that we have to worry about and defeat every single day."

This view is not shared by much of America. That doesn't make it any the less real. Americans must decide how significant this threat is and what to do about it. That is what is at stake in the debate which is currently focussed on whether or when to bring the boys home.

Like the war, it is a phony debate.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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Posted by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, April 20, 2007.
This was published today in Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com).

Margalit Har-Shefi

Former chief of intelligence (Shabak) Ami Ayalon, now a Knesset Member, revealed Thursday night that Margalit Har-Shefi did not realize that Yigal Amir intended to assassinate Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. She was convicted in 1998 of failing to prevent the murder. In 2001, she began a serving a nine-month prison term, which was terminated by President Moshe Katzav after six months.

Ayalon made the disclosure at a meeting with Labor party supporters in Ashkelon, but he did not explain why he kept silent until now. "Har-Shefi did not know that Yigal Amir wanted to murder the Prime Minister," MK Ayalon said. "I know this from intelligence and was head of the intelligence agency.

"She was part of the crazy reality [at that time]."

Har-Shefi attended law school with Amir for three years and was accused not preventing the murder although she allegedly knew that he planned to gun down the former Prime Minister at a rally in Tel Aviv.

Israel was sharply divided over Rabin's support of the Oslo Accords and surrendering almost all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which then was headed by Yasser Arafat.

President Moshe Katzav said at the time of his decision to let her out of jail that he was influenced to a large extent by the fact that ex-intelligence chiefs Ayalon and Carmi Gillon did not oppose her being released.

Ayalon, who is challenging Labor chairman Amir Peretz for his position, was asked in Ashkelon why he shortened the jail term of Har-Shefi, who is a niece of National Union MK Benny Elon and was a 23-year-old Beit El resident at the time of her conviction.

Her judge, Nira Lidski, ruled that "had Ms. Har-Shefi taken reasonable measures to prevent the crime, this despicable murder might never have been committed." The defendant described Mr. Amir's threat as "sounding so imaginary and so unrealistic then" that she did not believe it. She said she would have tried to stop Amir had she known he was serious.

When she began her jail term. Har-Shefi stated, "I am being sent to prison today for one reason only: They had to find someone to blame. They [wanted] to cover up for an entire network that fell asleep on the job -- as if I, a 19-year-old girl at the time, was the one who could have saved the country from this terrible trauma."

Ayalon's admission of Har-Shefi's not knowing that Amir really planned to assassinate Rabin confirms statements made by Beit El rabbis at the time of her conviction.

Rabbi Zalman Melamed wrote, "A terrible injustice has been perpetrated on Margalit. I call upon the public to cooperate in whatever efforts are needed to help clear her name."

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner wrote, "Margalit, we know and believe that you are innocent."

Ayalon's admission still leaves in doubt the matter of Avishai Raviv, the intelligence agent who infiltrated extremist groups and encouraged Yigal Amir. Raviv was indicted, but the government overruled a recommendation by the State Prosecutor to bring him to trial.

Dennis Eisenberg and the late Uri Dan, authors of The Mossad: Secrets of the Israel Secret Service, wrote of Raviv in 1998, "He gathered up a dozen or so banners carried by young teenagers, bearing photo-montage pictures of Rabin dressed up as an SS general. He handed them over to the compliant TV crews and pressed them hard to run them that very night--which they promptly did....

"Raviv was a brilliant success as an undercover agent. GSS handlers guided and instructed him how to infiltrate the world of students and then incite them to carry out deeds which would prove that there was a right-wing conspiracy to topple the government, when in fact none existed.

"Raviv also created his own phony group and took them to demonstrate in front of Rabin's home on Friday afternoons to chant: "Rabin and his wife will be hung like Mussolini and his mistress." In another incident, Raviv was given wide media coverage when he claimed his Eyal youth movement had murdered an Arab near Hebron in revenge for the deaths of Jews in suicide attacks. Wide criticism, verging on hysteria, was heaped on Hebron settlers. Ten days later it was found that a gang of Arab thieves were guilty of the killing.

"Evidence was brought to the [Justice Meir] Shamgar inquiry by young girls who were present at a settlement meeting where Raviv urged Yigal Amir to prove his worth as a man and kill Rabin."

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Posted by David Wilder, April 19, 2007.

In a few days we'll be celebrating the State of Israel's 59th birthday. In a couple of weeks we'll be marking the fortieth anniversary of the Jewish people's return to Jerusalem and Hebron. There are, it seems, many people who ask themselves: what are we celebrating, or should we be celebrating at all?

Why ponder such questions? Let's start with a brief Hebron update. A month ago Hebron residents moved into a newly purchased structure -- Beit HaShalom -- the Shalom House, it was called. A huge building, almost 4,000 square meters large, Beit HaShalom is located above the main road leading from Hebron to Kiryat Arba. Recognized as a significant security asset by the IDF, military leaders from the Chief of Staff to the commander of the Hebron region refuse to condemn the Jewish presence there for 'security reasons.' In addition, the state attorney general is publicly on record as recognizing the legality of the purchase.

However, this has not prevented Defense Minister Amir Peretz from attempting to expel us from the site, solely for political reasons. Utilizing draconian measures, which demand that Jews (or anyone other than Arabs, for that matter) 'receive permission' from the government (under the guise of the 'civil administration of Judea and Samaria) in order to purchase and/or move into new property, orders were issued demanding that the community prove the legality of the purchase or be expelled. Hebron's attorneys are hard at work preparing the community's response. However, very likely, whatever Hebron's reply is, despite its legality, the chances that the explanations will be accepted range from slim to zilch. The panel making the decision falls under the authority of the Defense minister, who gives the orders and expects them to be carried out.

What then? Who knows? It has already been publicized that most of the ministers in the government oppose expulsion of the building's residents. Many Knesset members also back the Hebron community. Also, despite the Defense minister's authority to issue expulsion orders, such a command cannot be carried out with the approval of the Prime Minister, and very possibly, of the entire cabinet. Although the Prime Minister has not made any public statements concerning Beit HaShalom, people very close to him have expressed support for the community's presence in the building.

Of course, should it come down to the crunch, the community can always go the courts. In any normal country, Hebron's case would be considered to be very strong, perhaps even undefeatable. But we all know that the Israeli court system does not always deal with justice, rather, with legalizing otherwise illegal political policies. (See, for example, the Supreme Court ruling on the Gush Katif-Northern Shomron expulsion law.) So, it is almost impossible to predict the events of the next few weeks, at least as far as Beit HaShalom is concerned.

This being the case, knowing full well the absurdity of such problems, on top of what has happened in the past (Oslo, the Hebron and Wye Accords, Gush Katif) and current speculation concerning further planned expulsions and abandonments, why should we celebrate? On the face of it, what is there to be happy about?

Exactly 28 years ago, a group of ten women and some forty children moved from Kiryat Arba into an abandoned building in Hebron called Beit Hadassah. Jews had come back to Hebron during the 1967 Six-day war and lived in the regional military compound from 1968 to 1971. At that time the first buildings in Kiryat Arba were constructed. However, the goal was to return to Hebron. That goal was only realized in early May of 1979.

The women and children lived for months under siege; whoever left the building was not allowed to return. Husband could visit their families from 'outside the fence;' no one was allowed in. Living conditions were primitive, to say the least. Running water and sanitary facilities were a dream. Hepatitis was a reality. One morning Rebbitzen Miriam Levinger awoke to find her son Shlomo's eyes yellow. She expected all the women to flee following that revelation. But no one left. (Today Shlomo and his family live in Beit HaShalom.) For an entire year the women and children lived in Beit Hadassah waiting for the Israeli government, then led by Menachem Begin, to give their stamp of approval. That permission finally came, but only after a terrible terror attack at the site which left six men dead and twenty wounded.

That year, 1979-1980, could easily have been a year of despair, a year of 'another attempt failed -- why try again?' The women and children could quite justifiably have 'gone home.' After all, a year is a long time, and no one knew when that 'year' would come to an end, or what the final result would be.

But they held their own, the women, the children, their husbands, their extended families, their friends and the entire community. Truthfully, I think many more watching and waiting. Without sounding too mystical, more than likely the souls of all those who had once lived in Hebron, those who had died in Hebron, including the 1929 massacre victims, and perhaps even the neshamot, the souls of those millions lost in the holocaust, were watching and waiting. Had the time come? What are these people really made of ? Will Jews finally come home, come back to live in first Jewish city in Israel, will they withstand the pressures, or will they collapse? Will Hebron again be Jewish?

The women and children knew, consciously and subconsciously, in body and in spirit: all eyes are on us. The eyes of eternity -- not sleeping, not slumbering: watching and waiting.

The women and children stayed put -- they refused to bow to pressures, physical, political or psychological. And they won. Who would ever have believed it would happen? Jews, again living in Hebron, after an absence of fifty years. Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the second-holiest site to Jews in the entire world, just down the street from Jewish homes, Jewish families, Jewish children. The dream came true.

In August or September of 1979, or during the cold winter of 1980, had you asked: what is there to celebrate -- 'look what the Israeli government is doing to those 'poor' women and children in Beit Hadassah' -- what might the response have been? But, thank G-d, today, so many years later, we do celebrate -- we celebrate our return to Hebron and to Jerusalem and to our land. Had we not come back to Eretz Yisrael, had the state not been founded, more than likely, today we would not be here in the city of the Forefathers, nor would we be in Jerusalem, and who knows how many Jews would be in Israel at all.

Life is far from perfect, and there is much to be improved, but if we don't know how to count our blessings, and they are abundant, by my way of thinking we are blind to the good that G-d has given us. G-d gave us the framework and the tools and said "Go to it." True there have been many mistakes made, but the very existence of Jews living in Israel at all, and most certainly a Jewish community in Hebron, are indelible proofs that we can do it -- we can succeed against all odds, we can be victorious in our yearning to resettle our land. And just as we have been triumphant in the past, so too, will we be successful in the future. No doubt about it.

Happy Independence-Hebron-Jerusalem Day!

With blessings from Hebron.

David Wilder is spokesman of The Jewish Community of Hebron. You can contribute directly to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com

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Posted by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, April 19, 2007.

This was published in today's Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

Arab terrorists have killed 864 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others since they launched the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada, in October 2000. The number of terrorism fatalities represents half of the 1,635 citizens who died in terrorist attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The statistics were reported Thursday by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) in a press release ahead of Memorial Day, which falls on Monday.

The Almagor terror victims' organization also recently released figures showing that no fewer than 177 innocent citizens, mostly Israeli Jews, were murdered in recent years in attacks perpetrated by terrorists freed from Israeli jails. In 30 separate attacks by rescidivist terrorists, scores of Israelis were also seriously wounded.

The Palestinian Authority decision to launch the Oslo War in 2000 followed PA leader Yasser Arafat's refusal of an offer from then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak for a new Arab state. Barak was ready to surrender more than 90 percent of lands in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including much of Jerusalem in exchange for commitments from Arafat. In December 2000, Imad Falouji, the PA Communications Minister at the time, said that the sustained terrorist campiagn "was already planned ever since [Yasser Arafat's] return from the last talks at Camp David, at which he stood up to President Clinton and firmly rejected the American terms."

A visit by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, just a few days after the first attack by PA militiamen on their IDF counterparts in a joint patrol, was later used by Arafat as propaganda for inciting further attacks. The PA later dubbed their terror war the "Al-Aksa Intifada," in a reference to one of the mosques on the Temple Mount.

The Oslo Peace Accords, which gave the Oslo War its name, were negotiated in Oslo, Norway, and signed in September 1993. The set of agreements set out to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict by providing the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with guns and land in exchange for assurances of peace. At the signing ceremony in Washington, US President Bill Clinton called the Oslo Accords a "brave gamble." Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin admitted in an October 1994 speech in Casablanca that the Oslo initiative was a "calculated risk for peace."

Since last Independence Day, 66 Israeli civilians have died in terrorist attacks, including those who perished during the Second Lebanon War waged by Hizbullah.

Oslo War Attacks Continue

On Thursday, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured when Arab gunmen shot at a military jeep on Highway 443, near the Ofer military base west of Ramallah. The soldiers are being treated for shrapnel injuries at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The attackers managed to evade capture. PA sources attributed the shooting to the Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group. Fatah is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

On Thursday, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured when Arab gunmen shot at a military jeep.

Fatah-aligned terrorists have also claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on Israeli motorists on Highway 55 near Kalkilya, between Kfar Saba and the Karnei Shomron-Kedumim communities. The terrorists claimed that several Israelis were wounded, but neither the local Jewish towns nor the IDF reported any injuries.

Daily Israeli counter-terrorist operations continue to result in the capture of dozens of wanted terrorists. 24 wanted men were captured by IDF forces throughout Judea and Samaria overnight Wednesday, including members of Fatah and the Islamist Hamas organizations, which currently jointly control the PA government. Several Islamic Jihad terrorists were also captured in the overnight series of raids.

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Posted by Rachel Saperstein, April 19, 2007.

The call came from New York at 2am. My sister. I knew what the message would be. Our brother, our older brother, was gone.

We knew that his death was only days away and yet the call, the knowledge of his death, tore into me.

Years ago, at my father's death, I sat shiva in Jerusalem, alone and terribly lonely. This time I hoped I would be with my family. It was not to be. Earlier that day I had undergone surgery on my foot and I could barely hobble from my bedroom to the kitchen. An American passport to replace my recently expired passport had been sent, registered, from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, but was now in the clutches of the striking Postal Authority. A storm on the east coast of the United States had flooded streets and closed major airports. There seemed to be no doors open to me to fly to the funeral of my brother.

"Mom," my daughter Dafna said, "Don't you hear the message? You're supposed to stay in Israel."

"But Daf," I cried, "I want to be with my family. I don't want to sit alone. I want to talk about my brother. I want to tell about how as a kid he used to do shadow boxing and I, eventually, became the shadow. I want to tell how he pulled my doll's head off and how he drew a beard, moustache, glasses and pimples on Margaret O'Brien's face on my beloved coloring book..."

My brother grew up to become a rabbi, a respected and much loved educator, and a Torah scholar. Generations of children learned to love Torah studies because of my brother, Rabbi Max Berkowitz.

His children and grandchildren are fine young men and women. We received a tape via internet of the service at the funeral chapel in Brooklyn. The rabbi spoke of the qualities that characterized my big brother -- his adherence to his Judaism, his love of family and his fostering of education, religious and secular, in thousands of his students.

My brother loved the land of Israel and was deeply proud of his kid sister, her husband and their family who lived there. He was appalled at our expulsion.

With all doors closed to me for leaving Israel, we arranged that the afternoon and evening prayers be said in my brother's memory in my home during the week of shiva. Between the prayers Torah studies were held and my brother would be lifted towards heaven accompanied by the prayers of our people in the Holy Land of Eretz Israel and especially of Gush Katif.

Had I gone to America these holy prayers from Israel would not have taken place. What a tribute to my big brother.

"Yes, Dafna, I heard the message."



You can pay your tribute to my brother's memory -- HaRav Mordechai Anshel Berkowitz with tzedakah to Operation Dignity.

Send your checks earmarked for OPERATION DIGNITY to:

Central Fund for Israel
Rehov Hagoel 13
Efrat 90435


Central Fund for Israel
980 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor
New York, NY 10018

Rachel Saperstein and her husband, Moshe, were among the thousands of Jews kicked out of their homes in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, in the Gaza strip, and forced into temporary quarters so dismal, their still-temporary paper-based trailers in Nitzan, seemed a step up. Contact them at ruchimo@.netvision.net.il

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 19, 2007.

To: editor@presbyweb.com
From: David Meir-Levi
Re: Rev. Bland's 'Finding Mandela'
Date: 4.13.07

Rev. Bland's hypothetical search for Mandela -- type leaders in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority sounds intriguing, perhaps even inspiring. However, Rev. Bland makes a number of assertions that are either factually incorrect or de-contextualized. The result is that your readers may be misled by an attractive, and I am sure well-intended, but erroneous, hypothesis.

I have developed below some commentary to Rev. Bland's analysis, in order to offer context and data which alter substantively Rev. Bland's assertions and conclusions.

I most sincerely urge you to publish my commentary alongside of Rev. Bland's "Finding Mandela," so that your readership can benefit from an alternative perspective of a complex and often mis-understood conflict.

I have attached a brief 'bio-blurb' to sort of introduce myself to you electronically.

Most respectfully yours,
David Meir-Levi

"Finding Mandela:
South Africa provides hints at Israel-Palestine conflict solution"
News analysis by the Rev. Byron L. Bland III
April 12, 2007

PALO ALTO, CA -- Several years ago, a high-level Israeli official asked me to tell him everything I could about how the Israelis might find their Palestinian Mandela.

His question was interesting and appropriate but also troubling because the Afrikaners didn't really "find" Mandela. It took several months before the answer came to me. Show me the Palestinian to whom you Israelis are willing to lose, and I will to show you your Palestinian Mandela.

My friend had overlooked the fact that Mandela and the African National Congress had won in South Africa. The decisive element in the so-called miracle was that white South Africans had, in one way or another and to varying degrees, accepted this outcome and had made it, if not their victory, then certainly something other than their defeat.

Much has been written about the many factors that drove the process forward, but no one would deny that leadership -- Mandela's leadership -- played a decisive role. Although he was offered his freedom numerous times if he would just give up the struggle against apartheid, it was a deal that only a quisling would make. Mandela was made of sterner stuff and refused to make the fundamental concession that the Afrikaners sought.

De Klerk's decision to release Mandela unconditionally came in response to the unrest that had rendered the country ungovernable. De Klerk hoped to engage Mandela in a lengthy process of negotiation in which he could be coaxed into making critical compromises. Nevertheless, after many ups and downs, it was de Klerk, not Mandela, who made the fundamental compromises.

How did this unbelievable turn of events come about? The standard political science answer is that de Klerk found himself on a slippery slope where he thought that every concession was the last needed to get Mandela to comply. Still, this account cannot explain why, in the end, de Klerk conceded power to the ANC especially when the South African state was not on the verge of collapse.

It is always difficult to look into the mind of a political leader at a crucial moment. Nevertheless, I think that a fundamental shift took place in the way de Klerk saw Mandela. De Klerk came to power thinking that Mandela was the only African who could make the concessions needed to keep Afrikaner South Africa afloat.

Slowly, he came to see Mandela instead as the African who could give Afrikaners a future they could live with.

Mandela let no opportunity pass to talk about the place of white South Africans in the new South Africa. He emphasized time and again that majority rule did not mean the domination of the white minority by a black majority. Seeking a "middle ground between white fears and black hopes," Mandela laid the very foundation for peace -- "We do not want to drive you into the sea" -- because there would be no peace unless white South Africans heard and believed his words.

In virtually every statement, Mandela presented a vision of the future in which white South Africans would be appreciated and respected. Those who heard him felt that they, their family, and their community could have a satisfying and secure life in what he was describing. Rather than offering concessions that would prop up the old, Mandela was offering a future to many who had begun to doubt that they had one.

Israelis need to find a Palestinian Mandela, and Palestinians need to find an Israeli Mandela. However, the Mandela they need to find is not the leader who will make the concessions they seek but the one to whom they can make the concessions they say they cannot offer. Mandela was this kind of leader because his repeated actions and unequivocal words gave witness to a future that Afrikaners could embrace without fear.

Mandela presents leaders today with a twin challenge.

First, how do we find the person on the other side to whom we can make the concessions that we feel we cannot afford to make?

Second and much more important, how can we become the persons to whom the other side can make the concessions they say they cannot make?

Both are important, but the second is critical in a time when each, standing back, looks to the other to perform the difficult actions needed to move the peace process forward.

Progress toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is not stalled because no one can envision the final settlement.

Every thoughtful observer knows that some rough approximation of the Clinton formula is the only deal possible.

The question is not so much what is needed -- this much is known. The real question is who will lead us there.

The Rev. Byron Bland, a minister member of San Jose Presbytery, is a fellow at the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.


"Finding Mandela? One side already has"
by David Meir-Levi

At the outset of his essay below, Rev. Bland makes the important and accurate observation that in the Apartheid conflict in South Africa, Mandela's side won. However, he fails to make a far more important distinction: victory for Mandela was/is very different from victory as Hamas defines it. Mandela's victory meant co-existence with a white South Africa which had lost its primacy, and its apartheid benefits, but learned to co-exist and cooperate with its black majority.

Hamas' victory, as so many Hamas leaders have so often and so enthusiastically reminded us, is the utter destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews. Rev. Bland is obviously envisioning a Mandela-type victory for Hamas in Israel. But Israel must weigh the more realistic consequences of defeat to a terrorist genocidal enemy who unabashedly tells the world that it has no intention of leaving alive even one Jew in its future "Palestine."

Toward the end of his first page, Rev. Bland notes that De Klerk gradually came to see Mandela ".. as the African who could give Afrikaners a future they could live with."

I have no doubt that Rev. Bland is correct.

However, what he fails to observe is the kind of future that Hamas leaders today, and for the past 20 years, offer to Israel and to Jews. That future, very different from Mandela's vision, is outlined for us quite openly in the Hamas Covenant and in many speeches of Hamas leaders: for the state of Israel, total destruction; for Israel's Jews, conversion or death. There are currently no other Hamas offers on the table, nor are there any alternatives to Hamas leadership at present. These are not Mandela's "foundations for peace."

Rev. Bland urges both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find in one another the Mandela "... to whom they can lose"....whom they "... can embrace without fear." This is a beautiful concept, almost Isaiah-like in its vision of age-old enemies working in cooperation and mutual acceptance.

But it bumps into a bitter and ugly reality which Rev. Bland fails to mention.

Among Arab leader of consequence from the Grand Mufti back in British Mandate days, through Arafat and Abbas to Hamas' Yassin and Rantizi and Haniyeh and Mash'al, almost all have shared the same malevolent vision about Israel's future: genocide and annihilation. Those who did not, did not live very long.

And the deeds of these terrorist leaders have matched their words for the past 85 years (Arab anti-Jewish pogroms began in 1921). Can Rev. Bland imagine that Hamas leadership offers Israel any future at all?

Rev. Bland's challenge to both sides, "...how can we become the persons to whom the other side can make the concessions they say they cannot make?", embodies a deeply misleading and harmful assumption....moral equivalence.

It seems clear that he writes "we" with reference to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority under Hamas leadership. But, can he not know that Israel has already made a host of peace offers over these many decades of Arab terror war? Starting from the 1937 Peel Commission partition plan, to the 1947 UN partition plan, to the 1949 Rhodes Armistice agreements, to Israel's 1967 post-six-day war peace offers, to peace with Egypt in 1979, then to Madrid and to Oslo and to peace with Jordan in 1994, and then to Camp David 2, and finally to Israel's unilateral and unconditional pull-out from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and the subsequent victory of the Kadima party on a platform of ceding more land for peace -- across all of these decades of endless strife and terrorism, Israel has always accepted compromise in the cause of peace, has offered land for peace, has ceded land for peace, and has offered to cede more when the terrorists stop their terrorism and sit down at the negotiating table.

The track-record of the Arab leadership has been the opposite. Arab leaders from 1937 to today have rejected every offer of statehood alongside of Israel, and instead looked to war and terrorism, violence and mass murder, to create their state instead of Israel: Palestine from the River to the Sea -- Judenrein.

In short, while there may be no specific Mandela-like leader in Israel today, Israel as a body politic and as a nation, over the past 70 years, has already risen to Rev. Bland's challenge. But he seems not to notice.

When he writes, "...each...looks to the other to perform the difficult actions..," he again creates a false moral equivalence. Hamas leaders are not looking anxiously toward Israel to discern some indication of peaceful intent. They are looking to find the cracks in the defensive barrier through which they can smuggle a suicide bomber.

Israel has already performed many "...difficult actions needed to move the peace process forward." Hamas has seen these as a sign of weakness, a sign that terrorism works.

Rev. Bland further compounds his error when he says that "...progress toward peace....is not stalled because no one can envision the final settlement."

Ehud Baraq offered his vision, together with President Clinton at Camp David in June of 2000: a two-state solution with "Palestine" in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a bridge connecting the two so that Palestinians would ride over, and not through, Israel (hence the name: "bridge plan"), and a far-reaching Israeli compromise such that the Palestinian Authority would end up with territory equivalent to the entire area of the West Bank and Gaza Strip combined. Arafat rejected this proposal (much to President Clinton's chagrin and Baraq's disappointment) and went to war (Intifada 2, September 29, 2000).

Hamas is clear on its vision of a final settlement: no Israel, no Jews.

Rev. Bland cannot not know that. Yet he speaks of visions of final settlement as though they were a concept shared by both Hamas and Israel.

His suggestion that "..some rough approximation of the Clinton formula is the only deal possible " is clearly incorrect. There are many thoughtful and intelligent leaders in the Arab world who thoughtfully and studiously reject the Clinton formula and seek Hamas' formula: No Israel, no Jews.

While Rev. Bland closes with a deeply insightful and powerful question: "..who will lead us there," his use of the word "us" (like the misleading "we" above), creates an untenable moral equivalence. It is as though Rev. Bland cannot distinguish between the fire fighter and the arsonist.

Based on its words and deeds over the last 70 years, Israel is already "there." But on the Palestinian side, it is beyond rational argument that those not "there" include Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and the DFLP and the PFLP-GC and the el-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and the Tanzim and Force 17 and the Resistance Committees and Fatah and the PLO and Hezbollah and el-Qaeda and Ansar el-Islam and el-Gama'a el-Islamiyeh and the Muslim Brotherhood, and many other forces in the Muslim world such as Syria and Lebanon and Libya and Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The simple but tragic reality is that if the terrorists would lay down their weapons, there would be no more violence. But if Israel laid down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.

This is a critical difference that Rev. Bland seems not to notice; a difference which his moral equivalence obfuscates.

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 19, 2007.

This was written by Judith Apter Klinghoffer

Killers are everything but original. If the pictures sent by were not reminiscent enough of Islamist vigilantes, his argumentation cannot be more identical -- his college classmates and teachers were not moral enough to live and therefore he had a right to kill them:

You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn't enough. Your vodka and Cognac weren't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.

The Iranian supreme court could not agree more. It has just reaffirmed that according to their interpretation of Muslim law, individuals have the right to decide that their fellow citizens are not moral enough to live and proceed to execute them:

The Iranian Supreme Court has overturned the murder convictions of six members of a prestigious state militia who killed five people they considered "morally corrupt." ...

The ruling stems from a case in 2002 in Kerman that began after the accused watched a tape by a senior cleric who ruled that Muslims could kill a morally corrupt person if the law failed to confront that person.

Some 17 people were killed in gruesome ways after that viewing, but only five deaths were linked to this group. The six accused, all in their early 20s, explained to the court that they had taken their victims outside the city after they had identified them. Then they stoned them to death or drowned them in a pond by sitting on their chests.

In other words, Iran would be acting virtuously if it used its nukes to destroy any country (not only Israel) it considers too immoral to survive. Oh, yes, the IAEA just informed us that Iran produces nuclear fuel in underground facility.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 19, 2007.

So many of us here in Israel have been watching the Olmert government with something like horror. We are finding its policies to be cause for despair, and its lack of integrity to be cause for shame. We see that Olmert is the least popular of prime ministers (at one point with an incredible 3% approval rating) and we hear the rumors about Kadima imploding -- with some members returning to the Likud from which they had bolted.

But time goes on, and nothing happens, and we say Nu? So? Enough already.

The relative stability of the Olmert gov't is a function of the nature of coalition politics here in Israel. If everyone in the coalition sees him/herself as benefiting from continuation of the coalition, it goes on. Ironically, the very weakness of the position of the gov't has given it a strength. That is, people in the Kadima party and even in other parties in the coalition, look at what's happening and realize that once they're out, public opinion of them may be so low that they'll never acquire such power again in an election. And so they decide it's best to stay put for as long as they can.

But now, just possibly, the end may be approaching:

I have alluded here to the testimony Olmert gave to the Winograd Committee regarding conduct of the Lebanon War, and the fact that this will further (possibly fatally) weaken him when it is released, so that he is forced to resign. While there are still disputes about this in terms of timing, that testimony will be released.

Perhaps in anticipation of this, Likud chair and head of the opposition, Binyamin Netanyahu is now reportedly taking an active role in bringing down the gov't instead of waiting in the wings anticipating the fall. According to Arutz Sheva, he is launching a public campaign to encourage the toppling of Olmert. Reportedly he is planning nation-wide protest vigils with the message, "You've Failed- Go Home," in order to create an atmosphere conducive to bringing down the gov't. I am certainly not opposed to this, and it is possible (likely?) that this public campaign is only one arm of Netanyahu's strategy. But -- as we've already seen -- public opinion alone does not bring down the gov't; it depends on political machinations from within the system. All public opinion can do is set a tone that encourages the relevant parties to take the steps that will bring the end of the gov't. Apparently Netanyahu has been courting former Likud members now in Kadima to return; this would have a major effect on the situation. As well, there is the possibility of Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party leaving the coalition.


In addition to this, there is a step being taken by MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP), who has now submitted a draft for a law that would empower the Knesset to declare a government a "government of disgrace," if more than 10% of its members were under police investigation. The government would then be forced into a position of having to resign.

In a general sense, this law might be a helpful adjunct to efforts to keep government clean in the future: there has been revulsion about the fact that we have so many public figures who are not clean, and a new understanding has been reached of the need to do something about this. Said Eldad, a corrupt government leads to "abhorrence, disgust...and a lack of public trust." This is addition to the "heavy public relations damage to Israel."

In a very immediate sense, this would almost certainly apply to the Olmert gov't.

Of course, the law has to pass first.


Some political observations here:

-- The greatest fear, should Olmert be forced to resign, is that Tzipni Livni, currently foreign minister, might be able to hold together the coalition. This is her intention, as she sees herself as prime minister-in-waiting. For many of us, it is the stuff of nightmares. Livni has no corruption charges against her, which makes her more popular with the public than Olmert, but she is lacking essential competency and political "smarts". Livni is the one, for example, who lobbied intensely against a strong ground action in Lebanon during the war, so that a "diplomatic solution" might be put in place instead; we all know what the result of that diplomatic solution has been.

-- It is considered almost a given that Netanyahu will at some point assume the mantle of the prime minister. He is certainly preparing himself for this and the polls give Likud solid numbers now. Not a popular or trusted figure in some quarters, he claims that he has learned his lessons and is well prepared for the role now, as he was not previously. Netanyahu's instincts are solid -- which Olmert's are not. The question is one of whether he will stand strong on principle for the sake of the nation (for example, refusing to make damaging concessions to the Palestinians), or, when push comes to shove, cave for the sake of personal gain or political expediency. While he would not be my first choice, Netanyahu for me is a far better alternative than Olmert. With the exception of Livni, who is dangerous, anyone is better than Olmert. Netanyahu's performance at the head of the government would depend in large part of the members of the coalition he assembled.

-- Aryeh Eldad has a great deal going for him -- in terms of absolute integrity and a strong nationalist viewpoint. You would not see him making concessions to the Palestinians. He is secular, which makes him more popular with the largely secular populace than a nationalist politician who wears a kippah would be. By training, he is a plastic surgeon; as head of Hadassah Hospital's Burns & Reconstructive Surgery Department, he treated victims of terror (and also on occasion treated terrorists who were wounded but didn't die while initiating attacks). I mention Aryeh here because he is up and coming. There is nothing definitive to say as yet, but he should be watched.

I note, finally, that collapse of the government does not necessarily lead to new elections; if it is possible to paste together a new coalition -- and Netanyahu would most likely be called upon to do so -- no elections are required.

Now...we must wait (still) and see how it goes.


Speaker of the Knesset and eight other MKs (primarily members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee) went to Jordan today to speak with King Abdullah about the "peace process." A Jerusalem Post internet headline earlier today spoke about the "stalled peace process." All of this is irritating in the extreme. More than irritating, for it is so dishonest and unrealistic. Stalled? It's moribund? Peace process? With a PA entity that doesn't recognize us and endorses terrorism? It does not end and my fear, always, is that we will end up making dangerous concessions.

Said Abdullah: The first step Israel has to take to end the Arab-Israel conflict is to establish a Palestinian state on Palestinian national territory. An outrageous statement in its assumptions and in what it ignores. This depends on us? We're supposed to permit the establishment of a state dedicated to our destruction?

Apparently the MKs asked Abdullah to help secure Shalit's release. Do they imagine he has leverage with the radicals who are holding Shalit when Egypt hasn't been able to accomplish his release?


Abdullah is simply echoing the Arab League line now. They have indicated that there will be no contact with Israel beyond that of Jordan and Egypt, who have been delegated to push Israel to accept their plan, until Israel meets certain stipulations. What pains me is that Olmert let it be known that he was eager to meet with an Arab delegation, so that he's now in the position of being snubbed. Once again I return to Moshe Sharon's model of Middle East negotiations as a bazaar: you do not appear eager in the bazaar. Olmert is acting too hungry, which makes the Arab League assume they can squeeze him.


Some Arab newspapers have run reports that Abbas had secured a commitment from Islamic Jihad to halt Kassam rocket attacks on Israel. IJ, however, denies these reports. This hardly comes as a surprise.

What I see as significant is that an IJ official met with former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei in Damascus recently, and, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, discussed inclusion of Islamic Jihad in the PLO. The entire nature of the group that ostensibly represents all Palestinians and is empowered to negotiate on their behalf is changing as the Islamists -- IJ and Hamas -- are being included. This is a sign of increased radicalization and makes a mockery of notions that a "moderate" Abbas can negotiate as head of the PLO.

Meanwhile, Hamas has issued more threats against Israel, saying that "resistance [terrorism] is the only way to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea." Please, note this policy carefully.


The UN Security Council, for the first time since it passed resolution 1701, which ended the Lebanon war, is registering concern about the smuggling of arms for Hezbollah across the border from Syria. Where have they been until now? My take is that the new secretary-general has something to do with this.

At any rate, this is good news -- though considerable damage has already been done with regard to Hezbollah's rearming. The Security Council -- responding to reports from Israel and other sources -- has decided to send a team to Lebanon to investigate. Many weeks ago I shared reports that arms were coming across the border by truck at night, with ease, on a regular basis. UNIFIL was not (I assume still is not) operating at night.

Now again, we are in wait-and-see mode in terms of whether this "team" actually comes back with solid information and whether the Council then decides to act in some effective manner. On this I would not hold my breath. The Council has called upon Syria to take further measures to block arms crossing the border. This truly is like asking the fox to not take so many chickens from the henhouse. Syrian sanctions the movement of arms.


It is good news that the EU today is going to outlaw the denial of genocide. Sweeping legislation that would set a common standard for all 27 EU nations would criminalize the denial of genocide. In the draft legislation, the Holocaust was referred to as an example of genocide that should not be denied.


The US recently announced intentions to sell sophisticated weaponry to "moderate" Arab states that are US allies, alarming Israel because of the possibility that this would diminish or destroy the Israeli military edge. Reportedly, the sale was held up because of Israeli concerns. US Sec. of Defense Gates, who today met with PM Olmert, addressed these concerns without making a definitive statement about whether the sale would be finalized. It would certainly seem that it will be, for Gates spoke about how other countries such as Russia would be happy to sell weapons to the Arabs (that is: if we don't do it, someone else will, so we might as well profit). He offered verbal assurances, for whatever they are worth, that the US remains committed to preserving Israel's military edge.


Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, Head of the IDF Southern Command, in an analysis for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, speaks about Iranian involvement with the Palestinians and provides some significant insights and information:

"Israel left Gaza almost two years ago, and the Palestinians were left with natural gas, greenhouses, and fields. In other words, they had the option to take another route. However, they chose the terror route and elected Hamas, which does not recognize Israel or any agreements signed with the Palestinians at Oslo and afterwards.

"Hamas's leaders may give up using terror temporarily, and will compromise about the Palestinian government, but they will never give up their ideology. Knowing this helps Israel understand that even though a ceasefire cuts down on terror, it does not create a solution to the problem, since it is only temporary.

"The Palestinians in Gaza are well organized in four brigades: the northern brigade, the Gaza City brigade, the central brigade, and the southern brigade, each with its own commander. They have battalions, companies, and platoons, as well as special forces dealing with sniping, infantry, explosives, and anti-tank weapons. All the know-how is brought in from abroad -- from Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah, and everything is following a plan. This is an organization with leadership, a doctrine, structure, training, weaponry, manpower, and a goal -- to establish a serious military force in Gaza...

"The source of most of the knowledge of using mines, explosives, and anti-tank missiles is Iran...It is now possible for terrorists to move freely between Gaza and Egypt, and from there to Syria, Lebanon, and Iran for training. Iranians also come to Gaza to inspect the situation and hold training exercises.

"Cooperation among Hamas, Iran, Hizballah, and other global terror organizations creates a knowledge base and enhances motivation, which is helping Hamas. In Gaza, there is high motivation to hit Israel...

"Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigade is already an Iranian organization similar to Islamic Jihad. This has occurred because the Iranians understood that it was easy to connect with its members, even though they are Sunni and not radical Muslims. This is where money makes the difference. A few years ago, the Al Aqsa Brigade in Judea and Samaria was bought out by Iran and activated against Israel according to Iranian instructions.

"All the terrorists groups are not the same and have major problems among themselves, but right now they have a common goal -- to push Israel, as well as the Americans, from the area.

http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID= 1&TMID=111&FID=443&PID=0&IID=1549&TTL=The_Strategic_Challenge_of_Gaza


The al-Qaida-affiliated group that allegedly abducted and then murdered BBC journalist Alan Johnston has not delivered the video it promised proving that he was murdered. Now there are demands of a $5 million ransom. The PA says it can neither confirm nor deny any of this.

Today Marwan Barghouti made news from his prison cell as he called for Johnston's release because he is a friend to the Palestinian people.

Well... if it turns out that Johnston is alive that will put a big hole in the theory of British journalist Alan Hart who has suggested (I am not making this up) that, as Johnston was pro-Palestinian, Israeli had the most to gain from his elimination: "It would not be the first time that Israeli agents had dressed as Arabs to make a hit." Sigh...


Allow me, please, to return to Britain for two items.

-- It has been announced that the British Treasury and the Pears Foundation will each contribute 250,000 pounds per year, for three years, to the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) to train instructors to teach the Holocaust.

It was never an issue that the Holocaust was going to be dropped from the UK curriculum, but one cannot help but wonder if the results of the recent study, and the subsequent furor that ensued, didn't have an effect on this decision to enhance that education.

-- You might want to see an opinion piece, "Not in my name," by British journalist Chas Newkey Burden in today's YNet. Burden provides a rather hair-raising description of the anti-Israel bias of that prevails within British media:

"...the British media has long been absorbed by a blind hatred of Israel. Newspapers like The Independent and The Guardian print editorials that are so biased and distorted that Osama Bin Laden would probably blush at them. The BBC refuses to describe suicide bombers who blow up buses full of schoolchildren as "terrorists" and one of its correspondents told a Hamas rally that he and his colleagues were 'waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinian people.'

"I visited Israel for the first time last year to research some articles about tourism there. Within hours of my return I received a call from a journalist acquaintance who asked me with genuine shock: 'What's all this about you going to Israel?' He said that a mutual journalist acquaintance of ours was 'absolutely disgusted' with me for going there and that he hoped I was 'going to put the boot in' when I wrote my articles.

"...The evening after my return from Israel, I met up with some journalists for some drinks...I was again abused for my trip. Their hatred of Israel was matched only by their adoration of the Palestinians. One of them gushed: 'Boy, those suicide bombers have got guts. I wish more people in the world had their courage.'

"...The editor of another magazine once told me I was not allowed to write that Yasser Arafat turned down Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David in 2000. I asked why and he replied 'because of a need for balance.' I pointed out that nobody, including Arafat, has ever disputed that he rejected Barak's offer and the editor replied: 'Well, I don't know about that but you still can't write it.'"

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info

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Posted by Zalmi, April 19, 2007.

30 years ago Israeli troops flew 2,200 miles to a foreign country and rescued 80 Jewish civilians in Entebbe within a few days of their capture in an airplane hijacking.

Today -- after 9 months -- the government of Israel has not been able to organise the rescue of a single lonely soldier from our own back yard!

In Gaza ... an area the IDF has occupied for decades and knows like the back if its hand.

Is it any wonder that our enemies no longer fear us? That they laugh at us?

That they can only be encouraged to do more of the same?

Contact Zalmi by email at zalmi@zalmi.net. This article was posted at his website at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, April 19, 2007.
I am in the belief that the world of 1933 assisted the Nazis to make the Holocaust to happen. Among those assisting were Jewish organizations that could never get united to delineate the obstacles and obliterate the threats, before they went way too far and beyond. I am in the belief that the world of 2007 is assisting the Islamo fascists to try bringing upon the Jewish Nation another Holocaust. Among those assisting this new drive to bring upon Jews another Holocaust are Jews by birth but not by soul and Jewish organizations that are just not willing to unite, delineate the obstacles and obliterate the threat. However, if a Jew and son of a Nazi victim can promote a pernicious analogy between Israel and the Nazis, then others who follow are immune to accusations of anti-Semitism. We have been around for over 3,000 and have the best experience as to how to survive and prevail! I am in the belief that in the world of 2007 if ALL Jews, no matter where they live, and ALL Jewish organizations got together, tightly united, we, Jews, do not need any help from anyone!

This was written by Gerald Steinberg, who is editor of NGO Monitor and director of the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University. Entitled "Abusing the Holocaust," it appeared April 14, 2007 in the Jerusalem Post
(http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1176152793901&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) .

Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, opened a recent response to critics of his statements on Israel (including the author of this column) by referring to his father's "escape" from Nazi Germany. Roth often uses this theme in addressing Jewish audiences.

In a November 2004 interview with The Jerusalem Post Roth also began his defense by referring to his father's "stories of life in Nazi Germany until he fled in summer 1938." That interview took place after angry responses to a press conference at the American Colony Hotel, in which Roth publicized HRW's report ("Razing Rafah") attacking Israeli measures to stop Palestinian weapons smuggling into Gaza. The same phrases appear on Roth's personal home page and in articles by his friends.

Rosa Brooks, a former HRW employee, defended Roth in the Los Angeles Times during the fighting in Lebanon by noting that his father had "fled Nazi Germany." And Reed Brody, who works closely with Roth at HRW and led the campaign to try Ariel Sharon in Belgium as a "war criminal," refers to his own father's status as a Holocaust survivor.

Roth's (and Brody's) frequent use of this issue suggest that their parents' relationship to the Holocaust gives them special standing and immunity to criticism. Roth states that "my personal existence is very much a product of human rights abuse," implying he has a moral duty to campaign against such abuse whenever and wherever it takes place, and that Israel should not receive special treatment.

EXCEPT THAT Israel does receive special treatment by Roth and HRW, in a negative and highly discriminatory manner. Detailed analysis of HRW's activities by NGO Monitor, and verified independently, clearly demonstrate a highly disproportionate emphasis on allegations against Israel. During the 34-day war in Lebanon, HRW issued over 30 statements -- most of which attacked Israel. Hizbullah's illegal aggression was never mentioned, and a few words were devoted to the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Roth and HRW are clearly using their power to target Israel.

In this situation, the constant invocation of the Holocaust by Roth and his defenders is unconvincing and odious.

Nazi Germany's mass murder of the Jewish people in no way excuses or justifies HRW reports that accuse Israel of "indiscriminate strikes on civilians," "collective punishment" and "war crimes" -- the same offenses committed by the Nazis.

In the Kana incident of July 2006, HRW's report, which falsely accused Israel of killing 56 civilians in this Southern Lebanese village, was repeated around the world; by the time HRW issued a partial correction, the damage was irreversible.

The experiences of Roth's father also did not justify HRW's attacks on Israel in 2002, when it inaccurately labeled Israeli actions to end Palestinian suicide attacks from Jenin as "war crimes," paving the way for other NGOs, as well as in news reports and editorial cartoons, to use the same language to promote a pernicious analogy between Israel and the Nazis, particularly in Muslim countries and Europe.

If a Jew and son of a Nazi victim can use such terms, then others who follow are immune to accusations of anti-Semitism. (Norman Finkelstein also uses this strategy, linking the fact that his parents are survivors to his radical anti-Israel campaigns and repugnant references to "the Holocaust industry.")

MAINTAINING a calm and emotion-free demeanor to argue the case is difficult when the memory of the Six Million murdered by the Nazis is used to bash Israel. For the vast majority of Jews who escaped or survived the Nazis and either came to Israel after the war or strongly support Israel's right to defend itself, these comparisons are particularly offensive. One of the major lessons that others draw from the Holocaust is the need for Jews to be able to defend themselves and never again to be vulnerable to such murderous attacks. In contrast, after again invoking his father, Roth declares "Among the lessons that I drew from his stories was that military force alone is not enough to combat the world's evils."

Beyond the triteness of this statement (no intelligent person believes in "military force alone"), the implication, once again, is that Israel is violating the "lessons" of the Holocaust by using force to defend itself.

This attempt to appropriate the "lessons of the Holocaust" has also destroyed the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in response to German racism and mass murder. This document has been exploited for obsessive anti-Israel campaigns, such as the NGO Forum of the infamous Durban conference on Racism in 2001 (the HRW delegation was headed by Reed Brody), and the UN Human Rights Council. Roth claims to oppose the excesses of the UNHRC, but last year he condemned Israel and the US for warning that this would be the outcome.

The impact goes far beyond the fringe views of a few individuals; Roth heads a very powerful organization with an annual budget of $50 million. In addition to demonizing Israel and undermining human rights, this power furthers efforts to rewrite and distort the Holocaust. For this, there is no atonement.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog:

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, April 19, 2007.

This was written by Charles Newkey Burden and appeared today in Ynet News as an Opinion Piece

British journalists' union boycott motion reflects deep animosity towards Israel

The British public's perception of journalists has sunk so low that when I am asked in social situations what my job is, I am sometimes tempted to pretend I am part of a more respected profession -- like drug trafficking. I exaggerate, of course, but only a little. Most people view journalists as immoral liars who would sell our own grandmothers for a front-page scoop. I am an altogether softer writer, so when members of my profession publish sensationalist or intrusive stories, I don't sit and flog myself on their behalf.

However, when the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) passed a motion at its annual meeting to boycott Israel, I hung my head in utter shame and despair -- despite the fact that I am no longer an NUJ member. Those emotions of shame and despair were not joined by shock, though, because the British media has long been absorbed by a blind hatred of Israel. Newspapers like The Independent and The Guardian print editorials that are so biased and distorted that Osama Bin Laden would probably blush at them. The BBC refuses to describe suicide bombers who blow up buses full of schoolchildren as "terrorists" and one of its correspondents told a Hamas rally that he and his colleagues were "waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinian people".

I visited Israel for the first time last year to research some articles about tourism there. Within hours of my return I received a call from a journalist acquaintance who asked me with genuine shock: "What's all this about you going to Israel?" He said that a mutual journalist acquaintance of ours was "absolutely disgusted" with me for going there and that he hoped I was "going to put the boot in" when I wrote my articles.

These were not close acquaintances, I hadn't even spoken to one of them for nearly nine years and it must have taken them some digging around to find my telephone number. They obviously thought it was worth the trouble to have a dig at a writer who was friendly to Israel. Apparently the "absolutely disgusted" man -- a weekly columnist on a high-profile magazine -- has since tried to get an article published that claims that Tony Blair murdered Yasser Arafat.

'Those suicide bombers have got guts'

The evening after my return from Israel, I met up with some journalists for some drinks in the West End of London. I was again abused for my trip. Their hatred of Israel was matched only by their adoration of the Palestinians. One of them gushed: "Boy, those suicide bombers have got guts. I wish more people in the world had their courage." Another of them erupted when I told him that most people in Israel wanted a peaceful settlement to the conflict. "So why," he asked, "did they murder their most peaceful Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?"

Well, I guess if you're going to get your facts wrong you might as well get them spectacularly wrong -- I wonder if anyone else has ever got Netanyahu confused with Yitzhak Rabin?

I was also warned not to get any ideas about trying to get a positive account of my trip published. In the end I did manage just that but only after an unprecedented, almost sentence-by-sentence dissection of my article by the commissioning editor during the course of which I had to repeatedly remind him that there is such a thing as an Israeli Arab and that not everyone in Israel is an Orthodox Jew. Both facts seemed to come as huge shocks to him. I've no doubt that if I had written on "The Hidden Wonders of Tehran" or "The Joy Of Jeddah," I'd have had a much easier ride.

The editor of another magazine once told me I was not allowed to write that Yasser Arafat turned down Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David in 2000. I asked why and he replied "because of a need for balance." I pointed out that nobody, including Arafat, has ever disputed that he rejected Barak's offer and the editor replied: "Well, I don't know about that but you still can't write it." The article in question was an "opinion" piece, so taking sides was exactly the brief -- as long as it was not Israel's side, apparently.

The same magazine had happily published articles accusing Israel of "war crimes" and carried advertising accusing Israel of apartheid policies. The need for balance is relative, it seems.

There was certainly nothing balanced about the NUJ boycott motion. The factual errors in the motion's wording are clear: For instance they seem not to have noticed that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. It's a contemptible motion. There's a phrase that became popular in Britain before the run-up to the war in Iraq. I've never liked this phrase because to me it reflects the selfishness of the anti-war lobby. However, in the aftermath of the NUJ motion it sums up perfectly how I feel about the boycott: Not in my name

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglicans For Israel. Contact him at simon.mcilwaine@ormerods.co.uk Or visit the website: www.anglicansforisrael.com

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, April 19, 2007.


Again, this is the widespread sentiment among many, if not most, Israelis concerning the release of terrorists as ransom for our kidnapped soldier.

This is not in any way, shape or form a "prisoner swap" as Hamas tells the gullible media. It is opening the gates to mass murderers as a reward for kidnapping an Israeli soldier from Israel and holding him hostage.


This is by Efraim Inbar, and it appeared today in The Jerusalem Post. He is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.

The Israeli government seems to have already agreed to release over 1,000 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier abducted in June 2006. It is now negotiating with the new Hamas-led Palestinian government over the identity of the Palestinian terrorists to be included in the deal. While the moral obligation is to bring Shalit home, this duty is limited by other significant moral and utilitarian considerations.

Releasing terrorists prematurely encourages additional acts of terror. Palestinian terrorists learn time and again that the risk of a long jail term is minimal as long as their comrades are successful in abducting an Israeli citizen. Sending terrorists home before the end of their prison terms undermines the retribution dimension of a justice system.

Moreover, Israeli prisons fail to rehabilitate the Palestinians and to reeducate them into peace-loving neighbors. Statistics show that almost 50 percent of the released terrorists return to their old habits of trying to kill and maim Israeli civilians. Releasing terrorists and thereby endangering the lives of additional Israelis is unequivocally immoral.

On top of that, the planned deal with the Palestinians is also a slap in the face to the families of murdered Israelis at the hands of the Palestinians. While severe punishment is no consolation to the bereaved, the joy of the murderers and their well advertised victory signs renew the pain and agony. This undermines the resilience of Israeli society in its long struggle against terror.

THE NEGOTIATIONS and planned release of terrorists will strengthen the new Palestinian government, which is dominated by Hamas. Any moderates in the Palestinian leadership will be weakened, while Hamas, which has done poorly in governing the Palestinians, will be strengthened by demonstrating that it is helping the return of the imprisoned Palestinians. The deal will boost Palestinian morale and will inject a dose of domestic support to the Islamist dominated government. In addition, the deal with Israel will allow the new Palestinian government, which refuses to recognize the Jewish State, to further erode the international isolation that had been imposed on the previous government by the international community.

Negotiations with the Palestinian government over the discharge of terrorists from jail sends the wrong message. It is hard to believe that a country that was successful in saving Jewish hostages from Entebbe, thousands of kilometers away, is giving in to blackmail by bandits located just a few kilometers from Israel's border. Most Israelis view this as humiliating, and will probably support a courageous government determined to put an end to past misguided policies and to say no to Palestinian blackmail. This conveys an important signal to all terrorist groups planning to kidnap Israelis.

THE SOLUTION is not a prisoner swap, but military action in Gaza. The need for a large-scale operation has been evident for some time. Gaza was spared the treatment the West Bank received in the April 2002 Defensive Shield Operation, which significantly reduced Palestinian capabilities to harm Israel. The unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in the fall of 2005 created even better conditions for terrorists to attack Israel. Palestinians capabilities are augmented daily by an influx of arms and advanced technologies, which they will have more of a chance or receiving with increased international support. The Kassam range has been steadily extended and more tunnels have been dug, putting a greater number of Israelis in danger. Additionally, after the botched Second Lebanese War, Hamas and other militias in Gaza are trying to emulate the Hizbullah, and believe they have a chance to defeat the IDF.

The lesson learned in Lebanon is that inaction over time is dangerous and costly. The sooner the IDF deals with the burgeoning Palestinian military capabilities the better. A permanent reoccupation of Gaza is not necessary, simply a large-scale attack to clean the Gaza Strip of current hostile capabilities, to be followed by intermittent military forays. Such actions may exact a cost from Israel that will in all probability be lower than the price for a much delayed operation. Israel's overall security will be better served by preempting forcefully now in Gaza than by waiting.

Operations in Gaza are also necessary in order to complicate the life of the new Palestinian government and to prevent its entrenchment. More importantly, a military success would restore a modicum of deterrence, in order to show the Palestinians and other radicals in the Middle East that the events of summer 2006 represented temporary failures and that the IDF is still an effective force. Offering over 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for one Israeli soldier is not the way to go.

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

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Posted by Boris Celser, April 18, 2007.

Dear General Secretary,
National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Please be so kind as to circulate among all your members, the following (50 out of 200 +)fascinating viewpoints on the NUJ's call to "boycott Israeli goods." I am sure your members (particularly those who voted "yes" to the motion) will be very impressed by the interesting conclusions reached by so many people on what the word "Journalist" conjures up in the (rational) public's mind today.

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Trudy Gefen

This article was published in the Jerusalem Post
(www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1176152792457&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

Selected Talkbacks (50 out of 200 plus)

20. British journalists, Gary Patrick -- England, 04/14/2007

I am ashamed of my fellow countrymen. Israel should expel every last British journalist in the country and refuse to do interviews with or give information to any British news agency.

5. Then go the whole nine yards, Zoe, 04/14/2007

A reminder to the boycotters: please remember to throw out any computer in your possession with intel processors all of which are designed in Haifa, Israel. Oh -- and your cellphones. In fact, good luck with your future "journalism" now that you have sealed your own fate by boycotting devices necessary for journalistic communique invariably manufactured or designed by these "slaughterers".

189. Boycott, Alan -- England, 04/15/2007

Please don't think all of us English people are the same. I am English and know the BBC and most other media are so biased against Israel. However, the times are changing. We know the danger of Islam and very soon the whole issue will blow up and (hopefully) we will get our country back.

65. Ashamed to be british, paul -- uk, 04/14/2007

The same journalist that called for more aggressive action during the recent Iranian standoff, it makes ashamed to be British.Why is it that the British media always find a way of excusing Israel's enemies? Maybe there scared of finding a bomb under their desk!

93. I am living in london... it is awful!!! Tony -- UK, 04/14/2007

Hi. I have been living in London for a year now. I am from South Africa originally. I am here to make money because the pound is very strong. London is one of the worst places I have ever seen. It is dirty and smelly. The people are rude and angry. There are always fights on the underground. There is vomit on the streets. It always rains and is cold. I think that is why the English are a depressed and angry people. They are jealous of Israel where there is sun and nice people.

24. God forbid that they be confused with the facts! Frank Molnar -- USA, 04/14/2007

Freedom of the press, you say? Just how free and credible can they be from this point forward, (assuming they ever were) totally ignoring the facts leading up to the Lebanese 'war'. They gave up their rights to be called "journalists". I suggest that the JPost find a more suitable name for them.

77. A Yorkshire journalist's view, Maurice Jones -- UK, 04/14/2007

As a former member of the South Yorkshire branch of the NUJ who at the time (1991) won the title of Newspaper Society Yorkshire Journalist of the Year -- the highest accolade in Yorkshire journalism -- may I express my utter disgust at the movers and supporters of this grotesquely twisted resolution. I suspect the same Trotskyist clique that ran the South Yorkshire branch in my day still do. Truly, balanced and objective journalism is dying on its feet in wide sections of the UK media.

78. Journalists? Brian -- USA, 04/14/2007

If anyone doubted that journalists were horribly biased against Israel then they can no longer make that claim. These people should not be in a profession were they are supposed to tell a story and not try to scew it towards their views. They should all be fired.

62. Can our Brit friends, ashamed of these fascist-leftwing Weasels, let us have the names of those 'journalists' who voted for this Mark of Shame, Proud Zionist Lady, Israel the Jews' Promised Land, 04/14/2007

on British journalism? If their emails & that of the Union are available, please let us have them so we can use OUR Freedom of Expression (which they would love to deny us & our friends) to let them know exactly what we think of them -- politely if possible, impolitely if not! We could then pass this data on to Israeli authorities so that WE can boycott THEM, proving that not only are we are not amused, we will neither forgive nor forget insults, lies & humiliations from the dregs of humanity.

129. Interestingly, this boycott comes just in time for Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day (Mon. 16.4.07), Tee Gee -- Israel, 04/14/2007

Coincidence or a timely reminder that anti-semites like Neville Chamberlain & BrownShirt leader Sir Oswald Moseley had many supporters pre-WW2, & that they still abound? Soppy Edward VIII & his backstreet girl Mrs. Simpson were also as anti-semitic as they come. Little has changed in certain circles in Dear Old Blighty towards Jews (Brits, Israelis etc), but at least the false masks of fairness & tolerance worn by so many pretenders have now fallen off for all to see & it's not a pretty sight!

120. 1930s Revisited, Louis Knight -- USA, 04/15/2007

Was it not Britain's finest that started singing the praises of one Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s? Here again we have confused Brits who cannot tell the difference between good and evil. History always reveals cowardice in hindsight.

7. Excellent idea!!! Per -- Norway, 04/14/2007

We may now look forward to seeing a majority of British journalists and BBC propagandists remove from their PCs all components with an Israeli origin. I already enjoy the prospects for their boycott, and hope they will all follow it up by being abducted by their Arab friends.

171. UK Reporters -- So, give up your laptops (bloody hypocrites), Scott -- USA, 04/15/2007

Every single computer in the world contains parts made or designed in Israel. So, if you want to boycott Israel, give up your laptops, desktops, and PDA's -- and go to hell.

16. An old story, Charlie, 04/14/2007

Did they carry news about Jewish genocide in WWll? NO! Support Israel when the fledgling Nation was attacked by 5 arab countries? NO! Show Israel's view of the events for the last 60 years? RARELY! They are the bigots so concerned about being politically correct when it comes to other people so this makes them anti-semites, some thing they can be proud to be. Screw the anti semites. Keep them out of Israel, away from news events, and away from your CHILDREN and pets. They can't be trusted.

4. British Journalists, Ezra -- Canada, 04/14/2007

What does one say regarding this demonstration of arrogance and selective idiocy. One thing that is made crystal clear here is the fact that these people are pure biased bigots and that their journalistic work in nothing more than a spiders web of concocted lies. Just plain self important left wing fools, they should be barred from Israel permanently!!. Go Israel !!

60. BOYCOTT THE BRITISH MEDIA!!! James Kristien -- USA, 04/14/2007

Ever wonder why BBC news reports sound like terrorist propaganda? Or why their anti-Israel bias and antisemitism is so widespread? Well, here's your answer -- the majority of British journalists are no more than cowardly, terrorist-appeasing, anti-semitic excrement. They really proved it this time! Their hatred of Israel and Judiasm is manifest as supporting terror and boycotting the victims -- they are just as guilty as the terror leaders. BOYCOTT THE BRITISH MEDIA!!

47. The Sun never sets on the British, Lujack Skylark -- USA, 04/14/2007

Empire until the British tried stopping the Jews from settling in Israel. The Sun has finally set and the Moslem moon (crescent) now flies over London. Have you been to London lately?

6. Shame, Fabien -- Luxembourg, 04/14/2007

As someone of British origin I'm ashamed that this organisation has been taken over by radical left-wing elements. Of course this isn't an official national body so it shouldn't be heeded by anyone with an objective view of Israel.

12. We know that British journalists have no credibilty, Rafa, 04/14/2007

They manipulated the news when they covered the Lebanon war, they invented photo-scenes just to pay for their plane ticket there... look at the one in Gaza who self-kidnapped himself to avoid being fired... British journalists, starting with BBC's, are not journalists: they prostitute themselves to sell their (false) stories.

130. British were always against Jews!!! Gabriel -- Hungary, EU, 04/15/2007

Israelis and Jews can still remember British hatred and government from the time of their mandate. They even sent Holocaust survivors into camps in Cyprus and in other places. Their most important allies were the Nazi Arab mufties and Arab terrorists of former Palestine. To the British only the Arab oil and their own imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East were important. Jews were a small group of "insignificant" freedom fighters.

147. Hebron Massacre (1929), Exodus, etc. Jonathan -- Canada, 04/15/2007

The British, ashamed of their past attitude and actions against the Jews and Israel, would rather project against their victims than face their guilt and shame.

14. British Journalists Against Israel, Andrea Moriah -- Israel, 04/14/2007

Israel should not, under any circumstances, allow British Journalists to enter Israel until this boycott is repealed.

22. Help them boycott, Yossi -- USA, 04/14/2007

Let's help them with their boycott of Israel: Deport all members of this union currently in Israel, and deny visas to any who would want to come in the future.

51. Let's give them a little help, Corina Heim -- Israel, 04/14/2007

Let's give the British journalists a little help to boycott the Israeli goods! I mean throw them out from the luxury hotels in Jerusalem and send them over the fence, to their real friends!

77. Shame! Asger B. -- Denmark, 04/14/2007

I'm so embarrassed to be European... British media is becoming a proxy of the Muslim Brotherhood.

94. Ban British Journalists From Israel. Terry -- Israel, 04/14/2007

It's called reciprocity. No visas for British journalists.

2. How can these "journalists" possibly claim objectivity? McQueen -- NY, 04/14/2007

They have made their biases clear. How can they still claim their reporting is fair?

98. History rewritten again, Jose Arenas -- France, 04/14/2007

How many times will history be rewritten -- no holocaust, no arab invasion of Israel in 1948-1967-1973, no Lebanese rockets on israel in 2006, no Hamas rockets on Israel -- History always seem to be rewritten to the detriment of Jews. The world wants to forget and create new truths -- we must never let them

51. Excellent Idea 2, JW -- USA, 04/14/2007

In the twisted bizarro world of British left-wing political thinking, maybe if Limey journalists start being abducted in Israel, they'll become more sympathetic. JW New York

188. Anti-boycott measure, Gordon Shifman -- Israel, 04/15/2007

As I prevously advised in connection with British academics proposed boycott fo Israel, I reiterate the following: Subejct any British journalists wishing to enter Israel to a strip search and rectal probe in order to ascertain whether (on the admittedly remote offchance) they might be hiding their brains up their arse.

100. LEFT-WING JOURNALISTS ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO REASON Elly Hensel -- Denmark, 04/14/2007

in an objective way. Furthermore they make their own twisted facts. Certainly the same can be said about left-wing parties and people. In their eagerness to stress the fact that they dislike or even hate Israel and America they prefer to close their eyes and sympathize and give support to Islamists and terrorists.

185. Islamic Republic of Great Britain, Danuel Rossi, 04/15/2007

It is coming soon. Once Holocaust studies have been deemed "offensive" to Muslims, English will be considered offensive and the official language of England will become Arabic, and then Islam will be the official religion. You think that's an exaggeration? Just wait and see. And then Israel will follow suit- Be like the west at ANY COST. Olmert and his cohorts are all suicidal.

3. Victory! Ron, 04/14/2007

After British marines were humiliated, after a BBC journalist got kidnapped over a month ago, the British lion finds something to growl about. Most observers will yawn at this pathetic "compensation" of hasbeens.

15. What Hypocrites!! Joel Block -- Israel, 04/14/2007

The Second Lebanon War was almost a year ago! Now they decide to protest? Better they should protest the kidnapping of their BBC colleague in Gaza. But that might be offensive to Moslems, and we can't have that, now can we?

17. No wonder! Hardi J. Niclasen -- Denmark, 04/14/2007

The nature of G-d defying, fallen man is also basically anti-Semitic. We should therefore, as time goes by, expect increasingly lesser understanding for the case of Israel and decreasing sympathy for the Jewish people world wide. This in turn will lead the people to rely on the only reliable source of defence the Rock of Israel who surely won't go back on His promises.Wait & see

18. Totally predictable, Leo Scheiner -- UK, 04/14/2007

Well, who can be surprised given the average journalistic coverage in the UK about the Middle East. If anyone had any doubts about the extremely biased attitude of British Journalism related to Israel, this should dispel those doubts. The Leftwing have an agenda that will not be influenced by reality. Everything is distorted to justify their conclusions.

32. Journalist Boycott, Mike -- US, 04/14/2007

Is it possible that Jimmy Carter is the CEO of this group of misguided and biased "journalists?" Let them go to any Arab country and try to report the truth; I am afraid they would return headless. Israel: disregard this nonesense, we have a nation to protect and lives to live.

10. Boycott, Colin -- Israel, 04/14/2007

GOOD RIDDANCE! Hope that Israel will respond in deed and ban all British journalists from Israel. At least there will be less anti-semitic and anti-Israeli news for the British public to read.

All was lies and untruths in any case so only good will come from this boycott. Please keep the boycott enforced.

9. What Else Is New? Guran Walker -- Ur-th, 04/14/2007

They accuse Israel not of what Israel does but of what happens TO Israel. Typical inversion of truth. It's called disingenuosity and it's not new.

4. Hail Britannia, Marshall Shapiro -- USA, 04/14/2007

This is a prime example of what is meant by the Islamization of Europe. I have personally boycotted all French products sold in this country. It is time I follow suite with British goods.

134. Bloody, bloody 'ell! David J -- USA, 04/15/2007

Another pointless act by an antisemitic press. They no longer even want to give the "appearance" of even handedness. I believe that they should look at the misery their "empire" has brought to the world. Look inward "mates" before you attack others eg. British response to the IRA, etc. The Al- Qaidas of the world are still going to attack you even if you do sell out. Think about that before you criticize others. PLEASE!

172. The BBC Finally Submitted. Londonistan is proud. ec -- USA, 04/15/2007

The British media is so out of control, it couldn't restrain itself any longer.the Brit media is far more dangerous an enemy than British troops could ever be. The BBC can actually turn a war around. They have admitted that they are not a fair press. They spew hatred towards Jews. "Press" gives them no more than any enemy propagandist group. Instead of allowing the BBC to get a trial, it's easier to hand them 2 those in Gaza who they love! Israel's history remains; Londonistan is born!

6. NJU boycott, Lenny Chornock -- USA, 04/14/2007

I just sent an email to the NJU of the UK expressing my thoughts which mimic most of the sentiment in these posts. I recommend all the posters do the same! They are true idiots. I told them they should concentrate their journalistic talents on rewriting the Palestinian school books which teach about martyrdom and killing Jews!

58. UK Journalists. David Nigel Braham -- Italy, 04/14/2007

These Gallahs (an Australian bird that flies backwards to stop the sand getting in its eyes).

They have no idea what a Jew is or an Israeli is. Probably many do not know where Israel is.

96. Wipe 'em out! Menachem, 04/14/2007

It's time for a pre-planned attack on British "journalists".

33. Personal boycott, BobUSA, 04/14/2007

I will begin my boycott of English newpapers starting today.

55. Sun never sets on the British, Joe -- UK, 04/14/2007

That's because G-d wouldn't trust them in the dark...

198. Will UK Surrender to Islam? Michael T -- Canada, 04/15/2007 18:57

#98 You ask if the UK will surrender to Islam? It is obvious that the answer is they already have. The prediction has come true. Britain is just an overcrowed insignificant little island.

127. Don't get mad, get even, make ALIYAH, Ari, 04/15/2007

The best revenge is to live in Israel. All those anti-semties want Israel to fail, so the best revenge is to stop talking and writing these responses. Make ALIYAH. Return to your HOMELAND. If you really do get upset by those Nazis, then it shows you care. I hope you care enough to make ALIYAH!!!

Contact Boris Celser at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Helen Freedman, April 18, 2007.

Bernard Weinraub's play, The Accomplices, now playing at the Acorn Theater on 42nd St. in NYC, is a timely telling of the desperate efforts of Hillel Kook, aka Peter Bergson, to save the Jews of Europe from extermination at the hands of the Nazis. His efforts in America to get President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration to stop the slaughter of Jews were met by stalling and silence, and the obstructionism of "debased Jewish leadership".

In the play, Roosevelt is quoted as saying, "This is a Protestant country. And the Catholics and the Jews are here under sufferance." Annoyance and discomfort are portrayed as the "Jewish question" becomes more and more insistent. FDR and his administration's "acquiescence in the murder of the Jews" is one of the damning messages of the play. The other one is the silence and fear of American Jews and their cowardly and/or self-hating leaders. It resonates today because Israel and the world now face another threat, this time from Iran and militant Islam. Will silence, fear, delay, corruption, greed and self-interest once again have us looking at our world at some future time, wondering how it happened yet again?

As former Executive Director of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI, it is this resonance that speaks so loudly to me. My organization, formed over 30 years ago by Herbert Zweibon, who still serves as Chairman, and Rael and Erich Isaac, (Rael edits The Outpost, AFSI's distinguished monthly magazine) has worked tirelessly to tell the truth about what is really going on in Israel. We have fought for a whole Israel, without give-aways, divisions, appeasements, pretend cease-fires and the whole panoply of diplomatic jargon whose bottom line means the end of Israel. We have been labeled "right-wing, extremist fanatics."

When we fought bitterly against the expulsion from Gush Katif/Gaza and the Shomron communities, we were castigated by the mainstream American Jewish community leaders who kept telling us that it was not up to us to second-guess the PM of Israel. Now that the foul deed was done, any honest person will admit that it was a ghastly mistake which cannot be reversed, and has led to the empowerment of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, threatening the lives of Israelis every day, as well as the lives of our American and allied soldiers in Iraq.

So the story of the Bergson group is close to my heart. I never understood how the Oslo Accords of Sept. 1993 could have taken place until I read Ben Hecht's Perfidy, the story of Jews selling out other Jews and allowing them to go to their deaths. It was stirring to hear the Ben Hecht character come to the rescue of Bergson, and help organize the WE SHALL NEVER DIE pageant at Madison Square Garden in March, 1943. Rabbi Steven Wise,who had easy access to the White House, and believed in working quietly, without 'drawing attention to ourselves' wanted to deport Bergson and threatened to stop the protest pageants. He didn't succeed in preventing actors such as Paul Muni, Moss Hart, Kurt Weill, John Garfield, Edward G. Robinson, Stella Adler and Claude Rains from appearing with 400 other actors who read the testimony of Jews prior to their extermination by the Nazis. Despite the fact that 40,000 people attended the pageant, along with 200 rabbis, there was no change in the government's policy.

Breckinridge Long, Undersecretary of State, with FDR's knowledge, continued to postpone, and postpone and postpone the granting of desperately needed visas. The New York Times continued to relegate the stories of millions of dead Jews to the back pages of the paper, if they wrote about them at all. Sam Rosenman, FDR's self-hating Jewish adviser and speech writer continued to encourage FDR's avoidance of the emergency situation. When 400 rabbis marched to the White House to speak to Roosevelt about organizing a War Refugee Board, Rosenman discredited them, calling them "Orthodox rabbis...Men with long beards and black coats. Zealots. Many of them from Brooklyn..." and he prevented Roosevelt from meeting with them.

Larry Steinhardt, the German Jewish American ambassador in Moscow, wrote disparagingly about the "East-European immigrant criminal Jews." His letter was used by Long to "shut up the refugee cabal on the Hill." Even Albert Einstein wrote a flattering letter to FDR.

Bergson makes the discovery that he has been wasting his time trying to get Jews to help their endangered fellow Jews. He sees that Catholics, Protestants and Mormons are offering him more help. Fiorello LaGuardia, Herbert Hoover, Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes offer their support, while Jews like Bernard Baruch, and Felix Frankfurter remain silent. This sounds like today, when Evangelical Christians rush to Israel's defense. Pastor John Hagee, a keynote speaker at the AIPAC Conference in Washington, DC on March 11, 2007, brought the crowd to its feet when he delivered a resounding speech in support of Jewish biblical entitlement to the land of Israel. And Pastor Jim Vineyard was one of the strongest opponents of the Gush Katif expulsion plan, taking his message to Israel and Washington.

But then there is a Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under Roosevelt, and his good friend since childhood. Morgenthau had been brought up to be more American than Jewish, but at the urging of some young Christian lawyers, John Pehle and Josiah DuBois, who worked with him in the Treasury Department, he comes to FDR with the damning report entitled, Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of this Government in the Murder of the Jews." The report details the fact that "certain officials in the State Department...concealed facts, issued false statements, used the government's machinery to prevent the rescue of Jews, attempted to stop obtaining information about the murder of the Jews..."Morgenthau tells FDR that, "A simple phone call from you would have removed the State Department's red tape. Saved thousands." That phone call never came.

In order to suppress this report, (It was not until 1968 that the report was released), FDR agrees to create the War Relief Board, but it was already 1944, "the President gave the Board a bare-bones budget, the State Dept. and War Dept. undercut it and the British obstructed it." The work of the Board did save 200,000 Jews and 20,000 non-Jews, but Bergson felt that he had failed, having been unable to stop the extermination of six million Jews.

At the conclusion of the play, Bergson declares that the Germans won because of the fear and silence of the Jews who 'should have run amok outside the White House." He asks the question, "What did we learn?"

And that question reverberates in the hearts of those who are now trying desperately to change mainstream Jewry so that it understands the critical dangers facing Israel today. The time to run amok outside the White House is NOW! Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, with the approval of President Bush, is pushing Israel into agreements with the Hamas/PA leaders that will mean the end of Israel. Nancy Pelosi makes unauthorized trips to terrorist leaders. Iran announces its intentions to exterminate Israel, and is building missiles that will reach America. This time, we must Not be silent or afraid.

The Accomplices is playing at the Acorn Theater, 410 W. 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Aves., Monday-Saturday @8PM. Tickets: Ticket Central, www.ticketcentral.com or 212-279-4200, or at Theatre Row Box Office (12-8PM daily). Tickets are $51.25, or may be purchased through TDF, if available.

Helen Freedman is the Former Executive Director of AFSI -- Americans For a Safe Israel -- and co-host with Charlie Bernhaut of Cable TV's "Israel Update", now in its 7th year. Contact her at GHFree@aol.com

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Posted by Boris Celser, April 18, 2007.

This was written by Melanie Phillip and appeared in

the war within the west

Earlier this week, I spoke at a meeting where ignorant Tories jeered at my suggestion (elaborated upon in my book Londonistan) that the UK was spinelessly turning a blind eye to the growth of areas of the country governed informally by sharia law, exemplified by the toleration of polygamy and forced marriages of Muslim children, and was even appeasing increasingly shrill demands for sharia law to be officially incorporated into mainstream British life. Today's Daily Mail carries this story:

Polygamous husbands settling in Britain with multiple wives can claim extra benefits for their 'harems' even though bigamy is a crime in the UK, it has emerged. Opposition MPs are demanding an urgent change in the law, claiming that the Government is recognising and rewarding a custom which has no legal status and which is 'alien' to this country's cultural traditions.

Officials said yesterday a review was now under way into whether the state should continue to pay out income support, jobseeker's allowance and housing and council tax benefits to 'extra' spouses. Islamic law allows a man to take up to four wives, providing he can provide for them fairly and equally. But British law only ever recognises one spouse, while bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in jail. However, if a husband and his wives arrive and settle in Britain having wed in a country where polygamy is legal, then the UK benefits system recognises his extra wives as dependents and pays them accordingly.

The Department of Work and Pensions admitted yesterday it had no figures on how many families are claiming for multiple wives. Official DWP guidelines on housing and council tax benefit states: 'If you were legally married to more than one partner under the laws of a country that permits this, then your relationship is called a polygamous marriage. In this case your household consists of you and any partners who live with you and to whom you are married.' Officials were unable to say when the rules were brought in, claiming they had 'evolved over decades'.

Monogamy is a core value of British society and western civilisation. The rewarding of polygamy is indeed entirely alien to our tradition, morality and values. The fact that this is going on shows how far Britain has already travelled down the road to cultural suicide.

Contact Boris Celser at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Sergio Tessa (HaDaR), April 18, 2007.

A Jewish settler struggles with an Israeli security officer during clashes that erupted as authorities evacuated Amona February 1, 2006. (photo: Oded Bality)

www.IsraelNN.com: An Associated Press photographer has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of last year's police brutality in the government-ordered demolition of part of the community of Amona, near Ofra, north of Jerusalem.

Oded Balilty snapped the picture as a burly policeman in riot gear pressed his shield against a lone woman. "I saw this woman hesitate a little bit, and I saw the line of the police and I just grabbed my camera," he said. "It just was there."

"It is a stunning single image that captures the chaos and emotion of that evacuation," AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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Posted by Sacha Stawski, April 18, 2007.

Mr. Ritzmann, a former member of the Berlin State Parliament, is a senior fellow at the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. Mr. Dubowitz is chief operating officer of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and director of its Coalition Against Terrorist Media project.

This appeared yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.

Hezbollah arrived in the European Union back in the 1980s, along with refugees from the civil war in Lebanon. Despite its deadly track record and a 2005 European Parliament resolution recommending the banning of the Iranian-funded group, it is still legal on the Continent. France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden prevent the EU from jointly designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Holding currently both the E.U. and G-8 presidencies, Berlin would be in a strong position to head the fight against an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the replacement of Lebanon's fragile democracy with a Tehran-backed Islamic state. So far, however, Germany has squandered this unique opportunity to push for a Hezbollah ban. Berlin's passivity is consistent with its tolerant approach toward the "Party of God" over the past two decades.

While under the watchful eye of German law enforcement and intelligence, Hezbollah enjoys significant operational freedom. In the late 1990s, for example, it was able to recruit in Germany Steven Smyrek, a German convert to Islam, and train him in Lebanon as a suicide bomber. He was luckily arrested at Tel Aviv airport before he could blow up Israeli civilians.

German security services believe that about 900 Hezbollah core activists are in the country and regularly meet in 30 cultural community centers and mosques. These activists financially support Hezbollah in Lebanon through fund-raising organizations, such as the "Orphans Project Lebanon Association." This harmless-sounding charity belongs to the Lebanese "al-Shahid (the Martyr) Association," which is part of the Hezbollah network that supports the families of militia fighters and suicide bombers.

According to a German government report from February, the attitude of Hezbollah supporters in Germany "is characterized by a far-reaching, unlimited acceptance of the ideology and policy (of Hezbollah)." Berlin is also aware that representatives of Hezbollah's "foreign affairs office" in Lebanon regularly travel to Germany to give orders to their followers.

* * *

So why does the German government tolerate these activities?

First, the Hezbollah leadership in Beirut recognizes the value of a German safe haven. It demands that Hezbollah followers carefully obey German law, which Berlin claims they do "to a large extent." Experience from attacks in the U.S., Britain and elsewhere suggest, though, that terrorists follow the law up and until the point they decide to strike.

Second, too many Germany policymakers uncritically accept the idea that there is supposedly a political Hezbollah -- an Islamist but legitimate movement independent of those Hezbollah terrorists who have murdered hundreds of people around the world. To believe that fairy tale, they even ignore Hezbollah's own words. As Mohammed Fannish, member of the "political bureau" of Hezbollah and former Lebanese energy minister put it in 2002: "I can state that there is no separating between Hezbollah's military and political arms."

Hezbollah's leadership, the Shurah Council, controls the totality of its activities -- social, political and what it calls "military." Funding for Hezbollah is fungible: Money collected in Germany supposedly for social and political causes frees up funds for terrorist attacks.

In ignoring the threat from Hezbollah, the German government puts hope above experience. While it tries to spare German citizens from the wrath of Hezbollah, it plays down the danger of a group that seeks to destroy both Lebanese democracy and the Jewish state. In the end, this approach also compromises the safety of German citizens. On July 31, 2006, two Lebanese students, Yussuf Mohammed El Hajdib and Jihad Hamad, placed bombs hidden in suitcases on two regional trains in Germany, but they failed to go off. Germany's federal law enforcement agency concluded that a successful explosion would have resulted in a tragedy on par with the London subway attacks of July 2005. The two suspects said they wanted to take revenge for the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Just four month earlier, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah repeatedly urged Muslims on Hezbollah's TV-station al-Manar "to take a decisive stand" in the cartoon controversy. He said that he is certain that, "...not only millions, but hundreds of millions of Muslims are ready and willing to sacrifice their lives in order to defend the honor of their Prophet. And you are among them." The German federal prosecutor is still investigating the organizational affiliations of the two Lebanese terror suspects.

What is well established already is that al-Manar broadcasts into Germany (and the rest of Europe), the Middle East and North Africa. While eight out of 10 satellite providers (including four European) have dropped al-Manar, ARABSAT, majority-owned by the Saudi government, and Nilesat, owned by the Egyptian government, continue these broadcasts. Hezbollah TV's deadly mix of racial hatred, anti-Semitism, glorification of terrorism and incitement to violence are popular among Arabic-speaking youth in Europe. Young Muslims in Berlin recently asked in a German TV show to explain their hatred of the U.S. and Jews cited al-Manar as one of their primary sources of information.

In the past, the German government has shown strong resolve when it saw a threat to German security. It banned the Hamas "charity" al-Aqsa as well as the radical Sunni Islamist Hizb-ut Tahrir group. And it joined the EU in designating the PKK, the radical Kurdish group, as a terrorist organization.

Would branding the "Party of God" a terrorist group make any difference? Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah himself gave the answer in March 2005 when he told Arab media that European blacklisting would "destroy Hezbollah. The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed."

With so much power comes great responsibility to act.

Sacha Stawski is with theHonestly Concerned Organization. Contact him at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 18, 2007.

This was written by James Bowman, who is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of Honor: A History.

Spiderman is not going to save us. Liviu Librescu may.

Reacting to what many in Britain and elsewhere are regarding as the disgraceful behavior while in captivity of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by the Iranians, Simon Heffer recently wrote in the London Daily Telegraph: "Why are some so weak-minded compared with those 18-year-olds who, within living memory, went over the top on the Somme, or splashed through machine-gun fire onto the Normandy beaches?"

Heffer himself belongs to the "I-blame-the-parents" school of thought on this matter -- though he also thinks that the responsibility of the older generation for bringing up kids like the young sailor who was unashamed to confess that he had cried himself to sleep at night because his iPod had been confiscated and his Iranian captors had called him "Mr Bean" extends beyond his parents. Presumably neither they nor any teachers or culture-bearers ever taught Mr. Bean that any considerations of honor or morality ought to take precedence over his own feelings.

Heffer's question could also be asked, I think, about the Virginia Tech students who fled as the Korean gunman, Cho Seung Hui went on his homicidal rampage on their campus Monday -- or who, like Jamal Albarghouti, instead of fleeing, took out their cell phones to record the sights and sounds of the massacre. "This is what this YouTube-Facebook-instant messaging generation does," reported the Washington Post of Albarghouti's exploit as if it were a matter for pride: "Witness. Record. Share." And, as the Post might have added, not fight back. It appears to have occurred to no one to do that.

Or even to wonder whether or not it might have been desirable to do that. "You are one brave guy Jamal," wrote someone on his Facebook site after his video had run on CNN.com. But the idea that any greater bravery than his might have been possible -- the kind of bravery that could have saved lives by taking down the gunman earlier in his murderous career -- is one that seems not to have been picked up on the LCDs of the YouTube-Facebook-instant-messaging generation.

One clear hero of the day seems to have been someone from quite another generation, a 76-year-old Romanian-Jewish immigrant and Holocaust survivor named Liviu Librescu who taught engineering science and mathematics at the university and who barricaded the door of his classroom with his body long enough to allow a number of his students to escape out the windows.

When the shooter eventually burst into the room, he shot Librescu and the two students who had not yet managed to get out. "My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," said the hero's son, Joe Librescu, from Israel where he lives. "Students started opening windows and jumping out." Someone posted on the God Bless Virginia Tech blog that was set up as an early student response to the shootings: "What a wonderful man, a survivor, and a hero. He will be missed!"

That detail, by the way, comes from a story in the Times of London headed, "Virginia Tech professor hailed as a hero." Back in the U.S.A., however, there was not nearly so much hailing going on as you (or the Times) might think. Both the Washington Post and the New York Times on Tuesday mentioned Professor Librescu's act of courage and self-sacrifice in passing, but neither made a point of distinguishing him from the other victims who were apparently killed without resisting.

Perhaps like Paul Greengrass's film, United 93, the American media is rather embarrassed by heroism and thinks it insulting to the other victims of such atrocities to single out the heroes for special attention. Instead of showing any interest in Librescu's brave act, the American media were concentrating to the point of obsession on the feelings of the victims and the psychology of the killer. "Evil, that's what some call it," wrote Neely Tucker in the Style section of the Post, handsomely acknowledging millennia of religious tradition before going on to note that psychology would prefer to use terms like "depressed, angry and humiliated" to describe the perpetrator of mass murder. How much more interesting are the feelings even of a monster than the deeds of a hero!

Do you suppose that this could have anything to do with the paucity of heroes among the younger generation? Simon Heffer suggests later in his article that the British ministry of defense should provide members of the armed forces with DVDs of old movies like The Colditz Story, The Cruel Sea, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, or Carve Her Name with Pride before sending them into action. It's a reminder that the culture once paid more attention to heroes and acts of heroism than to either suffering victims or psychotic killers.

Not coincidentally, I think, acts of heroism were a lot more frequent in those days. Nowadays all we have are superheroes -- either the acknowledged kind, like Spider-Man, the third installment of whose celluloid history is due in cinemas next month, or the unacknowledged kind like James Bond, the DVD of whose umpteenth outing went on sale last month. But superheroes are immortal and nearly invulnerable, which makes them very watchable -- like Albarghouti's video -- but worthless as a model for young men to emulate.

Maybe no one could have stopped the madman from getting his full budget of murders, but it seems to me a lot more likely that someone would have done so if the media and the movies of today ever offered us any examples of real heroism untinged by ambiguity, doubt, or moral compromise. And is it too far-fetched to wonder whether there might not also be fewer delusional killers in the first place if we lived in a culture less devoted to fantasy, a culture of more heroes and fewer superheroes?

Oh, and lest you think I exaggerate the malign influence of the superhero, just look at the page following Tucker's article on the psychology of mass murder. There you will find a little item in the Post's gossip column, "The Reliable Source," about the departure from Washington of the actor, Nicolas Cage, who had been filming a movie there. It reminds us that Cage and his wife, Alice, have named their small son Kal-El, after the name of Superman's Kryptonian father. What do you suppose are the chances of that poor child's turning into a real hero?

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Geneva Switzerland. Contact her at iii44@aol.com

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Posted by Marion DS Dreyfus, April 16, 2007.

As one of the few actual listeners to Imus on this email list, probably, I must object to those who condemn him without any experience of him or his program.

He was--is--a satirist, and decidedly not a bag of hot air. He has intense reactions to the leading pols of the day, reads extensively, and was --is--exceedingly charismatic (in a dour and flinty sort of way), giving of himself and his means to an extraordinary extent.

If you never heard his rather unsunny but hilarious show, a show full of brilliant satire and parody and comedy [and amazingly candid interviews] done by the very best parodists and comics in the business, bar none, you have no idea what you have been missing.

Beyond that, he gives unstintingly to the many causes he espouses: He built and financed, and personally attended and worked on, his amazing ranch in the southwest with his wife, Dierdre, for children with cancer. Included in these children were many of black and other colorations, from inner city and other provenances. He and Dierdre created the ranch out of nothing, and now it is a flourishing place where those with dire diagnoses at a tender age can learn to feel whole again, learn to be cowboys, ride and rope and care for animals, laugh and love and eat and enjoy, far from the depressing circumstances that often made them helpless and despairing homebounds.

He inveighs at the ramshackle medical care oftimes afforded our stupendous soldiers, once they are gone from the theatre of action in the Mid-East. He got a great deal of necessary attention--and potfuls of money, for the upgrading of Walter Reed and others of that ilk. He took on the sad increase of autism in this country, now, one child in every 163 born, a calamitous upsurge no one quite understands, "but something," as Willy (and Linda) Loman said*, "needs to be done." He is a massive supporter of the 'green enviro change' in hospitals and homes--products that he and his wife produce that eliminate the abrasive and toxic results of commercial "cleansers," often causing the very nosocomial ills in hospital that they are designed to quell.

The Imuses are spearheading a changeover from the damaging harsh products to such clean and safe products. He raises millions and millions for his charities, and gives multi-millions on his own. He talks about the economy, inflation, wars in the world, environmental concerns, media, bozo pols, celebrities we all love to dislike (I did agree occasionally with him on his summary capsules of weasels and boneheads emphatically meriting negative reviews), responsibility of the government, and all manner of hot-button issues treated at length, unlike the morning shows that win the plaudits, perhaps. (Disclosure: I was a writer, in the past, for Good Morning America, so one knows whereof one speaks.) Imus was a must-see, at least for news junkies exhausted by the pornographic sameness and regurgitation of the all-news channels that suck off each other rather than present workmanlike news, thank you very much.

His querulousness was a comforting aspect of the show: No fake bonhomie for him or his guys. It was warts and all, but it was splendid, even diverging greatly from my pet betes. And he was not particularly kind to Jews, mind you. So I speak for freedom of speech, and the partisanship for excellence of the media.

So if we look at the defamers and the charlatan hypocrites that called for his ouster because of a few uncharitable and off-color remarks--I do not share his philosophy, by the way, important to know, so he is not singing my tune in his disparaging remarks, funny, miss-the-mark or otherwise--the one who gave real help, hope and improved care to perhaps myriads, if not more, was Imus. Not the charlatans and huckster exploiters and extortionists who are well-known for the vicious harm they have caused over the years, endlessly dragging out the so-called race card and inciting others to grave deeds that I will never forgive.

If his acerbic and misplaced remarks mimic those of the run-of-the-mill rappers and communards in the homey 'hoods, need he be pilloried as if he created the language that these reprobates have repeatedly brought out of the muck of deserved marginalization to the fullest light of almost-acceptable glory? Why award Emmy's and other glossy statuettes to men whose mouths, in some decent homes, would be washed out with repeated salvos of soap? And those musicmen really have no regard for women, for Caucasians, and/or for those who worship in different ways than they. Imus entertains on his program both women and men of achievement, and gives them, by and large, the civility and respect they merit.

I don't even acknowledge that his remark was racist or sexist. In the mouth of the newsmen, yes, it seemed so. While not 'nice' or particularly funny or satirical, it was one of numerous remarks he makes that use inverted commas at all times. He is no racist. He is not noticeably sexist, either. He shoots both barrels at the hubristic drama queens of every race and religion. He calls it as he sees it, but is not a racist. Again, he is an equal-opportunity insulter, and even his beloved co-hosts and sportspeople and news readers come in for heaps of opprobrium. When codas on his own foibles are being sung, he comes in for a massive dollop of abuse, too, including frequent invocations by his stalwart buddies to see him buried and dead. He laughs. We all laugh.

It takes a serious person to see the lightness of Imus, and his special brand of shooting the grit out of the cotton candy.

His remarks, yes crude and unnecessary, were dumb recapitulations of the affectless curbside disrespect of black rappers and comics (Chris Rock, anyone?) whose entire canon is paint-by-numbers attack on their blameless and long-suffering females. Imus was out of place, probably, stealing a march on women who are private citizens and who are entirely unworthy of any insults. But his repeated apologias were sincere and ceaseless, unlike his accusers' never-stated apologies for anything they uttered with the poison of their wrongness and contempt and race hatred.

My cousin and family, living in Crown Heights in the early '90s, were terrorized for over a week by local thugs infected by the rhetorical BS spewed by these penny-ante extortionist-race-baiters. The denizens of the neighborhood so inflamed broke windows, attacked men with beards and their wives, threatened mayhem and mutilation for peaceful co-residents, and killed a rabbinical student, young Yankel Rosenbaum, whose only 'sin' was being in the wrong place when the neighborhood herds were wilding and firebombing... and being Jewish in a time when Jews were ceaselessly attacked by the pomaded hair guys. They stabbed him to death.

They broke windows and ransacked the cars, lobbies and common areas of the Jewish residents. Did one word of apology escape the fatcat- and well-remunerated lips of the inflamers? Have they apologized yet? Will they ever apologize? Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?

The ballyhoo over the words Imus and his second-in-command, Bernard McGurk, mouthed was over-the-top, a pile-on that is disgusting if not startling in a post-9-11 world. Ooh, my: A man we never heard of called us a three-word kenning that, ooh, ruined our lives! Call the Interpol? Call the cops! How can we possibly continue breathing?

Grow up, people. So what if he did OOooh say something unfair and unpleasant? Did they win fewer games? Did they get unaccepted to their schools? Will their futures be tarnished and less bright? Will anything in the world change for them? Not one single thing.

No. No. And no.

Sticks and stones.

Far worse in the rabble-rousing that actually killed innocents, Chassidim and Hispanics, Italians and Jews and Catholics and others, and ruined the lives of completely innocent men who had done nothing whatsoever to merit their reprehensible loathsomeness in public discourse--never recanted, of course. He boycotted innocent Korean storeowners. And rallied against the citizens of Howard Beach. He caused a "follower" to set light to a Jewish-owned and Hispanic-managed store in Harlem--killing seven and ruining the livelihoods of everyone in the establishment. Has he recanted?

Far worse is the pile-on that beggars classification: Why is the celeb-crowd that paid Imus assiduous attention for 30 years suddenly so gleeful to be trashing him, their erstwhile pal and champion? Why would they abandon their longtime friend?

Again, I did not share his political banner, nor in most cases endorse those he endorsed. But smart is smart. Clever is clever. His was the best morning show on the air, period. We all got to hear the powerful, the legislative pooh-bahs, the juridical nabobs, the powers-that-be in DC, the fourth estate's elite. I heard insightful (not inciteful) probing interviews that probed far deeper than the Couric et al. anchor-blondes and other competing time-slots afforded the listener.

I abhor the fact that the scamsters have forced him off the air, despite the Rutgers team having forgiven him his trespass, because it will reinforce their repellency, and their tendency to think they can topple anyone they take a dislike to. Such street debris do not merit the fingernail parings of decent folk.

A sole benefit I note from the disappearance of this intensely interesting and instructive program on 5 days a week is that now, instead of going to bed at 9 am, after the show closes, I can now actually put in to my bedroom at 6 am, catch 3 more hours of shut-eye than my normal 2, and that might be salutary.

Certainly, removing this deeply knowledgeable, lively mind is not a favor. And he will be back, in any case. He is too big a talent, and he has followers like me writing in his defense at 4:25 a.m. just to tell the unknowing that it ill suits the intelligent to condemn what they have no idea at all about.

Death of a Salesman

Marion Dreyfus is a writer and travelor; she has taught English in China on the university level. She can be contacted at dreyfusmarion@hotmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 18, 2007.


Jimmy Carter's new book about the Arab-Israel conflict is full of errors in fact (and in judgment). He claims its purpose is to promote dialogue. People eager to debate him on its errors, however are fended off.

He was invited to appear at Brandeis U. with Prof. Alan Dershowitz. But Dershowitz was not allowed into the building until Carter had left.

Carter wanted to speak at Emory, too. The faculty suggested he appear with Dennis Ross, the main negotiator for the first Bush and both Clinton administrations. Mr. Ross agreed. Without explanation, Carter refused to appear with him or any other expert. Is it that: (1) Carter blames Israel for the failure of negotiations but Ross blames the Arabs; and (2) Ross was there, Carter was not there, and Ross could tell Carter he is wrong (and why)?

When Dershowitz finally spoke at Brandeis, he pointed out that what Carter remarked to the largely Jewish audience was much different from what he said in the book and elsewhere, "where he falsely claimed that most of the critics of his book have been representatives of Jewish organizations and denied that rocket attacks on Israeli houses is terrorism." He hid such antisemitism from them.

By barring debate, Carter stages events to air his biases rather than exchange ideas. It is unworthy of a university to sponsor that cover-up. Compare Carter to Pres. Bush, who allows reporters to ask him tough, unscripted questions (Jewish Political Chronicle, 1/2007, p.19 from 11 Emory professors).


Sec. Rice keeps saying that Abbas wants peace and that polls show that his people do, too. ZOA countered with two lists, one of Abbas' warmongering statements and actions and the other of polls finding that most of his Arabs support terrorist attacks on Israelis, think Israel has no right to exist, etc.. ZOA urges her to stop uttering falsehoods and basing policy upon them (IMRA, 3/27).

The real question is why she is lying. Why is she pretending that the Arabs want peace? Why is she urging Israel to make concessions to them, when obviously the Arabs want war? How much friendship for Israel can an Administration have, when it urges Israel to make suicidal concessions? Is this urging in order to pretend that the Administration is advancing the interests of peace? Why do Israeli leaders go along with the charade? What responsibility does the media have to report the discrepancy between what Rice says and the truth? What kind of newspaper is the NY Times for allowing the false impressions to gain circulation unchallenged?


There are hundreds of assaults against Jews a year. Antisemitism is frequent and serious. It is inflamed by violent rhetoric against Israel. The statements and tone are Nazi-like, but often come from otherwise respectable intellectuals, Jews among them, usually leftists. This rhetoric is like a shriek, false and exaggerated. Hence the similarities claimed between Israel and Nazi Germany and apartheid, between Theodore Herzl and Adolph Hitler, and the accusations that Israelis are parasites and that Israel should be annihilated. The wild President of Iran makes such claims, but some Jews, who call themselves "progressive," agree.

When Jews object, they are accused of trying to stifle free speech, liberalism, and criticism of Israel. There may be no attempt to stifle other speakers, liberalism, or genuine criticism of Israel that many conservatives make, themselves, but responsibly. Critics of the denigrators of Israel are debating, not stifling debate (though sometimes they may suggest that universities not give platforms to wild slanderers). The accusation is made to intimidate criticism. Hence the progressives do try to stifle free speech. Nor do they criticize Israel for anything specific or valid. They really are trying to get Israel de-legitimized, on the way to being dismantled. They make Iran's job easier.

The diehard anti-Zionists are running a scam. They describe any Israeli act of self-defense in hyperbolic and false terms, such as calling the counter-attack in the center of Jenin the razing of Jenin and likening it to the bigoted destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. They try to disarm critics by pre-empting their criticism, no matter how sober and fact-based it may be, by claiming it would be merely to call them antisemites, as part of a Jewish conspiracy to silence criticism of Israel. The tactic has made Israel a pariah in Europe. The Left is trying to do the same in America (Jewish Political Chronicle, 1/2007, p.30 from Alvin H. Rosenfeld, New Republic Online, 2/27). They are neither intellectual nor liberal.


When the Jews were expelled from Gaza, the Israeli media focused on violent confrontation and not on which side and what means were justified. Recently, some hundreds of protestors who had been rebuilding a demolished community in northern Samaria were taken out by police (without violent confrontation). Again, the press did not discuss whether the protestors had a good Zionist case, only whether there was violence (Arutz-7, 3/28).


Unemployment in Arab states is is a de-stabilizing 20%. Millions of youths could have jobs, but they refuse them. Foreign workers are imported (IMRA, 3/27).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@verizon.net

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Posted by Alex Traiman, April 18, 2007.

Twenty-one rabbis, and a Jewish community layperson were arrested at the United Nations Tuesday, demanding that Iran be removed from the international body.

The group, organized by AMCHA -- Coalition for Jewish Concerns, was arrested by New York City Police and imprisoned for several hours after peacefully crossing over from the public city street to the steps leading down to the United Nations.

AMCHA Director, and Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Avi Weiss stated in response to his incarceration, "It's a serious matter to step beyond the line, to violate the law. But we must do so as a moral outcry to the world that it can't be business as usual. The time has come to expel Iran from the United Nations."

After being warned of their impending arrest, the group sat down under the large Peace Wall quoting the words of the biblical prophet Isaiah: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more."

At the rally which began several blocks away at the Iranian Mission to the UN, Weiss exclaimed, "There's a fire burning, and we must raise a voice of moral outrage. We urge that the presence of any Iranian delegation be protested, that pressure be put on countries not to trade with Iran, that state governments divest from companies trading with Iran, and that nations signed on to the Genocide Convention strongly condemn Iranian President Ahmadinejad who's threatened to wipe Israel off the map.

"We demand that the United Nations expel Iran, which has threatened to annihilate Israel, a fellow UN member state."

The group then proceeded to the headquarters of the World body, with the intent of getting arrested.

Former Deputy District Attorney, turned Conservative Rabbi, Mark Ankorn, of the Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation stated prior to his arrest, "It's not a decision I take lightly, believe me. I've never written a letter to the editor, never written my congressman or my senator about any issue, never been a part of a sit-down or teach-in or anything else.

"But the government of Iran denies the Holocaust and supplies the rockets that killed dozens in Israel this past summer. They furiously seek nuclear weapons and kidnap British sailors. When will it stop? When will we stand up and say, Enough?"

Rabbi Joseph Potasnick, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, stated after the protest, "Iranian President Ahmadinejad says he'll wipe Israel off the map. We say, remove the map from him -- he should not be allowed to enter any halls of power anywhere. Ahmadinejad should be made to feel like a pariah."

Conservative Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg of Congregation Sons of Israel added, "Iran trains terrorists to murder Israelis and insurgents to kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. We say to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, kick Iran out of the United Nations."

Each of the 22 arrested protestors were released after being held for over five hours, and were charged with disorderly conduct. Each of the protestors must appear in Criminal Court by May 15.

Following their release, organizers added, "We call upon the American Jewish community to organize a mass march on Washington, joined by hundreds of thousands, to raise a powerful voice of moral conscience and a simple message: there's a fire burning, burning from Iran. There cannot be business as usual until Iran is stopped."

"We are calling upon all rabbis and clergy of other faiths to join together and in an act of civil disobedience demand that Iran be expelled from the United Nations. To be successful in our mission, our actions need to be continuous and make a significant impact that will cause a shift around the world. On the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we, the leaders of our communities, will stand together and show the world that we will not tolerate Iran's threats to the Jewish State, nor will we accept Iran's defiance of nuclear treaties without being expelled from the UN."

The Arrested Community Leaders

Rabbi Mark Ankcorn, Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation
Rabbi Moses Birnbaum, President, Long Island Board of Rabbis, Plainview Jewish Center
Rabbi Steven Burton, Congregation Shaarei Shalom
Rafi Farber, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Jeffrey Fox
Rabbi Avidan Freedman, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg, Congregation Sons of Israel
Ben Greenberg, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yehuda Hausman, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevai Torah
Rabbi Jason Herman, Congregation Beth Israel/West Side Jewish Center
Rabbi David Kalb, CLAL
Rabbi Pinchas Klein, Mount Freedom Jewish Center, Morasha
Rabbi Aryeh Leifert, Congregation Rodfei Sholom, San Antonio, Texas
Rabbi Etan Mintz, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabbi Ronald Price, Congregation Netivot Sholom, UTJ/Morasha
Glenn Richter, Amcha-Coalition for Jewish Concerns
Rabbi Aaron Rubinger, Congregation Ohev Shalom, Orlando, FL
Ross Shapiro, rabbinical student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Uri Topolsky, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabbi Avi Weiss, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabbi Akiva David Weiss, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi David Willig, Bayside Jewish Center

Alex Traiman writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

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Posted by UCI, April 18, 2007.

This was written by Margy Pezdirtz:

Dear Friends,

As we remember and mourn the loss of so many beautiful lives at Virgina Tech yesterday, let us not forget this brave Israeli man who saved the lives of so many at the cost of his own. Truly, he is a hero. Please hold his family in prayer and love, along with the many wounded and murdered. May G-d hold them in the palm of His hand during this time of tremendous anguish.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

Margy Pezdirtz
Comforters of Israel

Naomi Ragen (http://naomiragen.com/) writes:

The body of murdered Prof. Liviu Librescu is being flown to Israel Wednesday, and he will be buried in Ra'anana. The 76-year-old Holocaust survivor was gunned down at the Virginia college when he tried to block the killer from entering his classroom. He is being acclaimed as a hero for saving the lives of his students. May his memory be for a blessing and may his family be comforted along with all the mourners in Zion and in Jerusalem.


One can only imagine what went through the mind of Professor Liviu Librescu, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, as his lecture was interrupted by gunfire in the class next door. As someone who has survived a terror attack myself, I would like to say that the decision to stay put and save others when your own life is in danger goes against every human instinct; it is heroism and self-sacrifice on a scale that is unimaginable and that cannot even be fully appreciated by most human beings. For a survivor to give up his life after two decades of peace and quiet in the most pastoral of settings is a tragedy for his family, and for all of us.

We mourn his loss, and are proud of his legacy. Our deepest condolences to his wife Marlena and sons Aryeh and Joe, who live in Israel. May God comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Israel.

Dr. Librescu at his grandson's circumcison (Photo: Yaron Brener, ynetnews.com)

"Slain Israeli Professor Saved Others in Va. Tech Massacre"
by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) As Israel observed Holocaust Day, thousands of miles away, A Romanian-born Holocaust survivor gave his life in another senseless murder -- and apparently in an act of heroism.

Among the 32 people killed by a lone gunman at Virginia Tech Monday is 77-year-old engineering professor, Liviu Librescu, a citizen of Israel. According to eyewitness accounts, Librescu ran to the door of his classroom and blocked it with his body -- preventing the gunman from entering but getting shot to death himself as a result.

Alec Calhoun, a 20-year-old student who had been in Librescu's class in room 204, told a reporter that at 9:05 a.m. the heard screams and a loud banging sound from the next-door classroom. When the students realized it was gunfire, he said, some hid behind tables, and others leapt from the classroom's windows. Calhoun himself was among the last to jump. "Before I jumped from the window, I turned around and looked at the professor, who stayed behind, maybe to block the door. He had been killed."

Librescu is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marlena, who was with him in Virginia, and sons Aryeh and Joe who are in Israel. They intend to bury him in Israel.

Asael Arad, an Israeli student who visited the widow after the tragedy, told Army Radio Tuesday that Marlena had been receiving e-mails from students who credited Prof. Librescu with saving their lives. "I lost my best friend," the widow told a reporter for NRG at her home near the Blacksburg campus. "He was a great person, who loved teaching more than anything." Marlena said someone had initially informed her that her husband was injured in the shooting. "I looked for him in the hospitals all day but I didn't find him," she said.

The Librescus are Romanian Jews who came on aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 1978 -- after then-Prime Minister Begin interceded on their behalf with the Romanian government, according to Marlena. The couple went on a sabbatical to the United States since 1986 and has been living there ever since.

UCI -- The Unity Coalition for Israel --
(http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 18, 2007.
April 18, 2007

A bit of a balagan -- which in Hebrew means a situation of confusion, a mess -- is what has evolved here:

Just days ago, I cited at length from a piece by Barry Rubin regarding the fact that a study within the British school system revealed that there have been individual teachers and schools that have opted not to do Holocaust teaching because of fear of contradicting what Muslim students have been taught in their mosques [Holocaust denial] and eliciting anti-Semitic comments. I myself checked sources in Britain that reported on this study, and I knew that what Rubin was describing was accurate.

I then subsequently took the time to issue a clarification so that people would understand that this was a matter of decisions being made by individual teachers and schools, not by the system.

And yet...and yet...it's easy, with the best of intentions, to misinterpret. And so I've received communication from some readers indicating that they have contacted British officials in protest because the school system has dropped Holocaust studies. When the officials provide assurances that the system is still including Holocaust studies in the curriculum (which is true), these individuals, in the main, express relief and consider the issue closed.

But that's not the end of it.

Professor Rubin is eager to make certain that his article -- which he stands by as accurate -- is not misinterpreted. And I, having raised this issue, am similarly eager. It is important that there be final clarification so that neither of us will be cited as the source of erroneous information.

Beyond this, there is still an issue of great seriousness to be addressed and what has happened is that the focus on what is included in the curriculum has masked this other issue: that excessive political correctness undermines the fabric of liberal Western society. When even a few teachers within a school system opt not to teach facts because they contradict the erroneous information students of a particular ethnic or religious grouping have acquired -- when teachers become afraid to cross their Muslim students -- there is a very serious problem. This situation, as described, is merely the tip of a very big iceberg.

I will add, by the way, that Rubin has shared with me that persons living in Britain requested that he write about this issue, and that he has received anecdotal material that further confirms the reality of what is addressed in the study.

For myself, I will continue to post eword@frangipane.orgeword@frangipane.orgon the broad parameters of this issue (no more on the particulars of the British school system and Holocaust education, I hope) because I believe it behooves us all to be alarmed about what is transpiring in the UK and in Europe.

I, of course, remain available to any of you who wish to write to me privately regarding this issue.


Before I move to other subjects, I share this item about a politically-correct/pro-Arab Britain from Little Green Footballs. (Never heard of this? An exceptionally informative blog:

An unnamed student at Cambridge University (unnamed to protect him), who published some satire about Islam in his college's magazine (it's on the blog and no big deal), was forc