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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, April 30, 2008.

Mount Gilboa wild iris (Yehoshua Halevi)

Yehoshua HaLevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Light, form, color, texture, pattern: Take any one of these and you've got the foundation for a great photograph. In my classes, we learn to identify these design elements, single them out, and then advance to images built around two or more of these concepts. The wild irises of Mt. Gilboa are famous enough to merit a trail in their name in Beit Alpha National Park, located along the scenic route that winds from the Beka Valley up to Afula. I finally managed a visit there in the early spring of 2006. While there was plenty of seasonal color, to my dismay I only spotted this single iris which happened to be at the peak of its flowering. When I encounter a subject with potential, I'll often walk full circle around it to study the light, but here it was immediately obvious that a backlit angle would provide the greatest drama. I fiddled a bit more with my camera, mounted on a tripod with a macro lens, to create a background that would both complement the colors in the petals while isolating the flower from anything overly distracting to its form. Back in my digital darkroom, I applied a few quick finishing touches. I cropped the bottom so the stem would appear shooting upward from the lower right corner and I darkened the background just slightly to add emphasis to the backlit petals." Contact him at smile@goldenlightimages.com

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THE DIPLOMATIC DANCE WITH HAMAS
Posted by JCPA, April 30, 2008.

This was written by Professor Efraim Karsh.

  • Hamas established an "Islamic republic" in Gaza in early 2006, and is probably in a position to replicate this success in the West Bank –– the only inhibiting factors being considerations of political expediency and Israel's effective counterinsurgency measures.

  • While the hope that Hamas could somehow be lured away from its genocidal agenda seems to be gaining wider currency, not only is the destruction of Israel not a bargaining chip, it is the heart of the matter.

  • Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, sees the struggle for Palestine as neither an ordinary political dispute between two contending nations (Israelis and Palestinians), nor even as a struggle for national self-determination by an indigenous population against a foreign occupier. Rather, it sees Palestine as but one battle in a worldwide holy war to prevent the fall of a part of the House of Islam to infidels.

  • In the words of Hamas foreign minister Mahmoud Zahar: "Islamic and traditional views reject the notion of establishing an independent Palestinian state....In the past, there was no independent Palestinian state....[Hence], our main goal is to establish a great Islamic state, be it pan-Arabic or pan-Islamic."

  • Hamas' extreme belief that a perpetual state of war exists between it and anyone, either Muslim or non-Muslim, who refuses to follow in the path of Allah does not permit it to respect, or compromise with, cultural, religious, and political beliefs that differ from its own. Its commitment to the use of violence as a religious duty means that it will never accept a political arrangement that doesn't fully correspond to its radical precepts.

No sooner had former U.S. President Jimmy Carter emerged from his Damascus meeting with Khaled Mashaal to declare Hamas' readiness to accept the Jewish state as a "neighbor next door" than the radical Islamist group demonstrated what its vision of peaceful coexistence meant by making the most ambitious attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers and detonating two car bombs at a border crossing used for the introduction of vital foodstuffs and humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Hamas' foreign minister, Mahmoud Zahar, reasserted the organization's commitment to Israel's destruction through demographic subversion (i.e., the "right of return") and vowed to continue the "armed struggle" against "the foundational crime at the core of the Jewish state." Attalah Abu Subh, Hamas' culture minister, amplified this assertion. "Everything we see in the Arab region and around the world –– the evil of the Jews, their deceit, their cunning, their warmongering, their control of the world, and their contempt and scorn for all the peoples of the world," he argued, "is based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion –– the faith that every Jew harbors in his heart."

The notion that Hamas' co-option into a political process aimed at stifling its overriding goal of destroying Israel will make it more hopeful and less despairing is a contradiction in terms. Yet the hope that Hamas could somehow be lured away from its genocidal agenda seems to be gaining wider currency. A bipartisan group of former U.S. officials, led by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, have been calling for "a genuine dialogue" with Hamas.[1] Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told National Public Radio last year that some way must be found to talk to Hamas.[2]

Some Israelis have also joined the chorus calling for talks with Hamas. "Before we are dragged into Gaza, we must exhaust the other possibility," wrote journalist Ari Shavit. "We should offer Hamas a deal: an Islamic republic in Gaza in exchange for full demilitarization. A full and fulfilling life for a Muslim community of brothers, in exchange for giving up violence and arms altogether."

Shavit is aware that his proposal is likely to be rejected, as Hamas "tends to prefer the deaths of Israelis over the lives of Palestinians." Yet he believes that "if there is any chance of a frank negotiation with Hamas, this is the path the talks should take. Not a Carter-style illusion, not the temporary tactic of a passing tahdiye (truce), but a tough deal with tough terms. A street deal. A deal with thugs. A deal meant to give those who live on the other side of the fence a genuine opportunity to lay down the sword, pick up the Koran and become real neighbors."

But why should Hamas pay a price, any price, for something it already has? It needs no Israeli consent to establish an "Islamic republic" in Gaza. It did precisely that in early 2006, to Israel's abhorrence, and is probably in a position to replicate this success in the West Bank, the only inhibiting factors being considerations of political expediency and Israel's effective counterinsurgency measures. It can likewise obtain peace and quiet for its Gaza subjects at any given moment if it stops the rocket attacks on Israeli towns and villages and sends no "holy warriors" to blow themselves up among Israeli civilians.

Nor is Israel in a position to reach "a street deal," given the steady erosion of its deterrent prowess since the Oslo years, and especially after the hurried flight from south Lebanon on May 24, 2000, which was instrumental in triggering the so-called "al-Aqsa Intifada" and in inaugurating Hizbullah's military buildup, and numerous provocations, along Israel's northern border, that culminated in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. This war, and the thousands of rockets raining down on Israel's southern localities during the past eight years, despite countless Israeli threats of harsh retribution, afford a foretaste of Palestinian and Arab abidance by a "peace of the thugs."

Above all, not only is the destruction of Israel not a bargaining chip, it is the heart of the matter. Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, sees the struggle for Palestine as neither an ordinary political dispute between two contending nations (Israelis and Palestinians), nor even as a struggle for national self-determination by an indigenous population against a foreign occupier. Rather, it sees Palestine as but one battle in a worldwide holy war to prevent the fall of a part of the House of Islam to infidels. In the words of Mahmoud Zahar: "Islamic and traditional views reject the notion of establishing an independent Palestinian state....In the past, there was no independent Palestinian state....[Hence], our main goal is to establish a great Islamic state, be it pan-Arabic or pan-Islamic."

Hamas' charter not only promises that "Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it," but presents the organization as the "spearhead and vanguard of the circle of struggle against World Zionism [and] the fight against the warmongering Jews." The document even incites anti-Semitic murder, arguing that "the Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.'"

There's more. According to its charter, Hamas was established not merely to "liberate Palestine from Zionist occupation" or to wipe out Jews, but to pursue the far loftier goals of spreading Allah's holy message and defending the "oppressed" throughout the world: "The Islamic Resistance Movement will spare no effort to implement the truth and abolish evil, in speech and in fact, both here and in any other location where it can reach out and exert influence."

Hamas' extreme belief that a perpetual state of war exists between it and anyone, either Muslim or non-Muslim, who refuses to follow in the path of Allah does not permit it to respect, or compromise with, cultural, religious, and political beliefs that differ from its own. Its commitment to the use of violence as a religious duty means that it will never accept a political arrangement that doesn't fully correspond to its radical precepts. As the movement's slogan puts it: "Allah is [Hamas'] goal, the Prophet its model, the Koran its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief."

Hamas certainly sees itself as part of the larger network of jihadi movements struggling with the West. Mahmoud Zahar has expressed the hope that Hamas' victories in Gaza will inspire the mujahideen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, Khaled Mashaal declared in a Damascus mosque in early 2006: "We say this to the West, which does not act reasonably, and does not learn its lessons: by Allah, you will be defeated." He added: "Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world." He has lashed out at Western powers for helping the persecuted Christians of East Timor and for opposing Sudan's genocidal campaign in Darfur. Thus, Hamas identifies with global Islamist causes.[3]

All this raises the question of how a Western diplomatic embrace of Hamas would impact on the larger war on terrorism. Legitimizing a jihadi group of this sort would undoubtedly undermine the broader struggle against Islamism, and deepen the doubts of many people in the Middle East and South Asia about the determination of the West to neutralize the current threat they all face at present.

Hamas is plainly not an organization whose ideology can be integrated into any political process without undermining democracy and poisoning the norms of civil society. Hamas is not interested in peace with Israel; indeed, Mashaal has plainly stated that any tahdiye, or state of calm, is really "a tactic in conducting the struggle."[4] Unfortunately for Israelis and Palestinians alike, that is not something the wishful thinking of well-meaning pundits and even former U.S. presidents can change.

Notes

1. Glenn Kessler, "Mideast Players Differ on Approach to Hamas," Washington Post, March 16, 2008,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/15/AR2008031502122.html.

2. Ibid.

3. Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi, "Understanding the Direction of the New Hamas Government: Between Tactical Pragmatism and Al-Qaeda Jihadism," Jerusalem Issue Brief, Vol. 5, No. 22, April 6, 2006,
http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief005-22.htm.

4. "Hamas Chief Sees Truce as a 'Tactic'," Associated Press, April 27, 2008. Professor Efraim Karsh is Head of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies at King's College, University of London, and a member of the Board of International Experts of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His most recent book is Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale University Press, 2007).

This article was published as a Jerusalem Issue Brief by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (http://www.jcpa.org).

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THE MYTH OF PALESTINIAN MODERATION
Posted by Michael Freund, April 30, 2008.

Even for a region awash in fable and legend, this one is a real whopper.

It is the myth of Palestinian moderation, and US and Israeli leaders continue to buy into it. They embrace Mahmoud Abbas as a reasonable person, and base their policy on the belief that most Palestinians abhor violence and terror. But as I demonstrate in the column below from the Jerusalem Post, there is ample evidence indicating that neither of those assumptions is at all correct.

This article appeared in the post and is archived at
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870524521&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Comments and feedback may be sent to: letters@jpost.com or to me directly.

thanks,
Michael Freund

Even for a president prone to misusing the English language, George W. Bush outdid himself last week.

Sitting next to Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, Bush gushed and swooned over the visiting Palestinian leader, describing him in terms usually reserved for heroes and saints.

"The president is a man of peace," Bush assured the gaggle of reporters who were present. "He's a man of vision. He rejects the idea of using violence to achieve objectives, which distinguishes him from other people in the region."

While Bush's grammar may have been uncommonly accurate that day, his description of Abbas was anything but. For even a cursory glance at some of the Palestinian president's outbursts in recent months reveal a man wholly undeserving of such praise.

On March 1, Abbas had the gall to insult the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis when he declared that Israel's counter-terror operations in Gaza were "worse than the Holocaust" (Jerusalem Post, March 2).

And in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustur on February 28, Abbas boasted that he had been the first Palestinian to fire a bullet at Israel after the birth of the PLO in 1965.

This ostensible "man of peace" then took pride in the fact that his Fatah movement had trained Hizbullah terrorists, and he did not rule out a return to the "armed struggle" against Israel in the future.

And just two weeks ago, Abbas was planning to confer the Al-Quds Mark of Honor, the PLO's highest award, to two female Palestinian terrorists who took part in the killing of Israelis (Israel Radio, April 16). The event was cancelled only after it was publicized widely in the media.

Need we also mention the Palestinian president's refusal late last year to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state"?
 

THIS OF course puts the lie to Bush's stubborn embrace of Abbas as a reasonable and judicious leader that can be counted on to forge a peace deal. If anything, the Palestinian president has repeatedly shown himself to be an intemperate hot-head.

Nonetheless, that doesn't seem to stop Washington and much of the media from bestowing upon him the coveted title of a "moderate" leader that Israel can do business with.

"Abbas's moderate and Western-backed government rules the West Bank," the Associated Press (April 25) helpfully explained in a recent report. According to Reuters (April 24), Abbas is "a pro-Western moderate," while Agence France-Presse referred to him on Monday as "moderate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas," as though the appellation "moderate" was an integral part of his title.

All of this shameful fawning on the Palestinian thug-in-chief raises a simple, yet rarely-asked, question: why is there such a widespread insistence on deluding the public into thinking that Abbas is a "moderate" leader who epitomizes the majority of Palestinians?

The issue is more than academic. In fact, it goes directly to the core of current US and Israeli government policy.

After all, the entire intellectual basis for the notion of granting the Palestinians a state rests on the dubious assumption that a majority of them are actually reasonable, peace-loving people.

Too bad that all the available evidence appears to indicate otherwise.

Last week, for example, the Palestinian-run Jerusalem Media and Communications Center published the results of a survey revealing that a majority of Palestinians (50.7%) support suicide-bombing attacks against Israeli civilians.

This was in line with previous polls, which have consistently shown overwhelming Palestinian backing for anti-Israel terror.

Indeed, just last month, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that an astonishing 84% of Palestinians supported the gruesome execution-style murder of 8 Israeli teens by a Palestinian terrorist at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

And by a margin of 64% to 33%, or nearly two to one, Palestinians were in favor of continued rocket attacks against Israeli towns and cities.
 

THESE COLD, hard facts present supporters of the peace process with a major problem, if only because they confirm that the very idea of Palestinian moderation is a myth. It is a figment of the imagination, a flight of fantasy that bears little resemblance to reality.

After all, it is not as if a tiny minority of Palestinians support the murder of Jews. The bulk of them do. And wishing it were otherwise simply doesn't make it so.

So let's stop fooling ourselves. Giving the Palestinians a state when a majority of them want us dead is both reckless and irresponsible.

It is a recipe for disaster, and will only serve to create yet another radical, terror-sponsoring state in the region.

And let's cease calling Mahmoud Abbas a "moderate." Anyone who refuses to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state," makes a mockery of the Holocaust, and threatens a return to violence, is certainly not deserving of such a characterization.

Instead, let's call Abbas what he really is. For if he looks like an extremist, sounds like an extremist, and acts like an extremist, chances are that he is one.

And more importantly, let's start treating him as such.

Michael Freund served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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JEWS ARE UNDER SIEGE: A CALL FOR ACTION
Posted by Avodah, April 30, 2008.

This was written by Charles Jacobs and Seth A. Klarman and it appeared June 18, 2006 in
http://www.israelunitycoalition.org/news/article.php?id=2645

A rush of shocking events is creating a "tipping point" in Jewish consciousness. Increasingly, Jews feel our situation has substantially changed, and for the worse.

The events include Iran's nuclear threats and Holocaust denial, Hamas' electoral victory, the torture and murder of Ilan Halimi in Paris by a Muslim gang, the "discovery" by a Harvard dean that Jews actually do conspire to control Congress and American foreign policy in the service of Israel and to the detriment of U.S. interests, and the British academic boycott.

All of these demonstrate for many that there is a new assault on the world's Jews. The hostility is based on a unique and intense hatred of Israel and deep resentment of its supporters, accompanied by a growing willingness to use violence.

As though in a "perfect storm," two global ideologies, rooted in different radical critiques of the West, have suddenly aligned against us:

1. Islamic anti-Semitism. Fueled by Saudi petro-dollars and Iranian revolutionary zeal, a global campaign in mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools) teaches hundreds of millions of Muslims that Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs, and killing them is a holy deed. The internet and television embellish the message: docudramas in Iran, Egypt and Jordan depict Jews harvesting the organs of Muslim children, killing non-Jews to make matzo, and plotting to rule the world.

This poison reaches Muslims in the West. Europe's Jews are besieged and violently assaulted –– on the streets and in the no-longer varnished rhetoric of polite society. In America, Freedom House told Congress it found Saudi-produced hate literature aimed at Americans, Christians –– but mostly Jews –– in mosques across the U.S.

2. In the West, "Palestinianism" –– the notion that an innocent, indigenous people suffers a senseless, cruel oppression by the Jews of Israel (who ought to know better) threatens to become the standard view. It is the basis for an attack by Western radicals on Zionism, Jewish national self-determination, and by extension on Jews everywhere. The "oppression" of an Arab people by Westerners is, for the far Left, morally and politically more consequential than the massacres, enslavements, beheadings, bombings, and ethnic cleansings committed by Arabs and Muslims from London to Sudan, from Spain to Indonesia. These are treated by radicals as distractions from (even caused by) the deeper Zionist evil.

Rooted in separate critiques of the West, Islam and the radical left are now allied –– in Europe and increasingly in segments of America's professoriate, media, human rights community, and the leadership of certain Protestant churches.

In America, Jews fret as a vicious anti-Israel movement has taken root on American campuses, and Jewish organizations reeled last summer when five mainline Protestant denominations passed anti-Israel resolutions. Most Jews don't yet know the extent to which public high school texts –– and teachers –– are delegitimizing Israel.

Anti-Semitism is a virus that morphs. In the West now, hostility to Jews has little to do with the familiar hatreds –– of Judaism or the Jewish "race." Today's antipathy makes Israel "the Jew" and its "crimes" the old "Jewish crimes" –– killing of the innocent, theft (this time of land), arrogance, and the control of business, finance, government and the media by international cabals. As before, "Jewish crimes" stand out as uniquely, even cosmically evil. And as such, they call for correction.

We were unprepared; we remain confused. Arab and Muslim Jew-hatred was misread as mere "street talk" that would dissipate when Oslo brought peace. Instead, Jew-hate is an engine of the global jihad. We are flummoxed by the new breed of Western adversaries. After centuries of attack by brutes, illiterates, right wing lunatics, and Christian anti-Semites, antagonism to the Jewish collective is now generated by soft-spoken moralists with high ideals, by "anti-racists" –– some of the most articulate of whom are Jews. Set to defend against thugs yelling "kike," we are attacked instead by college professors –– today a far more insidious enemy –– who berate us for supporting "immorality."

No one wants to think that sixty years after the Holocaust, a new storm threatens Jews everywhere. But reality cannot be avoided or minimized. Confused, with our defenses down, Jews need to consider the profound impact of losing the ideological battle that can destroy the Jewish state. This new time requires courageous and talented leaders to grasp these new realities and create strategies to defeat the latest defamations, grounded in a libelous portrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A leadership correctly prioritizing the threat would convince us to lay aside our furious left-right debates, and teach us instead to make Israel's basic case –– from the left as well as from the right. It would gather the support of non-Jews and distinguish clearly friends from enemies. Most important, a new leadership would bravely and tirelessly tell us the truth about our new situation and recruit our talent and resources to the task.

If current Jewish leaders –– in this country which has been so good to the Jewish people –– can't or won't do these things, then this small but enormously talented people will have to get new leaders. For in this, the Jewish community cannot and must not fail.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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GOV'T DESTROYS SWIMMING POOL IN SMALL SAMARIAN TOWN
Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 30, 2008.

Civil Administration and police officials swooped down on the small Jewish neighborhood of Havot Yair, located in Samaria 14 miles east of Herzliyah, and destroyed a small unauthorized swimming pool. The pool was about seven feet wide and 28 feet long.

Though word of the impending law-enforcement operation was received early, dozens of youths who made their way to Havot Yair in order to stop the destruction were blocked by police vehicles, and the destruction was carried out without incident.

A similar attempt was made to destroy the Hazon David synagogue in Kiryat Arba on Monday night, but was thwarted when hundreds of people arrived in the area.

It is not clear why the police targeted only the swimming pool and not the other structures of Havot Yair, which is considered an "unauthorized illegal outpost." However, the pool's owner, Attorney Doron Nir-Tzvi, has an idea. "There are 22 families here," he told NRG-Maariv, "and the fact that they hit only the pool and not the other houses is because they are trying to terrorize a lawyer who has been representing [right-wing] anti-establishment causes for ten years."

"An even worse reason for what they did today," Nir-Tzvi suggested, "is simple narrow-minded envy, according to which the settlers [Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria] are not allowed to live comfortably."

"I am comforted by the fact that at this very hour, dozens of houses are being built in Jewish towns all over Judea and Samaria," he concluded, though he did not provide documentation for this statement.

About Havot Yair

Havot Yair [Yair's Farms, named for the story at the end of Numbers 32] is located between the city of Ariel and the community of Nofim. It was first established in 1999, was later destroyed by the government, was rebuilt in 2001, and now has 22 families and six permanent buildings. It is built on state-owned land.

The community's website lists its hiking sites, as follows:

–– The ancient winepress, near the synagogue
–– The spring, in the wadi [valley]; the hiking route begins near the Cohen home
–– Hirbet Shehade
–– a hiking path at the end of which all of the greater Tel Aviv region can be seen, including the Mediterranean Sea
–– The cave; the hiking route begins near the Yaakobson and Eisinger homes.

Hillel Fendel, who is Senior New-Editor for Arutz Sheva
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com). This article appeared today in Arutz Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com

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SUPPOSE OLMERT WERE LYING; WHO IS COMBATTING IRAN; HAMAS' MILITARY GROWTH
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 30, 2008.

BUSH SHUNS WESTERN WALL

Pres. Bush wants to visit some symbolic part of Israel but rules out the Golan Heights and the Western Wall in favor of Masada. Masada is where the Jewish defenders committed suicide, not an uplifting symbol. At least Israeli paratroopers vow there “never again” to be conquered.

The Western Wall is where Israel recovered its patrimony from centuries of Islamic and British oppression. It, like the Golan, legally was made part of Israel. What Israel may negotiate about it is one thing, but meanwhile, it is part of Israel. If the President of the US, whose Congress declared Jerusalem part of Israel, and whose law requires him to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, boycotts the Western Wall as “controversial,” because the aggressor Arabs want it only now that they don't have it, let Israelis boycott Bush. He is no friend. He wants Israel to concede Jerusalem and whatever else it needs to survive. His ostensible closeness to Israel and to PM Olmert is phony.

He is striving to leave office with another peace agreement. It would render Israel helpless. How does he think the agreement would be judged by historians? Would they be taken in by the hoopla of the agreement, followed by war and the destruction of Israel thanks to that agreement? Won't he be thought of like Neville Chamberlain, whose peace agreement led to war?

SUPPOSE OLMERT WERE LYING ABOUT NEGOTIATIONS

PM Olmert says he can reach an agreement with the P.A., but that agreement depends on the P.A. stopping terrorism, which he does not think it can do. Therefore, he says, he does not expect to implement the agreement.

Suppose he is lying, the way his predecessor Sharon did about getting all the steps fulfilled except the last one, for which he would seek approval, and then disregarding disapproval of and taking the last step and expelling Jews. The US would say that this great agreement is being held up only because Israel is stubborn about it. It would suggest that Israel does what it always had done

–– continue meeting its obligations under the agreement, and ask the Arabs to fulfill their part of the agreement, which they never do. Olmert would find an excuse.

INCONSISTENT IN SUSPICION

Democrats dismiss statements by Pres. Bush as those of a liar. Meanwhile, the Clintons and Obama lie continually about their past positions on the issues. Democrats take them seriously. However ridiculous the negative news about Israel, Internet antisemites take it seriously, even if from sources they otherwise don't believe. People are inconsistent in their suspicions but not in expediency.

SUPPOSED CEASEFIRE

Hamas is not firing rockets at Israel, at present, but its allies are. It launches other attacks. Israel does not deter Hamas.

Hamas attacked a border crossing through which Israel lets in humanitarian supplies. Apparently Hamas wants Israel to shut the crossing so that a real humanitarian crisis will result, leading to condemnation of Israel and demands that Israel keep the crossing open to Hamas all the time (IMRA, 4/10).

How callous Hamas is towards its own people and cynical about the world's response! It knows that the world is looking for an opportunity to condemn Israel.

How can Israel deter Hamas? Israel won't bombard Gaza so as to force residents to rise up against Hamas, which they otherwise respect if not adore for making holy war. Israel won't wipe out Hamas and keep Gaza under control thereafter, largely because the Olmert regime is appeasement-minded, anti-Zionist, and cooperating with Bush in the hope of making a (farcical) peace agreement. How callous Olmert is towards his own people, whom he endangers by inaction! How cynical Bush is, in hoping to make an agreement in name only, though it obviously would lead to war and to Israel's destruction! How foolish are the Democrats, criticizing Bush for everything else but missing this victory he is handing jihad! Why are the Republicans silent about it? At least the pro-Israel Evangelicals object.

WHO IS COMBATING IRAN?

Iran's strategy is to destabilize and control via armed proxies, itself safe from retaliation. Sunni regimes threatened by Iran's looming shadow don't know how to counteract Iran. Having taught their people jihad, they can't oppose Iran's championship of it. They are as anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-Iraq as is Iran.

The US hasn't figured out that Syria, Hamas, and Fatah now take orders from Iran. It thinks it can wean Syria from Iran. It gives money to Fatah, which shares it with Hamas. (It holds Israel back from dealing a fatal blow to Hamas and to Fatah, thinking it can arrange a peace between Fatah and Israel, instead.) The US has no comprehensive strategy. Iran does (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 4/11).

HOW COLUMBIA U. OPERATES

Arab professors were prominent in picking an anti-Zionist Jew to head the new Israel & Jewish studies. Prof. Yinon Cohen accepts the false story of the Palestinian Arabs about refugees, etc., and thinks that settlers should not be defended from attack (Prof. Steven Plaut, 4/11).

SYRIAN SURPRISE

Syria was investigating the assassination of a leading terrorist. Iran alleges that S. Arabia provided the car used by Israeli agents to perform the act (IMRA, 4/10). This pits Syria against S.Arabia.

It's a standard tactic in the Middle East to blame Israel in every attack, including attacks one's own secret police instigate, and to accuse one's opponent of the day, in this case, S. Arabia, of helping Israel. S. Arabia rarely cooperates with Israel, against which it is in a state of war.

HAMAS' MILITARY GROWTH

We'd already heard that Hamas has formed large-scale military units, has improved their command structure, and gets them trained by Iran. Israel finds that they are importing heavier weaponry and have doubled their numbers to 20,000 in Gaza. They dug bunkers underground and planted bombs along the roads they expect the IDF to reach them on (IMRA, 4/10).

Security officials and commentators warned that this would happen. Now it has, and Hamas would inflict much greater casualties on the troops and, by means of its accumulated rockets, on Israeli civilians. These high casualties are due to the Olmert regime's dithering or treason, not sure which. Israel can defeat Hamas, but it isn't clear that Israel can survive a full assault from Hamas, the P.A., Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran, likely to be joined by Egypt, S. Arabia and, if opportune, Jordan. Olmert is responsible for allowing the Hizbullah build-up and for failing to punish Syria so as to deter its intervention if not cause its overthrow.

IN BAD TASTE

Two men from Nablus, in Israel illegally, nevertheless worked in a restaurant in Ramat Gan. They were recruited into a terrorist plot to poison customers. They were foiled, but some members of the gang remain at large (IMRA, 4/10).

In the Middle Ages, Jews were accused of poisoning the wells, when plague struck Christians but sanitary practices largely protected Jews. In our era, Palestinian Arabs accuse Israel of trying to poison them. No evidence adduced. The intercepted plot, however, is of an actual case, and it is of Islamic terrorism by poison. As I say, the Muslim Arabs usually do the terrible things they falsely accuse the Israelis of, because thinking up such charges is consistent with Arab culture and the charges are not consistent with Jewish culture. Israel doesn't poison Muslims. Witnesses against Peres, however, have died mysteriously. Thousands of Sephardic Israeli children died or suffered mysterious radiation poisoning when he was in charge of nuclear testing.

OLMERT THREATENS UNFRIGHTENED HAMAS

He is threatening to put Hamas out of business (Arutz-7, 4/11),

How long have Israeli leaders threatened the terrorists, without acting? The threats have no effect upon the terrorists. Do the threats impress any Israelis?

DISCRIMINATION

Israel made two goodwill gestures, at the behest of the US. It prohibits much Jewish building in Judea-Samaria. It approved of houses for 30,000 Arabs in Judea-Samaria (Arutz-7, 4/13) in addition to the tens of thousands living there and in Israel illegally.

The US did not press the P.A. to cede anything. The P.A. made no goodwill gestures to Israel. It praises terrorists and some of its men commit terrorism.

ANOTHER DAMAGING “GESTURE”

The US pressed Israel to let in 5,000 more P.A. laborers. Up to now, as the number of P.A. construction workers in Israel diminished, Israelis replaced them. 15,000 Jews did, last year. Industrial officials urged the government to reject the US request (IMRA, 4/11). Israel does not do what is in its own people's interest. Its interest is to employ its own people, impoverish P.A..

DON'T COUNT ON IT

A week or two ago, the NY Sun laughed about how short-sighted experts were, decades ago, warning about food shortages. Now we have plenty, the Sun explained. This week, the news has been about shortages causing mass-starvation. Shortages do it directly and also by boosting prices beyond what poor people can afford.

Conditions change. Don't take them for granted.

The use of corn for car fuel gets the major blame for shortages. The falling dollar has inflated prices. They say that hedge funds have been buying crop futures, pulling food out of circulation. HOW UNIFIL CHECKS CARGO FOR ARMS

UNIFIL inspects the manifest, not the cargo (IMRA, 4/11). If the manifest is false? The Palestinian Arabs ship arms under false manifests.

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@aol.com

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SYRIA, THE NPT, AND THE IAEA
Posted by Bryna Berch, April 30, 2008.

This is INSS Insight No. 53, April 29, 2008. It was written by Ephraim Asculai. http://www.inss.org.il/research.php?cat=6&incat=&read=1778

Given the official US statements, backed by extraordinary visual evidence, there is little doubt that the Israeli Air Force raid on the night of September 6, 2007 destroyed a building housing a nuclear reactor. There are many political and military ramifications both of the facts themselves and the way they were brought to light. However, one of the longer term effects is the impact of the revelations on the nuclear non-proliferation regime in general and on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in particular.

What did the new information reveal? that the installation that was destroyed was a nuclear reactor, probably still under construction; that the reactor was similar to the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon that produced plutonium (subsequently used in an underground nuclear test explosion); and that Syria, despite its NPT obligations, concealed the very existence as well as the purpose of the installation and repeatedly denied the facts to the world and to the IAEA.

Syria has been trying to buy a nuclear reactor from several sources for a long time. It had sought to buy a research reactor from Argentina in the mid-1990's, but this failed when Argentina's foreign minister told Syria that it would not sell it a reactor unless Syria signed a peace treaty with Israel. Syria then tried, unsuccessfully, to buy a reactor from Russia. Apparently, Syria then concluded a secret deal with North Korea for the construction of a Yongbyon-type reactor in Syria. The extent of the North Korean involvement is not yet publicly known and is not that relevant, except for the fact that North Korea acted in breach of its NPT obligations.

There can be little doubt as to the purpose of the ill-fated reactor. Had it been intended for truly peaceful uses, it would have been declared to the IAEA. In addition, Syria's repeated denials give credence to the claims that the reactor was part of a clandestine weapons development program. Furthermore, Syria acted with astounding speed, razed the stricken installation, and is putting up a supposedly military installation on the old foundations, making it almost impossible for any investigators to reveal the original purpose of the site.

There are five members of the NPT that have seriously reneged on their treaty obligations –– Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Libya. Iraq's project came to an end as a result of the 1991 Gulf War. Libya agreed to a rollback, probably as a result of the American invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The remaining three may still be conducting illegal activities aimed at producing nuclear weapons. North Korea has long been suspected of having a clandestine uranium enrichment project. Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons development program. And there is no guarantee that Syria is not going the same route, given the rumors about the connection with the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan, the biggest proliferator of all.

The nuclear non-proliferation regime suffered an additional blow with the uncovering of Syria's misdeeds. The extent of the damage will be only known over time, and the prospects for the future need a much more elaborate discussion. In any case, if there will be no substantive change in the manner of the oversight and the application of regime, and if the NPT PrepCom and review conferences continue to become bogged down in secondary issues, the situation can only deteriorate further.

The reaction of the IAEA to the information that came out of the Congressional briefing was astounding. An Associated Press report quoted the IAEA: "The Director General [DG] views the unilateral use of force by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the non-proliferation regime." In addition, "The Director General deplores the fact that this information was not provided to the Agency [by the U.S.] in a timely manner, in accordance with the Agency's responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to enable it to verify its veracity and establish the facts." With regard to these statements, it should be noted first that verification is not a substitute for the demise of the reactor, which removed the potential for and the danger of plutonium production. Second, one should ask what would have actually happened had the facts been verified by safeguard inspections? Given the historical precedents, the IAEA DG would likely have deplored the fact that the reactor had not been declared in a timely manner, accepted Syrian assurances that hitherto the reactor would be safeguarded, and stated that Syria had the right to build and operate a nuclear reactor, as long as it was safeguarded.

In any case, the IAEA could not have prevented the continuing construction and later operation of the reactor, which would have resulted in the potential for the production of plutonium, as was demonstrated by this reactor's sibling –– the Yongbyon reactor. It is easy to understand the DG's wrath –– he probably did not figure in any of the decision making process prior to the bombing. At present, Syria signaled that it would be willing to let the IAEA search for the truth. It is a "no win" situation for Syria if the inspectors uncover the remains of a nuclear reactor. It is a "lose" situation to the IAEA if it does not.

One cannot escape the conclusion that the IAEA has continuously failed in its missions, notably in Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The IAEA has set up an extensive organization, including a Division of Information, which is really a Division of Intelligence, within its Department of Safeguards. The Syrian episode clearly demonstrates that the division has failed in its task. One does not need such a division if the DG states that he has to rely on external information and chastises the Member States for not providing the information in a timely manner.

This may be an appropriate time for the Board of Governors (BOG) to contemplate a much more thorough oversight of the operation of this organization. Given the political realties, however, it is highly questionable whether the IAEA Board of Governors will indeed do so.

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FROM ISRAEL: YOM HASHOAH
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 30, 2008.

Holocaust Day, or, as it is more properly known in Israel, Day of Remembrance of Martyrs and Heroes –– the feeling being that those who were brave and did fight back should not be forgotten.

This is one of those times when I feel that my 'regular' posting material can be put aside.

Observance began at sundown, and, as I do every year, I watched the televised ceremonies at the Holocaust Memorial, Yad Va'Shem. And, as I do every year, I wept.

The core of the ceremony is the lighting of six flames, by six survivors, to represent the six million. Each of those who lights has been filmed telling his or her story, and that film runs before the flame is lit. One story is more painful than the next.

~~~~~~~~~~

But today was, somehow, different. For each of the magnificent people who told his/her story has made a significant contribution to the State. One, for example, was recruited by the Mosad, and sent into Germany, where he broke into an office and photographed the documents that convicted Eichmann. And one helped found a yishuv, a settlement, in the north in the early years of the State. His face lit with pride as he spoke of his contribution.

And –– oh! –– the lessons to be learned from this. Lessons of bravery and hope and meaning in life.

And, of course, I thought once again that this all hasn't happened to come to naught, and that whatever the horrors of what we are dealing with, we must come through at the end.

There is an honor guard on the stage for the ceremonies, and I watched them with their military precision and prayed for all of our army to be strong, strong.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow at 10 AM a siren sounds and everyone stands still wherever he or she is in memory of the six million. People stop their cars and get out to stand. It's a moving and uniting experience.

Except, of course, that Arabs don't stand still. And that's a story for another day.

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

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A NEW YAHOO GROUP INVITATION –– ATID YISRAEL
Posted by Sasha F., April 29, 2008.

Dear Friends, please join a newly created online forum focusing on Atid Yisrael.

Atid Yisrael translates as Future of Israel. This group is dedicated to forming a new group of representative local governments for Yehuda and Shomron communities.
http://groups. yahoo. com/group/atidyisrael/

Several months before the destruction of the Jews of Azza Prof., Dr. Shlomo Lev-Ami, a person now in his 90th yr. of his life called a meeting in Tel Aviv of all the "activist " right wing groups. Its purpose was to organize and unify these groups into a potent force to challenge the forces of suicide that rule the Jewish people. This meeting and several others over the next year attended by approx. 80 people, ultimately led to nothing and the effort was a total failure. When describing this failed attempt Prof. Lev-Ami explains "Initially when I began this attempt to unify I knew the fears and egos of the human psyche. That is why I presented myself as the figurehead, to allay all fears and concerns since I was above suspicion not asking anything for myself in the way of money or power. I was shocked to discover that although given the urgency of the hour no one was willing to cooperate on a unified level. They were only interested in promoting themselves and maintaining their individual businesses".

Who is Shlomo Lev-Ami? Shlomo Lev-Ami is a fifth generation Jew in Israel who is 90 yrs. old. He was the commander of the Irgun and Lechi's operations during the days leading up to Israel's Independence. He now lectures at five universities weekly, traveling on his own using public transportation. His physical and mental condition is better than most 50 yr, olds and he devotes his time and energy, totally, to preventing the next Holocaust, which he believes is well on its way. He is not the sort of person to sit around, lecture, write and generally complain how terrible things are. He also is not one to endlessly proclaim if it was up to him or had he been in charge he would, could or should handle this or that problem the 'right' way.

What he has set out to do with the last energies in him is the establishment of a movement "Atid Yisrael" (The Future of Israel) whose eventual goal is a complete change of the leadership of Israel.

How?

By influencing and proving to the public that there are individuals able and worthy of doing the job.

Rather than attempting to make a futile mad dash for the prime ministers job the idea is to gain access to as many municipalities and communities by competing with our candidates for their top offices and the very least gain entry to the various town councils. The first such election is to take place this Nov., just imagine if we were able to replace the mayor of Sderot with a real leader, even in the opposition he could effect change.

The second part of the plan involves the establishment of national committees covering every aspect of life (transportation, environment, defense. education, etc.) that would draft the most capable people in every field. While they would draft various papers and prepare realistic plans for each sector, most importantly, they would enact programs and projects in every realm that would begin a cycle of change and have a positive effect on bettering the quality of life.

This double pronged plan of action would be accompanied by ongoing press coverage which would be manipulated to provide maximum coverage for the "Atid Yisrael" movement as they progress on both fronts –– representation (hopefully heads) of towns and cities throughout the country actively challenging and confronting the encroaching holocaust, activating the national commitees that will work intensely to implement change on the ground. This is believed to be the only real chance of involving and activating large sectors of the population by creating momentum, believing there is a chance for change and that there are serious people who are capable, willing and able to take the reins of leadership.

A great deal of time of effort is going into this movement. Your comments would be appreciated. This will of course require a great deal of funding if it is going to be successful.

Contact Sasha F. by email at alex@fliegler.net

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EGYPT: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 29, 2008.

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak is 80. After over a quarter-century in office he is ready for more. But how much longer will his rule--or regime--continue?

And under him, Egypt has not done so badly, or has it?

Well that depends. He has kept Egypt stable and out of war, no mean feat, and even delivered a bit of economic development, though recently there have been bread riots. But there has been no big improvement.

One is reminded of the old Egyptian joke where the president's chauffer explains the difference among his last three bosses. Gamal Abdel Nasser (1952-1970) always turned left; Anwar al-Sadat (1970-1981) always turned right. Mubarak ordered: signal left, signal right, then park.

Has Egypt been parked for the last 27 years? In some respects, yes. Being parked is better than getting run down by a speeding auto, though not better than making steady progress. Rights have been limited and suppression periodic. Yet this falls well short of the police states ruling in Syria and, formerly, Iraq. Corruption is astronomical.

I can't talk about the ambiguity of Mubarak's regime without thinking of that great old Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler song, first recorded by Cab Calloway's orchestra in 1931. It begins: "I don't want you, But I hate to lose you, You've got me in between the devil and the deep blue sea."

For his own people, Israel, and the United States (or the West in general), Mubarak's government is most unsatisfactory in very many ways. Egyptians face mismanagement and limits on freedom. Israel has a peace but a cold one. The United States and the West gets nominal cooperation from Cairo coupled with the government's lavish use of anti-Americanism, radical Arab nationalism, and even Islamist rhetoric to keep the masses mobilized on its side.

Still, what's the alternative: violent instability or a radical Islamist revolution? Or is there a realistic hope of something better, of a moderate democratic state? Here, good intentions or wishful thinking should never be given precedent over realistic appraisal.

In assessing a political situation, one should always remember politics is the art of the possible. Egypt is a country with "too many" people and not enough resources. There are no easy solutions.

"I ought to cross you off my list, But when you come knocking at my door,

Fate seems to give my heart a twist, And I come running back for more," sang Calloway.

After all, that heart-twisting fate involves things like Hamas's takeover, Iraq's internal war, Hizballah's aggression, and Iran's expansionism plus nuclear weapons' drive. We are used to thinking of Egypt as the most important of all Arab countries, and that's still true relatively speaking though far less than a decade or two or three ago.

By the force of realpolitik, the foreigners conclude about Mubarak's regime (Calloway again): "I should hate you, But I guess I love you, You've got me in between the devil and the deep blue sea."

Thus, the West and Israel keep hoping. Maybe Egypt will restrain Hamas in the Gaza Strip and give vigorous backing to a serious peace process. Or possibly Cairo will lead a moderate Arab coalition against the forces of the Iran-Syria led HISH (Hamas-Iran-Syria-Hizballah alliance. A Muslim government official recently told me he calls them, the Addams family). After all, these actions are in Egypt's own interests, aren't they?

Egypt's interests, though, are in playing both sides simultaneously to the greatest extent possible. An Egyptian diplomat actually told me not long ago that he had advised Israeli Arabs to pretend to be good citizens and demand to join the army so they could better subvert the country. State-owned Egyptian newspapers blame all the terrorism in Iraq on American conspiracies.

Meanwhile, though, the Muslim Brotherhood is going to top-quality tailors to design its sheep's' clothing so that it can better wolf down Egypt. Credulous, or ill-intentioned, Westerners are all-too-willing to accept that the country's Islamist brothers are really moderates. It's easy to do that, just ignore their program and everything they say in Arabic. Just because they don't like the competition--al-Qaida or Iran--doesn't make them moderates.

There is a decent, moderate, democratic-minded opposition. But it is far too weak and poorly organized. Even the main "reformist" group has now been taken over by the Brotherhood.Who would you bet on in a showdown? No contest.

So what comes next? Gamal Mubarak, the president's 45-year-old son, who is deputy secretary-general of the ruling National Democratic Party? Perhaps some ex-general turned provincial governor or another official?

In social terms, the country is becoming increasingly "Islamic" according to the more restrictive standards demanded by Islamists. Does that mean a political swing as well? Not necessarily but the danger bears close watching. Egypt is famous for muddling through. That's the most likely outcome but nobody should be too complacent in assuming that's the way things have to be.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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NY TIMES VS. ISRAEL, AGAIN; DON'T BASE POLICY ON "IF"; HOW TO ASSESS & DEAL WITH IRAN
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 29, 2008.

“WQXR Radio, a New York City station owned by The New York Times, has refused to air a 15-second radio spot by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) because of descriptions "outside our bounds of acceptability." AJC Executive Director David Harris said the spot was aired on hundreds of stations in the United States, including CBS.

The commercial stated, "Imagine you had fifteen seconds to find shelter from an incoming missile. Fifteen seconds to locate your children, help an elderly relative, assist a disabled person to find shelter. That's all the residents of Sderot and neighboring Israeli towns have. Day or night, the sirens go on. Fifteen seconds later, the missiles, fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, hit. They could hit a home, a school, a hospital. Their aim is to kill and wound and demoralize. "

New York Times Radio president Tom Batunek explained to AJC that the spot did not make it clear that the missile attacks were taking place outside of the New York City area. He added, "The description of the missiles as arriving 'day or night' and 'daily' is also subject to challenge as being misleading, at least to the degree that reasonable people might be troubled by the absence of any acknowledgement of reciprocal Israeli military actions."

Harris commented, "In other words, according to Bartunek's logic, the only way to broadcast the plight of Sderot's residents over the airwaves is to equate Israel's right of self-defense with Hamas's and Islamic Jihad's right to strike Israel at will."

The cancelled radio spot continued, "Imagine yourself in that situation. The sirens blast. 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The time to seek shelter has ended. The missiles hit. This is what Israelis experience daily. But, amazingly, they refuse to be cowed. Help us help those Israelis."

Bartunek countered, "Finally, in my judgment the 'countdown' device and the general tone of the message do not meet our guidelines for decorum."

The AJC executive director, also revealed that the same radio station, after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, refused another AJC commercial. The 2001 spot stated, "Recently, The New York Times reported that in Saudi Arabia, 10th graders are warned of 'the dangers of having Christian and Jewish friends,' and in Pakistan, a million children attending religious schools are taught to "distrust and even hate the United States."

The radio station manger cited the paragraph, which was quoted from the parent company's newspaper, as not meeting the station's standards.

Harris also said that last month, the Bloomberg radio news station rejected an AJC segment citing hate literature in children's textbooks in the Palestinian Authority (PA), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran.

"Everything written in this spot was verifiable," Harris said. "Yet, all this was not good enough for the station, which, without putting anything down on paper, asserted that there were some questions about what was being said." (Arutz-7, 4/7 verbatim.)

Friends sometimes query me suspiciously about my sources. Their source is the NY Times, whose mendacity is obvious. The first ad clearly mentioned that the attacks are on Israel, but the WQXR, owned by the Times, whose reporting leaves much culpability unclear or falsely implied against Israel, claims the ad doesn't make it clear that the attacks are on Israel. False. The Times also objects to the ad's not mentioning Israeli retaliation. What has that got to do with it? Then there is the general ad about not meeting standards as of decorum. That sounds fishy. The real problem with the ad is that it doesn't meet the Times standard for anti-Zionism. The Times editorializes a lot about freedom of the press, but denies it to Jewish advertisers.

JIMMIE CARTER EXPOSES HIMSELF

Jimmie Carter presents himself as saintly but acts devilish. He praises many dictators and endorses their unfair elections. Now has exposed his evil core by a combination of vicious defamation of Israel for self-defense, studious obliviousness to Hamas terrorism against Israel, and his physical embrace of Hamas' leader. That embrace removed any doubt about Carter's moral bankruptcy. His was a repulsive performance.

WHAT KIND OF PRESIDENT IS U.S. READY FOR?

Some people tell me they would support high taxes if they got good services in return. “If?” But they don't and won't. One should not base policy on an “if,” the way the media and the US try to get Israel to. That is, polls ask Israelis whether they would sacrifice a lot of strategic territory for genuine peace, if the Arabs really were sincere. The Arabs are not sincere, and Israelis don't expect to have to seriously consider the sacrifices. Nevertheless, the media distorts the polls to indicate that Israelis are willing to sacrifice the land, without stating the “if.” Sec. of State Rice, for whom no Israeli sacrifice is too great and no Arab failure to meet agreement deserves rebuke, cites the misstated poll results. What she demands, Israel concedes, and Israeli policy is born.

In the US, Social Security seemed to be an example of high taxes producing good service. The system was financially solvent, but the politicians looted it for various subsidies. Thus even a good service got undermined. Many other services or programs are not good. Welfare was well intended but created welfare dependency and had to be cut back. The misconceived subsidy of corn ethanol has helped raise food prices and a hundred million people abroad are starving, without the intended result of conserving much oil. Senators Obama and Clinton propose giant bureaucracies that would consume the economy and deprive people of choices.

Is the US ready for an unscrupulous, big government, black radical President or an unscrupulous, big government, female radical President?

ABBAS' SUCCESSOR

In Israel again there is agitation to free the serial-terrorist leader Barghouti, sentenced to several life sentences for crimes committed after the peace agreements. I believe that he would be trotted out as the next great hope for peace after Abbas falls. He has made clear that he believes in jihad. Ah, they say, he is strong and can make an agreement that Abbas lacks strength for. Arafat already made an agreement. What good is a liar's agreement?

“MISUSE OF WEAPONS?”

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) complained about a mortar shell's killing an Arab boy in Gaza and wounding his brother. It condemned the “misuse of weapons.” (IMRA, 4/8.)

The news brief didn't describe what really happened. Probably one of the many mortar shells now being fired at Israeli civilians fell short. What would stop the misuse of such a weapon, firing them more accurately and killing Israeli children? If the PCHR were decent, it could condemn the Islamic terrorism.

LATEST FAILED GOODWILL EFFORT

PM Olmert agreed to an amnesty for 10,000 of the estimated 50,000 illegal Arab residents of Judea-Samaria. This is in addition to about 12,000 it gave permanent residency to, before. This is supposed to be a goodwill effort, but the P.A. does not thank Israel for anything, just complains about other demands (Arutz-7, 4/8). Then Olmert pretends he has to give Judea-Samaria to the P.A. because there are too many Arabs in it.

ISRAELI POLICY ON HEBRON TANTAMOUNT TO MURDER

Israel is considering allowing P.A. police to patrol most of Hebron. The Jewish community there reminds us that the P.A. police force largely is composed of terrorists, its members commit terrorism, and it cooperates with terrorists. While preparing for an imminent war, the government should not be collecting guns from settlers and letting armed terrorists near them. Settlers will be dependent upon the government for protection (IMRA, 4/8) but the troops come late.

Is the object to help the Arabs drive the Jews out, so that the government can more easily relinquish historical and sacred territory to the enemy? I think the government is disarming the settlers in order to sacrifice them.

A decent and prudent government would let the P.A. prove it could successfully patrol the other cities, before extending patrols to Hebron. The government seems to be racing to make enough concessions to enable a desperate Pres. Bush's seem to have resolved the Arab-Israel conflict, in his remaining tenure.

U.S. MISLEADS ABOUT WAR IN IRAQ

The US has pretended that Syria and Iran share an interest in ending the war in Iraq. Actually, the US government knows that Syria and Iran are financing and helping to wage that war. If Syria and Iran ceased their wartime efforts, the US and Iraqi government soon would win (IMRA, 4/8).

QUOTED FROM THE KORAN

The Koran quotes Allah as urging followers to terrorize and torture non-believers, mentioning the Jews specifically and infidels generally. The Koran calls warfare against non-believers “Jihad.” (Steven Shamrak, 4/8.)

OIL GETTING DIFFICULT TO EXTRACT IN MIDEAST

The Gulf Cooperation Council states face a shortage of fuel. Big companies offer technology for injecting carbon dioxide into existing wells, in order to drive out more petroleum (IMRA, 4/9).

That means that the cost of oil production is rising. Some oil fields are declining.

HOW TO ASSESS & DEAL WITH IRAN

David Wormser advises the US to weigh how its policies will be perceived by Iran, not just how we intend them. Otherwise, policies may backfire. When the US means to be reasonable, Iran perceives it as weak.

Contrary to most reports, Mr. Wormser finds that the President of Iran is gaining politically, the way Hitler did after he bluffed his way through his crises. The leadership is aligned with the President, and the President replaces officials with hardliners. The line is “theofascist." Iran is taking over leadership of Islam. To do this, it needs Syria. To defeat Iran, defeat its proxies, such as Syria, Hizbullah, and Hamas (MEFNews, 4/9) and Fatah.

WHO SOLD IRAN EQUIPMENT FOR MONITORING ISRAEL?

The German company, Siemens sold Iran the capability of listening to Israeli phone calls (IMRA, 4/9).

OLMERT FIGURES OUT HOW TO SHORTEN THE CONFLICT

According to a newspaper report, he has agreed to cede to the P.A. Atarot airport just north of Jerusalem. This would strengthen the Abbas regime (IMRA, 4/10).

It sure would –– the P.A. would fly in armaments and make war sooner, shortening the conflict.

ISRAEL BUDGETING 5 YEARS TO GIVE OUT GAS MASKS

Israel found the country's gas masks obsolete. It plans to take 5 years to distribute new ones to the whole country (IMRA, 4/10). War is coming sooner.

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@aol.com

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SWITZERLAND SIDING WITH IRAN?
Posted by Olivier Guitta, April 29, 2008.

This was published in Middle East Times
www.metimes.com/International/2008/04/28/switzerland_siding_with_iran/2890/

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter went to Damascus last week to meet with Hamas' Khaled Meshaal, a man accused of terrorism by the United States, Israel and the European Union. Carter's initiative was criticized by the leadership in Washington and Jerusalem as appeasing terrorism. As damaging as some people, such as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, say Carter's freelance diplomacy is to the United States, another visit by a Western dignitary to another Mideast leader, also accused of supporting terror, may have even greater repercussions.

I am talking about last month's meeting between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

In fact that meeting was a blessing in disguise for Tehran. Everything Calmy-Rey could do to please the mullah's regime was done.

First, let's start with the symbolic; meeting with an individual bent on destroying another country, denying the Holocaust and lately also questioning the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks constitutes a major diplomatic faux-pas. Especially for a country which cherishes its legendary "neutrality."

Indeed while the United Nations Security Council has passed three resolutions condemning and sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program, Swiss diplomacy seems totally unfazed by what the international community is trying to achieve.

Switzerland has now publicly fissured the more or less united front against Iran and Tehran loves it. Ahmadinejad was beaming during his meeting and Calmy-Rey could not stop smiling, obviously charmed by the attention of the Iranian president. Realizing the diplomatic coup, the images of the meeting were broadcast on Iranian networks around the clock.

Interestingly, the Swiss minister was wearing a white veil while nothing required her to do so. This symbolic attire is far from a detail and Iranian feminists were appalled that a Western woman would play so blatantly in the hands of the regime.

Shirine, a student at the University of Tehran told the Swiss daily La Liberté: "By wearing the veil, Micheline Calmy-Rey did not help us, Iranian women are fighting everyday to free our heads from these symbols of domination." She ironically added: "[We] believed that women were free in Europe."

Ismahane, a MD in Tehran, seconded this view, adding that she was ashamed that now "Western female officials are coming to play the pious in front of the 'devil of Tehran' as (Ahmadinejad) is referred to by Iranian feminists. But her behavior may be understandable. Calmy-Rey put water in her gas by showing a good face with her veil."

To understand this last sentence it helps to know that the Swiss foreign minister traveled to Tehran to ink a gas contract. Indeed, a $20 billion gas deal was signed on March 17 between the Swiss EGL and the National Iranian Gas Export Company (Nigec).

After the controversy regarding her visit grew louder, Calmy-Rey gave an interview on April 15 to the Swiss daily Le Temps where she tried to justify her trip by stating that the gas contract does not violate any of the U.N. sanctions against Iran (though it might violate the U.S. Iran Sanctions Act). Furthermore, the Swiss minister added that other European countries are doing business with Iran and don't get blamed for it.

Unfortunately (for the Swiss), this explanation does not hold water: in fact, some major European countries have been recently curbing business with Iran (especially France and Germany) and advising executives of large companies of the risks associated with doing business with Tehran. Incidentally, the largest Swiss bank, UBS decided over two years ago to break all business ties to Iran.

Calmy-Rey explained that she wanted to protect Switzerland's strategic interests by diversifying energy providers. She added that the goal of her ministry is to insure the security and the well-being of the Swiss population.

Unfortunately, Calmy-Rey was caught lying when Le Temps revealed the next day that none of the gas from the Iranian contract would end up in Switzerland. This revelation sparked much controversy regarding Calmy-Rey's trip to Tehran.

Interestingly, even within her own Socialist Party some people expressed concerns about her twisted explanation. Roger Nordmann, an energy expert with the Socialist Party said: "Mrs. Calmy-Rey's justification, that this agreement directly profits Switzerland, is not credible. On an energy level, it would be better to sign import contracts with Germany or France. But not to buy gas that won't reach Switzerland."

Also tellingly, Swiss gas officials have joined the fray of Calmy-Rey critics. Eric Défago, the managing director of Gaznat and vice president of the Swiss Association of the Gas Industry, told Le Temps that "this contract is beyond understanding and totally contrary to usual practice."

One interesting fact makes this Tehran's visit even more puzzling: for decades Switzerland has been importing oil and gas from Libya, but never ever has a Swiss official visited Libya.

So why did Calmy-Rey really travel to Iran to meet with Ahmadinejad? Couldn't she meet with the energy minister or any other high-ranked officials other than Ahmadinejad?

Christophe Darbellay, president of the Christian Democratic People's Party, thinks that Calmy-Rey had a hidden agenda. Interestingly, Calmy-Rey, who boasts about her high moral standards and her defense of human rights, said she also went to Tehran to address the human rights situation in Iran.

This seems like a very long shot, especially in light of Calmy-Rey's pedigree. Indeed, the current Swiss foreign minister and fixture on the Swiss political scene has earned a reputation of blatant anti-Americanism and anti-Israel. She will rarely miss an opportunity to criticize Israel. This may explain why Switzerland was the only European country to recently vote for an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council, which incidentally is Geneva-based.

There is more. Roger Koppel, the owner and chief editor of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal Europe piece, entitled, "Somebody Stop Calmy-Rey": "It is a miracle that her most disastrous act so far went almost unnoticed. In December 2006, she received an Iranian delegation for talks on the nuclear program. To the horror of her closest colleagues, she came up with the idea of improving relations by holding a seminar on differing perceptions of the Holocaust.

"One must understand the enormity of this: Ms. Calmy-Rey suggested a debate in Switzerland with Iranian Holocaust deniers on whether the murder of 6 million Jews actually happened. Fortunately, nothing came of this idea. It would not only have been outrageous, but also illegal, since genocide denial is a crime in Switzerland."

So, maybe Calmy-Rey wanted to address the Holocaust issue with Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad. Nonetheless what seems the most likely reason of her Iranian trip and her lying about it could be the Iranian nuclear program. Indeed, one should not be surprised if Swiss diplomacy is trying to find a solution to help the Iranians one way or another.

With such actions, it would appear that Switzerland has abandoned its long-cherished "neutral" label to the detriment of the West. One should not underestimate the potential nefarious effects of Switzerland's foreign policy, in particular when it comes to the Middle East.

In light of this development Washington might want to reconsider having the Swiss represent U.S. interests in Iran. Now that relations with the French have improved, Washington should consider dropping Berne for Paris.

Olivier Guitta, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant is the founder of the newsletter The Croissant (www.thecroissant.com).

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WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE
Posted by Isi Leibler, April 29, 2008.

This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870515265&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

It's disconcerting and sad to see American Jewish "progressives" frenziedly lobbying the American administration to pressure Israel for further unilateral concessions to the Palestinians.

To make matters worse, they understate –– even obfuscate –– their real game plan.

They describe themselves as "pro-Israel," "Zionist" and "moderate."

They lay claim to being the true custodians of peace, portraying other Jewish leaders and AIPAC as neoconservatives and extremists.

While tempting to dismiss their behavior and Orwellian doublespeak as naïve and inconsequential, recall that the sham Soviet peace fronts succeeded in duping many gullible well-meaning liberals into endorsing campaigns promoting totalitarianism.

It's all the more bizarre because no one would suggest that the current Israeli government is "hawkish."

On the contrary, the Olmert government has lost the confidence of its people precisely because of unilateral concessions which undermine Israel's security and embolden terrorists.

His government is an amen chorus which capitulates to every demand imposed on it by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

It has provided weapons to the Palestinians which will almost certainly once again be redirected against Israel; it has released and granted amnesty to terrorists; and despite bitter opposition from the IDF, it has closed checkpoints and acceded to demands compromising security which have already resulted in Israeli casualties.

Yet like a replay of the odious behavior of Haaretz editor David Landau, who told Rice that it would be his "wet dream" for the US "to rape Israel" for its own good, American "progressives" are urging their government to exert pressure on Israel for further unilateral concessions.

This is not a new phenomenon.

For years the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) has been lobbying the White House to get tougher with Israel.

They claim that in 1993, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin appreciated their support for his efforts to reach a peace settlement with Arafat.

They fail to mention that in contrast to Olmert, Rabin did stand up to US pressure. Rabin would have exploded had he encountered Jewish organizations exploiting his name as a means to justify lobbying the US administration to exert pressure on Israel.

As far back as 2005, IPF president Seymour Reich boasted how his organization had successfully persuaded Rice to force Israel to make concessions on the Gaza border crossing –– concession that have since resulted in the loss of Israeli lives.

More recently the IPF shamelessly lobbied the White House to press Israel to negotiate directly with Hamas.

Reich wrote to Rice on March 21 that "no progress can be made if Hamas –– the governing body in Gaza –– is totally excluded from the process." M.J. Rosenberg, IPF's policy director, urged the U.S. to "be extending carrots and not just slapping them [Hamas] with sticks".

The Progressive Jewish Alliance, another self-styled "pro-Israel" body, promotes exhibitions on US campuses of photo montages alleging the dehumanization of Palestinians by the Israeli army. They insist that their demonization of the IDF represent an expression of their love for Zion.

Now with great fanfare and endorsement by much of the US liberal media, we have a new "progressive" initiative: an amalgam of various far-left organizations and individuals spearheaded by "Americans for Peace Now" and "Brit Tzedek V'Shalom" to establish "J.Street," a political action committee. Although proclaiming their intention to espouse "moderation" and bring "balance" into American Jewish leadership, their actual intent is to further US pressure on Israel and to undermine AIPAC, the highly effective pro-Israel lobby.

Such behavior is especially unconscionable since –– aside from permits for extra housing to cope with natural growth in the densely Jewish populated settlement blocs implicitly endorsed by President Bush –– the Olmert government has conceded to all US government demands. It has even discouraged AIPAC and American Jewish leaders from trying to neutralize State Department pressures on itself for fear of antagonizing the administration.

J Street also publicly opposes the use of force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities, which undermines Israel's campaign to pressure Iran from going nuclear. In addition, J Street supports a swift withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, calls for direct dealings with Hamas and urges Jews to boycott Christian Zionists –– Israel's strongest allies. J Street intends to raise funds to provide $50,000 for selected Congressional candidates supporting these aims.

Aside from a number of respectable personalities under the illusion that they have associated themselves with a "moderate" body seeking to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians, J Street is mainly supported by prominent far-left Americans and Israelis like Ron Pundak, architect of the Oslo Accord. One of its principal theorists is Daniel Levy, a former adviser to Yossi Beilin who trivializes Palestinian incitement to murder Israelis.

Former Jewish Agency chairman Avrum Burg, who has compared Israelis to Nazis and has urged the former to follow his lead and obtain European passports, is another notable J Street supporter.

Burg's ranting against his country is so vile that even most of his Israeli associates distanced themselves from him.

Writing this week in Haaretz, Burg pushed the envelope further and provided a gift to anti-Semites everywhere by accusing AIPAC of imposing "dual loyalties" on American Jews and of "institutionalizing near-treason and turning it into an enormous octopus of a political mechanism with enormous dimensions and numerous victims."

Another key Israeli supporter is David Kimche, a leading figure in Israel Policy Forum. Kimche was director general of the Foreign Ministry under Yitzhak Shamir, where I had regular dealings with him.

In those days, not only was he a hawk, but he even had the reputation of savagely roasting any Jewish leader who dared question Israeli government policies. "We live and die by our decisions, while you sit and pontificate from your armchair," he would say. Today he identifies with the extreme left. The Israel Council of Foreign Relations, which he heads, recently hosted a meeting in Jerusalem for ex-president Jimmy Carter, obliging the sponsor, the World Jewish Congress, to formally dissociate itself from the event.

The "progressives" will also try to capitalize on the fact that the Barack Obama campaign has embraced former ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer and appointed him Obama's adviser on Middle East affairs.

Kurtzer, a Jewish dove, previously urged the Administration to take a tougher line with Israel. In his just-released book –– Negotiating Arab Israel Peace –– Kurtzer refers to the withholding of loan guarantees from the Shamir government by the first President Bush as an example of how an American government can effectively bring Israel into line.

He accused Dennis Ross –– the Clinton-designated Middle East representative –– of having been biased in favor of Israel. He even castigates the Clinton and Bush Administrations for not employing sufficient Arabists in the State Department.

The US is the only country capable of withstanding pressure from Arabs and their allies to isolate and delegitimize Israel. Thankfully, US public opinion and Congress has never been more favorably disposed towards Israel than today.

Yet over the past year, the Bush Administration has tilted from its former policy. Nor can we exclude the possibility of a future US administration distancing itself further from Israel.

It is therefore imperative that American Jewish leaders not underestimate the damage "progressive pro-Israel" groups can inflict, especially in light of the mainstream liberal media support J Street has enjoyed at its launch.

In the face of existential threats, Israel needs the support of America Jewry more than ever. While all are free to express their opinions, "peaceniks" who have the gall to call on the US to put the heat on Israel to act as they believe best, rather than what the citizens of that democracy have decided is, must be exposed as fringe groups outside the Jewish mainstream.

Contact Isi Leibler at his website http://www.leibler.com/article/328 or write him at ileibler@netvision.net.il

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FROM ISRAEL: "THAT HUDNA"
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 29, 2008.

A correction: When I wrote about the US case against Kadish recently, I indicated that we had friends in Congress, the Pentagon and other places in the US, but that we also had enemies, in State, the Intelligence community, and the Justice department. I had secured my information from what I thought were reliable sources. Now I have heard from Sarah Stern, who heads the lobby group Emet, in Washington DC. She tells me that we have some very good friends in Justice, and that she has personally worked with some of them. I stand corrected and apologize.

~~~~~~~~~~

I wrote last about the proposed ceasefire (technically a hudna) for Gaza and indicated that since Hamas political head Mashaal had referred to it, with honesty, as a "tactic" this clearly wasn't going anywhere. A hudna buys them time to strengthen before they hit us again.

Well...that was a foolish assumption on my part, altogether too rational. The news that broke yesterday was that Bush wanted to see us go for that hudna, with it in place before he arrived here in two weeks. There was some notion that this would help the "peace process." And, obviously, helping the peace process is all that really matters.

Some of you already know how infuriated this made me –– this meddling by Bush into our security affairs.

I still suspect that in the end this may go nowhere (and I'll explain a bit about why), but there are now several factors that it's worth examining.

~~~~~~~~~~

The "inspired" notion of Bush, or his advisors, is that Abbas feels constrained with regard to dealing with Israel when Israel is shooting at Palestinians in Gaza –– terrorist Palestinians, but for Abbas that is beside the point. It makes him look as if he's consorting with the enemy. And so stopping the shooting would presumably make it possible for Abbas to negotiate more freely.

Abbas is giving good lip service to this idea of a truce. After meeting with Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh, he intoned, "The truce is a national interest of all Palestinians. A truce will alleviate the suffering of our people and pave the way for the reopening of the border crossings."

However, reports Khaled Abu Toameh in the Post, the PA is actually quite anxious about this, because it would be a step towards legitimizing Hamas's takeover of Gaza, something Abbas is trying mightily to reverse. At a minimum, Abbas is insisting that the PA must be present at all opened border crossings, but if the crossings are opened in a deal between Israel and Hamas as part of a truce, exactly where does that leave the PA?

An analysis in Haaretz carried this theme even further, saying that a truce that opened the crossings would render the PA almost irrelevant. According to this thinking, people would get the message that concessions are more likely to be drawn from Israel when there is shooting than when there are negotiations.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is truly ironic, and not at all surprising, that the US government, meddling in Middle Eastern affairs in an attempt to make things better, might, from their perspective, end up making them worse. Were they to push that truce down our throats, in an effort to strengthen Abbas, they might actually make him weaker.

~~~~~~~~~~

Egypt, still working towards that hudna, has invited four terrorist factions to Cairo for meetings in an attempt to convince them to cooperate: Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) .

The serious question as to whether they will all be on board is a major factor getting in the way of what Egypt is attempting to accomplish. At a minimum, these groups are seeking commitments by Israel not to do any operations in Gaza, and to extend the truce to Judea and Samaria within six months.

Problematic, to say the least.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is the issue of Egypt's commitment to blocking the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

Head of the IDF Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant is fiercely opposed to a ceasefire, in part because he's convinced smuggling would increase.

He's also concerned about strengthening of the terrorist infrastructure inside of Gaza.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today 15 Kassams and 20 mortars were fired at Israel. A home and a clinic were hit, and five people in Sderot were lightly wounded.

Said Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "This is not the right time for a ceasefire with Hamas."

~~~~~~~~~~

The comment of Hamas's Mahmoud Zahar, speaking today at Islamic University in Gaza, was that, "If Israel says no, it will pay a heavy price. We are a besieged people and we will have to use all our tools to defend ourselves against Israel...Hamas has 200,000 people who want to blow themselves up inside of Israel."

~~~~~~~~~~

And, indeed, we may be in for some tough times.

Head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Cabinet today that terror groups are planning a major attack for our 60th Independence Day, next week.

While Hamas may be planning to breach the border between Gaza and Israel, as they did at Rafah not long ago. They would likely aim towards Israel this time because Egypt has gotten very serious about its response to a new attempt to break through at Rafah. And when the Egyptians get serious, they shoot to kill.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to a new report from YNet, a serious blowout has erupted between Israel's chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, and the PA chief negotiator, Ahmed Qurei. Qurei reportedly exploded when Livni presented a map that showed Israel retaining Jerusalem, major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley (essential from a security perspective).

In addition, Qurei is said to be furious because Barak has indicated that there would have to be special security arrangements at a high point in Samaria that directly overlooks the airport.

If this report is accurate, and if the quarrel is even half-way serious, then Bush can forget trying to push Israel into a truce in order to get the PA to negotiate faster. I'm waiting for confirmation.

~~~~~~~~~~

It's very good news being reported by the Post regarding sanctions with teeth against Iran. Apparently the EU is set to blacklist one of Iran's top banks –– a bank through which Iran conducts considerable business.

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

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GUSH KATIF REFUGEES ASK COURT TO ERASE DEBTS
Posted by Buddy Macy, April 29, 2008.

This was written by Avi Tuchmayer and it appeared in Arutz-Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125997

(IsraelNN.com) Refugees from destroyed communities in Gush Katif have appealed to the Supreme Court to force the government to enforce a pre-disengagement decision to erase refugees' debts to the World Zionist Organization.

The decision to erase debts incurred by Gush Katif pioneers when they established their communities was made by the Knesset Finance Committee in 2004. As with other areas around the country, Gaza communities benefited from long-term loans from the Jewish Agency in order establish farming infrastructure, but when the Sharon Administration decided to pull out of Gaza, it became clear that local residents would be unable to repay the debts.

Because the Finance Committee had supposedly "taken care" of canceling Gush Katif debts to the World Zionist Organization, the Knesset Laws Committee did not enshrine the debt erasure in the 2005 Evacuation –– Compensation Law. As a result, Gaza residents were left with little legal protection and saddled with debt for farming equipment and farm land they can no longer access.

According to Anita Tucker, formerly of Netzer Hazani, the debt repayment is an especially sore point for pioneers who built up Jewish Gaza soon after the area was liberated from Egypt during the Six Day War.

"When we came to Gush Katif over 30 years ago, the World Zionist Organization gave a package of benefits to encourage agriculture in development areas. We received various essentials to start a farm. I was a farmer in Gush Katif for 29 years. We were in the process of paying back those initial benefits, when the government threw us out of the land, that it had originally encouraged us to develop."

Three years later, still refugees

Three years after the government forcibly removed Gaza's Jewish residents from their homes, expellees continue to be scattered in a variety of temporary housing arrangements, and most remain without suitable employment options. Most refugees survive on compensation payouts they received at the time of the eviction.

To raise funds to build a new dairy infrastructure in order to create a post-disengagement source of economic stability, some former Gush Katif communities sold shares in Tnuva, Israel's largest dairy product manufacturer. There is now a foreclosure order for approximately 3 million shekels on that money in order to cover the debts the refugees owe to the Zionist organization.

The lawsuit names as defendants the government, World Zionist Organization, the Finance Ministry, the accountant general, the agriculture minister and the Sela Disengagement Authority, and asks the court to force the above-mentioned bodies to enforce the government's decision. They say the plaintiffs' real ability to restore and rebuild their lives has suffered, and due to the huge sums involved (which is more than the sum total of the payout they have received to date), it has impaired their abilities to repair their lives in the future.

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com. Or call him at 973-785-0057.

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PASSOVER AND POLLARD: AN OPEN LETTER TO BUSH, OLMERT
Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, April 28, 2008.

This was written by Kenneth Lasson and it appeared April 25, 2008 in The Baltimore Jewish Times. Kenneth Lasson is a law professor at the University of Baltimore specializing in civil liberties and international human rights. He is a frequent contributor to the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister,

I am very proud to be an American, to be Jewish, and to be a supporter of Israel.

That pride is borne of the great national character reflected by both countries –– an ingrained commitment to freedom, democracy, and humanitarian values –– which in turn nourish our charitable impulses, our natural heritage, our melting-pot psyche.

But it is also a requirement of good citizens everywhere to reflect upon their nations' failures, never to cease trying to correct them –– and always to understand the consequences of silence toward them.

Thus must we acknowledge that the American system of justice, so genuinely principled in concept and gently noble in purpose and generally fair in practice, has failed badly in the case of Jonathan Pollard. While the former Navy intelligence officer acted wrongly in violating the law by passing classified information, the average punishment for that kind of activity is four years' imprisonment. Mr. Pollard's life sentence is so grossly disproportionate to the offense that it should shock the conscience of all fair-minded people. He is the only person in the history of the United States to receive an unlimited life sentence for passing classified information to an ally, a misdeed for which he has amply expressed remorse. He caused no actual harm to any individual or group.

Were they asked their opinion, the majority of Americans would likely agree with the sentiments expressed by a federal judge in one of Mr. Pollard's appeals (all of which turned on technical procedural issues and not on substance), that the handling of his case was "a fundamental miscarriage of justice."

And the government of Israel, which in the past has offered refuge to millions of people oppressed by genocidal regimes and rescued hundreds of thousands of children starved by Third World famine and sought to save other nations' victims of natural disasters, appears to have totally abandoned one of its acknowledged agents –– and not because it is unaware of his whereabouts.

Pollard has been imprisoned for the past 23 years; he resides in a jail cell in North Carolina. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens would strongly support an honest effort by their government to bring about his release, their leaders blindly ignore his plight. Even a virtually unanimous resolution by the Knesset to act on Mr. Pollard's behalf brings nothing but disingenuous platitudes. Israel has had many opportunities to press the issue with the United States –– to request, for example, that Mr. Pollard be returned to Israel in reciprocity for the many gestures made by the Jewish State at the behest of the U.S. in pursuit of its peace initiatives –– and by all accounts has failed genuinely to do so.

While some might argue that for a simple citizen to tell his President or the Prime Minister of Israel the right thing to do is an act of chutzpah, those same governments have an obligation to respond to the voices of their people.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Olmert, with all due respect, your silence has been deafening.

In this season of redemption, it is wholly appropriate once again to make one simple entreaty: Let Jonathan Pollard go.

At this, the time to celebrate freedom, the opportunity is upon you.

On this Passover, do not pass over the chance to act.

With this small gesture of leadership, please act now.

Sincerely,
Kenneth Lasson

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com

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US PRESSES ISRAEL TO ALLOW HAMAS TO PREPARE TO ATTACK ISRAEL UNDISTURBED
Posted by HaDar, April 28, 2008.

This comes from Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, who writes:

"US presses Israel to allow Hamas to prepare to attack Israel undisturbed" is certainly a harsh description of the situation.

But it is the truth.

And it should not be a surprise when one considers that the America point man is the same Secreteray of State Rice that didn't want Israel ("according to foreign reports") to destroy the Syrian nuclear plant before it went hot because it was best to keep the glaring failure of her policy to appease of North Korea policy offf the radar screen.

This is called "US presses Israel on Gaza cease-fire." It was written by Yaakov Katz and Herb Keinon , and it appeared today in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870506449&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Pressure is picking up on Israel to reach a cease-fire deal with Hamas in the Gaza Strip ahead of US President George W. Bush's planned visit to Jerusalem in two weeks, defense officials told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, has been holding intensive talks with Egypt on a proposed cease-fire in the Gaza Strip being brokered by Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman, according to the defense officials.

There was increasing pressure from the US and Egypt to reach a deal before Bush's visit on May 14, the officials said, and Israel was making every effort to move forward with the deal, even though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak had yet to formulate an official position on the matter.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to visit Israel next week.

"There is a push to wrap up the deal before Bush's visit," a top defense official told the Post Sunday. "The hope is that quiet in Gaza will enable Israel and the PA to focus on reaching a peace deal by the end of the year."

Suleiman has in the meantime postponed a planned visit to Israel until the beginning of next week, after he receives a final answer from the various Palestinian factions on whether they accept the terms of the proposed cease-fire together with Hamas.

Suleiman is scheduled to receive a final answer from the factions on Wednesday and will then update Israel.

"Assuming the factions accept the terms, Suleiman will likely visit Israel in the beginning of next week to finalize Israel's position," the top defense official said, warning that if Israel rejected the deal it could damage relations with Egypt and be interpreted as a blow to Suleiman's prestige.

While the Defense Ministry is pursuing the cease-fire talks, senior IDF officers have voiced opposition to halting military operations against Hamas in Gaza. On Sunday, two Kassam rockets struck Sderot. One scored a direct hit on a home, causing extensive damages but no injuries.

One of the more dominant voices comes from OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, who, the Post has learned, recently expressed fierce opposition to a cease-fire with Hamas, warning it would be used by the terrorist organization to rebuild its damaged infrastructure and to increase its arms smuggling under the Philadelphi Corridor from Sinai.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki, who held talks in Jerusalem Sunday with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and ministry director-general Aaron Abramovitch, said in Cairo a day earlier that Israel's "latest statements" on a cease-fire with Hamas should not be considered Israel's final word. In a statement, Zaki said that Israel "will make its position [on the proposed cease-fire with Hamas] clear following a series of closed-door meetings that will take place later."

The government's position, repeated as a mantra by Olmert's spokesmen over the last week, is that Israel is not negotiating either directly or indirectly with Hamas, and that if Hamas wants a cease-fire it knows what it needs to do: stop all firing of Kassam rockets into Israel; stop terrorist attacks on Israelis anywhere; and stop the arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Zaki, according to the Egyptian statement, "played down Israel's initial rejection of the cease-fire as some sort of propaganda."

Zaki, who is a close confidant of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said, "The cease-fire that Egypt has been seeking to achieve between the Palestinian and Israeli sides requires cooperation and real desire from the two sides."

A senior official in the Foreign Ministry said Abramovitch told Zaki that it was essential to prevent Hamas's buildup in Gaza, and the terrorism emanating from the Strip. The official said that Zaki's visit was a reciprocal visit to one Abramovitch paid on him a few weeks ago.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz is expected to meet with Rice in Washington on Monday, a day before he takes part in the quarterly Israeli-American strategic dialogue.

That daylong dialogue is once again expected to focus on the Iranian threat, and the ramifications of Teheran's nuclearization on the region.

Mofaz will head the Israeli team, and his counterpart on the US side will be State Department Counselor Eliot Cohen, who has stepped in for Nicholas Burns, the recently retired under secretary for political affairs.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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DOES THE US SPY ON ISRAEL TOO?
Posted by Avodah, April 28, 2008.

This is from the website of Carl of Jerusalem:
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/

Ben Ami Kadish leaving court

Shavua tov –– a good week to everyone. For those who are wondering how an Orthodox Jew can be on the computer on what is the eighth night of Pesach (Passover) in much of the world, please go here.

Does the US spy on Israel too? And why does it seem that instances of people spying on behalf of the Jewish state are a much bigger deal in America than spying on behalf of Russia or China, for example? Two Jerusalem Post columnists devoted their weekend columns to this issue in the context of Ben Ami Kadish's arrest this past week. Both Herb Keinon and Caroline Glick take it for granted that the United States spies on Israel. But the Israeli reaction to the spying is very different from the American one. For the record, both Keinon and Glick were –– like me –– born in the United States. Here's Keinon:

The surprise arrest in the US this week of 84-year-old Ben-Ami Kadish for allegedly spying for Israel a generation ago highlights a fascinating little point: One never hears about the US spying on Israel.

Why not? Is Washington not interested in inside info on what Israel is up to?

Is the CIA, with agents spanning the globe, not keen on securing pre-knowledge of Israel's technological advances in defense and security fields?

Unlikely.

Rather, the more probable reason is because when US spies are uncovered here, as they surely have been over the years, it never hits the news. Yossi Alpher, a former senior Mossad officer, cited former US officials as saying that the CIA spies on Israel, just as it spies everywhere else. "But when someone is caught here, he receives a wrap on the knuckles, and is declared persona non grata," Alpher said. "The fact that you never hear that someone was tried and put in jail for spying for the US reflects a different approach on Israel's part. It is not that we are not worried about sensitive information falling into other hands, it's just that when those hands happen to be friendly ones, we deal with it differently –– unlike the US Justice Department."

And Glick:

As for espionage, as the late Yitzhak Rabin once noted, every few years Israel discovers another US agent committing espionage against the state. Rather than make a big deal about it, and in spite of the fact that some of the information being stolen is deeply damaging to Israel's national security, out of a sense of comity with Washington, Israel keeps the scandals quiet and generally deports the spies.

So why does it create such headlines in the US when someone is arrested for spying for Israel? Does the US target Israeli spies? Both Keinon and Glick argue that it does, although Keinon places the blame with the Justice Department and Glick places it mostly with the State Department and US intelligence agencies. Here's Keinon again: Alpher, who now co-edits the Israeli-Palestinian on-line dialogue magazine bitterlemons.org –– and is most definitely not a conspiracy theorist seeing an anti-Semite lurking under every US government desk [That's an understatement. I have a subscription to Bitterlemons.org. It's a newsletter that presents two Israeli views and two 'Palestinian' views on each issue. Most of the Israelis lean left. CiJ] –– said he can't escape the conclusion that the US Justice Department is looking for Israel. "When you take this case, together with the refusal to release [Jonathan] Pollard, even when spies working for the Soviet Union and China who caused death to other agents have been released, when you take into account the AIPAC case [the 2005 arrest of two senior AIPAC staffers on espionage charges], and attempts to recruit Israelis [to spy here for the US], it seems the Justice Department is targeting Israel. I don't know why, but we are being treated pretty roughly."

Alpher said it is not unheard of in the annals of espionage, both here and abroad, that when someone old and frail is caught having spied may years ago, the charges are just dropped.

But not this time.

"The Justice Department is targeting Israel," he said. "They have been looking for additional Americans spying for Israel for a long, long time."

Indeed, one senior government official said Kadish's arrest may finally shed some light on why the US has been so adamant for so long in holding Pollard, even though other spies who have spied for hostile countries –– not friendly ones –– have been treated more leniently.

I doubt that we're going to learn why Pollard is being held. Many years ago, I had a meeting with someone who was in the intelligence unit in the IDF that was 'handling' Pollard. He claimed that the issue with Pollard is not what he did but what he knows. He claimed that the Americans will never let Pollard go free because what he knows remains explosive to this day. Obviously, he couldn't tell me anything about what Pollard knows.

Glick places some of the blame at the Justice Department's doorstep too, but she places most of it with the Intelligence agencies and at the State Department: Tuesday was a banner day, a proud day for Jewish conspiracy theorists in America. People like Joseph E. diGenova smiled with glee as they watched 84-year-old Ben Kadish carted into the Manhattan Federal District courthouse on charges of transferring classified information to Israel 25 years ago.

He's just like Jonathan Pollard, they whooped. Another Pollard! At last, we have proof that Israel operates spy rings and SLEEPER CELLS in America! They bragged and bragged and smiled and smiled as their terrorist metaphors got wilder and wilder.

Sleeper cells? You mean agents sent to a country to lay in wait for the command to attack? Well, not exactly.

DiGenova made his name as the federal prosecutor who railroaded Pollard into a life sentence for crimes that generally should have netted him no more than a few years in the slammer. Obviously he has a way with words. And when he told The New York Times "sleeper cells," apparently he was referring to the FBI agents who went to sleep for 23 years and then suddenly woke up and decided to cart an old man out of his nursing home and charge him with capital crimes.

...

Most Israeli commentators and unnamed government officials angrily allege that the timing of Kadish's arrest was chosen to damage Israel's relations with the US at a key moment. In two weeks President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit Israel to participate in its 60th Independence Day celebrations. It has been widely presumed that during his visit, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government will seek to secure Bush's agreement to commute Pollard's sentence and release him from prison before Bush leaves office. Kadish, it is alleged, was arrested to block any possibility that Pollard will be released.

Given the vindictiveness that has marked the US intelligence community's attitude toward Pollard since his arrest, it is possible that fear of a presidential pardon did inform the decision to arrest Kadish now. And yet, it is far from clear that an agreement on Pollard's release was ever in the cards. Bush has expressed no willingness to consider Israeli appeals for his release and neither the Sharon government nor the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has made any real efforts to secure Pollard's freedom. Indeed, in a sign of their contempt for Pollard, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has Pollard's former handler, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, sitting in the security cabinet.

...

Kadish was arraigned the same day that the Los Angeles Times broke the story that CIA Director Michael Hayden would be briefing Congress on Thursday about Israel's September 6 air strike in Syria. For the past six months, the administration did everything it could to prevent any information on the Israeli air strike from getting out. In the end, Hayden was compelled to inform Congress about the details of the raid after the legislature conditioned its approval of the intelligence budget on receiving a full briefing on the air strike.

According to the Los Angeles Times report and subsequent stories, Hayden's testimony would acknowledge that US intelligence agencies failed to recognize the dangers of the North Korean-built plutonium reactor that Syria had constructed not far from its border with Turkey. It was Israeli, rather than American intelligence agencies that penetrated the facility, brought back video and physical evidence of its character, and then effectively destroyed it in a complicated air strike and commando raid.

So according to US media reports, Hayden's testimony would demonstrate two basic truths that the Jewish conspiracy theorists in the US intelligence community and the State Department are uninterested in having the public or Congress notice: Israeli intelligence is superior to US intelligence; and the US alliance with Israel is vital to US national security.

Since Israel's independence 60 years ago and especially since US-Israel strategic ties blossomed after the Six Day War, Washington has been of two minds about the Jewish state. The first, public mind is that Israel is the US's strongest and most reliable ally in the Middle East, and that the US-Israel alliance is strong because it is based on shared values as well as shared interests.

The second view is that Israel is a burden. As purveyors of this view see things, Israel is the national "Fagin." It is underhanded, pushy and untrustworthy. Indeed, as far as the anti-Semites in Washington are concerned, Israel is the source of all the US's difficulties in the Arab world and even in Europe.

For years, the purveyors of the second view have carried out an independent foreign policy regarding Israel that is completely at odds with the official US policy of embracing Israel as an ally. Indeed, the State Department has undermined every presidential attempt to treat Israel well since 1948.

As I argued last week, both Keinon and Glick see a connection between Kadish's arrest and President Bush's impending visit to Israel for the 60th Independence Day celebration. Here's Keinon again:

However, the proximity of the arrest to US President George W. Bush's visit to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary next month does have some Israeli officials wondering whether the two events might not, indeed, be connected.

"They could have waited and done this after the Bush visit," the official posited. He speculated –– and at this point it is all speculation –– that there were some in the US intelligence community who wanted to keep Bush from coming here, and either announcing the release of Pollard, something that has been whispered about for the last few months, or giving Israel too many birthday presents before he leaves office, something that had been discussed more seriously.

The official pointed out that it was the same intelligence community that last year produced the National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had ditched its nuclear weapons program in 2003 –– conclusions which Jerusalem largely viewed as politically motivated to keep Bush from taking military action against Iran.

Among the "gifts" reportedly on the table and being discussed as Bush's parting gift to Israel are linking Israel to the American worldwide radar system that provides early warnings of any ballistic missile fired anywhere in the world; advanced models of the Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bombs, or JDAMs; the possibility of selling Israel the F-22 Raptor, a stealth fighter; integrating Israeli defense industries into the production of the Joint Strike Fighter; and the possibility of upgrading the US-Israel strategic alliance to include some kind of defense pact.

As a result of the Kadish case, there will now be those who will ask whether these types of "goodies" should be given to a country that spies on the US.

Glick argues that Israel needs to be a lot more aggressive in its relations with the US, and notes with bitter irony that Nada Prouty, who penetrated both the FBI and the CIA on Hezbullah's behalf, is likely to get off with a six-month sentence.

By arresting an 84-year-old World War II veteran in an effort to place Israel under a cloud of suspicion as its military triumph in Syria is exposed to the American people, the US is sadly showing Israel once again that nice guys finish last. If Israel wants to be treated with respect by the US, the lesson of the Kadish affair, of the Syrian raid and of the Pollard affair is that Israel had better start pushing back.

The first thing it should do is arrest officials suspected of transferring classified materials to the US without authorization. It should then publish the names and details of US spies whom Israel previously caught and treated with kid gloves. Then it should publicly demand that Bush release Pollard from the prison where he rots, while the likes of Hizbullah agent Nada Prouty –– who penetrated both the FBI and the CIA –– is expected to receive a six-month prison sentence for her crimes.

When Bush arrives to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday, Israel's leaders would do well to show him that at 60, Israel is a grownup country. And as such, it demands to be treated with the respect due to the US's most reliable ally in the Middle East.

I agree with Keinon and Glick. There is no doubt that Israeli spies are treated differently by the US –– and with disproportionate harshness –– as compared with spies for anyone else. As Glick points out, the ridiculous arrest of two AIPAC lobbyists –– which has been hanging over our heads for four years now has been used by the US to avoid Israeli demands that it do anything concrete to stop Iran. I know that some Americans are going to react with hostility to this post –– I have seen enough of that on LGF this week. I'm not advocating that Israel spy on the US. I'm advocating a uniform standard of justice for those caught spying for Israel as compared with those caught spying for other countries and entities. It's clear to me that standard does not exist.

Read the whole thing.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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COMMANDER OF LEGENDARY SHIP EXODUS DIES AT 90
Posted by Shaul and Aviva Ceder, April 28, 2008.

This appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870501555&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

THE EXODUS. Eli Agulnik: 'With over 4,500 on our vessel, the Hagana had upped the ante. The stakes were high!' Photo: Courtesy

Yossi Harel, commander of the illegal Jewish immigrant ship Exodus, immortalized in the Leon Uris novel and Otto Preminger movie, died Saturday at the age of 90.

His daughter Sharon said Harel suffered cardiac arrest at his Tel Aviv home.

The ill-starred voyage of the Exodus, which sought to bring thousands of European refugees to Palestine after World War II, became a potent symbol of the Jewish struggle for statehood.

More than 4,500 Holocaust survivors packed the ship in 1947 when it tried to run the British blockade of Palestine, meant to severely limit the immigration of Jews. The British Navy seized the vessel off Palestine's shores in July 1947, and after a battle on board that left three people dead, turned the ship and its passengers back to Europe.

The Exodus' fate later inspired a fictionalized account by Uris and a movie directed by Preminger and starring Paul Newman.

In all, Harel commanded four expeditions that brought thousands of refugees to the shores of Palestine, his daughter said.

"He was an extraordinary, unusual man, very brave, very modest and very lucky because he was able to touch the lives of so many people," she said.

The Jerusalem-born Harel is to be buried in Kibbutz Sdot Yam on Monday, she said. The communal farm was headquarters of the naval force of the Palmach, Israel's pre-state military.

"History has proven that you cannot defeat refugees," Harel was quoted as saying two decades ago by the now-defunct Israeli newspaper, Hadashot.

"It starts now with one boat. After that, dozens more will come," he said.

Contact Shaul and Aviva Ceder by email at ceder@netvision.net.il

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WHY POLLARD DID IT; ANIMALS, WATER, & PROPAGANDA; REFORM JUDAISM POLITICALIZED?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 28, 2008.

JORDAN DEVELOPING

Jordan is developing its armaments industry. It also is setting up a school against terrorism. It has offered to train people from other countries in the region at that school (IMRA, 4/5).

How much anti-terrorist training should dictatorships have? The P.A. gets such training, but uses that training to thwart Israeli anti-terrorism.

WHY POLLARD DID IT?

Years ago, Jonathan Pollard explained to a rabbi why he revealed US intelligence about the Arabs to Israel. The major piece of intelligence was that the Arabs were planning to poison-gas Israelis. Contrary to agreement with Israel, the US withheld that intelligence from Israel. Pollard tried protesting through channels, but was rebuffed.

If he had tried going through the media, Russia might have gotten valuable intelligence. Neither could he do nothing to save the hundreds of thousands of Jews who otherwise might get killed if he complied with US law and done nothing. He had to warn Israel, though it cost him much of his own life (IMRA, 4/5). Since the people had protection against the gas, Saddam withheld it.

He did the ethical thing. It took great courage. Who of us has such courage?

P.A. MEDICAL OFFICIALS VS. P.A. FARMERS

A farmer was killed in Gaza near the border with Israel. P.A. medical officials said the death was from an Israeli tank shell. The victim's neighbors told Associated Press that the death was from a rocket that terrorists had fired at Israel, but which fell short (IMRA, 4/5).

Jihadists reap propaganda by attributing more deaths to Israel. This would not be so if Westerners were more understanding about warfare and casualties.

ROCKET WARFARE

Hamas claims that it doesn't intend to kill women and children. This was contradicted by "...al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said Hamas' random rockets kill women and children in violation of Islamic law (IMRA, 4/5).

What do they expect, when they fire at civilian areas? This is like the Nazi blitz of London. Some call them cowardly, but I think that they just are bloodthirsty.

ELITE IN IDF & ULTRA-ORTHODOX

The IDF has formed a special commando battalion of 600 Ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox men to serve in the Jordan Valley. Pleased with them, the IDF would like to set up another such battalion. It is an experiment in integrating a religious life style within military life (IMRA, 4/6).

ARE THEY REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT ANIMALS?

An animal rights group in Israel lost a suit against the Jewish Temple movement's planned sacrifice of a sheep in anticipation of reconstructing the fallen Temple. The complaint likened the exercise to animal fighting. The judge disagreed, because there would be one sheep, slaughtered in the humane Jewish manner. The movement is exercising freedom of religion (Arutz-7, 4/6).

I think that the stated concern for animals was a pretext for an action against Judaism. It is like the movements against Jewish slaughter and circumcision. Bigots usually find high-minded principles to cite in favor of repressing Jews.

WATER & PROPAGANDA

Foreign water experts accuse Israel of having started the 1967 war in order to gain water sources, and a German water consultant for the P.A. accuses Israel of barring Arabs from water in the Territories for selfish reasons.

Israel has completed a study that shows that Israel is using less water from natural sources. How so? It desalinates and recycles much of its water, uses less, and there is a drought. Per capita consumption is just over a third of what it was in 1967.

Israeli water authorities conclude that the results disprove the accusations (IMRA, 4/6). I don't see logic to claiming that Israel didn't want territory based on improvements in water processing that had not yet occurred.

Proof is first of all in the fact that the Arabs started all of Israel's wars. Second, the Territories are part of the Land of Israel, to which Israel, as heir to the Mandate, and needing security from proven aggressors, is entitled. Third, Israel was ready from the start to relinquish conquered territory, if the Arabs would make peace. The Arabs weren't ready. Fourth, if Israel wanted more water, it would have seized part of Lebanon. Fifth, when the Palestinian Arabs get their hands on aquifers, they draw them down fast, as happened twice in Gaza and is happening in Judea-Samaria.

HEBRON MASSACRE INVESTIGATION

Barry Chamish further reviewed the investigation into the Hebron massacre, for which Dr. Goldstein was scapegoated. Most of the military and Arab testimony, which contradicted the official theory of the incident, was rejected by Judge Shamgar. Shamgar also made up timing for events to suit his theory. (He took the same non-judicial approach later with the Rabin investigation). Some Arab witnesses indicated they were eager to dispute the official theory, but then conformed to it. There were many loose ends and discrepancies. Witnesses obviously lied. Shamgar failed to check the loose ends, discrepancies, and lies. Soldiers whose testimony implied perjury were not, themselves, put on trial.

Contradictions and anomalies surround the attack on the yeshiva in Jerusalem recently. Also unexplained is the failure of police to arrive for 30-40 minutes.

Chamish concludes that these events, which demean the Right and religious Jews are perpetrated or planned by the Left. He calls this "peace by murder." (Chamish, 4/7.)

HURVA SYNAGOGUE TO BE REBUILT

The Jordanian conquerors of the Old City in the 1940s demolished all the synagogues there. The demolition was an example of Islamic intolerance. (That's Islamic, not just Islamist.) The Hurva synagogue's arch remained. It was just decided to rebuild that synagogue (Arutz-7, 4/7).

I suppose the Arabs now will complain that the decision is an attempt to judaize the city. Probably the State Dept. will second the motion.

REFORM JUDAISM POLITICALIZED?

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the head of Reform Judaism in the US, criticized prominent Christian Evangelist, Pastor John Hagee, who donated $6 million to Israel and declared that letting the P.A. take over parts of Jerusalem would be like turning it over to the Taliban. Hagee's organizations eschews efforts to convert Israelis.

He urged Israel to reject Evangelist support, calling Hagee an "extremist" who opposes "territorial compromise" and who has made anti-Catholic statements. Hagee denies the alleged statements (IMRA, 4/7).

I didn't hear statements on Catholicism, but read Yoffie name-calling over policy. He would deny Israel valuable support because of a difference over how to solve the Arab-Israel conflict. So far, Yoffie's solution has failed. Giving strategic land to fanatical enemies makes war likelier (and gets synagogues destroyed).

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@aol.com

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ALL IN A DAY'S NEWS...
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, April 28, 2008.

Along with other related articles, three covering the Middle East and North Africa caught my eye on April 26th.

The first was written by a journalist whom I have long admired--and I don't admire many in the mainstream media.

I met Tom Teepen, now a syndicated columnist for Cox News, some three decades ago. I was visiting Cincinnati for a few days out of my Columbus office and had assorted media, university, and other visits, lectures, and televised debates scheduled. We have, on occasion, briefly touched base afterwards over the years.

Tom was editorial editor, I believe, for either the Cincinnati Post or Enquire. We spent a good deal of time reviewing the Middle East. Unlike too many others in the liberal camp, Tom still has maintained clear vision when it comes to Arab-Israeli politics. The real surprise was that my local newspaper published his op-ed. After many years of batting heads with the paper brass (first on my own, then with others), I'm finally noticing a bit more balance.

So, Tom's Blaming Israel, Freelancing On Hamas –– What Is Jimmy Carter Thinking? made it into the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He recapped Mr. Peanut's recent hot date with Hamas in Syria, where Carter tried his best to make the deliberate disembowelers of Jewish babes and other innocents look good by getting it to provide him with some foggy cover for his non-stop assault on Israel, but Hamas--to its credit--wouldn't let him. Headlines soon claimed, anyway, that Mr. Peanut achieved a breakthrough, with Hamas offering to 'accept' Israel.

When will they learn? Tom exposed Carter's nauseating comedy act.

While an allegedly 'born again' Carter evidently doesn't put much value in honesty, Hamas does. It has no –– and will never have--any intention of granting Jews in one tiny state what Arabs demand for themselves in some two dozen others on over six million square miles of territory...including one already created from almost 80% of the original 1920 borders of Mandatory Palestine renamed 'Jordan.' The new state Arabs insist on creating on the ashes of Israel, not along side it, would be their second –– not first –– in 'Palestine,' the name the Roman Emperor Hadrian gave to Judaea after the Jews' second costly revolt for freedom in 133-135 C.E. He renamed the country after the Jews' historic enemies, the Philistines--a non-Semitic sea people from around Crete. Contemporary Roman historians such as Tacitus, Dio Cassius, and others wrote extensively about this themselves.

To most Arabs, the whole region is simply purely Arab patrimony...in their own words. As for the scores of millions of non-Arabs who have been conquered, massacred, and suppressed, Egypt's past Uncle Tom Copt Foreign Minister, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, perhaps said it best...accept forced Arabization and /or dhimmi status (like he did) or else. Copts were the native Egyptians conquered by Arabs after the 7th century C.E. along with numerous others.

As Mr. Peanut also knows, regarding the above, Hamas is no different than the alleged moderates of Abbas's latter day Fatah Arafatians –– regardless of how much whitewash he, Washington, and others throw upon them both. In order to force the Jews to play ball, a supposed Arab good cop had to be created to counter the State Department's Arab bad cop.

Fatah (with as much, if not more, blood on its hands than Hamas) is simply more willing to play the Arabs' well-known destruction in phases 'diplomacy' game vis-à-vis Israel to use petrodollar greased-international pressure to force Israel back to its pre-'67, 9-mile wide, armistice line--not border--existence to set it up for a combined Arab/Iranian final blow...something that UNSC Resolution 242 expressly stated was not to happen in the aftermath of the 1967 War.

But, Honigman, you say, you keep repeating these same points in many of your articles.

Yes, I do.

And as long as Arabs keep on repeating their lies and distortions, and morons or deliberate accomplices like Mr. Peanut do the same, those of us who care must repeatedly answer them. Their approach is if they repeat a lie often enough (and it goes unanswered), it will be accepted as truth.

Teepen did a good job with his short op-ed, especially since he has been a fan of Carter in the past. But let me continue to pick up yet a bit more where he left off.

With a new Presidential election approaching, I'll never forget the last televised Democratic National Convention featuring 'Apartheid Israel' Mr. Peanut chasing 'Israel is one of the top three evils in the world' Michael Moore all over the convention floor. Closer soul brothers do not exist--unless you want to throw in a more slick Obama and the company he keeps to make a trio.

It was befitting that Carter visited Hamas in Syria, for Syria--not 'Palestine'--was indeed the birthplace of Hamas's patron saint, Sheikh Izzedin al-Qassam (for whom its 'militant' wing and rockets are named )...Latakia, to be exact. Of course, back then, many if not most Arabs in the area considered themselves to be southern Syrians, espousing one version or another of a Greater Syria plan. 'Palestinians' were the Jews.

Along with scores (if not hundreds) of thousands of others who poured into the Palestine Mandate (after the break up of the over four century old Ottoman Turkish Empire) due to its economic development by Jews, the Sheikh joined numerous other 'native Palestinians' who entered relatively recently from the latter 19th century onwards from Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in rejecting the rights of Jews to do the same thing in any part of the 'purely Arab patrimony,' the Dar ul-Islam. Recall that half of Israel's Jews were refugees from so-called 'Arab' and /or Muslim lands.

Moving on.

Article # 2, in the same paper, quoted Mahmoud Abbas complaining that, in his recent Washington visit, no one was talking about forcing Israel back to the ''67 borders.'

I do admit, that was a pleasant surprise.

While the State Department (and President Clinton and President Bush off and on) has tried its best to ignore 242's call for the establishment of secure and recognized borders to replace Israel's absurd 1949 armistice lines (which simply marked the point where Arab invading armies were halted upon Israel's rebirth in 1948), Israel, despite the weakness of Prime Minister Olmert and his crew, has evidently made it clear that it took President Reagan's words seriously when he stated on September 1, 1982:

In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10-miles wide...the bulk of Israel's population within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.

Not only were there mostly no Arab-Israeli 'borders' back then, but the Abbas/Arab claim that Israel is setting up settlements on Palestinian land has the same amount of truth in it as does the '67 border claim.

When Transjordan (army led by British officers)--created from most of the Mandate of Palestine in 1922--attacked Israel along with a half dozen other Arab states loaded with arms left over by the Allies in World War II in 1948, it seized Judea and Samaria...British imperialism's west bank (of the Jordan River) as opposed to the Trans('across')jordanian east bank. Sir Alec Kirkbride, the Brits' East Bank rep, wrote extensively about this in his A Crackle Of Thorns: Experiences In The Middle East.

The Arab land grab was illegal, only two nations recognized it. Still, Transjordan renamed itself Jordan, since it now held both banks, and saw to it that no Jews could reenter lands where their ancestors had lived and owned land for thousands of years until their massacres by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s.

At the same time, huge numbers of Arabs continued to pour in...more Arab settlers setting up Arab settlements.

All together, so many Arabs were recent arrivals themselves into the Palestinian Mandate that the United Nations Relief Works Agency--UNRWA--had to adjust the very definition of the word 'refugee' from its prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948 when counting those who fled the fighting Arabs started upon Israel's rebirth.

Contrary to the Arabs' claim that these were 'occupied Palestinian lands,' Judea and Samaria were non-apportioned parts of the Mandate, and leading international legal authorities such as Eugene Rostow, William O'Brien, and others have stressed that these areas were open to settlement by Jew, Arab, and other residents of the Mandate alike.

How could you occupy lands taken from an illegal occupier?

The territory in question is indeed disputed...not occupied Arab lands a la Abbas, Hamas, and Mr. Peanut.

When Israel captured Judea and Samaria in the '67 War as a result of a bad decision by Jordan to join Egypt's Nasser, Syria, and others in the Arabs' latest attempt upon its life, it came to hold territory of the Mandate officially apportioned to no one...not 'Palestinian' land. The Arabs themselves rejected a proposed 1947 partition of the remaining 25% of the Mandate left over after the creation of Transjordan in 1922.

While I do not advocate Israel holding on to the entire area, certainly a reasonable territorial compromise which corrects the travesty of the '49 armistice lines--a la 242--is a must. And Judea –– land of the Jews –– must never become Judenrein again...unless Arabs are prepared to see the one-fifth of Israel itself who are Arabs –– many hostile –– get the boot as well. Such population transfers have indeed already occurred elsewhere. Consider those involving Turks, Greeks, and Bulgars, Israel's Jewish refugees from 'Arab' lands, and India and Pakistan for starters.

Now, about those Jewish settlements Abbas complains about in that second article.

If Jews are to return to Judea and Samaria in the context of a 242-type territorial compromise, then how and where else will this come about if not by establishing/reestablishing Jewish towns and so forth--'settlements?' Without the latter, Israel doesn't get the former.

Article # 3...

The News-Journal finally gave the genocide in Darfur some of the attention it deserves...large front page article with maps and big pictures.

Unlike the Arab-Israeli mess, however, the perpetrators might as well have come from Mars. No where was the word Arab mentioned.

After the Arabs burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and forcibly Arabized millions of non-Arab peoples in the process, the Sudan (Nubia, etc.) held out for quite some time. In other parts of North Africa, native Jews aligned with Imazighen ('Berbers') to resist this conquest as well. We'll revisit this a bit later.

Back in the '60s, the first modern civil war broke out between the non-Muslim black African south and the Arab and Arabized (remember Dr. Boutros-Ghali's comments above?) north in the Sudan.

Sudanese President Nimeiry's stated during the slaughter of over a half million blacks at this time (and over a million more ever since) that...

'the Sudan is the basis of the Arab thrust into...black Africa, the Arab civilizing mission (Arabism and Pan-Arabism in Sudanese Politics, Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 11, #2, 1973, pp. 177-78).'

Rudyard Kipling's late 19th century poem, 'The White Man's Burden,' supposedly typifies Western colonialist and imperialist attitudes towards the Third World. If that's the case, then what does Nimeiry and the other example below, expressed in the Syrian Arab Constitution of the Ba'th, typify?

'...The Arab fatherland belongs to the Arabs. They alone have the right to direct its destinies...The Arab fatherland is that part of the globe inhabited by the Arab nation which stretches from the Taurus Mountains, the Pacht-i-Kouh Mountains, the Gulf of Basra, the Arab Ocean, the Ethiopian Mountains, the Sahara, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.'

Yet, the more recent full scale outbreak of violence in the Sudan in the 21st century has an even more revealing twist.

While earlier bloodshed there and elsewhere could largely be seen as modern extensions of the fourteen century-old clash between the Dar ul-Islam and the Dar al-Harb, the one in the Sudan's Darfur (as those in Arab-occupied Kurdistan and much of the rest of North Africa) is mostly about Arab racism and chauvinism...pure and simple. You know, those folks who like to scream about 'racist Zionism.' Over a thousand years earlier, this led to the overthrow of the Syrian-based Arab imperialist Umayyad Caliphate.

So, in Sudan's western region of Darfur, it's Arab and Arabized versus black Africans...regardless of religion. Ditto for Arab versus Kurd, Amazigh, and so forth. These victims are mostly Muslims.

In Sudan's largely non-Muslim south, it's a combination of both Arab racism and the conquest of the Dar ul-Islam--as exemplified also in the expected subjugation and dhimmitude of Egyptian Copts, Lebanon's Christians, Near Eastern Assyrians, and Israel, Jew of the Nations, and home to whom Arabs call 'their' kilab yahud... Jew dogs.

An Amazigh (Berber) publisher friend ( http://www.north-of-africa.com/ ) recently sent me a video produced by the highly respected Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Its contents http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XROAu1cTcQ8 showed a debate on Al-Alam TV (Iran) on July 21, 2007over a new Berber-Jewish Friendship League set up in Morocco. Even more recently, Morocco has outlawed the creation of an Amazigh political party...especially since it espoused good relations with Israel.

Keep in mind that Morocco has had, relatively speaking and as an 'Arab' country, reasonable relations with Israel itself. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews had their roots there. But the prospect of former and current fellow victims of forced Arabization getting together has implications for Arabs that even the Moroccans can't allow. Much if not most of North Africa is of Amazigh--not Arab--descent.

Among other comments in that debate, the Amazigh spokesman pointed out that both Jews and Berbers predated the Arab conquest by thousands of years, fought long and hard against that conquest, and want nothing to do with Arab identity and forced Arabization. Keeping in mind that in modern times many Berbers have already been killed by Arabs for less, very brave words indeed.

To sum things up, those three news articles on April 26th were loaded with important material.

The problem is that, without further extensive explanation such as what I've attempted here, the issues are too complex for many readers to grasp.

Having said this, journalists and folks like ex-Presidents shoulder huge responsibilities and should therefore dig much deeper before commenting and pontificating a la Carter on such issues.

By the way, when's the last time anyone heard Carter comment on any of the above non-Arab civil, political, and humanitarian issues?

If they don't involve Arabs, he doesn't want to know. And a look at the contributors to his library and such may explain at least some of Mr. Peanut's Arab-colored vision.

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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IN MEMORY OF THE HERO; DELUSIONAL IN POWER ; JNF, WHOSE LAND IS IT?; DUPLICITY OF OCCUPIED LANDS
Posted by Steven Shamrak, April 28, 2008.

Gloom of the Next War.

1. Iran has, openly and bluntly, threaten to destroy Israel and actively pursues development of nuclear weapon.

2. Hizbullah has re-armed and obtained more long-range rockets than it had before the last Lebanon war and built up covert army for a new assault against Israel.

3. Hamas shelling Israel using Quasam, Grad and Katyusha rockets daily.

4. Syria has brought several divisions closer to Israeli border.

5. Pakistan tested ballistic rockets, with range of 2,500 kilometres, cable of caring nuclear warheads.

In Memory of the Hero: Yossi Harel the ship commander, whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the "Exodus" 1947 built support for Israel's founding, died on Saturday.

Olmert in Need of Intensive Psychiatric Care. At the same time when CIA officials tell US Congress that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, which Israel destroyed last September, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave the 'life line' to Syria by his decision to put the Golan Heights, Jewish land, on the negotiating table in exchange for a 'promise' of peace with Syria. Even Kadima members in Knesset, rebelled against this stupidity and treachery. Only two years ago Olmert said: "As long as I serve as prime minister, the Golan Heights will remain in our hands because it is an integral part of the State of Israel." (It is time to resign and find a good psychiatrist!)

Another Delusional in Power. American President George W. Bush welcomed PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas as "a man of peace." President Bush added: Abbas is "a man of vision," "He rejects the idea of using violence to achieve objectives."

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Why must Israel provide health care to the enemy population, which supports bombing of Jews with rockets and destruction of Israel? Why must Israel open her borders and give them job? Most countries, even Muslim ones, don't! Leadership of so-called Palestinians has been using the international aid to buy rockets and bullets. So why Israel must care about terror-infested mob!

JNF, Whose Land is it? The Jewish National Fund (JNF) owns 2,250 dunams of land in Gaza that is being illegally squatted upon by so-called Palestinians –– with Jews forbidden to live on it. The JNF purchased the land in the 1940s, with money donated by Jews worldwide seeking to redeem the Land of Israel for a Jewish national home. The JNF also has 53,000 dunams of land in Syria, which was purchased in the 30s. (Why is JNF silent about Jews land? The organization betrays the memory and trust of Jews who paid to secure future of Jewish people on Jewish ancestral land!)

Quote of the Week:

"America did not want Israel to go and fight the Six-Day War. America did not want Israel to go and bomb the nuclear reactor in Iraq... I respect the United States a lot, but I expect that kind of respect back... People who respect themselves, get the kind of respect they deserve from others." –– Moshe Feiglin, the head of the Jewish Leadership faction within the Likud party.

Please, Call Exterminators. Over sixty-five percent of Arabs in Gaza support continued suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Nearly 50 percent of Gaza's civilians feel that launching rockets at Israeli civilians is a "useful" means of terrorism. Meanwhile, Israel is allowing the transfer of hundreds of truckloads of food and supplies per week into Gaza. (When a house is infested with termites or rats, exterminators are called. The same approach must be applied to terror-infested population. Enemy must be resolutely removed from Jewish land!)

Delusional and Jew-hating Bigots Who Rule the World. Former US President Jimmy Carter failed in his self-appointed mission to seek information about Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit. Carter claimed that Hamas is willing to be Israel's neighbour even after Hamas boss in Damascus, Khaled Mashaal, refused Carter's request to halt the rocket fire on Israel for a month, without preconditions, to gain some international goodwill. (Hamas has immediately issued denial of any intention to recognise Israel!)

Duplicity of Occupied Lands.

There are many lands around the world that have been occupied not so long ago by other countries. Many of them are still subjugated to the rule of an occupying power. They were conquered during offensive or defensive wars, throughout the process of establishment of statehood or as a part of colonial and imperial policy. The following is a far from complete list of the currently occupied lands:

Great Britain still occupies 17 provinces of Ireland, Gibraltar and is holding on to the many residual symbols of her former colonial glory around the world.

France is still holding on to many overseas territories like New Caledonia and French Guinea. France and Spain divided and have no intention to give independence to the Basque people, the oldest indigenous living group known in Europe.

China –– The international community has done nothing to stop occupation of Tibet by China. Eastern, predominantly Muslim, provinces of China are still under 'imperial' communist rule.

Chile –– From the 1840s, heavy Anglo-Chilean investments were made in nitrate mining on the Bolivian coast. Bolivia lost its coastal region after the war of 1879-1884. Since then, Bolivia has been economically stifled by Chile with limited access to the sea ports.

Panama proclaimed its independence after the US expressed interest in obtaining the rights to the canal, which Colombia refused. US marines landed in Panama the same day when independence was declared.

Russia has no plans to return the eastern part of Poland it has occupied since before WW2 and end occupation of eastern Prussia, the Kuril Islands and Southern Sakhalin. Russia still retains its status as an imperial power by holding on to Chechnya, Dagistan, North Ossetia, Tatarstan and many other national enclaves which were occupied by Tsar.

USA –– The biggest and leading democracy of the world is one of the biggest occupiers as well. There is no intention of even talking about compensation for, never mind returning, the occupied land which used to be, not long ago, a part of Mexico. What about Puerto Rico, Hawaii and other 'strategic interests'?

The United Nations maintains a list of territories that do not govern themselves. The list was initially prepared in 1946 and adopted in 1986. It has officially endorsed control of these lands by their former colonial powers!

It should be remembered that most countries around the world (including USA, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia) were forged and established their current borders during the last 300 years. Their creation was accompanied by dramatic conquests and destruction of unique and independent cultures. In a Russian play one character asked the audience: "Look, who are the judges?" Yes, who are they to tell Jews what is their land and to force Israel to give away Jewish land to Arab scoundrels?

Israel is the only country that can claim its statehood and ownership of the land. Jewish people have over 3,000 years of spiritual and historical connection with the land. Israel is the only state, which withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula after it was conquered during a defensive war. In exchange, Israel received the worthless piece of paper, which is called the Peace Agreement with Egypt. And yet, Israel is the only country under international pressure to surrender her own land to the enemy, a recently forged people –– called Palestinians, whose only goal, they are not even hiding it, is to destroy the Jewish state.

There are three reasons why Israel is under such an international onslaught –– Traditional international anti-Semitism, a desire to sell out Israel in exchange for a steady supply of oil, and an appeasement of Islamic terrorists in order to defer attacks on the West!

Does it make sense? What definitely takes place and make sense is that the world's economic and political powers ("Puppet Masters") apply pressure on Israel and use any means at their disposal, including manipulation of international law. An example of this is how it was done after Israel won the War of Independence. Immediately the Fourth Geneva convention ruled out population transfer as a legitimate way of resolving conflicts –– but only when it suits their economic and political interests, with complete disregard to historical, spiritual and even legal rights of any people, not just Jews (remember ongoing dismantling of Yugoslavia and non-existence of Kurdistan –– the homeland of 35 million Kurds, divided and occupied by five countries). The multitude of international organizations –– including the UN, IRC, Amnesty International etc –– are at full disposal of the international "Puppet Masters" and only too eager to assist by generating and manipulating public opinion –– creating the illusion of propriety. The bottom line: it is all about power, control and beyond doubt money!

Contact Steven Shamrak at stevenshamrak@gmail.com and visit his website at www.shamrak.com.

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DAYENU
Posted by Evelyn Hayes, April 28, 2008.

Shocking "Pesach Pogrom" by IDF against young Jewish family guided by rich liberal apartheid supporting jihadists, stifling the voices and votes of the democratic law abiding middle class.

If they would have offered peace and pieces of the 22% left after the unilateral divide by the British Guardians of the Balfour Mandate for the Jews of Eretz Yisrael to terrorists it would have been too much.

If they would have offered peace and pieces and suicide bombers replaced Intifada I with Suicide-fodder II

it would have been too much.

If they offered good will gestures of releasing Jihad murderers and they still do bad will and murder, it would have been too much.

If they enlist terrorists into the PA Authority and they shoot and kill Jews, it would have been too much.

If they arm the enemy, the suicide hate-mongers and Jew Killers and give them 2,000,000 bullets, military vehicles and night vision glasses it would have been too much.

If almost 2,000 Jews are murdered by Oslo "dip-lunatics" who take the position of their enemies after "after is a deadly end", it would have been too much.

If the Jews were evicted from Gush Katif and they burned the Magen David Synagogue and more imported terrorists occupy Gaza and shoot thousands of rockets at the Jews of Sderot , Yad Mordechai and Ashkelon, it would have been too much.

If they shattered the dream of Jewish survival after the Holocaust, it is too much.
 

If they imprison security guards who save Jewish lives and take the guns away from trained IDF soldiers and pardon murderers, Jihadists with blood on their hands and in their minds and give weapons for mass murder of Jews to the Fatah and Hamas, Iranian supported genociders, it is much too much.

If they destroy Jewish owned and occupied homes to please anti-Semites any day it is too much but Erev Pesach it is being the slave drivers and not the freed from Egypt slaves.

The Jewish identity crisis is not just a lost identity, it is taking on the identity of the abusers and abusing our Jewish survivors.
 

Stop this "diplunacy" and save Israel.

Release our patriots the Halamish brothers.

Oslo has unleashed a plague of world "the rich liberal apartheid" stifling the voices of truth and opposition and anti-Semistism and it is getting worse because Israel abuses its protectors and patriots and gives license to unsettling hate, lawlessness, lies, stealing, murder, genocide.

Release our patriots the Halamish brothers.

It is much too much. Evelyn Hayes


Pidion Shvuim Alert:
No. 8
Are we talking about a Jewish army?

We are sorry to interrupt your Passover holiday but we turn to you with very disturbing news of how the Israeli army has been violating the religious and human rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

On the eve of Passover, the army sent troops to throw out a Jewish family with five young children and a pregnant mother from their home in the community of Negohot in southern Judea.

Imagine you and your family are preparing for the Passover Seder and the Sabbath as Israeli soldiers, equipped with American weapons, American vehicles and even American-made uniforms throw you out from your home, throw out all your prepared food and pots, turn off your gas and electricity and throw out your refrigerator, cooker and oven just hours before the festival.

The crime of the family is not clear other than they entered into a new home built on their property in an established community approved and financed by the government. But these are difficult times when the government of Israel has to prove to the United States the commitment by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to destroy Jewish life through out Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem.

As those who serve and whose children serve in the army, we recognize the need for the defense of country and homeland but what is happening increasingly and the Israeli army is being used against Jews and to defend our enemies.

We ask you to telephone your protest to the Israeli embassy in Washington and to raise this issue with your member of congress. Call the Israel embassy [telephone 202-364-5500] and ask to speak to the military attache. Stress that you are an American citizen whose support for the Israeli military is based on its protection of Jews. Say that you also plan to discuss this case with your member of Congress who decides on U.S. military aid to Israel.

The Olmert government, with an approval rating of near zero, has refused any accountability to the Israeli people and fears only the Bush administration. Unless we act now, there will be many more young Jews in jail. The Jewish holiday of Passover is about redemption. Let's work to redeem our fellow Jews.

With Love of Israel,
Datya Itzhaki

Evelyn Hayes is author of "The Eleventh Plague, Twins, because their hearts were softened to accept the unacceptable" and "The Twelfth Plague, Generations, because the lion wears stripes." Contact her at haze@rcn.com.

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SELECTIVE OUTRAGE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 27, 2008.

Sh'lom Y'all,

Joel Brinkley deserves Kudos and letters of thanks for getting it right about the UN and its hypocrisy regarding Israel.

Mr. Brinkley does not delve in to the reason for the UN's perverse and irrational focus on Israel, and for its endless litany of lies and distortions and decontextualizations which underlie its endless anti-Israel resolutions, while it ignores bona fide violations of human rights in many Arab and Muslim countries, Sudan, Somalia, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China (to name a few).

Y'all may recall my essays of some years back, in which I demonstrate that the UN was hijacked by the Arab bloc in 1973. Between the Arab bloc, the USSR, the Asian Muslim nations bloc, and the Black African nations bloc, the Arab oil-mega-wealthy wheelers-and-dealers at the UN could muster enough support in the General Assembly to rubber stamp any and every anti-Israel resolution that the Arab propaganda-warriors could invent.

The USA could veto Chapter VII resolutions in the Security Council, but Chapter VI resolutions could be easily moved through the General Assembly with unveto-able majorities.

The first undeniable manifestation of the successful hijacking of the UN was Arafat's speech on Nov. 11, 1973. The UN willingly and enthusiastically violated the rules of its own charter by permitting him, a self-proclaimed terrorist and mass murderer with no legitimate status as representative of any sovereign state, to speak before the General Assembly in his military fatigues with what looked like a pistol in his holster (actually it was a pipe).

Since then the Arab bloc has turned the UN General Assembly in to its own private sand box/play ground for anti-Israel and anti-American and anti-West resolutions and proclamations, and for pro-Palestinian and pro-Terrorist and pro-Muslim resolutions and proclamations.

And that is what is happening now. The old Human Rights committee, co-chaired for years by Libya and Syria (remember my description of the "black slave" –– al-"abd al-'aswad? that's a Syrian invention –– we never hear about that, but we hear plenty of complaints about abu Ghuraib!) was so egregious in its hypocrisy that even supportive UN members had to agree to have it replaced by a new committee which would clean house, so to speak, and start focusing on real human riots violations (Sudan being the first and foremost and most urgent...where by now almost 3,000,000 black africans have been slaughtered by Arab sudanese –– now that's genocide!).

But no...as Mr. Brinkley informs us...it is very much business as usual at the UN.

So write him a note to congratulate him on his eye-opening and tragically very accurate article.

Joel Brinkley is a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a former New York Times foreign policy correspondent. E-mail him at insight@sfchronicle.com. His article appeared today in San Francisco Chronicle
www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/27/IN25105UUM.DTL&type= printable.

David Meir-Levi

The world's foremost human rights organization has ordered its envoys to begin investigating people or groups around the world who abuse freedom of speech by violating certain "moral" standards.

The envoys would rely on individual governments to define morality in their own states. Imagine what would happen if Washington, London, New Delhi –– even Moscow –– tried to pass laws forbidding public discussion of "moral" issues like religion, alcohol or sex. What organization is setting up this absurd investigation?

The United Nations

Several years ago, the United Nations found itself embarrassed by its Human Rights Commission because of its unremitting attacks on Israel and light regard for other human rights malefactors. It "cast a shadow on the United Nations system as a whole," then-Secretary-General Kofi Anan lamented at the time. In 2006, the United Nations abolished the commission and replaced it with the Human Rights Council, charging the new group with reform.

During a quarterly meeting three weeks ago, this new "reform" council passed the resolution ordering its envoys, or "rapporteurs," to set off on the feckless investigation intended to repress freedom of expression. Not surprisingly, that prompted a torrent of complaint. As an example, the World Association of Newspapers called the council's action "intolerable" and "part of a dangerous, backward campaign." But a close look at the new Human Rights Council shows that its effort to suppress freedom of speech may be the least of its failings.

The council works by sending envoys to world trouble spots. These people are supposed to bring back reports for council consideration. Its choice of nations for study offers a clear picture of its priorities. Last year, it decided that neither Cuba nor Belarus had human rights records worthy of interest. At the meeting just ended, the council ruled that the Congo deserved no further attention. An article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine notes that "Congo is now the stage for the largest humanitarian disaster in the world –– far larger than in Sudan." Might that crisis engender a human rights concern or two?

Speaking of Sudan, I would hope the council considers genocide a genuine human rights problem. It does have an envoy working there, Sima Samar. At the recent meeting, she told the council that "technical assistance by the international community is needed in Sudan." Good work!

That set off an interesting discussion. The Malaysian representative said he "welcomed the progress achieved by the government of Sudan in improving legislation and the rule of law." Saudi Arabia praised Sudan "for the positive steps it has taken to improve the situation in the country." China's representative, too, heaped warm words on Sudan for recent "positive developments." We can hope he wasn't referring to the scorched-earth campaign under way in Darfur as he spoke. Sudanese military aircraft bombed clusters of villages and, in coordinated ground attacks, looted and burned homes. Hundreds of people were killed; tens of thousands fled to Chad.

The United Arab Emirates representative congratulated Sudan for "making great efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict."

If Sudan is not worthy of a serious human rights inquiry, then who is? Israel, of course.

On its founding two years ago, the council declared that scrutiny of "human rights abuses by Israel" would be a "permanent feature" of every council session. But what of Palestinian rocket attacks and suicide bombings? Not interested. Since then, all but three of its 16 condemnations have been directed at Israel.

The United States ceaselessly criticized the old Human Rights Commission for its "pathological obsession with Israel," as Alejandro Wolff, a U.S. representative to the United Nations, put it. Perhaps to assuage those concerns, the new council fired its permanent envoy for Israel, John Dugard. He had repeatedly compared Israel to South Africa's apartheid regime.

In his place, at the meeting just ended, the council appointed Richard Falk, a retired professor of law at Princeton University. He is infamous for his penchant to equate Israel's treatment of Palestinians with Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews.

Falk's views should play well in the council chambers. Discussion there seems to be dominated by Arab states and their sympathizers, including Cuba, Angola, Pakistan. The Arabs were the ones, after all, who persuaded the council to enact that detestable resolution to restrict freedom of speech. Arab states argued that the world too often disparages Islam –– equating the religion with terrorism. Rather than finding ways to discourage their citizens from strapping on suicide bombs, the Arab states want to prosecute people for talking about the problem.

The United Nations wisely shut down the first Human Rights Commission. It's time to abolish this one, too.

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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FROM ISRAEL: ISRAEL AND IRAN
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 28, 2008.

This evening the Israel Law Center, Shurat HaDin, sponsored a talk by Brig. Gen. Yossi Kupervasser, former head of Military Intelligence, on the subject, "Does Israel have a Response to the Iranian Nuclear Threat?"

The topic of his talk not withstanding, the General was quick to say that this should not be considered an Israeli problem, but rather a Western problem. Nor is the threat "simply" Iran, but rather the radical Islamic movement, with Iran at its fore, and its goal of changing the world order.

The Iranian regime is confident that it will succeed in its goal of achieving nuclear weapons because the West's threats to date have been empty. One red line after another has been crossed by Iran over the last few years and there have been no repercussions.

Pressure via the international community is not possible because Russia and China, on the Security Council, have not been cooperative. This is because they are not entirely unhappy with Iran's progress, as each has a desire to upset the current world order in its own way.

~~~~~~~~~~

What is frequently ignored is that Iran has been doing R&D on its nuclear weapons program for some 15 years. There is currently some disagreement as to precisely how far Iran has come to date, but what is clear is that the window of opportunity for responding is closing –– there is perhaps a year remaining before Iran has nuclear capability, perhaps two years.

The Iranians are prepared to endure hardship for the sake of their long term goals. Deterrence will work with them only if they believe that continuing with their nuclear development will endanger the Islamic revolution. Any pressure placed on Iran must be backed up with a convincing threat of military action.

As to that action, should it be necessary, far better that the US should take it. Should this not be the case, Israel is capable of military action that will set back Iran's nuclear program for perhaps five years. (General Kupervasser suggests that the memory of what Israel did might well remain for far longer than five years and act as a deterrence to rebuilding.)

The military action would be difficult for Israel because multiple sites are involved, but it would be doable.

The General, of course, was not at liberty to speak about how this would be done, nor would he address actions that might be taken by Israel should Iran go nuclear before that military operation was put into place. (He has genuine concern about delays that might end up bringing us to that point –– in essence action should have been taken yesterday.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Coincidentally, Haaretz reports just today on a statement by Commander of the Israel Air Force, Major General Eliezer Shkedi, who said in a television interview that "in Nazi Germany, people didn't believe that Hitler meant what he was saying. I suggest that we refrain from repeating that line of reasoning and prepare ourselves for anything."

According to Haaretz, Shkedi, who is soon to retire from his position, spent much of his service "dedicated to the preparation for a possible mission that was never discussed in public: an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, should international economic sanctions prove to be fruitless."

~~~~~~~~~~

Looking back over the past week, we see the following, which merits at least passing mention:

Talk of a "truce" (technically a hudna) in Gaza. First it came from Carter, when he met with Hamas officials, and then from the Egyptians, who were speaking about a six-month lull. The big breakthrough was ostensibly that Hamas was willing to have this hudna just in Gaza, with hopes that it would eventually extend to Judea and Samaria as well, but with no demand that it be inclusive from the start.

No point in revisiting all of the details or statements, because in the end it is not sincere on the part of Hamas and (presumably) it is not going to happen. Yesterday Mashaal told al-Jazzeera that there might be a ceasefire but that:

"It is a tactic in conducting the struggle. ... It is normal for any resistance that operates in its people's interest ... to sometimes escalate, other times retreat a bit...the battle is to be run this way and Hamas is known for that. In 2003, there was a cease-fire and then the operations were resumed."

That, to a tee, is the description of a hudna –– an official lull that allows Arabs to regroup and strengthen towards the time of renewing "the struggle."

We must hope that Israeli officials do understand this.

Hamas, which is hurting, is seeking a lifting of the blockade of Gaza in exchange for the ceasefire, but at a minimum would have to get other groups such as Islamic Jihad on board.

~~~~~~~~~~

It made big news this past week when it was revealed that Olmert –– using the Turks as a go-between –– allegedly made an offer to Syria to return the Golan Heights in exchange for peace.

That it came just when the details about Syria's nuclear reactor were being made public seemed to many as more than a little strange. There are claims that the connection in timing was not incidental –– that there was some intention on Olmert's part to allow Syria to salvage some dignity at a time of embarrassment, so that it would not overreact precipitously. (I am not sanctioning such an approach –– merely reporting on it.)

At any rate, this will in the end also be talk that comes to nothing. For what was not emphasized in most media reports about Israel's willingness to give up the Golan was what was expected in return –– cessation of assistance to Hezbollah, a break with Iran, throwing Mashaal of Hamas out of the country, etc. This is simply not about to happen.

In a statement to the Qatari paper Al Watan, today, Assad said that the time has not come for direct talks between Syria and Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Golan is not only a significant strategic asset to Israel because of its height, it is also a much loved and strikingly beautiful area where vineyards thrive and recreational facilities have been established. Not insignificantly, it is the watershed for a good deal of Israel's water.

Considered by Israeli law to be fully a part of modern Israel (civic and not military law applies), it is a region that according to Jewish law was also part of the ancient land of Israel (religious laws of the land, such as shmitah, apply here).

Most Israelis are much opposed to surrendering this area and a measure is being brought to the Knesset that would require approval within a national referendum before the Golan could be relinquished.

~~~~~~~~~~

At the beginning of Pesach, three disguised vehicles, carrying a considerable volume of explosives, was driven towards the Keren Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza and detonated. Thirteen IDF troops were wounded.

Keren Shalom is a crossing through which humanitarian supplies are driven. This is one of a series of events in which terrorists attempt to do damage to the very facilities that make life more bearable for the people of Gaza. To many this is simply incomprehensible, but that's because we're not thinking like terrorists. The guess in most quarters is that the terrorists believe it is better that the people suffer than that Israel look good for helping. In fact, suffering Gazans makes great PR. In the case of Keren Shalom, 200 trucks laden with humanitarian supplies are permitted by Israel to enter Gaza each week.

According to Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, head of the Southern Command, "Hamas is exploiting the compassion and generosity of the State of Israel by targeting humanitarian crossings. This is a deliberate attack against aiding the Palestinian population."

There is a further speculation that humanitarian compassion demonstrated by Israel is perceived by the terrorists as a sign of our weakness.

~~~~~~~~~~

A similar action took place just today, when Hamas gunmen inside of Gaza attacked trucks on their way to Nahal Oz in Israel in order to receive fuel. The trucks, which had to turn back, were scheduled to bring fuel to UNRWA and to hospitals in Gaza.

~~~~~~~~~~

While on Friday, Shimon Mizrachi and Eli Wasserman, two Israeli security guards at the Nitzane Shalom Industrial Zone, were shot dead by a Palestinian terrorist coming out of nearby Tulkarm. The complex houses nine factories that provide jobs to Palestinians.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades all claimed responsibility.

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

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SAGAMORI ON "PALESTINIANS"
Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, April 27, 2008.

Dear friends,

On too many occasions these days you hear the name "Palestine" as if such a country exists. Arabs in Judea Samaria and Gaza are called "Palestinians" as if such a nation has existed for centuries.

All my efforts to find on the map a place called "Palestine" (except of course on Arab "Palestinian" maps) have failed. The mere fact that Arabs in Judea Samaria and Gaza decided in 1964 to call themselves "Palestinian," does not make them a nation.

Ignorance, stupidity, chutzpa, or malice are the reasons behind those who dare distort history to such an egregious degree.

Here is a reprint of a poignant article on the subject by the inimitable Yashiko Sagamori

See what you think.

"A View Of The Palestinians"
by Yashiko Sagamor

If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history", I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine:

When was it founded and by whom?

What were its borders?

What was its capital?

What were its major cities?

What constituted the basis of its economy?

What was its form of government?

Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

What was the language of the country of Palestine?

What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.

And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over –– or thrown out of –– the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel, and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation" –– or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

You are absolutely correct in your understanding of the "Palestinians" murderous motives. I am afraid however that you, along with 99% of the population of this planet have missed the beginning of WWIII (the enemy call it Jihad) quite a few years ago. The siege of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, an event to which the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner had somiserably failed to respond, can be very well used as the day WWIII stepped out of the pages of the Koran and into the current events. I pray the United States and Israel lead the world to victory in this war.

Come to think of it, there is no choice, be you a Christian, or even, believe it or not, a Muslim.

Yuval Zaliouk writes the Truth Provider columns. To subscribe, send an email to ynz@netvision.net.il

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SHAKIRA POLITICKING UNDER THE GUISE OF SPOKESPERSON FOR YOUTH ADVOCACY GROUP
Posted by Carrie Devorah, April 27, 2008.

Media was called to cover a press conference on youth and education (as per Press Release.) Unexpected was how a global youth advocacy group could use congressional time and money to advocate for "palestine."

Of immediate note upon entering the room was the young man pic left wearing the kafiyah, holding it on his shoulders, it being the accepted symbol for "palestine/supporters."

Two youth were invited to speak –– the young woman and a young man. The young woman, in listing the countries represented listed few countries –– one of which was PALESTINE as she said and gestured when speaking.

Much later I was told Shakira will not perform in Israel. Her father is or has family connections in Lebanon.

Shakira was a guest of Nita Lowey D-NY and Gene Sperling, former Clinton staffer and currently serving on Council of Foreign Relations, also affiliated with Angelina Jolie, unabashed in her affiliations with similar groups.

Of concern is the fact congressional reps are advocating global programs to benefit one side of a political divide. Should a congressional person or congressional real estate be used to advocate against Israel?

My guess is C-span covered the whole of the event.

On April 22, Grammy award-winning artist Shakira will join Members of Congress and students from across the country to participate in Global Campaign for Education Action Week, which will take place from April 21-27. Shakira will raise awareness for the bipartisan Education for All Act of 2007 (EFA) and call on government leaders to support basic education for all children, including the 72 million young children and 226 million older youths internationally who are out of school.

Shakira, Honorary Chairperson,
Global Campaign for Education Action Week

Representative Nita Lowey, (D-NY)
Gene Sperling, Chair of the U.S. Chapter of Global Campaign for Education

The purpose of the EFA Act is to "ensure that the U.S. provides the resources and leadership to ensure a successful international effort to provide all children with a quality basic education." It calls for $1 billion for bilateral global basic education investment for FY 2008, scaling up to $3 billion by 2012. The EFA Act requires the president to develop a comprehensive integrated strategy for the United States government to follow in working to reach the 2015 goal of universal access to education for all children.

Shakira will also participate in a media conference call on April 21 with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and World Bank President Robert Zoellick to kick off the Global Campaign for Education Action Week activities include the "World's Biggest Lesson," taking place on April 23, when millions of children worldwide will attempt to break the world record for the largest lesson ever through learning and teaching a curriculum about the denial of quality education to tens of millions of poor children.

Carrie Devorah is a Washington DC-based photographer. Contact her at editor@carrieon.com

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166 EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST
Posted by Jacob Richman, April 27, 2008.

Shalom.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is Thursday, May 1, 2008.

I posted on my website 166 links to learn about the Holocaust. Site languages include English, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

All 166 links have been reviewed / checked this week.

The web address is:

http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/j-holoc.htm

The top of the page should display the 2008 date. If the page has an older date, hold the control key and press the F5 key to refresh your browser with the updated page.

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, so they can benefit from these educational resources.

We must not forget.

Contact Jacob Richam by email at jrichman@jr.co.il

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60 YEARS ON THE MAP
Posted by Gerald M. Steinberg, April 26, 2008.

This is due to be published in the next few days in the Jerusalem Post.

Israel's major accomplishment in 60 years of independence is surviving –– staying on the map as a sovereign state, with equal status among the nations of the world. The many economic and cultural achievements have helped to contribute to this survival, and the desire for peace with our neighbors remains unfulfilled, but the triumph is that we are here.

The primary goal of Zionism was and remains the re-establishment of sovereignty and self-determination for the Jewish people in our homeland. In addition to fulfilling the 2000 year old desire to return to Eretz Yisrael, the history of persecution (particularly in Christian Europe), expulsions, and pogroms culminating in the Holocaust demonstrated the dangers of dependence on others. In the modern world, the Jewish people could only survive, both physically and culturally, by regaining and maintaining national independence, equal to the Christian nations of Europe, the Moslem nations of the Middle East, and the others across the globe. The alternative was to disappear from the stage, along with the richness of the Hebrew language, and the heritage of 4000 years of Jewish history and tradition.

60 years ago, as the British prepared to leave and the Arab armies planned their invasion, most observers and policy makers predicted disaster for the nascent Jewish state. Arab leaders, such as Azzam Pasha, who was the Secretary-General of the Arab League, boasted: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." American and European military officials and diplomats looked at the apparently overwhelming Arab advantages in weapons, population size and territory, and urged the Jews not to declare independence. Against these predictions, the tenacity and motivation of Israelis, aided by the intense identification and support from the Diaspora, have ensured the independence of the Jewish state.

For the Arab and Moslem "rejectionists" (including the Iranians, who are claiming leadership of this group), the idea of Jewish sovereignty in the "Moslem Middle East" was and remains unacceptable. This fundamental conflict, and not differences over borders, post-1967 settlements and occupation, is the core of the conflict and has led to the wars of aggression and mass terror attacks against Israel. This rejectionism is often expressed through proposals for the "one state solution", the nullification of the Jewish symbols of the Israeli state (including the calendar and flag), and the demand that millions of Arabs who claim refugee status from 1948 have a "right of return", and thereby create an Arab majority. Similarly, the attempt to deny the 4000 year history of Jewish Jerusalem, as expressed in Palestinian textbooks, and by Yasir Arafat at the Camp David summit with President Clinton in 2000, also reflects this effort reverse Israel's status as an independent Jewish state.

The campaigns in Western Europe and elsewhere that use labels such as "apartheid" and "racist" in reference to Israel and Zionism, and the strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are part of the efforts to deny the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty. The same is true for the blanket condemnations of Israeli responses to terror attacks and the attempt to deny Israel the right to self-defense that is enjoyed by all other sovereign and independent nations. Similarly, the false claims of "war crimes" and "collective punishment" are used constantly to demonize Israel in the United Nations and by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that exploit the rhetoric of morality to demonize Israel. This was also the main objective of the infamous 2001 Durban Conference, and the planned 2009 Review Conference, to be led by Iran, Libya and Cuba.

The delegitimation and demonization of Zionism, and the singling out of Israel for special treatment, while erasing the context of Palestinian terrorism and other violent attacks, have become the modern form of antisemitism. In many examples, particularly among some of the leaders of the boycotts in British churches and universities, the themes of classical Christian anti-Semitism, including blood libels, have been revived as part of the intense anti-Israel propaganda. The few outspoken Jewish academics who confront this form of racism are themselves subject to antisemitic attacks.

In the face of this intense and ongoing hostility, Israel's ability not only to survive, but to thrive, is the main story marking 60 years of independence. With 6 million Jewish citizens of Israel, ten times the population in 1948, the Hebrew language has been reinvigorated, and the Jewish culture has been preserved.

At the same time, progress towards the acceptance of Jewish sovereignty equality among the nations of the world is painfully slow, and the struggle has been and will continue to be exhausting. But there are no better choices –– without the State of Israel, the remnants of the Jewish people, history, and culture will disappear.

Gerald M. Steinberg is the Executive Director of NGO Monitor and chairman of the Political Studies Department of Bar Ilan University, Israel

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THE TELEGRAPH BUTCHERS THE TRUTH ABOUT GAZA
Posted by Dave Nathan, April 26, 2008.

This is from Camera.

An April 23 Telegraph (UK newspaper) article by Tim Butcher, "A portrait of life and death in Gaza," butchers the truth about Gaza with distortions, prejudicial language and one-sided reporting.

According to Butcher, Gaza's economic woes are due to Israel's actions and it's only natural that Gazans would resent Israel. Nowhere does he mention the rampant anti-Israel incitement or any responsibility the Palestinians themselves might have for the lack of jobs and investment in Gaza. He fails to connect Gaza's poor economy with the Gazans' wanton destruction of the multi-million dollar greenhouse industry given to them after the Israeli withdrawal, the extremism and lack of the rule of law that make it unlikely that any large corporations would feel safe investing millions to turn Gaza's beautiful Mediterranean coastline into a tourist destination, or the relentless bombing of Israel from Gaza, which requires Israel to respond militarily and to close its borders to Gaza's workers and goods.

While noting that Gazans are "without a meaningful economy," Mr. Butcher also never broaches the fact that enormous amounts of international aid have been squandered by the Palestinian leadership on weapons and terrorist training camps in Gaza. There is no focus on Hamas ignoring the basic needs of its electorate, in favor of unrelenting rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Indicative of Butcher's partisan slant, he writes: "The Jewish state insists it fires only at confirmed military targets, but the death toll among Gazan civilians dwarfs the number of civilian Israelis killed."

So, according to Butcher's odd logic, if the Palestinians were successful in murdering more Israeli civilians, and the numbers of civilians killed on both sides were more equal, somehow that would convince him that Israel really does aim at military targets? Does Butcher really see no difference between a Palestinian terrorist deliberately striving to bomb Israeli civilians versus an Israeli soldier deliberately striving to strike only terrorist targets, but inadvertently hitting civilians?

Since Palestinians from Gaza launch rockets at Israeli civilians on a daily basis, it's certainly not for lack of trying that they haven't murdered scores of Israeli civilians. Butcher omits the fact that it is Palestinian war crimes that are responsible for the death of civilians on both sides. Palestinians launch rockets at Israeli civilians from within heavily populated Palestinian civilian areas, knowingly inviting Israeli fire at the launch sites, which will unfortunately sometimes result in death and injuries to innocent Palestinian bystanders.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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FROM ISRAEL: PICKING UP AGAIN
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 26, 2008.

After a Pesach recess it would be lovely to return to good news, but that is hardly to be expected.

The most "optimistic" information I've encountered is the report, today, that Abbas, returning from a visit with Bush, is not upbeat about the chances for "peace" by the end of Bush's term. Seems the US won't pressure Israel enough for Abbas's satisfaction. Abbas –– upright fellow that he is –– says he's going to keep negotiating to the end; that happens to be the only way to keep getting all those international perks, it should be mentioned.

Hamas officials are urging him to give it up and turn back towards mending fences with them.

~~~~~~~~~~

What I'd like to focus on here is the arrest this past week of US citizen Ben-Ami Kadish, for alleged espionage. Much ado is being made of this, but it is not quite what it appears.

The charges involve transfer of classified information by Kadish, who was a US army mechanical engineer, to someone in the Israeli consulate, between the years 1979 and 1985. The level of information was not high, as Kadish did not have a high clearance, and the number of transfers of data was relatively small. Most significantly, it is my understanding that the US KNEW about Kadish's activities since 2004, at which time he was questioned by the FBI.

So why arrest him now?

The answer is political. Quite simply, while we find firm friends in the Congress and the Pentagon, there are also anti-Israel forces at work in the US –– in the State Department (which is self-evident) and in the Justice Department and within the Intelligence community. Seeing Israel as a burden that gets in the way of US relations with the Arabs, rather than a critical ally, they are seeking to undermine Israel's position at a critical juncture.

There are various theories as to precisely what the goal of this arrest is, but the guessing is that this may involve either pressure on Israel for more concessions to the PA, or Bush's up-coming visit here for Israel's 60th Independence Day. Bush has tentatively planned a variety of "gifts" for Israel that involve military cooperation and sale of cutting edge military equipment.

~~~~~~~~~~

Caroline Glick has yet another theory about what may be going on. Kadish's arrest, she points out, happened on the same day that the news broke that Congress was going to be briefed about Israel's strike on the nuclear reactor in Syria last September.

It seems that Israel's absolute silence on this matter was at US insistence. Stories regarding American concern that this news would cause unrest aside, Glick points out that there were other US motivations for keeping this quiet. Israeli intelligence acquired the information on the reactor while US intelligence had missed it –– thereby exposing the superiority of Israeli intelligence and Israel's value to the US as an ally. Then, too, there is the fact that the reactor was put together with N. Korean assistance, even as Rice continues to delude herself regarding her diplomatic success in getting N. Korea to abandon nuclear efforts. Embarrassing for the US. So, a good time to embarrass Israel.
http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870487119&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

~~~~~~~~~~

A regular pattern of attempts by the US Intelligence community to go after or embarrass Israel can be traced. Remember the AIPAC officials who were charged four years ago with passing information to Israel? The case, which has shown itself to be weak to the point of the ridiculous, has never come to court. And there are similar other instances of such actions.

~~~~~~~~~~

What is particularly galling is the fact that some spying is "routine" even between presumed allies, and most of the time not much is made of it. On several occasions, Israel has caught Americans spying here, but these spies receive no more than a slap on the list and banishment from the country. There are no arrests and no PR spectacles. Glick suggests that this should chance, and I very much concur.

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

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TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY: AMERICAN MIDDLE EAST POLICY AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR ISRAEL
Posted by Avodah, April 26, 2008.

This is an article by Ami Isseroff and it appeared on the Zionism and Israel Center website:
http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000406.html The original article has live links to additional material.

This article points out it has always been US policy to force Israel to trade land for peace.

Sometimes we fail to notice the most important and obvious facts, precisely because they are right before our eyes, or because they are unpleasant to acknowledge. There is one overriding fact about American policy toward Israel that has been ignored in this way.

In 1975, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told the Iraqi foreign minister, in a secret meeting:

We can't negotiate about the existence of Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions. I don't agree that Israel is a permanent threat. How can a nation of three million be a permanent threat? They have a technical advantage now. But it is inconceivable that peoples with wealth and skill and the tradition of the Arabs won't develop the capacity that is needed. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like Lebanon –– struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world. (see Kissinger tells Iraqis, "We Can Reduce Israel's Size")

Revelation of this cynical conversation produced confusion among Zionists. Kenneth Stein was unable to say if this represented United States Policy or Kissinger's opinion or if Kissinger was simply trying to entice the Iraqis back into the US orbit.

Stripped of some of the "icing," Kissinger was expressing what was no more and no less than US policy, and had been US policy since 1967 if not before and what remains US policy today. That is, to barter Israeli land for a peace deal, and to use US influence on Israel as a lever to gain influence in the Arab world. It was always the public policy of the United States, through administrations of both parties and under every presidency, and there was absolutely no reason to be surprised by Kissinger's promise to the Iraqis.

Kenneth Stein agonized somewhat over whether or not Kissinger really meant what he had said:

Kissinger's statement to Hammadi that the U.S. envisioned Israel as becoming small and non-threatening like Lebanon may have been U.S. foreign policy, or his personal view, or ingratiating diplomacy, or some combination of the three. Regardless, Kissinger's comments were what Hammadi wanted to hear.

Stein also quoted a statement by Nixon to Syrian President Assad:

President Richard Nixon told Syrian president Hafez al-Assad that Washington was committed to seeing an "Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories" (cited by Stein as taken from "Letter from President Ford to Prime Minister Rabin, September 1, 1975," reproduced in Michael Widlanski, Can Israel Survive A Palestinian State? (Jerusalem: Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, 1990).

For some reason, Stein is doubtful if this was the policy of the United States. The reason for his doubt is hard to understand. Both secret and public documents have made it clear that United States policy regarding Israel since the Six Day War was centered around the idea that the United States must get Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories in order to satisfy the Arab states. U.S. diplomats and legislators, beginning in 1967, bemoaned the fact that Israel had achieved the Six Day War victory without U.S. aid, and therefore the United States had no way to force its withdrawal. This is revealed, for example, in Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearings held on June 9, 1967:

It is a fact, is it not, that neither Soviet Russia nor the United States has given any material amounts of arms to Israel, and, if that is true, are they not relatively independent in their thinking at this point?

Secretary Rusk. No, we have provided tanks and Hawk missiles and certain other kinds of equipment to Israel, but their principal arms supplier has been France...

The Israeli air force is almost all French supplied.

It should be clear that "reducing the size of Israel" was always a goal of the United States since June 1967. On May 23, 1967, President Johnson had made a statement regarding US commitment to the territorial integrity of all nations, seemingly with the intention of reassuring Israel.. Following the June war, this statement was repeated, but now that Israel had conquered chunks of Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian territory, it took on a new meaning: The US would pressure Israel to withdraw from the conquered territories in return for peace. In a State Department telegram sent on June 12 to the US Embassy in Israel, the following wording was included:

As far as the attitude of the US is concerned, our principal points of departure are (a) President Johnson's reaffirmation on May 23 of long-standing American policy that "the United States is firmly committed to the support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all the nations of the area"; ...(c) the vital interest of the United States in its own relations with the Arab and Muslim world, a relationship in which Israel itself has an important stake...

Source: 273. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/ Washington, June 12, 1967, 10:37 p.m. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Eugene Rostow on June 11, cleared by Kohler and Battle, and approved by Katzenbach. Rostow had earlier initialed Rusk's approval. Repeated to Luxembourg as Tosec 20 for Rusk.

Ambassador Barbour replied on June 13 that he had in fact apprised Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban of these positions:

As to United States points of departure I mentioned President's reaffirmation on May 23 of our commitment to support the political independence and territorial integrity of all nations in the area, the necessity to establish a regime of peace eliminating claims by either side of the right to infringe on the rights of others because of belligerency, U.S. vital interests in relation to the Arab world, and the overriding necessity that through magnanimous and imaginative policies, the foundations laid for a genuine reconciliation among peoples of the area.

Source: 277. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State/1/ Tel Aviv, June 13, 1967, 1730Z. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Received at 3:16 p.m.

Yet again, from the same file, in response to Saudi and Aramco pressure on the U.S. regarding Israeli withdrawal, the following text was included in a telegram sent, also on June 13, from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia:

3. In connection problems growing out of recent Arab-Israel hostilities, you may call attention addressee governments to long-standing USG support for territorial integrity and political independence of all states of the Near East. This position was re-stated by President Johnson today./3/ The USG desires the maintenance of friendly ties with all the countries of the region. In our view it is of the first importance for all to take steps now to assure that there is an end to the periodic hostilities and the state of belligerency which have marked Near Eastern history in the last two decades. The USG is fully prepared to join the other states to work for lasting arrangements which will serve permanently to reduce tensions in this region.

Source: 282. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/ [Washington, June 13, 1967, 9:54 p.m. /1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret. Drafted by Brewer on June 12; cleared by Battle, Solomon, and Director of the Office of Fuels and Energy John G. Oliver; and approved by Eugene Rostow. Also sent to Kuwait and repeated to Dhahran and London.]

And, from a later file of declassified documents, we have this statement:

The tough question is whether we'd force Israel back to 4 June borders if the Arabs accepted terms that amounted to an honest peace settlement. Secretary Rusk told the Yugoslav Foreign Minister: "The US had no problem with frontiers as they existed before the outbreak of hostilities. If we are talking about national frontiers--in a state of peace--then we will work toward restoring them. But we all know that could lead to a tangle with the Israelis.

Source: 455. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/ Washington, October 3, 1967. /1/Source: Johnson Library, President's Appointment File, October 4, 1967. Secret; Nodis.

There was, therefore, every reason for both President Nixon and Henry Kissinger to make the statements they had made about Israeli withdrawal, and they were by no means expressing their private opinions, but rather the stated policies of the United States government.

The Johnson administration was unable to fulfill its ambition of forcing Israeli withdrawal. The Arab states under the leadership of Nasser were too intransigent to make even a show of peaceful intentions, and adopted the Khartoum resolutions. At the same time, the United States had no leverage whatever on Israel, since it had not supplied the arms with which the Six Day War was won, and had in fact, reneged on its promise to support Israel's navigation rights when it was put to the test. In order to force Israeli withdrawal, the United States would first need to gain some leverage on Israel.

The US adopted a two fold approach to regaining its standing in the Middle East. The first part was to make Israel dependent upon it for arms and diplomatic backing, while at the same time working for a permanent peace settlement and Israeli withdrawal. The "peace settlement" part would be satisfactory to the pro-Israel faction that was generally in charge in the White House, while the Israeli withdrawal part would satisfy the rank and file career diplomats of the State Department, who never had excessive love for Israel or people of the Jewish persuasion.

... The US supports Israel in order to use return of the territories conquered in the Six Day War to gain leverage with Arab states. This policy worked admirably for many years.

By 1975, the US had purchased the leverage on Israel by its role in the Yom Kippur War, in which it had agreed to resupply Israel through the air-lift. The Yom Kippur war made it clear to Israel that the scale of military engagements in the Middle East had changed radically since 1967, and that it could therefore no longer be militarily independent. The quantities of armaments and materiel consumed in a few short days of fighting necessitated a replacement capacity that could not be provided in a practical way by increasing the capacity of the Israeli military industries, and the technological innovations required were beyond the capabilities of Israel. Kissinger persuaded Nixon to resupply the Israelis in 1973, and Kissinger then used the leverage purchased by resupply to push for Israeli withdrawals in Sinai. The fruits of this policy for the US were the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and US displacement of Russian influence in Egypt, and eventually, the Jordanian –– Israeli peace treaty and the Oslo process. In a masterly stroke, President Carter cemented both Israeli and Egyptian dependence on the US with large foreign aid deals.

It has been very important for the United States to maintain this dependence. The torpedoing of the LAVIE interceptor project in the 80s was a great victory for US policy and another nail in the coffin of Israeli political independence. Thanks to that defeat, every time Israel attacks Palestinians or Hezbollah, it must use US aircraft, allowing anti-Zionists to point out that the "Zionist war criminals" are using US supplied weapons.

In any case, what Kissinger told the Iraqis was apparently, a slightly "adapted" version of actual US policy. If it was shocking to some people, it is because they never understood and didn't want to understand what had been declared plainly many times. The same policy has been spelled out again quite recently by George Bush in his speech on the Middle East, and more recently by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an interview with Sawa television. Israel will have to withdraw from the West Bank. ...

Zionists in Israel and abroad who want Israel to keep the territories of the West Bank, and who sometimes label Israeli politicians as traitors because of concessions to Palestinians, need to understand that these concessions are concessions to the US government. In reality, the results and aftermath of the Six Day War are the full length novel version of the little episode of the 1956 Suez Campaign. After that campaign, President Eisenhower forced a precipitate Israeli withdrawal in return for "guarantees" that turned out to be worthless. Following the Six Day war, Israel has a better chance of getting guarantees that will not be worthless in return for withdrawal, but the withdrawal is evisaged by the US as equally inevitable....

Acute analysts will note that if Israel ever does return all of the conquered territories, then Israel would be of no further use in American attempts to ingratiate itself with the Arabs. At the same time, America would have very little leverage with the Arabs unless it pressed Israel for further concessions. Without doubt, there are those in the US diplomatic corps who would not be averse to exerting such pressure.

Israeli politicians therefore have to think ahead to what American policy might be two days after the peace treaty is signed, when some Arab states, or Muslim groups, inevitably, nonetheless declare their objections to the presence of Israel in the Middle East. From the Israeli point, we will have no more territory to concede, but that may not necessarily be the American view. After all, in the early 50s, the US was behind a plan to get Israel to make concessions to Egypt in the Negev.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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"WE CEASE, THEY FIRE": ANATOMY OF LAST YEAR'S CEASEFIRE DISASTER THAT EVERYONE'S FORGOTTEN
Posted by Noam Bedein, April 26, 2008.

"Hamas could learn both positive and negative lessons from the last round of escalation. On the positive side, it succeeded in consistently and systematically launching rockets at Israel, extending the rockets' range to Ashkelon, and it had victories in the battle for hearts and minds." –– from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's (ITIC) summary of the recent escalation of rocket terror

There is talk circulating about the opportunity to communicate and reach an understanding with Hamas, to give Hamas a chance to foster a ceasefire with Israel.

How many people remember that there was, in fact, such a 'ceasefire' with Hamas-controlled Gaza only one year ago? How many people remember what occurred during that 'ceasefire'?

Well, the people in Sderot and the western Negev remember. Even if no one else does.

Let us refresh out memories. >From November 26, 2006, until May 15, 2007, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel went on for almost six months. One cannot ignore the statement made by Hamas five days before the ceasefire: "Hamas's military wing will stop the rocket fire when residents evacuate the city of Sderot." (from November 21, 2006)

During that 'ceasefire', Gazans launched 315 missiles targeted at Sderot and the western Negev, according to an IDF spokesman. There was not one IDF response to the rocket fire during that ceasefire period.

During a recent presentation at the IDC in Herzliya, to the cream of the crop of students of Israeli intelligence, the audience reacted with disbelief when they heard that there already was a 'ceasefire' last year, and that it wasn't kept in the slightest.

Mecca Agreement

During that 'ceasefire' period, on February 27, 2007, there was an agreement reached between the Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The agreement took place three months after the ceasefire went into effect; after 160 missiles had been fired at Israel since the day the 'ceasefire' commenced. Mashaal promised, in Moscow, to stop the Kassam rocket attacks. Two days later, seven missiles were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

The question begs to be asked: What kind of Western democracy in the world would allow for a one-sided ceasefire? What other state would allow for a rocket to explode within its territory?

Israel is going to celebrate 60 years of its independence in a few more weeks, as for the first time in 40 years a significant portion of its population are living under rocket threat. In the north, Hizbullah threatens with rocket fire from southern Lebanon. In the southern area of Israel, Hamas continues to fire from Gaza at Sderot, the western Negev and now Ashkelon. Hamas is also developing rockets that will reach Ashdod. At this point, up to half a million Israelis will be under rocket fire.

No family in the state of Israel should have to live under rocket threat. At 60 years of independence, Israel's goal should be to end the rocket terror upon its citizens. It all starts with Sderot.

Also, what most people forget is that Israel's adversaries are not advocating a 'ceasfire'; they promote a hudna.

A hudna means no more than a temporary respite in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces. The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a "temporary treaty" which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam; and a hudna cannot last for more than 10 years.

The Islamic Encyclopedia mentions the Hudaybia treaty as the ultimate hudna. Yasser Arafat also talked about a hudna in his speeches when he would refer to the Oslo Accords. In the words of the Islamic Encyclopedia, "The Hudaybia treaty, concluded by the Prophet Mohammad with the unbelievers of Mecca in 628, provided a precedent for subsequent treaties which the Prophet's successors made with non-Muslims. Mohammad made a hudna with a tribe of Jews back then to give him time to grow his forces, then broke the treaty and wiped them out. Although this treaty was violated within three years from the time that it was concluded, most jurists concur that the maximum period of peace with the enemy should not exceed ten years, since it was originally agreed that the Hudaybia treaty should last ten years."

Noam Bedein is Director of the Regional News Service for Sderot & the Western Negev, a project of the Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev, Ltd, www.sderot-media.com

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WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE MYRICK PLAN?
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 26, 2008.

The Myrick plan, enunciated in Congress by Rep. Sue Myrick (NC), is a powerful new approach, at the national Congressional level, to dealing effectively with the threat posed to our nation and to our civilization by islamo-fascist jihad terrorism, including both terror threats from abroad and the growing threat of jihadist terrorists already safely ensconced inside of our borders right now.

Yet her work in the House of Representatives has merited almost no coverage in our press, and only some tepid responses from her colleagues.

I urge y'all to write to your congress-persons and urge them to support Rep. Myrick in activating her plan (see summaries below).

David Meir-Levi

From the Sue Myrick website:
http://myrick.house.gov/bio_page.shtml

Sue is also leading the charge nationally on issues related to terrorism. She is the founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, which has more than 120 Members. This caucus meets with experts on terrorism and works to educate the public about the dangers we face from Islamofascism.

As an advocate for stronger Homeland Security, Sue created her own Homeland Security Taskforce for the Charlotte region. This taskforce is comprised of top security professionals from around the 9th Congressional District. It advises local officials of possible terrorist loopholes in their security systems, and, more importantly, it advises officials how to prevent terrorist attacks from occurring in the first place.

Rep. Myrick released her "Wake Up America" agenda. Rep. Myrick's goal in releasing her agenda is to alert, and educate, Americans to terrorist threats here at home posed by radical Islamic extremists. The agenda is her own, it is not the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus' agenda.
(http://www.house.gov/list/press/nc09_myrick/wakeupamerica41808.html).

Rep. Myrick also called on former President Carter's Passport to be revoked after he met with the terrorist organization Hamas.
(http://www.house.gov/list/press/nc09_myrick/041608carterpassport.html)


"Myrick Aces, D.C. Flunks 'Jihadism 101'"
By Diana West
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reading U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick's "Wake Up America" agenda –– a 10-point plan targeting potential jihadist infiltration into this country's military, security, educational and financial institutions –– triggers mixed emotions.

First, relief. Finally, there is an elected official who understands the urgency of these festering national security threats. Virtually every other elected U.S. official, up to and including the president (and presidential candidates) has shockingly ignored these same threats. Which leads to a flash of panic: How could our leaders have allowed so many years go by without taking action?

Then comes, for me at least, a sense of resolve to help Myrick accomplish her goals by trying to boost a much-needed national conversation about the jihadist threat at home.

The North Carolina Republican's plan warms up with two calls for investigations into those U.S. chaplains, in both the US military and the prison system, who were approved by Abdurahman Alamoudi, the convicted terrorist and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) member now serving 23 years in prison.

In the early 1990s, back when he was something of a Washington power broker, Alamoudi helped set up the Pentagon's Muslim chaplain corps in conjunction with the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, a Saudi-funded operation that specializes in what you might call Jihadism 101.

Alamoudi went to prison back in 2004, but no one since, in the military or the prisons, seems to have taken a second look at what his prodigies might be preaching (terrorism? treason? whatever?). Myrick plans to check into it herself.

Next, she plans to ask the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to examine the process by which the FBI and Defense Department select Arabic translators. Of particular concern to Myrick –– but not, incredibly, to the FBI or the Defense Department –– is these two agencies' mind-boggling practice of advertising for recruits in what can only be described as pro-terrorism publications.

Next on the congresswoman's to-do list is a call for an Internal Revenue Service investigation into the nonprofit status of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Such status restricts "lobbying on behalf of a foreign government," but, as Myrick notes, plenty of foreign funds have found their way into CAIR's coffers to beg the question.

Another Myrick plan is to introduce a bill to make preaching, publishing, distributing or financing calls for the death of Americans or American troops an act of sedition or solicitation of treason. She also wants to ask the GAO to assess total sovereign wealth fund investment in the United States. Such massive funds, owned and controlled by governments, first came to many Americans' attention with the recent purchase by the United Arab Emirates of a large stake in Citigroup; in recent years, however, there has been a spike in such foreign government investment in the United States. This raises concerns (that is, it should raise concerns) about the political goals of such funds –– for example, the spread of Islamic law through "Sharia-compliant banking." Thankfully, Myrick is concerned.

The last few points on the Myrick agenda focus on the appalling lack of reciprocity and common sense in our nation's dealings with Saudi Arabia. Regarding the student visa program that is supposed to bring 21,000 Saudi students to this country, Myrick would attach the condition that the Saudis rewrite their textbooks to omit incitement against non-Muslims; regarding religious visas for imams, she would require of Islamic countries reciprocal visa arrangements for non-Muslim clergy; and regarding U.S. training of Saudi security forces, she would insist that the Saudis prosecute known Al Qaeda financiers and stop releasing repatriated Guantanamo Bay terrorists in exchange for their pledges not to attack ... Saudi Arabia. She will also be introducing a bill to block the sale of state-of-the-art offensive munitions to Saudi Arabia, especially Joint Direct Attack Munitions or JDAMs.

Sue Myrick's plan to counter the jihad in the U.S

1. Investigate all military chaplains endorsed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was imprisoned for funding a terrorist organization.

2. Investigate all prison chaplains endorsed by Alamoudi.

3. Investigate the selection process of Arabic translators working for the Pentagon and the FBI.

4. Examine the non-profit status of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

5. Make it an act of sedition or solicitation of treason to preach or publish materials that call for the deaths of Americans.

6. Audit sovereign wealth funds in the United States.

7. Cancel scholarship student visa program with Saudi Arabia until they reform their text books, which she claims preach hatred and violence against non-Muslims.

8. Restrict religious visas for imams who come from countries that don't allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.

9. Cancel contracts to train Saudi police and security in U.S. counterterrorism tactics.

10. Block the sale of sensitive military munitions to Saudi Arabia.

Contact information

The Honorable Sue Myrick
230 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone:(202) 225-1976
Fax:(202) 225-3389

The Honorable Sue Myrick
6525 Morrison Boulevard, Suite 402
Charlotte, NC 28211
Phone:(704) 362-1060
Fax:(704) 367-0852

The Honorable Sue Myrick
197 West Main Avenue
Gastonia, NC 28052
Phone:(704) 861-1976
Fax:(704) 864-2445

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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HIZBULLAH GAINING MILITARY STRENGTH; AGITATION SUBSIDIZED; UNO VS. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 25, 2008.

CIVILIAN VS. MILITARY VIEWS

PM Olmert now is considering letting the P.A. control the P.A. side of the border between Gaza and Israel. The IDF strongly opposes that. PM Olmert says he would take the step if violence subsided and if European monitors played a greater role than just observing (IMRA, 4/2).

The usual course is that Israel's conditions either are not met but Israel gives in anyway, perhaps lying about whether they are met, or the Arabs change those conditions, as when they chased Europeans away, or continued negotiations and US pressure erodes the conditions. Some of the conditions announced in advance may sound prudent, but the final result is reckless.

Violence may subside, but jihad does not end. Basing concessions on a temporary reduction in violence rather than on specific anti-terrorism steps is self-deceiving.

HIZBULLAH GAINING MILITARY STRENGTH

Hizbullah has been moving rockets into Lebanese villages south of the Litani River, contrary to the armistice agreement. UNIFIL can intercept Hizbullah installations only after coordination with the Lebanese Army. The news brief implies that the Lebanese Army does not authorize UNIFIL to intervene (IMRA, 4/2).

The armistice agreement was much touted by PM Olmert and his Foreign Minister Livni, who arranged it. It has turned out, as predicted by their critics, to be a poor substitute for victory.

The poor Israelis! Their government does not protect them from enemy rockets and does not keep the enemy from rebuilding military forces for further attacks.

IMPLICATIONS OF REINFORCING ROOFTOPS IN ISRAEL

One of Israel's defensive measures against rocket attacks is to reinforce roofs. That measure implies that Israel can tolerate the attacks. It emboldens the enemy to attack more (Uzi Landau in IMRA, 4/2).

Imagine what it does to Israeli morale! The people want to replace the Olmert regime with one dedicated to defending them, but they can't.

As the enemy widens the rockets' range, the cost of reinforcement becomes prohibitive. As the enemy makes missiles more lethal, reinforcement becomes useless.

EU FUNDING ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICT

The EU has spent tens of millions of Euros from 2005 –– 2007 on NGOs in Israel and the Territories. Those NGOs have a political agenda on the Arab-Israel conflict. They ignore Arab terrorism and promote boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel and only Israel. They defame Israel in the most vicious manner and undermine human rights and Jewish identity, as most of them did at the Durban conference. The NGOs aggravate hostility and the problem.

The EU subsidies are not transparent, have vague criteria, are subject to decision-makers' discretion, and there is little accounting for them (IMRA, 4/3).

The donations are a source of foreign exchange Israel could do without. If it were a self-respecting country, it would ban subsidies for subversion. Well, if it were self-respecting, it would do a lot of things, such as not let Arabs steal public land or bombard Israeli cities or beat up Jews in mixed cities.

HAARETZ' TWO VOICES

Arab leaders describe their actual policies to their own people (actual, because they act on it), but describe fanciful policies to the West, in order to gain acceptance there as moderate. Also using two voices, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, is much more anti-Israel in its English-language translations than in its Hebrew editions, read by Israelis, who know the issues better.

The English edition mis-described Pisgat Ze'ev, a Jewish neighborhood of northern Jerusalem as a "Jewish settlement surrounded by Arab towns in the W. Bank." Actually, it is not surrounded by Arab towns. Only the most extreme leftists describe Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem as settlements. The original, Hebrew version did not give those false impressions. The Far Left wants to give away that neighborhood, in which tens of thousands of Jews live. Haaretz subverts Israel's position, abroad.

Editor David Landau was asked about his suggestion to Sec. Rice that the government of Israel wants to be "raped." He confirmed that he meant what he said and said he understands that Rice took his advice (Arutz-7, 4/3).

LEFT'S UNDERHANDED WAY TO EXPEL SETTLERS

The Left is said to have proposed compensation for any "settlers" who evacuate, to: (1) Shortcut a democratic decision on which areas to retain; (2) Get Israelis to resent being asked to defend those who don't accept the money; and (3) Make a pretext for reducing defense measures for those who are left. So far, the Jewish population of the Territories grows faster than in the State (IMRA, 4/3).

WHAT RESPONSIBILITY HAVE ARABS FOR EACH OTHER?

The higher fuel prices that are enriching oil exporting Arab states are helping to raise food prices beyond what many Arabs and foreign workers in other Arab states can afford. Some Arab governments subsidize food or offer other financial support to their people. Others don't. Riots occur. What responsibility have the enriched Arabs for the impoverished ones? (IMRA, 4/4.)

Arab states use the Arab-Israel conflict to divert attention from real domestic problems, but they don't assist the impoverished Palestinian Arabs whom they claim to care about. They don't care about them. Most of them deny Arab refugees citizenship. The 140 million other refugees in modern times resettled, but the Arab world keeps its refugee problem seething. Then it looks for sympathy from foreign cultures.

AGITATION SUBSIDIZED

The Mukhtar of Silwan negotiated with Israeli authorities over archeological excavations. Nevertheless, Arabs there protested, some, violently. They were paid to by a German news agency looking for excitement and by S. Arabian and P.A. agents wanting strife. The Mukhtar said that Islamists threaten any Arab who works with the government of Israel at solving problems (Arutz-7, 4/4).

UNO VS. FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Muslim and other African members of the UNO Human Rights Commission passed a resolution against expression of opposition to Islam. They call such speech bigotry, but the member states are known for wanting to control speech.

The US, which is not a member of the Commission, opposed the resolution. The European members abstained. They have been opposing freedom of expression against opposition to Islam. They censured and censored the Dutch film that expresses serious objections to the hatred espoused by Islam. Europe's opposition to freedom of speech undermines democracy (and defense against jihad). Some of the Europeans are afraid for their lives.

The issues raised in the Dutch film are serious and proved. The leftist European officials won't discuss that. British politicians are trying to pass laws banning criticism of Islam (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 4/5) but not Islamic criticism of others.

Again we find Bush's US a voice for decency and the European officials, whom Bush is urged to work with, a voice for surrender. The UNO remains evil.

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@aol.com

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HARDBALL WITH WASHINGTON
Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, April 25, 2008.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared yesterday in Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870487119&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

"The first thing [Israel] should do is arrest officials suspected of transferring classified materials to the US without authorization. It should then publish the names and details of US spies whom Israel previously caught and treated with kid gloves. Then it should publicly demand that Bush release Pollard from the prison where he rots, while the likes of Hizbullah agent Nada Prouty –– who penetrated both the FBI and the CIA –– is expected to receive a six-month prison sentence for her crimes."

Tuesday was a banner day, a proud day for Jewish conspiracy theorists in America. People like Joseph E. diGenova smiled with glee as they watched 84-year-old Ben Kadish carted into the Manhattan Federal District courthouse on charges of transferring classified information to Israel 25 years ago.

He's just like Jonathan Pollard, they whooped. Another Pollard! At last, we have proof that Israel operates spy rings and SLEEPER CELLS in America! They bragged and bragged and smiled and smiled as their terrorist metaphors got wilder and wilder.

Sleeper cells? You mean agents sent to a country to lay in wait for the command to attack? Well, not exactly.

DiGenova made his name as the federal prosecutor who railroaded Pollard into a life sentence for crimes that generally should have netted him no more than a few years in the slammer. Obviously he has a way with words. And when he told The New York Times "sleeper cells," apparently he was referring to the FBI agents who went to sleep for 23 years and then suddenly woke up and decided to cart an old man out of his nursing home and charge him with capital crimes.

Both the fact that Kadish was released on a paltry $300,000 bail and the details that have been reported about his case make it pretty clear that Kadish was not a very serious spy. The sum total of his alleged actions, which occurred between 1979 and 1985, reportedly involved taking documents out of the library at the Picatinny Arsenal in northern New Jersey where he worked as a mechanical engineer and giving them to an Israeli consular official. The documents weren't highly classified because Kadish had a low security clearance.

Out of the 50-100 documents he transferred over six years, three are mentioned in the indictment. He allegedly transferred a document relating to nuclear weapons –– weapons of which by the early 1980s Israel was widely believed to already have its own full arsenal. He allegedly transferred data relating to the F-15 fighter jet, which Israel already owned. And he allegedly transferred information about the Patriot missile defense system –– which the US gave Israel five years later.

There is a reason that Israeli commentators are crying foul with the Kadish episode. According to the media reports, in 2004 –– a period in which US-Israeli strategic ties were in turmoil due to Israeli weapons sales to China, US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, and US adoption of the anti-Israel road map –– the Bush administration pressed the Sharon government to acknowledge that 20 years earlier, when Pollard was transferring documents at a rate of hundreds per week to his Israeli handlers, Israel fielded another agent as well. Presumably, it was then that Israel was forced to divulge Kadish's identity to the Americans.

According to the Israeli media, subsequent to Israel's confidential statements to US officials, Kadish was questioned by the FBI and admitted to having transferred documents to Israel. He then left the country, traveled to Israel –– where he could have stayed –– and came home to the US.

Most Israeli commentators and unnamed government officials angrily allege that the timing of Kadish's arrest was chosen to damage Israel's relations with the US at a key moment. In two weeks President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit Israel to participate in its 60th Independence Day celebrations. It has been widely presumed that during his visit, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government will seek to secure Bush's agreement to commute Pollard's sentence and release him from prison before Bush leaves office. Kadish, it is alleged, was arrested to block any possibility that Pollard will be released.

Given the vindictiveness that has marked the US intelligence community's attitude toward Pollard since his arrest, it is possible that fear of a presidential pardon did inform the decision to arrest Kadish now. And yet, it is far from clear that an agreement on Pollard's release was ever in the cards. Bush has expressed no willingness to consider Israeli appeals for his release and neither the Sharon government nor the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has made any real efforts to secure Pollard's freedom. Indeed, in a sign of their contempt for Pollard, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has Pollard's former handler, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, sitting in the security cabinet.

It is also possible that Kadish was arrested to try to force Israel to make massive concessions to the Fatah terror group in order to secure a "peace agreement" between Israel and the PLO before Bush leaves office. In the past, the US has used allegations of Israeli espionage to cow Israel into toeing its line of appeasement towards the PLO. In 1997, the Clinton administration let loose hysterical headlines about a high-level Israel mole named "Mega" who had supposedly penetrated the highest levels of the US intelligence community. The story was a complete fabrication, but it came after a suicide bombing in Jerusalem had caused then-prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cut off contacts with Yassir Arafat.

In 2004, the US indicted two senior AIPAC lobbyists in a transparently political move, claiming that they were trafficking in classified documents to try to force the Bush administration to do something to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The lobbyists are still awaiting their trial, which is looking more and more like a farce every day. But in the meantime, the US has been free from Israeli pressure to take the Iranian nuclear program seriously for four years.

Kadish was arraigned the same day that the Los Angeles Times broke the story that CIA Director Michael Hayden would be briefing Congress on Thursday about Israel's September 6 air strike in Syria. For the past six months, the administration did everything it could to prevent any information on the Israeli air strike from getting out. In the end, Hayden was compelled to inform Congress about the details of the raid after the legislature conditioned its approval of the intelligence budget on receiving a full briefing on the air strike.

According to the Los Angeles Times report and subsequent stories, Hayden's testimony would acknowledge that US intelligence agencies failed to recognize the dangers of the North Korean-built plutonium reactor that Syria had constructed not far from its border with Turkey. It was Israeli, rather than American intelligence agencies that penetrated the facility, brought back video and physical evidence of its character, and then effectively destroyed it in a complicated air strike and commando raid.

So according to US media reports, Hayden's testimony would demonstrate two basic truths that the Jewish conspiracy theorists in the US intelligence community and the State Department are uninterested in having the public or Congress notice: Israeli intelligence is superior to US intelligence; and the US alliance with Israel is vital to US national security.

Since Israel's independence 60 years ago and especially since US-Israel strategic ties blossomed after the Six Day War, Washington has been of two minds about the Jewish state. The first, public mind is that Israel is the US's strongest and most reliable ally in the Middle East, and that the US-Israel alliance is strong because it is based on shared values as well as shared interests.

The second view is that Israel is a burden. As purveyors of this view see things, Israel is the national "Fagin." It is underhanded, pushy and untrustworthy. Indeed, as far as the anti-Semites in Washington are concerned, Israel is the source of all the US's difficulties in the Arab world and even in Europe.

For years, the purveyors of the second view have carried out an independent foreign policy regarding Israel that is completely at odds with the official US policy of embracing Israel as an ally. Indeed, the State Department has undermined every presidential attempt to treat Israel well since 1948.

Yet both the Israeli attack against the Syrian nuclear program and Israel's attitude toward espionage show how ridiculous and counterproductive that unofficial –– yet consistent –– US policy toward Israel actually is. In the case of the operation in Syria, protestations of the Israeli Left about not wanting to embarrass Syrian dictator Bashar Assad aside, Israel had a clear national interest in exposing the nature of the target as quickly as possible. Moreover, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had a political interest in exposing the details of the raid to the Israeli public as quickly as possible.

And yet, bowing to US demands, Israel placed draconian censorship regulations on media reports of the strike. To please the likes of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who still clings to the notion that her brilliant diplomatic skills will enable her to convince the North Koreans to give up their nuclear arsenal, Israel agreed to hide information of its vital mission and massive success from both its own people and from the global audience.

As for espionage, as the late Yitzhak Rabin once noted, every few years Israel discovers another US agent committing espionage against the state. Rather than make a big deal about it, and in spite of the fact that some of the information being stolen is deeply damaging to Israel's national security, out of a sense of comity with Washington, Israel keeps the scandals quiet and generally deports the spies.

By arresting an 84-year-old World War II veteran in an effort to place Israel under a cloud of suspicion as its military triumph in Syria is exposed to the American people, the US is sadly showing Israel once again that nice guys finish last. If Israel wants to be treated with respect by the US, the lesson of the Kadish affair, of the Syrian raid and of the Pollard affair is that Israel had better start pushing back.

The first thing it should do is arrest officials suspected of transferring classified materials to the US without authorization. It should then publish the names and details of US spies whom Israel previously caught and treated with kid gloves. Then it should publicly demand that Bush release Pollard from the prison where he rots, while the likes of Hizbullah agent Nada Prouty –– who penetrated both the FBI and the CIA –– is expected to receive a six-month prison sentence for her crimes.

When Bush arrives to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday, Israel's leaders would do well to show him that at 60, Israel is a grownup country. And as such, it demands to be treated with the respect due to the US's most reliable ally in the Middle East.

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com

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WE ALREADY HAVE PEACE WITH SYRIA
Posted by Guy Bechor, April 25, 2008.

Quiet that has prevailed on Syria-Israel border for years may be better than peace

There is not much difference between the peace we have with Syria today and the peace with have with Egypt, with the exception of the written agreement whose exact details nobody remembers.

Bashar Assad has not traveled to Jerusalem, but when did Hosni Mubarak visit Israel? Only once, for the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, when the Americans forced the Egyptian president to do so.

Moreover, our border with Syria is quiet and stable and no clash has taken place there for dozens of years, as opposed to the "border of peace" with Egypt, which is replete with criminal and terror infiltrations, as well as other troubles. Compared to Syria's border with Jordan and Iraq, its border with Israel is an asset: Damascus is enjoying the quiet and security too.

Syria lost its hold on the Arab world, most of which boycotted her by not sending top leaders to the last summit meeting in Damascus. Today, Syria is isolated, lacks legitimacy, and a peace treaty with Israel would only serve to isolate it even more and further reinforce the Syrian leadership's illegitimacy among Arabs.

A peace agreement with Israel will turn Iran into Syria's greatest enemy: A dangerous enemy that has a hold on Iraq and Lebanon, Syria's neighbors. Syria lost Lebanon, and therefore a peace treaty with Damascus does not mean a peace deal with Lebanon as well. On the contrary, there will be elements in Lebanon that would do everything to undermine an agreement between Syria and Israel.

On the Golan Heights, IDF and Syrian forces are separated by a buffer in the form of UN forces. Each side knows its place, while an effective and powerful Israeli deterrence system exists. It must remain powerful in the future has well. Both our prime minister and the Syria president admitted that in recent months they created a system of signals, clarifications, and possibly even deterrence, for fear of misunderstandings.

The Syria front is again stable, after a period of disquiet in the wake of the Lebanon War. What else can we ask for?

Peace threatens Assad regime

And no less important: As opposed to the old model of peace with Arab states, Israel continues to hold on to territory here, that is, the Golan Heights. This is the only case of "peace" between us and our neighbors where we hold on to both territory and stability. This is a much more advanced model for us than the Egyptian or Jordanian model.

Paradoxically, at this time it appears that the only element the Syrian regime can rely on may be Israel. As opposed to the hatred it faces in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, quiet with Israel is a supreme interest for Damascus.

When will we realize that the peace we seek threatens the Syrian regime? Just like we frighten it with war, we do the same inadvertently with our desire for peace. This peace phantom threatens to sink Assad's regime.

Yet our media outlets have continued to numb us with this conditioned peace reflex for dozens of years now, and the sense around here is that absolute happiness is right around the corner. If only we cede the Golan Heights, the Mideastern heaven will open its gates to us.

Today, the Golan Heights stabilizes the Galilee and northern Israel in an existential manner. What will be our fate should we make the mistake and evacuate the Golan? The peace will end, the stability will end, and the quiet will end. Moreover, the Syrians will immediately dispatch a million Syrians to settle the area, just as they did in Lebanon, and with the option of a "resistance movement" just like in Lebanon.

This was written for Ynet News
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2c7340%2cL-3535441%2c00.html

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ISRAEL RELATIVELY SECURE ON SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 25, 2008.

Israel is Safe and Strong. Really.

Let's face it, after almost 2000 years in exile and only 60 years of Israel as a sovereign nation, it still feels funny for Jews, especially those outside Israel, to have a state.

That, along with other factors, makes it easy to underestimate Israel's success and security. However, though at first glance it might seem counter-intuitive to say so, Israel today is stronger, more secure and in a better strategic position than at just about any time in its history.

Before dealing with this point directly –– by examining the very real threats the country continues to face –– let's talk about how these very real problems are magnified even further in the prism of Jewish thinking, especially outside Israel. There are a few factors to keep in mind when assessing Israel's situation and future.

First, the long-term Jewish experience has been one of persecution, suffering, and often defeat. That is why a sense of pessimism linked with humor is so intertwined with Jewish culture. What does a Jewish telegram say? "Start worrying. Letter follows." What is the oldest Jewish joke in history? "The recently freed slaves in Sinai said to Moses: What, there weren't enough graves in Egypt that you have to bring us here?"

Strength, victory, well-being and success; all are viewed (on a collective though not individual level) with suspicion. That Israel has provided such things is a major reason for its popularity with Diaspora Jews. But there is also a sense that things will not last.

Second, no people are more obsessed with relentless self-criticism than are Jews. There are obvious biblical references here as well, in the prophetic tradition, and it has continued down to today. The great Israeli humorist Ephraim Kishon described his own arrival in the country shortly after independence in these terms: as the ship approached the coast it became very hot and we began criticizing the government over the weather.

Every day in Israel, every conceivable failing (real or imagined) is relentlessly dissected. The negative is usually highlighted, though afterward people feel optimistic at having been able to vent their pessimism. The best example of this I ever experienced was walking down the street in Tel Aviv one day and running into a friend.

"How's everything?" he asked.

"Great," I answered.

"How can you say that!" he exclaimed. "Don't you read the newspapers?"

On the other hand, when annual quality of life polls are taken, the positive scores from Israelis are through the roof. In no small part, the culture of complaint and pessimism is a posture, an imposture that should never be mistaken for reality.

Third, there is an obsession (this applies more outside Israel) with non-material factors. Because Diaspora Jews have often been powerless, and even when they have power it is indirect rather than institutionalized, they have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Hence, the obsession with what the media says about Israel, for example. However, Israel does not stand or fall on whether The New York Times likes it or whether former presidents write nasty books about it.

Fourth, debates over political viewpoint and attitude toward Jewish identity play a role. Those who want to view Jewishness in the most narrowly traditional religious terms, who want to be totally assimilated, or who seek a leftist utopia have no place for Israel in the world they want. Wishing it would go away is an element of wishful thinking, an idea that it is unnatural influencing their perceptions of the actual situation.

In circles friendlier to Israel's existence, those on the left may like to believe that Israel will collapse if it doesn't make peace with the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the Palestinians, and Arab states in general, are not so inclined and any way a bad deal is far more of a risk for Israeli security than no deal at all. Similarly, on the right, concessions over Jewish settlements or other matters are seen as bringing the sky down, though these have relatively little impact on Israel's interests and may have a positive effect regarding strategic needs.

Finally, how do we define "security?" People in North America have a very exalted, even perfectionist, view of security being total. Still, I can only say that I will walk anywhere in Israel at any time of night without fear and let my children wander around to an extent unthinkable when on a visit to the United States. A very tough guy, my number-one choice as foxhole companion, was robbed on a Washington D.C street. Another Israeli friend walked three blocks in the wrong direction in that city and landed in the hospital after a brutal mugging.

As for Europe, those societies face a more serious internal Islamist threat than does Israel, especially given their loss of purpose and self-confidence. Antisemitism is rising, both from new immigrants and in some case indigenous populations as well. In France, for example, Jewish life is becoming increasingly insecure.

Finally there's the existential threat to security posed by assimilation, conversion, and intermarriage.

And now to the aforementioned very real threats that the country does face, including terrorism. What has changed, though¾despite Iran¾is that the existential threat to Israel has declined sharply over the decades.

From the 1950's through the 1980's, Israel could have faced an attack by the regular armies of all its neighbors on any given day. Egypt, Syria, and Iraq were fully backed by the Soviet Union, a superpower, capable of checking or matching any U.S. assistance.

Those days are gone. There's no more U.S.S.R. The United States is, despite limitations, the world's only superpower. America's alliance with Israel and overwhelmingly pro-Israel public opinion remain strong, despite minor fluctuations. Arab regimes need U.S. help more than ever before and are less likely to cross Washington on substantial issues that go beyond rhetoric.

Whatever bloodthirsty talk comes from various Arab regimes and media, they're not interested in direct conflict with Israel. For starters, because of Israel's military and technological superiority, they know they will lose. They also worry more about such immediate threats as radical Islamism, massive poverty, economic breakdown, Iran and Sunni-Shia conflicts.

Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel that, though cool, inhibit confrontation. Most Lebanese see their main enemy as Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. Syria's government, the only Arab regime bent on actively pursuing the conflict, is militarily weak and knows a full conflict with Israel would spell the end of its rule. The Saudis and smaller Gulf states are chasing after high living standards. Iraq is preoccupied with internal conflicts. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are trying to succeed at economic development and fending off Islamist oppositions.

This isn't to minimize the rhetoric of hate that flows like a tidal wave every day across the Arabic-speaking world, nor is it to ignore the financial contributions to terrorist groups. But this is a far cry from the kind of total, high-priority opposition that Israel faced for so many decades, at times when it was far weaker than today.

As for the Palestinians, in the best of all possible worlds, they would have a moderate leadership ready to make a compromise peace. The worst-case situation would be if they had a united leadership eager to make all-out war. The reality is somewhere in between. The Palestinians are badly divided, more so in fact than at any time in modern history. Gaza is ruled by Hamas; the West Bank by Fatah. And both of these groups, though especially Fatah, have serious internal splits. Peace is out of the question but so is an effective war effort backed by Arab regimes and a superpower.

However many terrorist attacks are attempted, and sometimes succeed with dreadful result and however many rockets are fired at Israeli towns near the Gaza border, this does not pose an existential threat to Israel. And even if the world wants to prettify Fatah and make it seem more peace loving than it is, Hamas is going to remain outside the pale.

Iran's nuclear threat is a very real one. But Tehran does not yet have these weapons and it still might be blocked from getting them. At any rate, Israel will have to decide on appropriate action if necessary to ensure this continues to be true. While this issue is being fought out in the present, the risk still lies in the future.

Iran may never get a nuclear capability and even if it does so, it is unlikely to use such weapons on Israel. Of course, Israeli leaders must plan for the worst-case outcome but in terms of analysis Tehran has several major considerations to keep in mind, despite the inflammatory rhetoric of some of its rulers. Israel can defend itself and inflict huge damage on Iran, something which Iranian leaders are quite aware of despite their words. The regime, which has now been in power for 30 years, has been quite cautious about risking its own downfall.

There are also many softer targets, including the entire Arab world, which have no nuclear defense of their own, and more anti-missile defenses, too, when that day comes. The greatest value of nuclear weapons for Iran is not their actual firing but their use as strategic leverage, to intimidate the West and its neighbors. Iran with nuclear weapons is a very big potential threat but the idea that Tehran will get the bomb and use it against Israel the next day is not the most realistic assessment.

But I have left for last the factor that may be the most critical of all: Israel's strength as society and state. Israel has maintained its critical edge on the military side. Casualties from terrorism are down 90 percent from four years ago. In political terms, Israel is more united on the basics than it has been in many years. The economy is booming; immigrants in large part are being successfully absorbed. Despite short-term fits of pessimism and often-justifiable self-criticism, the people are confident.

And that's part of the key to understanding what's going on here. In a conflict between a pragmatic, constructive, democratic society and ideologically fettered, violence-obsessed dictatorships, the former will ultimately win out. For one thing, the Israeli system permits progress, the correction of faults, and the far fuller use of human resources. For another, the country simultaneously defends itself and builds itself. What's most important, to paraphrase Israel's founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is not what its enemies say and seek but what its people do.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

This article is from May 2008 World Jewish Digest,
www.worldjewishdigest.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod= Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier= 4&id=189B641BCFE643E690A6E03F582D2EE1

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STILL NO HOMES FOR GUSH KATIF JEWS
Posted by Buddy Macy, April 24, 2008.

"Disengagement" from the Gaza Strip was completed on August 22, 2005 and from northern Samaria a day later. It is now 1,000 DAYS since our fellow Jews were expelled from their homes, yet inconceivably, and tragically so, building of permanent houses for most of the expellees HAS NOT EVEN BEGUN!

Please write to

Howard Rieger –– howard.rieger@ujc.org
Joseph Kanfer –– joseph.kanfer@ujc.org
Malcolm Hoenlein –– malcolm@conferenceofpresidents.org
June Walker –– jwalker@hadassah.org
John Ruskay –– ruskayj@ujafedny.org
Russell Robinson –– rrobinson@jnf.org
Ronald Lauder –– rlauder@jnf.org

(And send a copy to me: vegibud@gmail.com)

Ask them what they have done LATELY to address the ongoing tragedy of the expellees from Gush Katif.

Ask them what would happen to the up to 250,000 Jews who would be expelled from their homes should Olmert agree to "Palestinian" demands.

Demand immediate, SIGNIFICANT ASSISTANCE TO THE EXPELLEES.

Demand that they publicly say "NO" TO THE TWO-STATE "SOLUTION."

Thank you so much.

Buddy Macy

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com. Or call him at 973-785-0057.

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THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT REDEFINED
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, April 24, 2008.

How ironic! Israel abandons state of the art greenhouses in Gaza, indeed research laboratories that someday, using Israeli brainpower, could have developed methods to counteract the ominous effects of climate change now battering food production worldwide, thoughtlessly allowing those laboratories to merge with the surrounding rubble and despair permeating a Hamas governed dysfunctional population of hand wringing Jew-despising Arabs, little able to fend for themselves let alone carry the baton of agricultural research bequeathed to them. Neighboring Egypt, another Jew-despising pro-Palestinian brainwashed Arab regime albeit tenuously obligated to remain civil by a once negotiated peace treaty with Israel, in better days the bread basket of the Roman empire, begins to burst at its ever widening fissures forming along the surface of a once tightly sealed pressure cooker, its desperate population fulminating while standing in endless lines to purchase lower priced government subsidized foodstuffs, seething at the autocratic regime that heretofore has held it in check. Might angst over a shortage of reasonably priced primary sustenance supersede tough guy President Hosni Mubarak's Machiavellian tendency to divert the frustration and anger of his exploited populace toward scapegoat Israel and Jews in general? After all, scientifically gifted Israeli Jews could very well be an asset to a third world little industrialized nation like Egypt, perhaps help him as well as other desperate despots find a way to grow crops efficiently. Might Israel serve the needs of regimes in the throes of potential starvation and consequential rebellion more as a research partner than a shlamazal scapegoat?

World leaders, both Muslim and non-Muslim, must rid themselves of the bash Israel syndrome, stop skewing their rhetoric in favor of non-productive Arabs still psychologically poisoned by the 'Scarlet R', an inexcusable refugee status embraced for so many decades, still unwillingly to pick themselves up by their bootstraps albeit gifted a land of their own called Gaza. Enough! The very fact state of the art Israeli greenhouses now fester, perhaps serve as ammo repositories, while Gaza maniacs continue to fire deadly missiles into Sderot more than suggests it was a grave mistake for Israel to cede Gaza in the first place, a fact the world should loudly acknowledge forthwith! Might one (or more) of the candidates now vying for the U.S. presidency and presumed leadership of the free world loudly acknowledge what should be obvious, that a more propitious interpretation of the 'greenhouse effect' would indeed be an asset to the world. Alas, if Israeli citizens a/k/a scientists still retained greenhouses in Gaza, perhaps they would utilize them to discover a way to increase crop yields efficiently and cost effectively, combating the scourge of world hunger afflicting so many third world (and perhaps someday first world) Muslim and non-Muslim nations. Surely, Israeli greenhouses exist elsewhere within that cerebral nation, yet the ones morphed to a wistful memory, painfully wrecked within the dysfunctional enclave of Gaza, stripped of all vitality, symbolically represented a stark contrast between the self-defeating behavior of their surroundings and what human beings are capable of achieving when highly motivated to perform tasks that will advance their species. Imagine what Israelis could accomplish if they weren't forced to waste time as well as human and monetary treasure on defending their besieged state! Imagine those discoveries put on hold while Israeli brainpower must divert so much attention defending the Jewish homeland from Arabs besot with jihadist passions.

So-called Palestinians, falsely cast as victims of Israeli aggression for so long by manipulative Arab leaders as well as a host of non-thinking Westernized anti-Israeli pundits and their minions, have no incentive to reexamine their unfulfilling non-productive lives. Indeed, this is a lose lose scenario for all involved parties as well as their future generations. Indulging those who refuse to recognize and improve their futile stagnant lives, born of a refugee psychology, while condemning those who cherish the notion of advancing mankind, makes no sense, thwarting the progress of our dysfunctional species heaped in ever greater challenges, faced with the very real possibility that billions of its members will ultimately directly die of starvation or diseases related to improper nutrition. Indeed, mankind seems to possess a masochistic tendency of not promoting a nation blessed with imaginative scientists who can truly lead the way in combating a crisis in progress. How can say former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a well-educated and presumably brilliant soul, break bread with a terrorist Hamas organization yearning to destroy the Jewish homeland? Furthermore, while legitimizing the devil, how can he not insist that Hamas revise its despicable charter, i.e. its raison d'etre, in effect defined by the following statement?

...nevertheless, the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

The unintended consequence of Carter's pie-in-the-sky attempt to negotiate a truce between Hamas and Israel, however, was to demonstrate yet again the true colors of the Arab jihad junkies, still refusing to recognize the land of Israel as a sovereign Jewish nation. Might the former U.S. President now concede even he cannot craft a silk purse out of a sow's ear, or will he still ignore the obvious, sugar coat his failure, and continue bashing the 'apartheid nation' defined by his delusional Arab apologist mind-set? It boggles the mind that world movers and shakers still don't get it. It boggles the mind they refuse to heap praise upon the gifted nation of Israel, endowed with the intellectual potential ever so necessary to combat a planet threatening catastrophe in the making.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. 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 larose@snip.net

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HOW MUCH IS "ENOUGH"?; W.H.O. ACCUSES ISRAEL, IS REFUTED; ROADBLOCKS REMOVED, JEWS DIE
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 24, 2008.

FATAH LOSING POPULARITY IN JUDEA-SAMARIA

Day after day, a major scandal about corruption by top P.A. officials emerges in Judea-Samaria. Much of the news is prompted by personal or factional rivalry. Fatah is losing credibility. It could not win an election there, now (IMRA, 3/31).

The Sunday NY Times features a Hamas attack through the Gaza-Israel border, using armored vehicles it seized from the P.A.. Nevertheless, Israel just approved shipment of more armored vehicles for the P.A. in Judea-Samaria. Sec. Rice keeps demanding that Israel open up its border more. Seems to me it should seal it until the Arabs leave.

HOW MUCH IS "ENOUGH?"

Egypt occasionally blew up the entrances to a few of the 150 arms smuggling tunnels from Sinai to Gaza. The terrorists simply constructed a new tunnel. Israel said Egypt did not do enough.

Now Egypt says it will blow up the whole tunnel. It has a special unit that will employ US tunnel-detecting equipment. Dr. Aaron Lerner asks the key question. How many of the 150 tunnels will Egypt seek out? Just enough to get favorable publicity, but not enough to curb arms smuggling? (IMRA, 3/31,)

MOVE TO BLOCK CASE AGAINST MOUNT DESTRUCTION

The Muslim Waqf has been illegally destroying ancient Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount, for years. The government has not intervened. A private organization, Shurat Ha-Din brought suit against the Waqf.

Under Israeli law, the Attorney-General has 15 days to adopt the prosecution, itself, or let the private parties proceed. Attorney-Gen. Mazuz instead has urged the court to squelch the case on the grounds that it is not in the "public interest." No details forthcoming (IMRA, 4/7).

"Not in the public interest" is the government's standard excuse for not prosecuting Arabs and police who attack Jews in the Territories.

It used to be said that the government let the Waqf operate illegally because it was afraid that otherwise masses of Arabs would riot. (Then squelch the lawbreakers!) Then, however, the government turned heavily to appeasement of the Arabs and to anti-Zionism. Another reason is that a trial would expose government incompetence, adding another black mark to PM Olmert's dark record. It is typical of Israel (and of Jewish organizations in the US) to try to repress opposition rather than to convince it.

JEWISH-ARAB DEMOGRAPHICS

Israeli demographers failed to foresee heavy Jewish immigration, the decline in Israeli Arab birth rates, and the incline in Israeli Jewish birth rates. Whereas PM Olmert says that he favors withdrawals because of an alleged increasing proportion of Arabs in the area, there is an increasing proportion of Jews in the area. The Jewish birth rate in Israel surpasses the Arab one, as the Arab population ages. Arabs are emigrating from Gaza (Arutz-7, 4/2).

Now imagine if Israel further reformed its economy and stopped coddling the Arabs and mistreating patriotic Jews, how many Jews would return to Israel!

CONGRESS RECOGNIZES JEWISH REFUGEES

Congress asked the President to mention Jewish refugees from Arab states, in international forums mentioning Arab refugees from the Jewish state (Arutz-7, 4/2).

HAMAS PLOT

Hamas organized a supposedly peaceful demonstration near the Gaza-Israel fence. It planted among the demonstrators some terrorists using the protest as cover for attacking Israeli soldiers. Israeli security officials foiled the plot and arrested one of the terrorists (Arutz-7, 4/2).

W.H.O. ACCUSES ISRAEL; REFUTED

The World Health Organization accused Israel of letting P.A. Arabs die by denying them access to medical care or making them wait for it. W.H.O. cited specific cases.

Israel checked those cases. It found that most of the patients were granted permission to enter Israel for medical treatment, but some did not act on it. Deaths were from the diseases.

Nine-tenths of applicants are granted permission, and the rest may go to Egypt or Jordan for treatment, if they wish. Since a number of Arabs apply in order to commit terrorism in Israel, Israel must check the bona fides. Any delay is the jihadists' fault (Arutz-7, 4/2). This is an old canard, like the one accusing Jews of poisoning wells (which the Arabs do and Arafat once tried to do).

W.H.O. forgets that Israel is not obliged to offer medical services to an enemy population. One wonders why Israel does. It is too humane for its own good.

JOINT PATROLS & PRISONER RELEASES

A P.A. policeman on joint patrol with Israelis murdered one and kept shooting at others. Although sentenced for life, he anticipates early release in some deal with Israel, after which, he said, he would resume killing Israelis (IMRA, 4/2).

Joint patrols with one's unscrupulous enemies? Release prisoners dedicated to repeating their crimes of religion? The folly is all the worse by its repetition.

OLMERT REGIME DID NOT LEARN FROM LEBANON WAR

PM Olmert led the country into a war for which his country was not prepared. After the war, the country's anti-chemical warfare kits were deemed obsolete. The government is in process of gathering them up to be refurbished. Meanwhile, the country is unprepared for chemical attacks, which Syria is likely to be contemplating making. Since the Cabinet voted to have the kits refurbished without scheduling the work, extensive delay is possible (IMRA, 4/2).

Refurbishing should have begun after a reasonable amount were collected. That way, an increasing number of people would have gained protection during the process. The way the government is doing it, nobody is protected during the collection process.

ISRAEL'S PASSIVE DEFENSE AGAIN SHOWN UP

Israel does not root out the terrorists who fire rockets at Israel. Instead, it has a warning system that gives people 15 seconds to race into bomb shelters, let the devil take the hindmost. The shelters do not prevent property damage.

The jihadists have been extending the range and accuracy of their rockets. Now Iran has been shipping mortars to Gaza, thanks to Egyptian failure to block the smuggling. The mortars are faster, leaving insufficient time to hide. They also wreak more damage (IMRA, 4/2).

ROADBLOCKS REMOVED AGAIN, MURDER THERE, AGAIN

""Each removal of any roadblock is tantamount to gambling with Israelis' lives," he said. "No roadblock was positioned where it was without a very cogent reason. No roadblock is without clear security value. Each roadblock is there only because it's necessitated by indisputable security contingencies." So PM Olmert, told the Knesset Defense Committee two weeks before removing dozens of them. Where one had been, an attempted murderer got through, as, when it had been removed before, a murderer got through (IMRA, 4/2). Israelis die because Olmert doesn't say no to Rice and he fears international condemnation.

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@aol.com

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REASONS TO BRING OLMERT TO TRIAL FOR TREASON
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 24, 2008.

Recently Israeli Intelligence discovered that Syria, with assistance from North Korea, was building a plutonium nuclear reactor. Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was confronted with the evidence but, delayed a response as long as possible.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the CIA were presented with irrefutable evidence but, she used her power of office to delay Israel from eliminating the Syrian/Korean reactor, lest it spoil her sophomoric plans for peace in a region that has never known peace.

Despite the immediate danger to Israel and the region, Rice pressured a weak Olmert NOT to respond and to save an empty legacy for herself and President George W. Bush.

Israel submitted evidence to the CIA, Bush and some Congressmen. The evidence was so overwhelming that Rice had to withdraw her childish plans for Israeli "restraint" even as she was protecting the Bush failed deal with North Korea –– in addition to the under-the-table talks with President Bashar Assad of Syria. Rice is an untrustworthy, dangerous liar through and through. But, there is a greater betrayal than merely a lying U.S. Secretary of State or a President hungry for recognition. It is the Prime Minister of the small State of Israel who has been thoroughly briefed on the hostile State of Syria building a plutonium-yielding nuclear reactor. Olmert's own generals had to force him to allow them to plan and carry out an attack to destroy the Syrian plant. After the Israeli Air Force completed its mission, Olmert and America dropped into total silence. The "secret" was miraculously NOT breached or breathed by any official or media source for the past 8 months.

We now know that Olmert was in back-channel discussions to surrender to Syria the entire Golan Heights. These discussions continued by Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni in a greater frenzy, knowing that Syria was building a Plutonium Nuclear Reactor for no other reason than to destroy Israel.

Olmert and his gang were hell-bent on assisting Syria recover the Golan, even at the almost certain risk of having Syria renege on any agreement reached. Olmert, Barak, Livni and the entire Kadima and Labor Parties have betrayed Israel's vital security to the greatest degree possible.

At this very moment CIA Director Michael V. Hayden is briefing the American Congress on the perfidy of the North Koreans as Rice and Bush try to pretend that North Korea is living up to the terms of a badly flawed and failed agreement. While the U.S. can be harmed if such nuclear capability reaches Syria as well as other Muslim and Arab States who are rapidly becoming more Islamo-Fascist, the U.S. will not disappear in a radioactive cloud as could the minuscule Jewish State of Israel.

Olmert, Barak, Livni and, no doubt, Shimon Peres seem to be prepared to sacrifice Israel for a mess of potage.

If ever a Government should be tried for Treason, it is now. Knowing Syria's intent and then announcing that he (Olmert) was working to abandon the Golan Heights, Israel's largest water resource, Israel's security and sovereignty, is surely an act of betrayal and treason of the worst kind.

This could be considered a "hanging offense" and such a trial should be implemented before any more damage can be done or any more Israeli blood spilled.

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 gwinston@gwinston.interaccess.com

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ISLAMOFASCISTS, FASHIONISTAS AND EUROTRASH
Posted by Moshe Phillips, April 24, 2008.

It is understandable if you have never heard of the Metro group of daily newspapers. What you do need to know is that there is yet another chain of newspapers whose biased coverage of news related to the Mideast conflict and the wider war on terror is just as disturbing as that of their well heeled cousins such as The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Philadelphia Inquirer. Additionally, you need to know that Metro papers reach more than 20 million daily readers worldwide and the number is growing rapidly.

Metro is a 10 year old import from Sweden. Its U.S. editions are in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Combined Metro's US Editions have a larger circulation than The Washington Post or the Chicago Tribune. Metro produces about 100 papers in 20 countries and has seven local editions in Canada. Metro's newspapers are free and aimed mainly at a commuter audience using mass transit. This is largely due in part to the questionable agreements between public mass transit agencies and Metro. It is not uncommon to see a large majority of readers on a bus or train in one of Metro's American cities reading the paper rather than a traditional paid daily. The Metro tabloid newspapers are reminiscent of the magazine-like format and content originated by USA Today.

The March 25, 2008 U.S. Metro editions featured an article about the Arab headscarves widely known as keffiyehs. Harmless enough, right? In the hands of Metro the subject became a propaganda effort to romanticize Arab terrorists. The Philadelphia Metro used photos of Yasser Arafat and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled wearing keffiyehs to accompany their story. As background, Khaled was a leader the PFLP terrorist unit that hijacked TWA Flight 840 on August 29, 1969 and later blew it up. The PFLP it must be noted introduced hijacking to the Mideast conflict in 1968 with the taking of El Al Flight 426. Khaled, the terrorist, is introduced to Metro readers as a "fighter" with the PFLP and the article states that the keffiyeh gave her a "girl gangsta edge" and that photos of her "with a rifle in hand" became "part of feminist iconography." Arafat's picture and write-up do not include any background information at all on the PLO terror chief. Perhaps we should be thankful that the Metro's editorial staff seems to consider Arafat enough of a celebrity that no explanation was needed.

The March 25, 2008 article is a part of a strange pattern by Metro of publishing one sided human interest stories that ignore the Israeli victims of Arab terror. Here are some other examples culled from February editions of Metro Philadelphia:

February 6, 2008

A one paragraph snippet on the opinion page ran with the headline "Gaza love that falafel." It was about Egyptians buying falafel in Gaza after Hamas terrorists destroyed the border fence. There was no mention of Hamas in the snippet and the violation of international law was described as "the fall of a border wall."

February 14, 2008

A photo showing sheep eating carnations was given the title "Gaza Strip Eat your heart out." The explanation with the picture read in part "Palestinian farmers had to dispose of their flower crop due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip..." No explanation of why Israel has "blockaded" Gaza is given. There is no mention of the deadly Kassam missile attacks on Israeli towns.

February 15, 2008

An article titled "Despite Muslim law, Valentine's still a go" told how Gazans celebrated Valentine's Day despite a closed border with Israel. Hamas was benignly described as simply "militant" and the reason the border is closed was left unsaid.

Another headline on the same day and page read "Israel prepares for vengeful violence." The article was actually about an Israeli security alert following the killing of a Hezbollah leader. From the headline you would think Israel was going on the offensive. The article itself leads the reader to assume that Israel assassinated Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah leader. Israel formally denied responsibility for the killing.

As the above example shows even "hard news" in Metro is shockingly distorted. Another example is a ridiculous March 7, 2008 Metro headline that told readers "Seminary Shooting kills 8 in Jerusalem." A casual reader may have been led to believe that the attack was a "school shooting" and not a terrorist atrocity. In the article the terrorist was termed simply "an attacker" and a "gunman" His terrorist attack was labeled a "militant attack." And the Hamas terrorist organization was called "Hamas militants." Metro refused to call a terrorist a terrorist and define his murderous attack.

The subtle agenda of the Metro is clear: The bashing of Israel and the dissemination of an Orwellian view of terrorists. Who owns America's newspapers? What agenda do these foreign owners have? What does it mean for Israel that 1.2 million people in the United States are reading a daily newspaper with a twisted view towards Israel and Islamic terrorists? These are just some of the questions raised by Metro's bias.

Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel –– AFSI. The chapter's new website is at: www.phillyafsi.com.

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THE GOLAN, HERE WE GO AGAIN
Posted by Batya Medad, April 24, 2008.

It's hard to comprehend, but Olmert has joined Rabin, Barak and others of similar infamy in using the crucial Golan Heights as a "bargaining chip."

Israel liberated the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Days War. Until then, the Syrians used the Golan as their base of active terror operations against Israel's north. The victims of Syrian terror were the agricultural kibbutzim, the heartland of the Zionist Left. That's why immediately after the war, the Golan was rapidly settled with more agricultural communities.

If I'm not mistaken, the Golan Heights and "eastern" Jerusalem were legally annexed to be considered sovereign Israel by the Knesset. That makes the use of them as "bargaining chips" illegal/seditious.

Previous campaigns to cease Golan talks were successful, but the fact that Pandora's box was opened has left us in constant danger. Just because the previous anti-Golan Withdrawal campaigns were successful does not mean that we can relax, not at all. Each time it's brought up, it's more and more dangerous, like a cancer which returns, G-d forbid.

The confidence of the gamblers grows with each attempt, and now they're hitting us on more than one front. The campaign against the division of Jerusalem has hit a stone wall, and nothing is done, besides powerless blogging like mine, stop the amputation of our Holy Biblical Land. So it's really no surprise that Olmert feels invincible.

Don't give up. It's another test, and we have to pass.

Remember: Issac wasn't sacrificed. He lived to marry and father children. We are descended from those children.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach and Shabbat Shalom

May You Have A Kosher and Joyful Holiday and A Sabbath Complete With All You Need

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
http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2008/04/golan-here-we-go-again.html

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WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ABOUT SYRIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR BUILT WITH N. KOREA
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 24, 2008.

"The Syrian regime supports terrorism, takes ac tion that destabilizes Lebanon, allows the transit of some foreign fighters into Iraq, and represses its own people. " (Dr. Aaron Lerner –– IMRA:)

But there are all kinds of Israeli lefties with security backgrounds urging Israel to leave the Golan ASAP in return for a piece of paper.

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 24, 2008
Statement by the Press Secretary

White House News
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/04/20080424-14.html

Today, administration officials have briefed select Congressional committees on an issue of great international concern. Until Sept. 6, 2007, the Syrian regime was building a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium. We are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria's covert nuclear activities. We have good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on Sept. 6 of last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes. Carefully hidden from view, the reactor was not configured for such purposes. In defiance of its international obligations, Syria did not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the construction of the reactor, and, after it was destroyed, the regime moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence. This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities.

We are briefing the IAEA on this intelligence. The Syrian regime must come clean before the world regarding its illicit nuclear activities. The Syrian regime supports terrorism, takes action that destabilizes Lebanon, allows the transit of some foreign fighters into Iraq, and represses its own people. If Syria wants better relations with the international community, it should put an end to these activities.

We have long been seriously concerned about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its proliferation activities. North Korea's clandestine nuclear cooperation with Syria is a dangerous manifestation of those activities. One way we have chosen to deal with this problem is through the Six Party Framework. Through this process we are working with our partners to achieve the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The United States is also committed to ensuring that North Korea does not further engage in proliferation activities. We will work with our partners to establish in the Six Party Framework a rigorous verification mechanism to ensure that such conduct and other nuclear activities have ceased.

The construction of this reactor was a dangerous and potentially destabilizing development for the region and the world. This is particularly true because it was done covertly and in violation of the very procedures designed to reassure the world of the peaceful intent of nuclear activities. This development also serves as a reminder that often the same regimes that sponsor proliferation also sponsor terrorism and foster instability, and cooperate with one another in doing so. This underscores that the international community is right to be very concerned about the nuclear activities of Iran and the risks those activities pose to the stability of the Middle East. To confront this challenge, the international community must take further steps, beginning with the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions dealing with Iranian nuclear activities. The United States calls upon the international community to redouble our common efforts to ending these activities and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction in this critical region.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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MAYORS ASK PERES TO PARDON JEWISH PRISONERS
Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 24, 2008.

(IsraelNN.com) The campaign to free Jewish "nationalist" prisoners is heating up. The Honenu civil rights organization has organized 11 mayors –– so far –– to ask Pres. Peres to pardon them.

Eleven mayors of towns and local councils in Judea and Samaria have signed a letter to President Shimon Peres asking him to pardon some 20 Jewish prisoners convicted of nationalist crimes.

The letter states, "We are nearing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel," the letter states. "These are days of unity and appeasement... We know that various requests have reached your table to pardon prisoners to mark the 60th anniversary milestone, and we assume that your honor is likely to respond positively to at least some of them."

"It is no secret that for years, Jewish nationalist prisoners have been held in jail for various crimes they committed during periods of security crises, out of deep personal and communal distress. We are of the opinion that in the framework of the atmosphere of national reconciliation of this 60th year, and given that they have expressed regret for their actions, these prisoners should be pardoned, permitted to return to their homes, families, and small children, and to thus rehabilitate themselves."

The letter has thus far been signed by:

Dubi Tal, Jordan Valley Regional Council
Avi Roeh, Binyamin Regional Council
Tzviki Bar-Chai, Mount Hevron Regional Council
Gershon Masika, Shomron Regional Council
Sha'ul Goldstein, Gush Etzion Regional Council
Rabbi Meir Rubinstein, Beitar Illit Municipality
Moshe Rosenbaum, Beit El Local Council
Eli Mizrachi, Efrat Local Council
Herzl Ben-Ari, Karnei Shomron Local Council
Tzvi Katzover Kiryat Arba Local Council
Chananel Durani, Kedumim Local Council

The letter also alludes to the imbalance between Arab and Jewish prisoners, in that thousands of the former have been freed early over the years: "It is no secret that even in the past year, hundreds of terrorists have been freed. We oppose the release of terrorists from prison, but now that they have been freed, we ask that the Jewish prisoners be released as well, in order to correct the discriminatory policy against them."

Last week, six of the prisoners submitted a request to be pardoned. One of them, Shlomi Dvir, told Arutz-7 of the difficult conditions in which they are being held, including not being allowed the customary periodic vacations that other prisoners are given.

Earlier this week, two women –– the wife of one of the prisoners (a mother of seven) and the fiancée of another –– met with Public Security Minister Avi Dichter and asked him to support their request for a pardon. They reported afterwards that Dichter told them straight out, "We have a political interest in releasing the Arabs, but we have no such interest in making similar gestures towards the Jewish prisoners." The women said they left the meeting feeling "humiliated."

Shmuel Medad, head of the Honenu civil rights organization that has made it one of its priorities to attain the Jewish prisoners' release this year, told Arutz-7, "This is the very face of corruption. They have released so many terrorists who caused so much harm to Jewish families, yet they refuse to come towards the Jewish families themselves –– and then they say openly that they have no 'interest' –– that is, because the Jewish families don't kidnap Israeli soldiers and hold them hostage, the Israeli government has no 'interest' in helping them."

Honenu was established several years ago to help citizens whose spontaneous acts of self-defense in life-threatening situations had embroiled them in legal trouble. In addition, Honenu hired lawyers, at group-discounted rates, to represent the hundreds of youths who were charged with crimes related to their protests of the Disengagement/expulsion.

Medad explained in a letter that this governmental attitude is much more harmful and corrupt than stealing money or the like: "It is an attitude of abandonment –– an attitude that produces the abandonment of Pollard, the release of terrorists, the removal of others from the list of wanted terrorists, the giving of weapons and uniforms to [Fatah], the abandonment of the MIA's Katz, Feldman and Baumol from the [1982] battle of Sultan Yaaqub, the forsaking of Ron Arad, Madhat Yusuf, Shalit, Goldwasser, and Regev, and many more in the past and –– if there is no change –– in the future as well. Not only that, but the government is now continuing this approach by negotiating the expulsion of Jews on a scale of 12 times larger than what happened in Gush Katif. And all because there is no 'interest...'"

Among the prisoners are two brothers who planned an anti-Disengagement road blocking in 2005 using a burning car; three who were convicted of conspiring to attack an Arab girls' school, though the bomb never went off and they claimed that they had only intended for it to be a scare; Haggai Amir, who had four years tacked onto his Rabin-assassination related sentence for planning partisan attacks against Arabs in defense of Yesha towns; David Emouyal of Rishon LeTzion, who is serving an 18-year prison sentence for having shot and wounded two Arabs in response to the murder of 8-month-old Shalhevet Pass in Hevron; Ami Popper, who killed 7 Arab workers in response to a series of Arab terrorist attacks (he was originally sentenced to life, but the late President Ezer Weizman reduced this to 40 years; Popper's wife and son were recently killed in a car accident, and his two remaining sons, with no parents to look after them, have been given over to the foster care of a generous Jerusalem family); and others.

Hillel Fendel, who is Senior New-Editor for Arutz Sheva
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com). This article appeared today in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125962

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CHESED CHESED CHESED: MI KI'AMCHO YISROEL?
Posted by , April , 2008.

This was written by the editor of Yeshiva World and it appeared April 18, 2008 on
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=16510

Mi Ki'amcho Yisroel! That's all the words I can find to describe my feelings about the amount of Chesed that is going on around the world right now. There are organizations delivering packages to the needy. These packages include: potatoes, eggs, apples, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, onions, matzoh, grape juice, wine, and anything else needed to make Pesach. Depending on the family size, they receive different amounts. No one is left hungry! Trucks are being driven, and boxes are being shlepped by hard working Yeshiva Bochurim (giving up time from their three week Bain Hazmanim).

There are organizations who give out vouchers to the needy for suits, shaitels, shoes, shirts etc.

There are organizations giving out huge amounts of money throughout the world.

There are organizations who can send girls to your home to babysit your children, or to clean your home.

There is a person in Eretz Yisroel who purchased a matzoh bakery to be able to supply families with matzoh for $8 dollars a kilo, as opposed to the regular $50 a kilo.

The list is endless....

I am no Rov, Rabbi, Teacher, Preacher, Rosh Yeshiva, Rebbe.

I am just the YWN Editor, and I'm not giving a Shabbos Hagadol Drasha.

I just wanted to express my Hakoras Hatov to the thousands of Chesed organizations, Baalei Tzedakah, and ordinary Yidden throughout the world, who are helping make the Yom Tov of Pesach go a little easier for others.

Instead of the negative, lets think of the positive.

In this Zechus, let us hope that THIS year will in fact be the Z'man Cheiruseynu!

YW Editor.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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JERUSALEM: FIRST, NOT THE LAST
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 23, 2008.

Samson Blinded has posted a new item, 'Jerusalem: first, not the last'. You can leave a comment at
http://samsonblinded.org/blog/jerusalem-first-not-the-last.htm

Israeli conservatives act like ostriches: Olmert soothes their conscience by promising to relegate the Jerusalem issue to the last stage in peace talks with Palestinians. It's not even important that Olmert lies and, as Palestinians never fail to announce, negotiate Jerusalem now.

Leaving the core issues for the last stage in negotiations is fundamentally wrong. Would you discuss a delivery time for the furniture set if you don't agree with the seller on price? In our situation, the seller doesn't even want to sell.

Leaving the core issues for the later assures that Israel would give way on them, as the entire pressure now dispersed over several subjects will be concentrated on the issue of Jerusalem. The story would go thus: "Okay, we have agreed with Palestinians on just everything else, the peace is so close. Should we refuse peace because of the Arab-populated Jerusalem areas which we the Jews cannot live in, anyway?" Once all other issues are settling, partitioning of Jerusalem will be passed automatically. Neurotic Jews can rebel and refuse such peace, sublimating into the issue of Jerusalem all the distrust they feel to their government, but if counting on that, then what the peace process is for?

Israeli policy of piecemeal concessions is devastating. Jews give away their bargaining chips one by one, lose bargaining power, and have the international pressure on the "leftover" issues increase. Back in 1972, Israel rebuffed Sadat's peace offer (whether realistic or not) of comprehensive peace with Arabs in return for Sinai; the Palestinians were ignored. Four decades later, Israel will find herself without the Sinai, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank –– but still not at peace with Arabs. Almost every Muslim leader have already declared that even ceding the West Bank and Jerusalem to Palestinians would not lead to immediate peace with Arab countries. And even where Israel has peace, there is no normalization: common Egyptians and Jordanians hate Israel now just as before we signed the peace treaties. Iraq and Kuwait, two countries under the US foot, flatly refused peace with Israel. Iran cannot be expected to sign peace with the Zionist entity even if Palestinians get a state. Saudi Arabia is the last country Israel wants to be at peace with, as the flow of Saudi oil money into Israel, already considerable, will skyrocket as Saudis buy out the Holy Land. Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon cares not a bit about the Palestinians and would not embrace Zionists even if Arafat is re-buried on the Temple Mount, as he might be if the Palestinians get Jerusalem. Peace with Syria would spell a military fiasco for Israel, as Syria will upgrade its arsenals under the protection of peace agreement like Egypt does –– to strike later with vengeance.

Negotiations over Jerusalem with Fatah are puzzling. British hunted down Jewish terrorist groups Etzel and Lehi instead of negotiating with them. Fatah members continue attacking Jews, Fatah pays salaries to Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades with the money dutifully transferred by Israel, and in especially odd occurrence, a bodyguard of Ahmed Qurei, a top Palestinian negotiator, was killed in a firefight with IDF.

The peace process is fraud. Israel is not at war with Palestinians –– or if we are, then bomb them out of existence rather than supplying them water and electricity. Palestinian threat to Israel is laughable: just ban the Arab migrant workers, and suicide terrorism, already happening just once a year, would almost cease. At any rate, Arab terrorism claimed many times less Jewish lives than ordinary car accidents. Ending Kassam and Katyusha rocket fire is also a no-brainer –– not with the absurdly expensive Iron Dome system, but with the common police measure of invading Gaza once a year or so, killing a couple of thousand Palestinian guerrillas, damaging their infrastructure to the Bronze Age level, and enjoying calm for another few months. Banning the UNRWA and other aid sources from Gaza and the West Bank would be a much greater service to peace than ceding the Arabs Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa together: Palestinians should care about employment rather than live on foreign aid and use the ample idle time for radical activities. Paupers in search of food won't have time for terrorism.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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GOING NOWHERE FAST
Posted by Sergio Tessa (Hadar), April 23, 2008.

This is by Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the Machon Shilo organization –– Torah La'am VeLaaretz

Clueless Leaders

Israel is lost and directionless. Its political leaders lack vision and aspire to nothing.

Judaism is lost and directionless. It rabbinical leaders lack vision and aspire to nothing.

Revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky once illustrated his criticism of mainstream Zionism with the following analogy: "I see a man limping down the street, using only one leg, even though it is apparent that nothing is wrong with the other one. I turn to him and ask: 'Why don't you walk on both legs?' He replies: 'Is there something the matter with the one that I am using?'"

Jabotinsky referred of course to the policy of "one more dunam, one more goat", whereby the Zionist Establishment focused on building up the land piecemeal, living from day to day, all the while refusing to enunciate its vision, the goal for which it was ostensibly striving: a sovereign state for the Jewish people in their historical homeland within clearly defined borders. Thus the most fundamental issues –– what kind of state were the Jewish people demanding, where would its borders be, and within what time frame? –– remained unaddressed. Jabotinsky's insight was that the leadership preferred it that way, like a man who opts to use only one of his legs.

The result of this (lack of) policy was that the typical Zionist spoke fervently of the Jewish people's right to the Land of Israel but could not explain, even to himself, where the borders of his beloved homeland lay or on what basis he defined that territory. In the end, observed Shabtai Ben-Dov, it was the acceptance of the armistice lines of 1948 that "clarified" for most Zionists where the Land of Israel for which they had fought actually was. It was only "logical", therefore, for one time Education Minister Shulamit Aloni to refer to Hebron as "Hutz Laaretz" (overseas), and for the post-Six-Day-War Left to view a return to the very heart of our homeland as an "occupation".

I once came face to face with the results of just such a Zionist education. The year was 1993 and I was doing reserve duty on the Jordanian border. Four of us were in a command car patrolling the border, and the discussion turned to then Prime Minister Rabin's stated willingness to negotiate with the Syrians about relinquishing the Golan Heights. The driver announced that he supported handing over the Golan for peace, at which point I asked him: "Tell me, all other considerations aside, to whom does the Golan belong, us or them?" He thought for a moment and replied truthfully "I have no idea." Why would he? Was he, a product of the State school system established by Ben-Gurion, ever taught what territory the Jewish people claimed and why?

Israel's political leaders are just like that driver: they truly don't know where we belong or why, nor where we are supposed to be headed. Everything is negotiable, nothing is clear, the future is a black hole.

Israel lost its way not in 1967 but in the 20's, 30's and 40's, before there was an Israel, by thinking small, by refusing to see the big picture, by denying the Jewish nation's destiny. By choosing mediocrity over greatness.

Israel and Torah Judaism: Missing in Action

The same can be said for Judaism. Have you ever noticed how some religious Jews refer to themselves as "Lithuanians"? Or that there is a Jerusalem suburb named "Poland Heights"? Treat the reality of over 5 million Jews living as a sovereign nation in their homeland for the first time in 2000 years as a continuation of Dvinsk, Minsk or Pinsk; insist that Jews in the Land of Israel must all behave, in terms of their customs and Halachic practice, as if they were still in Warsaw, Sanna or Marakesh; preach that the divisions of the Diaspora must be maintained today and for all time, thus perpetuating a seriously flawed Galuth mentality indefinitely; convince yourself that the Judaism of the Galuth is the real McCoy, that there is nowhere to go from here –– and that's precisely where you'll go. Nowhere. No greater purpose. Nothing.

When the Beth HaWa'adh beth din (Jewish court) of Machon Shilo announced last year that all Jews in Israel may consume kitniyoth (rice, corn, legumes etc.) during Pesah, some thought that it was all about doing whatever is convenient. Not so. It's about getting Torah Judaism back on track.

At the core of any authentic conception of Torah Judaism is its Halachic system. Halacha is the practical implementation and realization of those values and concepts that the Torah teaches and that the Jewish nation holds dear. An Halachic system always reflects the philosophy and vision that a particular ideology aspires to actualize in the real world. Halacha is never neutral; it is either a help or a hindrance. It either drives the Jewish people upwards and onwards, or it weighs it down and holds it back.

One who refrains from eating rice, or soy beans, or corn starch on Pesah is not a better Jew than one who does. Halachically there is no question that it is permissible. On the other hand, one is not required to consume these items on Pesah, or at any time during the year. So what's the problem? It focuses the mind on a non-issue. And the more meaningless Pesah stringencies are promoted, the more meaningless Judaism becomes.

Galuth Mode or Geulah Mode?

Human beings are limited. We cannot be different people at one and the same time. A Jew can function in either Galuth mode or Geulah mode; you can't have both. If we concern ourselves with maintaining our Galuth-based identities, we have no time or inclination to wonder how it is that each Pesah we beseech Hashem that next year we might participate in the Pesah sacrifice and yet do nothing whatever to actualize this deep-seated aspiration in the real world. We have to make a choice: authentic, full-flavoured Torah, or a pale, watered-down substitute.

Judaism's rabbinical leaders are just like that reserve duty driver: they truly do not know who and where we are or where we are supposed to be headed. They have no clue how to move on to the next stage. They are unsure of themselves, vague and uncertain about everything, preferring the familiar, downtrodden Galuth version of the Torah for the majestic, vibrant and uplifting Torah of the Land of Israel, the Judaism of Abraham, Moses, David and the Maccabees. Little wonder that when Jews once again controlled the Temple Mount in 1967, the rabbinical establishment had nothing to say other than to forbid all Jews from going there. If the truth be told, they breathed a sigh of relief when it was tossed back to the Moslems like an unwanted bone.

Judaism lost its way not in 1967 but 2500 years ago when the Jewish nation declined to take up the offer of the Persian emperor Cyrus to return to its homeland. By thinking small, by refusing to see the big picture, by denying the Jewish nation's destiny. By choosing mediocrity over greatness, Galuth over Geulah. From that day to this, as R. Yehuda HaLevi wrote in his masterpiece The Kuzari (2:24), "our prayers for redemption are like the mindless cawings of rooks and ravens".

If we think small, we shall indeed be so, particularly in the eyes of our enemies.

If we think big, we shall indeed be great –– in the eyes of Hashem, in our own eyes, and in the eyes of the whole world.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net.

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NEW SPY CASE SEEN AS ATTEMPT TO DELAY POLLARD RELEASE
Posted by Hillel Fendel, April 23, 2008.

Following the news that an 83-year-old former US Army engineer, Ben-Ami Kadish of New Jersey, had been arrested on charges of spying for Israel 25 years ago, the Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization feels abandoned by the Israeli government once again.

Speaking with Arutz-7's Yedidya HaCohen, Esther Pollard said, "I feel great disappointment at the Government of Israel. Everyone in the media comes to me and hears what they should be hearing from Ehud Olmert –– namely, that this entire [Kadish] case has nothing to do with Jonathan Pollard, that it does not cancel out the fact that Pollard deserves immediate release, and that the government of Israel is obligated to work for this goal."

A statement released by the Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization states that the U.S. "has put Israel on the defensive once again, with breaking 'news' in the American media accusing Israel of running a spy in the US prior to the Pollard case... It is not clear for how many years the U.S. has been sitting on this 'breaking news' story waiting for the right moment to hurl new accusations against Israel, and thus falsely and unfairly target Jonathan Pollard by association."

The statement notes that "unlike other espionage cases in the US, which are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, every accusation against Israel is yielded like a club against Jonathan Pollard –– as if the 23 years he has served is somehow not enough to make up for all of the sins of Israel."

"It's Up to Olmert"

When asked by Israel's Channel One TV News what impact this latest story will have on chances for her husband's release, Esther Pollard responded, "It will have whatever impact Prime Minister Olmert chooses for it to have. To date, Olmert has still not made an official request for Jonathan's release. It is time for the Prime Minister to discharge his legal and moral responsibility to save the life of an Israeli agent in peril, who has already served a grossly disproportionate sentence."

She noted what she said was the "suspicious timing of the breaking 'news' story," just prior to President Bush's anticipated visit to the region for Israel's 60th anniversary. Several news analysts have made this connection as well, seeing the release of the story as an attempt to prevent Bush from possibly pardoning Pollard in time for the upcoming Presidential visit.

"There is solid support for Jonathan's release," Mrs. Pollard said. "Every senior American official familiar with the case and the secret files –– people like James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, and Senator Dennis DeConcini, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan's arrest –– have been on record for years saying it is time to release Jonathan Pollard. There is no excuse that trumps the 23 years that Jonathan has already served in American prisons."

"My husband should not have to pay the price for this latest case," Esther told HaCohen. "What, 23 years in prison are not enough? Olmert should say clearly that the cases are not connected. It is hard for me that after 23 years, we are once again abandoned, and that no one stands up for him."

Mrs. Pollard urged the Prime Minister not to be deterred by this "blatant attempt to put Israel on the defensive, and to simply do the right thing: Bring Jonathan home now, alive, in time for Israel's 60th anniversary!"

Hillel Fendel, who is Senior New-Editor for Arutz Sheva
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com). This article appeared today

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FREE SPEECH UPHELD AGAINST JIHAD; MEDIA DISTORTION; ARABS WON'T STOP IRAN
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 23, 2008.

P.A. CORRUPTION

Different top P.A. leaders are accused of massive corruption. They stole public funds. (That was Arafat's #1 Or #2 goal for setting up the P.A.) One replaced medicine with placebos and sold the medicine at high prices (Arutz-7, 3/30).

Where do they think they are, in China? Are these the people Rice and Olmert think will defeat Hamas?

WHAT TACTIC IS LEGITIMATE?

B'Tselem, a pro-Arab "civil rights" organization in Israel, has condemned terrorism. It did not condemn Arab attacks on Israeli soldiers (Arutz-7, 3/30).

After all, the P.A. has signed peace agreements with Israel. The Arab could negotiate. Before the wars over it, the Land was set aside for Jewish development, but the Arabs committed aggression against it and attempted genocide. The Arabs have no right to fight.

NEW YORK LEGISLATURE UPHOLDS FREE SPEECH

Foreign Muslims in favorable jurisdictions, such as London, sue Americans for libel, to squelch their revelations about Muslim aggression. Many defendants cannot afford the legal costs, so they give in. The rules are stacked against defense, so although the sued authors and publishers are not libeling, they may lose anyway. Dr. Ehrenfeld is a New Yorker who did not seek the British market for her book, but when two copies showed up there, an Arab whose avocation is suing to repress criticism of Islam sued her. He won a sizeable judgment.

She petitioned a US court. It found that current law does not protect American Constitutional rights from foreign jurisdictions. The court suggested she appeal to the State legislature. The Legislature unanimously passed a bill that finds foreign defamation judgments unenforceable here unless the foreign system allows the same rights of freedom of speech and press as America's. The bill allows the American defendant an appeal to court here. This protects Americans from false charges and unfair legal procedures abroad. It permits Americans to proclaim the truth, an important weapon in defense against Islam's drive to conquer. Will Gov. Paterson sign the bill? (Ehrenfeld, 3/31.)

ISRAEL REVEALS MORE ABOUT RAID ON SYRIA

PM Olmert revealed that Israel's raid on Syria destroyed a nuclear facility that N. Korea was developing. N. Korea had promised not to proliferate its nuclear technology. When asked, it lied about the facility (IMRA, 3/31).

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Sec. Rice keeps demanding that Israel ease travel restrictions on P.A. Arabs. She knows that terrorists will take advantage of the changes to attack Israelis. One solution is to place travel restrictions on Rice. It would save innocent lives.

MEDIA DISTORTION

The NY Times seems to turn every national issue into an opportunity to condemn Pres. Bush, right or wrong. A recent editorial noted that he was dickering with N. Korea over how much of its nuclear activities it must disclose, in order to get subsidies in return for dismantling its nuclear weapons facilities. The editorial said he had wasted the prior six years by refusing to negotiate with N. Korea.

What about that editorial is true? It is true that Bush once said it didn't pay to negotiate with N. Korea. Considering that it has a maniacal leader who breaks all his agreements and promises in order to pursue nuclear weaponry while his people starve, Bush is right.

On the other hand, Bush did undertake negotiations with N. Korea. As with Iraq and Iran, N. Korea used the negotiations to gain time. It also used them to get subsidies while evading its own commitments. When the US wasn't itself negotiating, the US was prompting other countries, friendlier with N. Korea, to negotiate. Viz. the six-party talks in 2005. The editorial is misleading.

The newspaper's political bias distorts the news. National security should be more important to it than dissembling in order to make political points. In my opinion, military strikes must be an option, or negotiation with fanatical regimes cannot succeed. We cannot persuade fanatics against their course of aggression. They have no scruples about agreements. We are fools to take their word for anything. Bush is aware of this in regard to Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea, though perhaps not in regard to the Palestinian Arabs. The Times appears to be naïve about them all. The Times has a record of being duped by dictators (Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Ortega, and Muslim ones). It sometimes sympathizes with them. Oddly, it thinks of itself as having principles.

WESTERN MISUNDERSTANDING OF ISLAMISTS

Western commentators often don't understand totalitarianism. When Iran and Hizbullah say they want to eliminate Israel, the commentators treat the statements as if mere propaganda. They don't understand that the Islamists are fanatical, take ideas to their ideologically extreme, and mean the worst of what they say.

RICE WRESTS ANOTHER CONCESSION FROM ISRAEL

She pressed Israel's Defense Minister to stop opposing P.A. control of the Gaza-Egypt border, if the P.A. officials are not associated with militias (IMRA, 3/31).

Being not associated with militias is a fig leaf. The P.A. police and the leaders are as jihadist as Fatah and Hamas. When Abbas controlled the border, he let arms be smuggled in. Rice knows that. She doesn't care that her policy will bring more war. She relentlessly presses Israel for fatal concessions to the Arabs. She wants Israel shrunken and weaker. If Bolton were Sec. of State, it would be different. Liberals maligned him, leaving the anti-Zionists firmly entrenched in the State Dept..

CAN'T EXPECT ARABS TO STOP IRAN

Egypt and S. Arabia oppose Iranian hegemony. They also oppose Israeli existence. Given a choice between the two, they support Iranian proxies against Israel. Hence they snub Syria at an Arab summit for its subservience to Iran, but let arms into Gaza and Iranian influence be exerted over Hamas.

The US wants Arab help in checking Iran. It seeks their approval by getting Israeli concessions for the P.A., including Hamas, with which the US negotiates indirectly. Sen. Clinton concurs. She claims that the Clinton Administration's Oslo accords quieted the Arabs down. The facts prove otherwise. By empowering terrorists, Oslo revived terrorism and poverty, leading to the Oslo wars. Indeed, the Oslo and Annapolis processes made the Palestinian issue more prominent among the Arabs, and sentiment turned against the US.

What should the US do? Stop helping Palestinian Arab terrorists. Stop relying upon Egypt and S. Arabia. Instead, the US should strengthen Lebanon and Iraq so they can oppose Iran and its proxies. It should make sure that Israel is prepared for its next war with those proxies (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 3/31).

The problem with getting the US to stop helping terrorists against Israel is that, like Egypt, the State Dept. would rather weaken Israel than Iran. Sec. Rice devotes herself almost entirely to that. The world has other problems.

WORLD ASSEMBLY OF MUSLIM YOUTH

The Assembly demanded censorship of a Dutch film against the Koran for "insulting" their religion (IMRA, 3/31).

Can't take it? Why don't they show any errors in the film? Why must be become censorious like them? Who will judge such films?

ISRAELI ARABS PICK ON JAFFA JEWS

Arabs in Jaffa have been bullying Jews there for years, without police intervention. An old woman said it got worse for her recently when an Arab first started spitting on her and then beat her up badly. The assailant comes from a criminal family that controls parts of the city and somehow gets police complaints removed without investigation. "The attack on Lilian Vaknin is just one story in a growing number of Arab attacks on Jews and Jewish property in recent years. The number of Arab Israelis involved in the attacks has grown exponentially. Throughout the Negev in the south and the Galilee in the north, and in mixed Arab-Jewish cities like Haifa, Lod and Yafo, Jewish cars are attacked with rocks, Jewish women are molested, Jewish farmers are terrorized, and police and firemen are attacked."

A cattleman said, "While the IDF defends the country's borders from enemies, the country's land is being taken away from us –– and no one is doing anything about it, including the government..." (Arutz-7, 3/31.)

There is no excuse for the government's failure to protect its Jewish citizens.

MA'AN NEWS AGENCY BIASED

The Ma'an news agency, run by Arabs, calls itself independent. However, it described the case of the Arab with two knives attacked Jews at a hitchhiking post in Judea-Samaria, without mentioning his knives or his attack. Ma'an gave as biased a report as the PLO news agency (IMRA, 4/1).

OLMERT IGNORES CRITICISM

"MK Netanyahu gave an excellent, detailed presentation citing both Olmert and Barak's disastrously wrong predictions regarding the consequences of policies they have advocated in the past while noting the warnings Netanyahu and others made that proved to be true. He explained how the very same mistakes in analysis of the past were being repeated at this time and outlined what actions he believes are needed in order to address Israel's challenges. Netanyahu also protested the absence of any serious substantive reply by the Olmert team to the arguments raised against their doomed and destructive policies." PM Olmert and his coalition did not reply. Olmert earlier had said discussion was pointless (IMRA, 4/2).

ARABS WANT TO CLOSE SECURITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

Council and Arab condemnation of extremists embarrasses Arabs (IMRA, 4/2).

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@aol.com

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SUPPORT FOR A PALESTINIAN STATE IS SOFT AND RELUCTANT
Posted by Yoram Ettinger, April 23, 2008.

1. Support –– among Israeli Jews –– for the proposed Palestinian state ("Two States Solution") is soft and reluctant, according to a March 31-April 1 poll conducted by the Tel Aviv University Center For Peace Research.

2. The establishment of the proposed Palestinian state is supported by 68%, many of whom –– other than the Israel's traditional Left –– subordinate their security and historical concerns to their demographic concern. However, the demographic scare has been debunked by the Bennett Zimmerman-led American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), as summarized below.

3. 55% of Israeli Jews define Judea & Samaria as "Liberated Territory," compared with 32% who consider it "Occupied Territory," in defiance of a 15 year old Political-Correctness promoted by Israel's government, media, academic and k-12 education systems.

4. 57% of Israeli Jews do not accept the "Green Line" as Israel's border, compared with 23% who accept it.

5. 49%:43% oppose an agreement, which entails painful concessions –– a code name for substantial withdrawals.

6. 47%:40% of Israeli Jews consider the 1993 Oslo Accord a mistake.

7. 75% of Israeli Jews don't believe that negotiation would lead to an agreement with the Palestinians. 75% believe that even if an agreement would be concluded, the Palestinians would not consider it an end to their conflict with Israel.

8. Most Israeli Jews oppose the tangible –– potentially lethal –– consequences of the "Two State Solution." Their soft & reluctant support of the "Two State Solution" has been based on unfounded demographic fatalism. It has benefited from the absence of a systematic, full scale educational media campaign, highlighting historical, security and demographic aspects of Judea & Samaria mountain ridges (the "Golan Heights" of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, surrounded by the conflict-ridden, volatile, violent, non-compliant Arab Mideast, which is yet to experience inter-Arab peace).

Happy Passover,
Yoram

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

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FRENCH JEWS –– WHAT IS HAPPENING IN FRANCE
Posted by Avodah, April 23, 2008.

This was written by Brenda H. Mitchell, Executive Assistant to the Rabbis, Temple Sinai, Atlanta, GA 30327. Contact her at bmitchell@templesinaiatlanta.org

I received this post from a friend in NY. One of his friends is living in France and posted this to him with the request that he distribute it to his American friends.

My friend prefaces with: "Once again, the real news in France is conveniently not being reported as it should. To give you an idea of what's going on in France where there are now between 5 and 6 million Muslims and about 600,000 Jews, here is an email that came fr om a Jew living in France. Please read!"

"Will the world say nothing –– again –– as it did in Hitler's time?", he writes, "I AM A JEW –– therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing."

Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France: In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebo mbed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil –– all recently. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days Walls in Jewish neighborh oods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20's were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France The woman was pregnant; a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was just in the past week.

So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Second, boycott France and French products. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuff s. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are like a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of we ll-directed pressure.

Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your co-workers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you and the people that you care about need their help.

The number one bestselling book in France is...."September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon. Please Pass This On, Let's not let history repeat itself, thank you for your time and consideration.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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MUSLIM ANTI-SEMITISM 'STRATEGIC THREAT'
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 23, 2008.

This was written by Haviv Rettig and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208422652742&pagename= JPos t%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Muslim anti-Semitism is growing in scope and extremism, to the point that it has become a credible strategic threat for Israel, according to a 180-page report produced for Israeli policymakers by the semi-official Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) and obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post ahead of its Tuesday release.

According to the report, by educating generations of Muslims with a deep animus toward Israel and Jews, this anti-Semitism, actively promulgated by many states in the region, holds back the peace process and normalization efforts between Israel and Muslim countries. It also forms the intellectual justification for an eliminationist political program.

"This isn't ordinary prejudice," explained ITIC director Col. (res.) Dr. Reuven Erlich, formerly of the IDF's Intelligence Directorate, who heads the team of researchers that produced the report. "This prejudice is evil because it isn't theoretical. It is ideological incitement by states and organizations with the practical means of translating it into action."

Following on a similar study produced in 2004, the report is a comprehensive examination of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, with emphasis on Iran and Arab states.

It is also an insight into the perception of the threat within the Israeli intelligence establishment. The ITIC operates under the aegis of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC), the official commemoration agency for the fallen of Israel's intelligence services. The IICC is chaired by former Mossad head Efraim Halevy and maintains close contact with Israel's intelligence community. The ITIC's reports are widely read among Israeli policymakers.

Among the report's most worrying findings is the growth over the past three decades of uniquely Muslim roots to older European versions of anti-Semitism. Without discounting classical Christian Europe's canards regarding secret Jewish conspiracies, the ritual slaughter of non-Jewish children and other allegations of Jewish evil, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world increasingly finds its own, Islamic reasons for anti-Jewish hatred through new interpretations of Islamic history and scripture.

From the Koranic story of a Jewess who poisoned Muhammad, to the troubled relations between Muhammad and the Jewish tribes of Arabia, radical Islamist groups and thinkers have been using extreme anti-Semitic rhetoric that has grown increasingly popular with the Muslim public, particularly in Iran and the Arab states. Using well-known Koranic texts, these groups have been mapping out the Jews' "innate negative attributes" and teaching a paradigm of permanent struggle between Muslims and Jews.

The goal of this "Islamified" anti-Semitism, according to the report, is to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a national territorial contest which could be resolved through compromise to a "historic, cultural and existential struggle for the supremacy of Islam."

The study examined books, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts and Internet sites, along with studies of groups following anti-Jewish discourse in the Muslim world, such as MEMRI and the ADL.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rising anti-Semitic sentiment in Europe was injected into Muslim lands through commercial and diplomatic ties. Spurred by opposition to Zionism and ideologically strengthened by Nazi rhetoric and support, Muslim anti-Semitism grew in the 20th century into a phenomenon so widespread that blatantly anti-Semitic texts can be purchased on street corners of Arab cities, even in countries where almost no Jews remain.

The research team did not deal with "anti-Israel incitement," according to Erlich, "only with anti-Semitism. But when you read an article or listen to a speech, the terminology is confused and intertwined. You can't distinguish the anti-Zionism from the anti-Semitism."

According to the report, the past decade has seen a veritable explosion of anti-Semitic literature in the Muslim world which intentionally confuses Israel and the Jewish people and is broadcast worldwide through books, radio, television, newspapers, caricatures and Internet forums. This discourse reaches outside Muslim lands to a large Muslim audience in the West.

"Until about 10-15 years ago, anti-Semitism was imported into the Muslim Arab world from Europe," says Erlich. "They translated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf into Arabic. Over the past 10-15 years, there's been a deep change. Today it isn't an import, but an export. This needs more research, since we don't have access to European mosques, but we're convinced that the export of anti-Semitic myths and politics to Europe is having an effect on European Muslim communities."

The hundred-year-old Czarist forgery The Protocols, which accuses the Jews, among other "crimes," of fomenting liberalism by masterminding the American and French revolutions, is being published in new editions in Egypt, Syria, Iran and other countries.

The report finds little government action either in the Muslim world or in the West to curb this phenomenon, citing restrictions on viewing Hizbullah's Al-Manar television station as an exception that proves the rule.

At the heart of this surge in Muslim anti-Semitism lies Iran, with the regime's support for Holocaust denial and hosting of anti-Semites from around the world, along with formal calls for Israel's destruction by many of the country's leaders.

"Iran is the first example of its kind since Nazi Germany in which a state officially adopts an active policy of anti-Semitism as a means to further its national interests," the report notes.

It goes on to say that while Iran does not deny that Jews were massacred during WWII, the current regime seeks to minimize the scale of the Holocaust in order to reduce support for Israel's very existence in the West, which it believes comes from feelings of guilt over the world's inaction while Jews were murdered during WWII.

On March 3, during fighting in Gaza, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his country's Channel 1 that "the real holocaust is happening in Palestine."

Similarly, Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, now regularly refer to Israeli-Hamas fighting in Gaza as a "holocaust."

Anti-Semitism finds governmental sanction, and often support, in Islamic as well as secular states, among those who are at peace with Israel and those still in a state of war with Israel, the study finds. In countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and Syria, daily promulgation of anti-Semitic messages are carried out through media that are under the supervision and censorship of the regimes.

While the report's release is slated for Tuesday, Israel's cabinet minister in charge of anti-Semitism issues, Isaac Herzog, had already been briefed on its contents when he spoke to The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

"There's a dissonance between the anti-Semitism that takes on the form of a religious clash and the regional coalition of moderate states, from Morocco to the [Persian] Gulf states and Turkey, that believes in peace and a two-state solution," according to Herzog, who belongs to the Labor Party.

"Unimaginable and unacceptable expressions of anti-Semitism are somehow permitted among members of the coalition," he said.

Part of the problem, he said, is that the rest of the world has simply grown used to Muslim anti-Semitism. "We respond to anti-Semitism only where large, vibrant Jewish communities exist. This is a mistake. It is incredibly dangerous that young Muslims are brainwashed with anti-Semitism. It starts with the Jews, but it won't end with the Jews."

While the report notes that there are Muslim intellectuals who have rejected the growing anti-Semitism, they are in the extreme minority. They neither enjoy the support of the regimes nor possess enough influence or numbers to reverse the trend, says Erlich.

Other Muslim intellectuals have explained the phenomenon as a side effect of justifiable anti-Israel sentiment. According to the report, however, while anti-Zionism feeds the growing anti-Semitism, specifically anti-Jewish sentiments are intentionally spread by religious and intellectual leaders in many Muslim societies, whose statements do not distinguish between Israelis and Jews.

Finally, the report recommends the establishment of a well-funded international task force that will tackle the problem not only through diplomacy and information campaigns, but through legal measures.

"We need a serious body of researchers and legalists, representatives of Israel, the Jewish communities and the nations of the world. Give it funds and send it to war on the diplomatic front, in the media, and with lawsuits," Erlich says, summarizing the recommendation. "Sue publishing houses that print The Protocols. It's a libel. The Syrian government still publishes [writings claiming] that Jews use Christian blood on Passover. You can't say this is anti-Israeli, or caused by the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict."

The report makes clear that the phenomenon of Muslim anti-Semitism is now widespread, popular and expanding. "The anti-Semitism that fed the Holocaust isn't dead," Erlich says. "It is prospering."

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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WHO KNOWS... WE DO
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 23, 2008.

This is from Samson Blinded
http://samsonblinded.org/blog/who-knows-we-do.htm

Jews believe in the peace for various reasons. Some Jews are plainly self-hating, and just want a trouble for the Jewish state. Others are too tired of war, and just want to close their eyes to see the ivory tower of peace and happy relations between Jews, Egyptians, Iranians and whoever else. Some are primitive rationalists –– look at the numbers of Jews in the utopian movements such as the communist one –– and believe that every human problem, however immensely complex, can be reduced to a formula, discussed, and settled. Some politicians are crooks who use peace process to fool the masses into electing them. Some, notably the security establishment officials, see clearly that military methods fail to solve the problem, and opt for peace settlement. They just don't realize that even in mathematics, and surely in social relations, some problems are inherently unsolvable. Or it may be the other way around: the leftist Israeli establishment appoints the brainwashed ultra-leftists for security positions, and naturally they support the hollow peace.

So instead of seeking an immediate solution, which ought to be wrong, Jews must accept the reality of intermittent low-level conflict which would drag on for the foreseeable future. We really don't know what would happen in a few decades. Improvements in nuclear power generation can devaluate oil, causing immense poverty and hunger in overpopulated Arab countries. Such a scenario would increase the number of desperate terrorists but diminish the threat by impoverished regular Arab armies.

Arabs might get nuclear weapons, and surely leak them to terrorists who might or might not detonate them in Israel. That threat would only increase if peace agreements are signed, as Israel will find it diplomatically hard to preempt against friendly Arabs' nuclear facilities.

Arabs might breed in Israel to the third of voters, join coalition with Jewish ultra-left and non-Jewish parties, and vote Jewish state out of existence, thus solving the problem of coexistence with Arabs. Or Jews might drive the hostile elements out of Israel.

There are so many unknown variables in the peace process that trying to predict it amounts to nonsense. Some things, however, are easy to understand. The Arabs don't need peace with Israel: both peace and its absence are fine with them. They don't need Israel's assistance and don't fear her attacks. Peace treaty won't change the Arab behavior: they will continue supporting anti-Israeli terrorists if only to drain their countries of radicals and won't entrust Israel to be a vizier of Muslim funds (economic cooperation). The only substantial economic feature that would come out of Israeli-Arab peace is heavy investment by Muslims in the politically sensitive Israeli real estate, the process which is well underway now and only waiting to be legalized.

Arabs, being completely indifferent to the peace process, offer Israel no concessions: Judea and Samaria must be abandoned, Jerusalem divided, and the refugees –– compensated, with some of them allowed returning to Israel. That's not really a peace plan, but an odd demand for capitulation of a victorious power to the defeated aggressors.

Israel, on the contrary, gives way continuously and receives nothing in return. Arabs did not reciprocate the evacuation of Jewish settlements from Gaza, a major step which divided Jewish nation and left a scar for decades. Rather, Arabs intensified their attacks on Israel. Superficially, that applies to Palestinian militants only, but they enjoy support of every major Muslim state: Syria (weapons), Iran (money and training), Egypt (logistics), and Saudi Arabia (money and diplomatic support).

Back in 1972, Sadat offered Israel peace with all Arabs in return for the Sinai and the Golan Heights, with no heed paid to the Palestinian state. Recently, Saudis offered Israel peace with all Arabs in return for Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. Now Israel negotiates with the Palestinians minute details of transferring them Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem without expecting reciprocal peace with Arabs countries. The terms become progressively worse.

But the real peace problem, it's not without, it's within Israel. Israeli Arabs form a third of Israel's young and absolute majority in several regions. The Jewish state now abandons religiously, historically, and strategically important lands to the Palestinian state so as not to be swarmed by two million Arabs living there. Reduced to the nine-mile-wide beachside state, Israel will be swarmed by her own Arabs –– who accept no peace process. It is an official policy of the PLO –– indeed, a democratic maxim –– that the Palestinians will breed to majority in Israel and then vote to unify it with the West Bank Palestine. Moderates among Palestinians proclaim they have no problem with Jews living in the resulting Arab state.

Time solves the insolvable problems. Communism vanished from the book of time, leftist terrorism of 1970s ran to the end, and Islamic terrorism won't be eternal. Radical ideas do not last long as burning societies fall back into tranquility. The current levels of Palestinian terrorism are artificial, entirely propped by Beilin-Peres policies which brought the defeated PLO from Tunisia to the West Bank, enthroned it, subsidized heavily, and promoted internationally as a peace partner. So a shabby cat felt itself a lion. Palestinians support fighting Israel for two reasons: hope and hopelessness. A hope to prevail, and daily hopelessness of their lives. Both can be solved, by the overwhelming force and emigration, respectively. The Muslim Brotherhood, PLO, Hamas, in turn became political organizations; other guerrillas will follow the same road. Palestinians will always remain hostile to Israel, as Jews took over what the Palestinians think is their land. Such hostility would translate into low-level sabotage, but not a meaningful war.

The peace process lacks a historical precedent. Never did hostile states negotiated peace for decades under fire. Peace never came through negotiations, but only through one side's defeat. America negotiated with Vietnam for decades, but Vietnam was not at war with America; North Vietnam was at war with the South –– and utterly defeated it. So the peace process failed in Vietnam, like elsewhere. Peace process is a leftist fallacy, a primitive rationalist approach to immensely complex problems which in fact can be exhausted, but never solved.

Exhausting the Palestinian problem is easy, and Israel did it with success: behead the national organizations, expel their leaders, everyone of the slightest stance in Palestinian society. No great numbers are involved: ousting a few thousand top members of Fatah, Hamas, and other popular organizations would do. When Israel kept systematically expelling PLO associates in 1960-80s, everything was quiet on our Western Front. Even though the PLO tried ruling Palestine through its Department of Popular Organizations which oversaw everything down to students unions, it was nothing compared to the electrifying fact of Arafat's presence in the West Bank.

Beilin-Peres clique brought Arafat from Tunisia to the West Bank, literally let the jinn of terrorism out of the bottle. They meant good, they meant Arafat to be their peace puppet. So they were wrong. As usual, societies pay in blood for leftists'crumbling projects.

The majority of the Netherlands' population was good to Jews during Holocaust. But the problem is, the Dutch were also good toward their minority who collaborated with Germans. The minority hunted us, and so 75% of Jews were murdered. The majority of Israelis are decent Jews who wish their country well. But unless they stand up to the vicious leftist minority, too few Jews would survive in Israel.

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WHAT'S REALLY BEHIND THE SCREAMING HEADLINES ABOUT THE ARREST OF AN OCTOGENARIAN SPY FOR ISRAEL?
Posted by Avodah, April 23, 2008.

This was written by Lenny Ben-David and comes from his website: I*Consult
http://lennybendavid.com/2008/04/whats-really-behind-screaming-headlines.html

Ben-David is a former diplomat. Washington consultant to foreign embassies, lobbyist, writer and editor.

American engineer Ben-Ami Kadish was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly providing to an Israeli "handler" classified data on nuclear weapons, F-15 fighter jets, and the Patriot missile air defense system.

A few important points of perspective are vital: Kadish is 84 years old. The alleged crime took place some 25-30 years ago (!), between 1979 and 1985. Today Mr. Kadish lives an open, active life in a New Jersey retirement village where, according to a community newspaper, he and his wife open their sukka every year to raise money for local charities and for Magen David Adom.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, "Ben-Ami grew up in what was then Palestine and fought with the Hagana. He also served in both the British and American military during World War II and is an ex-commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 609 in Monroe."

News accounts suggest that Kadish's handler was the same man who directed Jonathan Pollard. Probably to avoid any issue of statute-of-limitations, the indictment alleges that this Zayde maintained ties to his handler until last month.

Why now?

Do federal prosecutors really see octogenarian Kadish as a major criminal? More likely, Kadish is being used by American officials as a means to loosen support for Israel as the two countries enter a tenacious period of negotiations. This is a pattern of American pressure that repeats itself. The tactic is geared to embarrass American supporters of Israel, particularly Members of Congress, who oppose weapons sales to Israel's foes, dangerous concessions to the Palestinians, or the abrogation of previous commitments to Israel.

During the last 30 years, particularly, in times of tension, American officials claimed that Israel stole plans for the Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, diverted nuclear material from a U.S. plant in the 1960s, illegally obtained krytron triggers for nuclear weapons, pilfered computer components from Patriot missiles, and used American technology on the Lavie aircraft that was later transferred to China. The 2005 arrest of two AIPAC staffers is more of the same, and they were charged under the creaky 1917 Espionage Act statute older than Kadish. For years, unnamed American spy-hunters have been looking for an accomplice to Jonathan Pollard. Leaks on these stories almost always took place on the eve of some contretemps with the U.S. State Department.

Today's case against 84-year-old Kadish reflects more the impatience of the U.S. Secretary of State with Israel's decision to continue building in Jerusalem and in settlement blocs and to retain security roadblocks. To push ahead in the illusionary Annapolis process at all costs, the State Department must de-emphasize President Bush's letter to Prime Minister Sharon stating that it is "unrealistic" to seek a "full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949." With President George Bush on his way to Israel to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary, what better way to deflate the goodwill and cut-down the gifts the President is supposedly bringing?

Lastly, in the twilight of George Bush's administration, a presidential pardon for Jonathan Pollard is again being discussed, at least by Jewish and Israeli sources. Disclosure of another Pollard-like spy would be an effective tool to keep Pollard locked up for good. g

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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CAN ISRAEL REALLY STAND UP TO THE WORLD?
Posted by Michael Freund, April 23, 2008.

With Israel coming under increasing pressure to make additional, far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians, the question has arisen once again of whether the Jewish state is capable of standing up for itself and its interests.

Interestingly, there is another small Mediterranean state –– namely Greece –– that recently created a major diplomatic furor, all because of a question of semantics.

And as I argue in the column below from the Jerusalem Post, Israel would do well to learn from their example.

Comments and feedback may be sent to: letters@jpost.com or to me directly.

thanks, and Happy Passover,

Michael Freund

Once upon a time, and it seems like it was truly a very long time ago, Israel knew how to stand on principle.

Attacks on our citizens were met with swift and forceful retaliation. Talk of surrender alluded to our foes, rather than to official Israeli government policy, and we didn't hesitate to defy the world when necessary in order to defend ourselves.

The spirit of Entebbe, Osirak and yes, the Six Day War, sparked our imagination, filling us with pride at the valor and heroism of the modern-day Jewish warrior. Our lives had meaning, our society had a purpose, and the nation's overriding goal was to build the land, rather than withdraw from it.

But all that appears to have changed. Our leadership's infatuation with retreat has become an obsession. Yesterday's trial balloons have become today's diplomatic agenda, and what was once considered unthinkable, such as the division of Jerusalem, is now suddenly looming over the horizon.

How did we reach this point? How could we sink so low so swiftly?

Well, you might be saying to yourself, we don't have a choice. We're a small country, with limited resources. What else can we do? Do you really think we can stand up to the rest of the world?

Heck yes.

If you think this is naïve, just take a look at Greece, which recently stared down the entire Western alliance over an issue of semantics.
 

EARLIER THIS month, at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Greece singlehandedly caused a major diplomatic imbroglio, scuttling the expansion of NATO and defying the will of nearly all of its friends and allies, for the simple reason that it objected to the name of its neighbor, Macedonia.

Macedonia, which used to be part of Yugoslavia, had been hoping to receive a formal invitation to join the trans-Atlantic coalition, as a means of further deepening its integration into the West.

"But Athens blocked the invitation," the Associated Press reported on Monday, "to protest Macedonia's name, saying it implies a claim to a northern region of Greece also called Macedonia."

As the Greek Foreign Ministry Web site explains, "The choice of the name Macedonia directly raises the issue of usurpation of the cultural heritage of a neighboring country. The name constitutes the basis for staking an exclusive rights claim over the entire geographical area of Macedonia."

In other words, Greece is willing to risk the wrath of the United States, Britain and the rest of the NATO coalition, merely because they believe that Macedonia's choice of name masks expansionist ambitions that threaten to undermine their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The boldness of Athens's position becomes even more apparent when one considers that over 100 countries formally recognize Macedonia as Macedonia. Nonetheless, Greece stubbornly continues to insist that it be referred to as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," or FYROM.

There are those who will look at the Greek position with raised eyebrows, wondering what all the fuss is about. After all, who cares about names?

But I applaud their resolute determination to stand firm and defend what they consider to be their national interests, even at the risk of international opprobrium.

Indeed, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakovannis didn't hesitate to announce publicly in March that "as regards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia... the policy followed by our neighboring country in its relations with Greece, on the one side with intransigence and on the other with a logic of nationalist and irredentist actions tightly connected with the naming issue, does not allow us to maintain a positive stance."

"As long as there is no such solution," she added, "Greece will remain an insuperable obstacle to the European and Euro-Atlantic ambition of FYROM."

Imagine that. A country that is prepared to stand up for itself and proudly declare its willingness to be "an insuperable obstacle" over a matter of principle!

If only Israel and its leadership would learn from Greece's example.

Instead, we are being led by the nose inexorably towards catastrophe, unwilling to buck international pressure even when it threatens to undermine our very existence.

There is, of course, an expression that something "looks like Greek to me" when we can not begin to fathom what it says.

But this is one case where Israel would do well to start deciphering the words. And fast.

Michael Freund served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This article is entitled "It's Greek to me" and it appeared today in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870468635&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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IGNORANCE ISN'T BLISS
Posted by Naomi Ragen, April 22, 2008.

Friends,

The repeated claim that Shia Iran doesn't help Sunni terrorists is wrong. Dead wrong. When McCain stated this, he was called every name in the book: "Abysmally ignorant," said someone on the Atlantic.com website. Someone else accused him of brain failure. But the abysmally ignorant are those that can't figure out that terrorists all over the globe are helping each other. Irish terrorists, for example, are in love with PLO terrorists, with whom they share neither religion, nationality or culture. McCain got it right. The Obama cheerleaders might want to reconsider whom they are calling ignorant, and wise up.

Tom Gross explains below in an article entitled "McCain was right: Iran's help for Sunni terrorism" in National Review Online
http://media.nationalreview.com/author/?q=NDI0NA

Naomi

The 4 million Democrats eligible to cast ballots today in the crucial, delegate-rich Pennsylvania primary might like to consider the following.

The repeated claim by Barack Obama and his supporters in the media that Shia Iran doesn't help Sunni terror groups is wrong –– very wrong –– and yet again reveals their ignorance of foreign affairs, an ignorance that may prove extremely dangerous were he to become president.

While Shia and Sunni extremists do of course have deep theological differences they cooperate in at least a dozen countries on a political and terroristic level to work against the interests of the United States.

The following are a few examples of Shia Iran helping Sunni militants. Amir Taheri, who was formerly the executive editor of Kayhan, Iran's largest daily newspaper and remains one of the leading experts on Iran in the world, helped compile this information.

* In AFGHANISTAN, Iran has financed and armed the Sunni Hizb Islami (Islamic Party) since the 1990s.

* In the former Soviet republics (and now independent states) of TAJIKISTAN and UZBEKISTAN, Iran has for years supported two Sunni movements, the Rastakhiz Islami (Islamic Awakening) and Hizb Tahrir Islami (Islamic Liberation Party).

* In AZERBAIJAN, Tehran supports the Sunni Taleshi groups against the Azeri Shia majority (who are pro-American).

* In ALGERIA between 1992 and 2005, Iran financed the Sunni terrorist group, The Front for Islamic Salvation (FIS).

* In 1996, a suicide attack claimed the lives of 19 American servicemen in Al Khobar, in eastern SAUDI ARABIA. The operation was carried out by the Hizbullah in Hejaz, an Iranian-financed outfit, with the help of the Sunni militant group "Sword of the Peninsula."

* In 2000, Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda killed 17 U.S. servicemen in a suicide attack on USS Cole off the coast of YEMEN. A Shia militant group led by Sheikh al-Houti, Iran's man in Yemen, helped with the operation.

* There are no PALESTINIAN Shia, yet Tehran has become the principal source of funding for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian Sunni terror groups.

* Indeed, Iran is now the chief direct state funder of HAMAS. The new Iranian budget, which came into effect on March 21, allocates over $2 billion to the promotion of "revolutionary causes." Much of the money will go to Hamas and Hizbullah.

* In PAKISTAN, the Iranian-financed Shia Tehrik Jaafari last year joined a coalition of Sunni parties to govern the Northwest Frontier Province. The fact that the Sunnis and Shiites elsewhere in Pakistan continue to kill each other did not prevent them from developing a joint, anti-U.S. strategy that included the revival of the Afghan Taliban and protection for the remnants of al-Qaeda.

* This month, Tehran is hosting what is billed as "THE ISLAMIC CONVERGENCE CONFERENCE," bringing together hundreds of Shia and Sunni militants from all over the world, under the auspices of Ayatollah Ali-Muhammad Taskhiri.

* Many TALIBAN LEADERS and several al-Qaeda figures are reported to spend part of the year in a compound-style housing estate near the village of Dost Muhammad on the Iranian frontier with Afghanistan. Tehran has declared large segments of eastern Iran a "no-go" area, even for its own state-owned media.

* The 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT states that Tehran was in contact with AL-QAEDA at various levels before the 2001 attacks. Tehran has admitted the presence of al-Qaeda figures in Iran on a number of occasions before and since then. Iran has arranged for the repatriation of at least 13 Saudi members in the past five years. At least one of OSAMA BIN LADEN's sons, Sa'ad, has lived in Iran since 2002.

* Iran also works with many Christian and atheist groups to further its interests against the U.S. These include the Baath party in Syria, ex-Gen. Michel Aoun Maronite Christian faction in Lebanon, and the Colombian FARC. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has awarded the Muslim title of "brother" on Cuba's Fidel Castro, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega. Iran maintains close links with Communist North Korea.

***

If it was only one, or two, or even three, of Obama's close advisors who have adopted anti-American positions, one might possibly excuse Obama. But Obama has chosen to surround himself with many such persons.

Again, if Obama had appointed even one reliable, experienced Democrat, such as Richard Holbrooke, to his foreign policy team, one might feel more comfortable that he won't make disastrous foreign policy mistakes if elected. But he hasn't.

As an intelligent man, Obama is no doubt capable of mastering foreign policy but it will take some time; and while he's doing so, in an extremely dangerous world, it may well prove a very costly education for the rest of us. (For a longer version of this piece, goto
www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000939.html)

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. Or write nragen@netvision.net.il

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TERROR SURVIVOR, SHLOMI AZULAY, SPEAKS OUT
Posted by Fern Sidman, April 22, 2008.

Can any of us ever imagine what our lives would be like had we personally survived a terrorist attack? In this age of ubiquitous terrorism, most of us only read about the horrific plight of victims of such attacks. We may certainly sympathize, yet we can never truly understand the emotional and physical trauma that envelopes the lives of those who are fortunate enough to survive. So is the case of a young Israeli man, whose miraculous story moved him to become a strident advocate for the rights of survivors of terrorism. Born in Jerusalem to Sephardic parents of Moroccon descent, Shlomi Azulay is a 34 year sabra, who is wise beyond his years.

Says Shlomi, "I was born and raised in Jerusalem, and even though I grew up in a traditional home, I was very much a modern secular Israeli. I had very long hair, wore an earring and was totally immersed in the 'rebellious youth' mode. I served in the army and when I was 23 in the year 1997, I decided to come to the United States for a short visit, perhaps 2-3 weeks and I ended up staying for six years."

While life in New York was exciting for Shlomi, he missed his family and friends in Israel and hadn't seen his mother for six years. For Shlomi the time had come to plan a trip back home and in the year 2002, Shlomi returned to Israel. While in Israel, a friend invited Shlomi to join him and others for an evening out at a new coffee shop in Jerusalem. It was a Motzei Shabbat, and even though Shlomi wasn't too thrilled about accepting the invitation, he nonetheless did so. "My friend was really excited about going to the Café Moment that happened to be located right across the street from then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's house. I accompanied him because I didn't want to disappoint him" says Shlomi. What occurred on that fateful night would change Shlomi's life forever.

"When we arrived the club was jammed packed, literally wall to wall people, and the waitress told us that if we wished to be served we should try and come back later when perhaps the crowds would diminish. My friend knew several people at the club and stopped to talk with them. We were headed towards the exit when my friend spotted a young woman that he knew. He stopped to talk with her, however when I realized that this was not going to be a brief conversation, I excused myself and told my friend that I would meet him outside when he was finished talking."

With pain etched on his face Shlomi continues, "I headed towards the exit and was standing at the threshold of the door when suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard a huge blast. My ears were ringing from the loudness of it. It was a bomb and it went off only three feet from where I was standing. I turned around and saw complete bedlam, total carnage, the likes of which no one could ever imagine. Body parts flying everywhere. I saw my friend's head blow right off his body. The young woman he was talking to also died. There was not even a scratch on her body. Her insides were blown up and it looked like she was sleeping. Had I stayed inside the club, I too, would have been killed."

In the end, eleven people were killed and over 100 were seriously injured. Shlomi was treated for shrapnel wounds to his face, three broken joints in his lower back and an injured knee. "Even though I was never really religious, in the aftermath of the bombing, I was livid with G-d. I was angry that G-d could let this happen. I really did not turn to religion at all for solace or comfort" said Shlomi.

"My life was a real mess. I couldn't function. I couldn't go to work. I couldn't deal with the nightmarish reality of what occurred. The government of Israel remained apathetic and totally indifferent to my plight and frankly, downright callous. They not only neglected to provide services to a survivor of terrorism, but they made me feel that I had to prove that I needed help. They made me feel as though somehow I was the criminal. I started to wonder to myself, who is our bigger enemy, the government of Israel or the Palestinian terrorists groups who engage in these suicide attacks", Shlomi recalls.

"Here I was, mired in my anger, rage and resentment, when things began to change. I wasn't at all cognizant of it at the time, but the events that followed were orchestrated through the compassion and mercy of the One Above, by Hashem Yisborach" says Shlomi.

Shlomi's mother felt her son's pain quite acutely, and one day through a chance meeting at her local JCC she met a representative from Hineni, the internationally renowned Torah outreach organization under the leadership of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. Shlomi's mother met Benjamin Phillips, the director of Hineni in Jerusalem who told her of Hineni's established programs for survivors of terrorist attacks, including the sponsorship of trips to Europe, the United States and elsewhere. She urged Shlomi to contact Hineni, to speak with them about participating in their programs.

"Suffice it to say, I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in contacting Hineni or getting involved in such a program. Admittedly, I was quite cynical. After living in the United States for six years, I just couldn't believe that an organization would give away free trips to Europe or anywhere in the world. Soon after, Benjamin called me and asked me to join the Hineni group on their forthcoming trip to England. I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not interested and literally hung up on him. Thank G-d, Benjamin persisted. He called me again and again and again and finally I relented and I agreed to come down to Hineni for an interview. I just couldn't believe that I didn't have to pay for anything, that everything was absolutely free. He told me that I would meet many other survivors of terrorism and that we would just relax, have fun and enjoy ourselves for a week. I was still very skeptical and extremely hesitant about making any commitments and Benjamin told me that the group is leaving for England and he's not going without me. After endlessly tossing this around in my mind, I finally said, 'Why not? What do I have to lose?' So, off I was to England with Hineni", Shlomi recalls.

According to Shlomi this was the best decision that he ever made. During his week in England he met many wonderful and kind people who understood and related to his plight. Shlomi and the other members of the Hineni group shared their experiences of surviving a terrorist attack, explored their emotions and graciously supported one another. Shlomi felt as though he made a new family with people who genuinely cared about him.

He also says that he will never forget the abundant kindness that was shown to him by the people with whom he stayed. "We all stayed with different families, who had been told our personal histories before we arrived. They were so understanding and exceptionally generous in every way" says Shlomi. He adds, "What really touched me in such a special way was our first Shabbos in England. At that time, I didn't understand anything about Hineni or Rebbetzin Jungreis, yet the entire community came to see us on that Shabbos and talked with us and provided us with every accommodation imaginable. It was right then and there that my romance with Hineni began."

After returning to Israel, Shlomi became totally immersed in Hineni activities. At the Hineni Center in Jerusalem, he began to give lectures about terrorism to audiences from virtually every country in the world. He even traveled to Holland where he addressed 1500 people; mostly members of a Christians for Israel organization. Shlomi became a media spokesman for Hineni in Israel and slowly but surely found himself as a chief advocate for Israeli survivors of Palestinian terrorism.

"I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Rebbetzin Jungreis on one of her trips to Hineni in Israel. We had a chance to go to the Kotel together and we talked on a deeper, more meaningful level. She really displayed such genuine empathy and inspired me to do great things for the Jewish people," says Shlomi. About two years after joining Hineni, Shlomi began to learn Torah on a regular basis. "The person who served as my inspiration to learn Torah was my friend Amichai, a yeshiva bochur who I met at Hineni. He, too was also injured in a terrorist attack. He began to call me once a week. It was a long process until I decided to wear a yarmulke, to pray everyday at shul, to put on tzitzes, but eventually I did and I am indebted to Hashem for bringing Amichai and Hineni into my life, says Shlomi.

Shlomi recounts his experiences at Hineni by saying that 99.9 percent of all the social services he received was through the efforts of Hineni. Everything from psychological counseling to complete medical care was provided free of charge to him and other survivors. "If I needed to see any doctors, any specialists, everything went through Hineni", says Shlomi. He says that the togetherness and love he felt at Hineni was beyond remarkable. "For us, the survivors of terrorism, the cohesive group atmosphere really aided us throughout our journey to healing and well being. We did everything as a group. We went out to a restaurant together, we went to a movie together, we learned Torah together."

Shlomi says that Hineni does not receive any monetary assistance from the Israeli government and is privately funded. He has also publicly challenged the government of Israel regarding funds sent to Israel by the worldwide Jewish community to help terrorist survivors and victims of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

As Shlomi has ruefully observed, "During the war, American Jews sent almost 40 million dollars to help Israelis directly effected by the war and other survivors. This money went through the UJA and Keren Hayesod and after engaging in extensive research, I found out that 39 million had vanished. The monies were never appropriated to Jews in Israel that are in such desperate need of services. As a matter of fact, I have proof that monies contributed not only did not end up assisting survivors of terrorism, but rather it was used to impede their progress. Soldiers were never given the bullet proof vests that were supposed to be provided. I have yet to receive an answer to my challenge from any government agency or representative and I think the American Jewish community must hold the government of Israel accountable", says Shlomi.

Shlomi continues to forge ahead with his advocacy work on behalf of survivors of terrorism and is currently organizing a trip to the United States for Israeli survivors of terrorism and soldiers. Says Shlomi, "I am grateful to Hashem that I can participate in this great mitzvah and I hope that everyone reading this will want to participate as well.

Anyone wishing to contact Shlomi Azulay to arrange for him to speak or to contribute funds for the upcoming trip for survivors of terrorism can reach him at: 646-220-0826 or by e-mail at hinenimiami@yahoo.com

Contact Fern Sidman at ariellah@aol.com

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SHIN BET: GAZANS PAY DOCTORS TO DECLARE THEM ILL
Posted by Avodah, April 22, 2008.

This was written by Dan Izenberg and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename= JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1208422652388

Palestinians from Gaza bribed local doctors to declare that they were seriously ill and required treatment in Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) charged on Monday.

A Palestinian doctor tends to a patient at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. (Photo: AP)

"Recently there has been an increase in the exploitation of Israel's humanitarian policy by way of fraudulent medical permits in return for bribes to doctors in the Gaza Strip," a Shin Bet spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. "This, plus the requests of terrorist activists to enter Israel for medical treatment, increases the danger to state security."

The statement came in response to the latest allegations by Physicians for Human Rights, which charged that since the beginning of April, the Shin Bet has been preventing 12 new cancer patients from receiving life-saving treatment in Israel. In addition to these 12, the Shin Bet had for several weeks been preventing dozens more, including cancer and heart patients, from passing through Israel on their way to treatment in Jordan and Egypt.

PHR charged that the Shin Bet response to requests for entry permits to Israel is complicated and takes a long time, and thereby ignores the urgency of the situation. The slow processing by the Shin Bet follows an already protracted process in the Palestinian committee that approves the requests and in the IDF Liaison Office, before the matter comes to the Shin Bet.

PHR also charged that the shuttling of patients who are barred from entering Israel directly to Egypt and Jordan did not work properly. They said the shuttle operated on an average of once every five weeks, that buses could not accommodate all the patients, so some were forced to wait, that many of the shuttles were canceled and that patients did not know when the next shuttle would be running.

"The Shin Bet and the army portray the shuttle service as a genuine solution for the distress of many patients, including cancer patients, and as a worthy alternative to their demands to enter Israel for treatment," wrote PHR. "In this way, a flawed and unsuccessful procedure becomes a fig leaf for the continuation of the Shin Bet's harmful policy towards the sick population of Gaza and as a tool for the state to portray its alleged 'humanitarian' policy towards them."

In its response to these charges, the Shin Bet added that the question of allowing sick Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israel cut across many authorities and was not the sole responsibility of the agency.

The spokesman said that in all 12 cases, the agency had given its replies to the requests long ago, and therefore could not be held responsible for any delays that followed.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM AGAINST ISRAELIS RISES
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 22, 2008.

This was written by Khaled Abu Toameh and it appeared yesterdat in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208422645447&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Toaheh's article tells us why we should continue to petition Bush and Rice to stop their pointless and counter-productive pressure on Israel, and start supporting Israel in its need for a comprehensive military action against the Gaza Strip...an action which will render Hamas harmless and strongly deter Hezbollah for initiating any future military actions.

The number of Palestinians who support attacks against Israelis continues to rise and more than half of them favor suicide bombings, according to a poll published this weekend. The survey also showed that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is still more popular than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The percentage of Palestinians who support "resistance operations" against Israeli targets rose from 43.1 percent in September 2006 to 49.5% at present. Support for this option was highest in the Gaza Strip, at 58.1%, with 24.5% in the West Bank agreeing.

Palestinians who support bombing attacks against Israeli civilians rose from 44.8% in June 2006 to 48% in September 2006 and to 50.7% now.

Again, more Gazans support these operations (65.1%), compared with 42.3% of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The Palestinian public is divided on the rocket attacks on Israel: 39.3% said the firing of these rockets was "useful" to Palestinian national interests, while 35.7% said they were harmful.

The poll results showed a general feeling of frustration with regards to the future of the Palestinian cause and the peace process in light of the ongoing Israeli military operations and the split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Both Fatah and Hamas continue to lose support among the Palestinians, and the level of trust in political leaders also dropped.

Support for Abbas fell from 18.3% in November to 11.7% this month. The poll also showed that fewer Palestinians are satisfied with Abbas's performance.

Support for Haniyeh also went down, from 16.3% in November to 13.3% this month. The same applies to Fatah's imprisoned leader, Marwan Barghouti, whose popularity moved down from 14.3% to 12.8% during the same period.

With regards to confidence in the political parties, support for Fatah decreased from 40% in November to 32.5% this month, while Hamas's popularity went down from 19.7% to 17.8%.

The poll, conducted by the Jerusalem Media & Communications Center, covered 1,190 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. It was held from April 8-13.

[Editor's Note: Results appear mixed –– both Fatah and Hamas have lost support but Palestinian Arabs support terrorism even more than before. Does this mean the "splinter" terrorist groups will gain more support from the Palestinian public?]

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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FORGET OIL, THE NEW GLOBAL CRISIS IS FOOD
Posted by Avodah, April 22, 2008.

This was written by Alia McMullen, and it appeared January 7, 2008 in the Financial Post
http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=213343

BMO strategist Donald Coxe warns credit crunch and soaring oil prices will pale in comparison to looming catastrophe

new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday.

"It's not a matter of if, but when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard."

Mr. Coxe said the sharp rise in raw food prices in the past year will intensify in the next few years amid increased demand for meat and dairy products from the growing middle classes of countries such as China and India as well as heavy demand from the biofuels industry.

"The greatest challenge to the world is not US$100 oil; it's getting enough food so that the new middle class can eat the way our middle class does, and that means we've got to expand food output dramatically," he said.

The impact of tighter food supply is already evident in raw food prices, which have risen 22% in the past year.

Mr. Coxe said in an interview that this surge would begin to show in the prices of consumer foods in the next six months. Consumers already paid 6.5% more for food in the past year.

Wheat prices alone have risen 92% in the past year, and yesterday closed at US$9.45 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

At the centre of the imminent food catastrophe is corn –– the main staple of the ethanol industry. The price of corn has risen about 44% over the past 15 months, closing at US$4.66 a bushel on the CBOT yesterday –– its best finish since June 1996.

This not only impacts the price of food products made using grains, but also the price of meat, with feed prices for livestock also increasing.

"You're going to have real problems in countries that are food short, because we're already getting embargoes on food exports from countries, who were trying desperately to sell their stuff before, but now they're embargoing exports," he said, citing Russia and India as examples.

"Those who have food are going to have a big edge."

With 54% of the world's corn supply grown in America's mid-west, the U.S. is one of those countries with an edge.

But Mr. Coxe warned U.S. corn exports were in danger of seizing up in about three years if the country continues to subsidize ethanol production. Biofuels are expected to eat up about a third of America's grain harvest in 2007.

The amount of U.S. grain currently stored for following seasons was the lowest on record, relative to consumption, he said.

"You should be there for it fully-hedged by having access to those stocks that benefit from rising food prices."

He said there are about two dozen stocks in the world that are going to redefine the world's food supplies, and "those stocks will have a precious value as we move forward."

Mr. Coxe said crop yields around the world need to increase to something close to what is achieved in the state of Illinois, which produces over 200 corn bushes an acre compared with an average 30 bushes an acre in the rest of the world.

"That will be done with more fertilizer, with genetically modified seeds, and with advanced machinery and technology," he said.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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QUEST OF CNN
Posted by Steven Plaut, April 22, 2008.

One of the best reasons to switch to FOX News is CNN's Richard Quest. A know-it-all "business" journalist, who could not pass a pop quiz in any economics course I have ever taught. An unctuous mimic of Uriah Heep, an insult to the intelligence of CNN viewers, someone who reminds me of "Martin" in Bart Simpson's class.

Now you will never know this from watching CNN or reading its web site, cause it ain't there, but Richard Quest was arrested Friday for running around Central Park very high on drugs, naked, and reportedly with a length of rope wrapped around his neck and also attached by the other end to that part of his anatomy that the Moyel would have attended to on the 8th day. See this: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080419/tv_nm/quest_dc_1

Let me say that I have been in Central Park many a time, including for 60s anti-Vietnam War protests back when I was a young whipper snapper, and never once was I naked, although I spent most of the antiwar protests hoping that some coeds near me would take off their tops. [I am too old now to remember exactly why.] No, that is not me in the movie singing the Aquarius song.

Now I find this story quite inspiring. Not the part about the drugs, but the part about the rope.

In fact, I think we could probably produce peace in the Middle East if we adopt the idea. See, just attack ropes with one end around the neck and the other end around the other end, to all Israeli politicians implicated in the "peace process," and set them loose to run around the Ramat Gan park at 3:00 in the AM, but making sure that THIS time CNN and not just Reuters is there to get the photo shoots.

And everything else will follow!

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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SEE UNIFIL RUN –– HIZBULLAH CHASES AWAY UNIFIL MONITORS
Posted by Bryna Berch, April 22, 2008.

Another triumph for Condi comes unravelled! When General Olmert and his cabinet of "generals" lost the Lebanese War in August 2006, Olmert and the Bush administration reassured us that things were swell –– UNIFIL was stepping in to fill the separation between Hezbollah and the Israelis. So all would be calm. The realists knew better –– they suspected that UNIFIL would be a pushover whenever Hezbollah wanted to do something it had committed itself not to do. And so it is. This is from yesterday's Jerusalem Post and written by the Jerusalem Post Staff. The original article ––
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208870467690&pagename =JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull –– contains a link to a video showing the encounter between Hizbullah and UNIFIL.

Hizbullah gunmen chased away UNIFIL inspectors in south Lebanon who identified a truck carrying arms belonging to the guerrilla group, a report published twice a year by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon revealed Tuesday.

The incident was the first time UNIFIL troops confirmed the presence of Hizbullah gunmen south of the Litani River, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Channel 1 reported.

The resolution, which enforced the ceasefire between Israel and Hizbullah after the Second Lebanon War, calls on the terror group to disarm and also forbids its members from operating south of the river in the southeastern part of Lebanon.

Israel has claimed on more than one occasion that Hizbullah was not abiding by their end of the deal.

The incident, on the night between March 30 and March 31, is cited in the report in reference to a different resolution –– UNSC Resolution 1559, which calls on all Lebanese militias to disarm.

Sources in Jerusalem said the incident was a source of great embarrassment for UNIFIL. The troops trailed the truck and stopped it, but when the troops approached the truck, armed Hizbullah members jumped out and threatened to hurt them if they would not leave the area. The source said UNIFIL's men turned back and left the scene.

This serious disregard of UN resolutions is reason for much disconcert, the report claimed. The incident was not previously published and similar incidents were not recorded.

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SILLY, SILLIER, & SILLIEST; EXTREMISTS EXPLOIT CONCESSIONS TO "MODERATES"
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 22, 2008.

REFORM PROPOSED IN ISRAEL

The Knesset is moving to eliminate debtors' prison (Arutz-7, 3/25).

The US eliminated it before I was born. What took Israel so long?

ANOTHER REFORM NEEDED

Judicial custom in Israel is that if the police refuse (or fail) to undertake the appropriate forensic investigation, they may not prosecute. The two brothers who were convicted of firing guns at trespassing Arabs denied having fired. Police refused to test the guns. The Judge believed the Arab accusers, despite the absence of forensic evidence of a crime. The brothers are trying to get international pressure for their release (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 3/29).

HERE'S WHAT'S SILLY

Israel is attempting to negotiate a "two-state solution" with Abbas, who doesn't believe the Jewish people have a right to one of those states (Op. Cit.).

AND SILLIER

The US pressed Israel intos an informal ceasefire with Hamas, which then fired more than a hundred shells and fired bullets at Israeli farmers. That is in addition to Hamas arming and tightening its control over Gaza (Ibid.).

The US claims it opposes Hamas. That's no way to do so.

SILLIEST

As Arabs stone more Israeli cars, and Arab criminals try to infiltrate Judea-Samaria more, Israel reduced settlement funds for counter-terrorism (IMRA,3/29). Is that stupidity, cheapness, or bigotry against settlers?

LETTING ABBAS POLICE HIS CITIES

Reluctantly, Defense Min. Barak bowed to US demands and let several hundred P.A. police into Nablus to patrol the city. The result is that the police coordinate with terrorists. So far, the police tolerate terrorists' placement of roadside bombs (IMRA, 3/29).

What did he expect, real anti-terrorism? Hasn't happened in the other patrolled cities. Note the constant US pressure on Israel to let terrorists get through! Don't believe the rumor that Pres. Bush is favorable to Israel.

REFORM PROPOSED IN ISRAEL

The Knesset is moving to eliminate debtors' prison (Arutz-7, 3/25).

The US eliminated it before I was born. What took Israel so long?

ANOTHER REFORM NEEDED

Judicial custom in Israel is that if the police refuse (or fail) to undertake the appropriate forensic investigation, they may not prosecute. The two brothers who were convicted of firing guns at trespassing Arabs denied having fired. Police refused to test the guns. The Judge believed the Arab accusers, despite the absence of forensic evidence of a crime. The brothers are trying to get international pressure for their release (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 3/29).

BARUCH GOLDSTEIN FRAMED

Barry Chamish and other readers of his have come up with such discrepancies in the official government version as to show that Dr. Goldstein was framed and trapped if not directly murdered by the government. The motive would have been to discredit prominent Kahanists such as Goldstein, nd to make it seem as if it would be better to oust the Jews from Hebron.

One expects discrepancies in fast-moving, shocking events. The official story about Goldstein has too many discrepancies, some major. Witnesses saw a second shooter. Investigator Shamgar refused to listen to them nor to heed the finding of another, different type bullet from his. Too many people were shot for Goldstein to have done it all. How did the second shooter get away and why did he lock Goldstein in? Having fired only 105 rounds, how did Goldstein achieve 154 casualties, something even Green Berets couldn't do with a mob? In a mob, some people blocking access to others. Goldstein's intent was defense, not offense, since most of his shots were first at the ceiling as warnings, then at legs. (The government claims he became bitter against the Arabs and set out to massacre. Why does it make such a ridiculous claim?) Some older men were shot dead from his firing at the legs, because they didn't rise fast enough. Other older men were trampled by the crowd. Muslims murdered Goldstein, but those who boasted of having killed him were not prosecuted –– it would show Arab wrongdoing, dissipating some of the anger against Goldstein).

There also are peculiar discrepancies in the story of the massacre of the 8 yeshiva students. Why no guard at the school and no official discussion about it? (Removal or change of guards is an old Mafia and Israeli secret service trick, applied to PM Rabin and the Israeli Ambassador to France.) How did the assailant get in unobserved, with 600 rounds of ammunition? Any help in carrying all that? Why did police who heard the shooting post a guard outside, instead of running inside to catch the assailant? (Chamish, 3/30.)

Any cases alleged of Jews attacking Arabs and of Arab assassination of right-wing Jews should be scrutinized and audited by independent forensic experts.

PUTTING TWO HEADLINES TOGETHER

An IMRA headline of 4/17 is "Attempted Infiltration Through Kerem Shalom." Headline of 4/18 is "Easing of Restrictions Announced In Coordination." Three P.A. gunmen tried sneaking into Israel through that crossing used to supply humanitarian needs. The restrictions were on travel and on police stations.

Terrorists keep trying to get at Israelis. Restrictions should be tightened until Israel gets at the terrorists. That would be prudent and logical, not easing.

ISRAELI ARABS

At this year's Land Day protests, Israeli Arabs chanted an appeal for terrorist attacks against Israel (IMRA, 3/30).

When Israeli Jews suggest pro-active national defense, they are liable to arrest.

Land Day commemorates the Arabs' loss of land in Israel. They abandoned property when they lost their civil war of aggression and genocide against the Jews. How they wax indignant over the consequences of their wrongdoing!

"DISTINCTION BETWEEN EXTREMISTS & MODERATES?"

Former PM Netanyahu criticized some governmental concessions to the P.A. in Judea-Samaria as rendering Israel less secure. A Cabinet Member faulted him for failing to distinguish between extremists and moderates (IMRA, 3/30).

What distinction did the Cabinet Member make, aside from asserting that there is a difference? He didn't say what makes Abbas a moderate, though other people and I have pointed out many things that make him a terrorist. The Cabinet Member talks about distinctions, which really are false, but the point is not to whom Israel nominally makes concessions but that concessions, such as opening checkpoints, are taken advantage of by terrorists. I think that the West makes such distinctions in order to get Israel to make fatal concessions and because the West in incapable of seeing that all Arab factions are extremist.

HAMAS USE OF LULL

Hamas may be digging tunnels under the security fence. An Israeli official claims that Egypt finally is blocking the Sinai border to Gaza (IMRA, 3/30).

BIG MEETING ON SECURITY CONCESSIONS

The P.A. made many demands. Israel yielded. It did not demand anything concrete of the P.A., such as numbers of prisoners and destruction of weapons. If fact, some of the P.A. demands are for deployment of terrorists. The P.A. calls them police, but it recruits police from among terrorists (IMRA, 3/30).

REPORTING OF ANTI-ISLAMIC MOVIE

The Dutch film, "Fitna," is about Islam's bigotry and goal of world conquest. Many in the West have condemned it as inflammatory. Most US reporting includes far more of the condemnation than of the evidence and ignores the validity of the evidence (Arutz-7, 3/30). We are afraid of the truth.

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@aol.com

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YOM HA'ATZMAUT –– CELEBRATION OF HOPE!
Posted by Steven Shamrak, April 21, 2008.

Out of the ashes Eretz-Israel began emerging 60 years ago. Jews around the world saw new hope with the commencement of the realisation of a 2000 year-old dream. Since then Israel, a newly emerged agricultural country, has become one of the leading technological centres of the world. The country, which had no real military force at the time of its creation, is being defended by one of the world's most advanced army.

Unfortunately, at the same time Jewish national spirit has being systematically squashed by inept political leaders who are selling out the Jewish national dream to the enemies. Fear, apathy and lack of self-respect have again replaced the boldness, enthusiasm and belief in the new bright future of the Jewish people. The spirit of the Zionist pioneers is being deliberately discredited and squashed by a corrupt bureaucracy run by a self-hating political elite both within Israel and in the Diaspora!

Sixty years is a good occasion to celebrate the country's achievements. In accordance with the Gematria, Jewish numerology, number 60 symbolises the word "vessel" or unity. I only hope that this is a sign that from now on Jewish unity is going to emerge and the Jewish two-millennium dream will be achieved!

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Zionism was always about re-creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine, not to be against anyone else. The systematic transfer of Muslim Sudanese, Algerians, Kurds, Circassians, Cherkesians, Turkmenians, Bosnians, Iranian, Egyptians and Arabs from Syria, the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq to Palestine by the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain since the creation of the modern Zionist movement in 1880s was a deliberate attempt of sabotage against the Jewish National aspiration. Just imagine if the Arabs had won the war in 1948, would any Jew live in Jerusalem, Haifa of Tel-Aviv by now? Those Jew-hating critics of Israel must take a close look in the mirror. Jews invented Humanism and, in spite of personal suffering, we live it!

Traitors are Plotting Merger. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that he does not rule out the possibility of a merger between his Kadima party and the Labor party. (A Kadima-Labor merger is considered in a desperate bid to stay in power!)

Return Land to Jewish Owners. The Valero family is asking for the return of several dunams of land near the Damascus Gate (Shaar Shechem in Hebrew) of the wall around the Old City of Jerusalem as property of the inheritors of Aharon Valero. Valero purchased the property prior to the War of Independence, they say. The property was confiscated by the Jerusalem municipality decades ago and now includes a promenade, parking lots, and an Arab market.

Quote of the Week:

"It was not the decision by the United Nations that established the State of Israel; Israel arose in the merit of the Aliyah and the settlement enterprise, and in the merit of the struggle by the Lechi and Etzel, the Haganaha, and even HaShomer and Nili. But above all, the State of Israel was established in the merit of those who continued –– the warriors of the Israel Defense Forces, who repulsed the Arab attack after the declaration of the State." –– Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of Likud party. –– It is not an accident that he forgot to acknowledge the contribution of Irgun and the Stern fighters. Words are cheap! Has he learned his lesson of the Oslo war? Is he ready to repulse the Arab occupiers from the Jewish land after winning the next election?

Enemy Create Artificial Fuel Crises. Terrorists in Gaza fired on Israeli trucks as they delivered fuel to Gaza last Thursday afternoon. The attack took place at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, where terrorists murdered two civilian workers a week.

Hypocrisy of the 'Loaded' Headlines:

"The children of Gaza deserve a childhood..." –– Jewish children of Sderot, who are being shelled daily by rockets from Gaza, do not? Jews left Gaza, but the rocket attacks have intensified. Our enemies are using their own children as a human shield and consider their suffering as a part of Jihad and expected 'collateral damage'!

Back into the Right State of Mind

(Emergence of New Leadership)

60 years of independence of Israel and there is not much to celebrate. Yes Israel controls more land, but national morale and hopes Jews had attached to the creation of the Jewish state are being systematically squashed by an inept, corrupt, self-hating leadership in Israel and the Diaspora. The following is an extract of an interview Moshe Feiglin (the head of the Jewish Leadership faction within the Likud party) gave to Frontpage Magazine. It brought some glimmer of hope. We need to revisit the past inspiration of Zionism in order to achieve our goals in the future:

Feiglin: ... the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, came to a hospital in Ashkelon. He came to visit the Jews of Sderot and Ashkelon that had been wounded by the Qassam, Katyusha, and Grad rockets being fired from Gaza. Do you know what he told them? He said "get used to it"; just like that, "get used to it, I don't have a solution". Do you understand the meaning of that? Just 63 years after the gates of Auschwitz were opened, Jews are supposed to get used the fact that every once in a while we will get killed just because we are Jews.

... we don't have a solution. And this isn't about Olmert personally; the entire state of Israel doesn't have a solution. Our whole state of mind, our mentality, and our leadership are void of faith. That's why we have no solution. The problem is much more than Olmert not giving the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) an order. ...The problem is our mentality. Since Rabin's handshake, the entire state of Israel marched into a state of mind of pragmatism and non-spirituality.

The only way we can solve this problem is not by getting more weapons from the United States. We don't need more F-15s and F-16s. That is not our problem. What we need is to march back into the right state of mind. And for that we need leadership. True, authentic leadership based on Jewish values.

...I say the entire Jewish Nation because whatever happens in Israel immediately reflects back on all Jews worldwide. When these Jews in Gush Katif were pulled from their homes, what happened to the level of anti-Semitism worldwide? It went up of course. Israel did what the world expected of us and anti-Semitism went up. When we defied the world and did what we had to do in 1967, the level of anti-Semitism dropped. Suddenly every Jew on the streets of Toronto and New York was proud to be a Jew.

How did we achieve this true peace there? Rule number one: the Syrian Arabs that were there were evacuated. None stayed. So the first rule is, encourage the Arabs to leave. The second thing that was done was the land was taken over. After the war in 1967, we took the land over. The third rule is to annex the land. In the Golan Heights we annexed the land and put it under full Israeli sovereignty. The fourth rule is to flourish the land with as many Jewish villages as possible. And the fifth and most important rule is to never sign a peace treaty. We have not signed any peace deals with respect to the Golan Heights and look what we have –– true peace. A real, true peace exists there, something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the country. Our border with Egypt is very dangerous even though we have a peace deal signed with them. To this day, Egypt fights against us via that border. And we can't do anything because our hands are tied because of the peace deal we signed.

Any solution that leaves the Arabs in their place will not work, period. Fortunately, one good thing did come out of Rabin's handshake –– 15 years under the PLO/Hamas regime have made the Arabs want to leave. Various polls have showed this, the majority wants to leave.

...every year Israel spends 10% of our entire national income on the concept of Oslo. That is $150 billion every decade spent building fences, destroying Jewish villages, and putting guards in front of every coffee shop and store. Before Oslo, Israel didn't need to have an armed guard in uniform in front of every store. That is 60,000 people on full payroll just guarding us from the effects of Oslo. That money is enough to give every Arab family in Yesha (the West Bank and Gaza) $250,000.

America did not want Israel to go and fight the Six-Day War. America did not want Israel to go and bomb the nuclear reactor in Iraq. And there are many more examples like that. I respect the United States a lot, but I expect that kind of respect back and I believe I will get it. People who respect themselves, get the kind of respect they deserve from others. I will not let anyone tell me what is in my best interests. I am going to worry about Israel first, but I do believe that, at the end of the day, my policies are in the interests of the United States as well.

First of all, we have to stop this game of being attacked by sub-contractors. Egypt is fighting us through Gaza. It attacks us daily. There is no doubt about it, there is a war going on between Egypt and Israel today. It is just being fought through a sub-contractor. Syria and Iran are fighting us through Hezbollah in Lebanon. And we are playing their game, instead of making them pay a price for what they are doing. We have to break this cycle and make them pay a serious price.

We gave up the Sinai for peace and now they are using it against us. ...a strong Israel can achieve peaceful borders. Notice I didn't say "peace". "Peace" is something totally different. But we can achieve peaceful borders; a situation where people are not getting killed. A weak Israel can only achieve peace agreements. But those agreements come with a lot of bloodshed. Therefore, we should radiate strength. We have shown in the past that we can do that.

Contact Steven Shamrak at stevenshamrak@gmail.com and visit his website at www.shamrak.com.

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THE ISRAELI 'SETTLER' SERVING IN ITALY'S PARLIAMENT
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 21, 2008.
This was written by Meron Rapoport and is appeared April 18, 2008 in Ha'aretz
www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=976069

Almost 50,000 people live in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood, one of the largest in Israel. Up until now, it had no representative in parliament. As of this week, it does. Fiamma Nirenstein, a neighborhood resident for 10 years, was just elected to the Italian parliament. If we stick to the definitions of the UN, which views Gilo, on the capital's southern edge, as a settlement, one could say that Nirenstein is the first settler to be a member of a non-Israeli parliament.

This week, in a series of phone calls to Rome, between the first reports of a close victory for the right-wing coalition, to which Nirenstein belongs, and the final reports of Silvio Berlusconi's sweeping victory, Nirenstein explained several times that she has not requested Israeli citizenship but that this bureaucratic fact does not affect her identity. "I feel as though I made aliyah," says Nirenstein in a conversation that fluctuates between Hebrew and Italian.

In the elections, Nirenstein did not hide her Israeliness. Her campaign was centered on the view that Israel is Western democracy's vanguard in the struggle against world terror. "I ran for a place in parliament as a representative of the Liguria district. I held rallies in Genoa and other cities in the region," she recounts. "But I didn't talk with the people about local problems. I told them that the most important thing for their Italian identity is to stand by Israel's side." Nirenstein called her most recent book "Israele Siamo Noi" ("Israel Is Us"). By "us," she was referring, of course, to Italians.

Even though Italy hasn't experienced much in the way of terror attacks and the number of Muslim immigrants there is small compared with other countries in Europe, the talk about the importance of the fight against Islamic terror, or simply of how to deal with Islam in general, is very much present in contemporary Italian discourse. Oriana Fallaci devoted the last years of her life to writing books in which she forthrightly pegged Islam as the source of all the world's evil. Berlusconi himself, the unquestioned leader of the Italian right for more than a decade, explained at one of his appearances a few days ago: "We must be conscious of the superiority of our culture, which gave prosperity to people in countries that adopted it and ensures respect for human rights and religion. This respect certainly does not exist in the Islamic countries."

Perhaps this is the reason why Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini, Berlusconi's partner and the former head of the neo-fascist party, proposed that Nirenstein join their joint list, Il Partito della Liberta ("The Party of Liberty").

Nirenstein's father arrived in Italy during World War II, as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade. In Florence, he met her mother, who fought as a partisan against the fascist government and later against the Nazi regime. "I was born as a communist," she says. In her youth she was part of the 1968 generation, founded the first feminist journal in Italy and worked at leftist newspapers.

After the 1967 Six-Day War, a rift began to develop between her and her "communist comrades," who saw Israel as an occupying country. "I was confused for a long time," she says. "In 1982, I signed a petition against the First Lebanon War. Today I wouldn't sign it. What did Israel gain from the withdrawal from Lebanon?"

To the right of Netanyahu

Her first visit to Israel was as a reporter, and it was only after this initial visit that she returned in 1992 for the long term. For two years, she ran the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Tel Aviv, and after the Rabin assassination, she decided she had to stay in Israel. "I had the feeling that this was the most interesting place in the world, and I also felt that the reporting on Israel was biased." She did not obtain Israeli citizenship because she thought an Israeli passport would hinder her in her work, but aside from that, she also thinks that "every Jew in the world is an Israeli even if he's not aware of it. Anyone who doesn't know it is making a big mistake."

In terms of the reality of Israel's current political system, Nirenstein is located to the right of Kadima and Labor, and maybe even of Likud Chair Benjamin Netanyahu. She says she believes in the idea of two states for two peoples, but thinks the principle of "territories for peace" has been a failure. There's no point in discussing it, she explains, until the entire Arab world is capable of recognizing Israel. Negotiations with Hamas are absolutely out of the question.

But there are polls which indicate that a majority of Israelis are prepared to negotiate with Hamas.

Nirenstein: "The public supports a compromise with Hamas, so that it will stop firing on Sderot. But morally speaking, there mustn't be negotiations with Hamas, which thinks that Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs. You can't negotiate with cannibals, who eat human beings."

It's hard to argue with Nirenstein. Not just because of the poor quality of the phone connection to Rome, but also because she thinks that Israel is a beacon that should serve as inspiration for the entire West. "Israel is the vanguard of all the democracies in the world, and the time has come for Europe to recognize that," she says.

But in the election campaign you met with Italians who barely know where Israel is. How did you persuade them that Israel is important to their lives?

"I said that Italy can learn a lot from Israel. It can learn what a true democracy is, how a democracy can survive in conditions of conflict, without forsaking its fundamental principles. Israel is a culture of life, a culture of people who are always seeking peace. Our problem in Italy is that sometimes we don't know who we are. You can know who you are if you know your enemy and your friend. Israel is Italy's friend."

In other words, Islam is the enemy?

"I'm not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, or that all Muslims are criminals. But Hamas has announced that it wants to conquer Rome, to make it the outpost from which it will conquer all of Europe."

And you think that Hamas really intends to conquer Rome?

"Rome is a very symbolic place in the eyes of radical Islam. Italy, with its Catholic culture, is an enemy in the eyes of Islam."

Obviously, this all touches on one of the central issues in Italy's recent election campaign: the immigrant issue. Fini, who is slated to be appointed parliament speaker in Berlusconi's new administration, frequently talks about the need to ban illegal immigration. Even the moderate Social-Democractic party, led by the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, devoted a good amount of attention to the subject.

"People feel that immigration is threatening their cities, their culture," Nirenstein explains. "Maybe it's exaggerated, but the residents of Florence, for example, think of their city as a temple for the works of art that were created there. When they see the steps of the Duomo filled with immigrants, they're in shock."

I lived in Florence. I remember Italy as a tolerant country.

"It's changed a lot. There are entire quarters that you can't enter at night. There's rape, there are assaults, there's drug dealing. There are schools for immigrants where they don't hang the crucifix. The immigrants have contempt for our culture. We gave them work and they scorn our values. There's a deep contradiction between the more radical Islam and Italy's values.

"The problem is that there is hardly any moderate Islam in Italy. Just the opposite. In Rome they built an enormous mosque. There are a lot of mosques in Italy, and very anti-Western madrasas operate in them. There's polygamy, there's wife-battering –– it's very common. There's a father who killed his daughter for 'family honor.' It's logical that Italians would notice and that there would be reactions."

The straight-armed salute

In Nirenstein's books, you don't find the aggressive anti-Muslim sentiment that screams from every page of Fallaci's books. But while she isn't part of the wave of opposition to immigrants and Muslims that is sweeping Italy, she does belong to the new right that scored an impressive election victory this week. It seems that there is no such thing as a right way to be "right" in all of Europe: Berlusconi, the avowed capitalist and most avid pro-American in Europe, on the one hand, the Lega Nord (Northern League) with its wild incitement on the other, and then Fini and his former neo-facist party. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy almost seem like communists in comparison to this bunch.

Nirenstein does not "completely" accept this definition. To her, Berlusconi is a centrist who also received votes from the left, because he's "for the downtrodden" and wants to lessen their tax burden. Nirenstein sees herself as "a friend of the Northern League," which just wants to turn Italy into a federal state. She feels this is a legitimate ambition, even if some of the League's pronouncements are "unpleasant."

Her closeness to the former neo-fascist party caused Nirenstein some discomfort during the election campaign, particularly after one of Berlusconi's candidates for the Senate, Giuseppe Ciarrapico, proudly announced that he was and remains a fascist. According to Nirenstein, his candidacy "does not fit" with her candidacy as an avowed anti-fascist, a Jew and the daughter of a partisan, but she remained on the list nevertheless. "There's no such thing as a perfect list," she says.

Did you encounter people like Ciarrapico during the election campaign?

"At one of the election rallies I attended, in Genoa, someone gave the straight-armed salute. I went to the Allianza Nationale [the new name of the former neo-fascist party] people and asked who it was. I said that I protested, that I was stunned to see such a thing and that I did not want to see it again."

But Fini himself used to do the straight-armed salute at rallies in the 1960s, when everyone knew where fascism had led to.

"I don't know if Fini did that salute, maybe he did it in his youth. But I don't know what more he could have done than to kneel at Yad Vashem. Is he supposed to kill himself?"

He may not have been able to do more. But how did you, as a Jew, the daughter of a partisan, feel alongside a man who supported fascism as an adult?

"He was a fascist like I was a communist, when I was indifferent to what Pol Pot did, when I admired Che Guevara. I see him as someone who has since developed."

Post-election Italy, says Nirenstein, is a better place, a more stable place, a place without a radical left and a radical right. She doesn't know yet what she'll do in the new parliament. Nirenstein would like to deal with foreign affairs, but she knows she'll have to pay a price: For now she'll remain in Rome and bid good-bye to her good friends in Israel. She's not giving up the house in Gilo, though. It will wait for the return of the parliament member from Rome.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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AFI BOOKLET FOR ISRAEL'S 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Posted by Simon McIlwaine, April 21, 2008.

Dear Friends

The AFI 60th anniversary booklet, written by our Membership Director, Fran Waddams, is attached.

To download
AFI Booklet: Israel at 60
go to http://www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com

I hope you will enjoy reading it. Please feel free to download it and share it with your friends, church or synagogue.

Chag Pesach sameach!

Simon and all at AFI

CELEBRATE ISRAEL AT 60!

For information on the Celebration in Central London and Manchester, click here.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel (www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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HAMAS EXPLODES U.S. VEHICLES IN MASSIVE ATTACK
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, April 21, 2008.

This is not the first time that American arms and equipment has been used by terrorist against us. When Begin invaded Lebanon, Sharon pulled out a few Billion Dollars worth of American guns, ammunition, electronics, vehicles and other sorts of equipment. A great deal of all this was officially listed as having been given to the Saudis and other "moderate" Arab regimes. I also remember reading at the time that the explosives used to murder the Marines in Beirut were American. Then there was an entire ship of mostly American arms intercepted a few years ago on its way to the PLO.

I am so glad that the American Government is our dear friend. I can only dread to think what things would be like if they didn't really like us.

This was written by Aaron Klein, WND's Jerusalem Bureau chief; it is archived at
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62150

JAFFA, Israel –– Hamas used two seized U.S. military vehicles to carry out a large-scale attack this weekend against a major Israeli border crossing, Hamas leaders told WND.

The vehicles were captured when Hamas last June took complete control of the Gaza Strip, overtaking all U.S.-backed security compounds in the territory associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. The U.S. provided Fatah with weapons, vehicles and large sums of financial and military aid.

Israeli defense officials called yesterday's border attack the largest, most sophisticated Hamas terrorist operation since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

"We utilized two American armored Jeep vehicles in the heroic operation at Kerem Shalom," said Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' so-called military wing. "We obtained the vehicles last June."

Muhammad Abdel-Al, the spokesperson and a leader of the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization which participated in this weekend's attack, confirmed two American vehicles were utilized.

Abdel-Al added, "We warned you we would obtain all the weapons the Zionists and Americans gave to your puppets in Fatah. It is only a matter of time before we take over the West Bank and obtain the American weapons you are giving Fatah now."

In the attack, which took place just hours after the Jewish state ushered in the Passover holiday, two explosive-laden vehicles disguised as Israeli military jeeps exploded at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main Israeli transport area for goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Thirteen Israel Defense Forces soldiers were hurt in the attack, most wounded lightly to moderately.

The two vehicles arrived at Kerem Shalom under the cover of dozens of mortar shells just after a third armored vehicle ripped a hole in the border fence. The two disguised vehicles exploded inside the crossing, one reportedly close to a group of soldiers.

The drivers of all three vehicles were killed when their cars exploded.

At roughly the same time as the Kerem Shalom attack, the Israel Defense Forces fired a missile at a truck approaching Kissufim, another border area previously used to cross into Gaza.

The missile caused a massive explosion, indicating the truck was carrying a large amount of explosives defense sources believe was to be used in a second, simultaneous border attack at Kissufim.

At nearly the same time along another area of the border, IDF soldiers spotted two Palestinians carrying explosives approaching the border fence just outside Kibbutz Be'eri, a Jewish town bordering Gaza.

An IDF force of 11 soldiers entered Gaza in pursuit of the terrorists only to quickly realize they were being ambushed in an apparent Hamas trap. Four Hamas snipers fired at the unit, killing three IDF soldiers.

Defense officials here believe Hamas attempted a major, coordinated attack at several points along Israel's Gaza border.

Yoav Galant, IDF commander in the Gaza area, called the offensive Hamas' boldest operation since Israel's Gaza retreat.

He said the attack, "the likes of which we have not seen since the disengagement," was an attempt "to execute mass-killings and abductions."

Galant told reporters Hamas was "harming the interest of the Palestinians themselves, by attack crossings which are the humanitarian lifelines of Gaza."

Former deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh said the attack revealed "the true face of Hamas, which is [itself] creating the blockade on Gaza's people."

But back in Gaza City, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said his terror group would carry out more attacks on crossings to break what he claimed was an Israeli blockade of the territory.

"These operations are the beginning of the explosions that Hamas has warned of," said Abu Zuhri. "If the parties don't intervene quickly to save Gaza and break the siege, what is coming will be greater."

WND previously reported Hamas obtained armored U.S. military jeeps.

Immediately after Hamas staged its coup and took over Gaza, WND quoted Hamas officials stating they seized "enormous" stockpiles of foreign weapons, including U.S. arms, that had been stored in Fatah security compounds.

The U.S. in recent years reportedly transferred large quantities of weaponry to build up Fatah forces against rival Hamas. Hamas officials told WND in multiple interviews prior to last June they would seize the American weapons.

Hamas last summer provided WND with a partial list of what the terror group said were seized weapons, The list included:

* "Dozens" of mounted machine guns that can fire at Israeli helicopters
* Approximately 7,400 American M-16 assault rifles
* About 800,000 rounds of bullets.
* Eighteen armored personnel carriers
* Seven armored military jeeps
* "Tens" of armored civilian cars, including pickup trucks and magnums.
* Eight massive trucks equipped with water cannons for dispersing protests
* Fourteen military-sized bulldozers

Hamas' latest round of terrorist attacks comes as former president Jimmy Carter this weekend continued meeting Hamas leaders and reportedly discussed with them a cease fire to include the possibility of the Palestinians assuming some security control of the Gaza side of Israel's major border crossings.

Carter met twice this weekend with Hamas chieftain Khaled Mashaal, and his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, who both reside in Syria. The two men are accused of masterminding attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians.

"Several subjects were discussed, including [Israeli-Palestinian] crossing points, [captured Israeli soldier Gilad] Schalit, the siege on the Palestinians and a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel," Abu Marzouk said.

The AP quoted a senior Hamas official in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the meetings between Carter and Hamas as "warm."

Last week, Carter met in Egypt with senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud al-Zahar and Saeed Seyam.

Israeli security officials stated it was "almost a one hundred percent certainty" both al-Zahar and Seyam were involved in planning this weekend's border attacks.

Al-Zahar and Seyam are identified by both Israeli and Palestinian security officials as the two most senior leaders of Hamas' so-called military wing, which carries out terrorist activities from the Gaza Strip, including rocket strikes, suicide bombings, border raids, kidnappings and shooting attacks.

In a WND exclusive interview earlier this week, Ahmed Yousuf, Hamas' top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, called Carter a "noble person" whose planned meeting with Hamas would help the terror organization "engage with the world community."

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

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THE LIBELING OF A PEOPLE SURGES WITH A VENGEANCE
Posted by Marc Samberg, April 21, 2008.

This was on my local PBS last night. Check PBS.ORG for your local stations if in USA. It was written by Alessandra Stanley and published January 8, 2007 in the New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/arts/television/08cent.html?_r= 1&ex=157680000&en=65436f6c6f7efcb4&ei=5124&partner= permalink&exprod=permalink&oref=slogin

Diatribes against the Jews are shockingly crude in Arab television programs and newspapers. They are also shockingly commonplace, "the elevator music for the Arab world," as David Ignatius, an international affairs columnist for The Washington Post, puts it in "Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence," a PBS documentary that is broadcast tonight. And that background noise has become more strident and pervasive over the last few years, spread by satellite television and the Internet throughout the Middle East and North Africa, with echoes reverberating deep into immigrant groups in Europe.

"Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century" tries to explain the origins of that hate as well as its surge. Whatever its roots, anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is linked inexorably to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and keeps getting worse. And no topic is more sensitive or incendiary. So not surprisingly, the script is cautious and elliptical, more comfortable exploring the past than the present.

The film begins with a vitriol sampler, clips of various Islamic clerics culled by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington monitoring group founded by Yigal Carmon, a former counterintelligence adviser to the Israeli government. In 2004 on Al-Manar TV in Lebanon, for example, Sheikh Taha al-Sabonji said, "Those responsible for all civil strife and other problems throughout history were the Jews." (Muslim extremists are not the only ones to express such sentiments, of course. Mel Gibson expressed a similar idea when he was arrested for drunk driving.)

A history lesson follows. Various experts explain that Jews did not have equal rights in the Muslim-ruled world, but were relatively tolerated until the 19th century, when the crumbling of the Ottoman empire and the rise of the Zionist movement dramatically changed the landscape. Jewish refugees escaping persecution in Europe arrived in Palestine en masse. "The Arab reaction was a refusal of Jewish presence," says Zeev Sternhell, an Israeli historian. "It was not anti-Semitism."

But European missionaries and colonists supplied those biases, bringing to the region a Christian rationale for anti-Semitism, steeped in images of Jews as devils and killers of Jesus. During World War II Arabs found common cause with European fascists. Hitler won the allegiance of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by promising to remove the Jews from Palestine.

Fabrications like the early-20th-century Protocols of the Elders of Zion and medieval blood libels, legends that Jews baked matzo with the blood of murdered Christian children, faded in Europe after World War II. They lingered on in the East, finding new traction when Arab armies were defeated in 1948 and Israel emerged as a state and Palestinians were displaced.

Israeli's victory in the 1967 war left the Arab world humiliated and angry, so anti-Semitic theories of an all-powerful worldwide Jewish conspiracy were "soothing," says Bernard Lewis, professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.

The film does not mention that Mr. Lewis is one of the leading scholars that Vice President Dick Cheney consulted to formulate the administration's rationale for toppling Saddam Hussein. The documentary makes very little mention of the American occupation of Iraq — which is odd, given how often the Arab media paint the war as a sinister conspiracy cooked up by Israel and its supporters in Washington.

The film reports that anti-Semitic acts of violence have almost doubled since the 1990s. But there are lots of other indicators besides violence. Lately lurid television dramas include cockeyed depictions of Jews and Jewish history.

One notable example from 2003 is a lavish, Syrian-made series called "Al Shatat," a term for diaspora, which begins with Baron Edmond de Rothschild, an earlier financier of Jewish settlement in Palestine, on his deathbed, telling his family and friends that "God has given the Jews the mission of ruling the world."

"Al-Shatat" also includes a modern-day blood libel: bearded Jews slitting the throat of a Christian child.

Scholars say that Israel's enemies exploit anti-Semitism to rally support for their cause, but Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, argues that Israel also finds anti-Semitism useful. "I think that the brouhaha about it is a systematic attempt to draw attention away from the roots of the conflict," Mr. Khalidi argues. "There has been an oppressive occupation going on for 40 years, a people has been dispossessed."

The narrator, Judy Woodruff, steps in as if to cool frayed tempers. "And while some say that hatred of Israel is caused by Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights and West Bank, and the conflict in Lebanon," she says, "others note that overt calls by Arab leaders for the destruction of the entire Jewish state were commonplace even before the occupation which began in 1967."

"Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century" explores the ancient hatreds that have risen up in new forms. But the film's circumspection reveals just how complex the problem is to address, let alone redress.

 
More Reviews

http://www.twocatstv.com/pressroom/press_antisem_starledg.htm
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film/reviews/article_display.jsp?&rid=8586
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http://www.twocatstv.com/pressroom/press_antisem_jewishexp.html
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/access/1190914751.html?dids=
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Jan+7%2C+2007&author=TOM+TUGEND&pub=
Jerusalem+Post&edition=&startpage=24&desc=Back+in+the+picture
http://www.twocatstv.com/pressroom/press_antisem_hartcourant.html
http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2007/jan/09/whats-tonight-tuesday/
http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/2007/01/ombudsmans_mailbag_16.html
http://www.cpb.org/ombudsmen/display.php?id=20
http://www.twocatstv.com/pressroom/press_antisem_jewishweek.html
http://www.armyarcherd.com/2007/01/the_notso_flip_.html
http://www.forward.com/articles/sacramento-station-backs-down-on-antisemitism/
Awards

Our 2007 PBS film Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence, has won the Cine Golden Eagle Award. For more info go to
http://www.cine.org/golden-eagle-award.php.

Contact Marc Samberg at MarcSamberg@yahoo.com

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'PALESTINIANS' USED ISRAELI-SUPPLIED APC'S IN KEREM SHALOM ATTACK
Posted by Avodah, April 21, 2008.

This comes from Carl in Jerusalem on his website:
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2008/04/ palestinians-used-apcs-in-kerem-shalom.html

As some of you may recall, just about a month ago, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert approved the delivery of twenty-five Russian armored personnel carriers ("APC's" in English or nagmashim in Hebrew) to the 'good terrorists' of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen.

The approval was contrary to the recommendations of both the IDF and the General Security Services. Some of you may have wondered at the time how something that is a 'personnel carrier' could be used directly for terrorism. Have a look at the picture at the top of this post –– it's an IDF issue APC. And if that's not enough for you to imagine how terrorists could use an APC, consider this account of Saturday's Hamas attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing and recall that Hamas got APC's and other pieces of military equipment when it overthrew Fatah in Gaza.

Thirteen soldiers were wounded at 6 a.m. on Saturday when an armored personnel carrier –– supplied to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s –– rammed through the fence between Israel and southern Gaza near the Kerem Shalom crossing, used to transfer humanitarian aid to the Strip.

After the APC opened the gate, two vehicles –– disguised as IDF jeeps and packed with 300 kilograms of explosives each –– drove through. One blew up next to an IDF watchtower, causing extensive damage but no injuries to the soldiers inside. The second vehicle exploded next to a number of IDF jeeps belonging to the Southern Command's Beduin Desert Battalion.

Despite the thick fog, the deputy battalion commander spotted the second jeep as it made its way into the crossing. Thinking at first that the jeep was Israeli, the officer tried to contact the driver on the standard military radio frequency. When he did not receive an answer, he understood that it was a car bomb.

"The deputy battalion commander shouted, 'Car bomb, car bomb,' and all the soldiers ran into their armored jeeps," an officer who witnessed the infiltration said Sunday. Most of the soldiers made it into the vehicles. The 13 who didn't sustained light-to-moderate wounds.

And that wasn't the only attempt to use an APC for a terror attack on Saturday:

Moments later, another APC approached the Kissufim crossing, north of Kerem Shalom. A tank from Brigade 401 opened fire and destroyed the vehicle, which was believed to have been packed with explosives.

But if any of you think that's enough to get Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert to alter his plans to give the 'good terrorists' from Fatah more APC's, please think again.

Also on Sunday, defense officials said Israel did not plan to alter an earlier decision to permit the PA in the West Bank to receive 25 APCs from Russia, despite the use of an armored vehicle in the Kerem Shalom attack. The decision to transfer the APCs was made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert several months ago following a request by Russia to supply the vehicles to Fatah forces in the West Bank to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This government is still 'led' by idiots.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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IRANIANS PROTEST DUTCH "ZIONISTS"
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 21, 2008.

This comes from yesterday's Gateway Pundit website
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/

A large group of people congregated in front of the Dutch embassy in Tehran on Thursday to voice their strong protest against an anti-Islam documentary produced by the far-right Dutch politician, Greet Wilders.

the "diffinition" of Liberalism. (ISNA)

Pictured are heo Van Gogh, Salman Rushdie and Geert Wilders

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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INDIVIDUAL ISRAELIS FIGHT ARAB POACHERS; WHAT GOVERNMENTS REALLY THINK ABOUT ISRAEL
Posted by Richard Shulman, April 21, 2008.

ARAB CLAIMS & REALITY

During this year's Israeli Arab protest against establishment of a Jewish state, an Arab claimed that Israel demolishes homes and ethnically cleanses cities of mixed populations on an unprecedented scale. Fact is, whole cities of Bedouin are illegal, but the government does not act against them (Arutz-7, 4/17).

In Israel, an Arab clan illegally built a village of 20 houses that they call storage containers, on land owned by the Jewish National Fund. They cut a hole on the fence of the nearby kibbutz, and graze their horses on the Jews' crops.

"Fearing Arab riots or political condemnation by the Israeli Left, Arab leaders, the Islamic Movement and their allies abroad, the police and the state prosecutors have simply stopped enforcing the laws against the Galilee and Negev Arabs. Surrounded by increasingly hostile and lawless Arab and Beduin villages, local Jews' livestock and crops are continuously plundered." Jews either abandon their fields or pay protection money to Arab gangs, because the police close thousands of complaints a year, alleging "lack of public interest." The Jewish state does not protect Jewish property.

A farmer's son and combat veteran has organized a movement that guards the farms, fends off the Arabs, and teaches and inspires Israelis about their Zionist rights and purposes (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 3/24).

The Arabs ethnically cleanse cities of mixed populations. In one town, Druse burnt down the Jews' houses. Muslim Arabs like to play the victim. Most people sympathize with the Palestinian Arabs, having no idea of the Arabs' extensive robbery of Jews in Israel and in the Territories.

SEC. RICE'S LATEST CONCESSION FROM ISRAEL

She got Israel's Defense Minister to approve a new P.A. town on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on the road connecting it to several Jewish towns in Judea-Samaria. The IDF foresees security problems (Arutz-7, 4/17).

Arabs will attack Jews on that road, will try to cut off the Jewish towns, and will besiege Jerusalem. It's happened before. Rice interferes with Israeli security. She should be given a lifetime membership in the PLO terrorist organization. An Americans should stop asserting that Pres. Bush is pro-Israel.

NEW ISRAELI ANTI-TERRORIST WEAPON

Israel has developed a camera-guided machine gun that will enable Israeli troops indoors to fire at terrorists outdoors near the security fence (IMRA, 3/24).

U.S. ARMS FOR ABBAS FAILS

The US finds that Abbas does not undertake counter-terrorism with the arms and training the US gives him. He makes some arrests and has a few of the suspects tried, when pressed. Then he lets them go. His main use of power is to try to keep Hamas from wresting it away.

Why keep giving Abbas arms? Obviously those arms either will be used by him against Israel or will be taken by Hamas and used against Israel (IMRA, 3/26).

Could that be the purpose in arming him? Or does Sec. Rice still think, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Abbas is anti-terrorist and a viable leader?

SHOULD ISRAEL LET P.A. POLICE PATROL JENIN?

Eventually, the P.A. must be responsible for maintaining order in its cities. Some Israelis, however, consider the P.A. police a threat to them. Having noted that terrorists exhibit military training, they are reluctant to let P.A. police assigned to Jenin receive such training in Jordan, under US auspices (Arutz-7, 3/26).

The answers are not to recognize the P.A. and gradually to get the Arabs out and annex undeveloped areas of the Territories. Let the western Palestinian Arabs go to Arab states, including the Palestinian one, Jordan! Pity the countries that receive them!

OBAMA'S ADVISOR

Former US Air Force Chief of Staff Peek is a senior military advisor to Barak Obama. Gen. McPeek blames US Jews for the war in Iraq and for keeping the US from making peace between Israel and the Arabs. He accuses US Jews and Christian pro-Zionists of dual loyalty. If Obama wins, McPeek is likely to become Sec. of Defense (Arutz-7, 3/26).

UNFREE SPEECH IN ISRAEL

An Israeli was sentenced for "incitement to racism." When PM Sharon planned to expel thousands of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, Ben-Yaakov conducted an informal referendum asking which is preferable, that expulsion of Jews or the expulsion of hostile Jews from Israel. How democratic was the prosecution? (Arutz-7, 3/26).

The government of Israel represses much dissent. Acting against Jewish interests, it is the government that is discriminatory.

HOW ISRAEL TREATS DISSIDENTS

Some teenaged girls protested the government's failure to demolish the house of the terrorist who had murdered eight yeshiva students. Arrested, they were placed in a prison with foul-smelling blankets and a chain-smoker but no ventilation. They were denied medical treatment, though one was injured, at at first, food and water. (Israeli police don't just arrest Jewish dissidents, they often beat them up.) This was verified by the Israeli Bar Association. Later, the police admitted they had had no reason for arresting the girls (IMRA, 3/25).

In other words, the police were just repressing critics of the government. We keep hearing what a democracy Israel is, but it is a semi-police state.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENTS SAY & WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS

Foreign leaders tell former PM Netanyahu of their surprise that Israel does not use its overwhelming power vis-á-vis Hamas to bring it down and end its bombardment of Israel and its threats of greater damage in future (IMRA, 4/18).

The media, however, asserts, and reports that the US government agrees with it, that Israel is too hard on Gaza.

Those positions seem contradictory. I would explain them like this. The governments side with the Arabs, the US privately and some publicly, but think that Israel would be within its rights to use greater power against Hamas and are surprised that Israel listens to their demand that Israel refrain from doing so.

UNO APPOINTMENT TO JUDGE ISRAEL ALREADY HAS

The UNO has appointed an American Jewish (nominally?) law professor as special investigator of Israel's actions in the Territories. Prof. Falk has accused Israel of treating the Palestinian Arabs as the Nazis treated the Jews, of terrorism, and of having genocidal tendencies. He was part of a UNO mission which judged suicide bombing a valid method. His impartiality has come under question (IMRA, 3/27).

The value of the UNO should come under question. After all, this outrageous appointment is routine for the UNO. So is stealing from the vast sums the UNO raises publicly and privately.

Falk's demonstrated lack of solidarity with fellow Jews contradicts antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Jewish people conspiring in behalf of Israel. He is among the many Jews conspiring against Israel. How sad that such a sick mind comes from my Jewish people!

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@aol.com

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PLEASE HELP SAVE ISRAEL
Posted by Mark Tollman, April 21, 2008.

Shalom and Howdy

If the Jewish people don't retain all OUR biblical archeology and heritage and Bible-land, then ... we will become a vanquished people; dead physically and spiritually, severed from our Bible-soul.

Let's save Israel. What to do? read www.middleeastsolutions.com and tell the world ASAP.

ask the Knesset; to review the analysis of www.middleeastsolutions.com

Please ask the bloggers to add this link, to their pro-Bible-Israel websites.

Please write to the Israeli media, the Israeli newspapers, organizations, groups, etc, talk about this on Israeli Radio. Let's save Israel
 

www.middleeastsolutions.com seems to express a solution, very diplomatically. A population transfer, reminding Islam to kindly compute their square miles of these 52 Muslim countries –– Islam has 52 Muslim countries!

The website does indeed provide the only true peace, that ensures a future for the Jewish people, connected to our Biblical Covenants and allows for our growth with safety. (otherwise we turn into a parking lot in a few decades) And gives Palestinians their county in Arabia. ( with wealthy Saudis to nurture them.)

The British only gave us 20% of what was promised us. No one has suffered more that the Jewish People.

Our connection to the land is biblical and ancient and 4000 years. The Romans, Christians and Muslims, have so brutally exterminated us. We are an endangered-species without our ancient-Homeland. ! ! !!!!!!!

We are a special people; with a special situation.

www.middleeastsolutions.com should be translated into Hebrew, so all Israel can read about the hopeful options of retaining our Bible-land

www.pmw.org.il & www.prophetofdoom.net should also be translated into Hebrew; so we know what evil Islam is, and we must educate the naïve Knesset NOW.

Perhaps a great website is simply needed; with these Koran quotes highlighted (www.prophetofdoom.net ) in multiple languages, telling what Islam is, in their own words.

Listen to You Tube videos of Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Craig Winn, Ibn Warraq, Bridgette Gabriel, Bat Ye'Or (author of Eurabia), Walid Shoebat, Serge Trifkovic, Michelle Malkin, Melanie Phillips, Eurabia videos, Idiots Guide to Islam videos

___________________

HADITH Sahih Bukhari [4:52:176] Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones.

The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' " (www.prophetofdoom.net under the tab Islamic quotes ) Qur'an:8:12 "I shall terrorize the infidels. (non-Muslims) So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle."

Islam = terrorism

The Jewish community of Hebron, is completely abandoned by the (dhimmi) Knesset. Can U please bring attention to their plight and help them {www.hebron.org.il }

Lastly, i am always told that everyone knows about how the Koran turns Abraham & Jesus into Muslims, embellishing megalomania-Mohammed' s self-claimed Paraclete status. If everyone knows this, when will someone actually say it.

Mohammed claims Abraham is a Muslim –– and Mohammed has no connection to Ishmael. (www.faithfreedom.org & www.answering-islam.org & www.memri.org & www.wikiislam.com)

If Islam wants peace, then declare peace, but Israel keeps the Bible-land.

If Islam wants peace, then Islam must apologize to Jews and Christians for morphing Jewish-Abraham and Rabbi Jesus into bogus Koran-Muslims. only this is peace.

Also; Israel can't survive with the Muslim 5th Column. The Jews only have tiny Israel. Islam has 52 countries. The Israeli-Muslims, must leave. Only this is peace.

It was always my assumption, if Christians were aware how the Koran morphs their Jesus into a bogus-Muslim, they would react with horror and revulsion, and in turn, would increase their support for Jewish-Israel. ( Koran 3.67 )

Perhaps the time has come to inform the Congress & EU, it seems that they don't know that Islam morphs their Gospel-Jews and our Bible-Jews into Koran-Muslims.

So how do they get informed? perhaps this is something to explore for a website and information campaign. (www.pmw.org.il & www.prophetofdoom.net)

And how does one change the paradigms of getting the population-transfer ideas of www.middleeastsolutions.com into the proposals and solutions, ASAP and NOW before its too late. Let's work on this NOW.

PLEASE SAVE BELOVED-ISRAEL, OUR JEWISH BIBLE-NATION. This is our land, Promised to Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David When will we have our David Jerusalem temple, our Caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls, our Shiloh, our Shechem, ( where Joseph's tomb was destroyed), our Ariel near Joshua's Tomb, our Hebron, our Galilee Golan, our Bethlehem, of David's birthplace, our Bible-land of the 12 Tribes of Jacob, our Jerusalem of Mount Moriah.

Tell the gentiles: if they want to celebrate Mohammed's Muslim-Jesus; then do that in their churches in Rome, but –– Save our little Jewish Bible-Nation ! ! !!!!!!!!!!!

Tell the Knesset; if they don't want to ensure the Preservation of all our Bible-land of our Zion-David-hope, then tell them to Go live in Saudi Arabia NOW.

What would David do? he would fight for Jewish Bible Israel of Zion. David would NEVER give away our Bible-land. NEVER.

We need our land and more land for Growth & Development, water supply, farming, our Archeology, Bible-identity, security, sanity, Bible, tourism, David's kingdom, Preservation of the Jewish People, Aliyah.

project what will happen to us, in a tiny country, 50 years from now –– we will be a crowded parking lot.

{Islam has 52 Muslim countries}

www.middleeastsolutions.com is the answer. Just do it. all of us. NOW.

Contact Mark Tollman at marktollman@earthlink.net

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THE OSLO DAYENU
Posted by Steven Plaut, April 20, 2008.

Oslo put the "die" back in "Dayenu!"

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Arafat would pursue peace.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Hamas would be more of a threat to the PLO than to Israel.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Arafat would fight the Hamas and Islamic Jihad "with no Supreme Court or 'Betselem'" (in Rabin's immortal words).
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that terrorism would decrease.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that hostility to Jews in the Arab and the Western media would decrease.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that trade between Israel and Arab countries would flourish.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Palestinian Authority would be disarmed.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the PLO would cooperate strategically with the Israel Defense Forces.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that there would be an economic peace dividend.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Israeli Arabs would demonstrate increasing moderation due to the "peace process".
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Hamas and Jihad would be persecuted and suppressed by the PLO.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that PLO arms would never again be used against Jews.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the PLO leadership would speak in terms of peace with the Jews.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the PLO would denounce and renounce anti-Semitism.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the PLO would encourage normalization and daily peaceful commerce between Arabs and Jews.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Palestinian Authority would be forced to spend all its energies on resolving domestic social and economic problems.
But they were ever so wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Palestinian Authority would have so many internal troubles that it would not have the time or ability to pursue confrontation with Israel.
G-d, But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the US would back Israel if the PLO reneged on its obligations or displayed duplicity.
What a joke, they were so wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the US would cease to pressure Israel to endanger its security and fundamental interests.
But they were mega-wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Europeans would rush forward to support Israel.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Japanese and Saudis would pour money into regional investments, including into Israel.
But they were surprised to find that they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Egyptians would end all animosity towards Israel, Zionism and Jews.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the non-Arab Moslem countries would gush friendship for Israel.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Arab military expenditure would drop significantly.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Arab verbal threats against Israel would end.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Nazi-like propaganda in Arab countries would end.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Israeli Left would lead the retreat from the Oslo experiment it if proved to be not working.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the Palestinian Authority would never behave as a tin cup Third-World kleptocracy if granted power.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Jews remaining in Moslem countries would see their treatment dramatically improved.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that liberals and leftists around the world would congratulate Israel for taking risks for peace and rush forward with goodwill and support.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that the majority of Palestinians would denounce all violence and terror.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Israeli Arabs would exhibit moderation and increasing loyalty to the state of Israel.
But they were wrong.

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us that Palestinian chants of "Death to the Jews" and "Massacre the Jews" would end.
But they were wrong.

Dayenu. Oslo put the "die" back in "Dayenu!"

Any one of these errors in judgment should have been enough to end the career of a politician in a normal country, possibly even enough to indict that politician and imprison him or her. But in Israel? The politicians prepare for negotiations on the Saudi Plan and prepare for new unilateral withdrawals from Judea and Samaria. Dayenu.

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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TERMINATION OF OUR SPECIAL STATUS AS THE CHOSEN PEOPLE
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 19, 2008.

[Editor's Note:  This has been moving around the internet with no author attribution. Mostly, it's signed "The Jews", as below. On the Freeman Organization website (www.freeman.org), it is signed:

Respectfully,
The Commitee To Be UN-Chosen
Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Yossi Beilin,
Co-Chairmen]

Subject: Official Letter
TO: Lord, Our G-d, King of the Universe
FROM: The Jews
SUBJECT: Termination of Our Special Status as The Chosen People

As you are aware, the contract made between you and Abraham is up for renewal, and this memorandum is to advise you that after, yea, those many millennia of consideration, we've decided not to renew.

We should point out immediately that there is nothing in writing and, contrary to popular beliefs, we have not really benefited too much from this arrangement.

If you go back to the early years of our arrangement, it definitely started off on the wrong footing. Not only were Israel and Judea invaded almost every year, but we went to enormous expense to erect, not one, but two Temples and they were both destroyed. All we have is a pile of old stones called the Western Wall. Of course, you know all this, but we feel it's a good thing to account for all the reasons we wish to terminate the contract.

After the Hittites, Assyrians, etc., not only were we beaten up almost daily, but then we were sold off as slaves to Egypt (of all countries), and really lost a few hundred years of development.

Now we realize that you went to a great deal of trouble to send Moses to lead us out of Egypt; and those poor Egyptian buggers were smitten with all those plagues. But, reflecting on those years, we are at a loss to understand why it took almost 40 years to make a trip that El Al now does in 45 minutes.

Also, while not appearing to be ungrateful, Moses did lead us to the left instead of to the right at Sinai! To the only place in the middle east without any oil. And with water that is controlled by Jordan and Syria. Oy, if only he had stopped to ask directions. OK, so the mineral rights were not a part of the deal, but then the Romans came and we were really up to our necks in dreck. While it's true the Romans did give us water fit to drink, aqueducts, and baths, it was very disconcerting to walk down one of the vias, look up, and see one of your friends or family nailed to a three-by-four looking for all the world like a sign post.

Even one of our princes, Judah ben Hur, got caught up with Roman stuff and drove like a crazy man around the Coliseum. It's a funny thing, but many people swore that Ben Hur had an uncanny resemblance to Moses –– go figure.

Then, of all things, one of our most up-and-coming carpenters (he did great work, and cheap) declared himself your son (there was nothing said like this about Abe) and before we knew what was what, a whole new religion sprang up. To add insult to injury, we were dispersed all over the world two or three times while this new goy (oops, guy) really caught on. We were truly sorry to hear that the Romans executed him like so many others, but –– and this will make you laugh –– once again we were blamed. Couldn't someone else be chosen, maybe just once?

Now here's something we really don't understand. That guy, Jesus Christ, really came into his own. Millions of people revered and worshipped his name and scriptures –– and still killed us by the millions. They claimed we drank the blood of newborn infants, controlled the world banks, operated the world's media, etc. Are we beginning to make our point here?

So let's fast forward a few hundred years to the Crusades. Hoo Boy! Again, we were caught in the middle. They, the Lords and Knights, came from all over Europe to smack the Arabs and open up the holy places, but before we knew what hit us, they were killing us along with everyone else. Every time a King or a Pope was down in the opinion polls, they called for a Crusade or Holy War (today they're called a Jihad), and went on a killing rampage in our land.

So, you tested us a little here and there, but some bright cleric in Spain came up with the Inquisition. We all thought it was a new game show, but once again we and quite a few others were used as firewood for a whole new street lighting arrangement in major Spanish cities. All right, that ended after about a hundred years or so –– in the great scheme of things not a long time.

But every time we settled down in one country or another, they kicked us out. We wandered around a few hundred years or so, but it never changed. Finally we settled in a few countries, but they insisted we all live in ghettos, while the Russians came up with Pogroms. We all thought they made a spelling mistake and misspelled "programs," but we were dead wrong (very dead wrong). Apparently, when there was nothing else to occupy their time, killing Jews was the in thing to do.

Now comes the really tough noogies. We were doing quite well, thank you, in a small European country called Germany, when some housepainter wrote a book, said a few things that caught on and became their leader. Oh boy! What a bad day that was for us –– your Chosen People (by now, you must be getting the drift of this e-mail?). We really didn't know where you were in the earth years 1933 to 1945. We know everyone needs a break now and then; even the Lord G-d Almighty needs some time off. But, when we needed you most, you were never around. You are probably aware of this, but if you have forgotten, over six million of your Chosen People, along with millions un-chosen others were murdered in cold blood. They even made lampshades out of our skins! Look, we don't want to dwell on the past, but it gets worse.

Here we are, it's 1948, and millions of us are displaced again, when you really pull a fast one. We finally get our own land back! Yes, after all these years, you arrange for us to go back. Then all the Arab countries immediately declare war on us. We have to tell you that sometimes your sense of humour eludes us.

So, we win all the wars, and we're now in a new century, but nothing's changed. We keep getting blown up, hijacked and kidnapped. We have no peace whatsoever. Enough is enough. We hope you understand that nothing's forever (except you, of course), and we respectfully would like to pull out of our verbal agreement vis a vis being your Chosen People. Listen, sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't. Let's be friends over the next few eons and see what happens.

Meanwhile, how about this idea? We're sure you recall that Abraham had a whole other family from Ishmael (the ones who got the oil). How about making them your chosen people for a few thousand years?

Respectfully yours,

The Jews

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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PRIVATE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR ISLAM
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 19, 2008.
This was written by R. John Matthies and it appeared yesterday in Front Page Magazine. It is archived at
http://www.meforum.org/article/1885. The original article has live links to additional material.

When is it appropriate to critique the policies of private enterprise? Private institutions are clearly permitted to carry out their business in a manner appropriate to their market, so long as they operate within the boundaries of the law. However, these institutions –– commercial, educational, or the media –– also play a major societal role, and hence carry great responsibility. For this reason, the practice of criticizing these institutions is an established tradition, as illustrated by book reviews, theater criticism, Hollywood gossip columns, sports talk, consumer reports, and others. Acknowledging that the critique of private institutions is different from the sort directed at government, we engage private sector entities in consideration of the influence they peddle and (indirect) power they wield.

There are now many cases of Islamists in the West demanding accommodations –– and of these demands being met. These range from trivial cases of employee accommodation to cases of gender segregation. While state and local authorities have often bent to the designs of political Islam, it is to private institutions that one turns to examine the most egregious examples of accommodation.

Still, it is more difficult to censure private institutions –– given their greater freedom of action –– than it is to censure lawmakers and public institutions, which are directly charged with serving the public good. Private entities have the right to run their own affairs, but the public cannot condone exceptions that result in exclusion or promote a regime of segregation. Merchants are free to choose the services or products they offer to target consumers and hence maximize profit. But to deny service to one group –– or create hardship for select employees –– to accommodate the wishes of another is unacceptable. Those policies that dismiss the rights of others –– whether in a place of work, study, or commerce –– must not be tolerated. For this reason, it is fitting to explore cases of accommodation with an eye both to the exceptional nature of the concession (in light of existing practice) and the degree to which group accommodation results in restricted movement, hampered speech, or great inconvenience to the majority.

In the case of Britain's Sainsbury's convenience stores, for example, Muslim employees who prefer to avoid contact with alcoholic beverages for reason of religion are asked to raise their hands so a colleague can replace them at their post or scan the item for them. And those who object to stocking shelves with wine, beer, and spirits have found alternative positions within the company. A similar example is credited to Target, where Muslim employees at a Minneapolis store have been dispensed with handling pork products, for fear of contamination.

Sainsbury's and Target have elected to satisfy employee wishes; the pertinent question is whether management has enacted these policies because it feels it's the right thing to do, or simply because no other options exist to fill the positions presently occupied by recalcitrant employees. (A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's admits as much, saying: "At the application stage we ask the relevant questions regarding any issues about handling different products and where we can we will try and accommodate any requirements people have.") If the latter is the case, it is difficult to imagine what these vendors can do or what suggestions we might offer. And so we tolerate exceptions of this kind –– with the caveat that one must guard against those accommodations that infringe upon the rights of others (and do not merely inconvenience).

Both state and federal law are clear that employers are obliged to accommodate employees' religious beliefs where these are "reasonable" and do not detract from profitability. But this test fails to account for the inconvenience brought upon employees, which goes to the heart of the fairness issue. At the same time, it is clear that inconvenience extends to paying customers, who are forced to wait while another is found to handle the transaction –– to say nothing of the degrading sort of treatment to which the customer is subjected, who must appear to create a disturbance for wishing to purchase an "elicit" product. All told, these examples speak to the question of the degree to which Islam may be allowed to disengage from society.

At the same time, it is also unacceptable for private concerns to enforce Islamic space of their own accord. Consider Harvard University's decision to institute women-only gym hours to accommodate the modesty requirements of campus Muslims, for example. Islamic Knowledge Committee officer Ola Aljawhary says: "These hours are necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms not because they don't want to work out, but because for them working out in a co-ed gym is uncomfortable, awkward or problematic in some way." But Harvard administrators explicitly noted that the new policy has less to do with gender than religion; and one reports that the Harvard Islamic Society itself was unaware of the change "until it was being formalized and in its final stages." It is one thing for young women to make their own private arrangements to accommodate a requirement for modesty, but it is quite another for a university to make these arrangements. Harvard must be asked to imagine where policies like these might lead (which others might be excluded), and to consider the motives of groups in support of such a program.

As one explores cases of accommodation and abuse of influence across the private sphere, one must judge each according to a scale that accounts for both the exceptional nature of the concession and the degree to which the majority is inconvenienced, restricted as to movement, or hampered in expression. Private concerns may be compelled by situation and environment to alter established practice; but for these same concerns to impose a program of segregation or apply select "Islamic" standards constitutes a grave abuse of influence.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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REVEALED TRUTHS VS. REVEALED LIES
Posted by Dave Nathan, April 18, 2008.

This was written by Caroline B. Glick for Jerusalem Post.

Passover –– the Jewish celebration of freedom and G-d's dominion which begins on Saturday night –– provides a timely insight into the foundations of Jewish faith and human nature.

Jews believe in a G-d without form. The Jewish G-d is ineffable. To Abraham himself, G-d appeared only in visions, never in the "flesh."

And yet, the story of G-d's deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage is packed with physical proofs of this consummately non-physical G-d. G-d exposes Himself to Moses in the burning bush. And then, from Moses' first appeal to Pharaoh through the parting of the Red Sea, G-d exposes Himself and His mastery of the universe and all that is in it again and again, in progressively powerful ways.

At the Passover Seder, Jews recount these astounding manifestations of G-d's existence, presence and dominion. That is, at the Passover Seder, Jews celebrate the physical manifestations of the G-d we know to be formless and ubiquitous.

Why would G-d feel the need to reveal Himself? And why do Jews, who accept an ineffable G-d place so much stress on His self-revelation?

By our nature, human beings are skeptical. Before we believe something, we require proof. Whether that proof is collateral for a bank loan, burning a bush without harming it, laying waste to Pharaoh's Egypt or parting the Red Sea, the fact is that without proof, humans will not long believe. To convince the Children of Israel to accept Him and His laws throughout time, G-d showed us signs and wonders in Egypt that were powerful enough to keep us united as His people ever since.

Contrast this natural human skepticism and the Jews' reasoned faith in G-d with the international and Israeli Left's engineered credulousness and blind faith in Peace.

This week, former US president Jimmy Carter arrived in the Middle East on a "peace mission." Shunned by Israel's senior political leadership for his overtly hostile positions towards Israel and Jews, Carter had to suffice with a public dressing down for his incendiary anti-Israel rhetoric from otherwise friendly, and "pro-Peace" President Shimon Peres, and visits with Israeli doves affiliated with the non-Zionist Meretz party.

From Israel, Carter continued to the Fatah-led, Israeli defended Palestinian Authority in Ramallah where he laid a wreath at the grave of arch-murderer and master terrorist Yassir Arafat, and hugged and kissed Arafat's Fatah and Hamas heirs. Both visits, of course were conducted against the backdrop of Carter's well-publicized plan to meet Hamas terror master and Iranian proxy Khaled Mashaal in Syria.

By meeting with Mashaal, Carter is arguably breaching US law which prohibits American citizens from assisting terror groups. His planned meeting elicited criticism from the Bush Administration. His radicalism fomented Israel's informal, but fairly firm boycott of his visit. And yet, his faith in Peace being what it is, Carter brushed off his critics as men and women of little faith. For their part, Carter's Israeli allies, Yossi Beilin, David Kimche and their fellow believers in Peace embraced him. These Israelis, like Carter are not averse to meeting with Hamas.

The fact is, while Carter may be the loudest proponent of negotiating with Hamas, he is far from alone. To advance this view in America, Carter's Jewish American and Israeli fellow believers just set up a new lobbying group in Washington. It is staffed by former Clinton administration, Peace Now, and Democratic Party officials. It is supported by the Israeli signatories to Yossi Beilin's European-financed 2003 Geneva "peace accord" with the Palestinian Authority's former propaganda minister Yassir Abd Rabo. The new lobby, "J Street," is tasked with financing the campaigns of American politicians who are willing to sacrifice the US alliance with Israel in the interest of Peace. Presumably, it is conversely tasked with scuttling the political fortunes of US politicians who refuse to do so.

It is hard to know what to make of either the Bush administration's criticism of Carter, or for that matter the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's shunning of the former president. Legal restrictions on maintaining contacts with terror operatives aside, Carter's hostility to Israel and his enthusiastic embrace of Hamas are the logical outcome of their own policies. Indeed, several government ministers from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima party have expressed willingness to engage Hamas. And at present, through Egypt and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is negotiating with Hamas towards a temporary ceasefire which would leave the Hamas regime in Gaza intact and armed.

The basic belief that informs both the Olmert-Livni-Barak government and the Bush administration is the same as Carter's. Namely, they believe that the Palestinian war against Israel is the consequence of Palestinian statelessness. Then too, both governments accept the Arab and European assertion that the lack of Palestinian statehood is the root cause of the Arab and Islamic world's rejection of Israel's right to exist and of the larger pathologies of the jihad supporting Arab and Islamic world.

This basic ideological premise has been the core belief of the Israeli and American policymaking classes since the advent of the Israeli-PLO "peace process" in 1993. And in light of this premise it is hard to see how the official boycott of Hamas is sustainable or even logical. The belief that the root cause of all the Middle East's troubles is a lack of Palestinian sovereignty generally, and more specifically the view that Israel's continued control over areas it secured during the third Arab war against Israel is the root of the conflict, renders Israel solely responsible for resolving the conflict. It is Israel, after all that is blocking Palestinian control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. It is Israel that is putting up obstacles to Palestinian sovereignty.

This is the view that informed Israel's 1993 decision to embrace the mass-murdering father of modern terrorism Yassir Arafat and his PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It was this view that caused Israel to turn a blind eye to Arafat's transformation of Palestinian society into the most jihadist society in the Arab world through the constant indoctrination of his official Palestinian media organs, education systems and mosques.

It is this view that still brings Israel's leaders to refer to Judea and Samaria as "occupied;" to negotiate the partition of Jerusalem; to illegalize Jewish building in Judea and Samaria and limit Jewish building in Jerusalem; to demonize Jewish opponents of their view as "extremists" and "enemies of peace;" and to ignore the need to defend the Western Negev from the Palestinian missile campaign in Gaza.

It is this view that causes Israel's leaders to embrace Arafat's successor and deputy of forty years Mahmoud Abbas as a "peace partner" while turning a blind eye to his open support for terror and Israel's violent destruction; his Fatah party's deep involvement in terror attacks against Israel; his financial support for terrorists and families of jailed and dead terrorists; and his operational ties to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Syria, and Iran.

It is this view that has caused the US to treat Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria as moral equivalents of terrorism; to support the establishment of a Palestinian state that will be ethnically cleansed of all Jews; to pressure Israel to allow pro-terror Palestinian militias to deploy in Judea and Samaria and curtail its counter-terror operations; to provide financial, military and political support to pro-terror Palestinian militias; and to pressure Israel stop building homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

And of course, it is this view that renders the US and Israel's current boycott of Hamas unsustainable and illogical. If Israel is to blame for the lack of Palestinian statehood, then nothing the Palestinians believe or do is relevant. The organizational separation of Hamas from Fatah is irrelevant. Hamas's subservience to Iran is irrelevant. Just as is the case with Fatah, so too, Hamas's embrace of terror as a means of advancing Israel's complete destruction is not a reason to boycott it. It is blameless. Carter is right.

To maintain their belief in Peace through Israeli capitulation as a panacea for all the Middle East's deformities, Peace adherents have been forced to replace their natural skepticism with artificial credulity. For in contrast to the Children of Israel in Pharaoh's Egypt, not only have they received no evidence that their faith in Peace is reasonable, they have seen in the terrorist murder of more than 1,500 Israelis since 1993and in the daily incitement for Israel's destruction and massing of Palestinian terror armies of jihad overwhelming proof that their faith is unfounded. Indeed, just this week, Israel Radio reported that Abbas was planning to bestow the highest official PA honors on two female terrorist murderers jailed in Israeli prisons.

Actually, the story about Abbas' plan to publicly embrace mass murderers is instructive of how the blind faith in Peace has been maintained now for 15 years. The Israel Radio broadcast forced the Olmert-Livni-Barak government for the first time to acknowledge Abbas' support for terrorists and so placed in question the rationality of their entire policy of capitulating for Peace. At their insistence Abbas announced he was canceling the awards. But as Prof. Mordechai Keidar from Bar Ilan University pointed out in a radio interview Wednesday, the only thing extraordinary about Abbas' planned ceremony was that it was reported by the Israeli media. The PA has been annually bestowing its highest honors on jailed mass murderers. It's just that the flock of Peace faithful who run Israel's media have never reported the story before.

Yet, in spite of its leadership's and media's attempts to hide the truth from them, the Israel public has insisted on maintaining its natural skepticism and limiting its faith to its revealed G-d. Tel Aviv University's monthly Peace Index, which surveys the Israeli public's views on issues relating to the "peace process," showed that despite the government's and media's pro-Peace rhetoric and attempts to obfuscate reality, the majority of Israeli Jews have not accepted their views. The majority of Israeli Jews view Judea and Samaria as "liberated" rather than "occupied" territories. They do not believe that signing a peace treaty with the Palestinians will bring peace, and they oppose destroying the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. A poll of the public's views of the government's plans to negotiate the partition of Jerusalem taken this week by Bar Ilan's Begin-Sadat Center showed that 71 percent of Israelis oppose partitioning Jerusalem and ceding the Old City to the Palestinians.

All told then, Passover's lesson of reasoned faith in the true revealed G-d over blind faith in a false G-d has not been lost on the Jews. And the celebration of faith and freedom that Passover embodies should instill us with certainty that one day soon, our leaders who uphold the irrational belief in fake Peace will be replaced by others who reject it.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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THANK YOU, AND A KOSHER AND HAPPY PASSOVER
Posted by Akiva, April 18, 2008.

Akiva's website is called Mystical Paths
http://mysticalpaths.blogspot.com/

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HAVE FAITH IN BURNING BUSH, NOT GEORGE BUSH!
Posted by Gennadiy Faybyshenko, April 18, 2008.

The title says it all. The two Bushes are completely opposite, one being holy and the other imperfect. This article will not address President Bush's stand on domestic issues, but rather his actions concerning Israel. As far as the war in Iraq, a sexual metaphor is particularly apropos: the Democrats say pull out and the Republicans say finish the job.

Even though the Evangelical and Protestant Christian majority support Israel, the President of the United States does not. Indeed, President Bush constantly pushes to create a Palestinian terrorist state in the heartland of Biblical Israel. Everyone knows that a terrorist state would signal the beginning of the end of a Jewish state. President Bush asked (former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel) Sharon to uproot Jewish homes in Gaza for the sake of peace. And we see the results right now that those residing within the politically correct Israel boundaries suffer from the Kassam rockets constantly falling on a daily basis, inside Israel. Little by little, America becomes the enemy of Israel. I cannot count how many times that whore, Condoleezza Rice, journeyed to Israel to coerce her into making peace, as if it were Jewish-Israeli terrorists exploding themselves.

There is no argument that Bush and his cabinet do not support the Jewish state. Bush does not even recognize Israel's capital, Jerusalem. He passed up numerous opportunities to sign the bill moving the embassy to Jerusalem, as a sign of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. By keeping his embassy in Tel-Aviv, Bush sets an example to the whole world that they should do the same. Bush seems to prefer that Jerusalem be the capital of a terrorist Arab state. Bush is not very smart, because the same Arab Muslim terrorists will take over Europe and America. It's just a matter of time, unless the civilized world realizes what is going on and take action. There is absolutely no doubt that President Bush expects the destruction of Israel and complete annihilation of the Jewish state. So as American Jews, let us not support that treacherous person. It's better to have an enemy who is open to public scrutiny than a slimy one who pretends to be a Jew-lover. I have a great deal of respect for the United States of America. It is the greatest country for a gentile that ever stood on this planet. My argument is with the current politicians, not with the country.

So what can we do? We rally across the country –– there are so many people willing to help just for the asking. I know so many young Jews that have this passion in them, but we have to channel that passion in a smart and productive manner. A Jewish fist must be attached to a Jewish head. All those righteous gentiles who support Israel will be blessed by G-d. What a shanda it is for an Orthodox public who does practically nothing for the sake of Israel. "If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof to the mouth if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my highest joy..." I wish that this phrase would come into realization for those clueless people. It is our commandment to do something and not just stand idly by. We should openly speak out against a Palestinian terrorist state; write more articles, utilize the media, and discuss with politicians. This is a big job and it depends on all of us. If the Arabs really want to have a state, they are welcome to do so in Jordan, which is itself a fictitious state cut illegally by British imperialism that was meant to be given to Jews. But since we live in modern times, we have to be flexible. But our flexibility stops there.

I do not want to hear that the U.S. is helping Israel. No country does anything out of love for other countries. It is in its own best interests for the U.S. to help Israel, and for Israel to accept this economic aid hurts more than it helps. But America does give Israel three billion dollars in aid. Yes, but at what price? Israel never needed that money. If we remember the history, back in the seventies, Israelis found oil in the Sinai Peninsula. The budget from that source gave the country $2 billion annually. When Egypt saw that Israel was getting oil, they immediately recognized Israel and asked that the whole Sinai Peninsula to be given to them. Since when does a country that starts many wars, loses those wars, and then asks the winner to make compromises, ever happen? Well, in Israel! Then all of a sudden, a disgusting former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, invites Anwar Saddat (then president of Egypt) and Menachem Begin (former prime minister of Israel) to engage in peace talks. Carter was such an anti-Semite that he first approaches Begin to make peace with Egypt, as if it were Begin's country who started the war with Egypt. Saddat was considered a moderate Arab. Moderate Arabs kill Jews moderately. So it's okay to make peace with moderate Arabs. It was the same Saddat, who in 1973 started the war on the Jews' holiest day, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and proclaimed that Israel is a cancer that needs to be removed. But, then he became moderate and decided that instead of fighting (where his country lost battle after battle against the children of G-d), decided to use salami tactics and to quietly but efficiently slice Israel down. Unfortunately he did succeed, and as a result, Israel shrank four-fold. However, Carter promised to reimburse Israel for the loss of $2 billion oil dollars. So he started the program to give Israel $3 billion. The sad thing was, that Egypt also gets aid from the U.S. despite the oil in Sinai. In the alternative, there would be no U.S. aid and Israel would be standing on its own two feet.

Everyone only dreams of Israel annihilation –– the European Union, the United Nations, the cursed Russia, and to that list, the United States of America. I know that there are good people who live here, but the flood from the third world countries brought a lot of anti-Semitism here and little by little started to desecrate this once great country. And we Americans stand idly and see this country go down. The presidential cabinet and unfortunately all the candidates for the presidency speak the same language. How would they like if Israel would be condemning the U.S. for "occupying" states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California to Mexico, or better yet, for not returning the whole country to Native Americans! But Israel does not, because she has respect for America, and America should have the same for Israel.

Gennadiy Faybyshenko is national director of Bnai Elim. Contact him at gennadiy1981@yahoo.com

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ABBAS A BIGOT; MCCAIN IGNORANT; ISRAELIS FAVOR TRANSFER OF ARABS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 18, 2008.

WHAT FEMALE JUVENILE PROTESTORS FIND IN PRISON

Some Jewish girls arrested for protests refused to identify themselves. For that, they were remanded to prison in Jerusalem. They were given dirty, stinking blankets and towels and refused food and water unless they identified themselves. Members of the Israeli bar association reported these inhumane conditions after visiting the girls (Arutz-7, 3/20).

I remember a dissident Lieutenant Idri, whom the government tried but failed to frame, suffering rat bites in prison.

ABBAS AGAINST ISRAEL IN VILEST WAYS

The Arab population of Jerusalem has increased faster than the Jewish population. Nevertheless, Abbas told an Organization of Islamic Conference meeting that Israel ethnically cleanses Arabs there. Part of this cleansing, he explains, is due to the security fence. However, 30,000 Arabs from the P.A. moved into Jerusalem, in order to get onto the Israeli side of the fence. If Abbas doesn't know that, he isn't worthy of being negotiated with. If he does know it, then he is an enemy uninterested in making peace.

The P.A. procedure is to teach children alleged (but non-existent crimes of Israel against their people. France proposed a curriculum to support peace-making. Abbas turned down the idea. He prefers to indoctrinate in bigotry.

Remember his recent statement that if he doesn't get what he wants from negotiations, he would return to the armed struggle (IMRA, 3/22).

Actually, his organization still engages in it.

MCCAIN IGNORANT

Sen. McCain told Israelis that Abbas wants peace (Arutz-7, 3/20).

He has been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for many years, but still doesn't understand the Islamic enemy. He may not be as appeasement-minded as his rivals, but gets taken in by some of the popular (un)wisdom of the day.

V.P. CHENEY'S VOW

"The US will never pressure Israel to take steps that threaten its security." Dr. Aaron Lerner suspects that the US often pressures Israel to take steps that threaten its security, but denies that Abbas threatens Israeli security (IMRA, 3/22).

LOST BETS ON ABBAS

US and Israeli policy suppose that Abbas is reasonable compared with Hamas, would replace Hamas, and would make peace. Both have been transferring hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of weapons to Abbas. They keep releasing Arab prisoners to boost his popularity. Nevertheless, he steadily loses popularity. He also is trying to make a coalition government with Hamas. That means he doesn't oppose Hamas' program (IMRA, 3/22).

He has not reformed his anti-Israel program nor ended his regime's corruption. How long will the US and Israel bet on that losing horse? Until Hamas takes over his regime and acquires his weaponry in Judea-Samaria, as it did in Gaza?

DON'T CEDE PART OF JERUSALEM: More

MK Netanyahu warned that if Israel ceded part of Jerusalem to the P.A., then Iran, working through its proxies (perhaps including Fatah), certainly would attack Israel from there and likely would restrict access by pilgrims (Arutz-7, 3/23).

Isn't that obvious? It isn't to the government of Israel. That government does not know how to look out for its people and doesn't care to.

INFORMAL CEASEFIRE WITH HAMAS

Israel has stopped raiding Hamas, and Hamas has stopped firing at Israel. Hamas members are producing explosives, sometimes blowing themselves up by mistake. Hamas also is using the opportunity to exert totalitarian control over hospitals and mosques in Gaza (IMRA, 3/23).

As Hamas intensifies its control, it intensifies its indoctrination of the people. How would such people ever make peace? The West does not consider that. Problem is, Westerners can't imagine how fanatical those Muslims are.

STRINGS ON SAUDI AID

S. Arabia economic aid requires imposition of Islamic law (Pipes #845, 3/22).

ISRAEL DOESN'T OBJECT TO EGYPTIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Egypt will get expertise and materials from Russia. Israel said it doesn't mind, so long as there are safeguards (IMRA, 3/24). Safeguards are promised but are winked at or aggressively violated. How can Israel trust Russia? If Egypt doesn't mind Egypt getting nuclear knowhow, how can it object to Iran doing so? From civilian programs come military ones.

PALESTINIAN ARAB FISHERMEN

Iran has been dropping floatable tubes of weapons into the Mediterranean Sea. Currents bring the tubes off the coast of Gaza. There, fishermen bring them to shore, unless the IDF succeeds in detecting and destroying them (IMRA, 4/17).

The media and the UNO treat the Palestinian Arabs as simple, deserving, civilians. Thus Israel was denounced for restricting P.A. fishing boats.

Current headlines in the NY Times refer to civilians killed in Gaza by Israel. They rarely refer to civilians killed in Gaza by fellow Muslims. Neither do they remark much about the constant Muslim efforts to kill Israelis, from Judea-Samaria as well as from Gaza. Nor do they suggest feasible means for Israel to protect itself. Warped morality!

HAMAS CHILD TV

On TV in Gaza, a boy breaks into the White House, says that it has been turned into a mosque, and repeated stabs Pres. Bush to death, and expresses satisfaction over it, claiming that the US and Israel murdered Muslim children's parents. The program quotes the Koran in approving the slaying of infidels. The whole program shows an lslamic desire to take over the world (Arutz-7, 4/17).

AFTERMATH OF REDUCED CHECKPOINTS

An Arab man approached two Jews standing at a bus stop in Judea-Samaria. Becoming suspicious, one moved behind a concrete barrier. The other brought his hand near his concealed pistol. The Arab drew a knife. The intended victim was afraid to fire immediately, because the government prosecutes Jews who defend themselves aggressively. Instead he waited until the last second. Then he drew and shot the assailant. The assailant reached into his jacket for another knife. The victim shot the assailant again, killing him. The Army praised the victim for acting "proportionately." The P.A. reported that the Arab was murdered merely for passing by (Arutz-7, 4/17.)

Israelis rarely initiate attacks on Arabs. How perverse of the government, intimidating its people to risk death by slow response to terrorist attacks!

ISRAELIS FAVOR TRANSFERRING ARABS OUT

If the P.A. were to become a state, then 3/4 of Israelis would favor transferring Israeli Arabs to it. 30% would transfer all Arabs unconditionally. 28% more would transfer Arabs who did not express loyalty. 19% more would transfer those who live in areas bordering the P.A. (Arutz-7, 4/17). Catching on!

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@aol.com

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JISTTTIFMAG AND THE MEANING OF JIHAD IDEOLOGY –– THERE IS A DEEP AND DANGEROUS EVIL IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 18, 2008.

A few weeks ago, in a talk I gave in Burlingame, I discussed the types of leverage that the Saudis and other mega-wealthy oil-sheikhdoms have over the west, and especially over the USA (which explains why the White House should really be called "The White Tent").

One of those types of leverage is the Saudi (and other Arab oil-mega-wealthy) ownership of a very significant percentage of US government bonds. The threat that these oil-wealthy mega-rich Arab bond-owners could dump their bonds, thus bringing the American bond market to its knees, and by extension sending western stock markets into a tailspin, and devaluing the USA dollar even further, is awesomely compelling to any American leader (president, congress, Federal Reserve, etc.).

One of the participants asked the rational question: well, wouldn't doing so hurt the Saudis financially too? And, if so, would not that financial loss be a deterrent to such action by the Saudis?

I explained that there are cases where:

ideology trumps reality (as for example in the Afro-centrism of American historians and related academics in the 1980s-90s),

ideology trumps morality (as for example in Stalin's Russia of post WW-2 where the starvation deaths of millions of civilians was cheerfully accommodated by the Communist party as part of the cost of bringing the blessings of communism to the world),

ideology trumps rational thought (as for example in my oft-quoted comment by Ilan Pappe: "I care less about veracity, I have an agenda to advance"),

and ideology even trumps personal well-being ... From Nuri Sa'id's famous quip to Ben-Gurion (in the late 1930's): "We (Arabs) would rather do it ourselves, even if it meant we had to wait a hundred years for these improvements (that Zionism brought to then-so-called Palestine), rather than learn it from you Jews"...

to the vociferously and enthusiastically restated support by Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the victory of Hamas, even though that victory harbingers a return to a 7th century economy...

to the growing support for the Taliban in Afghanistan even though the re-instatement of a Taliban government would most likely recreate the suffering and privation endured by the Afghanis under former Taliban rule...

to the growing support among Israeli Arabs for Hamas and Hezbollah even though the civilians under these terror-government's rule live in depressed economies and are deprived of the most basic human rights...

.....we see that people possessed of an adequately compelling ideology are willing to sacrifice personal well being, and their lives and the lives of others, in order to advance that ideology.

"Jihad in the cause of Allah until Islam dominates the entire world" is just such an adequately compelling ideology...for some.

And that "some" most assuredly includes the Arab oil-mega-wealthy who would scoff at the inconvenience of losing billions of dollars in bond values in order to bring down the USA. Note below the candor with which the Muslim academician (article #1) explains the true ultimate goal of Jihad: "Islam uber Alles".

This ideology is, by its own practitioners' and promoters' definition:

Jihadist (J = advanced by means of Jihad)

Islamic (I = based upon the most central tenets of Islam, originating from the Qur'an and the Sunna)

Supremacist (S = Islam will reign supreme in the entire world once Jihad has achieved victory)

Totalitarian (T = democracy is heresy per many Islamic leaders)

Triumphalist (T = Islam will triumph over the entire world eventually...and the sooner the better)

Tyrannical (T = the needs and rights of the individual must be suppressed as the Umma makes all sacrifices necessary for the victory of Islam via Jihad)

Theological (T = the core ideas emerge exclusively from the theology [the religious ideology] of islam dating back to Mohammed)

Imperialist (I = the spread of Islam via warfare includes the inalienability of conquered lands...once a land comes under Muslim rule, it remains under Muslim rule in perpetuity no matter what and can never revert back to non-Muslim sovereignty)

Fascist (F = Islamic totalitarian ideology seeks the same tyrannical control over society that fascism demands)

Misogynist (M = the position of women in Muslim society is well known, the Qur'an states that a woman is worth half of a man and must be subordinated to her male warden: usually father, husband, brother, or oldest male child)

Apartheid (A = all non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims per numerous quotes in the Qur'an).

Genocidal (G = those who refuse to convert and are not "people of the book" must die, no matter how many millions may thus be doomed to death by the Jihadists).

As best as I understand western morality, such an ideology is just plain evil (*). Supremacist, Tyrannical, Totalitarian, Triumphalist, Imperialist, Fascist, Misogynist, Apartheid, and Genocidal are all adjectives for concepts that our culture deems evil. They were evil when advanced by the NAZIs, and evil when advanced by the Soviets. And they are evil now, as they are advanced by some ideologically driven Jihadist Islamic theologians, and their followers.

Yet, this is the ideology that runs some significant part of the Arab (and a probably smaller but still significant part of the non-Arab Muslim) world.

This is the ideology which runs as well the Arab side of the Arab-Israel conflict and runs Hamas (article #2) and the PLO (article #3).

When our leaders ignore (or remain ignorant of) this ideology (per Glick in article #3), they render themselves incapable of making the kinds of decisions, based upon an accurate assessment of the dynamics of the conflict as this ideology drives and affects it, which are needed in order to resolve the conflict with defeat for evil.

Such leaders betray the trust of their electorates, compromise their own integrity, and place all of western civilization at risk of defeat at the hands of the highly motivated JISTTTIFMAG who will sacrifice all in order to achieve victory.

David ML

(*) This does not mean that Islam per se is evil, or that all Muslims are evil. Rather it means that the JISTTTIFMAG interpretation of Islam is evil. And those Muslims who implement that ideology are evil, as are those who are complicit in active or passive ways with the advancement of that ideology, as are those (Muslim or otherwise) who stand idly by in silence or who offer the services of cheerleader or obfuscator (Jimmy Carter as an example of the latter). Just as not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are Muslim, so too not all Muslims are evil, but those who perpetrate and/or accommodate and/or support and/or facilitate the implementation of this evil ideology are indeed evil people.

1.) the core Muslim ideology of Jihad, from a Muslim preacher on a Muslim website frequented by Muslims who have questions about Islam;
"Understanding Jihad"
Dr. Israr Ahmad
http://www.ionaonline.org/Internal_Pages/Articles/ Israr_Ahmad/Understandingjihad.html

If we were to make a list of all the Islamic terms and concepts that have been inadvertently misconstrued or deliberately distorted, by the apologetic Muslims or Western orientalists, then Jihad can easily be placed at the top of that list.

Although the significance of Jihad in the Qur'an and Sunnah cannot be overstated, its exact place in the overall framework of Islamic values and imperatives has been a matter of some debate. Some writers have described Jihad as the fifth pillar of Islam, while others have relegated it to a mere Fard Kafayah (a collective, rather than personal, duty). A highly misleading but popular idea in this respect is that any war in which the Muslims are engaged, even if the motives are other than purely Islamic, is Jihad fi Sabeel lillah. In view of the confusions and misunderstandings that surround this most fundamental of Islamic concepts, we are going to discuss here, very briefly, the meaning and import of Jihad vis-á-vis the other duties and obligations of a Muslim.

The word Jihad is not synonymous with "Holy War" which is what the Western media wants everyone to believe. After four decades of Cold War, the Western powers suddenly found themselves without a legitimate enemy, and, consequently, they have designated Islam and the Muslims as the most deadly threat to world peace. The image of all Muslims as terrorists was inculcated by numerous so-called documentaries, like the infamous Jihad in America (PBS). In the face of such widespread media stereotypes, it is indeed an uphill task to educate the non-Muslims regarding the true meaning of Jihad. Much more important, however, is the task of removing the misconception which are prevalent among the Muslims themselves.

The foundation of the edifice of Islam consists in the verbal testimony of God's unity and Muhammad's (SAW) prophethood. Built upon this foundation are the four pillars of Islam with which all of us are familiar, i.e., Salat, Zakat, Saum, and Hajj. Please note, however, that Iman (or faith) also has two pillars: an unshakable inner conviction in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the struggle in the path of Almighty Allah (SWT). This has been described in the Qur'an thus:

They alone are the mo'min who come to believe in Allah and His messenger and afterwards never doubted, and who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Only they are truthful and sincere. (Al-Hujurat 49:15)

What does this ayah really mean? It means that there is absolutely no way, for a person who claims to be a believer, to avoid Jihad fi Sabeel lillah and still remain a believer in the sight of Almighty Allah (SWT). Indeed, the very definition of a mo'min, as given in Surah Al-Hujurat, necessitates that a strong faith and state of inner certitude be coupled with an active struggle in the path of Allah (SWT).

The word Jihad and the verb that goes with it mean to struggle against some opposition. Thus, each and every human being is engaged in Jihad, in the sense that everyone has to struggle for his existence. However, the kind of Jihad we are talking about should be qualified as fi Sabeel lillah, that is to say, trying and exerting one's utmost in the path of Almighty Allah. It is an earnest and ceaseless activity involving the sacrifice of physical and mental resources, wealth, property, and even life, only for the sake of attaining the pleasure Almighty Allah (SWT).

In order to understand the meaning of striving in the path of Allah, we should first have a clear concept of the responsibilities of a Muslim. According to the Qur'an and the Sunnah, the obligations of a Muslim are three-fold: A Muslim is required to become an obedient slave of Almighty Allah (SWT), he is required to mold his life, his values, his priorities, and his ambitions according to the commands of his Lord. Secondly, he must preach and disseminate the ideational and practical guidance of Islam to his fellow human beings, to enjoin all that is good and prohibit all that is evil.

Thirdly, he must try his utmost to establish the domination of Islam over all other systems of life, all over the world.

Even a superficial analysis of these three obligations is enough to establish the fact that none of them is easy to fulfill. There are immence difficulties to overcome, all sorts of oppositions to put up with, and countless problems to solve at each of the three levels. A Muslim must put in a great deal of hard labor in fulfilling these obligations, he must exercise all his abilities and all his resources if he is to fulfill his duties. In other words, he is required to engage in a constant Jihad. This struggle or Jihad covers a wide spectrum of religious obligations, and its inherent activism can be understood as having nine different stages or aspects, as explained below:

In trying to live a life of total obedience to Almighty Allah (SWT) and to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), a Muslim must resist the following:

* the sinful impulses and evil inclinations of his own nafs;
* the temptations implanted by Iblees and his progeny;
* the ridicule, opposition, and pressures from the un-Islamic society in which he happens to live.

In trying to spread the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and those of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to every nook and corner of the world, a Muslim will encounter three types of people, and therefore he must develop different approaches and levels of scholarship to cater for each of these groups:

* the educated and intelligent classes;
* the common people, or the masses at large;
* the rigid and inflexible adversaries.

In endeavoring for the establishment of the ascendancy of Islam over all other systems of life, members of the Islamic movement will have to go through the following stages:

* Passive Resistance, enduring all verbal and physical persecution without retaliation;
* Active Resistance, challenging the un-Islamic system when there is enough strength available to do so;
* and finally, the Armed Conflict (or a non-violent and disciplined popular movement)

It should be obvious from the above discussion that armed conflict or Qitaal constitutes only the last of the nine stages or aspects of Jihad, and that these two are not synonymous terms.

Thus, we see that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) spent the entire twelve years of the Meccan period in calling people towards Islam, in organizing and training those who responded, and, during all that time, both he and his Companions endured all verbal and physical harassment with a non-violent attitude. It was only after Hijrah, when a strong center of the Islamic Movement was established in Medina, that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) decided that now there was enough strength at his disposal to challenge the Quraysh, and only then the Islamic movement entered the phases of Active Resistance and Armed Conflict. In view of this, all the revivalist and revolutionary Islamic groups throughout the Muslim world must keep the following fact in mind: While an armed struggle against an un-Islamic political system is permissible under certain conditions (whether or not it is feasible in today's world is another issue), such a struggle cannot be launched without first going through the initial eight stages of Jihad.

It is vitally important that those who are trying to change the world in accordance with the will of Allah (SWT) must first change their own lives. It is indeed ironical that the life-style of many of the Muslims who are engaged in Islamic activism cannot be described as ideal or exemplary. We must keep in mind that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has described the struggle to make one's own self obedient to Almighty Allah (SWT) as the "Greater Jihad." We cannot expect to eradicate the evils in our society unless we first subjugate our own sinful impulses. Similarly, it is also essential that all the available means and resources be utilized in calling people towards the light of Islam, in removing their false beliefs, and in helping them realize the truth of Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) teachings, before initiating the final phases of Jihad.

What, exactly, is the nature of the relationship between Iman and Jihad, or faith and struggle? During the days of early, pristine Islam, we find that the two major realities –– which formed the focus of attention for the Muslims –– were Qur'an and Jihad. Qur'an was the source of Iman, and Iman manifested itself in Jihad. Primarily, it was the force and appeal of the Qur'anic verses that conquered the hearts and souls of the Companions (RAA), leading to a profound change in their values, priorities, ambitions, and thinking pattern. This inner transformation quite naturally led to a sense of dissatisfaction and discontent with what was happening in their environment, resulting in the development of friction and a lack of harmony between the Muslims and their un-Islamic milieu. A genuine inner change necessarily leads to a conflict with the status quo. In the case of the Companions (RAA), the inner transformation was characterized by Iman, and the resulting conflict took the form of Jihad.

Things began to change, however, when Islam entered the era of "statehood" and ceased to be a "movement." As a result, the attention of the Muslim community gradually started to shift from the moving and inspiring verses of the Qur'an to legal and judicial matters, from the inner dynamics of Iman to the external manifestation of Islam, and from Jihad in the path of Allah (SWT) to warfare for the defense –– or expansion –– of the Muslim territories. The idea that Jihad is a Fard Kafayah was made popular by the legalistic mind which equated it with the responsixbilities of the armed forces.

How can we bring about an Islamic Renaissance in our own times? It will be possible only by following the methodology of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The only surefire and unfailing strategy for Islamic Renaissance, therefore, must involve the revitalization of Iman through the Qur'an, and the launching of an Islamic movement on the basis of the dynamism thus unleashed. We need to establish a strong nucleus of true conviction and faith among the educated and rational elements of the Muslim society –– the brain-trust of the Muslim Ummah –– by means of the propagation of the Qur'anic wisdom at the highest intellectual level. The light of Iman will then illuminate all other segments of the society. This is the essential prerequisite for Islamic Renaissance, as it constitutes the only methodology to generate the dedicated and committed man-power to undertake the Jihad for the establishment of the domination of Islam over all other systems of life, all over the world.


2.) the propensity of western leaders to ignore, or be ignorant of, the role that Jihad ideology plays in the context of Middle Eastern conflicts.

Carter's Confusion
Why would a former president visit with a terrorist master?
By Clifford D. May,
National Review on line (NRO)
April 17, 2008

Let's be fair to Jimmy Carter. Let's suppose he isn't indulging in egotistical grandstanding, that he doesn't harbor a deep-seated bias against Israel, and that he's not been influenced by the millions of dollars Islamists have provided to his Carter Center. Let's suppose his freelance diplomacy is sincerely in pursuit of the elusive path to peace in the Middle East.

Even so, why in the world would he pay a courtesy call on Khaled Mashaal, an admitted terrorist master? Meshaal has claimed responsibility for organizing numerous suicide bombings, slaughtering mostly Israeli civilians but Americans too. The head of Hamas' politburo, Mashaal lives not in Hamas-ruled Gaza, from which missiles rain down on Israeli villages daily. Nor does he live in the West Bank, which is controlled, more or less, by Fatah, Hamas' rival. He resides instead in Syria, a guest of dictator Bashar al-Assad, Iran's client, who for the past five years has facilitated the flow of al-Qaeda combatants into Iraq.

Those who attempt to appease tyrants are generally suspected of cowardice. More often, I suspect, lack of imagination is the cause. When Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich, he no doubt believed he could reason with him because he also no doubt believed that the Führer –– whatever his grievances or ambitions –– was a reasonable man like himself. Offer Hitler a good deal –– land, power, prestige –– and surely he'd take it rather than plunge his nation into a terrible war.

What this leaves out is ideology. Hitler's ideas –– odious as they may now seem to you, me, and Carter (though certainly not to Meshaal) –– inspired millions to fight and die for the glory of the Third Reich. And Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist ideology inspired millions to fight and die for the illusion of a Communist utopia.

The ideology of Hamas derives from something more enduring than Mein Kampf, Das Kapital or Mao's Little Red Book. It is rooted in a 1,400-year-old religion. Hamas proudly proclaims that "the Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration." Hamas leaders promise their followers not just rewards here on Earth but in the next world as well –– a selling point neither Nazism nor Communism could offer.

Hamas' Charter asserts that it is "one of the wings of the Moslem Brotherhood," a transnational organization "characterized by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgment, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam."

Surely, Carter is aware that, as a matter of religious conviction, Meshaal can not accept Israel's existence. Hamas believes every inch of Israel and, indeed, of any land ever ruled by Muslims is "an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day." A Muslim can fight to reclaim this endowment or he can fail to fulfill the obligations his faith imposes. To Hamas, there is no Third Way.

The Hamas Charter asserts that "initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to [Hamas'] principles. ... There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." And by Jihad, Hamas does not mean an internal struggle for personal improvement.

Not only do Hamas members oppose a "two-state solution," they believe that nation-states are un-Islamic. Instead, an Islamic caliphate is to be re-established, an empire that is to expand until the Dar al-Islam, the world ruled by righteous Muslims, consumes the Dar al-Harb, the world in which infidels and apostates currently hold sway. "Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our prophet Muhammad," Hamas member and Palestinian parliamentarian Yunis al-Asal pledged this month on a Hamas television program.

Does Carter sincerely think he can convince Meshaal to reject such ideas and embrace the Carter Center's kumbaya mission of "waging peace and building hope"? Does he really believe he can change Mashaal's mind, much less open his heart?

If so, Carter is as clueless now as he was almost 30 years ago when, on his watch as president, the Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran, seized America's embassy, held our diplomats hostage and sat back to watch Carter do nothing effective in response. But let's be fair to Carter. He alone is not responsible for the rise of Islamism in all its malevolent variations. He is responsible, however, for so profoundly misunderstanding what is happening in the world over so many years.

–– Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.


3.) Our World: What is a sufficient victory?
by Caroline Glick
The Jerusalem Post
Apr. 14, 2008

Speaking to IDF commanders in Judea and Samaria last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exhorted the officers tasked with preventing Palestinians from attacking Israel while operating under civilian cover to have sympathy for them. Olmert said "Take all the Palestinians who have been stripped at the roadblocks just because of fear that there may be terrorists and terror operatives among them. Take all those who wait at roadblocks because of fear that a car bomb may drive through the same roadblock. This could be a boiling cauldron, liable to explode and cause horrible burns, and it could be something else, dependent only on your ability to act wisely and forcefully."

Since Olmert knows that IDF soldiers are as courteous as possible to Palestinians at roadblocks, his statement will have two major consequences. First it will cause a loosening of regulations at roadblocks and so impair IDF counterterror capabilities. Second, by insultingly insinuating that IDF forces are cruel, Olmert demoralized his own soldiers and reduced their willingness to accomplish their mission by hinting that they cannot expect the government to back them.

Olmert's message is just the latest action his government has taken in recent weeks that undermine the IDF's ability to maintain its military success since 2002 in defeating Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria and preventing them from reorganizing.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's decision to take down roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria; provide immunity from arrest to wanted terror fugitives; and permit the deployment of US-backed Fatah militias in Jenin all serve to directly undermine the IDF's remarkable achievements in defeating and preventing the reconstitution of the Palestinian terror war machine in Judea and Samaria since Operation Defensive Shield was carried out in 2002. Even more disturbingly, its reported willingness to cede the Jordan Valley to Fatah in the negotiations it is now conducting with Fatah leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei indicate that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is ready to transform Judea and Samaria into a base for global jihadist forces just as occurred when Israel surrendered Gaza's border with Egypt in 2005.

That the government is squandering the IDF's hard-won achievements in Judea and Samaria is made clear in a paper on counterinsurgency warfare authored by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror released this week by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Amidror's paper, "Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience," focuses on Israel's military defeat of Palestinian terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defensive Shield.

AMIDROR IDENTIFIES six components of counterinsurgency warfare which he deems essential for effecting military victory over irregular forces. These components are:

a political decision by the government to defeat terrorism;
winning and maintaining control of the territory from which terrorists operate;
acquiring relevant intelligence;
isolating the terror enclaves from outside supporters;
multidimensional cooperation between intelligence gatherers and fighting forces;
and separating civilians from terrorists.

Through its actions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government it is undermining four of these components.

After identifying what he views as the essential components of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, Amidror identifies and defines three forms of military victory. First, there is "total victory" which involves both a military defeat of insurgent or terror forces and the political reorganization of their societies from terror-supporting societies into terror-combating societies. Second, there is "temporary victory" which involves a one-off military defeat of enemy forces which is not combined with any political transformation of their societies. Finally, Amidror considers what he refers to as "sufficient victory."

As he defines it, a sufficient victory involves defeating an irreconcilable foe and then preventing him from rebuilding his capacity to wage war.

Like a temporary victory, a sufficient victory doesn't entail any political transformation of enemy society, and indeed it takes for granted that such a transformation is impossible to enact. But as opposed to a temporary victory, Amidror argues that the effect of a sufficient victory can be longstanding if the victorious side is willing and able to consistently prevent enemy forces from reconstituting themselves. That is, a sufficient victory requires a continuous rather than one-off campaign.

Amidror's definition of sufficient victory leads him to conclude that contrary to the approach of the Israeli and Western Left, there is a military option for victory in counterinsurgency wars devoid of political transformation. From an Israeli perspective, Amidror's vision of counterinsurgency warfare view is reasonable and understandable.

Israel's options for transforming Palestinian society from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society are limited. Influenced by domestic, pan-Arab and pan-Islamic jihadist indoctrination; supported militarily, financially and politically by Arab states, Iran, terror groups and the West, the Palestinians have little reason to transform.

MOREOVER, ISRAEL's strategic and national interests in maintaining control over Judea and Samaria could render sustainable a military strategy with no withdrawal element. This is not the case in other battlefields such as the US counterinsurgency in Iraq.

To a degree, Amidror's view that sufficient victory is possible is echoed in recent statements by US military commanders in Iraq. In a dispatch from Iraq published last month in National Review, Richard Lowry reported, "For all the security gains over the last year, American commanders believe they have hit a plateau." Absent coherent, competent action by the Iraqi government to secure and maintain the loyalty of Iraqis to the Iraqi state, like the IDF in Judea and Samaria, all US forces in Iraq can do is keep violence down to sufferable levels.

Yet in contrast to Israel's success in Judea and Samaria, the success of US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq is the consequence first and foremost of their politically-transformative guiding principles. As Lowry noted, the 80,000 Iraqi security volunteers who now openly collaborate with US forces in counter-terror operations, "represent more or less a direct transfer of forces from the enemy's side to ours."

In Israel, the basic assumption that guided both the decision by the Rabin-Peres government to embrace the PLO and form the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and the decisions by subsequent governments to leave the PA in place and maintain allegiance to the PLO as a negotiating partner was that like the Iraqi security volunteers, and like the South Lebanese Army which supported IDF operations in South Lebanon from 1985 through 2000, PLO and Fatah forces would act as transformative agents in Palestinian society moving it from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society.

This view, always controversial, has been proven wrong again and again. Just last week, the PLO ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki restated the PLO's aim of destroying Israel in an interview with Lebanese television.

In Zaki's words, "The PLO... has not changed its platform even one iota." That platform, to destroy Israel in stages, remains the objective of the PLO." He continued, "In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."

Israel's willingness to maintain its support for the PLO in spite of the PLO and Fatah's obvious rejection of Israel's right to exist and their continuous support and involvement in terror attacks against Israel exposes two flaws inherent in Amidror's view that it is possible to maintain a sufficient victory in counterinsurgency wars over the long term without inducing political transformation of enemy societies.

The first flaw is that it takes as a given that the will of the victorious army's government to maintain counterinsurgency operations will remain constant. The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's maintenance of the inherently adversarial Fatah terror group as a legitimate negotiating partner shows that this is not the case. The government's commitment to Fatah necessarily induces it to undermine IDF achievements in Judea and Samaria. Those achievements are inimical to the interests of Fatah and so, from the government's current perspective, they must be cancelled to please Fatah.

Since 2002, the IDF's military control over Judea and Samaria has not involved any serious efforts to transform Palestinian society on the grassroots level. It has not enhanced security for Palestinian civilians who are terrorized by terror operatives operating in their villages and towns. As Amidror notes, Israel's actions to separate civilians from terrorists in Judea and Samaria are limited to crafting operations that minimize collateral damage. But while Israel does not target Palestinian civilians, it has done nothing to prevent them from being targeted by Palestinian terrorists. And so, it has given them no option to fight those terrorists. As a consequence although militarily the situation in Judea and Samaria has been transformed over the past six years, politically, the only change among Palestinians is that they have become more radicalized.

And here lies the second flaw in his analysis. To be successful, a counterinsurgency war must have a political component that reaches out to enemy populations. While it is true that Israel has limited capacity to change the way that Palestinians think about Israel and the form their society ought to take, Israel does have some capacity. For instance, Israel could launch a hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs who are both politically and demographically linked to the Palestinians.

Such a campaign would be two-pronged. First it would involve a concentrated law and order campaign whose aim would be to reassert Israel's sovereign authority in Israeli Arab areas. Second, it would secure law-abiding Israeli Arabs while delegitimizing the current anti-Israel, pro-terror leadership now in charge of Israeli Arab society and so cultivate the conditions necessary to replace that leadership with Israeli Arabs who embrace their identity as Israelis and oppose terrorism. The impact of such a campaign on the Palestinians in both Judea and Samaria would no doubt be dramatic.

Amidror makes the important point that there is no empirical data that proves the oft-repeated contention that terror-supporting societies are more willing to sacrifice for victory than terror-combating societies. As the Israeli public has shown since the Palestinians began their terror war in 2000, Israelis are just as willing, if not more willing, to make sacrifices for victory as the Palestinians. But for victory to be accomplished and secured, a military campaign needs to be complimented by a political campaign led by a political leadership that explains reality to its own public and is able to give terror-supporting societies another option.

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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UK FATHER AND SON BANNED FROM PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL FOR NOT BEING MUSLIMS
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 18, 2008.

This comes from Jihad Watch
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/020702.php The article is called "Public pool bars father and son from its 'Muslim-only' swimming session." It was written by Colin Fernandez and Nick McDermott and it appeared today in the Daily Mail (UK)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/ news/news.html?in_article_id=560231&in_page_id=1770&ct=5

Refused entry: David Toube and his 10-year-old son were turned away from a 'Muslim-only' swimming session

A father and his five-year-old son were turned away from their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion.

David Toube, 39, and his son Harry were told that the Sunday morning session was reserved for Muslim men only.

Hackney Council, which runs the Clissold Leisure Centre in Stoke Newington, north London, claimed staff there had made a mistake.

However, the Muslim-only session was advertised on its website.

Mr Toube, a corporate lawyer, described his experiences on a blog.

"I arrived at the pool to discover that they were holding what staff described to me as "Muslim men only swimming," he wrote.

"I asked whether my son and I could go as we were both male. I was told that the session was for Muslims only and that we could not be admitted. I asked what would happen if I turned up and insisted I was Muslim.

"The manager suggested that they might ask the Muslims swimming if they minded my son and I swimming with them. If they didn't object, we might be allowed in."

A few days later, Mr Toube, who lives with his wife, 38-year-old barrister Samantha, and their two sons in Stoke Newington, North London, spoke to another leisure centre employee.

"He gave me an identical story. His explanation was that it was a requirement of the Muslim religion that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims."

Mr Toube joked: "I asked him whether Clissold Leisure Centre would institute Whites Only swimming for racists. His answer was that they would if there was sufficient demand."

He added: "I spoke to a number of Muslim friends, and none of them had heard of a religious prohibition on swimming with non-Muslims.

"One friend was so disgusted with Hackney for trying to segregate Muslims and non Muslims that he suggested that he take his little daughter swimming with us, just to prove the point."

However, Dr Taj Hargey, chair of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford, said it was not true that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims.

"There is no Koranic verse or any statement from the sources of Islam that says different religions should be segregated," he said.

"The only requirement is that when women swim they should be modestly clad."

The Prophet Mohammed is recorded as saying that it is a Muslim's duty to learn to swim as it could save his or her life.

The swimming sessions for male Muslims were advertised as taking place every Sunday from 8am to 9.30am.

Leaflets stipulated: "It is compulsory for the body to be covered between the navel and the knees.

"Anyone not adhering to the dress code or rules within the pool will not be allowed to swim. All brothers welcome.'

A leisure centre spokesman said staff were wrong to refuse entry to Mr Toube.

He added: "The member of staff the user spoke with at the time was mistaken when referring to the session as Muslim-only.

"The men's modesty session is not a private hire and is, therefore, open to the public.

"Staff cannot ask your religion on entrance and you won't be refused entry if you don't appear to be Muslim."

A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "Segregating services may amount to unlawful discrimination and could create a sense of unfairness, inadvertently increasing community tension."

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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PRAYER FOR ISRAEL'S CAPTIVES AND MFAS
Posted by Avodah, April 17, 2008.

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THE PC MAKE-OVER OF PASSOVER
Posted by Steven Plaut, April 17, 2008.

In recent years, Passover has undergone a make-over in the American Jewish non-Orthodox community, one that has converted it largely into a holiday devoted to celebrating human rights, protesting a long list of human rights abuses and promoting fashionable causes. The remake seems designed to make Passover a cosmopolitan holiday, one with a universal message in which all can join, in essence the Jewish answer to the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution.

Back in the 1960s, a series of Political Correctness Haggadot (plural of Haggada) were written, in which the message of Passover was turned into a celebration of the civil rights movement in the United States. Arthur Waskow, the guru of the Tikkun-"Renewal" crowd, wrote at the time a Black Liberation Passover Haggadah, celebrating black militants like the Black Panthers, who were themselves coincidentally calling at the same time for the annihilation of Jews. Later Political Correctness Haggadot were devoted to homosexual rights, women's liberation, and assorted other faddish causes, not least of which was Palestinian "liberation". No doubt, this year will see Defend Iran and Help Obama Haggadot or No War for Oil ones. "Multicultural" Passover seders became fashionable in some circles, in which the seder became a mixture of acclamations for human rights and freedom, taken from a wide variety of non-Jewish sources.

As yet another illustration, a few years back the Passover cause celebre of American Jewish liberals was Tibet (my guess is it will be this year again), with Tibetan officials invited to Passover seders, and where the leftist Religious Action Center (RAC) of the Reform synagogue movement called on Jews to hold Tibetan-freedom Passover seders in solidarity with Tibet. The RAC is devoted to the proposition that Jewish values are nothing more and nothing less than this year's leftist political fads, including gay "marriage", supporting affirmative action apartheid programs, and opposing all welfare reform. Its head, Rabbi David Saperstein was quoted with approval a few years back by the American Communist Party's weekly newspaper.

In all of these attempts to recast Passover as the celebration of human rights, the Professional Liberals of the American Jewish Establishment (or PLAJEs, for short) seem to be overlooking one little point. And that is that Passover has absolutely nothing to do with human rights and is not at all a celebration of human freedom. Not that there is anything wrong with celebrating human rights, mind you. I would certainly not object to creating such a holiday, and my personal preference would be to hold it on Hiroshima Day, the day in which the A-bomb saved countless human lives and created the conditions under which freedoms could be extended to many millions of oppressed Asians.

For the record, Passover is the celebration of Jewish national liberation. It is one of three such Jewish holidays devoted entirely to celebrating Jewish national liberation, the other two being Hannuka and Purim, and Passover is the only one with Torah foundations. It is not the celebration of generic civil rights, nor even the celebration of freedom and dignity for oppressed peoples around the globe. It is the celebration of Jews achieving national self-determination and taking their homeland back by force of arms.

The only role that human rights play in the story of Passover is in showing that, under certain circumstances, human rights may be trampled upon for the greater good –– namely, for Jewish national liberation. In order to achieve Jewish national liberation, God ran roughshod over the human rights of the Egyptians. He afflicted them with a series of plagues. He then killed all Egyptian first-born.

While Pharaoh no doubt deserved everything he got, most of the rest of the Egyptian people were completely innocent, hardly responsible for Pharaoh's human rights abuses, themselves oppressed by Pharaoh yet still subjects of collateral damage. They paid the price for Pharaoh's crimes and God saw this as necessary and just. The innocent first-born of all those innocent Egyptian parents were killed. And while it is not clear, apparently the first-born of the non-Jewish slaves were also innocent victims of the Tenth Plague. And then, even the first-born of the animals in Egypt were killed, a development that would no doubt have driven the animal rights movement to hysterical outrage. What on earth did those poor animals do to deserve such a punishment?

While all of the above involve the Almighty's decision to violate the legitimate human rights of the Egyptian people, human rights abuses in the Passover story are not restricted to those inflicted by the Divine. The Jewish slaves, before taking to the road, also take away the wealth and savings of the Egyptian people, albeit at Divine command to do so. While Pharaoh no doubt owed them some back wages, this wealth was in essence being stolen from the innocent Ordinary Egyptians, and not necessarily only from the yuppie upper classes.

Incidentally, the poor sons of Haman, the 75 thousand or so Persians who get killed and the others who have their property confiscated by the Jews according to the Scroll of Esther, and all those innocent Greek Seleucid Republican Guards getting whacked by the Maccabee Green Berets are other examples of human rights going out the window when Jewish national liberation and independence are pursued.

Passover is, of course, hardly a glorification of these human rights abuses. It is simply a celebration of Jewish national liberation even when it is pre-conditioned upon a certain necessary amount of moral tradeoffs and realpolitik. The lesson is clear. When there is no choice, squeamishness over the "human rights" of innocent people is out of place. The human rights of the Egyptians in the story of Exodus count for no more than the human rights of innocent Germans and Japanese getting the hell bombed out of them in World War II, or innocent residents of Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle getting bombed by the Coalition forces. Such things are necessary in the real world. Human rights sometimes need to be compromised to protect Jews and achieve Jewish self-determination and other goals.

All of which is of course lost upon all those self-righteous PLAJEs whining about Israel shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at Arab rioters and retaliating for th eQassam rockets fired by the fascist Palestinian hordes. And the lesson that innocent humans sometimes must be abused and have their rights compromised will no doubt serve as a refreshing reminder for all those urchins marching in the current "peace marches" in solidarity with Islamofascism.

The real lesson of Passover is that Jewish national liberation and freedom does not come cheaply. The real world involves difficult choices, moral compromises and tradeoffs. Achieving a higher moral end often involves taking steps that would themselves be considered abusive or immoral on their own grounds, but are required in order to achieve the greater good. Such tradeoffs are the stuff with which moral posturers and self-righteous practitioners of recreational compassion cannot deal. It does not fit into their simplistic world view and lazy armchair moralizing.

It is the great tragedy of the American Jewish community, or at least the non-Orthodox majority therein, that it is so overwhelmingly dominated by assimilated Professional Liberals and self-righteous practitioners of recreational liberal compassion, people whose understanding of political tradeoffs and public policy analysis never go any deeper than a good bumper sticker.

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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EHUD OLMERT GOES AGAINST THE ISRAELI ZEITGEIST
Posted by BESA Center, April 17, 2008.
This was written by Efraim Inbar, who is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and the director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies. This article appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1208356966724&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is negotiating the future of Jerusalem with his Palestinian interlocutors. Tzipi Livni, his minister for foreign affairs, admitted that all core issues "are on the table." Few know that before the July 2000 Camp David summit, the then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, consulted with the mayor of Jerusalem, Olmert, on how to divide the city. Barak violated the taboo on Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians sovereignty on the Temple Mount. This elicited the largest rally ever held in Israel –– over 250,000 people demonstrated against it. Barak's coalition disintegrated (for other reasons as well), leading to his political fall.

Today, Olmert is similarly desperate for reaching an agreement with the Palestinians before elections. Yet, no Israeli government is likely to survive concessions in Jerusalem under the current political constellation. The Israel Beiteinu party has already left the coalition in opposition to talks over permanent status issues, while the Shas party threatens to do likewise if the government discusses Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Even elements within the ruling Kadima party will likely desert the coalition if the Jerusalem issue is touched. At least one Laborite (Yoram Martziano) shares a similar position. If elections will be held in the near future, the strength of the opposition to concessions on Jerusalem will only grow.

Nevertheless, Olmert's arrogance leads him to believe that he knows better than his people what is good for the Jews. He ignores the will of the Knesset and is in the process of making concessions on Jerusalem without having the political mandate to do so.

Olmert is out of sync with the Israeli public. His popularity is very low and few trust him. For example, 60 percent of the electorate does not believe his disclaimer that he is not negotiating over Jerusalem. Moreover, his nonchalant attitude is not shared by his fellow countrymen. They look with trepidation at Olmert's intrigues to survive politically even if the price might be the division of Jerusalem.
 

THE POLLS on the issue of Jerusalem, including a recent survey conducted by the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, clearly indicate that over 70 percent of the Jews in Israel oppose relinquishing Israel's sovereignty over the Temple Mount, even if this will be necessary to lead to a peace treaty with the Palestinians. A similar amount of Israelis think it is unacceptable to have a Palestinian capital in the eternal city. In other words, an overwhelming proportion of Israelis are ready to forgo a peace treaty and continue the armed struggle against the Palestinians in order to assure Israel's sovereignty over the holiest place to the Jews. Their views show that they are not tired by the protracted conflict as Olmert, a hedonist, wrongly presumes.

Indeed, Olmert is not listening to the fears of his people. A large majority of the Israeli public believes that concessions in Jerusalem are dangerous to Israel's security. Significantly, 61 percent of the Jews in Israel do not believe that the division of the city within the context of an agreement with the Palestinians will end the conflict and put to rest Palestinian additional claims. Moreover, 69 percent believe that Palestinian terrorism will continue unabated even after concessions on the Temple Mount. A majority also believes that areas ceded in Jerusalem to the Palestinians will serve as terrorist bases and if holy places are transferred to Palestinian control, they will not be safeguarded.

Olmert arrogantly dismisses the national security concerns of Israel's citizenry. This is not only usurping Israeli democracy, but also prolonging the conflict by providing false hope to the Palestinians that they may gain a foothold in Jerusalem. Olmert's behavior whets the Palestinian appetite for concessions.

Finally, the partition of Jerusalem is simply a bad idea when the zeitgeist dictates uniting cities such as Berlin, Belfast or Nicosia. Why should Jerusalem be different?! Jews have held a majority in the city for the past 150 years. The Palestinian demand to apply the principle of self-determination to Ramallah is valid for Jerusalem as well. Even the Arab minority in the city has shown its preference for living under Israeli rule, as many have moved to the Israeli side of the security barrier being built around Jerusalem. Their choice is reasonable, as Jerusalem offers the quality of life of a modern Western city, while only a few kilometers away, a Third World standard of living, chaos and religious intolerance are the norm. An undivided Jerusalem is the best guarantee for a better life for all Jerusalemites.

Olmert's irresponsible encouragement for the unreasonable Palestinian demand for dividing Jerusalem is dangerous. Days before Passover, when we join past generations of Jews in declaring "Next Year in Jerusalem," Olmert's insistence on dividing the city looks more lunatic than ever.

The Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies is at Bar-Ilan University.

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AN ARAB VIEW OF CARTER'S VISIT TO HAMAS
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 17, 2008.

Thanks to Ami Isseroff for passing on this editorial by Michael Young in the Beirut Daily Star. Michael Young is opinion editor of The Daily Star.

Young's insight is helpful, as is Isseroff's comment about the "lull" (tahdiyeh: a temporary hiatus in fighting so that one can regroup and re-arm and re-deploy in order to be better prepared for the next round).

Recall that while critique of Carter gains credibility when it comes from an Arab, a large part of the Lebanese Arab community bitterly hates and fears Hezbollah and Hamas and Syria and Iran –– so Young's commentary may in part be a function of that anti-Hamas sentiment.

That having been said, I find myself in complete agreement with Young and Isseroff, and would add only that Carter, like Pelossi and others before him, is in violation of American law and is displaying a vigilante behavior vis-a-viz American foreign policy –– behavior which is quite unbecoming a former president and incongruent with what has been hitherto the norm for former presidents. Moreover, such behavior, in as much as it lends succor and support to an avowed enemy in war time, undermines our ability to wage that war and as such borders on treason.

Readers may recall Alan Dershowitz' conclusion about Carter, based on Carter's most recent book. Dershowitz concludes that Carter has literally sold out to the Saudis. If Dershowitz is right, then Carter's visit may be motivated by the wishes of his Saudi funders to undermine our ability to wage that war.

The article below is called "Jimmy Carter : a fool on a fool's errand." It was written by Michael Young, of the Daily Star staff. It appeared today and is archived at
http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/04/ arab-view-of-carter-in-damascus.html

Ami Isseroff writes about it:

This article could have been written for Jerusalem Post. It should have been written for Ha'aretz, but Ha'aretz editors chose to praise Carter instead. It was written by a clear sighted Arab friend who understands the Middle East much better than the editors of Ha'aretz or Meretz Youth, and it was published in the Beirut Daily Star.

Young misses only one point: Meshaal's proffered "settlement" with Israel was never a peace treaty, only a long term truce or lull.

(Isseroff's comment was originally posted at
http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/04/ arab-view-of-carter-in-damascus.html.
Contact ZNN at znn-subscribe@yahoogroups.com)

Say what you will about Jimmy Carter, he has a way of transforming moments of plodding gravitas into uproarious comedy. Remember that moment during the 1980 Democratic convention when Carter stood up, and in a phrase paying tribute to Hubert Humphrey, instead praised "Hubert Horatio Hornblower," confusing the late vice president with the character from the C.S. Forester novels?

As Carter prepares to meet with a senior Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus, the former American president again risks attempting to say one thing, only to blunder into another. Carter's declared goal is to affirm that no one can avoid talking to Hamas. As he put it last week, "I'm not a negotiator. I'm someone who might provide some communication. I'm going to try to make [Meshaal] agree to a peaceful resolution, both with Israel and with Hamas' Palestinian rivals."

The debate over whether the United States, Israel and others should talk to Hamas has become tiresome, largely because those supporting dialogue invariably limit their reasoning to a narrow syllogism: Hamas is a central actor in the Palestinian conflict; to resolve the conflict you need to talk to central actors; therefore talk to Hamas. To many engagers the problem is mainly one of communication. If only everyone could just sit around a table and talk, things would work out. Khaled Meshaal hasn't yet been shown the prospective gains from a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; he hasn't been talked to. But because he's a pragmatic man, a sincere dialogue would allow him to deploy some of that pragmatism to the benefit of reaching a peaceful regional equilibrium.

You can almost hear Khaled Meshaal gasping at the naivete of such sweeping positivism, as he prepares to score points off his solemn American visitor. Meshaal knows what talks with Hamas would really imply, and he knows the snag is hardly one of miscommunication.

For one thing, negotiating with Hamas would effectively undermine the authority and credibility of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestine Liberation Organization –– together, the paramount representatives of the Palestinian people. If the engagers' riposte is that Abbas is already discredited, that only confirms their intention to replace Abbas with Hamas as Israel's chief interlocutor. Still, senior members of the Fatah movement would disagree with the grim assessment of Abbas. They believe Hamas is increasingly squeezed in Gaza, its credibility on the wane as it has brought only hardship to the strip's inhabitants. That is why, they point out, the movement is so desperate to break out of the Israeli blockade. As for the West Bank, Hamas has lost ground there as well, they insist, despite claims that the movement could seize control of the area were it not for the presence of the Israeli Army.

Regardless of whether this is true, it makes no sense today to damage Abbas by opening a channel to Hamas, which has never endorsed the agreements reached with Israel during the Oslo years. In fact, to bring Hamas into negotiations would only grant legitimacy to the movement's rejection of those agreements, and of the entire Oslo process. This, in turn, would only further constrict Abbas' slim margin of maneuver.

A second consequence of talking to Hamas, Meshaal knows, is that it would insert Iran and Syria squarely into the Palestinian track. There are differences between Meshaal in Damascus and Mahmoud Zahhar and the Hamas leadership in Gaza, but it's hard to imagine that an open channel to the movement would not enhance Meshaal's standing, and that of his backers. Meshaal is more accessible and can call on substantial Iranian funding, even if the Muslim Brotherhood's financial networks benefit all factions. Whoever ends up speaking on Hamas' behalf, Tehran and Damascus could only gain from a dialogue with the movement. Yasser Arafat's singular achievement for three decades was to safeguard the "independence of the Palestinian decision," particularly from Syria. Talking to Meshaal could well mean reversing that accomplishment.

There is also a valid case to be made that Hamas is not interested in a peace treaty with Israel, because its ultimate ambition is to liberate the whole of Palestine. Certainly, that's what the movement demonstrates day in and day out. Meshaal has declared that Hamas would accept a deal on the basis of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but has added a key caveat that this must also include a right of return for the Palestinian refugees of 1948 to their places of origin. For Israel this is a non-starter on demographic grounds, and Meshaal knows it. However, it does allow supporters of dialogue with Hamas to conveniently slot the movement into the Oslo consensus, even if the reality is different.

Whatever Hamas' true intentions, the contention that states should not talk to the movement on principle is difficult to sustain, if only because politics abhors a vacuum and the impulse to do something different can become overwhelming. That's why the onus should be placed on defenders of engagement to substantiate their proposals. Talking should not be an end in itself. First the engagers should clarify what Hamas will agree to talk about. The movement says it is willing to negotiate a long-term truce with Israel, a notion once championed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as well. If both parties agree, fine. But the outcome won't be peace. Israel will use the interregnum to consolidate its hold on strategic parts of the West Bank, while Hamas will use it to marginalize its Palestinians foes, rearm, and prepare for a showdown with Israel.

On the other hand, if Hamas is willing to discuss peace, then the movement has to first demonstrate this before anyone seriously considers overhauling the Palestinian-Israeli track. That shouldn't be difficult, even if nothing shows that Hamas is contemplating peace with Israel, while everything about the movement's behavior and rhetoric says the contrary.

That's why Jimmy Carter is on a fool's errand, complicating an already complicated situation. It's often said that Carter has been a better ex-president than president. That's no compliment, so ghastly was his tenancy of the White House –– the Camp David accords notwithstanding. Peace may be a long way away between Palestinians and Israelis, but Carter won't speed things up any by turning into Meshaal's patsy.

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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PASSOVER GREETING FROM MANHIGUT YEHUDIT
Posted by Manhigut Yehudit, April 17, 2008.

The holiday of Passover will be starting this Shabbat, the 14th of Nissan (April 19) at sundown, and will last for seven days in Israel and eight days in the Diaspora. On Passover, the Jewish People celebrates its redemption from the bondage of Egypt, and its first steps toward full national and spiritual redemption. Manhigut Yehudit's offices will be closed throughout the week of Passover, from the 13th of Nissan (April 18) until the 23rd of Nissan, (April 28). We wish all of our readers and supporters a joyous, meaningful and kosher Passover. May it be a festival of true redemption for each individual, for the nation of Israel and for the entire world!

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 contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

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ANOTHER SYRIAN ARMORED DIVISION MASSES ON ISRAELI-LEBANESE BORDERS
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 17, 2008.

April 16th I posted an article entitled: "PLANNING TO LOSE THE NEXT WAR?". The question mark was "just" a courtesy.

As you read the following DEBKAfile piece, it seems clear that Israel's PM Ehud Olmert and DM Ehud Barak are formulating a plan to "throw the fight". All of their actions demonstrate that they seem to want Syria to attack and over-run the 20,000 Jewish men, women and children plus the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) on the Golan Heights.

Such an pre-meditated attack would show that Olmert and Barak do not need to face their electorate and the Knesset so they can "cleverly" by-pass any Peoples' Referendum.

I recall a similar situation when General Israel Tal called up a full-armored exercise on the Golan at a time when Syria was similarly acting aggressively. The moment Israel initiated her maneuvers, then President of Syria, Hafez al Assad, withdrew his troops. His son Bashar would do the same.

Since 1967 when Israel liberated the Golan from the Syrians who had been mercilessly shelling the civilians in the Israeli valleys below the Heights, Syria has been "peaceful". Why? Because as long as Israel sits on top of the Golan, she can look down into Damascus and note the moment Assad turns on his tanks.

Ehud and Ehud, acting like Siamese twins joined at the hip, are behaving like the perennial cowards they are. They have not called up additional Israeli forces on the Golan to a full alert. Clearly, this is a deliberate death sentence for Israeli communities and soldiers standing up there protecting the rest of Israel.

There are options:

One: Bring Olmert to immediate trial for treason.

Two: The General Staff, including Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi must confront Olmert and Barak, putting them under house arrest and call for a General Emergency. Declare Martial Law and dismiss the Knesset and Supreme Court for the good of the nation.

Three: The IDF's General Staff must call a full alert on the Golan, ignoring the Olmert, Barak, Livni, Peres suicidal conspiracy and assume Emergency Powers in a crisis.

The Jewish nation does NOT have to, MUST NOT COMMIT NATIONAL SUICIDE.

That is the message to our people Erev Pesach 5768. It comes from the DEBKAfile.

DEBKAfile –– We start where the media stop
April 14, 2008

DEBKAfile's military sources report that Damascus has deployed the 10th armored corps at the Massaneh crossing of Mount Hermon. It links up with the northwestern positions the 14th division took up last month on the Syrian-Israeli border which cuts through the Hermon range.

Syrian troops are now strung along a continuous crescent-shaped line from the central Lebanese mountains through Mt Dov on the western slopes of Mt. Hermon and up to southeastern Lebanon. This deployment, commanding Syria's Israeli and Lebanese borders, is under the command of the president's brother, Maher Assad.

The 10th armored corps was moved forward straight after Syria's snap civil defense exercise which crashed after three hours last Thursday, April 10. The exercise was ordered without notice by president Bashar Assad on the last day of Israel's five-day homeland defense drill.

DEBKAfile's military sources are criticizing Israel officials for attributing Syria's latest military movements to domestic troubles inside the Syrian leadership. They say this is throwing sand in the public's eyes and at one with the government's practice of playing down all the heightened military threats to Israel –– whether from Syria, the Lebanese Hizballah or the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.

The IDF's Northern Command officers report that the Syrian army's buildup opposite Israel has accelerated in April and warn that its units are arrayed for a quick transition to attack mode.

The link-up between Syria's 10th and 14th divisions on the border running through Mt Hermon should have been a wake-up call for the government in Jerusalem, they say, and elicited counter-moves to show Damascus that Israel is ready to meet every contingency.

Sunday, April 13, prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met briefly to rough out the position Abbas will put before President George W. Bush whom he meets at the White House in ten days. Olmert made the gesture of licensing the entry to Israel of 5,000 Palestinian construction workers. This gesture was challenged by security services as a carrying the risk of terrorist infiltration and by economic leaders who say the Palestinians will take Israeli jobs.

Foreign minister Tzipi Livni is in Qatar, where she is to address the 8th annual Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. Qatari rulers plan to persuade her that Israel should back their initiatives to patch up quarrels in the Arab world between Egypt and Syria and the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas. Neither is in Israel's interest, because conciliation would confer legitimacy on Arab and Islamist radicalism and spur its expansion.

Livni, who knew she would come under pressure during her Doha visit, insisted on going through with it and treating it as a breakthrough in Israeli relations with the Gulf emirates.

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 gwinston@gwinston.interaccess.com

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FROM ISRAEL: CARTER'S DESTRUCTION
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 17, 2008.

Today is the day that Jimmy Carter –– in defiance of requests from several quarters that he not do so –– is going to be meeting with officials from Hamas. To achieve peace, he maintains, it is necessary to speak with all sides.

The response to this from the Daily Star of Lebanon (of all places) is on the mark: "To many engagers the problem is mainly one of communication. If only everyone could just sit around a table and talk, things would work out. You can almost hear Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gasping at the naiveté of such sweeping positivism, as he prepares to score points off his solemn American visitor."

Indeed. Carter is conferring legitimacy on a terrorist organization. And while he deludes himself that he can talk them into doing this or that, he serves, wittingly or unwittingly, as their "patsy."

There is a signal lesson here, for certain. For many on the left believe that by and large matters can be worked out if only everyone talks. But this is simply not the case. Carter has set back the already very tenuous efforts for peace in the Middle East. Evil is evil, and sometimes this must be recognized.

~~~~~~~~~~

Matters with Gaza are heating up again. What commentators are observing is that there is a new Hamas tactic, with squirmishes at the border rather than depending exclusively on the launching of rockets (although they are still launched as well). Hamas finds there is a better opportunity to kill Israelis this way: two were killed at Nahal Oz last week and three in the battle this week. Today the IDF foiled attempts by Hamas terrorists at Keren Shalom to enter Israel.

Certain aspects of this change in behavior are particularly notable. One, that Hamas is taking its cue more and more from Hezbollah and acting like an organized military rather than a ragtag group of guerillas.

Second is the opportunity for changing tactics and reorganizing which they availed themselves of. After the major operation about a month ago, there was a lull which was thought to be indicative of Israeli deterrence generated by the operation. If you remember, there was talk at that time about a ceasefire of sorts being arranged off the record.

Well, it was during that lull that they regrouped –– and this fact is of signal importance. Any "ceasefire" or "hudna" will give them a chance to strengthen themselves and ultimately only serve to our detriment. And whatever deterrence power we had seems to be lost with their new tactics.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is being to dawn on more of our decision makers, who realize that the current situation cannot continue. And so, there is talk again about a major operation –– similar to Operation Defensive Shield in Judea and Samaria in 2002. This would take place only after Bush visits in May. The goal would be to clean out Gaza and take down Hamas.

However... there is still concern about an "exit strategy," which means there is not yet the recognition that we may have to maintain a presence for some time to come (indefinitely as far as I'm concerned). The reason Defensive Shield has had long term positive effects for us is because once we went back into areas that had been turned over to the PA, we retained the right to continue to run operations there to control the terrorist infrastructure.

What is being discussed is turning over Gaza to a third party. Bringing in the UN or the EU would be a disaster in a host of ways, but is not likely to happen, as none of these parties is exactly eager to be involved. The alternative is allowing Egypt to come in. Egypt, which is threatened by the radical Hamas at its border, has a vested interest. The problem is one of Egyptian long-term stability and intentions towards Israel. What happens if there's a change of regime and the Egyptians then seek to move from Gaza east into Israel within the Green Line?

Many may have forgotten, but Gush Katif was established in southern Gaza as a way to block movement of troops from Egypt up into Gaza, as this is the traditional way that enemy troops have entered the area.

~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday I wrote about awards that Abbas was going to defer on two terrorists in our prisons. He has cancelled the plans to do this. And no other conclusion is possible other than that his growing awareness that this caused a furor and was not going to play well made him think twice.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to a survey just done by the University of Maryland and Zogby International, Nasrallah is the best loved leader in the Arab world, followed by Assad of Syrian. Says it all, I think.

~~~~~~~~~~

In another survey, done by the Gaza-based Institute of Development Studies, 44% of the residents of Gaza definitely want to leave, and 80% are thinking about it. Who can blame them? A smart policy would be to help them immigrate elsewhere.

~~~~~~~~~~

In a televised speech today to mark "Prisoners' Day," Abbas said there can be no peace deal with Israel unless all 8,500 prisoners are released. This is one of those things I hope he really means, because even Olmert cannot/would not do this.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is talk, still in its very early stages and facing several hurdles, of a merger between Kadima and Labor. The rationale for this is simple: neither party by itself, according to the polls, would top Likud. Merged into one new super-party, they very well might.

And so, there is also talk, also in very early stages, of a merger of Yisrael Beitenu with Likud, which would counter that.

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

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WHERE THE BRAINS ARE
Posted by Avodah, April 16, 2008.

This was written by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen and it appeared in Arutz-Sheva (www.irsaelnationalnews.com)

You can thank Israel later.

I always thought if anyone was going to figure out how to foil terrorist attempts of various types, it would be the Israelis. And it looks like I may have been right.

It seems the Israelis have developed one technology to alert authorities of a possible hijacking and another that Pity the poor terrorist stupid enough to enter Israeli air space. diverts airline-destroying missiles. Both technologies –– Code Positive and Flight Guard –– were, as might be expected, the result of experience.

According to an Associated Press story, as of 2008, all airlines flying into Israel are required to equip their pilots with the system that lets ground controllers know if a plane has been commandeered by terrorists. Code Positive, which Israel will distribute free, consists of a personalized card with which pilots relay a predetermined code upon approaching Tel Aviv.

If hijackers kill or remove the cockpit crew, as was done in the September 11 attacks, their failure to send the code will alert Israel that something's wrong. If a pilot is forced to activate Code Positive, then he or she can enter false data, which will serve as a discreet mayday message.

The system is said to be bluff-proof.

And pity the poor terrorist stupid enough to enter Israeli air space.

The Jewish state improved its aviation counter-measures following a 1973 tragedy in which warplanes shot down a Libyan airliner that strayed into the Israeli-controlled Sinai, suspecting it planned to ram a ground target. Scores of crew and passengers were killed.

Now, Israel relies on advance notice of potential hijackings from its intelligence services and its foreign allies. But should the worst happen, fighter jets can be scrambled within minutes to implement a series of tactical counter-measures.

The strategy is reportedly to divert planes to uninhabited areas by unnerving the hijackers by first buzzing the plane. If that doesn't work, cannons are fired near its cockpit. And as a last resort, there are shoot-down orders.

Now that we've addressed the threat from terrorists inside a plane, let's turn to the protection of planes from attack from outside.

To handle that, Israel developed Flight Guard, also as a result of a frightening incident.

One might recall the 2003 near-miss of a Soviet-era shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missile, fired at an Israeli passenger jet taking off from Kenya. The incident alarmed the international aviation industry; and sent Israeli brains into action.

The result was a device that's fitted to a plane's fuselage. When its sensors detect an incoming missile, Flight The incident alarmed the international aviation industry; and sent Israeli brains into action. Guard fires a flare to divert it.

Fabulous. I hope they develop a way to return the missile to sender. Imagine the wild-eyed lunatic's surprise when he sees his murderous missile do a cartoon-like U-turn. I can almost see the frantic running around in circles with the missile in hot pursuit.

The device, which costs about $1 million per unit, is already on several El Al planes.

Evidently, though, some nations object, suggesting the flares pose an unacceptable fire risk. So, as an alternative, a system known as the Multi-Spectral Counter MANPADS System, was approved, which uses non-pyrotechnic lasers to sear the heat-seekers on incoming missiles, throwing them off course.

You can thank Israel later.

Can you imagine what diseases could be cured and what discoveries could be made if Israel didn't have to spend so much of its intellectual and financial capital on defense?

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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THE PRAYER FOR EATING BREAD ON PESACH
Posted by Daisy Stern, April 16, 2008.

This was filed by Shira Schmidt and it appeared yesterday in Cross Currents
http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2008/04/15/the-prayer-for-bread-on-passover/

I have been searching the internet for the prayer to say upon eating bread on Pessah, and I found it by Googling "zachor Michlalah movies." There you can see/hear the late Reb Yonah Emanuel who was a teenage inmate in Bergen-Belsen during the Passover of 1944 when the prayer over bread was recited. He reads the entire prayer (it is not a bracha) over bread and describes Pessah in that death camp in this 3 minute segment of a longer DVD. The reason for my search: The recent controversy over selling hametz in the public square during Passover in Israel. I translated the prayer for bread during Passover into English at the end of this posting.

The controversy and court decision (by a national religious judge!) that permits selling bread in Israel during Passover reminded me of two Seder meals sixty-something years ago.

Passover 1943, Konin Concentration Camp

Before describing Pessah of 1943 in the Konin concentration camp in Poland, Rabbi Yehoshua Aronson gives us, in his memoirs, this startling description of a new arrival, one Dr. Hans Knopf.

"In the summer of 1942 a limousine came into camp. Several SS officers stepped out, followed by a serious and grandly dressed old Jewish man. The chauffeur unloaded six leather suitcases, each bearing a label with its owner's name. As we observed this impeccably dressed Jewish gentleman with his six expensive leather suitcases in a Jewish slave-labor camp, we went into a fever of curiosity. We strained to observe this heartening phenomenon that burst into our benighted camp."

This description of Dr. Knopf, along with large portions of Rabbi Aronson's memoir, are now available in English in Esther Farbstein's Hidden in Thunder: Perspectives on Faith, Halachah, and Leadership during the Holocaust.

She points out that the memoir describes the special status of this Jewish doctor from Germany with telling details such as his having his own room-cum-clinic, and his owning fine silk pajamas.

"He was given a room that, as a German patriot, he decorated with photographs of himself on horseback and medals from his glittering military past as an officer in World War I. Sometimes he would dandify himself by putting on his officer's uniform. Knopf treated the Jews with condescension and estrangement, ashamed to come into contact with fellow Jews."

Slowly, however, he began to realize the connection between the Jews' fate and his own. The memoir describes the transformation wrought in this assimilated Jew, for by the time Passover rolled around in the spring of 1943, Dr. Knopf was deeply involved in seder preparations. "The German-Jewish doctor of all people insisted we hold the seder despite our fatigue and the late hour."

Perhaps it was contact with deeply rooted scholars such as Rabbi Aronson, that triggered this metamorphosis. "When he discovered that I was a rabbi, Knopf never stopped pestering me; he would often pour out his heart to me. He told me how devoted he had been, how he had served and fought for the German homeland. As I observed this disillusioned Jew, I became heartsick." Rabbi Aronson survived to write his memoirs and to become the beloved chief rabbi of Petah Tikva,

Many inmates came to Rabbi Aronson with the dilemma: to eat hametz or not? Realizing that most were too weak to last a week without bread, Rabbi Aronson responded with guidelines. Hametz was to be eaten on Pessah, but in order to minimize the transgression involved he ruled that each bite should be less than kzayis, "the volume of an olive" and the bites should be spaced at long intervals. Esther Farbstein points out that the desire to ask halachic questions was a form of spiritual resistance and heroism for two reasons. It reflected a cherishing of mitzvot as a raison d'etre which kept many Jews going and it was a form of defiance, their way to assert freedom in a slave-labor camp.

Back to our dandified Dr. Knopf who when he had arrived kept the other Jews at arms' length. Here he was, ten months later deeply involved in preparations for the seder. His turnabout is poignantly expressed in one of the most moving descriptions in the Aronson memoir. Where would they find the means to bake the matza? Knopf had a stove in his clinic/room. He risked his life and insisted they bake the little bit of dough that they sequestered in his very room. They were not found out, and held a seder that year, although the doctor did not survive in the long run.

However Rabbi Aronson did survive. He went on to become the beloved chief rabbi of Petah Tikva, and to write his memoir immortalizing Dr. Hans Knopf who risked all to bake matza.

Passover Bergen-Belsen, 1944

By 1944 there was no question that Jews must eat hametz to stay alive. Rabbi Avraham Levisson from Holland dealt with this issue in Bergen-Belsen. Esther Farbstein points out that he had been active from the start of the war in finding solutions to tragic dilemmas as the Dutch Jews were concentrated in Westerbork, Holland from 1939 onwards ( he encouraged inmates to give their wives a conditional get, lest they become agunas). Beginning in 1942 each Tuesday a selection was made of Jews who were transported by train to death camps such as Auschwitz and elsewhere. "Rabbi Levisson was known to the inmates as 'Rabbi Simcha' ('Rabbi Happiness') because of his warm, positive attitude toward them. He organized extensive religious activity. In 1943 he was deported via Westerbork to Bergen-Belsen." In 1944 Rabbi Levisson and his father, along with the Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam Rav A.B. Davids and a number of Jews surreptitiously gathered in one barrack to quietly hold a seder.

Man cannot live on potatoes alone. The Dutch rabbis, seeing the Jews could not survive without eating bread on Pessah, composed a prayer to recite upon eating hametz during Passover.

You can see/hear Yonah Emanuel, one of those present in the camp, read this prayer and explain the circumstances in a segment from the DVD "V'Hi She-Amda" about Pesach during the Holocaust, produced by Zachor After the prayer was composed, other inmates wanted copies. Since there were no Xerox machines, typewriters, or carbon paper in the camp, Yonah's older brother Elhanan Emanuel, hy"d, copied it again and again by hand in the concentration camp after his twelve-hour shifts of slave labor. Rabbi Levisson himself gave the few potatoes he saved for Passover to his own father, who was even weaker than he was.

This week I spoke with Rabbi Levisson's daughter, who now lives in a religious neighborhood of Ashdod, to get the background details behind the prayer. She had been hidden as a baby with a Christian family in Holland. She explains that her father died of exhaustion on April 25,1945, on a train shortly before the train was liberated by the Soviets. Her family and many others recite the prayer over hametz on Passover at the seder each year, immortalizing the spiritual heroism that it represents. For the Hebrew version see the aron-hasfarim.co.il website.

To be said with utmost concentration before eating hametz on Pessah:

Master of the Universe,

It is manifest and known to You we want to fulfill Your commandment that we celebrate the holiday of Passover by eating matza and abstaining from hametz.

But to our great sorrow our servitude prevents us from fulfilling these precepts.

We are not masters of our own fate and our lives are in danger.

Therefore we are ready and willing to keep the mitzva: "So that you shall live by them" [v'chai bahem, Lev. 18:5] and not die because of keeping the mitzvot. Therefore we are commanded to do what we must in order to remain alive; thus by eating hametz we will be keeping Your other precept, "Be ever so careful with your life." [Deut. 4:9]

We pray that You keep us alive and sustain us

so that we merit to survive to fulfill Your commandments wholeheartedly in the future.

Amen

This week every radio talk show in Israel and every newpaper discussed the "hametz" law. I was surprised no one made a point that I often make when there is a charge of religious coercion: In Switzerland it is against the law to wash your car or hang laundry on Sunday. You get fined! But how come no one calls that 'religious coercion"?

FOR those who read Hebrew, you can read the entire trial decision permitting the sale of hametz on the internet. Judge Bar-Asher Zaban pinned her decision on the interpretation of the word pumbe –– what is public versus private space.

For those in Israel –– Hidden in Thunder, from which these two examples were adapted, will be sold at half price and is among the hundreds of books on sale at significant discounts in the annual book sale at the Merkaz Harav Kook Yeshiva Jerusalem, from the Sunday after Pesah until the following Sunday (22bNisan to 29bNisan, 10am-9pm, Fri. Til 1pm) in person or by phone. People outside Jerusalem can phone in credit-card orders that will be delivered, tel.02-651-5592.

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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CHRONICLES OF MUFFY
Posted by Moshe Saperstein, April 15, 2008.

Several of you sent in your own suggestions for Jewish-themed horror films. Two of the best, from the same source, were THE AMITYVILLE SHNORRER and NIGHT OF THE LIVING CHOLENT.

I had promised myself that one letter, just one letter, could be written without an appearance by the cats. I was determined this would be that letter. Alas... my favorite kitten, my Muffy, who received special care as she is so slow and dreamy and delicate, has betrayed me.

Muffy eats as deliberately as Rachel, examining her food absent-mindedly, taking small bites separated by long, thoughtful pauses. The male creatures, like me, swallow everything in nanoseconds, food disappearing down their throats like light disappearing into a black hole in space. They then circle Muffy to snatch the barely nibbled sustenance she continues to contemplate. And I stand above her, annoyed but determined, wielding a broomstick to ward off those daring to threaten my Muffy's gastronomic ruminations. And how am I rewarded? The carefree teen, apple of my eye, is with child. If that is too elliptical for you, I'll make it easy. The slut is pregnant.

The lazy lope has become a waddle. Her width is starting to rival her length. First I argued that she was just gaining weight. Then I could ignore the bitter truth no longer. My baby Muffy, carefree kitten, had betrayed me.

On Thursday, the 10th of April, I stepped outside carrying a bushel of wet laundry. It was mid-morning and I noticed Muffy was lying in her favorite spot among some bushes on our lawn. She appeared to have caught a mouse, and was holding it between her front paws. The mouse was dark grey and, to my amazement, Muffy was licking it. I've seen cats toy with captive mice, frogs, birds, creepy crawlies. But I had never seen a cat licking a captive.

A moment later I went from amazed to flabbergasted, to the point of dropping the laundry basket, as a second mouse emerged from between her back legs. This, too, was dark grey and Muffy turned her attention to it and began licking.

Even your dimwitted correspondent realized she was giving birth. [Please don't tell me about some article you've seen in the Bulgarian Journal of Pseudo-Science about a cat birthing a rat.]

Rachel was having a music lesson but came running at my call. We stood there, spellbound, as two more Muffets emerged, these blond as their mother. Each was licked in turn, then all four were out of sight, covered by Muffy's stomach.

Rachel's only comment, between oooh's and aaah's, was "How does she know what to do? She didn't even take a Lamaze course".

My own thoughts were completely scrambled. Should I make a Kiddush in shul in honor of the newcomers? Would Muffy be able to say the Prayer of Thanksgiving for a safe delivery? Could I arrange for both fathers to be called up to the Torah during the reading of the weekly portion? If any of the four were male, could I find someone to circumcise them? Should they be named?

[This last is not as mundane/inane as you imagine. Does it benefit a kitten's development to be called Simba? Simbata? Does it retard his/her development to be called Yankel? Yentl?]
 

THURSDAY THRU SUNDAY ARE INCREASINGLY BLURRED. Muffy, though expressionless, was clearly exhausted. When the wee ones nursed her body trembled. It was scary to see. Rachel, though never as worshipful of Muffy as I was, became her main protector. Whether it was maternal instinct, or feminist identification, Rachel began feeding her constantly though this meant literally putting the food in her mouth as Muffy wouldn't move away from the furry four. It also meant literally pulling the food out of my mouth, but I had enough instinct for self-preservation not to complain.

And the food! No cat food for Muffy. Chicken it was, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese [30% fat!], and slices of salmon.

Rachel also realized that mother and offspring were directly in line of the sprinklers that go off at 5am every morning, and built a barrier of plastic lawn chairs to protect them.
 

AMONG THOSE WHO CAME TO STARE were neighbors and their children. Strangest of all were those visitors who were having their cars repaired. One of our neighbors, the boom-box rap music aficionado, has opened a business building and repairing automobile sound systems. Every afternoon between five and a dozen vehicles appear and he works on them til almost midnight. They fill our parking lot, and as Muffy's Sanctuary abuts this area those with time to kill stared at Muffy and kitties from a respectful distance. Though most of these guys –– they were all guys –– looked like they had just stepped off a Wanted poster, their behavior was exemplary.

The babies doubled in size between Thursday and Friday, and continued to grow though not at that rate. By Sunday they no longer looked like mice, but not yet like cats. By definition they should be considered adorable, or at the very least, cute. I thought them repulsive, slugs with hair.

By Sunday Rachel's Catering Service was working smoothly. And I was still putting out cat food for the other felines. Their behavior was fascinating. One by one –– Muffy's siblings and elders acted the same way –– they would cautiously approach her, stare, then back away. And they never touched the food strewn around her. Yet I still had to spend much time, broomstick in hand, on guard. This was because of the dogs, outsized and vicious, who roam our landscape. I still weep at the memory of Cat, my first feline love, dead in the jaws of a savage hound back in Gush Katif. And of how we struggled to keep her kittens alive. And I was determined not to see those scenes repeated.

Complicating our efforts to run the Succor The Stupid Savages Animal Shelter, Pessach Cleaning Madness Syndrome is in full flower. Most chametz items are put away, Pessach utensils and the rest are out but not yet in use, and everything that is in use –– including the food –– is throwaway plastic.

The Wondrous La P, far from collapsing under the strain, or even being stressed out, seems to grow stronger and more competent each day. Just watching her exhausts me. She does have me doing Pessach shopping, a genuine nightmare. The Kosher for Passover stickers mean little. I've seen stickers with the imprimatur of the Vatican, the Wakf, Atheists-r-Us. And I can't forget an incident –– it must be thirty years or more –– when I saw an employee of the Beit Hakerem supermarket putting Kosher for Passover stickers on bottles of beer. I complained to the manager who 'thanked' me while giving me the look of death. He assured me the bottles would be removed, but I have always wondered how many people relied on the sticker and unwittingly washed down their Seder matzoh with a brew.
 

A FURTHER COMPLICATION TO OUR RUNNING the Feed the Fatuous Felines Animal Shelter is that I have a severe case of conjunctivitis, which I have already passed along to Rachel. One of my eyes is swollen shut, kept that way by glue-like goop. No big deal as that's the bad eye. The good eye is a slit, so the left side of my face is Frankenstein, the right side is Fu Manchu's fat cousin.

As conjunctivitis is highly contagious we had to cancel plans to attend a wedding last night and another wedding tonight, as well as to meet some dear relatives at the airport Thursday morning. Our hope is that we are well by Friday as we are supposed to go to Ari and Efrat for the Seder.

[Rachel has a cream for the conjunctivitis. I started with the cream but had a severe allergic reaction, so have been switched to drops. The drops contain steroids so I can use them five days only. I guess the doctor is afraid of the drops leaving me with a Schwartzeneger physique. Though with my luck instead of being like Roger Clemens I'll end up like Samuel Clemens.

While I'm venting, let me complain about the Sick Fund practice of constantly looking for bargains on the medications they dispense each month. Every month the medicines change size, shape, color; chaos for the multiple pill-poppers like myself who are both digitally and mentally challenged.]
 

Before dawn yesterday morning [15.4] I thought I heard barking on the front lawn. But as we always hear barking from someplace or other, and I was too exhausted to drag my carcass out of bed, I did nothing. An hour later, stepping onto the lawn in the early light, I was horrified to see that Muffy and the two dark Muffets were gone. Only the golden ones, shivering in the dawn chill, remained. Those damned dogs, again! And the scenes of a lifeless Cat carried off filled my head, and the tears flowed.

Rachel seemed much less emotional about Muffy's disappearance. "Let's just wait and see what happens" she said.

Not only had Muffy disappeared but none of her siblings or elders appeared. The cat food I spread remained untouched.

The next hours were hellish. I visualized the golden Muffets starving to death, or being eaten alive. Every passing moment ratcheted up my grief, and though a small voice said 'Keep things in perspective', my tendency to hysteria kept reinforcing itself.

At which point, when I thought my heart would burst, Muffy reappeared. And my heart almost did burst, with joy. But even that joy was mixed with worry as she picked up one of the muffets and walked off out of sight. Not long after she returned for the last one. A neighbor knowledgeable about cat behavior assures me that Muffy has simply reestablished herself in a less public place, less accessible to prying humans, to raise her offspring.

I was whining about Muffy's lack of gratitude to her devoted servants.

"Why don't you track down her new lair and bring food to her there?" Rachel suggested. "I don't do deliveries" said I in my most petulant voice.
 

At 3am this morning I took a break from typing and stepped outside for a smoke. The sky was overcast. Not a star in sight. Earlier in the evening there had been a pre-Pessach program for local children and the streets were littered with debris including candy wrappers of all sizes and plastic cups. Our parking lot was also blessed with the cigarette butts left behind by our auto repairman's customers.

Suddenly there was a gust of wind, then another, then a whirlwind that lifted all the debris and spun it around. And there I was in the middle of it. For a moment I was frightened, then unexpectedly exhilarated. It was like being in the midst of a ticker tape parade, and I pretended to lift my arms in acknowledgment of the cheering throng as the ticker tape fell about me. That I have no arms to lift didn't bother me. That the cheering throng existed only in my imagination didn't bother me. That trash instead of ticker tape swirled around me didn't bother me. What was real was the sense of exhilaration that lasted the duration of my cigar and sent me to bed happy.

Later in the morning I noted how empty the lawn seems. Only Chaleria, the leprous brown and black cat who I believe is the father of two of the Muffets, made an appearance. The others have dispersed to new hangouts. What I felt yesterday as resentment is now resignation. And no small sense of relief that our obsessive involvement with them has ended, at least for now. In the words of Mister Spock, 'may they live long and prosper'.

Now I'll have more time to molest the plants.
 

I REALLY SHOULD APOLOGIZE FOR MY OBSESSION with the plants. During my freshman year at Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School on the Lower East Side we were required to take a test that would indicate what we wanted to do later in life. There were thirty-eight kids in my class. Twelve wanted to be lawyers, fifteen wanted to be accountants. Five wanted to go into business, four hoped to be scientists. One –– need I identify the weirdo? –– wanted to be a farmer.

The test was called the Kuder Preference Test and it was filled with questions like "Would you rather a) sell shoes, b) fight fires, c) be a forest ranger, d) prepare a budget?" The same question was asked some sixty times in various guises. When I was called in to meet with the Guidance Counselor to discuss the results, he hemmed and hawed and seemed very uncomfortable. "It seems you want to be a forest ranger or a farmer" said Mr. Brown, clearly dismayed that a good religious Jewish boy from a working class family in New York aspired to such un-Jewish professions. So he put me into the Beginner's Bookkeeping class. Alas, I was as decimally challenged then as I am digitally challenged today.

But my desire to be a farmer was legitimate, however ill-considered. I had little idea of the hard work entailed, the loneliness, the frustration over bad weather or crop failure due to infestation or poor financial return. What I had was a yearning to work the land, my land. Though at that point I had no clear conception of what 'my land' was.

Seward Park, near both the yeshiva and our apartment, had a section roped off that was divided into tiny plots –– each the length and width of a grave –– that were set aside "so city children can learn the pleasures of country life". I put my name down for a plot and was told there was a two year wait. I waited, and two years later was informed my plot was available. When I went to claim it I was told by a Jewish Parks Department employee that there had been a mistake. The plots, it was explained, were reserved for 'disadvantaged minorities' and as a white Jew I didn't qualify. It was then I noticed that only blacks and Puerto Ricans were working the plots. And this was the early 1950's.

It was only when we settled into our home in Gush Katif that I was able to indulge my fantasies of working the land, my land in Eretz Yisrael. Surrounded by real farmers I could not delude myself that I was really farming. But my red and white grapes, my few fruit trees and bushes, all prospered under my loving care.

This is one of the reasons I felt Gush Katif was Paradise, and why I remain bereft at its loss.
 

A MIDDLE-AGED NEIGHBOR OF OURS, father of four, recently received a call-up notice for reserve duty in the army. "I sent it back," he told me, "with a note that they should send it to my Neve Dekalim address. When I can pick it up there I'll be happy to serve. But not before."

I was about to congratulate him when he continued: "What a shame the army is being controlled by such a corrupt and incompetent government."

I groaned inwardly. Having recently written that "Leftists don't get it until they 'get it'" it is hard for me to face the fact that our side doesn't get it either. The army is as corrupt and politically tainted as the government and the politicians. Career officers long ago learned that career advancement, plus post-career employment, was dependent on their following the left wing line. I know that anecdotal evidence is suspect, but I want to remind you of what a barber once told me. It was during the election campaign between Peres and Netanyahu. The barber received a call from a pollster asking him for whom he was voting. Peres, he replied. When I pointed out he was a lifelong Likud supporter and would be voting for Netanyahu, he said "My boy wants to make the army his career. If I tell them I'm voting for Netanyahu, my boy's chances for promotion will disappear. No matter how good he is."

And during the expulsion I repeatedly heard stories about officers who apologized for throwing us out, saying that if they refused to take part their military careers were over.
 

What is true of the army is equally true of the police. The ongoing saga of the Halamish brothers is a case in point. The brothers, part of a First Response team on their settlement, were accused of firing at Arab intruders. They claimed that they had not fired their weapons. The police took the weapons for examination, but instead of checking to see if they had been fired, first fired them "to see if they were in working order." Thereby ruining their defense. Police incompetence is not unusual. But this was pure politically motivated malevolence. Need I remind you that during the Barak-Netanyahu election gangs of thugs regularly beat up those holding Netanyahu signs. The police would always arrive after the thugs had gone, often arresting the bloodied Netanyahu workers for 'disturbing public order' or 'filing a false report'.

I am also reminded of the famous line in the POGO newspaper cartoon strip: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

When informed that I have conjunctivitis, and have passed it to Rachel, our daughter Dafna cheerfully informed me that I must have caught it from her and the children, whom I visited last week. She suggested that I forget the drops and put warm, wet Camomile tea bags on my eyes. It is disgusting, but I am doing so just to please Rachel who finds the sight of me tea-bagged highly amusing. At least if it were Earl Grey...

This clearly isn't the letter I set out to write. So let me slink off with a simple chag sameach.

Moshe Saperstein and his wife, Rachel, were among the thousands of Jews kicked out of their homes in 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. Read more of their essays/diaries by googling saperstein on Think-Israel google box on the home page, Think-Israel.org. Contact them at ruchimo@.netvision.net.il

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SELLING TERROR: MADISON AVENUE MEETS THE BEKAA VALLEY
Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, April 16, 2008.

Hezbollah, the radical Shiite terrorist organization in Lebanon, is best known for attacking Israelis. But the organization also attempts to gain the support of Lebanese citizens with a sophisticated network of social services, political outreach, and financial aid. And recently, the militia has turned to advertising campaigns to bolster its image.

Hezbollah owns or controls at least two known advertising companies: Ressalat and Media-Publi Management. The U.S. Department of the Treasury should designate both as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities (SDGTs) immediately as part of its ongoing campaign to cut off Hezbollah from the global financial system.

According to a recent article in the Lebanese al-Nahar, Ressalat is a "Hizbullah-funded organization that handles advertising and cultural events for the group." The company does not appear to have a web presence, but al-Nahar identified Mohamed Noureddine as Ressalat's creative director. One French report also identified Noureddine as the director of a think tank tied to Hezbollah's secretary general Hassan Nasrallah. His name can also be found alongside pro-Hezbollah videos on YouTube.

After the car bombing that killed Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh on February 13, Noureddine and his team launched a sophisticated advertising campaign to lionize the slain terrorist leader. Within hours of the bombing, colorful stencil drawings of Mughniyeh's bearded and bespectacled face appeared on huge billboards throughout Lebanon. The stenciled portrait was similar to the iconic drawing of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara. These Mughniyeh billboards –– some of which read: "Prophecy of the Final Victory" –– now line the road from the Beirut airport to the city's downtown district. According to Mohammed al-Amin, managing director of a billboard company that rented space to Ressalat, the entire network of billboards along the airport road and within the group's stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut cost at least $100,000.

In 2006, following Hezbollah's war against Israel, the group reportedly paid an unnamed public relations firm some $140,000 to design an ad campaign called "Divine Victory," glorifying the 34-day war that ended with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire on August 14, 2006. Last year, Hezbollah posted a huge billboard in southern Lebanon, facing northern Israel, with the faces of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Additionally, near the coastal town of Naqura (where the U.N. peacekeeping force maintains its headquarters), Hezbollah posted a large mural portraying an Israeli warship that had been hit by the terrorist group during the 2006 war.

Was Ressalat behind all of these billboards? The answer is still unknown. There may be other unidentified Hezbollah advertising companies lurking in Lebanon.

However, Hezbollah's advertising operation is not limited to billboards. As first revealed by analyst Avi Jorisch, a Lebanon-based company called Media-Publi Management handles ads and promotions for al-Manar, Hezbollah's television station. Media-Publi is now listed (complete with address and phone number) with the Lebanese Advertising Agencies Association. The company also openly operates a website (www.mpmlb.com), which actually lists al-Manar's scheduled programming and boasts of serving as "the exclusive media representative of al-Manar T.V. station...We are responsible of reservation and monitoring of the ads on al-Manar [sic]."

Media-Publi reportedly worked with numerous advertising agencies, including the world-renowned Saatchi and Saatchi, selling ad space to numerous multinational corporations. After the SDGT designation of al-Manar in March 2006, however, many advertisers pulled their products from al-Manar's airwaves.

Media-Publi has four known employees: Saeed T. Fadel (Marketing Coordinator), Hussein Nassour (Account Handler), Ahmad Haidar (Account Handler), and Ibrahim Farhat (General Manager). Farhat identifies himself as the public relations manager for al-Manar. It is unclear whether the others are Hezbollah members.

It is equally unclear whether either of these two advertising companies belong to the Lebanese Media Group, the parent company of al-Manar, which was also designated by the U.S. Treasury as an SDGT in March 2006. If these companies are part of this broader network, Treasury's designation already applies to them. The designation must simply be enforced.

If these companies are not subsidiaries of the Lebanese Media Group, the U.S. Treasury Department should consider a new round of designations to include Media-Publi, Ressalat, as well as the four Media-Publi employees listed on the site. Similarly, other banking systems and companies around the world should be encouraged to cease doing business with them. Hezbollah's Lebanese advertising operations must not be allowed to continue.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism analyst for the U.S. Treasury Department, is director of policy for the Jewish Policy Center and author of the forthcoming book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave, November 2008).

This article appeared yesterday in Weekly Standard (Online)
(http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/article/120). The original article has live links to additional material.

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IS THE OLMERT GANG PLANNING TO LOSE THE NEXT WAR?
Posted by Gail Winston, April 16, 2008.

I am deeply disturbed by reports of greater and greater build-ups of Syrian troops and armor into what can become a major thrust to over-run the Israeli Golan Heights. I feel certain that Israeli forces can defeat any Syrian attack –– unless they have been ordered by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to retreat –– thus allowing the Syrians to take over Israel's vital defensive area that overlooks Israel's Northern communities.

Some have forgotten that, at several different times, the Labor Party's Leftist doctrine was to abandon the Golan Heights to Syria. Then PM Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak each engaged in back-channel negotiations with first Hafez al Assad and now with his son, Bashar Assad to gift the Golan to Syria all the way down to the shores of the Kinneret Sea.

That was within the Left's failed doctrine of "Land for Peace". Many players tried to inaugurate this transfer. Israeli Leftists, the U.S. State Department, with an illustrious cast, including former Secretaries of State such as James Baker, III, Madeleine Albright, and now Condoleezza Rice –– among others.

Offers were made for Israel to abandon their sophisticated electronic listening post on Mt. Hermon and Mt. Dov. The Americans offered to occupy those early warning stations and alert Israel if Syria was moving troops and armor into aggressive positions –– as Syria is doing now. At one point, the idea was floated that the U.S. would establish a large Air Base on the Heights, once the Jews had been forced to abandon the Golan. So far, this hasn't come to fruition.

When Barak was Prime Minister/Defense Minister, he tried to stampede the Israeli citizenry and the Knesset to run from the Golan, proclaiming that "the Syrians could over-run the Jewish settlements, massacring the Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers –– so we better leave."

Which brings me back to the point of my suspicions.

Have Barak, Peres, Olmert and Livni, together with the connivance of Bush, Rice and Baker been in back-channel negotiations to allow Syrian troops (now massing) to over-run the Golan? This would require some or a lot of civilian casualties.

Naturally, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) would engage and take inevitable losses, at which time Olmert and Barak would order a military retreat –– along with the evacuation of civilians and a complete surrender of all their personal and communal real estate.

This would fit Leftist doctrine of abandoning territory without have to face Israeli opposition in the Knesset or general public. Olmert and Barak could then throw up their hands and say: "We have no choice" and besides "We saved the Golan settlers and soldiers from Syria."

It disturbs me greatly to be so distrusting of Israeli leadership to think that they would betray their own nation and commit high treason in negotiating so perfidious a deal.

Perhaps I am unduly suspicious but, I saw Israel's greatest hero, Ariel Sharon, betray the nation as he abandoned 10,000 Jewish men, women and children when he ordered the evacuation of Gush Katif/Gaza, the destruction of all their homes, farms, factories, businesses, schools, yeshivas, synagogues and even their cemetery to blood-thirsty Arab Muslim Terrorists. Sharon and Olmert destroyed 21 thriving, innovative Jewish communities in Gush Katif and 4 more in Northern Samaria. As predicted Gaza has become a Terror base and Northern Samaria is open to entry by any Muslim Arab Terrorists.

I am also mindful of Olmert and Livni's "secret" negotiations to divide Jerusalem, denials notwithstanding.

I vividly recall the Oslo betrayal as seven cities were bartered away to Yassir Arafat by Rabin, Peres and Yossi Beilin for "Peace In Our Time". They all became centers of Islamo-fascist Terrorism.

Presently, I observe Ehud Barak invited 600 Palestinian Police, trained in Jordan by U.S. personnel to "occupy" Jenin as "peace-keepers".

The same is planned for Hevron.

It has also been reported that Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni has been negotiating, at the behest of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to turn over the Atarot Airport at the North East corner of Jerusalem to the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen). Abbas also heads Fatah, the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade and many other tentacles of the PLO Terror organization he "inherited" from his former 40 year partner, companion, Godfather of today's modern Terrorism –– Yassir Arafat.

Surrendering this Airport will jeopardize all of Israel's airspace, especially over the greater Jerusalem area.

I am mindful of Olmert, Livni and Barak offering to break the Camp David Accords and allow 1000 or more Egyptian troops to man Gaza's border to "stop" Arab Muslim Palestinians from smuggling in arms and Terrorists –– for which Egypt has been actually acting as the enabler.

There are more dire events being planned under the table but, these are sufficient to warrant suspicion of what Olmert, Barak, Peres and Livni have planned for the Golan Heights, central Israel, Hevron, Jerusalem as a whole and Jerusalem's airspace.

I wonder if Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi, current Israeli Chief-of-Staff, has been brought into such plans? Would he cooperate in such a pre-planned retreat of Israeli forces? I wonder too if the GSS (General Secret Service) Shabak, Shin Bet and the Mossad have also agreed to betray their nation –– with the idea that all of the above politicians "know what's best for the country without telling them" –– as was done with the Oslo and Gaza surrenders?

I would suggest that these matters be broadly discussed, including within the Security Committees of the Knesset. They should question Olmert and Barak –– who would be expected to deny such plans –– much as they still deny their discussions with Israel's adversaries to re-partition Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria.

If they are even beginning to plan on losing the next war facing Israel, their actions spell treason and that is usually a hanging offense in most democratic countries.

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 gwinston@gwinston.interaccess.com

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FORGET ABOUT PEACE
Posted by Steve Kramer, April 16, 2008.

As we celebrate the Passover holiday, we remember that our escape from Egyptian servitude was the defining moment for the Jewish people. We had entered Egypt centuries before as a small but free clan; we left Egypt as a great multitude which had regained its freedom. This memory is reaffirmed by Jews in their daily prayers and is a pillar of our faith. The receiving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai and our delayed entry into the Promised Land forged the new generation of Hebrews into a nation.

Our sovereignty over Israel has been discontinuous. Our land was overrun by Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrio-Greeks, Romans, and Muslims. But for 2,000 years we maintained a presence in Israel (even when it was renamed Palestine by the Romans after the sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE). Religious Jews' prayers turn towards Zion on a daily basis and our Bible mentions Jerusalem or Zion more than 150 times. Even nominally religious Jews are reminded of the Exodus at the yearly Seder, an audio-visual program when wine is drunk, matzo is eaten along with other traditional foods, and the story of our escape from slavery is read and sung to emphasize the uniqueness of the Passover holiday.

The emergence of Zionism in the mid-19th century was an outgrowth of a surge in nationalism that affected diverse peoples. Religious Jews who had always lived in Israel/Palestine were joined by religious and secular Zionists who saw the opportunity to revive our national aspirations in the Promised Land. Very gradually, the slow stream of immigrants to Palestine accelerated while Jewish philanthropists funded numerous settlement projects. During WWI the Balfour Declaration legitimized the Zionist enterprise for the gentiles and in the post-WWI period the League of Nations gave Britain the Palestine Mandate to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

But what was the Arab reaction to the metamorphosis of a tiny Jewish remnant in Palestine into a vibrant economic enterprise? From the first, with the exception of Emir Abdullah of Transjordan, the Jews were seen by Arab leaders as a threat and an insult to Muslims, who only tolerated Jews on "Arab Land" when they were limited in number and without any power –– in other words, dhimmis. Of course, the Arab masses followed the lead of their rulers, helped along by vile propaganda against the Jews.

The case for the Arabs was stated eloquently by Amin al Husseini (1895-1974), the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from British Mandate times. While still a young man, he told a native-born Jewish co-worker: "Remember, Abbady, this was and will remain an Arab land. We do not mind you natives of the country, but those alien invaders, the Zionists, will be massacred to the last man. We want no progress, no prosperity. Nothing but the sword will decide the fate of this country." [www.Zionism-Israel.com] Husseini later became infamous for his close connections to top Nazis when he fled to Germany during WWII.

Nothing has changed today concerning the Arab attitude towards Israel. For example, PLO Ambassador Abbas Zaki recently said, "Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem ... we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them [the Jews] out of all of Palestine [from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea]." April 9, 2008; NBN TV (Lebanon) [translated by memri.org]

Israelis, with the coming of the Oslo Accord in 1993, dropped their defensive posture with which they had withstood both Arab armies and terrorists and swallowed the proposition that Yasser Arafat, an avowed enemy of Israel for three decades, had been transformed into a peace partner. The ensuing "peace negotiations" resulted in many more casualties among both Israelis and Palestinians than had occurred in previous periods of outright belligerence.

A new mindset had seduced Israelis into thinking that the standoff between Arabs and Jews was really a matter that could be solved by appeasing Palestinians with land –– a bit here, a bit there. But I, and many others, contend that nothing has fundamentally changed since Grand Mufti Husseini's time. Misled by (Israeli) Peace Now and other international NGOs (non-governmental organizations), many Israelis and friends have failed to connect the dots, which plainly show that Muslim antipathy to Israel isn't something that can be bought off, piece by piece. But let's give credit for frankness to President Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders for plainly stating in English their beliefs that Jews are interlopers on Muslim land and that the State of Israel is a European invention inflicted on the Palestinians to assuage European guilt over the Holocaust –– which must be "wiped off the map". By listening to the Iranians' frank statements, those who are willing to hear get the unvarnished Muslim view on Israel and the Jews.

What are Israel's prospects as it enters its 61st year, given the acquiescence to the Iranian diatribes by Arab regimes and the world in general, and with damning evidence that the Iranian leaders intend to develop nuclear weapons and to use them against Israelis? Frankly, they are dismal, if we continue to suffer leaders who believe that peace talks can be carried on with Palestinian leaders who have no power to enforce a treaty, even if they wanted to –– which they don't. Israel must find leadership which will instruct us and our allies that nothing has changed in regard to the opinion Muslims have had towards the Jewish State of Israel all along.

Eleven years after signing the Oslo Accords, Yasser Arafat, speaking live on Palestinian television, called on Palestinians to "terrorize your enemy." As reported by Ha'aretz newspaper (May 14, 2004), "Our nation is patient and determined," he said, "... which sacrificed its body to defend itself, which was laid bare by the Nakba [catastrophic creation of State of Israel] carried out by the international, Zionist and imperialist powers, which didn't have the right to allow [the creation of Israel], for those who didn't have the right [to live there]." Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestinian president, prefers to bask in the glory of the fallen martyr (Arafat) rather than risk his own neck by sincere efforts to accept the existence of the Jewish state. In the meantime, if not for Israel propping him up, the Iranian proxy Hamas would take over the West Bank just like they did in Gaza.

When Israel finally elects a prime minister who doesn't mince words about our prospects for peace and who is willing to utilize the big stick that the Israel Defense Forces can wield, Israel will be in a position to deter its enemies. A bold leader of the stature of Winston Churchill or David Ben Gurion would engender respect not only from our adversaries but also from our friends. Presently, Israel's friends hesitate to be "more Israeli than the Israelis", but when we project and utilize our power to frighten and deter our enemies, those ambivalent allies will avidly support us. The Europeans, who are next in line after this country for Muslim domination, might wake up and realize that Muslim domination is not ordained.

Even if a united West, following Israel's example, shuts down the Muslim jihad only for several decades instead of several centuries, which they accomplished by the Treaty of Carlowitz in 1699 in Serbia, the West will be better prepared for the next Muslim jihadist initiative and the Muslim moderates (yes, there are some) may have a chance to grow in influence.

Forget about peace ... for now. It's not something that Israel can negotiate on its own and it won't happen under the existing circumstances. Read what Professor Moshe Sharon, retired professor of history at Hebrew University, has written on negotiations with the Arabs in his brilliant article, "No peace, no peace plans, no price for peace –– a short guide to those obsessed with peace". Sharon wrote: "In the present situation in the Middle East and in the foreseeable future 'peace' is nothing more than an empty word. Israel should stop speaking about 'peace' and delete the word 'peace' from its vocabulary together with such phrases as 'the price of peace' or 'territory for peace'. For a hundred years the Jews have been begging the Arabs to sell them peace, ready to pay any price. They have received nothing, because the Arabs have no peace to sell, but they [Israelis] have still paid dearly. It must be said in all fairness that the Arabs have not made a secret of the fact that what they meant by the word 'peace' was nothing more than a limited ceasefire for a limited period."

"Since this is the situation, Israel should openly declare that peace does not exist as an option in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that it has decided to create a new state of affairs in the Middle East, compelling the Arab side to ask for peace; and pay for it. Unlike the Arabs, Israel has this merchandise for sale." [emphasis added]

"From now on Israel should be the side demanding payment for peace. If the Arabs want peace, Israel should fix its price in real terms. The Arabs will pay if they reach the conclusion that Israel is so strong that they cannot destroy it. Because of this, Israel's deterrent power is essential."

I say that while the way ahead for Israel is dire, it is far from hopeless. If Israelis and Westerners face facts and give up daydreams about a "new Middle East", then we can utilize a practical and effective strategy to maintain Israel's security and to continue to surge ahead on many fronts, including economics and science, and especially social well-being. If Israeli leaders are up to it, the nation's future will be praiseworthy and Israel will truly be "a light unto the nations".

In the meantime, the yearly refrain at the Seder table –– "Next year in Jerusalem!" –– is still relevant. Israelis welcome friends, family, and tourists to come and visit, while we enjoy life and wait for the leadership we require.

Contact Steve Kramer at sjk1@jhu.edu

This essay was published today in Jewish Times

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FROM ISRAEL: WITHOUT END
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 16, 2008.

This may be the last message I send before Pesach begins Saturday night. During the week of Pesach my postings will be sent infrequently, if at all. To all on this list who will be celebrating, I extend my wishes for a joyous and meaningful Pesach.

~~~~~~~~~~

Just when we think Abbas's terrorist predilections could not be more obvious, another incident comes to our attention.

According to Israel Radio, the Al Kuds Mark of Honor, the PLO's highest medal, will be given to two women terrorists who were complicit in killing Israelis: Ahlam Tamimi, involved in planning the suicide bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, and Amra Muna, who seduced a young Israeli man over the Internet and then lured him to Ramallah where he was murdered.

Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Ashraf el Ajami said that his ministry gave PA President Mahmoud Abbas a comprehensive list of prisoners who were potential nominees, and Abbas's office made the choices from this list. The decision rests with the PA president.

~~~~~~~~~~

There have been at least 19 Kassams launched into Israel today.

There has been, as well, considerable activity between the IDF and Palestinians in Gaza, starting late last night and continuing into today.

In what was called a routine operation, troops had entered Gaza to target terrorists launching rockets. When a Givati Brigade near the border with Gaza identified several armed Palestinians approaching the fence at the border –– and suspected that they either intended to infiltrate into Israel (as had happened only days ago) or to plant an explosive device at the border –– they, too, moved into Gaza. Heavy exchange of gunfire ensued, as it became apparent that there was a Palestinian cover force that had not been identified. Ultimately, three of our soldiers from this Brigade were killed.

IDF officers are saying that it was a tactical error to not have identified the terrorist covering force before moving into the area, but that the impulse to engage with the terrorists who had been spotted was correct.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are saying that these operations, which included two air strikes, have killed some 12 people, which includes five children. This claim should surprise no one: the IDF says the targets of the strikes were armed fighters.

~~~~~~~~~~

The convoluted fuel story: After the attack that killed two Israelis who worked at the fuel terminal at Nahal Oz last week, Israel stopped shipments of fuel into Gaza. The IDF rapidly identified a situation in which Hamas was deliberately stockpiling what fuel was had, in order to generate an artificial crisis. (Sound familiar?) The claim was that the electric generator in Gaza would have to be shut down for lack of fuel. (Note: This generator only supplies some 20% of the electricity of Gaza, with 70% coming from Israel.)

But the manufactured crisis seems to have worked, as Barak then made the decision to resume shipments –– only diesel for the power plant.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Asharq Al-Awsat in London today, Olmert has offered the Palestinian 64% of Judea and Samaria, with a variety of shared options for Jerusalem.

This, of course, would have to be confirmed. But my cynical take is that this is actually good news if true. Because the PA will never ever accept only 64% of Judea and Samaria and the sharing of Jerusalem. Sad, indeed, that there is the hope that, once again, we will be saved by our enemies.

~~~~~~~~~~

The US has agreed to allow Israel to hook into its world wide radar system that would supply early warning of any ballistic missile launched at us from anywhere in the world. This is good news.

Israel, meanwhile, has just tested the Green Pine Radar system that showed itself capable of identifying and tracking a missile that mimics an advanced Iranian Shihab 3 ballistic missile carrying a split warhead and with advanced radar evading capabilities. The radar system ties into the Arrow missile defense system: Had a real threat been identified, the Arrow –– which has been shown effective in previous tests –– would have been activated.

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

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FINALLY GOOD NEWS FROM GAZA: 80% OF GAZA RESIDENTS CONSIDERING EMIGRATION
Posted by Carl in Jerusalem, April 16, 2008.

There's finally some good news from Gaza this evening: A survey by the Gaza-based Institute of Development Studies has found that 80% of Gaza's residents find it 'difficult to cope' with their situation and are considering emigration. Better yet, 44% percent said explicitly that they want to leave Gaza.

The institute presented the survey as part of a request to the international community to protect Gazans from Israel's wrath and to pressure Israel to enable economic development in Gaza.

The research also shows that since Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007, economic conditions in Gaza have worsened considerably. According to the report this is primarily due to the closure of border crossings into and out of Gaza, including the crossing into Egypt at Rafiah.

...

Saudi newspaper Ukaz, meanwhile, interviewed Dr. Mahmoud al-Hebash, a "minister" in Salam Fayyad's rival Fatah government in Judea and Samaria, who said the Hamas government was responsible for the Gaza crisis.

Hamas is making efforts to grab control of the aid sent to Gaza from "the legitimate government" in Ramallah, al-Hebash explained. He claimed Hamas is giving Israel excuses to continue "the policy of blockade," as he termed it. Al-Hebash called upon the Hamas government to recognize its responsibility for the crisis in Gaza following its military takeover. He accused it of trying to export the crisis to neighboring countries, meaning mostly Egypt.

That fits right in with Hamas taking half of the fuel supplied to Gaza for weapons manufacturing. But this isn't just a question of a 'government' making the wrong choice in allocating guns v. butter.

The findings of a Near East Consulting poll released Tuesday showed that some 94 percent of Gaza residents believe their economic situation under Hamas rule is significantly worse than it was before the terrorist organization took over the region. [That's an overwhelming percentage for a fair survey. CiJ]

...

The survey, which polled 900 Gaza residents, found that 64 percents of respondents live under the poverty line. More than two out of every five, (41 percent) said they would leave Gaza immediately if they could. Half of those polled feel less security since Hamas took over the region in June 2007 and 18 percent feel no change in the level of security. Some 32 percent said they feel more security since Hamas took control of Gaza.

More security? Must be the remaining Hamas supporters.

If Israel had a decent government in place, it would encourage the denizens of Hamastan to emigrate to any country willing to take them. Sadly, Olmert, Livni & Co. are more likely to cooperate with the fatwas that prohibit the 'Palestinians' from leaving the 'blessed lands' and with the Mufti who issued them.

This comes from Carl's website
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2008/04/ finally-good-news-from-gaza-80-of-gaza.html

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THE HOLOCAUST DECLARATION
Posted by Dave Alpern, April 16, 2008.

Except for perfunctory and mealy-mouthed "denouncements," we see no concrete action against Iran for its open and repeated calls for annihilation of Israel, a full-fledged member of the United Nations. These calls are a clear, blatant and shameless violation of the UN Charter.

This was written by Charles Krauthammer and published April 11, 2008 in the Washington Post. Contact him at letters@charleskrauthammer.com

On Tuesday Iran announced it was installing 6,000 more centrifuges –– they produce enriched uranium, the key ingredient of a nuclear weapon –– in addition to the 3,000 already operating. The world yawned.

It is time to admit the truth: The Bush administration's attempt to halt Iran's nuclear program has failed. Utterly. The latest round of U.N. Security Council sanctions, which took a year to achieve, is comically weak. It represents the end of the sanctions road.

At home, the president's efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program were irreparably undermined by November's National Intelligence Estimate, whose "moderate confidence" that Iran has not restarted nuclear weaponization –– the least important of three elements of any nuclear program –– has promoted the illusion that Iran has given up the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Yet uranium enrichment, the most difficult step, proceeds apace, as does the development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

The president is out of options. He is going to hand over to his successor an Iran on the verge of going nuclear. This will deeply destabilize the Middle East, threaten the moderate Arabs with Iranian hegemony and leave Israel on hair-trigger alert.

This failure can, however, be mitigated. As there will apparently be no disarming of Iran by preemption or by sanctions, we shall have to rely on deterrence to prevent the mullahs, some of whom are apocalyptic and messianic, from using nuclear weapons.

This will be even more difficult than during the Cold War, when we were dealing with rational actors. We will, nonetheless, have to use the Cold War model in which deterrence prevented the Soviets from engaging in nuclear aggression for half a century –– long enough for regime change to make deterrence superfluous. (No one lies awake today worrying about post-Soviet Russia launching a nuclear attack on the United States.) We don't know how long the mullahs will be in power, but until they are replaced, deterrence will be an absolute necessity.

During the Cold War, we were successful in preventing an attack not only on the United States but also on America's allies. We did it by extending the American nuclear umbrella –– i.e., declaring that any attack on our allies would be considered an attack on the United States.

Such a threat is never 100 percent credible. But it was credible enough. It made the Soviets think twice about attacking our European allies. It kept the peace.

We should do the same to keep nuclear peace in the Middle East. It would be infinitely less dangerous (and therefore more credible) than the Cold War deterrence because there will be no threat from Iran of the annihilation of the United States. Iran, unlike the Soviet Union, would have a relatively tiny arsenal incapable of reaching the United States.

How to create deterrence? The way John Kennedy did during the Cuban missile crisis. President Bush's greatest contribution to nuclear peace would be to issue the following declaration, adopting Kennedy's language while changing the names of the miscreants:

"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear attack upon Israel by Iran, or originating in Iran, as an attack by Iran on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon Iran."

This should be followed with a simple explanation: "As a beacon of tolerance and as leader of the free world, the United States will not permit a second Holocaust to be perpetrated upon the Jewish people."

This policy –– the Holocaust Declaration –– would not be tested during the current administration, because Iran is not going to go nuclear before January 2009. But it would establish a firm benchmark that would outlive this administration. Every future president –– and every serious presidential candidate –– would have to publicly state whether or not the Holocaust Declaration remains the policy of the United States.

It would be an important question to ask because it would not be uncontroversial. It would be argued that the Holocaust Declaration is either redundant or, at the other extreme, provocative.

Redundant, it would be said, because Israel could retaliate on its own. The problem is that Israel is a very small country with a small nuclear arsenal that is largely land-based. Land-based retaliatory forces can be destroyed in a first strike, which is precisely why, during the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union created vast submarine fleets –– undetectable and thus invulnerable to first strikes –– that ensured a retaliatory strike and, thus, deterrence. The invulnerability and unimaginably massive size of this American nuclear arsenal would make an American deterrent far more potent and reliable than any Israeli facsimile –– and thus far more likely to keep the peace.

Would such a declaration be provocative? On the contrary. Deterrence is the least provocative of all policies. That is why it is the favored alternative of those who oppose a preemptive attack on Iran to disarm it before it can acquire nuclear weapons. What the Holocaust declaration would do is turn deterrence from a slogan into a policy.

It is, of course, hardly certain that deterrence would work on the likes of Ahmadinejad and other jihadists. But deterrence would concentrate the minds of rational Iranian actors, of whom there are many, to restrain or even depose leaders such as Ahmadinejad who might sacrifice Iran's existence as a nation to vindicate their divine obligation to exterminate the "filthy bacteria" of the Jewish state, a "disgraceful stain [on] the Islamic world."

For the first time since the time of Jesus, Israel (known as Judea at the time) is the home of the world's largest Jewish community. An implacable neighboring power has openly declared genocidal intentions against it –– in clear violation of the U.N. Charter –– and is defying the international community by pursuing the means to carry out that intent. The world does nothing. Some, such as the Russians, are literally providing fuel for the fire.

For those who see no moral principle underlying American foreign policy, the Holocaust Declaration is no business of ours. But for those who believe that America stands for something in the world –– that the nation that has liberated more peoples than any other has even the most minimal moral vocation –– there can be no more pressing cause than preventing the nuclear annihilation of an allied democracy, the last refuge and hope of an ancient people openly threatened with the final Final Solution.

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JEWS WHO SHOOT ARABS IN SELF-DEFENSE GO TO JAIL; ARAB TERRORISTS WHO SHOOT JEWS GO FREE
Posted by Lee Caplan, April 15, 2008.

This is called "Jewish Security Prisoners Request Pardon" and was written by Hillel Fendel for Arutz-Sheva. It appeared today.

(IsraelNN.com) "If drug and sex-crime convicts can request pardons, and with hundreds of terrorists having been freed, it would seem to be right to provide some balance and pardon some Jews as well." So says Shlomi Dvir, a Jewish father from Gush Etzion who has completed six years of his 15-year prison sentence.

Dvir was convicted of having conspired to bomb an Arab school in eastern Jerusalem in response to the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2001 and 2002 in which hundreds of Jews were murdered.

Dvir was convicted together with two other co-conspirators; they never denied involvement in the case, but rather said that the bomb was never meant to go off. Atty. Naftali Wurtzberger said at the time that it was clear that the bomb could not have gone off, "but the question is whether the defendants did this purposely or accidentally. The court entered the realm of 'intentions' by saying that this was done only accidentally."

Speaking with Arutz-7's Yigal Shok and Uzi Baruch by phone from Ayalon Prison, Dvir said he and the five other "Jewish security prisoners" in the religious wing of the prison have submitted a request for a pardon in honor of Israel's upcoming 60th anniversary. The other five include Ofer Gamliel –– father of seven who has been allowed out of prison exactly five times during his six years –– as well as the two Harel brothers, who were sentenced to 30 and 40 months in prison, respectively, for planning an anti-Disengagement road blocking in 2005.

Yarden Morag, who was convicted together with Gamliel and Dvir, is in Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle, because he is treated like other prisoners and is allowed vacations. "The Shabak (General Security Service) refuses to allow us to leave the prison," Dvir said, "even for the most humanitarian of reasons. I recently asked to be able to visit my grandfather, whose health has gravely deteriorated. The judge couldn't understand why they were giving me such a hard time, and was about to grant my request, when all of a sudden a Shabak guy made a special trip to court to present some supposedly secret evidence, and the judge suddenly refused my request."

Dvir was also not allowed to attend his brother's wedding last year, though he was allowed out –– for three hours at a time –– when each of his last two children were born.

The Jewish legal rights organization Honenu has been in the forefront of fighting for the legal rights of Jewish security prisoners, Jews arrested for having shot at Arabs in self-defense, and Jews facing legal problems for having protested on behalf of the Land of Israel.

In response to a question, Dvir said he regrets his actions: "My mistake was in not realizing that acts of nationalist nature should not be done by individuals, but rather by the government."

To sign a petition (in Hebrew) asking President Peres to pardon the Jewish security prisoners, click here

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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DON'T SACRIFICE ISRAELI LIVES
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 15, 2008.

This was written by Josh Hasten and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208179714075&pagename= JPos t%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The writer is the former spokesman for the Yesha Council and is currently the president of a Jerusalem-based PR firm.

Moving to Israel at the height of the intifada in the winter of 2002, my wife and I soon became fatalists. With Arab terrorists daily carrying out suicide bombings and shooting attacks, we decided that the only way we were going to live a somewhat normal existence –– go out to eat, travelling on roads throughout the country –– was by rationalizing that "when it's your time it's your time."

Based on that philosophy, we've traveled freely by private car all over Israel over the past six years –– including Judea and Samaria, and more recently Sderot, where the threat of coming under enemy fire is actually greater.

But last week, as a result of recent government gestures towards our "peace partners," we were a little nervous traveling to my in-laws, who live in Kedumim in the Shechem bloc, east of Kfar Saba. The reason for our concern was that in one of the most recent signs of good will, Defense Minister Barak ordered the IDF to dismantle 50 unmanned barricades throughout Samaria, even though barricades and roadblocks are proven terror deterrents. Luckily, we arrived at our destination unscathed. But recent history has shown that it's only a matter of time before our enemies take advantage of the eased restrictions to mount attacks.
 

IN ADDITION to the reduction in barricades, it has been reported that the government has taken further steps in recent weeks that potentially put the lives of residents of Judea and Samaria at greater risk. These include:

  • the reduction by 70 percent of IDF Home Front Command funding by the for the maintenance of defense system in local communities. The money is allocated to repair electronic fences, cameras and other sensors. This reduction took place despite the increase in criminal infiltrations which often lead to terrorist attacks.

  • a reduction in funding for the installation of plastic windows in cars, despite the increase in stoning attacks throughout Judea and Samaria

  • a halt in funding for bullet-proof windows

  • the confiscation of army-issued weapons used for personal protection and of communities' weapons caches held in storage.

ALONG WITH these security-related risks, the Olmert government continues to implement a building freeze throughout Judea and Samaria, even inside consensus communities. Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman recently told The Jerusalem Post that no building projects have been authorized "for the last four years."

Based on the above evidence, it seems that by hook or by crook our government is doing everything in its power to destroy the "settlement movement" as we know it. The rationale seems to be that if Israelis can no longer build homes in Judea and Samaria and our enemies have more opportunities to attack them, eventually despair will set in and the Israelis there will "come home" to pre-1967 Israel. Perhaps the government is trying to make its own life easier should another Gush Katif-style withdrawal arise, so that there would be fewer residents around to resist evacuation.

Yet no matter what type of shenanigans the government pulls, and no matter how great the will of our enemy to shed Jewish blood, the residents of Judea Samaria will not abandon their communities or their way of life. As was the case in Gush Katif, the vast majority of residents will not seek compensation to relocate and will remain in their homes till the very end.

The most disheartening aspect of the current situation is that more Jewish lives may be lost senselessly in the communities and on the roads of Judea and Samaria as a result of these government decrees curtailing means of defense.

The government of Israel is sending the unsettling message that the blood of those living on the wrong side of an imaginary line on a map is not as red as their fellow countrymen.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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PASSOVER 2008 REFLECTIONS
Posted by Yoram Ettinger, April 15, 2008.

The legacy of Passover has inspired the cause of Liberty –– as a natural right –– in the US in particular and throughout the globe in general. For example:

*Presidents George Washington and John Adams were compared to Moses and Joshua.

*Adams, Jefferson and Franklin proposed the Parting of the Sea as the official US seal.

*President Calvin Coolidge: "The Hebraic mortars cemented the foundations of American democracy..." (May 3, 1925).

The following reflections on Passover are based on writings by Jewish sages, recently enhanced by Rabbi Moshe Grylak's "Hagadah uPishra."

For more of my newsletters and OpEds, please visit http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il.

Happy Passover,
Yoram

1. Date. The Exodus took place around 1,300BC, 600-700 years before Greek philosophers promoted democracy, establishing the Jewish People in the forefront in the battle against rogue ideologies. Passover is celebrated on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan –– the first month of the Jewish year and the introduction of natural and national spring (Nitzan is the Babylonian word for spring and the Hebrew word for bud). Nissan ("Ness" –– miracle in Hebrew –– is the root) is the month of miracles, such as the Exodus, Parting of the Sea, Jacob wrestling the Angel, Deborah's victory over Sisera, Daniel in the Lion's Den, etc. The 15th day of any Jewish month is endowed with full moon, which stands for optimism in defiance of darkness and the most difficult odds. It is consistent with 15 parts of the Hagadah (the chronicles of Passover), 15 generations between Abraham's message of monotheism and Solomon's construction of the first Temple and the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat –– the "Exodus" of vegetation (Arbor Day).

2. The first Jewish holiday. Passover has four names: Holiday of Pesach (the sacrifice), Holiday of Liberty, Holiday of Matza and Holiday of Spring. It is the first Jewish holiday, according to the Jewish calendar, which starts in the spring (Aviv in Hebrew, which consists of two words: Father of 12 months), the bud of nature. The word spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to Exodus. Passover –– which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation lasts for 7 days, just like the creation of the universe. Passover is the first Jewish pilgrimage and the basis for the other two annual pilgrimages. Thus, the first stop of the Exodus was at Soukkota (Soukkot/Tabernacles is the 3rd pilgrimage), and Passover is the prelude to the receipt of the Torah/Ten Commandments (Shavou'ot/Pentecost the 2nd pilgrimage).

3. David Ben Gurion, Israel's Founding Father highlighted Passover's focus on the Land of Israel and memory (UN Commission, 1947): "300 years ago, the Mayflower launched its historical voyage. How many remember the data of the voyage, how many passengers were on the Mayflower and what kind of bread did they consume? However, 3,300 years earlier, the Exodus from Egypt took place. Every Jew knows the date of the Exodus –– 15th of the month of Nissan –– and the kind of bread –– Matza, leaven bread –– consumed. Until today, Jews all over the world, tell the story of the Exodus and eat Matza on the 15th of Nissan. They conclude the story of the Exodus [Hagadah] with the statement: This year we're slaves, but next year we shall be liberated; this year we're here, but next year in Jerusalem." Consistent with Ben Gurion's comments, Jacob and Joseph demanded to be buried in Hebron and in Shchem (Nablus) and not in Egypt, since burial sites perpetuate presence and deed.

The Exodus set the Jewish People on the Road Map to the Land of Israel, not just –– and not primarily –– to the sliver along the coastal plane and not just to liberation.

4. Role model of Liberty. Passover –– just like monotheism, the Sabbath, Ten Commandments, repentance/Yom Kippur –– constitutes a Jewish gift to humanity. It has been a global inspiration to liberty and to national liberation (Let My People Go). Jews have been targeted by enemies of personal and national liberties (from Pharaoh, Nazism, Communism to Palestinian/Arab/Islamic terrorism and Ahmadinejad), because Jews have been rightly perceived as the messengers of liberty as a God-given natural right and equality before the law.

5. Inspiration for Puritans, Pilgrims and Founding Fathers:

*George Washington and John Adams were compared to Moses and Joshua.

*Adams, Jefferson and Franklin proposed the Parting of the Sea as the official US seal.

*John Locke considered Moses' 613 Laws as the most fitting legal foundation of the new society in America.

*Ezra Styles, the President of Yale University, stated that "Moses, the man of God, assembled three million people –– the number of people in the America in 1776..." (May 8, 1783).

*President Calvin Coolidge: "The Hebraic mortars cemented the foundations of American democracy..." (May 3, 1925).

*John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts: "God has entered into a Covenant with those who are on their way to wilderness in America, just as he had entered into Covenant with the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai..." (1630 sermon on the Arbella).

The Exodus inspired the Puritans, the Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, who considered themselves "the modern day People of the Covenant ", King George III "the modern day Pharaoh", the Atlantic "the modern day Red Sea" and America "the modern day Promised Land". The term Federalism is based on "Foedus", the Latin word for "The Covenant." The Founding Fathers considered the political structure of the 12 Tribes, sustaining semi-independence, governed by Moses, Aharon, Joshua and the 70 person Legislature, a model for the 13 colonies and the US political system. The legacy of the Exodus has nurtured optimism, principle-driven defiance of odds, long-term tenacity and the centrality of tradition, education and national memory.

6. veHigadetah (thou shall assert to your children) is a central theme in Exodus. Its root is "Gid" –– the Hebrew word for ligament. Just like the ligament, which connects the bones of the body, the commandment of "veHigadetah" constitutes the prerequisite for generational-educational connectivity-continuity. veHigadetah is the living, educational, moral Jewish substitute (Torch) for stone and metal historical monuments.

veHigadetah nurtures memory, education, faith, defiance of odds and liberty, key themes of Passover.

The Hebrew word for "memory" is Zikaron, which is composed of two Hebrew words: Zakh (pure) and Ron (hymn). The Hebrew word for "education" is Khinoukh, whose root is "to inaugurate." The Hebrew word for "faith" is Emunah, whose root is Amen. The Hebrew word for "liberty" is Kherut, spelled identically to the word Kharut, "carved." In other words, liberty is carved in stone, independent of human rulers, nurtured by –– and bolstering –– education, determination and faith, never to be taken for granted. A nation which commemorates enslavement and deliverance of 3,300 years ago is destined for a glorious future, while a nation which turns its back on its cradle of history dooms its future.

7. Moses, the hero of Passover, has become a role model of leadership. The Mosaic legacy has greatly impacted US democracy, hence Moses' marble replica at the House Chamber on Capitol Hill, at the Rayburn House Office Building's subway station and at the Supreme Court (holding the Ten Commandments). Moses' name is mentioned only once in the Passover Hagadah, as a servant of G-d, a testimony to Moses' humility, in order to humanize –– rather than deify –– Moses and to highlight the role of God in the Exodus. Similarly, Moses' grave site is purposely unknown, and the only compliment accorded by the Torah to Moses –– a prime leader in human history –– is "the humblest of all human beings".

8. The Exodus is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, equal to the 50 years of Jubilee, another historical pivot of liberty ("Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof", Leviticus, 25, 10, inscribed on the Liberty Bell). 50 days following the Exodus, Moses received the Torah, which includes –– according to Jewish tradition –– 50 Gates of Wisdom. The commemoration of the Exodus is one of the 613 Jewish/Mosaic laws. Passover is highlighted in most Jewish prayers and rituals, such as the daily prayers, the welcoming of the Sabbath, the blessing over wine, each holiday, upon circumcision, at the door step (Mezuzah) of Jewish homes, etc.

9. Passover commemorates an early War of Civilizations. Moses' victory over Pharaoh (the pioneer of "The Final Solution") reflected the victory of humility over hubris, truth over lies, conviction/morality over convenience/immorality, solidarity/compassion over selfishness/cynicism, sharing/contribution over abuse, realism over wishful-thinking, constituent over ruler and personal and national liberty over tyranny. Passover demonstrates that dramatic crises could be transformed into dramatic deliverance –– from slavery to role-model moral system. The term Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) referred to the sacrificial lamb, which spared the Jews the 10th plague (death of the elder son) –– it Passed-Over their homes. Judaism introduced the immorality of human sacrifices. The Hebrew words for sacrifice are Korban (to get closer), Ola (to elevate), Mincha (to be guided, to relax) Khatat (to cleanse) and Shlamim (wholesomeness).

10. Passover commemorates the victory of Jewish demography. Jacob arrived to Egypt with 70 members of his family, but Moses launched the Exodus with 600,000 adult males and a total of some 3 million people –– quite a demographic momentum. The Exodus was the first case of a massive Jewish immigration (Aliya) to Israel, in defiance of odds and projections –– as have been all major Aliya waves since 1948 –– but in touch with Jewish history and destiny. A Jewish Demographic Momentum has currently been in motion between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. While Herzl launched the Zionist voyage –– in 1897 –– with an 8% Jewish minority west of the Jordan River in 1900, and Ben-Gurion celebrated the 1947 UN vote with a 33% minority, today's Jewish State is endowed with a 67% majority over 98.7% of the land west of the River (without Gaza) and a 60% majority with Gaza. Arab fertility rate has declined substantially –– as has the fertility rates throughout the Moslem world –– in addition to a significant increase in annual net Arab emigration, while Jewish fertility rate creeps upward (the highest in the industrialized world), bolstered by annual immigration (Aliya) since 1882 (for additional demographic data, please visit http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il).

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

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LENNONISM IMAGINES THE MIDDLE EAST
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 15, 2008.

The Middle East today is driven by five big conflicts: Among states for power; the Iran-Syria alliance's war on everyone else; the struggle between Arab nationalists and Islamists to control each country, and the Sunni-Shia and Arab-Israeli conflicts.

No wonder there's so much turmoil.

To many in the West, this seems a time-wasting matter of "false consciousness." One need merely explain their true interests to the Iranian and Syrian governments, to Hamas or Hizballah, to Arabs and Muslims, so they can rise to moderation. Western sins will be atoned by throwing out Israelis, Lebanese, and Iraqis with the bath water.

How can the doctrine now dominating Western discourse possibly understand these issues, especially when the song of the siren is heard in the land? Call it Lennonism, not the Leninism of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, known as Lenin, but of former Beatles' member, John Lennon.

His blueprint for utopia would be a better theme song for the European Union than its current anthem:

"Imagine there's no countries/It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too/Imagine all the people/Living life in peace...."

One can only refer here to George Gershwin's earlier lyrics: "It ain't necessarily so."

There are several problems with Lennonism.

First, contrary to current wisdom, love of country and belief in religion can be a very productive thing, although of course that depends on specifics.

Second, despite the misdeeds committed in the name of deity and country, those doing them today are rarely from Western democracies. Ironically, those most likely to use them to good purpose are also those most eager to abandon them. After centuries, the West developed a tolerant form of patriotism and religion. Why abandon what you've already tuned properly? Having transcended the problems associated with religion and nationalism, the democratic world doesn't need to discard them.

Third, it's quite true that some use God to justify their own will and terrible deeds but, as Fyodor Dostoevsky reminded us in 1880, if God doesn't exist morality is on a weak basis. Consider the case of Phil Spector, who produced the record of "Imagine." While he beat the charge of first-degree murder of a woman who resisted his advances, the trial brought out his likely guilt, madness, violent propensity, and massive drug and alcohol abuse. What Lennon glorified as "Living for today," usually means mindless consumerism.

For Karl Marx, religion was merely the masses' "opiate," a drug keeping them from realizing they should instead be overthrowing the ruling class and installing a socialist utopia. Marx was disagreeing with the proto-Zionist Moses Hess who called religion an opiate in the sense that it was a healing balm that reduced life's pain.

Finally, patriotism might be the scoundrels' last refuge, as Samuel Johnson said in 1775, but hating one's country and religion is the first.

At any rate, the Middle East is not ready for this Lennonist vision. For those confronting the real threat of radical Arab nationalism and Islamism, Lennonism is unilateral disarmament. The more Lennonist the West, the more contemptuous and certain of victory are its enemies.

To make matters worse, Lennonists give the Middle East a free pass, arguing that Arabs and Muslims have such compelling grievances that they cannot be expected to indulge in this elevated philosophy. In effect, the Lennonists accept the notion that Western civilization is an empty cart which must give way at the bridge to the full cart of those who really believe in nationalism and religion.

According to this view, those who want to kill you are reacting to past oppression and so that makes it okay. The West must destroy its own patriotism and religion while appeasing that of those who "really mean it." And let's not forget that if you ridicule Christianity and Judaism or slander America or other democratic states no one will cut off your head. Instead, you will become a hero to the intellectual and cultural elite.

Thus, those who worship diversity define it at home as a situation in which no one dares disagree with them, and define it abroad as supporting quaint customs like dictatorship, lies, and oppression.

In Barrack Obama, America now has its first Lennonist presidential candidate. He recently accused average small-town Americans of being bitter over economic problems so that "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

This is a version of the Marxist concept that anything other than determination to pursue economic well-being through a leftist utopian solution is "false consciousness." Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini explained thirty years ago that anyone thinking Islamist revolution's purpose was "to lower the price of housing or watermelons" was a fool.

Of course, Obama didn't mind listening for 20 years to anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-middle class, and anti-white rants from his minister-mentor, who played on his congregation's bitterness quite effectively to explain their frustrations in other terms. Poor Lennon himself was murdered by a deranged fan who listened to all the talk of peace and love, then responded in his own way.

The real world is tough. Conflict is real, hate effective, and there are people out there trying to kill you. Better hope there are some on your own side motivated enough by patriotism, religion, and love of liberty that they'll put their bodies between you and the bullets because they think there is something worth killing and dying for.

Lennonism is intoxicating: believe in change; all can be okay if we just keep apologizing and don't offend anyone. Unfortunately, though, nowadays there are many who, to quote Lennon, "dream the world will be one." And the world they envision as one would be living under a caliphate.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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YESHA COUNCIL EVACUATES OUTPOST NEAR MODI'IN AS PART OF DEAL
Posted by Bryna Berch, April 15, 2008.

The two essays below talk about the Yesha Jews giving up an outpost they've established.

Problem is that the Olmert Gov't has adopted some of the tactics of their friends, the Palestinian Arabs. Promise. You don't have to keep your word. All they are doing is coaxing the Jews of Yesha into a bargaining psychology, not a defend-your-homes state of mind. Ted Belman put it this way:

I believe this creeping disengagement even without a declaration of principles being agreed to, will continue. The GoI will not put all this to the electorate until it is sure of winning. The more Israelis get used to it the less resistance there will be to the deal being worked out."
To read his article below, click here.

1. Jerusalem Post staff April 15, 2008
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1208179716203&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) quietly evacuated the illegal outpost of Mevo Horon North on Monday, as part of a deal with the Defense Ministry, Ma'ariv reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the settlers left the outpost willingly in exchange for new building permits in nearby Mevo Horon. Twenty families were living in the outpost, which is located near Modi'in.

"We are ashamed of the evacuation, but we did it only because it will save other places," one of the residents told the paper.

2. SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD DESTROYED IN EXCHANGE FOR LARGER ONE
by Hillel Fendel
Arutz 7:

A new Jewish neighborhood in Yesha was nipped in the bud last night (Monday), with the consent of residents who hope to thus save other Jewish towns.

The outpost in question, known as Merom Ayalon, is located just to the northeast of Mevo Horon and just to the east of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. It is located just over the Green Line; in the Six Day War, when it was liberated from Jordanian control, Jordanian military plans were found to capture and destroy nearby Kibbutz Shaalvim.

Twenty people were living in 6-8 structures in the seven-year-old neighborhood left the site voluntarily late Monday night. They explained that they were ashamed of having taken this action, "but we did it in order to save other sites for Jewish settlement." The evacuation was carried out following an agreement with the Defense Ministry, in exchange for permission to build new housing in the neighborhood's well-established mother town of Mevo Horon, and more.

Over 1,000 people live in Mevo Horon, which was founded in 1970. The Mevo Horon secretariat announced that it was not proud of the deal, but agreed to it "in order to help save several outposts deep in Jewish territory in the Shomron." The agreement includes permission to expand Mevo Horon by another 100 housing units.

MK Ariel: Nothing Gained

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) was not happy with the voluntary evacuation. "It will not bring about any positive results," he said. "Any agreement in which the 'reward' is that the government agrees to un-freeze [some] construction in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem is not worthy of trust."

Ariel took the opportunity to once again call on Shas to quit the coalition "even before Pesach, and topple this government."

Baruch Marzel of Hevron, head of the Jewish National Front organization, says that the Yesha Council has "not learned anything from previous agreements. The last agreement they made regarding outposts brought about the Disengagement from northern Shomron and Gaza, and this one is likely to bring about an even large withdrawal from Judea and Samaria."

Two cranes arrived in Merom Ayalon on Monday night, and removed six caravans. No Land of Israel supporters were on hand to protest, as the agreement had been kept secret since it was formulated two weeks ago.

"This was a desecration of G-d's Name," one resident told NRG-Maariv, "but it is important to emphasize that it is being done with great pain and sorrow, and only to save other settlement spots."

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FORTY YEARS IN THE DESERT
Posted by David Wilder, April 15, 2008.

In a few nights we will participate in one of Judaism's most ancient ceremonies, and certainly one of the year's most treasured events. We sit around a table and conduct a Seder –– the annual recitation of the story of Israel's redemption from Egypt.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Israel's first Chief Rabbi, writes that that exodus had a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it was a goal in and of itself, that being liberation from Egyptian bondage. However, he teaches that the exodus was also a means to an end, that end being the reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and eventually, observance of that Torah in Eretz Yisrael. The exodus as a stand-alone event was momentous, but its real significance came to pass only years and decades later.

We are currently marking the sixtieth anniversary of Israeli independence. The Jewish people have made tremendous leaps and bounds over the past six decades. Who could have expected, in May of 1948, the power and prestige a Jewish state would command at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is especially notable considering the fact that the Jewish people, coming out of a 2,000 year old exile, had to virtually recreate its national being from scratch, having been totally removed from exercises in sovereignty for two millennium. On top of this we can never forget that Israel was reborn from within the ashes of Auschwitz. Jews have prayed, day in and day out for thousands of years for not only a return to Zion, but also for Techiat HaMetim, the revival of the dead. Israeli independence is no less than revival of the dead. For this, we rejoice and give thanks to the L-rd for have granted us this most magnanimous gift of national life.

That's the up side. The down side is all too well known. From the very beginning there was a concerted effort made to oppress the foundations of Jewish being. The founding fathers, or most of them, were not great fans of observant Judaism. The kidnapping and forced resettling of over 1,000 Yemenite children is perhaps the quintessential example of attempts to eradicate Judaism from the Jews. Yet Ben Gurion was known to have answered, in reply to a question about Jewish legitimacy to settle in Eretz Yisrael, that the source of Jewish rights to the Land is the Bible.

The relationship between Israel's leadership and our Land has been overtly problematic. Eretz Yisrael was almost viewed as a 'card' to be dealt at the proper time. This was explicitly felt both prior to and following the 1967 Six Day war, when Israeli leaders attempted to refrain from liberating Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and following their liberation, expressed a desire to abandon them at the first possible opportunity. So it was that Israeli paratroopers, having captured the Old City of Jerusalem and Judaism's most sacred site, Temple Mount and the Kotel (The Western Wall) were told to prepare to leave only a short time after the victory.

Yamit, Oslo, Hebron, Gush Katif and the northern Shomron all speak for themselves. Other words are superfluous.

Where does this leave us, after sixty years?

In my humble opinion, the state of Israel isn't really sixty years old. Yes, if we count from 1948, to 2008, the result is sixty. But in reality, we couldn't really call ourselves a full-fledged sovereign entity while our heart was still in captivity. That heart being Jerusalem and Hebron. They go hand-in-hand, together. David began in Hebron for seven and a half years before moving up to Jerusalem. Hebron was lost in 1929; Jerusalem in 1948. Jerusalem was liberated on the 28th of Iyar and Hebron the following day. Hebron was chopped into two parts in January, 1997. Ehud Barak offered Arafat 90% of Jerusalem only a few years ago. The fates of these two eternal, holy cities are inextricably combined and cannot be separated.

Following the Six Day war former Jerusalem residents, expelled during the 1948 War of Independence were repatriated. Moshe Dayan, then Minister of Defense, refused to speak to former Hebron Jewish homeowners who had lost their property to Arab marauders following the 1929 riots and massacre, and subsequent final expulsion in the spring of 1936. Only in 1968, exactly forty years ago this Friday, did Jews return to the first Jewish city in Israel.

As with many such stories, from close-up they seem almost ordinary. In reality, not only a physical reality, but also a metaphysical truth, such events are earthshaking, or perhaps better put, 'heaven-shaking.' The return of a small group of Jews, that 1968 Passover in Hebron, with the guidance of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, with the participation of Rabbis Waldman, Druckman and Levinger, was the forerunner of a massive awakening, a returning to the heart of our land throughout Judea and Samaria. But this awakening too was not only a corporeal return to the land; rather, it was, primarily, a spiritual arousing, the voice of the Jewish people bursting through the ages, an almost primal expression of the faith buried so deep inside the souls of the Jewish people, who for centuries had cried out 'next year in Jerusalem,' whereby 'Jerusalem' was the keyword representing all our land, Eretz Yisrael. Without Jerusalem, without Shechem, without Hebron, we were as a body without a soul, a golem, whose bodily movements were predefined, perhaps classified as 'natural.' But the spirit, the inner essence, the heart, the soul, was missing. Only with the liberation of Jerusalem and Hebron and with them the rest of Judea and Samaria could we really and truly say, 'we are back home –– we have returned.'

That Passover, forty years ago, was the breaking of the ice –– the trailblazer, the results of which are the authentic rebirth, physically and spiritually, of the Jewish people. As Jews began returning to their physical roots, so too did they commence the return to their spiritual roots; the numbers of Jews who have 'returned,' who have come back to observant Judaism in the past 40 years is beyond numbers. And that homecoming, as such, began with, and was initiated by our return to our land, our return to our heart –– to Jerusalem and Hebron. The group of Jews who initiated and participated in that 'Seder' in Hebron in 1968 might not have known it then, and maybe some of them are still unaware of it today, but they were the sparks that set the fire of the return of the Jewish people to themselves after two thousand years.

Just as the exodus from Egypt had a double goal; one immediate and the other long-term, so too did our statehood in 1948 have a double agenda; one immediate –– announcing before all the world, we, the Jewish people have not died out, we have escaped the bondage of galut, of exile, you have not been able to extinguish us; and also long-term –– to bring the people back to all their land, to all their land and to all their heart and soul, physically and spiritually.

So as we celebrate sixty years and forty years, we can conclude that really, only now, are we beginning. The Jewish people spent forty years in the desert before entering the Land, forty years fraught with problem and crises. Now, we too have finished forty years, also filled with unimaginable predicaments. And just as then, when we came into the land the problems didn't come to a swift end, we too, today, may still face unbearable situations. But those aren't the key. The key is, we are home, we are in Israel, we have returned to Hebron and to Jerusalem, we have rediscovered ourselves, we have been granted the Divine gift of life, we are here to stay.

Happy Passover, Happy 60, Happy 40!

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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FROM ISRAEL: WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 15, 2008.

Abbas Zaki is no upstart within Palestinian politics. Long an influential member of Fatah, he sits on its powerful Central Committee. Additionally, he is the PLO's representative to Lebanon.

This, according to MEMRI is what Zaki said recently in the course of an interview on Lebanese TV:

"We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith.

"The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide. We talk politics, but our principles are clear...We harvest U.N. resolutions, and we shame the world so that it doesn't gang up on us, because the world is led by people who have given their brains a vacation –– the American administration and the neocons.

"The P.L.O. is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota. In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the P.L.O. proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."
http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1738.htm

~~~~~~~~~~

We who are vehemently opposed to current Israeli and American policy with regard to our negotiating a "two state solution" –– which would require us to surrender part of Jerusalem and all or most of Judea and Samaria –– feel, more often than not, that our words of warning fall on deaf ears. It makes little or no impact on those who persist in conceptualizing the PA as "moderate" when we speak of Jerusalem as the heart of our existence and our very raison d'être, which we are at risk of surrendering.

But now, here it is from the enemy. And I wonder if anyone will even bother to sit up and pay attention.

"When...we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology...and drive them out of all of Palestine."

It's time, way past time, for us to sit up and say, "Look you bums, this is ours and you are entitled to none of it.

It's time for us to remember that we HAVE an ideology and to adhere to it instead of the Palestinian narrative.

~~~~~~~~~~

Allow me, please, to clarify what I see as the major, and very significant, implications of the Zaki interview:

[] For us to surrender any part of Jerusalem, which is historically ours and which is, according to our own basic law, the undivided capital of Israel, would be to surrender the sense of who we are and what our entitlement is. It would be to cut out our own heart.

[] The Palestinians fully intend to continue to push for the (non-existent) "right of return," which would undermine us from within.

[] The Palestinians have never abandoned their "Phased Program," which was formulated after they realized the Arabs couldn't destroy Israel in a war. What it does is set out a policy of achieving a Palestinian state in all the land by stages instead, and using politics as a method of reaching the final goal.

This means there is no reason whatsoever to trust that an agreement struck with the PA would represent a final cessation of hostilities rather than a way station towards further hostilities.

And yet...and yet...there are those who insist on trusting it. "We must take chances for peace" is their watchword. And it is unbearable.

~~~~~~~~~~

More of what we're dealing with from inside:

Israeli MK Ahmed Tibi, Chair of the United Arab List, in attendance at the Doha Forum on Democracy in Qatar, registered as "Palestinian." The response within the Knesset, both to the left and the right, has been outrage, with the suggestion made that he might consider moving to Ramallah –– that his choice of identity was his to make, but that he could not have it both ways.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is so much to address that I've been mum on the subject of Obama, even as I shudder at the prospect of his becoming president. It would be an understatement to say that his support for Israel is shaky, no matter the superficial impression he lends and those whom he is able to fool. (There are always those who, for whatever reasons, are ready to be fooled.) The latest "name" advisor to join his camp is Daniel Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel.

I recommend an article by Ed Lasky in The American Thinker, on the positions of Indyk vis-a-vis Israel, which are enough to make your hair stand on end if you love Israel. Just as the acorn falls close to the tree, so is the candidate likely of similar mind. Read it and be forewarned.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/04/obamas_new_foreign_policy_advi.html

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

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. WHAT IS A SUFFICIENT VICTORY?
Posted by Bryna Berch, April 14, 2008.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared today in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1208179714063&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Speaking to IDF commanders in Judea and Samaria last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exhorted the officers tasked with preventing Palestinians from attacking Israel while operating under civilian cover to have sympathy for them. Olmert said "Take all the Palestinians who have been stripped at the roadblocks just because of fear that there may be terrorists and terror operatives among them. Take all those who wait at roadblocks because of fear that a car bomb may drive through the same roadblock. This could be a boiling cauldron, liable to explode and cause horrible burns, and it could be something else, dependent only on your ability to act wisely and forcefully."

Since Olmert knows that IDF soldiers are as courteous as possible to Palestinians at roadblocks, his statement will have two major consequences. First it will cause a loosening of regulations at roadblocks and so impair IDF counterterror capabilities. Second, by insultingly insinuating that IDF forces are cruel, Olmert demoralized his own soldiers and reduced their willingness to accomplish their mission by hinting that they cannot expect the government to back them.

Olmert's message is just the latest action his government has taken in recent weeks that undermine the IDF's ability to maintain its military success since 2002 in defeating Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria and preventing them from reorganizing.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak government's decision to take down roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria; provide immunity from arrest to wanted terror fugitives; and permit the deployment of US-backed Fatah militias in Jenin all serve to directly undermine the IDF's remarkable achievements in defeating and preventing the reconstitution of the Palestinian terror war machine in Judea and Samaria since Operation Defensive Shield was carried out in 2002. Even more disturbingly, its reported willingness to cede the Jordan Valley to Fatah in the negotiations it is now conducting with Fatah leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei indicate that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is ready to transform Judea and Samaria into a base for global jihadist forces just as occurred when Israel surrendered Gaza's border with Egypt in 2005.

That the government is squandering the IDF's hard-won achievements in Judea and Samaria is made clear in a paper on counterinsurgency warfare authored by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror released this week by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Amidror's paper, "Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience," focuses on Israel's military defeat of Palestinian terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defensive Shield.
 

AMIDROR IDENTIFIES six components of counterinsurgency warfare which he deems essential for effecting military victory over irregular forces. These components are: a political decision by the government to defeat terrorism; winning and maintaining control of the territory from which terrorists operate; acquiring relevant intelligence; isolating the terror enclaves from outside supporters; multidimensional cooperation between intelligence gatherers and fightxing forces; and separating civilians from terrorists. Through its actions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government it is undermining four of these components.

After identifying what he views as the essential components of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, Amidror identifies and defines three forms of military victory. First, there is "total victory" which involves both a military defeat of insurgent or terror forces and the political reorganization of their societies from terror-supporting societies into terror-combating societies. Second, there is "temporary victory" which involves a one-off military defeat of enemy forces which is not combined with any political transformation of their societies. Finally, Amidror considers what he refers to as "sufficient victory." As he defines it, a sufficient victory involves defeating an irreconcilable foe and then preventing him from rebuilding his capacity to wage war.

Like a temporary victory, a sufficient victory doesn't entail any political transformation of enemy society, and indeed it takes for granted that such a transformation is impossible to enact. But as opposed to a temporary victory, Amidror argues that the effect of a sufficient victory can be longstanding if the victorious side is willing and able to consistently prevent enemy forces from reconstituting themselves. That is, a sufficient victory requires a continuous rather than one-off campaign.

Amidror's definition of sufficient victory leads him to conclude that contrary to the approach of the Israeli and Western Left, there is a military option for victory in counterinsurgency wars devoid of political transformation. From an Israeli perspective, Amidror's vision of counterinsurgency warfare view is reasonable and understandable.

Israel's options for transforming Palestinian society from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society are limited. Influenced by domestic, pan-Arab and pan-Islamic jihadist indoctrination; supported militarily, financially and politically by Arab states, Iran, terror groups and the West, the Palestinians have little reason to transform. .
 

MOREOVER, ISRAEL's strategic and national interests in maintaining control over Judea and Samaria could render sustainable a military strategy with no withdrawal element. This is not the case in other battlefields such as the US counterinsurgency in Iraq.

To a degree, Amidror's view that sufficient victory is possible is echoed in recent statements by US military commanders in Iraq. In a dispatch from Iraq published last month in National Review, Richard Lowry reported, "For all the security gains over the last year, American commanders believe they have hit a plateau." Absent coherent, competent action by the Iraqi government to secure and maintain the loyalty of Iraqis to the Iraqi state, like the IDF in Judea and Samaria, all US forces in Iraq can do is keep violence down to sufferable levels.

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THE EXPULSION LIBEL: 1948 ARAB "EXODUS" RECONSIDERED
Posted by Rachel Neuwirth, April 14, 2008.

I often receive letters from readers that raise relevant and important questions. One such letter, from Mr. David Gesundheit, gently reproves me for he describes as

"one inaccuracy ... that I would like to point out. It is stated [by R.N.] that the Israelis did not expel Palestinian Arabs from what is now Israel. The truth is that there were some Palestinian Arabs that were evacuated from their towns. Albeit it was a minority, but there were some. Israel was at war and you can justify this action because of it, but nevertheless it did occur."

What follows is my response to Mr. Gesundheit's legitimate concerns.

When I wrote that "[Israel] did not expel the Palestinian Arabs," I did not mean that no Israelis have forced any Arab residents of Palestine to evacuate their homes at any place or at any time during the past sixty years. Rather I meant that there was never any mass expulsion of the Arab population as a whole from Palestine/Israel, or from any region or part of Palestine/Israel, either during the Israeli War of Independence in 1947-49(the usual time-frame given by the anti-Israel "revisionist" or "new" historians for the alleged expulsion) or at any other time, and that it was never the policy or objective of Israel's government to make Israel or Palestine "Arab-free," or of "ethnically cleansing" the country of Arabs. If there ever was such a policy, then it would be impossible to explain how 1.4 million Arabs live in what is now sovereign Israeli territory today –– many more than lived in the same territory before the state of Israel was founded. Just before the outbreak of first major Arab-Israeli war on November 30, 1947, a few months before Israelis declared their independence, there were at most 900,000 Arabs living in this same area.

Today there are large Arab populations in every region of modern-day Israel –– the Galilee region in the north, the central coastal plain, the Judean hills, the "Shefela" or foothills region, and the Negev desert in the south. Arabs are at least 20 per cent of Israel's present-day population. Arabs are half the population of two Israeli cities, Ramla and Lod, from which the Arab residents were, according to many historical accounts, expelled by Israeli soldiers during the War of Independence.

Naturally, I am skeptical of these accounts, since they don't explain why there are more Arabs residing in these two cities (which were only small towns in 1948) than there were before the Arabs were allegedly expelled from them. Akko, another Israeli city, still has an Arab majority, just as it did in 1948, before Israeli soldiers gained control of it. There are large Arab communities in Israel's three largest cities, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Haifa, as well as in the city of Beersheva, which was a tiny village in 1948, but now has a combined Jewish and Arab population of over 100,000 people.

Over 100 of the Arab villages that were in what is now Israel before the nation was reestablished in 1948 are still in Israel today; some of them, such as Umm-el-Fahm, Nazareth, and Sakhnin, have grown into all-Arab cities over the past sixty years. The Israeli government has also built new towns for its Arab citizens at locations that were previously uninhabited, and provided new homes and land to the Arab "settlers" in these communities at little or no cost to them.

And all of this Arab population is additional to the Arab inhabitants of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza region, who now number (depending on which population estimate you choose to believe) somewhere between 2.4 and 3.6 million people. This makes for a total present-day Arab population of what had been the territory of western Palestine under the British mandate of somewhere between 3.6 and 5 million people –– about three times the total Arab population of this territory right before the War of Independence, and seven to ten times the Arab population in 1891. And if we include what is now the Kingdom of Jordan in "Palestine," which we should, since it was the eastern section of the original British Palestine Mandate territory, then the total Arab population of Palestine has risen for about 1.7 million immediately before Israel became independent to perhaps eight million today. Some expulsion!

As for the more specific and limited question of whether the Israel Defense Forces expelled some Palestinian Arabs from their homes in some villages, and possibly one town (Lydda or Lod, then with a population of 15-30 thousand people) during the Israel War of Independence sixty years ago, the answer is, "yes, but only because the Israelis were compelled to carry out these measures in self-defense." The Israeli soldiers, in some places and at certain times in the course of the war, had no other way to repel a massive armed offensive by a coalition of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Palestinian Arab guerilla-terrorist "civilians," acting in concert with tens of thousands of guerilla "volunteers" and regular army soldiers who poured into Palestine from six Arab states, but to remove the Arab inhabitants, or some of them, from certain villages that served as bases of operation and sources of recruits for the Palestinian and other Arab guerilla-terrorists.

The Israeli forces were extremely reluctant to take any measures against their Palestinian Arab neighbors, whom most of the Israeli or Palestinian Jews regarded with respect and even affection. But the Israeli soldiers were sometimes forced to take such measures because many of these same Arab neighbors, acting on instructions or orders from their political leadership, had launched a violent, sustained attack on the Jewish population of Israel-Palestine. If the Israel-Jewish defense forces had not undertaken some harsh counter-guerilla measures in some localities, the Palestinian-Israeli Jewish community, which then numbered only 650,000-750,000 people, and which was interspersed among nearly twice that many Arabs, might easily have suffered complete annihilation.

The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence strongly indicates that it was Arab, not Israeli, actions that were the primary cause of the displacement of Palestinian Arabs during the war.

The war was begun not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Arab leaders and by the governments of the Arab states, in an effort not only to strangle the infant Jewish state in its crib, but also to exterminate its Jewish inhabitants. The Palestinian and other Arab leaders were quite frank about having begun the war. Jamal Husseini, the Acting Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine, told the United Nations Security Council on April 16, 1948:

The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.

Ismayil Safwat, one of the commanders of the Palestinian Arab guerilla-terrorists, admitted in March, 1948 that: "The Jews haven't attacked any Arab village, unless attacked first."

Nor did the Palestinian and other Arab leaders make any attempt to conceal their genocidal objectives. The supreme Palestinian Arab leader, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, exhorted his followers over Radio Cairo, "I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!"

Other Palestinian leaders made similar pronouncements. As for the objectives of the Arab states' invasion of Palestine-Israel, they were expressed clearly enough by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States. According to a report in The New York Times on May 16, 1948,

"On the day that Israel declared its independence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, at Cairo press conference declared "jihad", a holy war. He said that the Arab states rejected partition and would set up a "United State of Palestine." Pasha added: 'This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.'"

The Palestinian Arab guerilla/terrorists began the war with a massacre of Jewish civilian passengers in a bus passing through the Arab town of Lydda (now Lod), on November 30, 1947. They subsequently attacked nearly every Jewish village and urban neighborhood in Palestine, and closed all of the major roads in Palestine to Jews through a regular system of ambushes and sniper attacks. They also killed upwards of two thousand Jews, at least half of them civilians, and wounded thousands of others in the course of the war. In addition to attacking their Jewish neighbors on their own, the Palestinian Arab guerilla/terrorists cooperated closely with the invading armies of the six intervening Arab states, who attacked the Jews with artillery, tanks, aircraft and British-trained, and sometimes British-commanded, soldiers.

The Palestinian Arab guerilla-terrorists' siege of the roads created severe shortages of food and fuel in some Jewish communities, most notably in the Jerusalem area, where the Jewish inhabitants had to be put on starvation rations by their own government and came close to starving to death. The Arab guerilla-terrorists even blew up the water aqueduct to the Jewish sections of Jerusalem, forcing the inhabitants to drink only carefully rationed rain water.

For defending themselves against both the armed Palestinian Arab "civilians" and the invasion forces of the Arab states, the Israelis had only a hastily organized army that was really an ad hoc civilian militia, poorly armed, and consisting mainly of men and women who had no previous military training or experience, and who were drafted from their normal civilian occupations only after the Arab attacks had already begun. Only a small core of men and women, less than 10,000, were fully trained and more or less professional soldiers. The Israeli soldiers were not trained or experienced in occupying Arab communities and separating out armed guerillas from peaceful civilians. In any case, the Israelis had no manpower to spare for such delicate and sophisticated counterinsurgency operations, since they had to repel the armies of the invading Arab states even as they were forced to deal with the "local" guerilla-terrorists as well. These unfortunate military realities occasionally made expulsion of the inhabitants from "hostile" villages that served as bases of operation for guerilla attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians the only practical means of halting these attacks.

On the other hand, Arab villages from which guerilla-terrorist attacks did not originate, and that did not offer armed resistance to the Israeli forces, were left alone by the Israeli soldiers; or if they were occupied by the Israelis, the inhabitants were well treated, and were not asked to leave Israeli-held territory. In a few cases, Arabs from villages in which only a few families remained were asked to resettle elsewhere in Israel, in more populous Arab villages a few miles away. Where most of the inhabitants of a village had chosen to remain, the village was left in place and undisturbed. That is why over a hundred of the Arab communities dating to before Israel's independence still exist in Israel, and have in fact expanded their populations by as much as sevenfold in sixty years –– one of the most rapid population growth rates in the world.

But Israeli counterinsurgency operations and security measures accounted for only a small minority of the Palestinian Arabs who became refugees during the War of Independence, or who claimed refugee status after the war. A much larger number of Arabs fled their homes in response to the urging, or even the orders and threats, of Arab politicians and/or military commanders. Substantial contemporary documentary evidence, much of it published at the time, clearly indicates that both the Palestinian Arab leadership and the governments of the Arab states that attacked Israel called on their own people to evacuate large areas of the country. For example, Kenneth O.Bilby, the correspondent in Palestine for the New York Herald Tribune during the War of Independence wrote in a book published shortly afterwards that said:

The Arab exodus, initially at least, was encouraged by many Arab leaders, such as Haj Amin el Husseini, the exiled pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem, and by the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine. They viewed the first wave of Arab setbacks as merely transitory. Let the Palestine Arabs flee into neighboring countries. It would serve to arouse the other Arab peoples to greater effort, and when the Arab invasion struck, the Palestinians could return to their homes and be compensated with the property of Jews driven into the sea.

After the war, the Palestine Arab leaders did try to help people –– including their own –– to forget that it was they who had called for the exodus in the early spring of 1948. They now blamed the leaders of the invading Arab states themselves. These had added their voices to the exodus call, though not until some weeks after the Palestine Arab Higher Committee had taken a stand. –– Kenneth O. Bilby, New Star in the Middle East, (Doubleday, 1950).

And the British news magazine The Economist, no friend of Israel or the Zionist movement, reported on October 2, 1948, while the war was still in progress, that

Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in [the Palestinian, now Israeli, city of] Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit... It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.
On May 3, 1948, the American news magazine Time reported that
The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by order of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city.... By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.

Sir Alan Cunningham, the last high commissioner for the British administration of Palestine, which was in the process of withdrawing from the country while the fighting raged, wrote to the Colonial Office in London on February 22, 1948, and again on April 28, 1948, that

British authorities in Haifa have formed the impression that total evacuation is being urged on the Haifa Arabs from higher Arab quarters and that the townsfolk themselves are against it.

The American consulate in Haifa had telegraphed Washington on April 25 that "local Mufti-dominated Arab leaders urge all Arabs (to) leave (the) city [Haifa] and large numbers are going." Three days later the consulate followed up this communication with another that said, "reportedly Arab Higher Committee ordering all Arabs (to) leave."

On April 23, Jamal Husseini, the Acting Chairman for the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine, admitted as much in a speech to the United Nations Security Council:

The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce. They rather preferred to abandon their homes, their belongings and everything they possessed in the world and leave the town. This is in fact what they did.

And on April 27, 1950, only two years after the Arab evacuation of Haifa, the Arab National Committee of Haifa asserted in a memorandum submitted to the governments of the Arab states that

The removal of the Arab inhabitants... was voluntary and was carried out at our request... The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries.... We are very glad to state that the Arabs guarded their honour and traditions with pride and greatness.... When the [Arab]delegation entered the conference room [for negotiations with the Jewish authorities in Haifa] it proudly refused to sign the truce and asked that the evacuation of the Arab population and their transfer to neighboring Arab countries be facilitated.

In June 1949, only six months after the conclusion of hostilities, Sir John Troutbeck, the head of the British Middle East office in Cairo and, according to historian Efraim Karsh, "no friend to Israel or the Jews," made a fact-finding visit to Gaza and interviewed some of the Arab refugees there. Troutbeck reported that he had learned from these interviews that the refugees

...express no bitterness against the Jews (or for that matter against the Americans or ourselves) [but] they speak with the utmost bitterness of the Egyptians and other Arab states. "We know who our enemies are," they will say, and they are referring to their Arab brothers who, they declare, persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their home... I even heard it said that many of the refugees would give a welcome to the Israelis if they were to come in and take the district over.

And the Palestinian Arab newspaper Falastin, only a month after the war ended (Feb. 19, 1949), reported that

The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees.

Whatever their motives for giving such reckless, irresponsible instructions to the Palestinian Arabs, the leaders of the jihad against Israel, including both the chiefs of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arab leaders, bear a heavy load of guilt for inflicting suffering on their own people, and then dishonestly blaming Israel for the consequences of their own actions. The time is long overdue for the Arab League governments to accept responsibility for the people whom they have displaced and in many cases left stateless by their attempt, in cooperation with the Palestinian Arab leadership, to strangle Israel and exterminate her people in the year of her birth. And it is high time that today's Arab leaders, and the Palestinian Arab terrorist organizations whom they finance and sponsor, cease to exploit, as a propaganda weapon in their ongoing war against Israel, the suffering that an earlier generation of Arab leaders inflicted on their own people.
 

Documentation and Further Reading: The quotations from Arab and British sources in this article may be found on the world wide web at Israel Defender here, and:

http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2000/258/essay258.html
http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/quotes.html;
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_independence_refugees_arabs_why.php;
http://info.jpost.com/C003/Supplements/Refugees/8.html;
http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php?s=70867357d194da4ea679db259a2b0b4e&t=1151;
http://dajudem.phpbbnow.com/viewtopic.php?t=129&sid=f6ba072fa1ae113aa06bf28bd5e717e6;
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/pal_mov4.htmhttp:/www.hirhome.com/israel/pal_mov4.htm

Two articles by Efraim Karsh,"Were the Palestinians expelled? The story of Haifa,", and "Rights and Wrongs: History and the Palestinian "Right of Return," form the best general introductions to the origins of the Palestinian Arab refugee community, and the causes of the Palestinian "exodus" of 1948. Eli E.Hertz, Arab and Jewish Refugees –– The Contrast, and David Meir-Levi, Big Lies: Demolishing The Myths of the Propaganda War Against Israel, also provide useful summaries of these historical events. In addition, all of the web pages linked above provide important and useful information on this subject.

Seth Franzman's article in the August 16, 2007 issue of the Jerusalem Post, provides a good summary of the "military" background of terrorism and aggression against the Israeli Jewish community. Those wishing to study the military background of the Palestinian Arab refugee exodus in greater depth should consult Netenel Lorch, The Edge of the Sword: Israel's War of Independence 1947-1949, and One Long War, both available from amazon.com; as well as John and David Kimche, A Clash of Destinies: The Arab-Jewish War and the Founding of the State of Israel, also published under the alternative title Both Sides of the Hill: Britain and the Palestine War, which is available under both titles from Amazon.com.

Demographic information about Israel's Jewish and Arab population is available from Israel 's Central Bureau of Statistics.

Rachel Neuwirth is a Los Angeles-based analyst on the board of directors of the West Coast Region of the American Jewish Congress and the chairperson of the organization's Middle East committee. Contact her by email at rachterry@sbcglobal.net

This article was first published at www.AmericanThinker.com

John Landau contributed to this article.

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THE GRAND AND ONGOING DECEPTION
Posted by Ted Belman, April 14, 2008.

It is standard practice for athletes and magicians to fake us out. They distract our attention to mislead us as to their intentions. Politicians do too.

It used to be Israel's policy to put facts on the ground to strengthen Israel's hold on Judea and Samaria and to make time work against Palestinians. That was when we considered such lands "disputed territories", when we sought to get agreement on "defensible borders" and believed that Jerusalem would be Israel's undivided capital forever. No longer.

As a result of this activity, the US declared war on the settlements. The Mitchell Report in May '01, recommending a "settlement freeze", was the first salvo. The Roadmap was the second. While Israel agonized over its acceptance it finally did so subject to fourteen reservations. These reservations served no purpose other than to put Israelis at ease about its acceptance. They were never heard from again. You might say the Israelis were faked out. Even so it is interesting to note that the reservations did not take issue with the settlement freeze or the requirement that Palestine be "viable" or that it be "contiguous. This was covered in my article Making a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear.

Thus Israel was committed to same for the first time. Thereafter Israel began demonizing settlers and restricting building in the settlements subject to some posturing about infill. Israel also began turning a blind eye to illegal building by the Arabs. In effect it was now allowing Arabs to put facts on the ground even though no one was to take any steps that would prejudice the negotiations.

Sharon, who accepted the Roadmap and talked of painful concessions, bulldozed the Gaza Disengagement. Shortly thereafter his new party in coalition with Labour announce their Convergence Plan to much opposition so they backed off publicly. But remained committed to ending the occupation.

One of the big complaints of the Disengagement was that it was unilateral. I took issue with such criticism because no commitment he would have gotten would have been enforceable. Regardless the Kadima/Labour Coalition was determined to negotiate a withdrawal from the Westbank. This is what it wants to do. This governs all. So while we are focussed on the negotiations of core issues, wondering if Israel will avoid the Saudi Plan, Israel is using negotiations as a cover for disengagement sometimes known as "goodwill gestures". Once again Israelis are faked out.

I wrote about this in "Annapolis" is a separation process, not a peace process and in Why must Israel create a "horizon of hope"?

My central point was that the Declaration of Principles in essence is an agreement for withdrawal and disengagement. It allows Israel to remain in the West bank for security reasons until the US-trained Palestinian Army can do the job. In the meantime Israel will not be sitting idle. It will begin to encourage settlers to leave, will stop financing anything on the east side of the new border, will give greater license to the Arabs including in Jerusalem. With each passing month Israel will be disengaging or ending the occupation. It doesn't matter when an agreement on Jerusalem will be negotiated. It doesn't matter if terror stops.

The more Israel withdraws, the more certain there will be a Palestinian state. Israel's primary concern is to have borders agreed upon. If borders are agreed upon, Israel can end the occupation by returning to them. It won't matter whether Jerusalem has been solved. But the more Israel disengages, the more tenuous its hold on Jerusalem will become.

But what about Hamas? While everyone is "outraged" that Brzezinski visited Syria and that Carter is visiting Hamas, I am sure they are a back channel and will be reporting back to Bush and Rice. America plans to wean Syria away from Iran. This will undermine Hezbollah and Hamas. So I expect that starting next year we will hear more and more about the Syrian tract. Israel is quite prepared to vacate the Golan in exchange for peace with Syria and Lebanon.

Can America do it? Yes, ultimately. Especially when Israel wants the same thing.

If you don't believe me watch this State Department Video on The US-Palestinian Partnership

I believe this creeping disengagement even without a declaration of principles being agreed to, will continue. The GoI will not put all this to the electorate until it is sure of winning. The more Israelis get used to it the less resistance there will be to the deal being worked out. But just to be sure, Kadima and Labour are in serious negotiations for a power sharing agreement between them so they can run on one ticket in the next election.

While it is appropriate for athletes and magicians to deceive, it certainly is not okay for the Government of Israel to deceive its own citizens.

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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WHAT'S GOING ON IN SYRIA?
Posted by Olivier Guitta, April 14, 2008.

Syria has been regularly popping up in the news. In fact, recent events point to the importance of that country for the future of the Middle East. Syria's political situation may indeed have an important impact on a few countries: first of course Lebanon, second Iraq, third Israel, and finally Iran.

First, one should not underestimate Syria's potential for creating havoc on a whim by using some of the militant groups it actively supports: such as Hezbollah and Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, or Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories.

But also one should not forget Syria's active role in facilitating the transit of foreign fighters joining insurgent groups in Iraq to attack coalition troops or the Iraqi army. Interestingly back in October 2007, the U.S. command in Iraq announced having seized important documents that included a list of around 500 fighters that entered Iraq through Syria.

Last week, the usually well-informed Saudi daily Al-Watan revealed that those documents showed the undeniable role of Syria in terrorism in Iraq. They also allegedly proved how the terror group Fatah al-Islam –– that became notorious when it attacked the Lebanese army and fought from the Nahr al-Bared camp in May-June 2007 –– is strictly a product of Syrian services and not an al-Qaida affiliate, as Damascus pretended.

In fact, Syrian authorities were seizing the passports of al-Qaida fighters (coming mostly from Saudi Arabia) who were traveling to Iraq to join the insurgency. They gave these passports to Palestinian and Syrian combatants who were going to Lebanon to fight the Lebanese army.

The goal behind this tactic was to be able to blame the Saudi services and in particular Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan (the ex-Saudi ambassador in Washington and the current national security director) of helping foster Sunni terrorism inside Lebanon. DNA tests, performed on some Fatah al-Islam combatants killed in Nahr al-Bared and holders of Saudi passports, proved that they were not actually Saudis.

Interestingly, last week, the Iranian Fars news agency reported that the results of the investigation on Imad Mugnieh's killing in Damascus led to both Riyadh and Jerusalem. This seems clearly like an attempt to blame two of Tehran's enemies, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Indeed, in light of available information, Syrian security services were possibly one way or another involved in Mugnieh's death. And here is where the situation becomes even more complicated and could lead to a shakeup at the top of the regime.

Last week, media reports abounded about the demise of Syria's strongman, the powerful head of the security services and Bashar Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat. For instance, the Algerian daily Ech Chorouk reported that Assad had his brother-in-law arrested for allegedly planning a coup against him.

Still, according to Ech Chorouk, Shawkat allegedly contacted the CIA for help and was then denounced by none other than Mugnieh. If this theory holds any water then it could possibly explain the potential role of Shawkat in Mugnieh's murder.

Obviously in a country controlled by such a secretive regime, reliable information is tough to obtain. But the Lebanese weekly Al-Shiraa confirms that Shawkat is under house arrest and that two military intelligence officers were allegedly executed last week for their role in Mugnieh's assassination. Also Al-Shiraa affirms that apartments of several high-ranked officers close to Shawkat were searched and that the car of a lieutenant colonel was shot at.

Also, Shawkat's wife, Bushra Assad, is reportedly in Paris with her children. But French authorities have denied that she asked for political asylum in France.

These revelations point out the shakiness of Assad's regime and the maneuvers behind the scenes.

It seems important to note that Israel and the United States have diverging views when it comes to Assad. In fact, the numerous public reports of "secret" and not so secret negotiations between Jerusalem and Damascus over peace prove that Israel is at the moment satisfied with dealing with Assad.

Indeed, Assad is viewed as a weak leader who, for example, did not retaliate after Israel bombed Syria's nuclear facility back in September 2007. At the same time, Israelis have privately complained that the United States is not "allowing" them to go through with the negotiations with Assad.

If the rumors of possible CIA involvement in the Shawkat coup turn out to be true, then this seems like an ill-advised strategy to say the least.

Indeed, replacing Bashar Assad with Shawkat or Rifaat Assad (Bashar's uncle) or Abdel Halim Khaddam (the ex-vice president who was kicked out of power and Syria in 2005) –– basically three individuals belonging to the old guard –– is not going to be beneficial for the region.

What remains sure is that Syria is the key to a lot of thorny issues in the Middle East and therefore should be handled the right way. In light of the complexity of the situation, this is not a cakewalk, but neither the Israeli nor the U.S. approaches seem like good ones at the moment.

Olivier Guitta, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant, is the founder of the newsletter The Croissant (www.thecroissant.com). This appeared today in Middle East Times.

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PLO OFFICIAL: WE'LL DRIVE ISRAEL OUT OF PALESTINE
Posted by Daily Alert, April 14, 2008.

"The PLO is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota."

PLO ambassador to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, left, hands a message to Syrian Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa during a meeting in Damascus, Syria in 2007. (Photo: AP [file])

That's what the PLO's ambassador to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, told Lebanon's NBN TV in an interview that aired last Wednesday and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

"In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine," added Zaki.

The clip can be viewed at http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1738.htm.

And in a sermon televised on Friday, Yunis al-Astal, a Hamas MP and cleric, told worshipers that Islam would soon conquer Rome, "the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and which has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam," just as Constantinople was.

Rome, he said, would become "an advanced post for the Islamic conquests which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe."

In his address aired on Hamas's Al-Aksa TV and also translated by MEMRI, Astal told his audience: "Allah has chosen you for himself and for his religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security, and consolidation of power, and even to conquests through da'wa [preaching] and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world."

"I believe that our children or our grandchildren will inherit our jihad and our sacrifices, and Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them. Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls, and by means of the mosques and the Koran books, and the history of our prophet, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire on the brink of which they stand."

The clip can be viewed at http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1739.htm

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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POLLING OF UNQUALIFIED POPULATION IS DANGEROUS
Posted by Steven Shamrak, April 14, 2008.

Americans likely to vote in November strongly believe the United States should take Israel's side in its conflict with the Palestinians, according to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Sixty percent of those who say they will cast their ballots in the presidential election support Israel, according to a poll. Some 85 percent of respondents supporting Republican candidate Sen. John McCain, 62 percent backing Sen. Barack Hussein Obama and 58 percent of those for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton say America should stand with Israel during the current Israel-Palestinian conflict.

At the same time, 84 percent of respondents support a two-state solution and ceding Jewish land in order to create another terror infested Arab state. Of course the question about a two-state solution was not presented to the participants in the poll this way, otherwise most of them would have said "No" and it would contradict US foreign policy and the intentions of the 'politicly correct', if not self-hating, Jewish organisation which commissioned the poll! It is easy to manipulate public opinion by asking loaded or vague questions, or after exposing the population to a cleverly designed propaganda campaign. It is dangerous to base any policy on unqualified public opinion! Public support of the war in Iraq five years ago is a good example.

No one has asked the opinion of lay people about "Cold Fusion". Most people don't even know what it is. But, everyone has an opinion about Israel, the future of Jewish land, and is willing to express it. It is even unethical to poll a population which has no knowledge about a subject. Dictators, unscrupulous politicians and their masters have been manipulating public opinion to provide backing for their shady intentions.

Most Americans support Israel, but have not thought what the land of Israel, Eretz-Israel, means for Jews. They have not even questioned the legitimacy and intentions behind the Arab claim for Jewish land or the viability of a two-state solution.

Interestingly, the poll has shown that more than 50 percent supporters of anti-Israel candidates, Clinton and Obama, care about Israel. But, have those supporters bother to read what Clinton or Obama have said about the Arab-Israel conflict in the past or study their candidates' foreign policy platform toward Israel? Do they really know the candidates they intend to vote for? Democracy must not be blind!

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians by UN. Cheering Chileans welcome 39 'Palestinian' refugees who will make this South American country their home after fleeing violence in Iraq. The refugees were the first of 117 Arab Palestinians whom the Chilean government has agreed to receive under a plan coordinated with the Catholic Church and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (The United Nation is facilitating the Ethnic Cleansing and made "Population Transfer" as a successful resolution of a conflict, legal again. It can thus also be applied by Israel to fake Palestinian people!)

Livni Gives Away Northern Jerusalem. Negotiations for Jerusalem continue apace. It is reported that Foreign Min. Livni has agreed to give away Atarot Airport.

Useless Agreements of the Sick Leadership!

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said last Thursday that he is certain Israel and the Palestinian Authority can reach an agreement by the end of this year. He just doesn't see any chance of it being implemented anytime soon.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Quite often I am asked: "Is questioning Israel anti-Semitism?" –– Definitely "Yes", if the same people do not use the same vigour, scrutiny and are not applying the same moral, historical and legal standards to Muslim, Christian or other countries and organizations!

Hamas Falsifies 'Humanitarian Crisis'. Hamas has set up a bureaucratic structure to systematically falsify claims that Israel is causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and is backed by representatives of the United Nations. Study of one claim that Israel did not allow 60 Gaza Arabs to receive treatment in Israel reviled that. Israeli hospitals treated one-third of those listed and that the remainder never asked to enter Israel. More than 7,000 Arabs from Gaza were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2007.

Strange Statistics. 64% of Israeli Jews won't enter Arab towns in fear for their lives and 62% of the Jewish public expressed concerns that the local Arab population would eventually engage in civil disobedience and terror. At the same time 58% of the Arab public believes that Israel is democratic enough for them and 75% of the Arabs said they believe Israel is a good place to live. (Arabs hate Jews and the existence of Israel, but love benefiting from living in the Jewish state.)

Policy of Self Destruction. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tentatively agreed to grant 10,000 Arab illegal aliens in Judea and Samaria permanent resident status. (The Israeli government does not protect the demographic future of the country. National betrayal is the official policy of the Kadima and Labor parties.)

Tortured by PA and Egypt. Four PA parliamentarians who investigated the death of a member of Hamas, Sheikh Majid Barghouti, said that he died as a result of torture in prison by the PA security forces. Several Arabs from Gaza say that they were brutally tortured while in prison in the Sinai Peninsula by Egyptian forces. Sensory deprivation, electric shocks, whippings and beatings were used. (No international outcry! Why are those anti-Semitic Human right defenders silent?)

Quote of the Week:
"We personally suffered when we heard, for example, about a family sending its sons to school on two separate buses in order to ensure that they don't both encounter the same terror attack." –– Italian opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi. –– I hope these were not just fake words of a politician. It would be even nicer if he stood up to his anti-Semitic friends in the European Union!

Hezbollah Readying for War. With Iranian backing, Hezbollah has dramatically increased their rocket range and can now threaten most of Israel. The Lebanese based group has acquired new Iranian rockets with a range of about 185 miles. In 2006 Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets into Israel. (As the Lebanese government has done nothing to stop the second Hezbollah military build up, it must be held accountable!)

Questionable Loyalty. An IDF Second Lieutenant serving in a trackers unit, most likely non-Jewish, was sentenced to six years in prison on Sunday for selling stolen weapons, 21 stun grenades for NIS 5,800 and a Negev machine gun, to an undercover policeman.

Revolving Doors of Terror. Two Arab terrorists who murdered two young Jewish men at Nahal Telem in the Hevron area in January escaped a PA prison. One of the terrorists was employed by Mahmoud Abbas' American-trained PA security forces; the other was a Fatah employee at the Sharia Court in Hevron. (By paying the salaries of killers of the Jews, the US and UN are sustaining and fostering anti-Israel terrorism!)

Hypocrisy of the 'Loaded' Headlines:

"Gaza: No Checkpoints in Heaven" –– Because there are no PA Islamic terrorists in Heaven!

Invasion is not Enough. President Shimon Peres told Army Radio last Tuesday that the only way to stop all rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza is to invade and take over the area, a move he opposes. (He admitted that he is wrong, but is still unable and unwilling to look for alternatives. Invasion of Gaza must be followed by removal of all enemy population and re-unification with Israel. Otherwise, it is just an endless 'cat and mouse' game!)
 

"Fake Assumptions Behind Bogus Peace Process."
by Gary Rosenblatt.

Throughout the on-again, mostly off-again peace process between Israel and the Palestinians for the last decade, Jerusalem has operated under certain basic assumptions. Chief among them were:

* the primary goal of the Palestinian national movement was to establish an independent state, and to do so, it was willing to allow that state to be demilitarized; (Destruction of Israel was and still is their primary goal)

* the establishment of the Palestinian state depended on Israel and its willingness to make compromises and concessions based on its security interests being met; (The PA has not fulfilled any of the obligations it undertook and by sponsoring terrorist attacks against Israel has shown no interest in peace.)

* it was in Israel's best interest to have an independent Palestinian state so that Israel would not continue to occupy a growing and hostile population against its will, and so as not to create a demographic nightmare, where Jews would gradually. (Israel's best interest is to remove an enemy population from Jewish land, secure the borders and let Jews live in peace in their own country)

* and that getting Israel and the Palestinians to sign a formal agreement would consolidate the two-state solution and bolster the chances for its success.

(Four million Muslims were forced to leave their homes after the US lead coalition invaded Iraq. Four million are forced from their homes by Sudan in Darfur. To resolve the Arab-Israel conflict, instead of wasting international aid and enriching corrupt PA officials, Israel and the international community must agree on an orderly transfer, with financial and logistic support, of four million people who call themself Palestinians from Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza to Sinai, the population of which at the moment is 250,000. Sinai has vast contiguous land. This is the only viable solution to the conflict. No signature under any agreement will stop Islamic terror in Israel!)

Contact Steven Shamrak at stevenshamrak@gmail.com and visit his website at www.shamrak.com.

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U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT UNDERMINES JEWISH RIGHTS AND DEFIES INTERNATIONAL LAW
Posted by Eli E Hertz, April 14, 2008.

The Tale of a "U.S.-Palestinian Partnership"

The U.S. State Department has recently released a video on its website displaying remarks on the current activities of the new "U.S.-Palestinian Partnership" headed by Mr. Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute, and one of the C0-Chairs and the Coordinator of this initiative who stated at that press conference:

"The Partnership will be "trying to get a [Arab] call center developed ... in East Jerusalem ..."

Mr. Walter continues:

"I certainly think that Minister [Ehud] Barak is very much in favor of this call center" [Is Barak giving-up on 'East Jerusalem'? Is Shass listening?]
Ziad Asali, President of the American Task Force on Palestine stated in the same press conference:
"And what is available to us [Arab Palestinians] at this point in time is what we can do in the West Bank and East Jerusalem ... The first call center that's being considered actually is [from all places] in East Jerusalem."

In the name of "business development and economic opportunities [For Palestinian Arabs]" the State Department is systematically ignoring and undermining Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria and the sovereignty over Israel's Capitol –– Jerusalem.

Palestinian Arabs are encouraged by their success' at historical revisionism and global brainwashing (including the U.S. State Department), with the "Big Lie" of a 'Palestinian people.'

Historically, before the Arabs fabricated the concept of Palestinian peoplehood as an exclusively Arab phenomenon, no such group existed. This is substantiated in countless official British Mandate-vintage documents that speak of the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine-not Jews and Palestinians.

The State Department's use of fabricated and loaded terms such as 'Palestinian People' and 'East Jerusalem' is a perilous threat that will only continue to incite Palestinian Arabs –– leading to war, not peace.

To Condoleezza Rice: You maintained that you are "a student of international history" and the Jewish people's history is well documented. Palestinian Arabs have nurtured a myth that historically there were two Jerusalems –– an Arab 'East Jerusalem' and a Jewish 'West Jerusalem.'

Jerusalem was never an Arab city; Jews have held a majority in Jerusalem since 1870, and 'east-west' is a geographical, not political designation. It is no different than claiming Annapolis, the capital of Maryland should be a separate political entity from the rest of that state.

Jerusalem has served, and still serves, as the political capital of only one nation –– the one belonging to the Jews.

To view the press conference or read the entire text please go to
http://video.state.gov/?fr_story=79b7f5f44db80f7221e988d8d1171f0990f8b24e

Eli E. Hertz is president of Myths and Facts, Inc. The organization's objective is to provide policymakers, national leadership, the media and the public-at-large with information and viewpoints that are founded on factual and reliable content. Contact him at eli@hergo.com

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U.S.A. AND ISRAEL HAVE NO MORAL AUTHORITY TO OPPOSE CARTER
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, April 14, 2008.

Aaron Klein calls out 'hypocrites' who bolster, arm, train, fund terrorists. This article appeared in World Net Daily (WND).

JERUSALEM –– Israeli officials here are giving former president Jimmy Carter the cold sbhoulder for his plans to meet the chief of the Hamas terrorist group, which the U.S. and Israel have been attempting to isolate.

The State Department and its director, Condoleezza Rice, even criticized Carter for his reported plans to meet Hamas.

But the Israeli government and Rice have no moral authority whatsoever to judge Carter while they are enabling terrorists far more active than Hamas.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak all reportedly turned down requests to see Carter, who arrived in Israel today and is due in Syria later this week, where he is likely to meet Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal, who resides under protection in Damascus.

The State Department says it twice advised Carter against meeting any Hamas representative. Rice told reporters this weekend she finds it "hard to understand what is going to be gained by having discussions with Hamas about peace when Hamas is, in fact, the impediment to peace."

Hamas is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization. The group is responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, and thousands of shooting attacks and rocket firings against civilian population centers.

Meanwhile, in a furious drive to reach an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, the U.S. and the Israeli government are arming, training, financing and even pardoning the most active Palestinian terrorist group.

U.S. policy considers Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization to be moderate, even though Fatah's military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is listed by the State Department as a terror group, just like Hamas.

Fatah's Brigades is statistically responsible for more anti-Israel terrorism the past eight years than Hamas. The group took responsibility, along with the Islamic Jihad terror organization, for every suicide bombing in Israel since 2005 and for thousands of shootings and rocket attacks, including recent high-profile terrorist operations.

Still, U.S.-backed negotiations started at last November's Annapolis conference seeks to give Abbas' Fatah a Palestinian state, likely in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, before the end of the year.

For almost 10 years now the U.S. has been operating training bases for Fatah's security forces, including its police, intelligence, Force 17 and Preventative Security services units. Many members of those units carried out scores of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Hundreds of members of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades serve openly in Fatah's security forces; many previously attended U.S.-run courses as members of Fatah's security forces.

For example, the chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Ramallah was trained by the U.S. and currently also serves as a Fatah security officer. Ditto for the chief of the Brigades in Nablus.

Another example, Abbas previously appointed Al Aska Martyrs Brigades commander Mahmoud Damra as head the U.S.-backed Force 17 force, with which American coordinates security. Damra, who was on Israel's most wanted list of terrorists, was later arrested by the IDF for planning terror attacks.

The very people who are condemning Carter for planning to meet Hamas are negotiating in person on a regular basis with terrorist-saturated Fatah. Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia have been meeting weekly while Olmert and Abbas have been meeting biweekly to hammer out an agreement. Abbas is due in Washington this month for talks with Rice and President Bush.

You'd think since Israel is heavily negotiating with Fatah, the Palestinian organization's gunmen would refrain from attacks for just a few months until an agreement is signed. But since the November conference, Fatah has perpetuated or attempted scores of terror attacks.

Here are just a few out of nearly 50 attacks since November:

* Last week, Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members infiltrated the Gaza-Israel border in an attempt to kidnap Israeli troops. The terrorists shot dead two Israeli civilians. The Brigades, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility.

* It was released for publication last week Fatah's Brigades planned to poison an Israeli restaurant with a white, odorless deadly poison that takes effect five hours after ingestion.

* Earlier this month, a Brigades member was shot dead while trying to attack two Israeli hitchhikers with a knife.

* Last month's Jerusalem seminary shooting massacre, in which eight yeshiva students were gunned down in cold blood, was planned by Al Aqsa Brigades leader and outspoken Fatah activist Muhammad Shehadi, who even ran as a Fatah member in Palestinian municipal elections, according to security sources.

* The IDF killed Shehadi a week after the attack. As WND reported, an official delegation from Abbas' Fatah organization, including officials involved in negotiations, visited the Shehadi family morning tent in Bethlehem.

* Fatah's Brigades took credit for a February suicide bombing along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the southern Israeli Negev town of Dimona. One woman was killed in the attack. Other groups also later took credit.

* Brigades leaders in January called WND to take credit for two simultaneous terror attacks in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Terrorists fired on Israelis at the entrance to the Shoafat refugee camp north of Jerusalem, killing one and injuring another. At the same time, two terrorists stabbed two Israelis at the settlement of Kfar Etzion. The terrorists were shot and killed.

* In January, the Brigades claimed credit in a news conference for killing off-duty Israeli soldiers Ahikam Amihai and David Rubin as they were hiking with a woman just outside Hebron. Israel's Shin Bet Security Services announced the two main culprits in the attack were members of Fatah's U.S.-trained security forces and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

After all this, logic would dictate someone at the State Department or in Olmert's office would call off negotiations with Abbas until attacks are halted or at least ask for a commitment to end the Fatah terrorism.

Instead, as has been widely reported, the U.S. last month commenced elite training courses in Jordan and the West Bank city of Jericho to help establish a stronger Palestinian police force run by Fatah.

Also, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, another critic of Carter's slated Hamas meet, agreed this month to supply the PA police with ammunition, rubber bullets and night-vision equipment and to allow the transfer of 50 armed jeeps to the force.

So now, after Barak's gesture, Fatah terrorists can scout Jewish targets in the dark with Israeli-provided night-vision goggles, shoot at Jews with Israeli-transferred bullets and retreat into their Israeli-transferred armored vehicles to fend of any IDF fire.

The U.S. and Israel continue to play a deadly game where Hamas are the "bad" terrorists while the more active Fatah are the "good" terrorists.

There is no question Carter, whose views on Israel are well known, is up to no good in meeting with Hamas. He would become the most high-profile American figure to sit down with the terrorist group. His visit could be the break in the dam Hamas has been looking for to end the terror group's international isolation, leading the way to contacts between Hamas and European leaders and eventually even with American diplomats.

Carter should rightly be condemned. But Rice and the Israeli government have lost the high ground at opposing anyone who bolsters terrorists.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

Zelasko writes,
"Stop complaining and fight back!
Here's how:
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7702
http://www.nfc.co.il/Archive/003-D-27449-00.html?tag=04-32-31"

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IS THIS STILL AMERICA?
Posted by Rock Peters, April 13, 2008.

Today there is no more talk of Jesus or Moses
allowed in any American school
and US Muslims would like to see Sharia
replace "The Ten Commandments" and God's "Golden Rule",

Jesus said, "Love your enemies"
and Moses gave us,"Thou shall not kill"
Mohammed teaches his followers that to:
"wage war upon the infidels" is Allah's will, (Koran, surah 9)

In NYC Muslims attack Jews
and scream "Allah akhbar"
and I ask myself,
"Can a second Holocaust be very far?

A federal reserve bank refuses me services
viewed my web site and won't take my money
my site displays the Star of David
isn't that funny?

Liberals attack Judeo-Christian values
while Muslims say "Israel has no right to exist"
ACLU protects Muslim free speech
but do ours any longer exist?

In San Francisco
they like to mock Jesus Christ
San Fran: "Why not make a joke about the pedophile Mohammed?"
because you know with your head might pay the price,

Muslim organizations like CAIR
use our American institutions
to install Islamic Law
in place of the US Constitution,

And as we watch
our liberties erode
and all sense of morality
and Western Civilization quickly corrode,

We see Mexican students in California
fly the American flag upside down
Muslim schools won't fly it
and I wonder: "Am I still in America?" when I look around,

Muslim women dressed in black burkas
I can only see their hate filled eyes
fall in line, "Islam is the religion of peace"
so goes the mantra of "Politically Correct" lies,

"We must be tolerant!"
and I respond, "to what genocide?"
complacency, isn't that how
6,000,000 Jews once died?

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to Columbia University
and says "Israel must be destroyed"
total silence on the left
by such anti-Semitism liberals are not annoyed,

Baraq Obama runs for President
and listens to a preacher who gives anti-Semitic sermons
Obama's church gave an award to Louis Farrakhan
a man who feels that Jews are vermin,

A Jewish college student flushes a Koran
and is arrested
publicly burn the Torah or New Testament
fear not –– you won't be molested,

When I see Muslim youths beating Jews on the street
and treating rabbis like they are dirt
I am reminded of Nazi Germany
in the 1930's and men with brown shirts,

But I will not sit
idly by
to the Lord our God
I will cry,

For I would rather die on my feet
than live on my knees
to a Muslim terrorist
I will NEVER say "please"

Never again! Not while I live!
for I know that if you don't remember the past
it will be repeated
Islam is Nazism II and must be defeated!
By any means necessary!

Live free or die! United We Stand!

Rock Peters is the Communications Director for ACT for America's (NY chapter.) ACT for America! is a citizens' action group committed to preserving American liberty and freedom and defeating Muslim terrorism. We are currently having a membership drive by sponsoring the viewing of the movie "Obsession." We appreciate ALL help in raising the level of public awareness to our patriotic cause.

Rock Peters' multimedia website –– www.godsaveusa.com –– is dedicated to fighting Muslim terrorism. It is both factual and attractive. Contact him at rockpeters@aol.com

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IT ALWAYS WAS JIHAD
Posted by Asher Eder, April 13, 2008.

To: David Horovitz, Editor, Jerusalem Post

Subject: "It always was Jihad", by David Horovitz, Jerusalem Post.

Dear Sir,

I hadn't yet the chance to read Benny Morris' new book on the 1948 war, so I refer only to your interview with him (in JPost of April 11, page 24):

The following historic facts should have been mentioned, too –– and perhaps it could be done in a special interview; or in form of a "Readers' Letter":

1) Chaim Weitzman and King Feisal of Iraq signed in 1919 an "Agreement" in which the King welcomes the Jews back in their ancient home country, and thus help also re-build the Arab society. However, he made his commitment depending on getting all the lands South of Turkey (liberated in WWI). Yet, the British and the French "created" Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and the "Mandate of Palestine", and thus de-validated that "Agreement".

2) At the very same year, Mufti Amin el-Husseini came forth with his instigations against any Jewish immigration (mentioned in your article) –– but the British made him the "Mufti of Jerusalem", and did not object his styling himself "Grand-Mufti of Palestine", even did not really interfere in his instigation of the riots of 1920/21; 1929; 1936-38. It needs to be stressed that in the latter, his gangs killed 3-4 times as much local Arabs ("Palestinians", mainly of the Nashashibi Tribe whom he accused of "collaboration" with the Jews), than they killed over 700 Jews.

3) The Arab League adopted his stance, and in the "Round Table Conference" convened 1938 in London by the British to find a solution, the Arab delegates refused plainly to sit with Jews on one table –– and the British, caving in, arranged two adjacent rooms, one for the Jewish delegates, one for the Arabs, with a British mediator standing in a connecting door... Also, the "Arab Boycott" needs to be mentioned.

4) Amin el-Husseini managed to escape to nazi-Germany where he raised for its "Waffen-SS" two Moslem Divisions; and called in 1943 from Radio Berlin for a Jihad against the Jews [[there was no State of Israel then]], charging: "Kill the Jews wherever you find them –– this is pleasing to Allah". Caught by the French toward the end of the war, but soon released, he went to Cairo to organize armed resistance against any immigration of Jewish survivors.

5) In Cairo, Amin el-Husseini became the mentor of Rauf el-Chodbi, later better known by his adopted "nome de guerre" Arafat. While that name sounds to (ignorant) Westerners like Smith or Miller, it signals to the Arabs/Muslims the goal: Each Moslem has to make at least once in his life the "Hadj" to Mecca which gets completed and crowned by ascending Mount Arafat (mentioned in Sura "The Cow", 194) –– –– and now that pilgrimage has to be crowned by the "Jihad" against Israel, lead by the PLO-Leader Arafat... Accordingly, his "Fedayeen"-group was re-named El-Fatah, this name being taken from the Opening Sura = El-Fatah of the Koran. That is, they are to open the way to all of "Palestine"

6) Right after the Six-Days-War, when Israel's government suggested negotiations with the Arabs to finally settle the whole dispute, the ill-famous Khartoum-Conference retorted with its three-fold "NO": no negotiations with Israel; no recognition of the State of Israel; and no solution of the refugee problem. That is, the latter became a tool and war instrument in the hands of the hostile Arab nations.

7) Hence, the war, in fact an Arab/Israel war, got described by Arab propaganda as "Israel-Palestine War" –– and our media and government adopted that propaganda ruse, along with the rest of the world. Much to our detriment; and self-delusion. –– At least, now Benny Morris got that right..

8) The above should make it clear that Israel-Palestine peace negotiations are rather futile. Whatever we concede to the "Palestinians" –– territories; or even East-Jerusalem –– is in fact a concession to the Jihad-minded Arab world, for getting nothing substantial in return (at best, we'll get a "Hutnah", a kind of armistice to be done away with as soon as it seems opportune). One cannot achieve true peace by making concessions to that spearhead called "Palestine": either there will be peace with the Arab/Muslim world; and consequently also with the locals –– or else we will only delude ourselves.

9) We do not need to share Benny Morris' lack of an answer, even pessimism, in regard of the situation: the Arabs' Jihad against Israel is in plain contradiction to the teaching of the Koran, even of the attitude of the early Caliphs (especially of Omar). There are many means to bring that home to the Muslim people. Of course, I don't have any illusion that we could convince hard core Jihadists, but quite a number of Moslem people might be open, and thus will not support directly or indirectly that crazy, even criminal, Jihad idea. Moreover, it will show also to our people that there is light at the end of the tunnel: it will give hope, instead of despair. However, whether that could be done by a socialist/liberalist "government", is another question...

10) Attached herewith the "Summary" of an essay on "Peace is possible between Ishmael and Israel..."

11) Please, forward this letter also to Caroline Glick; and to Sarah Honig. Thanks.

Sincerely,
Dr. Asher Eder
Jewish Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Islam-Israel Fellowship
Root and Branch Assoc. Ltd, Yerushalyim / Israel

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AN ABBAS OF FAILURE
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 12, 2008.

'Rice Wins Concessions from Israel," read the Washington Post headline after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit. Rice herself told reporters her goal was to further Israel-Palestinian Authority talks by getting Israeli concessions to "improve the quality of life" for Palestinians.

She listed 10 different Israeli concessions, which included removing 50 roadblocks, easing checkpoint procedures, giving PA security forces more leeway in Jenin, increasing travel and work permits, backing economic projects, letting 700 US-trained PA security men deploy, and giving the PA armored vehicles and night-vision goggles.

Rice claimed success, saying talks are now "moving in the right direction."

Are they? Will these concessions make the PA more stable or moderate? No.

One wonders if we'll ever see the headline: "Rice Wins Concessions from Palestinians." I doubt it.

How should one score this outcome: Israel 10, PA 0, because Israel might get international credit for taking risks for peace? Or the opposite –– PA 10, Israel 0 –– since the former got all the material gains?

Certainly, the PA isn't bragging. On the contrary, it denies Israel gives anything. Neither does the PA take advantage of either these measures or of the huge aid it receives to improve its people's quality of life. That's something only Westerners care about.
 

TO COMPREHEND its world view and strategy, consider PA leader Mahmoud Abbas's March 29 speech to the Arab summit in Damascus. That presentation, along with the summit itself, shows the trap in which Arab politics is stuck.

Even Abbas's opening Koran quote presents a paradox: "If you will aid the cause of Allah, He will aid you and plant your feet firmly." Abbas's rivals, both in Hamas and among his own Fatah radicals, say that's what they do: follow divine will and feet-planting by rejecting concessions and continuing war to total victory.

His second point is a professed confidence "that we all do agree that... a joint Arab stand and action suffices" to bring success. This line, used for 50 years, is wrong on both counts: there's no Arab unity and even if there were it wouldn't suffice. Indeed, this was a most divisive Arab summit, with the Saudis and Jordanians leading opposition to Syria's attempt to seize control of Lebanon.

His third theme was that while Palestinians "remain committed to the option of a just peace, the two-state solution... Israel pursues its aggression and occupation, the construction of settlements, and the Judaization of Jerusalem." Rather than portraying Israel's current government as wanting a deal, he says it aims to seize all but "a few isolated areas."

This is the government that withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip and is willing to pull out of most of the rest of the territories. Yet according to Abbas, it "seeks to undermine the possible establishment of an independent state on the land of the Palestinian people."

But if so, how can the Palestinians make peace with Israel? Why is Hamas wrong in saying that only victory through violence can work?
 

IN ABBAS's telling, Israel's aggression is unprovoked. He speaks of "barbaric attacks, causing hundreds of defenseless victims," and its evil intent to "undermine the possibility of reaching a peace agreement...."

He ignores constant attacks on Israel from Gaza and offers no credible way to deal with them. He merely asks Hamas to give him Gaza and return to being one party in a PA-dominated system. This won't happen. Hamas will keep attacking Israel and trying to take over the West Bank. For all this, he blames not Hamas –– with whom he desperately tries to conciliate –– but only Israel.

Here's the trap: Hamas (and elements in Fatah) attack Israel, Israel responds, Abbas cites this as proof Israel doesn't want peace and that negotiations cannot succeed. His bottom line: "The Israeli government seeks by the power of its occupation to impose a political solution on the ground according to its own wishes."

Meanwhile, instead of competing with Hamas, the PA uses Western aid to subsidize Hamas, spending, according to Abbas, 58 percent of its budget on Gaza and paying salaries for 77,000 employees there, more than it has itself! In theory, this projects PA influence; in practice it ensures Hamas holds power. He gives Hamas money unconditionally while begging it for Gaza.

While Abbas has no strategy for regaining Gaza or making peace with Israel, his rivals have a clear, simple program appealing to reigning passions and world view. As Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah puts it: "The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence. Our nation is stronger now than ever before." Only "Zionist-American propaganda" –– in which he includes Abbas –– wants to fool Arabs and Muslims into thinking they "don't have any hopes of winning.
 

THE U.S. State Department excused Abbas's speech as just rhetoric. But that's untrue. Abbas feeds the Hamas-Iran line by demonizing Israel and implying negotiations are useless. He's not even trying to win his own people's support by improving their lives.

We've become so used to this behavior that we forget there's an alternative. Abbas could say: "Israel is ready to make peace with us if we prove we'll keep our pledges. Let's defeat the radical Islamists, stop the attacks on Israel that breed conflict, end incitement to violence, reform our own regimes, align with the West and get an independent state."

Israel needs to work with Abbas and keep him afloat as the lesser of two evils. But Abbas is incapable of making peace or regaining Gaza. His PA regime might fall to Hamas or be taken over, on his not-distant retirement, by still-dominant Fatah radicals even more eager to ally with Hamas and return to armed struggle.

Here's where Rice and much Western policy is wrong. By not demanding and getting PA concessions and by giving money unconditionally, they ensure not only that peace will fail but that there will be decades of conflict ahead.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1207486215546&pagename=JPos t%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 12, 2008.

This was written by Leo Bretholz and it appeared April 7, 2008 in the Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080407/EDITORIAL/504701589

As a survivor of the Holocaust, I am writing to speak out for those who were silenced by the Nazis and their French collaborators. On Nov. 6, 1942, I was on a train traveling from the holding camp of Drancy, located near Paris, to Auschwitz. That train was composed of 20 cattle cars, each holding 50 doomed people for a total of 1,000.

More than 70 of such convoys left Drancy for Auschwitz from March 1942 to September 1944. Pregnant women, mothers nursing their babies, whimpering children, the elderly –– men and women alike, were shoved into these cattle cars with little room to breathe. Each of us was given a slab of stale bread, a small portion of cheese and a can of sardines, though no means to open it.

Our "bathroom" was one bucket for the entire car. In no time, it overflowed, leaving all of us standing, squatting, and sitting in human waste. Dehumanization had begun in earnest. Residents of the town of Drancy looked the other way as the train, filled with misery and despair, started its journey to Auschwitz. We were a part of the war they wanted to ignore.

Some on board understood our fate, while others clung to optimistic hope. As I considered escaping, an elderly woman emboldened me not to give up. She said "If you jump and succeed, you'll be able to tell the story. Who else will do it?" She added: "Que Dieu vous garde!" (May God watch over you!)

Fortunately, I managed to leap from that train before it reached the German border, and spent the next four years running for my life, always one step ahead of those who wanted me dead. Of the 1,000 Jews that left Drancy that morning, many died en route and 773 were gassed on arrival at Auschwitz. Those who remained were forced into labor, and only five of them survived. In May 1945 the war ended. I had slipped through the Nazis' fingers several times, both before and after my escape from the train. Most of my family was not so fortunate.

In 1947, I arrived in America to start a new life. Today, I am a United States citizen. I live according to American laws and honor our ideals. A fundamental American principal is that every person has the right to access the legal system, to have their day in court. But for every rule, unfortunately, there is an exception.

I am one of more than 600 individuals suing the French national railroad –– Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer francais (SNCF) –– for its World War II role in deporting Jews and other "undesirables" from our homes and delivering us to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps. SNCF deported more than 75,000 people to concentration camps aboard trains marked with a "Da" for "Trains of David."

SNCF took its job seriously and did it well. The company ensured that it had capacity to meet demand, and it maintained its rail stock in the hope of preventing escapes like mine. It supported the Nazis willingly and profited from this. In the years since, unlike so many other Holocaust-era companies, SNCF has not taken any steps to make financial reparations to its victims.

I jumped from convoy No. 42 with a purpose. I must tell the story of those who perished, and seek justice on their behalf. I turned to the American courts, hoping to hold SNCF responsible for its illegal actions, only to find my path blocked.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) of 1976 was enacted to limit immunity to a government's public acts, not its private, commercial ones. However, the law also grants immunity to corporations whose shares are owned by a government. The French government owns shares of SNCF. Therefore, SNCF, one of the 500 largest companies in the world, selling more than $100 million worth of Eur-rail passes and other travel services each year in the United States, has immunity from our litigation.

Fortunately, members of Congress are seeking to close this unintended loophole. H.R. 3713, legislation to hold Holocaust accomplices accountable, would permit us to have our day in court. I hope more Members of Congress will support this important bill. On behalf of others forced aboard SNCF trains, we are simply asking for the opportunity to hold the company legally accountable for the crimes it committed and the profit it made from those crimes. In this country, is it too much to ask for our day in court? It has been more than 60 years since I jumped from that train, the start of a journey that would forever change my life. Time is running out. Hopefully Congress will act before it is too late.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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WHAT'S LEFT OF BUSH'S DEMOCRACY AGENDA?
Posted by Daniel Mandel, April 12, 2008.

The other month in Cairo, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed at a press conference that the Bush Administration had quietly waived a congressional hold on $100 million in military aid to Egypt. The Washington Post observed that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, standing next to her, "couldn't conceal his smug satisfaction."

As well he might. Congress had halted funds in the interests of protecting the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and stopping police abuses by the regime of Hosni Mubarak –– precisely the sort of exercise in promoting democracy, not merely in Iraq, but across the Middle East, that President George W. Bush declared in November 2003 to be "a focus of American policy for decades to come."

Previous administrations had preferred stable autocracies that in time incubated Islamist absolutism. Yet, in the event, and putting the special and mixed case of Iraq to one side, Bush's new democratic commitment has not even outlived his own presidency.

At first, Bush's commitment looked like it was being upheld. In 2003, he called on Mubarak to release leading human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim and withheld $130 million in supplemental aid to Cairo until he did so. In 2005, Rice cancelled a visit to Cairo to protest the arrest of another such activist, Ayman Nour, leading to his release.

Egypt, being after Israel the second highest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, is susceptible of pressure, adroitly applied and sustained, and now was surely the time for more. Yet already in February 2005, the Bush Administration, which had called for elections in Egypt, allowed itself to be fobbed off in with what was described by the New York Times as Mubarak's "unexpected announcement" of direct, multiparty presidential elections for the first time since the 1952 military coup.

In fact, proclamations of impending democratic reform have a long pedigree in Egypt and Mubarak, who once stated that no president should serve more than two terms, is now into his fifth, having spent the last two years harassing opposition figures into impotence.

In 2006, hundreds of Egyptians were arrested for demonstrating in favor of judges who denounced the rigging of recent parliamentary elections. Apparently, Mubarak was still unimpressed with the tenor of election results, so he obviated the risk of a repeat performance in local elections by simply canceling them. Meanwhile, his presidential challenger, Nour, again rots in jail for allegedly falsifying petitions to run in the presidential elections that were actually approved by the government at the time. Yet these regressive developments no longer move the Bush Administration to protest or to consider withholding its enormous annual subvention to Cairo.

American failure to promote democracy appears to be a pattern. Libya is another example.

Fearing Washington's wrath before during and after the removal of Saddam Hussein, Libya's perennial maximum leader Muammar Ghaddafi dismantled his non-conventional weapons programs and suspended the use of terrorism. The U.S. was in a strong position to pressure Ghaddafi to liberalize his country and in Fathi El Jahmi, Libya's leading human rights activist, it had a natural ally. Indeed, U.S. pressure led in 2004 to Jahmi's release from prison.

But Jahmi's new-found freedom last only two weeks. His re-incarceration and the absence of any Libyan move towards democracy did not prevent the Bush Administration in 2006 from resuming full diplomatic ties with Libya. Today, Gaddafi still exercises sole, despotic dominion in Libya and Jahmi rots in prison.

In the Palestinian Authority, Bush dramatically broke with past orthodoxy in June 2002 by calling upon Palestinians to elect "leaders not compromised by terror" and to "build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty." Since then, however his administration has been frantically working to subvert the attainment of these very goals.

In 2003, Bush adopted the Roadmap peace plan, designed to lead to Palestinian statehood irrespective of Palestinian conduct, and claimed it to be an elaboration, rather than the undoing, of his own goals. In 2006, his Administration plunged forward with urging elections on a population radicalized by hate propaganda and resentful of corrupt elites. The result was delivering power to Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews –– a monumental failure of democracy promotion which Rice denies to this day. Having wrongly second guessed this outcome, the Bush Administration now backs an increasingly Islamist Fatah that has taken no steps in the direction of Bush's June 2002 benchmarks and works to create a Palestinian state governed by it.

The Bush Administration seems to have hit upon a maladroit mixture –– a preoccupation with democratic processes at the expense of democratic purposes, a fixation with means rather than ends, and a partiality for détente with dictators. The result has been the emboldening of radical and authoritarian regimes alike, the empowering of terrorists and their sponsors and the demoralization of reformers. This is the legacy that Bush bequeaths his successor in just over nine months.

Daniel Mandel (PhD Melbourne, 1999) is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at Melbourne University and author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). This article is archived at
http://www.hnn.us/articles/49258.html

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LIVNI GIVES AWAY WHAT DOESN'T BELONG TO HER –– NORTHERN JERUSALEM
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 11, 2008.

This is by Hillel Fendel and it appeared today in Arutz-Sheva
http://www.IsraelNationalNews.com

Negotiations for Jerusalem continue apace, with a local Jerusalem paper reporting that Foreign Minister Livni has agreed to give away Atarot Airport. Shas says it's still not leaving the government.

The Kol HaZman (All the Time) paper reports that in ongoing secret talks with top Palestinian Authority negotiator Abu Ala, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has agreed, in the name of Israel, to transfer the Atarot airfield in northern Jerusalem to PA control. The paper states it source as "senior Foreign Ministry elements."

The Goal: Strengthen Fatah

Israel apparently recognizes Hamas control in Gaza as permanent, and therefore wishes to strengthen Fatah –– perceived as more moderate –– in Judea and Samaria.

Fatah terrorists, members of the organization's Al Aqsa Brigades, have carried out many murderous attacks against Israeli civilians in recent weeks, months and years. One of the most active terrorist forces in the area, it has been designated terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and Japan.

Alternatively, it is not clear that the Hamas-takeover scenario will not repeat itself in Judea and Samaria, thus leaving the Atarot Airport in Hamas hands –– if Israel in fact relinquishes it.

Mayor is Against

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski is strongly against the loss of Atarot to the terrorists. His aides said he was "astonished" to hear of the secret agreement, and feels it will be a grave security failure and a significant concession on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

"It is inconceivable," the mayor reportedly said, "that while Israeli flights from Atarot have been stopped because of security fears, the threat will now become even more severe, with control of the entire area being given over to the PA." He warned of the dangers of "hostile airplanes" in the skies of Jerusalem. Lupoliansky promises he will work even harder to advance his plan to build 10,000 housing units for Jews in Atarot, hoping to thus thwart the plan to give it to the PA.

Jerusalem Municipality officials said the agreement to give away Atarot represents a de-facto recognition of the division of Jerusalem.

Olmert Takes no Responsibility

Staffers in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said, "These are talks being handled by the Foreign Minister, and therefore answers must be received from her." Livni's press secretary said that the contents of the talks are not meant to be publicized.

Shas Doesn't Budge

Meanwhile, the Shas Party –– whose departure from the government coalition would likely lead to the toppling of the government and new elections –– continues to stay put. Relating to a new American initiative to give the PA partial control of Jerusalem for five years, Shas spokesman Ro'i Lachmanovitch told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine on Thursday that Shas was going nowhere: "We continue to stand behind the stance set by [the party's spiritual leader] Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, which is that the moment Jerusalem is placed on the agenda of the diplomatic talks, Shas will quit the coalition."

A late-breaking development in another sphere may move Shas, however: The sudden decision by the Cabinet secretariat not to discuss the non-enforced chametz law in this Sunday's agenda. Shas had hoped for quick government action to legislate a change in the law that would enable its enforcement, in light of a recent court ruling allowing chametz to be sold in stores. Shas MKs are reportedly angered by the decision, and political analysts estimate that Shas may threaten to quit the coalition over it –– though this has not yet happened.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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THE SHELF AGREEMENT. WHY MUST ISRAEL CREATE A "HORIZON OF HOPE"?
Posted by Ted Belman, April 11, 2008.

PM Olmert announced that he expects to reach an agreement with the PA (whatever and whoever that is) by the end of the year and went on to say it won't be implemented for many years.

"We will insist on all the terms of the Road Map, first and foremost among them a cessation of terrorism, as a precondition for implementation of any understanding. But the first step creating a horizon of hope for us and for the Palestinians can be taken, it must be taken, and we will make every effort in order to successfully do so this year."

The obvious question is why must we create a "horizon of hope"? The argument goes, if the Palestinians have hope, they will abandon terror. Where is the evidence of this? Evidently we are offering them a carrot as an inducement to forgo terror.

The Oslo accords also offered them a carrot of autonomy and they accepted it on this basis only to get their many feet in the door and then immediately resorted to terror and never honoured their obligations.

So Bush offered them another carrot, the prospect of a Palestinian state subject to cleaning house. The Roadmap followed shortly thereafter. It set out the steps to be taken to get the carrot. More terror was the result. Even that carrot, wasn't enough to change anything.

I should point out there was a hidden carrot included in the Roadmap namely, the Saudi Peace Plan was mentioned for the first time as a principle in reaching an agreement. Rest assured that when the Abdullah first mentioned the Plan it had been agreed by the US that the plan would be incorporated in the Roadmap after Bush announced his vision of a Palestinian state. This Plan thereby undermined the principles of Res 242 requiring defensible borders, which were the guiding principles until then. Sharon objected to its inclusion and Powell got brusk with him and basically said take it or leave it. You cannot have the Roadmap without the Saudi Plan as part of it.

As you know, nothing changed. Palestinian terror continued.

Sharon sought to break the impasse and take the future into Israel's own hands and disengaged from Gaza unilaterally. This also offered hope to the Palestinians as they had every opportunity to build on what Israel left behind. They decided to destroy it instead.

Around this time, Condi started saying that the Palestinians must be offered "hope". As if Israel hadn't been offering them hope from the git go. Nevertheless she would build on this idea with diplomats all over the word picking up on it as if on cue, which they probably were.

This new initiative culminated in the Annapolis conference and the inversion of the steps. First the core issues were to be decided upon in a Declaration of Principles. But we were told not to worry because such agreement would be a "shelf agreement" only to wait upon the requirements of the first phase to be satisfied.

To call it a "shelf agreement" is to suggest that it will lie fallow like a government report, with no immediate consequences. Nonsense.

Even now before the agreement is finalized, it is being implemented on the ground. Arabs are being allowed to build anywhere on what will be their land without the necessity of a building permit. Jews on the other hand are severely restricted from building on their land or land they own. Palestinians are being tasked with the job of policing certain Arab towns and we just heard about how their political rights in Jerusalem are being expanded.

To call this a "shelf agreement" is a bald-faced lie. But beyond the question of its implementation, the most important consequence of it is the fact that the lands accorded to the Palestinians would in effect be held on trust for them. I have no doubt that after the "shelf agreement" is signed, Israel will pass the bill offering compensation to settlers to move out, more roadblocks would be lifted etc. Israel will gradually withdraw over the next five years while the US increasingly works with Fatah to increase their strength to govern and reduce terror.

The Americans are training Fatah in the same way and for the same purpose as they are training the Iraq army. The only difference is that in the case of the territories, Israel is the occupier but in both cases, the US is in charge.

In effect this shelf agreement is the blueprint for all interim steps to be taken toward its implementation.

Once there is better separation, Palestine will be declared with or without a cessation in terror and incitement.

Keep in mind the object of the peace process is to end the occupation, not end the terror. For this reason Israel is investigating ways to protect themselves from missiles and rockets.

The way I see it is that if you are in favour of ending the occupation along the lines suggested, this is a good plan and it is irreversible.

If on the other hand you hate the deal that is being cut, too bad.

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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CHILDREN'S DVD PRAISES MUSLIM SUICIDE BOMBERS
Posted by David Meir-Levi, April 11, 2008.

Some may recall the horrific case of al-Qaeda operatives in Baghdad last year who parked a car next to a shopping center in Baghdad, left a sleeping infant inside (to make the car look innocent and unthreatening, and thus deflect suspicion), and then distanced themselves from the car before they blew it up, killing the infant and numerous bystanders and shoppers.

I commented at the time that this inhuman barbarism was not freedom fighting or revolution or resistance, it was psychotic murder....the work of homicidal maniacs, insane people.

I've written on the brutality and barbarism of the Palestinian Authority's and Hamas' education of children from the age of 4 or 5 in to suicide bombing as an ideal, martyrdom (shahada) as a way of life-and-death with honor....a clear indication of the PA leadership's intentions to maintain a terror war for decades.

I've also commented occasionally on the issue of human shields...the Palestinian and other Arab/Muslim terrorist penchant for placing women and children in harm's way knowing that Israeli forces will be deterred: a practice which, despite its deterrence, does end up often with dead innocents. I've pointed out that the culpability for those dead innocents rests solely upon those who put them in harm's way...and not upon the IDF (per international law).

Despite my familiarity with all of the above, I was shocked to read the article below (children's dvd praises muslim suicide bombers), which came to my attention only now.

So we learn that El-qaeda operatives in the UK are teaching British Muslim children to blow themselves up and take with them as many infidels as possible....using cartoons and videos and songs and sing-along tunes and images of maternal love and the loving child's natural desire to emulate the beloved parent....just what children love.

They use the innocent child's natural propensity for love as the springboard for the inculcation of a deeply psychotic hatred which they intend will lead the child to suicide and homicide. And they give the video, sound track in Arabic, English subtitles so even the UK Muslim children who speak English can imbibe of the wisdom of the terrorists who assert that killing infidels in this world buys you reward in the next which is far greater than anything that you can achieve in your lifetime in this world. This is evil beyond comprehension. And British Muslim adults distribute these videos to British Muslim children. There is a truly deep and indescribable evil in the Muslim world.

It can be no accident that while not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims. I assume that, similarly, not all Muslims are proponents of such evil inherent in teaching children to hate and kill and blow themselves up, but it is clear that all proponents of this evil are Muslims. I have no doubt that this too is not an accident, not a statistical aberation.

Moreover, and perhaps even more dangerous, those Muslims who are not proponents of such evil simply remain silent in the face of that evil...with the exception of a very few, described briefly in the 2nd article.

Silence in the face of evil is complicity. Complicity with evil is evil.

And as witness and validation to my assertion about this evil, read the second article below (Meir Abelson). I've highlighted and put in to italics some segments that seem particularly important.

1.Daily Express
UK NEWS
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/28965/Singalong-DVD-for-children- that-praises-Muslim-suicide-bombers
By Paul Jeeves
CHILDREN'S DVD PRAISES MUSLIM SUICIDE BOMBERS
December 19,2007

London suicide bomber Mohammed Sidique Kahn making a video before the 7/7 bombings

A SINGALONG film glorifying suicide bombers is being handed out to British children.

In one scene on the DVD an orphan girl rejoices at the chance to emulate her terrorist mother as she discovers a stick of dynamite in a wardrobe.

The propaganda discs have been given to youngsters celebrating Eid, the biggest Muslim festival of the year.Now police in Bradford are in possession of one and are investigating whether Al Qaeda fanatics are distributing them across Britain.

Mosque leaders in the Yorkshire city –– home to one of Britain's largest Asian communities –– claim to have no knowledge of the DVD.The Egyptian-made disc shows self-proclaimed orphans ranting against the West in a cartoon-style song complaining about the plight of the Palestinian people.The terrorist-recruiting DVD, which contains tracks sung by children in Arabic but with English subtitles, has details of a Leeds distribution company on the back cover.

Now the West Yorkshire counter terrorism unit is trying to discover how many have been distributed.One song is about two children who lose their mother when she becomes a suicide bomber.

It is believed to be a reference to Reem al-Reyashi, a 22-year-old Palestinian woman who blew herself up in 2004 at a crossing in the Gaza Strip, killing four Israelis. The film begins with an Arab woman playing with her two children, then leaving home with dynamite tucked in her dress.She blows herself up after being challenged by soldiers. Her children and husband are then seen finding out about her death on TV.One daughter, rummaging around her mother's ward­robe, finds a stick of dynamite hidden in a drawer and, turning to the camera, says: "My love will not be by words. I will follow my mother's steps."One of the DVDs was handed to Shipley MP Philip Davies by a constituent whose grandson brought it home from a mosque in Bradford, which has a Muslim population of more than 50,000.

After viewing the disc Mr Davies contacted the police. He said: "It's outrageous that this material is readily available in West Yorkshire."It beggars belief that somebody is prepared to proudly proclaim that they distribute this material."My worry is about how many children have been influenced by it."

Mr Davies will ask the Home Secretary what support the Government is giving to police to locate and eliminate this kind of material.Last year an Al Qaeda propaganda DVD was discovered being handed out at a mosque in Dewsbury, yards from the home of 7/7 ringleader Mohammad Siddique Khan. Last night the head of West Yorkshire counter terrorism, Det Chief Supt John Parkinson, said his officers were investigating whether any offences were committed involving the new disc.Yorkshire Muslim peer and Shadow Communities Secre­tary Baroness Warsi said it was "deeply disturbing if this kind of material is being aimed at young children".

At Leeds Crown Court this week a former English language tutor was jailed for four years after he was found with material showing how to make a suicide vest with explosives and shrapnel.

Rizwan Mahmood Ditta, 29, described as a devout Muslim from a respected family, also possessed films urging holy war against non-Muslims and supporting Osama Bin Laden.

2. These Critics Are Accessories To Murder!
Meir Abelson
Bet Shemesh,Israel
mabelson@zahav.net.il

Israel is in the dock. The basis of the conflict is –– we are told –– "Israel's occupation of Palestinian land." Her attempts to defend herself are "disproportionate and excessive." Her response to the rain of missiles and suicide bombers is branded "a heavy-handed campaign of violence destroying all hopes of peace." Putting up checkpoints and building an "apartheid wall" has made Gaza "the biggest open prison in the world." She has created a `humanitarian crisis in Gaza.' She ignores obligations she has undertaken, and acts contrary to "international law." Hardly a week passes without someone proposing a boycott. And –– the most preposterous accusation of all –– that she is a "racist" state. This is a small sample of daily bludgeoning that Israel –– the only democracy in the Middle East –– endures. However, they all have one thing in common –– they are all irrelevant, [DML: I would say that they are antithetical] not only to peace in the Middle East, but to the peace of the whole world.

I (Meir Abelson) open my case with the words of two Muslims: the first is Walid Shoebat, a reformed terrorist, who wrote in his book "Why I Left Jihad:"

"I choose to speak out because I know what is wrong. And what is wrong has nothing to do with Israel's `occupation of the land;' it is Islam's occupation of the mind. There are other victims, just like me, millions of them, and like Hitler's Jugend –– they are all kids. They are taught the same songs about killing Jews as I was. When will we get rid of the education propaganda promoting both destruction and self-destruction? Will it take a generation? Ten? Until then there will be no peace, no matter what kind of land settlement the world tries to enforce. Not when Muslim children undergo this occupation of the mind. There is no solution unless we liberate the children from an evil and growing menace and stop the cycle."

My next witness is Ibn Warraq, author of several books, including "Why I am not a Muslim" and "What the Koran Really Says." In the former work, he asks:

"Is the Sharia (Islamic law) still valid? We may ask how a law whose elements were first laid down over a thousand years ago, and whose substance has not evolved with the times can possibly be relevant in the twentieth century. The sharia only reflects the social and economic conditions of the time of the early Abbasids and has simply grown out of touch with all the later developments –– social, economic and moral. It seems improbable but we have progressed morally: we no longer regard women as chattels that we can dispose of as we will: we no longer believe that those who do not share our religious beliefs are not worthy of equal respect; we even accord animals and children rights, But as long as we regard the Koran as eternally true, with an answer to all the problems of the modern world, we will have no progress. The principles enshrined in the Koran are inimical to moral progress."

Ibn Warraq expands on the character of Mohammed, and quotes from Dr. Margoliouth's summary of the picture that emerges in the prophet's biography by Ibn Ishaq:

"The character attributed to Mohammed in the biography of Ibn Ishaq is exceedingly unfavorable. In order to gain his ends he recoils to no expedient, and he approves of similar unscrupulousness on the part of his adherents, when exercised in his interests. He profits to the utmost from the chivalry of the Meccans, but rarely requites it with the like. He organizes assassinations and wholesale massacres. His career as a tyrant in Medina is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists of securing and dividing plunder, the distribution of the latter being at times carried out on principles which fail to satisfy his followers' ideas of justice. He is himself an unbridled libertine and encourages the same passion in his followers. For whatever he does he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is, however, impossible to find any doctrine which he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end. At different points in his career he abandons the unity of God and his claim to the title of Prophet. This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion, and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy, and even though Ibn Ishaq's name was for some reason held in low esteem by the traditionalists of the third Islamic century, they make no attempt to discredit those portions of the biography which bear hardest on the character of their Prophet."

There are resonances of Mohammed's character in the assessment of Arab society today, in the book "Temperament and Character of the Arabs," (1960) by the Arab psychologist Dr. Sania Hamady, Professor of Social Relations at Miami University:

"The Arab has no scruples about lying if by it he achieves his objective. His conscience has an interesting elasticity....To be clever, one has to see through all the admirable manners, engaging words, and the feigned humility of the Arab....Arab society is ruthless, stern and pitiless. It worships strength and has no compassion for weakness." Prof. Hamady points to the "vindictive race-feeling of the Arabs aided, in some degree, by the glory accruing to them from having given the world its last and greatest prophet." Her conclusion is that they need liberation from the self [that] necessitates a cleansing from within, giving up stale ideals, obsolete ideas, illusions about reality (themselves, their milieu and the universe), certain disagreeable patterns of behavior, and some unjust modes of social relations."

My third witness is Irshad Manji, who describes herself as a `Muslim refusenik.' Like Walid Shoebat, she declares: "...I'm asking questions from which we can no longer hide. Why are we all being held hostage by what's been happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? What's with the stubborn streak of anti-Semitism in Islam? Who is the real coloniser of Muslims –– America or Arabia? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? How can we be so sure that homosexuals deserve ostracism –– or death –– when the Koran states that everything God made is `excellent'? ...if we don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show. And their path leads to a dead end of more vitriol, more violence, more poverty, more exclusion. Is this the justice we seek for the world that God has leased to us? If it's not, then why don't more of us say so?" And as a final thrust, she asks: "Why [do] I bother associating with a faith that beats at the centre of so much international turmoil and individual torment?"

My fourth witness is not a Muslim; she is Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, who from the age of ten, lived in an underground bomb shelter for seven years while Muslims throughout the Middle East poured into her country and declared jihad against the Lebanese Christians. One horrific extract from her book "Because They Hate" is enough:

"They started massacring the Christians in city after city... The Western media seldom reported these horrific events. Most of the Press was located in West Beirut, controlled by the PLO and the Muslims. One of the most ghastly acts was the massacre in the Christian city of Damour, where thousands of Christians were slaughtered like sheep. The combined forces of the PLO and the Muslims would enter a bomb shelter and see a mother and a father hiding with a little baby. They would tie one leg of the baby to the mother and one leg to the father and pull the parents apart, splitting the child in half. A close friend of mine became mentally disturbed after they made her slaughter her own son in a chair. They tied her to a chair, tied a knife to her hand, and holding her hand, forced her to cut her own sixteen-year-old son's throat. After killing him they raped her two daughters in front of her....People have been so sheltered in this country that they have not paid attention to what has been going on for the last twenty-some years. And today, even after the attack on September 11, people still cannot fathom that this type of barbarity can happen here."

[DML: the barbarity and inhuman brutality of the Muslim attackers described above has many antecedents in Muslim attacks on Christians and Jews throughout 1,380 years of Muslim history, and is of a piece with the use of children as human shields, and with the teaching of psychotic homicidal hatred to innocent children].

Well, I (Meir Abelson) live in Israel; and it has happened here –– even before Israel became a state, and even before there was any so-called "occupation." It happened in 1929 in Hebron, Motza, Jerusalem, Safed, and Jaffa. One British eye-witness exclaimed: "They did not mutilate their victims –– they merely hacked them to pieces." In Safed, they hung the Chief Rabbi upside-town by his legs and put a Primus stove under his head. I have an album of photographs from the Hebron massacre, showing hacked arms and fingers laid out on the hospital table, and some of the victims in bed with hands and arms lopped off.

We are constantly urged to make concessions to the "moderates." Who and where are they? They are certainly not the PLO under Mohammed Abbas, whose covenant still calls for the elimination of Israel. The answer is given in the research carried out recently by Hillel Cohen of the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace under the title "Army of Shadows." The author documents what happened to the moderates –– they are all dead; hacked up with axes, riddled with bullets, slaughtered with knives and exploded by bombs –– from the start of the British Mandate until 1948. As Cohen reports, there were two factions in Palestinian Arab society; the fanatics led by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, and the moderates, who included such notable families as the Nashashibis. The latter believed that the Zionists had come to stay and that the common good of Palestinian Arabs demanded coexistence with the Jews. There was wide and friendly cooperation between Jews and Arabs, until the rejectionists spearheaded a continuum of murderous riots. In the period covered by the book, hundreds of Palestinian Arab moderates –– maybe 1,000 –– were murdered. Countless others got the message: moderation is treason punishable by death.
 

Now let us examine the major accusations made against Israel.

1.Her "occupation of Palestinian land." First –– there is not and never was a nation called Palestine. Two thousand ago The Romans, in order to wipe out any memory of the countries known as Judea and Samaria, changed the name to Palestine, after the Philistines, who occupied a small strip of land along the cost. In 1937 the distinguished Arab historian Professor Philip Hitti, testifying before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, declared: "There is no such thing as Palestine in history; absolutely not." The Palestinian Arabs always regarded themselves as southern Syrians, or alternatively as "part of the great Arab nation;" except during the years 1948-1967, when King Hussein illegally occupied Judea and Samaria, and renamed them his "West Bank." Then the Arabs were Jordanians and lived under Jordanian rule, acknowledging Kind Abdullah, and then King Hussein, as their country's leader. Until 1967, when –– as Walid Shoebat testified, "We were suddenly Palestinians! The Arab leaders removed the star from the Jordanian flag, and instantly, we had a Palestinian flag!"

The correct legal description of Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Gaza today is "undistributed parts of the British Mandate." The Arabs, however, regard the entire area as "holy Arab land," and for Israel to exist therein is sacrilege. Why, then, should Israel have any "good faith" –– to quote the "Road Map" –– when the Palestine Liberation Organization still adheres to its Charter calling for her destruction, publishes maps that omit showing Israel, and continues incitement and hatred unabated? By all canons of logic and decency, there is no reason why Israel should be barred from building in Judea and Samaria, which are included in the area that is designated in the legal document known as the "League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine" for "close settlement by Jews."

2. Israel ignores her obligations and acts contrary to international law. I doubt whether most of those who bleat about international law know anything about it. One thing is clear: resolutions of the United Nations are NOT international law. These are more often than not politically motivated and redolent with double standards; the use of resolutions to champion positions in political quarrels are liable to undermine the credibility of the organization, even in areas of relative agreement. The General Assembly's moral authority is suspect in that the coercive powers wielded by a few states that may be diminutive in population but formidable in importance because of the resources they control. This frequently inhibits members who might wish to vote no, or even to abstain, on a range of matters, notably, but not exclusively affecting the Middle East; witness the most outrageous manipulations of voting such as the equivalence of Zionism with racism, or categorizing the United States or Britain as "racist states."

However, the Charter of the United Nations IS international law. Article 51 states that "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations....." This is in fact precisely what Israel has been doing ever since the State was founded; yet I cannot recall any Resolution being passed condemning the various attacks by Syria, Egypt, Iraq or Jordan.

And what about "armed bands?" There is a long series of proposals and international instruments, including the Draft Declaration on Right and Duties of States (Article 4), and the Draft Code of Offences against the Peace and Security of Mankind (Article 2(4), (5), and 6. Article 2(4), as revised in 1954, stigmatized as such an offence:

"The organization, or the encouragement of the organization, by the authorities of a State, of armed bands within its territories or any other territory for incursions into the territory of another State, or the toleration of the use by such armed bands of its territory as a base of operations or as a point of departure of incursions into the territory of another State, as well as direct participation in or in support of such excursions." There is hardly an Arab state that has not committed such an offence against Israel over the past 60 years; is this "international justice?"

3. Israel is belaboured for putting up "checkpoints," an "apartheid wall," creating a "humanitarian crisis" and an "open prison." Let's get a few things straight. Where did these unfortunates come from? They are refugees; and there are nearly seventy Arab, refugee officials and other reliable eye-witnesses who have testified that in 1948 the Arab leaders, and the Palestinian Arabs themselves, were responsible for their own flight. The Palestinian Arabs are neither the first nor the last population to become refugees. This condition is the inevitable outcome of tragic conflict –– and the 20th century saw approximately 135,000,000 refugees due to numerous conflicts. However, the Palestinian Arabs are the only refugees who have not been resettled within a generation, and for whom a special organization –– UNRWA –– was set up. Furthermore, a Palestinian refugee is someone who lived in Palestine for only two years preceding the conflict in 1948, and who, as a result of this conflict, lost both his home and his means of livelihood and took refuge in one of the countries where UNRWA provides relief. No other refugees have been granted such a wide definition. In the 1951-1967 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, nothing is said about their descendants; yet the tally of Palestinian refugees has always been multiplied many times by the addition of their descendants.

And who created this "open prison," with the attendant restrictions on movement? One of the many witnesses is Richard Galloway, former director of UNWRA, declared angrily in 1958: "The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die." At a refugee conference in Homs, Syria, the Arabs declared that "...any discussion aimed at a solution of the Palestine problem which will not be based on ensuring the refugees' right to annihilate Israel will be regarded as a desecration of the Arab people and as an act of treason." It is clear that the finger of blame for the refugee problem should be pointed at the Arabs themselves.

Those who live in Gaza today are no less extreme. They voted into power the Hamas organization, an Islamic terrorist group, which continues to receive overwhelming support. In fact, as I write these lines, these "pitiful" refugees on whose behalf the world pours out untold wealth and sheds so many tears, are taking to the streets in thousands, distributing sweets, shooting in the air, and cheering the successful terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

4. "Israel is an apartheid state." This falsehood is clear to anyone who simply visits our hospitals and universities. The fact is that in Israel, Arabs are freer than in any Arab state. They have full civil rights; they have Arab-Israeli political parties and their representatives sit in the Knesset. Arabic is an officially recognized language in Israel. Altogether, Israel has 15 officially recognized religions. As is known, Israel was the first to take in the Vietnamese boat people in 1970 when the world ignored them; and today, we have hundreds of Darfur Muslims rebuilding their lives in Israel.

Israel has been under more or less constant attack for sixty years. She has been attacked by Arab States, armed bands, terrorist attacks on her civilian population characterized by the most bestial and inhuman atrocities. Her defensive actions are in accordance with international law; yet they are automatically condemned as "disproportionate and excessive," without anyone defining what these terms mean –– or even suggesting alternative methods of coping with the situation.

The record of lies that are spread –– and believed –– about Israel without proof is inexhaustible. Yet the same tactic has been adopted by the Arabs since Haj el Husseini, the convicted criminal who Sir Herbert Samuel appointed to be Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, learned during his stay in Berlin as Hitler's guest. His first essay in the art of propaganda was to circulate photographs of the Jews slaughtered at Hebron in 1929, and describe them as Arabs killed by Jews. The same technique has been used ever since, but with far greater sophistication; and the world accepts all the lies as truth. It is no wonder that the distinguished French philosopher Jacques Ellul warned that "propaganda is today a greater danger to mankind than any other of the more grandly advertised threats hanging over the human race."

Consider this: If a private individual were known to be a serial killer: if he were known to have never honoured a single commitment he had undertaken; if he were known to be an inveterate liar –– would anyone trust him as a serious negotiating partner? I believe there will never be peace in the world until we treat groups as we would treat individuals. And I believe there will never be peace in the Middle East until the Arabs cease (1) their indoctrination of Jihad; (2) their constant calls for Israel's destruction; (3) their attacks on Israel with missiles, bombs and suicide mayhem: and (4) their abominable and outrageous propaganda, of which the latest is that Israel burns Palestinian children in ovens.

Those who blame Israel are not only rewarding and encouraging the real culprits and their terrorist minions; they are acting as accomplices to murder, as surely as if they fired the weapons.

[DML: those who blame Israel are complicit with, and accomplices in, the genocidal goals of hamas and fatah and hezbollah and islamic jihad and the el-aqsa martyrs' brigade and the dozen or so other Arab/Muslim terror organizations.

Genocide is against international law. Incitement to genocide is against international law. Planning and promotion of genocide is against international law. In a rational world, Akhmedinejad and the leaders of Hamas and Fatah and Islamic Jihad etc would all be on trial in the Hague today.

Genocide is evil.

Complicity with evil is evil.]

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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ISRAEL LACKS SUFFICIENT DETERRENCE AGAINST TERRORISTS
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 11, 2008.

This is by Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff and it appeared yesterday in Haaretz www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/973458.html

The murder at the fuel depot at Nahal Oz yesterday shows that Israel is having a hard time establishing a sufficiently effective deterrent against the terror organizations operating from the Gaza Strip. Even if Hamas is not currently firing rockets at the Negev itself, it is continuing to clash with the Israel Defense Forces along the Gaza border and is not lifting a finger to rein in the smaller Palestinian factions firing Qassams and sending operatives into Israel. In contrast with the situation on the Lebanese border since the war, there has barely been a single day of quiet on the southern border in the last two years.

Without sufficient deterrence, the IDF is unable to completely prevent Palestinians from infiltrating into Israel or sending snipers to shoot at Israelis or place explosives near the border fence. Of dozens of attempted attacks, one must assume that every once in a while the terrorists will achieve a victory, especially when the attack is as well-planned as yesterday's.

In the past, there was an attempt to maintain a kind of buffer zone of about a kilometer west of the fence, where Palestinians were not allowed to enter. In effect, though, this does not happen today. In the past week alone, shots were fired at Public Security Minister Avi Dichter's entourage in Givat Nizmit and at farmers in the fields of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. A tunnel was found near the fence in northern Gaza, and yesterday's shooting attack took place.

This is partly because the IDF has reduced its offensive operations in the security zone west of the fence. When its activities were more intensive, the number of incidents along the fence decreased. In the last month, in light of the indirect understanding reached through Egypt, the IDF reduced its activities in this area. (The operation in which an IDF soldier was killed yesterday, east of Khan Yunis, was part of a renewed effort in the security zone, due to sniper fire on farmers). Without creating depth on the Palestinian side of the border, it is hard to thwart terror attacks.

In addition, there was a specific failure related to yesterday's attack: Despite the observation posts along the border, especially near the crossings, the infiltration by terrorists was noticed too late. The four Palestinians managed to cross the fence unhindered and kill the two truck drivers at short range. The IDF did at least respond quickly, sending a tank and infantry after the terror cell and killing two of its members inside the Strip. Later, acting on intelligence from the Shin Bet security service, the Israel Air Force attacked vehicles holding operatives involved in the operation.

The Israelis were surprised yesterday that the Palestinians were attacking a border terminal that is still operating, even if on a reduced scale. The Palestinians' logic is that if Israel reacts by cutting off what is left of the fuel supply, that will illustrate the suffering of the Gaza residents.

On the Palestinian domestic front, the residents' anger will once again be directed toward Israel, and on the international front, the press and United Nations will condemn Israel while the murder of the two drivers will be rapidly forgotten. That is one of the reasons Israel was in no rush last night to declare an extended closure of the border crossing, making do with an announcement that the terminal would be closed to investigate the attack.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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TERRORIZING PUBLISHING
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, April 10, 2008.

This first article below was written by Roger Kimball and it appeared in the NY Sun Mr Kimball, co-editor of the New Criterion, is publisher of Encounter Books. The second, from the Star Gazette, is called "One signature away from protecting freedom."
www.stargazettenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080409/OPINION01/804090321

1. This spring, Encounter Books is publishing "Willful Blindness: a Memoir of the Jihad," by Andrew McCarthy, who helped prosecute the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman and other jihadists.

I recently received a message from someone who helps distribute our books in Britain: "Can you please let us know if there are any references to Saudis and terrorist[s] in the book. We are just concerned that this book could potentially create libel lawsuits as it could offend Saudis living in England ... "

So books offensive to Saudis are verboten? Not if I have anything to say about it. But note the preemptive cringe: the very threat of legal action has made the publishing world skittish, not to say craven. Welcome to the world of libel tourism. When the American researcher Rachel Ehrenfeld published "Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed –– and How to Stop It," she suddenly found herself slapped with a libel suit –– but not in America. A Saudi banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, brought the suit in England. Even though the book was not distributed in Great Britain, a British judge ruled that Ms. Ehrenfeld must apologize and pay Mr. Mahfouz £110,000.

Not only did Ms. Ehrenfeld refuse, she promptly countersued in New York, asking the federal courts to rule that the British judgment contravened the First Amendment. Though the Second Circuit seemed sympathetic to her plight, Ms. Ehrenfeld's claim depended upon whether, as a matter of New York State law, the court had jurisdiction over Mr. Mahfouz. Just before Christmas, New York's highest state court ruled that jurisdiction was lacking. That decision leaves Ms. Ehrenfeld in legal and professional limbo: discouraged from writing about Mr. Mahfouz or traveling to countries where he might seek to collect on the British judgment, and damaged in her ability to find publishers who will have to weigh the risks of being dragged into foreign courts. Mr. Mahfouz is an energetic libel tourist. His Web site lists successful actions against three other books: "Reaping the Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan," "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and The Failed Hunt for Bin Laden," and "Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World."

The case against "Alms for Jihad" by Robert O. Collins, a professor emeritus of history at the University of California, and J. Millard Burr, a retired employee of the State Department, was especially egregious. The publisher, Cambridge University Press, instantly capitulated to Mr. Mahfouz's demands. Not only did it pulp all unsold copies of the 2006 book, but it paid "substantial damages" to Mr. Mahfouz and even went so far as to contact libraries worldwide to ask them to remove the book from their shelves.

Enter the copycats. Several weeks ago, a former Crown Attorney named Faisal Joseph filed a human rights complaint for the Canadian Islamic Congress against Maclean's, the distinguished Canadian magazine. Why? Because Maclean's had published "The Future Belongs to Islam," an excerpt from Mark Steyn's best-selling book "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It." The article, according to the complaint, was "flagrantly Islamophobic" and exposed Muslim Canadians to "contempt and hatred."

The editor of Maclean's, Kenneth Whyte, published 27 responses to Mr. Steyn's article, but rejected a demand that he publish, unedited, a five-page article by Muslim students. "I told them I would rather go bankrupt than let somebody from outside our operations dictate the content of the magazine," he said in a statement published in Maclean's on December 5, 2007. It may come to that. Canada's "human rights commission," like the despotic tribunals of yesteryear, is endowed with the power to fine and imprison those who trespass against their dictates.

Responding to the complaint, Mr. Steyn cautioned against the commission's effort "to criminalize debate. That's the way they do things in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, not Canada." Let's hope so. But I recommend we remember those little warnings that accompany financial prospectuses: "Past results are no guarantee of future performance." As of this writing, the commission's prosecutors have won 100% of the cases they've brought. The observation that the triumph of evil will happen when good men stand by and do nothing has special relevance at a time, like now, that is inflected by terrorism.

Our new enemies are not political enemies in any traditional sense, belligerent in the service of their own certain interests. Their violence is focused on the very existence of an alternative to their vision of beatitude, namely on Western democracy and its commitment to free speech and economic prosperity.

What can we do about it? On January 14, Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Queens and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Long Island introduced the "Libel Terrorism Protection Act" in New York. The legislation, which was recently passed and now awaits the governor's signature, would overrule New York's highest court and, as Mr. Lancman put it, would give journalists "the tools they need to continue to fearlessly expose the truth about terrorism and its enablers."

That is a good start. Let's hope that Congress follows suit by making libel tourism a federal cause of action. Among other advantages, this would permit generous civil discovery against those attempting to stifle criticism of Islamofascism –– precisely the sort of chilling effect anyone interested in freedom would want to get behind.

------------------

2. Paterson should sign law to prevent foreign libel laws from applying to New Yorkers.

In societies in which people govern themselves and hold public officials accountable, the ability to freely gather and share information is critical. But government officials on the receiving end of public scrutiny do not always agree that robust discussion is a good thing. Therefore, two pieces of legislation, one national the other state, bear watching.

On the national scene, the Bush administration is invoking national security concerns to urge Congress to narrow provisions of the "Free Flow of Information Act." The act would be a national shield law, permitting journalists to safeguard the identities of people who provide them confidential, sensitive and yes, sometimes embarrassing, information held by governments.

Reminding the Senate, where the act is pending, of its fear of all things remotely suggestive of terrorism, four members of the president's Cabinet wrote separate letters to senators last week. In their letters, they argued that the bill's definition of "journalist" is too broad and, that its protections will encourage more leaks of classified information to the media and that its existence will strengthen the counterintelligence efforts of our adversaries.

Fighting terrorism should not mean suspension of the rights that make our nation strong and need not require that our government function in secret. If we are to hold public officials accountable, more information on their activities, not less, is needed.

As the world becomes a smaller place, and boundaries to the sharing of information all but disappear among free nations, Americans can find freedoms we take for granted attacked by courts abroad. To provide some protection, we urge Gov. David Paterson to sign into law an amendment to New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules.

The change, unanimously passed by the state Legislature on March 31, makes civil judgments in libel and defamation cases levied against Americans in foreign courts unenforceable unless the foreign nation provides the same free speech protections as those guaranteed under American law.

The measure was made necessary because of a judgment last year against a New York author who was sued for libel by a Saudi businessman in a British court. The author, Rachel Ehrenfeld, named the businessman as a supporter of terrorism in her book "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded –– and How to Stop It." She sold 20 copies of her book in England, where libel laws favor the plaintiff. New York law did not allow this state's courts to shield Ehrenfeld from the $225,000 judgment.

Upon Paterson's signature, New Yorkers will not have to bite their tongues for fear of being harassed in court for offending a reader or listener in a country that lacks free speech protection. The professional media benefit, but so do authors, playwrights, broadcasters and bloggers. If we are to live in a global village, the laws of selected nations cannot be used as weapons to stifle discussion.

This nation is built on a foundation of robust discussion and free exchange of information. Measures that work against those basic premises, whether imposed by a foreign court or an administration with a penchant for secrecy, are fundamentally un-American.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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US CHRISTIANS 'MORALLY' SUPPORT ISRAEL
Posted by Avodah, April 10, 2008.

This was written by Etgar Lefkovits and it appeared yesterday in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1207649974559&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

More than 80 percent of American Christians say they have a "moral and biblical obligation" to support the State of Israel, and half say Jerusalem should remain its undivided capital, according to a survey released on Thursday.

While evangelical Christians are the strongest supporters of the Jewish state, strong pro-Israel convictions cut across all key Christian denominations in the US, according to the poll carried out on behalf of the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization.

Eight-two percent of respondents said they had a "moral and biblical obligation" to love and support Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem," 10% disagreed and 8% did not know.

Eighty-four percent of Protestants agreed with the statement (including 89% of Evangelicals), compared to 76% of Catholics.

Half of the American Christians surveyed opposed Israel dividing Jerusalem with the Palestinians in a peace agreement, 33% were unsure and 17% thought it should be divided.

Fifty-three percent of Protestants supported a united Jerusalem, as did 44% of Catholics.

Evangelical Christians were most supportive of a united Jerusalem, with 62% in favor and 11% against.

A plurality of the US Christians (44%) surveyed said they did not know whether a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be a peaceful moderate democracy or a terrorist state, 32% said that it would be a terrorist state and 24% said that it would be a peaceful democracy.

The survey found clear differences between Protestants and Catholics on the issue.

Protestants were more likely to say a Palestinian state would be a terror state by a 10-point margin; Catholics were evenly split. Evangelical Protestants said a such entity would be a terrorist state by a 20-point margin,but non-evangelical Protestants said it would be a peaceful and moderate democracy by six percentage points.

The belief that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state was strongest among Republican and conservative Evangelicals.

Nearly half (49%) of American Christians surveyed were interested in visiting Israel, including about quarter of both Catholics and Protestants who were "strongly" interested.

Forty-seven percent of those polled were not interested in visiting.

There are 50 million-60 million evangelicals Christians in the US.

Two-thirds of respondents said that if Iran developed nuclear weapons, it would eventually try to use them to attack Israel, 23% were unsure and 13% said Iran would not attack.

Finally, 45% said they would be more likely to support a US presidential candidate who would protect America from Islamic terrorism, protect Israel from a nuclear attack from Iran, oppose the division of Jerusalem and refuse to pressure Israel to make concessions on issues of national security, compared to 29% who said such positions had no effect on their vote and 9% who would be less likely to support such a candidate.

The survey will be officially released on Thursday at a conference at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha'uma) organized by The Joshua Fund that is expected to be attended by 2,000 evangelical Christians fromaround the world.

The non-profit organization aims to raise more than $100 million over the next three years to help Israeli victims of terrorism, and to fund humanitarian projects in Israel in education, health, welfare and immigrant absorption,and $20m. for Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq and Sudan, said Joel C. Rosenberg, the group's founder and president.

"Our support for Israel is unwavering and unconditional," he said.

The survey, which was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates by a telephone sampling of 1,000 American Christians last month, had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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MOST JEWS REGARD JUDEA AND SAMARIA AS LIBERATED –– NOT 'OCCUPIED' –– AND OSLO AS A MISTAKE
Posted by Avodah, April 10, 2008.

The Peace Index Project is conducted at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution of Tel Aviv University, headed by Prof. Ephraim Yaar and Prof. Tamar Herman. It has been issued monthly since the heyday of Oslo 'peacemaking' efforts. This month, they surveyed Jews separately and those those who run the 'peace index' had a bit of a shock.

The telephone interviews were conducted by the B. I. Cohen Institute of Tel Aviv University on March 31 and April 1, 2008, and included 588 interviewees who represent the adult Jewish and Arab population of Israel (including the territories and the kibbutzim). The sampling error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

For the survey data see: http://www.tau.ac.il/peace

Most Jews regard Judea and Samaria as liberated –– not 'occupied' –– and Oslo as a mistake

While most of the Jews (68%) still support what's called the 'two-state solution,' when you get beyond that basic question, it becomes clear that Israeli Jews have a very different idea than the 'Palestinians' of what a 'two-state solution' means:

About three-quarters do not believe the negotiations will lead to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and an identical proportion says that even if an agreement is signed it will not, from the Palestinians' standpoint, end the historic conflict with Israel.

This pessimism is apparently what fosters the hard-line positions that most of the Jewish public now takes on central aspects of the conflict and the chances of resolving it. It turns out, for instance, that in retrospect only among Meretz, Labor, and Kadima does a majority say the decision to launch the peace process at the beginning of the 1990s was correct. In the public overall, the number of those who think so (40%) is lower than the percentage of those who believe it was a mistake to enter the peace process that enabled the Oslo accords (47%). We found a similar mindset among those who say that if a peace treaty entails difficult concessions, it's preferable to remain in the existing situation (49%, with 43% preferring an agreement even if its price is difficult concessions).

We were surprised to discover that even though, over the years, the concept of "occupation" has become more common both in the political discourse and the media, [Translation: Even though the leftist media has done its best to brainwash the Israeli public. CiJ] today a majority of the Jewish public defines the West Bank as "liberated territory" (55%) and not as "occupied territory" (32%). This may explain the new popularity of the position (57%) that the Green Line should not be considered the future border between Israel and the Palestinians, and that a new borderline should be established so that most of the settlements will be on the Israeli side and large Israeli Arab communities would move to the Palestinian side (only 23% of the Jewish public currently favors the Green Line as the future border; only among Meretz voters does a majority take the opposite view).

Interestingly, even among those who see the West Bank as "liberated territory" there is a clear majority –– albeit small compared to the majority among those who see it as "occupied territory" –– of supporters of a two-state solution. Here too the pessimism about the chances of ending the historic conflict with the Palestinians is widespread among both groups, though, as expected, more so among those who view the West Bank as liberated.

Moreover, if a peace agreement is signed on the basis of the two-states-for-two-peoples formula, the majority (65%) would want the border between the two states to be a closed one, without free passage from state to state. [Under current circumstances, that would leave the 'Palestinians' without an economy and –– depending on arrangements between Judea and Samaria on the one hand and Gaza on the other –– without a port. CiJ] The desire for segregation of the two peoples also emerges in the broad opposition (75.5%) to the idea of a binational state as an alternative solution to the two-state formula.

Finally, a considerable majority (61%) does not believe in Prime Minister Olmert's sincerity when he says he intends to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority by the end of this year. Indeed, only among Labor voters (not even among Kadima voters) does a majority credit the sincerity of his intentions.

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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WHY CAN'T JEWS BUY HOMES IN HEBRON?
Posted by David Wilder, April 10, 2008.

Many events, despite their joy and festivity, may also have bittersweet shadows lurking behind them.

It is customary at every Jewish wedding, that under the huppa, or wedding canopy, the groom recites the words from Psalms 137:5-6: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy." In some traditions the groom also places ashes on his forehead, recalling the destruction of the second Temple, and breaks a glass as an expression of loss. Even on the happiest of occasions, we recall the depths of sorrow at the loss of our most significant national enterprises, Jerusalem and the Temple.
 

ON THURSDAY night I attended a wedding. The daughter of one of Hebron's leaders was married in Jerusalem. As is wont at such weddings, the groom rubbed two sets of ashes on his forehead: ashes discovered in the Old City of Jerusalem, from the fire 2,000 years ago which destroyed the city, and also dust from Gush Katif, razed and obliterated almost three years ago, this summer. However, this past Thursday night had a particularly poignant significance. The groom was a graduate of Mercaz HaRav High School. He knew many of the young men killed there by an Arab terrorist just a few weeks ago. The night of his marriage was also the "shloshim" –– the 30th day following the murders. That night there was also a large memorial service at the yeshiva in memory of the young victims.

So, when the groom recited the words, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem," all the people in attendance were remembering not only the Temple from two millennium ago, but the deaths of those eight students, only a short time ago.

This is, perhaps, the story of Judaism: a combination of sadness and happiness, mixed together, making for the Jewish people.
 

SOME EVENTS can be understood; others are difficult to fathom. We are currently celebrating the first anniversary of the conclusion of the purchase of Beit HaShalom in Hebron. Exactly a year ago attorneys gave us the green light, and in we went. This huge, 3,500 square meter structure, strategically located on the road between Hebron and Kiryat Arba, was the first property purchased outside of the borders of the original Jewish neighborhoods. The roof of the building serves as a lookout, with a view of Kiryat Arba to the east and the Hebron Hills to the south. It is an amazing sight; on the one hand, exceedingly beautiful, and on the other hand, a bona fide security asset.

Israel is on the verge of a 60th birthday. Since the birth of the state in 1948, despite all the problems encountered, Israel has made tremendous achievements. Who could have expected that a people being shoveled into ovens only a few years before, with over six million of their brethren exterminated, could overcome all odds and bring an ancient nation back to life, a feat unequaled by any other culture or nationality in the history of the world. It certainly does deserve to be celebrated.

However I cannot but sense that this celebration is somewhat bittersweet with the case in point an excellent example, a microcosm of issues continually encountered.

The Jews came back home to Israel; but to what kind of an Israel? Of course growth and development are measures of success. But do we remember where we've come from? Do we take into account the triumphs upon which modern Israel was born? Do we recall the bedrock which serves as the justification for the rebirth of our people in our homeland?
 

HEBRON WAS the first Jewish city in the land of Israel, home to our patriarchs and matriarchs. The Cave of Machpela is our people's second holiest site, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was off-limits to Jews for 700 years, until Hebron came under Israeli control in the 1967 Six-Day War. As we celebrate 60 years of independence, so too we observe 40 years since the return of Jewish residency in Hebron during Passover of 1968.

Yet when Jews legally purchase a building in Hebron, 60 years after the rebirth of our statehood, such a transaction is automatically shrouded in controversy. So much so that the families in the building were prevented from installing glass windows throughout a snowy and rainy winter. At present they still may not install plastic shades on the windows, nor may they hook up the building to the city's central electric services. This is not due to any question of the legality of the purchase, but rather to a fundamental question: Can Jews continue to live, grow and develop freely in Hebron?

How can we, as a people, justify our existence in Tel Aviv or Haifa, if we do not recognize the validity of our presence in Hebron? If we cannot accept and respect the very pillars upon which our statehood lies, a peek into a crystal ball of the days and years to come looks dismal and bleak. A people with no past, or a people that refuses to recognize its past, has no future. A Jewish purchase of a building such as Beit HaShalom in Hebron should not be viewed as "problematic."

Instead it should be cheered on as a positive step in the renewal of Israel's oldest city.

The time has come for Jews throughout Israel and around the world to declare their allegiance to 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

This article appeared April 8, 2008 in the Jerusalem Post

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SHIN BET THWARTS MASS RESTAURANT POISONING
Posted by Daisy Stern, April 10, 2008.

This was written by Efrat Weiss and it appeared in
www.ynetnews.com/home/0%2c7340%2cL-3082%2c00.html

Two Palestinian employees detained mere days before they planned to lace food at Ramat Gan grill bar with tasteless, odorless toxin

The thwarting of an alarming terror plot was cleared for publication on Thursday, almost three weeks after a joint Shin Bet and police operation led to the arrest of two Palestinian employees of the 'Grill Express' restaurant in Ramat Gan. The men, Eihab Abu Rial and Anas Salum, both 21-year-old residents of the West Bank city of Nablus, had planned to lace dishes served at the establishment with a powerful toxin without odor or taste, in the hopes of killing as many patrons as possible.

The two did not have working permits and were residing in Israel illegally. While in Nablus, they had been recruited to the al-Aqsa Martyr's Bridges, the military wing of Fatah, under the guidance and funding of Hizbullah.

The men were arrested by police investigators following information obtained by the Shin Bet, several short days before they planned to carry out the attack.

Toxin was to come from West Bank

In their questioning the men told interrogators they were to receive the poison from two operatives in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus –– Husseini Salag and Hani Quabi –– who are still wanted by security forces.

The white substance is virtually undetectable and affects its victims approximately four hours after being ingested.

Salag, they said, also sought to use them to bring a suicide bomber across the border. Defense officials say they are concerned Quabi continues to seek the means to carry out an attack in Israel using illegal Palestinian residents.

A similar incident occurred five and a half years ago in Jerusalem. At the time, three Arab residents of east Jerusalem were arrested before their plan to poison Israeli patrons at the Rimon Café in central Jerusalem could be realized. The three had also planned to carry out a suicide bombing during a right-wing demonstration. The cell had been found to operating under Hamas.

Some four years ago a Fatah cell was arrested in Qalqiliya, the group had been planning to detonate an explosive device encased in HIV-infected blood in a crowded Tel Aviv area.

Contact Daisy Stern at daisystern1@gmail.com

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ISAIAH 43:7
Posted by Avodah, April 10, 2008.

Commit with all your heart and with all your soul to know My ways, and to guard the gates of My holy shrine and to observe My laws and commandments. Hold My Torah in your heart and may the awe of Me be before your eyes. Guard your mouth and your tongue from all transgression and guilt, and I shall be with you wherever you go, and I shall teach you wisdom and knowledge from everything. Know full well that everything The Holy One Blessed Be He created was created for His own glory, as it is said (Isaiah 43:7), 'Anything that carries My name was created in My honor –– I created it, I produced it, I made it!'

Contact Avodah at avodah15@aol.com

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DEFEND YOURSELVES!
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, April 10, 2008.

It's long past time for the Israeli army and all the Israeli people to get back to the business of defending themselves. Delete the scum called "the Olmert Government" that floated to the surface. Because they are not part of the people and they have proven many times that they will not protect you. Those (except for some) came to the Government –– not as patriots but –– because they were greedy for power, privilege and money....always the money.

The enemy has grown in strength and their people are entirely behind them. If ever they were only civilians, that has long since passed. Unlike the Israeli Leftists, the Muslim Arab Palestinian people are fully behind their Muslim Arab Terrorists who bomb, shoot Rockets, Missiles and kill Jews. To this they are fully pledged –– whether as a people or as a Muslim "Jihadist". They have further pledged to train their very youngest children to hate and kill Jews, with many so trained have now reached maturity and taken their place alongside their trainers.

The Israeli government is not only useless in these perilous times, they cravenly become an ally and enablers to our most fearsome enemies. As I said before, they are useless to the point of being traitors. But, there is no time to effectively dump Olmert out of office where he has total control.

The fight is (or should be) with Arab and/or Muslims, be they Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Libyans, or even Saudis (like the 15 suicide bombers who killed 3000 from many countries in America on 9/11). We observe, with consternation, Olmert issuing orders to attack Jews who wish to defend their own G-d given Land, their homes and their lives.

There is little or no doubt that there will be a saturation missile attack coming from Hamas, Hezb'Allah, Syria and Iran. The so-called Israeli Arab Muslims inside of Israel will do as much inner damage as they can long known by Israeli Intelligence.

This is a war that Israel did NOT start nor will it end –– until a great number of Muslim Arabs are defeated and dead. The Arab Muslims in a full scale war with Israel will offer no quarter, no pity and will kill any soldier or civilian in the most gruesome way possible.

When the Americans fire-bombed Dresden, they viewed all the people in the Axis as the enemy.

When Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, killing all under the world's first nuclear bombs, it was because everyone in Japan was a pledged enemy who would kill Americans when they could –– even if they had to commit suicide ("Hari Kari") to do so. Millions more would have died if the A bombs had not been used –– both American soldiers and Japanese.

Attackers chose the rules of life or death, forcing their victims to fight for their lives.

Israel faces implacable, irredentist enemies who delight in killing Jews, be they infants, women, children, husbands or brothers. The slaughter of innocents was and is still their favorite rule of war. Therefore, it is time the Jews fight back –– without those so-called civilized rules of warfare. The E.U., the U.N., the Bush-Rice Administration requires only Jews to follow "rules". Islamists have made civilian collateral damage the rule when they fight –– not the exception. The rule for the Jews must be to win at any cost to the enemy. The Israeli Government of failure should be put under house arrest –– lest they interfere with the defense of the nation –– as they have for their entire term of office.

We are told that Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade plus other Terror organizations are all in lock-step with Hamas, will call upon all Palestinians to march 'en masse' to Israel's borders and cross over unless stopped and they should be stopped with necessary force –– even if it "seems" excessive.

These are the militia of the Terrorists. They should not be called "militants" because they are Terrorists. If they are called Terrorists, maybe they can be eliminated for the benefit of all. They are the enemy and should be treated as the enemy. Whether it's rifle fire, air fuel bombs, artillery –– all methods should be used to rout the enemy. Give them the same pity they would give you and your family.

If you think fighting the enemies of the Jewish people should be "restrained" as demanded by the nations, some will recall the past, unrestrained savagery of the marauding Muslim Arabs. Some will recall how in 1948, hordes of Arab Muslims who overran communities and slaughtered everyone they could catch. They tortured and, to complete their rage, they mutilated the dead Jews. It's not only retribution for the past but, it's what they still do and what they plan to do in the future.

War is not civilized. It is brutal. It is pitiless. It is cruel. Winners survive. Losers die or become slaves. The leaders of Israel are losers because they wish to be losers.

What do you want for your people in Israel? What do you want for the Jews of the world? Who are to be the "winners" and who will be the "losers" in this merciless war between two religions, two civilizations?

Some will recall how the nations were positively impressed when Israel fought and won the 1967 Six Day War. Then the Jewish leadership started its downward spiral as they apologized for winning. The nations soon turned back to their age-old attitudes of despising Jews for their weakness.

The Leftist leadership thought that by debasing themselves and the Jewishness of themselves, by abandoning the Land, they would bring honor and cheers from the world. Instead, the crawling and sniveling encouraged the enemy to greater demands and acts of Terror. As for the nations of the world –– and especially the Arab Muslim world, they merely asked for more.

The more Israeli leaders cringed and begged, the more assured the Muslim Arabs were in their belief that Israel was soon to collapse. These Jewish leaders of the Left thought that de-Judaizing the nation would bring friendship from the Muslim and European countries.

Instead, this appeasement attitude brought more war and Terror.

But, that did not stop the Leftist Jewish leadership from giving up more and more often in obedience to American State Department demands that the Arab and Muslim countries were to be appeased. Israel has now sunk to her lowest level –– as both civilians and soldiers alike have nothing but contempt for the whining Olmert and his despised followers.

When Jews once again exhibit pride in themselves, their Jewishness and the Jewishness of their nation, only then will the Muslims and the Europeans back off.

As for the anti-Semitic cabal, presently led by Bush, Rice, Baker, Scowcroft, Carter, Brzezinski –– the Arabist State Department, they are merely an embarrassment to all Americans.

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 gwinston@gwinston.interaccess.com

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ISLAMIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS JERUSALEM
Posted by Steve Kramer, April 10, 2008.

We recently had the opportunity to hear Moshe Sharon speak at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. Moshe Sharon received his Doctorate in Medieval Islamic History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has served as an Advisor on Arab Affairs to former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin as well as to the Ministry of Defense. Prof. Sharon is a former director of the World Zionist Organization branch in Johannesburg, South Africa and is a retired professor of Islamic History at the Hebrew University. What made this lecture doubly interesting is that we recently heard Professor Dan Bahat lecture on a similar topic. [for a fascinating summary of Sharon's thoughts on Islam past and present, see http://www.ropma.net/agenda_of_islam.htm ]

Professor Sharon, though not as world renowned as Islamic historian Bernard Lewis, is equally erudite and very stimulating. He began his lecture on how Jerusalem became Al Quds (the Arabic name of Jerusalem) by quoting from Sura 17:1 of the Koran about Muhammad's night journey to the "furthest mosque". The entire Koran, including this sura, doesn't mention Jerusalem once and certainly doesn't specify it as the site of the "furthest mosque". But since 750 CE, 120 years after Muhammad's death, Muslims have believed that Jerusalem is the place referred to in the sura.

In short, Jerusalem is holy to Muslims because Muhammad visited it. Sharon told us that according to legend, Muhammad visited the Foundation Stone (the summit of Mt. Moriah) and climbed a ladder to heaven where the angel Gabriel introduced him to all of the luminaries of Judaism and Christianity, and finally to God. There God told Muhammad that his followers must pray to Allah (God) 50 times a day. Afterwards, Muhammad again saw Moses and told him what he'd been instructed. Moses said it was impossible to expect his followers to pray 50 times a day and Muhammad should ask God to reduce the number. Muhammad did so and God reduced the number to 40. When Moses heard this, he said it still wasn't possible and Muhammad should return to God. The number was reduced to 30. Moses persisted in telling Muhammad to request the number to be reduced. When the number reached five, Moses told Muhammad to again ask for a reduction, but Muhammad said that since the Jews prayed three times a day to God, Muslims could pray five times, and it remained that way.

Sharon explained that this belief is from the oral traditions surrounding Muhammad, which were formulated in the 120 years between Muhammad's death and the first written history of his life. During Muhammad's lifetime, nomadic Jewish tribes were numerous in Arabia and they were the sole monotheists, setting them apart from the other, pagan, tribes. Muhammad, who believed in monotheism, naturally tried to convince the Jews to follow his teachings. To curry their favor, he had all his followers pray towards Jerusalem, where the Holy Temple had been built atop the Foundation Stone. However, the Jews weren't overly impressed. When the great majority failed to follow him, Muhammad turned against the Jews, defeated them in battle, and had his followers turn their backs on Jerusalem and pray towards Mecca, which has its own foundation stone, the Kabba. Jerusalem was relegated to third place among Muslim holy sites, after Mecca and Medina (the burial place of Muhammad and home to two Jewish tribes).

We were surprised to learn that Abraham, who came to Mt. Moriah when God ordered him to sacrifice his son Isaac, was a Muslim! Sharon explained that according to Islam, Adam was the first Muslim. How could this be, if every Muslim has to believe that Muhammad is the final messenger of Allah (God), but Muhammad wasn't born until 570 CE? The answer is that God first created Muhammad from dust and then returned him to dust. Since Adam was created from dust which contained Muhammad's essence, Adam and all the other important Jewish religious figures, including Jesus, are Muslim. This tradition also explains how the First Temple was never Jewish –– according to Muslims –– but was always a mosque, since it was built by King Solomon, a Muslim.

Within a hundred years of Muhammad's death in 632 CE, his followers had created the world's greatest empire. During the period 633-640 the core of the Muslim Empire was carved out in the Middle East. The Arab conquest of Jerusalem occurred after a short siege in 638 when the Christian patriarch Sephronius surrendered the city to a lowly second lieutenant. This fact was glossed over and the Caliph Omar Ben Al Khattab recreated the conquest by approaching the walled city via the Lion's Gate, atop a donkey. Considering himself a savior, Omar alighted from the donkey and entered through the gate wearing tattered clothes, as the messiah's entrance had been prophesied in the Jewish Bible. He asked Sephronius to show him the Foundation Stone (Temple Mount), but since the Christians had no use for the site and showed their disrespect for it by using it as a garbage dump, Omar was taken to the Holy Sepulcher church instead.

Omar turned to a former rabbi and Muslim convert Kha ab al-Akhbar to show him the true location of the Foundation Stone. After uncovering the sacred place, Omar decided to build a mosque just south of it, facing Mecca, thereby insuring that the worshippers' backs would be to Jerusalem. He ignored the advice of al-Akhbar, who suggested building the mosque in a location north of the Foundation Stone, which would have included Jerusalem in the worshippers' view while praying towards Mecca. Since houses of worship were most often built in places that were venerated by previous inhabitants, the Al-Aqsa mosque built by Omar included within it remnants of both a Second Temple warehouse and a later Roman temple.

In 685, Abd al Maliq began construction of the Dome of the Rock to protect pilgrims when they came to venerate the Foundation Stone. Al Maliq intended to overshadow the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Christianity's most holy site in Jerusalem. In building the structure, he used the same octagonal shape favored by the Christians, with a dome atop it nearly identical to the one at the Holy Sepulcher. Sharon noted the extremely significant inscription of Koranic verses running nearly 800 feet around the interior of the dome. Surprisingly, Sura 17:1 (the night journey) doesn't appear. Instead, all of the verses attack Christianity, proving al Maliq's enmity against the Christians, to which the building is dedicated. The structure was converted into a mosque in 1187, after the defeat of the Crusaders, who had made the site into a church.

Sharon described three stages in the Muslim sanctification of Jerusalem. First was the important position accorded to Jerusalem by both Muhammad and Caliph Omar, although it was minor compared to Mecca's centrality. Second was the impact of conquering Christian Jerusalem and building the Dome of the Rock to overshadow the Holy Sepulcher. Thirdly, there was the significance of the Foundation Stone in Jerusalem, where the (Muslim) prophet Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. Of least importance, according to Sharon, was Sura 17:1, depicting Muhammad's night journey.

Sharon contends that though the Jewish prophets made Jerusalem holy for Muslims, it was only a backwater for them, unimportant and too full of Christians and Jews. Muslim demands for Jerusalem only became prominent when Christians and Jews fought for it. Jerusalem, or Al Quds as the Muslims renamed it in the 9th century, was never a capital for Muslims. Even when the Ottoman Empire ruled the area for four hundred years, it was the little town of Ramle that was their administrative capital, not Jerusalem. In fact, only the Jews made Jerusalem the capital of their nation. Even for Christians, the sanctity of Jerusalem was based on the Jewish Bible. During the time that Jordan annexed the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, from 1948 to 1967,no Muslim monarch came to the Dome of the Rock or Al-Aqsa mosque, with the exception of the Jordanian monarch Abdullah I, who was assassinated there by a Palestinian Arab. As for Abdullah's own capital, Sharon wryly noted that it remained the city of Amman.

On a contemporary note, the fact that the Muslim Waqf, which controls the upper plateau of the Temple Mount with Israel's permission, is paradoxical. On one hand, the Muslims proclaim that the Jews never had a Temple there; on the other hand, they persistently vandalize the site and attempt to destroy artifacts which relate to the ancient Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

Contact Steve Kramer at sjk1@jhu.edu

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FROM ONE THING TO THE NEXT
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 10, 2008.

The very reputable Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which has close ties with the Shin Bet, has released a report, "Hamas's Military Buildup in the Gaza Strip." It says that Hamas has an army of 20,000 armed men, many of whom were trained in trained in Iran and Lebanon. They have modeled themselves after Hezbollah, drawing lessons from the last war. The report details the brigades and the types of weapons they have.

The buildup is not expected to reach completion for some years yet.

You can read the report here:
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_080408.pdf

My question, then, is whether we're going to sit here and wait for that completion. There's no one awake at the helm at the moment, unfortunately.

~~~~~~~~~~

It has now been released that the Israeli police arrested two young Palestinians in March who were in the country illegally and were planning to perpetrate a terrorist attack by putting poison in the food at the Ramat Gan restaurant where they worked.

They had been recruited by a cell of Al Aksa Brigades –– which you will please note, is part of the "moderate" Fatah. This particular cell is directed and financed by Hezbollah. So, note this as well: Fatah receives Hezbollah (which means Iranian) financial support.

Two men, one of them named Hani Ka'abi, were going to supply the slow acting, tasteless, colorless poison powder.

Warned the announcement from the prime minister's office with regard to this:

"It should be emphasized that the terrorist infrastructure headed by Hani Ka'abi is currently active in attempting to perpetrate other terrorist attacks, possibly with the assistance of other Palestinians illegally present in Israel."

This means that hiring or in any way assisting illegal Palestinian workers is NOT a good idea. To my way of thinking, to increase the number of workers permitted into the country is all together not a good idea either.

But it's clear that Defense Minister Barak doesn't agree with me, as he is going to request of the Cabinet that the quota for Palestinian construction workers be increased by 5,000 (subject to security restrictions).

~~~~~~~~~~~

As Olmert and Barak proceed with various concessions to the Palestinians, there is frequently discussion here about whether this is Olmert's initiative and Rice and Bush are coming along for the ride, or whether Bush and Rice, in particular, are pushing Israel into actions we'd rather not take.

Often, the consensus is that the initiative comes from Olmert, and often that assessment is not wrong. But here's a case where it isn't so:

The US (and I believe this winner came from the White House) has a new proposal: By the end of this year, Israel and the Palestinians should sign a general agreement on principles good for five years, that doesn't touch the issue of Jerusalem or the refugees. In the course of those five years, the Palestinians would have some "municipal sovereignty" in Jerusalem.

You know what this really is, don't you?

It's the "George Bush wants a legacy in his term, so he doesn't give a damn what happens later as long as a piece of paper is signed" proposal. It is outrageous. And outrageously stupid. So full of holes it could be used as a sieve.

~~~~~~~~~~

Allow me to point out just a few of the more egregious weaknesses in this plan:

What happens if there is no agreement at the end of five years and time has run out? Are the Palestinians going to be willing to go backwards?

Why should they have any "municipal sovereignty" if this was supposed to be shelf agreement that wouldn't activate until the PA had eradicated terror infrastructure?

How can there be a "part-way" agreement? Either there is a meeting of the minds for a Palestinian state, on all core issues, or there is not. Actually, going part way raises hopes that might later be dashed, fomenting violence.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ahmed Qurei has said "nothing doing." There has been no official word from Israel yet, but reports are that there is great reluctance to accept this plan. However, it is being said that the US might pressure both sides into taking it. Pressure both sides?

My thought: This is one point on which both sides can agree. They don't like what Washington is proposing and don't wish to sign on to it. They should convey a joint message that there will be no cooperation on this.

~~~~~~~~~~

The single positive note here is that this proposal indicates that negotiations are indeed not moving smoothly.

~~~~~~~~~~

In case you haven't had enough of George Bush for one day, let me add this: Reports are that as Bush plans his itinerary for his visit in May to celebrate our 60th Independence Day, he will be scrupulously avoiding the Kotel (Western Wall) because this would imply that it's part of Israel and that might infuriate the Palestinians.

Well, his decision infuriates me. How about you? Maybe he needs to hear what you think about this: Fax: 202-456-2461 Comment Line: 202-456-1111 comments@whitehouse.gov

~~~~~~~~~~

Latest on that Sharm el-Sheikh conference that Bush (sorry, that name again) wants when he's here in May: Israel will not be invited. It is to be a US-Arab meeting only, with Abbas, Mubarak and Abdullah.

~~~~~~~~~~

In case you haven't heard: Israel's enemy, Jimmy Carter, apparently has plans to meet Mashaal in Damascus next week. The State Department is trying to discourage him.

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

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BUSH TO DIVIDE JERUSALEM?
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, April 10, 2008.
Two news stories on Jerusalem.The first was written by Aaron Klein, Jerusalem Bureau of WorldNetDaily and it appeared in WND yesterday. It is called "O Jerusalem! America drafts plan to cut in 2"

The second comes from Arutz Sheva and is called "PA: No Decision on Jerusalem for 5 Years."

That's like saying: "Due to the infection in your right hand, we will have to temporarily amputate it. No need to worry, we can glue it back on some time in the future." If you can believe that, then you can believe this:

1. Aaron Klein, Jerusalem Bureau of WorldNetDaily

Allows Palestinian security control,

asks Israel to forfeit Temple Mount

JERUSALEM –– The United States, which has been mediating negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority here, has proposed a plan to divide Jerusalem, WND has learned.

The plan, divided into separate phases, among other things calls for Israel eventually to forfeit parts of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

According to the first stage of the U.S. plan, which was obtained by WND, Israel would give the PA some municipal and security sovereignty over key Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

The PA would be allowed to open some official institutions in Jerusalem, could elect a mayor for the Palestinian side of the city and would deploy police forces to maintain law and order.

The initial stage also calls for the PA to operate Jerusalem municipal institutions, such as offices to oversee trash collection and maintenance of roads.

After five years, if both sides keep their certain commitments called for in a larger principal agreement, according to the U.S. plan the PA would be given full sovereignty over the eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and also over sections of the Temple Mount. The plan doesn't specify which parts of the Temple Mount would be forfeited to the Palestinians.

After the five year period, the PA could deploy official security forces in Jerusalem separate from a police force and could also open major governmental institutions, such as a president's office, and offices for the finance and foreign ministries.

The U.S. plan leaves Israel and the PA to negotiate which Jerusalem neighborhoods would become Palestinian. According to diplomatic sources familiar with the plan, while specific neighborhoods were not officially listed, American officials recommended sections of Jerusalem's Old City as well as certain largely Arab Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Jabal mukabar, Beit Hanina, Shoafat, Abu Dis and Abu Tur become part of the Palestinian side.

As WND reported previously, many of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including all of Shoafat, a large Arab section, were constructed illegally on property owned by the Jewish National Fund, a Jewish nonprofit that purchases property using Jewish donors funds for the stated purpose of Jewish settlement.

According to diplomatic sources, the plan is being discussed by Israel and the PA but has not yet been accepted.

The sources said the plan was delivered earlier this month by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her trip to the region to push Israeli-Palestinian negotiations started at last November's U.S.-backed Annapolis summit, which aimed to create a Palestinian state before the end of the year.

Since Annapolis, negotiating teams including Israeli Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia have been meeting weekly while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA President Mahmoud Abbas have been meeting biweekly.

The U.S. is "very deeply involved" in all aspects of the negotiations, according to a top diplomatic source.

To demonstrate the level of U.S. involvement, the source pointed to recent U.S. supervision of Israeli commitments to dismantle about 50 West Bank anti-terror roadblocks and to bulldoze what are called illegal outposts, or West Bank Jewish communities constructed without government permits.

"The U.S. oversaw the removal of each and every roadblock, making sure the roadblocks were actually removed," said the source.

"Also, even though Israel prepared a report of all illegal outposts and handed it to the Americans, U.S. officials have been doing their own very specific independent investigating to find each and every illegal outpost and then oversee their dismantlement," the source said.

Olmert's government has hinted a number of times it will divide Jerusalem.

In December, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said the country "must" give up sections of Jerusalem for a future Palestinian state, even conceding the Palestinians can rename Jerusalem "to whatever they want."

"We must come today and say, friends, the Jewish neighborhoods, including Har Homa, will remain under Israeli sovereignty, and the Arab neighborhoods will be the Palestinian capital, which they will call Jerusalem or whatever they want," said Ramon during an interview.

Positions held by Ramon, a ranking member of Olmert's Kadima party, are largely considered to be reflective of Israeli government policy.

Olmert himself recently questioned whether it was "really necessary" to retain Arab-majority eastern sections of Jerusalem.

Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount –– Judaism's holiest site –– during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians have claimed eastern Jerusalem as a future capital; the area has large Arab neighborhoods, a significant Jewish population and sites holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

About 231,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern neighborhoods, and many reside in illegally constructed complexes. The city has an estimated total population of 724,000.


2. PA: No Decision on Jerusalem for 5 Years
Arutz-Sheva news item

(IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority sources quoted in Yediot Acharonot said Thursday that negotiators had agreed to push off a final decision on the status of Jerusalem for five years. In the meantime, they said, Israel and the PA will reach a temporary agreement allowing the PA to take municipal control of certain Arab neighborhoods in the capital city.

The decision to postpone a final decision was reportedly made recently in negotiations between Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and senior PA negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala). Israel has not confirmed the report.

The PA insists that it be given all areas of Jerusalem that were under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, as the capital of a new PA state. The issue has caused tension within the coalition, and the Shas party has threatened to leave the government if Israeli negotiators agree to split the city.

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FROG BITES SCORPION*
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 9, 2008.
[Editor's Note:
"Palestinian Terrorists Murder Two Israeli Truck Drivers at Gaza Fuel Depot"
by Yuval Azoulay, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel
"Two Israeli truck drivers were shot dead and two other Israelis were wounded Wednesday when four Palestinian terrorists from Gaza infiltrated the fuel depot near Nahal Oz. The victims were Oleg Lipson, 37, and Lev Cherniak, 53. IDF soldiers killed two of the terrorists. Later in the day, a Palestinian sniper wounded an IDF soldier in the area. An IDF spokesman said the Palestinians fired mortar shells before the attack as a diversion. The infiltration occurred after the latest delivery of fuel to Gaza, funded by the EU." (Ha'aretz)]

On April 9, Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip attacked the Nahal Oz fuel terminal in Israel near the border. Two Israeli workers were killed. Shortly before, a shipment of diesel fuel for the Gaza power plant, paid for by the European Union, had left there.

What makes this attack especially significant –– and horrible –– is that the only reason the terminal was open and the workers were present was to supply the needs of the Gaza Strip's population. In previous months, the international media and many governments criticized Israel for not doing enough to help Gaza, despite the fact that the area is ruled by an openly anti-Semitic regime which makes clear its goal of destroying Israel, and also daily fires mortars and rockets into Israel. Indeed, as part of this attack, several mortar shells were fired at the terminal.

Hamas, and the world, cannot have it both ways. Either Hamas is the aggressor while Israel is the victim, in which case there should be full international support and favorable media coverage for Israel. Or if unwilling to take such an appropriate stance, the world cannot expect Israel to risk its people's lives to fuel Gaza machine shops that make rockets to assault it and should stop complaining about Israeli actions in self-defense.

In either case, the latest attacks make even clear what should already be obvious: Hamas is responsible for any suffering in the Gaza Strip. And if Israel should cut off all fuel deliveries to the Gaza power plant, which would only affect about one-quarter of the area's supplies, it is fully justified in doing so.

The situation, however, goes even beyond this: Hamas is deliberately intensifying the suffering in order to use it as a pretext for its own failure as government, its attacks on Israel, and its ability to beg for international support for victim.

Could the situation possibly be any more obvious?

Apparently it is still not obvious enough for too much of the media and too much of the Western political establishments. Of course, there are many exceptions and more so as time goes on.

One of the classic Middle East stories is the tale of the frog and the scorpion. The scorpion demands that the frog provide a ride across the river on his back. "But you will sting me and I will die," protests the frog.

The scorpion points out, in response, that since he cannot swim he would not do such a rash thing since he, too, would drown.

The frog agrees.

The scorpion climbs onto the frog and they set off. But in the middle of the river the scorpion stings the frog, and as they sink beneath the water the frog complains, "Why did you do that? Now we'll both die!"

And the scorpion complains: "Well, what do you expect, this is the Middle East."

So goes the story in its traditional form. But now we can add some additional modern touches.

First, in the new version the scorpion declares that he will sting the frog without any doubt. But the frog agrees to take the scorpion because he is encouraged or intimidated by onlookers' remarks on onlookers –– "What! You won't take that poor scorpion on a ride? What kind of imperialist, racist aggressor are you?"

Second, after the duo drowns, the next day newspapers run the following headlines:
"Frog in Unprovoked Attack on Scorpion!"
"Cycle of Violence Continues"
"Frog Uses Excessive Force on Scorpion Civilian"

* Based on the classic journalistic saying, "Man Bites Dog, news; Dog Bites Man, no news.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

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WHAT'S AT STAKE FOR THE WEST IN LEBANON?
Posted by Dave Nathan, April 9, 2008.

This is a summary of a briefing March 6, 2008 by David Wurmser.
www.meforum.org/article/1878 includes an audio recording of this talk. this summary account was done by Mimi Stillman.

David Wurmser is a specialist on the Middle East and served as an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney until recently. His prior positions included special assistant to John R. Bolton at the Department of State and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Wurmser is the author of numerous influential papers and three books, including Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein (AEI Press, 1999). In 2000, he contributed to the Middle East Forum's Lebanon Study Group report, "Ending Syria's Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role," which condemned Syria's occupation of Lebanon. He received a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Wurmser addressed the Middle East Forum on March 6, 2008 in New York City. The speech was entitled "Iran's Stake in the Levant."

Mr. Wurmser calls Lebanon a "key battleground between the West as a whole and the forces that seek to drag the Middle East down." The situation in Lebanon must be viewed in the context of the larger conflict in the region, which is becoming far more dangerous. Two years after the Cedar Revolution in March 2005, which was brought on by the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese are still living through a tragedy. The inability to install a new president today is indicative of the situation. It is because of the size and success of the popular demonstrations by the Lebanese, however, that Lebanon has become the focal point of the enemies of the West, namely Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Mr. Wurmser focused on the Iranian strategy toward Lebanon, arguing that Iran is undergoing a transformation, not in the direction of reform as the West hopes, but from a pure theocracy toward a "theofascist state on the edge of an even more aggressive foreign policy." This transformation in Iranian politics, according to Mr. Wurmser, is being played out in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Top American officials have made statements to the effect that U.S. and U.N. sanctions have hurt the Iranian regime, and that the support for former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other figures deemed "moderate" in the December 2006 elections indicated the weakening of the Iranian regime. Mr. Wurmser asserts that this perception is false because it ignores the real indicators. Rather, a new power structure is emerging in Iran that is closely aligned with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For example, Ahmadinejad fired many government officials and replaced them with a group of hard-core members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Mr. Wurmser singled out Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei, whom Ahmadinejad placed in control of Intelligence, who espouses an aggressive anti-Western foreign policy and supports terrorism; and Saeed Jalili, whom Ahmadinejad appointed as head nuclear negotiator for Iran, is a veteran of the IRGC who was mutilated in the Iran-Iraq war.

Mr. Wurmser traced several of Ahmadinejad's actions to Jalili's 1990 book, Foreign Policy of the Prophet, arguing that Jalili's writings, though they describe the time of Muhammad, are a blueprint for Iran today. Jalili cites an episode in which Muhammad told his followers to proselytize, not negotiate. In this spirit, Ahmedinejad has fired ambassadors and replaced them with more proselytizing ones. Jalili wrote about how Muhammad and his successors sent letters out to other tribes telling them to "convert or you will face the sword," as well as to major powers in Byzantium and Persia. Mr. Wurmser linked this to Ahmedinejad's sending similar letters to President Bush. He pointed out how the "language is lifted straight out of Jalili's book, and that, in fact, "Jalili is the mind behind Ahmedinejad."

Mr. Wurmser analyzed tensions between IRGC officers and the ayatollahs whom the officers believe "betrayed the will of Allah" when they signed the treaty ending the Iran-Iraq war. A separate group of ayatollahs, based in Mashhad in northeastern Iran, sees itself as true believers. This group considers the current state of Islam to be weak, and it seeks to expose the West as "a collapsing, hollow tree." It expects the imminent return of the Twelfth Imam, the hidden Imam at the center of the Twelver Sh'ia movement of Islam. Its version of Islam is messianic and apocalyptic, and according to Mr. Wurmser, it provides the ideological basis for Iran's shift to a more aggressive and risk-seeking stance against the West.

He also identified a radical change in Iranian's notion of Islam. While the Iranian revolution defended Shi'ite interests and opposed Arab nationalism, over the past four years, "Iran has made a bold move to co-opt Arab nationalism." The Arab-Israeli conflict has become a key issue on which Iran can attempt to seize leadership of the Islamic world from the Sunnis and Arabs. A central part of Iran's national policy, Mr. Wurmser asserted, is to have an active war with Israel, be victorious, and seize leadership of the Muslim world. Iran's success at assuming the mantle of Islam is evident in that in the past two or three years, Muslim Brotherhood leaders have recognized that Shi'ites are true Muslims, a concept that they had vehemently opposed previously.

Mr. Wurmser argued that Iran needs Syria in order to co-opt Sunni politics and Arab nationalism. He called Syria a "geographic gateway for Iran to be a player in the Arab-Israeli conflict," and through this, to maintain the appearance of a successful Iranian revolution. Ahmedinejad came to power because it was thought that the Iranian revolution was weak. If Syria collapses, Mr. Wurmser thinks Iran will implode and that Syria is the avenue through which to attack Iran. Gaza is also a battleground for Iran, said Wurmser, citing that 80% of terrorist activity in Gaza is committed by a force trained in Iran that answers directly to Damascus and Tehran.

Mr. Wurmser considers things to have gone well for Ahmadinejad in the last few months. He compared Ahmadinejad's bold opposition to the West and accusations of cowardliness on the part of followers who urge a more cautious policy to the way Hitler galvanized his generals in the 1930s by accusing them of lack of will. Disturbingly, each crisis increases Ahmadinejad's reputation as his supporters rally round him.

In his recommendation for American foreign policy, Mr. Wurmser stressed that the United States must take into account how its policies are perceived in the Middle East. In 2003, when the United States acquiesced to the European acceptance of the Iranian regime as a legitimate interlocutor on nuclear issues, the Iranians read this as tacit acceptance and, therefore, weakness. During the same year, when the U.N. sanctioned the American presence in Iraq, Iran saw this as weakness on the American part because the superpower asked for permission to strike. Mr. Wurmser described the summer of 2003 as a "key moment, because the momentum the Iranian people were building against the regime was punctured by perceived American weakness."

On the question of what concrete things the United States can do to support democracy in Lebanon, Mr. Wurmser emphasized the need for swift response to the assassinations of Lebanese leaders. At least six government officials have been killed since Hariri, but the U.S. response has been slow and ineffective. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Syria are "killing the Lebanese government out of existence." Mr. Wurmser concluded that "the United States can have an effect if we show we are committed to acting to preserve what happened in March 2005" when the Lebanese staged the Cedar Revolution.

Contact Dave Nathan at DaveNathan@aol.com

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I HOPE THAT ISRAEL STILL HAS A CHANCE
Posted by Steven Shamrak, April 9, 2008.

Dear friend,

Please, read this interview. I hope that Israel still have a chance with emerging new leadership!

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 contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

Rabkin: Moshe Feiglin, thank you for joining me for this interview for Frontpage Magazine.

Feiglin: The pleasure is mine, Dan.

Rabkin: Let's discuss your views on some of Israel's most pressing issues. To start off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your rise through the ranks of the Likud?

Feiglin: I first got involved in politics in 1993 when I co-founded the Zo Artzeinu (This Is Our Land) movement to protest the Oslo Accords. In 1998, I went on to co-find the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) movement to lead the State of Israel with authentic Jewish values. We are now part of the Likud and are growing stronger with every day. In 2003, I participated in the Likud primaries for the first time. I ran against two former Israeli Prime Ministers, Netanyahu and (Ariel) Sharon, and got 3%. In the 2006 primaries I got 13% of the votes. In the most recent primaries, held last August, I finished second to Bibi (Netanyahu) with one-fourth of the votes cast.

Rabkin: If the polls are to be believed and the Likud win the next general election, what role do you see yourself playing in that government?

Feiglin: In a nutshell, in Israeli elections you don't vote for a person, you vote for a party. Based on what share of the vote your party gets, you get a certain number of people from your party's list in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). I plan on getting a high enough spot on the Likud's list to get a seat in the Knesset. After you are in the Knesset your spot on the list doesn't matter.

I am not sure though that I would want to be a Member of Cabinet. I am talking about a revolution in Israel, but if I accept a cabinet position under a leadership that will continue in the same direction, I will end up being a part of the problem instead of part of the solution. So I am not sure at all that I want to be just a Minister, I want to be Prime Minister.

You see Dan, the Likud has the power in Israel –– the Likud represents the people. The Likud had a slogan before, "Only the Likud Can!", and it is true. Only the Likud can build and only the Likud can destroy. Unfortunately, when it is run by the wrong people it destroys. The leaders were good people, don't get me wrong. Ariel Sharon was a hero and Netanyahu is a talented man. Yet, when you don't have that Jewish point in your leadership, you are doomed to fail. This has been proven time and time again. Therefore, Israel needs real Jewish leadership and I am ready to provide it.

Rabkin: Are you satisfied with the current leadership in Israel?

Feiglin: Two weeks ago the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, came to a hospital in Ashkelon. He came to visit the Jews of Sderot and Ashkelon that had been wounded by the Qassam, Katyusha, and Grad rockets being fired from Gaza. Do you know what he told them? He said "get used to it"; just like that, "get used to it, I don't have a solution". Do you understand the meaning of that? Just 63 years after the gates of Auschwitz were opened, Jews are supposed to get used the fact that every once in a while we will get killed just because we are Jews. Now we have a flag, a parliament, the strongest military in the Middle East and we're supposed to get used to it? Why did we even start all of this? What was the reason that we even established the State of Israel to begin with? We did that because we are not going to "get used to it". And here comes the Israeli Prime Minister telling his people to "get used to it".

But you know, he is right, we don't have a solution. And this isn't about Olmert personally; the entire state of Israel doesn't have a solution. Our whole state of mind, our mentality, and our leadership are void of faith. That's why we have no solution.

During the 2006 war with Lebanon, we had a member of the Knesset, Azmi Bishara, an Israeli Arab, standing on top of Carmel Mountain in Haifa. He had his cell-phone open talking directly with Hezbollah, maybe even (Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan) Nasrallah himself, telling them they missed with their rockets and in what direction to aim the next one to be on target. A Knesset member doing this! He was caught by the Israeli security organizations and what happened? Did we hang him or put him in jail? No. We just opened the gate and let him go to Jordan and we even kept on paying his Knesset salary.

How can anyone be satisfied with this?

Rabkin: Absolutely incredible.

You rose to prominence in Israel protesting the Oslo Accords. You were also one of the loudest voices against the Gaza Disengagement a few years ago. Can you tell us why?

Feiglin: What happened when (the late Israeli PM Yitzhak) Rabin shook the hand of the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the leader of an organization that exists to liberate every piece of land that the Jews have and give it to the Arabs?

Let's assume somebody comes into your house and tells you that your house is actually his. You are just sitting in your living room and he tells you the whole house is his. By shaking his hand, what signal are you sending? The natural human reaction would be to scream, yell, kick him out, call the police –– anything you need to do to get him out of there. You do that so everyone understands this claim is false and you are not accepting it. The minute you shake his hand you lost your house. You have conceded to his claims. Maybe you will come to some sort of compromise on the house itself, but that will only happen if this good guy agrees to it. But you see what has happened? All of a sudden, you became the bad guy and he is now the good guy. And this is exactly the type of situation we got ourselves into in 1993 when Yitzhak Rabkin shook Yasser Arafat's hand.

But something much worse happened in Gush Katif (Gaza). The Israeli military actually went into Jewish villages in Gush Katif and kicked Jews out. Israel went into the homes of people, who actually believe that this land belongs to the Jews, and kicked them out of their homes and abandoned their synagogues to the Arab mobs and their torches. And this was broadcast to the entire world. Every country had their media present as this was happening. I was there; I saw all the microphones and cameras. There is not anyone in the world that did not see what the Jews were doing to themselves. With these actions, the Jews showed the world that the entire land of Israel did not belong to the Jews, but to the Arabs. And now we are the bad guys and the Arabs are the good guys. And this applies to every single Jew in the world, whether we like it or not, because Israel is the land of the Jewish nation and we are all represented by the state of Israel. The history of the Jewish people, all of us, is being written today in Jerusalem, not in New York or Toronto, but in Israel. And to everyone watching we have become the bad guys.

Everyone agrees that it is not nice that the Palestinians –– I mean the Arabs of Gaza, since there is no such thing as "Palestinians" –– shoot rockets and missiles at civilians. The world knows it is not nice, but they accept it anyway. You know why Dan? Why does the world stand by and accept that they are killing civilians? They accept it because, after all, it is their land and we took it away from them.

Many nations have had to fight for their rights and killed civilians. The Americans killed thousands of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The British did the same in Dresden. But everybody understood then and still understands today, who the good guy was and who the bad guy was in those conflicts.

For Israel, we can only respond to these attacks under the very narrow frame of self-defense. If someone is shooting at us, we can shoot him down, exactly at that moment. But not the guy to his left, the guy to his right, or the women whose skirt he is hiding behind when he shoots at us. Heaven forefend that we should try to limit the amount of fuel or water or electricity with which we supply them. Of course, under such circumstances, there is no way that we can win this war or stop these attacks.

Rabkin: The way you spell it out, Israel is in serious trouble today. What needs to be done to turn things around?

Feiglin: The problem is much more than Olmert not giving the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) an order. Not that I like Ehud Olmert, believe me, I am not one of his fans. But the problem is much bigger. The problem is our mentality. Since Rabin's handshake, the entire state of Israel marched into a state of mind of pragmatism and non-spirituality.

The only way we can solve this problem is not by getting more weapons from the United States. We don't need more F-15s and F-16s. That is not our problem. What we need is to march back into the right state of mind. And for that we need leadership. True, authentic leadership based on Jewish values. A leadership for Israel that believes in the God of Israel.

Look at Olmert and many of the other leaders of Israel today. They can't even explain to their own kids why we established the State of Israel to begin with. Olmert's kids are not in Israel (Olmert's son Shaul lives in New York and has been associated with anti-militaristic left-wing groups. His other son, Ariel, studies French Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris). The same thing is true about many of our other current leaders.

What we need is a Jewish Revolution to take back the leadership and it has already begun. We are growing stronger every day. Last August the Likud held primaries, a race that was not only going to define the leader of the Likud party, but also the next Prime Minister of Israel. Every fourth Likudnik, your regular blue-collar guy who represents the average Israeli, put my name down. And you know what my slogan was in that race? "Feiglin –– Because He Has a God". A couple of years ago, even one year before, it would have been impossible for me to finish second to Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud and the entire State of Israel.

And let me tell you something else –– in the next primaries I will win. I say this because this concept of Jewish Leadership, leadership that will lead the State of Israel in the name of God, leadership that will lead the State of Israel with Jewish values, leadership that knows where it comes from and where it is going, real Jewish leadership, is picking up steam and cannot be stopped. This totally new concept, which is being attacked from all sides, is gaining more and more popularity. And believe me Dan, this will continue. We cannot lose, we cannot stop going in this direction, because without this there is no hope. No hope for Israel and no hope for the entire Jewish Nation.

I say the entire Jewish Nation because whatever happens in Israel immediately reflects back on all Jews worldwide. When these Jews in Gush Katif were pulled from their homes, what happened to the level of anti-Semitism worldwide? It went up of course. Israel did what the world expected of us and anti-Semitism went up. When we defied the world and did what we had to do in 1967, the level of anti-Semitism dropped. Suddenly every Jew on the streets of Toronto and New York was proud to be a Jew. So you see, what happens in Israel immediately affects all Jews worldwide. A proud Israel with real Jewish faith, that knows what it stands for, impacts Jews tremendously.

So you see Dan, the problem isn't with the Arabs; the problem is with the Jews themselves.

Rabkin: OK, but you must have some ideas on how Israel should deal with its enemies.

Feiglin: The answer is very simple. There is only one place in Israel where Jews are safe. Only one area where Jews can live in peace, safe from rockets and bombings. That place is the Golan Heights. Inside the Golan Heights you won't even get stones thrown at you. The border between Israel and Syria is the quietest, most peaceful border we have. The place is beautiful and safe, like heaven.

How did we achieve this true peace there? Five steps were taken.

Rule number one, the Syrian Arabs that were there were evacuated. None stayed. So the first rule is, encourage the Arabs to leave. The second thing that was done was the land was taken over. After the war in 1967, we took the land over. The third rule is to annex the land. In the Golan Heights we annexed the land and put it under full Israeli sovereignty. The fourth rule is to flourish the land with as many Jewish villages as possible. And the fifth and most important rule is to never sign a peace treaty. We have not signed any peace deals with respect to the Golan Heights and look what we have –– true peace. A real, true peace exists there, something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the country.

Our border with Egypt is very dangerous even though we have a peace deal signed with them. To this day, Egypt fights against us via that border. And we can't do anything because our hands are tied because of the peace deal we signed.

So these five steps must be taken in Gaza and everywhere else that we have problems with Arabs. Of course today there is no official war going on, so we can't just throw the Arabs out. However, like I said before, the Arabs are not the problem. The problem is the Jews. We must understand that we established the State of Israel for a reason, not just to create one more democratic state. For that we could have stayed in Toronto or Australia. We came to Israel to establish a real Jewish state. And when we have real Jewish leadership in Israel, then we will deal with all of the rest of our problems in the same way as we dealt with the Golan Heights.

Rabkin: With no official war going on, like you said, you cannot just "throw the Arabs out". So how would you go about implementing your five steps?

Feiglin: Any solution that leaves the Arabs in their place will not work, period. Fortunately, one good thing did come out of Rabin's handshake –– 15 years under the PLO/Hamas regime have made the Arabs want to leave. Various polls have showed this, the majority wants to leave. Where do they want to go?

Rabkin: By your smile, I would have to guess Canada.

Feiglin: Yes, Canada. With some of them preferring to go to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to work in the oil fields. But the first important fact is that they want to leave.

The second fact is that every year Israel spends 10% of our entire national income on the concept of Oslo. That is $150 billion every decade spent building fences, destroying Jewish villages, and putting guards in front of every coffee shop and store. Before Oslo, Israel didn't need to have an armed guard in uniform in front of every store. That is 60,000 people on full payroll just guarding us from the effects of Oslo. That money is enough to give every Arab family in Yesha (the West Bank and Gaza) $250,000.

Look what we have here: they want to leave and we have the money. We are spending the money anyhow and we will just spend more and more. We built fences, so they started shooting rockets above it. So what will we do now? We will have to make the fences higher to stop the rockets. Or we will invent a high-tech system that costs millions to shoot down every $100 rocket they shoot. It is crazy; we will just end up spending more and more.

Basically, the Arabs want to leave and we have the money and ability to encourage and help them find a future somewhere else in the world where they won't be used as ticking bombs against us. With the money we give them, there are many countries who wish to get this kind of immigration. So we have the ability in 10 to 15 years solve the problem, at least most of it.

So this is what Israel should do with the Arabs. But, even though this is logical, it will not work. I am telling you right now Dan, this will not happen. More and more blood will be spilled because of this Oslo mentality when the solution is simple and right in front of our eyes. The right steps will not be taken until Israel has real Jewish leadership.

Rabkin: Some of your policies are at odds with the policies of the United States. Seeing as they are such an important ally, are you concerned about that at all?

Feiglin: America did not want Israel to go and fight the Six-Day War. America did not want Israel to go and bomb the nuclear reactor in Iraq. And there are many more examples like that. I respect the United States a lot, but I expect that kind of respect back and I believe I will get it. People who respect themselves, get the kind of respect they deserve from others. I will not let anyone tell me what is in my best interests. I am going to worry about Israel first, but I do believe that, at the end of the day, my policies are in the interests of the United States as well.

Rabkin: Today, Israel is facing numerous very serious security threats. Hezbollah is furiously rearming in the north. The rockets are raining down from Gaza. How do you view the situation and what must be done about it?

Feiglin: Israel has a problem today. America has the same problem. We simply don't understand who the enemy is. How could we win the war in Lebanon in 2006 if we didn't know who the enemy was? Same thing today in Gaza. In Iraq, the US is also fighting the wrong enemy. That is why they are going to lose there.

We lost the war in Lebanon. No doubt about it, we lost. It was not because we weren't strong enough and not because America didn't support us. We got the full support of America. It was because we didn't understand who the enemy was, who was hitting us, and because we did not have the right set of values to fight with.

To answer your question about what I would do about Lebanon, we must go into Lebanon like we did a few times before and conquer the territory from which attacks against Israel are being launched. This will send a message to the entire Arabic world: every territory that is being used to attack Israel will be taken away forever. If we don't do that then we will get attacked again and again because they have nothing to lose. They learn that they can only gain by attacking us so they continue. Losing lives every once in a while doesn't mean anything to them. They believe in death anyhow. So if we don't put this kind of a price-tag –– a price-tag of lost land, the only language they understand –– we will keep defending ourselves to death.

Rabkin: Tell me if I am wrong, but the "enemy" behind everything you are referring to is Iran. The "loss of land price-tag" policy that you just outlined is aimed more at Tehran's terrorist proxies in the region like Hezbollah and Hamas and the land bordering Israel. What policy would you use to confront Tehran directly?

Feiglin: First of all, we have to stop this game of being attacked by sub-contractors. Egypt is fighting us through Gaza. It attacks us daily. There is no doubt about it, there is a war going on between Egypt and Israel today. It is just being fought through a sub-contractor. Syria and Iran are fighting us through Hezbollah in Lebanon. And we are playing their game, instead of making them pay a price for what they are doing. We have to break this cycle and make them pay a serious price.

Rabkin: How exactly would you do that?

Feiglin: First of all, we have to understand and make sure the whole world understands exactly who is fighting who over here. Until you do that you cannot fight back. What gives you the right to bomb Damascus or Tehran otherwise? Or Egypt for that matter? I don't know what we should do about their actions against us, but maybe that should be done against Egypt as well. We gave up the Sinai for peace and now they are using it against us. Maybe it should be taken back.

The point is this Dan: a strong Israel can achieve peaceful borders. Notice I didn't say "peace". "Peace" is something totally different. But we can achieve peaceful borders; a situation where people are not getting killed. A weak Israel can only achieve peace agreements. But those agreements come with a lot of bloodshed. Therefore, we should radiate strength. We have showed in the past that we can do that.

Rabkin: Let's talk a bit about Tehran's nuclear weapons program. With the publication of the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate in the US, the prospect of American military action to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon has decreased significantly. If Israel is forced to go it alone vis-à-vis Tehran, what would Moshe Feiglin do?

Feiglin: We should take a page out of (former Israeli PM) Menachem Begin's book (referring to the bombing of the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981).

Rabkin: What about the consequences? Iran has missiles that can hit every city in Israel. They have established biological and chemical weapons programs. They have terrorist proxies all over the world.

Feiglin: Should we wait until those same missiles have nuclear warheads? With a nuclear bomb the consequences will be much worse.

Rabkin: Moving away from the Middle East, I understand that on your way here today you had some difficulties with Canadian Customs and Border Services and were held up for several hours. Could you comment on what exactly happened?

Feiglin: If you don't mind Dan, I don't want to get into details. The bottom line is that I am happy that the Canadian government made this visit possible.

Rabkin: Fair enough. Going back a bit, recently you received a letter from British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith barring you from the United Kingdom.

Feiglin: This topic, Dan, I will be more than happy to talk to you about.

Rabkin: I discussed the contents of that letter in my Londonistan Rising article, today I'd just like to get your feelings on the whole ordeal.

Feiglin: I should frame the letter and hang it on my living room wall.

All kidding aside, I am really proud of it. Britain has officially decided to be the doormat of the extreme Islamic world. London looks like the neighborhoods I have around my house (in the West Bank), so why would I even want to go there? I had not asked permission to go there and had no plans of any kind to go in the future. The letter was totally initiated from their side.

Rabkin: Why do you think they specifically targeted you?

Feiglin: As you correctly noted in your article, they have a long history of targeting Israelis. But with this letter I think they correctly defined the one leader in Israel that understands our enemies well. And because of that I am able to deal with the problem. So they targeted me for going in the right direction.

Rabkin: Have you had any problems with any other countries?

Feiglin: No, none.

Rabkin: Moshe Feiglin, thank you for joining me today.

Feiglin: Thank you, Dan.

Contact Steven Shamrak at stevenshamrak@gmail.com and visit his website at www.shamrak.com.

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CENSORING SDEROT
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 9, 2008.

This is a New York Sun Staff Editorial; it appeared yesterday. It is archived at
http://www2.nysun.com/article/74342

The mayor of the Israeli town of Sderot, Eli Moyal, stopped by the editorial rooms of the Sun yesterday to bring us up to date on the travail of his town of 23,000 that, in the past few years, has been hit by what is now 7,000 Qassam rockets fired from neighboring Gaza. The mayor walked in to the Sun's office just as we were sitting down to write an editorial on the refusal of the New York Times company to air on its radio station, WQXR, an advertisement that is part of the series that the American Jewish Committee has been airing on hundreds of stations around the country. The ad the Times turned down was about precisely the rain of rockets that has been directed at the civilian population of Sderot.

It turned out that the mayor hadn't heard about the contretemps over the advertisement –– or about the rationale the Times gave for turning it down. According to the American Jewish Committee's president, David Harris, the Times's radio station manager, Tom Bartunek, wrote to the American Jewish Committee that the ad might be "misleading, at least to the degree that reasonable people might be troubled by the absence of any acknowledgement of reciprocal Israeli military actions." Mr. Harris called that explanation "stunning." Wrote Mr. Harris: "In other words, according to Bartunek's logic, the only way to broadcast the plight of Sderot's residents over the airwaves is to equate Israel's right of self-defense with Hamas's and Islamic Jihad's right to strike Israel at will."

So we found ourselves trying to explain to the mayor of Sderot that this is the Kafkaesque situation faced by the Jewish defense agencies in today's politics. When Poland, on whose soil so many millions of Jews perished in the Holocaust, canceled a talk that was to be held at its consulate in New York by a professor named Anthony Judt, who feels the creation of the Jewish state was a mistake, the politically correct intelligentsia voiced angry protests. We'll see whether Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, and Mr. Judt and their ilk protest the refusal of the New York Times to air the ad on Sderot.

It's not, incidentally, that the New York Times is unaware of the situation in Sderot. It issued over the weekend a front page story on how the city was emerging as a new symbol of the war. The people of Sderot are nothing, however, if not hard-headed about their situation. The message from their mayor is that New Yorkers should understand that the people of Sderot are not being attacked by the Palestinians. They are being attacked by international terrorist organizations. "People still believe that we're fighting Palestinians, but we're not," he said. They are being attacked by Iran and Syria and their proxies. Why any radio station or newspaper in New York would not want to stand proudly with Israel and the people of Sderot is just beyond us –– and, we've no doubt, most New Yorkers.

Contact Shoshanna Walker by email at rosewalk@concentric.net

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EXCERPTS FROM "THE KUZARI" BY RABBI YEHUDA HALEVI
Posted by Avodah, April 9, 2008.

This is from Arutz-Sheva
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/4).

The book was written by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi in the form of a conversation between a Rabbi and the non-Jewish king of Kuzar, a seeker of the true path to G-d. In a long and detailed discourse, the Rabbi explains that the true service of G-d is only in the Land of Israel. Among the very long list of its praises he says:

"The Patriarchs yearned for it and endeavored to live in the country even though it was in the hands of pagans."

The "Kuzari" continues, citing the halachic law:

"Concerning a woman who refuses to move there with her husband, our Sages decreed that she is divorced and that she forfeits her marriage settlement. On the other hand, if the husband refuses to accompany his wife to Israel, he is bound to divorce her and pay her Ketubah. They further say that it is better to dwell in the Holy Land, even in a town mostly inhabited by idol worshippers than in the Diaspora, even in a town mostly inhabited by Jews; for he who dwells in the Holy Land is compared to him who has a G-d, whilst he who dwells outside the Land is compared to him who has no G-d. Thus said David, 'For they have driven me out this day from living in the place that is the inheritance of the L-rd, saying go and serve other gods,' which means that he who dwells in the Diaspora is as if he served strange gods."

When the Rabbi finishes praising the transcendental value of living in the Land of Israel, the king of Kuzar chastises him, saying:

"If this be so, thou fallest short of the duty laid down in thy law, by not endeavoring to reach that place, and making it thy abode in life and death. Is it not the gate of Heaven? All peoples agree on this point. Christians believe that the souls are gathered there and then lifted up to heaven. Islam teaches that it is the place of the ascent. All the Jews turn to it in prayer. Thus thy bowing down and kneeling in its direction is either mere appearance or thoughtless worship. Yet your first Forefathers chose it as their abode, and lived there as strangers, rather than as citizens in their own country. This they did even in a time when the Shechinah was not yet visible, and the country was full of unchastity, impurity, and idolatry. Your Forefathers, however, had no other desire than to remain in it. Neither did they leave it in times of dearth and famine except by G-d's permission. Finally, they directed their bones to be buried there.

The Rabbi answers in shame and disgrace:

"This is a severe reproach, O king of the Kuzars. It is the sin which kept the Divine promise with regard to the Second Temple from being fulfilled. Divine Providence was ready to restore everything as it had been at first, if they all had willingly consented to return. But only a part was ready to do so, whilst the majority and the aristocracy amongst them remained in Babylon, preferring dependence and slavery, unwilling to leave their mansions and their affairs. Had we been prepared to meet the G-d of our Forefathers with an honest mind, we would have found the same salvation as our fathers did in Egypt. If we say in our prayers, 'Worship at His holy hill; worship at His footstool; He who restoreth His glory to Zion,' and other words of this nature, this is but as the chattering of the starling and the nightingale. We do not realize what we say by this sentence, nor others, as thou rightly observes, O king of the Kuzars" (Kuzari, 2:22-25).

The story concludes as follows, and I quote at length for readers who have not yet studied this monumental treatise of the fundamentals of Jewish faith:

"The Rabbi was then concerned to leave the land of the Kuzars and to betake himself to Jerusalem. The king was loth to let him go, and spoke to him in this sense as follows:

'What can be sought in the Land of Israel nowadays, since the Shechinah is absent from it, whilst with a pure mind and desire, one can approach G-d in any place. Why wilt thou run into danger on land and on sea, and among the various peoples living there?'"

The Rabbi answers:

"The Land of Israel is especially distinguished by the L-rd of Israel, and no religious function can be perfect except there. Many of the Jewish laws do not concern those who do not live there; and heart and soul are only perfectly pure and immaculate in the place which is specially selected by G-d. The danger one runs on land and sea does not come under the category of, 'You shall not tempt the L-rd,' which refers to risks which one takes when traveling with merchandise in hope of gain. However, he who incurs even greater danger on account of his ardent desire to reach a state of cleanliness in his service of G-d is free from reproach. He braves danger, and if he escapes, he praises G-d gratefully. But should he perish through he sins, he obtains the Divine favor, and he may be confident that he has atoned for most of his sins by his death."

The king tries to dissuade him with the following argument: "I thought thou didst love freedom, but I now see thee finding new religious duties which thou will be obliged to fulfill in the Land of Israel, even though they are in abeyance here."

The Rabbi answers:

"I only seek freedom from the service of those numerous people whose favor I do not care for, and shall never obtain, though I work for it all my life. Even if I could obtain it, it would not profit me –– I am speaking of the service of men and courting their favor. I would rather seek the service of the One whose favor is obtained with the smallest effort, yet it profits in this world and the next. This is the favor of G-d. His service spells freedom, and humility before Him is true honor."

The Rabbi concludes:

"This means that Jerusalem can only be rebuilt when the Jewish People yearn for it to such an extent that they embrace her stones and dust."

Embracing Her Stones and Her Dust

Finally, the king of the Kuzars concedes: "If this is the case, it would be a sin to hinder thee. It is on the contrary a merit to assist thee. May G-d grant thee His help, and be thy protector and friend. Amen."

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PALESTINIAN 'MODERATES' ENSURE EXTREMISM
Posted by Barry Rubin, April 9, 2008.

"Rice Wins Concessions from Israel," read the Washington Post headline after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit. Rice herself told reporters her goal was to further Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) talks by getting Israeli concessions to "improve the quality of life" for Palestinians.

She listed ten different Israeli concessions including: removing 50 roadblocks, easing checkpoint procedures, increasing travel and work permits, backing economic projects, letting 700 U.S.-trained PA security men deploy, and giving the PA armored vehicles and night-vision goggles.

Rice claimed success, saying talks are now "moving in the right direction."

Are they? Will these concessions make the PA more stable or moderate? No.

One wonders if we'll ever see the headline: "Rice Wins Concessions from Palestinians." I doubt it.

How should one score this outcome: Israel 10, PA 0, because Israel might get international credit for taking risks for peace? Or the opposite, PA 10, Israel 0, since the former side got all the material gains?

Certainly, the PA isn't bragging. On the contrary, it denies Israel gives anything and doesn't take advantage of such measures –– or the huge aid it receives –– to improve its' people's quality of life. That's something only Westerners care about.

To comprehend its worldview and strategy, consider PA leader Mahmoud Abbas's March 29 speech to the Arab summit in Damascus. That presentation, along with the summit itself, shows the trap in which Arab politics is stuck.

Even Abbas's opening Koran quote presents a paradox: "If you will aid the cause of Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly." Abbas's rivals, both in Hamas and among his own Fatah radicals, say that's what they do: follow divine will and feet-planting by rejecting concessions and continuing war to total victory.

His second point is a professed confidence "that we all do agree that...a joint Arab stand and action suffices" to bring success. This line, used for 50 years, is wrong on both counts: there's no Arab unity and even if there were it wouldn't suffice. Indeed, this was a most divisive Arab summit, with the Saudis and Jordanians leading opposition to Syria's attempt to seize control of Lebanon.

His third theme was that while Palestinians "remain committed to the option of a just peace, the two-state solution...Israel pursues its aggression and occupation, the construction of settlements, and the Judaization of Jerusalem." Rather than portraying Israel's current government as wanting a deal he says it aims to seize all but "a few isolated areas."

This is the government that withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip and is willing to pull out of most of the rest. Yet according to him, it "seeks to undermine the possible establishment of an independent state on the land of the Palestinian people."

But if so, how can the Palestinians make peace with Israel? Why is Hamas wrong in saying that only victory through violence can work?

In his telling, Israel's aggression is unprovoked. He speaks of "barbaric attacks, causing hundreds of defenseless victims," and its evil intent to "undermine the possibility of reaching a peace agreement...."

He basically ignores constant attacks on Israel from Gaza and offers no credible way to deal with them. He merely asks Hamas to give him Gaza and return to being one party in a PA-dominated system. This won't happen. Hamas will keep attacking Israel and trying to take over the West Bank. For all this, he blames not Hamas –– with whom he desperately tries to conciliate –– but only Israel.

Here's the trap: Hamas (and elements in Fatah) attack Israel, Israel responds, Abbas cites this as proof Israel doesn't want peace, and thus negotiations cannot succeed. His bottom line: "The Israeli government seeks by the power of its occupation to impose a political solution on the ground according to its own wishes."

Meanwhile, instead of competing with Hamas, the PA uses Western aid to subsidize Hamas, spending, according to Abbas, 58 percent of its budget on Gaza and paying salaries for 77,000 employees there, more than it has itself! In theory, this projects PA influence; in practice it ensures Hamas holds power. He gives Hamas money unconditionally while begging it to hand Gaza back to him.

While Abbas has no strategy for regaining Gaza or making peace with Israel, his rivals have a clear, simple program appealing to reigning passions and worldview. As Hizballah leader Hasan Nasrallah puts it: "The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence. Our nation is stronger now than ever before." Only "Zionist-American propaganda" –– in which he includes Abbas –– wants to fool Arabs and Muslims into thinking they "don't have any hopes of winning."

The U.S. State Department excused Abbas's speech as just rhetoric. But that's untrue. Abbas feeds the Hamas-Iran line by demonizing Israel and implying negotiations are useless. He's not even trying to win his own people's support by improving their lives.

We've become so used to this behavior that we forget there's an alternative. Abbas could say: "Israel is ready to make peace with us if we prove we'll keep our pledges. Let's defeat the radical Islamists, stop the attacks on Israel that breed conflict, end incitement to violence, reform our own regimes, align with the West, and get an independent state."

Israel needs to work with Abbas and keep him afloat as the lesser of two evils to Hamas. But Abbas is incapable of making peace or regaining Gaza. His PA regime might fall to Hamas or be taken over, on his not-distant retirement, by still-dominant Fatah radicals even more eager to ally with Hamas and return to armed struggle.

Here's where Rice, and much Western policy, is wrong. By not demanding and getting PA concessions and by giving money unconditionally they ensure not only that peace will fail but that there will be decades of conflict ahead.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloriacenter.org and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal http://meria.idc.ac.il. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

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ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES –– WHO BENEFITS?
Posted by Gerardo Joffe, April 9, 2008.

The United States is without question Israel's most important ally. Also, without question, Israel is the staunchest and most reliable friend of the United States. But there are some who believe and vigorously advocate that Israel is a burden to the United States and that, were it not for Israel, peace would prevail in the Middle East.

What are the facts?

The "Israel lobby." A patriotic-named foundation urges, in full-page ads in national newspapers (very expensive –– who pays for it?), to influence Congress to withhold support for Israel. Professors from prestigious universities write essays in which they aver that the United States is in thrall to the "Israel lobby." This lobby is said to pull the strings of American policy. Its supposed main promoters are AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the so-called "neo-cons," some of whom are indeed Jewish. They are said to exert an almost magical spell over policy makers, including the leaders of Congress and the President. Some even say that the Iraq war was promoted by this omnipotent "Israel lobby," that the President was flummoxed into declaring war on Saddam Hussein, not in order to defend the United States or to promote its interests, but in order to further the interests of Israel.

Israel is indeed a major recipient of U.S. aid. Israel receives yearly $1.8 billion in military aid and $1.2 billion in economic aid, a substantial portion of our yearly aid budget. Almost all of the military aid is spent in the United States, making Israel one of the major customers of the U.S. defense industry. Virtually all of the economic assistance goes for repayment of debt to the United States, incurred from military purchases dating back many years.

America's staunchest ally. A good case can be made that aid to Israel, certainly the military portion, should be part of the United States defense budget, rather than of the aid budget because Israel is, next only perhaps to Britain, by far the most important ally of the United States. Virtually without exception, Israel's government and its people agree with and support the foreign policy objectives of the United States. In the United Nations, Israel's votes coincide with those of the United States over 90% of the time. The Arabs and other Moslem countries, virtually all of them recipients of American largess, almost reflexively vote against the United States in most instances.

Israel is the major strategic asset of the United States in an area of the world that is the cradle of Islamo-fascism, which is dominated by tyrants and permeated by religious obscurantism and shows almost total disregard for human rights. During the decades-long Cold War, Israel was America's indispensable rampart against the inroads of the Soviet Union. It is now the bulwark against the aggressive intentions of Iran. During Desert Storm, Israel provided invaluable intelligence, an umbrella of air cover for military cargo, and had personnel planted in the Iraqi deserts to pick up downed American pilots.

Gen. George Keagan, former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, stated publicly that "Israel is worth five CIAs," with regard to intelligence passed to our country. He also stated that the yearly $1.8 billion that Israel received in military assistance was worth $50 to $60 billion in intelligence, R&D savings, and Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the Pentagon. In contrast to our commitments in Korea, Japan, Germany, and other parts, not a single American serviceperson needs to be stationed in Israel. Considering that the cost of one serviceperson per year –– including backup and infrastructure –– is estimated to be about $200,000, and assuming a minimum contingent of 25,000 troops, the cost savings to the United States on that score alone is on the order of $5 billion a year.

Israel effectively secures NATO's southeastern flank. Its superb harbor, its outstanding military installations, the air and sea lift capabilities, and the trained manpower to maintain sophisticated equipment are readily at hand in Israel. It is the only country that makes itself available to the United States in any contingency. Yes, Israel is not a burden, but a tremendous asset to the United States.

Israel is indeed America's unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East and the indispensable defender of America's interests in that area of the world. The people of the United States, individually and through their Congressional representatives, overwhelmingly support Israel in its seemingly unending fight against Arab aggression and Moslem terror. But that support is not based on the great strategic value that Israel represents to the United States. It is and always has been based on shared values of liberty, democracy, and human rights. America and Israel are aligned by their shared love of peace and democracy. Israel and the United States stand together in their fight against Islamo-fascist terrorism. These shared values, these common ideals, will bind Israel and the United States forever.

Gerardo Joffe, is President of FLAME.

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BETTER TO HAVE MURDERED JEWS, CHAS VESHALOM?
Posted by Lee Caplan, April 9, 2008.

About two weeks ago, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in trying to defend his decision to allow 600 armed Palestinian Authority policemen into Jenin despite knowing it did not jibe with the requirements of Israeli security, said, "We have overriding responsibility for the security of Israeli citizens, but in order to improve the chances in our talks with the Palestinians, we must try to make things easier for them, even at the price of a calculated risk." Now, in trying to defend his decision to remove checkpoints, he says: "We must not help them claim that the negotiations will fail because we have not made enough gestures."

It would be infinitely better and infinitely more appropriate if the security of Israeli citizens would be the determining factor, not whether the Palestinians can blame Israel for the failed negotiations. Protecting Jews should be his ONLY concern, period!

Contact Lee Caplan at leescaplan@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: ATTACK
Posted by Arlene Kushner, April 9, 2008.

Somewhere between four and seven terrorists –– breaking through a fence –– entered Israel from the center of Gaza today and made their way to the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, where they killed two civilians who worked at the terminal: Oleg Lipson, 37,and Lev Charniak, 53; both from Beersheba. It is speculated that this was intended to be a kidnapping and that only a swift response by the IDF on the scene prevented this.

Responsibility has been claimed by Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and splinter group of Fatah –– Mujahideen Brigades. Israel says, however, that, as Hamas rules the area, Hamas is to be held responsible.

The irony is that Gaza receives much of its fuel via this terminal, and that the two men killed were involved in that process. Four million liters of gasoline and diesel oil, and an unlimited supply of cooking fuel, enter Gaza via the Nahal Oz crossing every week.

Investigation is now on-going.

~~~~~~~~~~

Egypt, for its part, is vastly uneasy because of renewed threats by Hamas to breach the border and enter the Sinai again as happened in January.

Said an unidentified Egyptian official: "[Egypt] will not take lightly the protection of its frontiers against any attempt to violate them, no matter who they are. Egypt's borders are a red line you cannot cross. Egypt is capable of responding to any attempt to violate its frontiers."

Egypt, I will say, can be –– and if pushed, will be –– tough on those entering Egyptian territory.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed "profound amazement" at the Hamas threats in light of efforts Egypt has made "to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip and reach a truce allowing Palestinians from Gaza to live a normal life."

It warned that inappropriate actions would "damage the Palestinian cause."

~~~~~~~~~~

What was actually said yesterday, by Khahil al-Hayya, described as a senior member of Hamas, was "all options are open to break the siege. I expect that what will happen next will be greater than what happened before, not only against the Egyptian border, but against all the crossings."

This constitutes a threat against Israel, as well.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to an unsettling report by Mate Binyamin regional council deputy head Moti Yogev, the IDF has begun collecting weapons from the armories of communities in Judea and Samaria –– even personal weapons the army provided to settlers for self-defense.

"These steps are being carried out, surprisingly, at the same time that unprecedented steps are being taken to ease the security restrictions on Palestinians, including lifting roadblocks and other impediments that undermine the security of the residents of Judea and Samaria," Yesha Council of settlements head Dani Daya wrote to Maj.-General Gadi Shamni of the Central Command.

An IDF source said the decision to collect the arms was made because several break-ins that occurred at armories over the past few years.

Aaron Lerner of IMRA has it right: "So if you think that the IDF suddenly strips the armories today simply because of something that has been going on for years please contact IMRA at once for our special early bird special sale of the Brooklyn Bridge."

I will remind everyone that very recently an attempted terrorist attack near Shilo was stopped because one of the intended victims was carrying a personal weapon, which he used.

~~~~~~~~~~

Olmert and Abbas met in Jerusalem on Monday in an attempt to further negotiations. Reports indicate that it ended in "mutual recriminations."

Yesterday chief negotiators Tzipi Livni and Ahmed Qurie met and discussed "core issues."

~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday, as well, Yossi Beilin announced that when Bush comes here in May he also would like to do a summit meeting at Sharm el-Sheihk that would be a follow-up to Annapolis. Beilin expressed the opinion that, unless something concrete had been accomplished, such a meeting would be foolish. "It's an idiotic idea to hold another hollow summit."

I would say that's about right.

Today Jerusalem officials, who say planning is in the early stages and that no date has been set and no invitations extended, confirm Bush's intentions in the matter. Bush will be here May 14-16 in honor of Israel's 60th. (Those of us who live in Jerusalem shudder at the anticipation of another visit from the US president, which totally freezes the city.)

According to Beilin, Bush and Egyptian President Mubarak would host the summit, with Olmert, Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah invited.

Oh joy.

~~~~~~~~~~

I am reluctant to return to this subject, because I feel there is much of greater significance to discuss. But briefly here I believe it's appropriate:

Former president Moshe Katzav had entered into a plea bargain with the attorney general nine months ago, with regard to the charges against him of sexual impropriety; the charge of rape was dropped and lesser charges were put in place. At that point the women who had made the original accusations were outraged.

Now, as Katzav was scheduled to come before the court, he decided to renounce the plea bargain and go to trial in order to prove his innocence. Attorney General Mazuz called this "shocking," and indicated that the prosecution would likely to return to an indictment that included the more severe charges.

~~~~~~~~~~

Returning to the unsubstantiated report I referred to on Monday, with regard to Fatah and Hamas having secretly reached an agreement for a unity government: We would have to "wait and see," I had concluded. That remains my conclusion after checking with two Arabic-speaking Israelis "in the know."

One, a journalist, said the report wasn't true.

But the second, an academic, said something different: Fatah and Hamas are always talking, he said. But he remains doubtful that they will achieve a final and stable agreement.

Could they reach an agreement, even temporarily, that might upset the negotiations? I asked.

That was possible he conceded. We spoke a bit about Abbas's vulnerability and weakness, which he termed as being between the "rock of Israel and the hard place of Hamas." That is, Abbas's autonomous options are minimal to non-existent and there is possibility that he might attempt to go with Hamas as a way of resolving his difficulties.

Wait and see...

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

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U.S. HOUSE YET AGAIN SUPPORTS ISRAEL!
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, April 9, 2008.

Kudos to the U. S. House of Representatives, introducing and recently approving H. R. 185, informing a mostly uninformed nation and world that Jews, Christians, and other ethnic groups were booted out of Arab regimes over the years, forced to become refugees, thus implicitly deserve as much (if not more) recognition than so-called Palestinians, manipulating the 'R word' as if it belongs to them exclusively. Indeed, per this honorable piece of legislation, yet to be approved perhaps modified by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the U.S. President, "approximately 850,000 Jews have been displaced from Arab countries since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948." Egad! That's 100,000 more 'refugees' than claimed by so-called Palestinians, yet somehow, someway, all of those Jewish folks shed the self-defeating stigma of refugee status, migrated to other nations including Israel, mostly picked themselves up by their own bootstraps, worked hard, beget generations of productive children, some even becoming Nobel laureates, while those 'poor humiliated' Arab waifs, claiming to be tossed out of Israel albeit if truth be told mostly persuaded to leave by Arab invaders intent on annihilating the Jewish State at her inception, beget generations of so many self-defeated Jew-despising lost souls, a consequence of bizarrely retaining their humiliating badge of dishonor, emblazoned with the 'Scarlet R', affixed to their deflated chests, dwelling unproductively in wretched camps, pathetically groveling for sympathy from a propagandized world, despicably yet deftly manipulated by Machiavellian Arab autocrats, using the shlamazel Jewish homeland as a diversionary scapegoat to absorb the frustration and anger of their own exploited populations. The following quotes should enlighten those who suggest Israeli Jews were responsible for displacing Arabs in 1948.

–– "The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long, and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the 'Zionist gangs' very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile." –– Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, in the Beirut newspaper Sada al Janub, August 16, 1948.

–– "The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab States in opposing Partition and the Jewish State. The Arab States agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem" –– Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, the official leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, in the Beirut newspaper, Daily Telegraph, September 6, 1948.

–– "This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boasting of an unrealistic Arab press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of some weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re-enter and retake possession of their country." –– Edward Atiyah (then Secretary of the Arab League Office in London) in The Arabs (London, 1955), p. 183.

This legislation, countering Arab propaganda, begins to level the playing field if and when serious Middle East peace negotiations yet again commence. Indeed, how can a 'right of return' be claimed for so-called Palestinians when no compensation is offered to the descendents of Jewish folks, in fact way more severely abused by leaders of Arab regimes? The House Resolution concludes:

  1. for any comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, the agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of all refugees in the Middle East, including Jews, Christians, and other populations, displaced from countries in the Middle East; and

  2. the President should instruct the United States Representative to the United Nations and all United States representatives in bilateral and multilateral forums to:
    (A) use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to ensure that any resolutions relating to the issue of Middle East refugees, and which include a reference to the required resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue, must also include a similarly explicit reference to the resolution of the issue of Jewish, Christian, and other refugees from Arab countries; and

    (B) make clear that the United States Government supports the position that, as an integral part of any comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, the issue of refugees from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf must be resolved in a manner that includes recognition of the legitimate rights of and losses incurred by all refugees displaced from Arab countries, including Jews, Christians, and minority other groups.

How curious is it that heretofore Middle East peace negotiation efforts between Israelis and so-called Palestinians have avoided the 'no brainer' observations delineated within H.R. 185? Is it assumed that Israeli negotiators must be constrained to focus narrowly on security and tranquility issues, while Arab negotiators could demand anything they want, indeed not only land but a 'right of return' for descendants of families that used to live in sovereign Israel? Obviously, broaching any compensation issue for descendants of displaced Jews would totally disrupt the tenor of peace negotiations, surely reversing the momentum in favor of Israel, posing an obvious resolution that all issues of compensation, including the ersatz Palestinian 'right of return', would have to be withdrawn. Now we couldn't have that could we? What would the Holocaust revisionist Mahmoud Abbas, fair-haired anointed Arab peace partner of the Bush Administration, say to his minions? Might they consider tarring and feathering any spokesperson that would dare be persuaded to concede that issue to the Jews?

Realistically, we know Arab negotiators never meant for peace negotiations to be successful, allowing Jews and Arabs to finally live in peace, allowing Arabs living in squalor the opportunity to make a productive go of it. 'Allah forbid' such a thing! Then Israel would no longer be the perennial punching bag of throngs of indoctrinated Arabs and their supporters. Then corrupt leaders such as erstwhile billionaire Arafat and perhaps his understudy Abbas would no longer be able to skim off their cut of Euros meant for penniless Palestinian refugees. Surely, no self-respecting Holocaust revisionist such as Abbas would ever want to rock the boat that much. Indeed, the very fact that a 'right of return' leading to a loss of Israel's Jewish heritage is even tossed on the table, a non-starter for all Israeli negotiators, gives Arab negotiators a default reason to reject any and all attempts to successfully accomplish anything at the peace table. So, at this point in time, why bother? Again, kudos to the U.S. House of Representatives! Let us hope its ever necessary resolution becomes the law of the land of Israel's most formidable ally.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. 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 larose@snip.net

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UNNAMED "HUGE ADVANTAGE" FOR ISRAEL; FATAH TURNED ISLAMIST
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, April 8, 2008.

WHAT THE NY TIMES IGNORES

Jews have been demonstrating against the murder of eight yeshiva students. Police charged a peaceful demonstration (another one, elsewhere was not peaceful), and arrested 22 demonstrators. They pulled girls by the hair, bouncing them roughly along the pavement. They kicked and hit people.

In court, the judge asked the chief officer why his staff had arrested the 22. He said he did not know. The judge released the detainees. The P.A. daily newspaper celebrated the murders (IMRA, 3/17).

The arrests were undemocratic and the police brutal. This has happened many times. But the US media pretends that Israel is democratic, rather than a police state. Leftists assert that Israel is not democratic, but they mean in regard to the Arabs, who are not falsely arrested and who are not treated brutally. Israel is not anti-Arab, but it sure seems antisemitic.

IDF CHANGES

The IDF is reacting to the increase in enemy stockpiles and accuracy and range of missiles. It has been hardening airports and fortifying weapons depots. It also is seeking airplanes that can take off vertically or on short runways, because longer runways can be damaged by rockets (IMRA, 3/17).

PROF. ALAN DERSHOWITZ EXPLAINS PROPORTIONALITY

It means that if the P.A. fires a rocket, one doesn't retaliate with a nuclear weapon, all out of proportion. Neither does it mean that retaliation may not take more lives than the instigating attack. A rocket might kill a hundred people. If it misses, that does not prohibit Israel from firing a rocket that kills a hundred people. Governments that condemn Israel for fighting disproportionately are misconstruing international law (Sorry, lost source).

Do the governments not know international law or are they just seeking excuses to condemn Israel unfairly? I think both –– given any excuse to condemn Israel, they don't check its validity.

UNNAMED "HUGE ADVANTAGE" FOR ISRAEL

Egypt is to set up a power line that would supply Gaza's needs. This would replace Israel's line. Israeli officials acknowledged that this would reduce Israeli power over Gaza, but called the prospect a "huge advantage for Israel." They did not define that advantage. Dr. Aaron Lerner asks what it is (IMRA, 3/19).U

NEW CONTROVERSY OVER BOOK ON ISLAM

The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion, was written two years ago, but Hamas just heard of it. Muslims became outraged over its treatment of what is sacred to them. One of their sympathizers, Karen Armstrong, accused author Robert Spencer of libel. However, Mr. Spencer cites sacred Islamic texts: "'I have been made victorious with terror' –– so says Muhammad not according to me, but according to Bukhari (Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 220). Sahih Bukhari is the hadith collection, that is, the collection of traditions of Muhammad, that Muslims consider most reliable."

"Spencer quotes another hadith to back up his claim about Muhammad tempting would-be martyrs with paradise: 'On the day of the battle of Uhud, a man came to the Prophet and said, 'Can you tell me where I will be if I should get martyred?' The Prophet replied, 'In Paradise.' The man threw away some dates he was carrying in his hand, and fought till he was martyred' (Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 377)."

"Spencer also documents in detail how Muhammad breached the Treaty of Hudaybiya with the Meccan tribe of Quraish. Regarding the Moslem leader's order to kill Jews, Spencer writes, 'both of the earliest biographers of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa'd, both zealous Muslims, record his telling his followers at a certain point: 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.'" (Arutz-7, 3/19.)

Since Spencer relates Islamic principles according to Islamic texts, why does Hamas call him lying and insulting? He is descriptive. In many mosques, the imams preach the principles Spencer relates. I think Hamas fears that if the West knew what Islam believes in, it would not call Islam a religion of peace and would resist Islamic propaganda.

FATAH TURNED ISLAMIST

Arafat turned increasingly to Islam as a unifying element, as a counter-balance to some modern middle class opposition, and to appear less corrupt. His organization, Fatah, has taken on Islamic symbols and ideology. It is not much different from Hamas. Nevertheless, the West still thinks of Fatah as a nationalist organization (MEFNews, 3/21). It is an illusion convenient for suggesting that Israel can deal with Fatah.

TELL THE POLLS TO THE POLS

84% of P.A. Arabs approve of the massacre of the yeshiva students. 64% approve of rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Many of those who disapprove do so for strategic reasons, not ethical ones. Almost 65% of Israelis oppose further withdrawals, and only 24% favor them (Arutz-7, 3/21). But Olmert and Rice keep describing the Palestinian Arabs as moderate and Israelis as favoring withdrawals.

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@aol.com

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PM SHARON TRIED TO RELEASE BARGHOUTI, NOT POLLARD
Posted by Shoshanna Walker, April 8, 2008.

This comes from Justice for Jonathan Pollard.

Why did former Israeli Ambassador Danny Ayalon wait years to come forward with the claim that he personally participated in an initiative by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon allegedly intended to free Jonathan Pollard?

In a compelling and well-researched expose¥ in the Hebrew media, "Who's afraid of Pollard?" [Makor Rishon 4/4/08 –– soon to be released in English by J4JP] investigative journalist Pazeet Ravina recalls Danny Ayalon coming forward last year [June 2007] to tell of a private conversation with American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which took place years ago, in which he presented a proposal by then-PM Ariel Sharon to release Marwan Barghouti in return for Pollard.

Subtitled "Sharon Also Tried", Ravina reports that according to Ayalon, Rice rejected the deal out of hand, at the meeting which occurred prior to Israel's withdrawal from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron in 2005. [See related INN article.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/128826]

The trouble with the release of Danny Ayalon's story is its timing. In fact, the timing was no coincidence.

The story hit the Israeli media last year at precisely the time that Ehud Olmert needed the credibility of the comatose former prime minister to act as political insulation when his cabinet ministers began issuing calls for the release of Marwan Barghouti.

Barghouti, as should be recalled, is serving 5 life sentences plus 40 years for the murder of Israeli citizens. Ayalon was enlisted to tell his story so that the great General Arik Sharon –– not Olmert –– would be perceived as the originator of the plan to free the Palestinian mass murderer. Ayalon's timely revelation thus provided Olmert with the cover he needs to release Barghouti with political impunity, when the time comes.

So why did Sharon send Ayalon to propose the deal to Rice years ago, instead of doing the job himself with Bush?

Sources in Washington report that Sharon sent Ayalon to speak with Rice about a possible swap, only to "feel out" the Americans to see if they were willing to assist in a deal to free Barghouti –– something which Israel clearly wanted. However, there was no American interest in Barghouti at that time, which is why the deal was rejected. Instead, at that time, just prior to the Palestinian elections, the Americans were placing their money on Abu Mazen as their proxy "to lead the Palestinian people."

In the ensuing years, the Americans have come to realize that Abu Mazen looks good in a suit and speaks English well enough, but either can't or won't deliver the goods. He is not the "strong leader" that they hoped he would be. Consequently, years later, the Americans are finally amenable and even eager to see Barghouti released to take over where Abu Mazen has failed. Nevetheless, to protect Barghouti's image with the Palestinian street, all parties are aware that it must appear as if a high price is to be paid for releasing Barghouti, lest he be perceived as a collaborator.

If that is the case, why is it that the request for a Pollard –– Barghouti swap has never again been raised by Israel? Simply put: Olmert found another card to "trade" for Barghouti, a young soldier named Gilad Shalit, so the Pollard card has been completely shelved.

To conclude: in the interests of keeping the record straight, Ariel Sharon did indeed try to release a prisoner, but it was not Pollard. It was the mass murderer, Marwan Barghouti. Pollard was just a means to an end.

After all, if Sharon had really wanted to free Pollard (as opposed to freeing Barghouti) he knew that this was a deal that could only be negotiated at the highest level, directly between the Prime Minister and the President.

It should be noted th