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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, December 31, 2009.

Stalactite and stalagmite formations in the Soreq Cave in the Judean Mountains.

This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.


Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but everyone agrees when something is totally cool. I can only imagine the superlatives that issued forth from workmen at a quarry near Beit Shemesh when they accidentally blasted their way into the Soreq Cave in 1968. Although only 30 minutes from my home, I had never been tempted to visit because, frankly, as a photographer, I shun places that have no light. But a winter storm and school vacation combined to motivate our family to make the short trip during Chanukah and we were not disappointed.

The photographs of the cave I had seen prior to my visit, much like the four I offer here, do not do justice to the experience of being inside the huge cave. The millennia-old stalactites and stalagmites, ever growing and changing, are lit with carefully positioned spotlights that enhance the stunning visuals. Using this available light with my f1.4 50mm lens and ISO cranked up to 800, I grabbed a few shots during the short walk through the cave and several more during the two-minute shooting time allotted at the end of the tour. In addition to working in extremely limited light, I had to overcome lens fogging as a result of bringing my cold camera into the humid cave. I wasn't prepared for this and was stymied for about 10 minutes until my camera warmed up enough to stop moisture forming on the glass.

These four shots represent some of the diversity found in the cave. The lower right image features what is called a wall, where stalactites forming from above meet stalagmites growing up from the ground. For all of us, bearing witness to such phenomena in nature fulfilled any need to capture a perfect image for posterity. Truly a cave of wonders.

Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 31, 2009.

1. Auld Lang Zion

Should auld accomplice be forgot,
And never brought to trial?
Should auld Osloids, friend, be forgot,
In days of auld lang Zion?

For betraying auld lang Zion, my dear,
For abasing auld lang Zion.
Should their accomplice be forgot,
In days of auld lang Zion?

We yids hae run aboot the world,
Under fire the whole time.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
To reach auld lang Zion.

Save auld lang Zion, my dear,
Save auld lang Zion,
Indict those Oslo blaggards, dear,
For the sake of auld lang Zion!!!


"Israel's Right in the 'Disputed' Territories"
Wall Street Journal
By Danny Ayalon
Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.

The recent statements by the European Union's new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel's rights to what are generally called the "occupied territories" but what really are "disputed territories."

That's because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered "occupied" in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel's conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.

The name "West Bank" was first used in 1950 by the Jordanians when they annexed the land to differentiate it from the rest of the country, which is on the east bank of the river Jordan. The boundaries of this territory were set only one year before during the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan that ended the war that began in 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish State. It was at Jordan's insistence that the 1949 armistice line became not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: "No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations." (Italics added.) This boundary became the famous "Green Line," so named because the military officials during the armistice talks used a green pen to draw the line on the map.

After the Six Day War, when once again Arab armies sought to destroy Israel and the Jewish state subsequently captured the West Bank and other territory, the United Nations sought to create an enduring solution to the conflict. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 is probably one of the most misunderstood documents in the international arena. While many, especially the Palestinians, push the idea that the document demands that Israel return everything captured over the Green Line, nothing could be further from the truth. The resolution calls for "peace within secure and recognized boundaries," but nowhere does it mention where those boundaries should be.

It is best to understand the intentions of the drafters of the resolution before considering other interpretations. Eugene V. Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in 1967 and a drafter of the resolution, stated in 1990: "Security Council Resolution 242 and (subsequent U.N. Security Council Resolution) 338... rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to "secure and recognized borders," which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 194."

Lord Caradon, the British U.N. Ambassador at the time and the resolution's main drafter who introduced it to the Council, said in 1974 unequivocally that, "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. at the time, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, made the issue even clearer when he stated in 1973 that, "the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal." This would encompass "less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proven to be notably insecure."

Even the Soviet delegate to the U.N., Vasily Kuznetsov, who fought against the final text, conceded that the resolution gave Israel the right to "withdraw its forces only to those lines it considers appropriate."

After the war in 1967, when Jews started returning to their historic heartland in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, as the territory had been known around the world for 2,000 years until the Jordanians renamed it, the issue of settlements arose. However, Rostow found no legal impediment to Jewish settlement in these territories. He maintained that the original British Mandate of Palestine still applies to the West Bank. He said "the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors." There is no internationally binding document pertaining to this territory that has nullified this right of Jewish settlement since.

And yet, there is this perception that Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it. Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table. Statements like those of Lady Ashton's are not only incorrect; they push a negotiated solution further away.

3. Repost of old item: Israel's Music Man

The Israeli Labor Party recently selected Ehud Barak, who had been prime minister from 1999 to 2001, to serve as its party chief and contender for prime minister in the next election, probably in 2008.

Barak has always been associated in my mind with music — as well as the incredibly harmful policies he has advocated since entering politics. True, Barak was a military hero. He even entered Beirut disguised as a woman to assassinate terrorists, a scene recorded in the movie "Munich." You can imagine how many jokes at his expense that triggered.

But once he left the army, he went out shopping for political ideas and ended up buying the silliest ones available on the Shimon Peres/Oslo vintage clothing rack. He attempted to turn the Golan Heights over to Syria, which would have allowed the Syrian military to advance to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This inspired me at the time to write a parody of an old Bobby Darin classic, with Ehud Barak singing "Splish Splash I was taking a Ba'ath."

It continued: "Splish, Splash! I jumped back in the bath. Well how was I to knowt here was appeasement going on?"

Later, due to Barak's disastrous policies as prime minister and his attempt to hand over Jerusalem to the PLO savages, a new song seemed called for. Barak had just been creamed in a landslide electoral defeat by Ariel Sharon.

The new piece was to the tune of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song." It went:

Ehud's done and we wan him go home
EH, he say EH, he say EH, he say EH,
     he say EH, he say EH-ay-ay-HOOD
Ehud's done and we wan him go home
They shoots all night from ole Ramallah
(Ehud's done and we wan him go home)
As all night he wave white bandana
(Ehud's done and we wan him go home)
Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally me election
Ehud's done and we wan him go home
Come, Mr. Tally Mon, tally the rejection
Ehud's done and we wan him go home

Barak is often proclaimed by the media to be the "most decorated Israeli general." But last summer he effectively dropped 4,000 Katyusha rockets on northern Israel, because those attacks were a direct result of his having ordered Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

And now Barak is desperately looking for a new campaign jingle. Being a helpful sort, I thought I would give him a hand.

To understand the new song, you need to recall that in 1998 Barak declared: "I imagine that if I were a Palestinian of the right age, I would, at some stage, have joined one of the terror organizations."

My proposed campaign song for Reb Ehud is based on the wonderful "If I Were a Rich Man" from "Fiddler on the Roof." (Unfortunately Tevye is not running for prime minister.)

Ready? Here goes!

Dear God, you made so many, many cowardly people.
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be a coward.
But it's no great honor, either!
So, what would have been so terrible if
      I had a small dose of gumption?

If I were a terrorist,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bomb.
If I were a Hamas man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy bomber bum,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle BOMB.

I'd have a big tall house with virgins by the dozen,
Right in the midst of Gaza town.
A fine tin roof with real al-Kassams below.
There would be one long rocket just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.
I'd fill my yard with chicks and turkeys
      and other Labor chiefs,
For all the town to see and hear.
And each loud "cheep" and "squawk"
      and "honk" and "quack"
Would ring like a Kassam in my ear,
As if to say "Here lives a Tanzim man."

If I were a terrorist,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bomb.
If I were a Hamas man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy bomber bum,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle BOMB.

The most important men in town
      would come to fawn on me!
They would ask me to be appeased by them,
Like Shimon Peres the Kind.
"If you please, Reb Ehud..."
"Pardon me, Reb Ehud..."
Posing problems that would cross a Tanzim's mind!
And it won't make one bit of difference
      if I answer war or peace.
When you're me, they think you really know!

If I were a terrorist,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bomb.
If I were a Hamas man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba
      deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy bomber bum,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle BOMB.

Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan
If I were a ter-ror-ist MAN!!!

(Curtain closes)

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. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is

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Posted by Dave Alpern, December 31, 2009.

The price of European tolerance and political correctness. They apparently will never learn. I'm not sure if North America is any better!

This was written by Venetia Thompson and it appeared yesterday in The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-30/ my-classmate-the-undie-bomber/p/

Venetia Thompson is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Spectator. Her memoir Gross Misconduct will be published in February by Simon and Schuster U.K. She lives in London.


The man who tried to blow up Flight 253 on Christmas allegedly turned toward al Qaeda at London University. Alum Venetia Thompson on going to school at terrorism's Ivy League.

When former University College London mechanical engineering student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a plane on Christmas Day, he became the fourth president of a student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. Waheed Zaman, former president of the Islam Society at London Metropolitan University, is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid-bomb plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners, and two others have been convicted of terrorist offenses since 2007. The government-funded Islam and Citizenship Education Project, which aims to encourage British citizenship to be taught in madrassahs, and even supplies teaching materials, clearly has a lot of work to do, as do British universities.

"Everyone knows London universities are full of would-be nutters honing their engineering skills whilst simultaneously becoming increasingly religious. It's one hell of a dangerous combo when you think about it."

When I was in my final year at UCL, the "Christmas undie bomber" would have been in his first year, a "fresher." We may even have crossed paths in the library or Students' Union. Like all freshers, he would have attended the annual Freshers' Fair and signed up to various clubs and societies, probably ignoring the Ultimate Frisbee Society and the Wilderness Medicine Society and making a bee-line for the Islamic Society, which he would then go on to lead. Whilst I was getting drunk and becoming increasingly convinced I was going to fail my finals, somewhere nearby he was beginning to be radicalized.

I had various encounters with the UCL Islamic Society, from the relatively innocent (constantly trying to get me to sign their anti-Israel or anti-Iraq war petitions, to wear one of their "Free Palestine" T-shirts, or to take one of their seemingly endless supply of leaflets promoting protests, sit-ins, and lectures by extremists) to the slightly more sinister (the friends I made in first year whom I gradually saw less and less of, and who even began dressing more conservatively as they became more involved with the society, or the girl I knew who told me she was warned against adopting "their" — as in our "Western" — culture by an older student she'd met during Freshers' Week).

One former UCL student even says he was told whilst enjoying a pint in the union that it was his "duty" as a Muslim to attend society meetings and that he was frequently invited to Islamic study groups. He jokes that he was "probably seen as a sitting duck — I was even studying 'bomb-making,' as we affectionately referred to the Department of Chemical Engineering."

He goes on to say: "Everyone knows London universities are full of would-be nutters honing their engineering skills whilst simultaneously becoming increasingly religious. It's one hell of a dangerous combo when you think about it. We all used to joke about it back then, but it's not quite so funny anymore."

Sadly, the average 18-year-old arriving in London, having spent the last eight years locked up in a boarding school in the middle of nowhere, or worse, getting beaten up at the local state-run comprehensive, is going to be looking for more than the Ultimate Frisbee Society when they finally arrive at university. They want guidance, identity, friends, and protection — to feel that they belong. Therefore they are perfect fodder for religious fanatics lurking behind the scenes.

Of course most societies that scoop up lost "freshers" don't encourage known extremists to come and give lectures to their impressionable members. Incidentally, no former presidents of other societies have graduated and gone on to try and blow themselves up or plot terrorist atrocities. It could be argued that this seems to be a problem specific to university Islamic societies and the people who are allowed access, or invited to speak at, study groups, and events that appear to be totally unregulated.

Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, an independent U.K. think tank specializing in the study of radicalization and extremism in the U.K., tells The Daily Telegraph, "UCL has not just failed to prevent students being radicalized, they have been complicit." Referring to Abu Usama, an extremist due to speak at UCL last month and known for preaching that homosexuals and apostates should be killed, Murray says: "If any other society at UCL invited someone to speak who encouraged killing homosexuals, that society would be banned immediately, but academics are afraid of taking action when it involves Islamic societies in case they are accused of Islamophobia."

It is perhaps, therefore, unsurprising that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, during his time as president of the UCL Islamic Society, was able to launch what can only be described as an anti-Western propagandist YouTube video advertising the society's "War on Terror Week" without any intervention from the university.

It isn't just UCL in the hot seat. A student at the prestigious London School of Economics — incidentally, where Omar Sheikh, who helped in the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl back in 2002, studied — recalls the friends made in first year who during the course of their degrees "took a mysterious turn to the conservative, stopped coming out and drinking." Then there are the "Death to Israel" T-shirts a Jewish LSE student tells me he has seen around the LSE campus, where, he says, "anti-Semitism is rife. There have been plenty of clashes between the Islamic Soc and the Israel Soc here. It's only going to get worse."

Kings College London, another top university, was where Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif studied. They carried out a suicide bomb attack on a bar in Tel Aviv in 2003. Then there is City University, where Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of the 2006 liquid-bomb plot, graduated from. It seems to be a struggle to find a London university without terrorist alumni.

A YouGov poll conducted in 2008, the only documented extensive study of British Muslim students to be published, found that 32 percent of the 632 students who took part believed killing in the name of religion to be justifiable in order to "preserve and promote that religion" or if that religion is "under attack."

UCL has issued a typically frothy statement claiming that "during his time on the course Mr. Abdulmutallab never gave his tutors any cause for concern, and was a well-mannered, quietly spoken, polite and able young man." The UCL president and provost, Professor Malcolm Grant is "deeply saddened by these events." It is surely about time that he, and other university heads, stop their clichéd "but he was such a nice young man" denial and fulfill their duty of care by monitoring their students, university societies, and who is being invited to speak on their campuses more closely. They cannot rely on there always being a heroic Dutchman around to bring down the next "bomb-making" graduate who decides to blow himself up.

Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@bezeqint.net

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 31, 2009.

This is by Victor Davis Hanson and it comes from today's Jewish World Review

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking her


In the coming year, plenty of our chickens will be coming home to roost.

Take foreign relations. In 2009, the new administration assumed that George W. Bush was largely responsible for global tensions. As a remedy, we loudly reached out to our foes and those with whom we had uneasy relationships.

But so far these leaders — like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Russia's Vladimir Putin — have only interpreted Barack Obama's serial goodwill gestures as weaknesses to be exploited. They play the part of the pushy class bully, we the whiny nerd.

In the waning days of 2009, Iran has announced it has no intention of dismantling its nuclear facilities and ignored the latest Obama deadline to cease. There's no reason not to expect the theocracy to make significant strides in its nuclear program in 2010, while continuing without rebuke to beat and murder democratic dissidents in its streets.

Russia has announced plans to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons — and scoffed at our polite suggestions that it should pressure Iran to stop its nuclear development.

Venezuela brags of its own similar program to come — an act that could threaten all the neighboring democracies in the region.

The administration courted China on a much-heralded Asian tour. President Obama even has said he would be our first "Pacific president."

Unfortunately, China was not impressed. It declined our advice about reducing its carbon footprint and instead reminded Americans that we owe the Chinese people nearly $1 trillion. Expect much more of that hectoring in 2010 as our debt to China grows.

Consider also the threat of Islamic terrorism. In 2009, some in the Obama administration decided "war on terror" was too provocative a label for what might be better dubbed "overseas contingency operations." Apparently, they were thinking a kinder, gentler image would discourage terrorists.

Accordingly, the self-confessed architect of Sept. 11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was promised a civil trial in New York rather than a military tribunal normally accorded to out-of-uniform murderous terrorists. Expect a lot of soapbox speechmaking about America's sins during his testimony in 2010.

As part of our efforts to break with the Bush anti-terrorism past, President Obama also vowed he would close the facility at Guantanamo Bay by Jan. 22, 2010 — another deadline that won't be met.

But as 2009 ended, we were reminded that radical Islamic terrorists still want to kill us for who we are, and what we represent, rather than any particular thing we do.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, nursed on radical Islamic doctrine, murdered 12 fellow soldiers and one civilian at Ford Hood, Texas. Five would-be terrorists with U.S. citizenship were arrested in Pakistan on their way to link up with Islamist militant groups. And Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was stopped in flight from Amsterdam before he could blow up an American passenger jet.

Note that all these recent terrorists were not poor, lived in the hospitable West — and cared little that the Obama administration has been critical of the U.S.'s prior war-on-terror policies.

So, while we assured the world in 2009 that we wouldn't be overzealous in our various efforts to stop terrorists, the terrorists proved they most certainly would be in theirs to kill us.

Meanwhile, at home we operated on the same naive assumptions. The Obama administration inherited a $500 billion deficit and expanded it threefold. Its planned mega-deficits may well grow the aggregate national debt over the next decade to over $20 trillion.

But the administration's 2009 calculations on how to service the growing red ink are based on continued cheap interest. Yet in 2010, it is likely we will see rising inflation, rising interest rates — and rising costs to the continual self-destructive borrowing.

We were given a financial break on energy prices in 2009. The worldwide recession sent oil down to about $50 a barrel. But America did little during the year's reprieve to rush into production newly discovered domestic gas and oil fields, to tap existing finds in Alaska, or to license new nuclear plants.

By year's end, oil was creeping back up to $80. If the economic upswing continues, in 2010 it may near its old high of nearly $150 a barrel. Soon we will wish we had done something concrete in 2009 rather than offering more stale rhetoric about wind and solar power.

In other words, 2009 may seem to have ended relatively quietly. But in our foreign relations, in the war against terror, in our massive borrowing, and in our energy policies, we created chickens that soon will come home to roost in 2010.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, December 31, 2009.
This article appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364552534& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year,


In 1948, prime minister David Ben-Gurion declared independence in defiance of demographic fatalism, which was perpetrated by the country's leading demographers. He rejected their assumptions that Jews were doomed to be a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, that a massive aliya wave was not feasible, that the Jewish fertility rate was declining to below reproduction levels and that the Arab fertility rate would remain the highest in the world, irrespective of modernity.

Instead, Ben-Gurion highlighted demographic optimism and aliya as top national priorities, coalesced a solid Jewish majority and planted the seeds that catapulted Israel to a Middle East power, highly respected for its civilian and military achievements.

In 2005, in capitulation to demographic fatalism, prime minister Ariel Sharon retreated from Palestinian terrorism, uprooting 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Samaria. Sharon abandoned his lifelong ideology of defiance, subordinating long-term strategy and security concerns to doomsday demography. Thus, he facilitated Hamas's takeover of Gaza and its ripple effects: slackened posture of deterrence, intensified shelling of southern Israel, the 2006 Second Lebanon War, 2008's Operation Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report and the exacerbated global pressure on Israel.

DEMOGRAPHIC ASSUMPTIONS have played an increasing role in shaping national security policy since 1992. But what if these assumptions are dramatically wrong? For example, since the beginning of annual aliya in 1882 — and in contradiction to demographic projections — the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean has grown 238-fold, while the Arab population increased only sixfold. Since 1948, the Jewish population has increased almost tenfold, and the Arab population has expanded threefold.

Israel's demographers did not believe that a massive aliya would take place in the aftermath of the 1948/9 war. One million Jews arrived. They projected no substantial aliya from the communist bloc during the 1970s. Almost 300,000 Jews arrived. They dismissed the possibility of a massive aliya from the USSR, even if the gates were opened. One million olim relocated from the Soviet Union to the Jewish homeland during the 1990s.

Contrary to demographic assumptions, a rapid and drastic decline in Muslim fertility has been documented by the UN Population Division: Iran — 1.7 births per woman; Algeria — 1.8 births; Egypt — 2.5 births; Jordan — three births; and so on. The Arab fertility rate in pre-1967 Israel declined 20 years faster than projected, and Judea and Samaria Arab fertility has dropped below 4.5 births per woman, tending toward three births.

Precedents suggest that low fertility rates can rarely be reversed following a sustained period of significant reduction.

At the same time, the annual number of Jewish births increased by 45 percent between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), mostly impacted by the demographic surge within the secular sector. The total annual Arab births in pre-1967 Israel stabilized around 39,000 during the same period, reflecting the successful Arab integration into the infrastructure of education, employment, health, trade, politics and sports.

AN AUDIT of the documentation of Palestinian births, deaths and migration, which is conducted by the Palestinian Authority ministries of Health and Education and Election Commission, as well as by Israel's Border Police and Central Bureau of Statistics and by the World Bank, reveals huge misrepresentations by the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics.

For instance, the PCBS's census includes about 400,000 overseas residents who have been away for more than one year, ignores high net-emigration (28,000 in 2008, 25,000 in 2007, etc.) and double-counts some 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who are also counted by Israel. Furthermore, a 40,000-60,000 annual birth gap is confirmed between PCBS numbers and the documentation conducted by the PA Health and Education ministries.

The audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation exposes a 66% bend in the current number of Judea and Samaria Arabs — 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the PA. It certifies a solid 67% Jewish majority over 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33% and an 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River. An 80% majority is attainable by 2035 with the proper demographic policy, highlighting aliya, returning expatriates, etc.

In conclusion, demographic optimism is well-documented, while demographic fatalism is resoundingly refuted. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal, and the tailwind is Jewish. Therefore, anyone suggesting that there is a demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish state and that Jewish geography must be conceded to secure Jewish demography, is either grossly mistaken or outrageously misleading.

The writer is executive director of Second Thought, which researches national security aspects of Judea and Samaria.

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Posted by Boris Celser, December 31, 2009.

This was written by Shelomo Alfassa and it appeared in



NEW YORK (December 29, 2009) — The Iraqi news agency Ur News has revived fears that under pressure from Islamic political parties, the original Hebrew inscriptions and ornamentation on the walls around the tomb of Ezekiel are being (or have been) removed, this under the pretext of restoring the site. According to sources, the Antiquities and Heritage Authority in Iraq has been pressured by Islamists to historically cleanse all evidence of a Jewish connection to Iraq — a land where Jews had lived for over a thousand years before the advent of Islam.

Four months ago a German-based Iraqi journalist tipped off the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq in Israel that plans were afoot to build a mosque on the site of the shrine of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel at al-Kifl, this was first reported on the "Point of No Return" news blog. The rumours were investigated by a philo-Semitic Iraqi Shi'a, Dr. Jabbar Jamal al-Din, a lecturer in Jewish Thought at the Kufa University. They were denied by the shrine's director. Now a report by Ur News revives fears that in the absence of Jews on the ground, nothing, not even UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), stands in the way of politically-motivated plans to erase all Jewish traces of this ancient holy site.

Ezekiel's Tomb (from www.alfassa.com)

Drastic changes taking place currently at the tomb of Ezekiel will change its character and prompt UNESCO to delete it as a protected site on the World Heritage List, similar to what happened to the historic city of Babylon, where old buildings were demolished and new layers of construction added.

Prof. Shmuel Moreh, the Chairman of the Association of Jewish Academics from Iraq, Israel Prize Laureate in Arabic Literature and emeritus Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has indicted that the Arabic news stories have tipped him that the Archeological Authority in Iraq has started a campaign to erase the Jewish aspects of the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel and the original inlay Hebrew inscriptions have been destroyed and covered by new Arabic inscriptions and Islamic symbols.

Here is an extract, paraphrased from an Arabic translation of the Ur News agency report:

The officials of the Department of Antiquities and Heritage say that their restoration programme will continue until 2011 and is designed to carry out essential maintenance and prevent the dome and roof from collapsing. But their hidden purpose, sources say, is the removal of features that emphasize a historical connection with the Jews who built the shrine and lived in the city for hundreds of years after the Babylonian exile.

Hebrew writings will or already has been erased from the site and from the room that houses the shrine. Restoration work includes skimming the walls, 3 metres high in the yard, 2 metres high inside the shrine. Sources say that the media are not allowed to take pictures and visits to the shrine are limited to pilgrims. The city of Kifl contains tens of thousands of acres of land belonging to the Jewish community before their displacement from Iraq in the last century. The majority of tenants' shops around the shrine still pay rent to their original Jewish owners through accredited mediators.

Iraq — the Biblical Mesopotamia — is almost as rich in Jewish history as the Land of Israel. The tomb of the prophet Ezekiel dates back to the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE. It was there in Iraq that Abraham discovered monotheism, and it is where the prophets Ezra, Nehemiah, Nahum, Jonah and Daniel are all buried.

Boris Celser is a Canadian. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Rabbi Tzvi Tauby, December 31, 2009.

This week: Parsha Vayiechi

A title usually reflects the theme of the subject matter. "Genesis" is about the beginning of the world, "Exodus" is about the Jews leaving Egypt. The title should convey the main idea of the content it describes.

Which is why the title of this week's parshah (Torah reading) seems highly inappropriate. Vayechi means "And He Lived." The name derives from the parshah's opening line, "And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years..." The parshah, however, goes on to tell us not about Jacob's life, but rather about his death: his last will and testament to his children, his passing, his funeral, and his interment in Hebron in the Holy Land.

Why then is he name of the Parsha Vayechi "And He Lived?"

The answer, say our sages, is that we are not discussing biological organisms, but Jews. And the test of true life for a Jew is whether he lived an authentic, consistent Jewish life — for life. Did he falter before the finish line, or was he faithful to his value system until the end?

How do we know that Jacob did indeed live, in the fullest sense of the word? That his was a genuine, G-dly life? When we see that he remains true to those ideals until his dying day. Only then can we say with certainty that his life was truly alive; that his was a Vayechi life. The fact that Jacob died a righteous man validated his entire life-span, establishing it as a true life, alive and real from beginning to end.

There are individuals who have their 15 minutes of fame, who shine briefly and impress the world only to fade away and leave us disappointedly watching so much unfulfilled potential dissipate into thin air. Others are longer lasting, but don't quite go all the way.

Complacency can be dangerous. There are no guarantees. One must constantly "live" — i.e., grow and attempt to improve oneself — lest one falter before the finish line.

As the great sage Hillel says in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), "One can never morally trust oneself, until their last day".

I will never forget my experience with a very fine man who was remarkably loyal to the company he worked for. For 45 years he was with the same group, totally and absolutely dedicated. Then he reached the age of compulsory retirement. Suddenly he took ill. The doctors had no real diagnosis. But he got sicker and sicker until he became incapacitated and eventually died. To this day, nobody knows what he died from. But those who knew him well understood that once he left the workplace to which he had devoted his entire adult life, he had nothing left to live for. Sadly, he had no other interests. His work was his life, and without his work there was no life left.

It is psychologically sound to take up a hobby, learn to play golf or develop other interests outside of work. A Jew, though, should ideally start studying Torah. Go to classes, read a stimulating book. Studying and sharpening the mind is good for the brain. Recent medical research confirms that it can even delay the onset of Alzheimer's. Most importantly, a person must have something to live for. Find new areas of stimulation. Discover, dream, aspire higher. Life must be lived with purpose and vigor.

That's why at the end of this week's parsha, which also concludes the Book of Genesis, the congregation and Torah reader will proclaim Chazak, chazak v'nischazek — "Be strong, be strong, and we will all be strengthened." Because the tendency when we finish a book is to take a breather before we pick up the next one. Such is human nature. But a book of the Torah is not just any book. Torah is not just history or biography. Torah is our source of life, and we dare not ever take a breather from life.

"Chazak" energizes us to carry on immediately. And so we do. The very same afternoon we open the Book of Exodus and continue the learning cycle without interruption.

Truth is consistent, from beginning to end. May our lives be blessed to be truly alive — with authenticity, faithfulness and eternal fulfillment.

Good Shabbos
From Rabbi Tzvi Tauby

The Chabad iVolunteer group is based in Brooklyn. Contact them at programs@ivolunteerny.com This article is archived at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 31, 2009.

I confess it: For me, the secular new year is marked chiefly by the need to remember to write the correct date on my checks and at the top of these postings. But I am mindful of what the New Year means to many of my readers. And I most certainly wish one and all blessings — for peace, health, inner contentment and prosperity — in the coming year.

The imagery for the new year is one of beginnings that are fresh and hopeful. May 2010 bring the world better tidings than it received in 2009.


In my last posting, I raised the question as to whether Obama will grapple with the root of the "systematic failure" that led to a terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, getting on an American plane and attempting to blow it up outside of Detroit. There is a vast amount of material on this subject coming my way, and so I return for a closer look.

We will pass by the idiocy of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who told CNN, after the incident, that "the system worked." A ludicrous attempt to put a good face on what — but for the courageous response of passengers and a failed detonator — would have been a very major terrorist attack.

Of great concern, however, is that fact that the Obama government seems to be treating this as an "incident," and an isolated one at that, rather than as a symptom of something a great deal more ominous. In fact, Napolitano also alluded to this, saying that, "We have no indication that it's part of anything larger." Come on!

Yes, there will be examinations of how screening failed to pick up the explosives being carried on to a plane. This is the "systemic failure" that the president is concerned with. And as a result all passengers flying in or to the US will be considerably inconvenienced. There is talk of such measures as body-frisking and preventing passengers from getting out of their seats for a period before landing.

But there is no mention of the fact that the would-be terrorist was a Muslim. No talk of Islamists, or radical Islam or jihadist ideology.


So thoroughly is Abdulmutallab being treated as a criminal rather than a terrorist that he is simply being charged — within the civil criminal system — with committing two felonies: trying to destroy a plane in U.S. airspace, and bringing a "destructive device" on an aircraft.

JINSA (in Report #951) quotes counterterrorism expert Steve Emerson:

"I'd like to first find out who recruited him. I'd like to find out where he got the explosives...I'd like to find out who sent him. How he was recruited...."

However, laments JINSA:

"...being charged in a U.S. court means that Abdulmutallab is now entitled to Constitutional protections, including the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. And we are sure that if Abulmutallab doesn't know about those rights, his court appointed lawyer or the ACLU will surely tell him. How much we will learn from him under the circumstances is unclear.

"We have already learned enough about the young men...who adopt jihadist teachings as their religious touchstone to understand that it is a mistake to endow terrorists with the legal and constitutional rights of American citizens who violate civilian laws."

A Wall Street Journal editorial, "The Terror This Time," on Monday made the same points:

"[The Obama administration] immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges...despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read. Yet he is precisely the kind of illegal enemy combatant who should be interrogated first with the goal of preventing future attacks and learning more about terror networks rather than gaining a single conviction." (emphasis added)

Miranda rights for terrorists. Setting up a situation that makes it significantly less likely that information will be secured that might help prevent future attacks. Not a good way to go!

Obama has not internalized the fact that we are at war.


I recommend here the very excellent piece — "The Wake up call from flight 253" — by Jeff Jacoby.

"...As the near-unanimity of 9/11 receded, Americans divided into what the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes dubbed September 12 people, for whom 9/11 had changed everything, and September 10 people, who believed the terrorist threat was being exaggerated by the Bush administration and who regarded the fight against Islamist extremism as chiefly a matter of law enforcement. "...Would that divide have closed if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had succeeded...? If Al-Qaeda...had succeeded in carrying out another 9/11, would the short-lived unity and moral clarity of that terrible day in 2001 have returned?"

Jacoby then lists for us the lessons that too many have been inclined to dismiss in recent years:

[] "Terrorism isn't caused by poverty and ignorance.Abdulmutallab came from a wealthy and privileged family, and had studied at one of Britain's top universities. He wasn't trying to kill hundreds of Americans out of socioeconomic despair...Abdulmutallab was motivated by ideological and religious fanaticism. The teachings of militant Islam may seem monstrous to outsiders, but that is no reason to doubt that their adherents genuinely believe them..."

[] "The Global Jihad is real...Of course Abdulmutallab is part of something larger: He is part of the global jihad — the relentless assault by Islamist radicals whose deadly serious goal is the submission of America and the West to Islamic law. If government officials like Napolitano cannot bring themselves to speak plainly about the jihadists' ambitions, how will they ever succeed in crushing them? "

[] "Terrorists can always adapt to new restrictions. After 9/11, knives and sharp metal objects were banned from carry-on luggage, so Richard Reid attempted to detonate a shoe bomb. Thereafter everyone's shoes were checked, so the 2006 Heathrow plotters planned to use liquid-based explosives...There is no physical constraint that determined jihadists cannot find a way to circumvent. Yet US airport security remains obstinately reactive — focused on intercepting dangerous things, instead of intercepting dangerous people. Unwilling to incorporate ethnic and religious profiling in our air-travel security procedures, we have saddled ourselves with a mediocre security system that inconveniences everyone while protecting no one." (emphasis added)

[] The Patriot Act was not a reckless overreaction. Security in a post 9/11 world has not come from...sending Guantanamo inmates off to Yemen, or refusing to use terms like 'war on terrorism.' It has come from stepped-up surveillance and stronger intelligence-gathering tools, and from working to pre-empt terror attacks in advance, rather than prosecuting them after the fact. Congress was not out of its mind when it enacted the Patriot Act in 2001, and the Bush administration was not trampling the Constitution when it deployed the expanded powers the law gave it: They were trying to prevent another 9/11 — and they succeeded. President Obama has repeatedly and ostentatiously criticized his predecessor's approach. Perhaps it is not just a coincidence that Obama's first year in office has also seen an unprecedented surge in terrorist threats on US soil." (emphasis added)

Jacoby provides a link to "Domestic Terrorism Hits a Peak in 2009":

There have been 32 terror-related events in the US since 9/11, and 12 of them were in 2009.

Jacoby's article is at:


A hope for 2010, then, would be an awakening on the part of 9/10 people in the US (which undoubtedly includes Obama and the bulk of his administration) before a tragedy ensues.


Analysts are viewing the unrest inside Iran with increased seriousness. Some are even saying that this is a grassroots rebellion that in due course will either seriously affect the nature of the current regime or even overturn it. Reuters has reported that police in central Teheran are refusing orders to shoot at demonstrators.

Such situations are volatile and difficult to predict. Certainly — we know this already — change, if it comes, would not be without cost in limb if not life for some protesters.

But I am mindful of what I reported the other day when Professor Irwin Cotler spoke, and the need to support these protesters. Cotler yesterday called a press conference here, in concert with other lawyers doing the same in other places, to announce the release of the petition he had spoken about, which details actions the international community must take against Iran.


And so this, too, may be a hope for 2010: that the situation in Iran might resolve itself internally, without the need for military intervention by Israel.


Sheikh Abdul Palazzo

Sheikh Abdul Palazzo is a good man. I've known of him for several years now. Born in Rome to an Italian Catholic father who had converted to Islam, and a Muslim mother whose roots were in Syria, he is today the leader of the Italian-Muslim Assembly co-founded and co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, which promotes a positive attitude in Muslims to Jews and Israel. He is profoundly pro-Israel, believing that this is what the legitimate teachings of Mohammad say before they are corrupted by the Ahab perspective.

My biggest quandary, with regard to the Sheikh, is understanding how he has managed to stay alive in spite of what he says publicly. I mention him now because I have just read that he visited in Hevron — Jewish Hevron, that is.

Do I expect to see other Muslim clergy such as him? Not really. He's an anomaly. But we can hope.


The rest of the news, such as it may be? It can wait.

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

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Posted by Daily Alert, December 31, 2009.

This was written by Cathal Kelly, staff reporter, and it appeared in The Star and is archived at
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/ 744426 — what-israel-can-teach-us-about-security


While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threats with far less inconvenience.

"It is mind boggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He has worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.

"Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for — not for hours — but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, 'We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.'"

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Ben Gurion is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security is watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

"This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

"The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with Play-Doh in it and two pens stuck in the Play-Doh. That is 'Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Duchesneau, 'What would you do?' And he said, 'Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, 'Oh. My. God.'

"Take (Toronto's) Pearson (airport). Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, 'Two days.'"

A screener at Ben Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes.' If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

"This is a very small, simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben Gurion airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.

"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

"First, it's fast — there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.

And then there's intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.

"There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States," Sela said. "Absolutely none."

But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — who allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day — would not have gotten past Ben Gurion's behavioural profilers.

So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive?

Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.

"You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit — technology, training," Sela said. "But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."

And rather than fear, he suggests outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.

"Do you know why Israelis are so calm? We have brutal terror attacks on our civilians and still, life in Israel is pretty good. The reason is that people trust their defence forces, their police, their response teams and the security agencies. They know they're doing a good job. You can't say the same thing about Americans and Canadians. They don't trust anybody," Sela said. "But they say, 'So far, so good.' Then if something happens, all hell breaks loose and you've spent eight hours in an airport. Which is ridiculous. Not justifiable."

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 31, 2009.

We can only hope that psychiatry makes BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome, a recognized ailment in 2010. And Obamacare should provide free treatment for those afflicted, starting with its own troops. From The Hill:

Democratic strategists Wednesday asserted President Barack Obama "has been far more aggressive in fighting al Qaeda" than the previous administration.

We've noticed the dramatic results. We noticed them at Fort Hood, we noticed them last Friday over Detroit...

In an e-mail this afternoon to supporters — which incidentally excoriated Republicans for politicizing the attempted bombing of Flight 253 — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) stressed it was President George W. Bush, not his successor, who relegated the fight against the terrorist network to the back burner by turning "its focus from al Qaeda to Iraq."

Again, Bush. Always Bush and, of course, Cheney. It's a BDS epidemic. Swine flu is nothing compared to this.

The outrage here, among others, is that the Dems never noticed that we fought al Qaeda in Iraq, and defeated it. We've seen that al Qaeda travels from place to place. It doesn't have just one address on Cave Boulevard in Afghanistan.

Bush can be criticized for many things, but there's been a dramatic increase in terror attempts since Obama took office, and it may not be a coincidence. When you flash weakness, an enemy notices.

It's odd that the Dems accuse the GOP of politicizing terror and then go on to attack the Bush administration on the same subject. It's unlikely that the Democratic political planners anticipated that terror would erupt once more as a political issue, but it has. Defense is not exactly an Obama strong point. Add that fact to the general unpopularity of some of the domestic issues he's pushing, and Democratic political concern is likely to grow. A year ago the Democratic Party was in political heaven. Now it's headed in the other direction, where global warming is a constant reality.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, December 31, 2009.

Why do I find this not only hard to believe but I smell the stench of intimidation as well? First there was the Freeze, then the "leaked" plans for the next Pogrom, a terrorist murder and now the taking of a high profile hostage. Every effort is being made to break the resolve of Jewish patriots by this Government of National Betrayal. This article was written by Gil Ronen and appeared today in Arutz-7 (IsraelNationalNews.com).


Police and Shin Bet operatives arrested a Jewish youth from Kfar Tapuach in Shomron, a grandson of former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, on Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses said the youth was not told why he was being arrested, but only that he would be taken to Tel Aviv. Police stated later in the day that he was suspected of involvement in an arson attack on a mosque at Kafr Yasouf in Samaria three weeks ago.

His father, Binyamin Ze'ev, and his mother, Talia, were murdered in a terror gun ambush on December 31, 2000. His grandfather, MK and fiery rabbi Meir Kahane, was assassinated ten years earlier.

Nationalist activists reacted to the arrest by saying: "We hope the Shin Bet and police do not abuse the boy the way they usually abuse settlers. He is an orphan without a mother and father, who were murdered in a terror attack."

Security forces have been busy trying to identify and arrest the people involved in the mosque arson at Kafr Yasouf in northern Samaria on December 11. Unknown people entered the mosque in the pre-dawn hours, set alight a carpet and bookshelves, and scrawled some graffiti on the floor in Hebrew promising revenge for Arab terror.

In the history of the world, no tyranny has ever voluntarily relinquished power or been replaced by peaceful means.

Have a nice day
Aryeh Zelasko :-)
Beit Shemesh  

UPDATE: January 1, 2010

Kahane proved he was elsewhere at the time and the police were forced to release him.

Yaacov Levi writes, "I am familiar with Tapuach, and the nearby sprawling Saudi financed village where the mosque is. There is NO WAY a Jew could approach the mosque in the middle of the night with all of the stray dogs there. Additionally no one just walks into the village unnoticed, its lit up and so is the mosque. A Jew did NOT do this fire. There would have been more fire, not some disposable books and carpet burnt, this was pure and simple a fabrication on the part of the arabs and/or the shabak. The shabak is starting the New Year off badly, but in character."

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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Posted by Gerald M. Steinberg, December 31, 2009.

Most people prefer giving, rather than receiving, criticism. Leaders of powerful non-governmental organizations are no exception.

Human rights NGOs have long benefited from a "halo effect" that has protected them from scrutiny; reporters quote their research widely, assuming it is accurate. But in recent years, the protective coating has worn thin, and the heads of these organizations are finding themselves squirming uncomfortably in the spotlight.

Events of the past year have highlighted the vital need for accountability, transparency and informed debate on the activities of NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and B'Tselem. These NGOs have played a central role in charging Israel with "war crimes" and "collective punishment." To the degree that these groups' agendas and claims prove to be biased, unfounded or simply invented, their accusations against Israel also lose credibility.

Understandably, NGO Monitor's research reports airing NGOs' dirty linen often trigger intense counterattacks. There have been angry insults from HRW officials and crude accusations of "McCarthyism" from apologists for some of the groups that NGO Monitor has researched. (One such online attack was linked to prominently on the home page of the New Israel Fund.)

Then there are criticisms from more serious individuals, such as Forward columnist Yossi Alpher, author of the December 25 article "NGO Monitor Needs a Monitor." To his credit, Alpher acknowledges the work that NGO Monitor has done exposing "the funding by European governments and reputable American philanthropies of NGOs that smear Israel with lies and classic antisemitic rhetoric." He also affirms the validity of NGO Monitor's complaints about Human Rights Watch. (Alpher doesn't elaborate, but NGO Monitor has documented deep biases among the heads of HRW's Middle East division, the dispatching of an obsessive Nazi-memorabilia collector to assess Israeli military actions and the group's use of anti-Israel themes to raise funds in Saudi Arabia.)

Alpher, however, goes off track, making the bogus assertion that NGO Monitor is motivated by the goal of "eliminating human rights monitoring of Israel entirely." He accuses us of "running roughshod" over groups "that are working to maintain Israel's integrity in the context of its ongoing occupation of the West Bank."

Yet for the majority of Israelis — who support territorial compromise and are not right-wing fanatics — NGOs' abuse of human rights principles to condemn self-defense suggests that an end to the occupation would not stop the NGO-led war. In 2005, Israel removed every settler and soldier from Gaza, and it received 8,000 rocket attacks and a Hamas-led coup in response. Every attack was a war crime, but where were the self-appointed human rights guardians? And in the more than three years of Gilad Shalit's captivity by Hamas in Gaza, the international human rights community has not given enough attention to his plight.

Israelis see that human rights organizations are propelling delegitimization campaigns against Israel — from the NGO forum of the United Nations' 2001 Durban conference to the Israel-bashing sessions of the U.N. Human Rights Council — and waging "lawfare" against Israel's elected officials. The most potent attack, in the form of the report by the U.N. Human Rights Council-mandated fact-finding mission on Gaza — headed by a judge, Richard Goldstone, who is closely affiliated with HRW — is largely a rehashed compilation of NGO allegations.

We also see NGO superpowers like HRW and Amnesty International and dozens of Israel-based NGOs that are funded largely by European governments providing the ammunition used to attack Israeli leaders as "war criminals." The latest low-water mark for this abuse was the arrest warrant briefly issued in London for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

NGO Monitor's criticism of organizations that abuse moral principles for gratuitous Israel-bashing is not evidence of a "right-wing" agenda, as Alpher seems to suggest. Rather, holding NGOs accountable should be a top priority for liberals. The left should be leading demands for an end to the corrosive double standards that have debased the moral currency of human rights and neglected the mass killings in Sudan and the Congo.

By the same token, the funders that enable the small group of ideologues who run these NGOs must also be held to account. Although they may see themselves as promoting progressive principles, benefactors such as the Ford and Soros foundations, the New Israel Fund, the governments of Sweden and Norway, and the European Union foot the multimillion-dollar bill for NGO press conferences, submissions to the U.N., media blitzes and speaking tours.

In an October op-ed published in The New York Times, Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, wrote: "I must publicly join the group's critics. Human Rights Watch had as its original mission to pry open closed societies, advocate basic freedoms and support dissenters. But recently it has been issuing reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict that are helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state."

Bernstein is the antithesis of a knee-jerk right-winger, and his was not a narrow, ideological stance, but rather a principled position. Wide cooperation among individuals of varied political views is necessary if we are to restore the moral force and credibility of the movement for universal human rights.

Gerald M. Steinberg is president of NGO Monitor and a professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 31, 2009.


The Israeli Municipality Treasury Bank was sold to a European bank, Dexia. This summer, Dexia signed an agreement to lend the Judea-Samaria regional councils $70 million. Some shareholders protested. Dexia denies that it acceded to pro-Arab groups' demands, and it did refuse to stop lending to Jerusalem. However, it has not lent to the regional councils for months. Now it has asked them to close their accounts. Some Israelis urge remaining account-holders to do likewise (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/29).

This is the danger a country runs, when it sells critical assets to foreigners. Dexia denies caving in to boycott pressure, but did not cite economic reasons for blanket withdrawal from Judea-Samaria soon after agreeing to lend the regional councils $70 million.

For another obvious acquiescence to demands for boycott,
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY-Israel-Conflict-Examiner ~y2009m12d28-Swedish-firm-moves-from-beyond-Green-Line-to-Israel


Hedy Epstein in middle (A.P./Amr Nabil)

About a thousand foreigners gathered in Cairo for a march to Gaza in commemoration of the recent war and in protest over Israeli control over Gaza and its partial blockade of Gaza. They found that Egypt had its own partial blockade, when it refused to let this undifferentiated mass through. Instead, citing security precautions, Egypt offered to let a hundred delegates through.

One of the protesters is a Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein, age 85. She is on a hunger strike. She said, "My message if for the world governments [i.e., governments of the world] to wake up and treat Israel like they treat any other country and not to be afraid to reprimand and criticize Israel for its violent policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians." (Mona El-Naggar, NY Times, 12/30, A8.)

Ms. Epstein needs a wake up call. Governments should treat Israel like any other country, and not be afraid to reprimand and criticize the Arabs for their violent polices against Israel. First came the violence from Gaza, and not peace negotiations. Then came the partial blockade, primarily to block entry of potential war materiel, and an incursion, primarily to stop the war crimes by rocket.

How did Epstein fail to notice that the UN regularly reprimands Israel, more than it criticizes the rest of the world put together? She failed to notice that the accusations are devised by brutal, aggressive dictatorships, haphazardly explained, and automatically approved.

Victimized by one totalitarian movement for world conquest, she should have learned better than to abet another, the Islamist one, which again, like the others, targets people of her religious origin, among others.

Will her protest persuade bigoted anti-Zionists that they err in brushing off a Jew's reports and opinions as automatically slanted for Israel? No, they prefer flinging mud. They see an outlet for antisemitism, not a duty for integrity.

Let some enterprising reporter describe Epstein's plea to Holocaust-deniers Abbas and Ahmadinejad, and then elicit comment on her being a survivor of the denied Holocaust!


Mubarak with Obama (A.P./Amr Nabil)

PM Netanyahu spent a day with the President and Foreign Minister of Egypt. The hosts criticized his excluding Jewish construction in Jerusalem from the freeze. "Such behavior raises questions about the serious willingness of Israel to reach a definitive agreement and leads one to believe that Israel is trying to Welch on its obligations for a just and lasting peace," Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit stated to the official MENA news agency."

"The Obama administration reportedly is drafting letters for both Israel and the PA with unknown guarantees for the resumption of negotiations over the PA's stated desire to become an independent country."

"The PA, backed by the Arab world, has in effect rejected negotiations until now, by demanding that talks resume only after Israel agrees to accept the borders that existed before the Six-Day War in 1967. The American Roadmap calls for direct negotiations between Israel and the PA concerning the formation of a new Arab state." (www.imra.org.il, 12/30.)

What do Arabs mean by the code phrase, "just and lasting peace?" (1) Giving them what they demand; and (2) Leaving Israel with indefensible borders.

Foreign Min. Gheit did not state what obligations Israel has that it is reneging on. It never obliged itself to freeze construction in Jerusalem. That is insulting. I do not believe in starting diplomatic huffs and tit-for-tat withdrawal of diplomats over minor spats. But Israel has let Egypt treat it insultingly too long, without standing up for itself. Result: Egypt's contempt for Israel grows. So would anybody's.

A short time ago, the Obama administration used duplicity to deny Pres. Bush's letter of assurance to Israel about U.S. policy. As I have written earlier, the U.S. does renege on many promises to other countries. I want my country to maintain its honor. Unfortunately, no country can trust the U.S.. This is an old story. I learned early that FDR had sold out Spain to the fascists, while Britain and France sold out Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. There are many examples.

Israel's government lacks the courage to tell the U.S. that Israel cannot rely upon Presidents' assurances, and will not weaken its security for U.S. "guarantees." How can the U.S., whose power is declining, and whose ruling class is wrecking the economy and drowning it in debt, promise money or anything else?

Israel also ought to bar U.S. participation in Israel's diplomatic affairs. The State Dept. seeks to dictate terms to Israel. Those terms would favor Arab aggressors.

As for the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), it is not rejecting negotiations conditionally. Frankly, it is attempting to dictate what would be determined either way, by negotiations.

Have you noticed that nobody else asks the P.A. to make concessions or even to show good faith by implementing its signed agreements that would make for peace?

More frankly than our world of make-believe admits, holding negotiations would make no sense. The Arab side does not want to resolve the problem. It wants to get enough out of Israel so that Israel cannot defend itself from a final onslaught. The name for that is Arafat's "phased plan for the conquest of Israel."

Since there is no point to negotiations, and the Arabs remain enemies, but especially the Palestinian Arabs who violate all their signed agreements with Israel, Israel should start annexing areas not filled with masses of Arabs, and should stop shoring up the P.A. economy. Then it would gain secure borders.


A coalition of Israeli feminist groups criticized the Israel Land Council for having only Ashkenazi men on it. [Many of these articles are not worded clearly. I think they mean only Ashkenazi men and women.] They demanded that Sephardic and Arab women be appointed to it, too.

The demand was countered by the Zionist Women's Forum. It calls this an anti-Zionist issue masquerading as a feminist one. The Forum accused the coalition of seeking to "use the status of women as a means of advancing their political views but in reality, their goal is that the State of Israel's lands will be transferred on an ethnic bases. Their aim is to help non-Zionist ethnic elements to take over the lands of the State of Israel."

Judge the sincerity of the coalition's feminist groups, the Forum suggests, by the absence of Arab women in most of them

One would have thought the Forum would suggest appointing Sephardic women. (I am awaiting clarification of this issue, before evaluating it.)

Americans reading this story probably would evaluate it from the perspective of their own society. We try to treat groups equally, and they contribute to society. In Israel, many Arabs call themselves the people "of 1948." They thus identify themselves with their past attempt to take over the country, in concert with foreign Arabs. Israel has to take care not to let subversive elements grasp certain levers of power. Survival is at stake. On this particular issue, we need more information.


White House, symbol of presidency (A.P./Alex Brandon)

Secretary of State Clinton had hailed an understanding the U.S. reached with Israel to temporarily freeze Jewish construction in Judea-Samaria, and exempt eastern Jerusalem. Now that more Jewish construction was announced for eastern Jerusalem, a White House statement opposes it. What is the point of Israel reaching an agreement with the U.S., only to have the U.S. rebuke it for operating in accord with that agreement?

The Zionist Organization of America opposes any freeze. A freeze implies some basis to false claims that Jews do not belong in those parts of their homeland or are an obstacle to peace. Suspending home-building for Jews was not an Arab-precondition for negotiation until President Obama insisted on a freeze. [That makes him an obstacle to peace.] Real obstacles are Palestinian Authority: (1) Refusal to accept Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state [if not legitimate, it may be fought]; and (2) Support for terrorism, a means of fighting Israel.

Why should concessions be by Israel only? If construction by Jews obstructs peace, what about construction by Arabs? If Arabs can live among Jews in Israel, why not Jews among Arabs in Judea-Samaria? (12/30 press release by Zionist Organization of America, headquartered in New York and of which I am a member.)


"Amnesty-UK, Trocaire (Ireland), Finn Church Aid, Diakonia (Sweden), Oxfam, Oxfam-NOVIB (Holland), Cordaid (Holland), Christian Aid (UK) — issued a report:

1 "…primary responsibility lies with Israel" to end the blockade — repeats the unsupported legal claim that Gaza remains occupied, as well as the false allegation of "collective punishment." As legal scholars note, Gaza cannot be considered occupied, and economic sanctions are not illegal. These tendentious claims were apparently made in order to condemn Israel and create fictitious obligations."

2) "Similarly, these groups blame Israel for ongoing conflict, minimizing the clear responsibility of Hamas for mass terror, and for blatant incitement to violence."

3) "The list of 'high priority reconstruction materials' on page 7 fails to acknowledge the ongoing threats from Hamas and the use of such materials for manufacturing weapons directed at Israeli. This 'humanitarian' report also ignores the diversion of aid by Hamas officials."

4) "The bias and political goals are reflected in calls for sanctions against Israel alone: 'The EU should confirm publicly that the upgrading of relations with Israel is put on hold, pending tangible progress in Israel's respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, which should include its actions with regard to the blockade of Gaza.'"

5) "As in the past, this report is also silent regarding the continued captivity of Gilad Shalit, clearly in violation of his rights under international law?

NGO Monitor President Prof. Gerald Steinberg commented: "These NGOs are

continuing to exploit moral, legal and humanitarian principles in order to promote political warfare against Israel. Many of the claims in this report are not supported by credible evidence, and reflect the double standards that are all too common. Through this systematic bias regarding Israel, these organizations have lost respectability, and the European governments that fund such attacks share responsibility for this abuse." (www.imra.org.il, 12/29.)


Abbas honors slain terrorists (A.P./Gregoria Borgia)

Palestinian Authority head Abbas, P.A. TV, and leaders of his Fatah organization honored three terrorists who murdered a rabbi in what they call a "quality operation," of which Fatah promises more. They called the three men "holy martyrs" to "jihad," after Israeli forces tracked them down and killed them. The P.A. denounced this as murder; the IDF said the men refused to surrender www.imra.org.il, 12/29.)

If Abbas and his P.A. were against violence and for peace, qualities that the U.S. claims he has and that Israel should make concessions for keeping in power, would he and his organization honor or condemn terrorist murder and promise more of it?


A Lebanese security source alleges that Al-Qaida is infiltrating Lebanon, in order to attack its state institutions and UNIFIL forces in it. The infiltrators would hide in Palestinian Arab refugee camps (www.imra.org.il, 12/29).


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports that the IDF opened intensive fire on four unarmed Arabs near the Gaza border, killing three. The four had attempted to infiltrate into Israel, to find jobs, the Center reports.

Where they had been crawling were found explosive devices, indicating they sought to commit a terrorist attack (www.imra.org.il, 12/29).

Some readers will ignore the IDF code of honor and integrity in reporting to suggest that if Israel reports it was justified, it is covering up. They will suggest this despite evidence for doing so. They also will ignore the Palestinian Center for Human Rights record of covering up for Arab crimes against Israelis. They may be too young to remember, and may not have read the history books, the Six Day War, when the Arab belligerents and USSR issued reports that the Arab armies had destroyed the Israeli Air Force, tank forces, and were pushing into Israel. When the dust cleared, it turned out to be the opposite.

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Sheridan Neimark, December 31, 2009.

This is an article about Pilar Rahola. It comes from



Pilar Rahola is a Spanish politician, journalist and activist. She is a passionate defender of the United States and Israel and an indefatigable fighter against anti-Semitism. All these despite being ideologically from the left. Her articles are published in Spain and throughout some of the most important newspapers in Latin America. She is the recipient of major awards by Jewish organizations.

I came across this speech and felt that it was worthwhile placing it in my blog. I translated it and assume full responsibility for any errors. If you want to visit her blog, with some of her articles translated into English, you can do so by clicking here.

Why don't we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris, Barcelona? Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship? Why aren't there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection? Why aren't there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs where there is conflict with Islam? Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan? Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel? Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism? Why don't they defend Israel's right to exist? Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism? An finally, the million dollar question:Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn't care.

And then, to the concept of freedom. In every pro Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: "We want freedom for the people!" Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hammas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom. The resulting consequence of these ideological pathologies is the manipulation of the press.

The international press does major damage when reporting on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. On this topic they don't inform, they propagandize. When reporting about Israel the majority of journalists forget the reporter code of ethics. And so, any Israeli act of self-defense becomes a massacre, and any confrontation, genocide. So many stupid things have been written about Israel, that there aren't any accusations left to level against her. At the same time, this press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel; the indoctrination of children and the corruption of the Palestinians. And when reporting about victims, every Palestinian casualty is reported as tragedy and every Israeli victim is camouflaged, hidden or reported about with disdain.

And let me add on the topic of the Spanish left. Many are the examples that illustrate the anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli sentiments that define the Spanish left. For example, one of the leftist parties in Spain has just expelled one of its members for creating a pro-Israel website. I quote from the expulsion document: "Our friends are the people of Iran, Libya and Venezuela, oppressed by imperialism, and not a Nazi state like Israel."

In another example, the socialist mayor of Campozuelos changed Shoah Day, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, with Palestinian Nabka Day, which mourns the establishment of the State of Israel, thus showing contempt for the six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Or in my native city of Barcelona, the city council decided to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, by having a week of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Thus, they invited Leila Khaled, a noted terrorist from the 70's and current leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization so described by the European Union, which promotes the use of bombs against Israel. And so on and so on.

This politically correct way of thinking has even polluted the speeches of president Zapatero. His foreign policy falls within the lunatic left, and on issues of the Middle East he is unequivocally pro Arab. I can assure you that in private, Zapatero places on Israel the blame for the conflict in the Middle East, and the policies of foreign minister Moratinos reflect this. The fact that Zapatero chose to wear a kafiah in the midst of the Lebanon conflict is no coincidence; it's a symbol.

Spain has suffered the worst terrorist attack in Europe and it is in the crosshairs of every Islamic terrorist organization. As I wrote before, they kill us will cell phones hooked to satellites connected to the Middle Ages. An yet the Spanish left is the most anti Israeli in the world.

And then it says it is anti Israeli because of solidarity. This is the madness I want to denounce in this conference.


I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not as anti Israeli as my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews.

As a journalist it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles. Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too.

The struggle of Israel, even if the world doesn't want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.

Contact Sheridan Neimark by email at sneimark@browdyneimark.com

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Posted by Ari Bussel, December 31, 2009.

It was the last Monday of the year 2009, and at 5PM already dark here in Los Angeles. The weather treated us nicely, so we stood with only one or two layers, signs in our hands ("We Stand with Israel") along with US and Israeli flags and candles.

We were greatly outnumbered, almost five to one. On the other side of the street, just in front the Israeli Consulate building, about 120 anti-Israel protestors, all white-Caucasian, children to the elderly, stood with candles and signs. The darkness and lights of passing cars obliterated them, all except the candles.

I was thinking: Hanukah was just ten days ago, Christmas last Friday, how befitting, albeit slightly late? A peaceful protest, quite unlike most held here. The police in great numbers stood on both sides, ready to react if necessary.

Even the darkness could not completely disguise the hatred that emanated from the anti-Israel protestors who were on the way to join the protest and passed by us. We stood just near the crosswalk, so people faced our "We Stand with Israel" signs and the American Flag we held.

I thought to myself, "What an eloquent statement, an appropriate way to greet!" One protestor could not hold back and repeated "SHAME, SHAME." Another joined in chanting "Children Murderers, Occupiers." The first continued "Shame, Shame." How ironic from those who condone using babies as human shields.

Slightly later, another woman became furious. She warned me, lest I was confused, "USA IS NOT ISRAEL." She, too, like the man who repeated SHAME earlier, chanted her anti-Israel mantra with a practiced ease time after time. I imagine my smile irritated her as much or more than the flag and sign I carried. Just being there was all it took.

Having just returned from a mission to Israel, I still felt the remnants of jetlag. I could not fathom the reason for their vitriolic protest, or even why it was being held on this particular Monday afternoon when most people are not even in Los Angeles. A fellow reporter stopped to ask me why do we stand here. I replied that Israel is the last fortress standing in the way of radical Islam's expansion to conquer the world, so for our own sake, we must support her.

The region is reaching a boiling point, I said, and the rattles we now feel are just precursors to an imminent major explosion. Iran's evil tentacles have already spread via Iraq, Syria and parts of Israel to either side of the Mediterranean, like claws holding the sea from North and South. If Israel falls, the USA is next in line. For the sake of both, I said, we must stand strong together. For America's sake, we must make our position clear and visible.

I connected this belief with the attempt by the Nigerian national to blow the plane inbound from Amsterdam to Detroit.

My most recent return flight was on Swiss from Israel via Zurich to Los Angeles. I already know to fly as inconspicuous as possible. Now with the use of blankets prohibited, only one handbag allowance and new restrictions coming and going with the hour, my flying habits will have to change. In addition to arriving three hours in advance, taking off our shoes and belt and turning on our computer, we may soon have to submit our underwear for inspection — can you imagine the sight?

The rules, designed to protect us, are not only meaningless, they are laughable. At first, anything small we used to carry (clippers, scissors, pocket knives, cutters, etc.) was confiscated. Silverware (the type used in Business and First) was eliminated in favor of plastic, later only the knife was kept out, now all is once again available. Let us not forget, a metal fork can be as deadly as a knife. If one wants to be really creative, a pencil will suffice as well.

Then the authorities decided to confiscate our liquids, making my mother quite unhappy. Her bottle of water is taken away from her, just to force her to spend four or five dollars on a new bottle on the other side of the examination site. If anyone wants to sneak explosives onto an airplane, it is still very easy to do. I can even think of a few ways myself. Terrorists so far seem to be steps ahead of our intelligence efforts. They are already devising the next, more ingenious, more deadly trap.

All along, our enemies from within urge us not to profile. It is wrong, they say, not all terrorists are Middle Eastern, not all are Muslim. Those spokespersons of the Arab Anti-Defamation League should take the opposite approach altogether. If I were at the helm or one of their slick spokespersons, I would instruct a complete change of course along the following lines:

We know that all attacks against the West since 2001 were done by a small group of Islamist extremists shouting "Allah u Akbar" as they exploded themselves and as many innocent bystanders as possible. Therefore, we, devout Muslims, declare these acts are AGAINST ISLAM, a blasphemy of the Koran and The All Merciful.

Accordingly, we welcome the most strict security measures. Please, check and verify, ask and inquire. We will cooperate. It is our security on the line exactly as much as everyone else's. It is our objective to catch and punish the extremist minority that stains us all very badly.

The spokespersons' opposite approach, teaching how to avoid scrutiny, argue rather than cooperate, is very telling. These are the true enemies of the West and the Democratic Ideals it provides and protects. They use the system against itself, wishing for its demise, aiming to replace it with a Caliphate.

Time and again we fail. We are all inconvenienced with checks that are as meaningless as they are expensive. Grandmothers are stopped randomly along with Senators and former Vice Presidents (when the latter take commercial flights which they seldom do), while those with clear warning bells and whistles are completely ignored. The TSA has become a huge mechanism, its value — little if any.

Profiling must be used. We must disconnect ourselves from arguments raised in the name of freedom and humanity while designed to undermine them. We long ago lost our freedom. We experience great discomforts while the perpetrator dances around taunting us "Islam is a peaceful religion, do not use the word 'terrorist,' all is relative, one's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, it is not me but a few extremists, how dare you profile, look there — the culprit is just around the corner." Leading the choir in the background is none other than the President of the United States of America.

Either we do what must be done to suit the new age of terrorism or soon we will be bowing on the floor five times a day facing Mecca. Thanks, but not for me.

I shift my thoughts from the flight situation and the greater discomforts I will have to face in my future travels to the people across the street. Just moments ago they accused me of being a child murderer and an occupier, Israel of committing war crimes. They brandish signs that read the same and express hatred toward Israel and to the USA.

Why do people hate our way of life so much? If it is that bad here, get involved, vote, try to change. If you absolutely hate it here, move. Go away. That is another freedom we afford: You do not need to stay. But why teach your children from young age to hate?

Celebrate America and all it has to offer. You may find that it is the source of much goodness, trying to share some of its wealth with the world. Other immigrants came here, embraced their new land and became invaluable to the American way of life. Why must you seek to destroy it instead?

I proudly continued to stand with the American Flag and the sign reading WE STAND WITH ISRAEL. Two countries, shared values, with endless possibilities and mutual goals. Who would have believed, just half a century ago, that a person whose skin color is black would be the President of the USA? Who would have fathomed the possibility of equal rights, women voting, improved working conditions? Only in America — the country we love and must always protect and cherish.

In the series "Postcards from Israel," Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel's on the ground, Zager's counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related — the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts — and so is this "point-counter-point" presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives. Contact Ari Bussel at busselari@gmail.com

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Posted by Michael Freund, December 31, 2009.
Recent events have made it clear that sanctions and diplomacy have failed to halt Iran's nuclear program, which is nearing the brink of developing an atomic arsenal.

Israel's future and everything we hold dear is at stake, and we may very soon wake up to discover the would-be Hitler of Persia with his finger on the button, threatening to exterminate the Jewish state.

As I suggest in the column below from the Jerusalem Post
(http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364552552& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull ), we can no longer ignore this reality. The danger is simply too great, and the threat is too real.

Iran can and must be stopped, and military force may be the only way to do so. Less than 1,000 miles east of Jerusalem, a new Auschwitz is steadily being prepared as the international community dithers over what to do.

Six decades ago, the world watched in silence as the Germans tossed us into Hitler's ovens and turned six million Jews into ashes. We cannot assume they will act any differently if Iran seeks to do the same.

So we dare not tarry. There is little room left for delay. If the world fails to act, the option of last resort — bombing Iran — may be Israel's only choice.

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

Michael Freund


As 2009 draws to a close and the second decade of the 21st century looms before us, there is no greater danger facing the world than the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

As the events of recent weeks have made abundantly clear, sanctions and diplomacy have utterly failed to stop Teheran's march down the road to an atomic arsenal. The ayatollahs have gleefully ignored repeated warnings from the West, and stubbornly insisted on proceeding apace toward nuclear proficiency.

We can no longer continue to ignore this reality. Our future and everything we hold dear is at stake. The danger is simply too great, and the threat is too real. As frightening as it sounds, Israel must give serious consideration to bombing Iran before it is too late.

MAKE NO mistake. If a halt is not put to Iran's efforts, we will soon wake up to discover the would-be Hitler of Persia with his finger on the button, threatening Israel and the world with nuclear blackmail and destruction.

What the Nazi leader could only dream of accomplishing more than half a century ago, will soon be within reach of his Iranian disciple. Indeed, the clock is already winding down and we are nearing the end of the game, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scientists prepare to cross the threshold and storm past the nuclear goal line.

Speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave a chilling account of just how close Iran is to meeting its nefarious goal. By early 2010, he said, the mullahs will have the technology to build a nuclear bomb, and they will be able to produce one within a year. That means that sometime in the next few weeks or months, Teheran will reach the technological point of no return, beyond which lies a future clouded in darkness and uncertainty.

And so, less than 1,000 miles east of Jerusalem, a new Auschwitz is steadily being prepared as the world dithers over what to do.

MONTHS AGO, Washington and its allies set a year-end deadline for Iran to accept a deal drawn up by the UN under which their uranium would be enriched abroad. But even this proved unacceptable to the hard-liners in Teheran, who are not exactly quaking in their boots at the prospect of additional economic penalties.

In a speech delivered last Tuesday, Ahmadinejad made clear that he remains unmoved by warnings from the West. The international community, he said, can give Iran "as many deadlines as they want, we don't care."

And why should they? The UN Security Council has already imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran with little to show for it. Does anyone really think that yet another round of injunctions and hand-wringing will do the trick?

In fact, just a few days ago, reports surfaced in the press that Iran was once again actively seeking to violate existing UN resolutions by trying to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan to further bolster its enrichment program.

This is just one more sign that the West's efforts to freeze Teheran's nuclear program have come up short.

MOREOVER, THE Iranians continue to improve their strategic missile capability, heightening the peril should they succeed in constructing a nuclear warhead. In mid-December Iran test-fired its latest missile, the Sajjil-2, a sophisticated solid-fuel rocket that is more advanced and more accurate than its predecessors. With a range of 1,200 miles, or nearly 2,000 kilometers, it can hit anywhere in Israel and even reach parts of Europe.

Iran's defense minister boasted on state television that the Sajjil-2 can be fired more quickly and reaches its target faster, which makes it harder to intercept or shoot down. Since it is a solid-fuel rocket, it can be prepped in advance and hidden in silos, thereby decreasing its vulnerability to a preemptive attack.

And lest there be any doubt about the ayatollahs' real intentions, the Times of London reported two weeks ago that Western intelligence agencies have obtained an internal Iranian document detailing plans for neutron initiators. These are the triggers which set off nuclear explosions, and they have no other use.

TAKEN TOGETHER, all these pieces combine to form a frighteningly unambiguous picture: Iran is terrifyingly close to becoming a nuclear power. With each passing day, this nightmare scenario moves one step closer to fruition.

And so we must look ourselves directly in the mirror and ask a simple yet very pointed question: Are we really prepared to allow the tyrant of Teheran to threaten our very existence?

An atomic Iran would transform the strategic dynamic of the Middle East, strengthen radical and fundamentalist forces and spark a region-wide nuclear arms race. It would raise the specter of terrorist groups allied to Teheran, such as Hamas and Hizbullah, getting their hands on the most devastating of weapons.

And we all know how Iran's leaders have repeatedly and brazenly vowed to exterminate the Jewish state and wipe us off the map.

The alarm bells are ringing and the danger is near. Iran can and must be stopped, and military force may be the only way to do so. Six decades ago, the world watched in silence as the Germans tossed us into Hitler's ovens and turned six million Jews into ashes. We cannot assume they will act any differently if Iran seeks to do the same.

So we dare not tarry. There is little room left for delay. If the world fails to act, the option of last resort may be our only choice.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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Posted by JCPA, December 31, 2009.

This is the summary of JCPA's ICA Jerusalem Issue Brief Vol 9, No 19, December 31, 2009. It was written by Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister.

  • Israel must simultaneously pursue three interdependent tracks for advancing Israeli-Palestinian relations: capacity-building measures that foster the rule of law within the Palestinian Authority, regional economic cooperation, and meaningful political dialogue.

  • Although conducting dialogue with the Palestinians is a matter of utmost importance for Israel, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's recent plan to unilaterally declare statehood after a two-year state-building process is unrealistic. The emergence of a future Palestinian state will only be a result of consensus and successful negotiations, not an artificial timeline.

  • If we are to proceed with a viable diplomatic process with the Palestinians, it is critically important to curb malign Iranian influence in the region and its support of terror proxies like Hizbullah and Hamas.

  • Challenging the Iranian bid for hegemony, however, is not the responsibility of Israel alone, but of the larger international community, which must make it clear to the regime led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that there is a steep price to pay for its continued violations of international norms and UN resolutions.
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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 31, 2009.


Well, the Copenhagen conference was over just a few days ago but now it turns out that there is a horrendous anti-environmental aspect of Obama's policies that is contributing to global warming and energy inefficiency.

I am referring to Obama's demand that Israel end all construction activities in the West Bank, accepted under bullying by the Netanyahu gang.

You see, as part of the "freeze" of those "settlements," a number of projects for installation of solar panels that generate renewable energy cleanly from solar energy are blocked. The Knesset this week discussed this anti-environmental initiative of the Obama Administration following a question raised by Knesset Member Uri Orbach. The weather in Israel makes generating electricity by means of solar panels popular.

EMPOWER SETTLERS (with Solar Power!)

But now, alas, freezing settlements threatens the wellbeing of the entire planet, destroying the polar icecaps, killing coral reefs, and drowning polar bears!

The solution? Build more settlements!

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. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 30, 2009.

This was written by Bill Katz.


OH DEAR, THE BRITS NAIL OBAMA AGAIN — AT 12:58 A.M. ET: British writers are coming down hard on Obama, a man most of them don't like anyway, over the terror issue. Tony Harnden, in The Telegraph, nails the president:

Yes, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Obama may have rather smugly given himself a "B+" for his 2008 performance but he gets an F for the events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants. He said today that a "systemic failure has occurred". Well, he's in charge of that system.

Actually, the White House thinks that Bush is still in charge of that system.

In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an "isolated extremist" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body" — phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures.


Today's words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things — we'll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.

Whenever there's a flap, Obama thinks he can fix it with words. It isn't working. We've heard the CD too many times before.

There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We'll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it's called the war on terror or not, it's clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.

The president does not want to admit that. It's a visceral thing.

Janet Napolitano, Obama's Homeland Security Chief, has been a disaster in this, exhibiting the kind of bureaucratic complacency that makes ordinary citizens want to go postal.

She should go, but I doubt if Obama has the guts to fire a female department head.

There's a continued, unfortunate tendency for everyone in Obamaland to preface every comment about something going wrong with a sideswipe against the Bush administration.

The public is on to this. Obama can't get away with it much longer.

Will there be US air attacks against targets in Yemen? Watch this space. It's safe to say that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, described to me by a senior intelligence official today as "officially recognised and in corporate terms a sanctioned franchise of al-Qaeda" that is plainly now seeking to become an international rather than just a regional Islamist player.

COMMENT: The president cannot seem to use words like "victory" or "Muslim extremist." He wants to fight a politically correct war. So far it's been a failure. Next year, almost upon us, will be decisive. If Obama is perceived as weak and drifting at the end of two years, he might have to check out the want ads.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 31, 2009.

This was written by Bill Katz.


PANIC IN TEHRAN — AT 7:53 A.M. ET: There are signs the regime in Tehran is starting to panic, aware that both its legitimacy and its longevity are being seriously challenged. From Martin Fletcher at the Times of London, via the superb Planet Iran website:

Iran's panicking regime is once again seeking to suppress the Green Movement by decapitating it. Just as it did after June's hotly-disputed presidential election, it is arresting high-profile reformists, academics and journalists who support the opposition...

...The tactic will prove as futile now as it did in June. Decapitation will not work because the opposition is a bottom-up movement run not by Mr Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, its nominal leaders, but by its grassroots members. It is a massive campaign of civil disobedience.

The response of the president of the United States has been some gosh-darned nice words about the right to protest.

"Ahmadinejad, Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards still don't get it," said one Iranian academic. "The Green Movement is a decentralised popular front run by local cells and local leaderships across the country. The main opposition figures do not control it. They are spiritual leaders, but do not provide any direction in regard to demonstrations or slogans."


One activist said: "Do Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the elite of the Revolutionary Guards really think that I, or anyone else, after being beaten by the police, witnessing the murder of Iranians on the streets, hearing stories of rape and murder in the prisons, and knowing of electoral cheating, will ever remain passive and quiet? None of us will ever accept the rule of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei after what they have done."

Tehran's police chief today promised increased brutality toward the demonstrators. That is likely to make matters worse for the regime.

The pot is boiling. An informed source told me that March may well see the tipping point.

We're making a list and checking it twice, and noting the silence of "human rights organizations," especially those who've been obsessed with Guantanamo.

And, by the way, we haven't heard a word from the secretary of state.

We're following this. Iran may well be the biggest foreign story of 2010.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by AFSI, December 30, 2009.
Dear AFSI members,

Please write your letters to the editors and to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice regarding the lies and distortions being promulgated against Israel by UN Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk. His hatred against Israel and America is intolerable.

Thank you

Helen Freedman


From: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 2:11 PM
Subject: UN Israel-hater calls for economic sanctions against Israel — see background info


Once again a vituperative Israel-hater is given a bully pulpit (he's the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 — yes, that's actually the name of his position) for inciting world hatred against Israel. This time the UN official — Richard Falk, a Princeton professor, and a Jew (at least by chance, probably not by choice) is calling for economic sanctions unless Israel removes any efforts to protect itself from Gazans dedicated to its destruction.

How bad is Falk? He was barred from entering Israel a year ago — when Ehud Olmert was PM, not the current "hardliner" — because he compared Israelis to Nazis, saying the Gaza "closure" was the same as the Warsaw Ghetto.

And yes, he also hates the US. During his tenure with the UN Human Rights Council he called for a fresh investigation into the 9/11 attacks in order to examine the possible role that "neocons" may have played in the attacks. And it isn't only the neocons he points his finger at — Falk also wrote a laudatory introduction to a book claiming that George Bush and other "elites" in the US administration very likely played a role in the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, when publicly asked at a UN session to state whether he ever made the statements 'that no plane hit the Pentagon,' and that 'the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition'? Falk did not respond.

WHAT TO DO? We don't think there is much point complaining to the UN, as he is their point man on these issues. What you CAN do is be prepared to write letters to papers that present his latest attacks on Israel and set them straight on Falk's record. Tell your friends about it. Send this information around so that people who don't already "get it" can see what a farce the UN is and how blatant is its anti-Israel animus.

AND write to the US Ambassador to the UN, telling her to exercise good moral judgment and denounce Falk's bias and inflammatory attacks. Of course, she's not likely to share our position, but the more she hears from interested citizens perhaps the more she will at least be careful about how she comports herself. Here's her contact info:

Ambassador Susan Rice
Permanent Mission to the United Nations
799 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017-3505
(212)415-4000; fax: (212)415-4443
E-mail: usa@un.int

Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI is a pro-active pro-Israel advocacy group. AFSI may be contacted by mail at 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128 (Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717); by email at afsi@rcn.com; or by accessing its website: www.afsi.org. Helen Freedman is Executive Director.

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, December 30, 2009.

Confession of the anti-Israel Bigot.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is asking for forgiveness for stigmas he caused against Israel as a result of his peace agenda.

In a letter sent to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) in time for the Christmas season, Carter wrote: "We must recognize Israel's achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel. As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het (a prayer said on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement — that signifies a plea for forgiveness) for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so." (Quite possible that he is gravely ill now and is trying to obtain redemption for his consistent anti-Israel bigotry. Isn't it too late and insincere?)

Vatican: No Reconciliation, No Respect! Plans by Pope Benedict XVI to relaunch the process of beatification of Pope Pius XII, the Catholic Church leader during World War II who remained silent as the Nazis exterminated Europe's Jews, have provoked criticism in Israel and in Europe. (At a time when Christians all over the world are supposed to pray for peace and forgiveness, the Vatican has again shown disrespect and contempt toward Jews and a complete lack of interest in reconciliation. Why must only Jews be polite and considerate toward their enemies, oppressors and haters? Common moral and international legal standards must be applied to all, especially to the Vatican — the moral leader of 1.3 billion of the world's Christians!)

Tribute to a Hero of Zion #1: Yitzhak "Ike" Ahronovitch, the captain of the Exodus ship whose attempt to take Jews to Palestine built support for Israel's founding, has died. He was 86. The Exodus 1947 ship left France in July 1947 carrying more than 4,500 people — most of them Holocaust survivors and other displaced Jews — in a secret effort to reach Palestine. At the time, Britain controlled Palestine and was limiting the immigration of Jews.

Tribute to a Hero of Zion #2: Thousands of people took part in the funeral of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai who was murdered on Thursday by 'peace loving' and 'moderate') a Fatah terror squad. He lived in Shavei Shomron for 14 years and was married with seven children. Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika said "Rabbi Meir is a victim of the folly of the government of Israel... (its inaction against Arabs, anti-Jewish policy and political games)" "I demand that you (Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu) face the widow and orphans and ask forgiveness" (Two weeks ago the main checkpoint between Shechem and Tulkarm was opened)

IDF Can when Politicians Want. Security Services in partnership with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed the murderers of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai. All three were convicted terrorists who had been committed to and later released from Israeli prisons.


Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Once again, the Israeli 'justice' system, controlled by a corrupt and self-hating Labor party, is able to claim success. After threats of prosecution, the Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman was effectively silenced and marginalised. The same tactic was previously used against Ariel Sharon when threats were made to prosecute him and his son for corruption.

To Visit the Jewish Temple Mount a Jew Must go to Court. The High Court has ordered Israel Police to allow Yehuda Glick, chairman of the Human Rights on the Temple Mount group, to ascend the Mount, after having denied him the right to do so for many months. Police last year banned Glick because of his activities in promoting Jewish visits to the Mount.

Goldstone Report Works Both Ways. Fifteen Israelis who were injured by Kassam rockets from Gaza Arab terrorists during Operation Cast Lead have filed a lawsuit against Hamas in a Belgian court. The Israelis are demanding that Belgian authorities issue international arrest warrants for senior Hamas terrorists, including Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud a-Zahar, Ahmad Jabbari, and Muhammad Deff. Part of the case rests upon the Goldstone report, which ruled that Kassam rocket fire by Hamas was a violation of international law, and that the court could not ignore the case.

Netanyahu is Bribing Traitorous Rats. Several Kadima MKs have committed themselves to leave the party. Netanyahu and his associates have negotiated with 15 Kadima MKs about leaving Kadima over the past three months. Each of the MKs who leave Kadima will become a minister, deputy minister or Knesset committee chairman. (In order to improve his position in Likud, Netanyahu is trying to bring traitors into the party.)

Foreign Media is Anti-Semitic. Nearly three-quarters of Israelis view the foreign media as being negative towards Israel . The Palestinian Authority's information campaign and poor public relations by the Israeli government were close behind as reasons for the bad image. (The self-hating Israeli media is also not a big help!)

Israelis Oppose Foreign Funding of Self-Hating Groups. A new poll has found that a majority of Israelis oppose European government funding of non-governmental 'human rights' organizations, such as the leftwing groups Peace Now and Betzelem, in order to increase domestic pressure on the Israeli government. The poll's findings show that 59% oppose foreign contributions while only 28% support them.

Swastikas on Walls of Ancient Synagogue near Hevron. A group of Jews, in a rare visit to the ruins of an ancient synagogue in a PA controlled village southwest of Hevron, was shocked to discover that swastikas had been scrawled on the walls. (No international outrage. It was not even covered by the mainstream news! Why is Arab/Muslim thuggery not news worthy?)

Quote of the Week: ''I do not believe in truces with the Hamas. We must respond to terrorism with force.'' — Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said not long ago — Another political stunt from the Israeli left! While being in power her party has forcibly removed 8,500 Jews from Gaza but has not done the same to the hostile Arab population of Gaza!

IDF Fighting Jewish Patriots, not Enemies. The Israel Defense Forces will use air reconnaissance and photography to detect violations of the freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, as well as special forces raids on violators. The document, issued by officers from the Central Command, details the intelligence-gathering methods to be used to detect freeze violations and plans to demolish 'illegally' built structures. (Why is the same vigour and determination not used against enemies and truly illegal Arab constructions? Stupid appeasement games must end, it has never worked for Jews!)

EU/Spanish Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Hypocrisy. The Spanish foreign minister, Miguel Moratinos, who will assume the EU presidency on Jan. 1, at a Brussels news conference. "Of course I cannot guarantee that at the end of the year we will have a Palestinian state. But we are going to fight for this final aspiration to become a reality." (I wonder why the independence of the Basque people, whose land is in Europe and is occupied by Spain and France, is not a priority for the future EU president?)

Jewish Music Banned at Jewish Holy Site. The Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria has accused Israeli authorities of unfairly and selectively enforcing laws for Jewish and Arab residents of the mixed city of Hevron . For years, visitors arriving at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the holy city have been greeted by Jewish music. Last week the Jewish music was banned by Israeli police!

Retaliate by Refusing Arabs' Goods. Palestinian Authority (PA) Economics Minister Hassan Abu-Libda said that his office has decided to make 2010 the year that the PA economy stops accepting goods from the Jews of Judea and Samaria (Yesha). PA authorities confiscated and destroyed a large shipment of Yesha produce delivered to Jericho that they valued at $50,000 and almost three times that much were seized in other parts of the PA. (There aren't many Arabs' goods on the market but we can start with driving less and checking where the figs, sultanas or dates are produced.)

The Result of Non-Jewish Migration and Political Apathy. 1. The government discussed imposing limitations on the sale of alcoholic beverages. Under the proposed rules, individuals under 21 will not be able to purchase alcoholic beverages, and no sales will be permitted after 11 PM. In addition, drinking in public places would be prohibited, and alcohol will be sold only in specially licensed stores. 2. Five men were stabbed in a mass brawl that broke out in Kiryat Gat early on Saturday a week ago over music blasting from a car. ''The husband (of kiosk owner) was stabbed and seriously wounded. A number of passersby came to his aid, and four more people were stabbed,'' said a police spokeswoman.

Hypocrisy of the Headlines.

Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag... — Why don't Arabs feel 'tarnished' wearing the well deserved tag of blood-thirsty terrorists, anti-crusaders bigots and heroin pushers? Where are the headlines about it?

Iran's $250M Terror Gift. Iran "wants to hold all the cards in its hands" in any future dialogue with the United States and for that reason it gave Hamas 250 million dollars to derail the internal Palestinian Authority talks over unity, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said. "Every six months Iran transfers this sum to Hamas."

Opposition to Rabin Bank Note. Bank of Israel was asked by Land of Israel activists to reconsider its decision to put the portrait of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin on bank notes: "Let it be clearly understood that Rabin's image was controversial... Rabin caused inestimable and indescribable damage to the state of Israel." (And it is conveniently forgotten that Yitzhak Rabin was a Haganah commander who carried out the attack on the Irgun weapon supply boat, the Altalena, killing and wounding Jews and sinking the boat, at the time when Jews needed weapons most!)

Arabs Stand United Against Israel. The close relationship between Syria and Lebanon strengthens both countries and reinforces the united Arab stance against Israel said Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, who has blamed neighbouring Syria for the assassination of his father, during a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Lebanon's prime minister. (Even a blood feud is unable to break the bonds of Arabs hatred against Jews. I wish Jews would show the same unity in pursuit of the Jewish National goal!)

Time to Remember Basics on Israel .

At a Knesset discussion last week, MK Yariv Levin (Likud) said that it is time to return to some "basic truths" about the State of Israel, which he said was established not as a "Jewish, democratic state," but a "Jewish state with a democratic system of government. Israel was established in order to be the state of the Jewish people." (Both ideas have unfortunately been ignored by Labor and Likud governments) Levin made the comments after discussion in the Knesset on a law he proposed that seeks to preserve a law that prevents Palestinian Authority Arabs from acquiring Israeli citizenship if they marry an Israeli Arab.

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 30, 2009.

This was written by Michelle Malkin.


Sen. Joe Lieberman was right to sound the alarm about Yemen in the wake of the Undy-Bomber's Christmas Day terror attack over American skies. But he was wrong to call it "tomorrow's war." The Yemen-based jihadist network has been at war with us for years — since before the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, since before Sept. 11 and well before our current commander in chief had begun his vaunted work as a community organizer.

The bleeding-heart ostriches of the left are blaming (who else?) cowboy George W. Bush for radicalizing poor, oppressed Yemenis. But the killer fruits of botched bomber Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab's loom have nothing to do with poverty, social injustice, Western imperialism or Bush Derangement Syndrome. The fundamentalist Muslim is the privileged son of a Nigerian public official. He lived a "gilded life," as the Independent of London described it, studying engineering at one of Britain's most prestigious universities before training for terror in Yemen.

Media sympathizers have spotlighted Abdulmutallab's web postings bemoaning his "loneliness." But more compassion and empathy — the remedy Barack Obama prescribed in an infamously clueless Chicago community newspaper op-ed after the Sept. 11 attacks — are useless salves to the terrorist's damned soul. Like so many of his wealthy, educated jihad brothers and sisters before him, from Osama bin Laden to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, M.D., Abdulmutallab targeted us for who we are — dirty, unbelieving infidels — not anything we've denied him.

And for his failed act of self-eunuchery and mass murder, the all-too-enlightened leaders of al-Qaida in Yemen and beyond hailed Abdulmutallab as a "hero."

Another of these "heroes" in Yemen is Jamal Muhammad Ahmad Al Badawi, the convicted mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing that took the lives of 17 American sailors in October 2000. Despite being sentenced to the death penalty, escaping twice from jail and being indicted in the U.S. on terrorism charges, the Yemeni government freed him in 2007 in exchange for a promise that he renounce his old infidel-murdering ways. More than two dozen of Badawi's jailbreak buddies, including bin Laden's former secretary, Nasir al-Wahayshi, reunited to form the jihadi training team that now claims it supplied Abdulmutallab with his incendiary device.

Yemen human rights activist and blogger Jane Novak has reported for years on how Yemeni intelligence and military officials have facilitated al-Qaida training camps — often providing "safe houses, training and passports to the jihadists that travel to Iraq to attempt to kill U.S. troops."

The Yemeni government, Novak points out, has also used al-Qaida mercenaries to fight northern rebels and train tribal militias. Jihad spiritual advisor Anwar al-Awlaki, linked to the Sept. 11 hijackers and Fort Hood mass killer Hasan, also calls Yemen home — and reportedly blessed the Crotch Bomber attack, according to The Washington Times.

Now, the Yemen government has the gall to blame the West for not providing enough assistance to stop the breeding of hundreds of future flying Crotch Bombers.

America, unfortunately, is hardly in a position to criticize Yemen's jihadi revolving door. ABC News reported this week that two of the four jihadi leaders behind the Christmas Day terror plot were released from Gitmo during the Bush administration in November 2007. (What a quandary for Bush-bashers who have stubbornly denied that Gitmo recidivism threatens our national security.) The freed detainees were shipped off to terror-friendly Saudi Arabia, where they underwent "art therapy rehabilitation" — the ultimate bloody brainchild of the jihadi-as-victim mindset.

In January 2009, the two "rehabilitated" recidivists released a video vowing to wage jihad to "aid the religion," "establish the rightly guided caliphate" and " fight against our enemies." One of the duo, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana, in September 2008.

Another Yemeni at Gitmo, Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, was convicted by a U.S. military tribunal in the last days of the Bush administration for conspiring with al-Qaida, soliciting murder and providing material support for terrorism. He had scripted the videotaped wills of two Sept. 11 hijackers and boasted of making a two-hour al-Qaida commercial designed to recruit suicide bombers, according to FBI testimony. The recruitment ad celebrated the U.S.S. Cole bombers in Yemen.

Hundreds of Yemeni detainees at Gitmo abandoned the benefit of the doubt years ago. Yet, Attorney General Eric Holder's law firm, Covington and Burling, has provided dozens of them pro bono legal representation and sob-story media relations campaigns. True to form, former Covington and Burling lawyer Marc Falkoff dedicated a book of Gitmo detainee poetry to his Yemeni suspected terrorist "friends inside the wire." And the White House is rolling out the red carpet to bring them to U.S. soil for civilian trials.

At a time when we should be disabling the jihadi revolving door, its rotating shaft is spinning out of control.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 30, 2009.


New Building in Har Homa(A.P./Dan Balilty)

"The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community.

Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations. Rather, both parties should return to negotiations without preconditions as soon as possible. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for people around the world."

Dr. Aaron Lerner asks, shouldn't that mean that nobody should build there, for now? Why should only Israelis be asked not to build, why not Arabs, too? (www.imra.org.il, 12/28).


Rebuilding in Gaza (A.P./Adel Hanna)

At the request of UN head Ban, Israel is letting glass into Gaza for post-war reconstruction (www.imra.org.il, 12/25).

Will ordinary houses be rebuilt or buildings Hamas used for war?


Part 1. bombing in Karachi

Karachi after suicide bombing (A.P./Shakil Adil)

A suicide bomber killed five people and wounded 80 more at a Shiite gathering in the Pakistan city of Karachi. A thousand people were commemorating an important Shiite holy day. The carnage would have been worse, but police stopped the murderer at a checkpoint. Hence, two of the fatalities were police.

Usually, Pakistani terrorists attack Hindus and Sikhs in the Indian sector of Kashmir. However, Sunni terrorists have often struck Shiites on that holiday.

The irony here is that several terrorist organizations were, to an extent, formed by, or with the support of Pakistan, against India. Now that the U.S. has gotten Pakistan to reduce support for these groups, they have "turned against their former patron." They make alliances with the Taliban. That enables the Taliban to strike further into Pakistan (Wall St. J., 12/28, A13).

Part 2. Who hates Muslims?

As jihad grips more of the world, its reporting, meaning, cause, and solution become critical. The leftist tendency to blame Islamic terrorism on how Israel treats Palestinian Arabs becomes more absurd.

Most victims of jihad are fellow Muslims. I report that. Some readers, however, claim that my reports reflect hatred and defamation of Muslims. There is a tendency of totalitarians and their fellow travelers to consider someone's citing the journalistic and historical record as defamation. They want clear passage for their own, actual defamation.

Some of them put their accusation in crude, bigoted and personal wording. That is where the hatred is, as it surely is among the bombers! Not one anti-Zionist has ever expressed in the comment box any sympathy for the Muslim victims of Islamist jihad or Arab and Iranian oppression in general. None has rebuked other readers for expressing crude antisemitic sentiments (and I am not referring to policy differences with Israel). Their indignation seems hypocritical or insincere.

Even worse, some readers claim that persecution of Jews is because of general Jewish misbehavior, which the historical record disproves. They even make excuses for the antisemitism of Adolph Hitler, a criminally insane dictator who started a world war and who, outside of the war, murdered 10 million people. Ironically, the Jewish citizens of Germany had been patriotic and a mainstay of its culture. I suppose those readers also would claim that the antisemitic persecution by Stalin, another criminally insane dictator, who helped start that same world war, and who had 20 million people murdered and millions exiled or enslaved, had legitimate grievances against the Jewish people. Don't adopt the insanity of mass-murderers!

One person put it that "you" show no gratitude for Muslims having given Jews refuge from persecution by Christendom. This is prejudicial. It assumes that I report only as a Jew, and that I stand for all Jews for all time. Don't flatter me or blame the rest for me! One of the pertinent traits among Palestinian Arabs is recalling a version of historical events as if they happened yesterday. Hence they quote statements about ancient, exterminated Jewish tribes in Arabia, as if all Jews descended from non-exterminated ancestors are "sons of apes and pigs." That epithet is racist and expresses hatred. I do not use language like that. A couple of times, readers did use such language about Muslims, and I deleted the comments.

Nor is it correct about other Jews, me, or the blanket assumption that Islam gave such sanctuary to the Jewish people for all time. Most Jews have accepted the myth of uniform tolerance under Muslim rule. The Arabs took over the Jewish homeland and prompted most Jews to emigrate. Jews in Muslim countries were second class citizens. They suffered centuries of persecution, with pogroms like in Christendom and children being taken from their families if their father died. Large numbers of Jews expelled by Spain were enslaved when they fled to Morocco. Turkey gave Jews who came to it, sanctuary. In a later period, my paternal ancestors were among them, as one of my articles acknowledged. Grandpa was the last Sultan's clock repairman.

The Jewish state has had friendship with Turkey and an informal alliance with Iran. Reports about Arabs standing up for Jews, I recount.

A culture may have certain traits and tendencies that most of its people adopt. Not all do. One should be careful about over-generalizing about people of certain ethnicity. There were Christians who persecuted Jews and there was the family I had mentioned that, at risk to their own lives, hid my great-uncle from the Nazis. I have reported Muslim persecution of Christians.

I would like to see full inter-faith reconciliation, in a spirit of live and let live in peace. Let each faith believe it has the best path, but not deem others inferior people who must be forced into the same path. Judaism judges people by their ethical behavior, not by their religion. The more bigoted commentators sneer at the Jewish concept of "chosen people," which they obviously to me do not understand. They assume it reflects a conceited sense of superiority. Basically, it is a call to be ethical, to follow Jewish as an example to help others. The task is so daunting, that many fail to fulfill it sufficiently. This results in the humility that religious Jews have expressed in the Bible.

Jews historically have gotten along well with gentile neighbors, until gentile clergy intervened.


Israel built highway 443, 14 kilometers of it across the Green line, some parts of which were annexed by Israel. Some of it lays upon land that had been owned by Jews and Arabs. The government expected mostly Arabs to use it.

Arab terrorists used the highway for staging attacks so much, that the Army ordered it closed to them.

Representing some Arab petitioners, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to re-open the highway to Arabs. ACRI based its case upon the Geneva Convention, which Israel states it does not have to follow but usually does follow. The Convention holds that an occupier is not supposed to construct something solely for its own use.

Last year the Court admitted that the road is used by tens of thousands of Israelis, whose lives would be endangered if Arabs were allowed to share it. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court ruled that Israel should not take land from Arabs solely for its own use. It advised Israel to take other, unspecified measures for security.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, head of IMRA, commented, "There isn't another way to put it: The High Court of Justice of Israel ruled that the restoration of access for Palestinians to Highway 443 was more important than the lives of Israeli driving on that road — as well as the lives of the millions of Israelis that terrorists driving on Highway 443 can reach within minutes."

"The court argued that the Palestinians should have access since otherwise it would not be proper for Palestinian land to be confiscated for the construction of the road. The court ignores that the road indeed was originally opened for Palestinian use and the restriction was only imposed as a result of Palestinian violence. This is not a matter of 'collective punishment' but instead a decision based on practical security considerations."

"The judges can hide behind instructions that measures be taken to insure that security is not impacted by their decision, but they know damn well that there are serious limits to the ability to stop terror activity." (www.imra.org.il, 12/29).

What is "Palestinian land?" Does that concept apply within Israel?

Background: Israel's Supreme Court is not a democratic institution. It is self-perpetuating, unaccountable to a constitution or separation of powers. Its members predominantly are Far Left. They overrule the elected Knesset, to impose their own views not of the law but what they would like the law to be. This is subversion. The leftist media browbeats as "undemocratic" mere criticism of this non-elected court's abuse of power which aids Arab anti-Zionist efforts.


Part 1: The News

Israel announced that it would allow to be built 700 new housing units in annexed, Jewish areas of Jerusalem. The State Dept. usually condemns "Israeli steps in East Jerusalem as harmful to peace efforts." After a previous announcement for another area, Pres. Obama said that such building did not make Israel safer," it makes peace more difficult to attain.

PM Netanyahu has been trying to persuade the P.A. to resume peace negotiation. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian Authority (P.A.) [non-]negotiator asked, if there is supposed to be a housing freeze, what is this increase in housing?

Part 2: Analysis

Unlike most NY Times articles, this one gives more of the historical background of how territory was distributed. I find this background obscuring the full story almost as much as does the usual absence of background.

For example, referring to Israel's policy on Jerusalem, reporter Ethan Bronner wrote, "its assertion that the reunified city would remain under its control as the capital, has won almost no support worldwide." What does not having world support mean? Does it mean that most countries assiduously follow international law and practical solutions? We know that half the countries break international law. Truth is, foreign governments take positions out of prejudice or economic interest. They distort the meaning of international law in order to justify their positions.

As for practicality, we know that foreign governments propose as solutions impractical schemes, such as the International Atomic Energy Association that did not detect members' nuclear proliferation and may have fostered it. Another example is as the original proposal for the second partition of what was left of the Palestine Mandate by 1947. The rump, isolated pieces that it suggested form a Jewish state would have been non-viable. When Jerusalem was divided, the Arabs used their nearness to Jewish neighborhoods to fire into them. To want to return to such a situation is foolhardy.

Is the U.S. really interested in peace? Then why does it arm Arab belligerents, who repeatedly commit Intifadas, terrorism, or major wars? Why does it demand that Israel withdraw from areas, although earlier withdrawals led to war? Why does it demand that Israel give up areas that would provide the secure borders required by UN Resolution 242 and advised by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff study? Why does it encourage the P.A. to raise its demands upon Israel? What did Israeli building in the Territories have to do with negotiations, until Obama demanded that Israel cease, and Abbas felt he had to make it a condition of negotiating? (For more on that, click here ) How can there be peace when the jihadists prefer conquest? Has the New York Times ever admitted that it and the State Dept. traditionally are anti-Zionist?

Mr. Erekat's comment is disingenuous. He knows that Israel announced a freeze in areas outside the State of Israel. He pretends that housing built inside annexed parts of Israel violates the freeze.

He and the State Dept. should be asked why the freeze does not apply to building by Arabs? Why does the State Dept. object to "unilateral" steps by Israel and not by the Arabs? Religious discrimination?

If President Obama understood Israeli history and studied a map, he would know that Jewish housing does make Israel safer. It blocks P.A. expansion and keeps terrorists further away from Israeli population centers. It provides an anchor for the Army and a breakfront against the waves of jihadists.

In the background material, the newspaper reverted to its vague statement of how the 1947 war started — it "broke out." No, the Arabs of Palestine and volunteers from Syria and Iraq attacked Jews. Soon foreign official Arab armies invaded. If the New York Times frankly attributed to the Arabs the start of that and the other wars, it would not be so easy for anti-Zionists to get away with claiming that Israel started the wars. Thus the Times, which knows better, withholds the information, leaving others not to know.

It is true, as stated, that Jordan held the eastern part of Jerusalem. Unstated is that such seizure was another act of aggression. Therefore, the eastern part of Jerusalem had not been part of a country since it was part of Judea, the ancient Jewish country there. Therefore, Israel is not an occupier.

Still cagey in wording, Bronner puts it that in "1967 — when Israel took the rest of Jerusalem from Jordan." Might have mentioned, in "1967, when Jordan opened fire upon Israel and advanced its army for another invasion..." That would give a fuller picture and show who is responsible for what.

At least he admitted that Jordan barred Jews from "the Old City, the site of the ancient Jewish temple" [that the P.A. denies exists, because that denial is convenient for its writing the Jews out of Palestinian history and themselves into it (12/29, A4).


PM Netanyahu: (1) Tried to induce of Members of Knesset from the rival Kadima Party to rejoin his Likud Party, from which Ariel Sharon had led them out; and (2) Asked MK Livni, head of Kadima, to bring her party into his coalition regime, to form a government of national unity, as it faces the threat of war again.

[MK Livni has an internal party rival who is trying to wrest its leadership from her. If half her party bolts, the rival is likely to gain control of the other half.]

Kadima's Knesset delegation spurned the coalition offer and the Cabinet posts that came with it. They called it not serious and an attempt to destroy their party.

Livni replied, "The cynical use of threats in order to appear to be calling for an emergency government — and bring in parts of Kadima — is not an act worthy of a prime minister." "Mr. Netanyahu expressed regret at Kadima's answer." (New York Times, 12/29, A6.) He wanted all of Kadima in the emergency regime.

Since the founder of Kadima had taken MKs from Likud, Netanyahu's attempt to return them is fair turnabout. But simultaneously trying to enlist her as a coalition partner leaves a sour taste.

Livni's rejection, however, is unpatriotic politics. Indeed the signs of war are growing. Hamas and Hizbullah are preparing for it. Iran is gathering allies and neutralizing rivals. Iran is closing in on its nuclear weapons goal. Similar circumstances have brought Israelis into wide coalitions, before. A wider coalition does not help prosecute a war, but it can help keep rival parties from exploiting the war for politics at the expense of national security. Shimon Peres of the Labor Party sabotaged Israel's prosecution of the first Lebanon War, because he did not want Prime Minister Menachem Begin's regime, chiefly the Likud Party, to get credit.

Here is another Livni motive. She was Foreign Minister before this Netanyahu regime. She shares in the failures of the recent Lebanon and Gaza wars and the resulting build-up of the emergency to which Netanyahu refers. She does not admit her failures, which left Israel the target of tens of thousands of rockets. She pretends that her diplomacy was a success. I find her more polarized and political about it than the U.S. parties.

I think that Netanyahu plays dirty with the Jewish people, by promising nationalist policies and reneging, though not 100%, so that the Arabs and the State Dept. claim he is too nationalist.


The New York Times editors called President Obama "...right to condemn the violence against Iranian citizens and to place the U.S. on their side, as he did in his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize and in comments on Monday" (12/29).

The Wall St. Journal Opinion section welcomes the Monday speech, but feels it must be followed up or it be too little and too late. It felt that the Nobel speech merely mentioned the Iranian people. Indeed, the Iranian protesters started to accuse the President of being against them. The Journal noted Obama's general appeasement of dictators and snubbing of democrats, as with Honduras. If the Iranian people turn anti-American, it would be one of Obama's worst failures. If he were wise, he would have encouraged them, and perhaps assisted in a change of regime before the Islamist one acquires nuclear weapons. Instead, Obama conceitedly appeased the dictators, with whom he felt he could make a deal. He is finding he cannot. Will he learn in time, or is he too obstinately radical?

Imagine if George Bush or Ronald Reagan were President now. They most likely would have understood the opportunity for democracy in Iran, would have sided with the people, and would have condemned their evil rulers.

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, December 29, 2009.

The betrayal of the Jewish nation began long before the murder Thursday, December 24th, of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai as his killers, a Fatah Terror squad, came in and exited through the 'removed' checkpoints just 2 weeks ago. Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai (40) lived in Shavei Shomron for 14 years. He was married with 7 children, the youngest of whom is 2 months old. At his levaya (funeral) his family, Eliyahu, the Rabbi's son, said "Father wanted faith; he wanted Torah study; he wanted prayers — no revenge". Ten bullets hit him in the head as he drove home at 4:30 pm Thursday.

If you translate his name literally: Meir means Enlightenment; Avshalom means the Father of Peace; and Chai means Life.

His murderers, as claimed by an announcement of Fatah that their "Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade" killed Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai. The United States assists the Fatah and its "Al Aksa Martyrs" which are a Terror group whose men receive financial aid and training from the U.S. under General Dayton. This means that the Israeli Government passively and actively agrees with building a Muslim Arab Palestinian Army and, therefore, has indirect responsibility for training and funding the Terror force which murdered Rabbi Meir Chai.

There is every indicator that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak — at the instigation of the U.S. State Department re-adopted the earlier Rabin-Peres-Arafat plan of the early 1980s to drive the Jews out of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.

As reported, former Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met illegally then with Yassir Arafat, head of the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization (illegal because the PLO was then — as now — a Terrorist organization).

Rabin, Peres and Arafat had created a multi-layered pressure scheme to force evacuation of all Jews from Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. Removal of patrols and checkpoints was only one vital point, among others, of the insidious and treasonous plan to ramp up the fear of Terror attacks by Arafat's Terrorists.

Other tactics were to interfere with building permits, initially of water, sewage and the electric grid, or otherwise known as "freezing construction".

The law at that time was that it was a crime to meet Terrorists but, neither the Leftist Courts nor the Police charged Rabin and Peres for not only breaking the law by meeting with the arch-Terrorist Yassir Arafat but, conducting treasonous planning during the war of Terrorism. Leftists do stick together and nothing is too low to achieve their goals of re-partitioning the State of Israel.

When the earlier plan to drive the Jews out of their homes in the territories didn't take hold, they moved to another perfidious plan later, called "The Oslo Accords". This Plan, plotted in secret by Rabin, Peres and Yossi Beilin — with the secret collusion of the Norwegian government, and with the later acquiescence of Yitzhak Rabin — gave Arafat the Oslo surrender of 7 major cities in Judea and Samaria with their surrounding rural areas.

Many European nations provided unreported funds to complete and pay for the scheme.

After Oslo became "facts on the ground", a Knesset member demanded an investigation of how Oslo came about and who supplied the money. Shimon Peres, then a key part of the "Unity Government", went ballistic and threatened to leave the government IF such an investigation was undertaken.

At that time Ariel (Arik) Sharon was Prime Minister (2001-2006) and he immediately quashed any official government investigation, not only to protect Peres but, his reaction to the proposed investigation made it amply clear that he knew about the secret Oslo subversion. Sharon's facade as a Likud person of the political Right began to show major cracks. Who was actually behind his public false face?

Now, Netanyahu, Barak and, no doubt, in consultation with Shimon Peres and the Arabist State Department have re-adopted the earlier plans of forcibly evacuating all Jews who live in Judea, Samaria (Jewish Gaza has been sacrificed already) — with the Golan Heights now part of the equation.

Removing Checkpoints and Patrols repeats the Rabin-Peres-Arafat 1980s concept of allowing the elevation of Terror to ramp up pressure for what looks like the planned use of Israeli troops to force Jews out of YESHA (Yehuda and Shomron, called the "territories"). The recent expose' of a document from Barak's office calling for special forces (6 Army Divisions), plus Police, helicopters and drones to aggressively and brutally move against Jewish civilians in Judea and Samaria is nothing less than a "coup d'etat" by Netanyahu and Barak.

Working with the Arabist State Department with the prompting and approval of President Barack Hussein Obama, amounts to "high treason" during a war when Israel's very survival is at stake. In the time of Neville Chamberlain, when he accepted the word of Adolph Hitler and came back raving that he secured "Peace in Our Time",one could mark this up to sheer stupidity. But, when the plan is to dismember large parts of ancestral Israel — then it is High Treason even when covered up with sweet words like "Peace in Our Time".

When Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert sold out the safety of the Jewish Nation/State by abandoning Gush Katif/Gaza we discovered that the Leftist psyche of surrender was always deep in their thoughts and planning. Now we see that this warped thinking has similarly been in Netanyahu's thinking from the time he gave up 80% of Hebron and the burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah — our forefather and mothers in the Cave of the Machpelah.

If that didn't alert us, then his cave in at the Wye River Conference should have more than plainly declared in what direction Bibi was headed. Bibi was always an acceptable candidate for higher office by the Washington crowd, especially the "Shadow Government" that really runs America's foreign policy in the Middle East and is literally joined at the hip with the Saudis and Arab nations.

Therefore, their policy decisions have brought the current cruel construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the removal of Checkpoints and military Patrols, training the Army to attack Jewish civilians, including minor children — both boys and girls, as was done during the evacuation/eviction of 21 Jewish communities in Gush Katif/Gaza plus 4 in Northern Samaria of 10,000 Jewish men, women and children. (Somehow I keep hearing the shouts of Nazis during one of their round-ups of Jews..."Juden Raus" (Jews Out).

The Construction Freeze being implemented by the Army Forces is merely the forerunner of the Greater Push to make Judea and Samaria "Judenrein" for the entry of several million Muslim Arab Palestinians.

Today, Bibi and Barak are following the Rabin-Peres-Arafat plans of the early 1980s and have reactivated the same plan of betrayal.

The Government of Bibi, Barak, Peres is no longer a Government of the Jewish people of Israel but, rather a puppet Government of the Arabists in Washington, the E.U., the U.N. the Arab Bloc, and Russia. It is a perfidious assembly of Leftists (as we saw with Sharon and Olmert) who have literally overthrown what should have been the sovereign elected Government of Jews, dedicated to the safety and sovereignty of the Jewish people and the preservation of the fragile Jewish Nation/State. Regrettably, it is none of these and should be removed from power forthwith.

Clearly, the jews of Likud are not a great deal different than the Leftists of Kadima. Bibi is presently courting Tzipi Livni to join his Government in order to present a solid front when they attack the 300,000 Jewish men, women and children whose homes are in the Jewish settlements in the next forced evacuation.

Any leader who adopts dictatorial methods to subjugate their own population has moved to overthrow the system of elected government under cover of being called "Democratic" and is, therefore, a traitor to the Nation. We observed Hitler prepare his army and Gestapo to subjugate the people of his own nation and later all the nations he conquered. His goal was to create a Thousand Year Third Reich of Nazi Domination of the World and he needed obedience of a cowed population. He too used the cover of legal elections at first and then morphed into the dictatorial monster he was.

Josef Stalin also had his brutal troops and his KGB. East Germany had their Stasi Secret Services linked to the Soviet KGB.

These 70 year old means of evil are now being repeated by the radical Muslim Islamists. Iran has its Republican Guards under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs. Their goal is a Global Caliphate for Islam — not unlike Hitler's planned 1000 year old Reich.

Syria has its Army and Secret Services who terrify their own people. The main reason Israel has had peace with Syria is because the IDF sits on the Golan Heights and can see into Damascus if even one tank or plane starts up. Netanyahu and Barak are once again courting Turkey's Muslim leader Erdogan to assist Israel's surrender of the Golan to Syria. Ehud Barak has at numerous times tried to remove Israeli civilians and soldiers from the Golan and gift it to Syria.

To its everlasting shame, we observe Washingtonian Arabists assist the Palestinian Terrorist leadership, train and arm their Terrorists with the Muslim Arab Palestinian people totally subjugated as "human shields". If they demonstrate any protest, they are arrested, tortured and murdered — as in Iran.

Here again, we see Obama "reaching out" to the Muslim Terror States of Iran and Syria.

Who would have even thought that a Jewish nation would adopt these same dictatorial methods to threaten their own Jewish population and all in the interests of foreign nations? To aspire to a dictatorship one needs a warped ideology, arrogance, the need to dominate, mean-spiritedness — mixed together into one poisonous soup, makes for an ugly and dangerous leadership. It is one thing to observe the disgusting corruption that plagues successive Israeli governments but, quite another when the vaunted leadership to re-partition the Jewish Nation/State and commit other subversive acts of political collusion for the benefit of dedicated enemies.

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@gwinstonglobal.org

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Posted by Arnold Beizer, December 29, 2009.

In November, Americans soldiers were attacked and mass murdered by a U.S. Army Muslim major at Ft. Hood who had Al Qaeda terror ties and the president defends him and exclaims as a first reaction, Let U.S. not rush to judgment, about this man's motives.

On Christmas day, a Muslim terrorist is allowed to board an American Delta jetliner and attempts to set off an incendiary bomb in Detroit while Obama's Chief of the Dept. of Homeland Security assures Americans that the system worked like clockwork and the lone extremist was captured before any harm came to 300 airline passengers (who just happened to luck out when the incompetent Jihad warrior failed to properly ignite his bomb).

The President who says there is no war on "terror" and who bans use of the word by his administration wants to close the Camp Gitmo terrorist detention Center in Cuba and send enemy combatant detainees back to Yemen where they can be rehabilitated and then recycled so they can come back again to fight against U.S. another day.

Reluctantly, the president acknowledges that there is indeed a catastrophic, systemic failure of our intelligence and security system and the President is so incensed about it that he orders an immediate investigation to determine who is to blame, how to discipline those responsible and to correct the problems identified.

But wait a minute, who is in charge of the system that failed and the U.S. intelligence agencies that acted with an utter lack of intelligence and common sense? It seems the president (our Chief Elected Official and Commander In Chief) who gave himself a B-grade on handling the economy, is giving himself a pass-ing grade for ordering an immediate investigation into who failed U.S. on Christmas Day when the Muslim kid bomber so successfully skirted security measures in place designed to protect U.S. from such "man made disasters."

If you ask the president he seems to be pointing the finger at those he appointed and those who serve in his administration (at everyone and anyone but himself).

They deserve failing grades but he is somehow above it all. He would have us believe that he inherited this mess in which we find ourselves. But the intelligence agencies report to the president and despite the president telling U.S. he inherited a failing economy and a broken security system, wasn't it the president who promised U.S. that he was going to bring U.S. revolutionary, sweeping change. He was going to change America for the better. He said so eloquently in his inauguration speech,

America can "emerge into a sunlit harbor, united by the memory of having conquered some of the greatest dangers, domestic and foreign, that it once braved."

So tell U.S. what has changed and how is it better?

The president wants to appear as if he is on top of this unfortunate and unforeseen situation and issues multiple press releases, special messages and makes presidential appearances from his Hawaiian holiday vacation resort headquarters calculated to inform and insure the American people that he is on the job and has our safety foremost in his mind. He then goes back to his golfing, pick up basketball games with his National Security Adviser teammate and religiously and rigorously gets in his scheduled gym work outs.

In Hawaii, Obama is enjoying his time in the sun, yet all the while the enemy is planning another Pearl Harbor! They warn U.S. they will attack our airplanes and Obama and his worshiping mass media fall for this deception as the man made disasters of our own making (according to Obama) plot to bomb our cities and bring bloody terror to our city streets not the airports!

The Overseas Contingency Operations supposedly meant to deal with man made disasters over there will not help U.S. when real Terrorists strike over here without warning and with no mercy. What we have over here is a systemic failure of leadership at the highest level. Our problems are of our own making. We have leaders who have stuck their heads in the sand and followers who blindly follow the leader with no vision or battle plan.

We are at War. This is no time to take a holiday or a leave of absence.

The nation was asleep when Pearl Harbor was attacked. America had sleep in her eyes and was just awakening when the enemy struck the Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9/11. We have once again been lulled to sleep and have become complacent listening to a naïve, inexperienced leader who has already cut back defense spending, who wants to disarm unilaterally, phase out nuclear weapons, and shrink our nuclear arsenal while being unwilling to confront Iran from developing a nuclear capability. The president wants to talk to nations that sponsor terror and to make peace treaties and peace deals with our enemies who will strike U.S. after we disarm and place our trust in them instead of in God.

If We The People continue on this present ill conceived course we will soon face another rude awakening only this time it will be a catastrophe of nuclear proportions. God save U.S. In God We Trust not in any false messiah.

Contact Arnold Beizer by email at arnybarnie@aol.com

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 29, 2009.

Sometimes it feels as if it's impossible to keep track of news events without a score card, so quickly does the situation shift.

A major project during the course of the day today prevented me from analyzing what is happening in several spheres. Here, I would like to touch base, in an effort to keep on top of events. Most likely my next post will follow on Thursday.


Tzipi Livni and members of Kadima have unanimously said no to a "unity government" with Likud, which allows us to sigh with relief, at least for the moment. Kadima's charge was that the offer was not sincere as it didn't provide genuine shared power. Netanyahu, for his part, called Livni a "serial unity refuser" (as he had also offered unity when he was forming his coalition) and said he didn't understand what her problem was, as Kadima would have participated in major government decisions.

My take has been to see more than a bit of game-playing in the offer. However, while he was waiting for Kadima's decision, he offered more generous terms as a lure. Did he genuinely want her in the coalition? The possibility exists.

What is more surprising than the rejection by Kadima is the fact that Livni used this as a means to rally unity inside her party. Seems those seven who had signed an agreement with Netanyahu will not be bolting the party now and coming back to Likud after all. It had sounded close to a done deal.

Livni referred to Netanyahu's attempt to split her party as "gutter politics" and accused him, not without reason, of inappropriately attending to this when more important issues should have occupied him. I would guess that her anger at and mistrust of the prime minister played into her decision not to join his government.

Netanyahu, for his part, said he was still determined to broaden his coalition because of the crises we will be facing, and declared that it was only a matter of time until Kadima did split apart.


Nowhere is a score card more necessary than with regard to the politics of the Palestinian Arabs:

Fatah is the major party of the Palestinian Authority. But it is not synonymous with the PA and is sometimes at odds with it. (More on this follows.) The terrorist Al Aksa Brigades is officially part of Fatah, and protected by it. Some of its members are even part of the PA security forces — if they "renounce terror" it is made possible for them to receive PA salaries. But some Al Aksa members operate outside of the scope of Fatah.

On top of all of this, the US, under the supervision of General Keith Dayton, is training some of the PA forces (which means, in the main, Fatah forces), which are supposed to combat terrorism. That should mean terrorism instigated by Hamas (and there is a problem sometimes with this), and certainly terrorism instigated by Al Aksa. Terrorism is terrorism, is it not? Except it depends on the definition, it seems. As it happens, the PA only takes on Hamas when it threatens its stability and not because of attacks on Jews. And terrorism by Al Aksa, well... that's another matter all together.


If what I've just written sounds convoluted, I apologize. It is no more than a reflection of a convoluted situation. What has generated the current confusion is the drive-by shooting of Rabbi Chai by three Al Aksa terrorists, who were subsequently pursued and then shot by IDF forces (when they refused to surrender).

No Palestinian Arab group and no Palestinian Arab leaders condemned the shooting forthrightly. It is important to understand that doing this is a "no no" in today's climate. It implies siding with the "Zionist enemy" instead of Arab brothers (who undoubtedly were acting against "the occupation"). But, because there is security cooperation in some respects between the IDF and PA security forces (especially those trained by Dayton), and because the IDF pursued the terrorists into Arab areas, on the ground there was coordination. And it seems this has enraged a great number of Palestinian Arabs associated with Fatah.

Yesterday, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, Fatah warned of a third intifada. But this one would not be against Israel, it would be against the Palestinian Authority. The funerals of those who shoot Rabbi Chai in the head turned into a major protest in which a demand was made that all security coordination with Israel be stopped and that the PA be dismantled.


What fascinates me as I watch this unfold is how oblivious to this the US administration remains, as it continues to tout the idea of "peace negotiations." How, precisely, is a peaceful and stable state supposed to be established in this atmosphere? If Abbas was reluctant to come to the negotiating table before, he has to be doubly so now. I would guess that he would be risking his life to sit down with Netanyahu.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, "PA-controlled media have continuously portrayed the killers as Palestinian heroes and Shahids — holy Martyrs — while describing Israel's killing of the three terrorists as 'murder in cold blood' and 'assassination.'" Abbas personally sent envoys to the families of these murders.


It would be my guess, however, that when Netanyahu makes all of his very public (and to my ear terribly distasteful) calls to Abbas to stop the games and come sit down to talk, he is not oblivious to this situation. That is, it seems to me he knows, even as he makes his earnest calls, that this cannot happen.


But what shall we conclude about Mitchell, who is due back here soon? Does he begin to understand the futility of his stated goals? It is said he is working on "terms of reference," which would theoretically permit agreement so that Netanyahu and Abbas could sit down together. I have checked with analysts whom I respect, who are not overly alarmed by what is transpiring here, as it all very vague.

And I will note that Israel has announced, to the displeasure of the US, that we will be building hundreds of new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem beyond the Green Line.


Rumors still abound about the possibility of the Shalit deal going through. The Hamas website is saying that Israel is refusing to release four "heavy-weight" prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti. So perhaps the earlier alleged leaks were incorrect. A refusal to release this man, and three others guilty of particular evil, would be a major step in the right direction, and would make the deal less likely to be completed. (I know, each one who has committed a terrorist act is guilty of particular evil.)


Could the averted disaster on the plane bound for Detroit serve as a wake-up call for Obama? He has now said:

"When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted upon as it should have been, so that this extremist boards a plane with dangerous explosives that could cost nearly 300 lives, a systemic failure has occurred and I consider that totally unacceptable."

Indeed. But will he now grapple with the root of the systematic failure?


Airport security without profiling is a joke: Dry Bones cartoon.

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

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Posted by Ari Bussel, December 29, 2009.

Like an ancient song, the melody has not changed: a group of Palestinians, armed and trained by the USA with Israeli consent, target a single driver in Judea and Samaria. He was just 45 when his life was taken. His only fault: being Jewish. He dies, leaving a wife and seven children behind. A senseless act of murdering another human being is "heroism" to a barbarian.

We, the Jewish People, cannot comprehend this murder. Everything we believe points to holding the sanctity of life above all else. Our enemies, animals of the worse type, know nothing of goodness and virtue. Thus, like animals they must be treated. We bury the dead, mourn and try to resume our lives. They view their evil and our strange response as permission to act again, attack once more.

Our enemies understand the rules of the game — their rules. They instigate, murder for their convoluted ideals and a merciful god and expect the upper hand. Retaliation or a response are neither warranted nor permitted. After all, it is their "right" as "Freedom Fighters" to kill at their will. If Israel responds, an immediate chain reaction will ensue. Their deterrence works. We lament and go on with our lives. Like a leaf in the wind, we fly, dead and useless.

Our enemies only understand strength, and this they must taste every so often. The IDF and the Israeli Security Services (Shin Beit) were able to immediately locate the terrorists. Normally, they would be brought to Israel for interrogation and then off to summer camp. Not this time.

Life in prison without any restrictions is a marvelous thing. One sleeps, trains at the gym, watches TV, communicates with one's cohorts via the Internet or cell phone, eats, studies and waits for the next round of releases. In the meantime the person hosted by Israel receives visitors, conducts interviews and from time to time enjoys sex. "Multiple life sentences?" the greater the number, the greater the respect yielded and the higher the monetary rewards from Iran and various Arab countries and organizations to one's family.

One of those terrorists had been previously released under the condition he would refrain from engaging in terror. The word "Terror," apparently, was ill defined. Thus, he has done once again what he did before, knowing well there will be no punishment for his crimes. What is the worst that could happen — another few months in an Israeli jail? With pleasure, visitation rights are permitted, after all.

When the IDF soldiers approached, the Muslim terrorist used his wife as a live shield. This is definitely permissible, for in Islam the wife's position is that of servitude to the man. Normally, he would not have hesitated for a moment to use any child who might have been around, but it was late in the evening, the children were asleep.

Children make the best sort of shields — they protect and provide for wonderful TV coverage if shot or hurt in defense of the defenseless (yet armed to the teeth) Freedom Fighters. Grab a child as you go, wave him in front of you for an added fanfare. It never fails to accomplish your ends.

When using children as shields or active participants, casualties-in-action are unlikely, for the stupid Israelis stop; they actually care. We will erect a mourner's tent — just imagine the rewards on this earth and beyond, the honor bestowed on the parents, the virgins awaiting the child (oh, never mind, the virgins will be reserved for the next homicide bomber of an older age; however, if it is a girl, she may be ripe already as a fruit offering to those ascending to this afterlife).

The world is messed to the point where children are trained to serve a cause, women participate willingly and the men no longer resemble anything human. We do not speak different languages any more; we represent the clash of good and evil, day and night, light and darkness, life and death. The murderer claims he is just and the victim is silent.

To our utter astonishment, the IDF did what a defense force should do. The higher-ranking officers did not go on national or international interview cycle. They did not talk; they acted. To quote Israel National News: "In swift action by the Shin Bet and the IDF the three murderers responsible for the attack were eliminated." Refreshing and unique behavior and what the military is all about.

Intelligence was insufficient to prevent this evil deed ("Kill a Jew driving down the highway") but amazingly successful at pinpointing those involved. The operations side then took over, except this time did not bring the perpetrators for a brief rest in Israel. "Purge the evil from within your midst, and those remaining will hear and fear and will not continue doing the same evil thing in your midst. Your eye shall not pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." Deuteronomy 19: 19-21

The murderers become the new "martyrs," and Israel was immediately promised to suffer as a result, but the message was clear and understood. For every action there is reaction. You murder, you pay with your life. No bargains, no discounts, no discussions, no give and give-some-more. The time for retribution has come.

The IDF might actually be a step ahead — finally! The other lesson that needs to be embraced is that the best defense is often offense. If one plans to murder, for the sheer madness and pleasure of the act (the more family members that can be butchered at the same time, the greater the satisfaction), he should not remain alive to execute. Was there not a sentence in this regard in the Jewish Bible? But Jews, pigs and apes, have long forgotten their own Holy Book.

If one's fantasy is to smash a four-year old skull against a rock or murder a wife, or a father before a child's eyes, it may be the last convoluted sick picture that person sees. If, like Barguti, now on vacation in an Israeli prison, a person sends someone else to explode as a martyr, then goes to his four year old daughter's music lesson, he will no longer be rewarded with a stay in Israel's prisons.

Punishment will be swift and unequivocal and even those who do not understand the language or Western values will begin to comprehend the new IDF — our lives are at least as worthy as yours. Treat us with respect, and you will be treated the same. Try to kill us, and you will pay the price, and better an hour earlier.

One other reminder to the IDF and to Israel: Those terrorists are armed to the teeth and beyond by arms the USA, the EU and others have supplied, all with Israeli consent. Time to round up the weapons, confiscate them and declare to the users — be caught with a weapon, near or hiding one, and the punishment will be severe, so severe in fact that the perpetrator will not get the opportunity to exercise the same stupidity again. There will be no questions asked, no second, third or fourth chances extended. Act stupidly; pay accordingly, pay heavily, pay and be an example for all to fear.

Then again, "stupid," is a function of definitions. Israel thus far has allowed the flow of armaments, without which peace and order could not prevail in the Palestinian authorities. The result: peace and order have not been achieved, but we armed the enemy who now uses the weaponry and know-how against Israel.

How can anyone be blamed when the message was clear, it was allowed. Now that the rules of the game are changing, there will be an adjustment period. Normally, the shorter the time frame the greater the shock, the swifter the change. No firearms of any type should mean just that. It is not a child's game, in English or in Arabic. The penalty for continuing to play with other people's lives is one's own life.

It has come down to us or them, life or death, a future or an unnamed mass grave. Israel should not consent to walk like a lamb to slaughter. The last mass graves were those in Europe filled with our people. We swore to future generations and the ghosts of the past, "Never Again," and we must always remember that promise. Apparently someone at the IDF finally has!

In the series "Postcards from Israel," Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel's on the ground, Zager's counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related — the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts — and so is this "point — counter-point" presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives. Contact Ari Bussel at busselari@gmail.com

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Posted by Tom McLaughlin, December 29, 2009.

A guy I know — a former soldier with several tours in the Middle East — told me he didn't want his son to fight over there, and that surprised me. I asked if it was the military's rules of engagement and he just smirked. "Well why then?" He was silent again, looking into space while he thought about it. Finally he said he wasn't sure Americans wanted to win. "Hmm," I said. It was time for me to pause. He stated what I had been thinking lately, but was afraid to say out loud.

Some of us want to win, but a lot of us don't. "Our leaders are a reflection of our culture," my friend said, "and our culture wants our soldiers to fight without hurting anybody." That's impossible, of course, but it does seem to be what too many Americans want — and our elected leaders are willing to pretend it's possible. So we send our finest young men to fight with one arm tied behind their backs because of our asinine rules of engagement. Our soldiers cannot shoot until the bad guys shoot at them first.

Fifty-three percent of us elected a president last fall who thinks he can talk our enemies into liking us. Since his inauguration, he's traveled the world bowing to foreign leaders and apologizing for America when there's nothing to apologize for. He says the War on Terror is over and what we've got now are "Overseas Contingency Operations," whatever the hell that means.

His interview with ABC News last July is instructive:

ABC'S TERRY MORAN: Define victory in Afghanistan, or maybe that's not the right word.

OBAMA: I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

What would be wrong with that? If you ask me, it would be wonderful to see Osama Bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashir Assad, Mullah Omar, Hassan Nasrallah, and the rest of our enemies lined up to sign unconditional surrenders. Is President Obama forgetting that he's our Commander-in-Chief? We have a C in C who doesn't want to even say victory? I want one who'll settle for nothing less.

Meanwhile, all that bowing and groveling doesn't seem to be working very well. Iran — the world's biggest supporter of terrorism — burned Obama in effigy during their annual "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" festival. One of our own army officers shot dozens of American infidels at Fort Hood while shouting "Allahu Akbar" and our president wasn't even sure he was a terrorist. A wealthy, British-educated, young Nigerian tried to blow up an American passenger plane with 289 people, Obama called him a "suspect" and an "isolated extremist" who "allegedly" tried to set off a device, as if the terrorist were entitled to the same rights American citizens are. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said: "the system has worked really very, very smoothly" and there was "no indication of a larger terror plot." As if there were no connection between all the RADICAL MUSLIM terrorists who've been attacking Americans, Israelis, British, Spanish, Russians, and others for decades.

So many of us are so infected with political correctness, we go to astonishing lengths to avoid calling our enemy by its name. So indoctrinated with self-hating, leftist propaganda about the evils of western civilization are we that we think it's no wonder they hate us and want to kill us.

An increasing number of Americans don't want to do what it takes to win because they don't believe our way of life is worth fighting for. They don't believe America is unique. Their brains are so addled with multicultural malarkey, they think all countries and all cultures are equal — even if they enslave women, kill homosexuals, execute anyone who converts to another religion, and continually promise to kill anyone who isn't like them — it doesn't make them bad people. They're just another part of the wonderfully diverse human family and should be celebrated like any other part, including ours.

And now we've installed an entire national government with that world view. How do you like the way they're functioning so far America? Do you feel safe?

Just as the leaders we elect are a reflection of us, so are our children. A fellow teacher asked his writing students recently if the America was the best country in the world and most didn't think so. I teach the same kids, and when I asked them which country was better they looked at me blankly. They couldn't name one. They just parroted the diversity doo-doo they were raised with.

This is what America is becoming. Is it too late for us? Are we going to lose?

Tom McLaughlin is a teacher and columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

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Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, December 29, 2009.

Noam Arnon, a spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hevron, told Arutz Sheva about a very unusual guest who came to show his support on Monday.

Making the trip from Italy to Hevron for the second time in recent years, the head of the Italian Muslim Assembly, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, met with local Jewish leaders in a show of solidarity. The sheikh, an Italian national who received his Islamic education from leading mainstream Saudi and Egyptian Sunni institutions, believes that his religion obligates its followers to support Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. In support of his position, Sheikh Palazzi quotes Koranic passages and traditions that affirm God's assignment of this land for the Jews.

As Palazzi has written of himself, he is "a Zionist Muslim clergyman and a friend of the Jewish people."

"We are talking about a unique personality," Arnon told Arutz Sheva. "A man who connects warmly with everyone he meets. A very brave individual."

During Sheikh Palazzi's visit to Hevron, community leaders discussed with him ways in which Islamist fundamentalism might be curbed. "He emphasized Saudi Arabia as responsible for extremism," Arnon said. "It funds mosques in Europe and the United States and then determines who will be allowed to speak in them. In this way, Islam becomes more and more extreme, which is a dangerous trend."

In his activities in Italy, Arnon explained, Palazzi teaches what he calls "the real Islam", which he believes includes tolerance, Jewish-Muslim fellowship and Zionism. "He even organized a protest outside the Iranian embassy in Rome when Ahmadinejad talked about destroying Israel," Arnon added.

Sheikh Palazzi, who is also the Muslim co-founder of the Islam-Israel Fellowship of the Root & Branch Association, told his Hevron hosts that Italian Jews are now shifting their political positions further to the Right. In the past, according to Palazzi, Jews in Italy were primarily supporters of the Left, but a slow change in underway. Arnon said that Sheikh Palazzi believes his efforts, as a non-Jew supporting Israel, have contributed to that shift.

Asked about threats against the Zionist sheikh Arnon was adamant that he was perfectly safe in Hevron. "He walked around [he without bodyguards," he said. However, Arnon said that he would probably be unable to openly enter Gaza or Ramallah under current circumstances.

Palazzi's visit in Israel continues for another few days, during which he will be making his way to other communities in Judea and Samaria to express his support for continued Jewish development and sovereignty in those regions.

In 1998, Palazzi and Dr. Asher Eder (Jerusalem) co-founded the Islam-Israel Fellowship, promoting a positive Muslim attitude towards Jews and Israel based on what Prof. Palazzi believes are the authentic teachings of Muhammad as expressed in the Qur'an and the Hadith. Prof. Palazzi serves as Muslim Co-Chairman of the Fellowship. Dr. Eder serves as the Jewish Co-Chairman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Hadi_Palazzi

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 29, 2009.


The three suspected murderers of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai had been convicted of deep involvement in terrorism. They were released by order of Israel's Supreme Court, despite its being warned how dangerous they were.

National Union chairman MK Yaakov Katz demanded that the Supreme Court judges be indicted for having released the terrorists. CEO Meir Indor of the organization representing terror victims, Almagor, demands that Israel stop releasing terrorists and re-evaluate Israel's relationship with the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) leadership. He claims "that the PA leaks information, training, and arms to Tanzim terrorists on a regular basis."

The family of the slain terrorists claimed that their men were not armed and were executed. The P.A. and the so-called human rights organization, B'tselem, reiterated the complaint, which the P.A. made to the U.S., which asked Israel for an explanation (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/27.)

The P.A. complaint said the raid was destabilizing; it did not condemn the murder that its citizens committed. I think that shows us what kind of society the P.A. is.

These terrorist had been released as "part of the amnesty deal with the P.A. in 2007, in which Israel agreed not to pursue gunmen who lay down their arms (www.imra.org.il, 12/27 from Justice for Pollard).

[Other reports described weapons found by them, which tests proved their use in murdering the rabbi, and that their refusal to surrender necessitated opening fire. ]

MK Katz did not state what crime the judges should be indicted for.


Four years ago, an Arab started plowing land on the Maon farm, run by Jews. Four farmers put him off the land. The Arab brought charges against them. Police charged them with trespassing.

Documents brought in court proved that the Arab did not own the land. His testimony was self-contradictory. Defense attorneys asked that the case be dropped. The judge agreed, but it was up to the police whether to drop it. They did (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/27.)

Israel is not known for speedy trials. Shouldn't judges have the power to drop cases? The police have too much power to relentlessly persecute dissidents. In case after case, Arab claimants are found not to own the real estate, and Jews are found not to have assaulted them except in defense of their lives or property. Why wasn't the Arab, who plowed land not his own, indicted for trespassing?

Note: There, plowing land starts to establish ownership. Hence the Arab was attempting to usurp the land. It is a common practice. Groups predisposed to sympathize with the Arabs tend to accept Arab claims without proof. How do they justify their indignation without their having proof?


IDF in Nablus, after terrorists (A.P./Nasser Ishtayeh)
An Israeli newspaper featured a lengthy explanation of the war of the future, for which about eight militarily advanced countries are preparing. Warheads can become smaller, as they become more accurate for a longer range. Individual soldiers will plug into a network keeping them apprised and which they keep apprised. Space, nanotechnology, and robotics will be used (www.imra.org.il, 12/27).

As usual, I don't go into much technical detail on military matters. This newspaper reporter was upbeat, but his report saddens me. Always preparing for more war may be necessary, but it is a sad comment on the human condition. The U.S. once had hoped that space would be kept a war-free zone. It contains the communications hubs of the world, thereby becoming a target whose destruction could cripple a whole country. Space now contains so much non-recycled junk that it becomes a hazard to navigation. Countries that develop the weapons of the future sell them to other countries, including aggressors, making possible more wars of the future. In this way, some advanced countries make a little money, but lose a lot more in the resulting wars.


Mitchell and Abbas (A.P./Nasser Ishtayeh)

"When asked in an interview last week with the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat how he ended up in the tree, Abbas replied, 'Obama laid down the condition of halting the settlements completely. What could I say to him? Should I say this is too much?' The Palestinian president, it appears, 'blames' his American counterpart for landing him in this diplomatic predicament."

In other words, since Obama went too far, Abbas could not demand less, and Netanyahu could not concede that much used (www.imra.org.il, 12/27).

Perhaps I was a little too severe about Abbas, who understands his culture, which Obama apparently does not. At least the U.S. seems to be saving travel expenses as envoy Mitchell has less to do now.


By 76% to 14%, according to a Dahaf poll commissioned by Yediot Ahronot, Israelis approve of the proposed prisoner exchange (www.imra.org.il, 12/27).

I wonder whether the poll would have found the same, if those opposed to it could have publicized bereaved relatives of hundreds murdered by terrorists released in earlier exchanges or gestures. One of the current stories is about the release of four terrorists who went on to murder an Israeli a few days ago, and then were shot by the IDF.

(A.P./Tashfrir Abayov)


Ahmadinejad (A.P./Bebeto Matthews)

Hizbullah deployed at the Israeli border, in collusion with the Lebanese Army that the U.S. arms, while Lebanon unilaterally declared itself unbound by the mandatory UN ceasefire resolution that Hizbullah must disarm [and not fortify the border]. The Prime Minister of Iran went to Damascus, apparently to submit to its authority, and Syria's Foreign Minister visited Beirut, apparently to issue orders.

Turkey signed 47 trade deals with Syria. Syria put it, ""We are working to establish close ties between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq so these countries can act as one regional bloc in order to promote peace, security and stability in the Middle East, while keeping the West's dictates and lust for the region's natural and oil resources at bay."

Egypt had just denounced Iran for sponsoring a terrorist plot against it. Then an Iranian envoy visited Egypt, whose President flew to Saudi Arabia. Something big is brewing. For one thing, apparently Egypt reconciled itself to Iran becoming the strongest regional power, long Egypt's supposed prerogative.

Israel had hoped the U.S. would take care of Iran's nuclear violations and weapons development. Pres. Obama on the one hand indicated approval of the House of Representatives' intent to levy harsh sanctions against Iran, but on the other hand helped block a similar discussion in the House of the Senate. China still rejects sanctions. Obama is letting Sen. Kerry beg Iran for an audience. Appeasement is Obama's only policy (Caroline Glick, www.imra.org.il, 12/27).


The government of Israel seems oblivious to recent strategic setbacks. It has been distracted by the proposed prisoner exchange, which is not a strategic issue except that the conditions of the exchange imperil Israeli security. The national security adviser criticized the Chief of Staff for approving the exchange [which is a political issue] and without ever having offered the government a plan for freeing Hamas' Israeli captive. IDF forces were ordered not to try, when they recently were entering Gaza. The Israeli media discusses who should have consulted whom, not the substance of the security adviser's criticism.

Just as the IDF fumbled the Lebanon war by relying solely upon air power even after that power was found inadequate for the task, the IDF fumbled the Gaza war by various self-restrictions, including not re-taking the Gaza-Egypt border. Now top commanders admit they will have to do so, but at a higher price in lives.

Refusing to fight and defeat the enemy, the IDF is pursuing Israelis, before in Gaza, now in Judea-Samaria. One wonders whether the Israel army is a competent defense force (Caroline Glick in www.imra.org.il, 12/27).

The problem with the IDF is that it has become politicalized and that its politicians even more narrow-mindedly so.


President Obama appointed Hannah Rosenthal to head the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Rosenthal belongs to the anti-Israel lobby, J-Street. J Street organized an Israel-bashing event. Israeli Ambassador Oren declined to attend. Rosenthal rebuked him for it.
http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/28/ andrew-sullivan-unhinged-by-peter-collier/


The Jerusalem Post reported the IDF position that it has a list of targets in Gaza that it will not bomb unless it is attacked from there. My source, IMRA, asked the Post reporter whether the IDF would "respond with force" against buildings used for storing weapons or as a command post.

The reporter said his understanding is that the IDF would, even if the firing emanates from another building.

An IDF map of Gaza has about 1,500 dots, each representing a hospital, UN facility, school, or home of foreigners and journalists. Those are off-limits to IDF military response. The IDF keeps the map up-to-date. The map reflects a policy different from what the UN accused it of — deliberately firing upon UN and other civilian facilities.

Hamas is building large missile silos capable of firing 20 missiles at-a-time (www.imra.org.il, 12/25).

When Hamas allows a rocket to be launched against Israel, why does the IDF make only a minor retaliation, such that Hamas claims to be winning? Why doesn't it eradicate half the fortified positions, ammunition dumps, and command posts. Might that not make the price for attacking Israel too high?

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Sandra Levy, December 29, 2009.


This was written by Liat Collins and it appeared in the December 27, 2009 Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364509055& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


It has been exactly a year since Israel launched what is officially known as Operation Cast Lead, but often referred to as "the war in Gaza."

At some point during the campaign, my Sabra next-door neighbor found me in the kitchen helping my son pack a care package for soldiers — part of his elementary school's war effort. "Oh, it's so sad," she sighed. "I don't think there has ever been a generation that hasn't sent packages to soldiers. I remember doing it in the Six Day War." Until Cast Lead was launched on December 27, schoolchildren all over the country had been sending care packages to children in Sderot and other communities close to Gaza which were suffering from constant missile attacks.

A friend in Sderot, fed up with the government's policy of restraint, once quipped that she had considered lobbing the stale cakes, cookies, chocolate bars and doughnuts over the border into Gaza as ammunition. When the war finally broke out — after even Ehud Olmert's government couldn't ignore some 80 missiles a day — she felt more relief than fear.

Having spent eight years raising her children under fire, she realized war would not be worse than what had been considered peace until then. Her family was already used to living with missiles: At home, not locking the bathroom door and sleeping in the safest part of the house; when out, automatically judging the location of the closest shelter. In Sderot, they have just 15 seconds from the Color Red warning until the missile lands. It's probably the only place in the world where wearing seat belts was banned as dangerous.

IN ASHKELON, the situation was different. Although under threat, residents hadn't had to live with Kassams before.

It was really tough," says Dr. Stephen Malnick, a longtime resident. "There are so many things we had taken for granted that we suddenly couldn't do: like going shopping and walking along the promenade on the beach. My daughter, a student at Sapir College, didn't leave the apartment for two weeks — except once: She went to a salon and had her nails manicured. She told me, 'There are some things a woman just doesn't give up on,'" he recalls.

Malnick, who immigrated from England, jokes that one of his strongest memories was missing the end of a sports broadcast in which Manchester United was playing. "I mean, is nothing sacred? Can't a man watch a football match in peace?" he demands, his British sense of humor reminiscent of the spirit that got his parents (and mine) through the Blitz in World War II.

Malnick, whose wife's family were also suddenly under attack in Beersheba, says traveling to work in Rehovot, just outside the Kassam/Grad range at that time, was like visiting a different world. "We went to a restaurant and when we mentioned we came from Ashkelon we were treated like war heroes and given a 10 percent reduction."

Quickly the Malnicks got used to the situation and even Fluffy, the family dog, learned to recognize the sirens and the need to take shelter. My cat had a similar Pavlovian response to the sirens of the 1991 Gulf War.

It's not just generation after generation of children who are learning to live with war, it seems. A veterinarian in Sderot recently told a television interviewer that in addition to the usual work you would expect in a small-town practice, he has to cope with traumatized animals, and sometimes physical injury as a result of the Kassam attacks. My friend swears that all the birds fled the town.

Malnick, director of Internal Medicine C Department at Rehovot's Kaplan Medical Center, well knows the effects of stress. He has written papers, together with his colleagues, on what he calls the first known case of "Kassam colon" — the irritable bowel syndrome suffered by a 35-year-old who worked in Sderot. "IBS is very common," he says. "But to the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of IBS triggered by missile attacks or an early warning system."

A year after the war, life is back to normal in the South. Actually, it's better than before. Friends in Sderot, Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod report a rise in real estate prices. "Suddenly, everyone realizes that the whole country is in the same boat so it doesn't matter so much where you live," says Malnick. "And we've also learned that the shelters and reinforced rooms really work."

Enrollment at both Sapir College, next to Sderot, and Beersheba's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is up.

THERE ARE plenty of stories that should give our enemies pregnant pause for thought: As in every previous war, Operation Cast Lead has been followed by a baby boom, with proud parents in the South joking that they had had to find some way of reducing tension. (In the 1991 Gulf War, sexologist Ruth Westheimer memorably told Israelis how to make love while wearing gas masks.)

Twelve months later, the press is full, too, of opinion pieces debating whether or not the war was a success — hard to assess when the aims were not clearly set out.

On the negative side, the world, while grudgingly admitting Israel has a right to defend itself, has condemned the IDF response as disproportionate. This is easy to do when 1,166 Palestinians died compared to 13 Israelis (including 10 soldiers). But it ignores the fact that the terrorists chose to hide behind civilians while Israeli citizens took to shelters. Another failure: Gilad Schalit, abducted by Hamas three and a half years ago, is, at the time I'm writing, still in captivity. And although the rocket fire has been seriously reduced since Cast Lead ended on January 18, it has not stopped and the range of the rockets has even increased.

Nonetheless, whereas in 2008, more than 3,200 rockets and mortars were fired on Israel from Gaza, since the end of Cast Lead, that number has dropped to 242.

These figures mean that when friends in Sderot and nearby Kibbutz Sa'ad invite me to visit, I don't immediately think "over my dead body."

That my friends say "only" 242 missiles is both shocking and sad: What other country thinks that is a reasonable number of rockets aimed at civilian targets in one year? Just how do you define proportionate?

I truly feel for the innocent residents of Gaza. They undoubtedly suffered greatly in the war. And, sadly, I suspect they will continue to suffer: While Israel has spent the past year feverishly adding protective rooms and shelters in areas closest to Gaza, Hamas has spent the year digging more tunnels to smuggle in arms. And while my friends have resumed normal life — or in the case of the kids growing up in Sderot started to live one — residents of Gaza have had to cope with the increasing imposition of Shari'a law and ever-stricter Islamist norms.

Israelis and Palestinians both know that the current calm won't last. Hamas, and its Iranian backers, pin their hopes on the ever-increasing rocket range which now, quite possibly, reaches as far as Tel Aviv. Israel, on the other hand, is developing new missile defense systems — the Arrow 3 for long-range ballistic missiles, the Iron Dome for short-range rockets and David's Sling for medium-range ones.

It is only a matter of time before Israelis are again under attack — from rockets and public opinion. Fortunately, if nothing else, Cast Lead has shown that we will survive and bounce back — with more babies. And we'll all sigh and again express the hope that finally a generation will grow up in peace.

Contact Sandra Levy by email at shula2933@gmail.com

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Posted by Boris Celser, December 29, 2009.

My comment to an article on Mitchell shuttling to restart "peace process."
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364530808& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.

Mitchell is coming with a letter to Israel and another to the Palestinian Authority. According to an Arab diplomat: "The United States is hoping that the two letters will serve as a basis for the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but we don't know if they will satisfy the Palestinians." The White House worries about satisfying the Palestinians...


4. Two draft letters of guarantee — will Israel fall for it again?

A few months ago the Obama administration claimed it had no record of any guarantees given by the Bush administration. They seemed to have lost all documents. Will these new letters of guarantee be made available to the world, and authenticated as legitimate by a notary in the US? I mean, what we are talking about here are "guarantees" from him who can not produce even a birth certificate. I also bet that in the future, should any letter go missing, it will be the one given to Israel, not to the Palestinians. Any takers? Bori s — Canada (12/29/2009 06:06)

Boris Celser is a Canadian. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Roberta Dzubow, December 28, 2009.

This was written by Mark Halawa, the Jew from Kuwait.


My Muslim background left me unprepared for this shocking discovery..

Growing up in Kuwait, I had the best of everything. My father owned a successful construction company, and provided us five children with amenities like piano lessons, swimming, calligraphy and trips all over the world. Although we were Muslims like everyone else, we were totally secular and my father always aimed to shield us from religious people whom he described as crazies.

I grew up being told that Israelis and Jews were the lowest type of creature in existence, put on Earth only to kill us Arabs. In math class the teacher would say, "If one rocket killed X number of Jews, how many would six rockets kill?"

My father was rabidly anti-Israel. He was a product of Nasser's school of thought: secular from a Muslim point of view, yet deeply dedicated to the idea of pan-Arab unity. Israel, he believed, was an American proxy in the post-colonial Middle East.


My father was a supporter of the PLO since the 1960s when Yasser Arafat (who founded the PLO while living in Kuwait) was raising money from wealthy Palestinians working in Gulf States. As an engineer, my father participated in a program where the engineering association in Kuwait would deduct money from his monthly salary to be sent directly to the PLO. He insisted that war and resistance was the only way to deal with Israel.

In the summer of 1990, when I was 12 years old, our lives changed completely. We were on vacation when Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait. My father's business — along with much of the country — was ravaged. Our savings became worthless pieces of paper. We could not go back to Kuwait, so we immigrated to Canada. My father did manage to sneak back in for a few days to retrieve important busine! ss documents that would later be useful in recovering compensation from a United Nations fund.

Praying in the Dark

Of my family, I'm the only one who stayed in Canada. My father never really adjusted to life in the New World, and he had good business contacts back in Jordan, so my parents returned there. All my siblings also moved back to the Middle East. One brother runs a successful company in Jordan, two brothers are studying in Egypt (one dentistry and the other business), and my sister lives in Dubai where she works in the banking industry.

One evening in 2003, I was studying at the university library in London, Ontario, when I happened to notice an older man. From his chassidic garb, he looked like a religious Jew. My curiosity was aroused, so I approached him and asked, "Are you Jewish?"

With a gentle smile on his face, he said, "No, but I like to dress this way." I didn't know whether he was joking or not. All the religious people I had come across in the past were pretty scary. Are Jews supposed to be funny?

His name was Dr. Yitzhak Block, a retired professor of philosophy. We exchanged a few words and then he asked about my background. My family history is pretty complex, and I get a headache every time I have to explain it all. So I simply told him that I'm an Arab from Kuwait, and mentioned that my grandmother from my mother's side is Jewish.

My mother's parents met in Jerusalem when my grandfather, an Arab from the West Bank, was serving in the Jordanian army fighting the Zionists. He was 18 years old and my grandmother was 16. Her father ran a school in Jerusalem — the same school where she would jump off the wall to meet my handsome, uniformed grandfather. They fell in love, got married, and lived for a number of years in Shechem (Nablus).

After my grandfather was discharged from the Jordanian army, the family moved to Kuwait, where oil profits were fueling huge business and construction projects. That's where my mother met my father and got married.

Knowing about my grandmother's Jewish background always made me curious about Jews. Whenever we were on vacation in Amman, Jordan, I used to constantly watch the Israeli channel — when my parents weren't around. My favorite was the Israeli national anthem, and I would stay up late waiting to hear them play it at the end of the TV transmission.

Standing there in the university library, this religious Jew, Dr. Block, looked at me and said, "In Muslim law, you're considered Muslim, since the religion goes by the father. But according to Jewish law, you're Jewish, since Jewish identity is transmitted by the mother."

My head started to spin and memories of my childhood in Kuwait began to surface. I recalled how my grandmother had a funny name on her documents, Mizrachi, which I never heard before. She also had a small prayer book with Hebrew letters, and she prayed in the dark crying. (I thought the Wailing Wall was so named because crying was a part of prayer.)

Aside from a vague family legend, my grandmother never mentioned anything about being Jewish — but now the pieces were fitting into place. I thanked Dr. Block for the conversation, and ran home to tell my roommate what I heard. He smiled and said, "So you're a Mus-Jew!" I was not amused.

I went to my room and called my mother. She rebuffed the story, saying, "Don't listen to people like that. We are Muslims and that's that."

I decided to call my grandmother myself and bring up the subject.

I beat around the bush a bit — after all, she'd been denying it for the past 50 years — and then finally blurted out, "Grandma, are you Jewish?"

She didn't answer the question directly, but she started crying and spoke about the years of Arab-Israeli conflict. She told me how her brother Zaki had been killed in Jerusalem before the rebirth of the State. To me that was sufficient confirmation of her Jewishness and I decided to leave it at that.

Over the next few months, I avoided the whole issue of Judaism, mainly for the sake of not upsetting my mother. Besides, I was just finishing university, and career was my main priority. I was content with telling myself that I belonged to a mixed-faith family.

Streaming Tears

About a year later, I was rollerblading one day in my neighborhood when I took a hard fall and badly sprained my wrist. The road was smooth so I couldn't figure out why I had fallen. I couldn't stop thinking that it seemed like a push from Above. These thoughts caught me by surprise, since I wasn't into spirituality and I never had any religious connection. I was a bodybuilder, had tons of friends, and was on the heels of a successful career as a foreign exchange trader. So why had this happened?

Because my wrist was heavily bandaged, I was forced to take off work for a few days. Dr.. Block had mentioned the name of his synagogue, so that Saturday morning, I decided to go check out the scene. I was hesitant at the thought of everyone being from European background and me the only Middle Easterner, but I decided to go anyway.

I called a cab and got dropped off at the synagogue. As I walked in, the first person I saw looked Indian. He shook my hand, said "Shabbat Shalom," and handed me a kippah. Then I saw a black man which really surprised me. And Dr. Block was there, too.

I was handed a prayer book, shown the proper page, and before I knew it everyone was singing, V'Shamru:

"And the Children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath an eternal covenant for their generations. Between Me and the Children of Israel, it is a sign forever that in six days God made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."

Something hit me and I felt as though I knew this song. I just stood there taking in the sounds, the smells and the sights. Everything felt whole and perfect. It was the opposite of everything I'd ever heard about Jews or Judaism. At this point my tears were streaming in freefall.

It was the opposite of everything I'd heard about Jews.

After the services finished, I met everyone over Kiddush. I spoke with an Egyptian couple and we shared our personal stories. Jews from all backgrounds were gathered together and I was another piece of this puzzle.

After Kiddush, I accepted Dr. Block's invitation to join him for lunch. I told him: "I can't believe I'm here, singing and praying in Hebrew. I could never have imagined it."

He smiled and said, "It's not so hard to believe. Every Jew is born with a little Torah and a little Menorah inside." He then pressed his shoulder up against mine and said, "All it takes is for another Jew to bump into him and light it up."

Dreams of Peace

My interest grew from there, and I began studying Torah and keeping Shabbat. Last year I spent a month in Israel touring and studying on Aish HaTorah's Jerusalem Fellowships program. It was a great "homecoming.! "


I still keep in close contact with my family and old friends. They're wonderful people and I love them very much. Yet it's hard to relate to them on many levels. In the Arab world there are tons of misconceptions and misinformation regarding Israel. So I am working to develop a program to educate Arabs about Jews and Judaism, to dissolve the stereotypes propagated by the Muslim media and schools. I hope that my unique background can help bridge some of that divide.

Another way I hope to achieve this is to help establish economic relations between Israel and Arab countries.. That would create trust and shared experience, which could be directed toward the goal of a genuine and lasting peace.

Another issue I'm trying to address is how the Arab world is filled with Holocaust denial. This past summer I went to Auschwitz, and I am working to produce the first-ever Arabic documentary about the Holocaust. I want to explain to Muslims in their own language exactly what happened.

It often seems like the Arab-Israeli conflict is intractable. Yet I believe in today's world, there is a real opportunity for a breakthrough. Arabs today have a more universal education, which makes them more open and curious. Also they are meeting Israelis and Jews in their travels around the world, which breaks down misconceptions. And as we saw during the recent protests in Iran, many young people in the Muslim world are yearning for reform. On top of all this, they have high-speed Internet access which opens up all kinds of new avenues of communication, and the possibility of forming new friendships unrestricted by borders or political agendas. Perhaps this can be the basis of a grassroots movement to mend relations and hopefully one day achieve peace.

My Jewish cousins are all living as Muslims in the Middle East.

The other issue that needs urgent attention is intermarriage in Israel. Unfortunately, a story like my grandmother's is not so rare. Many young Jewish women are wooed by Arab men and brought back to live in their villages. The children and grandchildren are never told the truth, especially with political tensions and the emotional unrest this would cause a family. As a result, many Jews are lost to our people. My mother has five sisters, and from there I have a few dozen cousins who are all Jewish — all living as Muslims in the Middle East. I recently met a seventh-generation Israeli, whose cousin married a Palestinian and went to live in Saudi Arabia; her descendents are Jews living in Saudi Arabia.

All my relatives know that I'm practicing Judaism, and for the most part they're accepting. I can talk to them about Judaism and they're politely interested. We love and respect each other. My father is resistant, however, given that secularism and war against Israel are the two ideological pillars of his life. When I first became interested in Judaism, I didn't tell him straight out. We were having a political discussion and I mentioned that I support the State of Israel. That ignited a big clash and I've learned to only discuss these matters with him in an indirect way. I always know when I've crossed the line; he gets angry and calls me a "Zionist."

The other big exception — not surprisingly — is my grandmother. I've asked her a number of times for more information about her family background, but she refuses to talk about it. Maybe one day I will find the key to opening her up.

Growing up, I was taught that Jews were the source of all evil, descended from monkeys and pigs. On the other hand, I had the image of my grandmother holding her small prayer book with the Hebrew letters, praying with tender devotion. She is the sweetest person I know and there's no way she came from a bloodthirsty gang of murderers. She gave me a Jewish soul, and in her own way, it was she who kept my Jewish spark alive.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at Roberta@adgforum.com

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WHAT IF ...?
Posted by Paul Lademain, December 28, 2009.

The leadership of Israel allowed the US State Dept. to poke its nose into Israel's internal affairs in a way that violates established international law.

International law and treaties committed the Balfour Declaration into law that binds the US and the UK and obliges them to recognize then more extensive boundaries for the nation of Israel than BHusseinO and HIllary are currently willing to admit. Their feigned ignorance. however, is of no moment because these two individuals cannot modify established law. Nor may the governments who bound themselves to the Treaty that recognized Israel's boundaries (and Jewish Palestine's paramount claims to its land) repudiate their agreements and this is so despite Barack and Hillary's current attempts to tell Israel where to park its citizens.

The State Dept. has damaged Americans and diminished US influence throughout the ME by aligning itself with the Saudis to nobody's benefit other than the members of the Carlyle Group and former Secy. of State James Baker.

The Euroids like to talk about refusing to recognize Israel's right to develop its lands. They like to say that refuse to recognize Israel's right to its lands. Their recognition is unnecessary — because the nation of Israel has always had a paramount claims to the lands recognized as "Jewish Palestine" during the Twenties and in 1967 Israel merely asserted authority over lands that already belonged to them and this land includes the West Bank and Gaza and most of the Golan Heigths. Jerusalem is the holy city of Isrel. It is only by the good graces of Israel that Jerusalem is open to religions other than Judaism. Hillary, especially, is prone to forget that Jesus was a Jew.

So, what if Israel decided not to "recognize" Belgium? Or Jordan?

Something to think about.

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 28, 2009.

Thiis was written by Robert Spencer and it appeared today in Jihad Watch
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/12/britain-to-send-80-million- in-jizya-to-the-palestinians.html


Part of the money is earmarked to fight "extremism" — although how this will be spent will be interesting, given that the British authorities have no clue about what exactly constitutes "extremism," and are failing miserably at countering it in Britain itself. "Britain to send £50m to Palestine," by Donald Macintyre in The Independent, December 28 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):

Britain yesterday marked the first anniversary of Israel's military onslaught on Gaza by announcing a £50m aid package for Palestinians, including backing for what it called "a drive against extremism" among the territory's young people.

The move came 24 hours after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians — three of them Gaza civilians — in one of the conflict's deadliest days since the three-week offensive that began with massive aerial bombing of Hamas targets a year ago yesterday....

Once again the mainstream media fails to note how Hamas launches attacks from civilian areas in order to draw retaliatory fire it can portray as wanton targeting of civilians.

The British aid is in part intended to alleviate that crisis. The bulk of the money will go to budget support for the moderate-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah. But £7m has been earmarked to help war-stricken Gazans in the winter. Another £5m will pay for 562 teachers in UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools in the area....

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Norma Zager, December 28, 2009.

"The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay,

I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café. The last time I saw Paris, her trees were dressed for spring,

And lovers walked beneath those trees and birds found songs to sing..." Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.

The latest terrorist attempt on a Northwest Airlines plane bound for Detroit is the greatest example and warning to the world that a sleeping giant has awakened.

We are all bursting with pride. Obviously, the terrorist had no idea what city he was headed for or he would have thought twice. Detroit? Are you kidding me? Murder capital USA?

I can tell you the difference between Detroit and other cities. In Los Angeles they hire people to come to your house and beat you up and call it a personal trainer. In Detroit people come to your house and beat you up for free. They call it a crime statistic.

The terrorist attempt may also have been a call to arms to the enormous Arab population that exists just outside Detroit in Dearborn.

This latest incident is proof-positive, that although America's leaders are buffoons of the highest order, Americans are not.

While Europe is busy doing nothing as Islamic extremists slowly take over each country one by one, Americans will kick your bottom and beat you senseless with their purse if you start with them.

I am certain the passengers on that Northwest plane had to be pulled off the bomber or he'd have been beaten to a pulp. He may have been for all we know, no details about his injuries have been released.

Europe has already lost the war unaware they were under siege. Americans get it. They know the wind blowing across the Great Plains is a dangerous one and they are up for the challenge. Why, because we're Americans.

We belly up to the bar and throw our hats into the ring. We charge full speed ahead and take no prisoners. We are simply the gutsiest, people on earth. Detroit? What was this fool thinking?

Detroit? The guy is lucky to be even somewhat alive.

No one need apologize for America. Yes, we butt into the world's business too much. More than we'd all like sometimes, but it's because we are the planet's Big Brother. We look out for nations weaker than ourselves. It's what we do and we take plenty of heat for our protective attitude toward this crazy world.

And what a world it is now.

Lord how I long for the good old days when we wore the badge reading Ugly Americans with pride and dignity. When we walked the streets of European capitals amid scorn and ridicule. Ah, those were the days my friends.

I believe the expression became part of popular culture when The Ugly American, a political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, became a best seller in 1958.

We were reviled like a shapely prom queen who is the target of vicious catty attacks by every wallflower at the dance. However, unlike the wallflowers that outgrow their ugliness and bloom into beautiful women, Europe has turned into something neither pretty nor appealing.

France, long the arrogance and cowardice capital of the world is in danger of losing Brigitte Bardot to a burka? Wonder if those rude Parisian waiters speak Arabic? Guess English and those "obnoxious American tourists" are looking pretty good to them right about now.

Long after the Eiffel Tower is turned into a Mosque, the U.S. will still be waving its flag and singing God Bless America at baseball games on Sunday afternoon.

At least France is putting up as much of a fight as the French are capable of, but England and its Westminster Abbey will soon crumble under the oppressive weight of a growing Muslim population. The Queen better save her money because as soon as Islam is running the show in Parliament, royalty will take a backseat to Allah in Buckingham Palace.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch, The Jew-hating-hypocritical-British government is still waging their anti-Semitic war diplomatically, since another crusade would be too high profile.

Guilt ridden and fearful after their iffy, trumped-up record against the Muslims in the eighteenth century, Britain has decided to give in and literally hand over the keys to the Kingdom. They safely assert their minimal masculinity through infrequent attempts to show "those Jews in Israel" who's the boss.

Scotland, who decided to release the Pan Am terrorist bomber to the heather on the hill is, in a word, useless. By the way Scotland, the bomber ain't dead yet. Maybe you should have just fed him to the Loch Ness monster.

Then we have Italy, so full of art, culture and pasta, giver of all things Mafia, the Vatican, Marcello Mastriani and gelato. Don't think anyone ever believed the Mob would roll over for guys with schmatas on their heads.

The eternal city is in serious danger of becoming the ghost of pizzas past. What will become of the Catholic Church? Can the armies of the Vatican match the army of Allah? I don't think so! Take a good look at the Israeli churches after the Muslims took over the region and removed every last vestige of Christianity.

Germany, once a Fascist republic hell bent on reaching new heights of evil, and succeeding beautifully I might add, has succumbed to reason. As compared with Sweden, Belgium and Norway, Germany today is a breath of fresh air in a Europe so filled with hatred it cannot avoid being crushed under the weight of its own evil deeds. Go figure.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention Spain. So tied into its past, Spain is considering reinstating the inquisition. Since Jews are more hated and reviled than ever, who'd care? In Spain, Torquemada still rules, and the U.S. is busy elsewhere pursuing a Miss Congeniality Trophy.

At the Solar Decathlon in Europe next summer, where teams from 20 universities around the globe will participate, the team from Israel's Ariel University Center of in the West Bank had qualified, but the Spanish government recently told the team it was removed from the competition because the university is in "occupied territories."

They U.S. didn't even utter a peep despite the fact it is one of the event's most significant financial sponsors. But then it is also responsible for the financial wellbeing of yet another organization — the U.N. The similarities are frightening.

Yes, the European Union is a thing of beauty all right. It is a sad, pathetic remnant of a continent's former glory. Raggedy and shabby, awash in its own cowardice, it is a testament to the power of Islam and Islam's driving force.

The Churchill Museum features a war room intact. The phone sits at the ready to receive calls from Washington and other allies.

Sir Winston was unafraid to stand up and shout, "There is evil, we must destroy it." And destroy it they did with lots of help from those "Ugly Americans."

All of Europe would easily have succumbed to the powerful Nazi War Machine and would be speaking German had not we joined the battle. Now Europe is rolling over for the Islamic extremist machine while the Ugly Americans are busily apologizing, for what I can't even imagine.

Europe has already lost the war. It is under the influence of a new Hitler and a new Mussolini and hatred reigns supreme once again.

Their leaders believe they are hurting the Jews, but they are not. They are signing their own death warrant.

Israel will do what it must to survive. Long after Britain, Sweden, Spain and all the other pathetic countries of the EU are Muslim, Israel will be a refuge for the Jews in Europe. It will gain in power and prestige and continue to thrive using intellect to further its position and gain might.

Israel's leaders are trying to get along and play nice with the world. Make no mistake when the time comes, Israel will not go gently again.

The Arabs know this well and although they rage, rant and beat their chests like monkeys at the Bronx Zoo, they don't doubt for a minute Israel will destroy them if pushed too hard.

Wake up and smell the hummus guys. Those Ugly Americans aren't going anywhere. Just look toward Detroit and an airplane sitting on a tarmac and that is all the proof you need that Americans got game.

In the series "Postcards from Israel," Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel's on the ground, Zager's counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related — the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts — and so is this "point — counter-point" presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives. Contact Ari Bussel at busselari@gmail.com

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Posted by Truth Provider, December 28, 2009.

"We need to tell the world that there are no 'magic solutions,'" Lieberman said. "We will not get to a permanent agreement in the coming decade, or the one after that. The Palestinians are even unable to reach a stable peace agreement among themselves."

Dear friends,

Even if you do not like Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, it does not mean he is always wrong. In fact, he has proven correct all along.

Not one liberal wish or prediction has ever materialized or was proven correct. So why do so many continue to believe in the possibility of a permanent peace rather than learn to read the glaring facts?

Why does PM Netanyahu continue to make painful concessions instead of declaring that Israel has tried everything and now it is the Palestinians' turn to do something?

Your Truth Provider,

This was written by Herb Keinon and it appeared today in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364520879 &pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull


Even as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to lure the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that he does not see any chance for a comprehensive agreement in the next 10 to 20 years.

"We think that if we make more concessions everything will work out," he said at a speech to the country's 140 ambassadors and consul-generals who are participating in a conference this week in Jerusalem. "Even if we return the last grain of sand, and divide Jerusalem, and agree to all the demands, nothing will change and we will be in the same situation."

Lieberman cast doubt on the ability of the Palestinian leadership to ever reach an end of the conflict with Israel.

"Israel has proved more than any other country that it is ready for painful concessions," he said. "We brought here a group of terrorists from Tunisia, we gave them guns and a government and even gave up Gush Katif."

Lieberman said that the leadership of the PA was neither ready nor willing to "sign on a peace agreement whose significance is an end to the conflict. It doesn't matter what we offer, they will always find an excuse to say 'no.'"

As proof of his thesis, Lieberman pointed to former prime minister Ehud Olmert who he said agreed to give the Palestinians "everything, including Jerusalem, refugees and a return to the 1967 borders — and nothing happened."

The foreign minister said Netanyahu went a long distance toward the Palestinians by delivering his Bar-Ilan University speech on June 14, in which he spoke of a demilitarized Palestinian state, removed numerous roadblocks throughout the West Bank, and declared a 10-month moratorium on housing starts.

"We need to tell the world that there are no 'magic solutions,'" Lieberman said. "We will not get to a permanent agreement in the coming decade, or the one after that. The Palestinians are even unable to reach a stable peace agreement among themselves."

Lieberman also used the forum to make it perfectly clear that he was opposed to indirect talks with Syria, and especially opposed to mediation from Turkey, whose prime minister has lambasted Israel continuously over the last year.

"I am not picking a fight with anyone," Lieberman said, "but unsuitable things were said by the prime minister of Turkey."

In an apparent reference to the recent meeting in Copenhagen between President Shimon Peres and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Lieberman said, "If anyone thinks that there will be meetings at the highest levels, and everything will be okay, they should forget about it.

"As long as I am foreign minister, and as long as Israel Beiteinu is the senior member of the coalition, there will not be Turkish mediation between us and Syria, but rather only direct talks, in Jerusalem and in Damascus."

Taking a swipe at Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who went to Turkey recently and hinted that Ankara could still play the role of a mediator, Lieberman said that "just because some actors on the fringes in the government offer a role for Turkish mediation, they should forget about it and concentrate on the business of their own ministries."

Lieberman said there was no need for secret diplomacy with Syria. "Those who want to be a friend, let them do it publicly." He did not field questions or comments from the ambassadors, but is scheduled to meet with them again during the week.

After he left, a number of ambassadors, including Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, Ambassador to the EU Ran Curiel, and Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor briefed their colleagues on the situation in their respective countries. These briefings were closed to the press.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are scheduled to meet the envoys on Monday.

Lieberman's comments about Turkey stood in stark contrast to comments his deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, made three weeks ago to a group of visiting Turkish journalists and academics.

"We appreciate Turkish efforts and the previous talks [with Syria] did not fail because of Turkey, but rather because of Syrian intransigence," he said.

"However, if in the future we make progress with the Syrians and we will seek assistance from a third party, Turkey will be the first nation we will turn to," he said.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, has made clear that he preferred direct talks with Syria, and that if third party mediation was necessary, he would rather see France than Turkey involved.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 28, 2009.


In my youth, we three best friends were conservative, liberal, and socialist, respectively. We debated often and vigorously, but respectfully. Nowadays, Democrats and Republicans often refuse to discuss politics with each other. Certain anti-Zionist readers go further. They judge people by political discourse — if you disagree, they call you a liar or attribute prejudice to your ethnicity (never to their own). My ethnic group has many members who dispute my view, so how can my views be attributed to my ethnicity?

They also judge one's standards by one or two articles. Many such folk call for my articles to be shut off, but cry out against any deletion of their ethnic or personal name-calling. Although blind to their double standards, they erroneously decry double standards in others, whose points they have oversimplified or misunderstood, and then imagine reflect double standards.

Some of the comments suggest that Israel be atom-bombed, that Jews must be evil to be discriminated against, and that I cause gentiles to hate Jews. They distort the "chosen people" concept and then disparage it. In other words, they don't know what they are talking about. What a lot of baggage to support without citing facts.

Apparently they have no understanding of antisemitism having been spread by international ideologies of earlier Christian replacement theology, Islam, Soviet Communism, and Nazism. They do not appreciate the psychological human need for a scapegoat, which, ironically, Judaism may have reflected first in historical lore but using only goats. How little these abusive commentators know about the antisemitism they espouse.

I learned about antisemitism on July 4, when I was 5. Two slightly older Catholic boys started hitting me on the head with their American flags, calling me "Christ-killer." They were taking out on an innocent child a perverted notion of inherited guilt because of a judicial act that they mistakenly think that a small proportion of ancient Jews committed thousands of years ago. I had no idea what they were talking about.

They think the comments box is for venting bigotry, writing ad hominem, or expressing their view on topics not relevant to the article after which the comments box is placed. A few readers comment a dozen times about the same article and repeatedly about other articles. I sense a type of hysterical insistence upon their way. I delete these. This site is not for verbal brawls. Neither is it for venting. It is for respectful dialog.

Many Examiners pay no attention to readers' comments. Some hope that readers will see the sense of their articles, but I find common sense absent and lack of knowledge present. Some Examiners think that responding ends with them down in the gutter with such readers. I try to give new commentators a chance. Having discovered that many readers have too little reliable information, I lay out the facts. Many dismiss the facts because they do not support their positions, and not usually because they can challenge those facts or present others. When I find them unable to discuss the issues maturely, and stop answering them, they think they are betrayed.

After I explained and deleted a comment for irrelevancy, the commentator replied, why don't you answer it "if you can." Note the implied sarcasm.

When I delete one fellow's many nasty remarks, he keeps reinserting them. Too self-centered.

One urges me to read some book and review it. When I don't immediately comply, he asks disrespectfully, what I am afraid of. He does not notice that I answer many comments, do debate, and had just looked up an incriminating quote from another reader as attributed to AIPAC, found it fraudulent, and earlier had posted Congressional denunciation of the fraud.

Such readers assume: (1) Their misconceptions have great merit; (2) It is my duty to devote my time mostly to them and right away, to the neglect of my column; (3) They have a right to make irrelevant, personal, or religiously insulting remarks at a low level. They have the petulance of children. My column is not for their therapy, it is a serious column.

Some put it like this, "How can you make excuses for racist apartheid Israel? That is not a question. It is a taunt. Is presumes that I know Israel does those thinks but I cover up. How would I know it? They don't provide evidence. The accusations come from fanatics. I find that many readers take these canards for granted or use them as a club, and only a few have some knowledge about the events. What they heard of those events is distorted or fabricated.

Some commentators ask, don't I care what happens to the Palestinian Arabs. (1) I deny the accusations. )2) I report much harm to the Arabs by their rulers and ideology. (3) No anti-Zionist commentator has ever expressed sympathy for Arabs oppressed by Arabs. What are the logical deductions? The logical deduction are: Whereas I report real problems of the Palestinian Arabs, these abusive anti-Zionists do not care about the Palestinian Arabs. They use the issue as a pretext for bashing the Jewish state.

Some readers reply to my points non-responsively. They ignore my refutation. Instead, they repeat points or documents I have refuted as triumphant answers to my debunking of those very points or documents. How logical is that? Again, they act puzzled when I break off attempts at dialog. With them, real dialog is futile.

My series on the big lie technique stresses that lies get repeated until people mistake them for truth. These anti-Zionists judge their views by how much they get repeated.

They don't realize how little they know, how much they hate, how poorly they reason), how self-centered they appear, and how immaturely they debate.


President Obama wants to finish with present foreign policy commitments and devote himself to changing the structure of the U.S. economy.

Obama does not consider the world as dangerous for the U.S.. He does not worry about terrorism or ideology. This is his neo-isolationist side. We will come to see how he also is a multi-lateralist.

Impressed with his own charisma, he thought he would work matters out with China on trade, currency manipulation, Taiwan, and global warming. He thought he would resolve Iranian and N. Korean nuclear weapons development and the Arab-Israel conflict. He undermined the little realistic hope of his objective by excessive deference [to the point of anti-Americanism]. He got nowhere.

He does not want to impose our ways on others [except Israel]. Why? [Because, he tells them, we are ordinary. As a result, the U.S. has less influence now than it did when Pres. Bush had the policy that liberals despise.

Obama thinks that eliminating our nuclear weapons would induce others to follow suit. [Dangerously naïve!] He is reducing them via budget and agreements. He unilaterally reduced missile defense efforts. He has stalled military high-tech and re-supply of our armed forces [without finding a different military way]. His arrangements with Russia leave them their full capability. He also wants UN agreements and treaties that the US previously rejected. He wants non-treaty-members possessing nuclear arms to give them up. He is drafting an arms trade treaty for conventional weapons that is seen as an end-run around the legislature.

But his main interest is in global management of the economy. He would join foreign countries in a statist control of climate behavior. It is part of a leftist practice of internationalizing issues they can't manage to control domestically by our democratic, legislative process. Such issues are gun control, death penalty, abortion, and "rights of the child." [To be fair, our legislative process is becoming an unmanageable travesty.]

Executive agreements would be used to avoid treaties, which need Senate ratification. The Law of the Sea Treaty is a backdoor environmental regulation. He joined the UN Human Rights council. He treats international terrorism as a matter of law and order, waiting for plots and crimes to strike us. He does not believe in American law. He is trying to move us, step-by-step into the International Criminal Court [though it is likely to be anti-US.]. Thus he would diminish both our sovereignty and our self-defense (John Bolton, Commentary, 1/2009).

The article did not have the space to take up any economic ill effects of Obama policies. I recommend the full article, to see how the author supports his case.

I think that Mr. Bolton should have cautioned that U.S. interventionism sometimes has been excessive and ethno-centric. He assumes that people know what I think many do not, that European-type policies largely have failed and that depending on foreign countries to resolve polices, even though many of those regimes are despotisms, is futile.

The question is when Americans will realize that Obama's foreign policies already have failed, just as have his domestic policies.


Oslo was touted as the way to raise Israel's reputation. It did not. (Indeed, anti-Zionists tried to blame Israel as having offered too little. They were wrong, based on what we knew even then. Now, even more sacrificial spurned offers have been made known.] Unfortunately, the Left does not learn from failure. Suppose Israel offered more. It would make no difference. [The Arabs would just demand more, as they repeatedly have done.] The process left Israel's 'reputation much worse, because the popular onus for the failure is put on Israel. Popular movements to ostracize Israel and only Israel resulted from it. People now question whether Israel should exist. They do not question the existence of failed, vicious, imperialist, or terrorist states.

Israeli military operations lead to global protest. [There is no global protest over the terrorism that provoked the operations.] Protests did not occur before Israel had withdrawn, evacuated, or refused to negotiate with the PLO. [Israel raised the PLO to semi-legitimacy.]

Oslo led Israel to downplay its known claims to the Territories. In the past, those claims were more widely accepted. Now most people do not know of their prior acceptance. They think that Israel owes land to Palestinian Arabs. Withdrawal is seen more as simple justice than as sacrifice.

Israeli concessions have been followed by more terrorism. It therefore is more difficult to justify concessions. So the Left switched from calling it peacemaking to a matter of Arab "rights." Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert then declared withdrawal necessary for Israel for [mistaken] demographic reasons. When such Israeli leaders do not speak up for Jewish rights, more friendly European governments will not do so, either. Israel does not promote its own case to compete with the Arab narrative. [But my anti-Zionist readers imagine a powerful Zionist propaganda machine.]

The increases in terrorism mean more deaths of Arabs. Photos of carnage lead to more anti-Israel outrage abroad. By contrast, the presence of the IDF means less terrorism in favor of quiet arrests rather than military reaction and more deaths.

Israeli withdrawal energizes anti-Zionist radicals. Handfuls of activists manipulate whole organizations. For example, the British lecturers union has 67,000 members. Only 198 members voted on the matter of academic boycott of Israel. A mere 106 passed it. Some such initiatives occurred during withdrawals, meaning protest occurs because of Israeli weakness, not because of Israeli offensiveness. "Israel's increasingly frantic pursuit of peace has aroused not admiration, but, rather, the instincts of a predator scenting blood."

Israel keeps making more concessions for less or nothing in return. Israel's stance deteriorated from no negotiation with terrorists, to no terrorist state, to no concessions on Jerusalem, to no negotiation or withdrawal under fire, to no unilateral withdrawal, all flouted. Radicals and Arabs believe that Israel can be pressed to ignore all "red lines," until a "right of return" is implemented that ends Israel [and the Jews in it].

Ehud Olmert thinks that Israeli survival requires peace, but to get a treaty, he would make concessions that ensure Israel's demise. By following Arab rejections with bigger offers, Israel gave the impression that failure of diplomacy was its fault for not offering more. [The offers encourage Arabs to raise their demands].

The increase in terrorism after concessions shows that peace is not possible. Withdrawals turn areas into safe zones for terrorists. Nevertheless, Israeli leaders continued telling their people that peace is possible. So do U.S. and EU leaders, who know better.

Obama is going too far, in attributing Israel's formation to the Holocaust, and denying Jewish history. This may be invoking an adverse reaction, in which even the moderates in Israel reassert Jewish claims. That is the answer. For example, to end terrorism from Gaza, Israel may have to re-take Gaza. There would be protest of that, but such protest usually fades, as casualties go down and the partial blockade would end. Also part of the answer is for Israeli leaders to tell the truth about peace being impossible. Israel must stop seeming to panic, for that emboldens its enemies (Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, 1/2009).

What I summarized, Ms. Gordon bolsters with more explanation, so I recommend the full article.

She should have explained that peace is not possible while the Arabs have religious bigotry against the non-believers and an ideology of having to conquer them, especially since they once had been conquered by Islam.


P.A. police (A.P./Mohammed Muheisen)

A former head of Israel's secret service observed that four terrorists successfully plotted a recent murder. One turned himself in to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) police. Did the P.A. use him to discover the others? No. As a result, the IDF had to ferret out the others, itself, and take military action against them. Because the other three refused to come out of their house, and they were experienced and armed, the IDF had to raid them and kill them.

Israel praised the P.A. for holding the fourth one and detaining 120 others. The praise is premature. The P.A. has not indicated it would charge the fourth with plotting murder rather than "harming P.A. interests." If the P.A. does not charge him, would Israel file for his transfer to Israel for trial?

How did the P.A. view the incident? The Prime Minister of the P.A. presented condolences to the residents of the house where the plotters were killed. He called the plotters martyrs. He called the IDF raid an escalation (www.imra.org.il, 12/27), though Israel raids several times a day.

One of the earliest violations of Oslo was P.A. refusal to transfer wanted terrorists to Israel.


A Swedish company, Mul-T-Lock, had a factory over the Green Line, in the Barkan industrial zone. The Swedish Church and other Swedish organizations threatened the company with prosecution, claiming it was illegal for it to operate in an "occupied" area. As a result, the company moved the factory back from the Green Line, to Modiin in Israel. The company plans to invest more in Israel.

As a result, many Arab workers lost their jobs (www.imra.org.il, 12/27).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, December 28, 2009.

The Palestinian Authority revealed on Sunday that it rewards both Hamas and Fatah terrorists with higher "salaries" for committing more serious terrorist attacks that are followed by convictions for long-term sentences in Israeli prison.

Most of the PA's funds come from European Union countries, and the United States earlier this month, for the first time ever, included the PA in its foreign aid package with a $500 million grant. Twenty percent of the American money is earmarked for training the PA's new army, under the guidance of American army General Keith Dayton.

A condition of the aid is that the PA recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous agreements with Israel, including a halt to anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist incitement.

The PA Minister for Prisoners told the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency Sunday that it pays out three million shekels ($790,000) a month for monthly stipends for prisoners and their families. The minister specifically denied a complaint that Hamas terrorists were being cut off from receiving fund.

The monthly payment amount to 1,000 shekels ($260) but rises to four times that amount, more than $1,000, to terrorists who have served more than 25 years in jail for more serious attacks on Israelis.

In addition, terrorists who are released by Israel receive another 1,200-2,000 shekels ($316-$525) a month for half a year if they were in prison for at least five years. The total payments for their time in jail and release amount to as much $10,000.

This was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and it appeared today in Arutz Sheva

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 28, 2009.

For many people, especially those on the left side of the aisle, there is nothing more disturbing than a reality which reveals the fraudulence of one's ideology. The latest terrorist wannabe, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is yet another proverbial poke in the eye with a sharp stick for the dewy-eyed among us. To wit: Airport security is effective. Time-consuming, annoying, muddle-headed and oh-so politically correct? Absolutely. Effective? Abdulmutallab was one faulty fuse away from blowing a jetliner filled with three hundred passengers out of the sky. His "bomb?" A condom filled with an explosive compound sewn into his pants. Question: what airport security system is ready to start patting down peoples' genital areas? Answer: none. Al Qaeda one, airport security, zero.

  • Terrorist "watch lists" prevent possible suspects from boarding airplanes. Abdulmutallab's own father, the former economic minister of Nigeria, is reported to have warned the FBI about his son's extreme views — six months ago. According to Fox News Abdulmutallab was "on U.S. officials' radar for years," but was never considered a "sufficient threat to keep him from flying."

  • The FBI is an effective organization. See above.

  • A Congressional investigation will get to the bottom of things. Anyone remember the 9/11 Commission, which was mandated to come up with recommendations for "preventing future attacks?" Does the saying "talk is cheap" come to mind? — Terrorism is the result of economic deprivation. Like Osama Bin Laden before him, Abdulmutallab was born into a family of wealth and privilege. He was educated at one of Britain's leading universities and lived in a two thousand-plus dollars-a-month apartment. And just like Bin Laden before him — along with countless other economically privileged terror masterminds — none of it mattered a whit. — Islam is a "religion of peace."

  • Only in the fevered minds of those who refuse to see what's happening all over the world right under their collective noses. The overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks around the globe are perpetrated by Muslim terrorists — and have been for years. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are fence-sitters waiting to see which society, Western democracy or Islamic totalitarianism, emerges as the "strongest horse." Everything else is politically correct nonsense perpetrated by Muslim apologist organizations such as CAIR, along with Western intellectual elitists whose self-inflicted, multicultural, morally relative blindness — mixed in with a dollop of anti-Semitism — makes them impervious to reality.

  • The Obama administration takes terrorism seriously. Sure they do. That's why they'll try the 9/11 masterminds in civil court where those thugs will have an international platform to spew their anti-Americanism.

  • That's why they'll close Guantanamo Bay and move hardened terrorists to a prison in Illinois. And, in a insult to every American who believes that Iran is the nexus of international terror, that's why they'll refuse to "meddle" with a regime killing its own citizens. Forget militarily. This president won't even offer words of encouragement to Iranians fighting — and dying — for freedom.

  • The mainstream media will report the facts truthfully and accurately. Sure they will — without using the words "terrorist," "Islamic" or "Muslim" whenever they can avoid them. The Fort Hood massacre by Islamic terrorist Major Nidal Malik Hasan was the epitome of such willful denial. Perhaps they deserve some slack, however. It may be possible they're taking their cues from an administration which refers to the war on terror as an "overseas contingency operation" and a homicide bombing as a "man-caused disaster."

  • An attack as horrific as 9/11 could never happen again. Complete fantasy. Reality check: as long as some Americans consider every strategy to prevent terror used by the previous administration (much of which has been adopted by this administration) to be "an infringement of their rights;" as long as the media are willing to publish top-secret information designed to thwart terror; as long as we have despicable critters in Congress, such as Harry "the war is lost" Reid willing to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and as long as we conduct warfare with one hand tied behind our backs, the door remains wide open.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 27, 2009.

This ws written by Bill Katz.



I couldn't help but be struck by this ambiguous passage in the Washington Post's report this morning: "The incident marks the latest apparent attempt by terrorists to bring down a U.S. aircraft through the use of an improvised weapon, and set in motion urgent security measures that disrupted global air travel during the frenetic holiday weekend." No doubt the Post means that "the incident" has "set in motion urgent security measures," but it was just as clearly "an attempt by terrorists" — and a successful attempt, at that — to "set in motion urgent security measures." It sounds trite but it's worth repeating: The object of terrorism is to terrorize, and obviously the mission has been accomplished even if the plane was not brought down.

Correct. And McCarthy notes that this incident took place despite all the well-publicized attempts by the Obamans to change American foreign policy and be kind to everyone:

I wonder what the media would be saying if George Bush were still president.

Hadn't Abdulmutallab heard that we are closing Gitmo? Hadn't he heard that we're phasing out military-commissions so we can show the world that we give even the worst mass-murderers civilian trials with all the rights of American citizens? Hadn't he heard that President Obama has banned torture (yes, yes, I know, actually Congress banned it 15 years ago — details, details ...)? Hadn't he heard that the president has called for "a new beginning" in America's relationship with the Muslim world? Hadn't he heard that this is our new, smarter strategy to safeguard the nation from man-caused disasters?

I suspect he's heard all those things.

Yes he has, and he isn't moved. Is anyone surprised, except maybe the so-called "intellectual" elites, who thought it would be so easy?

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Don Feder, December 27, 2009.

Among life's most perplexing mysteries:

  • Why do most Americans continue to believe Islam is the "religion of peace" — a growing international body-count notwithstanding?

  • Why do the French eat snails and think Jerry Lewis is funny?

  • Why are women surprised that many of the men they have sex with have absolutely no interest in marrying them?

  • Why are the Jews so compulsively/tragically liberal?

My friend Ira, a Hasidic Jew who lives in the Boston-area, once told me if he goes to vote and sees two candidates for an office, and he knows nothing about them other than that one has a Jewish name and the other doesn't, he automatically votes for the non-Jew. He assumes, quite logically, that the gentile is less likely to be mushugana (just plain nuts) than the Jew.

President Obama — the clearest evidence yet that most Jews are delusional on matters political — just appointed Hannah Rosenthal the State Department's special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. Apparently, Pat Buchanan was unavailable. Coming soon: Obama appoints "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

Rosenthal sits on the board of J Street, the Soros-funded, Jewish cell which wants negotiations with the Hitlerites of Hamas, opposes sanctions on the nuclear-armed Holocaust-deniers of Iran, and believes anti-Semitism is caused mainly by Israel's survival instinct.

Obama's policy toward Israel has been exactly what you'd expect from someone who sat in church for 19 years listening to his Afro-centrist preacher spew hatred of America, Israel and Jews, while fawning on Farrakhan. If B.O. can't rouse Jewish voters from their 80-year coma, nothing can. Nothing can.

An October 3 headline in The National Catholic Register read, "President Obama Finds Greatest Support Among Atheists and Jews."

The story reported on a September Gallup poll that showed 66% of Jewish voters approve of Obama's performance, that's 22 percentage points higher than the president's approval rating among the general public at that point, and 27 points higher than his white Protestant support.

Granted, this is considerably lower than Obama's 83% Jewish approval rating in January. But the president's ratings from all segments of the electorate have declined proportionally.

Israelis (of necessity more connected to reality then their American cousins) don't share this euphoria. According to an August Jerusalem Post poll, only 4% believe Obama's policies are "pro-Israel," versus the 51% who think Barak Hussein is "pro-Palestinian."

People like Norman Podhoretz (admittedly, a great man) keep writing books with titles like "Why Are Jews Liberals?' Every other talk show that I do begins with the question: "Mr. Feder, as a practicing Jew, perhaps you can explain why most American Jews are so liberal, when self-interest and common sense dictate the opposite."

I can in less than 10 words: "Liberalism is the religion of secular Jews" — as well as the religion of ex-Catholics, Jack Mormons and evangelicals who've left the fold.

Jews and liberalism go together like bagels and cream cheese, blintzes and sour cream — like ACORN and voter-fraud. Podhoretz tells us that since 1928, Democrats have, on average, taken 75% of the Jewish vote in presidential elections.

Despite warning signs the size of billboards (surrounded by blinking electric lights), Obama captured 78% of the Jewish vote last year, compared with 53% of the electorate. Other than black voters, Jews remain the Messiah's most reliable constituency.

The standard explanations for Jewish leftism are:

  1. Like Judaism, liberalism calls for succoring the poor and downtrodden (now known as "social justice" — Marxism by another name)

  2. In pre-war Europe, anti-Semitism was a phenomenon of the right

  3. Having been persecuted for most of their history, Jews tend to identify with victims.

These rationalizations can almost be dismissed out of hand.

  1. Treating the stranger justly and providing for the widow and orphan aren't the essence of Judaism. Saying Judaism is about charity is like saying Jesus is about love. (BTW, the Torah says you provide for the widow and orphan, not you take the income of others to support them.) If there was an identity between Judaism and liberalism, why are the Jews who are the most ignorant of Jewish law (the most Jewishly illiterate) the most liberal, while those who live, breath and (quite literally) eat Torah values are the most conservative?

  2. In pre-war Europe, anti-Semitism was mostly a phenomenon of the right — except for Marxism (look at Marx's writings and the way the commissars treated Soviet Jews) and National Socialism, another revolutionary movement. Today, anti-Semitism is almost exclusively the domain of the left and Islam (on which the left dotes). Wherever the left is strongest — including academia and the mainstream media — there hatred of Israel and hostility toward Jews is most pronounced.

  3. Like liberals generally, Jewish liberals flatter themselves by imagining a bond with the poor and persecuted. That's why they seek to keep them in a dependent state and destroy the bottom-rung jobs that would lift them out of poverty. Who is the real victim anyway — the guy who won't work, or the guy with a menial job whose taxes support the drone?

No, we must look elsewhere for the gnarled roots of Jewish liberalism.

Above all, Jews are believers. In fact, they are the original believers. In a world of idols, fertility rites and infant sacrifice — a world where the strong took what they wanted — the Jews came with their belief in an invisible, universal God who demands righteousness and holiness (sacrifices of the heart).

More than any other people, Jews must believe in something. When that something isn't Torah, it's something else — scientific determinism, socialism, welfarism, animal rights, global warming, transcendental meditation or real-estate investment trusts. Of these, liberalism is the most satisfying and most closely resembles traditional religion.

Like Judaism and Christianity, liberalism offers a vision of salvation (the secular liberal state) and damnation (an eternity of being forced to watch FOX News).

It has its roster of saints and sinners. The former include feminists, environmentalists, gay-marriage activists, the ACLU, NOW, Amnesty International and Ted Kennedy. Amongst the latter are gun owners, those who drive SUVs, families with more than four children, oil companies, advocates of intelligent design and Sarah Palin.

Each has its rituals. For the left, it's recycling, multiculturalism, sex education, Harvey Milk Day, a woman's "right to choose," and an activist judiciary. Liberalism even has its sacred writings — "The Population Bomb," "The Earth In Balance," "The Feminine Mystique," "Dreams of My Father," and the editorial pages of The New York Times.

There is a direct correlation between a lack of involvement with traditional religion and membership in the Church of Liberalism. Voting in the 2000 presidential election precisely paralleled church attendance.

Those who went to church more than once a week voted for Bush over Gore by 68% to 32%. Voters who went weekly favored W. by 58% to 42%. Gore captured the occasional churchgoers (59% to 41%). Seldom went to church voted Democratic by 61% to 39%, and the I-don't-believe-in-superstitious-mumbo-jumbo backed Gore by 65% to 35%.

Church attendance/religious involvement is a better indicator of voting patterns than income, education, race or employment.

Jews, who are more secular than any other segment of the American people, fit this pattern perfectly. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 39% of Americans attend religious services weekly, while 56% say religion plays a "very important" role in their lives. For Jews, those figures are 16% and 31% respectively.

How the Jews became so secular is another story. Depending on the country and era, European Jews were circumscribed socially, segregated, limited professionally, stigmatized, attacked, plundered and murdered en mass.

Leaving their rabbis and great teachers behind in Europe for the most part, many who came here during the great wave of Jewish immigration (1880-1920) were desperately eager to assimilate and take advantage of American openness and opportunity. There are stories of Jewish men throwing their tfillin (phylacteries) overboard as their ship approached these shores.

The exception to Jewish secularism is Orthodox Jews, who attend synagogue religiously and generally vote Republican. Among the Orthodox, affinity for Republicans rises from modern Orthodox to very Orthodox to Hasidic. The latter vote like life-members of the NRA.

Of an American Jewish population of 5.3 million, only 10% are Orthodox. That's changing. Among Jews under 21, 20% are Orthodox.

American Jews generally have a well-below replacement birth rate — 1.86 children per woman. They not only embrace liberalism, they practice it — in terms of late marriage, no marriage and a desire for small families. In consequence, they are becoming an endangered species.

The Jews who do have large families are overwhelmingly Orthodox. Go to the Crown Heights or Boro Park sections of Brooklyn and you'll see Jewish mothers with 4 or 5 children in tow, and a few more at home. (The birth rate for Orthodox Jews ranges from 3.3 for the modern Orthodox to 7.9 for Hasidic Jews.) Go to New York's Upper East Side, and, instead of pushing strollers, you'll see Jewish women cuddling careers in law or investment banking, with a "life-long partner" at home.

The problem of Jewish liberalism will correct itself — as the Orthodox become a greater portion of the Jewish population and secular Jews go the way of the dodo bird — which, come to think of it, weren't kosher, just like Jewish liberals.

Don Feder was an opinion writer for the Boston Herald and a syndicated columnist. He is currently a political/media consultant.

An earlier version of this commentary appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com

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Posted by Midenise, December 27, 2009.

Kitty Werthmann tells a powerful story about what it was like growing up during the Third Reich.


What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard, nor will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I will not tell you that the German chancellor took Austria by tanks and guns. I will not distort history. We Austrians elected him by a landslide — 98% of the vote. I've never read that in any American publication. Everyone thinks that the Germans rolled in with tanks and took Austria by force. Not at all.

In 1938, Austria was in deep depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily.Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a kind Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people — about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks in cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed.The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have employment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria.

We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could return to the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education — Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," (Germany, Germany, Over All) and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.

There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun — no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of big-brother philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and to participate in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew that we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:

Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into our daily medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government inspectors told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. Since the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it was in control.

We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The bureaucrats would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

"Mercy Killing" Redefined:

In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well.

He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said that they were going to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to come saying that these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. It was euthanasia.

The Final Steps — Gun Laws:

Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

Freedom of speech was diminished by various regulations. Eventually, anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years after 1938 to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought it to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. In 1943, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea is unbelievable now, that the state, little by little can take away our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, pre-teen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it "The Burned Earth". Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks in order to be safe. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.

This is an eye witness account.

Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America truly is the greatest country in the world. We mustn't let freedom slip away!

After America, maybe we can move to Canada or Australia.

Contact Milton Franks-Lhermann at midenise@zahav. net.il

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Posted by Gil Ronen, December 27, 2009.

The Israel Air Force published statistics about the graduates of the Winter 2009 Pilots' Course. They show that the course is still overwhelmingly dominated by secular soldiers.

Two percent of the graduates are religious, and another 16% define themselves as traditional. This is in contrast to other elite units of the IDF, where knit-kippah wearing soldiers make up 25% to 40% of the soldier and officer corps. Regarding the ground forces, it is generally accepted that the religious Zionists have taken the place of the 'kibbutzniks,' or sons of the kibbutz communities — the socialist communal agricultural villages of Israel — who used to be backbone of the IDF's elite units.

Five percent of the latest Pilots' Course graduates are 'kibbutzniks,' up from 2008, when there were no kibbutzniks at all among the Pilots' Course graduates. These statistics marks a meaningful downward shift: In the 1980s, about 30% of Pilots' Course graduates were kibbutzniks, and their proportion went down to about 20% in the late 1990s.

Kippahs hit a glass ceiling?

The proportion of kibbutzniks has dwindled in the IDF's officer corps as well. Less than 5% of recent IDF Officers' Course graduates were kibbutzniks, while over 25% wore knit kippahs. However, while the proportion of religious soldiers is growing in the ground forces, it does not seem to be doing so in the air. There are different opinions as to the reason. An article last year in the now-defunct daily newspaper HaTzofeh determined that the number of religious pilot cadets was shrinking. It speculated that there may be an intentional policy of keeping the religious out of the IDF's most prestigious unit, but did not have conclusive proof.

In recent years the pilots' terms of service have been changed to include the acquisition of a bachelor's degree. 49% of the 2009 Pilots' Course graduates chose an academic track in Economics and Management; 20% chose Politics, Government and Management; 19% chose Mathematics and Computer Science and 12% chose Management of Information Systems. Pilots serve three years' of regular service and another nine years in the professional standing army (Tzva Keva).

Other statistics from the course: 63% are from central Israel, 28% from the north, and 9% from the south. 54% live in cities, 30% are from small communities, and 7% are from 'moshav' agricultural settlements. Five percent were not born in Israel. 88% studied in a math/science track in high school, 16% in the humanities and 9% in art, music and theater.

This was written by Gil Ronen, writer for Arutz Sheva, and it was published today in Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com)

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Posted by Gil Ronen, December 27, 2009.

.A meeting between residents of Shavei Shomron in Samaria and the Commander of the Judea and Samaria Regiment, Col. Itzik Bar, ended in discord Saturday evening when Bar walked out angrily.

Bar had come to the Shavei Shomron clubhouse building to talk to the residents after the murder of their neighbor Rabbi Meir Chai, in a shooting attack Thursday night.

While Israelis are justly proud of the Army Intelligence Services that succeeded in naming and tracking the murderers in record time, they want to know that all the means to prevent terrorism are in force. Thus, the residents of Shavei Shomron echoed many Israelis' worries when they voiced sharp criticism of the defense establishment and said that the removal of an IDF checkpoint near the community helped the terror cell that murdered Rabbi Chai. Col. Bar rejected the criticism and said that the removal of the checkpoint had not harmed security. After a heated discussion, he stalked out of the meeting.

"The Regiment Commander spoke arrogantly, and in a condescending and cold-hearted manner, which angered the residents," a participant in the meeting said. "It was a shameful sight. The regiment commander said, with great insensitivity, even said that removing the checkpoint actually improved security. How can you say something like that to 150 people who are mourning the murder of their friend?"

Residents noted that this was not the first time Col. Bar showed a condescending attitude. They pointed out his instructions to soldiers not to eat at settlers' homes — an order that was repealed after the Chief of Staff intervened.

The Shavei Shomron secretariat did not issue a response after the meeting, stating that the media was not the proper place for working out disagreements with the military.

Menorah Chazani of Shavei Shomron told Arutz Sheva that the residents feel that they have been abandoned by the political leadership. She said that Bar admitted that the IDF had failed to prevent the murder.

Limor Sohn Har-Melech, whose husband Shalom was murdered six years ago, noted that her husband's killers are among the terrorists that are supposed to go free in the Shalit deal. "After we saw that these terrorists go back to killing, the feelings are very bad," she said. "We feel that releasing the terrorists in a deal with Hamas would set the entire country on fire."

This was written by Gil Ronen, writer for Arutz Sheva. It was published today in Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com)

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Posted by Victor Sharpe, December 27, 2009.

On Christmas Eve, Palestinian terrorists belonging to a gang linked to the Palestinian Authority's Fatah organization murdered a young rabbi, firing seven bullets into his head in a drive by shooting.

The atrocity occurred in Samaria, the northern part of the so-called West Bank and was a direct result of the Israel Defense Forces removal of more roadblocks, perceived as yet one more Israeli gesture toward US President Barack Obama, who has pressured Israel to take "risks for peace."

Indeed every time Israel succumbs to requests from a U.S. Administration to provide one more in the endless procession of Israel goodwill gestures to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, more Jewish civilians perish at the hands of Arab terrorists.

The terrible irony is that some of those Arabs who perpetrate such murderous acts may well have been trained by American instructors creating a Palestinian security brigade, which is designed specifically to prevent such terrorism.

According to Israel National News, "Israeli soldiers recently removed the concrete cubes and metal gate that made up the roadblock north of Shechem, (Nablus) near Shavei Shomron, despite pleas by Samaria residents to the IDF not to remove it.

Israeli residents of Samaria reacted to the murder by saying: "The blood of the murdered man is on the hands of the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister, who have carried out a morally corrupt policy of turning the beloved into an enemy, and the enemy into a loved one. It is time to wake up from illusions for which Jews and their families pay with their lives."

The ancient Talmudic saying from the Ethics of the Fathers sums it up. "...Those who are kind to the cruel, end by being cruel to the kind."

The Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, does not seem to have ever taken this ancient wisdom to heart. This foolish removal of a security road block is but one more of his dismal acts. It would be instructive, therefore, to look back at some of his many errors in judgment.

On May 24, 2000, during Ehud Barak's term in office as Prime Minister, Israeli troops withdrew from the "security zone" in southern Lebanon, ending 18 year's of what had become known as the "Good Fence."

Barak caved in to leftwing protests at Israeli military casualties and what the ever misguided Left termed the "purposelessness" of maintaining the 10 mile wide security strip that ran along Israel's northern border with Lebanon. On hindsight we now see how vital that zone was to Israel's security.

But Ehud Barak had campaigned during his election for Prime Minister on a promise to bring the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) home from southern Lebanon. As Prime Minister he acted on his problematic promise and almost overnight the hasty withdrawal took place. Many Israelis believe that Israel's Christian Lebanese ally, the Southern Lebanon Army (SLA) was shamefully abandoned after giving almost 18 years of support to Israel's efforts at protecting northern Israel as well as the Christian villages in southern Lebanon threatened by Islamic hostility.

Before the zone was created, the massacres of Israeli children by Yasser Arafat's PLO infiltrators from southern Lebanon traumatized Israel. These atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs based in Lebanon occurred in the northern villages and towns including Avivim, Kiryat Sh'mona, Metullah and Nahariya. The security strip was created in order to protect Israeli civilians in the north of the country from such barbarous acts.

The foolish abandonment of the "Good Fence" became one more relic of Barak's dismal record and led inevitably to the growing strength of Hezbollah, which quickly filled the vacuum left by the destruction of the SLA and the withdrawal of the IDF.

Barak had gambled that the withdrawal would boost Lebanese friendship towards Israel and that a mutually recognized border would encourage the creation of a strong Lebanese government and a cessation of Arab terrorism against the Jewish state. He could not have been more wrong.

Ehud Barak dealt a severe blow to Israel's future security and embittered the lives of loyal Christian SLA soldiers who had fought alongside the IDF, many giving their lives, in protecting Israel's northern border. The hasty rush to vacate southern Lebanon and the commensurate distress caused to past allies is not something Ehud Barak should ever feel proud of.

It was clear to most Israelis that the Lebanese army would not fill the vacuum and instead give the Islamist terrorists a golden opportunity to quickly occupy southern Lebanon and use the Muslim Arab settlements there as future bases for aggression against Israel.

Those fears have come true. Barak left the door open for Hezbollah, and now the Jewish state has an Iranian Islamist proxy armed with nearly 100,000 deadly missiles aimed at Israel's civilian population centers. Not a very good legacy, Mr. Barak!

Now, acting as Defense Minister, he is creating yet again a situation, which is aiding and abetting Israel's sworn enemies. His decision to send elements of the IDF to enforce a shameful, inhumane and humiliating freeze — at the behest of Barack Hussein Obama — on construction within Israel's Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria is divisive and patently hostile to the Jewish communities there.

In the meantime, Mr. Barak is turning a blind eye to the feverish and illegal Arab building that is taking place everywhere throughout the territories and in East Jerusalem.[emphasis added] And all has happened as a result of this freeze; this umpteenth Israeli concession in pursuit of a delusional peace with the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.

Predictably, Palestinian Arab Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, has reportedly upped the ante even more. He has essentially reneged on the so-called U.S created "Roadmap" by demanding Israel not only cease any building within the territories and East Jerusalem but accept that the Jewish state must withdraw to pre-1967 armistice lines before the Palestinians will talk peace.

These are the same borders that in places are only nine miles wide and which the late Israeli statesman, Abba Eban, once described as the "Auschwitz borders." It is also said that when President George Bush was Governor of Texas, he flew with Ariel Sharon over the area, saw the narrow Israel border, and reportedly said: 'Why in Texas we have driveways longer than that."

We should remember that it was Ehud Barak who offered to arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat, practically all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) along with East Jerusalem. This breathtaking concession was rejected by the Palestinian Arab leader for the simple reason that Arafat, just like his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, reject a state side by side with Israel: the Arabs want a state without an Israel.

Barak is alienating those young patriotic Israeli soldiers who are drawn from the religious seminaries and who are appalled at the orders to tear down Jewish homes and even synagogues if Barak deems they offend the Obama freeze.

These questions must be asked. In view of the apparent abandonment of the Roadmap by Abbas, will Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, respond by now abolishing the imposed freeze? Will he order Defense Minister Barak to end the distress caused to the Jewish villagers in Judea and Samaria? Or will he be forced, by the crushing pressure from the U.S., the EU, and the U.N., to keep the immoral freeze in place and, for the sake of his coalition, continue to placate Ehud Barak?

How many times must Israeli politicians be reminded that the Muslim Arabs will never accept a Jewish state — however tiny it might become — in land once conquered in the name of Allah?

Politicians like Ehud Barak are forever willing to inflict misery upon Jewish villagers and townsfolk rather than refuse the arrogant dictates of foreign leaders who endlessly indulge the oil rich Arab world by outdoing each other in their anti-Israel policies.

As a direct result of the removal of a security barrier on orders, presumably from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, yet another Israeli civilian has been gunned down by Palestinian thugs. Such idiotic attempts to placate Barack Hussein Obama, other western leaders, and the Palestinian Authority inevitably result in the slaughter of more Jewish souls.

This has been another decision Ehud Barak should never feel proud of. It is also another sad act in a dismal record.

Victor Sharpe is a freelance wrier and author of Volumes One and Two of Politicide: The Attempted Murder of the Jewish State. Contact him by email at janvic@verizon.net

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, December 27, 2009.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il Go to
http://freifenberg-newblog.blogspot.com/ to see more of his graphic art.
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Posted by Dave Alpern, December 27, 2009.

Dear Mr. Wolf,

I was told that I should contact you for assistance from Senator Brownback regarding this top urgent matter.

First, I am a US citizen residing in Israel and registered to vote in Kansas via absentee ballot (voting address below).

I write you now regarding the unspeakably monstrous murder of innocent Israeli citizen Rabbi Avshalom Chai in yet another Arab terror attack. The Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, the "military wing" of the "moderate" Fatah organization led by "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") has taken credit for this horrendous crime against humanity and barbaric act of war.

For too long now, the US has provided financial aid and military training to Fatah, which does little or nothing toward the stated goal of these actions: combatting and defeating Arab terror against Israel. This is obviously impossible when these same Fatah brigades continue their refusal to recognize Israel's existence and commit these blood-curdling acts.

The Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades are classified by American law as an illegal terrorist organization: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm. Therefore, American funding and military training of these brigades are a direct and blatant violation of US law.

This patently illegal, immoral, obscene and INSANE situation must be terminated immediately. It can be resumed only upon Fatah's clear and unequivocal renunciation of terror and other "acts of armed resistance" against Israel's citizens, not one moment before.

Consequently, I urgently and respectfully ask you to speak with Sen. Brownback and request to do everything possible in both the Senate and House to bring about a swift and complete cessation of the above funding and training following this inexcusable assault on human life and rights.

I hope that many other concerned US citizens will also contact their Congressmen and Senators accordingly.

Thank you in advance for your attention, cooperation and timely reply.

With best wishes for 2010,

David Alpern
xxxxx Petach Tikvah, ISRAEL 49532

Registered voting address:
Wichita, KS 67206

Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@bezeqint.net

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Posted by Steven Plaut, December 27, 2009.

If this were my attempt at a spoof, I would agree with you that it is in really poor taste. After all, it is insensitive to invent an Israeli sociologist devoting his or her life to "Queer Studies," claiming he is organizing a special academic journal volume on "Queering the Middle East," promoting transvestism and cross-dressing, and then making up for him or her an insulting mock name to top it off.

Only one problem. Even I could not invent such a critter. He or she really exists. In fact, he/she is one of the leaders and founders of the communist-front pro-terror group "Machsom Watch."

I keep saying he-or-she because, frankly, I do not know which he-or-she is. I must explain that several web pages describe her as a female, although she sure looks like a male to me. And — please forgive me — this critter's real name is (gulp!!) Adi Kuntsman! No, I did not make that one up, so do not scream at ME for vulgarity! It is what the he-or-she-or-it is now calling itself.

His/her web page is here:
http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/llc/ files/MDCSN/AdiKuntsman.pdf Note the photo and how he/she claims to be an expert on Russian transvestites who made aliyah to Israel.

See also
http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/ricc/aboutus/ people/kuntsman/archives/oldindex.html Naturally he/she is fanatically anti-Israel

Here is a testimonial about young Adi from his/her anti-Israel wife/partner:

Here is the announcement for the conference:

Queering Middle Eastern Cyberscapes
Special issue of Journal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies
http://sites.google.com/site/ queeringmideasterncyberscapes/home

Guest Editors: Noor Al-Qasimi and Adi Kuntsman

Call for Papers

Digital media and cybercultures have long been explored as fields of identity formation, cultural contestations, and political tensions. Digital mediascapes have also been of particular interest to scholars of gender and sexuality for their potential to transform some gendered, racial, and sexual power structures while reaffirming, and often violently reinforcing, others. This special issue ofJournal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies aims to bring feminist and queer analysis of media and communication technologies (the Internet, mobile phones, surveillance technologies, digital television, and telecommunication) to the field of the Middle East as both a geo-cultural space and a political entity.

Our intention is to examine the intersections, tensions, and co-constitutions of queer sexualities and communication technologies; queerness as a form of digitalized affect and as a political practice; mediated violence and violence of mediation; new technological frontiers and frontiers of identities; and practices of everyday use and digitalized imaginaries. We hope to explore these and other phenomena as they emerge in Middle Eastern countries and communities and their diasporas. In recent years, much work has focused on media in the Middle East, and gender/sexuality in the Middle East; however, there is a paucity of scholarship on the intersection of these fields. Still less work has emphasized queering as a political metaphor in relation to the field of Middle East Studies. The aim of this special issue is to acknowledge the utility of a postcolonial queer critique as applied to this region and its diasporas.

We are soliciting work that engages with the intersection of media and sexuality with reference to the Middle East. Possible topics thus include:

Surveillance, war on terror
The policing of sexuality
Orientalism in new media cultures
Governmentality, biopolitics, and the Middle East
Sexuality and media censorship
Media technologies (e.g., YouTube, mobile phones, bluetooth,
picture/ video messaging) and queerness
Queer and/or social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace)
Queer Middle Eastern diasporas in cyberspace
HIV/AIDS-related online communities
LGBT and NGO activism
Drag, cross-dressing, butch/femme identities, other queer subjectivities
Gay imperialism

We welcome abstracts of articles to be considered for inclusion in this special volume. Please send a bio and a 500-word abstract detailing the topic of your article, the overall context, your material, methodology, and theoretical argument by the 1st of February 2010 to qmecissue@googlemail.com . Authors will be notified by the 15th of February 2010 of the outcome of their submissions. If accepted, full papers should be submitted by the 1st of July 2010. Papers will then be reviewed individually in the standard double-blind review process.

We also welcome shorter pieces of creative or analytical writing (up to 1000 words, or 4000 words for interviews) or visual material on the theme of this special volume. These pieces may be topical and/or polemical. They are not sent out to be peer-reviewed but are selected by the editors of the issue. If you would like to submit a short piece, please contact us to discuss the format and deadlines.

Abstracts and inquiries about this issue should be sent to
qmecissue@googlemail.com .

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. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is

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Posted by Justice for Jonathan Pollard, December 27, 2009.

This was written by Rabbi Lazer Brody and appeared today on his website
http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2009/12/ the-tragic-result-of-freed-terrorists.html


Raed Sarkaji, one of Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades members responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D, was killed by IDF troops during a daring anti-terrorist operation in Shechem yesterday. The terrorist leader had been interned in an Israeli prison until January 2009. Sarkaji took almost no time in returning to terrorism, the very activity for which he was arrested in the first place.

Anan Sabeh, Sarkaji's accomplice whose rifle was found to be compatible with the bullet shells found at the scene of Rabbi Chai's murder, had also been released from an Israeli prison as part of the amnesty deal with the Palestinian Authority in 2007, in which Israel agreed not to hunt down Palestinian gunmen who agreed to lay down their arms.

Until Rabbi Chai was murdered, I had expressed my support for the release of terrorists in a deal to gain the freedom of Gilead Shalit. Reality has painfully shown that releasing such terrorists is worse than folly — it costs us more blood. My desire to see Gilead Shalit come home soon simply overcome my better judgment. Stark reality proved me wrong. As much as we want Gilead home, we can't look into the eyes of any more orphans while advocating the release of terrorists.

Just today, I heard something unbelievably courageous: The highest echelons in Israel wanted to engineer a swap with the USA and the PA — Marwan Barghouti's freedom for Jonathan Pollard. Jonathan heard about it, and despite 25 years of indescribable anguish in prison, he refused to be a part in any deal that sets him free if a single terrorist will be freed as well.

May Hashem free all our prisoners in His own miraculous way! As for us, we have to beef up our prayers for Yehonatan ben Malka and Gilead ben Aviva.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 27, 2009.


Checkpoints, a matter of life-and-death (A.P./Nasser Ishtayeh)

An Israeli man was shot to death while driving "on a road between En av and Shave Shimmering. IDF soldiers are currently searching the area of the incident in order to find those responsible for the shooting. Road blocks have been erected in the area and comprehensive security checks have been implemented at all of the relevant crossings. The Israel Defense Forces will do everything in its power to bring those responsible to justice" (www.imra.org.il, 12/24).

"Everything in its power?" How about restoring the checkpoints and roadblocks before more murders? They were removed to please President Obama and former Sec. of State Rice. Those two will not be sued for this, but their policies are partly responsible for some such incidents.


There's Only One Way to Stop Iran," writes Alan J. Kuperman, in the New York Times. Mr. Kuperman directs the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention program of the University of Texas in Austin.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant (A.P./Mehdi Ghasemi)

Pres. Obama had offered Iran a deal via the UN. Iran rejected it. The deal was, Iraq to turn over to Russia 2,000 pounds, or three-fourths of its known supply, of lightly enriched uranium. In a year, Russia would return the material as processed fuel enabling Iran to run its Tehran research reactor for 30 years.

The proposal ignored prior UN demands that Iran cease its enrichment program. Thus this deal would be like a reward for Iran's violation. What is more, in a year, Iran probably would be capable of having replenished its stock of enriched uranium, thereby making the deal ineffective against proliferation. Iran could divert some of the enriched fuel to further enrichment for bomb-making. That is a simple technical feat, contrary to Obama administration assurances that further enrichment would not be possible. Indeed, it is more feasible to further enrich fuel of foreign origin, because Iran's fuel has impurities that impede processing. Thus foreign countries would do some of Iran's processing into weapons grade.

The research reactor to be kept running by the deal is used to train Iranian scientists in weapons-manufacturing techniques, such as plutonium separation. Iran rationalizes that the reactor produces medical isotopes, but isotopes are available on the market. Mention of isotopes is just an excuse.

Suppose there were no deal. In two years, Iran's reactor would run out of fuel that only half a dozen countries could supply. That would give foreign governments some leverage against Iranian weapons development. [I think some of them don't care.]

The deal would have helped Iran develop nuclear weapons and would have hindered U.S. attempts to prevent that. Ironically, Iran rejected the deal and the U.S. laments the rejection. Why? Domestic politics in both countries.

Pres. Obama wanted the deal so he could deflect GOP criticism now that his "engagement" with Iran was fruitless, although in a year they would find radioactive fruit.

Iran first accepted the deal, but then, as objections to the vote count grew, the regime was reluctant to appear subservient to foreign demands, as political opponents accused him of being.

Iran probably would continue violating UN requirements in small steps, none of which seem dramatic enough to incur military intervention, until it has weapons.

Here is an example of Iranian tactics aimed at stalling the UN while proceeding in its program. Iran permits international inspectors at its declared plant, but ignores orders to close the plant, where it learns how to produce weapons-grade material at secret facilities, like the one discovered near Qom.

Upon reneging, Iran threatened to enrich its own fuel, though that may be somewhat of a bluff. The threat was meant to cajole foreign countries to provide the fuel without Iran having to surrender the enriched uranium it already had. So now Iran offers to exchange just a quarter of its enriched uranium for the immediate 10-year supply. The new offer would enable Iran to run its reactor, keep most of its enriched uranium, and process it more. Win, win for Iran!

By reneging, Iran demonstrated that its politics prevent if from making even temporary concessions to foreign inducement. Where does that leave us? Acquiescence to Iran's plans is not acceptable. Iran already violates international embargoes of terrorist groups, to supply them with arms. Pres. Ahmadinejad's political opponents support those violations. It might do the same with nuclear weapons. It might bully its neighbors.

Invasion would be foolhardy.

That leaves the option of aerial bombardment. How feasible is it? Some sites may not be known as targets. Some known targets may be too deep for bombs to penetrate to. Bombing might accelerate Iranian development and unify all factions in Iran. Iran might retaliate against U.S. regional forces and allies. Iran could rebuild them, but the U.S. could bomb them again.

Mr. Kuperman cites other successful raids on nuclear facilities [but they weren't so hidden, deep, or hardened]. He cites the air raids on Yugoslavia. They united the country against the U.S., but the people overthrew the regime the next year. Iran already aids enemies of the U.S.. As for retaliating against U.S. forces, Iran might not dare risk stronger U.S. retaliation, if the original raids are restricted to nuclear facilities.

Who should conduct the raids? Kuperman nominates the U.S.. The U.S. has better weapons against underground facilities, has enough planes to threaten to expand the bombing if Iran retaliates, and has a global reach so that raiding Iran might inhibit other foreign proliferation.

The U.S. tried diplomacy, but it did not work (Op.-Ed.,12/24).

Candidate Obama said he would make friends with our enemies. It was a fatuous boast. In any event, Iran doesn't let him even talk with it.

A reader had commented that Iran did not reject the deal, and that the US refused to negotiate. The article is a lesson against accepting Iran's excuses and rationalizations. As with other rogue regimes, the U.S. spends years trying to negotiate, but they toy with us. Finally realizing it was played for a fool, the U.S. stops negotiating. In such cases, it is not the U.S. that acted in bad faith, but the rogue regimes.


Nigerian pilgrims at Church of the Nativity (A.P./Oded Balilty)

Yusuf Khoury is a Christian who had to flee from religious persecution in Gaza. Hamas men tried to capture him twice. His sister is under pressure to wear a head scarf. As Muslim religiosity intensifies in Gaza, Christians feel more under siege.

Within a year of Gaza's take-over by Hamas, the owner of Gaza's only Christian bookstore was abducted and murdered. Christian stores and schools were firebombed.

Like most of his friends, Mr. Khoury had enough. He went to the Judea-Samaria part of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). He studies theology in the Bethlehem Bible college.

The Western media usually ignore the plight of Christians in the P.A.. They just denounce Israel's security barrier. However, until Arab terrorists "turned Bethlehem into a safe haven for suicide bombers, Bethlehemites were free to enter Israel, just as many Israelis routinely visited Bethlehem" [as I once did].

Israel's security barrier helped restore security in Israel and in the P.A.. Pilgrims and tourists have returned to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, that P.A. terrorists had defiled in 2002. [How did the barrier foster security in the P.A.?]

In Bethlehem, too, life is difficult for Christians. Khoury says that Muslims stand in front of his college to intimidate the students by the way they read the Quran. Other Muslims place their prayer rugs in Manger Square. The college dean would not explain why. He said that Muslims and Christians live in "relative harmony," but admitted that Christians "feel the pressure of Islam..."

The head of a Christian TV station denied any "Christian suffering," but then described land theft, beating, and intimidation by Muslims, and his own house's firebombing. Muslim gangs seize Christian-owned land, as P.A. security forces stand by.

"always a minority religion upon the predominantly Muslim Palestinians, Christians are...fleeing (Daniel Schwammenthal, Wall St. J., Opinion, 12/24).

When Muslim armies conquered the region, Christians were the majority.

One hears claims that Israel is compelling Christians to flee. No facts are adduced to explain why would it be just Christians. Truth is, Muslims are compelling a Christian exodus, as they have from other states, in our time, particularly in Lebanon. Some of the pressure is official. When the pressure is individual, P.A. authorities condone it.

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 27, 2009.

This is a very nice story. It was written by Leora Goldberg and it appeared December 13, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1260447422761& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


I needed a break at the end of a long and exhausting semester. My family was off to the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, to an unknown island in Greece. I decided to join them.

We flew from Tel Aviv to Athens. From Athens, towards the famous sunrise of the eastern isles, we landed on the island of Zakynthos — "Fiore di Levante" (Flower of the East) — which is also known by its Italian name — Zante.

During the ride, I read the travel guide, and learned a little about the history, the agriculture, the weather and finally about the poetic origins of the national anthem. I did not read one word about what I was really about to discover on the island.

The drive from the airport to our villa lasted a few minutes. From the coastal plateau, we drove up through twisted village bends to our destination.

An old lady, a typical Greek villager dressed all in black, welcomed us with a warm smile into her home. She asked to show us around her beloved mansion. It was obvious that this place was the source of her pride.

The landlady gave us a short tour of the old-style bedrooms, bathrooms and salon. In the kitchen, we noticed the beautiful authentic Greek dishes that were hanging over her antique-looking stove. All these were for our use.

We explained to her that for religious reasons, unfortunately, we would not be able to enjoy using her kitchenware and that we had brought our own.

This is when it all began.

She seemed confused. She looked at my dad and suddenly her eyes lit up. She noticed his kippa (yarmulke). We were asked to follow her out to the garden.

From the high point where we were standing, we saw a fantastic view of the ocean and the ships. But she pointed the other way completely.

"Look over there!" she said.

She wanted to know what we saw.

"Trees, vegetation," we said.

"Look again and focus!" she demanded.

"Something unidentified that looks like teeth, white dots," my dad said.

She stared at us for a long moment and said: "That is the Jewish cemetery."

I was shocked. We were all astounded. Here were were on an isolated island in Greece. Who ever heard of Jews here?

I tried reminiscing about stories and experiences I had heard from friends who had visited here. Nothing came to mind.

From this moment on until I left Greece, the relaxing summer holiday drinking ouzo on the beach became a fascinating journey. By the end of it, I uncovered an unforgettable story.

The next morning, I got on my rented moped and drove to the cemetery. The shudder that went through me started when I first saw the Star of David on the little black gate. The trembling grew as I walked in. It was a huge cemetery containing hundreds of graves from the 16th century up until 1955. The grounds were well-kept and little stones were set on many graves, as if they had had visitors recently.

1955. I thought for a moment. Whoever knows the history of Greece and its islands even faintly knows that there was no place struck harder by the Nazis.

Rhodes, Corfu, Salonika, Athens. The loss of Jewish life in Greece was devastating.

From 1944, there were almost no Jews left even in the bigger communities.

I did not, however, understand the meaning of the "1955" grave, and decided to investigate.

In a small house that stood in the heart of the property, I found the cemetery keeper, a third generation of custodians of the Jewish graveyard in Zakynthos. My inability to speak the language prevented me from having a deep conversation with him.

I sought to continue my search for the Jewish history of this town, and within five minutes I was at City Hall.

When I told the clerk at the front desk what I was after, he asked if I had already been to the synagogue. The question was posed casually, as though it's asked on a daily basis.

"Excuse me?" I thought I hadn't heard right. "A synagogue on this island?"

He gave me directions.

The synagogue was located on a busy road in the center of the island. Off the main street, in a space between two buildings, was a black iron gate, just like the one I had seen not long ago at the cemetery. Above it was a stone arc with an open book.

It read, in a loose translation from the original Hebrew, "At this holy place stood the Shalom Synagogue. Here, at the time of the earthquake in 1953, old Torah scrolls, bought before the community was established, were burned."

Through the locked gate I saw two statues. Judging by their long beards, they looked to me like rabbis. The writing on the wall proved me wrong: "This plaque commemorates the gratitude of the Jews of Zakynthos to Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos."

What was the acknowledgment about? Who were these people? Why the statues? What happened here? I had lots of questions. I had to find a lead, if not an answer. I returned to City Hall, excited and trembling.

I approached the clerk, who already recognized me, and started questioning him about what had happened here. He referred me to the mayor's deputy on the third floor. I found his room, knocked at his door and asked him if he would spare me a few minutes. He willingly accepted.

HALF an hour later I came out with this:

On September 9 1943, the governor of the German occupation named Berenz had asked the mayor, Loukas Karrer, for a list of all Jews on the island.

Rejecting the demand after consulting with Bishop Chrysostomos, they decided to go together to the governor's office the next day. When Berenz insisted once again for the list, the bishop explained that these Jews weren't Christians but had lived here in peace and quiet for hundreds of years.

They had never bothered anyone, he said. They were Greeks just like all other Greeks, and it would offend all the residents of Zakynthos if they were to leave.

But the governor persisted that they give him the names.

The bishop then handed him a piece of paper containing only two names: Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Karrer.

In addition, the bishop wrote a letter to Hitler himself, declaring that the Jews in Zakynthos were under his authority.

The speechless governor took both documents and sent them to the Nazi military commander in Berlin. In the meantime, not knowing what would happen, the local Jews were sent by the leaders of the island to hide inside Christian homes in the hills. However, a Nazi order to round up the Jews was soon revoked — thanks to the devoted leaders who risked their lives to save them.

In October 1944, the Germans withdrew from the island, leaving behind 275 Jews. The entire Jewish population had survived, while in many other regions Jewish communities were eliminated.

THIS unique history is described in the book of Dionyssios Stravolemos, An Act of Heroism — A Justification, and also in the short film of Tony Lykouressis, The Song of Life.

According to tour guide Haim Ischakis, in 1947, a large number of Zakynthinote Jews made aliya while others moved to Athens.

In 1948, in recognition of the heroism of the Zakynthians during the Holocaust, the Jewish community donated stained glass for the windows of the Church of Saint Dionyssios.

In August 1953, the island was struck by a severe earthquake and the entire Jewish quarter, including its two synagogues, was destroyed. Not long afterwards, the remaining 38 Jews moved to Athens.

In 1978, Yad Vashem honored Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Loukas Karrer with the title of "Righteous among the Nations."

In March 1982, the last remaining Jew in Zakynthos, Ermandos Mordos, died on the island and was buried in Athens. Thus the circle of Jewish presence came to its close after five centuries.

In 1992, on the site where the Sephardic synagogue stood before the earthquake, the Board of Jewish Communities in Greece erected two marble memorial monuments as a tribute to the bishop and mayor.

A FEW days before I had planned to leave the island and return home, I went into a bank to convert some dollars into euros. But even in a simple place like a bank, I managed to add another piece to this Jewish puzzle.

A clerk who had been on the phone and eating a sandwich, called on me when my turn came. When I gave her my dollars to be changed, she handed me the converted money in an envelope without asking for any identification.

Later on, when I opened it, I was surprised to see so much money.

The money that had been put into the envelope had not been counted properly, and instead of changing $1,000, she had given me the equivalent of $10,000!

This was really no surprise to me, because the clerk hadn't paid me any attention. Ultimately, however, once the bank realized that the money was missing, it would have no way of reaching me since no contact information was requested.

The following morning, I called the bank and asked to speak to the manager. I inquired to know if there was a problem with the previous night's accounts.

"You must be the woman with the dollars," he said, immediately inviting me to his office.

An hour later, I was at the bank. When I walked into the office, the man sitting across from the manager moved to another chair and gave me his seat.

I shared my bank experience with him, saying how easy it would have been for me to disappear with the money.

The manager himself was profusely apologetic about the unprofessional way I was treated and thanked me repeatedly for returning the money.

To express his gratitude, he invited me and my family to dinner at an exclusive restaurant. I explained that eating out was too complicated for us due to the fact that we were observant Jews.

He asked for my address so he could send us a crate of wine.

"That is a problem too," I said.

I told him I had come from Israel a week ago for a holiday, but had gotten sidetracked.

"A few days after I landed, I was surprised to discover the Jewish community that was here up to 25 years ago," I said. "You don't owe me anything. Indeed, you have given me and my people a lot. The least I can do as a Jew to show my appreciation for what you have done for the Jews of Zakynthos is to return this money that doesn't belong to me and say, 'Thank you!'"

There was silence for what appeared to be a long minute.

The man who had given me his seat when I walked in and hadn't said a word during the conversation, stood up with tears in his eyes, turned to me and said:

"As the grandson of Mayor Karrer, I am extremely overwhelmed and want to thank you!"

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Barry Rubin, December 27, 2009.

In contrast to my rather gloomy assessment of the Obama Administration's prospects in the Middle East, Israel's prospects look rather good. This is granted, of course, that the chances for any formal peace (note the word "formal") with the Arab states or the Palestinians are close to zero. In addition there are two longer-term threats in the form of Iranian nuclear weapons and Islamists one day taking over one or more Arab states.

But let's enjoy ourselves while we can. It's also important to remember in the Middle East, optimism does not mean forecasting blue skies but merely ones only lightly overcast.

It's funny, though, how much better Israel's situation is then it's generally perceived. Consider the pluses:

  • The potential of a clash with the United States has been averted, most likely for the remainder of President Barack Obama's term. All the lessons received by the United States in the region-to whatever extent it learned them-are favorable to Israel, showing how ready Israel is to help U.S. efforts at the same time as demonstrating how hard it is to get peace and how limited is the other's side's cooperation or flexibility. The possibility of U.S. rapprochement with Iran or Syria has been destroyed by the latter

  • On the surface the situation with Israel looks dreadful but where it counts the support is sufficient. France, Germany, and Italy have friendly governments while in Britain an acceptably positive regime is about to be replaced by a warmer one. (It helps to have low expectations.)

  • Despite their rhetoric, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are basically satisfied with the status quo. Their strategies for forcing more concessions from Israel without giving anything leave them smug but without prospects for success. The danger of a Hamas takeover has been averted. The economic situation on the West Bank is about as good as it's ever been. And the PA rulers prefer to avoid renewed violence. That's not nirvana but it ain't bad either.

  • Hizballah doesn't want renewed war this year, seeking to carry out revenge terrorist attacks away from the Lebanon-Israel border. Hamas is probably cowed enough by the early 2009 fighting (outside observers still don't realize the extent to which its gunmen broke, ran away, and hid behind civilians, but the Hamas leadership knows), though this can't be taken for certain.

  • While the international economic slump has hit Israel, the country has been more insulated than one might have dared hope from its negative effects. Its remarkable technical innovation on hi-tech, science, medical, and agricultural technology continues to make rapid progress.

  • Israel has a government with a high level of popular support which really seems-after so much ineptness and ingenious plans that didn't do much good-to be on track. There is, by Israeli standards, a high degree of national consensus.

  • Iran still doesn't have nuclear weapons.

That's not at all a bad list. There are many who think that Israel cannot flourish, perhaps cannot even survive, without having formal peace with the Palestinians or perhaps also Syria and the Arabic-speaking world in general. This is simply untrue. The lack of a signed peace treaty with everyone (not to mention that such documents exist with Egypt and Jordan) is not the same as war. From the usual standards of no war, no peace this is a pretty good one.

Of course, there are negatives yet they really don't amount to anywhere near as much as it seems on a superficial glance. The virtual defection of Turkey's regime from the Western alliance (yes, it really is that bad) and the end of the special relationship between Jerusalem and Ankara is a bad thing. But the Turkish semi-Islamist rulers are restrained by their desire to play a role in regional peacemaking and not to make the Americans or Europeans too angry.

Most distressing of all is the noise. The virulent hatred of Israel by large sections of the American and especially European intelligentsia goes along with the endless outpouring of academic, media, and EU sniping can be dispiriting. Yet even here there is some silver lining. The more extreme and outright crackpot the attacks, the less credible they are. Public opinion polls, especially in the United States where they are through the roof, are not so bad. In addition, the lies and screaming have little material effect on the region itself. Something to worry about but don't lose sleep.

What's most important of all is this: A willingness to assess your problems accurately, guided by reasonable expectations. Not being crippled with ideology, blinded by misconceptions, swayed by bad international advice and the desire to be popular. And with determination and courage to implement policies that do the best with the hand you've been dealt.

If only others were doing the same thing, the world-and especially the Middle East-would be a better and more peaceful place.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com This article is archived at

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Posted by Maurice Ostroff, December 26, 2009.

China's Grisly Practices

With the launching last month of David Matas and David Kilgour's book "Bloody Harvest" every fair minded person must wonder why there has been no public outrage at its gruesome revelation of wide-scale harvesting of organs from live prisoners of conscience in China. The authors estimate that 41,500 organ transplants using Falun Gong prisoners have been done in the past five years. Their vital organs were seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries.
http://albany10.cityspur.com/2009/12/22/bloody-harvest-estimate- that-41500-organ-transplants-using-falun-gong-prisoners/

This is not merely a journalist's report that can be taken lightly. Matas is a lawyer who received the Order of Canada for his human rights work, and Kilgour, a is former crown prosecutor and former Member of Parliament.

The allegations are not new. According to the British Medical Journal of Nov 24, 2001 prisoners in China can be executed for crimes such as black market activities, in addition to murder. Ambulances wait at the site of the executions and the fresh organs from healthy young persons are harvested, to be transplanted into recipients from abroad.

10,000 African Albinos in hiding

And why, one must ask, is there no outrage at reports by the International Federation for the Red Cross and Crescent societies, that 10,000 Albinos have gone into hiding in East Africa because of the common belief that body parts of albinos have magical powers?

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/732206-- east-african-albinos-flee-murder-dismemberment

India's Black Market in Organs

And are we too indifferent to express outrage at India's black market organ scandal as reported in Time magazine of Feb 1, 2008, revealing an organ transplant ring that has been harvesting kidneys from poor Indian laborers, sometimes against their wishes? Doctors pay $1000 for the kidneys and sell them for $37,500. Another massive transplant ring in Punjab was uncovered in 2003. Police there believe at least 30 of the donors, died, despite promises that they would receive excellent post-operation medical care. Some donors were forcibly brought to clinics at gunpoint and forced to undergo operations that they didn't want.

On Feb 09, 2008 Live.com reported that Amit Kumar, the well known Indian trafficker in human organs who was arrested, claimed that the 3,000 kidney transplants he was involved in were a social service.

Even Britain

In 2000, pathologist Dick Van Velzen at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool confessed to removing hundreds of thousands of organs from children's bodies and storing them in hospitals all over the country. In addition to over 2,000 hearts, there were a large number of brain parts, eyes taken from over 15,000 stillborn foetuses and perhaps most disturbingly of all, a number of children's heads and bodies.
http://www.sott.net/articles/show/ 198499-The-Deadly-Trade-of-Child-Organ-Trafficking

Gaza's Grisly Trophies

And there was not even a hint of outrage when Mideast Dispatch Archive reported on May 11, 2004 that body parts of six murdered Israelis were paraded around in Gaza as trophies by Palestinian mobs, including members of the PA security forces. Some even played football with body parts in the street. One disembodied head was placed on a table so television cameras could film it close up.
http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/ archives/000188.html

But there is no lack of outrage when Israel is in the dock

How does one explain the glaring difference between the mild media reactions to the above well documented reports and the immediate frenzied response to the unsubstantiated inference that the IDF harvested body parts of Palestinians, in the article by Donald Bostrom in the Swedish Aftonbladet? And how does one explain the instant fame acquired by the author whose name suddenly achieved over 400,000 Google results.

Bostrom's own words confirm that his accusations are based on flimsy inferences rather than evidence. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post on August 20, he said critics "think I'm accusing the IDF of stealing organs. That's not what I'm doing. I just recorded the Palestinian families saying that." He went on to say "I don't think there is a connection between the New York thing and what happened in the West Bank in the 90s." Astonishingly, Mr. Bostrom nevertheless used the NY story in his leading paragraph together with a prominent photograph of one of the accused, a bearded Mr. Rosenbaum. More egregiously, Mr. Bostrom omitted to tell his readers that there were only five Jews among the 44 people arrested in the NY corruption and organ brokering scandal, including two New Jersey mayors, an assemblyman, and a city deputy mayor.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid= 1249418651681&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Evidently, when Israel is in the dock, an accusation doesn't need to meet even the minimum requirements of journalistic integrity to be widely accepted.

The tenuous nature of Bostrom's accusations are all too obvious when one considers that he refers to hearsay incidents in 1992, to infer that the IDF harvested organs in the Cast Lead operation in 2008-9


In enjoying his new fame, Mr. Bostrom is evidently not averse to exaggeration. On receiving an award for excellence from the National Federation of Algerian Journalists he casually increased the number of Palestinians victims whose body parts had been harvested, to more than 1,000.
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/News.php/2009/09/25/ bostrom-israel-harvested-body-parts-of-m

Prof. Hiss

Most of the articles that followed Bostrom's, see a conspiratorial link between the IDF in 2009 and the unrelated 1990 incident in which Professor Hiss, who was then head of Israel's forensic institute admitted that he had harvested organs from cadavers without permission of their families. This incident closely resembles the Dick Van Velzen case in Britain cited above.

Israel's Health Ministry responded that the guidelines at that time were not clear, but that they have been severely tightened and strictly enforced since then. Although Professor Hiss still works as chief pathologist, he was dismissed as head of the forensic institute. Israel's attorney-general Rubenstein at the time decided not to indict him since "there is no suspicion of corruption or profiteering on the part of Prof. Hiss, and the only interest he had was the advancement of medical research."

There was a great deal of dissatisfaction with Rubenstein's decision. Former Health Minister Dahan said he was sure that there was room for a criminal investigation but that there was at least one encouraging result, namely, that the questionable practices in the Forensic Institute would not continue.

Disgusting as this episode was, it is dishonest journalism to draw a false link from it to the IDF's behavior in Operation Cast Lead.

Journalistic standards

Even one of Israel's severest critics, Matthew Cassel, assistant editor of The Electronic Intifada, cannot close his eyes to the obvious defects in the Bostrom article. Cassel regards Bostrom's baseless organ theft accusations as a propaganda gift for Israel. He wrote

"I support uncovering human rights violations and war crimes wherever they occur, especially in Palestine, where I have worked for many years. I do believe Bostrom's intentions were to do much the same but that his process was highly irresponsible. The problem is not that he is accusing the State of Israel of wrongdoing, but that he is making accusations of what would amount to extremely serious war crimes while providing absolutely no evidence to support his claims..

.. The editors at the Swedish daily Aftonbladet who published this piece, should've sent it back to the author and told him to investigate the issue further until he found evidence to corroborate his claims."


Like all types of incitement to hate, this example of reckless journalism, is harmful to peace efforts. Like real viruses and computer viruses they spread and mutate and acquire long lasting lives of their own. Predictably, Boström's story has spawned cartoons of Jews stealing body parts and drinking Arab blood. Algeria's al-Khabar newspaper has fantasized Jewish-directed gangs of Algerians and Moroccans capturing children for harvesting of their body parts.

Even Al Jazeera Magazine has been infected with the hysteria. In a December 3, article it refers to an international Israeli conspiracy to kidnap children and harvest their organs and repeats a Pravda story that Israel has brought some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the occupied entity over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.

Contact Maurice Ostroff by email at maurice@trendline.co.il
and visit his website: http://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com

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Posted by Boris Celser, December 26, 2009.

This comes from http://www.jewfaq.org. The original article has live links to additional material. The site is well-worth visiting.


What is Judaism? What does it mean to be a Jew? Most people, both Jewish and gentile, would instinctively say that Judaism is a religion. And yet, there are militant atheists who insist that they are Jews! Is Judaism a race? If you were to say so, most Jews would think you were an antisemite! So what is Judaism?

Is Judaism a Religion?

Clearly, there is a religion called Judaism, a set of ideas about the world and the way we should live our lives that is called "Judaism." It is studied in Religious Studies courses and taught to Jewish children in Hebrew schools. See What do Jews Believe? for details. There is a lot of flexibility about certain aspects of those beliefs, and a lot of disagreement about specifics, but that flexibility is built into the organized system of belief that is Judaism.

However, many people who call themselves Jews do not believe in that religion at all! More than half of all Jews in Israel today call themselves "secular," and don't believe in G-d or any of the religious beliefs of Judaism. Half of all Jews in the United States don't belong to any synagogue. They may practice some of the rituals of Judaism and celebrate some of the holidays, but they don't think of these actions as religious activities.

The most traditional Jews and the most liberal Jews and everyone in between would agree that these secular people are still Jews, regardless of their disbelief. See Who is a Jew? Clearly, then, there is more to being Jewish than just a religion.

Are Jews a Race?

In the 1980s, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Jews are a race, at least for purposes of certain anti-discrimination laws. Their reasoning: at the time these laws were passed, people routinely spoke of the "Jewish race" or the "Italian race" as well as the "Negro race," so that is what the legislators intended to protect.

But many Jews were deeply offended by that decision, offended by any hint that Jews could be considered a race. The idea of Jews as a race brings to mind nightmarish visions of Nazi Germany, where Jews were declared to be not just a race, but an inferior race that had to be rounded up into ghettos and exterminated like vermin.

But setting aside the emotional issues, Jews are clearly not a race.

Race is a genetic distinction, and refers to people with shared ancestry and shared genetic traits. You can't change your race; it's in your DNA. I could never become black or Asian no matter how much I might want to.

Common ancestry is not required to be a Jew. Many Jews worldwide share common ancestry, as shown by genetic research; however, you can be a Jew without sharing this common ancestry, for example, by converting. Thus, although I could never become black or Asian, blacks and Asians have become Jews (Sammy Davis Jr. and Connie Chung). Is It a Culture or Ethnic Group?

Most secular American Jews think of their Jewishness as a matter of culture or ethnicity. When they think of Jewish culture, they think of the food, of the Yiddish language, of some limited holiday observances, and of cultural values like the emphasis on education.

Those secular American Jews would probably be surprised to learn that much of what they think of as Jewish culture is really just Ashkenazic Jewish culture, the culture of Jews whose ancestors come from one part of the world. Jews have lived in many parts of the world and have developed many different traditions. As a Sephardic friend likes to remind me, Yiddish is not part of his culture, nor are bagels and lox, chopped liver, latkes, gefilte fish or matzah ball soup. His idea of Jewish cooking includes bourekas, phyllo dough pastries filled with cheese or spinach. His ancestors probably wouldn't know what to do with a dreidel.

There are certainly cultural traits and behaviors that are shared by many Jews, that make us feel more comfortable with other Jews. Jews in many parts of the world share many of those cultural aspects. However, that culture is not shared by all Jews all over the world, and people who do not share that culture are no less Jews because of it. Thus, Judaism must be something more than a culture or an ethnic group.

Are the Jews a Nation?

The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation. The Hebrew word, believe it or not, is "goy." The Torah and the rabbis used this term not in the modern sense meaning a territorial and political entity, but in the ancient sense meaning a group of people with a common history, a common destiny, and a sense that we are all connected to each other.

Unfortunately, in modern times, the term "nation" has become too contaminated by ugly, jingoistic notions of a country obsessed with its own superiority and bent on world domination. Because of this notion of "nationhood," Jews are often falsely accused of being disloyal to their own country in favor of their loyalty to the Jewish "nation," of being more loyal to Israel than to their home country. Some have gone so far as to use this distorted interpretation of "nationhood" to prove that Jews do, or seek to, control the world. In fact, a surprising number of antisemitic websites and newsgroup postings linked to this page (in an earlier form) as proof of their antisemitic delusions that Jews are nationalistic, that Israel is a colonial power and so forth.

Because of the inaccurate connotations that have attached themselves to the term "nation," the term can no longer be used to accurately describe the Jewish people.

The Jewish People are a Family

It is clear from the discussion above that there is a certain amount of truth in the claims that it is a religion, a race, or an ethnic group, none of these descriptions is entirely adequate to describe what connects Jews to other Jews. And yet, almost all Jews feel a sense of connectedness to each other that many find hard to explain, define, or even understand. Traditionally, this interconnectedness was understood as "nationhood" or "peoplehood," but those terms have become so distorted over time that they are no longer accurate.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz has suggested a better analogy for the Jewish people: We are a family. See the third essay in his recent book, We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do. But though this is a new book, it is certainly not a new concept: throughout the Bible and Jewish literature, the Jewish people are referred to as "the Children of Israel," a reference to the fact that we are all the physical or spiritual descendants of the Patriarch Jacob, who was later called Israel. In other words, we are part of his extended family.

Like a family, we don't always agree with each other. We often argue and criticize each other. We hold each other to the very highest standards, knowing that the shortcomings of any member of the family will be held against all of us. But when someone outside of the family unfairly criticizes a family member or the family as a whole, we are quick to join together in opposition to that unfair criticism.

When members of our "family" suffer or are persecuted, we all feel their pain. For example, in the 1980s, when Africa was suffering from droughts and famines, many Jews around the world learned for the first time about the Beta Israel, the Jews of Ethiopia. Their religion, race and culture are quite different from ours, and we had not even known that they existed before the famine. And yet, our hearts went out to them as our fellow Jews during this period of famine, like distant cousins we had never met, and Jews from around the world helped them to emigrate to Israel.

When a member of our "family" does something illegal, immoral or shameful, we all feel the shame, and we all feel that it reflects on us. As Jews, many of us were embarrassed by the scandals of Monica Lewinsky, Jack Abramoff and Bernie Madoff, because they are Jews and their actions reflect on us all, even though we disapprove. The Madoff scandal was all the more embarassing, because so many of his victims were Jews and Jewish charities: a Jew robbing from our own "family"! We were shocked when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was killed by a Jew, unable to believe that one Jew would ever kill another member of the "family."

And when a member of our "family" accomplishes something significant, we all feel proud. A perfect example of Jews (even completely secular ones) delighting in the accomplishments of our fellow Jews is the perennial popularity of Adam Sandler's Chanukkah songs, listing famous people who are Jewish. We all take pride in scientists like Albert Einstein or political leaders like Joe Lieberman (we don't all agree with his politics or his religious views, but we were all proud to see him on a national ticket). And is there a Jew who doesn't know (or at least feel pride upon learning) that Sandy Koufax declined to pitch in a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur?

Boris Celser is a Canadian. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 25, 2009.

This was written by Bill Katz.


TERROR UPDATE — AT 7:04 P.M. ET: A White House official is quoted by Fox as saying the incident aboard the Delta flight today (see below) was an attempted act of terrorism, and that the president is monitoring the situation closely.

Congressman Pete King (R-NY) is saying that the Nigerian perpetrator suffered third-degree burns, and that the device he attempted to set off was "fairly sophisticated." He also is saying that the detonator was different from what we've encountered before.

Stand by.

FURTHER BULLETIN — AT 5:37 P.M. ET: Here is the NBC News report on the airliner incident that we're following, related to the two stories just below:

A 23-year-old Nigerian man tried to light a powdery substance aboard a Northwest Airlines flight before landing in Detroit on Friday, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official told NBC News.

Two people noticed the attempt and a third person jumped on the man and subdued him, an airline official told NBC News.

The man is being treated at the burn unit of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, officials said.

COMMENT: The issue, of course, is whether this man acted alone, is the only one to plan such an act today, or whether there are more. You can be sure that this is what counterterrorism people are focusing on right now.

BULLETIN — AT 5:24 P.M. ET: Relating to the story just below, the incident aboard the Delta airliner may — repeat may — have been more serious than originally thought. Fox reports: A male passenger reportedly linked to terrorist organization al-Qaeda ignited a powdery substance prior to landing on a Delta Airlines flight to Detroit Friday. The suspect is believed to be Nigerian, Fox News reported.

Several people were hurt and one person was admitted to the University of Michigan Medical Center at Ann Arbor, hospital spokeswoman Tracy Justice said. An emergency was declared aboard the flight, operated as Northwest flight 253, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson.

The suspect, who suffered second-degree burns, told federal investigators he was directed by al-Qaeda, though authorities are questioning the veracity of that statement, ABC reported. A federal situational awareness bulletin noted that the explosive was acquired in Yemen with instructions as to when it should be used, ABC said.

COMMENT: We will follow this very closely. It may well be that the guy was just engaging in bravado when he mentioned al-Qaeda. HOWEVER, we have seen incident after incident where the "authorities" deny at first that an event is terror-related, the better to be politically correct, and then later have to crawl under a rock when the truth comes out. Witness Fort Hood.

The fact that a bulletin has been put out noting that the explosive was acquired in Yemen should alert us all. Blowing up an airliner on Christmas day is what al-Qaeda is about. This story may grow.

This a Dry Bones cartoon. Yaakov Kirschen is the creator of the Dry Bones cartoons, which he started drawing in January 1973. Contact him at blog@mrdrybones.com

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Tzvi Tauby, December 25, 2009.

This week: Parsha Vayigash

At the event is the tearful reunion between Joseph and Benjamin described in Genesis 45:14: "And [Joseph] fell on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck." The Talmud (Megillah 16b) interprets their weeping on each other's necks as expressions of pain and sorrow over future tragedies in their respective histories: "[Joseph] wept over the two Sanctuaries that were to stand in the territory of Benjamin and were destined to be destroyed ... and Benjamin wept over the Shiloh Sanctuary that was to stand in the territory of Joseph and was destined to be destroyed."[*]

Self and Fellow

But why did Joseph and Benjamin weep on each other's necks, Joseph crying over Benjamin's two destroyed Sanctuaries, and Benjamin over Joseph's? Were they not distressed by the future breakdown of their own "necks"?

The same question arises further on in the Torah's account, when Joseph's reunion with his father, Jacob, is described. The Torah relates that "Joseph readied his chariot, and went up to meet Israel, his father ... he fell upon his neck, and he wept more on his neck" (Genesis 46:29). Here, too, our sages explain Joseph's weeping on Jacob's neck as an expression of distress over the destruction of the Holy Temple. But what about Jacob? Why didn't he weep? Our sages tell us that he was reciting the Shema. But if it was time to recite the Shema, why was Joseph weeping? Indeed, is distress over the negative state of the connection between G-d and His creation inconsistent with the recitation of the Shema?

We see a pattern emerging: Joseph weeps over the destruction of the Sanctuaries which lay in Benjamin's province, but not over the Sanctuary which lay in his own. Benjamin weeps over the destruction of Joseph's Sanctuary, but not of his own. And Jacob weeps over neither, since, as the father of all the tribes of Israel, his province includes all Sanctuaries of Israel. The question remains: why should one weep over another's spiritual deficiencies but not over one's own?

To address this question, we must first examine the nature of weeping in general. What do tears actually achieve? Tears give vent to the feelings of distress and frustration that accompany the knowledge that something is not as it should be. After a "good cry," a person is somewhat relieved of these feelings, although the situation that prompted his tears remains unchanged. Is this a positive phenomenon? At first glance, it would seem not. Distress and frustration are what drive a person to rectify the negative reality that gave rise to them. To lessen them by other means would seem to counteract their purpose and utility. But what if one has done all there is to be done? In such a case, where weeping cannot be faulted for reducing the impetus for action, one can point to its constructive uses. It may serve to communicate one's empathy with a fellow's troubles. And it may serve to alert others to the gravity of the situation — others who are in a position to do something about it.

Thus, Joseph and Benjamin allowed themselves to weep over the destruction of each other's Sanctuaries. Ultimately, only Joseph can repair the destroyed Sanctuary at Shiloh, the "Joseph" dimension of Israel's relationship with the Almighty; Benjamin can only encourage and assist. After contributing all he could to Joseph's efforts, Benjamin wept his agony and concern on his brother's neck. The same applies to Joseph's weeping over the Sanctuaries in Benjamin's domain.

Instead of weeping over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the resultant galut ("exile"), Jacob recited the Shema — the Jew's proclamation of the unity of G-d and the imperative to translate his comprehension and awareness of G-d's unity into thoughts in his mind, feelings in his heart, and words in his mouth and concrete actions in his physical life. Instead of giving vent to his pain, Jacob directed his inner turmoil toward the endeavor of rebuilding the damaged necks of Israel.

Sixty years ago, the great spiritual leaders of Europe were counting their losses — in the millions! The great Chassidic courts of Poland, the prestigious yeshivas of Lithuania, were all destroyed by the Nazi hordes. What did these righteous people do? Did they sit down and cry? Of course there were tears and mourning and indescribable grief, but the emphasis quickly shifted to rebuilding. And today, thank G-d, those same institutions are alive and well, thriving and pulsating with spirit and energy in Israel and the United States. The leadership focused on the future. And painstakingly, over time, they were able to resuscitate and rejuvenate their decimated communities.

Those leaders cried bitter tears for their fallen comrades, but for themselves they did not sit and weep. They set about the task of rebuilding — and succeeded in the most inspiring, miraculous way.

When we have problems (and who doesn't?), so many of us simply moan and sigh and heave a good old-fashioned yiddishe krechtz (Jewish groan). How many times have we sighed, What can I do? And what does that leave us with? — with the moaning and groaning and nothing else. There is well known Jewish quote. "One good deed is worth more than a thousand sighs".

Good Shabbos.

[*] (Each tribe received a portion in the Land of Israel. Although a significant part of the Temple Mount and the Temple courtyard [azarah], as well as the rest of the city of Jerusalem, was in the territory of Judah, the main part of the Holy Temple — the heichal, the Holy of Holies and the Altar — lay in the adjoining territory of Benjamin. Both the First Temple, erected by King Solomon in the year 2928 from Creation [832 BCE] and destroyed by the Babylonians 410 years later, and the Second Temple, built on the same site in 3408 [352 BCE] and destroyed by the Romans in 3829 [69 CE], were thus situated. Preceding the two Temples, however, was the Mishkan, the portable Sanctuary which served the People of Israel in their journeys in the desert; following the People of Israel's entry into the Holy Land in the days of Joshua, the Mishkan was erected in Shiloh in Joseph's territory, its wooden wall-sections replaced with walls of stone. The Shiloh Sanctuary served as the spiritual epicenter of the Jewish people for 369 years, until its destruction by the Philistines in approximately 2872 [888 BCE].)

The Chabad iVolunteer group is based in Brooklyn. Contact them at programs@ivolunteerny.com This article is archived at

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Posted by Paul Rotenberg, December 25, 2009.

This was written by Caroline B. Glick, the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her book "The Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad," is available at Amazon.com. Visit her website at www.CarolineGlick.com. Contact her by email at caroline@carolineglick.com
This article appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post.


Unbeknownst to most Israelis, this week marked a critical shift for the worse in the regional balance of power. While IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was busy demanding that the government pay a ransom of more than a thousand terrorists for captive soldier Gilad Schalit, few paid attention to Iran's newest strategic successes.

Over the past week Lebanon capitulated to the Iranian axis. Turkey solidified its full membership in the axis. And Egypt began to make its peace with the notion of Iran becoming the strongest state in the region. Less than five years after former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by Syria, his son Prime Minister Saad Hariri paid a visit to Damascus to express his fealty to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Days later, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Beirut and began giving the Lebanese government its new marching orders.

On Wednesday, Hizbullah forces deployed openly to the border with Israel under the permissive eye of the US-armed Lebanese army. Lebanon announced that it was no longer bound by binding UN Security Council Resolution 1559 that requires Hizbullah to disarm. And Hariri announced that he will soon visit Teheran.

While Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his media echo chamber insist that Turkey has buried its hatchet with Israel, on Wednesday Prime Minister Recip Erdogan led a delegation with 10 cabinet ministers to Damascus. There, according to the Syrian and Turkish Foreign Ministries, they signed 47 trade agreements.

This Turkish-Syrian rapprochement is not limited to economic issues. It is a strategic realignment. As Assad's spokeswoman Buthaina Shaaban explained to Iran's Arabic-language al-Alam television channel, "We are working to establish close ties between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq so these countries can act as one regional bloc in order to promote peace, security and stability in the Middle East, while keeping the West's dictates and lust for the region's natural and oil resources at bay."

For years Egypt has been the most outspoken Arab opponent of Iran's moves towards regional hegemony. This past summer Egypt did not hesitate to accuse Teheran of trying to overthrow the regime when it discovered a network of Iranian-commanded Hizbullah operatives planning a massive terror assault on the Suez Canal. Yet on Sunday, Mubarak hosted Ali Larijani, Iran's former nuclear boss and current speaker of Iran's parliament in Cairo. Following their meeting Mubarak traveled to the Persian Gulf for consultations on Iran's nuclear program. Given Mubarak's poor health, the fact that his meetings with Larijani sent him flying to Saudi Arabia indicate that something of major importance has just occurred.

Many IDF commanders are happy to leave the issue of Iran to the US, which they insist is capable and willing to deal with it. But the fact is that since Iran rejected President Barack Obama's diplomatic overtures, the US has shown clear signs of strategic dissonance. While Israel clings to the hope that sanctions might prevent Iran from going nuclear, this week that notion was exposed as a fiction. Although Obama gave the House of Representatives a green light to vote on sanctions against Iran, he quickly demonstrated that Teheran had no reason to worry. First Obama and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry blocked discussion of sanctions in the Senate. And now — with full White House backing — Kerry is trying again to appease the Iranians by begging them to let him visit Teheran. Clearly appeasement is the only play in Obama's book. Furthermore, China's refusal to back sanctions in the UN Security Council coupled with Lebanon's and Brazil's ascension to the council next month obviate any possibility that a harsh international sanctions regime will be instituted against Iran any time soon.

FOR ISRAEL, Iran's successful moves to preempt American threats to isolate it should have been the top news story and the main issue on the government's and the General Staff's agendas. But it wasn't. Indeed, no one seemed to notice. They were otherwise occupied. For the past week, the government's security cabinet and the IDF's top commanders have devoted themselves entirely to discussing how many terrorists Israel will give Hamas in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Schalit. For three days, the security cabinet met around the clock to discuss this issue alone. And the most insistent advocate for accepting Hamas's demand that Israel release over a thousand terrorists has been IDF Chief of General Staff Ashkenazi.

On Monday, Channel 2 reported that National Security Adviser Uzi Arad accused Ashkenazi of acting like the president of the IDF's parents' association rather than the chief of General Staff. Arad criticized Ashkenazi for demanding that Israel ransom the captive soldier while failing to supply the government with any option to use force to rescue Schalit. The media pounced on the Arad-Ashkenazi story like hungry wolves. The national debate was dominated for two days by the burning questions of whether or not Arad would apologize, and whether Netanyahu can continue to retain Arad's services after he insulted Ashkenazi. Conspicuously absent from the media's coverage of the spat was any discussion of the reasonableness of Arad's criticism. So, too, the media ignored the question of what — if anything — Ashkenazi's behavior tells us about the IDF mindset and disposition as Iran consolidates its regional power. The fact is that Arad's criticism was on point. Schalit has been captive in Gaza for more than three years. At no point has the IDF provided the government with an option for rescuing him. A year ago, Ashkenazi sent the IDF's best combat units into Gaza. During their stay, they were not ordered to rescue Schalit. And now, a year later, Ashkenazi is demanding that the government pay for the IDF's failure to rescue Schalit by accepting a deal that will imperil the country. And he is claiming that failure to do so will constitute nothing less than an abdication of Israel's moral responsibility to its soldiers.

Following the publication of Arad's attack on Ashkenazi, the IDF's Spokesman's Office issued a statement that army commanders are fulfilling their "professional duties" by insisting that Israel ransom Schalit. This is untrue. It is not the professional duty of IDF commanders to opine on ransom demands. They have no professional qualifications to determine the reasonableness of ransom demands. In Jewish history, the role of ransoming captives has traditionally been the writ of rabbis, not military men. The writ of military men was to rescue them. The professional responsibility of the IDF is to provide the government with military options for achieving its strategic objectives — including rescuing Schalit. By failing to provide such options, the IDF — with Ashkenazi at its helm — has failed to uphold its professional responsibilities. Worse still, by demanding that the government endanger the country to ransom Schalit, Ashkenazi and his generals are telling us something distressing about how they define their role as military commanders.

The IDF's apparent confusion about its role is not new. It was this confusion that led the army to fail to present the government with options for defeating Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006 or for defeating Hamas in Gaza last year. Whereas former prime minister Ehud Olmert properly received most of the blame for Israel's poor performance in the Second Lebanon War and in Operation Cast Lead, the fact is that it was the IDF that failed to deliver the goods. The operations the IDF designed, recommended and carried out in both campaigns were not meant to defeat Israel's enemies. All they were supposed to do was demonstrate Israel's firepower. And even this wasn't done particularly effectively.

In 2006, then-chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz rejected a ground invasion of south Lebanon in favor of an air campaign. When it became clear some 24 hours into the operation that an air campaign would be incapable of defeating Hizbullah or even degrading its ability to paralyze northern Israel with short-range rockets and missiles, Halutz and his deputies refused to conduct a ground assault. And, when after three weeks of failure they finally deployed ground forces in significant numbers, they didn't know what to tell them to do. For his part, Ashkenazi sat on his hands for months as southern Israel was pummeled with rockets and mortars from Gaza and refused to offer the government a military option for protecting the South. When last December Hamas forced his hand by announcing that it was abrogating its cease-fire with Israel, Ashkenazi grudgingly agreed to let the IDF respond to its aggression. But even then, he opted for an operational concept that had no chance of defeating Hamas. Ashkenazi rejected the notion of retaking the Gaza-Egypt border. He refused to order IDF forces into Gaza's population centers. By opting not to do these things, Ashkenazi guaranteed that the IDF would accomplish little. Consequently, even top IDF commanders acknowledged this week that the army will be forced to return to Gaza in due course. There, thanks to Ashkenazi's refusal to defeat Hamas, Israel's soldiers will face a far more formidable foe than the one they were not allowed to defeat last year.

While refusing to fight Israel's enemies, under Ashkenazi, like under Halutz before him, the IDF has enthusiastically attacked religious Zionists. Since 2002, the only sustained operation the army has carried out successfully was the expulsion of all Israelis from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005. When Defense Minister Ehud Barak severed the IDF's ties with the Har Bracha Yeshiva last week, he was acting on Ashkenazi's advice. Ashkenazi has promoted anti-settler commanders like Col. Yitzhak Barr. As a brigade commander in Samaria, Barr has reportedly prohibited his soldiers from fraternizing with Israeli families on Shabbat and personally refused to visit IDF Chief Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Avichai Rontzky at his succa during Succot.

EVERY DAY the dangers to Israel's security and very survival mount. At this time, the government and the people of Israel need to be able to trust in the IDF's ability to defend the country. Rather than earning that trust, those tasked with our defense are spending their time berating the political leadership for their own failures. Moreover, they are expressing a disturbing desire to pass the buck on fighting Israel's enemies while aggressively hounding Israelis. This situation is unacceptable. Either Ashkenazi and his generals should prove they are capable of performing their jobs, or they should be replaced.

Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at pdr@rogers.com

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Posted by Think-Israel, December 25, 2009.

We picked this as a fascinating read for today:

Amil Imani, "Christmas Spirit and Islam"
(See below).

And this to watch:

"A Different Christmas Poem."
Click here.

This is the time of the year that the air is filled with everything Christmas. There is something for everyone: gifts for family and friends, prayers at churches, and Christmas music everywhere. It puts me in a contemplative mood, particularly when I hear the delightful Christian refrain, peace on earth, goodwill to men. This is the gift I want. This is my Christmas. When there is peace on earth and all people dispense and receive good will.

Yet, I am saddened to see the world as it is, particularly with what Islam is doing to it, which is the exact opposite of working for peace and extending goodwill to all people.

My contemplation takes me to the genesis of Islam. Something I have come to view as a scourge of humanity, and here are a few of my random thoughts about the founder of Islam: the person who launched a religion that has denied peace to mankind right from the start, the person who advanced a religion that began with war, continues with war, and aims to carry on with bloodletting to the end of time. All this makes me think and shake my head in bewilderment.

Starting with the premise that an all-knowing powerful God is the creator of this awe-inspiring universe where we humans are an infinitesimally insignificant part of his creation humbles me. Muslims call this creator Allah — a recast of one of 360 idols in the pre-Islamic Idolatry of Mecca — and attribute numerous superhuman qualities to him. It is awe-inspiring to realize that a being of that description may indeed exist.

That leads me to some questions: Why would such an indescribably exalted creator, with his ascribed boundless wisdom and resources, pick an illiterate Bedouin to become his prophet for then and forever? The man himself, Muhammad, admitted in the Quran to his own illiteracy. Yet, Allah persisted in choosing this man? Was Allah bored with the rest of his universe and playing a joke on us helpless mortals? Or was it a case of Allah not being able to get any reasonably literate man to take the job?

I don't have an answer to this or a bevy of other questions and the answers I have seen so far from Muslims are far from satisfactory. I am forced to mark this as one of the enigmas of life and move on to further look into Muhammad, his claims, his life and the way all might come together with Allah's choreography of our life of drama.

Muslims claim that Muhammad was the most perfect man, the kind of saintly man that each and every one of us should adulate and aspire to follow. On the top of their list is the desire to lead their lives in such a way that would please Allah, if they can.

Muhammad has done that, Muslims claim. And apparently Allah, in his infinite kindness, does not require the rest of us mortals to do things that we are incapable of doing. And Muhammad has brought us the perfect life manual, the Quran, to help us in our quest, we are told.

Besides, a great inducement for me to check Islam out is the promise of eternal life in an indescribably lush sensual paradise of Allah if I make the grade. If I fail, I am told, my forever destination is the dreadful inferno of hell.

I have also checked out those schools of thoughts that say life starts here and ends here. End of discussion. Well, buying into the idea that I am going to end up as fertilizer in some desolate cemetery is not something I would like to contemplate. So, I kept looking into this Islam thing since I was born and raised in it. After all 1.5 billion people have bought into it. They can't all be misguided, can they?

This quest led me to examine the teachings and life of Muhammad closely. And here are a few of my findings that have thrown me for a loop. Hence, I am sharing my findings with the readers in the hope that someone would supply me with explanations that would relieve me of my perplexities.

I have, in my quest, read, re-read, and read again the Quran — purportedly the literal word-for-word of Allah transmitted to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel over the course of some 20 years.

Right away I am troubled. Is Allah the same creator who has created the entire universe by a single word of his mouth — kon va yakoon — be and became, as Islam claims? Then why did it take this magnificent all-knowing lightingly-fast-Allah 20 years to get across a dime-novel-size hodgepodge of contradictory and nonsensical verse called the Quran, to us poor creatures?

Was it because Muhammad was illiterate and he couldn't write them down? But that can't be. He didn't write down anything himself. He dictated to anyone who could write and was around at the time to do it. Therefore, in the course of some 20 years what is claimed to be the word-for-word dictates of Allah went through a number of intermediaries and materialized in several versions.

First the Archangel Gabriel whispered it to Muhammad, then Muhammad found some Arab who could write — not an easy find among the masses of the most backward illiterates of Arabia — and who happened to have a pen of some sort and a parchment to jot down what Muhammad still managed to recall.

Perhaps this does explain the several versions of the Quran that popped up after Muhammad's death and the Caliph Othman's choice of one as the genuine and burning of the others. The practice of burning books Muslims don't like to talk about, goes all the way back to their venerated second Caliph, Othman.

Now, how could a fallible politician like Othman be the judge of Allah's genuine utterances? Was there another Archangel that helped him out, or he just simply liked that particular version best? One thing you can say about Othman. He was an astute enough politician to realize that you can't have one Islam with several versions of the word-for-word revelation of Allah.

Here is another problem. Even the chosen version of the Quran, if you can make any sense of it at all, reads like two different books. The early part is known as the Mecca Quran. This part is much about meekness, tolerance, kindness and so forth. This was the time that Muhammad's wife Khadija — a monotheist Hanif, in contrast to polytheist idolater Muhammad — introduced her young troubled husband to her Christian uncle and exposed him to the teachings of Christianity that influenced his "revelation."

During this early phase of his ministry, Muhammad spoke respectfully about the "people of the book," — Christians and Jews, the people from whose book he liberally plagiarized to launch his monotheistic faith with the invaluable encouragements of his wife Khadija.

It was Khadija who convinced the young man that he was indeed chosen by Allah to be his spokesperson; that the jinn and angels communicated with him were parts of Allah's plan for him.

Muhammad, during his Mecca years, was ridiculed for his confused sayings by his own tribe of Quraish. He was called shaeron majnoon — crazed poet. At this early stage he went by his birth name of Abulqasem. It was later that he took on the new name of Muhammad — Praiseworthy-One — to go better with his ministry.

Muhammad, having been judged as a hallucinating insane poet, was tormented by the Meccans in many ways. It got so bad, that after his wife's death he left for Medina where a significant Jewish community provided a safer place for him to gather followers, build a powerbase, reveal his Medina Quran of intolerance and vilification, and launch his religion in full force and by brute force.

Once in Medina, Muhammad hit on a most powerful formula for success. He justified everything, on the spot, by saying that Allah wants it this way. And Allah was nothing to trifle with. He held the key to the most magnificent paradise as well as to the dreadful hell. The duty of a good Muslim became unquestioning obedience to everything that Muhammad said and wished. Muhammad became Allah's gatekeeper to paradise and hell.

Muhammad's formula worked magic with the Bedouins of Arabia who thrived on robberies and killings. His religion spread like a pandemic disease in no time at all. And here we are in the 21st century, at Christmas time, praying for peace and goodwill to men, while Muhammad's men are working overtime to make sure that men see neither peace nor goodwill.

I would like to join the chorus of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Yet, deep in my soul, I find it my solemn duty to keep on sounding the alarm about the fire of Islam even at this poignant moment of Christmas.

Peace on earth and goodwill to men is a perennial prayer. It can be only when enough men and women of goodwill, with iron resolve arise and disempower the Islamist people of war and ill-will.

Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Contact him by email at editor.amilimani@gmail.com. This article is archived at
http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option= com_content&task=view&id=166&Itemid=2

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 25, 2009.


The Israeli Cabinet has modified the freeze on Jewish construction in Judea-Samaria. The modification would allow repair, renovation, house-expansion, and completion of buildings whose foundation already had been laid.

The Cabinet explained that it found that the freeze orders sent out exceeded the authority granted by the Cabinet. National Union Party MK Aryeh Eldad thinks that the government wanted to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits for arbitrary damages (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/24).


Israel's Likud Party is offering Cabinet posts to Kadima Party MKs who return to Likud. Kadima MKs, out of power, are restive. Labor Party MKs are disenchanted with their head, Ehud Barak (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/12/23).

PM Netanyahu urged MK Livni, head of Kadima, to bring her party into a coalition of national unity. Such coalitions tend to be formed in preparation for a major war (www.imra.org.il, 12/24).

Yes, but which war? Could be that Netanyahu is diluting the nationalist element in the regime, so that he and Barak can make war on the Jews of Judea-Samaria. As earlier reports revealed, Netanyahu and Barak have committed the entire Border Guard and several battalions of troops to freeze-enforcement. The plan is to cut off cell phone communication among residents, isolate them, impose curfews, etc..

Israel's Likud Party is offering Cabinet posts to Kadima Party MKs who return to Likud. Kadima MKs, out of power, are restive. Labor Party MKs are disenchanted with their head, Ehud Barak (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/12/23).

PM Netanyahu urged MK Livni, head of Kadima, to bring her party into a coalition of national unity. Such coalitions tend to be formed in preparation for a major war (www.imra.org.il, 12/24).

Yes, but which war? Could be that Netanyahu is diluting the nationalist element in the regime, so that he and Barak can make war on the Jews of Judea-Samaria. As earlier reports revealed, Netanyahu and Barak have committed the entire Border Guard and several battalions of troops to freeze-enforcement. The plan is to cut off cell phone communication among residents, isolate them, impose curfews, etc..

Israel's Likud Party is offering Cabinet posts to Kadima Party MKs who return to Likud. Kadima MKs, out of power, are restive. Labor Party MKs are disenchanted with their head, Ehud Barak (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/12/23).

PM Netanyahu urged MK Livni, head of Kadima, to bring her party into a coalition of national unity. Such coalitions tend to be formed in preparation for a major war (www.imra.org.il, 12/24).

Yes, but which war? Could be that Netanyahu is diluting the nationalist element in the regime, so that he and Barak can make war on the Jews of Judea-Samaria. As earlier reports revealed, Netanyahu and Barak have committed the entire Border Guard and several battalions of troops to freeze-enforcement. The plan is to cut off cell phone communication among residents, isolate them, impose curfews, etc..


Earlier defiance of freeze in Efrat (AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

The Jews of Judea-Samaria do not believe that the freeze order is temporary and isolated. They think its removal from local communities of the power to authorize building is intended to be permanent.

"The very day (Friday) after the construction freeze order was signed, and up until the minutes that the Sabbath began, freeze orders were distributed to local mayors. Aerial photos were even taken in order to document the status quo. The speed with which this process was done shows that this was not a sudden decision, but one that was preceded by careful, long planning — far from the eyes of the public and by deceiving the voters." [That kind of military dispatch and with deception was the way Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert managed the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. It was more a blow to the religious, to Zionism, and to the Right, than anything to do with peace, as it simply let Gaza become a terrorist haven. The expulsion was characterized by approved brutality.]

"The next logical step is negotiations and Israeli withdrawal from most of Yesha and the destruction of the towns and expulsion of their residents."

"The defense establishment is relating to the enforcement of the freeze as a national mission encompassing the entire IDF, from the Chief of Staff down to the regional brigades in Yesha. Just like before the Gush Katif expulsion, the army is preparing to provide "mental preparation" for the policemen and soldiers who will take part, including motivational talks about how the freeze is critical for national security. Some 40 teams of inspectors, including representatives of the Civil Administration, Border Guard, and IDF guards, will enforce the freeze, driving around in bullet-proof vehicles to the various communities."

"They will attempt to create a 'deterrence effect' by arresting individuals who will serve as scapegoats by being punished severely, with the expectation that others will be afraid to follow in their footsteps. This is critical for the government, since they know that they will not be able to deal with thousands of opponents — but if we realize that in truth they cannot punish thousands of us, and we thus break their "deterrence effect," and simply not be afraid of them — we will have won."

"We must also employ psychological warfare, in the sense of, "We're upsetting the board and not playing anymore." There must be no dialog with the government or the IDF. Dialog only serves their purposes, of keeping things under control. Their fear of the unknown and lack of control is much greater than ours, and if we don't talk with them, they have more to lose than we do.

"Netanyahu, for instance, has humiliated the Yesha leadership by refusing to meet with them ever since he was elected — except for immediately after the freeze orders were issued, when he wished simply to calm us down and neutralize our ability to fight. Meetings of this sort can help us in small things, but the price will be our ability to wage an effective fight."

We call upon the mayors, rabbis and community leaders not to meet with or have any contact with anyone connected with the enforcement of the freeze. This "extreme" move will significantly complicate the enforcement, and will also broadcast a message of how grave the construction freeze truly is."

"A basic assumption is that the State will not be able to enforce the freeze in the face of thousands and tens of thousands of opponents. Neither will the IDF be able to handle refusals by dozens and hundreds of soldiers."

"The struggle must therefore be broad and comprehensive, and supported by public leaders and rabbis. Groups of dozens and hundreds of adults and youths must be organized, where everyone places on brick on a new building. In this relatively simple manner, we will show that enforcing the freeze is impossible and that we will not take it lying down."

"We must also not be afraid to be arrested. We must fight their psychological warfare by showing that we are not afraid, and turning this approach to our advantage. The courts will not be able to deal with hundreds and thousands of indictments and arrests. It will not only stop up the court system, it will also broadcast a message of lack of control, of impending catastrophe, of a nationalist party against the public, etc. " (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/24.)

In the prior tenure of PM Netanyahu, right after his election, Netanyahu cold-shouldered his nationalist and religious supporters. I discussed with some of them at the time his rebuffs. That is when we realized that his reputation as right-wing is not warranted.

The plans would seem wiser if they renounced the yesha Council leadership that betrayed their attempt to prevent the expulsion of Yesha Jewry and if they warned against government spies.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, dean of the Har Bracha Hesder Yeshiva, which helps prepare ultra-Orthodox youth for the Israeli Army, and rabbis in similar institutions, signed a declaration against political protest in the Army.

Defense Min. Barak declared that he was severing the Army relationship with Har Bracha, because, "'After two attempts to demonstrate within the army, it turned out that there is a yeshiva whose head openly preaches for refusal of orders, and is unwilling to denounce acts of protest within the IDF,' Barak said in a speech before high school students in Rishon LeTzion." (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/23.)

Earlier, Rabbi Melamed had said that he would not volunteer to tell students what to do, but if they consulted him, he would suggest they not demonstrate.

I think that Barak has his own agenda, regardless of the facts.


Israel has offered an unlimited number of permits to Palestinian Christians, to enter Israel for religious and family reasons, for a month during the holidays. So far, 10,000 have accepted. Israel offered a few hundred permits to Christians in Gaza (www.imra.org.il, 12/23).

What is the biggest Christmas shopping list in history? The just-passed medical insurance bill.


More than one reader has claimed that the Jewish lobby got the U.S. into the Iraq war [meaning the continuation of the Gulf War]. One cited an alleged boast by the Executive Director of AIPAC that his organization's influence had that result.

I checked with AIPAC, because the accusation does not make sense. (1) Even if true, a lobbyist would not boast about having gotten his country into an unpopular war; and (2) I recall reporters and Israeli leaders asserting that such a war would be a mistake and that they did not want those who prompted such a war to try to bolster their position by claiming it would help Israel.

An AIPAC spokesman replied, "Hi and thank you for your note. AIPAC did not lobby for the Iraq war and took no lobbying position on the matter. Assertions to the contrary are patently false, and in some cases, malicious. In fact there was a letter from several members of Congress a few years ago making this point from the Hill's perspective. There was one article that made this claim, but it was false."

Links to a news story on this topic and to a letter by Members of Congress rebuking a fellow Representative for making such a claim:

The news story starts: "Sixteen of Democratic Rep. Jim Moran's House colleagues rebuked him in a withering letter Wednesday for saying last week that the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, 'pushed [the Iraq] war from the beginning.'" (Reply from AIPAC,12/24.)

Such fabrications are malicious. Their reiteration is in some cases naive and in others a studied willingness to accept any mud to fling at Israel.


Fifteen dual citizens of Israel and Belgium, who suffered injury, property damage, or loss of kin during Hamas bombardment of Israel sued Hamas for war crimes, in a Belgian court. The suit named 10 Hamas leaders.

This is the first of a series of cases to be brought in Europe. Plaintiff's hope to bring to public attention Hamas' crimes, hitherto muted, including in the Goldstone Report. They hope to show the difference between Hamas war crimes and the proper way to conduct war that Israel practiced. The Report's brief mention of Hamas' war crimes was noted in the legal brief.

Meanwhile, Hamas is advising Europeans on what suits they should bring against Israel (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/24).

I think that lawsuits have been abused so as to become a nuisance and are meant as a nuisance.

I reported and wrote my own extensive analysis of the Goldstone Report. Anti-Zionists condemned the analysis without addressing them. The comments tried to refute the analysis by citing the original Report that the analysis debunked. Not logical.

I have a question for those defenders of the Goldstone Report. The Goldstone mission was sent out specifically to report on Israeli military conduct and not on Hamas military conduct. The lengthy Report had just a brief mention of Hamas war crimes, which were extensive, both in Gaza and against Israel. By then, Hamas had fired between 6,000 and 8,000 rockets at Israel. My question is, how do they reconcile the limited and mild mention of the extensive Hamas war crimes, with the extensive and caustic expounding on the limited alleged IDF war crimes? What does that show about the integrity of the UN and its Report?

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Paul Lademain, December 25, 2009.

We are the PC-free Secular Christians for Zion (PC-free SC4Z):

To make ourselves clear (nod to BHO) we respond to Jimmy's "apology" to the Jews:

Jimmy Carter apologizes to Jewish community
2009-12-24 15:22:57 (GMT) (WiredPRNews.com — News, US Presidential News)

The former U.S. President released an open letter offering an apology for previous remarks. Atlanta (WiredPRNews.com) — Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter recently released an open letter to the Jewish community, apologizing for possible offenses to his previous words or actions. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Carter, who upset many Jews with a South African apartheid comparison to Israeli treatment of Arabs in a book released while he was in office, spoke of his hopes for respect and cooperation between Israel and its neighbors in the letter initially released to JTA.

Carter is quoted by the AP as stating in the letter, "We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel... As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so."

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League who criticized Carter's previously stated notions about Israel, is quoted in the report as stating of welcoming Carter's apology, "When a former president reaches out to the Jewish community and asks for forgiveness, it's incumbent of us to accept it... To what extent this is an epiphany, only time will tell. There certainly was a lot of hurt, a lot of angry words that need to be repaired. But this is a good start."


The SC4Z awards Carter's apology 2 points out of 10. His apology is not coached in terms of confessing to the magnitude of his offenses against truth — offenses that directly led to the incitement of war against Israeli civilians — but merely expresses his belated sorrow at having said or done things "that upset Jews." Such tepid language! Especially so when considering the miles Carter marched in service of the Saudis, their proxy, Yasser Arafat, and the Israel-hating Texan, Jim Baker (former US State Dept. Secretary.) Jim Baker makes no bones about his hatred for Israel, a Jewish State, and his alliance with if not his allegiance to the Saudi royals who enriched him.* See: Craig Unger's* "House of Bush, House of Saud". (Scribner)

"Apologies for possible offenses." Possible? Carter is a university grad, schooled in nuclear technology. He is neither stupid nor dense. His words against Israel and Jews in general were designed with a certainty that forwarded the mawkish propaganda writ by the Saudis on behalf of their proxy, the Egyptian-born terrorist, Yasser Arafat. Jimmy Carter has already spent decades aiding and abetting this terrorist as well as any arab from any arab country who falsely claims to be a "victim of Jewish persecution." Jimmy deliberately ignores the near million Jews who were forced to become refugees when they were attacked and robbed and slaughtered and driven from their ancestral homes in the Muslim-controlled regions surrounding Jewish Palestine during the Forties. Jewish communities in Saudi Arabia — Medina in particular — fled for the lives.

Nobody knows exactly where the Muslims who later swarmed into Jewish Palestine originated. With the help of Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat, they simply entered the region formerly called Jewish Palestine and began calling themselves "Palestinians" and the naive and semantically-challenged Jews, many speaking neither English nor Arabic, adopted the self-serving semantics designed by the Muslims to diminish through co-option the Jews' rightful claims to their homeland; lands which had long been referred to as "Palestine, the Jewish Homeland".

After WWII, Jews — weakened by persecution and wholesale extermination and eager to be treated as human beings by their traditional persecutors — were easy marks for the Britz, who deliberately abused their assigned powers and simply handed the Hashemite Muslims 90% of what International law and treaty had defined as "Palestine — the Jewish Homeland". Worse still, at that time many Jews, deeply wounded by British insults and trickery, assuaged their humiliation by accepting only "the tail of the chicken" while pretending that British spittle was but a spring rain. The Britz thereafter impeded Israel when this tiny nation, now shorn of 90 % of its land, faced military invasion by the surrounding new arab states created by the British "mandate". The Euroids were shocked when Israel vanquished their would-be conquerors. Jimmy Carter knows all this; he is well aware of the tribulations visited upon Israel and Jews, but still, he deliberately ignored international law, ignored the truth, and used his bully pulpit as X-POTUS to attack Israel with the most scurrilous and false allegations which only malice could imagine.

Yes, Mr. Foxman, we know how nice it feels to to "go along to get along" — how wonderful it is supposed to feel to forgive during the Forgiving Season — but we remind you that no Sharia-bound Muslim will entertain similar sentiments nor will Sharia urge Muslims to voluntarily cease attacking non-Muslim civilians. Mr. Foxman, you cautiously hint that Carter ought to back his apology with rehabilitation. But we are the PC-free SC4Z, and we are the majority, and we needn't squirm when we say that WE DEMAND it.

Viva to Israel from the Secular Christians for Zion.

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman, December 24, 2009.

This is by Yehudit Tayar, a veteran spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers living in Yesha. For the past 30 years she and her family have lived in Bet Horon, in the Benjamin Region of the Shomron.


It is up to us to save Israel for the Jewish people

The Apartheid, anti-Zionistic meticulous plans of the Netanyahu/Barak government against Israeli citizens in the heartland of Israel are an ominous omen for the future of the Jewish State. Think of the amount of money that would be poured into the "operation" that this deceitful company of politicians plans to use in order to destroy Jewish homes, freeze any building, cut off communications to prevent any possible enlistment of people coming out to help to protect their fellow citizens. Think of the number of police, the military forces, the amount of money for aerial photography, etc.

Then let us compare this to the current lack of efforts and lack of governmental financial backing for our military operations to protect the citizens in Israel from the continuing violence directed against us. Every day citizens and military all over Israel, not only in Yesha (Judea and Samaria), are being attacked by terrorists with missiles and advanced weaponry.

The media has learned nothing from their collaboration in the previous "operation treason" during which the Sharon government promised both quiet to the citizens of Israel and a "solution for every resident" of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. The media collaborated with the government and orchestrated the promotion of this deceitful, traitorous plan. When implemented this plan proved disastrous with the uprooting of our families, living and our dead, and the destruction of our towns, villages and synagogues.

The entire country has paid the price for the Hamas terror-based Gaza that was the immediate result of the operation. The rocket attacks and subsequently the military operation inside of Gaza were the direct result of the destruction of Gush Katif, the small but vibrant area cultivated by Israelis, that so benefited the Arab economy.

Now what will happen to the country following the plans this government has for the center of Israel, the very heartland of Israel — Judea, and Samaria? How will this deter our enemies from within and from outside our borders from planning even more terror against us? One would surmise that the bitter lessons of the mistakes made by previous governments would have been learned. Sadly, the opposite is the case.

That leaves the ordinary people, the residents of Israel who understand the implications of this undemocratic, unlawful plan against us, to protest the land in any way we can. To stop this from happening we must continue to build, we must prevent the forces sent to implement these unlawful anti-Jewish decrees from entering our communities.

Sometimes it is in the hands of the simple people to change history. We must learn from the bravery of the freedom fighters from the time of the Maccabees and from the heroes of the Mossad L'Aliyah Beth. These brave citizens, who against the wishes of the so-called leadership in Eretz Yisrael, continued to bring in Jews from Nazi Europe during the War of Independence to save their own lives and the existence of the entire country.

The compliance by so-called leaders of Israel with the wishes of foreign nations, not in the best interest of the security of Israel, is a tragedy repeated time and time again. It happened first with the British occupying forces in our Land, and now with the pressures from Barak Hussein Obama, Europe and the rest of the world. Those misguided pathetically weak "dreamers of peace at any price" acted like a fifth column. They did not live in reality but rather with some pipe dream that if we only do what the world wants maybe we will be loved or at least left alone.

We have finally come home to our Land as a people and we cannot afford to allow weak, misguided politicians to endanger the future of the Jewish State by dangerous, anti-Jewish plans. It is up to us to fight to prevent this not only for ourselves, the Jewish pioneers in Yesha, but for all Israeli citizens who will pay the price if, G-d forbid, a Muslim Palestinian state is allowed inside our borders.

Jerome S. Kaufman is National Secretary of the Zionist Organization of America and hosts the Israel Commentary website (http://www.israel-commentary.org).

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, December 24, 2009.

Police around the world are thinking up new ways to discourage protestors. Their problem is when the protesters are engaged in legal civil disobedience and when the Police are acting as storm troopers on behalf of a dictatorial government.

A few weeks ago I saw a brief YouTube clip where the Police were wielding batons on an unarmed crowd. Police on horseback were charging into the crowd. The Police had plastic see-through visors — as did the horses.

A small segment of the crowd threw what looked like baking flour which coated the see-through visors of the Police and the horses. The horses simply stopped in their tracks as did the Police. What you can't see, you can't beat on. The surge of attacks against unarmed civilians slowed down and almost ceased while the protesters simply calmed down when the beatings ceased.

Windshields of the Police Cars were similarly coated with baking flour. While, no doubt, the Police with their batons were frustrated, it seemed that using passive baking flour was a pretty safe way to protest.

Regrettably, I saw this in passing so I didn't notice if this was occurring in China, Belgium, or in Iran. With clouds of baking flour powder in the air, it looked like it was snowing.

It was a laughable sight.


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@gwinstonglobal.org

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Posted by Yaacov Levi, December 24, 2009.

This article was written by Gil Ronen and it appeared today in Arutz Sheva.


(IsraelNN.com) Rabbi Meir Chai, 45, of Shavei Shomron, was mortally wounded in the head Thursday afternoon when terrorists fired at the car he was traveling in, between the Jewish communities of Shavei Shomron and Einav in Samaria, west of Shechem, according to preliminary reports. A spokesperson for Shavei Shomron said that Rabbi Meir Chai worked as an educator at the local school and kindergarten, and that the children were very attached to him. He lived in the community for 14 years and was considered a wise Torah scholar, modest and well-loved.

A large force of Israeli soldiers and police has started searching for the terrorists, who escaped the scene.

Magen David Adom emergency services declared the victim of the shooting dead late Thursday afternoon.

Rabbi Chai was a father of seven children. He was driving on route 57 when terrorists opened fire on him. His car overturned and he was mortally wounded. His wife and a young son were found in good physical condition by Israeli troops, a short time after the shooting, near Einav. Until they were found, security forces were concerned that the terrorists had tried to abduct the two.

Fatah faction: we did it

The Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction said Thursday evening they were the ones who carried out the terror slaying.

The Bethlehem-based Maan news agency says terrorists from a group named after slain Hizbullah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh carried out the attack and escaped.

The murder was the first fatality in a terror attack in more than seven months. The last terror murder victim was Gregory Rabinovitch, 56, a taxi driver murdered May 10 near Gan Yavneh. Two months after the murder, security forces reported that it was carried out by terrorists.

Local officials state that it was the Christmass releasing of travel restrictions that enabled the murder to happen. The restriction lifting was to please President Barak Obama.

Arutz Sheva
December 25, 2009
"We will Continue in Father's 'Path of Faith'"
by Gil Ronen


Thousands of people took part in the funeral of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai who was murdered Thursday by a Fatah terror squad. The funeral procession started out at 10:00 AM from the Shamgar Funeral Home and went to the cemetery at the Mount of Olives.

Chai (40) lived in Shavei Shomron for 14 years. He was married with seven children, the youngest of whom is two months old.

Minister Yaakov Neeman eulogized Rabbi Chai tearfully and paid tribute to his great virtue as a teacher of young children.

Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika said that "Rabbi Meir is a victim of the folly of the government of Israel. His murder is the result of the removal of checkpoints. Two weeks ago the main checkpoint between Shechem and Tulkarm was opened. The government of Israel preferred the Arab's fabric of life to the Jew's life." Mentioning Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Mesika said: "I demand that you face the widow and orphans and ask forgiveness because you cannot say 'our hands did not spill this blood.'"

To the Arabs he said: "You have hit the lion in our ranks but you will not break our spirit. We vow to you, Rabbi Meir, that we will continue in your path, to settle in the lands of our forefathers, in spite of them."

A father to hundreds

MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) said that Rabbi Meir was "a father to all of us and to... hundreds of children whom he taught Torah."

MK Yaakov Katz (NU) said: "Rabbi Meir, you are all of Israel; you are a hero of Israel in the instruction of Torah and in fear of the Heavens."

Turning to the residents of Judea and Samaria, he said: "We are the few who hold the many. Rabbi Meir, you represent the courage of the settlers. You represent the courage of those who drive at night without guards or security details, you are the hero who shines his countenance to the children at night and in the day. With our devoutness and the willingness to sacrifice we will raise up those who are distant. We need to teach the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister some Torah."

Study, not revenge

Eliyahu, the Rabbi's son, said: "I want to say to the youth — continue in my father's path. Father wanted faith, he wanted Torah study, he wanted prayers. He could not stand to see that there are no tefillin. He had to see all of the mitzvot (commandments). If you want to memorialize my father these are the things you should do. Not to beat up Arabs with sticks. We are human beings and we will not shoot them in the head for no reason. We are human beings, we are the youth of Samaria... Father would be happiest if he saw us studying." He asked Defense Minister Barak to respect the dedication of the youth of Judea and Samaria.

Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai left the community of Einav at 4:30 PM Thursday and drove toward his home in Shavei Shomron. Terrorists in a car that overtook him opened heavy fire at him. Ten bullets hit Meir in the head. He was mortally wounded and died a few minutes later.

Arutz Sheva
December 25, 2009
" Rabbi's Murderers Trained by Barack and Barak?"
by Gil Ronen

The announcement by the Al Aksa Martyrs organization that its men are the ones who killed Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai raises some difficult questions, when one bears in mind that the United States assists the Fatah organization through military training under the supervision of Gen. Keith Dayton.

Interviewed by Ben Bresky Thursday night, journalist David Bedein reminded Arutz Sheva's audience that the Al Aksa Martyrs formally joined Fatah's security forces at the Fatah convention in August. Fatah receives military training from US military forces with the full approval of Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Bedein noted that as a journalist, he recently submitted a query to the Minister of Defense and directed a similar question to the US authorities. In his queries he noted that despite their claims otherwise, the Al Aksa Martyrs are a terror group whose men receive financial aid which the US gives the group.

He has not received an answer to the query.

Bedein's description of the matter means that the United States (headed by President Barack Obama), with the Israeli government's passive agreement, has indirect responsibility for training and funding the terror force which murdered Rabbi Meir Chai.

Resist Net
December 27, 2009
" Murderers of Rabbi Chai Killed by IDF, Security Forces"
by Malkah Fleisher

General Security Services in partnership with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed the murderers of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai. All three were convicted terrorists who had been committed to and later released from Israeli prisons.[emphasis added]

The Israeli military operation took place on the evening of December 25, the Jewish Sabbath. PA head Mahmoud Abbas was not forewarned of the mission.

The homes of three men known to have taken part in the murder were surrounded by special forces units, who tried to arrest them. According to an army spokesperson, the men "refused to cooperate", rejecting calls to surrender. Troops subequently opened fire on the buildings.

Nader Raed Sukarji, a 40 year-old inhabitant of Shechem, was arrested in 2002 and suspected of being a top Al Aksa terror group brigade operative and participant in many terror attacks. He also prepared bombs and helped establish explosives factories in Nablus (Shechem). He was released from prison in January 2009.

Palestinian sources say Sukarji's wife was also injured in the operation, after her husband used her as a human shield while hiding in their house.

Ghassan Abu Sharkh, 39, was imprisoned by security forces in 1990. His brother, Nayef, was the head of the Tanzim terror organization's military wing in Nablus. Nayef facilitated several terror attacks until being killed by IDF forces in June 2004.

Anan Suleiman Mustafa Subih, 36, resident of Nablus, was an operative of the "Shuhada al-Aksa" brigade, which was involved in extensive Tanzim military operations as a cell of Tanzim in Nablus. The group was led by Nayef Abu Sharkh, until Nayef's death. Subih worked in trafficking weapons and supplies for use in terror acts.

Subih had recently been accepted to Israel's amnesty program for Fatah gunmen. His participation in Tanzim activity was a direct violation of that agreement.

In the process of attempting to arrest Subih, Israeli forces found 2 rifles and 2 guns hidden in the house. The weapons have been transferred to police laboratories to determine if they were the ones used to kill Rabbi Chai.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the IDF operation in Shechem, saying it would hurt the Palestinian ability to achieve stability and security. Terror organizations swore they would take revenge for the operation.

National Union chairman MK Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz demanded the indictment of the judges of the Supreme Court, for having released the men from jail who went on to commit the murder of Rabbbi Chai and other terror attacks. "[.. prosecute the Supreme Court justices who took part in the freeing of the murderers of Rabbi Meir Chai (may G-d avenge his blood), although they were warned that these men would return to killing," Katz said. "This is the only way we can bring the infamous releases of our people's murderers to an end."

CEO Meir Indor of the organization representing terror victims, Almagor, praised the army's mission, but is urging citizens to contact the Defense Minister's office and demand a cessation to the release and pardon of terrorists. He says the government should re-evaluate its relationship with the PA leadership, claiming that the PA leaks information, training, and arms to Tanzim terrorists on a regular basis.

Contact Yaacov Levi by email at jlevi_us@yahoo.com

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Posted by Buddy Macy, December 24, 2009.

This below was written by Stanley B. Zir. who writes of his experience at the UN Rally in September, 2008.


Being an American and a descendant from one of the twelve tribes of Israel, I still consider Israel the refuge of every Jewish person in the world, because only she will extend her hand to us when the rest of the world has turned its back on the Jews. To that end, in September, 2008, I traveled from Long Island to New York City to attend a rally at the United Nations to protest the promise of a nuclear strike against Israel that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has guaranteed he would deliver.

For a long time now, I've known that there are two actions we must take to ensure Israel's survival — the elimination of Iran's nuclear threat and Israel's disengagement from the two-state "solution."

I know that in order to accomplish the above mission, the worldwide Jewish community must first rid itself of the false hope that sanctions would result in Iran's nuclear disarmament and that peace in the Middle East and economic security in the West would be achieved with the implementation of the two-state 'solution', a policy that validates a negotiation process which would turn over lands inside Israel's borders to people who are determined to destroy the Jewish State.

Before I went to the UN rally this past September, I prayed to find a connection to the Jewish People's heart that would serve to unite all factions within the Jewish community under one roof, towards one purpose of mind — the need to pressure the leaders of the Free World to take immediate action to end the threat from those intent on Israel's destruction.

I also knew that this connection must provide a message so powerful that it would override the fears that an attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure would lead to a global economic meltdown, a manufactured threat that is now preventing Israel from attacking Iran.

At the rally that day, my prayers to find this connection were answered.

I arrived at the rally early in order to position myself towards the front of the crowd. I had prepared a three-foot square sign that said "End the Sanctions, Bomb Buscher, Never Again is Now."

For more than 2 hours I yelled out these and other words over and over again at the top of my lungs. At times, I hit my fists against the sign and shouted out, "This is the gas chamber of death being built for you by Ahmadinejad where a nuclear bomb will replace Zylon B to do Hitler's bidding. Bomb this place, this place of hell on earth. Bomb this place now."

As expected, my protest was greeted mostly with derision and annoyance; some threatened me, some even tried to silence me and take away my sign.

Except for Buddy Macy, a pro-Israel activist, and a group of women who emerged from the crowd to offer me their support, I stood alone in my protest.

Then something occurred that I could never have imagined or be prepared for that provided me with the guidance and wisdom I prayed for before I went to this event.

Every time I wanted to stop protesting, one woman from the group urged me on and said, "Keep yelling at them. These are the same Jews who would not listen when the Nazis took power — I know, because I was there. I am a Holocaust survivor." I thought to myself: "Now such as then, the Jews at this rally would never believe that the world would stand by and not intervene and eliminate Iran's threat to Israel!! Because, they never could imagine that the leaders in Iran, like the Nazis before them, were capable of such acts of horror."

I then asked this lady: "If your friends who died in the death camps were here today at this rally, would they also be yelling, 'Bomb Iran?'" Her response, unequivocally, was, "Yes. Do not listen to the people here today," she continued, "these are the same people who did not listen in Germany when the Nazis came to power."

Without noticing it at first, I found myself shaking; then weeping!!! I had to leave the rally momentarily to gather myself. This heroic woman had touched something so deep inside me. It connected me to the souls of those who were the only ones truly qualified to tell the Jews of today what we have to do to rescue Israel.

This is something that mainstream American Jewish organizations and politicians in the Free World have not been able to understand, because only the Holocaust victims can do this.

The survivors I met with at the rally let me know in no uncertain terms that this is what their friends who died in the death camps are calling out from their graves. This is the connection all Jews must make in order to unite and defeat an entrenched enemy which is now dictating to us that the Jews again must go silently into the night.

Although it is true that they had died and their voices could not be heard at the UN rally, I heard their voices loud and clear!!! And now, all six million voices must be heard again through us. We must honor the Holocaust victims by ensuring that 'Never Again' is not just a hollow phrase. We must say "No" to the Two-State 'Solution' in their names. Six million voices must be raised by Jews and non-Jews alike. "No more sanctions or dialogue — bomb Iran's nuclear gas chambers now," lest we fail to act and they died in vain because Israel was attacked by Iran or brought down by the insidious two-state "solution" from within.

If the world has gone mad again, unlike the past, the Jewish People must now choose to stand alone until it regains its senses. That is why we must make sure that the Holocaust victims' message of "Never again is now" is heard throughout the world. Their voices must be heard in the halls of Congress, by American organizations such as AIPAC, in the synagogues and churches, and by all freedom-loving people of every race and creed.

The Holocaust victims are the most powerful allies Israel has in ending the violence against her. Only the Holocaust victims can unify the Jewish People and bring clarity of purpose into the public debate as to what actions we must take against Iran and the two-state Jewicide pact.

I am not King David, and I do not have a sling shot to kill Goliath. But I do have a proclamation and a shofar to bring down the wall of ignorance that is preventing us from bombing Iran's nuclear gas chambers and claiming the sovereignty of the State of Israel in King David's name.

Today, I am asking you to join with me in this quest!!! Take the name of one Holocaust victim from the list, below, and make it your own. Research their history, and then in their name, call out for the bombing of Iran's nuclear gas chambers and for the elimination of the two-state "solution" — NOW!

In closing, we can longer be deterred by nay-sayers or their disenfranchised core — their calls for restraint in the face of certain death has made King David's blood run cold in their veins. Stand up and take action!! Slay the Goliath of self-doubt inside yourself and stand with King David. We as a people have been worshiping G-d at the altar of false hope and compliance for too long; this is not the altar of faith that was built for the people of Israel.

The Jews who survived the death camps and came to Israel and America said, "Never Again." Nathan Hale, in an act of defiance, declared, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." What do these two proclamations have in common, and why do they have such a powerful impact on the people of the societies they represent? Each one has captured the essence of the convictions that their fellow citizens can rally around in order to defend against and defeat an enemy that threatens to destroy them. I am convinced that "Never again is now" serves our just purpose and cause.

So there is no longer any doubt in any nation in this world about the actions Israel must take to protect her sovereignty...so there is no longer any confusion among the Jewish People that sanctions can never provide a viable solution to end the Iranian threat...in the name of the Holocaust victims as representatives of the Jewish People here and around the world, we, the living, have a moral obligation to speak out for Jews in need and/or peril. Ours must be a unified voice of compassion and justice. It must be an unequivocal voice of strength, reason and protection against the "two-state FINAL solution" that would lead to the destruction of the Jewish State from within, and a mighty call for Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure. Withdraw your support from those who lack the moral courage to act, and join us; the window of opportunity is small. Only with a unified voice and one purpose of mind, can we and will we rescue Israel now!  

To view the 'Never Again is Now' poster, click here.

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com

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Posted by Paul Eidelberg, December 24, 2009.

Heroes and friends of Israel:

I applaud the authors and supporters of the "Anti-Freeze" Action Plan. Allow me to say that the same "no-talking" approach to Israel's government is exactly the approach Israeli prime ministers should have applied to the PLO-Palestinian (terrorist) Organization. This wise and manly "no talk" approach is so fittingly and so splendidly opposed to the servile and spineless "talk-talk" approach of Binyamin Netanyahu.

I would urge the heroic people of Judea and Samaria to convey to the citizens of Israel as a whole that upright Jews do not talk to morally retarded ministers of the government. Honorable Jews will not talk to and dignify those who give orders to commit such wicked and cowardly acts as expelling Jewish men and women — young and old — as well as children from their homes — acts which Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the Prime Minister, rightly called a "crime."

Furthermore, in the name of reason, justice, and truth, we utterly denounce Defense Minister like Ehud Barak who insults the intelligence of our fellow citizens — yes, Ehud Barak — who even now is preparing to commit fascist acts and does in the name of democracy! Read 'Anti-Freeze' Action Plan Released' by Hillel Fendel here.

Prof. Paul Eidelberg is an Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer. He is President of the Foundation For Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. Contact him at list-owner@foundation1.org

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Posted by ZOA, December 24, 2009.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed its opposition to the possible decision of the Israeli government to free nearly 1,000 jailed Palestinians, including murderers, attempted murderers, accessories to murder and others involved in terrorism against Israel in return for the freeing of kidnapped Israeli serviceman Corporal Gilad Schalit as a tragic mistake. Corporal Schalit was kidnapped by Hamas infiltrators in 2006 and has been held by the Islamist terrorist organization in Gaza since that date. Hamas's Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).

Among those likely to be freed, for example, will be the woman who drove the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria bomber, who murdered 15 Israelis and maimed dozens more. Many others will be terrorists who directly committed murders. Also likely to be released with be Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah figure who commanded the Tanzim terror squads during the early years of the Palestinian terror wave beginning in September 2000 and who was arrested by Israeli forces in 2002 and imprisoned after being found guilty on five counts of murder.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We oppose this mass release of jailed terrorists for three primary reasons: it will result in more murdered and maimed Israelis, because many freed terrorists have returned to terror and claimed lives in the past. It will encourage more kidnappings of Israelis by Hamas and other terror groups as a means to extract their terrorists from Israeli jails, as they have just again succeeded in doing. And it will also give a boost to the most murderous elements in Palestinian society, especially Hamas, at once rewarding terrorists and encouraging them to continue shedding blood.

"This release of 1,000 terrorists in return for one kidnapped Israeli also shows the slippery slope down which Israel is falling. At one time, Israel would release terrorists, but not those with 'blood on their hands' — a misleading euphemism for terrorists who failed to kill or who did not directly commit terrorist murders themselves — and only in return for live Israelis.

"By July 2008, however, Israel had agreed to release to Hizballah a gruesome murderer, Samir Kuntar, and four others prisoners in return for the corpses of two kidnapped Israelis. In August 2008, it also freed a further 198 jailed terrorists, including two convicted murderers and 149 others guilty of attempted murder, as a 'confidence-building measure.' In October this year, in return for a mere video of Gilad Schalit, Israel freed 20 Palestinian prisoners. Now it has agreed to release a staggering 980 prisoners to Hamas to secure Schalit's return.

"Clearly, Israel is giving more and receiving less — and that is not the worst of it. The fact is that freed terrorists frequently return to terror and end up murdering more Israelis. The evidence for this is clear: Col. Meir Indor, Director of Almagor Terrorist Victims Association (ATVA), disclosed in April 2007 that 177 Israelis killed in terror attacks in the previous five years had been killed by terrorists freed on the basis that they were "without blood on their hands." An earlier ATVA report showed that 123 Israelis had been murdered by terrorists freed during 1993-99.

"Evidently, Israelis were fooling themselves if they thought that freeing attempted murderers and accessories to murder carried few risks. Freed terrorists, whether they succeeded to kill or not, often try to kill again. This aspect of the problem is routinely ignored by in discussion of prisoner releases.

"Freeing terrorists in exchanges of this type provide a major incentive for more kidnappings of Israelis. As Hamas chief Khaled Mesahaal said only days ago, 'The resistance ... is capable of capturing [another] Schalit and [another] Schalit and [another] Schalit, until not a single prisoner will remain in the enemy's jails.'

"Israelis' willingness to release live terrorists in return for even dead soldiers provided the terrorists all the incentive they required. Moreover, where Israel frees terrorists for corpses, it endangers the lives of those kidnapped, because it demonstrates that their deaths pose no obstacle to an exchange. This puts the lives of future kidnap victims in jeopardy.

"Have we learned nothing from bitter experience? Freeing even hundreds of terrorists has never improved Israel's standing among Arabs, moderated their demands or mollified their hatreds. As Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shalom Harari of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya noted after this very prisoner release: 'On the morning after ... we heard Fatah blaming Israel. Whatever happens, they will blame Israel and fault everyone except for themselves.'

"The appeals to put ourselves in the shoes of the families of the kidnapped are deeply moving and understandable, but remain false and can also be emotionally manipulative. In any event, they cannot be decisive. Would we allow relatives of people held up by bank robbers to decide whether or not the police accede to the demands of their captors?

"The duty of the state is to protect its citizens. It follows that the most important consideration must be preventing the loss of further lives to terror.

"We deeply sympathize with Israeli families when their sons are kidnapped by bloodthirsty terrorists. We would support virtually any efforts to bring them home safely. But when the record plainly shows that releasing terrorists brings only more terror and tragedy, the painfully necessary course of action is clear — no more rewarding kidnappings through terrorist releases."

The Zionist Organization of America (www.zoa.org), founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 24, 2009.


A reader commented, "Your pronouncements on international law are nonsense, as authorities on the matter almost unanimously recognize. Palestine belongs to Palestinians, not to any mandate and certainly not to Israel, which is an unlawful state because it follows apartheid policies. The laws of occupation apply equally to territories captured offensively or defensively."

Let's dissect those statements:

1. "Palestine belongs to Palestinians." It was in anticipation of that simplistic statement that certain Arabs suddenly, a few decades ago, fabricated a separate nationality, Palestinian.

Does the reader know what Palestine is? Does he know that it includes Jordan and Israel, sovereign states? Then whom does he think it belongs to?

Palestine was not a country, but a concept and a Mandate set up according to ancient Jewish boundaries, for guess whom. Until the Zionist Executive adopted the sovereign name of Israel, the Jews there were called "Palestinians." If one attempted to call the Arabs there "Palestinians," the Arabs objected. They had the same culture, religion, history and language as surrounding Arab areas. They neither felt different from the other Arabs nor did they have a concept of nationality at the time.

Then came the PLO Covenant, which called their sub-group Palestinian, but recognized that Arafat's followers were of the Arab nationality. There is no sovereign state, Palestine. Therefore, one cannot say with accuracy that the Territories belong to Palestinian Arabs.

The Palestine Mandate was established by the League of Nations as the Jewish homeland incubating a Jewish state. The UN Charter incorporated the Mandate, so it remains in International law. Although Britain abandoned the Mandate, the Territories never fell under any national jurisdiction. They do not legally belong to anyone. The Mandate makes it clear that the primary heir to the Mandate is the Jewish people.

2. "The laws of occupation apply equally to territories captured offensively or defensively."

Equally in what respect does the reader mean? Many anti-Zionists claim that Israel's presence in the Territories, which they call an occupation, is illegal. They are mistaken for a couple of reasons, but the most pertinent one here applies to the IDF presence in all the areas taken over after the Six Day War. Israel was attacked. It took over those areas in self-defense, same as the U.S. took over part of Germany and Japan in self-defense. That makes the U.S. occupations legal.

Another reason is that UN Resolution 242 does not require any Israeli withdrawal except in exchange for a final peace treaty. Until a treaty makes the final arrangements, Israel's presence is legal.

The third is that the Territories do not belong to any state. The Geneva Conventions base occupation on taking part of another's state way, but there was no state for the Territories to belong to, and Israel has the best historical and legal claim to the Territories.

3. Israel cannot acquire the Territories because it "is an unlawful state because it follows apartheid policies."

These accusations against Israel are too vague to take seriously. Just name-calling. What connection is there between apartheid and sovereignty?

What about the many Arab areas' prohibition of Jewish entry, land ownership, and full citizenship? The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) established capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew. By the author's vague logic, the P.A. is unlawful, so it is not entitled to sovereignty over the Territories.

4. Authorities on international law do not agree. International law is at the same cultural divide as scholarship in general. Besides scholars, there are make-believe historians and tendentious international lawyers. They argue that the law is what they want. They want the Jewish presence in most of the Jewish homeland declared illegal. They don't have the integrity to attempt to refute the legal scholarship preceding their advocacy. They ignore the explanations by those drafting UN Resolution 242 that they chose the wording so as not to require full Israeli withdrawal. The UN and many members have been trying to change international law by eroding it and asserting it means something untrue, so as to gain certain powers hitherto reserved to individual states. This is a kind of fraud and coup. Anti-Zionists keep citing its popularity, but that is bandwagon propaganda. The popularity of a misconception or fraud does not justify it.

International laws were devised for civility and justice, have a context, and should be read through where one point modifies another.

In conclusion, the reader's concepts of international law and his statements are over-simplified and mistaken or too vague and tendentious to be meaningful.


Cardboard cutouts of Schalit, with father (A.P./Oded Bality)

This proposed prisoner exchange, which seems to be approved except for minor adjustments, demonstrates that Israel is sliding down the moral slope. Originally, it would not negotiate with terrorists. Then it did, but would not release prisoners who actually killed or wounded people. Now it plans to release mass-murderers and sadistic murderers.

The currently proposed release of about a thousand convicts for one Israeli soldier not convicted of anything is another ethical imbalance.


The U.S. is impressed by Pakistan's routing of terrorist forces during its offensive, but dismayed by Pakistan's refusal to carry the war into tribal areas harboring Taliban. Pakistan does not consider those Taliban a menace to it, and does not want to be seen as a puppet of the U.S. (www.imra.org.il, 12/22).

An earlier article included an analyst's opinion that Pakistan makes sense and that there must be another approach.


In a rare public appearance, in southern Yemen, unmasked representatives of al-Qaida said they had formed "al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula," to unite Islamists of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Their home base would be Yemen. The crowd was told that al-Qaida does not consider the soldiers of Yemen its enemies, only those of the U.S. "and its lackeys."

The non-terrorist rebellion in northern Yemen may distract the government from dealing effectively and promptly with the rebels in southern Yemen.

"Political analysts say such conflicts, together with falling oil income, water shortages and a humanitarian crisis, add to instability in a region that includes oil superpower Saudi Arabia and one of the world's busiest shipping lanes." (www.imra.org.il, 12/23).

(For more on rebels at the Yemen-Saudi border, go here
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY-Israel-Conflict- Examiner~y2009m12d14-SaudiYemen-border-war--Update)

Al-Qaida says it is not against their countries' soldiers, but fights them.


Iranians smuggle people and materiel over the long border with Iraq, but Iraq lacks the fuel and equipment to properly guard the border.

Iran exerts influence in Iraq in other ways (www.imra.org.il, 12/23).

Iraq seems to me like a crippled country, trying to unify itself, while Iran is taking advantage of its impairment to try to fracture it and control it.


George Soros (A.P./Anja Niedringhaus)

I just read a lengthy report of ties between Saudi Arabia, the Arab-American Institute, J Street, and support for President Obama. The ties are too involved for me to cover in such detail.

George Soros, reputedly the sponsor of J Street, supports Obama and a shift in U.S. policy further against Israel. J Street works with the Arab-American Institute, which has ties to Saudi Arabia. J Street touts the Saudi initiative. Some J Street contributions from Arab sources are known, but the full extent is proprietary information.

Part of the nexus developed after 9/11, which involved mostly Saudis. To salvage its reputation, Saudi Arabia contracted for $14 million of public relations help. Some people involved did not register as Saudi agents until investigated and pressed (www.imra.org.il, 12/23. Here is the link to the source of the article I cited:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-saudis-take-a-stroll-on- j-street/?print=1).

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, December 24, 2009.

This was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and it appeared today in Arutz Sheva


(Israelnationalnews.com) Two hundred 12th graders from all parts of Israel, including urban centers, have written Defense Minister Ehud Barak that they want to serve in the army but will not accept orders to expel Jews from their homes.

The unprecedented declaration represents another slap in the face of the Defense Minister, whose policies prompted the Hesder yeshiva in Arad to announce on Wednesday it is pulling out of the Hesder program after he threw the Har Brachah yeshiva out of the Torah study army service program.

Defense Minister Barak has rejected as insufficient Hesder yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Melamed's signed statements opposing soldiers publicly protesting the expulsion policy. Barak also has insisted on using soldiers to help carry out police actions to expel Jews.

Under the title "Petition to the Security Services," the 12th graders wrote, "We want very much to enlist in the IDF and fight for the defense of our Land of Israel. We consider the use of the army for political purposes and the war against Jews as a danger that can ruin the army, especially when it is involved in a grave sin against settling the Land.

"We declare that our faith in the Torah comes before any other law or order, and therefore any [army] order that is against the Torah will be refused. We will not participate in any expulsion of a hilltop community or Jewish community in the Land of Israel. That is the way we will preserve the true values and principles of the IDF."

Meir Teller of Haifa, one of the signatories, explained that "we are supposed to fight against enemies and not against citizens who are among our own people." He noted that that the "best soldiers" in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 2009 Operation Cast Lead were residents of Judea and Samaria "and were not leftists from northern Tel Aviv."

The student charged that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak are trying to turn the best soldiers into enemies and to use the army against them.

Another signatory is Hanan Liberzon of Kiryat Tivon, a suburb of Haifa. "Barak's hypocrisy is outrageous," he declared. "It is inconceivable that the army sends officers to learn in universities where lecturers and professors incite against the country and against serving in the army, and then Defense Minister Barak targets rabbis who dedicate their lives to educating according to the Torah and to serve in the best units in the IDF."

The 12th graders' letter coincides with growing opposition among National Religious rabbis to Barak's actions against the Har Brachah yeshiva and to the continued use of soldiers to raid Jewish communities and expel their residents. Leading rabbis and educators have warned that the Defense Minister is risking the loss of National Religious students who comprise a large part of elite combat units.

In the history of the world, no tyranny has ever voluntarily relinquished power or been replaced by peaceful means.

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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Posted by Steven Shamrak, December 24, 2009.

Islamization of Gaza First.

A report by the Shin Bet (Israel's secret security) describes how Hamas has institutionalized Islamic law and thought in all areas of Gaza life since its violent takeover of the area. The report emphasizes that the instilling of these and other Hamas ideas into public life is the result of a carefully orchestrated Hamas program. Hamas is also threatening to take over Judea and Samaria, and is favored to win the next elections, if and when they are held. Among the report's main points are these:

* A dress code for women on the street, in schools and in courts is enforced. Principals can expel female students who do not wear a head covering and wide dresses. Judges have been instructed not to hold sessions if female lawyers do not appear in Islamic garb. On official Hamas TV, Al-Aqsa, women announcers wear a veil, and Islamic content is increasingly featured in the programs.

* Men may not swim in the ocean without a shirt, and female mannequins may not be exhibited in store windows.

* Mixed-gender public ceremonies may not be held, and men may not teach in girls' schools. Hamas is also trying to separate boys and girls in the UN-run schools. Fatah-identified teachers are being replaced by Hamas members.

* Hamas police arrest immodestly clad women and enforce gender separation. Unmarried couples may not appear in public; married couples must be ready to produce a marriage certificate on demand.

* Religious-studies classes have been added in schools, mosques and prisons. Prisoners who become more religious can have their sentences shortened.

* An across-the-board 1% public sector pay cut was imposed during the summer months in order to pay for summer camps for reviewing the Koran. The pace of building mosques, medrasahs and Islamic sharia courts is being stepped up.

* Hamas is working on establishing the Islamic National Bank and an Islamic insurance company.

* The Bureau for Legal Counsel and Legislation is preparing a new criminal code based on Islamic law. In June 2009, for instance, the Legislative Council passed amendments to the code for the purpose of "preventing immoral incidents in public."

Israeli police banned Jews from the Temple Mount site during Chanukah celebration, which commemorate the Jews return to the Temple.

Season's Greetings to our true friends.

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Without any prior discussion or debate the United States joined Saudi Arabia in the fight against Al Queda in Yemen, justifying rocket attacks against two terrorist camps in Yemen as a threat to the US national security. For several years the US has been restraining Israel from destroying Iranian nuclear program. Why is the nuclear-armed Iran with ballistic delivery capability not a threat to the US national security? And, why is national security of Israel much less important and Jewish lives are less valuable than American ones?

Why Bother with Appeasement? As far as Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas is concerned, Binyamin Netanyahu's building freeze is not really a freeze. "Netanyahu's declaration on a building freeze for ten months is not to be considered a break in settlement activity". PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in effect ditched the American Roadmap plan last Tuesday and issued an ultimatum to Israel that there will be no talks unless Israel agrees ahead of time to surrender all of the land restored in the Six-Day War in 1967. (Israel must drop the idiotic 'Roadmap plan' to nowhere as well and recognize that Judea, Samaria and Gaza are all "Jewish lands". After that, the 'Palestinian' conflict will be easy to solve!)

Tel-Aviv in Firing Range. Military Intelligence Chief Major General Amos Yadlin admitted that "Syria, Iran and Hezbollah all have the ability to threaten the Gush Dan. Our enemies have not rested for a moment."

Another Mad Dog Barking. During a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused Israel of aiming to "exterminate" the Palestinians. Chavez saluted the Palestinians for what he called their "fight against the Yankee empire... against the genocidal state of Israel..., which attempts to exterminate the Palestinian people." Abbas thanked the Chavez government for its support and said: "We're all on the same path." (Jews do not want to exterminate the fake Palestinian people. To remove them from Jewish land is a better option!)

Law Against Foreign Political Interference is Needed. The researcher, Adi Arbel, said that European states achieve their aim of influencing Israeli policies by funding groups like Peace Now, Adallah, Yesh Din and B'Tselem. "In the United States there is a law called the 'Foreign Agent Registration Act'," he explained. "The purpose is very clear — to have laws here in Israel, too, that will make it mandatory to have the same transparency as in the US and that will show everyone where the money to these groups comes from." (They would scream "Zionist conspiracy" if Israel actually did it!)

Stupidity is the Residue of Labor Party Infestation of IDF. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi expressed support for a national service system that would draft all Israelis, including the Arab population. (Israeli Arabs are deeply anti-Israel. Must Israel train enemies?)

Quote of the Week: "The U.S. Administration, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia's decision to rewrite history by labeling the Territories 'Occupied Territories,' the Settlements as an 'Obstacle to Peace' and 'Not Legitimate,' thus endowing them with an aura of bogus statehood and a false history. The use of these dishonest loaded terms, empowers terrorism and incites Palestinian Arabs with the right to use all measures to expel Israel." — Eli E. Hertz

Artificially Kept 'Peace' with Syria. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to prolong the presence of more than 1000 Blue Helmet peacekeeping troops posted on the Syrian-Israeli border for another six months.

More anti-Israel International Bigotry. In response to Sweden's proposal to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement Sunday, "The Europeans should not dictate the outcome of negotiations in advance. This declaration is a dangerous initiative that could hurt efforts to resume negotiations between the parties and will harden the Palestinian position."

Jewish Answer to the 'Freeze'. An Israeli minister Benny Begin has predicted that there will be 10,000 more Jews living in West Bank over the next 10 months.

Iran's Nuclear Intention is Obvious. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran is reviewing the option of decreasing cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog: "Iran's nuclear issue has been resolved... We will hold no talks (with major powers) over this issue. There is no need for talks," Earlier Iran announced plans to start constructing 10 new uranium enrichment plants in the country over the next two months. The ambitious plans were a bold show by Iran that it is willing to risk further sanctions. (Iran made no secret that its aim is to produce a nuclear weapon with the intention to annihilate Israel!)

No One Condemns Vandalism of Synagogues. Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) condemned the attack on the mosque in Kafr Yassuf Friday, adding: "we must remember that there is not a day that goes by when a firebomb is not thrown at a synagogue, or a Jewish institution is defaced by swastikas somewhere in the world. We do not hear about condemnations of these acts." (We must remember that Islamists themselves routinely attack and even destroy mosques in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan!)

Less Time to Fight Terrorism. The IDF has reduced its anti-terrorism activities in Judea/Samaria. The IDF is carrying out fewer patrols and fewer initiated actions against Palestinian terrorist elements. Instead, the forces in the area are assigned with providing protection to Civil Administration inspectors who are distributing stop-work orders in the Jewish towns.

Quote of the Week: " Israel has earned much more from research over the years than the oil-rich countries have earned from oil. Israel must remain on the leading edge of research in the future." — Israeli President, Shimon Peres — Jewish brains vs Arab oil.

Result of Barbaric Refugee Scam. A 15-year-old British girl, Tulay Goren, murdered by her father because she was pregnant. Her father, an ethnic Kurd from Turkey, had moved to Britain claiming asylum in 1996. The prosecution lawyer told the court that the case was a "wake-up call" to the existence of so-called "honour killings" in Britain. (Honour killings, gang rapes of Western girls and other violent crimes are a 'side effect' of Muslim migration to the West.)

Israeli Wins Chess World Cup. Grand Master Boris Gelfand of Rishon Letzion won the Chess World Cup, defeating former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the tie-breaker of the final played in Russia. Gelfand was born in Belarus in 1968 and emigrated to Israel in 1998.

Hamastan vs Fatahstan. The Hamas has published on its website a 61-page document on the methods used by the Palestinian Authority to arrest and torture Hamas activists in the West Bank. (As usual, there is no international outrage.)

A Little Light Dispels Darkness
Reb. Laible Wolf.

An act of defiance — a human initiative, some would call an act of madness. But supreme courage is rewarded beyond the laws of nature. In the mystical Jewish spiritual teachings known as Kabbalah, the phenomenon of Divine leverage is described as the reward for human initiative: allow your effort to push the door ajar and Higher Forces will blow it wide open. The kinetic energy unleashed is the product of potential implicit in human initiative. Take an initiative, even a small act of kindness and generosity. Your humble effort has a multiplier effect leveraging that initiative in a supra-natural manner. A little light dispels much darkness. (Become the defiant true Zionist and dispel the darkness of apathy, hate and hypocrisy!):p>

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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Posted by Yaacov Levi, December 23, 2009.

This was written by Professor Paul Eidelberg.


Various Zionist organizations in Israel and abroad advocate for a safe as well as for a strong Israel. These organizations have performed an important service. They have exposed the duplicitous and deadly nature of the peace process. They have shown with compelling evidence that the Israel-PLO agreements have armed Israel's enemies, have brought not peace but a war of attrition that has truncated the one and only homeland of the Jewish people.

I wonder whether most Jews, Zionists or not, have an adequate understanding of what can make Israel safe and strong. I wonder whether emphasis on a "safe" or "strong" Israel is not counterproductive, in that such emphasis may obscure the one thing needed to make Israel safe and strong. The mere fact that Zionist organizations have failed to have any discernible impact on the land-for-peace policy of Israeli governments from Begin to Netanyahu suggests they need to think more deeply about what Israel is all about.

To be for a safe or a strong Israel is certainly meritorious, so long as it does not obscure the dire need of Jews to be, above all, for a Godly Israel, for only a Godly Israel can be truly safe and truly strong. Thus we read in the prophet Zechariah: "Not by armed might, nor by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord of Hosts" (4:5). Let us try to understand this verse by means of Israel's most sacred symbol, the Menorah.

The light of the Menorah symbolizes knowledge, precisely spiritual enlightenment. The source of spiritual enlightenment is of course God. This enlightenment is manifested in the words of the Torah. As King David has written: "The Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105). Or as his son King Solomon has written: "For the Commandment is a lamp and the Teaching a light" (Proverbs 6:23).

Israel will be safe and strong only if its prime ministers are men of Torah. Only if they imbue every heart and home with the light of the Torah will Israel enjoy peace. "For instruction shall go forth from Me, and I will create a quiet abode for My [people], so that it may shine upon the nations" (Isaiah 51:4). "O House of Jacob, come let us walk in the light of God" (Isaiah 2:5). When Israel suffers murder and misery, it is because "they rebel against the light,[and] do not recognize the ways of God and never seek serenity [or peace] in His paths" (Job 24:13).

As Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch points out, Scripture uses the words "lamp" and "light" as metaphors for the source of growth and life, of undisturbed progress and happiness. Hence the spirit of God mentioned in Zechariah denotes not only the means for attaining perception, but also the motivation for action.

It should be noted that the Menorah resembles a tree with a central shaft generating three branches from one side and three branches from the other side. The central shaft symbolizes the spirit of God. From Isaiah (11:2) we learn that whereas the three branches of one side of the Menorah symbolize wisdom, counsel, and knowledge, the three branches from the other side symbolize understanding, strength, and fear of God. Imbued with the spirit of God, Israel will unite theory and practice, perception and accomplishment.

Unless they stem from the spirit of God, what is called "wisdom," "counsel," "knowledge," "understanding," and "strength" will be futile. "I am the Lord ... that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish" (Isaiah 44:24-25). As for the fear (really awe) of God, this, says King David, is "the beginning of wisdom" (Psalms 111:10). If Israel's leaders feared God, they would not have made a covenant of death and lies with PLO terrorists.
See Isaiah 28:15.)

But merely to critically analyze the suicidal stupidity and mendacity of Israel's political elites will have no impact on their behavior, since such knowledge is not linked to the spirit of God. This is why Isaiah says that God "confirms the words of His servant, and fulfills the counsel of His messengers" (44:26). Which means that it is not enough for critics to expose the lies and lethal nature of the "peace process." Their words must be motivated by the desire to sanctify the Name of God. God's Name must be in their hearts and on their lips.

"Thus said the Lord, your Redeemer and the One Who formed you [Israel] in the womb: I am the Lord, Who has made everything; Who spread out the heavens by Myself, and formed the earth of My own accord; that frustrates the signs of imposters, and makes rulers mad ..." (Isaiah 44:24-25). Are not Israel's rulers "mad"?

Hence I say, all honor to those who are for a safe and strong Israel. But now I ask: Anyone for a Godly Israel? And if not, perhaps this is why Israel has been emasculated and humiliated by nations steeped in nihilism.

Contact Yaacov Levi by email at jlevi_us@yahoo.com This article appeared today on Arutz-7 (www.Israelnn.com).

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Posted by The Israel Project, December 23, 2009.

On Dec. 27, 2008, Israel Defense Forces began a defensive operation in Gaza — Operation Cast Lead — to stop Iran-backed Hamas and other terrorist groups from their years-long campaign of firing thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles at Israel.[1] [2] During Operation Cast Lead, Israel focused on dismantling Hamas' terrorist infrastructure while minimizing civilian casualties.[3] The operation, which ended Jan. 18[4], was made more difficult — and dangerous — because of Hamas's widespread use of civilians as human shields.[5] The defensive operation has reduced by 90 percent the number of rocket, missile and mortar attacks on Israel from Gaza.[6]

Following are facts and figures about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza:

Key Statistics

  • 1 million: Israeli civilians under threat from Hamas rocket fire.[7]
  • 15: Seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once a warning siren has sounded.[8]
  • 2 million: Leaflets the Israel Air Force dropped on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, warning civilians to stay clear of Hamas fighters.[9]
  • 200,000: Phone calls made by the Israeli army to civilians in Gaza warning of an impending strike near their residences.[10]
  • 8: Years Israel has endured rocket, missile and mortar fire from Gaza.[11]
  • 1: Israeli left in Gaza — Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit,[12] kidnapped by Hamas from Israel on June 25, 2006.[13]
  • 3,200+: Rockets and mortar fired from Gaza in 2008.[14]
  • 6,500+: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.[15]
  • 10,389: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza 2001-2008.[16]
  • 1,000+: People in Israel injured from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001.[17]
  • 27: Number of people killed by Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks since 2001.[18]
  • 242: Rockets, missiles and mortars fired at Israel from Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead.[19]

Iran-Backed Hamas Terrorism

  • 727: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza, January — September 2009.[20]
  • 17: Attacks on Gaza goods crossings by Palestinian terrorist groups in 2008.[21]
  • 80: Percent of mosques in Gaza which Hamas reportedly controls, some of which are used for weapons storage, command and communications headquarters.[22]
  • 37 mi (60km): Range of Hamas rockets in Gaza acquired after Operation Cast Lead.[23]
  • 2.5 mi (4 km): Range of Hamas's anti-tank missiles, smuggled into Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead.[24]
  • 1,500: Number of smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt (estimate)[25]
  • 59 ft (18 m)/6.8 mi (11 km): Length and depth of metal fence Egypt is building on Sinai-Gaza border to prevent tunnel smuggling operations.[26]
  • 22 mi (35 km): Distance between Gaza and Yavneh — the northernmost Israeli city hit by Gaza rockets on Dec. 28, 2009.[27]
  • 900: Hamas operatives trained by Iran.[28]
  • $20 million — $30 million: Funding Iran provides annually to Hamas. Iran gave Hamas another $50 million following Hamas's victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.[29]

Israel's Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

  • 900: Percent increase in humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza in 2009, compared to 2008.[30]
  • 630,253: Tons of humanitarian aid delivered to the Gaza Strip, Jan. 19 — Dec. 13, 2009.[31]
  • 24.5 million gallons (92.7 million liters): Heavy-duty diesel fuel delivered to the Gaza Strip, Jan. 19 — Oct. 31, 2009.[32]
  • 10,346: Gaza residents who entered Israel for medical and humanitarian reasons, Jan.19 — Nov. 7, 2009.[33]
  • 57,295 tons: Monthly average of humanitarian aid entering Gaza since Operation Cast Lead, Jan. 19 — Dec. 5, 2009.[34]
  • 11,508: Monthly average (in tons) of humanitarian aid entering Gaza from February — June 2008, a period of intense rocket fire.[35]
  • 34,253 tons: Monthly average of humanitarian aid entering Gaza during period of calm, July-December 2008.[36]
  • 18,500: Permits Israel issued to Gaza residents to enter Israel or travel overseas in 2009.[37]
  • 28,400: Flowers from Gaza scheduled for export to Europe on Dec. 10, 2009.[38]
  • 250,000: Flowers from Gaza scheduled for export beginning Dec. 13, 2009.[39]

Contact Sanne DeWitt by email at skdewitt@comcast.net

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, December 23, 2009.

This appeared on http://www.vosizneias.com/45431.


Jerusalem — My daughter didn't want to study any of the vocational tracks in her school. For years, she had dreamed of becoming a nurse. After discussions with our rabbonim and a gadol, we agreed to let her learn in Laniado hospital's nursing school, the only place we felt that was suitable for a chareidi girl.

The school told us she had to complete the matriculation exams and also get a 500 mark on the Psychometry test. My daughter spent half a year and a lot of money on doing these tests to pass the entrance criteria. She passed the matriculation exams with flying colors, but although she got close to 500 points on the Psychometry, she failed to pass. My daughter was devastated when she heard the news. Since the nursing program was 3 years long, we didn't know if it was realistic for her to do the Psychometry again and then begin a 3-year program of studies.

In the coming days, I began to hear reports that alerted me to the fact that something was strange.

My daughter told me that a friend of hers was attending Machon Tal, a dati framework in Jerusalem that has a B.A. program in nursing. Her friend hadn't even done the Bagrut, and she had gotten in! This college agreed to let her finish her Bagrut over the year while doing her nursing studies.

Then we heard about someone else who was accepted to Hadassah hospital despite not making the 500 Psychometry mark. It turned out that Hadassah and other colleges had a "Special Cases Committee" which allows people to study in their nursing school even if they didn't have the requisite entry criteria. This frum woman wanted to learn in Laniado, but the Health Ministry refused to let her. But Hadassah hospital accepted her!

What's going on here?! Who's making the rules? Why doesn't it apply to everyone? Do the girls need the Bagrut and Psychometry, or not? It can't be that Hadassah Hospital, which gives a degree, has easier entry criteria than Laniado, which doesn't! I realized that an injustice was being done to the Bais Yaakov girls who wanted to go to Laniado.

Together with another 25 girls and their parents who were in the same situation as us, I wrote the Health Ministry Head Nurse Dr. Riva who had made the entrance criteria to Laniado and asked them for special consideration.

I explained that our daughters had received high marks in their Bagrut tests, I told her chareidim are successfully studying accounting, business administration, law and architecture without need for any Psychometry. I explained that the requirement to do Bagrut and Psychometry effectively bars chareidi girls from the nursing profession. I asked her to allow our girls complete the Psychometry while doing their nursing studies, which other colleges and universities also allow.

Rav Litzman agreed to meet with a delegation of parents together with Dr. Riva. An appointment was set on November 18 at the Knesset.

My daughter and I showed up, together with Mrs. E. and her daughter from Ashdod, Mrs. K and her daughter from Kfar Chabad, and Mr. N. from Petach Tikva.

Mr. N. asked Dr. Riva how it was possible that his daughter could not be accepted to Laniado, but was accepted in a college program? Dr. Riva ignored the question.

I asked Dr. Riva why she allowed Bedouin and Ethiopian woman to learn nursing without matariculation exams and without doing the Psychometry test but not the Bais Yaakov girls? She had no answer for that either.

Mrs. K. asked why the hospitals were full of nurses who hadn't done the Psychometry, but our daughters had to do it?

We asked not to be treated worse than the Bedouins. We asked for affirmative action not less than them. We said that the government keeps saying it wants chareidim to join the work force. So why isn't she letting our girls study nursing?

Dr. Riva ignored our requests.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Riva told us that Laniado school had closed their registration for that year, and that she'll tell them to open a class in April for all the girls who pass the Psychometry in February. (When we called Laniado afterwards, they told us that registration wasn't closed and they have no plans to open in April.)

Despite the meeting with Rav Litzman and Dr. Riva being a huge disappointment, Rav Litzman promised to help us out.

Mr. N. was in constant touch with Rav Litzman's aides. They kept promising, "Don't worry, your girls will get in." They told us how they were in touch with lawyers and had gotten the director general of the Health Ministry involved and just wait a little more and everything would be arranged.

Three weeks later, more letters to Dr. Riva and Rav Litzman, and constant phone calls to Rav Litzman's office, still hadn't yielded results.

We decided to consult with a lawyer.

Atty. Aviad Hakohen was a lawyer with a high rate of success in Supreme Court cases. After hearing our complaint, Atty. Hacohen was astonished. He told us Dr. Riva was breaking the Freedom of Occupation Law and violating our rights. The Ministry of Health had no right to decide entrance criteria for any school whatsoever. Dr. Riva was breaking the law left and right, and there were Supreme Court precedents against her.

He pointed out that the Health Ministry's policy discriminated particularly the chareidi girls, while the universities and colleges had more liberal policies and "special case committees" which let candidates waive criteria. Government ministries had to make the same criteria for all, without giving Bedouins easier conditions over chareidim.

He found it strange that people can learn a whole range of professions in which they affect people's lives without doing the Psychometry — such as learning physics and running nuclear reactors — but not nursing.

We couldn't believe our ears!

On Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 2,-3 Atty. Aviad Hacohen wrote sharp letters to Dr. Riva, Rav Litzman and the Health Ministry General Attorney telling them they were breaking the law, unfairly discriminating against chareidi girls and the Laniado hospital, and another 10 powerful claims. He demanded they allow the girls to learn in Laniado until the legal situation is clarified.

They ignored his letters. Other attempts to negotiate with Dr. Riva and the general attorney were rebuffed.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, studies began in Laniado. On to the Supreme Court to demand our rights!

A shliach on our behalf visited Rav David Abuchatzera and asked for his brocha. He encouraged us and gave us his blessing.

Our lawyer wrote an appeal of 12 pages, with over 100 paragraphs. He filed it on Dec. 17, 2009. It was a terrible setback when the Bagatz judge who received the file gave the State Prosecutors 2 months to answer the appeal. The girls would miss getting in to Laniado this year and would have to do the Psychometry again. But even if all the girls pass the Psychometry again, we decided not to give up. The ramifications for the chareidi public are too huge to ignore, and may have an impact on everyone who wants to study for a profession and finds a government official illegally putting up barriers in his way.

What has saddened me above all is that Rav Litzman could decide in one minute that Dr. Riva exceeded her authority and allow the girls to learn in Laniado. He is the man who holds the key. But it looks like 25 girls are going to lose a year of their life because of him.

I voted for UTJ, Rav Litzman is my representative that I helped put in power, but when he has the power and could solve the problem for us, all we get are empty promises.

What complaints can the chareidi community have against the chilonim who trample us, when our own representatives are no better?

Anyone who can contribute in any way to our struggle is invited to email me at laniado25@gmail.com.

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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Posted by Israel Ben-Ami, December 23, 2009.

This is from J. Doron.


Very sobering and sad news.

P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Bad news from France ...REAL BAD! for French Jews...

I received this email tonight and was asked to forward it on. please read!

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 that country where there are now between 5 and 6 million Muslims and about 600,000 Jews, here is an E-mail that came from 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 centre was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourgand 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 neighbourhoods 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 foodstuffs. 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 well-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 Israel Ben-Ami by email at farmer@012.net.il

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 23, 2009.

This was written by Jeff Jacoby.


As far back as the 5th century, the Monastery of Abu Fana in Upper Egypt was renowned, in the words of one travel guide, for its "exceptional splendor and prestige." In the 21st century, that grandeur is gone and the monastery has become instead a symbol of the abuse and degradation to which Egypt's ancient Coptic Christian community is regularly subjected.

On May 31, 2008, a band of Bedouin Muslims armed with automatic weapons stormed Abu Fana, destroying a small church and burning the monastery's farm. Nine monks and monastery employees were wounded, and four others were abducted. "One of the [abducted] monks had his arm and legs broken," the Egyptian lawyer and human-rights activist Nagib Gabriel later testified. "The other two were tied together with ropes, suspended from a tree, and severely beaten with hoses and sticks. Afterwards, they were placed — upside down and still tied together — on the back of a donkey and shoved off. The monks were further commanded to spit on the cross and proclaim the shahada [the Muslim credo that "there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet"], beaten every time they refused, and even threatened with death."

Two millennia after Jesus was born in the Middle East, Christians living there often suffer greatly for their faith. Egypt is home to the oldest and largest Christian population in the region, yet the indignities heaped on them are many: They are prevented from building or repairing their churches, barred from many government positions, and treated with disdain when they seek help from the police or the courts. In the wake of the Abu Fana assault, the government arrested two Coptic brothers, who were held for 14 months and released only after the monastery agreed to "reconcile" with the Bedouins — i.e., not to press criminal charges against those who had actually attacked the monastery.

When President Obama spoke in Cairo last June, he noted obliquely that "among some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of somebody else's faith." But there was nothing oblique about the violence at Abu Fana, or about other recent attacks on Egyptian Christians, including the vandalizing of a Christian center in Ezbet Boshra-East in June, the torching of a Coptic church in Ezbet Basilious in July, or the looting and destruction of Christian-owned businesses in Abou Shousha and Farshoot last month.

What is most tragic about the plight of the Copts, however, is that they comprise only a fraction of the estimated 200 million Christians in 60 countries worldwide who face persecution because of their religion.

In Iraq, Christians in the northern city of Mosul are being driven out by a wave of violence that has worsened with the approach of Christmas. In recent weeks, a car bomb exploded outside the Church of the Annunciation, grenades were thrown at a nearby Christian school, and terrorists operating in broad daylight leveled the Church of Saint Ephrem. What is underway, says the Archbishop of Kirkuk, is a campaign of "ethnic and religious cleansing." Last week an anonymous source told Asia News: "The Christian community is destined to die."

In China, Christians who decline to worship in government-affiliated "patriotic" churches are systematically harassed. "At least 40 Roman Catholic bishops or priests remain imprisoned, detailed, or disappeared," the US Commission on International Religious Freedom noted in its 2009 annual report. "The Beijing Gospel Church, with a membership of 1,000 people, was raided by officials from four different agencies. . . . Local police raided the Chengdu Qiuyu Blessings Church . . . telling church [officials] they were suspected of 'illegal religious practices' and confiscating Bibles, hymnals, and other education materials."

In Somalia, at least 11 Christians who had converted from Islam were beheaded in 2009 by the jihadist group al-Shabaab. Another Christian convert was executed in Mogadishu last month; when his body was recovered, it "showed signs of torture," the Compass Direct news service reported. "All of his front teeth were gone, and some of his fingers were broken."

To such horrors could be added many others — in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Eritrea, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia. It has been more than 2,000 years since the shepherds abiding in the fields near Bethlehem were told by an angel of the Lord, "Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy." But for millions of persecuted Christians, the fears are all too real. And so therefore is their need for prayer and solidarity from all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, who seek to be our brother's keeper.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 23, 2009.


How should China, the U.S., and other countries maintain international law and order, without excessive intervention in foreign countries? Two readers expressed these views: (1) Iran should not mistake China's interest in trade with it for military protection; (2) International trade is not to be interfered with; and (3) Countries should not interfere in the internal affairs of others, such as Sudan.

I was a boy during the WWII occupation of China. We watched newsreels sympathetic to its plight. Now I would be delighted to start a dialog with Chinese people. They and I are descended from ancient civilizations having much to offer. In this fast-changing world, the problem is how to reconcile worthy values with modernity, and still preserve one's soul.

One way is to differentiate between one's culture and one's government, which may not be faithful to the best of that culture. People can get carried away with excessive loyalty to their government officials. My primary loyalty is to our Constitution, incorporating some of the better American values, and less to our Presidents, who may not honor those values.

I agree that there is too much foreign interference in countries' internal affairs. It is more difficult to agree what interference is excessive and oppressive. For example, the U.S. imposes sanctions against so many countries over political rights, that one wonders whether it is overdone, whether the U.S. can afford it, and whether it works. For another example, Iran and Syria interfere in Lebanon.

Recent articles of mine have reported that European governments quietly grant funds to NGOs in Israel that seek to subvert it. I find such interference improper, even sneaky. Israel, the targeted government, has a right to defend itself.

Global trade is more controversial. Clashing economic interests make it so. Governments sign free trade treaties but nevertheless grant their businesses advantages that the treaties are supposed to stop. I do not see my own government as the exception. I am patriotic, but feel that my country and the rest should honor their word and be fair. Am I alone?

Some international treaties ban genocide. Sudan's Islamist regime commits genocide. It already murdered two million citizens and dislocated countless others. Shall the rest of the world ignore this violation of Human Rights conventions they all signed? Shall the world ignore Security Council rulings on this? Shall there be no law and order in the world? Can we expect that if we let Sudan do it, the bad example would stop there? No. Jihad is international. It threatens civilization now, just as much as did the Imperial Japanese-Nazi Axis during WWII. History teaches us that Japan and Germany should have been stopped, and reformed, sooner.

Wouldn't China want jihadists stopped before they radicalize and arm the Uighurs?

The concept that business is just business can go too far. That notion is the Mafia excuse for its criminality, which it calls "just making money." The world has become too inter-connected to ignore certain problems, whether contagious disease, imperialist tendencies, or fanatical movements.

On the other hand, self-restraint is valuable. Intervention could be misconceived, ill consequences to follow. Sometimes international agencies, such as the UN, themselves are biased.

What do you think?


Marwan Barghouti. Will this terrorist commander be freed? (A.P./Nasser Nasser)

Dec. 21, 2009Palestinian Media Watch (Here are the first three pages verbatim]

PMW Special Report:
Palestinians see Israel's release of terrorists as the driving force behind continued kidnappings
by Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook
p:+972 2 625 4140
e: pmw@palwatch.org
f: +972 2 624 2803
w: www.palwatch.org

This PMW Special Report includes 50 Palestinian statements concerning the Palestinian kidnapping-for-hostage policy. The statements cover the period since the release of 1000 terrorists by Israel in exchange for a kidnapped Israeli in 2004, until the current negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit in December 2009. These Palestinian statements document that the Palestinian motivation and justification today for continued kidnappings is the direct result of the earlier prisoner releases.

Israel's release of prisoners in exchange for hostages is not seen by Palestinian society as merely the last stage of one kidnapping, but as the first stage of the next kidnapping.

Executive Summary:


More than 10,000 Palestinians are currently in Israeli prisons for terrorism of various degrees. The Palestinian Authority demands that Israel release them all, including murderers of civilians and masterminds of suicide terror who are serving multiple life sentences. Israel argues that they have been imprisoned following proper judicial process and must complete their sentences.

PMW Findings:

Due to Israel's willingness to release Palestinian terrorists from jail in exchange for freeing kidnapped and imprisoned Israeli hostages, Palestinians have concluded that kidnapping-for-hostage is a valid strategy to achieve the release of additional Palestinian terrorists. This report documents that these opinions are found across the political spectrum and among the Palestinian leadership, both Fatah and Hamas.

Case Study 1

2004-2006: 1,000 terrorists released for 1 kidnapped Israeli and bodies of 3 soldiers

The first major boost for the Palestinian kidnapping-for-hostage policy came in 2004, after Israel released more than 1,000 jailed terrorists in exchange for one Israeli kidnapped by Hezbollah and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers. Palestinians — including both Fatah and Hamas members — expressed support for the Hezbollah achievement as a positive precedent, stressing that kidnapping Israeli hostages would be, from then on, their modus operandi for the release of more prisoners.

"Fatah's military branch organized a civilian and military procession yesterday through the streets of Rafah. This event was held in appreciation and gratitude for the efforts Hezbollah made for the release of Arab and Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails as part of the prisoner exchange deal with Israel. In a public statement by the Abu Al-Rish Brigades, Fatah's military wing emphasized the need to follow Hezbollah's example in order to achieve the release of all prisoners."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 29, 2004]

See more statements that followed the 2004 prisoner release, in body of report, below.

Case Study 2

2006-2008: 3 Israeli soldiers kidnapped In June 2006, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and taken to Gaza. Shortly thereafter, Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah and taken to Lebanon. Again, both Fatah and Hamas expressed support for the kidnapping-for-hostage tactic:

"Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Abd Al-Rahman, conveyed his congratulations to the heroes who carried out the heroic act in southern Lebanon, in support of their Palestinian brethren... and emphasized that the demand to free the Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier [Shalit] is a natural right... He emphasized that the Israeli soldier should be freed only in the event of the release of Palestinian prisoners."
[Al-Ayyam, July 13, 2006]

See more statements that followed the 2006 prisoner release, in body of report, below.

Case Study 3

2008-Present: Israel's release of terrorist murderers seen as precedent In July 2008, for the first time since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, Israel released terrorist murderers. In exchange for the bodies of Goldwasser and Regev, Lebanese terrorists were released. This had significant impact on Palestinian resolve because it was seen as breaking the last of Israel's "red lines." Since then Palestinians have argued, that every single Palestinian prisoner, even murderers, will be released, as long as Palestinians continue to kidnap Israelis.

The following are some of the reactions immediately following the release of terrorist murderers in 2008:

Fatah TV after the release:

"[Israel now] will not be able to refuse the Palestinian demands to release hundreds of prisoners, including heroes who carried out heroic military actions that led to the killing of Jews, soldiers, etc. Israel is trying to hide behind criteria that it calls 'those with blood-stained hands,' so as not to release prisoners, yet this deal includes heroes, such as Samir Kuntar, who carried out heroic actions in which Jews and soldiers died... This creates a new precedent."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 6, 2008]

Hamas TV news after the release:

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza: "Just as today a respectable exchange took place with the resistance [Hezbollah] in Lebanon, so we too are determined to achieve a respectable exchange deal for our prisoners in the jails of the Israeli occupation. The Israelis have to pay a price, and they must know that they will pay a price." TV Newsreader: "The Palestinian prisoners regard this deal with great optimism and hope, now that Hezbollah has managed to break the Zionist equation which has opposed, for years, the release [of prisoners] who killed Zionists."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 16, 2008]

Hamas cleric:

"I want to tell the residents of Gaza that the next captives' exchange deal will be stronger and more painful for the descendants of monkeys and pigs [i.e. Jews]... you [Israel] will pay dearly for this deal [prisoner exchange], and in the deals that will follow it, and in the deals that will follow those."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 18, 2008]

Additionally, the release of murderers serving life sentences in 2008 was seen by some as the end of Israeli deterrence: Prisoner, Al-Sayed, serving 35 life terms plus additional 150 years:

"Life sentences of the occupation are meaningless... the success of the resistance [Hamas and Hezbollah] in kidnapping of occupation soldiers and the carrying out of [prisoner] exchanges have made these [prison] sentences meaningless."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 19, 2008]
(via www.imra.org.il, 12/21).

Israel, like the U.S., does not define the enemy and pretends the enemy is reasonable. Notice the totalitarian ethical standard of the ends justify the means and the celebration of murder! Mr. Kuntar, their hero, smashed a baby's head, just as did the Nazis, but anti-Zionists call Israelis, who do not do such things, Nazis. Notice antisemitism, not just criticism of particular Israeli policies. Notice that Israel's misguided humanitarianism plays into murderers' hands! Israeli policy erodes deterrence against terrorism. It is counter-productive. What a foolish and disproved notion that Arab prisoner releases engender Arab good will!

However much the jihadists violate fundamentals of civilization, the Palestinian Authority and its officials and people consider them soldiers, whereas Israel, following international law, treats them as criminals. Nevertheless, Israel coddles them.


Palestinian Authority (P.A.) President Abbas made these statements:

1. He will not allow an uprising, while he retains office, which may not be for long;

2. He denies delaying negotiations, claiming he presented compromise proposals to Israel. The "compromise" was that Israel should institute a complete, 5-month construction freeze behind the Green Line, but need not announce it and draw political opposition.

3. He demanded that Pres. Obama compel Israel to institute that freeze. "Now the ball is in the international community's court and in America's court." He expressed pride in striving for peace (Charles Levinson, Wall St. J., 12/21, A13).

If he has the confidence to defer an uprising, while it is convenient for his diplomacy, then perhaps he is not the weak leader that the State Dept. claims he is, when it urges Israel to make concessions to strengthen him.

His denial of delaying negotiations proves he is delaying them. He is delaying them until Israel gives him a concession that has no bearing on starting negotiations. The concession would discriminate ethnically. Considering the past P.A. uprisings, his own terrorist career, his encouragement of terrorists, his regime's indoctrination of the people in bigotry, and P.A. failure to abide by the peacemaking terms of Oslo, it hardly seems fair for him to be the one demanding a payment for starting negotiations. Didn't he say he wants peace?

His re-packaging of his demand for a freeze invites the government of Israel to deceive its people. In view of the above-stated indications that he remains a jihadist intent on conquest by a combination of diplomacy and war, what is the point of negotiation with him?

Barak Obama won election by campaigning more against Pres. Bush than against the GOP candidate. One of the chief complaints against Bush was that he bullied other countries. Abbas demands that Obama and other countries bully Israel to make one-sided concessions in advance of negotiations that are supposed to be mutual consideration of concessions. Based on the P.A. record, if the U.S. reacts, it should be either to tell Abbas he ought to just start negotiating or to suggest Israel resolve the problem itself. What would the U.S. want with a hostile, terrorist state, anyway?


Excavation adjoins Church of the Annunciation (A.P./Dan Balilty)

Excavations for a Christian church building to be atop an old Mamluk wall found the wall standing on the wall of a building from the end of the second Temple period. An artifact in the ancient house was of a type used only by Jews (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/22).


Here "...is a list of recent anti-Israel policies imposed by the British government: It instructs supermarkets to label products that originate in the West Bank; it denounces the Gaza operation, it imposes partial arms embargo on the Israeli Navy, it finances the group 'Breaking the Silence,' it failed to vote against the Goldstone report and it is in the process of negotiating with Hezbollah and flirting with Hamas. Its legal system is hunting Israeli politicians and military officers and trying to trying to subject them to kangaroo courts. Now to top it off, the new British European foreign minister declares that East Jerusalem is an 'occupied city,' unlike Belfast and Edinburgh."

"However, an hour long British television program, called Dispatches, which was aired in November on Channel 4, claims that the British government is staunchly pro-Israeli and the reason for that is simple — Jewish money." The broadcast made several statements along that line.

"These repulsive allegations were assisted by two Israeli academics who were interviewed as fig leaves by the documentary makers. One of them, Avi Shlaim of Oxford is certainly no stranger to readers of IsraCampus.Org.il. In recent years Shlaim became the darling of the Anti-Zionist loony left in his adopted country, writing for the notorious Guardian, appearing on public panels advocating so-called "one-state solution," in which Israel is erased, and supporting the notion that Israel endangers Diaspora Jews." [Shlaim was a Communist, notorious for their intellectual dishonesty. He was a revisionist historian who expressed false anti-Zionist notions.]

"As one observer put it: 'It was an hour of innuendo about 'pro-Israeli' moneybags controlling the Conservative and Labor Parties; 'pro-Israeli' intimidation of British media; premeditated 'pro-Israeli' abuse of anti-Semitism; and sinister music accompanying photos of 'pro-Israelis' blurred across Israeli and British flags.'"

"The BBC? Even its own managerial trust established that on a few occasions in the past its journalists were impartial in favor of the Arabs. Osborne denounced it as in the pocketbook of Israel, thanks to its refusal to broadcast a Palestinian charity appeal after operation "Cast Lead", but he failed to acknowledge the real reason for that. The BBC was reluctant to air it because of domestic guidelines which included the fact that the clip in question was not shot by its staff. This, of course, was ignored by the 'documentarist' who was assisted by these two learned Israeli academics."

"But the irony is that after all these allegations Mr. Osborne was forced to admit that the program had not found 'anything faintly resembling a conspiracy.' So what was all the fuss about? Well, he said, 'there was some lack of transparency in some of the organizations we investigated.'"

"So what, in the end, did the veteran Channel 4 investigative reporter do? He fabricated a mountain of rumors and speculations, and then admitted, after the act, that they have no substance. After an hour of unfortunate imagery and unfounded suggestions that UK supporters of Israel conspire to influence Parliament and the media utilizing financial leverage, Dispatches finally admitted that this is not the case. How comforting. Alas, the damage has been done and the admission was a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted." By damage, he means, for one thing, that a fascist group became emboldened to repeat the BBC defamation. (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/21).

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 and visit his website:
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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Posted by Michael Freund, December 23, 2009.

Dear Friend,

Below is a moving article that appears in this week's issue of the NY Jewish Week (http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/ c36_a17510/News/New_York.html) regarding a Chueta (a descendant of forcibly converted Jews from Palma de Mallorca, Spain) whom I helped to return to the Jewish people at an emotional ceremony last week. The article was written by Sandee Brawarsky.

As the calendar year comes to a close, please consider making a gift to Shavei Israel to help us to continue with our work to reconnect "lost Jews" with Israel and the Jewish people.


Michael Freund
Chairman, Shavei Israel


After emerging from the warm waters of the West Side Mikvah last week, Miquel Seguara, above, said, "I feel a relief, like I'm free, clean, purified."


More than five centuries after his ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism, and more than 300 years after a relative was burned at the stake for secretly practicing Judaism, Miquel Segura of Mallorca, Spain, returned to the Jewish people.

In a ceremony last week that began with Shachrit prayers at Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City, and continued with a double dunk into the warm waters of the West Side Mikvah, Segura reaffirmed his connection to his Jewish ancestors. The 65-year-old journalist can trace his family history back, in precise detail, for centuries.

Segura is a Chueta, as descendants of Mallorcan Jews who were forcibly converted, are known. Over generations, the Chuetas were persecuted, often tortured and discriminated against. Even the name, Chueta (Xueta in Catalan) is offensive, as it's derived from the word for pig in the Catalan language. Since other Christians wouldn't marry Chuetas, even as these "New Christians" lived in accordance with the Church, the Chuetas have remained as enclosed community. Today, there are an estimated 20,000 Chuetas, most in Mallorca, Spain's largest island, located in the Mediterranean Sea.

The ceremony, held on the morning of the sixth day of Chanukah, Rosh Hodesh Tevet, was not a conversion, but a return. The timing was fitting, as the sacred moments symbolized renewal, faith and determination.

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, rabbi emeritus of Shearith Israel and founder of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, who officiated at the ceremony, cited an opinion of the Rama, Rabbi Moshe Isserles (16th century) that when a person wishes to return to Judaism, he needs to go to the mikveh, for purification. No bet din is required, as at a conversion. Since Segura's family had married only other Chuetas for generations, as he found through his genealogical research, he is still a Jew.

Rabbi Angel receives calls almost weekly from people who want to consult with him about their Jewish roots and possible paths to conversion or return. "Every story is a novel," he says. He has officiated at other return ceremonies, but this was the first time he has done such a ceremony for someone from the Chueta community.

When Segura, known in Hebrew as Michael ben Hayyim, emerged from the waters, dressed again in his pinstripe suit, he was beaming, "I feel a relief, like I'm free, clean, purified." He greeted his wife and other guests, who showered him with calls of "Mazel tov" back in the waiting room. "I think this is the most happy day of my life."

Graciously, he thanked his wife, who is not a Chueta, and said that without her encouragement and support, the moment would not have been possible. He showed the assembled group a family tree and was presented with a Hebrew/Spanish document that stated, "After five centuries, Miquel Segura of Palma de Mallorca returned to his people."

Segura, who has written more than 20 books including "Raices Chuetas, Alas Judias," (Chuetas Roots, Jewish Wings), first learned of his Chueta background when he was 15 and was taunted in school. Previously, his parents avoided the topic. Soon after, when he heard a procession on the street saying that the Chuetas killed Jesus Christ, he began, along with a cousin, to read about their history. Members of the community are easy to identify, as they have one of the 15 family names that have lasted over the centuries, including Aguilo, Forteza, Marti and Valleriola.

In Mallorca, persecution of the Jews began in the 1300s, with a wave of violent pogroms in 1391. The Jewish community on the island dates back to the fifth century. Jews in Mallorca were forced to convert, even before the edict of Expulsion in 1492. The Inquisition was formally abolished in 1808, but social, economic and religious discrimination against the Chuetas has continued into the modern era. Only in the past 40 years or so, as the society has opened up more, Chuetas have begun to intermarry. Segura, whose wife is a Catholic, is the first in his family line to marry outside of the group.

When asked about any traces of Jewish practices in their home while growing up, he recalls, "My father didn't want to cut cheese and meat with same knife, and no one else could touch this knife. But we really lived as Catholics."

In 1994, the publication of his first book on the subject of the history of the Chuetas, "Memoria Xueta" was a sort of coming out, stating publicly that he was a Chueta. A prominent figure in Mallorcan society, Segura was met with debate and personal attacks. He then began thinking about returning to Judaism, to remove the stigma of being a Chueta. Over the last few years, he has traveled to South America, speaking about his books and his own story, and has received much support.

Six years ago, at a conference in Barcelona for "Bnei Anousim," the sons and daughters of Jews forcibly converted, Segura met Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, an Israeli organization that reaches out to descendants of Jews around the world and fosters their connection to Judaism and the State of Israel. Freund, who brought Segura's story to Rabbi Angel's attention, came to New York for the ceremony.

"This is proof of the power of Jewish memory and is the best possible revenge for what the Inquisition did to his ancestors," Freund said. To Segura, he said, "I hope that you open the doors to many in Palmas de Mallorca to return to the Jewish people."

Another man from the Chueta community has moved to Israel, undergone a formal conversion and was ordained by the chief rabbinate. Rabbi Rabbi Nissan ben Avraham travels frequently to Mallorca and Barcelona to lecture and teach.

Segura says that others in the community are also very interested in their Jewish roots and in Jewish culture, but many cannot trace their family trees as he did. He plans to encourage others in the community to reclaim their Judaism.

A columnist for the newspaper Ultima Hora, Segura, who has a photograph of a mezuzah on his Web site, says that he longer eats pork and shellfish, won't mix meat and milk, but is "not exactly kosher." He prays the Shema by heart and says that "this prayer makes my identity. Most Friday evenings, he goes to services at the one synagogue in Palma, the capital, established by German and English Jews who've resettled on the island. As Segura explains, members of the shul "do not open their arms" to the Chuetas, and the shul does not count them as part of the minyan.

"He is a Jew in every respect, in the eyes of heaven. I hope that he'll also be seen as a Jew in the eyes of other Jews," Freund remarks.

The American-born Freund, whose organization has been involved with communities in India, China, Poland and the former Soviet Union, asserts, "I think that the Jewish people have a responsibility toward the Chuetas. We should be embracing them."

"Ironically, it was the ongoing exclusion of Mallorca's 'Old Christians' that allowed the Chuetas to preserve their identity well into the 20th century," Freund says.

Segura may may be the last Jew in his line, or maybe not. His wife is Catholic, and their two children, a daughter who lives in Mallorca and a son who's a diplomat in Madrid, are not Jewish. But his son is married to a Chueta, and their young son speaks of being Jewish like his grandfather.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, December 23, 2009.

Hesder Yeshiva Quits Army
by Hillel Fendel

The "unanimous" Hesder Yeshivot declaration of earlier this week was apparently not so unanimous — and has led at least one yeshiva to quit.

The head of the Yeshivat Hesder in the Negev city of Arad, Rabbi Yinon Ilani, has sent a letter to the Union of Hesder Yeshivot, asking to be removed from both the Union and the Hesder arrangement with the army. Rabbi Ilani explains, "I apparently do not understand the decision that was made in the honorable forum of all the Yeshiva deans on Sunday, and therefore, to my great sorrow, and despite the great price our yeshiva will have to pay, I cannot be a party to something that I do not understand."

The "price" referred to by Rabbi Ilani is a monthly per-student stipend of hundreds of shekels from the Defense Ministry to the Hesder yeshivot.

Rabbi Ilani was one of the very few Hesder yeshiva heads who did not take part in the meeting on Sunday. The decision made there stated clear opposition to protests within the army, and also resolved to work to restore Yeshivat Har Bracha, headed by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, to the Hesder arrangement. The statement did not say that Torah law stands above army commands.

Meanwhile, an IDF memo reported on IDF Army Radio indicates that the Hesder declaration has not brought about the desired conciliation with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Defense Ministry; the opposite is the case. The memo states that the students of Har Bracha have 60 days in which to find another Hesder yeshiva, or else they will be drafted for full three-year service.

Hesder students generally serve for five years, including about 18 months in active duty, and the remainder studying Torah.

'Deans Can't Find Way to Integrate Both?

The final straw for Rabbi Ilani and his yeshiva was apparently words of explanation added after the Sunday meeting by Union spokesman Rabbi David Stav.

"Rabbi Stav said to the media that the Union is obligated to both State law and Torah law," Rabbi Ilani wrote, "but that it is not yet clear how to integrate both of them. If the Yeshiva heads cannot decide the proper approach, then what can be expected from a simple soldier? Why not say clearly: 'We are loyal to the State and its laws as long as they do not contradict our holy Torah; every law that opposes the Torah is blatantly illegal?'"

Rabbi Ilani feels that ideally, protests against orders to evict Jews and destroy their property should be carried out by the rabbis and not by the students — "but since we, the rabbis, did not sound our opinion clearly, the students burst out in 'holy brazenness' and do our work [by protestin... It is the government that is responsible for these protests, by ordering the soldiers to carry out political missions that are against Jewish Law."

Rabbi Nixes Anti-Protest Call

"The call [by the rabbi against protests in the army is not appropriate for this period," Rabbi Ilani wrote, "especially when we are beginning a campaign for the very existence of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and when the approach towards the residents is as if they were genuine enemies — to the point where I cannot even be sure that orders will not be given to fire on opponents of the construction freeze orders."

The reference is to an IDF plan that was publicized this week, showing that the IDF is planning something close to war against the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria (Yesha) regarding the enforcement of the construction-freeze orders. The document indicates that the army is planning to enforce the freeze with the help of six brigades, the entire Border Guard forces of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, Israel Air Forces helicopters and drones, the Shabak (Shin Bet) and police, intelligence forces, and IDF reserve units.

5. Barak: Hesder Arrangement with Har Bracha is Over
by Gil Ronen Barak:

Tie to Har Bracha is Over

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that the IDF's cooperation with the Har Bracha Hesder Yeshiva was over. He made no mention of the fact that the yeshiva's dean, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, signed a declaration against political protests in the military — an act which Hesder yeshiva deans hoped would mollify the minister's anger at Melamed.

"After two attempts to demonstrate within the army, it turned out that there is a yeshiva whose head openly preaches for refusal of orders, and is unwilling to denounce acts of protest within the IDF," Barak said in a speech before high school students in Rishon LeTzion.

"One of the foundations of a democratic state is a monopoly on the use of force on the one hand; on the other is the state's authority over the citizens," he lectured the students. "The citizens express their stances through political activity and the ballot box. The State has an army and the army is under the authority of the State, and of no other body."

"The idea of a military and refusal to do army service are not compatible, and we do not intend to accept this," Barak went on. "This must be clear everywhere. After studying the case and reading the recommendations of the heads of the IDF, I reached the conclusion that the right path is to end the Hesder [arrangemen with this particular yeshiva. Make no mistake, the Hesder yeshiva boys are the IDF's finest soldiers, in all units, and have been for decades. They are also a very important core group in the reserve force afterward. They are excellent people, but just as one should not make generalizations, we should not shut our eyes where there is unworthy and improper behavior.For this reason, the arrangement with this yeshiva is finished. Soldiers from all the other yeshivas are received with a blessing [an apparent pun on the word bracha, or blessing, which is part of the name of Har Bracha — ed.

Barak also hinted that IDF soldiers would continue to participate in evictions from outposts. "We are not the only country in the world in which the army is called upon to carry out civilian assignments. When a state reaches the place in which it needs to enforce the law on citizens, in has no choice but to use its army. This instruction must also be carried out and obeyed, this is the true basis of democracy."

6. "New 'Street Name' Law to Streamline Benefits, Taxes"
by Hillel Fendel

Law: Street Names, House Numbers

It's now the law: All towns and villages, not only cities, must assign street names and house numbers. It will help citizens to receive benefits — and Arab cities to collect taxes.

The Knesset passed the final readings of the new law on Monday, instituting into law the proposal by MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union). Until now, only full-fledged cities were required to assign street names and house numbers.

"This law is very important from several aspects," Eldad explained. "It will help both the citizens and the authorities. It will enable the latter to enforce the law in an efficient manner, and to collect various fines and fees that various sectors in Israel — and especially the Arab sector — were able to systematically avoid, using the excuse that there was no address or house number."

In addition, Eldad said, "The Health Ministry, for instance, has had trouble locating many citizens who don't have an address, and many who are eligible for various benefits sometimes lose out on payments they deserve to receive."

Local government bodies that do not fulfill the law and do not assign names to every street and numbers to every house will have to answer to the Interior Ministry, Eldad said, "and they certainly will not receive stimulus payments or grants from the Ministry."

7. Netanyahu Puts Decision on Shalit in Hamas' Hands
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Shalit Issue Now in Hamas' Hands

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and six senior Cabinet ministers have told a German mediator that 100 terrorists must be deported to Arab countries or Gaza before Israel can agree to free nearly 1,000 terrorists and prisoners for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. A newspaper in Lebanon stated that Qatar and European countries have agreed to accept more than 20 terrorists, and Israel has insisted that most of the others be sent to Gaza instead of Judea and Samaria.

Hamas officials said that the German mediator in negotiations will meet with the terrorist organization on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Tuesday, "There is no deal for the release of Gilad Shalit and I don't know if there will be." He in effect has thrown the powder keg of the highly charged issue of Shalit back to Hamas, whose officials stated Tuesday that they cannot accept the idea of deportations. The same issue was a major factor in the Cabinet's rejection last February of a similar proposal aimed at bringing Shalit back home.

Although most statements from Hamas have come from Gaza, the ultimate decision will be made by Khaled Mashaal, the Syrian-based leader of the terrorist organization. One associate, Beirut-based Hamas leader Osama Hamdan, declared Tuesday night, "Because Hamas, or any other Palestinian faction, cannot agree to the expulsion of Palestinians, we insist that all the prisoners are released to their homes and families."

The government has kept silent on any public statements on the negotiations for the return of Shalit, but most reports indicated that the mini-Cabinet of six ministers and the Prime Minister drew the red line on deporting more than 100 terrorists while refusing to release seven or nine others. Foreign media stated that among them are Marwan Barghouti, sentenced five times to life in prison, and Ahmed Sadat, who assassinated Tourist Minister Rehavam Ze'evi, and three Hamas terrorists.

Israel recently disclosed to the High Court that it might free 960 terrorists and prisoners, many of them with "blood on their hands," for involvement in killing dozens of Israelis. Intelligence officials have warned that allowing them to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria might leave the lives of millions of Israelis in danger. Terrorists who previously have been released have murdered nearly 180 Israelis after being freed and promising not to return to terror.

These items are from the English edition of today's Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com).

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Posted by Family Security Matters, December 23, 2009.

This was written by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman, a historian, lecturer, and author, who also writes for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or http://www.globalthink.net/


A nightmare scenario for America is terrorists in our midst, and unlike those who perpetrated the horror of 9/11, difficult to profile. Our security forces look for young men (aged 16-30) of Middle East or South Asian origin. This is no longer good enough; many wannabe terrorists are American born Muslims or converts recruited in prison and universities. Add to this the occasional woman, for whom we would not usually be on alert. The terrorist next door has become a big concern.

Ignorance and poverty might be true for the poor starvelings being brainwashed in Afghan and Pakistani Madrassas, but they are only good for cannon fodder in the hands of their keepers. This profile certainly does not match what we are seeing in the U.S., and unfortunately, more than we had expected.

First, consider Maj. Hasan, a native-born U.S. citizen, soldier, and psychiatrist whose education was paid for by the military. This man — neither young, poor, nor ignorant — cold bloodedly murder 14 or his colleagues and wound 34 more before he was wounded himself. All we know about him was that he was a religious fanatic and his "spiritual adviser" with whom he corresponded, was a jihadi who had fled from Virginia to Yemen (he himself born in the U.S.).

Then consider a new wrinkle — young Muslims, some native born and some born abroad, from immigrant families that seem to be integrating well — disappearing from the U.S. with intent to become jihadis. The five picked up in Pakistan (along with the father of one of them) are not the first to have been radicalized in the U.S. itself. These five supposedly said nothing to their families or friends about their intentions, but a videotape on Facebook by one of them was obviously a jihadi last will and testament, which frightened the families into seeking FBI help.

The community denials are hard to believe. One youth coordinator's hope is that these "nice virgin young men" were probably in Pakistan to bring home brides. (Are there no Muslim brides for them in America?) The Alexandria, Virginia Islamic Center's Imam claims there was no sign that these worshippers were radicalized. The same center was also the place of worship of Maj. Hasan, and its former cleric has fled to Yemen. Something is going on in that center.

The thriving Somali community in Minneapolis has also produced young men, some in college, who without a word of warning disappeared to return to Somalia and Yemen to become suicide bombers. At least one is dead, and we don't know the condition of the others. What happens if these lost boys return to carry out a caper in the U.S. itself? They are citizens, and supposedly could travel freely. However, I would hope that traveling from Somalia or Yemen would trigger needed security attention. How can one account for a "nice" immigrant Afghan coffee vendor in New York, Najibullah Zazi, going to Pakistan for explosives training with the intent to stage an attack in the US? He was picked up in Colorado trying to buy chemicals.

Most dangerous of all is the Chicagoan, David Coleman Headly, 49, who with that name, age, and money, would never have been profiled as a terrorist. Headly changed his name from Gilani to Headly, a name that would fly below the radar on his passport. He apparently had every advantage of upbringing (American mother), social status, and money. Yet he was a frequent globetrotter scouting sites for al Qaeda's murderous rampages, the most successful of which was the attack on Mumbai that left 166 people dead. Most recently, he was scouting a planned attack on the Danish newspaper that published the Mohammad cartoons.

American officials are concerned that jihadis are being recruited for numerous small attacks on the United States so that a really major attack can progress unnoticed. Young wanabe terrorists like the five picked up in Pakistan behave stupidly and are not difficult to catch. More challenging will be visitors carrying European passports, converts to Islam, who do not match the Middle Eastern or South Asian profile. That will be trouble.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org

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Posted by Dave Alpern, December 23, 2009.

This a Dry Bones cartoon. Yaakov Kirschen is the creator of the Dry Bones cartoons, which he started drawing in January 1973. Contact him at blog@mrdrybones.com Kirschen writes about this cartoon:

"Before 2009 comes to an end, I wanted to point out that in this, the 20th anniversary of the reuniting of their divided city of Berlin, the Europeans want to divide our reunited city of Jerusalem

The way to do that, I figured, was to do a cartoon that 'just said it'!"


Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@bezeqint.net

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Posted by Jay Draiman, December 23, 2009.
This below was written by Hillel Fendel.

Imagine that the various people who settled in the United States for the past 300 years decided one day that they one to parcel the United States into an independent State just for them, would the American public go for it. The Answer is absolutely NO.

The situation in Israel today is no different. The Arabs there are not Palestinians, there is no such Arab nation as Palestine or Palestinian people.

Europeans countries today are consisting of numerous people from other countries. Would the Europeans people cede part of their country to set up another State in their midst. The answer is absolutely NO.

All the Arabs in Israel and surrounding areas are from the various Arab nations, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab nations.

Prominent PLO Arab says there are no 'Palestinians' and no "Palestine"

PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein admitted in a March 31, 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper Trouw.

"The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism. "

The Qur'an 17:104 — states the land belongs to the Jewish people

If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:

"And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd'.".


YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.

PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.

SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
— Qur'an 17:104

Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call "Palestine" as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah's ultimate revelation.

Sequence of historical events, agreements and a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel totaling approximately 45,000 square miles, as mandated by the League of Nations in July of 1922. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I — Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan — agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. (You might as well break apart Syria which was mandated at the same time).


"20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews"
by Hillel Fendel
Arutz Sheva
June, 2008

(IsraelNN.com) Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.".

Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers — the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.

Gauthier's main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I — Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan — agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

San Remo

The relevant resolution reads as follows: "The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust... the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [authority that] will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration... in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" — but says nothing about any "political" rights of the Arabs living there.

The San Remo Resolution also bases itself on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which declares that it is a "a sacred trust of civilization" to provide for the well-being and development of colonies and territories whose inhabitants are "not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world." Specifically, a resolution was formulated to create a Mandate to form a Jewish national home in Palestine.

League of Nations

The League of Nations' resolution creating the Palestine Mandate included the following significant clause: "Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." No such recognition of Arab rights in Palestine was granted.

In 1945, the United Nations took over from the failed League of Nations — and assumed the latter's obligations. Article 80 of the UN Charter states: "Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed, in or of itself, to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."

UN Partition Plan

however, in 1947, the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan. It violated the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine in that it granted political rights to the Arabs in western Palestine — yet, ironically, the Arabs worked to thwart the plan's passage, while the Jews applauded it.

Resolution 181 also provided for a Special regime for Jerusalem, with borders delineated in all four directions: The then-extant municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns up to Abu Dis in the east, Bethlehem in the south, Ein Karem and Motza in the west, and Shuafat in the north.

Referendum Scheduled for Jerusalem

The UN resolved that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a separate entity under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The regime was to come into effect by October 1948, and was to remain in force for a period of ten years, unless the UN's Trusteeship Council decided otherwise. After the ten years, the residents of Jerusalem "shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City." The resolution never took effect, because Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem after the 1948 War of Independence and did not follow its provisions.

After 1967

After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained Jerusalem and other land west of Jordan. Gauthier notes that the UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of all the land until it had "secure and recognized boundaries." The resolution was notably silent on Jerusalem, and also referred to the "necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem," with no distinction made between Jewish and Arab refugees.


Given Jerusalem's strong Jewish majority, Gauthier concludes, Israel should be demanding that the long-delayed city referendum on the city's future be held as soon as possible. Not only should Israel be demanding that the referendum be held now, Jerusalem should be the first order of business. "Olmert is sloughing us off by saying [as he did before the Annapolis Conference two months ago], 'Jerusalem is not on the table yet,'" Gauthier concludes. "He should demand that the referendum take place before the balance of the land is negotiated. If the Arabs won't agree to the referendum, there is nothing to talk about."

We must unleash the wrath of G-D against the enemies of Israel and those collaborating with the enemy.

Contact YJD by email at yjdmd@msn.com

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Posted by Ted Belman, December 23, 2009.

A movement is afoot to get the UN to predetermine borders between Israel and the future 23rd Arab state and to recognize "East Jerusalem" as its capital. Such predetermination would be in violation of the Roadmap which calls for a negotiated solution where "negotiated" implies freedom to say "no". And such predetermination would prejudge the outcome which the world never tires of telling Israel, no one can do.

I began doing research on the powers of the UN and on whether such UN predetermination would be ultra-vires its Charter. In other words, would it be legal by international law for the UN to dictate a solution?. I wanted to know what the consequences might be for Israel. I have not yet gotten a good enough fix on these questions to give an opinion. Regardless of the true meaning of the Charter, I fear that the UN would give the same answer that the Queen gave to Alice in Wonderland, "It means what I say it means".

Yesterday, David Solway in The United Nations: Public Enemy Number (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ the-united-nations-public-enemy-number-one/). One recommended that the US withdraw from the UN. He recites in a detailed way what is wrong with the UN and why it is the enemy of the US and freedom.

But his polemic, left out reference to the overriding purpose of the UN.

In 2001, John F McManus, the then president of the John Birch Society, gave a speech entitled The Plan to Have the UN Rule He quotes from a State Department official in 1945

"... there is no provision in the Charter itself that contemplates ending war. It is true the Charter provides for force to bring peace, but such use of force is itself war.... The Charter is built to prepare for war, not to promote peace.... The Charter is a war document, not a peace document. Not only does the Charter organization not prevent future wars, it makes it practically certain that we shall have future wars, and as to such wars it takes from us the power to declare them, to choose on which side we shall fight, to determine what forces and military equipment we shall use in the war, and to control and command our sons who do the fighting."

While the Charter pays lip service to national sovereignty by pledging to maintain "the sovereign equality of all its Members," for no one would have joined otherwise, it is all about limiting such sovereignty.

Thus joining negates sovereignty.

"No one can understand the reasoning behind self-defeating policies of the United States government without an awareness of the enormously harmful influence of the Council on Foreign Relations. This organization has worked to destroy America's national sovereignty and create a tyrannical world government ever since its inception in 1921. It members are the leaders in government, the mass media, the wealthy foundations, the military, religion, education, the corporate world, and other important segments of our nation's life. They are betrayers from within, and their influence has spread to numerous other parts of the world."

That is also what the UN intends achieving.

"The Charter's main authors were Americans Alger Hiss and Leo Pasvolsky and the Soviet Union's Vyacheslav Molotov. Hiss was a secret communist and a member of the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations. Pasvolsky was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. And Molotov was an official of the murderous Soviet Union whose criminal leaders expected the United Nations to bring about a communist-controlled world. These men surely did not want the nations of the world to remain independent. Instead, they wanted all to become subject to the authority of the United Nations, an organization they expected to control. And they wrote the UN Charter to accomplish that goal."

A subsequent step along the way was the creation of the EU which overrides the sovereignty of its members. In fact it may have the illusion of itself being a democratic body with electorates all electing their representatives, in reality it is run by a permanent bureaucracy. In effect the Europeans have been disenfranchised by joining.

The supporters of world government need world problems, real or imagined, to justify world solutions. While the planet may or may not be warming, and if warming, may or may not be man made, what is important is that a world solution is needed. Nevermind whether the suggested solutions would work, they would certainly involve the enlargement and power of world government and that is the point.

What is envisaged is a stateless world. The nineteenth century was the "age of nationalism". Nationalism is blamed for most the wars which ensued. It is no longer a good thing. Political Zionism was born in that century. As nationalism went into disfavour in the twentieth century so did Zionism.

Imperialism is usually associated with nation states and is also decried. In fact in many ways nationalism resisted the imperialism of others. The powers that be, such as CFR, see the doing away with nationalism as doing away with the resistance. In effect they want to substitute corporate imperialism for national imperialism.

Islam has no trouble with a stateless world. In fact it seeks a world caliphate in which Islam is supreme. The Caliphate is important, not the state.

When noticing how Islamification is aided and abetted by the US and EU governments against the wishes of their citizens, I am reminded of the alliance between the Rome and the Catholic Church in the fourth century AD. The Catholic Church as an agent of Rome, used to suppress the people in the name of God thereby removing popular resistance to Rome. With the fall of Rome, the Church went on to align itself with the ruling aristocracies and monarchies. During the age of colonialism, the Church was an active partner.

Similarly Islam is a tool to harass and intimidate the people in the service of the rulers. "Allah" gave Mohammed the rallying cry and justification for conquering the world. Islam maintains itself by a brutal suppression of freedoms. The people are entirely disenfranchised. Thus Islam and World Government are comfortable bedmates and fellow travellers.

Pres. Obama is totally supportive of the Caliphate and of the UN. He is working to empower them both. His policies include

1. World nuclear disarmament
2. Reduction of the US military and role as the world's policeman to be replaced by an international force.
3. Embracing the UN and even UNHRC.
4. Whitewashing Islam

Will the American people take Solway's advice and get the hell out? Remains to be seen.

So what does all this mean for little Israel? With few exceptions Israel has no friends among the nations. The US so far has been willing to to stand by Israel by using its veto in the Security Council or supporting her right to self defense in the Lebanon War and Gaza War. But that support comes with a price, namely that Israel capitulates to the Arabs and accepts their terms for peace.

The last three Israel Prime Ministers, Sharon, Olmert and Netanyahu all came up through the ranks of Likud. All have accepted the inevitability of succumbing to American pressure and each tried to salvage what they could for Israel.

Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister, was forced by Obama to institute a 10 month settlement freeze, after which according to Netanyahu, construction will fully commence. But nobody believes this. Nothing is being said as to what happens at the end of this period to the peace process.

It is inconceivable that the world will give up its efforts to get Israel to withdraw to the greenline and share Jerusalem. Whether we are talking about the Roadmap, Ananapolis or a future Conference in Moscow which is currently being talked about, the end result is clear.

Obama has conceded the "Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements". But these borders have been predetermined by Obama to be "based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps". Slim pickings, indeed.

Should Israel refuse such a deal, whether by the current government or by a revolt by the people, she will of course be saying, give us your best shot. This will include sanctions and expulsion from the UN.

There is also the possibility of military intervention by the UN. McManas comments on this.

Chapter VII of the Charter begins with Article 39 by proclaiming that,

"the Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression... and shall decide what measures shall be taken...." So the UN shall make the decision as to whether and when it shall act militarily. Then, in Article 42, the UN Security Council is authorized to -

"... take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and operations by land, sea, or air forces of Members of the United Nations."

That's no guarantee of peace, it's a blueprint for war.

Clearly, a nation that balks at being controlled by the UN will be deemed to be a threat to the UN's definition of peace. And the UN has authority under this section of its Charter to wage war to accomplish its idea of peace.

Serbia learned that lesson.

But before it comes to that, Israel would respond by talking the battle to the American people and to the US Congress, their extension. It is a battle that Obama prefers not to fight especially in the lead up to the 2012 elections.

Ted Belman
054 441 3252

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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Posted by Susana K-M, December 22, 2009.

This was written by William Katz.


CREEPING TOWARD OBLIVION — AT 8:53 A.M. ET: I heard an interesting definition last night. It seems that in Britain they have a rather strong "green" movement — you know, the environmental "activists." But those who are on to them don't call them greens, but "watermelons" — green on the outside, red on the inside.

We saw that in Copenhagen. The greatest applause at the "climate change" conference didn't greet President Obama, or even Al Green, uh Al Gore. It greeted Hugo Chavez and his attacks on capitalism. The climate-change movement, like many movements, has a hidden agenda — a move toward socialism and world government. And yet, we're told very little about it by the mainstream media, which regards socialism as just another "narrative."

Investors Business Daily, in a fine editorial, discusses our own drift toward socialism, symbolized by the health "reform" package:

Health Care: Democrats on the take and in the dead of night pass an execrable piece of legislation that they haven't read, the public doesn't want and only socialists could love. What has happened to this country?


Let's see if we have this right:

This was a vote on a Democrat-concocted scheme that Americans have rejected every time it's been proposed for 100 years and that is opposed again, by 54% to 41% by the public at large, by 2-to-1 by practicing physicians and by every last member on the Republican side of the aisle.

What could these people possibly know? Do they live in Manhattan? Beverly Hills? Do they have parties and invite African diplomats?

Despite growing public opposition, Democratic members had the nerve to call those who questioned their monstrosity "obstructionists" and worse. Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse called health care bill foes "birthers," "fanatics" and "people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups." Is this what Democrats meant when they said they seek bipartisan solutions to the nation's problems?

By bipartisan they mean that far-left Democrats and liberal Democrats will join together.

As the nonpartisan Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation put it, "The House and Senate health care bills contain enormous tax hikes to accompany massive increases in government spending."

But, of course, in the eyes of the left, those are wonderful things. Progress!

What's truly frightening about this bill isn't what it does, but what it sets us on course to do. Democrats have long said they see this bill as a first step toward a total takeover of U.S. health care, regardless of the consequences.

The bill's requirement that Americans buy insurance is a major step toward that takeover. It's the first time in our nation's history the government has made Americans buy something. Get used to it. It's going to become a pattern.

COMMENT: It already is a pattern. U.S. Government Wheels & Deals, formerly known as General Motors, is an example. The 1960s left has come roaring back, a little more careful with its propaganda this time, getting protection from the slick rhetoric of Barack Obama, and supported by much of the media.

It's pretty clear from the polls that many Americans are in fact aware of what is happening. But we need that 50% plus one at the polls to reverse it. And the clear goal of many on the left is to do what political machines in many cities have done so effectively, going back to the 19th century — make the people so dependent on the party in power that they feel they must vote them in year after year. Tammany did it in New York, the Daley machine does it in Barack Obama's Chicago.

Now the machine has gone national, and international.

Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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Posted by Moshe Dann, December 22, 2009.

Chaos in Pakistan has the world sweating; they have The Bomb — actually, lots of them, and they've already distributed the technology and parts to other countries, like Iran, North Korea and Libya, which send them on.

Think of this probability: Under a sovereign state of Palestine, the "West Bank" (and Gaza) resembles Swat Valley. Run by various terrorist and tribal leaders, composed of warring factions, they acquire SAM missiles and small tactical nuclear weapons.

If the threat of nuclear proliferation from Pakistan is worrying, allowing Arab Palestinian terrorists access to such WMDs — as part of a sovereign state — invites disaster for the entire region.

Both Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority are engaged in civil wars between Muslim secularists and religious extremists, in which the latter seem to be winning.

Pakistan is fighting for some form of democracy and has institutional support, but the Taliban are becoming stronger; Palestinians are smothered by totalitarian, terrorist-controlled corrupt regimes and Hamas is predicted to take over, sooner or later.

Similar battles being waged in many Muslim countries should trigger alarm: WMDs in the hands of Jihadist terrorists could wipe Israel out and trigger a nuclear world war.

A policy of caution and containment, therefore, is essential. It includes the following steps:

1. Albeit hoping for peace, adhere to reality. The PA/Hamas are unreformed supporters of terrorism; neither accepts Israel's right to exist. Under the circumstances, offering them legitimacy and sovereignty increases the danger posed by Islamic terrorists. Jihad is the name of their game; we need to understand those rules.

2. Security trumps inconveniences and sometimes even civil rights. There is no "moral high ground" in giving terrorists the opportunity to kill.

3. Inability to present alternatives to unrealistic and unworkable agendas traps us in past mistakes, conventional thinking, spin masters and those of little or no faith or interest in Israel's survival. "Land for Peace" (Oslo Accords, Road Maps, etc.) have led to more, not less terrorism.

4. World (and Israeli) leaders must stop apologizing for Israel's existence and excusing continuing failures and incompetence by PA. It's time to take responsibility.

5. There are other solutions. Arab Palestinians who desire national self-determination can look to Jordan — a Palestinian state in all but name.

6. All UNRWA activities should be terminated; those who receive assistance should be given citizenship in the countries in which they reside, or offered residency in another country. UNRWA funds currently used to maintain Palestinian servitude should be earmarked for constructive goals.

Rather than advance the cause of peace, a sovereign second Arab Palestinian state is just the reverse. The closer Arab Palestinians get to statehood, the more chaotic and violent they become; such a state, therefore, may in fact be 'the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East.'

Without an institutional structure and cultural environment that condemns terrorism, violence and incitement a Palestinian state will become the new Pakistan, and just as dangerous.

The average Palestinian knows this better than anyone else. That may explain why, given the choice and chance, hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians and refugees escaping Muslim African countries are clamoring to get into Israel.

One Pakistan is enough; the world hardly needs another in Palestine. Moshe Dann, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.

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Posted by Boris Celser, December 22, 2009.

This is a book review by Professor Richard M. Ebeling from October 1994 of R.J. Rummel's book entitled Death by Government (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994, 496 pages, $49.95.)


In 1900, when the 20th century was about to begin, practically all political commentators, social analysts, and newspaper editorialists were sure that the new century would bring greater economic prosperity, more personal liberty and human freedom, and fewer wars and conflicts around the world. Democratic and constitutional government, political and economic liberalism, and the rule of law in both domestic and international affairs were the legacy of the 19th century, it was believed, that would blossom and expand in the 20th century. Unfortunately, the era of classical liberalism, we now know, was at its end. The era of collectivism and the socialist-interventionist-redistributivist state was arriving.

In 1900, the British were fighting the Boers in South Africa (and introducing the first modern use of concentration camps). The American Army was brutally subjugating the Philippine Islanders to U. S. rule in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War (during which American forces behaved so violently that all news dispatches back to the States were either heavily censored or banned). And an international force of American, British, German, Austrian, French, Italian, and Japanese forces were crushing the Boxer Rebellion around Peking, China (indiscriminately killing perhaps as many as 25,000 Chinese in the process). Nevertheless, even though the century began with these conflicts around the world, seemingly no one imagined or predicted the degree of violence, mass murder, and totalitarian tyranny that has been experienced during the past ten decades. Only a handful of older classical liberals was warning of the dangers that would arise if socialism and collectivism were triumphant.

How many people, in fact, have been killed by government violence in the 20th century? Not deaths in wars and civil wars among military combatants, but mass murder of civilians and innocent victims with either the approval or planning of governments — the intentional killings of their own subjects and citizens or people under their political control? The answer is: 169,198,000. If the deaths of military combatants are added to this figure, governments have killed 203,000,000 in the 20th century.

The world population in 1991 is estimated to have been approximately 5,423,000,000. In 1991, Europe's population was about 502,000,000. The United States in 1990 had a population of about 249,000,000. This means that governments killed about 3.7 percent of the human race in this century, or an equivalent of over 40 percent of all the people in Europe, or a number equal to over 80 percent of all the people in the U.S.

For over ten years, University of Hawaii political science professor R. J. Rummel has been researching the lethal effects of government upon society. During this time he has published a series of bosoks based on his studies. These books include Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder since 1917 (1990), Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (1991), and China's Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder since 1900 (1991). These have detailed governmental mass murder in three of the leading totalitarian states in the 20th century. Now in his latest book, Death by Government, Professor Rummel summarizes government's deadly effect on the world in our century. He has supplied the statistics about global mass murder by the state.

In his new work, Professor Rummel focuses in detail on those governments around the world which have killed 1,000,000 or more people. In the companion volume, Statistics of Democide: Estimates, Sources, and Calculations on 20th Century Genocide and Mass Murder, he presents the evidence on all of this century's governmental mass murders, great and small — even those involving the killing of a "mere" 250,000 people here and 500,000 people there.

The megamurdering states of the 20th century have been: the U.S.S.R. (1917-1987), 61,911,000; Communist China (1949-1987), 35,236,000; Nazi Germany (1933-1945), 20,946,000; and Nationalist (or Kuomintang) China (1928-1949), 10,076,000. These are followed by the "lesser" megamurdering states: Japan (1936-1945), 5,964,000; Cambodia (1975-1979), 2,035,000; Turkey (1909-1918), 1,883,000; Vietnam (1945-1987), 1,678,000; North Korea (1948-1987), 1,663,000; Poland (1945-1948), 1,585,000; Pakistan (1958-1987), 1,503,000; Mexico (1900-1920), 1,417,000; Yugoslavia (1944-1987), 1,072,000; Czarist Russia (1900-1917), 1,066,000.

While the Soviet Union and Communist China have been the super mass-murdering states of the century, they have not been the most lethally dangerous, relative to the populations over which they have ruled. During the 70-year period of Soviet history analyzed by Professor Rummel, the state killed the equivalent of 29.64 percent of the U.S.S.R.'s population, while the Communist Chinese (because of the vastness of China's population) only killed, during the 38 years in his study, the equivalent of 4.49 percent of the people of China. The Nazis killed about 6.46 percent of the peoples under their control in Europe between 1933-1945. On the other hand, during the short four years of its rule in Cambodia, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge government killed about 31.25 percent of the entire Cambodian population.

Professor Rummel's book is not a mere counting of victims. Each of the chapters on one of these megamurdering governments is a historical narrative of the people, policies, and procedures for implementing mass murder. The most chilling aspect of his exposition is the directness and openness with which many of the participants in these killings have spoken of their deeds. For example, in 1915, during the Turkish massacre of Armenians, the American ambassador reported that the Turkish War Minister "treated the whole matter more or less casually; he could discuss the fate of a race in a parenthesis, and refer to the massacre of children as nonchalantly as we would speak of the weather." The ambassador recounted that this Turkish Minister requested the name of any Armenians who had taken out life insurance policies with American companies. "They are practically all dead now and have left no heirs to collect the money," the Turkish official said. "It of course all escheats to the State. The Government is the beneficiary now." And during the massacre of East Pakistanis by the West Pakistan government in 1971, one of the senior West Pakistani military officers said: "We are determined to cleanse East Pakistan once and for all . . . even if it means killing two million people and ruling the province as a colony for 30 years." And a West Pakistani captain stated: "We can kill anyone for anything. We are accountable to no one."

What has motivated governments and their followers and agents to commit murder on this scale against tens of millions of innocent, usually unarmed, victims — men, women and children, young and old? The leading motivations have been ideology (the making of a new socialist man), race (the purifying of or domination by a "superior" racial group), wealth (plundering the most prosperous for the benefit of a select group), or plain cruelty (the imposing of fear and terror to gain control over and obedience from others).

To cover all these motivations under one heading, Professor Rummel suggests the term "democide," from the Greek word demos (people) and the Latin word caedere (to kill). "Democide's necessary and sufficient meaning is the intentional government killing of an unarmed person or people," he says.

The lesson that Professor Rummel wishes to convey from his research is stated clearly and unequivocally by him:

Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. . . . The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects. The more constrained the power of governments, the more power is diffused, checked, and balanced, the less it will aggress on others and commit democide.

He argues that all the historical evidence shows that "as the arbitrary power of a regime increases, that is, as we move from democratic through authoritarian to totalitarian regimes, the amount of killing jumps by huge multiples. . . . The empirical and theoretical conclusion is this: The way to end war and virtually eliminate democide appears to be through restricting and checking Power, i.e., through fostering democratic freedom, " by which Professor Rummel means individual liberty; limited, constitutional government; and social tolerance of difference and diversity among the peoples in a society.

Unless this lesson is learned, the 21st century could be as politically dangerous and lethal as the one that is just ending.

Boris Celser is a Canadian. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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Posted by Paul Rotenberg, December 22, 2009.

A variation of this is on the internet, author unknown.

I though you would appreciate this.


The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Security levels may soon be raised, yet again, to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

The Scots raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards" They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line in the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

It's not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout loudly and excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies, just in case.

And in the southern hemisphere...

New Zealand has also raised its security levels — from "baaa" to "BAAAA!". Due to continuing defense cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister's bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is "Shit, I hope Australia will come and rescue us".

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, mate". Three more escalation levels remain: "Crikey!', "I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend" and "The barbie is cancelled". So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at pdr@rogers.com

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Posted by Hana Levi Julian, December 21, 2009.

The remains of a dwelling from the last days of the Second Temple have been uncovered in the heart of the city of Nazareth. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) revealed the remains of the ancient residential area in the northern Israeli Arab city for the first time to reporters on Monday.

The structure was exposed during a small-scale excavation that was carried out on a nearby church property in light of municipal plans to build in the area.

Archaeologists uncovered in the excavation a large broad wall dating to the Mamluk period (15th century CE) that was built on top of, and "utilizing" the walls of, an ancient building. This earlier building consisted of two rooms and a courtyard which contained a rock-hewn cistern for rainwater. Few artifacts were recovered from inside the building, most of which included fragments of pottery vessels from the early Roman period (1st and 2nd centuries CE).

Proof of a Jewish presence was found in several fragments of chalk (stone) vessels that were discovered. Such vessels were only used by Jews during this period, because such vessels were not susceptible to becoming ritually impure.

A hewn pit, whose entrance was apparently camouflaged, was also exposed. According to IAA exacavation director Yardenna Alexandre, the pit may have been prepared by the local Jews "to protect themselves during the Great Revolt against the Romans in 67 CE."

The nearby church itself was built in 1969 on the spot the Catholic faith identifies with the house of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and rests on the remains of three earlier churches, the oldest of which is ascribed to the Byzantine period (4th century CE).

"The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period," observed Alexandre. "From the few written sources that exist, we know that in the first century CE, Nazareth was a small Jewish village located inside a valley. Up to now, a number of tombs... were found in Nazareth, but no settlement remains have been discovered that were attributed to this period."

The "Association Mary of Nazareth" intends to conserve and present the remains of the newly discovered house inside the building planned for the International Marian Center of Nazareth, the city where Jesus and his family lived during the period the discovered dwelling stood.

Hana Julian writes for Arutz-7 (www.Israelnn.com), where this article appeared.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 21, 2009.


In an earlier piece on terrorism, I stated that a reader contradicted himself.

A reader disagreed: "Your reader's two comments are not contradictory. The second comment happens to be false, but were it true it would be consistent with the first. You should not preach the need for logic if you do not command it yourself. Nor are you in command of the facts, as you often demonstrate. In this piece, you falsely allege that Husseini was a Nazi leader, that there was no Zionist terror in Deir Yassin, and that Israel has made many peace offers but been rebuffed. You also ignore crucial context. for example, you write for perspective that 'Mideastern and other Muslim terrorists are wreaking havoc all over the world,' in order to pretend Palestinian terrorism is unrelated to rational causes, but ignore the far deadlier democide and mass terror spread by Europeans for the last 500+ years, which is at least as relevant. then you call Egypt's attack in 1948 terrorist while ignoring Israel's genocidal terrorism that preceded it. You've got a ways to go before you're sensible." (I corrected spelling. Please use spell-check and capitalize proper names.)

LOGIC: I reviewed my article and the reader's disagreement. The article explained what was self-contradictory, but the reader's disagreement, above, does not. He just asserts there was no contradiction, fails to show any logic, and chides me for not having a command of logic. Judge for yourselves.

HAJ HUSSEINI, NAZI LEADER: Of course Grand Mufti Husseini was a Nazi leader! Does the reader think that only Germans qualify? There were Nazi parties in Holland and other countries outside of Germany. The SS was turned into a Nazi foreign legion. Husseini organized two divisions of Bosnian Muslims to exterminate Jews. Quite the effective Nazi leader. He also spent the war years working with Hitler in Berlin, where he helped influence Hitler to not spare Jewish children. He helped inject Nazi racism into Islamic anti-Semitism. He organized a pro-Axis coup in Iraq. What information has the reader to the contrary?

DEIR YASSIN: As compared with the usual simplistic and sweeping condemnation of Israelis, I found an interlocking set of facts that refute accusations of terrorism by Israelis.


The Knesset Law Committee has postponed until next week a debate on a bill that would incorporate into the Basic Law prohibitions against Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza from automatically becoming Israeli citizens by marrying Arab Israelis." There already is a non-Basic law to that end, which the Supreme Court enforces but indicates dissatisfaction with it over aspects of equality. The Supreme Court does not overturn Basic Law.

The bill's sponsor, MK Rotem, said that the country has a right to keep itself a Jewish state and to decide who may join it.

Arab and Far Left Jewish MKs called the bill racist. MK Rotem replied, "I am not preventing marriages. I only am preventing the entry into Israel of those who do not recognize Israel as a Jewish State."
(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/21).

We Americans know of marriages arranged for bringing in immigrants. The same scheme is known to exist among Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.

The bill might be more palatable and effective if broader, barring immigration from areas in a de jure or de facto state of war with Israel. Also, masses of immigration by people of another culture, even not hostile, into a country of limited absorptive capacity for one's own people, could end Jewish sovereignty and the Jewish nationality's ability to pursue its own destiny.

How sincere are the cries of racism? Many Muslim states declare themselves Arab and Islam. The Palestinian Authority and Jordan bar Jewish immigration and ban land sales to Jews. I have not heard criticism of that discrimination by Israeli Arab and far leftist Jews or other anti-Zionists. If anyone hears of some, please bring it to our attention. Otherwise, I conclude that that criticism of Israeli policy toward the Arabs, like the other such criticism of Israel, is not based upon principle, just an excuse to bash Zionism.


A December poll by the Israel Project: 61% of Americans feel that if the U.S. strikes Iranian nuclear facilities, and Iran retaliates against Israel, the U.S. should help defend Israel.

How many Americans favor a strike by the U.S. and its allies [which would include Israel] against Iranian nuclear facilities if that is what it would take to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? 51%. 48% oppose.

  • "Other poll findings: More than two-thirds of Americans — 68% — support the United States coming to Israel's military defense if Iran uses Hamas and Hezbollah to strike Israel, and Israel then attacks Iran in response."

  • "78% of Americans agree with the statement that 'even with all the problems America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.'"

  • "While Americans overwhelmingly continue to favor diplomacy and sanctions against Iran, most think there is little (27%) or hardly any chance (34%) that multinational negotiations and diplomacy will succeed."
  • In May, a poll found that only 29% of Americans favored a U.S. strike if diplomacy fails to stop Iranian development of nuclear weapons; 69% opposed.

    Zionist Organization of America's National President Morton A. Klein said, "The results in this poll show the American public to possess an increasingly realistic sense of the looming danger posed to America, Israel and the democratic world generally by an Iranian regime intent on obtaining nuclear weapons." (From a 12/21 press release by ZOA, headquartered in New York and of which I am a member.)

    The wording of the quoted question seems fair; it is not a leading question.

    The poll was on policy and not politics, but it would be interesting to know what Americans would feel about President Obama if he stays on present course, which seems to be letting Iran develop nuclear weapons.

    Israel asked the U.S. not for troops, just not to obstruct its self-defense. It knows the U.S. has more resources for raiding Iran's nuclear facilities, but is prepared to defend the U.S. from an Iranian nuclear threat, as it did for other nuclear threats.


    The Israel Law Center is suing to force its government to try Hamas members not just as ordinary criminals but as war criminals. The Center finds the Attorney-General derelict in his duty to have done so, for Israeli law requires it. The murderers whom the government may release would not get released if convicted of war crimes.

    Hamas gunmen. No longer just rifles. (A.P./Nasser Ishtayeh)

    The Center contends that by omitting war crimes trials, the government left itself open to accusations of war crimes as by the Goldstone Commission. The Center did not explain the connection (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/21).


    Hassan Abu Libdeh, Min. of Economy for the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) said that next year will be the last year that the P.A. allows in any of the $500 million worth of goods sold to its people by Jews in Judea-Samaria. It also is discouraging Arabs from doing construction work in Jewish communities there.

    Arab clans worry about the loss of jobs for them, already started by the freeze
    (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/21).

    Interesting that while PM Netanyahu tries to help the P.A. economy, the P.A. tries to harm the Israeli economy. Will he reconsider? Not for now, as he is in idealist/appeasement mode. After all, Israel raised no objection when the P.A. tried to sponsor Arab settlement in or surrounding Jewish areas, including Jerusalem, while making it a capital crime for Arabs to sell land to Jews in the Territories and in Israel.

    At one time, Israel held the Territories under military rule. Then it let the Arabs elect their towns' mayors. Although the mayors were anti-Israel, Israel went on to grant autonomy for a Palestinian Authority that it let Arafat take over and oppress and turn into a terrorist base. He and successor have used that autonomy to make war and to struggle against Israel. Israeli leaders were shortsighted, plan-less.

    How ironic that the Israeli governments, unable to foresee and forestall, just to react and not according to any plan, are accused of all sorts of anti-Arab schemes!

    In a war of attrition, which is what the P.A. wages when conditions are ripe, Israel took a security risk in letting Palestinian Arab workers enter Israel and the Jewish communities. Most work, but a few could spy or be terrorists pretending to seek jobs.

    It seems strange to boycott Jews for being in their own homeland.


    The New York Times reports that the U.S. assisted Yemen, at Yemeni government request, in its defense from al-Qaida by firing at suspected Al-Qaida training camps and hide-outs. Yemen denies the story. Witnesses confirm the raids but denied the targets were al-Qaida. The toll was disputed, too.

    The U.S. had pressed Yemen to do more against terrorism (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/20).

    The Yemeni regime can't help opposing terrorists trying to take it over. Will those Arabs and Pakistanis whose ideology makes youths more readily become terrorists realize that they cannot keep the resulting strife outside of their own countries?

    Sound familiar: questions about who authorized, what was struck, and how many died? Here we go, again, now in Yemen!

    I hope that the U.S. becomes more skilled at verifying whether suspected targets really are enemy ones and whether terrorists still are there right before the raid. Wasn't it President Clinton who had the wrong site bombed?


    Western intelligence agencies tipped off Turkey, which foiled six Hizbullah plots against Israeli facilities in Turkey and Turkish Jews. The Turkish media reported that these plots were well organized by Iranian and Syrian intelligence. Israel had been warning Lebanon and Hizbullah against such terrorism. Hizbullah was seeking revenge for the assassination of one of its commanders, which it blamed on Israel (www.imra.org.il, 12/20) without mentioning any evidence.

    Hizbullah has other enemies. One shouldn't bomb places without evidence. One shouldn't bomb innocent people. I imagine that Turks do not want their buildings blown up because foreign Islamists have a grudge against certain non-believers.


    I have focused on the "lawfare" aspect of "libel tourism" in Britain. The problem goes beyond lawsuits meant to intimidate opponents of jihad and of Holocaust denial. Here are some examples of how Britain's putting the onus on defendants accused of libel, and of not having truth as a sufficient defense against harming someone's reputation, causes Britain to attract lawsuits from all over.

    "For example, a Boston company sued a British cardiologist in London for criticism he made at a U.S. conference about the clinical trials of a device used in heart surgery. An article posted about the criticism was posted on an American medical news site accessible from England." The suit could bankrupt the cardiologist.

    An Icelandic businessman sued an Icelandic academic for posting on the University of Iceland web site. He sued in Britain.

    A Ukrainian business sued in London a Ukrainian site.

    "A Tunisian successfully used English courts to sue an Arabic-language television network based in Dubai that could be viewed via satellite in Britain." You get the idea.

    Reform is being considered. One proposal is to restrict such suits to instances in which at least 10% of the readers are in Britain (L. Gordon Krovitz, Wall St. Journal, 12/21, Op.-Ed.).

    In other words, Britain should not pay for its courts so that foreigners can shake down or stifle foreigners or even British citizens. The law should not be a club for injustice.

    Why not just make truth a full defense? Let the plaintiff have to prove falsity!

    In the U.S., it can be too difficult to sue for redress. Plaintiffs have to prove not only falsity, but intentional falsity. Seldom can one prove intent to defame.

    Ariel Sharon once sued an American magazine for having accused him of intentionally letting the Lebanese Phalangist militia massacre several hundred Palestinian Arabs. The case brought out the fact that the magazine knowingly relied totally upon a reporter well-known for fabrication. They jury verdict favored Sharon, but under U.S. law, requiring proof of intent and not just negligence, it could not award him stiff damages.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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    Posted by Barry Rubin, December 22, 2009.

    Turkey used to be a secular state striving for modernization and a place in the Western world. That dream is turning into a nightmare. The AKP regime, despite its pretense of being a center-right, family values, good government party, is moving Turkey toward Islamism. Washington and the West in general doesn't seem to notice though horrified Turkish secularists and liberals are yelling for help.

    Look at the photos below of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his wife arriving in Washington to meet the Obamas. It's not so much that his wife, Ermine, is wearing a hijab (in Turkey called a turban) but look at her slumped over and self-effacing like a slave. I'm of no importance, is what her posture seems to say. Compare her abject stance to the three others in the picture standing tall and proud. In the first photo her sleeves are so long to conceal her hands that she can't even control them. Her head is slumped in a pose conveying submissiveness and shame at being a woman. And then in the fourth photo, she slinks off, like a servant who has been dismissed.

    The sequence seems to symbollize the fate stalking Turkish woman, subverting the equality envisioned under the Ataturk republic to a status of servility and second-class citizenship. This holds true in much of the Muslim-majority countries and it is getting worse — Egypt and Iraq come to mind — not better.

    Yet the Obamas don't even notice what's going on before their eyes. To them, Turkey is the very model of a moderate Muslim democracy, a good model to be encouraged rather than a NATO ally slipping steadily into the Iranian-Syrian alliance.

    Take a look at those photos below and shiver.

    But for sheer insanity there's this New York Times article. It celebrates the growing Turkish-Syrian alignment, claiming that this means Syria is becoming more moderate! The author actually states:

    "For some [in Syria], the new closeness with secular, moderate Turkey represents a move away from Syria's controversial alliance with Iran. For others, it suggests an embrace of Turkey's more open, cosmopolitan society. And for many — including Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad — it conjures different dreams of a revitalized regional economy, less vulnerable to Western sanctions or pressure."

    Let me explain something. When a former ally joins your enemies you don't cheer about how your enemy is becoming your friend. Why should Turkey-Syria friendship mean Syria-Iran coolness, especially when Turkey and Iran are acting like great buddies? This article is just a pitiful parroting of Syrian disinformation. Shameful.

    It isn't that Syria is aping a moderate pro-West Turkey but Turkey imitating an Islamist Iran. Want to see where Turkey is headed? Look at the photos below:

    Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com This article is archived at
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/12/ obamas-watch-but-dont-see-tragic-fate.html

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    Posted by David Bedein, December 21, 2009.

    Hannah Rosenthal, appointed last week as the United States State Department's official envoy to combat anti-Semitism, delivered an address on Wednesday to more than 500 people who participated in the Jerusalem-based Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.

    Ms. Rosenthal opened her address by invoking her own father, who was the only member of his family to live through the ordeal of the Nazi concentration camps and then went on to delineate her job description.

    Ms. Rosenthal said that she has been delegated to create a policy of vigilance against anti-Semitism and to coordinate her task assignment with all diplomatic missions of the United States throughout the world. She stated that she would focus a special effort to monitor expressions of anti-Semitism at the United Nations, noting that Israel is being held to a double standard.

    Ms. Rosenthal's passionate speech was widely acclaimed and quoted in the Israeli media.

    The Bulletin asked Ms. Rosenthal after her speech about whether she would indeed apply her principled statement to combat the virulent antisemitism that emanates from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA), an entity which has received wide support from the American foreign policy establishment. Ms. Rosenthal responded that her mandate was global and would be applied everywhere.

    Asked specifically about whether she would take on the anti-Semitism of the Palestinian Authority, Ms. Rosenthal said that she would consider the question. In that context, The Bulletin dispatched a letter to Ms. Rosenthal's office, asking for a policy statement concerning official Palestinian Authority anti-Semitism.

    Previous administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush had made it official policy to ignore official Palestinian Authority anti-Semitism that emanates from the media, the new constitution and the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority.

    At the Annapolis Summit in Nov. 2007, hosted by President Bush, The Bulletin asked representatives of the State Department and White House as to whether the U.S. would ask the PA to put an end to official anti-Semitic policies in PA education, PA media and the PA public domain. The answer was "no."

    Since Ms. Rosenthal invoked her father as an inspiration in her new task assignment, it will be instructive to see how she copes with the fact that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warmly receive Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, while overlooking the fact that Mr. Abbas remains one of the world's greatest holocaust deniers.

    Mr. Abbas wrote a Ph.D. thesis entitled "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism" which describes Nazi persecution of the Jews as a "Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed."

    Mr. Abbas' Ph.D. is now widely used as a prime text in Palestinian Authority schools and Palestinian Authority Universities.

    David Bedein is Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency. (http://Israelbehindthenews.com). He is president of Center for Near East Policy Research. Contact him by email at media@actcom.co.il

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    Posted by David Meir-Levi, December 21, 2009.

    So the reality seems to be that back in the late 1990's, a few Israeli doctors at one site secretly harvested organs [minor organs such as corneas, skin from dead Israelis, mostly Jewish and a few Arabs] from various deceased in order to have a supply of organs for transplants in to patients who needed them. The motive for this illegal (and certainly quite perilous, since it opens the doctors and the entire institution to massive law suits from families of the deceased whose organs were harvested, and to legal action from their superiors) activity seems to have been the very low level of organ donation in Israel due to Jewish traditional opposition to organ harvesting and transplanting. When this activity was discovered and came to the attention of medical and judicial authorities in Israel, the practise was stopped.

    No one was murdered for these organs.

    No Palestinians, living or dead, were singled out as victims of this activity.

    No organs were sold on the international market.

    The organs were used exclusively to help other people who needed them.

    But the Palestinian propaganda machinery exploits this reality to recycle a new iteration of the age-old blood libel.

    The Palestinian accusation that the Israeli military intentionally kills Palestinian children in order to harvest their organs for "spare parts" for Israelis needing operations first surfaced in 2001 shortly after the intifada broke out. Ghoulisn pictures of children's corpses sewn up with crude stitching (akin to the sort of stuff one sees in a Frankenstein horror flick) appeared in Arab newspapers. But the west did not pick up on it. So the propaganda machinery of the Palestinian Authority dropped the accusation.

    Then following the Israeli military operation in Gaza in 2008, the accusation suddenly re-appeared in Aftenbladet, a popular Swedish newspaper. While pleading the need for "free speech," the editor admitted that his reporter had confessed that there was absolutely no evidence to support this accusation, which was based solely upon some statements made by several Palestinians in Gaza. Nor had the reporter attempted in any way to validate the claims of these Palestinian informants.

    Yet the very first on the list of Journalistic ethics is: "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible."
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ reflections-on-the-new-anti-semitism/ for more on Aftenblat).
    (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp, and see http://pajamasmedia.com Neither the reporter nor the editor at Aftenbladet seemed to be aware of, or care about, this particular bit of journalistic ethics.

    Although it relegates the rebuttal of this new blood-libel accusation to the last paragraph in its article (The bodies belonged to people who died from various causes, including diseases, accidents and Israeli-Palestinian violence, but there has been no evidence to back up the claim in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians for their organs.") the San Francisco Chronicle does handle the issue with even-handed accuracy in today's article (see below).

    For further details of the Israeli investigation in to the illegal organ harvesting, See the article below.

    But what I believe is most important to point out is the fact that this new 'blood libel" is another excellent example of how the Palestinian Authority propaganda machinery seeks assiduously any opportunity to spread defamation and hate-inspiring accusations against Israel, and finds welcoming supporters willing to spread the lies under the legitimizing canopy of "news".

    I think that what we must conclude from this newest piece of demonization is:

    1. They do not want peace: The endless litany of lies, of hate speech and hate preach and hate teach, are all strong evidence that the Palestinan Authority does not want peace, does not want reconciliation, does not want cooperation or co-existence with Israel. They consistently use the Goebbelian tactic of serial lies, in a broad and complex strategy of deceit, to demonize Israel to the Arab world, the Muslim world, and to the West.

    2. They must invent lies because reality and veracity support Israel: There is only one reason why people lie. All people lie, and all people lie for the same reason. Throughout all of world history and across the entire globe, people lie only for one reason: the truth does not support their goals. When we recognize that the Palestinian Authority relies upon an endless and relentless tactic of serial lying, we can conclude that the truth supports Israel. The truth undermines the image that the Palestinian leadership tries to present. If Israel were truly demonic, they would not need to make this stuff up.

    3. Their stategy of serial lying is welcomed by some in the West: that a western newspaper editor chose to publish as news this new iteration of the blood libel of Israeli organ theft (from innocent palestinian children murdered by IDF operatives for the purpose of harvesting their organs) even while admitting that there was no evidence to support the story tells us that upper tier leaders of mainstream media are willing to ignore or compromise journalistic ethics in order to be supportive of the palestinian narrative lies. Why this is the case is unclear, but whether it is an editor's Jew-hatred, or pressures on the publication from advertisers, or bribery (see last article below, from Saudi newspaper), or intimidation, or offers of access or denial thereof.....whatever the motive, some of mainstream media is in league with the enemies of Israel.

    4. Even with convincing rebuttals, the damage is done: already in the Arab world the accusation of organ theft is making the rounds....with gory photos (not of the real corpses, but bloody props) which will surely not fail to incite to greater hatred of Israel. Few if any will read the rebuttals, and fewer still will draw the conclusions noted above (#s 1-3). We will probably see more of these accusations, and select quotes from Aftgenbladet and this SF Chron article, in anti-Jewish and anti-Israel media and websites. By its complicity in Arab anti-Jewish hate-mongering, Aftenbladet and those who will follow and build upon the blood libel, are partners in the Arab endeavour to destroy Israel.
    David ML

    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

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Susana K-M, December 21, 2009.
    This comes from The Israel Project. Contact Marchus Sheff at marcuss@theisraelproject.org and Leah Soibel at leahs@theisraelproject.org.

    Israel Reiterates Hard Line on Illegal Organ Trafficking Following Revelations of Decade-old Case

    In response to an Associated Press report that an Israeli forensics specialist a decade ago was removing organs from deceased Israeli soldiers and civilians as well as Palestinians without their families' permission, the Israeli Ministry of Health on Monday (Dec. 21) issued a statement underscoring that it has made such practices illegal.[1]

    The ministry said that the Segelson Commission, established in 2001, investigated the matter and forbade organ removal from deceased persons without family permission. This practice has been discontinued and has not occurred since the issue came to light, officials said.[2]

    Organs from deceased persons were removed at the Abu Kabir forensic institute to treat other patients; they were not sold or trafficked.[3]

    Relatives of Israeli soldiers and civilians as well as Palestinian families made formal complaints against Abu Kabir in 2004. The bodies were those of Israelis and Palestinians who had died due to a variety of reasons such as disease, accidents and through Israeli-Palestinian violence.[4] The doctor responsible for the removal of organs at the institute was dismissed from his position as director.[5]

    A number of organ trafficking cases have arisen in Israel in recent years, prompting the government to tighten legislation on the issue, break up organ trafficking rings and prosecute those involved both directly and indirectly.

    "This reprinting of old information must not be allowed to become the occasion for mischief, blasphemous lies or distortions," Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement released Monday. Media interviews surrounding the reports "provided no evidence to indicate that any Palestinian was killed to 'harvest organs.' Such accusations can inflame the region, incite violence and undermine the chances of peace."

    In March 2008, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) passed the Organ Donation Law, forbidding trafficking and selling organs whether in Israel or outside of the country. The law also forbids anyone from brokering such deals or acting in any way as an intermediary for organ sales.[6]

    According to the law, "anyone who receives or gives compensation for an organ from a person not his relative, or a broker who gives or receives, or a physician who performs such a transplant will be sentenced to six months in prison or a financial penalty..." The law applies to all cases — whether within Israel or abroad. [7]

    The law won the backing of Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar and other major rabbinical authorities.[8] The Law of Brain Death, passed at the same time, establishes brain death as a standard for defining the death of a potential donor.[9] According to that law, brain death can only be declared after certain criteria are met and with authorization from at least two senior doctors — neither of them involved in the patient's treatment or organ transplantation.[10]

    But transplants in Israel remain a problem because of Jewish religious restrictions, which prohibit the needless mutilation of corpses, benefitting from a corpse or delaying burial. However, Judaism also teaches the principle of pikuach nefesh, or saving a life — one of the religion's most important commandments.[11]

    Israel has been working to increase organ donation among its citizens. In 1993, the National Organ Transplant Center was established to recruit and match potential donors with those in need of organ transplants. As of June 2002, about 130,000 Israelis had signed up for the program; as a result, between 2000 and 2002, the number of donors increased from 300 Israelis signing donor cards monthly to 3,500 per month in 2002.[12]

    Other, independent efforts by Jews and Israelis also have helped encourage Israelis to become organ donors. One of them, the Halachic (Jewish law) Organ Donor Society (www.hods.org) was founded in 1991 to increase the number of organ donations among Jews in Israel and beyond. The nonprofit group educates about the importance of organ donation and addresses Jewish law and medical issues related to organ donation.[13] In 1991, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis — the Rabbinical Council of America — endorsed organ donation from brain-dead patients.[14]

    Despite the laws and efforts to increase organ donation, in December 2007, two Israeli men from the city of Haifa were convicted of aiding and abetting human trafficking to harvest organs. The two men, John Allan (formerly Mohammad Gheit) and Hassan Zakhalka, received sentences of four years and 20 months respectively. [15]

    In August 2008, Michael Zis, an Israeli surgeon who had been arrested in Ukraine for performing illegal organ transplants, was extradited from Ukraine to Israel. The man was part of the same organ trafficking ring as Allan and Zakhalka.[16]

    "Given that Israel has one of the lowest organ donor consent rates in the Western world, there is and always has been a severe shortage of organ donation in the country," said Robert Berman, founder and director of the Halachic Organ Donor Society. "It is in this context that [the forensic specialist] inappropriately removed body parts from corpses, such as heart valves, in order to save ailing patients, Arabs and Jews alike. Recent Israeli legislation by the Knesset and enforcement by the Ministry of Health has prevented such actions from reoccurring."

    "As inappropriate as the specialist's behavior was, there are two important points to note in this story. First, organs were taken from Jews and Palestinian alike. Palestinians were not singled out. Second, no one was murdered for their organs. These body parts were taken from cadavers. Both of these critical points indicate that this sorrowful event does not lend any credibility to the recently published article in Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper claiming that Israeli soldiers were killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs."[17]

    In November 2009, two Jerusalem residents, Sammy Shem-Tov and Dmitry Orenstein, were arrested for allegedly mediating between buyers and sellers of kidneys.[18]

    Experts available for interviews

    In Israel

    Robby Berman
    Founder & Director, Halachic Organ Donor Society
    Tel.: 972-052-527-5284 (Israel cell); 646-645-4637 (U.S. cell); 212-213-5087 (office)
    E-mail: robbyberman@hods.org

    Gadi Ben Dror
    Chairman, ADI — Israel's National Transplant and Organ Donation Center
    Tel.: 972-50-252-2755
    E-mail: gadi@agudatadi.org.il

    Tamar Ashkenazi
    Director, ADI — Israel's National Transplant and Organ Donation Center
    Tel.: 972-3-695-7369
    E-mail: a_tamar@netvision.net.il

    Prof. Yonatan Halevy
    Director General, Sharei Zedek Medical Center
    Tel.: 972-2-655-5493
    E-mail: halevy@szmc.org.il

    United States

    Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
    Founder & President, The Israel Project
    Tel: 202-857-6657
    E-mail: jenniferm@theisraelproject.org

    Malcolm Hoenlein
    Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
    Tel: 212-318-6111

    Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Naomi Ragen, December 21, 2009.

    This was written by Rachel Ehrenfeld. It appeared yesterday in Opinion Europe. Ms. Ehrenfeld is the director of the American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute and the author of several books on terror financing.

    The U.S. Congress is considering legislation to protect American writers from the threat of suppressive libel lawsuits in the U.K.


    The recent movement to change British libel laws to allow for greater freedom of expression has its origins in New York City and New York State. I am a New York-based scholar specializing in research on terror financing and economic warfare. In my book, "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed-and How To Stop It," I alleged that Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz funded al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorists organizations through his charitable fronts.

    In 2005, Mr. Mahfouz sued me for libel in London, where my book had never been published or marketed. He chose London due to its antiquated libel laws, which are plaintiff-friendly. As recently noted by New York Times correspondent Sara Lyall, London is known as the "Libel Mecca" of the world, and Mr. Mahfouz was the most notorious abuser of the British system. A one-man wrecking crew of Americans' free speech rights, Mr. Mahfouz exploited British libel laws and courts, threatening or suing more than 40 writers and publishers, including many Americans. These cases were never tried on the merits. Mr. Mahfouz's litigiousness and deep pockets helped to silence and intimidate Americans and others who tried to expose his terrorist connections.

    Except for me.

    I refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the British courts, asserting my rights as a U.S. citizen. Unimpressed, the British judge rendered a default judgment in favor of Mr. Mahfouz. I was ordered to pay the Saudi more than $225,000, publish apologies in major international newspapers, and destroy all copies of my book internationally.

    I sued in New York to prevent enforcement of the British judgment in the United States, petitioning the court to declare that the foreign judgment violated my First Amendment rights and was therefore unenforceable.

    When the New York courts ruled that they could not assert jurisdiction over Mr. Mahfouz, New York legislators, led by Assemblyman Rory Lancman (a Democrat) and Dean Skelos (a Republican), introduced the Libel Terrorism Protection Act (aka "Rachel's Law"). The law, passed in April 2008, protects New York-based publishers and writers from the enforcement of foreign libel judgments obtained in jurisdictions lacking First Amendment-level protections for freedom of expression. Since then, California, Florida and Illinois have passed similar laws.

    But these laws provide only patchwork protection, leaving U.S. writers in 46 other states vulnerable to repressive foreign libel laws. Even the recent movement to change British libel laws will not remove the Sword of Damocles dangling over American academicians, reporters, producers, scientists, and everyone who publishes in print and on the Internet. The threat emanates not only from Britain, but from many other countries as well. It extends to an infinite number of issues, including national security, the travel industry, and science and medicine.

    Two recent cases demonstrate the urgent need for the enactment of national protection against suppressive foreign libel suits.

    Joseph Sharkey, a New Jersey-based freelance travel journalist, is being sued in Brazil for "insulting the dignity" of the nation in the aftermath of a lethal plane crash that he and few others survived. Mr. Sharkey, who criticized Brazil's incompetent air control on his blog, was sued for defamation, and the Brazilian government is moving to criminalize his case.

    In Toronto, Canada, Pennsylvania-based writer Paul L. Williams is being sued for libel because he revealed that al Qaeda members who attended the McMaster's College of Engineering in Hamilton, Ontario, apparently left the school in 2004 with 180 pounds of nuclear waste. Those al Qaeda members have been designated as terrorists by the United States, and each has a $5 million bounty on his head. Yet McMaster's University is suing Mr. Williams for libel. His trial is scheduled for April.

    Messrs. Sharkey and Williams and all Americans can be protected from such frivolous foreign libel suits by the Free Speech Protection Act 2009, now pending in Congress. The bill (S. 449), proposed by Senators Arlen Specter and Joseph Lieberman, and co-sponsored by Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden, stems from New York's Rachel's Law, and has sharper teeth. It prevents the enforcement of foreign libel judgments, providing for legal expenses and-possibly-for damages.

    As Mr. Sharkey's and Mr. Williams' cases show, The Free Speech Protection Act is urgently needed. Since the bill enjoys wide bipartisan support and requires no budgetary allocations, there is no reason for delay.

    Now that the British are considering reforming their libel laws to include protection similar to American laws, the U.S. should continue to lead the world in the protection of freedom of expression.

    Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

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    Posted by Paul Lademain, December 21, 2009.

    There are many reasons why bargaining with the arabs who call themselves "palestinians" must be stopped. They have no right to bargain about anything. Israel must raise new leadership; leaders who are willing and intellectually able to enforce international laws and treaties that define Israel's boundaries. These boundaries were set in the Twenties and cannot and may not, be abrogated. Not even by the UK. (Which might explain the wily and dishonest propaganda ploys engaged in by the British Foreign Office operatives in order to divert Israel's uneducated politicians away from history and the body of international law set in place on behalf of Jewish Palestine during the Twenties. As noted by Prof. Grief, Lord Curzon referred to these laws and the treaty as the "Jewish Magna Carta."For the past three decades, Israel's naive or corrupt or fearful leadership has engaged in ultra vires acts which must and can be set aside at any time. The time for doing so is NOW! Before Nettie and his fat and soft colleague, Ehud Barak, further piece away additional remnants of "Jewish Palestine".

    Every Jew and every supporter of Israel must study Prof. Howard Grief's magnum opus: "The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law",

    Every Jew should be forced to memorize ...

    ... the laws described as "Israel's Magna Carta" and then they must bestir themselves to remove Israel's "despotic managers" who ignore the legal basis for Jews to have "a room of their own." If Jews understood the law and the powers it bestows upon Jewish Palestine (the remnants of which is now known as 'Israel') they would stop whimpering to Islamics and begging to be "recognized" by them. The law, below, demands of Jews to reclaim ALL their lands. Including most of Jordan. We say: Be not afraid! Whatever foolish decisions made by Israel's past leadership can be undone (for instance, by applying the principles of 'ultra vires') and accomplishing this requires a new leadership by strong people who will not bend to bribery, bullying, or threats ... and who dare to be daring.

    This body of law, below, is circulating amongst the Christians for Zion (UCI and CAFI) and therefor we say there is no justification, nor can there be any excuse, for the irrational activities of the Peres and Barak cliques who feign ignorance of what Lord Curzon declared to be the Magna Carta of the Jewish People. The oil-enriched arabs have been led to believe by the willfully blind and oil-idolizing US State Dept. that the Jewish Magna Carta doesn't exist.

    Worse still, the Islamics are eager to believe that Barak and all other fat and soft Jews (Ehud Barak comes to mind) who ignore the Jewish Magna Carta are weaklings trembling with fear that they might have to tear their manicured cuticles actually fighting to repel the onslaught of arab squatters who were allowed into Israel by the nouveau riche class (they being Rabin, Shimon Peres, Barak and Sharon, who needed cheap labor.)

    To quote from William Mehlman's review of "The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law" by Howard Grief.

    "Rooted in the premise that the best antidote to a myriad of small and medium sized fabrications is the exposure of the whole cloth from which they've been woven, The Legal Foundation lays bare two dominant myths that have shaped popular perspectives on Israel. The first is the fallacy that Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel was the joint product of the 1947 United Nations Partition and the May 15th, 1948 termination of the British Mandate for Palestine. In fact, as Grief points out, Jewish sovereignty in Palestine had been validated under international law 28 years earlier. "The legal title of the Jewish People to the mandated territory of Palestine in all of its historical parts," he informs us, was first recognized on April 24, 1920 when the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council (Britain, France, Italy and Japan), meeting in San Remo, Italy, "converted the 1917 'Balfour Declaration' into a binding legal document."
    Read the full review here.

    Read the book! Open your eyes and stiffen your backs. Hitler bombed London after Neville Chamberlain "made nice" and the Islamics most assuredly will do the same to Israel, regardless of any "bargain or agreement." The time has come to reject the notions advanced by Barack Hussein Obama and Ehud Barak and their wily abettors. It's not that they don't understand the damage they're doing. They do. But they just don't care.

    So read Prof. Grief's book and get cracking!

    Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 21, 2009.


    A reader commented, "Your recitation of the facts is also nonsense. The Golan was captured in a war that Israel initiated by attacking Syria. The West Bank was conquered by Israel in a war in which Jordan had a defensive treaty with Egypt, which was attacked by Israel. You know why thinking people despise Zionists? In large part because of the nonstop garbage that they keep spewing."

    Israel suffered three major wars in 1947, 1967, and 1973, and several minor ones. It started losing the first and third ones, and was widely expected to lose the first and second ones.

    I remember the Six-Day War of 1967. I don't have to read books about it for the basics, though I have for more details and perspective, and now am forgetting minor aspects. In June, 1967, I was the second Jew hired by Morgan Guaranty, the first one also being a systems analyst. Previously, one needed a recommendation from one's priest, to apply.

    The prelude to the war started our apprehension. Egypt's leader, Nasser was expansionist, charismatic, and organized Arab states into an alliance whose purpose was described as the destruction of Israel and to drive the Jews into the sea. Considering the preponderance of Arab forces, their goal seemed feasible.

    Nasser called on his allies to mobilize at the border Obviously this was an offensive alliance, contrary to that reader's comment. Indeed, the Arab declarations amounted to a declaration of war. That point usually is not addressed, but it seems to me that that was the start of the war.

    Usually, the mobilization of Arab armies at the border of Israel is considered the first act of the 1967 war. We in New York read the reports and saw newspaper maps of the encirclement of Israel. We heard of enemy forces advancing from further out, probably from Morocco. We wondered whether they would get there in time to participate.

    Equally an act of war was Egypt's imposing a blockade on Israel's port, Eilat. Since actual shooting had not started, it is clear that Egypt was the aggressor.

    Another act of war and signaling of intent was Nasser's demand that the UN peacekeepers evacuate from the Sinai, where they had been stationed between Egypt and Israel, in order to prevent a war. Most of my sources criticize UN Secretary-General U Thant for meekly complying, but the huge Egyptian Army was already upon his scanty force, leaving him little choice. My critics describe Israel as a violator of UN Resolutions, not explaining which ones and how, but fail to describe the Arabs as a violator, though the instances are clear.

    The situation seemed like a nutcracker closing upon a weak-shelled peanut. The people of Israel were depressed. They no more expected to win than did the rest of the world. The Israeli troops had an unpublicized self-confidence, but it is difficult to imagine, under those conditions, Israel wishing to attack the superior Arab forces, contrary to Zionist ideology and the people's yearning for peace. The Arabs, by contrast, were gripped by hysteria for war.

    On June 6, I gathered by my colleague's radio, when the shooting commenced. We listened every day. Israel was not communicative, focusing solely on the war. Partly misled by the Soviets, the Arabs boasted every day, of having destroyed the Israeli Air Force, of wiping out Israeli armor, and of advancing into Israel. On the basis of those claims, Jordan opened fire upon western Jerusalem, despite Israeli pleas for its neutrality. Jordan wanted to share in the spoils of war. So much for the reliability of Arab accounts.

    We at the radio were perplexed and dismayed. We did not know that Israel had a strategic plan for bombing the Arab air forces, that PM Rabin opposed the plan, that he had a physical breakdown removing him from command, and that Air Force commander Ezer Weissman implemented the plan. He succeeded. Then the IDF demolished Arab armor. Then it pursued Arab forces through the Sinai, through the Golan, and through the Territories. This is the opposite of Arab boasts.

    We later learned that Israel dropped water to the Egyptian foot-soldiers fleeing in the desert, and that Nasser's forces machine-gunned many of those who did reach the Suez Canal, lest they inform the public that Israel defeated them. To this day, some Arab governments officially do not admit to that defeat. This is another lesson for those who accept Arab accounts and not Israel's.

    When my colleague and I learned that Israel had won resoundingly, we were taken by surprise.

    Now compare that experience to the reader's comment. He claimed that Israel attacked Jordan, as if the simple-minded fact that Israel fired the first shot makes it the aggressor. He called the Arab alliance defensive, which it most assuredly was not. He said that Jordan had an obligation to pitch in, which it need not have fulfilled. He described Israel's defeat of Syria and conquest of the Golan as if it were separate from the Six-Day War. His logic is that Jordan had to fight because it was in the alliance, but Syria, in that same alliance, did not have to. Remember, Syria had major military forces and an eagerness for combat.

    How did that reader, who includes himself among "thinking people," get the logic and facts backward? Let's consider the typical reader of similar views. Probably too young to have lived through the events. Also probably never read the older books, when scholarship was in vogue; the fashion now leans more heavily toward starting with a view and narrating to justify it. Many readers lack grounding in history, and accept, without critical thinking, smatterings from propagandists. I have pointed out many inconsistencies in anti-Zionism, but anti-Zionists will not admit their double standards. What then is the basis for their anger against Israel?


    The American way of dealing with problems that occurred in some building is primarily to take it out on the building symbolizing the problems. Now the site is Guantanamo Prison [and before that it was Abu Graib and various public schools]. The cry goes up to shut the building.

    U.S. confusion over anti-terrorist and immigration policies, practices, malpractices, appropriate judicial procedure under new circumstances developing after procedure had been developed, political correctness, and partisanship has led to a collection of prisoners of undetermined guilt. [some can't be convicted in civilian courts, lest vital intelligence be revealed, but for others, there was no evidence of guilt. That is unjust.]

    President Obama is trying to straighten matters out, without he and Congress developing and disseminating suitable standards. Most Americans fear that he will release ex-Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S., where they can harm us, or abroad where they can resume terrorism. Residents of Thomson, IL., however, welcome the influx into its prison, for the boost to its local economy.

    Obma assures Americans that he will not do that. But he does not speak for the courts, which may very well order him to release such people from that prison.

    One of the deportation rules that hamstrings the U.S. is not to release prisoners to countries that may torture or execute them. [In some cases, the prisoners really are terrorists, for whom execution would be justice. In other cases, they are brutal adversaries of brutal states, no better than those states.]

    The U.S. has just released half a dozen more Guantanamo alumni to Yemen, for imprisonment there. Yemen either releases most of the terrorists, even though the regime there is fighting an insurgency that uses terrorism, or the terrorists escape. Many resume terrorism (Wall St. J, 12/19, especially articles by Jay Solomon, Evan Perez and Joe Barrett) as like releases to against Israel.


    Arabs in Gaza fired shots at Egyptians building the iron wall that Egypt and the U.S. claim would block smugglers' tunnels. Hamas promised to squelch the firing (www.imra.org.il, 12/19).

    Arabs, Jewish leftists, and foreign anarchists in Samaria throw firebombs at workers building the security fence there.

    One does not hear of thorough Israeli deportation of such foreign anarchists.


    The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency declared intent to transfer 450 anti-tank missiles to Egypt with spare parts, equipment, training, and logistical support.

    The notice's boilerplate wording described Egypt as "a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East." Further boilerplate wording explained, "Egypt needs these missiles in order to defend its own borders and to remain militarily viable in the region." (www.imra.org.il, 12/19).

    A similar announcement was made for the potential sale of 2,742 TOW missiles to Saudi Arabia (www.imra.org.il, 12/19).

    The Israel lobby, that Professors Mearsheimer and Walt claim dominate the U.S., has not blocked these proposed arms deals nor almost all of the numerous others in the past decade. People who allege that "the Jews" control the world, fail to see or acknowledge these deals that strengthen the Arabs against Israel.

    What Egypt acquires may be called a sale, but the U.S. has given Egypt tens of billions of dollars that it used primarily to acquire advanced arms. Egypt is a repeat aggressor, but the U.S. claims to hope that these gifts would keep Egypt from starting another war. It seems like strange logic, furnishing the means for war as if that engenders a motive, beyond the initial period of build-up, for peace.

    Egypt's backward economy is not progressing. Its failure and governmental oppression have resulted in Islamist popularity, rendering Egypt unstable. Those U.S. arms are likely to fall into the hands of the Islamists, who would be more inclined to immediate aggression.

    Egypt needs means of neutralizing the Islamists within. It does not have enemies threatening assault on it with modern armies. Israel, lulled by a non-aggression pact with Egypt, doesn't even include Egypt in the array of enemy states to defend against.

    Egypt's military doctrine posits Israel as the enemy to invade. Hence, in my opinion, the acquisition of anti-tank missiles. Israel has many tanks.

    Saudi Arabia does have enemies. Iran is a menace both directly and indirectly, by efforts to expand its control over Lebanon and Iraq and by aid to Yemeni insurgents who seem to be dragging Saudi Arabia into warfare.


    The U.S. asked Israel to release Fatah prisoners as part of an Israel-Hamas trade. The U.S. rationale is that Abbas needs to be strengthened.

    Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA suggests that if the U.S. wants its request fulfilled, it should offer to release Jonathan Pollard (www.imra.org.il, 12/19).

    Mr. Pollard opposes a mass-terrorist release and his exchange for terrorists. He says it would be wrong and would endanger innocent people.

    If Israel agreed to the U.S. request, it should require the U.S. to release Pollard before it releases any Arabs. Can't trust the U.S.. President Clinton had promised to release Pollard during PM Netanyahu's first term, got what he wanted from Israel, but did not release Pollard. Israel would be within its rights to remind the U.S. of that broken promise and to demand that Pollard be released now, because Israel already paid the U.S. for him.

    Abbas has acted and declared his regime Israel's existential enemy. It makes no sense for Israel to strengthen him. Nor do the many concessions that Israel made strengthen him. Releasing his terrorists does not strengthen Israel, either.


    Iraqi oil wells (A.P./Nabil al-Jurani)

    The border between Iran and Iraq is not clearly delineated. [Same goes for other areas in the Mideast, leading to border conflicts.] An oil field is at their border. According to Iraq, the whole oil field is on the Iraqi side. It accuses Iran of drilling downward and then, where it cannot be seen, drilling sideways into the oil pool.

    For a while, Iranian troops seized the area (Chip Cummins and Hasan Hafidh, Wall St. Journal, 12/19, A10) but seem to have departed,

    The Gulf War started when Saddam accused Kuwait of taking more than its share of oil from a pool under both sides of their border but which mostly was on the Iraqi side.


    Shammai Leibowitz, an Israeli Jew known as a far-leftist, was defense counsel for Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah terrorist leader now serving five consecutive life terms in Israeli prison. The New Israel Fund paid his fees.

    Mr. Leibowitz came to the U.S. where he became a translator for the FBI. In that position, he leaked sensitive documents to a pro-Arab Palestinian group, among others. He just pleaded guilty, and got a sentence of 20 months.

    What does it say about the FBI's ability in counter-terrorism, that it hired an ally of terrorists? Why did Leibowitz get such a light sentence compared with Pollard, who did not betray the U.S. to enemies? Was it because he was pro-Arab? Arab spies have gotten light sentences, here (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/19).

    The light sentences for those who spy in behalf of U.S. enemies does not provoke indignation from people who fulminate against Pollard, whose indictment indicated he did not harm the U.S. and against whom there is no evidence that he did, just deliberate rumors. Facts do not impress the anti-Zionists, including the admission by Pollard's original chief antagonist, former Defense Sec. Weinberger, that the outcry against Pollard had been exaggerated.

    This story is another instance in which the New Israel Fund subsidizes people and organizations trying to destroy Israel. The New Israel Fund, like J Street, which takes positions antithetical to Israeli security, elicits funds from American Jews in ads that claim to be pro-Israel.


    Defense Minister Ehud Barak (A.P./Hans Punz)

    "Columnist Menachem Benn of Maariv attacked Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a scathing weekend column, following Barak's decision to cut off the Har Bracha yeshiva from the Hesder arrangement with the Defense Ministry."

    "'After he destroyed his party and left it bleeding hatred and divided,' Ehud Barak is more than ready to destroy the country, too, if we only let him," Benn wrote. 'He is already dividing the IDF and pitting its finest knit-kippah combat soldiers against it. He is already traveling to Turkey... and trying to convince us, against the will of the Foreign Minister who is trying to block the move, that the anti-Semitic Erdogan can be an excellent broker between us and Syria.'"

    "'Barak is also maneuvering the Prime Minister of Israel, after long talks with Obama and Mitchell, into a damaging and grave partial freeze, which Netanyahu never wanted from the outset, and promises to give Abu Mazen at least what he already gave Arafat: agreement to a near-full withdrawal from all of Judea and Samaria and full territorial repayment inside tiny Israel, in accordance with the terrible formula offered by Olmert, who was willing to sell everything in order to be liked by the Left...'" (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/20).

    Other comments from the same source suggest that Barak has a conflict of interest. On the one hand, he has a responsibility to the country. On the other hand, he is striving to retain control over the Labor Party, which commentators thing he is doing by taking more extreme stands deleterious to national survival.

    PM Netanyahu has a conflict, too. He wants to keep Barak in the Cabinet. In my opinion, it is not much of a conflict for Netanyahu, who caves in to pressure.

    Other news is about Barak's secret plan for having large military forces dash into Judea-Samaria to demolish unauthorized Jewish structures.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Paul Rotenberg, December 21, 2009.

    We cannot leave the residents of the Biblical Heartland defenseless.

    The Legal Forum is calling for cameras to document police violence in the Territories — the Biblical Heartland of Israel.


    Dear Friends,

    With the onset of the moratorium on building in Judea and Samaria, the Legal Forum has requested donations towards the purchase of cameras. Unfortunately, our predictions were proven to be true as news reports have reported that since the freeze went into effect police brutality has escalated to highs that we have not experienced in the past. These cameras we have requested, regrettably, are needed in order to document security forces activities and violence that will ensue in enforcing the freeze. The only weapons we have to defend ourselves with are cameras!

    Almost four years after the pogrom at Amona, human rights activists are still identifying the perpetrators from photographs we took. Slowly the police are being brought to court, where these photographs serve as evidence. To this day, we work together with other human rights organizations to supply photographic evidence of police brutality.

    Peace Now regularly photographs IDF activities and provides cameras to Palestinians in the area. A battalion commander (Magad) was dismissed on the basis of a video clip taken by an Arab girl from 100 meters (!) away. Peace Now, as we all know, is funded by the EU, and has unlimited funds. We do not.

    To do the work properly, we need many, many more cameras, and we must teach people to use them! In addition, cameras damaged or confiscated in confrontations with the authorities must be replaced.

    Friends have suggested sending camcorders from abroad. We prefer to buy them here in Israel for the sake of uniformity. This way, if our photographers have been trained to use one specific model, they won't have to waste time with an unfamiliar model. Parts can be transferred from one camera to the other. Finally, service availability in Israel is a vital factor.

    We are fighting to protect human rights of Israeli citizens with the only democratic means available to us.

    Your support is crucial. We will keep you informed of further developments.


    Canon FS200 Camcorder
    Camcorder NIS 2050. US $ 541.00
    Canon Lighting equipment 1490. $ 393.00
    Accessories bag 180 $ 47.00
    Photographer's vest 190. $ 50.00
    Reserve battery 650. $ 172.00
    Microphone 680. $ 180.00
    Total per camera $ 1383.00
    Prices include VAT.
    Delivery within 10 working days.

    The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel acts to protect human rights in Israel, ensure sound government, and preserve the national interests of the State of Israel and the Jewish People.

    Visit our website: http://www.haforum.org.il
    For credit card donations:
    POB 36657 Jerusalem 91366 Israel
    Telephone: 972-2-5022202, fax:

    Paul Rotenberg lives in Toronto, Canada. Contact him at pdr@rogers.com

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Susana K-M, December 21, 2009.

    This is by Mark Steyn


    The best summation of the UN climate circus in Denmark comes from Andrew Bolt of Australia's Herald Sun: "Nothing is real in Copenhagen — not the temperature record, not the predictions, not the agenda, not the 'solution'." Just so. Reuters, for example, carried a moving account of the speech by Ian Fry, lead negotiator for Tuvalu, the beleaguered Pacific island nation soon to be under water because of a planet-devastating combination of your SUV and unsustainable bovine flatulence from Vermont farms. "The fate of my country rests in your hands," Fry told the meeting. "I make this as a strong and impassioned plea ... I woke this morning and I was crying and that was not easy for a grown man to admit," he continued, "his voice choking with emotion," in the Reuters reporter's words. Who could fail to be moved?

    "My country, 'tis of thee
    Sweet land near rising sea
    Of thee I choke!"

    Alas, nowhere in this emotionally harrowing dispatch was there room to mention that Ian Fry's country is not Tuvalu but Australia, where he lives relatively safe from rising sea levels given that he's a hundred miles inland. A career doom-monger, he's resided in Queanbeyan, New South Wales for over a decade while working his way, in the revealing phrase of his neighbor Michelle Ormay, to being "very high up in climate change." As to whether the emotion-choked lachrymose pleader has ever lived in "his" endangered country of Tuvalu, his wife told Samantha Maiden of The Australian that she would "rather not comment." Like his fellow Copenhagen delegate Brad Pitt, Ian Fry is an actor: He's not a Tuvaluan, but he plays one on the world stage.

    Whether he's an Aussie or a Tuvaluan, Fry's future king is Welsh, since under the British Commonwealth's environmentally responsible king-share program, the Prince of Wales is simultaneously heir to the thrones of Britain, Australian, Tuvalu and a bunch of other countries. His Royal Highness was also in Copenhagen last week, telling delegates that there were now only seven years left to save the planet. Prince Charles is so famously concerned about the environment that he's known as the Green Prince. Just for the record, his annual carbon footprint is 2,601 tons. The carbon footprint of an average Briton (i.e., all those wasteful, consumerist, environmentally unsustainable deadbeats) is 11 tons. To get him to Copenhagen to deliver his speech, His Highness was flown in by one of the Royal Air Force's fleet of VIP jets from the Royal Squadron. Total carbon emissions: 6.4 tons. In other words, the Green Prince used up seven months' of an average Brit's annual carbon footprint on one short flight to give one mediocre speech of alarmist boilerplate.

    But relax, it's all cool, because he offsets! According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Prince will be investing in exciting new green initiatives. "Investing" as in "using your own money", you mean? Not exactly. Apparently, it will be taxpayers' money. So he'll "offset" the cost of using up seven months of an average peasant's carbon footprint on one flight by taking the peasant's money and tossing it down some sinkhole. No wonder he feels so virtuous. Oh, don't worry, though. He does have to pay a personal penalty for the sin of flying by private jet: Seventy pounds. Which is the cost of about six new trees, or rather less than the bill for parking at Heathrow would have been.

    So just to recap: The Prince of Wales, a man who has never drawn his own curtains, ramps up a carbon footprint of 2,601 tons while telling us that western capitalist excess is destroying the planet. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the railroad engineer who heads the International Panel on Climate Change and has demanded that "hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying," flew 443,226 miles on "IPCC business" in the year and a half before the Copenhagen summit. And Al Gore is a carbon billionaire: He makes more money buying offsets from himself than his dad did from investing in Occidental Petroleum.

    All of the above are, as that ersatz Tuvaluan delegate's neighbor would say, "very high up in climate change". But what about all the non-high-ups? Not just the low-level toadies like Associated Press "science" reporter Seth Borenstein, who dutifully pooh-poohed the idea that the leaked Climategate e-mails were of any significance and for his pains was rewarded by having to stand in line with thousands of other no-name warm-mongers for seven hours in the freezing streets of Copenhagen. All because the IPCC accredited 45,000 delegates to a space that accommodates 15,000 — but don't worry, when it comes to recalibrating the planet's climate, I'm sure they'll run the numbers more carefully.

    But forget Borenstein and other hangers-on. Even making allowances for the stupidity of youthful idealism, the protesters in the streets of Copenhagen seem especially obtuse. Far from sticking it to the Man, they're cheerleading for the biggest Man of all: they're supporting a new globalized feudalism in which Prince Charles, Prince Al, Prince Rajendra and others "very high up in climate change" jet around the world at public expense telling the rest of us we need to stay put. A British parliamentarian recently proposed that everyone be issued with an annual "carbon allowance" that would be drawn down every time he booked a flight, or filled up his car, or bought a washer and dryer instead of beating his laundry on the rocks down by the river with the village women every week. You think the Prince of Wales or any other member of the new global elite will be subject to that "allowance"?

    If you're young and you fall for this, you're a sap. Indeed, you're oozing so much sap the settled scientists should be measuring your tree rings. Remember that story a couple of weeks ago about how Danish prostitutes were offering free sex to Copenhagen delegates for the duration of the conference? I initially assumed it was just an amusing marketing cash-in by savvy Nordic strumpets. But no, the local "sex workers' union" Sexarbejdernes Interesseorganisation was responding to the municipal government's campaign to discourage attendees from partaking of prostitutes. The City of Copenhagen distributed cards to every hotel room showing a lady of the evening at a seedy street corner over the slogan "BE SUSTAINABLE: Don't Buy Sex."

    "Be sustainable"? Prostitution happens to be legal in Copenhagen, and the "sex workers" were understandably peeved at being lumped into the same category of planet-wreckers as Big Oil, car manufacturers, travel agents and other notorious pariahs. So Big Sex decided they weren't going to take it lying down. Yet, in an odd way, that municipal postcard gets to the heart of what's going on: Government can — and will — use a "sustainable" environment as a pretext for anything that tickles its fancy. All ambitious projects — Communism, the new Caliphate — have global ambitions, but, when the globe itself is the cover for those ambitions, freeborn citizens should beware. Nico Little, a Canadian leftie at the Rabble Web site, distilled the logic into a single headline:

    "Hookers Are Killing Polar Bears And Now You Can't Water Your Lawn."

    Write that down. And next time the Prince of Wales, Al Gore, Dr. Pachauri or the delegation from Tuvalu give an "impassioned" speech, keep it handy as a useful précis.

    Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, December 20, 2009.

    This was written by Israel Harel and it appeared December 17, 2009 in Haaretz
    http://www.twitter.com/haaretzonline http://www.twitter.com/haaretzonline

    What he has exposed in the following will blow your mind. You will learn that the subversion of Israel has been going on from the inside for a long time. THE WORST, AND THE MOST ORWELLISTIC, HYPOCRISY IN ZION.

    Read it for yourself.



    One can imagine the uproar that would have ensued if 350 hesder-yeshiva rabbis issued a petition calling on their students to disobey their military commanders' orders, say, for the uprooting from the Gaza Strip. Such a document has never been released, nor will it be, of course. But 350 university "rabbis" have signed a petition calling on soldiers to refuse to serve in the territories. And this was not the only petition.

    The education minister did not summon these institutions' heads for a hearing, nor did he suspend the subverters' leaders. These people take advantage of their academic, state-financed prestige to revile the state and encourage insubordination.

    The hesder yeshivas are the darling of religious Zionism. This segment of society strongly opposes insubordination, for the most part. It is an obedient, bourgeois-oriented community that serves the state unconditionally. In recent years it has felt that the more it contributes, the worse it is treated by the state. It also feels discriminated against.

    This community will never understand the lenient, even respectful treatment of the Israel Defense Forces, Education Ministry and justice system toward academics and media people who speak out publicly against joining the army and urge recruits to refuse to fight the enemy. Preaching and aiding draft evasion and insubordination are criminal offenses. At the same time they throw the book at Rabbi Eliezer Melamed and his yeshiva, although his students didn't really disobey orders even during the uprooting from the Gaza Strip.

    The IDF also has a hesder (arrangement) with the University of Haifa, where some 40 staff members signed a petition calling for insubordination. At that university, senior officers from the National Security College study for a master's degree (Ilan Pappe also taught in that program). In addition, naval cadets and officers from Military Intelligence study there for bachelor's degrees. And lo and behold, in the university's central computer, in a file entitled "war criminals," a group called Aleph published photographs of dozens of officers and by doing so blacklisted them. (The list includes Gabi Ashkenazi, Yohanan Locker, Yigal Slovik, Yoav Mordechai, Avi Blot, Yuval Halamish, Herzi Halevi and Gur Rosenblatt, as well as former foreign minister Tzipi Livni.)

    Why, it must be asked, has the chief of staff recommend rescinding the hesder arrangement with the Har Bracha yeshiva, while upholding the (far more expensive and complex) hesder arrangements with the University of Haifa?

    At Ben-Gurion University, where trainee pilots study for their bachelor's degrees, some 40 lecturers signed the insubordination petition. Niv Gordon also called for international sanctions on Israel.

    Academics who have called for insubordination regularly teach IDF workshops. Three senior academics who support insubordination were included in a senior IDF committee headed by the commander of the IDF's personnel directorate. Students at the National Security College have recently visited the Israel Democracy Institute to hear Prof. Yaron Ezrahi, who signed a petition saying that "while we categorically denounce terror activity against innocent civilians, we see Palestinian violence in general a legitimate rebellion against the colonialist occupation." The General Staff Forum also appeared at that institute no less than nine times.

    In what way is the "academic freedom" of 104 Tel Aviv University lecturers or some 100 Hebrew University lecturers — who in the petition of the 350 encouraged insubordination to prevent soldiers from serving against the enemy — preferable to Rabbi Melamed's? He objects to evacuating settlements, but encourages his students to report to the front before all others. Is this, perhaps, why he has been targeted?

    "How can you even compare?" academics will probably ask, trying to legitimize this abominable situation. But those who lit the fire must understand that the long-winded specious arguments they use to prove that academia is permitted what the yeshivas are forbidden infringes on thousands of people's most basic sense of justice, especially young people. If this feeling continues to be impinged upon, the protest started by two young recruits from the Shimshon Battalion could sweep thousands in its path, unless someone stands up and ensures that justice is done. The rope could tear.

    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@gwinstonglobal.org

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Daniel Mandel, December 20, 2009.

    Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are foredoomed for now. The party conference of Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah in August — where the platform, resolutions and speakers from Abbas down rejected Israel's self-identity as a Jewish state and any attempt to delegitimize terrorism against her — tells us as much. But diplomatic flurry often obscures matters, and one might believe that issues like refugees or borders remain the key — or Jerusalem.

    In recent weeks, President Barack Obama returned Jerusalem to the limelight when he described continued Jewish apartment building in eastern parts of the city as being "very dangerous" — a euphemism for the threat of Palestinian violence. Then, this past week, the European Union backed Palestinian demands that eastern Jerusalem become a future Palestinian capital.

    Jerusalem has been a diplomatic flashpoint since 1949. That is one of the less fortunate legacies of Dr. H.V. Evatt, Australian external affairs minister at the time.

    In 1947, Evatt played a pivotal role in persuading the UN to adopt a partition plan calling for Arab and Jewish states in British-controlled Palestine. However, facing elections at home in December 1949 and with an eye to the large Australian Catholic vote, on which his Labor government depended, he ensured the plan called for internationalizing Jerusalem, which neither side wanted, but which the Vatican did.

    It did not work out that way. Arabs rejected partition, with the result that Palestine was partitioned by war, not agreement. Jerusalem ended up divided between Israel and Jordan. Both opposed internationalization when Evatt successfully introduced a U.N. resolution to that effect this month sixty years ago.

    International fixation on Jerusalem has been with us since, even if enthusiasm for internationalizing the city quickly receded. U.N. committees and trusteeship proposals devoted to Jerusalem provided a special, exploitable focus for the anti-Israel cause. But this was afforded practical outlet only when Israel came into possession of the city's eastern half after repelling Jordanian assault in 1967.

    Historically and religiously of relatively low importance to Islam — it is never mentioned in the Quran — Jerusalem used to transfix few Muslims, while its Jewish roots had once been freely acknowledged by them.

    Under Jordanian control (1948-67) eastern Jerusalem had degenerated into a provincial backwater, of little interest to Arab rulers. Saudi princes never dropped in to Jerusalem to pray at the Dome of the Rock or the Al Aqsa mosque when visiting the fleshpots of nearby Beirut. As late as the 1920s, publications of the Jerusalem waqf, the Muslim religious trust, spoke plainly of the Temple Mount, upon which the mosques are built, as the historical site of Jewry's Temple.

    Today, however, the picture is diametrically opposite.

    In Khomeinist Iran, an annual Jerusalem Day parade instituted in 1979 and attended by crowds of up to 300,000 tops all other dates in the regime's activist calendar. Fatah, which only mentions Jerusalem en passant in its constitutive documents, today boasts a terror group called the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

    A profusion of Palestinian statements and Muslim clerical rulings on Jerusalem speak variously of an historical Jewish presence, if at all, as having been brief; of the non-existence of the biblical temples, or of their location elsewhere; and of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest extant site, being actually a Muslim one.

    Such sentiments are disseminated widely in the Arab world. A popular piece of Egyptian graffiti declares "It's our mosque, not their Temple."

    Moreover, Jerusalem has been successfully exploited by violence for diplomatic profit by Palestinian leaders. In 1996, Palestinian riots on the back of Yasser Arafat's trumped up charge that Israel's opening of an archeological tunnel endangered the mosques on Temple Mount produced criticism of Israeli provocation.

    In 2000, a visit to Temple Mount by Israeli politician Ariel Sharon, pre-arranged with Arafat, was distorted by Palestinian media into a violation of Muslim sanctuaries (which had not in fact been entered), leading to international criticism of Israel and a Palestinian terror wave.

    It would therefore appear that President Obama, to put the best construction on his words, did not know what he was doing when he spoke as though there was some correspondence between Israelis building apartments and Palestinians rioting — or worse.

    To speak in these terms places a premium on Palestinian violence and increases the probability of its occurrence: the record shows it to be a paying proposition. Noting the European Union's willingness to publicly side with Palestinian positions rather than support unprejudiced negotiations, Palestinians now have reason to believe that political capital might be exacted by a little violence. That means that trouble might follow, quite soon.

    All of which carries the following implications. For the foreseeable future, peace negotiations will either not resume at all, or lead nowhere, certainly not to a lasting peace. Jerusalem will remain a flashpoint, with violence easily encouraged by public stances taken in favor of Palestinian positions. And Dr. Evatt's 1949 resolution — conceived in a different world, motivated by domestic political calculations long forgotten — will demonstrate anew the law of unintended consequences.

    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 appeared in History News Net

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, December 20, 2009.

    How did Israel's Government and her Supreme Court become an extension of American territorial rights or, in effect, annexing Israel's sovereignty. The smoking gun would be the orders issued by President Barack Hussein Obama — through the U.S. State Department, accepted and implemented by Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak would be that "smoking gun".

    There seems to be little doubt that the U.S. has funded Hanan Ashrari, Faisal Husseini (before he died), and Saeb Erekat to secretly represent the U.S. State Department secret policies against Israel for many years. Was such funding also available to Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Bibi Netanyahu, Ehud Barak to also represent the U.S. and its oil interests in the Muslim Arab nations?

    One day the records of these briberies will see daylight. Then the Jews of Israel and the world will be shocked.

    This below was written by Dan Izenberg, Abe Selig and Herb Keinon, and it appeared Dec. 14, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post.
    www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid= 1260447431785&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull


    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has taken a more active role in determining the fate of east Jerusalem demolition orders by giving his military attache the final word on whether the Jerusalem Municipality can destroy illegal buildings in the Arab sections of Jerusalem, MK Uri Ariel informed the Knesset Law Committee on Sunday.

    Ariel made the disclosure during an urgent discussion on the fate of Beit Yonatan, the illegal seven-story residential structure built in Silwan in 2002 by Ateret Cohanim, a nationalist-religious movement seeking to settle Jews in the city's Arab neighborhoods.

    "The prime minister has issued a directive that all [prospective] demolitions in east Jerusalem be brought to his attention [via the military attache]," Ariel complained to the committee. "The state of affairs in whichthe military attache is involved in this matter is intolerable and unreasonable to a extreme degree. It must be ended."

    Ariel explained that the commander of the Jerusalem Police district, who knows about all demolition orders in the city, informs the chief of police, who informs the prime minister's military attache.

    "If the military attache does not want the demolition to be carried out, it won't happen," said Ariel. "His hand is the one on the switch. This is a problem of proper administration. If necessary, we will correct it by legislation."

    Diplomatic sources responded by saying that house demolitions, when they are carried out, are done "only according to law."

    However, the sources said, the prime minister does have a say regarding the timing of the demolitions, and can take into account such considerations as security, public order, and even international ramifications.

    A left-wing activist welcomed the new arrangement. "Until now, the status of demolitions in Jerusalem has been odd, in that no one from the Prime Minister's Office was involved at all," he told The Jerusalem Post on condition of anonymity. "Now, it's quite clear that Netanyahu understands this is not just a municipal problem and that any house demolition in east Jerusalem could provoke negative responses both domestically and internationally."

    By the same token, right-wing elements in Jerusalem criticized the new policy. One activist charged that it was reflective of a "heavy political agenda," and would allow more political nuances to enter the debate.

    "It's a bad decision," the activist told the Post. "It means the prime minister will now be intervening in matters that should be purely municipal and this only opens the door to more political considerations. Nothing good can come of that."

    The law committee convened at the urgent request of four right-wing MKs, Ze'ev Elkin and Yariv Levin (Likud Party), Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Ariel (National Union).

    They charged that municipal legal adviser Yossi Habilio had singled out Beit Yonatan for political reasons and insisted on carrying out a court order to seal the building and expel the seven families living there, while ignoring hundreds of court-ordered demolitions against illegal Arab construction.

    Orlev charged that Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz was behind the city'sinsistence that Beit Yonatan be sealed. "On the one hand there are more than 300 court orders for demolitions [against Arabs]. On the other, there is Beit Yonatan," Orlev said.

    "The elected officials say that the decision to seal Beit Yonatan is stupid. The mayor says the same. But the legal adviser is unwilling to consider the mayor's alternatives. This constitutes a political agenda on the part of the lawyers, but we will set things straight and put the lawyers in their place."

    The original order to seal the building and expel the residents was issued on February 11, 2007. Since then, the residents have appealed against the decision seven times in all of the court echelons — from magistrate's court to district court to the Supreme Court. In each case, the court upheld the original decision to seal the building and expel them.

    The city, however, has postponed carrying out the order, even though Habilio has insisted that it be implemented.

    Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who attended the law committee meeting, said he was working on a new plan for Silwan, to change local zoning so that all buildings may be four stories high instead of two, the scheme that currently prevails. Barkat explained that the law would apply equally to Jewish and Palestinian construction.

    Under his proposal, the first four stories of Beit Yonatan would be legalized, while the top floors would either be sealed or demolished.

    Barkat said his proposal would legalize 90 percent of the currently illegal structures in that area of Silwan.

    "It is important to provide a uniform and equal arrangement," he said. "We should act according to a simple rule which can be easily explained."

    The right-wing MKs did not respond to Barkat's proposal. They returned to the immediate fate of Beit Yonatan and insisted on hearing explanations from Mazuz and Habilio as to why they insisted on carrying out the court order.

    Having accused the two of "selective enforcement" and discrimination against the Jewish sector in favor of the Arabs, the right-wing MKs ignored figures presented by Meretz Deputy Mayor Pepe Allalo, who told them that since 2000, some 800 Palestinian homes have been demolished in their entirety, as opposed to none in the Jewish sector.

    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@gwinstonglobal.org

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 20, 2009.

    That's the news. If one is devoted to Israel, it's impossible to absorb information about what's happening without reeling. Or weeping.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in the process of playing tough guy, winning points with the left of his own party, and tearing the nation apart.

    There are two issues, although they are connected. They both touch upon our rights in Judea and Samaria, and how the army is used against residents of the communities there.


    First, is the continuing matter of the (former) Hesder Yeshiva, Har Bracha, headed by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed. Barak removed this yeshiva from the Hesder program when Rabbi Melamed said he would advise his students to refuse to serve to dismantle Judea and Samaria.

    The heads of the sixty yeshivas of the Hesder movement — led by Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Union of Hesder Yeshivas — met today in an effort to resolve the situation. Declaring that yeshiva heads were opposed to the exclusion of Har Bracha, and that he would do everything in his power to prevent this exclusion, Rabbi Druckman released a statement:

    "A move excluding a yeshiva from the accord is severe and has dangerous, nationally dire consequences. We oppose this, and will do anything to prevent it from happening. Together we will find a way,"

    There is no word on resolution of the issue as I write, but there are now several suggestions floating, including an appeal to the High Court and an action by heads of yeshivas to keep their students from going into the army.

    This afternoon, a spokesman for the Union released a statement. The Union, he said first, was opposed to demonstrations in the IDF.


    And this requires a bit of explanation. In the course of a public ceremony in October, members of the Kfir Brigade raised signs saying they would not participate in evacuation of residents from Judea and Samaria (in that instance, specifically, Homesh). There was considerable flack about this, with the issue of free speech for soldiers raised, but Rabbi Druckman and others within the Hesder program coming out against public demonstrations.

    Now, with the current crisis, there was talk about Rabbi Eliezer signing a letter that said he would oppose demonstrations. This would have been seen as a backing down by him. Ultimately, he refused to sign such a letter, both because he didn't believe it would make a difference with Barak, and, more significantly, because he feared that Barak's office would make it seem that military rules had precedence over Torah law, and he could not be a party to this. This stand helps make clear why he is admired as a man of principle and integrity. Whether he is implicitly included in the statement made by the Union is unclear to me.


    Public demonstrations, however, are not equivalent to a quiet refusal to serve in certain circumstances. And that leads us to the second demand of the Union:

    ...that "the army take our soldiers out of all activity with a civilian character." That is, the Hesder soldiers would be utilized only for defense of the nation.

    Amen and amen on this.

    But so far Barak is being stiff-necked and will strike no compromise. What he is doing, which I've already indicated, is damaging the very core of the army, locking horns with those who represent our best soldiers — with this whole issue evolving as a result of the use of the army against Jews instead of against the enemy.

    What happens when the inevitable occurs, and we are attacked by Hamas, or by Hezbollah, and the morale of the IDF has been weakened? What happens when we need our best soldiers to defend us, and they have been worn down? There are those who say that the morale of the IDF was so shattered with the expulsion from Gaza that it lead to a weaker fighting effort in Lebanon. Has our "defense minister" considered this?


    I rather like the comment of Yael Mishali, writing in YNet:

    "I am not a devout follower of Jewish law, and I never followed a rabbi formally; however, in my view any group of Zionist rabbis is preferable to any group of politicians that includes Ehud Barak."


    The question of using our soldiers against Jews leads us directly to the next issue:

    The Jerusalem Post has obtained a 17-page IDF document drawn up by the Central Command, which indicates that the military intends to use "paralyzing power" to enforce the building freeze in Judea and Samaria. Paralyzing power. The Jewish residents — who are blocking the freeze both out of a sense of their rights and the fear that this represents the beginning of a disengagement — are about to be turned into the enemy. If this plan is enacted, building they have done since the freeze is in place would be destroyed. The Air Force would be used to do overhead reconnaissance. Cell phone reception would be shut down, and the press banned. And the army, which would surround areas, would move in as needed.

    Shameful is the first word that occurs to me. With painful a close second.


    Said MK Michael Ben Ari (Ehud Leumi), "It's an outrageous document that teaches us that the Likud government has declared war on the settlers."

    Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, declared:

    "This is quite simply deployment for a military operation against an enemy. This is not the way to enforce a government's decision applying to citizens in a democratic state."

    Dayan is of the — not unreasonable — opinion that the defense minister is conducting himself in this fashion "to appease [Labor MKs] Daniel Ben Simon and Ophir Pines" — the rebels who threaten the cohesiveness of the Labor party.

    The Yesha Council, after an emergency meeting, released a statement indicating they would do everything possible to foil the plans:

    "Anyone using military resources meant to fight terror against 'enemies' the likes of young couples who want to build their home in Judea and Samaria has lost his senses along with any restraint."

    One military source explained that the document was drawn up in detail to account for all exigencies because, "This is what we do when we are given orders by the defense minister. It is our responsibility to prepare as detailed a document [as necessary]..."

    Orders by the defense minister.


    I want to thank commentator Moshe Dann for pointing out that the current situation with regard to use of the army against Israeli civilians is exacerbated by the fact that we never established civil law over Judea and Samaria: the defense minister has a sort of jurisdiction in a region still under military law that simply would not exist in a region under civil law.


    Many here in Israel are asking where our prime minister is in all of this. He is all together too silent, as he permits Barak free reign.


    I strongly recommend Caroline Glick's column from last Friday, which deals with Netanyahu — with regard both to how he has been conducting himself and what is required of him at this juncture:

    "It is hard to seize the initiative. The consequences of acting are frightening. It is always better to let others go first. But sometimes that is impossible. Today it is becoming clear that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no choice but to lead.

    "The stakes have never been higher..."

    "...Until now, as Israel faced this growing threat [from Iran], it has tried to avoid leading by seeking to convince the US to act against Iran. Since US President Barack Obama took office 11 months ago, Israel's desire to convince the US to act against Iran has driven Netanyahu to take drastic steps to appease the White House. "Netanyahu has bowed to American pressure and announced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Israel's heartland, even as the Palestinians themselves made clear that they reject Israel's right to exist.

    "He bowed to US pressure and is implementing a draconian freeze on all Jewish building in Judea and Samaria, despite the fact that the Palestinians refuse to even discuss peace with Israel.

    "Netanyahu has allowed Defense Minister Ehud Barak to unravel national unity still further by picking fights with yeshiva heads who oppose the wholly theoretical possibility that IDF soldiers will be ordered to expel Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria in the framework of a peace treaty with the Palestinians. "...Unfortunately, Netanyahu's appeasement efforts have not brought a US payoff. The Obama administration continues to downplay the urgency of the Iranian nuclear threat and its calls for sanctions are half-hearted and will not prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    "Moreover, the Obama administration remains stridently opposed to using military force to destroy Iran's nuclear installations... "...Israel cannot depend on the US to defend it from Iran. Indeed, it makes clear that a breach of relations with the US is unavoidable.

    "...the time has come for Netanyahu to take the lead."

    Since the Suez Operation in 1956, says Glick, it has been Israeli policy to sign off with the US before taking military action. But this is not how the current scenario is playing out, and this time Israel must act without a nod from the US.

    She presents evidence for the very real possibility that others — most notably France — will join us if only Netanyahu will take that lead.
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1260930895110& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


    I think the time has definitely come for us — in large numbers! — to let Prime Minister Netanyahu know that he is expected to stand up and lead — as this is why he was elected.

    First, to lead by putting an end to the current shameful mess being wrought in this country by Barak.

    And then, most significantly, to take the lead in attacking Iran.

    Remind him that no one else will do this, and that the world thus depends upon him. In your own words, please, let him know that he faces the choice between making a mark on history for all time, or going out of office an abysmal failure who leaves his nation and the western world considerably weaker.
    Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)
    Phone: 03-610-9898 (From the US: 011-972-3-610-9898)
    E-mail: pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm)

    When possible, send a fax rather than an e-mail — it's more effective. And encourage others to do the same!


    "The Good News Corner"

    Boy, do we need good news!

    In a study done at the Department of Psychology at Haifa University, Dr. Irit Akirav has discovered that the active chemical ingredients of marijuana can relieve the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

    Additional research on potential side effects must be done to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.


    A new "green" battery based on silicon has been developed in Israel by Professor Yair Ein-Eli, working in collaboration with other scientists. The battery, which requires only one electrode, utilizes oxidized silicone, which turns to sand when the battery is depleted. At present the battery is not re-chargeable, but lasts for thousands of hours.


    The Safari Park in Ramat Gan, outside of Tel Aviv, has become the world's largest exporter of hippos.

    Is this "good" news? Who knows. But it's interesting, light-hearted news.

    The Park had a surplus of hippos, with a high birth rate, and so decided to send some elsewhere. To date, 14 have been shipped, by sea and air, to Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

    The way to go about it is to sneak up on the hippo while it is sleeping and inject it with a tranquilizer. If the hippo runs into the water, it becomes near impossible to sedate it, and this animal is something less than docile. The hippo, once tranquilized, is lifted into a crate by a bulldozer.


    Fresh red plums have five times as much antioxidant as red wine, apples and bananas, and three times as much as pomegranates, Prof. Joseph Kanner, of the Department of Food Science at thse Volcani Institute, has discovered. Eating one plum counteracts the oxidizing effects of a seven-ounce portion of meat.


    With acknowledgment to Israel21C for the above items.

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

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 20, 2009.


    Some of the comments I receive about international law are amusing but sad, because they can impair civilization. One comment claimed that international law requires all conquered territory to be returned. To back up his point, he advised me to read UN Resolution 242.

    Well of course I had read it, along with learned discussion about it. I am not sure the commenter had read it. It refutes his point. Its drafters deliberately did not specify "all" the territories.

    International law permits annexation of territory conquered in self-defense, to protect against future attacks. That makes sense. International law is supposed to protect against aggression and prevent it. Returning all territory to aggressors puts some of those aggressors back into a strategic position to renew aggression. That is the position that these comments would support. It is an unthinking position.

    To be fair, they are not sufficiently grounded in recent history to know which side was the aggressor.

    It would be interesting to attempt to apply the comment's notion globally, since many countries' borders are the result of conquest. Start with Russia, which incorporated parts of several countries in the post-War period.

    Another comment was that most countries dispute my interpretation of international law. That is bandwagon propaganda. I learned in college not to follow the bandwagon. Pity others haven't learned. Numbers do not make right.

    Indeed, globalization is not only of the economy and of data-exchange, but also of advocacy journalism, antisemitism, and scapegoats. This degrades current application of international law. Majorities in the UN try to reduce national sovereignty so that they can encroach on other countries' rights. They disregard the meaning and intent of international law. The Security Council, can revise it to suit popular malice or political correctness (another modern affliction).

    Advocacy journalism reflects situational ethics. Scholarship has degraded, especially as Western universities become dominated by leftists and Islamists who abuse their positions to indoctrinate rather than educate. Older books made reasonable attempts at accuracy. Newer sources spread unsubstantiated, propagandistic revisionism, basically lying about history. To that, mix in the partisanship we see in U.S. politics and the close-mindedness that has people rejecting without thought any facts and opinions at odds with their smattering of notions. Their tendentiousness enfeebles their logic. Their most common error in logic is to use analogies inappropriately on the basis of shallow similarity and as an argument rather than as an illustration. This may be due to incompetence or to prejudice and unscrupulousness.


    A former Somali government official was sued in the U.S. for acts he performed when in office. His defense was immunity under the Federal Foreign Sovereignty Immunity Act. The local court dismissed the suit, as most courts have. However, the Fourth Circuit Court upheld the right to sue. The Circuit Court said that persons may be sued but not governments.

    Now the Supreme Court is hearing the question of jurisdiction. ZOA and others have submitted a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that immunity should apply to officials and former officials. Otherwise, our courts will incur a torrent of such cases. Many foreign officials would refrain from traveling here and sharing their ideas with Americans.


    In a December 11, 2009 column titled "The Zionist Cockroach" in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, Kuwaiti columnist Fakhir Hashem Al-Sayed Rajab compared the Zionists to cockroaches capable of survival in any situation who use dishonorable means to assure their continued existence. He wrote that the Zionists had taken over the world and caused everyone worldwide to hate the Arabs and the Muslims — and stated that this was in light of the absence of any unified Arab stance. To read the full dispatch, visit
    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3849.htm. "

    "In the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra, columnist Dr. Alexander Luqa, formerly on the staff of the Syrian president's office, said that the plan for world domination set out in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is being implemented today. To read the full dispatch, visit
    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3848.htm. "

    "On October 1, 2009, the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram published an article by author Ilham Sharshar stating that recent events in the Middle East — including what she called the "inevitable" clash between Iran and Israel — were all part of the Zionist plan to establish a Jewish kingdom to rule the world, in accordance with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    To read the full dispatch, visit
    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3847.htm. " (MEMRI in www.imra.org.il, 12/18).

    The "Protocols" were proved a forgery. To contend, on the basis of it, that the Jewish people and State, on the defensive against dozens of hostile countries, seek to take over the world, contrary to Jewish ideology, is demented. Dementia does not stop millions from believing it. This example should give anti-Zionists who mean well second thoughts about their support for the Arab cause.

    Did you see the movie, "Hotel Rwanda," about the genocide there that the UN peacekeepers might have prevented but refused to act against? Hutu agitators de-humanized Tutsis in the eyes of their fellow Hutus by calling them "cockroaches."

    In a December 11, 2009 column titled "The Zionist Cockroach" in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, Kuwaiti columnist Fakhir Hashem Al-Sayed Rajab compared the Zionists to cockroaches capable of survival in any situation who use dishonorable means to assure their continued existence. He wrote that the Zionists had taken over the world and caused everyone worldwide to hate the Arabs and the Muslims — and stated that this was in light of the absence of any unified Arab stance. To read the full dispatch, visit http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3849.htm. "

    "In the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra, columnist Dr. Alexander Luqa, formerly on the staff of the Syrian president's office, said that the plan for world domination set out in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is being implemented today. To read the full dispatch, visit http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3848.htm. "

    "On October 1, 2009, the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram published an article by author Ilham Sharshar stating that recent events in the Middle East — including what she called the "inevitable" clash between Iran and Israel — were all part of the Zionist plan to establish a Jewish kingdom to rule the world, in accordance with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
    To read the full dispatch, visit
    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3847.htm. " (MEMRI in www.imra.org.il, 12/18).

    The "Protocols" were proved a forgery. To contend, on the basis of it, that the Jewish people and State, on the defensive against dozens of hostile countries, seek to take over the world, contrary to Jewish ideology, is demented. Dementia does not stop millions from believing it. This example should give anti-Zionists who mean well second thoughts about their support for the Arab cause.

    Did you see the movie, "Hotel Rwanda," about the genocide there that the UN peacekeepers might have prevented but refused to act against? Hutu agitators de-humanized Tutsis in the eyes of their fellow Hutus by calling them "cockroaches."


    As you know, a Jewish Orthodox school that helps prepare youth for military service, was cut off from the program and IDF funding, in a dispute between the principal and Defense Min. Barak. The students are staunchly for national defense, but some would refuse orders to expel Jews from their houses for political reasons. The principal had said that if asked by students, he would advise them to obey, despite his personal objection to expulsion.

    Not cut off from IDF programs and funding were leftist universities where 350 professors signed a petition urging students to refuse to serve in the Territories [even for national defense]. Advocating and abetting desertion are criminal offenses. Some professors signed a petition calling Arab violence a legitimate reaction (Prof. Steven Plaut, 12/18).

    Terrorism is not legitimate. Negotiations would be legitimate, as the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) agreed with Israel to do. If the P.A. had ended terrorism, Israel would not have to impose security measures. But the P.A. does not end terrorism, does not negotiate, commits terrorism, and then it and its sympathizers justify its violence?

    Those professors who try to justify terrorism, and against their own people, have emotional problems. One wonders when they will call the Protocols scholarly.


    Druse (A.P./Dan Balilty)

    Israel plans to hire 3,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs as police. Israeli Arab mayors support the program. Bedouin, Druse, and Circassians already have joined it. "Even mayors in the Arab sector now understand that the entire population must contribute to the state," said a [Public Security] ministry official. "If not in the army, then in the police, or in education, welfare or health care. It can be people acting within the local community and on its behalf."

    The Arab police are hoped to help stanch the high crime rate in Arab areas. Their training will start soon. "The new officers will be placed with the traffic police, prison service and Magen David Adom ambulance service."

    "After completing their service, the new police officers will receive the same benefits offered to newly released soldiers, including preference in university acceptance, housing, loans and the grants provided to demobilized soldiers." (www.imra.org.il, 12/18).

    This is an exciting and risky experiment in integration.

    A similarly exciting but non-risky effort could be one solution for reducing deferments for Jewish ultra-Orthodox youth. I prefer making the Army inviting.


    To persuade China to agree to stiff sanctions on Iran, President Obama told China that as Israel perceives its danger from an Iranian nuclear attack imminent, he would not be able to restrain Israel from neutralizing that danger.

    An earlier trip (A.P./Charles Dharapak)

    Working with the U.S. on this, Saudi Arabia offered to sell China the same amount of oil that Iran does, but at a lower price, if China agrees to the boycott. China declined the offer (www.imra.org.il, 12/18).

    What do you suppose China's motive is? Does China fear that examples of applying international law and order may set precedent that interfere with China's economic relationship other rogue states? Does China want other countries to exhaust themselves in wars? On the other hand, war wastes scarce resources that China should want to preserve.

    What resources would be saved if China did not build a navy to prevent U.S. defense of Taiwan, and if it let Taiwan be independent but invited it to join China!

    Imagine what suffering would be spared millions of people if China were willing to impose sanctions against genocide, as in Sudan!


    Since the freeze applies only to actual construction, Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yeshai instructed his office to accelerate planning now for construction after the freeze (www.imra.org.il, 12/18).

    Min. Yeshai assumes that the freeze would be temporary.


    In contending that the Israeli presence in the territories is illegal, Yasir Shallal's December 15 letter to the Wall St. Journal suggests that international law can be interpreted from a quote out of context. For disagreeing with him, Mr. Shallal accuses Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren of a "a sleight of hand." Mr. Shallal quotes from the 1967 UN Resolution 242, "1. (1) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict."

    Mr. Shallal should have read or quoted 242 more fully and carefully. It conditions Israeli withdrawal upon a final peace agreement, which has not occurred. Therefore, Israel's presence in the territories is not illegal.

    The wording, "from territories," was deliberately picked so as not to say it must be from "all the territories." The drafters of 242 did not want to require full withdrawal. Israel already withdrew from the Sinai, much larger than Judea-Samaria. Therefore, Israel could make a good case that it met 242 terms already.

    Wouldn't it be ironic if an old Security Council Resolution meant to promote peace instead promoted formation of a PLO or Hamas terrorist state that favored war?


    Quoting from my mini-series about Hamas admitting its goal is all of Palestine, a reader sent me this:

    "'When Ehud Olmert was Prime Minister of Israel, he offered Abbas 100% beyond the Green Line.' What did Ehud Olmert tell Abbas was going to happen to the 500,000 Israeli Jews who live beyond the Green Line? And what did he tell those 500,000 Jews? Tell us the whole story."

    The reader implies sinister withholding of news. Nonsense! One constraint on news journalism is space. Articles must be relatively brief and focused. The focus of this article was the exclusivist Arab ideology about territory compared with the Israeli ideology of compromise. That was the story I related.

    About what Olmert told Jews beyond the Green Line is no story. Olmert was at a secret meeting, at an early stage of discussing the scheme with Abbas. He did not discuss it with the Israeli public. Recent Israeli Prime Ministers do not concern themselves with what their people want.

    The reader's figures are an exaggeration. My source,
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/18, stated that PM Olmert's scheme was to annex the Jewish communities nearer Israel. That would take in three-fourths of the Jews of Judea-Samaria.

    What do I think he would have told the one-fourth he expected to force out of the area? We saw how he handled the expulsion of Jews from Gaza. They amounted to only ten thousand, a fraction of what he intended for Judea-Samaria as a whole. Nevertheless, the government was unprepared or unconcerned that it was ruining their livelihoods and lives. The government at the time, of which he was part, forced out with brutality those whom they could not bribe out. The Left for years has been denigrating those Jews. Imagine what would happen to ten or twenty times as many to expel!

    Prime Ministers say dolefully that Israelis must make great sacrifices for peace. The Prime Ministers do not share the sacrifices, but ordinary Israelis share the Arab-instigated wars that follow withdrawal.

    What is the motive for Israel's anti-Zionist policies? Is it the stated desire for peace, which if sincere would be naïve? It would be naïve, because the Arabs keep proving they are exclusivist and prefer war to compromise. Is it bribery or leftist Attorney-Generals' extortion — do it or be imprisoned for corruption? Foreign pressure? Or is it anti-Zionism? The Israeli Left gets less patriotic and loyal to the Jewish people, the more leftward it leans and the fewer their numbers.

    Israel does practice ethnic cleansing in big ways and small, of Jews and not of Arabs.


    My recent two-part article on Hamas featured Hamas admitting it seeks all of Palestine, including Israel, not just the Territories as land-for-peace proponents suggest. A reader's first comment was:

    "There has been terrorism in Palestine by Jews against Palestinians since first Zionist settlers arrived over 120 years ago. Unsurprisingly Palestinians responded with terrorism of their own against Jews. Showing that Zionists were not going to achieve their goal without killing and being killed in return."

    "Over this bloody history there has rarely been a time when Zionists have not been the bigger killers. And their success to date and the pathetic opposition (both Palestinian and World wide) is hardly going to put a stop to Jews achieving the Zionist goal."

    His second comment was:

    "'When Ehud Olmert was Prime Minister of Israel, he offered Abbas 100% beyond the Green Line.' What did Ehud Olmert tell Abbas was going to happen to the 500,000 Israeli Jews who live beyond the Green Line? And what did he tell those 500,000 Jews? Tell us the whole story."

    I already dealt with the second comment in another context, but included it again, because it contradicts that reader's first comment. The two comments together are illogical. The first comment alleges Zionist relentlessness in achieving their goal, by murder if necessary. The second comment demonstrates that Israeli leaders offer to cede territory that the first one implies they want to expand into. Note that the comments make grave explanations without explanation to back them up.

    Logic is difficult for many people. So are facts. Facts take work to elicit and knowledge to verify. Unfortunately, facts can be inconvenient to one's views, often formed before having discovered facts. Anti-Zionists solve that problem by rewriting history to uphold their views and by calling scholarship biased. (For more on the big lie technique, click here

    What are the facts about modern Mideast terrorism, Arabs, and Jews? To give the issue perspective, Mideastern and other Muslim terrorists are wreaking havoc all over the world, including in Muslim countries. Terrorism in the Philippines, Pakistan and Iraq, for example, have nothing to do with the Arab-Israel conflict. Before the Gulf war, there was the Iraq war on Iran. Saddam bombed Iranian cities. That was terrorism. Beware of those who blame everything on the Jews.

    Modern Zionists returned to their homeland, from the late 1880s. They did not prepare for cultivating the wrecked country they found and for the Bedouin bandits who found them. Far from resorting to terrorists, they had to hire gentile guards.

    Most early Zionists were socialist idealists. They hoped to share the country with the Arabs. Martin Buber and Judah Magnes, founder of Hebrew University, tried to interest the Arabs in a bi-national state. The Arabs showed no interest in working together in peace. The Zionist idealism proved naïve, though it takes more than proof to convince many Israeli leftists.

    After a while, the Jews formed their own guards. Then Haj Husseini, later Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a Nazi leader, organized terrorist bands. First he attacked mostly Arabs, to bring them under his control. Then he attacked the British and the Jews. By about 1920, he organized a major pogrom. There were many Arab attacks, not all organized.

    Finding that the British either did not maintain the law or colluded with terrorists, right-wing Jews formed the Haganah, for defense. They did not commit terrorism. As the Haganah turned leftist, it defended less vigorously. Right-wingers then formed the Irgun. The Irgun later fought and ousted the British troops. The British call that terrorism, but calling it so does not make it so. Terrorism is targeting civilians for political ends.

    Irgun might have performed one or two terrorist acts. Deplorable, if so. Irgun was falsely accused of terrorism in bombing the King David Hotel. Some civilians in it were killed, but so were many British soldiers. It was British military headquarters! Irgun had warned the British to evacuate the headquarters, to spare lives, but the British refused

    Irgun was too staid for Yair Stern, who formed a more radical organization, Lehi. His group committed a few acts of terrorism. More deplorable! Both groups were assigned to capture Deir Yassin, an Arab village from which terrorists emerged to harass Jews on the road, below. The raiders acted honorably, and this has been proved. Unfortunately, their rivals in Haganah maligned them. Although Arab witnesses vindicated them, Arabs joined the calumny campaign, eventually retracted by the Labor Party. The only terrorism there was by residents of Deir Yassin. Arab terrorism was extensive, murdering Jews all across the Mandate.

    Israel offered many times to make peace with the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states. Refusal after refusal. The comment that the Arabs found they could not make peace with the Jews was incorrect.

    So was the comment that Zionist terrorists showed the Arabs they had to fight back. Indeed, Egypt started its 1948 invasion of Israel by aerial bombing of Tel Aviv. That was terrorism. Israel had done nothing to Egypt. Egypt later organized terrorist raids on Israel. And so it went. There was extensive Arab terrorism, it started early, and there was no excuse for attacking innocent people.


    Golan: many synagogues part of ancient Israel. (A.P./Oded Bality))

    Britain resolved to recommend that British retailers label goods from Judea-Samaria and the Golan as either "Israeli settlement produce" or "Palestinian produce." All such goods now are labeled "product of Israel." The change would facilitate consumer boycott of products by Jews in the Territories for political reasons.

    A few dozen Members of Knesset proposed to encourage Israelis to boycott British produce, in retaliation and as an incentive to Britain to rescind its resolution. The proposal mentions the pernicious effect of trade wars.

    The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) supports the Knesset move. It wants fellow democracies to refrain from such an economic boycott and other hostile acts. ZOA perceives the British measure as an attempt to impede legal Israeli development in the Territories and an attempt to harm Israel, itself (ZOA press release, 12/17).

    Instead of demanding that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) negotiate a final peace agreement that resolves these issues, negotiations that P.A. head Abbas refuses, many countries and NGOs devise means of pressuring Israel to concede to Abbas' demands. It is wrong of Britain to try to compel Israel to agree to what Britain wants of it. They do not know or care that Abbas' goal is conquest, not peace.

    Some people are guided in these matters by international law, when it suits them. What is the law, here?

    The Golan was legally annexed by Israel, having conquered it in self-defense and retaining it for national security against a repeat aggressor. Boycotting products from the Golan is boycotting Israel. That is indeed, a hostile act. It disputes the annexation.

    Judea and Samaria were not legally annexed by any state. They are unallocated parts of the Palestine Mandate for a Jewish national home, to which Israel is the paramount heir. They are in the Land of Israel but not the State of Israel. It is not semantically accurate to label products from there as "product of Israel," meaning the State. Labeling them according to the ethnicity of maker, however, as Britain demands, would pander to prejudice. It would reflect British anti-Zionism.

    These problems result from Israeli leaders' lack of courage and imagination to institute a Zionist policy of building up and annexing most of the Territories' Jewish communities and vacant areas, especially once they found, early on, that the Arabs were not going to exchange genuine peace for them.

    What many anti-Zionist governments and groups do is ponder how they can harm Israel, then come up with phony justification. This case is one of hairsplitting legality based on false legal premises about areas being "occupied." British parliamentarians' feign moral indignation but forget that Israel acquired these areas legally in self-defense against Arab efforts to exterminate the Jews, and Judea and Samaria do not belong to any country but to the Mandate, of which Israel is chief heir. Britain was complicit enough in the first Holocaust, when it violated its Mandate by forcing Jews to stay where the Nazis could murder them. Then it tried to assist the Arabs to capture the Holocaust survivors. Ironically, Britain is going down, letting itself get submerged by Muslim immigrants. so much for British ethics and strategy.


    O Tomb of the Patriarchs (A.P./Hazem Bader Pool)

    For years, loudspeakers calling Muslims to prayer in Hebron have been extremely loud. Much lower levels of Jewish religious music emanated from the Gutnick Center, next door to the Cave of the Patriarchs. Ordinances on permissible levels of sound were not enforced.

    Now, with a new military commander there, police forbid the Gutnick Center from playing the music, disabled the speakers, and threatened a Center's director with arrest, but do not forbid the Muslim broadcast.

    A petition was circulated protesting this religious discrimination
    (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/18).

    I think that military commanders should be kept out of civil affairs.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Arutz-Sheva, December 20, 2009.

    1. "Hesder Rabbis Attempting to Present United Front"
    by Hillel Fendel

    60 deans of Hesder yeshivas are convening and trying to formulate a uniform response to Barak's removal of Har Bracha from the "arrangement."

    On the agenda are two very loaded questions. One is whether Rabbi Eliezer Melamed — head of the Har Brachah yeshiva — will sign a statement expressing his opposition to political protests in the army. Rabbi Melamed long ago wrote that he would have advised against holding such protests, though he added that once such a protest was held, its positive points should be recognized.

    Rabbi Melamed has agreed to sign the statement, but his consent is under reconsideration in light of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's statement Sunday morning that it will not change his decision regarding Har Brachah.

    "Why should he sign," some rabbis asked, "if it won't make a difference?"

    The second question is whether the Hesder Yeshivot Union will present a unified front in support of Har Brachah and against Barak's decision. An unknown number of rabbis currently feel that this is a battle that should not be waged, while others feel that Barak's decision, if left unchallenged, will render every statement made by a Hesder yeshiva head subject to "review" by the Defense Ministry.

    The rabbis began their meeting around 9:30 AM, but by 1:30 PM had not issued a statement.

    The head of the Hesder yeshiva in the Negev city of Arad, Rabbi Yinon Ilani, has already announced his position, however:

    "If the Hesder Union does not issue a strong, unambiguous statement to the effect that rabbis are not under the army's thumb, our yeshiva will be forced to quit the Union, despite the heavy price we will have to pay."

    The Defense Ministry subsidizes Hesder yeshiva students to the tune of millions of shekels each year per yeshiva. A yeshiva that loses or gives up its Hesder status will thus lose a significant chunk of its financial base.

    A group of Deans of non-Hesder religious-Zionist yeshivot have joined the head of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, in a statement against the closure of Yeshivat Har Bracha as a Heser yeshiva. They are:

    Rabbi Shabtai Sabato, Yeshivat Meor Tuviah in Mitzpeh Yericho
    Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, Yeshivat Beit El
    Rabbi Yitzchak Ben-Shachar, Yeshivat Kedumim
    Rabbi David Chai HaCohen, Yeshivat Orot HaTorah in Bat Yam
    Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, Yeshiva Od Yosef Chai in Yitzhar
    Rabbi Uri Cohen, Beit Medrash Meretz, Mevaseret Zion

    2. 'Barak Only Understands Force'
    by Gil Ronen

    Dr. Aryeh Bachrach of the Almagor Parents' Forum advised the Hesder yeshiva heads to select more aggressive representatives who will "put Defense Minister Ehud Barak in his proper place." in the current crisis.

    "Rabbi [Chai Druckman is an important personage but he is least suited for the goals," Bachrach told Arutz Sheva Sunday, referring to the head of the Hesder Yeshiva Union. "What we need now is not a man of peace but a man of war."

    "Just as we must not exhibit weakness before the Palestinians, so we must not be weak with Barak," Bachrach continued. "The State-oriented attitude approach is not the proper one at this time. When the doctors went on strike, no one asked them how far they were willing to go in their protests, so why do people who fight for their homes have to draw boundaries and red lines to their struggle? This is not Barak's private army and we will not be threatened by him."

    The yeshiva heads should be the ones threatening Barak and not the other way around, Bachrach said:

    "As long as he does not take action against the [leftis lecturers who incite in the universities, he should not be taking action against us. If he does not want the Hesder yeshivas, we will be the ones to throw the 'divorce papers' at him; we will not wait for him to hand it to us."

    Asked whom he had in mind as tough representatives, Bachrach mentioned Rabbis Dov Lior and Yisrael Ariel. He voiced doubt regarding the Hesder yeshivas' ability to handle the crisis properly. "I did not see them speaking out until now, except for Rabbi [Elieze Waldman. It is time to fight and stop being such nice guys."

    The heads of the Hesder yeshivas convened Sunday morning under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Druckman to try and find a solution to the crisis between the Defense Ministry and Har Bracha yeshiva. Barak decided to stop the 'hesder' arrangement with the yeshiva, because of the opinions of its head, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, regarding conscientious objection in case of an order to expel Jews from their homes.

    3. MKs on Anti-Yesha Military Plan: Where's Netanyahu?
    by Hillel Fendel Reponding to Anti-Yesha War Plan

    Responses to Defense Minister Ehud Barak's military plan against Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria have been sharp.

    The Civil Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria released this statement:

    "This plan against the settler public will trample into the dust their most basic human rights. We call upon the government to wake up before it loses its right to be called the only democracy in the Middle East."

    MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad (National Union):

    "The police and army are cooperating in a rape of the settler public. This set of commands is formulated as if the intention is to conquer an enemy country. It shows the insanity of subjugating the Central Command, its intelligence branches, and the Shabak together with the Air Force for the purpose of destroying Jewish homes."

    "The crime is two-fold," Eldad said: "Using the IDF for a political mission against Jews, and not using it against the Arab enemy. Netanyahu and his entire government are to blame for their collaboration."

    Even MK Ophir Akunis (Likud), a political ally of Prime Minister Netanyahu, came out against the plan, and MK Tzipi Hotovely, also of the Likud, called on Netanyahu to "intervene and revoke this disproportionate deployment."

    MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said the document is "shocking" and "shows that the Likud government has declared war on the settlers. Bibi [Netanya is continuing the path of [comatose former Prime Minister Arie Sharon who destroyed the IDF in his war against the Jews and left a crushed IDF to deal with Hizbullah [in the Second Lebanon Wa."

    "The IDF's function is to fight our enemies and to prepare for that," Ben-Ari continued, "and whoever changes its function, thus tears the nation in half and destroys the State."

    Danny Dayan, the Chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, said, "This plan is simply a deployment for an army operation against an enemy."

    4. Columnist Warns Barak: We Won't Forget

    by Gil Ronen Pundit:

    'Barak, We Won't Forget'

    Columnist Menachem Benn of Maariv attacked Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a scathing weekend column, following Barak's decision to cut off the Har Bracha yeshiva from the Hesder arrangemen with the Defense Ministry.

    "After he destroyed his party and left it bleeding hatred and divided, Ehud Barak is more than ready to destroy the country, too, if we only let him," Benn wrote. "He is already dividing the IDF and pitting its finest knit-kippah combat soldiers against it. He is already traveling to Turkey... and trying to convince us, against the will of the Foreign Minister who is trying to block the move, that the anti-Semitic Erdogan can be an excellent broker between us and Syria."

    "Barak is also maneuvering the Prime Minister of Israel, after long talks with Obama and Mitchell, into a damaging and grave partial freeze, which Netanyahu never wanted from the outset, and promises to give Abu Mazen at least what he already gave Arafat: agreement to a near-full withdrawal from all of Judea and Samaria and full territorial repayment inside tiny Israel, in accordance with the terrible formula offered by Olmert, who was willing to sell everything in order to be liked by the Left, in the hope that he would be 'etrogized' as Sharon was etrogized."

    In Jewish tradition, an etrog is a citron fruit which is kept wrapped and stored in a special box throughout the Sukkot holiday. The term has recently also come to denote a politician who enjoys special treatment from the media and law enforcement establishment, because he is carrying out policies that are to their liking.


    Barak desperately needs "etrog" status now, Benn states. "We shall remember the PR firm established by his wife after he was already appointed Defense Minister, promising all sorts of millionaires to utilize all sorts of connections for them. We will remember the State Comptroller's investigation about sums in millions that were transferred within his family, after he was appointed Defense Minister. We shall remember the luxurious hotel in Paris. We shall remember his illegal Philippine housemaid."

    "How is it that he never bothered to ask his wife and find out if the Filipina was legal or not? How could he not understand that there was something wrong with his wife's PR firm, when she promised to make use of connections with the world's rich and powerful people? And why does his party hate him so much? Can this person be trusted with all of the diplomatic and security matters? This is a man who now wants to rob the public of its right to determine, through referendum, if it should — G-d forbid — retreat from the Golan. Barak, being Barak, expects us to trust his judgment, without bothering to keep us in the loop. After all, this is the man who was about to sell Arafat everything, without asking anyone, at a time when it had become completely clear that the nation would boot him from office. Barak is a danger to himself and trips himself up all the time, but this is something we can live with. The problem is that he trips up Israel as well."

    5. Settlers: Secret Plan Renders Barak 'War Criminal'

    by Hillel Fendel Settlers: Barak is War Criminal

    A secret document that has been made public shows that the IDF is planning something close to war against the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), local councils accuse.

    The secret document, which has clandestinely reached Arutz-7, shows that the army is planning to enforce the government-ordered construction freeze on Jewish towns in Yesha with the help of six brigades, the entire Border Guard forces of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, Israel Air Forces helicopters and drones, the Shabak (Shin Bet) and police, intelligence forces, and IDF reserve units. The forces are required to submit a daily report to the General Staff and the Defense Minister by 1 PM each day.

    The Shomron Residents Committee released a sharp statement in response:

    "This war plan formulated against the pioneering settlement enterprise in Samaria and Judea, together with the plan against the hesder yeshivot which produce the best of Israel's soldiers, turns [Defense Ministe Ehud Barak into a war criminal."

    "With the full backing of Netanyahu, who so cynically called us 'brothers,' Barak is wasting billions of shekels of the People of Israel's money in order to promote his own standing in the Israeli left — instead of investing the money in building and developing the Galilee, Samaria, Negev and Judea. We will fight without compromise against Barak's criminal actions, and we will continue to build our land wherever Arab nationalism threatens to turn it into terrorist states."

    The document states that the plan is on the "General Staff" level, and outlines the plan to destroy new Jewish buildings throughout Judea and Samaria. It appears that the plan is set to be put into operation within two weeks.

    "The security forces will display zero tolerance vis-à-vis violence against the forces engaged in enforcing the construction freeze, demolitions and evictions," the document states.

    Other excerpts from the military plan:

    "The basic assumption is that no one will agree to leave when required to, and therefore the eviction will require force. The settlers will see these actions as the beginning of the disengagement [i.e., unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria — ed, and they will therefore attempt to block the demolition in any way they can."

    "There is no concrete information that the settlers will use weapons, but every scenario must be taken into account."

    "The sector must be isolated; very large forces must arrive in order to carry out the eviction, based on the assumption that 'tremendous force will silence any opposition.' There must be tactical surprise, and those who disturb the peace must be dealt with in the courts as quickly as possible, including publication of the verdicts."

    "The media must not be allowed to enter the inner circle [of the actio." Some media outlets are already planning to protest to the Supreme Court against this violation of freedom of the press.

    "The nearby communities must be totally closed off, and people may be allowed to leave only for urgent needs. Cellular communication will be blocked off for the entire area in order to prevent [the settlers fro alerting and calling each other to arrive at the site."

    Barak's Response: Just Do What You're Told

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to the release of the plan and to the criticism as follows:

    "All that is required of the settlement leaders and the settlers is to fulfill the government decision regarding the freeze of new construction during this defined period [of ten month, and then there will be no need for force or hostilities with the security forces."
    To Go To Top

    Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, December 20, 2009.

    As you are all know, there are various movements advocating an indiscriminate boycott of Jewish products and services based in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley (Yesha).

    These Yesha businesses have been severely affected and some have even closed down as a result of the boycotts, coming in conjunction with the global economic situation.

    Moral support is important, but hiring and patronizing the businesses is the only practical solution to fending off their collapse. Therefore, in the interest of strengthening the local Yesha economy and the population whose livelihood has been endangered, we developed the following international internet resource tool:
    www.DKatom.com Dapei Katom; "The Orange Pages"

    The Dapei Katom site is the first all-inclusive Yesha business on-line directory (currently in Hebrew) and will eventually include thousands of Jewish owned businesses, large and small. In addition to the ease of finding the services you need, there will be specials and sales that can save you money, making this a win-win situation.

    You have received this letter to inform you of this new project so that you can partner with us to ensure its success. Please refer others to this site, through your personal and community lists in Israel and abroad, so that it will gain exposure and attract interest and income for our fellow Israelis whose only "crime" is their politically incorrect location in the heartland of our Homeland.

    (Quote from the Rambam re the highest level of tzadaka helping someone earn a living.)

    In the history of the world, no tyranny has ever voluntarily relinquished power or been replaced by peaceful means.

    Have a nice day
    Aryeh Zelasko :-)
    Beit Shemesh

    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.

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Ted Belman, December 20, 2009.

    Arab honour is at the root of Arab rejectionism and intransigence. It prevents Arabs from accepting blame or compromising. It also prevents Arabs from losing land to Israel or ending the conflict. Arab honour is closely linked to Islamic concepts of jihad and dhimmitude. Arab honour impells them to seek domination. Failure to dominate, dishonours them. Accepting responsibility is an anathema to their honour.. Muslim violence against the publication in Denmark of cartoons featuring Mohammed is a prime example of their refusal to accept the rule of law or western norms that are at odds with what their honour demands. The same goes for their reaction to Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses.

    Prof Richard Landes covers this phenomenon in Part III of "Paradigms and the Middle East Conflict." titled "HJP: Honour Jihad paradigm"
    (http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2006/12/10/ paradigms-and-the-middle-east-conflict-introduction/).

    "The HJP understands the Arab-Israeli conflict through the prism of honor-shame culture and Islamic jihad. These elements of Arab culture are the main factors that have made it impossible to reach a solution to the conflict. Arab leaders view any compromise with Israel as "losing face," since such an agreement would mean recognizing as a "worthy foe" an inferior group that should be subject. Such a blow to Arab honor cannot be tolerated for cultural and political reasons: losing face means to feel utter humiliation, to lose public credibility, and to lose power.

    "According to HSJP, the Arab-Israeli conflict is fueled by wounded Arab honor and frustrated religious imperialism."

    Denis Schulz on Honor and Islam writes

    "The less honor reposing in a person or a group, the more angry and violent the response to any challenge, real or imagined, by said person or group."and "

    ..those who have the least of it spend the most time defending it".

    The peace process, if not the existence of Israel itself, is closely tied to the necessitudes of Arab honour. The Arabs simply refuse to accept responsibility for the problem and therein lies the problem.

    Using Shulz's insight, the bigger the defeat, the greater the need to be fully vindicated.

    In The refugees, still essential to peace, Rami G. Khouri* claims the Arabs wish to achieve a negotiated, peaceful end to their conflict. I beg to differ. If the Arabs were so willing, why aren't they willing to compromise by agreeing to accept 95% of the land. The truth is, they are willing to end the conflict, if at all, only on their terms.

    For Khouri, "Israel's refusal to come to grips with the core issue that matters for the Palestinians, which is their status as refugees." is what is preventing peace.

    While he acknowledges "half the people were forced into exile, either by deliberate Zionist ethnic cleansing or by the normal dynamics of war that caused civilians to flee temporarily to safer areas." he fails to mention that the Arabs started the '48 war or that the invading Arab armies counseled the Arabs to leave. He makes the ahistorical claim that "the national community of Palestinians was shattered" whereas no such community existed at the time.

    He demands that

    "Israel acknowledges its role in the refugeehood of the Palestinians and takes steps to end that problem. The Arabs have all accepted the demand that they coexist in peace and normal relations with an Israeli state that is predominantly Jewish, as it is now, with Jews comprising around 80 percent of the population. The Israelis in return have not moved at all toward coming to terms with the legal, political and moral decisions they must take to play their central role in resolving Palestinian refugeehood — since they were the principal party in bringing it about. "

    I would argue that but for Arab aggression against Israel, there would be no refugee problem, I would further argue that but for Arab refusal to resettle the refugees as Israel did Jewish refugees from Arab countries, there would be no such problem.

    But he does make an interesting analogy,

    The current Israeli superiority in military power will not bring it lasting peace and security because the Palestinians will not simply disappear into history — no more than the exiled Jews in Babylon went away to never return. [..]

    The Palestinians have passed through the same experience, two and a half millennia later, of seeking to end our exile through nationalist self-assertion and reaffirmation, along with patience and hard work.

    He shamelessly takes from the Palestine Mandate which called for the "reconstituting their (Jews) national home in that country (Palestine)" by arguing on behalf of he Arabs, for "the eventual return and national reconstitution in the (Arab) ancestral homeland."

    Then he returns to the solution.

    For now, the Palestinians and all Arabs have expressed a willingness to coexist with Zionism — if the Israelis in turn come to terms with how critical it is to acknowledge and resolve the refugee issue in a reasonable and fair manner that does not negate the idea of a predominantly Jewish state.

    Why should such "willingness to co-exist" be considered a concession. And why is it only "for now"? Israel was legally created and recognized by most states in the world in 1948. Yet the Arabs refuse to abide by the rule of law and accept it. Their honour demands that they not. Their honour demands that they destroy, or at least, dominate Israel.

    Reading between the lines is the thought that Israel can accept some refugees back into Israel, because it is 80% Jewish, and still remain "predominantly Jewish", i.e. one hundred thousand, or even two hundred thousand, barely alters the percentage.

    If this was so important to the Arabs why don't they agree to Israel retaining 10% of the disputed lands in exchange?

    Nowhere does he ascribe to the Arabs, responsibility for causing the problem or for maintaining the problem, not just by refusing to allow refugees to be settled but also by inculcating in them the desire to return. But for this inculcation, there would not have been a national consensus or desire to return.

    The analogy above noted is really a false one. Prior to the Jewish expulsion to Babylonia, Jews had a nation and a country. Prior to the '48 war, the "Palestinians" had neither.

    Furthermore, to fight for only 5% of the 4.5 million "refugees" to be returned, is to fight to get Israel to take responsibility for the problem. That would exculpate the Arabs. But, accepting less than every inch of land back is something they will not do. And that assumes that the Arabs are prepared to end the conflict rather than to just coexist for now.

    If that weren't enough,, their honour doesn't permit them to end the conflict. Islam requires all lands over which Islam is supreme to be retained or recovered, if lost. It would be an enormous loss of honour to end the conflict without destroying Israel.

    Jonathan Dohoah-Halevi comments on the matter in a JCPA article,

    "Osama bin Laden has written: "We request of Allah...that the [Islamic] nation should regain its honor and prestige, should raise again the unique flag of Allah on all stolen Islamic land, from Palestine to Andalus." Bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam, established that the Islamic obligation to wage jihad in order to recover lost Islamic territories applies to Andalusia.

    "Accepting the Arabs' terms for a Middle East settlement, or even going so far as "liberating" Palestine from Israeli rule, will not be the last stop in the radical Islamic journey being led by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, which share the vision of spreading Islam all over the world".

    Abbas is not returning to negotiations because he is not prepared to accept President Obama's terms that the Arabs recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end the conflict.

    Professor Barry Rubin, in his latest article on why Obama's offer was rejected, referred to Arafat's rejection of Barak's offer at Camp David because it didn't contain the "Right of Return".

    "As for the Right of Return demand, it was in line with something Qaddumi had said in March 2002: "The Right of Return of the refugees to Haifa and Jaffa is more important than statehood." [..]

    Gaining total victory and destroying Israel was more important than getting a Palestinian state, ending the "occupation" and all the real or alleged terrible suffering of Palestinians we constantly hear about. So it was, so it remains."

    Nothing has changed for the better. Nothing will change.

    [*] Rami G. Khouri is Editor-at-large of The Daily Star, and Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon.

    Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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    Posted by Yaacov Levi, December 20, 2009.

    This was written by Tovah Lazaroff and Yaakov Katz.


    The military plans to use "paralyzing power" to demolish illegal settler construction where building has continued in defiance of the 10-month freeze on such activity, according to an IDF document obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night.

    Police officers climb over a locked gate as settlers try to prevent the civil administration from delivering warrants to freeze construction in the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Levona. (AP [file], JRep)

    The 17-page document outlines military orders that had been drawn up by the Central Command after the government decided last month to impose a 10-month moratorium on new settlement construction in the West Bank.

    Under the moratorium, settlers and contractors working on projects in which the foundations had not been finished must stop work for 10 months. But many settlers have vowed to continue building, anyway.

    The IDF, therefore, is planning a second phase of enforcing the freeze, which will involve entering settlements to demolish all illegal construction work.

    In the last few weeks, the civil administration and the Border Police have gone into most settlements to hand out stop-work orders and monitor compliance with the moratorium. In a number of settlements, residents blocked the path of security forces and clashes ensued.

    In the second phase, the Border Police will oversee the demolitions and evacuate protesters, while the IDF will secure the perimeter. The IDF will move in only in cases of extreme violence.

    Physical force would have to be used against the settlers, since it is assumed they would not peacefully stop work and evacuate construction sites when ordered to do so, the document states.

    The settlers believe the moratorium is the start of a second disengagement and will do everything possible to prevent the demolitions, the document said. There is no concrete information that the settlers intend to take up arms, said the document, but it added that anything was possible.

    The document goes into great detail, outlining different scenarios that could occur. It also distinguishes between "moderate" and "violent" settlements, such as Yitzhar, Tapuach and Itamar.

    Initially, the IDF would try to come to a verbal resolution with the settlers, but if that fails, they would surprise the settlers with what the army termed "paralyzing force."

    The air force is expected to get involved by doing reconnaissance flights over the area. The IDF plans to shut down cellular phone services during the enforcement operation and to ban reporters from the scene.

    Commanders have been told to prepare for incidents of insubordination.

    "It's an outrageous document that teaches us that the Likud government has declared a war against the settlers," MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said.

    Sources in the Central Command explained that the orders were written in such detail because the document was being distributed to various units throughout the West Bank and needed to take into consideration all possible scenarios.

    "This is what we do when we are given orders by the defense minister," one source explained. "It is our responsibility to prepare as detailed a document [as necessary] to take into consideration all of the different possible scenarios."

    The document discusses the different command-and-control mechanisms that were put in place when the moratorium went into effect last month.

    Every week, the paper says, a forum will be convened by the OC Central Command — called the "commanders forum" — to discuss strategy and tactics.

    Other members of the forum include the head of the civil administration as well as representatives from the Judea and Samaria Police, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Judea and Samaria Division and Division 162, which is based in the Jordan Valley.

    The order also called for the establishment of a "command center" from which orders would be issued every day by 1 p.m. for the next day, and then distributed to the various units spread out in the West Bank.

    Contact Yaacov Levi by email at jlevi_us@yahoo.com This article appeared today on Arutz-7 (www.Israelnn.com).

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    Posted by Yaacov Levi, December 20, 2009.

    In an interview with Israel Radio Sunday morning, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said that the IDF's plan to use large forces to demolish buildings said that "we will resist, and block with our bodies the destroying forces. I recommend that Barak issue a general emergency draft call for as many soldiers as he can. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has gone insane." Eldad added that "this is a double crime — using IDF force against Jews, but not against Arabs. Both Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are guilty of this crime, and they are being aided by the government's ministers."

    MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said that "this shocking document shows that the Likud has gone to war against residents of Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu is continuing in the way of Ariel Sharon, who destroyed the IDF in an internal Jewish war, and left Hizbullah a destroyed IDF."

    Contact Yaacov Levi by email at jlevi_us@yahoo.com This article appeared today on Arutz-7 (www.Israelnn.com).

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    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 18, 2009.

    Upon testing a solid-fuel missile of intermediate range, within which are Israel and part of Europe, Iran claimed that its missiles would be used only in self-defense (Wall St. Journal, 12/19).

    How much credence should one put in Iran's claim?

    1. Totalitarian regimes such as Iran operate more on false promises and phony pretexts than do democratic ones. They call their aggression "self-defense,' and Muslims call Israeli self-defense "aggression."
    2. For years, Iran has deceptively violated its treaty with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Part of this deceit was to develop technology and facilities that are military. Missiles were developed for carrying nuclear weapons.
    3. Iran has a jihadist ideology, which aims to conquer the world. The radical president of Iran believes that a world war would invoke the final triumph of Islam. Iran's official ideology values martyrdom, making the government less deterred by the prospect of retaliation.
    4. Iran supports terrorist proxies undermining several other countries, hardly defensive. Iran has had agents promoting subversion and insurgency in Iraq and Lebanon. It also is arming them for aggression.
    5. One of those proxies bombed facilities of Jews in Argentina, with which Iran has no particular quarrel.
    6. At times, Iran has threatened other countries, particularly Israel. Iran's notion of self-defense, when attacked, is to warn now that if attacked, it would retaliate even against innocent third parties.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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    Posted by UCI, December 18, 2009.

    This was written by David Basch.

    David Basch is an architect and city planner in New York as well as the Freeman Center's political philosopher. Basch is also an expert on Shakespeare and the author of the book, The Hidden Shakespeare, which proves through talmudic and other Jewish sources that Shakespeare was in fact Jewish.


    "As relevant as Caroline Glick's recent observations are concerning the rampant madness among world leaders, it seems that some focus ought to be given to the kind of persistent madness that afflicts Israel's leaders...." "What has to be worrisome is that all the noted dire outcomes Israel faces were the results of deliberate policies of Israel's leaders. If this is not evidence of Israeli madness, what is? It is a phenomenon crying for examination...."

    Caroline Glick recently described the madness, the narcissistic and ego driven views, that characterizes that of many world governments that zealously seek to combat the "global warming problem," doing so at horrendous cost and suicidal risk to past ways and traditions. This persists despite recent exposures of scientific fraud in establishing this undertaking as a valid goal. Nevertheless, Glick notes that these misbegotten goals remain at center stage while real world dangers, such as the nuclearization of Iran, are ignored. She wonders whether "this is simply the Era of Madness."

    As relevant as Glick's observations of this madness are, it seems that a useful focus could be given to the madness that afflicts Israel's leaders. What else but madness can have led a victorious Israel to pursue an Oslo process that restored the defeated Arab enemy, returning from exile Arafat and his terrorist army, giving them control of Israeli lands, weaponry, and adopting the enemy's definition of the war between Israel and the Arabs, in which Israel emerges as the robber and "occupier" of alleged "Arab lands"?

    And even when the dire consequences of this Oslo madness was brought painfully home through tens of thousands of Israeli deaths and maiming, this did not deter Israel's leaders from continuing this madness. Thus, following Oslo, Prime Minister Ehud Barak unilaterally withdrew Israeli forces from the buffer in Lebanon that had for 18 years protected northern Israel and he offered Arafat — who had violated all his promises and obligations under the Oslo process — a virtually complete withdrawal from Israel's territories, including portions of Jerusalem.

    Again the Arab response to Barak's "gestures" was dismal. Arafat prosecuted a new and more violent intifada and Arab forces moved into the Lebanese vacuum to bombard the entire northern tier of Israel with tens of thousands of rockets and they hold even more rockets still aimed at Israel.

    Astonishingly, these consequences did not halt the Israeli madness. For soon after, Ariel Sharon embarked Israel on a shameful conquest of herself in the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish communities of Gaza and the surrender of the Gaza strip — a policy supported by Netanyahu. This exercise of madness opened Gaza to direct military supply from the Arab world and brought the entire southern tier of Israel under Arab bombardment by tens of thousands of rockets and a like number held in reserve and capable of reaching as far as Tel Aviv. Recent videos have shown a massive and exultant Arab populace vowing to use the Gaza beachhead to conquer all of Israel.

    What has to be worrisome is that all these dire outcomes were the results of the deliberate Israeli policies. If this is not madness, what is? It cries for examination. Conveniently, Ehud Barak's leadership offers a paradigm. Who can fail to remember Ehud Barak's declaration almost a decade ago that, had be been an Arab, he too would be doing what the Arabs were doing, that is, mounting violent attacks against Israel. Not only did Barak think he understood the Arab mind — it was, he thought, none other than his own kind of thinking — he was also sympathetic to it. Here is an illustration liberal ideology in action, a view that regards all men, down deep, as sharing common values of peace and brotherhood, as Barak thought he shared with the Arabs.

    Barak's explanation for the enmity of the peace-loving Arabs that his ideology told him were there was that Israel had egregiously provoked the Arabs by seizing their land. Hence, were Israel to withdraw, peace would be sure to break. That is the way Barak would have reacted and he understood the Arab mind. Of course, Barak's view ignored the fact that the Arabs attacked Israel in 1948 and 1967 when Israel held no such "Arab" territory. This revealed how distorted was Barak's view of events, his blindness a product of his obsession with liberal ideology that took precedence over reality, in other words, his madness.

    Of course, the Arab response to Barak's "gestures" told that they do not think like Barak. Rather, they follow a different drummer, namely, the behests of Islam and its jihad that demands expansion of the Islamic realm, including recovery of all lands once held under Islamic rule, like the land of Israel. Unless the Arabs were to change their religious beliefs, they could have no willing peace with infidel nations like Israel, hence the Arabs could be depended on to continue their war on Israel unless decisively defeated.

    But persons driven by madness — liberal obsessions — refuse to recognize such reality. Moreover, they are encouraged in their madness by the reigning propaganda of a liberal media and academia that offer liberal leaders the praise that is so satisfying to the egos of such leaders. They are hailed as "wise statesmen" and exemplars of "high morality," reputations further used to win and hold the adulation of the public.

    But believing in high-sounding values is not the same as being wise and moral. Thus, Barak's surrender of hard-won Israeli military positions that had kept dangerous enemies at bay because he thinks they are really not so bad and are enemies only because Israel holds their territory may have seemed to Barak a noble gesture, but it turns out not to have been that at all. It was rather a betrayal of the security and safety owed to Israel's people.

    With Barak as the paradigm, is it not evident how obsessed, moralistic Israeli leaders — blind to a reality that contradicts their ideology — could bring back and strengthen defeated enemies? Is it not also clear how with these same views, Netanyahu could openly exult when he turned over the Hebron region to the Arabs that seek to destroy Israel, having betrayed those who voted for him, succumbing to what he regarded as a misshapen "higher morality"?

    And can we not visualize the moralistic tremors of joy when Israel's leaders turned over Gaza to dangerous enemies — dangers rendered unseen by a flawed ideology — without a shred of thought to security down sides or even to the pain inflicted on dispossessed, innocent Jews? This is hardly the expression of a higher morality.

    We come now to what may well be the latest phase of Israeli madness. Netanyahu has announced his acceptance of a new Arab state on Israel's lands, the very lands set aside for the Jewish people by the League of Nations, and he has declared a freeze on Jewish construction in them. The implications of this are frightening, presaging a new round of Jewish ethnic cleansing. This time it could amount to hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled and the transformation of the West Bank into another version of Gaza/Lebanon, from which Israel's population centers will face new rocket bombardments.

    Rightly anticipating these developments, anxious Jews, including Israeli soldiers, declare that this time they do not intend to sit passively in the face of such advents. Ominously, these anxieties are not responded to by government assurances that this will not occur. Rather, fears are denigrated by Israeli officials as "insubordination" and "threats to democracy" — as though the many surrenders by Israel's government in violation of the people's will expressed in elections were not in themselves "threats to democracy" and "insubordination" to the rule of the people.

    The fear is that Netanyahu has reverted to the earlier policies, for which his right wing constituency ousted him. Here again is seen the same liberal craving to demonstrate "high morality" and "statesmanship" by now surrendering the Israeli heartland to the same Arabs that have again and again betrayed earlier agreements. As occurred with the Gaza surrender, such policies of surrender are called practical and wise. But, as we have seen, such views are made possible by liberal obsession not to recognize that Israel faces an Arab enemy that is implacably determined to destroy her.

    The only difference now is Netanyahu's eagerness to demonstrate his depthful understanding of economics. On this trip, he thinks this will change past outcomes since he believes past agreements failed — not because the Arabs are implacably opposed to the acceptance of infidel Israel, a thought precluded by liberal ideology — but because necessary economic underpinnings were absent. However, now, Netanyahu proudly declares that under his leadership the economic infrastructure of the territories will be developed with Israel's help.

    Such thinking reveals Netanyahu as another version of Barak with the variation in thought that Karl Marx's economic determinism will yield the peace impossible before. It seems, once again, just like the moth is attracted to the flame, an Israeli leader is lured by his liberal obsession to engage in a new Israeli surrender.

    This is the dismal trajectory of liberal madness that Netanyahu seems to be embracing. That is the story, unless he is preparing to pull a rabbit out of his hat and change Israeli and Jewish history by embracing policies to confront the nuclear danger coming from Iran and the danger of Arab forces that surround Israel to this day.

    These are the Readers' Comments

    Chaim · 1 week ago David Basch is right on target. It is truly frightening to watch Israeli leaders act as if they were living in a dream world. As if our mortal enemies are merely misunderstood friends. Despite the fact that every Israeli retreat, concessions and gesture has had disastrous consequences, they rush with childlike enthusiasm towards yet more disastrous retreats, concessions and gestures. I fear Israeli leaders far more than our enemies. This is a time for all goood Jews and everyone who loves Israel, to pute aside our differences, and unite against the mindless concessions Bibi is offering our enemies. Israel clearly voted against settlement freezes and the monstrous Two State Final Solution but clearly, in undemocratic Israel, that is not enough. We must rise up as one and do whatever is necessary to STOP THE MADNESS!
    Shlomo Sharan · 1 week ago Let not readers forget that Netanyahu explicitly added a condition to his offer of a Two-State "Solution," namely that the Arab state in Judea and Samaria be de-militarized. Mahmoud Abbas immeditely rejected that condition. It is recommended that those who respond to Benjamin Netanyahu's suggestions listen to what he is offering. Shlomo Sharan, Profesor Emeritus Ed. Psych., Tel-Aviv University December 18, 2009

    Eugene McCarley · 1 week ago

    To the people of Israel: "THERE IS NONE TO GUIDE HER AMONG ALL THE SONS WHOM SHE HATH BROUGHT FORTH; NEITHER IS THERE ANY THAT TAKETH HER BY THE HAND OF ALL SONS SHE HATH BROUGHT UP." (Isaiah 51:18) Soon you will realize who you are in the sight of the world and in the sight of your God. Beleive what your Book has to see and you will solve your problems. Your strength lies only in God and not your political leaders. Bibi will not solve them. Praying daily for God to open your eyes to the truth of His Word.

    Richard Webber · 1 week ago

    Amen to that!

    Dahg Melek · 1 week ago

    Continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is in deed MADNESS.

    bernard ross · 1 week ago

    Israel needs a paradigm shift from masochistic acceptance of the values of those that slaughtered jews for thusands of years to a recognition that the soulution must be a military one and that Israel must win decisively or experience another holocaust. Liberal jews cannot bring themselves to accept this reality. They were also unable to accept that the most liberal country in europe, to which they all flocked, would devise for them the final solution. It is vain to believe that thousands of years of behaviour is easily abandoned. There have been many opportuites since 1956 to win decisively. . In each case Israel chose to retreat and leave the enemy to resume their jew killing..

    Orlean · 1 week ago

    Saddened is my heart to see that not only is my nation America succumbing to socialism, but to also see traces of it in Israel. For in the last days "men will call good evil and will call evil good". Sort of sounds like TODAY, doesn't it?

    Orlean · 1 week ago

    Why have my comments in recent days been held to "be approved by the site administration"? what is wrong with my comments? If you DO NOT want me to comment then please tell me so.

    Victoire la Demain · 1 week ago

    Thank your lucky stars Ehud Barak did not hold sway in Germany during the Third Reich, else there'd be no Jews left at all. The man must be infected with a virulent strain of Saul Alinsky's failed "recipe for "co-option". But never mind Barak, just get rid of him.

    We are puzzled — why on earth don't Jews enforce international law? If you aren't familiar with it, then you MUST immediately study Professor Howard Grief's immaculately researched book: "The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law" and then demand, in fact march through the streets of Israel to demand, the enforcement of what the British themselves described as the Jewish Magna Carta. The laws and the treaties bind the United States, Europe, and the UK to establish "Jewish Palestine" "from the ocean to the sea" and these laws are still on the books and enforceable. These laws and treaties must be unforced because they cannot be abrogated. In every instance where Israel's crazy (or corrupt) or cowed leadership has ignored the law, and it seems that this has always been the case, then their pitiable concessions and give-aways can be denounced and rejected as "ultra vires" acts. This cannot be achieved with the egotistic and arrogant hagglers and weaklings currently occupying Israel's highest offices so you must sweep them away. Israel has always had the right to annex Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza because these lands have always been part of the lands accorded to Jewish Palestine by the treaties that underlay the establishment of Jewish Palestine — now called "Israel." Nobody, not even the government of Israel, can simply agree to "give these lands away". The people of Israel must stop behaving like self-absorbed sheep. They must demand and retake or annex their lands or else their children will most assuredly be led to slaughter or enslaved by the Islamic imperialists. So listen up, Jews, familiarize yourselves with international law, and get cracking. And for heaven's sake, stop bargaining with the arabs who swarmed into Jewish Palestine to steal your lands. Their only connection to the lands of Israel is their yen to steal them. They are the unlawful occupiers, and you can bet the Britz know it, hence their steadfast lies. Holiday Greetings to the Patriots of Israel from the PC-free SC4Z. (Secular Christians for Zion)

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

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

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    Posted by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, December 18, 2009.

    Professor Moshe Arens, former Defense Minister and Ambassador to the US, told Arutz 7 Thursday that Defense Minister Ehud Barak "is endangering the country" by ousting the Har Bracha yeshiva from the Hesder Torah study-soldier program.

    Arens, who immigrated to Israel from the United States, charged that Barak's decision was a "big mistake" that may cost the army the price of losing Hesder students, who often serve in elite combat units.

    He said that the government is wrong for involving the army in politics by using soldiers for police actions to expel Jews from their homes. Barak has argued that Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of Har Bracha, is mixing politics with the army by suggesting that soldiers not obey expulsion orders, which he and many rabbis consider a violation of Torah law.

    Arens, who served three times as Defense Minister, argued that the government has not learned its lesson from the mass expulsions in the "Disengagement" program in 2005, when soldiers helped police expel nearly 10,000 Jews from their homes.

    "In the Disengagement, the government deployed soldiers against civilians who had not violated any law. This is not the duty of the IDF, and today, most of the public agrees that the Disengagement was a mistake", Arens told Arutz 7.

    He noted that IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi also has said that it would be preferable not to involve the army in civilian expulsions. "If the IDF were not involved in the issue, this problem [with Hesder yes would go away and what has happened would be seen as a tempest in a teacup."

    Media Bias

    The dispute with Rabbi Melamed escalated after he refused to make a sweeping denouncement of protests against expulsion orders to soldiers. However, he explicitly stated that if soldiers had asked for his advice, he would have recommended that they not stage protests within the IDF.

    Israeli media generally played down or ignored that statement until after Barak announced Sunday night he will remove Har Brachah from the Hesder program.

    Rabbi Melamed said that Barak's decision must be overturned because otherwise "the Defense Minister will decide to close another yeshiva because of something he does not like. We are not his soldiers. We are willing to listen, but expect respect from him."

    Support for Rabbi Melamed

    Ramat Gan Rabbi Yaakov Ariel backed Rabbi Melamed, saying that "Barak did something that should not be done. Summoning him to a hearing is a humiliation, as if the rabbi is some sort of clerk. Is that the way Barak would act with an academic professor? The real question is whether a democratic country allows freedom of expression — except for rabbis who say what they think."

    Hesder yeshiva rabbis have rallied around Rabbi Melamed. Kiryat Arba yeshiva head, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, a former American, called Barak's decision "very grave and in violation of 40-year-old agreements between the IDF and the Hesder yeshivas."

    Otniel Hesder yeshiva head, Rabbi Benny Kalmanzon told Arutz 7 that Barak has found a "new sacrificial lamb" to cover up charges of corruption that have followed the Defense Minister for several years.

    "Barak has succeeded in destroying the Labor party and now wants a spin to free himself from another issue of corruption on someone else's account," according to Rabbi Kalmanzon. "He was caught red-handed recently employing an illegal foreign worker in his home, and now he has found a convenient target by picking on Rabbi Melamed to save himself from charges of corruption.

    "I am against refusing orders, and I think that the army must be kept out of the political arena, but I call on Hesder yeshiva rabbis to stand as one with the yeshiva," Rabbi Kalmezon said. He also noted that professors in universities, where he lectures, often preach anti-Israel messages to their students with impunity. "This is an absurd situation when lecturers call for boycotting Israel while receiving salaries from the government," he explained.

    Regarding the proposed removal of Har Bracha from the Hesder program, he said, "I do not understand the logic of causing students not to serve in the army and then complaining that they do not serve."

    Bnei Akiva yeshiva Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman also supported Rabbi Melamed"s refusal to answer Barak's summons for a "hearing." The use of the word is means that "Barak decided that Rabbi Melamed sinned. A hearing is for someone who is accused of being guilty," explained Rabbi Zuckerman.

    Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu writes for Arutz-7, where this article appeared today.

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    Posted by Avi Yelllin, December 18, 2009.

    The Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria has accused Israeli authorities of unfairly and selectively enforcing laws for Jewish and Arab residents of the mixed city of Hevron. For years, visitors arriving at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the holy city have been greeted by Jewish music emanating from loudspeakers atop the Gutnick Center next door to the ancient site. But on Thursday, the music was banned and Ofer Ochana, a resident of nearby Kiryat Arba, was interrogated and threatened by the police.

    Following the investigation, Ochana was warned that if he attempted to broadcast music over the speakers again he would be arrested and brought up on charges. From information received by the Hevron Jewish community, this police action was most likely a direct order from the new military commander of the central region, who also reportedly demanded that the police carefully examine the law and find a criminal offense that could be attributed to Ochana. The police discovered several laws relating to noise being broadcast publicly from a business in a residential neighborhood. Ochana, who also directs a store and banquet hall inside the building, was then summoned, interrogated and warned. His speakers were disabled and the music was silenced.

    As a result of these measures, the Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria sent a letter to regional police commander Itzik Rachamim, titled "Selective law enforcement regarding loudspeakers in the vicinity of Ma'arat HaMachpela."

    The letter reads as follows:

    "For years Jewish worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs have complained about the unreasonable and illegal noise of loudspeakers sounding the Muslim calls to prayer into the area assigned exclusively for Jewish worship, and in the Machpela courtyard. There is no need for this because these areas are not used for Muslim prayer (excepting 10 days a year). Two years ago a professional examination was carried out in order to measure the noise level compared to conventional criteria. The results, delivered to the Hevron DCO reported that 'if the regulations to prevent hazards (unreasonable noise) from 1990 were applied in this case, the noise levels recorded very highly exceed permissible levels.'

    Despite these official inquiries, nothing was done to stop the daily disturbances which greatly impaired daily Jewish worship at the site. This, despite the fact that the Supreme Court recognized the right of prayer as one the foremost of human rights. In light of this, it is very puzzling why Mr. Ofer Ochana is being investigated for playing Jewish prayer music from the speakers (with far less intensity than the Muslim prayer calls) at the Gutnick Center, an area allocated for Jewish worship with the specific goal of creating an atmosphere of Jewish worship. Much graver is the threat that he would be arrested immediately if he dared to play Jewish music in this area again while no similar criminal steps were taken towards the Arab muezzin.

    If the criterion which you utilize to examine the decision whether to conduct a criminal investigation and threaten detention is a suspicion of 'breach of peace' (the language of Section 194 (a) of the Penal Code) — then there is enough to push the public Jewish worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs to take steps which will be understood to reveal that their welfare and tranquility have been violated by the muezzin's call to prayer...

    Your action yesterday can only be defined as selective law enforcement, represents serious denial of freedom of expression and freedom of worship, and only encourages violent reactions. I ask you to explain why this extreme step was taken and, why you do not enforce the law equally, allowing freedom of expression and worship equally to the two religions."

    A Copy of this letter was sent to the Minister of Religious Affairs, other ministers and to several members of Knesset.

    Avi Yellin write for Arutz-7 (www.IsraelNN.com), where this was published today.

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    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 18, 2009.


    (A.P./David Karp)

    Aluf Benn, columnist for the Israeli leftist newspaper, Haaretz, perceives PM Netanyahu as a peacemaker. Fellow leftists there doubt he is; the NY Times columnist is surprised by the idea that Netanyahu might make peace. The Arabs suggest that Netanyahu is pretending, but really seeks to expand Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria until they preclude statehood for Arabs there.

    Netanyahu's imposition of a building freeze persuaded Benn. He thinks that Netanyahu is willing to make concessions to the Palestinian Arabs that would bring peace. Others add an alleged approval by Netanyahu to statehood for the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) his removal of checkpoints, and his boost to the P.A. economy.

    Some people suggest that Netanyahu values relations with the U.S. so highly, that he imposed the freeze as a compromise with U.S. demands. They note that other Israel hawks became doves when heading the Cabinet (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 12/16, A8).

    The NY Times and others expressed several misconceptions:

    Candidates for the premiership make security-minded speeches and promises; elected candidates make appeasement-minded decisions. More astute Israeli observers discount election campaign promises. The Times purports to take those promises and speeches seriously. On their basis, it labels the Likud candidates as hawks. Then it uses the mistaken label as a basis for speculation. Using the label as a pejorative puts pressure upon the individual to support policies that the Times does.

    Pressure is something that Netanyahu is notorious for caving in to. He did that in his first term, withdrawing from the area around Hebron for nothing and arming P.A. police, who shot Israelis with those rifles. Having proved himself an appeaser, nevertheless, Netanyahu still is thought right-wing by the Times?

    All Israeli prime ministers want peace. The Times is insulting to suggest that some do not. Netanyahu is boosting the P.A. economy, on the theory that better lives make better neighbors. He thinks peace the ultimate result. In boosting the P.A. economy, that supposed right-winger is dashing Zionist hopes to develop in that corner of Palestine.

    I think that Netanyahu does value good relations with the U.S.. Does Obama value good relations with Israel? I think not. Does Israel need good relations with the President of the U.S.? I think it overvalues such relations. Appeasement of the President worsens relations with the U.S. and with the Arabs, because such appeasement raises foreign expectations of more appeasement, they demand more, and they grow more impatient for them.

    Netanyahu should try to persuade the U.S. that the P.A. is jihadist, an enemy of U.S. strategic security. P.A. statehood would degrade U.S. national security.

    Nor did Netanyahu approve of sovereignty for the P.A.. He was pressed to say something, but he talked about less than full sovereignty and preconditioned it on the P.A. ceasing its indoctrination in Jew-hate and on dismantling the terrorist infrastructure, which would be steps toward peace.

    The notion that Israel should make any concessions to the P.A. and that this would get peace contradicts experience and the ideology of the P.A.. Israel has made many concessions, for which it got back ill will and demands for more concessions. Some of its concessions were used for renewing war on Israel.

    Problem is, the P.A. does not want peace. The P.A. teaches its people that all of Palestine, including Israel, belongs to them and that they must fight for it. Strengthening the P.A. economy and expanding its territorial control would permit a stronger fight. The fight is guided by religious and ethnic imperialism, not by want of a better standard of living. After all, Israel had greatly improved the standard of living of Arabs in Israel and in the Territories. That did not make those people more peaceable.

    Finally, what should one make of what the Arabs say? Their statements are geared to their diplomatic effort, which, in turn, is geared to their war effort. They are professional skeptics of Israel, for propaganda. The Arabs, who have broken all their agreements with Israel, are in a poor position to claim that Israel must prove good faith by concessions, especially since Israel kept its agreements with the P.A. until P.A. violations became too flagrant.

    (For more on this about Netanyahu, goto:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY-Israel-Conflict-Examiner~ y2009m11d30-Netanyahu-weakened-Israel-to-please-Obama-the-Arabs-and-UN

    SAUDI LEADER LAMENTS FOR PALESTINIAN ARABS A.P. photo/ Ron Edward — reigning King. The Prince is the son of an assassinated king.

    The long-time Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia repeatedly expressed a lament for Palestinian Arabs and regret he could not solve their problems. He thinks Israel is being stubborn because, he alleges, it has "the absolute backing of the U.S.."

    Prince Saud al-Feisal also expressed concern that Lebanon is subordinate to the Hizbullah army and Iran is not pursuing peaceful nuclear development. He also suggests that Israel be pressed to abandon its nuclear arsenal (Michael Slackman, NY Times, 12/17, A18).

    The Foreign Minister did not explain why Israel should be pressed to abandon its nuclear arsenal now that Iran, which threatens Israel, is developing one.

    He did not reconcile the many different policies that the U.S. urges upon Israel, the latest being the freeze, and other recent ones being to remove from Judea-Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, as well as its refusal to recognize even western Jerusalem as Israel's capital with his claim that the U.S. gives Israel its "absolute backing," a backing he did not define.

    Saudi Arabia could have solved the problems of the Palestinian Arabs. (1) It could have discouraged them and other Arabs from repeatedly making wars and raids upon Israel. (2) It could have accepted Israel's invitations to negotiate peace, instead of, in the last couple of years, demanding that Israel put itself into a position to be both overrun by Arab immigrants and conquered by foreign Arab armies without negotiation, which is called the "Saudi initiative." (3) It could have paid to disperse the Palestinian Arabs among the many Arab states and integrate them there. To be fair, Saudi Arabia did hire several hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs, but expelled them when the Palestinian Arabs in Kuwait acted as a fifth column for Saddam's invaders.

    (For an example of problems created or exacerbated by the Palestinian Arabs, go here:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY-Israel-Conflict-Examiner~ y2009m12d16-Palestinian-Authority-escalates-demands-of-Israel


    On December 21-22, a conference on the Mideast will be held at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a prominent topic being the future of oil. Experts will discuss the growing international dependence upon oil and the growing vulnerability of oil supplies. Regional instability, terrorism, and a rising Iranian armed militancy represent the menace (www.imra.org.il, 12/17).

    (A.P. Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)


    (A.P./Alex Kolomoisky)

    A security officer of a border police unit dedicated to fighting terrorism asked an applicant whether he would be willing to expel friends from his own town. The youth needed time to think. The officer rejected him. Protest reinstated him
    (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/17)


    Part 1. Goal versus peace

    Haniyeh (A.P./Hotern Moussa)

    Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared that Hamas' goal is to take over all of Palestine. That would include Israel.

    Up to now, some Israelis talked themselves into believing that some elements in Hamas, such as Mr. Haniyeh, were moderate, just wanted the area beyond the Green Line, and would live in peace. Haniyeh's declaration disproves it.

    Nor is Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in Judea-Samaria, much better. When Ehud Olmert was Prime Minister of Israel, he offered Abbas 100% beyond the Green Line. Abbas never responded.

    Over the years, Israel made a number of offers to the P.A.. The P.A. rejected or ignored them [or made war], and never made a counter-offer. Remember the hopes at Camp David, Geneva, and Annapolis?

    Abbas talks about peace, but he is unwilling to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state in Israel [code for retaining the goal of conquering it], unwilling to demilitarize [or dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and indoctrination in bigotry, conquest, and terrorism],and unwilling to drop the demand to flood Israel with Arab descendants of refugees [so as to take over Israel, and then what do you think they would do with the Jews there].

    Mr. Shavit asks, what could negotiations accomplish with such people, but he also suggests an Israeli plan [which means negotiation and the likelihood of further rejection]. Alternatively, he suggests more withdrawal (www.imra.org.il, 12/17) like the one that let Gaza turn into a terrorist base.

    Why is there no indignation against the Palestinian Arabs for making war and not peace?

    Part 2: Does Israeli presence in Judea undermine Israel?

    In discussing whether and how to make peace, Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit contends, "The occupation is destroying Israel. It is undermining Israel's ethical, democratic and diplomatic foundations."

    Dr. Aaron Lerner, head of IMRA, disputes that notion. He explains,

    "I would suggest that, in retrospect, much of the activity surrounding Oslo has been 'undermining Israel's ethical, democratic and diplomatic foundations.'"

    "Oslo was, from the first day, a story of tremendous corruption — both financial and professional — among Israeli officials involved in the 'process'".

    "Many of the Israelis involved with the Palestinians made personal fortunes in business deals that they made — at times with the very same Palestinians that they interacted with on a professional basis — that were related to the PA.."

    "Many of the Israelis involved seriously and consciously distorted the assessments that they provided to policy makers so that their careers would not be hurt by being identified as an "enemy of the peace process".

    "Democratic values were ignored or abused in moves to push through various policies and programs that were at odds with the mandates given the elected leadership as expressed in the results of elections in which the candidate and parties promised that a vote for them was a vote against those very policies and programs."

    "Oslo took Yasser Arafat and his PLO off the dung heap of history (wallowing in Tunis after being thrown out of Lebanon) — leading ultimately to the diplomatic challenge we face today." (www.imra.org.il, 12/17.)

    The Oslo policy of appeasement and withdrawal failed repeatedly. It can't help but fail, given the fanatical drive behind the Muslim goal of conquering Israel.

    If Israel's' presence in Judea-Samaria is undermining Israel, proponents of that view ought to explain how. Perhaps there would be some way to deal with it. I have seen the claim often, but the explanation never. Views should be explained, not just asserted.

    In making the case for that view, proponents should have to explain when, the removal if Israelis' presence from Gaza and southern Lebanon, which led to wars and terrorism and a strategic defeat for Israel, would not be compounded by removal from Judea-Samaria.

    Younger or less informed readers may not understand the combination of international law, history, religion, and metaphysics, and not just of national security, but barring Jews from Judea, especially Jerusalem, would undermine the Jewish claim to the rest of the Land of Israel and probably would destroy the Zionist morale for the Return.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

    To Go To Top

    Posted by David Wilder, December 18, 2009.

    '(After the war) ...the Jewish leaders strengthened Jerusalem and refused to allow the enemy to raise his head. When the enemy leader saw that the Jews were strong, he feared them and began moving his large army. The Jewish leaders suspected the enemy and also began moving his army too. When the enemy saw the huge Jewish army he decided to act utilizing deception. He sent representatives with kind words, promised not to harm them, and invited them to a meal with him. The Jewish leader believed the deceptive promises, sent his soldiers home, and arrived with little protection. The enemy leader entrapped him, captured him, and after a few days, murdered him and his sons.

    This was the tragic end of the Jewish hero who was victorious in war but was slain when he believe the deceptive words of his enemy'.

    Who is this tragic Jewish leader, felled by words and promises of peace? Sounds very familiar, no? We've been hearing these deceptions for how many years now? This could be written and titled the 'annals of Oslo.' But no, this story is slightly older than Oslo, Rabin, Peres, Sharon, Olmert, Livni and the others. The above paragraph is an approximate translation from Dr. Haggi Ben-Artzi's publication called the Scroll of Hanukkah, based upon the "Books of the Maccabees" The leader, murdered by the Greek Tarifon, was none other than Yonatan, one of the five sons of Mattetayhu, who liberated Beit HaMikdash and Eretz Yisrael from the Greeks. This truly heroic warrior feel for the trick. He believed the call for peace. But after it happened then, well over 2,000 years ago, why do we, Am Yisrael, continue to fall prey to the same exact scenario? The only factors that have changed are the names and the nationality of the enemy. Otherwise, the situation is virtually identical. Yet we continue to send home the soldiers, only to be stabbed in the back.

    Yesterday we all read Ehud Olmert's 'peace plan, offered to today's Tarifon, called Abu Mazen or Mahmud Abbas, so-called president of the Palestinian terrorist organization. Thank G-d, just as in Egypt, God hardened Pharoh's heart, so too, with Abu Mazen, who rejected Olmert's offer, which included expulsion of tens and tens and more tens of thousands of Jews, and destruction of places such as Hebron, Kiryat Arba and many more communities in Judea and Samaria. There are no words. It is totally unbelievable, incomprehensible.

    This week, the week of Hanukkah, the holiday of revealed miracle, we witnessed other such disasters, such as Barak's frontal attack on religious Judaism (shades of Hellenized Jews). Another example of anti-Jewish, selective law enforcement happened here in Hebron, only two days ago. Kiryat Arba resident Ofer Ochana was detained by police and interrogated because he dared to play Jewish music from loudspeakers atop the Gutnick Center, outside Ma'arat HaMachpela. Following the interrogation he was warned that should he again sound music from the loudspeakers, he would be immediately arrested.

    The organization for Human Rights in Yesha, led by Hebron's Orit Struck, wrote a letter to police officials and others, questioning this action, accusing them of 'selective law enforcement: "For years Jewish worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs have complained about the unreasonable and illegal noise of loudspeakers sounding the Muslim calls to prayer into the area assigned exclusively for Jewish worship, and in the Machpela courtyard. There is no need for this because these areas are not used for Muslim prayer (excepting 10 days a year). Two years ago a professional examination was carried out in order to measure the noise level compared to conventional criteria. The results, delivered to the Hevron DCO reported that 'if the regulations to prevent hazards (unreasonable noise) from 1990 were applied in this case, the noise levels recorded very highly exceed permissible levels....Your action yesterday can only be defined as selective law enforcement, represents serious denial of freedom of expression and freedom of worship, and only encourages violent reactions. I ask you to explain why this extreme step was taken and, why you do not enforce the law equally, allowing freedom of expression and worship equally to the two religions." (See full text

    Let's keep in mind that the building atop the caves of Machpela was built by Herod some 600 years before Muhammad was born, but that makes no difference to a confused Hellenized Israel leadership, who prefer to not to follow in the footsteps of the Maccabees. Such a decree is preposterous.

    Then again, there are miracles today, as there were then. Today, the eve of the last night of Hanukkah, 20 year old Tzviya Sariel was released from jail, after being held for over 45 days because she refused to identify herself and cooperate with the 'authorities' following expulsion from an 'illegal settlement' outside Migron in the Binyamin region. When the judge ordered her release the state appealed to a Municipal court — releasing this little terrorist is unheard of! — but the judge overruled the appeal and tonight, finally, she'll be able to participate in candle-lighting with her family. A true Hanukkah miracle.

    This week in Hebron we witnesses another kind of Jewish hero. Visiting with us was Dmitiry Salita, a 27 year old Russian born Jew, presently living in Brooklyn with his new wife Alona. Last week Salita competed for the World Boxing Association's welterweight championship. (It was the first match he ever lost.) A Ba'al Tshuva (a Jew returning to observant, orthodox Judaism) at the age of 14, Dmitiry began boxing a year earlier and is today, one of the best in the world. True, it is unusual to find Jewish boxers, especially orthodox ones, but when I asked him about this he said, 'G-d gives people different talents. This is mine and through boxing I can, in my way, further Israel and Judaism.' Salita's boxing trunks are adorned with a Magen David, a star of David. (The interview with Dmitiry Salita can be seen at:
    http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=605 together with a sparring match here in Hebron.

    I'm not sure I'd ever want to be a boxer, or get into the ring with Dmitiry Salita, but seeing a Jew with no fear, willing to get into that ring, leaves me with a feeling of pride and honor.

    Hanukkah is a holiday of light and faith. A little light pushes away a lot of darkness. A little faith displaces much doubt. One last miracle. Lately the 'human rights' organization, B'tzelem, has requested that a representative from Hebron speak with groups they bring into the city. (That, in and of itself is a miracle!) I spoke with one of those groups not too long ago, for about 25 minutes, answering their questions. One of the women on the group was kind enough to record the conversation and transcribe it. The transcription isn't 100% accurate, but, relatively speaking, it's not bad. The last question I was asked dealt with whether or not we, in Hebron, had failed in achieving our goals. My answer, as she transcribed it:

    Look, success and failure are very relative. If you're asking me, do I think we've failed? No, I don't think we've failed. The fact that I live here today, as far as I'm concerned is a success. The fact that there are things we haven't succeeded to do, there are ups and there are downs, we've been exiled from Israel for the last 2000 years, Hebron for the last 700 years. It's very difficult to get everything. There are problems and there are issues we have to deal with, sometimes you're able to achieve what you want, sometimes it takes long to achieve what you want. I think that most of the goals you're trying to achieve, you eventually will achieve. I don't believe that God brought us back after 2000 years to throw us out again. I know it sounds weird but I think our presence today in Israel everywhere — in Hebron, in Tel Aviv, in Haifa or Be'er Sheba is a miracle, it's also a miracle, because if anybody here had been behind the fences in Auschwitz in 1944 and someone came and poked you on the shoulder and on one side there's chimneys and smoke and the other side of that there's fences, and somebody says 'you know something, don't worry about it, everything's going to be ok, in another 40 years we're going to have a Jewish state and there are going to be people that come and invade us, and we're going to win', then the guy would look at you and say 'you're nuts, you're out of your mind, you need to wake up! This is the fence and we can't get out and there's the smoke and that's it'. And we're here today. And if that's not a miracle, nothing is. 1967 was a miracle, 1973 was a larger miracle and — I don't have time now — but I can give you miracles that happen here in Hebron one after the other after the other. You know, it's tangible, you can touch it. Do I think that we have problems? Of course we have problems. There are things we haven't succeeded, we haven't succeeded perhaps in explaining ourselves well enough. But in order to be able to express yourself you have to have a form in which to express yourself. We know where the media is, the Israeli media and the world media and that's one of the ways I ask you also... And I do thank you very much for this opportunity because in most cases groups like this that come in aren't interested in even hearing what the other side have to say and I think it's very praiseworthy that despite differences of opinion that are huge there's a willingness at least to allow people to hear a little bit of another side and I think that's important and significant and so I thank you for that. But do I think I've failed. It's difficult but whether I call that failure, no. [http://shwaiarabe.blogspot.com/]

    Wishing all of you continued light, enabling you to see the miracles that occur all the time, even after Hanukkah is over.
    With blessings from Hebron.

    David Wilder is spokesman of The Jewish Community of Hebron. You can contribute directly in Israel to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB105, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, email: hebron@hebron.org.il or phone: 972-52-431-7055. In USA, write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, email: hebronfund@aol.com or phone: 718 677 6886.

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Marc Prowisor, December 18, 2009.

    Everyone, start preparing your anti Israel responses and press statements now, save time and be efficient. Write your articles and prepare the UN reports now, get a jump on everyone. One of the newest countries in the Middle East, Gazastan, and its leaders stated they will continue their fight against Israel until they establish "Palestine" on all of the land. This week Israeli media reported an update regarding the rearming of Hamas in Gazastan. They now have missiles that supposedly reach up to 80 kilometers, adding Dizengoff Center and other nice places to the inventory of targets. We all know it is coming the question is when?

    The IDF has been arresting Hamas activists in Yehuda and Shomron at an increased rate as Dayton's boys are having some difficulty. Now that they see Hamas gaining power, they don't want to shoot themselves in the foot, or deficate in their own bed. Abbas is feeling the hot breath of Iza Din Kassam on his neck. The arms flow continues in Yehuda and Shomron, as they draw their own lines of engagement prior to a changing of the guard. Our media has been publicizing prior offers to the Arabs by previous Israeli leaders regarding "Land for Peace", and now that Israelis are understanding better that the Arabs of Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza are not interested in peace, the consensus is changing. Exercises are being held in order to prepare for these scenarios. Soon, our politicians might even reflect this change, who knows?

    So now that we know the next round is on the way, and will be more brutal, it is best to prepare your anti Israel statements now. You better make them good, because you are going to find a different audience in Israel than the last time. More and more Israelis are waking to the fact that there is no partner for peace in this region.

    Boring, yawn, change the channel please, we have heard it all before. The reign of violence will continue in Israel, between Arabs and Jews for a long time to come. I read an ad for a Palestinian Peace Group, that will be long lived, why do you think Arabs try to escape the Middle East, they must know something we don't.

    I have a theory that will set everything back on track. No it does not include a building freeze or throwing Jews out of our land, I know, I've just lost half of you. It doesn't include throwing the Arabs out of our land, oops, there goes the other half of you.

    The world around uses Israel as its playground for everything, and I mean everything.

    "Bleeding Heart Liberals" looking for a cause to alleviate some trauma they suffered in their youth, have it all here. They can pick from a plethora of mushrooms growing in manure. Imagine, you can be a world-renowned author and go down to Gaza and support women's rights and protest Israel's "Human rights" violations in one of the most oppressive societies known today. Even if you can't find friends to come with you on your holy mission to save the poor "Palestinians", for a few bucks, which you can easily raise at home in the US, or just ask the EU, you will find plenty of extras, both Israeli and Arab to play out your fantasy. They will drive tractors, plant trees, and film and confront the "Evil Jews" as you "kvell" to high heaven.

    Parents give you too much or not enough religion as kids? Come to Israel where you can hate your own people or self. You can go against everything that was pushed down your throat during your younger years. There is even a newspaper in English that will publish any and all the hatred you can spew, in the name of Intellectuality, and Equal Rights. You will always be welcome in some of the best clubs in Tel Aviv. Where else can you find entire Political parties dedicated to taking the Jew out of Judaism while they ignore their own heritage and embrace those that hate them more than themselves, only in Israel!

    Is the little terrorist in you asking for a little "action"? Well you are in luck again, with your foreign passport, you can come in and "get involved". Imagine, living the life you have only seen in the movies, collect intelligence, transport weapons and terrorists while posing as a peace activist, and you thought ambulances could only be used for sick people. Get training, network and meet new friends before you go off to fight the infidel, either in Iraq, Afghanistan or back home. Where else to can you get these offers under one roof?

    Do you want a front row seat for the "End of the World"? This is the place, put on your robes, turbans and grab your Shofar 'cause your destiny awaits, it is time to reveal yourself to the world. Remember, if you don't fit in at home, you will always fit in here, somewhere.

    So that is the idea, from now on, we charge everyone from the outside who wants to interfere with our lives here. You go to an amusement park, you pay admission, why not here? It will not be cheap, this I can promise.

    You get on a ride, you pay, just like at the Amusement Park. If you want the extended stay, you have to help the maintenance people here fix what gets broken.

    Governments that wish to be involved will have to support improved sewage projects and systems to enable us to remove all of the "waste" they create and leave.

    The best part about this park is you get to leave whenever you want to and don't worry — our crew will clean up after you.

    Marc Prowisor served as the Chief Army Security Coordinator for the Shilo Region in Israel from 1996 through 2006. Contact him by email at marc@friendsofyesha.com. And visit
    www.friendsofyesha.com and http://yeshaviews.blogspot.com, where this article appeared.

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Fred Reifenberg, December 18, 2009.

    I have come to the end of my rope about worrying about the "cultural" differences with Muslims. Let's get real.

    This below is a Spanish newspaper article. Keep it foremost in your thinking that this was written by a Spanish writer about Spain and Europe. It was written by Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez


    I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth — Europe died in Auschwitz.

    We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent.

    We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

    The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

    And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

    They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

    And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

    We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death,for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

    What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.


    This is a translation of an article from a Spanish newspaper.

    A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.

    Absolutely No Profiling! Pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test.

    These events are actual events from history. They really happened! Do you remember?

    1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
    a. Superman
    b. Jay Leno
    c. Harry Potter
    d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

    2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
    a. Olga Corbett
    b. Sitting Bull
    c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
    a. Lost Norwegians
    b. Elvis
    c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
    a. John Dillinger
    b. The King of Sweden
    c. The Boy Scouts
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
    a. A pizza delivery boy
    b. Pee Wee Herman
    c. Geraldo Rivera
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
    a. The Smurfs
    b. Davey Jones
    c. The Little Mermaid
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
    a. Captain Kidd
    b. Charles Lindberg
    c. Mother Teresa
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
    a. Scooby Doo
    b. The Tooth Fairy and The Sundance Kid
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
    a. Richard Simmons
    b. Grandma Moses
    c. Michael Jordan
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
    a. Mr. Rogers
    b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
    c. The World Wrestling Federation
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
    a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
    b. The Supreme Court of Florida
    c. Mr. Bean
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
    a. Enron
    b. The Lutheran Church
    c. The NFL
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
    a. Bonnie and Clyde
    b. Captain Kangaroo
    c. Billy Graham
    d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

    No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.

    Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves — if they have any such sense

    As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."
    Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Paul Lademain, December 18, 2009.

    ... the laws described as "Israel's Magna Carta" and then they must bestir themselves to remove Israel's "despotic managers" who ignore the legal basis for Jews to have "a room of their own." If Jews understood the law and the powers it bestows upon Jewish Palestine, they would stop whimpering to Islamics and begging to be "recognized" by them. The law, below, demands of Jews to reclaim ALL their lands. Including most of Jordan. We say: Be not afraid! Whatever foolish decisions made by Israel's past leadership can be undone and all this requires is leadership by strong people who will not bend to bribery, bullying, or threats ... and who dare to be daring.

    This body of law, below, is circulating amongst the Christians for Zion (UCI and CAFI) and therefore we say there is no justification, nor can there be any excuse, for the irrational activities of the Peres and Barak clans who feign ignorance of what Lord Curzon declared to be the Magna Carta of the Jewish People. The arabs have been led to believe by the willfully blind and oil-idolizing US State Dept. that the Jewish Magna Carta doesn't exist. Worse still, the arabs are eager to believe that Barak and all other fat and soft Jews ignore the Jewish Magna Carta because they are weaklings beset with fear that they might have to tear their manicured cuticles actually fighting to repel the onslaught of arab squatters who were allowed into Israel by the nouveau riche class (they being Rabin and Shimon Peres, who needed cheap labor.) Here is an excerpt from The Women in Green who also sent this around:

    "Dear Friends,

    Below is a fascinating description of Howard Grief's book The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law detailing how international law in fact validates Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. This is an important document vis a vis all the lies and blood libels spread against Israel worldwide as if Israel has no right to be in Judea and Samaria ...."

    With love for Israel,
    Nadia Matar

    This below is a book review by William Mehlman of Howard Grief's
    The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law.

    William Mehlman is Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI)'s representative in Israel. Howard Grief's book is sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This article appeared in the October 2009 issue of Mideast Outpost http://mideastoutpost.com/archives/000590.html. It can also be read on Think-Israel here.


    Pub Date: October 2008
    ISBN-10: 9657344522,
    ISBN-13: 9789657344521
    Publisher: Mazo

    With The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law (Mazo Publishers, Jerusalem) Canadian-born Israeli constitutional scholar and lawyer Howard Grief has given us a book that shatters every myth, lie, misrepresentation and distortion employed over the 61 years of Israel's existence to negate the sovereign rights of the Jewish People to their national home.

    It is a lengthy treatise — 660 pages plus a 50-page appendix — but the Jewish people's long and tortuous struggle to retrieve theirstolen patrimony deserves nothing less than full disclosure. Anyone who has ever been at a loss to counter the slanders and calumnies that are the stock in trade of the Israel-bashers and anti-Semites on both the Left and Right will treasure every one of its 20 illuminating chapters.

    Rooted in the premise that the best antidote to a myriad of small and medium sized fabrications is the exposure of the whole cloth from which they've been woven, The Legal Foundation lays bare two dominant myths that have shaped popular perspectives on Israel. The first is the fallacy that Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel was the joint product of the 1947 United Nations Partition and the May 15th, 1948 termination of the British Mandate for Palestine. In fact, as Grief points out, Jewish sovereignty in Palestine had been validated under international law 28 years earlier. "The legal title of the Jewish People to the mandated territory of Palestine in all of its historical parts," he informs us, was first recognized on April 24, 1920 when the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council (Britain, France, Italy and Japan), meeting in San Remo, Italy, "converted the 1917 'Balfour Declaration' into a binding legal document."

    How "binding" may be construed from the fact that its wording gave effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and became incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine. Indeed, the "San Remo Resolution," within which the Allied Supreme Council's decision is contained, constitutes what the author terms "the foundation document of the State of Israel, the legal existence of which is directly traceable from that document."

    That the Jewish People were unable to exercise their sovereignty in Palestine for 28 years — it being assigned to the British Mandatory power as their de facto agent — did in no way detract from their de jure rights to the land under international law during that interregnum. In this thesis, Grief is ironically supported by both a passionate Zionist, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis and one of Zionism's most implacable opponents, post World War I British Foreign Secretary Lord George Nathaniel Curzon. Brandeis believed that with the passage of the San Remo Resolution, the debate over who owned Palestine was effectively over. Curzon called the Resolution the "Magna Carta" of the Jewish People.

    From the initial misattribution of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine to the 1947 Partition Plan rather than the 1920 San Remo Resolution, it was just a hop and a skip to a second major misrepresentation of Israel's international legal status — the erroneous assumption that the Partition Plan and the May 1948 termination of the British Mandate somehow erased the Jewish People's rights to Palestine in all its historical parts and dimensions enunciated at San Remo, and implemented under the terms of the League of Nations Covenant. Those "parts and dimensions" were defined inter alia, as including the northwestern portions of the Golan and most of present day Jordan by the "Franco-British Boundary Convention" in Paris.

    The presumptive cancellation of those rights, Grief submits, is thoroughly discredited by "the principle of acquired rights,"codified in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the "Law of Treaties," and the "doctrine of estoppel." The first, he asserts, insures that "the fundamental rights of the Jewish people did not lapse with the international process [the San Remo Resolution] which brought them into existence. The second further guarantees that these rights cannot "simply be abrogated or denied by those states which previously recognized their existence." Taken together, they provide what the author terms a "definitive answer [to] anyone who claims that Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty over all of Palestine and the land of Israel did not continue after the Mandate for Palestine... except in the allotted boundaries of the UN Partition Plan..."

    Noteworthy among the states that wholeheartedly endorsed Jewish sovereignty over Palestine in all its "historical parts and dimensions" was the United States of America — the same U.S.A that today regards Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria as an illegal "occupation" of lands upon which it favors the creation of a Palestinian State. The Obama administration and the Bush administration that preceded it are either unaware or have chosen to be unaware of the fact that the 1924 Anglo-American Convention on Palestine made the U.S. a "contracting party" to the Mandate, further reinforcing a unanimously passed Joint Resolution of the 67th Congress two years earlier, signed by President Warren G. Harding, recognizing a future Jewish State in "the whole of Palestine."

    It needs to be borne in mind, Grief notes, that the Mandate for Palestine that was ceremoniously incorporated into U.S. law in 1924 "was a constitution for the projected Jewish state that made no provision for an Arab state and which especially prohibited the partition of the country." Thus, he concludes, the fierce exception the U.S. has taken to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and its unremitting pressure for creation of a "Palestinian State" amount to a repudiation of its signature to the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine. It is in violation of American law and America's obligations under international law.

    The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law is the product of 25 years of independent research by Grief, a former adviser on international law to the late Professor Yuval Ne'eman, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in the Shamir government and the father of Israel's nuclear energy program. It is the kind of seminal work that seems destined to become both an indispensible source for defenders of Israel's rights under international law and a mirror on the events and personalities that transformed a November 2, 1917 letter from British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild into the trumpet call that awakened Jewish nationhood from a 1,900-year coma.

    The author's unsparing portrayal of France's opposition to the creation of a Jewish state at San Remo and, when thwarted, its efforts at the Franco-British Boundary Convention to confine it to the narrowest geographical limits, should dismiss any notion that French anti-Zionism began with De Gaulle. By the same token, the Zionist sympathies attributed to Winston Churchill by Martin Gilbert and other historians withers in the face of the 1922 "White Paper" attached to his name as then Colonial Secretary. Grief offers irrefutable evidence of its having not only "negated" the Jewish state in Palestine that the Mandate "required" of Britain, but of having elevated "Arab pretensions and aspirations to such an extent that everything thereafter became muddled...subject to continuous disputes as to what was really intended in the Mandate for Palestine."

    For the actual authorship of that document and the wreckage it made of the original plan for the establishment of a Jewish state in all its "historic parts and dimensions" under British tutelage, we have Herbert Samuel "to thank" — the same Herbert Samuel who worked closely with Chaim Weizmann in the Zionist Organization and was later to pack it in for a "Lordship" and an appointment as British High Commissioner to Palestine. In ironic contrast, Lord Curzon, Balfour's successor as Foreign Secretary, who "detested" the idea of a Jewish state, put loyalty above personal feelings at San Remo and Paris in arguing manfully for the realization of Prime Minister David Lloyd George's vision of a Jewish state comprised of all its ancient Biblical territories.

    On the Jewish side, nobody comes off better in this saga than Brandeis, who Grief portrays as "the only Zionist leader...who properly understood the natural consequences of the legal recognition of the Balfour Declaration embodied in the San Remo Resolution." Had Brandeis headed the Zionist Organization, the author believes, "there is little doubt that he would have successfully halted Britain's gross violation of its [Mandatory] obligation ...to rebuild the Jewish state."

    At the end of the day, it was Menachem Begin who provided the most heartbreaking counterpoint to Lloyd George's vision of a Jewish state reconstituted in most, if not all of its Biblical parts, Grief submits. Begin, national Zionism's anointed champion, bearer of the torch lit by Herzl and passed to Jabotinsky, not only failed to make Israel constitutionally whole by annexing Judea, Samaria and Gaza (as he was expected to do), but in what the author describes as an act of "unimaginable folly," brought to the Knesset in 1977 a plan to establish Arab "self-rule" over those critical portions of the Jewish estate. In so doing, he opened the portals wide for their identification as "unalloted," "disputed" and finally "occupied" territories.

    Nine months later, in September 1978, Begin crowned his "achievement" by injecting the "self-rule" proposal into the negotiations with Egypt at Camp David, offering to leave the final determination of sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza to their inhabitants and "local representatives. " Thirty one years later, Israel remains bedeviled by that fateful decision.

    Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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    Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, December 17, 2009.

    This was written by Jerry Gordon and it appeared December 3, 2009 in the Iconoclast.


    Two colleagues and co-founders of Former Muslims United, Nonie Darwish and Dr. Wafa Sultan were in Boston within 24 hours of each other. They both confronted threats to their security. Both went on to make their presentations, despite daunting intimidation and security arrangements that confront apostates from Islam who speak out at universities and communities in America.

    Last night, prior to Nonie Darwish's scheduled speech at a CAMERA Campus event at Boston University, a suspicious fire broke out in women's rest room on the second floor of the Boston University (BU) College of Arts and Sciences, not far from the room in which Darwish was going to speak. The BU Student newspaper, The Daily Free Press had this report, "CAS evacuated after bathroom fire — Boston Fire Dept. suspects vandalism:

    Two Boston Fire Department trucks and four Boston University police cars responded to a fire Wednesday night in the women's bathroom on the second floor of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    BFD received the call around 6:45 p.m. and had extinguished the fire at about 7:15 p.m., officials said. CAS was evacuated and occupants could not reenter until officials had ensured the air quality was safe.

    BFD spokesman Steve MacDonald said they suspect the cause of the fire was vandalism. An individual must have ignited a roll of paper towels, which then fell off the dispenser and rolled, scorching both the floor and wall — though it still under investigation by the arson squad, officials said.

    When I spoke with Darwish last night, she said that as they were approaching the College of Arts and Sciences Building, the original site of last night's program they notice the fire apparatus. They were told by BU police at the scene that the building was closed and evacuated. Her CAMERA Campus talk was displaced to Hillel House also on the BU Campus, where she spoke to a limited audience.

    Darwish remarked that during the past several months she had experienced the worst treatment in endeavoring to speak on college campuses since she started doing that in the wake of 9/11. She noted the disruptive Muslim Students at the Univesity of Seattle, as well as, the ecent cancellation of speaking engagements at two Ivy League schools, Princeton and Columbia.

    The University of Seattle event was harrowing. Darwish's talk was disrupted by a group of Muslim students lead by a faculty member, a Palestinian from Jordan, who accused her of insulting Muslims. Darwish soldiered on despite the accusations. After the talk she was approached by several Muslim students from Egypt, Palestine, the Sudan and Saudi Arabia, who thanked her for coming to speak and argued with fellow Muslim students, that their antics confirmed what she was talking about-invasion of free speech rights here in America.

    Darwish noted that these events at university campuses where she had been scheduled to speak are particularly troubling as they all occurred after the mass shooting event by Major Nidal Hasan. Muslim student opponents of her appearances may have been emboldened committed by Major Hasan's Jihad at Fort Hood.

    That is why the suspicious fire at B.U. last night is questionable. If the allegations are proven it marks a new phase in intimidation to shut down events by apostates like Darwish, Sultan and other critics of Islam.

    On Monday, November 30th, a New York Daily News editorial, "Gagged by the Ivies: Columbia and Princeton won't let woman critical of Islam speak," discussed Darwish:

    So much for the vigorous exchange of ideas, however controversial, at even the finest of American universities. The concept doesn't apply to Nonie Darwish, a commentator and advocate who espouses strong views on Islam.

    An Arab woman, Darwish was raised in Egypt as a Muslim. Thirty years ago, as an adult, she moved to the U.S. and converted to Christianity. She has published several books — you can get the flavor of her thinking from the title of her latest work: "Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law."

    The other week, Darwish was scheduled to speak at both Princeton and Columbia universities. Both events were abruptly canceled.

    We understand from Darwish that the New York Post and the New York Jewish Week will also be running columns on what transpired at both Ivy League campuses. At least these mainstream general and American Jewish newspapers are getting the message about what is happening to free speech.

    Another courageous woman and critic of Islam, Dr. Wafa Sultan, was in Boston for a series of radio talk show interviews and an appearance at the synagogue of Rabbi Jon Hausman, Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Hausman made history by being the first American rabbi to sponsor a talk by controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders in the US.

    Wilders gave him the title of 'warrior rabbi', which has since become a cache.

    I talked with Hausman this afternoon about the Darwish event of last night. He extended an open invitation for Darwish to speak at his synagogue. Hausman explained that neither he nor his congregation take security of speakers like Sultan or Darwish lightly. "It's the first thing on our list of to-dos," to make sure that these signature events come off. Hausman said they do multiple sweeps and lockdowns of the facility. Personal security is provided from portal to portal from the time they arrive at Boston's Logan Airport until their departure. There will be a compliment of local police, both uniformed and plainclothes personnel, inside the social hall, conducting screenings, augmented by former Army and Marine specialists in counterterrorism.

    Notwithstanding this, Dr. Sultan asked Rabbi Hausman if her talk tonight caused any disruptions. Rabbi Hausman told her there had been emails accusing her of being a bigot, un-American and requesting that the synagogue cancel her appearance. Hausman said: "we act accordingly. We simply make sure that the speaker has security to speak freely."

    Hausman has learned from experience how to deal with audience members who are disruptive during events sponsored by his synagogue. After an appearance by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., founder and President of the Center for Security Policy when a disruptive audience member was ejected, his synagogue put up a sign at the entrance of the synagogue social hall saying: "no disruptive behavior will be tolerated; such people will be escorted off the property."

    Both Darwish and Sultan are accomplished speakers. Darwish is one of the more effective speakers on college campuses primarily because she doesn't engage in ad hominem attacks instead focusing on criticizing Sharia and Jihad doctrine. Sultan is a fearless critic of Islam and the environment of subjugation it has created for Muslim women.

    The BU incident may cast a pall on future events for both women, as Muslim advocates on college campuses appear to be emboldened while faculties and fellow students are intimated into remaining silent. That development is an ominous one, as it vitally affects the exercise of free speech as guaranteed under our Constitution's First Amendment. However, conscious security arrangements like those provided for Gaffney, Wilders and Sultan at the Stoughton events are exemplary of what one has to do to assure civil discourse in an open forum.

    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. He is author of "The Quest for Justice in the Middle East: the Arab-Israeli Conflict in Greater Perspective."

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Bryna Berch, December 17, 2009.

    This comes from Israel Today
    (http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=20185) and was written by Israel Today Staff.

    After a double-take, I had to read it twice. I first thought it was a typo. The Palestinians had never carryed out the minimum they were supposed to do: they were supposed to accept Israel as a Jewish state and forego terrorism. Actually they were supposed to do this way back for the Oslo Accord and never did. Instead, here they are setting policy and making conditions that Israel had to accept or else the Palestinians won't show up to claim their new state. You would think this would be enough kill the push for a phony peace deal. Instead, it is Israel that is being treated as a defeated enemy by the U.S.A. It is being squeezed from the getgo — not even any face-saving sweetners, no honest-broker talk-talk.

    The U.S. Administration had early-on decided to resurrect the Arab-Israeli peace process, and it is one of the few foreign policy activities that hasn't already blown up in the Administration's face. So the Palestinians — seeing they were dealing with a weak incompetent American president — demanded more than usual and insisted they could not coaxed back unless they got what they asked for. For starters. They'll raise the ante later.

    Why can the P.A. terror-thugs think get away with this? Obama has pushed for a 2-state solution — the PAls want to earn it by first destroying Israel — so he thinks he has his prestige at stake. (Frankly, it has mostly gone down the drain, and it won't be long before the American people treat him with the contempt the Europeans and Arabs do.) So he has to make something happen. He has to push someone. The Arabs did as Nancy Reagen always advised. They just said: NO. That leaves only the Jews to squeeze. So unless a miracle happens, the Israeli non-leadership will do what they always do. They will be so anxious to show what nice, caring guys they are, they will cave in — to Israel's detriment. The US Administration will declare it a victory, even if the soggy deal collapses a minute and a half later.

    Things are pretty bad if a weak sister like Abbas can start demanding concessions so blatently. Legally, his term of office has expired. America is training his "police force" or acting as stand-ins to make sure the PA look good. And Israel is keeping him from being chopped up by Hamas. And he can say, 'Nyet' to a supposedly powerful U.S.A. Can you believe?


    Israel made what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called "unprecedented" gestures to get the peace process back on track. But the Palestinians refused, and instead introduced new hard-line positions. So, naturally, Washington and other international peace brokers are going to appease the Palestinians amid their most recent tantrum and adopt their new positions.

    That according to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat this week that the Palestinian refusal to conduct unconditional talks had forced the Obama Administration to stop relying on Israeli gestures, and instead force Israel to fully accept Arab demands.

    "Once they realized their earlier approach had failed, the Americans see themselves forced to change direction," said Gheit.

    The new peace initiative, which, according to Gheit, will be spearheaded by the US, Egypt and France, will be based on Israel implementing a full building freeze in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem at the outset of talks and a commitment by Israel to recognize a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, effectively prejudging the outcome of the negotiations.

    Those conditions are fully in line with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' new positions, which he introduced days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implemented a partial 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in order to facilitate a return to the negotiating table. The US at first praised Netanyahu's decision, and indirectly accused Abbas of holding up the peace process.

    But as in the past, the US and international power brokers realize they cannot strong-arm the Palestinians without risking other regional assets, so they will apparently once again strong-arm Israel, which will upset no-one.

    US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected to arrive in the coming weeks to get the new peace process rolling.

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    Posted by Victor Sharpe, December 17, 2009.


    Israel haters are now targeting Ahava Dead Sea products. This is part of the growing ant-Israel boycott that originates among leftist supporters of those Arabs who call themselves Paslestinians. It is not unreasonable at all to believe that dark anti-Jewish feelings also play a major part in this pernicious campaign. As you will see below, Dutch socialists are at the heart of the boycott in Holland and it will no doubt spread throughout Europe and Britain.

    My wife loves Ahava and Ahava means in Hebrew, love. We have recommended Ahava products to many Jews and non-Jews alike and they have all expressed delight with the different items available in the Ahava product line. I am hoping that you will make a definite point of purchasing Ahava in direct opposition to the miserable efforts of the boycotters. Not only will you help protect this amazing company, help Israel's economy, but you will earn the opportunity to truly enjoy the beneficial results of using Ahava. I am not in any way associated with the company. I am just urging all who love Israel to frustrate the haters by buying Ahava repeatedly.

    Various retailers from time to time have sold Ahava including T.J. Max, Costco, Ross and others.

    Thank you.

    This article below is entitled "PA Confiscates, Destroys $50,000 Worth of Israeli Goods." It was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, who writes for Arutz-7, where this article appeared.


    PA Destroys Israeli Products

    The Palestinian Authority, encouraged by European Union boycotts of products in Judea and Samaria, dumped $50,000 worth of Dead Sea cosmetics in trash containers on Wednesday. The Dead Sea beauty products, including shampoo, face cream and hand lotion, are manufactured under the widely known Ahava brand.

    The company's headquarters on a kibbutz located less than a mile from the Dead Sea and part of the land restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

    PA authorities also confiscated candies from the Barkan industrial area in Samaria, according to the French news agency AFP.

    A PA statement alleged that the confiscated goods exceeded their expiration date, but Munthar Erakat, described by the Jordan Times as a "local official," said, "This destruction ... is in keeping with the decision of the Palestinian leadership to prevent the import and sale of products produced in the settlements."

    The Ahava products have grown from a small stand 20 years ago to an internationally-known company that sells more than $150 million worth of products in 35 countries. The American investment firm Shamrock Holdings owns 20 percent of the company.

    The company was not available for comment on the PA's confiscation.

    It has been the target of several boycotts. Pro-Arabs lobbied the London department store Harrods in 2002 to take Ahava products off its shelves along with other Israeli products, ranging from pretzels to wine.

    Earlier this week, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen asked the Dutch Finance Ministry to investigate the status of Ahava products at the behest of Dutch Socialist Party parliamentarian Harry van Bommel, an avid pro-Palestinian activist.

    Ahava products are exported to Holland with a "Made in Israel" stamp, but Dutch socialists say the beneficial minerals infused in Ahava products belong to Arabs.

    Contact Victor Sharpe by email at janvic@verizon.net

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    Posted by Susana K-M, December 17, 2009.

    This essay was written by Wiliam Katz.


    We've made a cash commitment at the Copenhagen hot-air conference, but it's much less than I'd feared. The quotes below (indents) are from Fox
    (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/17/ clinton-ready-join-b-climate-aid-fund/):

    The United States extended a $100 billion carrot to the rest of world Thursday, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Copenhagen the United States is willing to commit up to $10 billion a year by 2012, and would support a global fund of $100 billion a year to help developing nations deal with climate change, provided the nations here are willing live up to the 'transparency' demanded by the U.S.

    I like the fact that there are strings attached. I'd expected we'd be in for much more. If we actually enforce the "transparency" provision, the money might actually do some good. But there will be those in Congress, on the left, who'll try to strike that provision through legislation, the better to suck up to African dictators.

    Clinton said the money was "conditional." Clinton's words were directed at China, which has refused to meet the monitoring and verification requirements requested by the U.S. when it comes to promises of carbon reductions.

    Again, good. "Transparency" and "conditional" are musical words.

    Clinton, who is one of six cabinet members accompanying President Obama to the climate summit, said climate change "is an undeniable and unforgiving fact." And the U.S. was willing to work with other nations to reduce C02 emissions, but any agreement here must have "full transparency."

    Bad note. Don't use terms like "undeniable and unforgiving fact." You may wake up to a scientific surprise.

    Critics have accused the U.S. of trying to 'buy' support for a climate treaty that meets U.S. approval.

    I would certainly hope we would. Stiff the critics.

    On Wednesday, negotiators from Britain and the developing nations came to agree on the $100 billion figure by 2020, a reduction from $400 billion African and the poorest nations had previously insisted upon.

    One of these days we'll ask the question, "How long does it take a 'developing' nation to develop?" Some of these "developing nations" don't lift a finger to help themselves, and some have among the highest birth rates in the world.

    Meanwhile, world leaders starting flooding into Copenhagen on Thursday, even as a Danish official acknowledged that hope was running out for a comprehensive climate deal because the negotiations between rich and poor countries were deadlocked.

    The official said the Danish hosts of the U.N. conference had not given up though it appeared unlikely that their ambitious plan for the conference would be fulfilled.

    That's probably good news for all involved. Next time, don't hold a conference shot through with arrogance, scientific hustling, trendiness, and, above all, fashionable leftist politics. The huge ovations for Hugo Chavez yesterday should tell us just what this crowd is about. We have no obligation to eat the forbidden fruit.

    Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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    Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, December 17, 2009.

    The DNA of a man buried near Jerusalem's Old City in the first century Common Era reveals the earliest identifiable case of leprosy, according to researchers from Israel and North America. The burial shroud may also disprove the claim that the Shroud of Turin is from first-century Jerusalem.

    The burial cave in which the remains were found, which is known as the Tomb of the Shroud, is located in the lower Hinnom Valley and is part of a first-century C.E. cemetery. The shrouded man, whose bones were dated by radiocarbon methods to 1-50 C.E., did not receive the customary secondary burial in an ossuary (small stone container for bones) common at the time. The entrance to the part of the tomb where this individual was buried was completely sealed with plaster.

    The Hebrew University's Prof. Mark Spigelman, one of the leading researchers who studied the molecular evidence from the tomb, believes the isolation was due to the fact that the shrouded man suffered from leprosy and died of tuberculosis. The DNA of both diseases was found in his bones.

    The excavation also found a clump of the shrouded man's hair, which had been ritually cut prior to his burial. These are both unique discoveries, as explained by Hebrew University spokespeople, because organic remains are hardly ever preserved in the Jerusalem area owing to high humidity levels in the ground.

    The evidence revealed by the remains indicate that tuberculosis and leprosy may have crossed social boundaries in the first-century C.E. Jerusalem. A number of clues — the size of the tomb, its location alongside a High Priest, the type of textiles used as shroud wrappings, and the clean state of the man's hair — suggest that the shrouded individual was a fairly affluent member of society in Jerusalem or a priest himself. Furthermore, according to Prof. Shimon Gibson of Hebrew University, the tomb would have faced directly toward the Jewish Temple of the time.

    Disproves Turin Shroud?

    This is also the first time fragments of a burial shroud have been found from the time Jesus was alleged to have been active in Jerusalem. The shroud is very different from that of the Shroud of Turin, hitherto claimed to be the one used to wrap the body of Jesus. Unlike the complex weave of the Turin Shroud, the recently discovered shroud is made up of a simple two-way weave, as the textiles historian Dr. Orit Shamir was able to show.

    Based on the assumption that this is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus, researchers concluded that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Second Temple-era Jerusalem.

    Further details of the discovery are published in the December 16, 2009, issue of PloS ONE Journal for peer-reviewed scientific and medical research.

    Nissan Ratzlav-Katz writes for Arutz-7 (www.Israelnn.com), where this article appeared today.

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    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, December 17, 2009.


    The House of Representatives passed a bill closing loopholes in the gasoline sanctions against Iran (press release by United Against Nuclear Iran, 12/15).

    The House's intent is well meant, not that habitual critics of American notice that the modern U.S., more than other countries, takes the lead in trying to improve international security and human rights. Unfortunately, the U.S. economy may no longer be strong enough for its boycotts to work.

    The U.S. waited too long to get this far. First, Iran has had years to make itself more independent of boycotts. Second, now that Iran is so close to possessing nuclear weapons, its regime willingly would suffer, if necessary, to attain its decades-long goal.

    This bill closes loopholes. Having a large research staff and opportunities to consult experienced people, why do legislators regularly draft bills with loopholes? Is it done knowingly, to suit lobbies? Or are they unable to ask what counter-measures the targets of boycotts may take.


    Result of bomb in Iraq (A.P./Hadi Mizban)

    "Bombings killed nine people in two Iraqi cities, raising fresh questions about Baghdad's ability to provide security (Wall St. Journal, 12/16, A1).

    Muslims are killing each other in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Those who are indignant when Israel or the U.S. kills Muslims in self-defense, seem to have no indignation left for this other killing of Muslims, not by Israel or the U.S.. Why the inconsistency?


    "Israel reacted angrily to a British arrest warrant for former Foreign Minister Livni on war crimes charges" (Wall St. Journal, 12/16, A1).

    How did this kind of" "lawfare" arise? Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, explains.

    The judicial foundation of such lawsuits rests upon distortion and abuse of "universal jurisdiction." "Universal jurisdiction" originated centuries ago to deal with hostes humani generi, (the enemies of all mankind), such as pirates or slavers, who were not under any state's control, but legitimately concerned them all." [A good case has been made that terrorism is a form of piracy.]

    The principle and practice have degenerated into an attempt by ostensible human rights activists to criminalize what they do not like abroad. This is not a legal matter but one of morality [stemming from a specific ideology]. Neither do the countries of venue have a particular interest in the issue raised in court. Now private individuals are bringing suits. This increases the number of such cases [and degrades their quality].

    "It is no accident that arrest warrants never seem to be issued for" notorious war criminals and perpetrators of major crimes against humanity. "...the real targets of universal jurisdiction these days are Western nations. Ultimately, what it targets is the very ideas of sovereign accountability and political independence. These goals largely motivated the 198 Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court, itself a step toward constraining states' ability to police their own affairs.' The Obama administration yearns to sign the Statute.

    "Transferring accountability for decisions from democratic politics to the criminal justice system understandably intimidates policy makers from making perfectly justifiable choices, such as defending against terrorist threats." Officials responsible for stopping such criminality as terrorism would become liable for what the courts might find is knowledge their subordinates were committing crimes. If foreign interests that do not like a defense policy, they could sue to punish it. Lawfare is a blow to democracy. Better for democracies to keep their responsibility for making decisions than to cede them to foreign judges (John Bolton, Wall St. Journal, 12/16, Op.-Ed.).

    Lawfare is abused so as to harass and to impose legal costs. It has become a tool in the Muslim-Israel conflict. Suggestions have been made to expand it to hamper U.S. sovereignty. So far, judges have dismissed most such cases, but in a hostile, emotion-driven political climate, who knows whether fairness would last?


    Right-hand photo torn up (A.P./Office of the Supreme Leader

    "Iranian students held rival rallies over TV footage of the burning of a picture of the Islamic republic's founder" (Wall St. Journal, 12/16, A1). (One source says "burned," another, "torn up.)

    The founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, was their Supreme Leader. Not fully analogous but illustrative of mood is the rioting after a newspaper in Denmark published cartoons of the religion's founder.

    I would discuss the issues without personalizing them. Personalizing them unnecessarily offends people and distracts from the issues.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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    Posted by Daily Alert, December 17, 2009.

    Israel's enemies turn to de-legitimization after realizing they can't defeat Israel on battlefield, deputy PM says This was written by Roni Sofer and details an interview with Moshe Yaalon. It appeared in Ynet


    Israel's Arab enemies have resorted to a propaganda campaign after realizing they cannot defeat the Jewish State on the battlefield, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Bogi) Yaalon says.

    "When the Arabs realized they cannot defeat us with their armies, they turned to terrorism and rockets," Yaalon told Ynet in a special interview Wednesday. "Now they are realizing that they cannot defeat us this way either, so they are taking the path of de-legitimization."

    Arab propaganda efforts had an effect mostly in Europe and in some parts of the United States, the deputy PM said.

    "The success of Israel's de-legitimization stems from several elements, such as the new anti-Semitism, which at this time is manifested through anti-Israel sentiments in practice," he said. "There is another group, the liberals, some of whom are radicals while others are naïve. People who compare our security fence to the Berlin Wall, for example, are naïve."

    'Flawed British policy'

    Yaalon said he believes that Israel's diplomats across the world are at fault for the current situation.

    "For years we neglected public diplomacy. We haven't done enough," he said. "Not always those who represent us are worthy of representing us, especially when we examine the manner in which they do so. During my travels I encountered some people who simply cannot be representing us. This is why the government decided to travel and speak across the world. Ministers, including myself, are traveling abroad and explaining our position."

    Addressing the recent arrest warrant issued against former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in England, Yaalon said he warned former British Prime Minister Tony Blair more than two years ago about the "flawed policy in respect to arrest warrants against myself and other senior Israeli officials."

    "To my regret, nothing had been then since then, and now Britain is the only state where we are facing such problem," he said. "We need to tell the Brits that we're in the same boat, as their commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan clearly say."

    The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org

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    Posted by Susana K-M, December 17, 2009.

    This is the real "Arab narrative" . See the face of horror — How would you like to live like this?

    This below was written by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. It appeared November 14, 2003 in Knight Ridder Newspapers. Nelson is currently with National Public Radio. She directs the NPR bureau in Afghanistan.

    They kill their own, too. And the world expects "peace"?


    Admitted murderer: Better dead than red (in the face)

    ABU QASH — Rofayda Qaoud — raped by her brothers and impregnated — refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder.

    Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.

    Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. "She killed me before I killed her," says the 43-year-old mother of nine. "I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor."

    The guilty brothers are in jail.

    Qaoud's confessed crime, for which she must appear before a three-judge panel on Dec. 3, is one repeated almost weekly among Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel. Female virtue and virginity define a family's reputation in Arab cultures, so it's women who are punished if that reputation is perceived as sullied.

    Victims' rights groups say the number of "honor crimes" appears to be climbing, but at the same time, getting little attention. Israelis and Palestinians are too busy with political and military issues to notice what they dismiss as domestic disputes, says Suad Abu-Dayyeh, who works for the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem.

    Police in Israel investigated at least 18 honor killings in the past three years.

    Palestinian police reported 31 cases in 2002 — up from five during the first half of 1999 — the last time such incidents were counted before the current Palestinian uprising began, according to the center's study.

    But the number of killings is likely higher, given that Palestinian police investigate only crimes that have been reported, said Yousef Tarifi, the Ramallah prosecutor assigned to Qaoud's case. Shalhoub-Kevorkian says her past research showed the likely number to be 15 times higher than the number of reported cases.

    According to court records, Rofayda was raped by her brothers, Fahdi, 22, and Ali, 20, in a bedroom they shared in the family's three-room house. On Nov. 26, 2002, doctors at a nearby hospital who were treating Rofayda for an injured leg discovered she was eight months pregnant.

    Palestinian authorities whisked her off to a women's shelter in Bethlehem, where she gave birth to a healthy boy on Dec. 23. He has since been adopted by another Palestinian family, court records show.

    Rofayda, meanwhile, wanted to return to her parents in the Ramallah suburb of Abu Qash. Ramallah Gov. Mustafa Isa called a meeting with the family and village elders, demanding they pledge in writing not to harm the girl. "He asked me if everyone in the family and the village would promise not to bother this girl, but I told him I couldn't give him a guarantee," Abu Qash Mayor Faik Shalout says.

    Rofayda returned home in late January without notifying the authorities.

    The shame was unbearable, Qaoud said. Relatives and friends refused to speak to her family. Her elder daughters' husbands wouldn't allow them to visit because Rofayda had returned home.

    On Jan. 27, Rofayda sent word that she was in danger to crisis counselors at Abu-Dayyeh's center in East Jerusalem. They, in turn, called Palestinian police in Ramallah, who have jurisdiction over Abu Qash.

    Qaoud, meanwhile, sent her husband, who suffers from heart disease, to a doctor in the nearby village of Bir Zeit. Her three youngest children went to a cousin's house.

    At 11:30 p.m. she killed Rofayda, court records show. Tarifi says he's convinced Qaoud had an accomplice, but Qaoud insists she acted alone.

    Qaoud turned herself in and, after four months in jail, was released pending the resolution of her case.

    While honor killings committed in the heat of the moment — for example, by a husband who catches his wife in bed with another man — generally carry a six-month to one-year jail term, Qaoud will likely be sentenced to three to five years in prison, Tarifi says. The fact she is a mother who was trying to protect her family's honor mitigates the crime of premeditated murder, which is punishable by death under Palestinian law, he adds.

    The brothers are serving minimum 10-year sentences in a Palestinian jail in the West Bank city of Jericho for statutory rape of a relative, Tarifi says.

    No trace of Rofayda or her brothers remains in the family home. Qaoud says she ripped up all of their photographs and burned their clothes. The bedroom in which she killed her daughter is now a storeroom.

    Erasing the memories is harder, she admits. She eases her pain by doting on her three children still living at home, especially the youngest, Fatima, 9, whom she lavishes with kisses. The children say they've forgiven Qaoud and return her affection.

    "My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. Leaning into Qaoud's arms, the little girl adds: "I love my mother much more now than before."

    Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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    Posted by Isi Leibler, December 17, 2009.

    The Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism has assembled in Jerusalem this week for its annual conference. The gathering of such a distinguished group of Jewish and non-Jewish legislators and others of distinction for the express purpose of condemning anti-Semitism in itself represents a remarkable achievement, and would not have been possible without the involvement of the government of Israel. In fact, without the dedication, enthusiasm and skill of Foreign Ministry coordinator and forum chairwoman Aviva Raz-Schecter, it would never have taken off altogether.

    However, the endeavor suffers from a serious flaw. Despite repeated pleas from participants at every meeting, it has failed to create a global secretariat to operate between conferences and act as a clearing house for the exchange of views and a vehicle to coordinate efforts between leaders and communities to combat anti-Semitism.This failure is the inevitable consequence of the government's refusal to set aside funds to finance the project.

    As a result, this year's conference appears to be a rerun of its predecessors, with the same scholars providing those engaged in the battle against anti-Semitism with information to which most are already privy, and with the same kind of general calls for taking action.

    For example, though a session on Holocaust denial is on the schedule, there does not appear to be any emphasis on the far more damaging actions by anti-Semites and enemies of Israel who now manipulate and distort the Holocaust as a means of demonizing the Jewish state.

    Because the Holocaust has been transformed into a major international industry, with so many European countries incorporating its commemoration in their calendars, our tendency is to reflect a sense of achievement. However, this concern for dead Jews is regrettably not matched by concern for live ones — particularly those who reside in Israel.

    TO MAKE matters worse, there is actual ongoing, almost frenzied, activity on the part of some Diaspora Jews to suppress Holocaust denial and revisionism, which is often diverted into counterproductive debates on whether legislation criminalizing such activity would constitute an infringement of freedom of expression.

    This is particularly disturbing considering the fact that in recent years Holocaust denial has been overtaken by a new and far more potent challenge: the sophisticated trivialization, distortion and inversion of the Holocaust. This "Holocaust inversion" has a far more negative impact than outright Holocaust denial, which (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and jihadists aside) is primarily associated with crackpots. And it has climaxed with successful efforts to demonize Israelis as Nazis for allegedly committing war crimes against Palestinians — as exemplified by the British arrest warrant directed against Tzipi Livni and potentially against other Israeli leaders.

    The first serious study of this phenomenon appears in an important book by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses, published jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the Anti-Defamation League.

    Gerstenfeld, a former international business strategist who currently heads the Board of Fellows of the JCPA, has established a reputation for prodigious productivity of high-quality studies in the field of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism. This, his 11th book, may well be regarded as his magnum opus. In it he systematically defines the new anti-Semitism, presents a chronology of its development, provides an analysis of its various components (including dejudaization, obliteration of Holocaust memory, trivialization, equivalence and inversion) and draws a template for how it should be neutralized.

    The book's most important chapter covers Holocaust inversion, with special emphasis on the false portrayal of Israelis and Jews behaving like Nazis. This equation had its genesis with the Soviet UN resolution equating Zionism with racism, but has been finessed and widened under the direction of Arab and far-left agitators. The evil mantra reiterated again and again is that "the victims have become the perpetrators."

    An extreme example of this is Spain, where in some locations Holocaust Remembrance Day was broadened to commemorate the "genocide of the Palestinian people." Nazi arch-propagandist Joseph Goebbels's technique of repeating a lie ad nauseam until is taken to be the truth by the masses has certainly proven to be effective in this, the greatest of all contemporary libels and defamation directed against the Jewish people.

    In a chapter titled "Holocaust Deflection and Whitewashing," Gerstenfeld deals with the efforts by many European countries to present themselves as victims of Nazi persecution, to deflect the role of their own key citizens in having assisted the Nazis in the deportations of Jews and even in participating directly in their mass murder. Austria is particularly notorious for its longtime insistence that it was a victim, rather than a participant, in the Nazi atrocities. But in 1985, with the emergence of what came to be known as the "Waldheim Affair," evidence was revealed indicating that a majority of Austrians had welcomed and collaborated with Hitler.

    ANOTHER CASE in point is that of the Baltic countries, whose governments have been campaigning to apply moral equivalence to Nazi genocidal policies and communist tyranny. They are thus are calling for textbooks to be amended and demanding that Holocaust commemorations include victims of communist crimes. This blatantly revisionist effort to distort history, combined with attempts to suppress the knowledge of the evil perpetrated against Jews during the Holocaust by indigenous citizens in Baltic countries, was embodied in the "Prague Declaration," issued at a conference there in June 2008.

    John Mann MP, the initiator of the UK parliamentary commission into anti-Semitism, has described it as a "sinister document." As if that was not shocking enough, in recent years, Lithuanian prosecutors have been calling for "war crime investigations" of elderly Holocaust survivors and partisans (including former Yad Vashem director Yitzhak Arad) who are rightly regarded as heroes throughout most of the Western world for having fought in anti-Nazi resistance movements.

    It is therefore truly incomprehensible that Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas was invited to participate in the opening session of this week's conference. Regrettably, realpolitik may demand that Israel occasionally cooperate with some odious governments which failed to prosecute those of their citizens who collaborated with the Nazi extermination of their Jewish populations. But inviting the foreign minister of a government which failed to prosecute its own war criminals and is a world leader in seeking to obfuscate the Holocaust by bracketing Nazi genocidal policies with Stalinist crimes to participate in an Israeli government-sponsored conference on anti-Semitism is surely unacceptable.

    This brings us back to Gerstenfeld's crucial book — a must-read for anyone interested in anti-Semitism or involved in the fight against it. Combating Holocaust inversion, it concludes, "requires first understanding the nature of the abuse which must then be followed by exposing the perpetrators who must be turned into the accused." Contact Isi Leibler at ileibler@netvision.net.il This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post.

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    Posted by Moshe Phillips, December 17, 2009.

    Christmas came early for Israel's enemies this holiday season. On December 1 a "draft statement" from the European Union calling for the immediate restart of negotiations leading to a "viable state of Palestine...with East Jerusalem as its capital" made worldwide news.

    And this is very curious because, after all, "East Jerusalem" does not actually exist. At least not yet. Let's remember that "East Jerusalem" is what the Bible means when it refers to Jerusalem.

    Words, and especially names, have meaning. Especially in the Middle East. The European Union obviously chose to use the words of Israel's enemies deliberately.

    So, just what is "East Jerusalem" and why is adding the word "East" to describe part of Judaism's holiest city and Israel's capital of any serious magnitude?

    East and West in Israel are not simple geographic terms as they are in the U.S. Northeast Philadelphia, the Upper East Side in Manhattan and East L.A. are used to denote neighborhoods and sections of a city. In Israel, where Judea and Samaria have been labeled as the West Bank, things are different. The term West Bank was created by Arab propagandists to de-emphasize the area's inherent Jewishness and to disassociate the land from the State of Israel. East Jerusalem was similarly invented.

    What is "East Jerusalem"?

    In the Christian Bible every single instance when a specific location in Jerusalem is mentioned it refers to an area that the E.U. would now see given to the Palestinians. The term "East Jerusalem" cannot be found in a Christian Bible. And that is because "East Jerusalem" is about as real as Santa Claus.

    The expression "the Lights of Chanukah" refers to the Menorah in the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The EU sees the Temple Mount (the site of the Holy Temple in Biblical times) as included as part of this mythical creation of "East Jerusalem" in its unholy Palestinian state. There is no "East Jerusalem" in Judaism.

    According to Wikipedia: "East Jerusalem refers to the part of Jerusalem captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and subsequently by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. It includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher."

    So, "East Jerusalem" is Jerusalem's Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods. The original and oldest parts of Jerusalem are in this "East Jerusalem".

    There has never been in history an independent municipal entity known as "East Jerusalem". And, for the record, there has never been an independent national entity known as Palestine...But, that is another story.

    When anti-Israel extremists created the term "East Jerusalem" it was for one reason. They wanted to rip Israel's capital apart in order to defeat Israel. This effort tragically gained full force with the Oslo Accords. This was fully explained in the B'tzedek Online Journal on December 30, 1996 in an editorial titled The War Has Just Begun:

    "The Oslo Accords are indeed the fulfillment of the PLO "salami" strategy. That is to say, Israel shall be destroyed not through overt military action of Arab nations, but through the whittling away of Israeli resolve and slow but determined territorial expansion of a Palestinian state. Slice by slice Israel will be carved away by the knife of terrorism and world opinion, both deftly handled by the Israeli created Palestinian entity."

    The very name Jerusalem means city of peace, city of completeness and city of perfection. This was something that Bible believing Americans of all faiths in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were taught. See Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (1869) and Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897) for more on the fascinating derivation of the name Jerusalem.

    A Jerusalem that is not complete is just not Jerusalem.

    The United States can do much to confront the EU on Jerusalem. The late Senator Jesse Helms wrote in 1996 that "Israel is the only nation in the world denied the right to choose its own capital. This second class citizenship among nations must end".

    Now is the time for friends of Israel to apply more pressure on the Obama Administration to move America's Embassy. The U.S. government has failed to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for over ten years. The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on October 23, 1995 and the law reads that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999".

    "For Zion's sake I am not silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I do not rest," reads Isaiah 62:1. For Jerusalem's sake contact your Congressman today and demand that the Jerusalem Embassy Act be honored. Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI. The chapter's website is at: www.phillyafsi.com and Moshe's blog can be found at http://phillyafsi.blogtownhall.com.

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    Posted by Susana K-M, December 16, 2009.

    This was written by Bill Katz.


    AND NOW THE TRUTH — AT 10:55 A.M. ET: Well, finally it's out there, for the world to see. Many of us knew this, but were waiting for final, scientific confirmation before going public: The real secret to saving the planet is...cows.

    It was always the cows. But our own bigotry and lack of cultural sensitivity made us blind to the reality. Now, we've got to get past that dark period. The truth hurts, as Fox reports:

    The United States is counting on cows to help save the planet.

    U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an agreement with the American dairy industry Tuesday to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, mostly by convincing farmers to capture the methane from cow manure that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere.

    "This historic agreement, the first of its kind, will help us achieve the ambitious goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefiting farmers," Vilsack said at the U.N. climate talks. "(The) use of manure of technology is a win for everyone."

    Agriculture accounts for about 7 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

    The plan calls for persuading more American farmers to purchase an anaerobic digester, which essentially converts cow manure into electricity. The problem is that, so far, only 2 percent of U.S. dairy farmers are using the technology, mostly because it is too costly for family farmers.

    Oh, but now the technology will spread. And someday, when you see Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid on some device powered by electricity, you'll understand what's making their voices possible.

    You know, historians tell us that Joe McCarthy was advised by his mentors to stop his Congressional hearings and spend his time advancing Wisconsin cows. If he'd done that, Joe could've been president. But he had that same demeaning attitude toward cows that the rest of us did, and he went down the wrong path.

    It's time to thank a cow. If a cow moos at you, just say, "Thanks Elsie, and thanks for my microwave oven and vacuum cleaner."

    No glass of milk will ever taste the same.

    Contact Susana K-M at suanema@gmail.com

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    Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 16, 2009.

    What I begin with today is a thematic follow-up to what I wrote yesterday about the mosque in Yasuf. Whether it turns out that "radicals" in the Jewish community of Samaria were responsible for the vandalism in that mosque or not, what disturbs me is the alacrity with which many people — Jews included — rushed to make the assumption that they were, even when evidence was lacking (and there was plenty of evidence that it might have been Arabs who did it).

    I've written, and will continue to write, about the bad press and vilification that the Jews of Judea and Samaria are subject to. These "right wing settlers" who create a stumbling block to negotiations and cause Arabs difficulties. Or so it goes.


    Here I want to touch upon a similar story, which makes the same point: Back in December 2008, charges were made that when the police were evacuating Beit Hashalom in Hevron one officer was injured when an activist resisting the police action threw acid in his face. This was reported in the Jerusalem Post.

    There was doubt within the community of Hevron regarding the authenticity of this claim. And so a request was made to the Post that it be checked out.

    Yisrael Medad has written about this in his blog (http://myrightword.blogspot.com) but it is unclear to me as to whether it was he who actually made the request to the Post.

    Time dragged on without confirmation or resolution of the issue. At some point Medad then made a very specific suggestion:

    "why not ask the police medical department if any policeman was treated for acid burns and ask the payments section if any policeman received sick leave and compensation for his acid wounds."

    It was then Susie Dym, an activist who heads Mattot Arim, who followed through. She founded it particularly disturbing that this incident was referred to time and again as an example of "settler violence," even though it had never been verified. She saw this as just one of a litany of false charges that are leveled at "settlers."

    And guess what? The Post has now printed an article stating that the claim was unsubstantiated. No one was ever charged in connection with this alleged act. Said Dym, "They [residents of Judea and Samaria] have not committed one-thousandth of the [crimes] of which they have been accused."


    I raise the next issue reluctantly. I have, in fact, resisted writing about this for an international audience, because I believe it is very much an internal Israeli affair. But it has made the press in such significant measure, that it seemed to me time to explore the issues for my readers:

    It involves, at core, the use of the IDF for police work, rather than reserving our armed forces for defense of our nation. We are the exception among democracies in this respect: in most — if not all — other democracies, armies can be used only for national defense. Not here. The army was used in the evacuation in Gush Katif, and is used in certain actions in Judea and Samaria. These political actions pit Jew against Jew, splitting the nation apart and destroying army morale.


    Underlying the current situation we see these basic facts:

    Religious nationalist young men serve most eagerly in the IDF, volunteering in disproportionate numbers for elite combat units and exhibiting an exemplary bravery and loyalty. Their religious underpinning gives them an understanding of why defense of Israel is important. What is more, the religious nationalist educational institutions — yeshivas of a particular stripe — teach this point of view. It is deeply bred into the perspective of these young men, as religious Israelis with an obligation to the nation and the people. When you read a story, during war time, of a young commander who throws himself on a grenade, for example, to save his unit, it is most likely to be a person who was a religious nationalist.

    For decades, the IDF has run a five-year "Hesder" program, which allows these religious young men to combine religious study in participating yeshivas with army service. There are 7,500 who are enrolled this program, and tens of thousands of Hesder graduates who serve in the reserves.


    In Samaria, there is a yeshiva called Har Bracha, headed by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, which until just days ago was part of the Hesder program. Rabbi Melamed, concerned with Jewish teachings and law about the sanctity of the land for Jews, told his students who were going to be serving in the army that they should refuse orders regarding a building freeze or evacuation of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

    Minister of Defense Ehud Barak — hard-nosed, secular and left-wing — was furious because it is essential to maintain discipline in the army. He cut Rabbi Melamed's yeshiva from the Hesder program.

    Now, Barak has a point about the need for army discipline. A soldier in the field absolutely must obey orders or the whole system breaks down. However (and this is a big "however"), that is the case when the army is fighting an enemy and acting to protect the nation.

    The problem has arisen because the army is being used in political actions as well. There were perhaps ways of handling this other than the way Barak chose. Certainly it could have been decided that the army would no longer be used for political tasks (with a law ultimately passed with regard to this) — that only the police and related law enforcement units would be involved. Or — though more complicated — possibly some sort of "conscientious objection" principle could have been instituted, exempting soldiers who believe they are bound by Jewish law to retain and develop Judea and Samaria from participating in actions that restrict or prohibit Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.


    Barak's approach is counterproductive. He is acting against and alienating the very best soldiers that the IDF has. Not a smart move, nor one that expresses appreciation and respect for these soldiers. The very religious conviction that makes them the best of soldiers because of their devotion to the land and their desire to defend it, also makes them devoted to the retention of Judea and Samaria as a matter of religious belief.

    This week, dozens of reserve soldiers and officers who had been educated in Hesder yeshivas sent a petition to Barak:

    "Many of us fought in the Second Lebanon War and in Cast Lead with a willingness to carry out any order and even to give our lives for the protection of the State of Israel.

    "Our yeshiva heads taught us this selfless devotion to the State of Israel. In yeshiva we were inculcated with the spirit of fighting, devotion and giving our best. If the decision to remove Har Bracha from the Hesder framework is implemented, it would be interpreted by us as the IDF's rejection of us and our service and it would force us to leave the ranks of the IDF."

    Rabbis who head other yeshivas in the Hesder program have rallied to the support of Rabbi Melamed, who is seen as exhibiting enormous clarity of moral vision. Additionally, interest by high school students in attending Har Bracha yeshiva after graduation has grown considerably.

    I don't know if there can or will be a positive resolution to this situation, or if it will be allowed to fester. The prime minister has refused to get involved.

    Since the time of the Gush Katif evacuation, I have felt that any major threat to Judea and Samaria would lead us toward civil war. This is just a hint of what might come if, G-d forbid, we were to see attempts to move out the residents of Judea and Samaria. May such a day never come.


    A small correction from yesterday. Abbas is not demanding that WE recognize that we must pull back to the '67 lines, including in Jerusalem, before he'll come to the table. He is demanding this recognition from the international community. For this we can thank, first, Obama, and then, the EU. Abbas is convinced that he can get what he wants without negotiation. From us, at this point, he is demanding a complete and total freeze everywhere beyond the Green Line.

    He says that he will bring this to the Security Council, and ask that body to recognize a Palestinian state within these lines. With regard to this happening, I remain essentially dubious.


    More after Chanukah is over.

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

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    Posted by Gil Ronen, December 16, 2009.

    Journalist and former Knesset member Rabbi Yisrael Eichler thinks that the crisis regarding the Hesder yeshivas is a gift from G-d, Who is revealing the hellenizing element in the nation on Chanukah, the holiday which marks the victory of the true believers over the hellenizers.

    "The media is waging a long-term battle against the religious soldiers in the army because it fears that they may take command and establish a Jewish state here," Eichler said.

    "The slogan — 'the Rabbi's command or the commander's command' — essentially says that Man is sovereign, not the Sovereign of the World [Ribono shel olam in Hebrew — one of the names for G.

    Warning from Ketzaleh

    The Chairman of the National Union, MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), enumerated Monday in the Knesset plenum the decrees promulgated against the Nation of Israel throughout history. He also mentioned the latest edicts by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, including the freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria and the decision to cut off the Har Bracha Hesder yeshiva.

    "The Nation of Israel will not let you forget your deeds," He warned Netanyahu. "The Prime Minister will be remembered not as one who followed the footsteps of [early Zionist leader Ze Jabotinsky and [former prime minister Yitzcha Shamir, but as one who is a link in the chain of leaders who pass edicts against Israel," Ketzaleh said.

    MK Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) also attacked the Defense Minister following his decision to discontinue the military's arrangement with the Har Bracha yeshiva, using the opportunity for a swipe at Barak over his alleged employment of an illegal domestic worker from the Phillipines.

    "Barak thinks the heads of the Hesder yeshivas are his Filipino workers," he said. "He needs to be told that the yeshiva heads are not his illegal Filipinos but citizens with equal rights."

    "Did Barak make his decision because Rabbi Melamed did not show up with polished military shoes and a beret?" he asked.

    This was written by Gil Ronen, writer for Arutz Sheva and it was published today in Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com)

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    Posted by Hana Levi Julian, December 16, 2009.

    Jewish communities in Samaria have discovered a new way to get their message out to the world — through the Facebook social networking web site. "We are using web-based social media to network international support for the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria," explained David Ha'Ivri, executive director of the Shomron Liaison Office in Samaria.

    Ha'Ivri makes a point of posting the latest news and information about events being held at Jewish communities nestled among the hills in the region on the organization's Facebook page several times a day.

    Its Info page, "Friends of the Jewish Communities in the Shomron,"
    (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=35884438304) encourages visitors to "support, learn, visit and talk about the Jewish communities in the Shomron."

    The page has garnered "hundreds of members a day for the past two weeks," according to Ha'Ivri — 2,434 official members of the group, actually — who the activist said have been meeting at the site "to organize real live events at international locations.

    In the past two weeks, the group has been involved in demonstrations and events in Melbourne, Australia, New York City, Loveland, Colorado, and New Mexico, opposing the building freeze in Judea and Samaria.

    At last count, there were 2,434 official members of the group, with an active board of administrators that includes students and professionals, Jews and non-Jews, "even a dentist from Nairobi," noted Ha'Ivri.

    The group is also organizing web-based activities for "armchair activists," he said. "An armchair activist is a person whose activism is realized via his ability to do things on the Internet, blog, talkback, send faxes and emails to elected officials, web design, produce content for web sites and edit Wikipedia," he explained. "There are people around the globe who support Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria — this forum is giving them a platform to unite and work together to actually do something," he added.

    In the "Discussions" area, the group shares photos and information about violent police actions in the region. There is also a media response team that monitors and responds to reports on Judea and Samaria around the world, and a group that plans for ecological pilot projects in Samaria communities, Ha'Ivri said. "It's not all about the struggle with the building freeze. It's about supporting the Jewish communities in Samaria"

    "Some members have already donated funds for needs that they learned about via the group, like the Itai Zar Legal Fund, and planting trees in Samaria to symbolize Jewish growth and setting down roots."

    Hana Julian writes for Arutz Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com).

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    Posted by Richad H. Shulman, December 16, 2009.


    NGO Monitor finds that the EU, the Netherlands, and a Dutch sect finance a radical Israeli NGO, New Profile, that advocates draft-dodging in Israel.

    "As reported in the Jerusalem Post, New Profile has been prohibited from making presentations in public schools due to its calls for Israelis to refuse to serve in the military." (www.imra.org.il, 12/14).

    Many people assert a devotion to democracy. Here is an example of a foreign country trying to subvert a supposed democracy and its national security.


    Foreign intelligence services have discovered evidence that Iran was testing how to trigger a nuclear weapon. Iran did this after U.S. intelligence estimated that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program (www.imra.org.il, 12/14).


    Muslim youth in Pakistan (A.P./BK Bangesh)

    Hundreds of Muslim youth, mostly from Asia and Africa, enter Pakistan on student visas. They seek a cheap Islamic education. Many also receive Radical indoctrination. They may return to their own countries ready to commit terrorism.

    Pakistan said it tries to bar them, and has not issued student visas since 2005, but they come on student visas (A.P. and Washington Post in www.imra.org.il, 12/14).

    If Pakistan does not issue student visas, where do the students get them? If it doesn't want foreign students, why does it admit them?


    PM Netanyahu has taken control of house demolition in Jerusalem. No court order to demolish may be implemented without his permission, now. Apparently he is taking foreign criticism into effect (www.imra.org.il, 12/14).

    Netanyahu asserts that Israel is independent, Jerusalem belongs to Israel, and Israel will decide what to do with it. That is what he says. What he does, however, is cave in to foreign pressure, negating his assertions. He lets foreign pressure rule Jerusalem. He may think he is clever in dealing with the U.S.. Actually, he encourages further interference, making that interference seem part of the natural order. This is not clever at all.

    Another of my sources, Winston Mideast Report & Analysis, finds that Netanyahu and Barak have resorted to their old and futile policies of appeasement of foreigners. They show no initiative to solve problems or to defend the country better. In Winston's opinion, as before, they are letting the Palestinian Authority build up a momentum for another Intifada, rather than stopping it.

    Personally, I think they suffer from a lack of loyalty, courage, and imagination but not from a lack of egotism.


    Checkpoint at Kalandia (A.P./Bernat Armangue)

    Two Palestinian Arabs approached an Israeli checkpoint near Nablus. The soldiers told them to halt, but they tried to get by, until the troops fired warning shots. The Arabs were carrying a stun grenade and an explosive device.

    Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA reminds us that people complain that checkpoints humiliate people, but this is one of many instances in which checkpoints sever their purpose, terrorist crime-prevention www.imra.org.il, 12/14).

    Every time we Americans check into an airport, we have to pass a checkpoint. We wish we did not have to, but we do not feel humiliated. Claims of humiliation are suspect. This is especially true, because Arabs have checkpoints, too. The PLO used to have them in Jordan and Lebanon. They don't mind checkpoints in principle.

    If the people passing through checkpoints are not groped or insulted, there is no humiliation. On the other hand, the Arabs do insult the guards. They are encouraged to do so by an organization of leftist Israeli Jews, Machsom Watch, so perhaps it is the Israelis who are humiliated at checkpoints, necessary barriers to terrorism.


    Photos of Abbas and Arafat (A.P./Mohammed Muheisen)

    Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), has escalated his demands of Israel. First, he would not negotiate a final peace agreement, unless Israel froze all building beyond the Green Line. Now he demands that first Israel agree to withdraw from beyond the Green Line. This is contrary to the Road Map to which he had agreed (www.imra.org.il, 12/15) and to the Oslo Accords.

    There would not be much to negotiate, if Israel agreed.

    Now Israel's lack of policy and propaganda in the national interest manifests most clearly. Here is Abbas, a terrorist, violator of agreements, afraid to run for re-election, and surely an extremist. There is Israel, releasing dozens of checkpoints, thousands of convicted terrorists, and millions of dollars among other measures to "strengthen Abbas." He never is strong enough, except to make trouble for Israel. Isn't it now clear that Israeli policy of appeasement failed?

    All those years Israel wasted by waiting for Arab peace offers that never came, creating the Palestinian Authority Frankenstein in the first place (which imposed a PLO dictatorship upon resident Arabs), and assisting the P.A. even though the P.A. works to topple Israel and not just seize the disputed Territories. Israel failed to maintain its independence from agreements such as Oslo and Road Map involving foreigners. Israel failed to institute a policy for Jewish national development in its core homeland, Judea and Samaria. It let Jews build where they would instead of expanding and annexing steadily outward from the State of Israel and in a way that would enhance security instead of allowing a hodgepodge mixture of communities such that terrorists could attack or menace Jewish ones. Israel forgot the Talmudic notion that can be interpreted that if Israel does not stand up for itself, who would.


    Some Israeli students from institutions that combine yeshiva training with pre-military training indicated they would not follow IDF orders to expel Jews from their houses in Judea-Samaria. Defense Minister Barak demanded that Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of the Har Bracha Yeshiva, denounce the students. The principal says that he does not advise the students what to do, and will not denounce their exercise of conscience. Unable to bully the Rabbi, the Minister cut off funding for the whole institution.

    Rabbi Melamed has rebuked the Defense Minister. He said,

    "They attack us and say that a soldier must have a commander and that the commander cannot be his rabbi. The Defense Minister accuses us of destabilizing the foundations of democracy and inciting the students to refusal, and of damaging the spirit of the IDF."

    "There are deep disagreements in Israeli society but this is a libel against us and against our Torah, whose words are good and true," he continued. "The public is being incited to believe that the rabbis are endangering the existence of the army. But this is not true. A defense establishment which makes it possible to drag the army into political disputes is the one endangering the army, because there is no conflict between the commander and the rabbi on security matters. The Halacha [Jewish La says that a soldier must obey his commander in both training and battle."

    The rabbi then gave examples of his supporting operations of military defense
    (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/, 12/15). He does not support political operations by the military.

    In my opinion, those political operations impair national defense. Territorial withdrawals have led to wars, for which Barak shares in the guilt of facilitating.

    They have put Israel in a dire strategic position, as tens of thousands of enemy rockets now are trained on Israel. They contradict the sober assessment by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that Israel must retain most of the Territories, in order to be able to defend itself. And of course, they forfeit Jewish national rights to enemies.

    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 and visit his website:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7095-NY- Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7

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    Posted by Partners in Kindness, December 16, 2009.

    Articles for Partners in Kindness are edited by Shmuel Greenbaum. The author wishes to remain anonymous.


    I received this e-mail about a woman in Israel who collects toiletries for the poor:

    About a month ago, two very poor-looking, tiny, thin women knocked on my door, begging for anything. They weren't at all unlikable and I felt so badly; they must have been so desperate to even have the courage to do this.

    I gave them each a bag of toiletries and it was as if I had given them gold. One of them then told me her daughter was about to get married and has nothing. I took the woman's phone number and address, and told her that I collect many things and that when I have something for her daughter I will give her a call.

    A short while later I got a call from a friend who just cleaned out her house and had tons of sheets, towels, and other linens to give away. So I picked up the stuff and drove about half an hour away from where I live to the address she gave to deliver it to the woman and her daughter. She lives in a run down place with many young children and a handicapped husband who is not working. She was so thankful and appreciative.

    I truly believe in the saying..."those who seek happiness for others, find it themselves."This is really true — I think I felt just as good as the woman who received the items I gave.

    After being inspired by her story, I gave her a call to find out how I could help. She told me that she had been doing volunteer work in Israeli schools when she realized that poor people in Israel, who barely have enough money for food, don't have any money to spend on personal hygiene products. The teenage girls she met could not afford deodorant or other hygiene products so they did without it and were very embarrassed.

    I told the woman that I would be happy to buy deodorants in the US and bring them to her in Israel. She told me she would come to me to pick it up wherever I was in Israel. My local supermarket sells brand name deodorant for a fraction of what it costs in Israel. So I started stocking up on deodorant on every trip to the supermarket.

    About a year later I found myself going to Israel without any checked luggage. The deodorant did not take up much room or weigh too much so I called another woman I had heard about who sends used dolls and stuffed animals to poor kids in Israel. I told her to give me two enormous duffle bags filled with stuffed animals and asked her to leave some room for the deodorant.

    The woman with the two bags full of toys picked me up at the train station in the US and brought me to the airport. As soon as I arrived in Israel, volunteers met me at the airport and transported all the goods to poor people all over the country.

    If you are interested in starting a collection program in your community or transporting items to Israel, you can contact the people I worked with: Janet Agassi, a volunteer with the Lions Clubs at janetagassi@gmail.com and Claire Ginsburg Goldstein, head of Bears for Bergenfield at LGCG98@aol.com

    WARNING: It is very dangerous to transport goods for people you don't know (unless you buy new items yourself). I had spoken to both of these people many times, so I felt some degree of comfort; but in the back of my mind I wondered what would happen if my judgment was wrong. If you are considering it, make sure that the people are legitimate and you check references carefully no matter who suggests you do it.

    See the website: http://www.PartnersInKindness.org

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    Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, December 16, 2009.

    Ubiquitous sufganiyot announce the arrival of Chanukah in Israel.

    This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.


    One of the great joys of photography is creating images that cannot be seen with normal viewing. There are two ways of achieving this: by random experimentation or by pre-visualization and intent to create what one envisions. This photograph was made via the latter method, in an attempt to take a frequently-photographed subject and make something entirely fresh.

    This shot required fooling the camera into shooting what it considers to be a mistake, namely a subject that is way out of focus. I have my camera set so that the shutter triggers only when the camera locks on focus. In order to throw the intended subject out of focus, I had to point the camera at a distant object, press halfway down on the shutter release button to activate auto-focus and then, without releasing the shutter, recompose the image with the closer, but now blurred, subject. May the light of the menorah shed new light on all your creative adventures. Chag Urim Sameach.

    Contact Yehoshua Halevi by email at smile@goldenlightimages.com and visit his website:
    http://www.goldenlightimages.com. Reproductions of his work as cards, calenders and posters may be purchased at

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    Posted by David Ha'Ivri, December 15, 2009.

    After five and half hour protest Civil Administration Freeze inspectors impound Bulldozer from Shomron community Tzufim via alternate exit way. Hundreds of towns people block main entrance for over five hours. Today at about 15:00 Civil Administration building inspectors impounded a bulldozer from a building site that had already been approved and foundations poured before the building Freeze decree came into effect.

    Three hours into the protest police representatives announced that they acknowledge their mistake and that they would release the heavy machinery and called on the protesters to return to their homes. Only then did it become known that this was a trick and that the riot police where being called in to deal with the situation and open the way for the trailer to truck out the bulldozer. At least 11 residents were injured in police violence and three other were arrested.

    See report below from Tzufim resident, Gila Slonin, below. See also

    Thank you,
    David Ha'ivri
    The Shomron Liaison Office
    Website www.yeshuv.org


    Tzufim is usually known to be a quiet yishuv, less hard core then most of the yishuvim in the Shomron.

    Today however and yesterday we saw something at Tzufim that has never happened before, as the Minhal Ezrachi came into the yishuv they were greeted by barbed wire fencing and and a human barrier and other obstacles.

    They had come to administer stop work orders on housing for which building had commenced some time ago and foundations were built. The work orders were shown to the "pakachim" but they were not prepared to listen. They had come for a battle and battle they did!

    The violence meted out by the border police and the yasam were horrifying.

    As they tried to remove the large trailer with earthworks vehicle they had confiscated the protests were tremendous. However, it is very difficult to stand up to a vehicle of this size as it reverses into the crowd. This did not succeed so they tried to drive forward into the crowd.a fight ensued and then it was agreed to discuss the situation and and try to reach an agreement. Meanwhile chanukah candles were lit in a most uplifting way and peace reigned for a few short minutes.

    The violence then began again as the border police and yasam attacked men, women and children and the truck drove into the crowd as the border police brutally removed people.

    Amid great protest the truck left the Yishuv through a secondary exit.

    This is a sad day for democracy law and order.!

    If you see headlines about a border police woman being attacked the facts are that she walked into a crowd of youths who were protesting. They yelled at her and she then began vomiting. NO ATTACKS or violence were directed at her!

    David Ha'ivri, chairman of Revava, is also editor of Darka Shel Torah and Ideas in Action newsletters, and the publisher of books teaching Jewish pride and faith in HaShem. He has set a goal to put the Jewish people back on the footpath of our fathers, and build a proud and strong nation whose national policy is based on Jewish values. He can be reached by email at haivri@hameir.org or at his website: http://www.hameir.org/

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    Posted by Arlene Kushner, December 15, 2009.

    Last Friday, in the Arab village of Yasuf, in Samaria, near the Jewish community of Tapuach, a mosque was vandalized.

    News reports spoke of the fact of "mosque arson," but in point of fact the mosque wasn't torched. Korans and prayer rugs were burned, while the mosque was left intact — this fact visible from photos. Graffiti was written in Hebrew on the wall of the mosque: "Price tag — Greetings from Effi." This is presumed to represent a radical group of "settlers" who have vowed to extract a price from the Arab population every time the Israeli government restricts development by Jews in Judea and Samaria. It is thus being assumed in many quarters that Jews did this in "revenge" for Netanyahu's building freeze.

    Across Israel there have been condemnations of this act — including by law enforcement officials and rabbis. The fact that they felt the need to condemn this passionately seems to indicate that they were assuming that it was likely Jews who did it. There were statements by law enforcement officials about how it's time to get tougher with the "extremists" in Judea and Samaria.


    I believe that the assumption that "extremist" Jews did this IS a rush to judgment. There is a mind-set that tends to paint the "settlers" as bad, a danger to peace. This perception has been shaped by Arab and leftist PR and been assimilated to a large degree. And the assumption that Jews who live in Samaria set fire to a mosque fits right in with that.

    If it turns out that Jews did do this, I will roundly condemn them. But I am not prepared to do so yet, for a host of reasons: the law enforcement officials have come out full force in investigating this. But as I write, there is not only no suspect, but no lead. Clearly, they keep close tab on those Jews considered to be radical. That there is not even a "lead" after four days gives pause. The fact that there was an ostensible graffiti "signature" from a radical group does not, of course, mean that this group really did the vandalizing. As the Regional Council of Samaria pointed out, "Who would be stupid enough to leave a name?"


    And there is more:

    Reports I received today indicate that the mosque has already been cleaned up, so that a police investigation of the "scene of the crime" is impossible. (News reports did say that the PA was going to be doing the clean-up.) As it was, the damage was relatively minimal. Not destruction of a mosque, but of the accessories of prayer — just enough destruction to make press and to make a fuss over.


    Over a period of years, there have been accusations of Jewish "radicals" cutting down Arab olive trees, but on several occasions it turned out that Arabs themselves had cut down the trees to make Jews in the area look bad. Seems strange from our perspective, that they would damage their own property. But that's because we don't think as these Arabs do. The same thinking takes place in Gaza. Terrorists target the crossings from Israel into Gaza, making it necessary for Israel to close the crossings for a period. This means that the supplies don't get to the people. But that's OK, for it's more important to make Israel look bad for closing crossings.

    Ponder this carefully.

    The working assumption is that the mosque was vandalized by a radical Jewish group in "retaliation" for the government freeze. But the freeze wasn't just announced. It's a good couple of weeks old. So why now?

    What is new is the priority map, which was just announced last week by Netanyahu. It indicates which communities will receive special attention. And guess what? A number of communities in Judea and Samaria were included (more follows on this below). How threatening to the Arabs who want to see us move back to the Green Line. Is it coincidence that the "arson" took place last Friday, just two days after the announcement?

    When a contingent of rabbis from the Shomron (Samaria) tried to visit Yasuf, they were rebuffed. The residents there said these rabbis were radicals, or associated with radicals. I though this a little strange, as one of the rabbis was Rabbi Froman of Tekoa, who has a reputation of sustaining warm relationships with Arabs, and he had brought his Arabic-speaking son with him.

    What did the Yasuf villagers say? That they need the land to be rid of "settlers." No peaceful co-existence. No acceptance of peaceful gestures. Get out.

    I noted this carefully when it was said, and everyone else needs to note it, as well. The vandalized mosque potentially provides "evidence" for the world to see of why Jews should not live in Judea and Samaria.


    As to that priority map: It has caused considerable dissension within the government. To me what has been taking place is schizoid, with one arm of the government unclear as to what the other is doing. As I noted last week after the priority map was announced (announced just as there was a demonstration against the freeze taking place), it seemed to give a very mixed message with regard to that freeze. And, sure enough, it made the Obama administration uneasy, so that reassurances had to be provided. The communities in Judea and Samaria which were on the map would receive other kinds of assistance, our government said, but not housing assistance. Not clear is whether this set of parameters was for the ten months of the freeze only, or would continue thereafter.

    The map was approved by the Cabinet on Sunday, after announcements that the decision might be delayed because of objections.

    Shas objected, and with good reason, because communities where those who were expelled from Gush Katif are settling were not given priority.

    But the major source of tension with regard to the priorities set by the map emanates from the Labor party. Four party "rebels" have been discontented for some time with Barak's participation in Netanyahu's coalition. (It is likely that the ferocity with which Barak administered the freeze on the ground, adding strictures that weren't in the original announcement, was an attempt by him to show these rebels how tough he is with "settlers.")

    Now the rebels — Eitan Cabel, Shelly Yacimovich, Yuli Tamir, and Ophir Paz-Pines — say that clearly Barak knew what the priority map would include, and that this is the proverbial straw. According to a spokesman for the rebels, "The chances of us making peace with Barak are the same that this government will make peace with the Palestinians."

    What is being demanded is that within two to three months Labor leave the government if progress has not been made in the "peace process."

    The insistence of the left wing in blaming Israel for a failure of the "peace process" drives me to distraction. How, precisely, do they think "progress" is supposed to be achieved when Abbas won't come to the table? (See below on this.)

    At any rate, this is one of those situations that will bear close watching, as the political implications are real.


    There are other issues with regard to communities in Judea and Samaria that I will return to as soon as possible. It seems today that there is more to write about than time to do the writing. It is almost time for candle-lighting and then celebration with friends.

    Here I will simply report that Abbas has announced that he is abandoning the format of the Road Map and refusing to come to the negotiating table until we agree to return to the '67 lines. There is much to say about this, in due course, although we've been watching this unfold; it's not exactly unexpected. (The PLO, by the way, will be formally extending Abbas's term as PA president, until there are elections.)

    Today in the village of Yasuf, Arabs demonstrated with the demand that Jews get out of the West Bank. And, while I might be mistaken, it seems to me all of a piece. How convenient that they have the "evidence" of the Jews having vandalized their mosque, to show the world why we cannot remain.

    I am incensed, by the way, that the president of the EU has made a statement about this mosque. How many times, pray tell, has the president of the EU made statements when Arabs killed innocent Jews in Judea and Samaria?

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

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    Posted by Phyllis Chesler, December 15, 2009.

    I do not think that radical Islamists can yield on the subject of women's rights any more than they can yield on the subject of Israel's right to exist, true democracy, freedom of religion, or tolerance for homosexuals and for dissent. Here, then, is exactly where the greatest battle of the 21st century is joined. This is just out in English and Norwegian in Human Rights Service an online publication based in Norway and read by the Scandinavians.


    For years, the world stood by and did nothing as the Palestinians perfected their diabolical arts of airplane hijacking and suicide terrorism against the tiny Jewish state. On the contrary, the world cheered the terrorists on. Palestinian terrorists were seen as victims or as freedom fighters, Israelis were viewed as the "genocidal" aggressors. Suddenly, the Palestinians became the "new Jews," while the Jewish Israelis became the "new Nazis." Western progressives, including feminists, became more concerned with the occupation of a country that never existed (Palestine) than they were with the occupation of womens' bodies, world-wide.

    This "narrative" Romance was well funded by the Soviets and the Arab League, housed by the United Nations, supported by the Arab and Western media and professoriate, and by international human rights groups. The bombing of synagogues, the boycotting of Israeli academics, demonstrations against the Israeli "occupation" of Muslim land, and the shunning of Israeli athletes became routine all over Europe. The Arab and Muslim media, joined by their mainstream western counterparts have accused the Jews and the Zionists — falsely — of deliberately shooting down a young Palestinian boy, committing a massacre in Jenin, poisoning Palestinian water, spreading cancer and AIDS among Palestinians, rendering Palestinian men sterile, and harvesting the organs of Palestinian prisoners for profit.

    The targeting and isolating of Israel continues. Just last week, the EU resolved to promote East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. And, the British government resolved to label products produced by Jewish settlers in order to help consumers boycott them. In the United States, anti-Israel fanatics have started a boycott of Trader Joe's for carrying Israeli products, even going so far as removing Israeli items from the shelves and putting anti-Israel stickers on them.

    Most recently, on the evening of December 12th, in Vienna, while Chabad Rabbi Dov Gruzman was conducting the annual ceremony to light the public Chanukah menorah in Stefanzplatz, a Muslim ran in cursing Jews, who then began punching and kicking the Rabbi; he then bit off part of the rabbi's finger. The rabbi was rushed to the hospital where they re-attached his finger. The attacker was arrested. Chabad's response was to plan an even larger public ceremony with free jelly doughnuts for 700, as opposed to the usual 50-60 participants.

    According to Israeli diplomat Aviva Raz-Schechter, on December 16th-17th in Jerusalem, the Israeli government will be holding a global conference on combating anti-Semitism. This is an important conference and one that should also be held in every major capital of the world. Clearly, that is not happening.

    If the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority have their way, they hope to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state — without having to negotiate with Israel. And, as mentioned, the Swedes and the EU hope to declare East Jerusalem the capital of that state.

    Do you really think Jews and Christians will be able to pray at their holy sites in East Jerusalem? Or that a conference on anti-Semitism would ever be held there?

    Let me be clear. Soon enough, what happens to the Jews happens to others. Thus, 9/11, 3/11, 7/7, and 11/26 were all direct hits on modernity, democracy, Western values, women's rights, and human rights — values which the Israeli state symbolizes. Of course, since the world chose not to stop jihadic terrorism against Jewish Israel, that same terrorism soon went global; a whirlwind of suicide bombings, airplane hijackings, hostage-takings, and massacres have now taken place on every continent. The well integrated, highly assimilated, peaceful Semites (Jews) who were slaughtered by Hitler in a real Holocaust have now been replaced by a less assimilated, more demanding, less peaceful group of Semites (Muslims) who are challenging core Western and European values.

    Contrary to the politically correct progressive opinion in the West, we, Israelis, Americans, and Europeans, have not "caused" this jihad. I know this in my bones — and I learned it the hard way, the best way.

    Once, long ago (as my readers here already know), I lived in Kabul, Afghanistan. Almost every day, my Afghan mother-in-law pressured me to convert to Islam. (Yes — my first marriage was to a descendant of Abraham's first son, Ishmael.) Thus, long before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or the emergence of the Taliban, I experienced Islamic gender and religious apartheid up close and personal. Women wore shrouds, sheets, and sat at the back of the bus. Servants were treated like slaves. I was endangered there as a Jew, as a woman, and as an American.

    I learned that Islamic fundamentalism and doctrines of superiority, which include fear, suspicion, and hatred of the "infidel," are not caused by the West, the Zionists, the imperialists, or the colonialists.

    Orwell would best understand how language has been used to pervert the truth. Israel is not an apartheid state. Rather, Islam is the largest practitioner of apartheid and of slavery. Israel is not a colonialist, occupying power; rather, it is Islamic history that is characterized by imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, and suppression of dissent. Freud would also understand how the jihadic mind projects and scapegoats Jews and Israel for the sins and crimes of Islam.

    Still, Islamic gender and religious apartheid is a human rights violation and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, anti-racism, diversity, or political correctness. As long as Islamist groups continue to deny, minimize, or obfuscate the problem, and to project their own crimes onto Israel, we all remain in danger. By we, I do not mean only the West. I am also including Muslim dissidents, Muslim feminists, Muslim homosexuals, Muslim freedom lovers — and the large number of Muslims who simply want to lead peaceful lives free from tyranny.

    In my view, the larger battle of good versus evil, of modernity versus barbarism, the battle for the preservation of western values, will ultimately be won or lost as a function of whether the world supports or sacrifices Israel — and on the field of womens' rights.

    I do not think that radical Islamists can yield on the subject of women's rights any more than they can yield on the subject of Israel's right to exist, true democracy, freedom of religion, or tolerance for homosexuals and for dissent. Here, then, is exactly where the greatest battle of the 21st century is joined.

    Dr. Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and lecturer and co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/phyllischesler/

    To Go To Top

    Posted by Sheven Shamrak, December 15, 2009.

    Happy Hanukkah!

    The world must understand that the realization of the Jewish National Goal is an intricate part of the global war against Islamic terror and its intention for world domination by Islam!

    The War on Terror — the Containment Plan by Steven Shamrak (20/10/2006)

    We hear quite often that it is the fault of the West that the Muslim world hates us so much. They claim that it is Western demands for implementation of democracy, perceived as arrogance by Muslims, that are responsible for the escalation of Muslim terrorism worldwide. They say that Muslims feel disrespected and insulted by Western superiority and the life style, which the West tries to impose on the Muslim world. The message of hate toward the West is loud and clear!

    I am totally sympathetic with their concerns and agree that we, Western countries, must not impose our values on our Muslim neighbours. We must completely refrain from interference in their way of life! If the governments of Muslim countries and their population do not want to live by and obey the rules of mutual respect and peaceful co-existence with other nations, cultures and religions, we must let them live the way they desire! Therefore, total isolation must be imposed upon them and we have to let them live in complete and total disengagement from us.

    They want to live in accordance with and under Sharia Law, a genuine Muslim life style and in an environment of malignant terror and hate. Let them enjoy it in complete self-containment! The wishes of the countries and peoples who hate us so much should be respected by Western society. We must allow them to maintain their ignorant life style and let them impose terror and hate on themselves only. This is the Containment Plan:

    1. Start active development and implementation of alternative sources of energy, with complete dedication of financial and human resources.

    The benefits: It will make a cleaner environment; poli