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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 28, 2009.

A vineyard in Gush Etzion in early spring.

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

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

Look closely and you may be able to count more than 30 stripes of varying colors running across the frame of this photograph. For some unknown reason, it reminded me of a Neapolitan ice cream bar — three perfect pieces of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. I followed the evolution of this view over a period of weeks last Spring as I shuttled my son to and from a Judo class on the outskirts of Efrat, in Gush Etzion. What began as a uniformly brown terrain emerged about a month later as this candy-striped scene.

This small valley lies below the road, so I had a good view each time I drove the carpool. I waited out the grass until it reached a height that added significant color to the shot. I'm not sure why it varies in color, but I'm guessing the fields were plowed at different times or perhaps there are different types of grasses or nutrients in the soil which affect the color. I love it when I capture something beautiful so close to my home. Often we take for granted or become blind to the things we see every day. Yet in the backdrop of our routines lie many hidden treasures, not just the kind that hang on the wall in frames, but those more important blessings in our lives.

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 Janet Lehr, February 28, 2009.

1> 25 Principles of Sharia Law.

Sharia Law is not identical in all Muslim nations, nor is Common Law. — but the rights of citizens in general outline are the same in Muslim nations and the rights of the individual are the same under Common Law. BUT, the rights of the individual and the position of religion are very different under any form of Sharia Law than under any form of Common Law. At its root is the question of whether there is freedom of religious practice or not; is there separation of Church and State, or not.

What does the Shariah law actually state? Here are some examples of Shariah law

In a step toward total governance under Shariah Law, most countries of the Middle East and North Africa maintain a dual system of secular courts and religious courts, in which the religious courts mainly regulate marriage and inheritance. Saudi Arabia and Iran maintain religious courts for all aspects of jurisprudence, and religious police assert social compliance. Laws derived from sharia are also applied in Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan. Some states in northern Nigeria have reintroduced Sharia courts. In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of harsh punishments without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony. The punishments include amputation of one/both hands for theft, stoning for adultery and apostasy. Though Islamic law is interpreted differently across times, places and scholars, most Muslim fundamentalists following the literal and traditional interpretations believe it should legally be binding on all people of the Muslim faith and even on all people who come under their control. This is the position of Muslim fundamentalists today.

There are four schools of Islamic Sacred law; Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali, but on the following 25 points, there is no disagreement

1. Offensive, military jihad against non-Muslims is a communal, religious obligation — It is personally obligatory for everyone. The objectives of the caliph is to make war on Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice. If they will not, to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya).

2. A person who is ignorant about Islamic legal opinion must follow the legal opinion of a scholar (Muslim)

3. The penalty for a Muslim apostate (someone who no longer believes in or no longer follows the tenets of Islam) is death. There is no penalty for killing an apostate since it is killing someone who deserves to die.

4. When slaughtering animals for food, a knife must be used to cut the windpipe and gullet.

5. A woman is only eligible to receive half the inheritance of a man.

6. Marriage may be forced on virgins by their father or father's father.

7. A non-Arab man may not marry an Arab woman.

8. A woman must seek permission from her husband to leave the house. The husband may forbid his wife to leave the home. "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to allow someone into her husband's house if he is opposed, or to go out if he is averse". But if one of her relatives dies, it is preferable to let her leave to visit them.

9. A Muslim man cannot marry a woman who is a Zoroastrian, an idol worshipper, an apostate from Islam or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, with the other being Zoroastrian; a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim;

10. A free Muslim man may marry up to four women. It is unlawful for a free man to marry more than four women.

11. Retaliation is obligatory in most cases when someone is deliberately murdered except when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, a Jew or a Christian kills a Muslim apostate or a father or mother kill their offspring. The following are not subject to retaliation: a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim; a Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam; a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring;

12. Non-Muslim subjects (Ahl al-Dhimma) of a Muslim state are subject to a series of discriminatory laws — "dhimmitude"; Non-Muslim subjects are:

(1) Jews;
(2) Christians;
(3) Zoroastrians;
(4) Samarians and Sabians, if their religions do not respectively contradict the fundamental bases of Judaism and Christianity;
(5) and those who adhere to the religion of Abraham or one of the other prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace).

(a) follow the rules of Islam (A: those mentioned below (o11.5) and those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves);

(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness;
(2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
(3) are not greeted with "as-Salamu alaykum";
(4) must keep to the side of the street;
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.

(b) and pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya). It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children, or the insane.

13. The penalty for fornication or sodomy is being stoned to death;

14. The penalty for an initial theft is amputation of the right hand, whether he is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state. Subsequent thefts are penalized by further amputations of feet and hand; If a person steals a second time, his left foot is amputated; if a third time, then his left hand; and if he steals again, then his right foot. If he steals a fifth time, he is disciplined (def: o17). If he does not have a right hand (N: at the first offense), then his left foot is amputated. If he has a right hand but loses it after the theft (O: by an act of God) but before he has been punished for it, then nothing is amputated. After amputation, the limb is cauterized with hot oil (A: which in previous times was the means to stop the bleeding and save the criminal's life).

15. A non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim in court; a person who is "without respectability" cannot give legal testimony; a woman's legal testimony is only given half the legal weight of a man's (and is only acceptable in cases involving property); to legally prove fornication or sodomy requires 4 male witnesses who actually saw the act;

16. The establishment and continuation of the Islamic Caliphate (by force, if necessary) is a communal obligation;

17. Sodomites and Lesbians must be killed;

18. Laughing too much is forbidden;

19. Musical instruments are unlawful;

20. Creating pictures of animate life is forbidden;

21. Female circumcision, which includes the excision of the clitoris, is obligatory; In application, in Egypt this is more than 90% applied — in other Muslim countries less so. This is social co-ersion of the most primitive, heinous sort.

22. Slavery is permitted; The 57 State Muslim council OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference] dominates the Human Rights Council of the UN. Slavery may not be mentioned, instead the word 'abduction' is used.

23. People may be bribed to convert to Islam;

24. Beating a rebellious wife is permissible; and,

25. Lying is permissible in a time of war (or jihad). settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him (A: in smoothing over differences)." or gaining the sympathy of a victim legally entitled to retaliate against one so that he will forbear to do so; it is not unlawful to lie when any of these aims can only be attained through lying. But it is religiously more precautionary in all such cases to employ words that give a misleading impression, meaning to intend by one's words something that is literally true, in respect to which one is not lying, while the outward purport of the words deceives the hearer, though even if one does not have such an intention and merely lies without intending anything else, it is not unlawful in the above circumstances."


was adopted on August 5, 1990. The 57 nations (when they speak of 58 nations they are including palestine). The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) established on September 25, 1969 an international organisation with a permanent delegation to the United Nations, consists of 57 member states, from the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, Southeast Asia, South Asia and South America. (when 58 states are mentioned it includes palestine). According to its charter, the OIC aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.[1]


Discussion [followed by the complete declaration itself]

The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source. CDHRI declares its purpose to be "general guidance for Member States [of the OIC] in the Field of human rights". This declaration is usually seen as an Islamic counterpart of and a response to the post-World War II United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948.

Predominantly Muslim countries, such as Sudan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, frequently criticized the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for its perceived failure to take into account the cultural and religious context of non-Western countries. In 1981, the post-revolutionary Iranian representative to the United Nations Said Rajaie-Khorassani articulated the position of his country regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by saying that the UDHR was "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.[1]

The CDHRI was adopted on August 5, 1990 by 45 foreign ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to serve as a guidance for the member states in the matters of human rights.


The Declaration starts by forbidding "any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations". It continues on to proclaim the sanctity of life, and declares the "preservation of human life" as "a duty prescribed by the Shariah". In addition the CDHRI guarantees "non-belligerents such as old men, women and children", "wounded and the sick" and "prisoners of war", the right to be fed, sheltered and access to safety and medical treatment in times of war. If affirmed, this would indicate that acts of terrorism are violations of human rights.

The CDHRI gives men and women the "right to marriage" regardless of their race, colour or nationality, but not religion. In addition women are given "equal human dignity", "own rights to enjoy", "duties to perform", "own civil entity", "financial independence", and the "right to retain her name and lineage", though not equal rights in general. The Declaration makes the husband responsible for the social and financial protection of the family. The Declaration gives both parents the rights over their children, and makes it incumbent upon both of them to protect the child, before and after birth. The Declaration also entitles every family the "right to privacy". It also forbids the demolition, confiscation and eviction of any family from their residence. Furthermore, should the family get separated in times of war, it is the responsibility of the State to "arrange visits or reunions of families".

The Declaration prohibits to force anybody "to change his religion to another religion or to atheism".

The Declaration protects each individual from arbitrary arrest, torture, maltreatment and/or indignity. Furthermore, no individual is to be used for medical or scientific experiments. It also prohibits the taking of hostages of any individual "for any purpose" whatsoever. Moreover, the CDHRI guarantees the presumption of innocence; guilt is only to be proven through a trial in "which he [the defendant] shall be given all the guarantees of defence". The Declaration also forbids the promulgation of "emergency laws that would provide executive authority for such actions". Art. 19 stipulates that there are no other crimes or punishments than those mentioned in the Sharia, which include corporal punishment (whippings, amputations) and capital punishment.[2] The right to hold public office can only be exercised in accordance with the Sharia,[3] which forbids muslims to submit to the rule of non-muslims.

The Declaration also emphasizes the "full right to freedom and self-determination", and its opposition to enslavement, oppression, exploitation and colonialism. The CDHRI declares the rule of law, establishing equality and justice for all. The CDHRI also guarantees all individuals the "right to participate, directly or indirectly in the administration of his country's public affairs". The CDHRI also forbids any abuse of authority 'subject to the Islamic Shari'ah.'

The Declaration grants individuals the right to express their opinion freely. It encourages them to propagate that which is right and good. However, it forbids the misuse of this right in order to "violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets", "undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate", "arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred" or commit an "incitement to any form of racial discrimination".

The CDHRI concludes in article 24 and 25 that all rights and freedoms mentioned are subject to the Islamic Shariah, which is the declaration's sole source[4].

The CDHRI declares "true religion" to be the "guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human integrity". It also places the responsibility for defending those rights upon the entire Ummah.

The CDHRI has been criticized for falling short of international human rights standards by not upholding the fundamentality of equality of rights for all.

Whereas the Universal declaration states

'Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.'

CDHRI does not guarantee equal rights, but merely equal dignity:

'All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations.'

In particular, CDHRI has been criticised for failing to guarantee freedom of religion.[5]

In a joint written statement submitted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, the Association for World Education (AWE) and the Association of World Citizens (AWC): a number of concerns were raised, that the CDHRI limits Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression. It concludes: "The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam is clearly an attempt to limit the rights enshrined in the UDHR and the International Covenants. It can in no sense be seen as complementary to the Universal Declaration."[6] The Centre for Inquiry in September 2008 in an article to the United Nations writes that the CDHRI: "undermines equality of persons and freedom of expression and religion by imposing restrictions on nearly every human right based on Islamic Sharia law."[7]

Article 5 prohibits imposing any restrictions on marriage stemming from "race, colour or nationality", notably excluding religion from the list, so that men and women may be prevented from marrying on the basis of their religion.

Similarly, CDHRI is criticized as not endorsing equality between men and women; moreover, it is accused of asserting the superiority of men.[8] In the Article 6, women are guaranteed equal dignity, in contrast to the Universal declaration which offers equal rights. The significance of this distinction is unclear. Finally, it makes no mention of the practice of having multiple wives in some Islamic countries, but whether this automatically creates a human rights concern in the absence of abuses is debatable.

Adama Dieng, a member of the International Commission of Jurists, criticized the CDHRI. He argued that the declaration gravely threatens the inter-cultural consensus, on which the international human rights instruments are based; that it introduces intolerable discrimination against non-Muslims and women. He further argued that the CDHRI reveals a deliberately restrictive character in regard to certain fundamental rights and freedoms, to the point that certain essential provisions are below the legal standards in effect in a number of Muslim countries; it uses the cover of the "Islamic Shari'a (Law)" to justify the legitimacy of practices, such as corporal punishment, which attack the integrity and dignity of the human being.[9]

NOTE: these references are all from
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cairo_Declaration_on_Human_Rights_ in_Islam&action=edit§ion=4

1. "Universal Human Rights and 'Human Rights in Islam'". 'Midstream'.

2. There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Schari'a.

3. Smith (2003), p.195

4. Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam,Aug. 5, 1990, U.N. GAOR, World Conf. on Hum. Rts., 4th Sess., Agenda Item 5, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.18 (1993)

5. Kazemi, Farouh. "Perspectives on Islam and Civil Society" in Islamic Political Ethics: Civil Society, Pluralism and Conflict, Sohail H. Hashmi, ed. Princeton University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-691-11310-6, p.50

6. "The Cairo Declaration and the Universality of Human Rights".

7. "CFI Defends Freedom of Expression at the U.N. Human Rights Council".
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/newsroom/cfi_defends_freedom_of_expression_ at_the_un_human_rights_council/.

8. Rhona, Smith. "Textbook on International Human Rights", Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 1-84174-301-1, p.195

9. "Universal Human Rights and 'Human Rights in Islam'". 'Midstream'.


Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam,Aug. 5, 1990, U.N. GAOR,
World Conf. on Hum. Rts., 4th Sess., Agenda Item 5, U.N. Doc.
A/CONF.157/PC/62/Add.18 (1993) [English translation].

The Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Interdependence and Development), held in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 9-14 Muharram 1411H (31 July to 5 August 1990),

Keenly aware of the place of mankind in Islam as vicegerent of Allah on Earth;

Recognizing the importance of issuing a Document on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a guide for Member states in all aspects of life;

Having examined the stages through which the preparation of this draft Document has so far, passed and the relevant report of the Secretary General;

Having examined the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Tehran from 26 to 28 December, 1989;

Agrees to issue the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a general guidance for Member States in the Field of human rights.

Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which Allah made as the best community and which gave humanity a universal and well-balanced civilization, in which harmony is established between hereunder and the hereafter, knowledge is combined with faith, and to fulfill the expectations from this community to guide all humanity which is confused because of different and conflicting beliefs and ideologies and to provide solutions for all chronic problems of this materialistic civilization.

In contribution to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ah.

Convinced that mankind which has reached an advanced stage in materialistic science is still, and shall remain, in dire need of faith to support its civilization as well as a self motivating force to guard its rights;

Believing that fundamental rights and freedoms according to Islam are an integral part of the Islamic religion and that no one shall have the right as a matter of principle to abolish them either in whole or in part or to violate or ignore them in as much as they are binding divine commands, which are contained in the Revealed Books of Allah and which were sent through the last of His Prophets to complete the preceding divine messages and that safeguarding those fundamental rights and freedoms is an act of worship whereas the neglect or violation thereof is an abominable sin, and that the safeguarding of those fundamental rights and freedom is an individual responsibility of every person and a collective responsibility of the entire Ummah;

Do hereby and on the basis of the above-mentioned principles declare as follows:


(a) All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah and descent from Adam. All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations. The true religion is the guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human integrity.

(b) All human beings are Allah's subjects, and the most loved by Him are those who are most beneficial to His subjects, and no one has superiority over another except on the basis of piety and good deeds.


(a) Life is a God-given gift and the right to life is guaranteed to every human being. It is the duty of individuals, societies and states to safeguard this right against any violation, and it is prohibited to take away life except for a shari'ah prescribed reason.

(b) It is forbidden to resort to any means which could result in the genocidal annihilation of mankind.

(c) The preservation of human life throughout the term of time willed by Allah is a duty prescribed by Shari'ah.

(d) Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Shari'ah-prescribed reason.


(a) In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict, it is not permissible to kill non-belligerents such as old men, women and children. The wounded and the sick shall have the right to medical treatment; and prisoners of war shall have the right to be fed, sheltered and clothed. It is prohibited to mutilate or dismember dead bodies. It is required to exchange prisoners of war and to arrange visits or reunions of families separated by circumstances of war.

(b) It is prohibited to cut down trees, to destroy crops or livestock, to destroy the enemy's civilian buildings and installations by shelling, blasting or any other means.


Every human being is entitled to human sanctity and the protection of one's good name and honour during one's life and after one's death. The state and the society shall protect one's body and burial place from desecration.


(a) The family is the foundation of society, and marriage is the basis of making a family. Men and women have the right to marriage, and no restrictions stemming from race, colour or nationality shall prevent them from exercising this right.

(b) The society and the State shall remove all obstacles to marriage and facilitate it, and shall protect the family and safeguard its welfare.


(a) Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has her own rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform, and has her own civil entity and financial independence, and the right to retain her name and lineage.

(b) The husband is responsible for the maintenance and welfare of the family.


(a) As of the moment of birth, every child has rights due from the parents, the society and the state to be accorded proper nursing, education and material, hygienic and moral care. Both the fetus and the mother must be safeguarded and accorded special care.

(b) Parents and those in such like capacity have the right to choose the type of education they desire for their children, provided they take into consideration the interest and future of the children in accordance with ethical values and the principles of the Shari'ah.

(c) Both parents are entitled to certain rights from their children, and relatives are entitled to rights from their kin, in accordance with the tenets of the shari'ah.


Every human being has the right to enjoy a legitimate eligibility with all its prerogatives and obligations in case such eligibility is lost or impaired, the person shall have the right to be represented by his/her guardian.


(a) The seeking of knowledge is an obligation and provision of education is the duty of the society and the State. The State shall ensure the availability of ways and means to acquire education and shall guarantee its diversity in the interest of the society so as to enable man to be acquainted with the religion of Islam and uncover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of mankind.

(b) Every human being has a right to receive both religious and worldly education from the various institutions of teaching, education and guidance, including the family, the school, the university, the media, etc., and in such an integrated and balanced manner that would develop human personality, strengthen man's faith in Allah and promote man's respect to and defense of both rights and obligations.


Islam is the religion of true unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of pressure on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to force him to change his religion to another religion or to atheism.


(a) Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them, and there can be no subjugation but to Allah the Almighty.

(b) Colonialism of all types being one of the most evil forms of enslavement is totally prohibited. Peoples suffering from colonialism have the full right to freedom and self-determination. It is the duty of all States peoples to support the struggle of colonized peoples for the liquidation of all forms of and occupation, and all States and peoples have the right to preserve their independent identity and control over their wealth and natural resources.


Every man shall have the right, within the framework of the Shari'ah, to free movement and to select his place of residence whether within or outside his country and if persecuted, is entitled to seek asylum in another country. The country of refuge shall be obliged to provide protection to the asylum-seeker until his safety has been attained, unless asylum is motivated by committing an act regarded by the Shari'ah as a crime.


Work is a right guaranteed by the State and the Society for each person with capability to work. Everyone shall be free to choose the work that suits him best and which serves his interests as well as those of the society. The employee shall have the right to enjoy safety and security as well as all other social guarantees. He may not be assigned work beyond his capacity nor shall he be subjected to compulsion or exploited or harmed in any way. He shall be entitled — without any discrimination between males and females — to fair wages for his work without delay, as well as to the holidays allowances and promotions which he deserves. On his part, he shall be required to be dedicated and meticulous in his work. Should workers and employers disagree on any matter, the State shall intervene to settle the dispute and have the grievances redressed, the rights confirmed and justice enforced without bias.


Everyone shall have the right to earn a legitimate living without monopolization, deceit or causing harm to oneself or to others. Usury (riba) is explicitly prohibited. [Ed note: Though Sharia Law prohibits interest, it provides for a mandatory payment of 10% to Muslim directed use.]


(a) Everyone shall have the right to own property acquired in a legitimate way, and shall be entitled to the rights of ownership without prejudice to oneself, others or the society in general. Expropriation is not permissible except for requirements of public interest and upon payment of prompt and fair compensation.

(b) Confiscation and seizure of property is prohibited except for a necessity dictated by law.


Everyone shall have the right to enjoy the fruits of his scientific, literary, artistic or technical labour of which he is the author; and he shall have the right to the protection of his moral and material interests stemming there from, provided it is not contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah.


(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in a clean environment, away from vice and moral corruption, that would favour a healthy ethical development of his person and it is incumbent upon the State and society in general to afford that right.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to medical and social care, and to all public amenities provided by society and the State within the limits of their available resources.

(c) The States shall ensure the right of the individual to a decent living that may enable him to meet his requirements and those of his dependents, including food, clothing, housing, education, medical care and all other basic needs.


(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in security for himself, his religion, his dependents, his honour and his property.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to privacy in the conduct of his private affairs, in his home, among his family, with regard to his property and his relationships. It is not permitted to spy on him, to place him under surveillance or to besmirch his good name. The State shall protect him from arbitrary interference.

(c) A private residence is inviolable in all cases. It will not be entered without permission from its inhabitants or in any unlawful manner, nor shall it be demolished or confiscated and its dwellers evicted.


(a) All individuals are equal before the law, without distinction between the ruler and the ruled.

(b) The right to resort to justice is guaranteed to everyone.

(c) Liability is in essence personal.

(d) There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari'ah.

(e) A defendant is innocent until his guilt is proven in a fast trial in which he shall be given all the guarantees of defence.


It is not permitted without legitimate reason to arrest an individual, or restrict his freedom, to exile or to punish him. It is not permitted to subject him to physical or psychological torture or to any form of maltreatment, cruelty or indignity. Nor is it permitted to subject an individual to medical or scientific experiments without his consent or at the risk of his health or of his life. Nor is it permitted to promulgate emergency laws that would provide executive authority for such actions.


Taking hostages under any form or for any purpose is expressly forbidden.


(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah.

1.. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari'ah.

(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

(d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.


(a) Authority is a trust; and abuse or malicious exploitation thereof is explicitly prohibited, in order to guarantee fundamental human rights.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to participate, directly or indirectly in the administration of his country's public affairs. He shall also have the right to assume public office in accordance with the provisions of Shari'ah.


All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah.


The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.


Phyllis Chesler, former wife of a Muslim, Professor of Women's Studies, considers the beheading in Buffalo on February 12, 2009. Was this an effect of Sharia Law? How does this beheading relate to violence against women generally. What are the differences?

Phyllis Chesler

Within hours of the news of Aasiya Z. Hassan's February 12th beheading, allegedly by her husband, Muzzamil Hassan, in Buffalo, American-Muslim organizations and individuals began a dirge bemoaning the existence of domestic violence. But thanks be to Allah, they affirmed, such violence exists among all faiths and ethnicities. Such family violence, they insisted, had nothing to do with Islam. Muslim leaders emphasized that honor killings were "anti-Islamic" or "un-Islamic," a holdover from "pre-Islamic times." They vowed to preach against it in the mosque. All well and good.

That Mr. Hassan beheaded his wife — well, that simply wasn't dwelled upon. Muslim religious feminist, Asra Nomani, and Irshad Manjie, both referred to the Buffalo beheading as an "honor killing" and despaired of the silence which still surrounded this form of domestic violence against Muslim girls and women. As Muslim women, they were not as squeamish about condemning violence against Muslim women by Muslim men and by Islamic culture.

Zarqa Abid, a soulful-sounding religious Muslim woman claimed that her cousin was once married to this same Hassan, and she denounced Hassan as a "monster." Abid also criticized the Islamic community for having refused to listen to her when she attempted to alert them to Hassan's criminal nature and deeds. Instead, they shunned her and continued to shower him with their money and to honor him.

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, a Muslim author and activist, said that "there is so much negativity about Muslims (this beheading) sort of perpetuates it. The right wing is going to run with it and misuse it. But we've got to shine a light on this issue so that we can transform it."

Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali, of Sterling, Virginia, vice-president of the Islamic Society of North America, said that "violence against women is real and cannot be ignored."

Nevertheless, Muslim organizations are relatively silent about this atrocity, given how vocal they usually are when Islam or Muslims are involved. A Google search of CAIR and beheadings only revealed that CAIR had given the alleged murderer an award."

Alright, some Muslims are calling it an honor killing, most are insisting that it is not an honor killing and that it has nothing to do with Islam; some Muslims are admitting that, like other groups, Muslims also have a serious problem with violence against women. Progress, of sorts.

What did American feminists have to say? Well, I'm certainly one , and I have been on record a long, long time opposing Islamic gender and religious apartheid, both in Muslim lands and in the West. I write about this subject weekly, often daily. Nonie Darwish, a Muslim-born Palestinian-American feminist, has condemned Sharia law as dangerous to women and other living beings. Now, for the first time, an American non-Muslim feminist has joined us.

On February 13, 2009, Marcia Pappas, the President of NOW-New York State, hit the ground running. She was quoted world-wide, even as far away as India. Pappas bravely asserted that the Buffalo beheading was a domestic violence murder that smacked of terrorism and jihad. The February 16, 2009 NOW-New York State press release quoted her as saying:

And why is this horrendous story not all over the news? Is a Muslim woman's life not worth a five-minute report? This was, apparently, a terroristic version of "honor killing," a murder rooted in cultural notions about women's subordination to men. Are we now so respectful of the Muslim's religion that we soft-peddle atrocities committed in its name?...What is this deafening silence?

And exactly what do orders of protection do? Was Aasiya desperately waving the order of protection in Muzzamil's face when he slashed at her throat? Was it still clutched in her hand when her head hit the floor? You of the press, please shine a light on this most dreadful of murders. In a bizarre twist of fate it comes out that Muzzamil Hassan is founder of a television network called Bridges TV, whose purpose it was to portray Muslims in a positive light. This is a huge story. Please tell it!

Alas, other than Pappas, and the feminists who supported her privately, most feminist leaders either attacked Pappas or remained silent.

News of the beheading became public the evening of February 12, 2009. Eight days later, on February 20, 2009, more than a week after NOW-NY State President Pappas began talking to the media, and four days after Pappas released a press release, President of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, finally published a column in which she stated that the beating of pop music star Rihanna is every bit as bad as the beheading of Aasiya Z. Hassan. Or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Gandy joins many of the Muslim groups in failing to differentiate the difference between a terrible, humiliating beating, (Rihanna), and being stabbed many times and then beheaded while you are, quite possibly, still alive, perhaps even conscious.

Yes, I agree, and I share Gandy's concern: Domestic violence against women is an epidemic. Although we have laws against it, police officers and judges ready to arrest and prosecute, as well as (too few) shelters available for those intended victims who manage to escape — still, we have not managed to abolish the scourge of domestic violence. Gandy is, understandably, frustrated.

Many women, (the statistics vary), are killed by their intimate partners. Amy Siskind, at The Daily Beast, tells us that "Sadly, this type of tragedy is hardly unusual in our country, where each and every day three or more women are murdered by their husband or boyfriend. In fact, statistics tell us that in the ten days since Aasiya died, 30 or more women in America have been murdered by their husband or boyfriend. The attention on this case comes as a result of the gruesome way in which Aasiya was murdered — torture and then decapitation — and what a beheading symbolically means."

Yes, I agree. However, Gandy and her supporters still refuse to consider that Muslim women and immigrant women in general probably face much greater danger, both in terms of being beaten and being killed than do non-Muslim women; that Muslim women in Muslim countries are prey, targets, human sacrifices, every single day; and that if we do not stop the forces of jihad that are headed our way that many more women will be beaten, veiled,and killed both at home and on the street.

Feminist women. Educated women. Christian and Jewish women. Yes, even me and Kim Gandy.

Gandy rejects focusing on Aasiya Z. Hassan's beheading because it might play into the hands of conservative "racists;" it might lead to "profiling." Wait a minute. NOW has conducted a serious campaign against religion, mainly against Christianity and Judaism. Why the sudden respect for Islam, a religion which is, in reality, not a religion at all but is rather, a totalitarian political ideology which has undergone no evolution for 1400 years and which is dangerous to women and other living beings?

Gandy fears that we might only focus on Aasiya's beheading or even on Rihanna's beating as entertainment, escape, lured by such sensational or celebrity cases. It's possible, but, perhaps it is equally possible to learn from such cases precisely because they've grabbed our restless attention spans.

Let me repeat: Apples are not oranges. Domestic violence is not femicide. Let's be careful not to mix the two up. And, western-style domestic violence/femicide does not often end with an Islamic-style beheading. I am saying that we must make these distinctions, not be blinded by political correctness.

For those American feminists and Muslim-Americans who still insist that beheadings and domestic violence/femicide against Muslim girls and women has absolutely, definitely, positively, nothing to do with Islam or Muslims: I dunno. Ask Nonie Darwish, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders, read Nonie's recent book Cruel and Usual Punishment, about the nature of Sharia law and Muslim women. My God, talk to Muslim feminist dissident-activists like UK-based Maryam Namazie, or the group "Muslims against Sharia Law" which I have now joined.

Kim Gandy: Please, I implore you, read what I've written about Islamic gender apartheid and its penetration of the West in The Death of Feminism. Read what I've written about this Buffalo case, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Yes, domestic violence exists everywhere, both in America and on every other continent. But it is not normalized nor is it glorified everywhere. In the West, it is now criminalized and increasingly prosecuted, with imperfect but increasing success. In Pakistan, where Mr. Hassan comes from, it rarely is. In Pakistan, girls and women are still decapitated by the Arabized Taliban, buried alive, routinely beaten in childhood and in marriage, (yes, and while they are pregnant); women are gang-raped — and when they legally protest, threatened with death. Women who want a divorce are shot, even in their feminist lawyer's offices.

Muzzamil "Mo" Hassan's heart and mind remains in the East, in Pakistan. His body remains in custody in Buffalo, charged with second degree murder. Until or unless "torture" can be proved, he is eligible to be tried only for second-degree murder. In my article, "A "Cultural" Offense/Defense — But For the Prosecution. Some Thoughts for the Prosecutor of the Buffalo Beheading," at Pajamas Media, I have suggested that the prosecutor consider that Mo Hassan was completely in control.

Hassan selected the weapon or weapons. He planned this beheading. He was not out of control when he stabbed and beheaded his wife. He was controlling the situation in a Pakistani male Muslim kind of way: By decapitating the woman, who had once been his wife, who had turned uppity enough to dare to eject him from his own home and who planned to keep his children. Hassan may have been living in America for more than thirty years but he still remains a Pakistani Muslim male through and through. Beating a wife is the "normal" way to relate to her. Killing her for being disobedient, in his mind, was what she deserved.


a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris). The Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the "Most Translated Document"[1] in the world. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In 1966 the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights; and in 1976, after the Covenants had been ratified by a sufficient number of individual nations, the Bill took on the force of international law.[2]

It is important to read The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in conjunction with Cairo Declaration Of Human Rights In Islam. We live in one world, aggressively being divided in two.

References below are to found in


The ideas and values of human rights can be traced through history and in religious beliefs and cultures around the world. European philosophers of the enlightenment period developed theories of natural law that influenced the adoption of documents such as the Bill of Rights of England, the Bill of Rights in the United States, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in France.

During the World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from fear and freedom from want, as their basic war aims. The United Nations Charter "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member states to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion".[3]

When the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany became apparent after the World War II, the consensus within the world community was that the United Nations Charter did not sufficiently define the rights it referenced.[4][5] A universal declaration that specified the rights of individuals was necessary to give effect to the Charter's provisions on human rights.[6] Such a declaration was proposed by Cuban diplomats Guy Pérez Cisneros and Ernesto Dihigo.

The following reproduces the articles of the Declaration which set out the specific human rights that are recognized in the Declaration.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including their own, and to return to their country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in their country.

3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of a daily e-mail called "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at janetlehr@israellives.org

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Posted by Saul Goldman, February 28, 2009.

This was written by Nidra Poller and is entitled "Europe's Woes America's Warning." and it appeared on the IsraPundit website:

Nidra Poller is an American who moved to France in 1972 and is a journalist, novelist, and translator.


It is difficult to imagine how European nations could find the will and the ways to counter the subversive forces they have invited upon themselves and allowed to flourish for more than three decades. The current phase of global jihad, already underway in the much vaunted decolonization process, coalesced with the seizure of power in Iran by Ayatollah Khomenei (who had been living as a pampered refugee in France). But the American reader should be wary of concluding that Europe is lost...and the United States is standing firm.

On the contrary, all of Western civilization is under fire. As promised during the campaign, Barack Hussein Obama is making a radical change in American policy. Not of course the glorious change his worshippers promised themselves, but a troubling shift toward dhimmitude. The newly elected president lost no time in pleading guilty as charged by Muslim authorities and promising to refrain from further rebellion in order to receive their benevolent indulgence.

Similar methods produce similar results. Jihad forces in Europe — and in the United States — used Israel's Cast Lead operation in Gaza as a pretext to organize virulent, violent pro-Hamas demonstrations. Because Europe is further down the path to surrender, the enraged pro-Hamas mobs were more violent, destructive, and physically threatening here than in the United States. But in both cases they advanced their dominion. This should be recognized as authentic conquest of territory by enraged mobs bearing down on hapless victims in an ominous show of force and not, as claimed and widely accepted, citizen demonstrators exercising their right to free speech.

If you can carry signs equating the Magen David with the swastika, if you can scream "Jews to the ovens" in the face of Zionists in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, if you can storm into a synagogue in Caracas, Venezuela and terrorize the congregation, if you can bully the police in England, smash up the Place de l'Opéra in Paris, burn Israeli and American flags, shout Allahu Akbar without meeting resolute opposition, it means you can keep going and ultimately fulfill those murderous promises. Do American Jews understand what was acquired by these phony demonstrations that are really paramilitary operations? Wherever those enraged mobs set foot they transformed the streets into de facto waqf territory.

Each successive crisis is an opportunity to ratchet up Jew hatred and the concomitant assault on Western civilization, achieving, step by step, tacit acceptance of the unspeakable. Here is how it works: first, the provocation. Jihadist attacks — thousands of rockets launched against Israel, a few airplanes flown into the WTC, capture and beheading of hostages, roadside bombs, inhuman pizzeria bombers, nuclear weapons programs — finally provoke a riposte. Bingo! The Muslim wailing machine goes into action. It is immediately picked up by complicit Western media and transmitted, with a Good Journalism stamp of approval, to public opinion. Israel, the United States and anyone else who dares to fight back is accused of war crimes, peace crimes, and original sin. This justifies subsequent acts of subversion and aggression against the free world.

When the United States used its formidable military force and assumed its international responsibilities, European nations, with rare exceptions, exploited opposition to "the war in Iraq" to undermine the American superpower. This agitation was exploited in turn by jihad interests to advance the Islamization of Europe...and by ricochet to influence domestic politics in the United States as Obamamania surfed on the theme of repairing America's battered image.

The European Union, with France in the lead, vaunting its diplomatic savoir faire, competes with the U.S. for influence in the Middle East, and always seems to pull in the Arab direction. French ceasefire diplomacy restrained Israel's capacity to defeat Iranian proxies — Hizbullah in 2006, Hamas today. The harsh criticism of Israel and the U.S. that underlies this self-righteous peacemaking fuels domestic pro-jihad protest marches that end in attacks against police and property, further undermining government authority in Europe and endangering local Jewish populations.

All of this subversive activity is advanced by what I call "lethal narratives." These are stories of what is happening generated by global jihad and relayed by Western media and officialdom. Unlike propaganda, which is used in conjunction with military activity aimed at defeating an enemy in battle, lethal narratives are used in lieu of military action. Promotion of enemy propaganda in past conflicts was limited to a small minority of traitors and fellow travelers; today, lethal narratives are swallowed by all but a minority of résistants, who are marginalized, labeled extremists, persecuted and prosecuted. Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who stormed through European cities screaming "death to Israel, death to the Jews" go scot free but Dutch politician Geert Wilders is prosecuted for "hate speech" for showing the connection between these same declarations, from Qur'anic verses to contemporary sermons, and murderous acts such as 9/11.

The lethal narrative, a tissue of lies made credible by a superficial journalistic veneer, becomes the accepted version of what is happening. G.W. Bush lied about Saddam's WMDs, the neocons wanted a war in Iraq, torture at Guantanamo, hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, an unbeatable insurgency, the war spawned a thousand terrorists for every one that was killed, etc. Another tissue of lies was issued during the Cast Lead operation: the homemade rockets were harmless; Gaza is an open prison; the Gaza population suffered a humanitarian crisis, no food, water, electricity, medicine; Israel engaged in intentional massacre of civilians, bombing mosques, UN schools, babes in arms and, the last straw, deliberately killed the daughters of the good-hearted doctor who practices in both Gaza and Tel Aviv.

In less than a decade life has become problematic for European Jews. It started with the al Dura blood libel on September 30, 2000 and has steadily worsened since. During periods of relative calm, we tell ourselves that the nightmare is over. When the tension exacerbates, as happened during the Gaza operation, it becomes obvious that we have no future anywhere in Europe — and Europe has no future anyway!

France, with the largest Muslim and Jewish populations and the greatest diplomatic ambition, is emblematic of the Western European condition. The Sarkozy government is sincerely troubled by the upsurge of anti-Semitism — approximately 150 incidents reported since the start of Cast Lead. The president promises to put an end to this unacceptable behavior but declares, in the next breath, that "Islamophobia" will be punished as severely as anti-Semitism, falsely implying that Jews are attacking Muslims, and effectively blocking an honest investigation of the Islamic sources of Jew hatred

On another level, the "Obama effect" works against Jews in France and more generally in Europe. Thrilled by the multicultural chic of a black president in the powerful U.S., Europeans vow to give more than equal opportunity to their own "visible minorities" in the hopes of getting themselves a YesWeCan president in the near future. Unfortunately, the integration of law-abiding Muslims into European society also serves as cover for infiltration by subversive Muslims.

Political enfranchisement of European Muslims in the absence of genuine acceptance of Western values is another destabilizing factor. Instead of promoting a peaceful climate of mutual respect, the rise of Muslims into executive positions in public and private sectors may lead to ethnic favoritism that will be prejudicial to Jewish colleagues and candidates, rebuffed to get even for an alleged previous supremacy or punished whenever there is a flare-up in the Middle East. Serious problems in public education, up to the university level, further compromise the future of Europe and more precisely of European Jews.

The far left, unashamedly aligned with European jihad movements, proudly marched with pro-Hamas mobs that systematically ended their "demonstrations" with attacks against property and the police. Fearful of losing ground, the parliamentary left also sidles toward this constituency, hiding its perfidy behind dubious humanitarian concerns. CID [Centre d'information et de documentation de démocratie et de Moyen Orient] reports from Brussels that all political parties except the droite libérale marched along with the keffieh-wrapped mobs that shouted "death to Israel, death to the Jews." Another aggravating factor is the economic crisis, exploited by the left to mobilize and channel discontent into increasingly aggressive demonstrations, strikes and civil disobedience, while the right, hungry for capital, welcomes sharia finance with open arms.

In 2003, when Jewish boys from Hashomer Hazair were beaten up by anti-war protestors, I described the incident as a "peace march verging on pogrom." Alain Finkielkraut applied the term to the 2005 banlieue riots, then withdrew it as inappropriate. Was it an exaggeration? Or foresight? There can be no doubt that the enraged mobs storming through European and American cities will go further.

No longer content to throw fire bombs or ram burning cars into synagogues, they now want to break in during services. Thirty men traveled from Mulhouse to Strasbourg for that purpose. Their plan failed...that time. Carjackers in a Parisian suburb, discovering their victim was Jewish, slashed his neck four times with exquisite cruelty until the blood flowed. That crime was denounced as anti-Semitic but the culprits have not been found, and other incidents are left hanging with question marks, as if to calm the populace. A Jewish doctor was shot dead in another Parisian suburb, the warehouse of the biggest kosher food distributor in still another was burned down.

Europeans who do cherish their freedom try to organize, speak out, influence their governments. They see — or saw — America as a refuge, a haven, a beacon of liberty. Many see Israel as a sterling example of résistance against global jihad. Though life looks quite normal on the surface, we are living in a perilous, highly volatile situation in which, precisely, normal life is a battlefield. As these lines are written, Iran announces the launch of a satellite that could leave southern European cities no less vulnerable than Sderot. The news landed like a monster walking into a bustling café. The excited chatter about peace talks and negotiation and friendly outreached hands falls silent. If existential fear has finally stricken the heart of European governments, all is not lost.

Contact Saul Goldman at gold710@bellsouth.net

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Posted by Marc Samberg, February 28, 2009.

This is astounding and infuriating. Why isn't this in the papers? Please read and pass it on.


Informative and mind boggling!



You think the war in Iraq is costing us too much? Read this: Boy, was I confused. I have been hammered with the propaganda that it is the Iraq war and the war on terror that is bankrupting us. I now find that to be RIDICULOUS. I hope the following 14 reasons are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the readers gets sick of reading them. I also have included the URL's for verification of all of the following facts.

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.
Verify at: http://tinyurl.com/zob77

2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.html

4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally, and they cannot speak a word of English!
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
Verify at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/%20TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare and Social Services by the American taxpayers.
Verify at: http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0610/29/ldt.01.html

9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html

10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/12/ldt.01.html

11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the U. S. From the Southern border.
Verify at: http://tinyurl.Com/t9sht

12. The National Policy Institute, estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.'
Verify at: http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute.org/pdf/deportation.pdf

13. In 2006, illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their countries of origin.
Verify at: http://WWW.rense.com/general75/niht.htm

14. 'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly one million sex crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States.'
Verify at: http://www.drdsk.com/articles.html



If this doesn't bother you then just delete the message. If, on the other hand, it does raise the hair on the back of your neck, I hope you forward it to every legal resident in the country including every elected representative in Washington , D.C. - five times a week for as long as it takes to restore some semblance of intelligence in our government policies and enforcements....

Contact Marc Samberg at mechelsamberg@gmail.com

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 28, 2009.

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

Today's good news today is that the Obama administration has decided not to participate in the Durban Conference because of its anti-Israel, anti-Semitic tone. The news came via a conference call between White House aides and leaders of the Jewish community.

This must be celebrated. It would be unreasonable to say otherwise. But celebrated with a proviso.


The conduct of the Obama administration — most specifically with regard to decisions that impact Israel made by Obama himself — has been exceedingly troublesome in several regards. And, in trying to understand what is going on, I have found myself fluctuating between various interpretations of what Obama's motivations are.

Is he, as I originally concluded, simply enormously naive? Is he willing to sell out Israel in order to court the Arab/Muslim world? Or, as I have come to think more recently, is he inherently and deeply anti-Israel?.

It is very difficult to swallow Obama's original reason for sending a delegation to participate in the planning sessions in Geneva for the Durban 2 conference: To try to improve the tone of the planning document. The evidence from knowledgeable persons close to the happenings at those planning sessions made it clear that the US could not have had an effect on the proceedings. The American delegation went to sit on a committee with the likes of Libya, Iran, Pakistan and Cuba; it was outnumbered seriously by Arab/Muslim and Third World nations that have an anti-Israel agenda.

What is more, the Durban 2 conference is being held "to foster the implementation of the [original] Durban Declaration and Program of Action." This means the focus of the upcoming conference was set in stone and not amenable to a shift in tone. That original declaration was viciously anti-Israel.

Could Obama really have believed that the group he sent to participate in Geneva had any chance of changing matters?

To further muddy the waters, we have the evidence of Anne Bayesfsky's report, that the US delegation sat quietly during anti-Israel proceedings. This cast serious doubt upon the claim that the delegation was there to try to improve the situation.


I tend to believe, along with others, that it is the fact that this whole Durban situation was being so closely watched and received so much publicity that ultimately made the difference. This is a lesson here, for Obama, and for all of us. The diligence I last wrote about is as necessary as ever.

For the Durban incident has to be considered in a broader context, which includes Obama appointments such as Chas Freeman, who actually blamed 9/11 on Israel, and Samantha Power, who came out at one point in favor of a major international force to protect the Palestinians from Israel.


Even if Obama's motivation was truly sincere, and he did send the delegation to try to change the tenor of the proceedings, I don't think what he did was OK. I don't have a "you have to give him credit for trying — no harm done" attitude. Quite the contrary. I think innocent misjudgments can have serious consequences. In particular do I think of Iran, with whom Obama would like to "dialogue;" the problem is that the Iranians will take advantage of this as a stalling tactic. A US president who doesn't perceive this is a danger to the Western world.


I think it is highly appropriate to tell President Obama how pleased we are with this decision. We have to take in from there and continue to monitor.

There will be more to say on this and related issues...

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

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Posted by Arny Barnie, February 28, 2009.

On January 27, 2009 — United States president Barack Obama signed an executive order [presidential determination] that effective immediately, Palestinian refugees would be allowed to come to the United States. An Obama fund is set aside to the tune of $20.3 million for 'humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.'

It was first posted to the Federal Register February 9, 2009

Federal Register: February 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 22)
DOCID: fr04fe09-106 FR Doc E9-2488

Presidential Documents

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
DOCID: fr04fe09-106

[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza

Memorandum for the Secretary of State By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the "Act"), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

(Presidential Sig.)
Washington, January 27, 2009
[FR Doc. E9-2488
Filed 2-3-09; 8:45 am] Billing code 4710-10-P

[NOW is the time that we must pray as never before]

Pray that none of these new Palestinian 'refugees" will become terrorists among U.S.

In other incredible news the Obama administration is set to pledge $900 million of your hard earned money to rebuild Gaza for the Palestinians after the Hamas terrorists in Gaza caused the destruction of their own neighborhoods by firing missiles into northern Israel. Querry why the U.S. should help rebuild this hotbed of terror when the terrorist leaders and the people of Gaza cheered and celebrated on 9/11/2001 when the Twin Towers were destroyed by Al Qaeda? Let the Palestinians go begging elsewhere.They will only use our money to re build their tunnels to smuggle in more weapons to destroy Israel and to attack U.S.

Their leaders will skim as much as they can for themselves off the top and the ignorant masses of Palestinians will be left holding the (empty) bag one more time!

The $900 million would be better spent if we gave it to Israel to help protect itself and U.S. from the Palestinians who are threatening peace and safety in the region.

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 28, 2009.

This was written by Rachel Ehrenfeld and it appeared in Forbes
www.forbes.com/2009/02/26/drug-trade-afghanistan-opinions -contributors_terrorism_mycoherbicides.html

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is director of the American Center for Democracy and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It.


"The fight against drugs is actually the fight for Afghanistan," said Afghan President Hamid Karzai when he took office in 2002. Judging by the current situation, Afghanistan is losing.

To win, the link between narcotics and terrorism must be severed. That is the necessary condition for a successful strategy to undermine the growing influence of al-Qaida, the Taliban and radical Muslim groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is all about money — more precisely, drug money. The huge revenues from the heroin trade fill the coffers of the terrorists and thwart any attempt to stabilize the region.

Though not traded on any stock exchange, heroin is one of the most valuable commodities in the world today. While a ton of crude oil costs less than $290, a ton of heroin costs $67 million in Europe and between $360 million and $900 million in New York, according to estimates based on recent Drug Enforcement Administration figures.

Since its liberation from Taliban rule, Afghanistan's opium production has gone from 640 tons in 2001 to 8,200 tons in 2007. Afghanistan now supplies over 93% of the global opiate market.

"This is a source of income for the warlords and regional factions to pay their soldiers," warned former Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalili in a May 2005 interview with Reuters. "The terrorists are funding their operations through illicit drug trade, so they are all interlinked."

In 2004, the G-8 designated Britain to lead counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Its three-year eradication policy was designed specifically not to alienate the local population. It dictated the crop eradication be done "by hand." Moreover, the British entrusted the provincial governors with the eradication process, even though Afghan provincial governors, many of whom are powerful warlords, have been engaged in the drug trade for decades. Not surprisingly, the eradication effort failed miserably.

The exponential growth in narcoterrorism in Afghanistan led to a well-entrenched narco-economy, strengthening the power of tribal warlords, the Taliban and al-Qaida. The growing violence led NATO leaders, who met in Budapest in October 2008, to agree to allow their military forces to strike the drug traffickers. However, NATO troops were not ordered to attack; in fact, NATO's European allies are "averse" to drug eradication programs for fear of alienating the local population and because of the risks associated with such operations.

Though Afghan opium production shrank a little to 7,200 tons in 2008, it still accounts for 97% of the country's per-capita annual GDP, or $303 of $310. Yet Afghan heroin is worth $3.6 billion to $6.4 billion on the streets of most Western nations.

According to the latest report of the International Narcotics Control Board, the Taliban's income for 2007 from morphine base and heroin production is estimated between $259 million and $518 million, up from just $28 million in 2005. This provides more than enough to fund the most sophisticated weapons, training camps, operational and even public relations funds, and plenty of bribes to local tribes' chieftains and politicians.

While no one expects Afghanistan to become a peaceful, self-sustaining democracy overnight, there is a better solution for stabilizing the country than adding 17,000 American soldiers to the 38,000 already there. Without an effective strategy to turn the situation around, the surge is likely to result in the unnecessary loss of human lives and billions of dollars, while failing to remove the major reason for the instability in the region — the heroin trade.

There is, however, a strategy that could reduce the cost of fighting terrorists and drug traffickers alike, while helping to establish a self-sustaining economy in Afghanistan and defusing the tensions in the region. It would also cut down on the social and economic cost of heroin use in the U.S.

The Obama Administration should implement an innovative and safe poppy eradication method that previous U.S. governments spent billions of dollars developing. Mycoherbicides are naturally occurring fungi that are used to control such illicit pest plants as the opium poppy and other noxious weeds. Unlike chemical controls now in use, mycoherbicides assail only the targeted plant, rendering its cultivation uneconomical. These fungi continue to live in the soil, preventing the future growth of the opium poppy plant, but are harmless to other crops, to humans and to the environment.

On Dec. 29, 2006, then-President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109/469, of which section 1111 requires the Department of State to fund a concluding study of the effectiveness of mycoherbicides on the opium poppy and the coca shrub. Yet the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy failed to conduct the one-year study, apparently because it prefers to use pesticides for eradication. Concluding these studies should become a priority for the Obama administration.

The use of mycoherbicides in Afghanistan, combined with adequate enforcement by the military, will mitigate the production of heroin and cut off the terrorists' major money supply. This would free up the $150 to $200 billion now used to fight the drug trade and its byproducts — crime, addiction, diseases, accidents, etc. — in the U.S., and make these funds available to help fight terrorism directly.

Implementing this new strategy, while subsidizing the Afghan economy until other crops and industries can replace the illegal heroin trade, which leaves most Afghans poor, seems a better way for America to succeed in fighting terrorism and endemic corruption. It would also free up resources for an array of social and governmental reforms, which should be clearly defined and strictly supervised. With no heroin to fund terrorism and subvert the economies and political systems of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the American agenda could take a huge leap forward.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Ted Belman, February 28, 2009.

This was written by Matthew M. Hausman and it appeared today in IsraPundit.


Recent news reports suggest that the Obama administration intends to solicit the help of American Jewish leaders to sell its prescription for Middle East peace to their constituents. The strategy is to shore up Jewish support in order to lend credibility to President Obama's foreign policy, regardless of how ill-advised or detrimental for Israel. That this White House is seen in the Arab world as either weak or willing to undercut Israeli sovereignty and security is of no moment. Most of the putative leaders who will be courted are already slaves to a political confederation known as much for what it rejects as what it promotes and leaves little room for original thought or dissent. Moreover, they are committed to political consorts who expect Israel to bow, bend and break to accommodate enemies who deny her history and are committed to maintaining the state of conflict. Unfortunately, these figureheads tend to ignore left-wing or liberal antipathy for Israel in the mistaken belief that antisemitism is the exclusive province of the political right.

Antisemitism has indeed been a political force in right-wing politics, particularly when associated with reactionary governments and churches, radical groups and demagogues, but it historically has been no less potent in leftist or liberal circles. As the ghetto walls came down in 19th Century Europe, many Jews flocked to the nascent liberal movements in the belief that anything opposing the forces that had oppressed them was good. Yet, they were so enamored of their apparent enfranchisement, and so eager to assimilate into a new European society, they could not fathom that the movements that seemingly afforded these opportunities were no more tolerant of Jews and Judaism than the old regimes had been. And this false affinity carried over to New World shores where it persists to this day.

Many American Jews truly believe that antisemitism does not exist in leftist circles because of the idealized history they associate with the birth and growth of European liberalism. But this history has been sanitized of its sordid reality and of the Faustian bargain required of Jews seeking membership. Most Jewish liberals are unaware that some of their most cherished philosophical icons were as virulently antisemitic as the systems of government they were rejecting. Voltaire, for example, was well-known for his hatred of Jews as were Diderot, Holbach and the later fathers of European socialism. Georg Ritter von Schonerer led the vocal left-wing antisemitic movement in Austria, while Wilhelm Marr, a German socialist, actually coined the term "antisemitism" in two pamphlets published in 1873 and 1880, in which he promoted hatred of Jews on political, economic and racial grounds.

Perhaps most famous was the hatred and self-loathing of Karl Marx who, with Friedrich Engels, wrote the Communist Manifesto. Most left-leaning Jews are unfamiliar with early socialist history and are unaware that Marx and Engels learned the theory of dialectical materialism and Hegelian philosophy from Moses Hess, a traditionally educated Jew who had become radicalized in his youth. Hess was considered one of the early pillars of European socialist thought and was highly regarded as such until Marx and Engels determined that all nationality was evil and that the Jews represented the most pernicious of all national spirits. It was then that Hess realized that the Jews' salvation lay not with socialism but rather with Jewish nationalism and self-determination. His epiphany prompted him to write "Rome and Jerusalem," which presaged Herzl's "Der Judenstaat" by more than a quarter century.

Unfortunately, Hess's national stirrings did not similarly move his political brethren, and the sad reality was that Jews could be accepted into leftist society only if they were willing to cease identifying religiously, nationally and intellectually as Jews. The requisite disaffiliation was often expressed by outright rejection of traditional values. And this rejection was a common thread binding Jews who rose to prominence on the left, whether those of the old Komintern who bowed without question to Soviet authority, or the radical leftists of our day, epitomized by the likes of George Soros, Noam Chomsky, and Norman Finkelstein, who disingenuously advocate for enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. These modern demagogues engage in pathological conduct rivaling the calumny of those medieval Jews who joined the Dominicans and instigated the burning of the Talmud and other holy writ.

Now clearly, not all liberals today are ardent, self-rejecting leftists, and in fact most consider themselves part of the non-extremist mainstream. And for the most part that's probably a fair assessment. Where they go wrong, however, is in their failure to view their political bedfellows critically and hold them accountable for moral inconsistency or to condemn behavior that is clearly antisemitic. If liberal criticism is leveled at Israel for her response to terrorist aggression but not at those who foment the aggression that sparks the response, if the United Nations condemns Israel's right to defend herself, or if Human Rights Watch falsely accuses Israel perpetrating "massacres" that never occurred and then refuses to retract, these Jews become complicit by their silence. In extreme ideological circles, such silence implies agreement with the accusations no matter how absurd.

Where left-leaning Jews also go wrong is in their willingness to abandon the religious, cultural and philosophical precepts that kept the Jewish people intact during two millennia of exile, and to replace them with secular ideals that are not necessarily or automatically compatible with the Jewish historical experience. Those who knowingly reject their values are only slightly worse than those who are completely ignorant of their heritage and who, because of their ignorance, cannot honestly distinguish transient political concerns from authentic Jewish priorities. The knowing rejectionists are like the wicked child spoken of at the Seder table who rebels despite his knowledge, while the benignly ignorant are like the child who does not know how to ask and risks moral darkness and spiritual decline.

The risk in being the child who does not know how to ask is that it renders one susceptible to the blandishments of those who misrepresent history for the sake of political agenda. Those lacking in Jewish self-awareness can be manipulated into believing that support for Israel is not an absolute and is antithetical to humanist values. Supporting Israel, however, should not be a conservative versus liberal issue. Rather, objective knowledge of world history should a priori engender support for Israel despite political affiliation.

The late Ronald Reagan is a case in point. During his first administration, his relationship with Israel had a rocky start under the guiding influence of James Baker, George Schultz and Caspar Weinberger, none of whom were friends of Israel and all of whom had ties to the Arab world. Shortly after Israel's annexation of Golan in 1981, the administration secretly negotiated with the Arab countries a "peace plan" calling for a ceding of the Heights and a retreat to indefensible borders. Israel was not informed of these talks, but was presented with the "final plan" as a fait accompli, which Israel nonetheless rejected. That same year, the administration also condemned Israel's bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor and weapons plant.

Menachem Begin rose to these challenges, publicly rebuking the administration through its ambassador and endeavoring to educate President Reagan regarding Jewish and Israeli history and Middle East politics. Although they would not always agree, President Reagan thereafter became for the most part a trusted friend. The point is that the Republican administration in the 1980s was neither inherently supportive nor opposed to Israel based on philosophy or doctrine. The relationship between the two countries eased only after the president's education about the realities of the Middle East and Israel's historic rights.

If President Obama now wishes to call upon his Jewish political allies to promote his Middle East policy in order to lend it credence, it is up to the constituents of those allies to say "enough" and to reject their stewardship. Their support for a toxic foreign policy that first spawned Oslo and now presumes an unworkable two-state solution must be met with vocal resistance, grounded in history and informed by the knowledge that left-wing antipathy and liberal discomfort for Israel is often tinged with antisemitism. Although Menachem Begin is no longer with us, we need to channel his resolve and character in the hope that the current administration can be similarly educated. The effort may not succeed, but silence will be taken as acquiescence.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, February 27, 2009.

President Obama's policy of direct diplomacy with Iran may buy Tehran enough time to produce nuclear weapons, Shabtai Shavit, former chief of the Mossad intelligence agency, warned: "I don't believe there is a political solution which can be achieved through negotiations with Iran." "My concern is that until Obama finishes his learning curve of the subject, the Iranians are going to have maybe the first or even more nuclear bombs." United Nations officials acknowledged on Thursday that Iran has built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. The new figures come in a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog.

Iran is Developing A-bomb Delivery Systems. Iranian Deputy Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the country has built an unmanned surveillance aircraft, which can reach Israel.

Syria's Chemical and Nuclear Weapons Program. Syria has been conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country's northwest. The images of a chemical weapons facility identified as al-Safir were taken by several sources from 2005. According to UN nuclear agency, samples taken from a Syrian site have revealed new traces of processed uranium.

What is "Really Matter" for Kadima? "Tonight's meeting did not get me closer to sitting in the government or give me the answers I was looking for on the issues that really matter," Livni said after the meeting with Netanyahu. — Why is creation of another Islamic terror state on Jewish land more important for Kadima, party was formed by self-serving political traitors from Labor and Likud, than the national inspiration and security of Jewish people?

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

We are ALL in Range Now: An Iranian satellite was launched into space not long ago. Some spin-masters immediately stated: "This test tells us they have not yet mastered long-range multistage rocket technology". The technology Iran is using can be easily changed into long-range ballistic missile systems. This is the message the Iranians have sent. Must Israel be the only country that worries about nuclear Iran?

Lame Apology of the Delusional President. "Whatever will happen in the future, we shall not repeat the mistakes we made in leaving Gaza ," Peres said in a question and answer session with a group of American Jewish leaders. "It should have been done otherwise. I was for leaving Gaza . I consider myself as one of the persons mistaken." (At the same time he still advocates the two-state solution. I am sure that he will make the same lame and meaningless apology when rockets, G-d forbid, fall on Jerusalem from the West Bank.)

Another Smear Campaign has Failed. At the request of the Royal Court a Jordanian parliamentary delegation has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to Hague meant to launch legal proceedings against Israeli leaders for alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead.

UN Helps Hamas to Arm. Hamas took possession of seven tons of unexploded ordnance that the UN had collected in Gaza for safe disposal since the end of the war. The ordnance included three 2,000-pound bombs and eight 500-pound bombs as well as many artillery shells. (By its presence and interference the UN only helps anti-Israel terror flourish!)

Livni: Give up "Half of Land of Israel" for Peace. Tzipi Livni, who hopes to be appointed Israel's prime minister-designate, told a convention of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, "we need to give up half of the Land of Israel," (Israeli forces forcibly evicted 8,500 Israelis living in the Gaza communities — many of whom remain homeless to this day — and opened the way for Hamas' takeover.) using a term that refers to biblical borders that include today's Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. (...and Trans-Jordan, 82% of Eretz-Israel, the land Jews were robbed of in 1922! Did it bring peace? Israel needs people in leadership who are prepared to reunite Eretz-Israel, not traitors who are proposing the national sell-off!)

Quote of the Week: "For the first time in many years, definitely since the Oslo peace process started in 1993, a significant majority of the Knesset does not believe in Oslo, and does not believe in the disengagement from Gaza in 2005-in short, does not believe that peace with the Palestinians can be achieved..." — Natan Sharansky — Will the Israeli political elite be able to transform this epiphany into a change of direction in implementing the plan which will end Arab terror and reunify all Jewish land?

It Should be an Official Statement! The IDF says the remarks made about Turkey by army commander General Avi Mizrahi were personal. "This is not the position of the army," said the IDF spokeswoman, after General Mizrahi called on Turkish PM Erdogan to examine his country's history concerning the Armenians, the Kurds and northern Cypriots, before criticizing Israel . Mizrahi was referring to Erdogan's verbal clash on stage at the Davos Economic Forum. (The anti-Israel outburst by Erdogan was official. Why was the criticism of Turkish genocidal behaviour not ?)

Demand for Shalit is Blackmail? Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat accused outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of "blackmail" after Olmert had stated that Israel would not agree to a temporary truce with Hamas prior to the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. (but keeping Gilad imprisoned by Hamas is not blackmail?)

Trade that Never Was. Egypt suspended quarterly talks on commercial cooperation with Israel on Thursday, after Israel 's cabinet decision on Wednesday not to open its border crossings with the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to release abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. (Since the Camp David agreement Egypt never has been true partner in peace with Israel . It was all just a game in order to get Sinai back and receive US aid for nothing!)

Hypocrisy of the 'Loaded' Headlines: "Israel set down tough conditions for a proposed ceasefire with Hamas" — International Herald Tribune — Israel's desire for the release of a captured Israeli soldier in exchange for hundreds of PA terrorists is the "tough condition", but are continuous rocket attacks having a positive effect on any proposed ceasefire?

Red Cross is Fostering anti-Jewish Discrimination. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) this week started to transfer 8,000 tons of apples between the Golan Heights and Syria . (Apples grown by Druze farmers only are sent to Syria , excluding 'Jewish' apples. Please, think twice before donating your Jewish money to this organization!)

Please, not Another self-Hating 'Jew'? Khazali, son of Ayatollah Abu Al-Kassam Khazali, says that Ahmadinejad changed his Jewish name on his ID card in order to hide his roots and is hiding his Jewish roots by attacking Israel and the Jews, and by expressing strong Muslim religious beliefs. (According to a rumour, Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi had a Jewish mother. Now an anti-Semitic card is used in the Iranian internal political fight. Jewish anti-Semites are never good news for Jews and Israel!)

Let Them All Go. Thousands of Druze residents of the Golan took part in a pro-Syrian march a week ago. The march commemorated the Knesset's 1981 decision to reunite the Golan with Israel . Syrian protesters joined from the other side. Protesters in the Golan waved Syrian flags and called for the Golan to be given to Syria. (The truth is there is no loyalty to Israel among Israeli Arabs or Druze. All of them must be returned to their ancestral lands!)

A German's View on Islam
by Dr. Emanuel Tanay

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

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

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

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or who are honour killers. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority", the "silent majority" is cowed and extraneous.

...Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because, like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them and the end of their world will have begun.

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

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.e@gmail.com

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 27, 2009.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared yesterday in the Spectator


On Harry's Place, Dave Rich makes some good points about the now common analogy that is drawn between Israel and the Nazis, or Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto, as used by such Israel-haters as George Galloway, Jenny Tonge, the British Muslim Initiative and others. Its import, as he says, lies in far more than its mere offensiveness and demonstrable barmyness. It is used for very specific political purposes. Since Nazism is totally beyond the pale — and since the Israel-haters believe, falsely, that Israel's legitimacy rests upon the Holocaust — tarring it as a Nazi state delegitimises it and thus advances the agenda of its destruction.

But Rich points out a further consequence of demonising Israel in this way:

If Israel is a Nazi state, then anybody who does not oppose Israel is morally no better than a Nazi. There is only one place this train of thought can end: with the demonisation and social isolation of the vast majority of ordinary British Jews.

It means that when mainstream Jewish community leadership bodies organise a rally with the slogan, "Stop Hamas Terror: Peace for the people of Israel and Gaza", and launch a Jewish community fundraising campaign for hospitals in both Gaza and Israel during the fighting, Richard Seymour accuses them of "cheerleading the massacre" and concludes that anybody who goes on the rally "ought to be shunned, and treated as the moral and political degenerates that they are." It means that a research paper published by the School of Oriental and African Studies to investigate "legal aspects of economic and trade issues arising from Israel's occupation of the OPTs" lists the names, addresses and contact details of kosher food shops in London and Manchester.

Once the central argument of anti-Israel campaigning in this country is that Israel is Nazi Germany, then this is no longer an anti-Zionist movement: it is an antisemitic one, with an antisemitic politics as its driving force.

Precisely so. And that is why so many British Jews now feel under siege in a country that to their horror and astonishment has now turned against them — which they feel every time they switch on the BBC or read the newspapers or go to the office or stand around over drinks with people they once thought were friends but who now force them to make a choice: renounce Israel and be accepted, or support Israel and be a pariah.

I would also make a further point that Rich does not make. Calling Israel a Nazi state retrospectively sanitises the Holocaust and lets complicit Europe off the hook — Britain too. After all, Britain was partly responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews to whom it refused entry to Palestine — in order to appease the Arabs of Palestine who were in league with the Nazis — and who perished in the Holocaust as a result. If the Jews have become Nazis, then their victimisation at the hands of the Nazis stops being the crime of crimes.

It also allows people safely to hate the Jews once again. As I was told to my face by a prominent man of impeccable liberal views, the enormity of the Holocaust had meant that it was no longer possible to disdain or loathe the Jews as before, at least not in public. But with Israel painted as a Nazi state, it can be open season on the Jews once again.

As the thinker Paul Berman points out in an interview on Z Word, the problem of Jew-hatred today lies principally with people just like this. The idea that it is reserved for knuckle-dragging right-wingers is simply wrong. Throughout history, it has been people pursuing the mostly high-minded visions who have wanted the Jews out of humanity's hair once and for all. As Berman notes:

The unstated assumption is always the same. To wit: the universal system for man's happiness has already arrived (namely, Christianity, or else Enlightenment anti-Christianity; the Westphalian state system, or else the post-modern system of international institutions; racial theory, or else the anti-racist doctrine in a certain interpretation). And the universal system for man's happiness would right now have achieved perfection — were it not for the Jews. The Jews are always standing in the way. The higher one's opinion of oneself, the more one detests the Jews.

... But the disdain takes another shape, too, which is cruder, though it follows more or less from the first version. In the cruder version, the Jews are not just regrettable for being retrograde. Much worse: the Jews have done something really terrible. By forming their state and standing by it, they have set out actively to oppose the principle of universal justice and happiness — the principle that decrees that a people like the Jews should not have a state. So, yes, the comparisons to apartheid — or, more radically and these days more typically, to the Nazis.

... Israel's struggle puts it at odds with the entire principle of universal justice and happiness, as people imagine it — no matter how they choose to define the principle. Other countries commit relative crimes, which can be measured and compared. But Israel commits an absolute crime. In the end, it is the grand accusation against the Jews, in ever newer versions: the Jews as cosmic enemy of the universal good.

Having stated these truths, Berman then flinches from the contemporary political application, refusing to agree that the human rights movement is intrinsically a vehicle for Jew-hatred. But it is. It is very noticeable that hatred of Israel and the Jews today goes hand in hand with higher social class and education, and high-minded progressive ideals such as human rights, the replacement of war by law, post-nation universal values and the forcible eradication of any views that challenge this agenda. It is, in short — as the title of Jonah Goldberg's excellent book proclaims — liberal fascism.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by LEL, February 27, 2009.

This was written by Dave Gaubatz and it appeared in Family Security Matters
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.2628/ pub_detail.asp

Dave Gaubatz spent 20 years as an active duty USAF (Special Agent/OSI), 3.5 years as a civilian 1811 Federal Agent, trained by the U.S. State Department in Arabic, and was the first U.S. Federal Agent to enter Iraq in 2003. He is also a counterterrorism counterintelligence officer. Gaubatz currently owns "Wahhabi CT Publications" and conducts CT Research on behalf of high profile non-profit organizations. His website is here, and he can be reached at davegaubatz@gmail.com.


I believe Americans are extremely frustrated about a number of things, including the sad state of our national security and the declining economic situation. They are rightly concerned about their children's future. They are losing interest in socialism taking over the news media. Many I have talked with no longer want to listen, read, or watch people ranting about how our country is secure. They are annoyed with the news headlines that focus on ladies who have eight babies and the multi-year "Aruba case."

Americans have little patience and want people who "allegedly" know the situation our country is currently in to come to the point and fix the problem, not respond to incidents after they have happened. A good example of this is the manhunt[1] for the former student of a high school in Georgia who allegedly has a gun. This is a legitimate concern, but the threat is 100 times higher within just a few miles of many schools throughout America. (A hint to law enforcement: Go to any inner city school in the U.S. and within a mile in any direction, there are gang members with guns.) Instead of locking down the school, it would be safer for the children to immediately be removed and allow their parents to protect them. The last tactic that should be tried is to have hundreds of students in a school surrounded by hundreds of armed law enforcement officers and possibly a student with a gun. There is more chance of students being harmed in crossfire by staying than if they left the school.

There is another danger in Georgia that few people are talking about.

I have conducted first-hand research in Islamic Centers throughout Georgia. The Imams in many centers are telling the children to hate America, hate Israel, and to kill anyone who does not adhere to "pure Islam." During the last two weeks I have conducted first-hand research at many Islamic Centers in Tennessee. It's a very, very, dangerous situation. Muslim children are being encouraged by their Islamic leaders (trained in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) to follow Islamic terrorists like Ali Al Timimi (convicted[2] and currently in U.S. prison for advocating terrorism against the U.S.) The Muslim children throughout the U.S. are being encouraged to learn how to use guns, bombs, and other weapons for the sole purpose of being utilized in Jihad Qital (physical Jihad) against their enemies in America.

In Blacksburg, Virginia, there is an Islamic scholar advocating to the students at Virginia Tech to commit treason against the U.S., instill Sharia Law, and to study the works of Islamic terrorists in order to meet these objectives.

How much do Fox, CBS, NBC, or other news (and I say this laughingly) outlets report on these incidents which threaten every child of every race, culture, and religion? Do the law enforcement officers who are our "first-line" defenders respond in force to Islamic Centers who are advocating "sedition" against our country? No. Why not? Simply because if an Islamic scholar tells a Muslim child to kill other students who do not follow "pure Islam," or if the scholar tells husbands to beat their wife, or if the scholar informs Islamic Jihadists in America how to stay current on new weapons technology (such as biological and radioactive weapons) it is considered religious freedom. As an American I do not believe that when anyone tells a child to kill others and to commit treason against our country it is covered under any religion (even if told to the child in an Islamic school).

God help Islam if the best examples they can use as role models are Ahmad Sakr, Siraj Wahhaj, Ali Al Timimi, and Abul Mawdudi.

The following is a statement being streamed through the Internet to Muslims in America:

"You Islam heroes: America is falling down behind the mirage, so hit it with an iron hand so it wakes up from its dream. At last we ask Allah to grant success to the Mujahedeen, to enable them, to grant mercy on their martyrs, to cure their injured, to release their captives, to unify their efforts and enable them to defeat their enemies, Ameen."


[1] http://www.examiner.com/a-1870628~ Atlanta_area_high_school_put_on_lockdown.html

[2] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,154635,00.html

Contact LEL at LEL817@yahoo.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 27, 2009.


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights demands investigation into who tortured a Gaza Arab to death and that the authorities punish them (IMRA, 2/8).

So unrealistic, those demands are amusing. Who does the Center suppose authorized and0 committed the murder? The Hamas authorities, as usual. Expect Hamas to investigate fairly? Same goes for similar incidents in the other part of the P.A..

The Center may be concerned about rights of Palestinian Arabs under P.A. jurisdiction. When it comes to Israel, however, it engages in jihadist propaganda. Everything Israel does it finds wrong and culpable. It does not denounce P.A. authorities like that. The lesson here is that Arab Muslims generally believe that they have rights and that non-believers do not.


Up to now, the Left trained Arabs to videotape ethnic conflict. The Arabs then doctored the tapes to make Jews seem the aggressors. Now, Jews in Samaria are taking classes in videotaping and other forms of propaganda. They will photograph Arab stoning of their cars, police abuse, and other assaults on Jews. The other side no longer will be able to get away with its crimes (Arutz-7, 2/8).

Passers-by will be able to film police seizing cameras that photographed their abuse.


Britain forced Dutch M.P. Geert Wilders onto a return flight, contending that his presence endangered public safety. A Pakistani Member of the British Parliament, Lord Ahmed, had lobbied the government for the ban. He said that Wilders would provoke "violence and hatred" against Muslims, the great majority of whom renounce terrorism. Britain has let visit Muslims who advocated terrorism and repression of women and homosexuals, but has barred some, more recently (John F. Burns, NY Times, 2/13, A8).

Anti-Muslim violence is rare, outside of India. Geert has not urged violence nor suggested hating. He does point out that Muslims do and threaten to conquer Europe. If Muslims became violent upon hearing his criticism of their intolerance, they'd prove him right. They constantly commit religious violence in Britain and elsewhere, a real threat to public safety. Maybe they renounced terrorism. Were they sincere? They admit wanting to replace native cultures. They demand privileges that foster that goal? Can't cite that goal in Britain?


The Gaza offensive is in the context of the Shiite-Sunni rivalry. Iran heads the Shiite campaign; Egypt and S. Arabia head the Sunni campaign. Iran ordered its [Sunni] protégé, Hamas, to attack Israel, leading to the Israeli offensive.

Iran wants its protégés to attack Israel. Egypt and S. Arabia want Arabs to make peace agreements with Israel. They claim Arabs [including Sunnis] are working with Iran not in the Arab interest — Iran wants to re-establish its former empire over the region as well as subordinate the Sunnis to Shia (IMRA, 2/9).

If Egypt bordered Iran, its rift with Iran might provoke mutual war.

Let us not confuse peace agreements with peace. The proposed agreements would eviscerate Israel and therefore foster its conquest. As far as Israel is concerned, the Shiites and Sunnis are vying over how to conquer Israel.


In a wider war, the Israeli Air Force could not lend as close support to ground troops as it did in Gaza. It would have other missions, too (IMRA, 2/9).

Would Israel use artillery for such support, though it means more civilian casualties and, worse in my opinion, more "friendly fire" casualties? Has the IDF learned from Gaza how to reduce casualties from "friendly fire?"


Min. of Education Tamar, of the Labor Party, plans to indoctrinate Israelis in the Arab point of view. The Arabs do not deem Israel a legitimate state. They think that Arabs have as much right to immigrate to the country as Jews (IMRA, 2/10).

Considering that Israel is being warred on by jihad, the Arab view is treason. Labor's self-defeating multi-culturalism would confuse Jewish youth about their own country's legitimcy. How come any Jews in Israel vote for the Labor Party?


A.I. finally reports on Hamas purges of rivals in Gaza. Hamas forces are the only ones allowed to go about with unconcealed arms. They break into houses and hospitals, to shoot former P.A. police, Fatah members, or Arabs accused of cooperating with Israel against terrorism. The drawback and signifier of A.I. bias is to introduce this internecine war within the context of the Israeli offensive, which it falsely claims killed more civilians than troops (IMRA, 2/14).


Bard College in New York State is collaborating with Al Quds U. in Jerusalem and Abu Dis. The venture aims at "injecting American educational values and expertise into Palestinian society, in hopes of contributing to a future democratic State of Palestine." One of the educational goals is to teach students to raise questions instead of accepting all their information and views from teachers.

"Bard anticipates complaints from some American Jews unhappy — because Al Quds is a Palestinian institution partly in Jerusalem — which many Jews consider the indivisible capital of Israel — and because Al Quds is no stranger to radical Palestinian politics. [Note the deceitful understatement, as will be shown below!]

The initial financing is coming from George Soros..." The head of Al Quds U. is Sari Nusseibeh. "Mr. Nusseibeh is the scion of one of the most distinguished Palestinian families, one filled with judges, scholars and politicians, and whose history in Jerusalem goes back 1,300 years..." He has been arrested and jailed.

The Pres. of Bard, Leon Botsein said, "It is also clear that being a Zionist and favoring the security and healthy future of the State of Israel is absolutely compatible with creating a Palestinian state. That's why we're very proud of what we are doing." (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 2/15, A14.)

"Al Quds is no stranger to radical" Islamic politics? The university student body long has been solidly Islamist. Students get further indoctrinated there in violent intolerance. That is the opposite of democracy. Al Quds classes train them in technology used for terrorism, such as making explosives. Mr. Nusseibeh supported the anti-democratic, jihadist culture there, and was subversive in Jerusalem. Mr. Bronner has so understated the university and Nusseibeh positions as to thoroughly mislead readers. His description of Nusseibeh is designed to make that pro-terrorist respectable. Such treatment the Times never gives Jewish nationalists. Most Arabs there are of recent immigrant families.

If the Bard program were sincere, it would work against the P.A. culture. It would re-educate students to accept Israel as a legitimate Jewish state, whereas the P.A. does not. (Nusseibeh would be executed for that.) It falsely assumes, without justification or attempted explanation (except to claim it is "clear") that a state for those Arabs would end the conflict. No, the P.A. claims all of Israel, because the conflict is religious. Tolerance is not said to be in the curriculum.

Mr. Soros is pro-Arab. Mr. Botstein misstates Zionism. Zionism is not turning parts of the Jewish homeland over to gentiles, and ones who want to expel the Jews. Israel doesn't gain security from ceding secure borders to a sovereign power that could import arms and armies against Israel, without interference from Israel. Bard's venture into interference with Israel is intrusive. Who are Botstein and the Times to suggest dividing Jerusalem from Israel? Anti-Zionists.

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

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Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, February 27, 2009.

This was written by Kenneth Lasson and it appeared today in the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Kenneth Lasson is a law professor at the University of Baltimore.


The worldwide Jewish community waits, at varying degrees anxious and rueful, to see how President Obama will treat Israel.

Anxious, because no one knows what audacious aspirations he can realistically harbor for a Mideast foreign policy that has been challenged by intractable hatreds and hopes for more than half a century. Rueful, because a lot of us felt that George W. Bush, while a bad president for America, was a good one for the Jewish state.

Not so fast. Even for many of those inclined toward the latter view, Mr. Bush turned out to be a great disappointment in handling the needlessly festering case of the imprisoned Jonathan J. Pollard.

In his two terms, fervent appeals were made quietly to the president — from people as diverse as U.S. senators and members of the Knesset, American law professors and the chief rabbi of Israel, and thousands of common citizens worldwide. To many of them, Mr. Bush appeared to be receptive and respectful, and he promised a thoughtful response. A petition for clemency was on his desk the day he left office. He did nothing.

Is there any chance that Mr. Obama will be any more enlightened, honest and just?

The plight of the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst, convicted in 1985 of passing classified information to Israel and sentenced to life in prison, is a sorry stain on the moral fabric of two great countries. Pollard has been used and abused by both America and Israel — treated unjustly by our generally fair-minded system of justice, and forsaken by a Jewish state founded on humanitarian values and ennobled by the single-minded pursuit of its enemies and the redemptions of those held captive for its sake.

Why is Jonathan Pollard still in prison?

Never mind the legal arguments — that he was convicted on trumped-up evidence that he's never had the chance to challenge, that the U.S. Justice Department violated an honest plea agreement and that his life sentence is grossly disproportionate to any other punishment of similar offenders. The hard facts remain that he was never charged with treason, never caused Americans any great harm, and has suffered mightily for the confessed sins of others.

On the other hand, there is a good case to be made that Pollard is being punished for a crime he did not commit — the one to which the convicted traitor Aldrich Ames has openly confessed; nor was he ever charged with treason. In fact, the "victim impact statement" offered by prosecutors did not impute to him any damage to American interests or harm to intelligence personnel.

The life sentence handed out to Pollard for an offense that normally nets a four-year term amounts to a gross miscarriage of justice. So does the fact that the government of Israel abandoned one of its loyal agents,

Applying for parole is not an option for Pollard, because of a severe and wholly unique impediment placed in his way by the Department of Justice: His current attorneys — both of whom have been given top secret security clearances — have never been permitted to see the documents submitted to the judge before Pollard's sentencing in 1987. Without access to that file, persons opposed to parole have free rein to say anything about Pollard they wish, with no risk of being contradicted by the documents.

Thus, Mr. Obama should show clemency for clear, straight-forward reasons:

He'd be correcting a longstanding miscarriage of justice.

Pollard's life sentence — by far the harshest ever meted out for a similar offense — continues to make "equal justice under law" seem like little more than a palsied proverb. Of the dozens of Americans convicted of the same crime, many more perfidious spies have received lesser or no punishment.

He'd be acting the way other countries have acted toward us.

Few know the mirror-image cases that make Pollard's plight all the more sadly ironic: In the 1990s, Israel caught at least two Americans and one Mossad agent spying for the U.S. The Americans were noiselessly expelled, the Israeli pardoned.

He'd be making an important gesture of America's appreciation for Israel's abiding friendship, acknowledging the Jewish state's willingness to accede to much of our Middle East strategy.

In short, the president should act now to reflect the time-honored values of fairness and decency to which the nation he leads has always aspired. Here's a change he could implement without spending a penny — a moral stimulus every bit as necessary as an economic one.

Jonathan Pollard has already served 24 years in prison.

Grant him clemency.

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com and visit their website:

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 27, 2009.

Before Shabbat, and with great brevity, first the good:

Livni will not be sitting in the government. What is also good, is that the reason she won't is because she "saw no sign of Bibi's commitment to the issues." Which means he refused to commit to a "two-state solution." Baruch Hashem.

Now we'll watch as the coalition takes shape.


The bad is that Chas Freeman's appointment is official. I was waiting for official word and it has come. Found it in The Washington Times: an announcement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Ambassador Freeman is a distinguished public servant who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in defense, diplomacy and intelligence that are absolutely critical to understanding today's threats and how to address them," said the director, Dennis Blair. "The country is fortunate that Ambassador Freeman has agreed to return to public service and contribute his remarkable skills toward further strengthening the Intelligence Community's analytical process."

If his expertise is critical for the US, the US is now going down a very different road and the world is a different place. There is no way, here and now, for me to say all I wish to say on this subject. But it's time for the supporters of Israel in the US to wake up and realize they have a government that is going to work against us — and to stand strong against those efforts.

We cannot rest for a moment (except on Shabbat).


Another blessing, among the many that are ours: It is pouring torrentially. How we need this!

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 26, 2009.

This was written by Spengler and it appeare February 3, 2009 in Asia Times


"My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives," United States President Barack Obama told an Arabic television channel on January 26. Really? What are their names? Word has come to the West of no extraordinary Muslim thinker since the 12th century. There is one first-rank Arab writer working today who tries to explain why there are no extraordinary Muslims — but on that more below.

By "extraordinary", to be sure, Obama means no more than Garrison Keillor meant in saying that the children of Lake Wobegon all are above average. There is no "there" in Obama's "patchwork", as he characterized America in his inaugural

address. America is all patches and no quilt, arranged in no particular order, as in his remark in the same interview that America is "a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers". Everyone is ordinary, or maybe extraordinary — whatever. If Obama had said that "the Muslim world is filled with ordinary people, etc", his meaning would have been clearer.

It's worth holding Obama to his words, though. In the real world, the ordinary depends on the extraordinary, for it is the extraordinary citizens of a nation who set a mark for the aspirations of ordinary people. Cultures that can't produce extraordinary individuals can't survive. That bears on the other half of the president's assertion. It is true that most Muslims simply want a better life, and the two or three million American Muslims mostly are well-educated economic immigrants who value prosperity over tradition.

But it also is true that among the 1.4 billion Muslims in the world there are tens of millions who would rather kill and die than endure what they perceive as an intolerable humiliation. The majority of Muslims will be content to eat crumbs from the table of the West and conform to the misery of their circumstances. It is the substantial minority that will not be content that should worry Obama.

The failsafe definition of an "extraordinary person" is what an ambitious mother will tell her feckless children, "Work hard and you might grow up to be like him (or her)." Successful cultures produce people whose contributions resonate through the world — scientists, poets, musicians, entrepreneurs, or philosophers. Just one great individual can transform a nation, by setting an example for ambitious youth. Thanks to the composer Jan Sibelius, Finland with just 5 million people became a force in the world of classical music. But woe unto cultures whence comes no contribution to the rest of humanity. Where are the Muslim scientists, novelists, entrepreneurs, athletes and musicians?

Apart from political leaders, a reasonably diligent reader of a quality newspaper in the West will not be able to name a single Muslim distinguished in any field of human endeavor. Excluding the politically awarded Peace Prize, Muslims have won only three Nobel prizes since their inception more than a century ago, or one for every 450 million Muslims alive today. By contrast, there have been 169 Jewish Nobel Laureates (excluding the Peace Prize), or about one for every 89,000 Jews alive today. During the past century, a Jew was 5,000 times more likely to win the Nobel than a Muslim.

The last native of a Muslim country to receive the Nobel was the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, a secular critic of his native country now living in New York City in virtual exile, unable to return to Istanbul in safety. I favorably reviewed his last novel Snow. Only one Muslim writer today is mentioned as a frontrunner for the literature prize today: the Syrian poet Adonis (the pen-name of Ali Ahmad Sa'id), whom I profiled (Are the Arabs already extinct? Asia Times Online, May 8, 2007).

Adonis is a man whom the world should know better. Almost singlehanded, he created a modernist poetic style in Arabic that vividly conveys the terror of the Muslim encounter with the modern world.

Adonis calls his work an obituary for the Arabs. "We have become extinct," he told Dubai television on March 11, 2007. "We have the masses of people, but a people becomes extinct when it no longer has a creative capacity, and the capacity to change its world ... The great Sumerians became extinct, the great Greeks became extinct, and the Pharaohs became extinct."

Islam itself destroys the creative of Muslims, Adonis argues: "Because Islam — the last message sent by God to mankind — has placed the final seal on the Divine Word, successive words are incapable of bringing humankind anything new. A new message would imply that the Islamic message did not say everything, that it is imperfect." The most melancholy Slav sounds like Jerry Seinfeld next to this poet of despair.

The blame for Islamic backwardness, Adonis claims, lies in the concept of "oneness," or tawhid, of Allah. "Oneness" conveys not just monotheism, but exclusionary comprehensiveness; it refers more to totality than to unity. As the leading European Islamist Tariq Ramadan explains tawhid, for a right-thinking Muslim, it is literally inconceivable to raise doubts about God. A Muslim, Ramadan explains, might forget, but he cannot doubt.

The trouble with a religion that permits no doubt — unlike Christianity, of which Pope Benedict XVI said that "doubt is the handmaiden of faith" — is that it becomes an all-or-nothing proposition. Either Islam regulates the totality of life and thought, such that questioning may intrude within its magic circle, or it becomes nothing. Islam is inseparable from the traditional life of subject peoples; it cannot find roots in the thin soil of modernity.

Measuring modernity is difficult, especially because its onset in the Muslim world is sudden, but there is one unerring gauge of social transformation that shows how quickly Muslim societies are changing. That is population.

Thrust into the modern world, Muslims are overtaking the West only in one dimension: they are aging, and aging faster than any other part of the world. Iran is the fastest-aging country on the globe. The developed world today has a median age of almost 40, the sad result of two generations of demographic decline, while the largest Muslim countries have a median age of 25. But by the middle of the century, according to United Nations projections, the average age of the largest Muslim countries will be 47, converging on the aging industrial world.

Only with extreme difficulty will the developed countries manage the burden of a rapidly aging population. It is hard to envisage how the much-poorer Muslim world will manage it at all. The potential for civil as well as regional instability will continue to rise. Increasingly, the Muslims find themselves with the worst of both worlds, that is, with the same dependency profile as the populations of the West, but without the wealth or the capacity to generate wealth that gives the West some wiggle room.

Japan may have a declining population, but it is a wealthy land with enormous inventiveness and the capacity to substitute capital for labor. Excepting Turkey, no Muslim country has a single industrial company that can compete on world markets. The Muslim world thus far has failed to produce the sort of extraordinary men and women who can innovate and adapt.

Shrinking resources and growing need are a formula for social and regional instability. Iran's insistence on acquiring nuclear weapons stems from more than a paranoid antipathy to the state of Israel. Iran looks wistfully towards the far shore of the Persian Gulf where Saudi Shi'ites dominate the monarchy's main oil-producing regions. Fifty million aging Persians, for that matter, might be more concerned about 175 million young Pakistanis to their east than about Israel.

Most Muslims want to better their lives, as Obama said, but their lives are getting worse rather than better, and nothing they know can make things better. In theory, there might be a future state of the world in which the Islamic world could live in peace and prosperity, but today's Muslims cannot get there from here.

In dozens of essays during the past five years, I excoriated former president George W Bush for imaging that he could fix the problems of the Muslim world by promoting American-style democracy. If Obama spends more time reassuring, and less time trying to fix the Muslim world, he will do better, by default. America's policy towards the incurables should be to live and let die.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 26, 2009.


Muslim leaders who purport to be moderate act as intermediaries between Western governments and Islamists. They advise those governments to accede to some of the Islamist demands or suffer attack by the Islamists.

The advice sounds to me like a partnership in blackmail between the purported moderates and the Islamists. The Islamists carry guns and the purported moderates speak for them. The purported moderates don't denounce the Islamists as violent, undemocratic bigots. They don't rally their masses against the Islamists. Nor do they urge Western governments to resist. The urge what would advance the program of Islam.


The NY Times has been criticizing Pres. Obama freely. Quite a shift in mood! The editors no longer think he is walking salvation. Now they notice his clay feet.

They praised, however, one of his most foolish moves. That was his offer to work out a cooperative relationship with Iran. The President of Iran replied favorably. Iran may exploit Obama's naivete as an opportunity to gain the last, critical months needed for developing nuclear weapons, after which Iran can start blackmailing or destroying other countries, by itself or via proxy.


Buried in a long article was a statement that China "...is the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases" (Marc Landler, NY Times, 2/11, A8).

Europeans and Democrats had pressed only the US to reduce greenhouse gases. They condemned Bush for not signing the Kyoto pact. Pres. Bush had argued that Kyoto unfairly let some developing countries pollute considerably. He was right. To be fair, the issue was murky. Both those who set national policy and those who criticize it owed the people an explanation of their stances in sufficient clarity and detail to be understood. Neither side did.


When the worst criminals believe their claims can be accepted, their temerity reflects a low state of public ethics. Thus the P.A. is striving to have Israel put on trial for war crimes in Gaza. Israel didn't commit war crimes then and there, but acted in exemplary fashion. The P.A. committed war crimes every day then and there, and there is no public demand to put Hamas on trial. This isn't about war crimes or morality. This is about immorality and ganging up on the Jews.


The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is not a human rights group but an Islamist rights group. It almost always supports, as if a right, terrorist efforts to import arms, smear, and commit terrorism.

ACRI has attempted a consumer fraud against Israel's legal lights. It informed 37 leading lawyers that it would put their names on a petition accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza, unless they specifically rejectied the petition. The lawyers all replied to withhold their names. It was a new low for ACRI. Unethical. Nervy!

For examples, ACRI claimed that Israel was occupying Gaza, so Arabs in Gaza had a right to fight against Israelis. [They had a peace accord, could have negotiated, have no right to resort to terrorism banned under all conditions, and Israel no longer had troops in Gaza, just didn't want the non-sovereign Hamas to import weapons for making war, as it did.]

An ACRI report claims that Israel was racist against Arabs. It did not investigate Muslim prejudice against Jews. Its findings of Jewish racism were not or were not proved to be. It alleged an increase in "anti-Arab incidents," but did not show they were from prejudice. It states that Jewish hatred of Arabs doubled, but did not explain how it concluded that. From media reports, one may surmise that its standard is that Israelis want to continue veterans' benefits. Many countries offer veterans' benefits. Nothing prevents Arabs from joining the military or performing other national service. [ACRI wants the Arabs to declare themselves enemies of their country and enjoy veterans' benefits. Ultra-Orthodox have other reasons for not performing national service, and aren't entitled to veterans' benefits.]]

ACRI almost never supports the rights of victims of terrorism or attempts to repress the speech of opponents of terrorism. For example, Prof. Steven Plaut was sued for criticizing a leftist professor. The criticism was truthful. The purpose of the suit was to impose costs on Plaut that might shut him up. Plaut asked ACRI to support his free speech. It refused (Plaut, 2/5).

Israel abounds in discrimination against Jews, as by curbing their dissent and framing them, but ACRI and B'Tselem do not protest against those real examples, only against false ones in favor of the country's Arab enemies.


The head of the Lebanese Army said that his Army and the Syrian Army have the same ideology. He said that the Lebanese Army's first priority is defense from Israel, in conjunction with Hizbullah (IMRA, 2/7). There you have it, the Lebanese Army is an ally of terrorists and Syria, which are taking over Lebanon. Why is the US arming it? To harm Israel?


The Arabs claim that newer arms smuggling tunnels are too deep to be detected or bombed. This means that airplane attack, alone, does not suffice. It takes troops on the ground. It always does. Even military brass forgets that in any big military operation, the air force is auxiliary. They like to imagine an easy aerial bombing can do the whole job.


Since Israel let some ships through the blockade, now many ships try to get through. Israel now sending their cargoes through, by land. This shows the problem with settling each instance separately, as Israel admitted it had done. It is wiser to think through the matter and establish a useful policy at the outset.


The Obama regime is floundering. I get no satisfaction from evidence of his inexperience. He didn't just have less experience than his rival, he has insufficient experience. This has cost him much of his prestige and adoration. It impedes US economic recovery. It will not improve his policy towards Israel. Usually, US Presidents seeking to regain respect imagine that they can solve the Arab-Israel conflict and will do so on the backs of Jews. This distracts them from more pressing issues. In their conceit, they don't realize that they have no more magnetic a personality than their predecessors, who have failed at that quest for half a century. The quest isn't fulfilled by personality. How can charm inveigle the most hardened fanatics in the world? Muslims use charm on us. They have done so before. They pretend to be cooperating, as per lran-Contra.

Problems can be solved by policy. The earlier policy of land-for-peace has not changed. How can the same policy work now? The Arabs are more vengeful and jihadi than before. Yes, the Democrats imagined that their man has a new policy, but they were wrong. He's got the same diplomats and the same theory that they merely have to negotiate, based on the lie that the prior regime did not negotiate. And what about the prior, Democratic Carter and Clinton regimes?


Not all lunatics are antisemites, but most antisemites are deranged. Deranged people used to be locked up. We progressed from that era. Now they either become head of government — i.g., Castro, Putin, Sarkozy, Assad — or they are given personal computers and keep out of trouble by sitting at home and venting. The insane asylum might substitute PCs for mood altering drugs. Perhaps they already do. The wardens coach them: blame everything on Israel and the Jews.

Get a jump start on your taxes. Find a tax professional in your neighborhood today.


Two phases in starting nuclear war: (1) Develop the weapons; (2) Deliver them. One, flexible means of delivery is by long-range missile. Iran has just demonstrated its ability to launch such missiles, when it sent a satellite into space. There hardly was a ripple from the governments and media of Europe, which Iranian missiles now can reach, and from the US. Israel had warned Europe that it could be targeted, too.

The UNO has issued a resolution against Iranian shipment of arms. The US inspected such a ship, but claimed, as if the resolution were just an exercise in words, that it lacked authority to seize the ship. The US also insisted that Israel not seize the ship, to prevent its cargo from getting smuggled into Gaza. Apparently the US is appeasing Iran, to facilitate smooth negotiations, but Obama does not insist that the purpose of the negotiations is to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.

Lieberman joined the Olmert Cabinet when he said Iran is too dangerous for Israel to lose time in new elections. He did not do anything about Iran, but for two years he kept in power the Cabinet that procrastinated. Livni said that one must negotiate with Iran, but she didn't. Instead of criticizing foreign appeasement of Iran, she praised their toothless resolutions. Defense Min. Barak failed to lobby among Israel's friends in the US government for the equipment it would need to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Netanyahu, not in the government, persuaded many American state pension systems to divest from companies doing business with Iran. He backed efforts to try the President of Iran for the crime of inciting to genocide. Those efforts brought the nuclear issue onto the American agenda. His three rival politicians, Lieberman, Livni, and Olmert disparaged him for it, instead of supporting him. He is the only one with credibility on this issue (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 2/7).

I suppose Obama's emissaries will be negotiating peace with Iran on the day of Iran's sneak attack, just as FDR's emissaries were negotiating peace with Japan on the day of Japan's sneak attack in 1941. Obama will be thought wise on the day before, and most foolish on the day after.


In response to attacks from the Gaza fence and to aerial bombardment, the IDF bombed some tunnels and arms depots (IMRA, 2/7).

Israel ended the offensive, but when Israel is attacked, it finds targets to bomb. I suspect that it withheld attacking those targets before, so it can do so when Israel is attacked again, as if its response were significant.

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

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Posted by Daisy Stern, February 26, 2009.

This was written by Edwin Black and it appeared in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410719930&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The writer is The New York Times best-selling investigative author of IBM and the Holocaust, Internal Combustion and the just released The Plan: How to Save America When the Oil Stops — or the Day Before (Dialog Press). And visit his website at www.edwinblack.com


In recent days, four key developments have clicked in to edge Iran and Israel much closer to a military denouement with profound consequences for American oil that the nation is not prepared to meet.

What has happened?

  • First, Iran has proven it can successfully launch a satellite into outer space as it did on February 2. Teheran claimed, to the incredulity of Western governments, that the satellite was to monitor earthquakes and enhance communications. Few believe that, especially since America's own space program continuously launches unpublished military satellite missions. Teheran plans three more satellites this year, creating an easily weaponized space net that worries American military planners.
  • Second, the International Atomic Energy Agency last week admitted that it had underestimated Iran's nuclear stockpile by about one-third. The watchdog group now confirms Iran possesses 2,227 lbs. of nuclear material, sufficient to create at least one nuclear bomb. That stockpile includes 1,010 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, or approximately 700 kilograms containing the vital uranium 235 isotope, the stuff needed to weaponize.

  • Third, Iran has ramped up its enrichment program with thousands of new homegrown, highly advanced centrifuges. As The Cutting Edge News reported in April 2008, Iran wants 6,000 centrifuges to speed the enrichment of weapons-grade material. The number of working centrifuges now exceeds 5,400, including 164 new ones believed to be the faster and more efficient IR-2 and IR-3 models made in Iran. These new Iranian centrifuges are at least as sophisticated as its recently imported P-2 models.

    American policymakers are now convinced that Iran, despite all protests and charades, is in a mad dash to create a deliverable nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has almost openly abandoned the assertions of the CIA's much-questioned 2008 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iran was not pursuing nuclear weaponry for the simple reason that its atomic program and military programs were housed in separate buildings.

  • Fourth, Binyamin Netanyahu has just become prime minister of Israel. He is determined to take action before — not after — Iran achieves its nuclear potential. This creates a volatile, hair-trigger situation that could explode at any moment. Hence, the endgame is now vastly closer than it was in mid-January, when many believed Israel might take action during the lame-duck interregnum.

Israeli countermeasures to date have included a massive international covert program of equipment sabotage, assassination of key nuclear personnel and a vibrant diplomatic offensive. But all these efforts combined amount to nothing more than delaying tactics, as Iran is irrevocably determined to achieve a nuclear weapon as fast as possible. Many believe such a weapon will be used to fulfill its prediction that Israel will soon be wiped off the map.

THE CONSEQUENCES for this confrontation are apocalyptic because Iran's full partner in this enterprise is Russia. The Russian company Atomstroiexport has provided most if not all of the nuclear material for the 1,000 megawatt Bushehr reactor, along with thousands of technicians to service and operate it.

Following its invasion of Georgia, Moscow forged ahead with final delivery plans for the S-300 advanced air defense system which can track scores of IAF airborne intruders simultaneously, whether low-level drones or high-altitude missiles, and shoot them down. But the S-300, the linchpin of Iran's defense against Israel, will not be fully operational for several months, creating a narrow window for Israel to act. Indeed, Russia has just announced a pause in missile deliveries for the system in fear that it will accelerate an Israeli response.

Iran, of course, has repeatedly threatened to counter any such attack by closing the Strait of Hormuz, as well as launching missiles against the Ras Tanura Gulf oil terminal and bombarding the indispensable Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq which is responsible for some 65 percent of Saudi production. Any one of these military options, let alone all three, would immediately shut off 40% of all seaborne oil, 18% of global oil, and some 20% of America's daily consumption.

America's oil vulnerability has been back-burnered due to the economic crisis and the plunge in gasoline prices. However, the price of gasoline will not mitigate an interruption of oil flow. The price of oil does not impact its ability to flow through blocked or destroyed facilities. Indeed, an interruption would not restore prices to those of last summer — which Russian and Saudi oil officials say is needed — but probably zoom the pump cost to $20 per gallon.

American oil vulnerability in recent months has escalated precisely because of oil's precipitous drop to $35 to $40 a barrel. At that price, America's number one supplier, Canada, which supplies some 2 million out of 20 million barrels of oil a day, cannot afford to produce. Canadian oil sand petroleum is not viable below $70 a barrel. Much of Canada's supply has already been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. America's strategic petroleum reserve can only keep that country moving for approximately 57 days.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, like the Bush administration before it, has developed no plan or contingency legislation for an oil interruption, such as a surge in retrofitting America's 250 million gas guzzling cars and trucks — each with a 10-year life — or a stimulus of the alternate fuel production needed to rapidly get off oil. Ironically, Iran has undertaken such a crash program converting some 20% of its gasoline fleet yearly to compressed natural gas (CNG) as a countermeasure to Western nuclear sanctions against the Teheran regime that could completely block the flow of gasoline to Iran. Iran has no refining capability.

The question of when and how this endgame will play out is not known by anyone. Israeli leaders wish to avoid military preemption at all costs if possible. But many feel the military moment must come; and when that moment does come, it will be swift, highly technologic and in the twinkling of an eye. But as one informed official quipped, "Those who know, don't talk. Those who talk, don't know."

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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Posted by Marc Samberg, February 26, 2009.

This was a news item in Asia News


Jeddah, gang-raped woman sentenced to prison, one hundred lashes

According to the judge, the woman is guilty of adultery and of accepting a ride from a stranger. Following her rape, she became pregnant, and will finish her pregnancy in prison. The one hundred lashes will be given after her baby is born.

Jeddah (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The victim of sexual violence after which she became pregnant, a 23-year-old Saudi woman has been condemned to one year in prison, and 100 lashes. The news has been reported by the Saudi newspaper Saudi Gazette, which says that the judge punished the woman because she is guilty of "adultery," having accepted "a ride from a stranger." The man and his friends abused her the entire night.

The court of the district of Jeddah handed down the sentence after the unmarried woman "confessed to having forced intercourse with a man who offered her a ride." According to the young woman's testimony, he took her to a house east of Jeddah, and, together with four friends, abused her the entire night.

Following the rape, the woman became pregnant; she was eight weeks pregnant when she went to the military King Fahd Hospital. According to the judge, the woman is guilty of "adultery" simply because she is not married, and she has been sentenced to a year in prison.

The hundred lashes will be given after she delivers the baby; the child will take his mother's last name. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, and can ride in a car only if they are accompanied by a husband or relative. In recent days, Saudi princess Amira al-Tawil, wife of prince Al Walid Bin Talal, had defended the right to drive for all women in the country.

Contact Marc Samberg at marcsamberg@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 26, 2009.

This was on the Gateway Pundit website
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/02/ ahmadinejad-meets-with-obamas-cousin-in.html


Barack Obama's cousin Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Kenya today.

In this photo released by the Kenyan Prime Minister's Press Service, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, left, is seen with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, during their meeting at the Laico Regency hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009.(AP/Kenyan Prime Minister's Press Services)

Ahmadinejad declared that relations between the regime in Iran and Kenya are improving after the meetings.

In 2006 Barack Obama took a trip to Kenya at US taxpayer's expense. While visiting Kenya as a guest of the government Obama campaigned with opposition leader socialist Raila Odinga, who also happens to be his cousin (says Odinga):

Odinga's party lost the 2007 election in Kenya. His party claimed the election was rigged in favour of President Mwai Kibaki.

Barak Obama and Raila Odinga

Odinga's thugs then went on a rampage killing hundreds of Kenyans and burning churches. At least 600 people died in rioting after the election and 250,000 were displaced. Odinga was accused of ethnic cleansing during the clashes.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by FSM, February 26, 2009.

This was written by Douglas Farah and it appeared today in Family Security Matters (FSM).

Douglas Farah is an award-winning investigative journalist and Senior Fellow in Financial Investigations and Transparency at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. E-mail him at doug@douglasfarah.com.


In recent days, two high-level assessments of the threats facing the United States have come out, and both are striking for their stark omissions of the same central theme: the criminal/terrorist nexus that is driving so much of what we see around the world.

The first assessment is the Annual Threat Assessment presented by Dennis Cl Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, presented as Congressional testimony.

The second is FBI Director Robert Mueller to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Both are interesting reading, and it's heartening to see the Horn of Africa move far up the priority scale in both discussions. The DNI report also focuses some passing (but more than any other public statement) attention on Latin America, particularly Venezuela.

Director Mueller correctly states that:

The world in which we live has changed markedly in recent years, from the integration of global markets and the ease of international travel to the rise and the reach of the Internet. But our perception of the world — and our place in it — also has changed...The universe of crime and terrorism stretches out infinitely before us, and we, too, are working to find what we believe to be out there, but cannot always see.

What has changed less, it seems, is the ability to integrate into out thinking and assessments changes as they occur. The paradigm shift in terrorist financing from states and large donors to crime and quasi-state institutions is a clear trend that is accelerating.

While the Taliban use of drug money is mentioned in the DNI statement, and there is a passing reference to the FARC's drug revenue, organized crime receives a small, separate section in the report, and no overlap with terrorist activity is noted.

Given the shared information that likely shaped both presentations, it seems the conventional thinking in the intelligence and law enforcement communities (with the notable exception of the DEA) is that organized criminal groups and terrorist groups remain separate entities, with little overlap.

The objective reality is that this is no longer true. The Taliban, FARC, AQIM, Hezbollah, HAMAS, ETA and others all rely on significant organized crime ties to survive.

Hezbollah has perfected the ability to work with established networks of Lebanese diaspora entrepreneurs, legal and not, to collect funds totaling tens-if not hundreds-of millions of dollars a year (see the West Africa diamond trade and Tri-Border region). AQIM participates in and collects taxes on cigarette smuggling and human trafficking, etc., etc.

These activities are not tangential to the terrorist operations, but fundamental. That is why the failure to grasp this nexus is so important. If the mutually-beneficial ties are not understood, tackling the threat will be impossible.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org

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Posted by Steven Plaut, February 26, 2009.

Avraham Burg is without a question one of the worst Israelis in the world and also a despicable person. A one-time Knesset Member from the Labor Party and a speaker of the Knesset, and later Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Burg is openly seeking to put an end to Israel's existence as a Jewish state. He is a leader in the "Post-Zionist" movement of ultra-leftists, Israelis and ex-Israelis seeking Israel's annihilation. But now he is also up to his ears in financial scandal. It turns out he is one of the central figures involved in the collapse of the Pri Hagalil company, a collapse that has dominated the economic news in recent weeks in Israel.

Let's back up a little.

Avraham "Avrum" Burg has been a far-leftist for decades. He is the son of the great Joseph Burg, a Holocaust survivor and one of Israel's founders. Father Burg was a leader of the National Religious Party and sat in Israeli cabinets for so many years that there were many jokes about him having sat in a cabinet with Pharaoh. Mother Burg had grown up in Hebron and survived the 1929 Arab pogroms against Jews there.

Junior Avraham had been a leader in "Peace Now," and supposedly was standing near the favorite martyr saint of the Israeli Left, Emil Grunsweig, when the latter was killed by a grenade tossed at the demonstrators by a rightist. (The perp, by the way, is NOT on the list of people Olmert wants to release as part of the general release of terrorists.) Avraham is religious, sort of, showing his ambivalence about that by wearing a yarmulke smaller than many postage stamps. In recent years he has been making headlines for his demands that Israel stop being a Jewish state, that the Law of Return for Jews be revoked, and that Jewish symbols of the state be junked. He is a founder of the new anti-Israel lobby in the US, "J Street." He has lived in recent years in France. His current "thinking" can be read here:

As speaker of the Knesset, "Avrum" defied Israeli law and illegally went to speak before the PLO's "parliament" in Ramallah in 2002. Since then he has morphed into one of Israel's most extremist "Post-Zionists" (http://www.arabworldbooks.com/arab/avraham.htm).
He denounces Zionism in the anti-Israel Guardian
The anti-Semite Pat Buchanan has applauded him
(http://goliath.ecnext.com/comsite5/bin/pdinventory.pl?pdlanding=1&referid= 2750&item_id=0199-1403773).

He has denounced Israel as an evil entity
(http://www.haaretz.com/GA/pages/ShArtGA.jhtml?itemNo=360539). The journal Azure reports
(http://azure.org.il/magazine/magazine.asp?id=117&search_text=) that Burg 'declared the late Yeshayahu Leibowitz (of 'Judeo-Nazis' fame) to be his 'moral compass.' Burg's advisers Haim Ben-Shachar and Arik Carmon have developed a plan whereby the Zionist movement would drop its focus on Jewish immigration and concern itself with distributing 'pluralistic' Jewish material over the Internet. He teamed up with Yossi Beilin to promote the latter's "Geneva Misunderstandings" to dismember Israel

Burg demands that Israel desist altogether from defining itself as a "Jewish state". His take on suicide bombers? "Having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, [Israel] should not be surprised when they come full of hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism."

He has published an anti-Israel 'book', one that ruminates about Israel and Zionism, compares Israel and Germany, harshly criticizes Eichmann's hanging by Israel, reflects on Judaism in the age of globalization and remembers his father's house. In 2007 the media reported that Burg junior had left Israel altogether to do "business" in France. We will see in a minute what sort of "business."

Meanwhile, back to Pri Hagalil. It is a fruit canning and processing company located in the impoverished Israeli "development town" of Hatzor, not far from Kiryat Shmona, close enough to be on the receiving end of many a Hezbollah rocket. It is the main employer in the town, and it is broke.

The background to this is that the company was once one of so many mismanaged enterprises owned by Israel's Histadrut Trade Union Federation. The Histadrut is essentially Israel's leading organized crime family. Pri Hagalil had been managed by the Histadrut's own industrial holding company Koor, before the latter was privatized. Pri Hagalil was sold by Koor in the 1990s to two dubious characters, an Israeli business man named Aviv Algor, and a British investor named Ian Davis. I say they are dubious, but I mean they are crooks. A month ago the two were convicted of serious fraud in a separate affair involving the Mediterranean Pipes Company (Maariv Feb 25) and had other previous fraud convictions
(see http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1131043721728&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

The two crooks had purchased Pro Hagalil and at the same time purchased the "Vita" company, which makes soups and other processed foods, and merged it with Pri Hagalil to make a new company. The merged enterprise was owned by "Kedem," their own holding company, which also bought up other failing Israeli companies from different industries.

At that point they struck a deal with .. (drumroll) . our own Avrum Burg! He came in as a partner in their corporation and was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Pri Hagalil. The company kept losing money (if you are interested and read Hebrew, you can check its books out at
http://maya.tase.co.il/bursa/CompanyDetails.asp?CompanyCd=157& company_group=3000). It went deeper into debt, borrowing from the banks and others. And to make matters more confusing, the assets of Pri Hagalil were pledged as collateral not only for the factory's own debts but also for the debts of the other companies owned by the fraudulent duo and their Post-Zionist partner, Burg. Burg did not pony up much or any cash of his own to become the partner of Algor and Davis. So what exactly did he offer them? Perhaps his wide-ranging political contacts as the past Speaker of the Knesset?

In any case, Pri Hagalil went bust, and is now insolvent. The two large Israeli banks that are its largest creditors began preparations to foreclose and liquidate the company. That has serious implications because it is the lifeline of the large portion of the population of Hatzor. Shutting down the factory would make Hatzor look like Oklahoma in a John Steinbeck book.

So in the past few weeks, the business news in Israel has been revolving around the prospective shutting down of the factory. Its workers are striking on and off, and holding noisy demonstrations. The banks are demanding that the court put the company into receivership, and that a "rehabilitation plan" be negotiated. Everyone is pretty clearly trying to pressure the government to bail out the company Obama-style. But the new Minister of Finance will likely be Bibi and he is opposed to corporate welfare. Burg and his buddies are accusing the banks of insensitivity in trying to get repaid the money owed to them by the Pri Hagalil company. The banks themselves are in the red even without writing off their investments in Pri Hagalil, because of the financial crisis and recession. They are accusing Burg of mismanaging the company and its finances.

The bottom line is that the mainstay source of sustenance for an entire impoverished development town in Israel was destroyed under the stewardship of dear old Avraham Burg And then to top it all off, Maariv Feb 25, 09 is reporting that the Israeli banks are accusing Burg of being involved in the disappearance of funds plowed into the factory. They claim they invested 270 million shekels in keeping the factory operational and that these funds simply "disappeared." Whither did they disappear? The media are not saying and neither is Burg.

As of this morning, the court gave the company a brief reprieve before putting it into receivership, so that its owners can try to negotiate with its creditors. My guess is that the Israeli government will bail it out, forcing taxpayers to pony up the cash to cover Burg's incompetence.

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 Fred Reifenberg, February 25, 2009.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il and visit
and http://4batya.blogspot.com/ to see other examples of his graphic art.

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Posted by Aliza Karp, February 25, 2009.

To My Daughter's Dear Friend Mushka,

The other evening you asked me if it was not irresponsible for a father to leave his family and go to war. I do not like the way I answered you.

I answered about danger. If the definition of danger is the odds — one out of one hundred or one out of one million — of getting hurt, then there is a greater chance of being hurt in traffic accidents in Eretz Yisroel than going to war, and yet every day we willingly go into traffic.

My answer may have made sense, but I find it heartless. We are emotional beings — not computers with and on and off switch.

On our way to the hillside restaurant where you asked me the question, just before we made our final left turn towards Bat Ayin, there was a sign to Rosh Tzurim. Rosh Tzurim is a town in the Gush Etzion Bloc south of Yerushalaim, not far from Efrat, half way to Hevron. It is home to a few hundred religious families. It is attractive and well kept. In Rosh Tzurim is an excellent school for special needs children and young adults. They even have horses for the students to care for and ride.

The morning after you and I and Huvi had dinner on the hillside under Bat Ayin I came back to Rosh Tzurim with Chaya, a friend of mine from the nearby town of Alon Shvut. Although she is the one who lives in the area, I showed her something she had not known about. I took her to the highest point in Rosh Tzurim. From there we could see Yerushalaim in the north and Ashdod and even Ashkelon to the southwest. The country is so small! There is a war in Ashkelon. From our restaurant, had we been gazing out windows at the back, instead of the side, we would have been able to see the war zone.

There is a little park where Chaya and I were standing. It is called Mitzpeh Tzachi. Mitzpeh means a lookout. Tzachi is a nickname for Yitzchok. The park was established and beautifully designed for Tzachi Sasson.

When Chaya and I walked into Mitzpeh Tzachi we saw a group of young men landscaping and gardening. At first glance the group looked unusual — I was on my guard for something suspicious. But as we get got closer I realized it was a group of special needs teenage boys with their counselors.

The park was made for Tzachi after he was murdered by a terrorist who shot him in the head when he was driving between visiting his parents in French Hill, Yerushalaim and going home to his wife and sons in Rosh Tzurim. He was one of the earlier casualties of the 2001 Intifada.

Tzachi was gem. I walked with Chaya to show her the stone memorial the family had made for Tzachi. On it is engraved the words of a letter he sent to his younger brother when his brother was entering the army. It is a long letter telling his brother in loving detail to Daven and study Torah regularly, to carry out his army duty with excellence and to be a good example to others.

I remember Tzachi as a good looking, fun loving teenager who was respectful, kind and generous. This letter showed me a depth to him that I would not have doubted but wound never have known about. Tzachi's mother's name is Aliza, like mine. When I was neighbors with Aliza, we did not have a common language but I knew her well. When I first read the news about Tzachi on the internet, I knew Aliza would be devastated beyond comparison. Even though he did not die in battle, his death was at the hands of those who want to destroy us, in a different form of warfare. So I think we can learn from his death, the impact of a father going to battle and not returning home. Hashem should avenge Tzachi's blood and all those who have lost their lives Al Kiddush Hashem, for the sanctification of G-d's name.

The Sasson family built the beautiful park atop Rosh Tzurim. Other projects were also done in his memory. I donated a full Chitas to each family in Rosh Tzurim so they could put it in their car as a safety precaution.

The Sassons have other children and they have grandchildren, including Tzachi's children Bli Aiyn Hara. His wife did what Tzachi would have wanted her to do. She pulled herself together and re-married. Tzachi's sons are taken care of, and they know their father died Al Kiddush Hashem. They have a loving mother, step-father and loving grandparents — but no one and nothing will replace their father. If I still feel pain when I think of Tzachi — I cannot come close to fathom how his family still suffers.

Mushka, my answer to your question was about statistics. Jewish lives are not statistics. Every victim of war and terror is one hundred percent someone's Jewish son, husband, father, brother, cousin, friend, classmate... There is pain because there is love.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe repeatedly stressed the section in Shulchan Orach that when we have an enemy we have to make a pre-emptive strike. We have to got to war.

Who is more qualified to fight to protect his children, than a father? As the fathers battle alongside young men who do not yet have families, the younger men are encouraged and empowered by the unique energy of fathers fighting to protect their children. If there were no imminent danger, fathers would not go to war. But when there is danger. Real danger. Fathers go to war.

I showed Chaya the memorial for Tzachi and told stories about him. We also spoke about the three soldiers who had been killed the night before, at the war in Aza, and the trauma their families were now feeling. Chaya's twenty six year old daughter knows someone in each of the families of the fallen soldiers. I did not know yet that I also was connected, through my work, to one of them.

I was in a sad, pensive mood as we walked back to the car.

We passed the group from the special school who were now sitting by the walkway, taking a break from their landscaping. Chaya asked one of the counselors to take a picture of the two of us. As she was showing him how to use the camera, one of the students came towards me. A counselor called to him using the name Eitan. I guessed Eitan had Downs Syndrome but I was not sure. He ignored the call to return and I said to him, "Eitan, are you coming to give me a hug?" He did not speak but continued to approach. As he hugged me, I hugged him back. I like to think that Eitan could sense I would be accepting of him and that I would appreciate the hug. It was just what I needed. Ahavat Chinum, love without ulterior motives. I insisted Eitan be in the picture with me and Chaya. Eitan will not be a father and he will not go to war. Eitan senses when his hugs are needed and he is not afraid to do what he does best. I think Eitan's hugs make the world a better place. Who can understand the ways of Hashem?

There is pain and there is love and the only definitive answer is Moshiach Now,

With love,
Huvi's Mom

Aliza Karp, the Administrator of the Friends of Families of Hebron fund, writes about issues of concern to the Jewish world, including the Lubavitcher Rebbe's perspective on defending Israel. Contact her by email at basmenachem@gmail.com

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Posted by , February , 2009.

At the moment it looks as if, please G-d, we will have a right wing coalition government. In theory, Netanyahu is still supposed to meet with Livni one more time on Friday, but coalition negotiations — which will determine ministry assignments and platform details — have begun, starting with Shas, Yisrael Beitenu and United Torah Judaism.

The assumption, then, is that Netanyahu has no further expectations of Kadima in the government. He is expected to build a sizeable cabinet of some 22 ministers.

Negotiations are being handling by a committee headed by MK Gideon Sa'ar, Likud faction chair; he says he intends to build a strong coalition that will last until 2013, when the next elections are scheduled by law (barring collapse of a gov't).


A prime reason Netanyahu gave for wanting Livni in the coalition is to show solidarity with regard to Iran. But she has assured him that from the opposition she will totally support him on this issue and lend whatever assistance is necessary.


The 18th Knesset was sworn in yesterday, and includes 31 new MKs.


I have learned that appointment to the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council can be done automatically by the president. And so, Chas W. Freeman Jr. apparently would not have to be confirmed by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. However, I have picked up no word that the appointment is final, and as long as that is the case, I encourage communication with the Senators of the Committee any way. It is all together appropriate to express your outrage as an American citizen and request that all possible leverage be brought to bear to prevent this appointment from taking place.


Fatah and Hamas have held some preliminary meetings — mediated by Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman — prior to major negotiations aimed at forging a unity government.

The animosity between the two groups is enormous and there are deep ideological differences. But there is also motivation now to come together for purely pragmatic reasons: they need to present a united front to arrange the authority for rebuilding in Gaza, and to attempt to secure the opening of the crossings.

I will note here, and will continue to note, that there is no demand being placed on Hamas with regard to relinquishing terrorism or recognizing Israel's right to exist. And yet, as far as the international community is concerned, this unity government, which also would provide one address for negotiations, is seen as a necessary precursor to advancing the "peace process."

Don't look for logic.

Yesterday, Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar told Reuters that, "It's our right to bring in everything — money and arms. We will not give anyone any commitment on this subject."


Recently the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar Ilan University released a study, that had been headed by Prof. Ephraim Inbar, that indicates that a "two state solution" is not viable: Says Inbar, the Palestinians have too many internal rifts; neither Fatah nor Hamas really wants peace with Israel (many continue to assume Fatah, which pretends it does, really wants peace); and neither the PA nor Hamas would be capable of governing a state.

Who's listening?


And just a month ago, Khaled Mashaal, political chief of Hamas in Damascus, announced a campaign against the PLO, which is dominated by Fatah. Declaring that it was Hamas's goal to replace the PLO with a new organization that would serve an agenda of "resistance," Mashaal said:

"At this moment, the PLO is no longer a unifying point of reference, but has become impotent and a tool for deepening Palestinian divisions."

What this means is Hamas wishes to be in charge, and to change the rules by which the PLO represents Palestinians world-wide.


Obama has committed $900 million for reconstruction in Gaza, to be channeled primarily through UNRWA. This is presumably to keep it out of the hands of Hamas, but anyone who know how UNRWA conducted itself during the recent war in Gaza knows what a joke this is. UNRWA persistently echoed Hamas's fallacious charges of "war crimes" against Israel. Most blatant was the UNRWA charge that we had hit one of its schools and killed 40 civilians, when it turned out we hadn't hit the school at all and only 12 people were killed, none of them terrorists.

Yesterday a senior Israeli government official charged that UNRWA provides political cover for Hamas: UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd passed a letter, on behalf of Hamas, to Senator John Kerry, Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, when he was in Gaza last week. Said the official:

Unfortunately, there is a pattern here. "That no one finds it strange that UNRWA, whose mandate is humanitarian, is the vehicle through which Hamas passes messages on to the US, just shows where UNRWA is at."

For insight into how UNRWA functions, see my report at:


Barry Rubin's new piece, "American, look behind you! Turn around! Turn around!" merits a serious read:

"America: A freight train is heading your way and you're standing right on the tracks, looking in the wrong direction.

"Or perhaps it is like a horror film in which the killer sneaks up behind the hapless victim while the movie audience yells: "Turn around! Turn around!" And then blood spatters the screen.

"Unfortunately, in this case, it might be our blood, and it won't be produced by a special effects department.

"Today, US policy and the dominant thinking are not based on realpolitik but on international affairs as a popularity contest. Its motto might be, 'The nice will inherit the Earth,' as the Obama administration tries to prove that it's not like that mean old Bush."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410694225&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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

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Posted by Shaul Ceder, February 25, 2009.

This was written by Richard Z. Chesnoff and it appeared today in Jewish World Review. Vveteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff was Senior Correspondent at US News & World Report, and is now a columnist at the NY Daily News and the Huffington Post. The paperback edition of his book, Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews & Committed the Greatest Theft in History is now available.


Ever notice how often the reputedly astute prove amazingly naive if not downright dumb? Take the New York Times' much lauded op-ed columnist Roger Cohen.

In a long rambling piece datelined Esfahan, Iran, wandering analyst Cohen recently told his global readers that the remnant of Iran's once thriving Jewish community is doing just fine — in fact, it's actually living the life of Reza side by side with Islamists, enjoying freedom of worship, business and family life and just dying to join other patriotic Iranians in angry anti-Israel street demonstrations.

To back up his contentions, Mr Cohen quotes that esteemed expert Morris Motamed, the man who once served as the mullah endorsed Jewish stooge in Tehran's rubber stamp parliament.

It all reminded me of my 1990 Baghdad visit to the remnant of Iraqi Jewry — a Diaspora community older and once larger than even Iran's. Like most Iranian Jews, the vast majority of Iraq's 150,000 Musawi or ""Mosaics" wisely fled for Israel and the West in the early 1950s. Of course, they had to leave behind everything they owned. By the time I visited Baghdad, there were less than 300 Jews left in a city where Jews once comprised 25% of the urban population. These Jews also prayed in their synagogue on the Sabbath where their community president told me with great flourish (while Saddam Hussein's omnipresent agents listened to every word) that he and his fellow worshippers were "proud to be both faithful Jews and loyal Iraqi patriots".

The truth was very different — as it is in Iran where the Jewish community is under constant surveillance, where teaching Hebrew is prohibited, where Jewish women are forced to follow the same modesty laws their Muslim sisters do, where Jews are barred from certain jobs and some imprisoned or hung on trumped up charges of contact with "Zionists".

Another journalistic sin of Mr Cohen's piece was his insistence to use Iran's supposed tolerant treatment of its remaining Jews as an excuse to take another of his nasty jabs at Israel. After all, Cohen tells us, perhaps Iran's threats to destroy the Jewish state are merely a "provocation to focus people on Israel's bomb, its 41 year occupation of the West Bank, its Hamas denial, its repetitive use of overwhelming force."

He then goes on to ignore the hard fact that Iran is behind Hamas as well as Hezbollah and most of the terrorism that currently confronts Israel , the very terrorism that frequently obliges Jerusalem to invoke its "overwhelming force".

Mr. Cohen also attacks "some American Jewish circles" for their "misleading and dangerous...'Mad Mullah' caricature of Iran".

In other words we really shouldn't worry about Iran's race to obtain a nuclear weapon — even though such a weapon would not only threaten Israel, but the rest of the world including the United States.

And as if to underscore its increasingly perverted sense of journalistic balance, today's NY Times runs a second Iran focused op-ed piece alongside that of Cohen's. This one by Iranian born journalist Ali Reza Esraghi is oddly entitled "Our Friend in Tehran" and urges President Barack Obama to stop wasting time and "seize the opportunity to shake the Iranian President (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's) outstretched hand".

Lord protect us from the reputedly astute!

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 25, 2009.


Muslim rape victims are shamed more than rapists. Hamas arranges for young women to be raped. A female Hamas agent then persuades the victims that they can erase their shame by becoming suicide bombers. An agent admitted this to police and reporters (IMRA, 2/4).

But the world' indignation is against Israel as inhumane.


Hamas gunmen raided an UNRWA warehouse. They made off with thousands of blankets and hundreds of food parcels. (IMRA, 2/4).

The NY Times is full of biased UNO accusations about Israel blocking the flow of goods into its enemy, Gaza, but sparse about the facts on Hamas stealing and selling UNRWA goods meant to be given to the people, free.


Rustling by Arabs has been rising. There were 2200 incidents of it in 2008. Arabs from Samaria made off with a prize herd of 200 goats owned by Israelis in the Galilee. Police recovered them (Arutz-7, 2/4).


Syria is suffering from drought. Most of its water flows into agriculture and industry. Damascus has periods without water. Residents buy it on the black market. Syria is depending on Japan buying water for it (IMRA, 2/5).

Syria need's Japan's charity because it won't adopt birth control, as Japan did, and it spends its billions of dollars on armaments. Japan's charity is vital to Syrian imperialism and aggression. Not so humanitarian. Why don't these so-called humanitarians help decent people?


Islamist videos circulate on the Internet urging murder of US groups and giving their addresses. The videos are more than just a rant, for they exhibit signs of being carefully crafted not to break the wording of US statute (Arutz-7, 2/5).

We must counteract radical Islamic ideology and eradicate its activists. We should not allow masses of Muslims in Western countries, where they establish a reign of terror. They are abusing our tolerance to stifle our freedom.


The Obama administration refuses to join Canada and Israel in boycotting the Durban II Conference. Its rationale is that US participation may keep the Conference from becoming the antisemitic diatribe that Durban I was.

The rationale is false. The purpose of Durban II is to implement Durban I. Durban I was primarily anti-Israel. It denounced Israel as a racist state and its law of return as racist. In other words, Jews may not have national self-determination and may be killed with impunity.

Durban II inevitably will be the same. The UNO still is controlled by the Islamic bloc and allies, among whom Iran, Cuba, Libya, and Pakistan were prominent in setting Durban II's agenda. "And that agenda includes multiple assertions of the basic illegitimacy of the Jewish people's right to self-determination. The... agenda also largely adopted the language of the 2001 NGO conference that called for the criminalization of critical discussion of Islam as a form of hate speech and racism. That is, the 2009 conference's agenda is not only openly anti-Israel, it is also openly pro-tyranny, and so seemingly antithetical to US interests." Durban II is stacked, and the US cannot alter it.

"Since it came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel's national security interests. From...Obama's intense desire to appease Iran's mullahs in open discussions; to his stated commitment to establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible despite the Palestinians' (Arafat's Arabs') open rejection of Israel's right to exist and support for terrorism; to his expressed support for the so-called Saudi peace plan, which would require Israel to commit national suicide by contracting to within indefensible borders and accepting millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs as citizens...to his decision to end US sanctions against Syria...to his plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq and so give Iran an arc of uninterrupted control extending from Iran to Lebanon, every single concrete policy Obama has enunciated harms Israel." [He also is pledging significant subsidy of Gaza.]

Those policies may not have been intended to harm Israel. [They don't help the US, except the one about Iraq, if Iraq can defend itself.] They may result from conceit and naivete. Attendance at Durban II, however, is so intended, since the purpose is to gang up on Israel. US attendance there legitimizes it and discourages European states from boycotting it.

Worse, at a planning session, the P.A. proposed adding to Durban's agenda by endorsing the Intl. Court of Justice opinion against Israel's security fence, that calling for "the international protection of Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory." That means that Israel has no right to self-defense. The US did not object. Neither did the US demur when Iran objected to mention of the Holocaust. Thus the Obama rationale for attending is a lie. It is not even attempting to head off the evil that Durban II represents.

In 2001, the US walked out of Durban I (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 2/21). In foreign policy decency, courage, and intelligence, Obama makes Bush look good. Perhaps Obama is a secret Islamist, after all.


The US approves of unity negotiations (IMRA, 2/21). In addition to above!

A unity regime would give the US an excuse to pretend that it now can deal with all of the P.A. and give it money as if that money would not go to terrorism. The papered-over unity would enable the US to pretend that Israel now has an entity to which to concede territory.

Actually, Hamas would be given the opportunity to organize in Judea-Samaria. It soon would take over the whole P.A.. It would acquire, as it said it would, the arms that the US and Israel gave Abbas "to strengthen" him against Hamas. It would turn those arms on Israel and import more. It also would help Iran and the Islamists take over more countries, developing a more powerful anti-US axis.

We need a patriot with at least half a brain in the White House.


Sec. of State Clinton attended a donor conference on rebuilding war-torn parts of Gaza. The US will donate $900 million to Gaza, not thru Hamas (IMRA, 2/24).

The NY Times implicitly defends the aid by remarking great exaggeration that Gaza was "devastated" by the battle. Some of the money would go through UNRWA (NY Times, 2/24, A7) staffed by terrorists.

The US also claims that its funds for Abbas' P.A. don't go for terrorism. Abbas then pays the Hamas regime's salaries, and Hamas gives priority to terrorism. Abbas' regime trains troops for the same purpose, they commit terrorism, his media promote it, he praises it, and his diplomacy advances it. He threatens war unless Israel accedes to conditions that would render it indefensible. The US claim is phony, like most of its diplomacy.

The people of Gaza may not like Hamas anymore, but they picked Hamas for its non-corruption and harsher line against Israel. They would not now choose otherwise, if they could. They cooperated with the war they started and still goes on. They want Islam to conquer the world, including the US. They are not innocent people. They should not be helped financially. They should be ruined. Part of the way to save the world from Islamist domination is to bring down Islamist regimes and let their suffering be a lesson to others.

That $900 million would be in addition to about half a billion each for Abbas and Jordan and $2 billion for Egypt. Almost all of it prepares anti-Americans to make war on Israel. Egypt's is for: (1) Stability, though airplanes and warships don't make stability; (2) In the secretive hope that Egypt would be a proxy for the US. Arab beneficiaries of US aid keep dashing that hope. They have different and irreconcilable interests from ours, and are incompetent; and (3) To bolster regimes against terrorism, but they favor terrorism and the P.A. is terrorist! Abbas' P.A. steals most foreign aid. Therefore, the aid helps the regime not to become popular but unpopular.

Eliminate subsidy of the Arabs and the US could end subsidy of Israel. The US should cancel Israel's debt, as it did for Egypt, and discontinue further aid. If we must give foreign aid, give it to the genocidal victims of Sudanese radical Muslim Arabs, from whom jihad took everything. Better to withhold foreign aid until we learn how to give effectively. Most of it, including funds for the UNO, is wasted or spent on evil. Best to suspend foreign aid, for we really are out of money.

Obama, stupidly enough before the economic crash, to double foreign aid. He's crazy now to increase it when our own people don't have enough to live on. He's counter-productive in giving it to the Arabs. How perverse! We are trying to avoid a depression. Cant do so by misguided business as usual. By the time our rulers get through with us, we won't have a great country.


Israeli police broke up a gathering in Jerusalem called by the PLO. PLO events are banned in Israel (IMRA, 2/21).

If the regime relaxes the ban, it would signify intent to cede parts of Jerusalem.


A.I. accused Israel and Hamas of recently misusing foreign-supplied weapons to attack civilians. It demands an embargo on both sides and suspension of US military aid to Israel.

Israel responded that the its "military never intentionally attacked civilians," but Hamas used civilians as human shields (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 2/24, A7).

What is behind those claims and how they are reported? The news brief sounds neutral and even-handed. If balanced, then it is pro-Islamist.

The demand for embargoing arms for both sides would be fair if the premises were fair and if an embargo would be fair. Consider the embargo. Hamas already is supposed to be under an arms embargo. It doesn't abide by it. It smuggles arms in. Likewise, Hizbullah is under an arms embargo, but the evil axis doesn't heed UNO resolutions and sends Hizbullah arms.

In the 1930s, FDR embargoed both sides in Spain, but the Axis supplied the fascist side. In 1948, Pres. Truman embargoed both sides, but Britain armed Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. The US embargoes harmed just the victims of aggression. The Spanish republic lost and Israel almost lost to the invaders. I accuse A.I. of knowingly trying to put Israel into that position, again. Perhaps its excuse is stupidity. Considering its constant bias against Israel — casualty statistics based on false numbers and sophistry in defining civilians, biased eyewitnesses, unverified testimony, and failure to include Israel's case — surely the unfairness here is just as intentional as usual.

Israel's response is poorly put, the Times manages, as usual. The Times, if not Israel, should have stated that the IDF never intentionally attacked civilians whereas Hamas mostly does. Then should have come the explanation that Hamas used civilians as human shields, which, under international law, makes them and not Israel responsible for civilian casualties. Israel must be well armed, because Hamas commits aggression and self-declared genocide. A.I. doesn't know that if Israel were more poorly armed, other enemies would attack it? Both A.I. and the Times again are accomplices of attempted genocide. Adding insult to injury, those auxiliaries of Islamistm pretend to be objective and humanitarian.

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

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Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, February 25, 2009.

The Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip that began in late December has focused the world's attention on the conflict between the Jewish state and the armed cadres of the Palestinian terror faction Hamas. Yet the media coverage has, for the most part, failed to provide an accurate picture of the larger geopolitical confrontation in Gaza. The conflict is viewed as simply another battle in the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians. But in fact, the Israelis found it necessary to move against Hamas in part due to the machinations of an outside player that has long fomented discord and civil war within the Palestinian population for its own ends. That outside actor is Iran.

The predicate of Jerusalem's decision to move against Hamas targets was the decisive outcome of the 2007 Palestinian civil war that left the Islamist group in control of Gaza, one of the two territories under Palestinian management. The other territory, the West Bank, is under the shaky authority of Fatah, the faction directed by Yasser Arafat for 30 years before his death in 2004. Now under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah is the dominant force within the Palestinian Authority, the official governing body of the aspirational Palestinian state. But Abbas has no power or authority in Gaza, which is now a Hamas fiefdom.

The Palestinians in Gaza are the chief victims of Hamas's decision in December to provoke more bloodshed by raining rockets on southern Israel following a loosely observed six-month ceasefire. The Israeli retaliation has reinforced Hamas's status as the primary voice of "resistance" to Israel (the same Israel that disengaged itself from Gaza in 2005 and is, therefore, no longer an occupying force requiring "resistance"). Accordingly, the Arab world and its sympathizers in the West have railed against the Israelis for their targeting of Hamas fighters and arms supplies. But the real fear of Abbas, and of the surrounding Arab countries, is actually the same as Israel's — that Hamas, and, by extension, its Iranian sponsors, will, in the end, be able to declare the Gaza action a victory for their cause. Such an outcome would be the flowering fruit of an Iranian intervention in Palestinian politics that dates back decades.

The internecine Palestinian struggle began in 1988, in the early days of the first intifada, when the upstart Hamas organization began brazenly to circulate bayanat, or leaflets, in direct competition with Arafat's Fatah for leadership of the struggle against Israel. The tension between Hamas and Fatah grew steadily, until it reached its zenith with the June 2007 Gaza coup, during which Hamas took control of buildings, roads, and the media.

Public discussion of the Hamas-Fatah struggle for domination of the Palestinian cause has been flaccid. Academic analysis has been virtually non-existent. It should therefore come as no surprise that Iran's significant role in exacerbating the conflict is all but unknown.


In 1979, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini succeeded in ousting the Shah from power and launched Iran's Islamic Revolution, Khomeini had Fatah leader Yasir Arafat to thank, at least in part. While Khomeini was still in exile in France, Arafat's Lebanon-based guerrilla network, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), aided his cause by providing military training and weapons. Indeed, the first members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is now the elite military force under whose auspices the country's nuclear program is being managed, were recipients of Arafat's largesse. In a show of appreciation for Arafat's support, Khomeini closed the Israeli embassy in Tehran, handed the keys over to Arafat, and flew a Palestinian flag overhead. The building became an official PLO entity, complete with an ambassador.

The honeymoon did not last long. During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, the Palestinians threw their support behind Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and Khomeini rejected Arafat's attempts to mediate between the two countries. But it was Arafat's 1988 decision at the United Nations to call for peace talks with Israel that ultimately led to the total unraveling of the relationship. In 1989, Khomeini's successor, supreme leader Ali Khame-nei, denounced Arafat as "a traitor and an idiot."

One of the factors contributing to Arafat's decision to embrace negotiations after decades of launching terrorist attacks against the Jewish state was the outbreak in 1987 of the first intifada, the violent Palestinian resistance effort in the territories held by the Jewish state. At the time, Arafat was based in Tunisia, to which he had been exiled after being ousted from his perch in Lebanon in 1982. As the uprising spread, he ordered Palestinians loyalists in the territories to take control of the broad spectrum of groups comprising the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising. But he found himself unable to manage the situation from a distance of 1,500 miles. Members of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood created a breakaway organization called Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), whose acronym was Hamas. By February 1988, Hamas began dropping its leaflets challenging Arafat's authority. Thereafter, the two groups engaged in a propaganda war for the loyalty of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. Each offered competing guidance, and sought to claim credit for inspiring and leading the uprising.

In an effort to retake the initiative during an emergency meeting of the Palestine National Council later in 1988, Arafat recognized General Assembly resolution 181, passed in 1947, which mandated the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. He soon called for peace talks based on other UN resolutions.

The West rushed to begin a direct "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians. Almost overnight, the PLO and Fatah were treated as though they constituted a makeshift government. At the same time, Hamas took the place of Fatah as the leading edge of the openly violent, openly rejectionist resistance, with its primary, indeed its only, stated aim being the destruction of Israel and Israel's replacement with a rigidly Islamic Palestine.

Hamas's intransigent approach was clearly more in synch with Iran. The mullahs quickly understood this and reached out to the new group. In December 1990, Hamas leaders paid an official visit to Iran, along with other rejectionist groups, for a conference in support of the ongoing intifada.

Once U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations enshrined Arafat as the West's only interlocutor in the Palestinian camp, Iran steadily increased its support for Hamas. As early as 1992, Arafat complained that Iran had provided some $30 million to the rival group, in effect corroborating a report in the Lebanese magazine Al-Shira that Iran had been doling out some $10 million a year to Hamas in funds from oil sales.

After Arafat became a party to the 1993 Oslo accords, signed on the White House lawn with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, his relations with Iran worsened further. In December 1994, hundreds of Iranian demonstrators occupied the PLO embassy in Tehran, destroying property and condemning Arafat as the "biggest collaborator with Israel and the United States." The mullahs were careful to distance themselves from the incident. But around the same time, Iran began openly to offer support to PLO members still in exile in Tunisia, from which Arafat had returned in glory to the West Bank, if they would maintain their opposition to Arafat. A 1995 report in the Independent, a British newspaper, claimed Iran had backed an attempt to assassinate Arafat. Other hazy reports from the region said Iran was training Hamas members in redoubts in Sudane, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

The Clinton administration recognized the threat that Iran posed to the peace process through its support for Hamas and other terrorist groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hizballah. International financial aid, weapons, and military training were lavished upon the PA in an attempt to strengthen it, and Iran came under increased sanctions. Indeed, the 1995 U.S. trade embargo on Iran and the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) were designed in part to weaken Iranian support for Arafat's enemies.

In an effort to humiliate Arafat and disrupt the Oslo process, Hamas had inaugurated a wave of suicide bombings inside Israel in 1994 — a form of terrorism perfected by the Iranian-backed Hizballah, which had used car bombs as an effective terror weapon in Lebanon in the 1980s. There is evidence that Hamas adopted the technique as a result of Hizballah training. Mohammed Hafez of the United States Institute of Peace says that when Israel deported 415 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad activists to Lebanon in 1992, these Palestinian exiles received support and training from Hizballah. In the words of Michael Horowitz, a scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, "Hizballah was the hub from which suicide tactics spread to the Palestinians and other groups."

Suicide bombing quickly became Hamas's preferred tactic of terrorizing Israel. Moreover, every time Hamas carried out an attack on Israeli soil, it sent a signal that the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority at best did not speak for all Palestinians, and at worst had no ability to exert control over its own people. Prompted and armed by Washington and Jerusalem, the PA cracked down on Hamas and PIJ, carrying out mass arrests of their activists (though many would quickly be released).

The two factions continued to fight for the hearts and minds of the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. Support for the PA dwindled rapidly on the streets of the West Bank and Gaza during the late 1990's, as Palestinians grew frustrated with the fact that billions of dollars in international aid were disappearing into the pockets of Arafat and his cronies. All the while, Hamas improved its standing by maintaining its steadfast opposition to the Oslo peace process, and by waging its savage campaign of violence against the Jewish state. More and more Palestinians came to believe that, in contrast to Fatah, Hamas was fighting for the Palestinian cause. That it was doing so with Iranian money did not appear to be a concern to the majority of Palestinians.


In the late summer of 2000, the Camp David II talks, designed to bridge the gap on several thorny outstanding issues dividing the Palestinians and Israelis, broke down when Arafat rejected a dramatically generous Israeli land-for-peace offer that went far beyond any previous concessions. Rather than continuing to negotiate, Arafat elected to launch the war against Israel that he called the "al-Aqsa intifada." The fact that he chose violence over continued negotiations is likely a reflection of the fact that by this point, the Hamas approach to the conflict had begun resonating far more powerfully among Palestinians. By his own admission, Arafat — a secular Marxist-Leninist by training and inclination — finally surrendered to the Islamist agenda. As he said to Iranian President Mohammed Khatami: "We chose the way that . . . Muslims have entrusted to us." He named his violent assault on Israel after the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest site, and exhorted Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join forces with Fatah's manifold paramilitary groups. Those groups included the newly formed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — an Islamist subsidiary of Fatah that had clearly been modeled on Hamas.

Iran supported Arafat's decision. According to U.S. intelligence, Iran provided funding to the Brigades, "mostly through Hizballah." Zakariya Zubeidi, one of the Brigades' West Bank leaders, confirmed the connection:

Without the help of our brothers in Hizballah, we could not have continued our struggle. They give us money and weapons. We coordinate our military operations.

Unambiguous proof of Iran's new alliance with Arafat came in early 2002, when Israel captured the Karine A, a Hizballah ship in the Red Sea bearing 50 tons of Iranian-supplied weapons on its way to Gaza. Israeli sources suggested that the shipment was the work of Imad Mughniyeh, Hizballah's operations chief, who coordinated closely with the Iranians.

Though Iranian funding for Arafat's paramilitary operations appeared to indicate an overall thaw in ties between Fatah and Iran, Fatah continued to lose ground to Hamas in the court of Palestinian public opinion. Amidst the gruesome cycle of Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli reprisals, Hamas found that its attacks against Israel had the ancillary benefit of weakening Arafat. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon punished the Palestinian Authority for nearly every Palestinian attack on Israel, even when Arafat's men were not responsible for the specific assault. The more Hamas bloodied Israel, the harder the Israelis pounded the Palestinian Authority. Within months, Arafat found himself trapped in his Ramallah presidential compound surrounded by Israeli tanks while the rest of his Palestinian Authority infrastructure was reduced to rubble.

With the PA in shambles, Arafat's Fatah could no longer provide what few government services it had dribbled out to the disgusted masses in Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas's dawa, or outreach network, picked up the slack by providing food, education, and other vital services. At the same time, Hamas began to encroach on territory once unquestionably controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Tribes, families, and clans loyal to Hamas fought openly with those loyal to Fatah. As the mainstream media filed story after tired story about Israeli-Palestinian violence, internecine Palestinian skirmishes grew increasingly common and went mostly unnoticed.

When Arafat died in November 2004, he left a yawning vacuum. The territories were in disarray. None of the Fatah leaders — and especially Abbas, the heir apparent — seemed to know how to assert leadership. Hamas itself was also in flux. The Israelis had launched a campaign of targeted assassination that forced many of the group's leaders underground. Hamas's political office, based in Syria, assumed increased prominence, while the group's infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza shrank. Hamas increasingly appeared to be run from abroad, and the close relationship between Iran and Syria suggested that Hamas had become entirely dependent on Iran for its succor.

At around this time, Saudi Arabian funding for Hamas dried up. A rash of domestic terror incidents inside the kingdom had forced the ruling family to reconsider its monetary support for Islamist terrorist infrastructure. This was painful for the Islamist group. While the exact figures are difficult, if not impossible, to find, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that in 2003 Hamas received $12 million annually from Saudi Arabia — about one quarter of its total annual budget.

The Saudi cutoff provided Iran with an opportunity to increase its hold. Iranian funding increased over the next two years while Hamas continued to fill the void left by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. According to an article on the website of al-Jazeera, "Iran is known to have given $120 million to Hamas" over the past three years.

After Israel completed its disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2005, local elections were held in January 2006, and Hamas stunned Fatah by scoring a landslide victory. In response, the United States imposed sanctions to ensure that no Western aid dollars for Palestinians would be run through Hamas's hands. As the West, following the American lead, threw its support behind Fatah, a Hamas spokesman confirmed that Iran "was prepared to cover" the group's "entire deficit." During a 2006 visit to Tehran by Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh, Iran pledged $250 million in aid to compensate for the Western boycott.

The standoff between Hamas and Fatah continued through June 2007, when Hamas launched the brutal military offensive that toppled Fatah in Gaza. Within weeks, Fatah intelligence sources were openly accusing Iran of funding the coup and training the fighters. "It was," according to Tawfiq Tirawi, "a joint program with Iran."


While the stated goal put forward by Israel's leaders for their incursion into Gaza in the first week of 2009 was merely to make it more difficult for Hamas to fire missiles at Israel, the fate of the Palestinian Authority was clearly on their minds as well. So long as Hamas rules Gaza and can use it as a base for anti-Israel violence, it will have an effective veto over any peace initiative. The tacit support the Israeli offensive received from Egypt, which views Hamas and Iran as a threat to regional stability, illustrates as well how the internecine Palestinian conflict has mushroomed into an international crisis.

Hamas's reckless decision to risk a new confrontation with Israel cannot be understood without taking the full measure of Iran's role in nurturing, training, sustaining, financing, and perhaps directing the group's actions. As the Obama administration begins its tenure with the intention of bringing new energy and determination to Middle East diplomacy, it would be folly for the new President and his team to assume that restraining Israel from measures of self-defense like the recent incursion into Gaza will aid their efforts.

Until there is some resolution of the conflict within the Palestinian body politic, there will be nothing to discuss, primarily because there is and will be no legitimate interlocutor on the Palestinian side. And if Hamas, with the backing of Iran, finally emerges victorious in its twenty-year effort to be the defining force of Palestinian nationalism, it will have no interest in serving as that interlocutor, no matter what Obama and the West might do or say or promise. If the past two decades are any indication, a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority will, instead, openly act as the vanguard for Iran's dogged determination to see Israel (in the phrase of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) "wiped off the face of the earth."

Jonathan Schanzer, a former intelligence analyst at the U.S. Treasury, is deputy director of the Jewish Policy Center and the author of Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. This article appeared in Commentary Magazine February 2009. It is archived at

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 25, 2009.

This was written by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410704498&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull


The editors of the BMJ (British Medical Journal)'s widely read print and Internet editions have declared that they will "ignore" all "orchestrated e-mail campaigns" related to politics, and have just published an article strongly criticizing the "pro-Israel lobby" for using this weapon in the form of "pornographic," "abusive" and "obscene" attacks — many by people "who have never read the original articles" they comment on.

Fiona Godlee and Tony Delamothe of the London-based general medical journal (www.bmj.com) write in an editorial that appears on Wednesday that such nasty e-mail messages and letters will be regarded as "not worth the paper they're written on" and suggesting that "authors, editors, publishers, advertisers and shareholders do the same."

Five articles appear in the latest issue; one is by Karl Sabbagh, who describes himself as "the British son of a Palestinian father [who] has been the target of pressure from supporters of Israel's policies against the Palestinians."

He writes about nearly 2,000 "hostile e-mails" about an 2004 BMJ article criticizing the "systematic violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention by the Israeli army in Gaza," by Derek Summerfield, an honorary senior lecturer at London's Institute of Psychiatry and a teaching associate at Oxford University.

Sabbagh says that most of the pro-Israel e-mails were generated by HonestReporting, a Web site that "claims to be the largest Israel media advocacy group in the world."

Yet there was no evidence that any of the authors of these e-mails had actually read the BMJ article they were criticizing, Sabbagh maintains.

In his analysis of the e-mails nearly five years after the Summerfield article appeared, Sabbagh concluded "that the BMJ was the target of an orchestrated campaign to silence criticism of Israel.

"There is nothing intrinsically wrong with organizing an effective lobby group," writes Sabbagh, "but the ultimate goal of some of the groups that lobby for Israel or against Palestine is apparently the suppression of views they disagree with."

Sabbagh also charged that as a result of another pro-Israel campaign, the International Diabetes Foundation recently apologized for an article on the difficulties faced by diabetic Palestinians in Gaza, and the editor of the foundation's Diabetes Voice on-line journal resigned. He also describes a similar experience in 1981 when World Medicine, a popular medical magazine, published an article criticizing then-prime minister Menachem Begin, and says the pro-Israel campaign "led to the dismissal of Michael O'Donnell as editor and the closure of the magazine."

"Such campaigns cannot be allowed to succeed — not so much because they are wrong about the issues — but because their ultimate aim is censorship and suppression by means of intimidation," Sabbagh concludes.

Writer and broadcaster O'Donnell, who was editor of World Medicine for 15 years, writes in the new BMJ issue that the British journal should be "applauded" for publishing Sabbagh's analysis.

"The best way to blunt the effectiveness of this type of bullying is to expose it to public scrutiny," he wrote. He added that some of the hostile and even disgusting letters he received were addressed to his children.

O'Donnell, who identifies himself as being in a family "linked harmoniously by marriage to an Israeli Jewish family that has contributed to the political and cultural development of Israel," says most of the messages came from the US.

British journalist Jonathan Freedland, who describes himself as "a trustee of Index on Censorship, which campaigns for freedom of expression" and whose "mother was born in Palestine in 1936," suggests the BMJ "grow a thicker skin.

In today's wired world, he says, wading into any topic of controversy triggers a deluge of e-mails. "It simply comes with the territory... The harsh reality is that what Sabbagh described as a rare, exceptional event is increasingly common — and clearly not confined to the Israel-Palestine conflict."

Freedland, who is Jewish, added that "there is a strong desire to see the pressure from pro-Israel activists as somehow unique. But each of the elements Sabbagh cites — demands for resignations, the enlisting of non-readers of the publication involved — have been present in these other cases.

"True, Israel-Palestine probably generates more venom than most topics, but that is hardly one-way traffic. In January 2009, anti-Israel activists forced their way into the offices of the pro-Israel lobby group, the British Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM), damaging computer equipment, cutting phone lines and throwing documents out of the window.

"True, BICOM is a partisan lobbying organization, not an independent medical journal like the BMJ. But that episode surely represents a rather more direct attempt at silencing a point of view than sending nasty e-mails," Freeland says. Prof. Elihu Richter, a public health expert and head of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine's Genocide Prevention Program, told The Jerusalem Post: "My own direct personal experience with the BMJ is that it does have a bias against things Jewish and Israeli."

By contrast with the "repetitive opinion pieces the BMJ has published by Summerfield and others, it has rejected quality papers from Israeli researchers, including one on the fine trauma care Hadassah provides for all, including Palestinians, for the flimsiest of pretexts," he says.

"The problems seen with the BMJ are also seen in Britain's other leading general medical journal, The Lancet, whose editor, Richard Horton, published a report on Gaza years ago that was full of misinformation and distortions based hearsay... and invokes double standards, includes mis- and disinformation, and implicitly accepts a lower standard for the value of human life of Israelis than it does for his own," Richter continues.

He called Horton and Godlee "the Ferdinand and Isabella of medical journals" (these Spanish rulers in 1492 banished the Jews from the country).

The new BMJ issue also published an article by Prof. Mark Clarfield, chief of geriatrics at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, who was invited to publish four postings from his own blog about the Second Lebanon War in the BMJ.

"Despite my attempts to concentrate in the blog on medical matters, a number of responses actually had little or nothing to do with the content of my postings. Some were vituperative, blaming Israel for all kinds of purported war crimes and misdemeanors.

"Curiously, these authors never seemed to address the fact that Israel was responding to the breaking of a cease-fire that had just preceded eight years of unprovoked missile attacks on its southern and sovereign territory," Clarfield says.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some trenchant comments by readers.

21. Or Perhaps a "Medical" Journal should STAY OUT OF POLITICS ???

What is the British Medical Journal doing writing about the Palestinain issue? Do we have to read an article to know that a medical journal's proper role is not taking sides in a contentious political issue? Telling a medical journal to stick to medicine and avoid advocacy in politics is entirely appropriate. BMJ's editors only expose their own hypocrisy. And the attacks by Muslims on the slightest perceived insult are a 100 times more. Supporters of Israel are nto doing enough, not by a long shot.
Jonathon Moseley — USA (02/27/2009 13:13)

5. Myopic Leftists spouting political statements behind veil of "academia"

Is this really what the academic world has become? They feel the freedom to express their opinions, make racist comments and even freely libel one without proof because they represent the self-proclaimed "free thinking academia"?? This follows the same path as both the UN and journalists become more subjective, against their own rules and mandates. Academia should be one thing if not anything — objective, and the Brits lost this a long time ago. In the statement, BMJ insists it will not print political editorials....AFTER receiving responses on their previous political editorial. Such facism!
William — (02/25/2009 22:16)

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 25, 2009.

This was written by Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff, and it appeared today in The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410706632&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull


The UN Relief and Works Agency is systematically providing political cover to Hamas, a senior government official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, lashing out at the agency for passing a Hamas letter to US Sen. John Kerry when he visited Gaza last week.

UNRWA head Karen AbuZayd gave the letter to Kerry, along with other material, during his brief visit Thursday to the Gaza Strip. The letter, written by a Hamas Foreign Ministry adviser and later disavowed by the Islamist group, was addressed to US President Barack Obama.

Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, handed the unopened letter to the US Consulate in Jerusalem. Kerry told Fox News that he never read the letter because it was sandwiched among other promotional papers the UN had given him.

"Unfortunately, there is a pattern here," the senior Israeli official said.

"That no one finds it strange that UNRWA, whose mandate is humanitarian, is the vehicle through which Hamas passes messages on to the US, just shows where UNRWA is at."

Furthermore, the official said, UNRWA was lobbying around the world for governments to drop the international community's three preconditions to talking with Hamas — that it recognize Israel, disavow terrorism and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements.

It is not clear how this, or calls by UNRWA for an "independent international investigation" into alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza, fell within the organization's mandate, the official added.

UNRWA spokesman Sammy Mshasha denied the allegations, saying the Israeli official should first check his facts.

It was UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself, during his visit to Gaza, who called an investigation into IDF actions in Gaza, Mshasha said.

As to the overall charge that UNRWA was speaking to international governments on behalf of Hamas, Mshasha said, "We are not in the business of supporting one side over the other. We are in the business of supporting Palestinian refugees and helping them."

He denied UNRWA was lobbying on any party's behalf, saying the organization "is a specialized agency of the UN, mandated to aid and assist the Palestinian refugees in its five areas of operation."

Regarding the Hamas letter given to Kerry, Mshasha said it was dropped at the gate of UNRWA's office and had the seal of the Palestinian Authority.

"We just delivered it to the intended party. We did not open it. We are not in the business of opening other people's mail. We did not know the content," he said.

UNRWA has also come under criticism from Israeli officials who say it is parroting the Hamas line.

The senior Israeli official said that during Operation Cast Lead, UNRWA adopted Hamas's position of calling for a cease-fire without any preconditions, such as an end to the weapons smuggling and the missile fire on Israel.

"They just echoed Hamas's positions," the official said.

Likewise, the official said that the organization was very critical of Israel's actions during the war. At one point, UNRWA spokesmen indicated that at least 40 refuge-seeking civilians were killed on January 6 in a UNRWA school facility in Jabalya.

Christopher Gunness, the UNRWA spokesman, said on January 7 in an interview on the Democracy Now radio program, "Well, first of all, for the attack at Jabalya, we said yesterday 30 confirmed fatalities and 55 injured, including 15 critically. Very sadly, overnight, 10 people passed away.

"The fatality figure has now risen from 30 to 40," he said then. "The people in the compound, over 1,300 people — by the way, some of those, many of them had been told by the Israeli army to leave their houses and move to a safe place. Of course, Gaza is unique in being a war with a fence around it.

"But they nonetheless came — frightened, terrified, vulnerable — to our center. They were coming to what they thought was a neutral United Nations shelter, and then the rest is history — 40 people killed."

According to the Israeli official, this was an example of how UNRWA routinely and uncritically adopted Hamas' narrative and claims of casualties.

According to the IDF, only three civilians and eight to 10 Hamas gunmen were killed near the school. The IDF said that an IDF unit that came under fire from a Hamas cell near the school returned fire. No shell hit the school.

The UN issued a revised report earlier this month admitting that as the result of a "clerical error," it was mistaken when it reported that the compound itself was shelled. Gunness has told the Post in the past that UNRWA never stated that the shell hit the school, but rather always spoke in more general terms of the casualties in the area.

Mshasha said the charges leveled by the Israeli official "undermines our work and makes it that much more difficult."

This type of criticism "creates the impression among the public at large that UNRWA will take sides. UNRWA does not take sides. It delivers humanitarian aid. It will be a beautiful day in Gaza when we turn our attention away from immediate humanitarian aid to human development," Mshasha said.

UNRWA provides 900,000 Palestinian refugees with basic food supplies.

"We do not support terrorism. We do not condone it," Mshasha said, adding that UNRWA has spoken out against the Palestinian rocket attacks on civilians living in southern Israel.

"It is in the same breath that we condemn the Israeli army actions that violate international law," he said.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by Steven Plaut, February 25, 2009.

This appeared in the Jewish Press


Freedom of speech in Israel just took another bullet. The Leftist First Amendment, under which anti-Israel leftists and Arabs are entitled to the protection of freedom of speech for everything they say but know one else is, made a comeback this week. The Israeli dual court system also struck back.

Neria Ofan was convicted this week of racism by a Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. He was convicted of driving with an insensitive bumper sticker on his car. This is not a spoof. It really happened.

Ofan's felony? Ofan, who lives in the West Bank, had a bumper sticker on his car that reads, "Where there are No Arabs, there is No Terror." That, fatwa-ed the court's judge Shulamit Dotan, constitutes racism. Another Jew was similarly convicted in criminal court six months back for wearing a Tee shirt containing the same slogan. You can see the bumper sticker in Hebrew just below here, but if you do not hear from me again for several years, it is because my posting it here was also deemed "racism" and I was sent off to prison to learn sensitivity.

Now what does NOT constitute racism or incitement in post-democratic Israel? Arab students chanting "Death to the Jews" does not. Waving PLO and Hamas banners on campuses does not. We know that merely calling for Jews to be exterminated and for Israel to be annihilated also does not. The Supreme Court ruled just before the last election that two Arab parties whose platforms call for Israel's annihilation should be allowed to run and to sit in Israel's parliament. We know that Holocaust revisionism is protected speech, or at least that is what an Arab woman judge in Nazareth court wrote in one of her better known verdicts. We know that cheering on terrorist murders of Jewish children is not racist. After all, there are scores of leftist faculty members at Israeli universities who do THAT all the time.

Dotan was one of the judges who had earlier "convicted" Moshe Feiglin of "sedition" because he had blocked a traffic intersection in the 1990s with a group of protesters against Oslo. Blocking traffic intersections for other things, such as for the demands of the Histadrut or when students want lower tuition, is democratic and permitted. Among Dotan's more notorious acts of bias was this: she was the lead judge in the trial over the indictment of Israel's ex-President Moshe Katsav, accused of sexual molestation and rape. Except that it is looking more and more like Katsav is innocent and the prosecutor is right now proposing that the case be thrown out (see this). It seems that Judge Shula held deliberations on the punishment sentence to be handed to Katsav even before his trial began!! See this.

As for that slogan, "Where there are no Arabs, there is no Terror," it is very close to being an empirically verifiable statement. One can, I suppose, find terror here and there in places where there are no Arabs, like in Sri Lanka. But racism? I mean, if the court had accused the driver of perpetrating a drive-by slight empirical exaggeration, perhaps it might have a case.

It actually turns out that the slogan and bumper stickers were first the invention of an operator of a bed and breakfast on the Golan Heights, who handed them out during the 2000 intifada violence in the Galilee. Its point was that the Galilee is dangerous, but the Golan, where there are virtually no Arabs, is safe, so come on up for the weekend.

The sticker was then picked up by others, perhaps with a different agenda.

I personally prefer the bumper sticker that reads, "Where there are No Leftists there is no Treason," and I am prepared to go to prison for having one on my car if anyone can get one printed up and sent to me.

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 Hands Fiasco, February 24, 2009.

This was written by Stan Goodenough who is a "Mayflower descendant; an 18-year resident of the State of Israel; husband to a wonderful wife; father to five extra-ordinary children; a journalist by profession; and a Bible-believer by God's mercy and grace." He is editor of Jerusalem Watchman. Read him on www.jnewswire.com

This article was published January 12, 2009 in Jerusalem Watchman


More than any other Israeli, State President Shimon Peres has promoted — and cajoled and bullied his countrymen into following — what he insists is the route to peace: a "peace process" that has served only to dangerously weaken his country territorially and divide it internally in the face of its ever-stronger and more determined Muslim foe.

Joint Nobel Peace Prize winner with the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the thankfully-now-dead PLO terror chieftain Yasser Arafat, Peres has doggedly refused ever to countenance the possibility that his pathway to peace is delusional. He has furiously, almost violently, brushed aside arguments and the reasoning of those of his countrymen who cannot support his approach to the conflict with the Arabs.

Ever since "Oslo" in 1993 — the agreement spawned by illegal meetings held under Peres' direction — the evidence of its weakness and failure has been glaringly and painfully evident: Israel has no partner for peace. Surrendering territory to the Arabs only leads to more terrorism and more violence. Islam is at the heart of the problem. Its adherents believe they are destined to eradicate the Jewish state and wipe out its people — once and for all.

Dismissing all these concerns with a wave of his hand, Peres has plowed ahead and continues to pour his influence and his resources into trying to secure a lasting peace, against all the glaring evidence and proof.

Over the years I have grown accustomed to seeing and hearing the arrogant self-assurance with which he routinely disparages his critics. He even told a Jewish woman who demonstrated against Oslo that she should leave Israel and "go back to where [she] came from."

But the Peres I watched give 17 minutes of his time for an interview on Sky News in the middle of last week was, by contrast, anything but his normally cocky self. Though he made some really strong and good points.

Repeatedly wringing his hands as he discussed the ongoing Gaza operation and the toll it was exacting on human life, the president stressed that this was "the first time in history that a war of this nature is taking place.

"A nation under siege" is standing "against a group of terrorists that don't respect any norms, any laws."

What Israel has had to experience during these past years, Peres said, was "very hard" to show on television.

"I can tell you, for example, that we have to keep almost a million people in shelters. You don't see it on television that we have had to stop our schools; children are not going to study; that during this morning, already, we have close to eight or ten missiles over our heads."

Sounding incredulous, almost bewildered, Peres said that Israel "can hardly understand what are those people fighting [for]; why are they shooting."

From Israel's standpoint "we left Gaza completely. Not only that; we made a supreme effort to withdraw our settlements by force, and handed over an independent Gaza with all the passages open, with all the commerce..." So, "what do they want? Why are they shooting? Why are they firing?"

It's not clear where Peres was when right-thinking Israelis were warning, before the "disengagement," that the Arabs would only use the abandoned territory to attack Israel.

Sounding helpless, the eloquent elder-statesman said "there are many things I would like to see differently: But simply, I never heard from anybody any suggestion how to stop it. It's very easy to criticize; but what can a nation do to stop when you find yourself under such an unusual, terrifying attack?"

"You know about the children. It's unheard of to use children as a shelter for arms; to use mosques as an arsenal for missiles; to disguise terrorists as sick people in the hospital. And we have concrete information from this particular school — they shot mortars against us. I mean, we have to stop them; and we warned them; We say: "Don't do it." Before we bomb any place that there may be civilians, we phone them personally, and we say "leave the home."

"Now what is our choice? To surrender?"

Peres bemoaned the way Israel is accused of being "disproportionate" in its response to eight years of missile fire.

"[T]o Israel you cannot talk about proportions. They don't have any proportions; they don't have any measurements, and nobody can explain what are their aims; what is their outlook. So I mean, no nation has ever had such a confrontation; you can't compare it with anyone else."

Asked whether a ceasefire was one of Israel's aims, Peres said, "It's not a ceasefire, but shall I say a cease of terror" that we need.

"It's not that we started to fire against the Palestinians and they fired against us. The problem is to end the terror. We never started it; we shall never start to shoot. We don't need any urge."

"I want to tell you sincerely," the veteran peacenik stressed, again clasping his hands. "We don't want to extend the war. We don't want to prolong the war. We don't have any territorial ambitions. We're interested to bring an end to it. But to bring an end not only to the present situation but to bring an end to terror. ... They force us to reply. It's not our choice. It's the lack of choice that guides our lives."

Interviewer Eamonn Holmes tried to squeeze an apology out of Peres for the deaths of Arab non-combatants in the IDF operation: "People want you to say sorry for the deaths of those innocent civilians and children yesterday."

"I am sorry for all innocent death. There are innocent deaths all over the place. It's also an innocent impossible situation. A country cannot live like this. Let me say, really: If it would happen in London, you wouldn't wait a minute. ... We are the same human beings. But from far away you can serve as judges, I don't complain. We are not judges. We are victims. And we have to stop it and nobody [has] suggested [another solution]."

Peres made some more strong points:

Asked why Israel did not use diplomacy to deal with the Gaza issue, he explained that it takes two to tango — or to talk.

"For diplomacy you need that the other side will accept diplomacy. They don't accept diplomacy. ... But just by diplomacy — unfortunately — it cannot be solved."

Hitting at the bizarre and telling global viewpoint that charges Israel — a nation that has made unprecedented overtures and gestures for peace with its enemies — with warmongering and expansionist ambitions, Peres said cuttingly:

"We are not so trigger-happy. We are not so enthusiastic to see our soldiers, in the winter days and nights, in Gaza. They don't have any purpose which is of a territorial or political need [to be in there]. No."

He also made it perfectly clear that his country understood that it needs to use force, and that force works:

"You know there was another gentleman in the north by the name of Nasrallah [Hizb'allah's leader]. He also started by firing bombs and missiles against us and a war broke out [in 2006], at the cost of the lives of a thousand people. And then he stood up and said: If I had known that Israel would react so seriously I would not have started this.

"We want the Hamas people to understand that there is a cost to what they are doing. And they can save each of their children, all of their women, by not shooting.

"We don't ask for any submission. We don't ask for any surrender. [We ask] simply [that they will] stop shooting. And we cannot accept that they will shoot and then that we won't shoot. We are entitled to have security like anybody else."

The interviewer then came close to the very heart of the matter.

"But, Mr President, surely it is not as simple as that. Hamas is not just an army of force. Hamas is an ideology. How do you bomb ...?"

Peres drove in hard and fast: "What is their ideology? What is their ideology? Would you know?"

Holmes squirmed to avoid the question: "But it is harder for you to tackle...."

Peres pressed him: "No, no. What is their ideology? They cannot say that we occupy Gaza because we stopped the occupation. We left it completely. So what is their ideology?"

SKY: "Well..."

PERES: "I am not arguing with you..."

SKY: "Yes." PERES: "I am trying to understand."

Bang! Bang! There it was. The journalist could not answer. And Peres himself could not, or would not, say it.

For Hamas' ideology is pure antisemitism and the total eradication of Israel and of all Jews.

And this is not some deeply hidden secret whispered behind closed Arab doors. Hamas and all Muslims who agree with their Koran-centered worldview, shout it from the rooftops. Literally. As do their supporters — including those Floridians who chanted "Nuke, nuke Israel" at a rally last week.

But neither the leftist Israeli president nor the leftist British interviewer could bring themselves to spit it out.

Tacking for a more comfortable issue, Holmes aired the widely-punted notion that Israel is afraid of the incoming Obama administration:

"What is your time scale in this? You've got Barack Obama waiting to become the president of America. People say ... you only listen to America; you only listen to the Bush administration. Is it important for you to finish whatever you are going to do before President Obama is inaugurated?"

But the Israeli ducked the question, choosing to rather spell out how his nation has approached the conflict with the Arabs.

"The ideology of Israel is peace with the Palestinians, and ready to pay the price for it, as we paid the Jordanians and the Egyptians. That is our ideology."

For Peres, this price has included great chunks of his tiny historic homeland and promises of a whole lot more, including parts of its ancient capital and its holiest site — the Temple Mount. Israel has also paid in the blood of so many of its people who have been killed as a direct result of what can be called the Peres Process. And Israel has paid by weakening itself geographically and by driving deep piles into its national unity.

As far as the Arab side was concerned, he continued, "they can stop endangering their children and women. It doesn't make sense. To put rockets in the kindergarten. To put shells in the rooms of the children. It never happened [that others would use human shields in this way]!

Sky scurrilously accused Israel of doing the same, then tried to rapidly move on:

"But Mr President you're doing the same. People are seeing it the same way. Do you see an end to...?"

Peres struck: "Just a minute. No! What are we doing in the same way? Sorry. We never do it. We never did it!"

Holmes tried again. "In the UN..."

But Peres wouldn't let him. "No, no, please. Be careful. We never put children as shields. Did we ever put arms in kindergartens? NEVER!"

Homes fell into his own trap, coming to the defense of the heinous Arab practice and accusing Israel of deliberately targeting civilians. Others wouldn't — he strongly implied: "But the fact that they are using children as a shelter ... maybe there are other people who wouldn't attack because the children are there."

Then he added, lamely, "I am just portraying to you the image that is going around the world."

Peres didn't flinch. "Our problem is how to put an end to the firing against civilian life in Israel for no reason, day in, day out. If you have a good answer to it, it's okay.

While Israel has "due respect for public opinion ... we have to give an answer to the security of our people, and we don't want to hurt anybody in Gaza. We don't have any ambitions there, you must understand this. Our ambitions are not in Gaza."

And then this man who refuses to recognize and acknowledge the reality facing his nation waxed poetic.

"Our ambitions are in Israel. To see a blue sky; a safe day; without rockets and without missiles.

"To this simple answer one must give either an alternative or suggest something else."

Well, that's the same thing.

For years, Peres and Israel's other leftist leaders have refused to hear another alternative — to consider something else: That Israel's enemies hate her because she exists. That the enemies of the Jews hate them because they exist. That their hatred cannot be negotiated away or talked away or bartered away. It can only be blown away.

This is the brutal reality. And it is dictated by the Arab side. Is this finally breaking through, for Peres?

SKY: "Mr President ... Can you offer us any hope, any lifeline, that things will get better?"

His answer:

"If the terrorists will win, none of you and none of us will know a peaceful day. If they will learn the lesson, all of us and all of them will be ... victorious.

"I suggest to every free person to give a hand to bring an end to the most brutal, unbelievable, bloody craziness. I think it would be a victory for you and for me and for the Arabs and for everybody."

It would be a victory for reality, and for truth, is for sure.


hasn't this man done enough damage to Yisrael, already?

Israeli President Shimon Peres appealed Tuesday to the new Israeli Parliament to use its term to finalize the creation of Palestine in the historical heartland of the Jewish state.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the 18th Knesset, the leftist elder-statesman who more than any other Israeli official has facilitated the land-for-peace process that has so damaged Israel's security, urged Israel's lawmakers to 'complete negotiations with Palestinians during this term.'

"Distinguished Arab leaders" had assured him, he said, that a peace accord with the Palestinian Arabs would be regarded as a regional peace agreement in which Israel would be included.

Israel's president is a ceremonial figure and not part of the three-tiered Israeli government structure, which is comprised of Prime Minister and his government, the Knesset or Parliament, and the Supreme Court.

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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Posted by Paul Lademain, February 24, 2009.

This is from Molly at pelago2000@gmail.com


Re [Road 90] Does Israel have a right to exist? (see below)

Israelis should not ask this question ever again because it unnecessarily begs a negative answer from those who covet your lands. So stop begging for a beating. Unless, of course, you have a masochistic need to be bullied and reviled. If you don't stop re-opening this Pandora's Box, you will cut yourselves off at the knees. You must therefore approach such issues from a new direction.

Instead, you SHOULD be asking whether Saudi Arabia has any right to exist. So get up off your knees, stiffen your backs, and present the world with a new and different image of Israelis and Jews. Practice this question: Does Saudi Arabia have any right to exist? Then argue NO!

We like the sound of this question. Because it forces people to examine the means by which Saudi Arabia came into existence in 1932. Or, are you too young to consider asking such questions? If so, hit your history books! And not the ones written by self-soiling Jewish/Israeli seditionists.

OK, here's the answer: The tribal chief (Abdullah, of the Saud) who eventually persuaded the Brits to recognize him in 1932 as "monarch" of the new islamic state to be known as Saudi Arabia, used the same tactics against the native peoples of the Arabian Peninsula as were used by the thankfully-dead Egyptian terrorist, Yasser Arafat: terrorism; random attacks by masked and armed forces against entire villages. Women and children, those who were not fit for breeding and slavery, were butchered. Men were beheaded and tortured. Entire villages were sacked, much as is now the case in Africa. That's how Abdullah "The First" conquered the Arabian Peninsula. Abdullah persuaded the Brits that they were obliged to recognize his conquered lands as a "theocratic Islamic monarchy to be ruled in perpetuity by himself as king" with the argument that the Brits owed him this recognition because the British government had earlier ruled that Palestine would become a Jewish Homeland.

Remove your noses from your own navels and look up around you. There are plenty of facts for you people to use against those who enjoy bullying Jews. Now it's up to you people to stop asking silly questions about yourselves, and go after your tormenters. Learn history. Use it to your advantage!

Viva Israel — Molly

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 24, 2009.

First things first: mea culpa. In an atmosphere of pressure, longing to share to the maximum, I have made a handful of typos and small errors: perhaps four or five in the course of the past week. Most are quite minor, but even so, not consistent with my own professional standards. And so I apologize and thank those who caught errors, and also those who read past them. I must also ask your indulgence should this happen again.

Only one typo must be mentioned here. The e-mail addresses I provided yesterday for the two Congressional aides were incorrect. They are, properly: firstname.lastname@mail.house.gov. Working from habit, I inadvertently typed "org" in place of "gov."


Now, to the very problematic issues at hand, which seem to be coming "without end."

News has broken of the impending appointment of Chas W. Freeman Jr. to the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman, who was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989-1992, has an alarmingly, I will say viciously, negative and distorted attitude towards Israel.

In a speech for the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs in 2007, he said;

"American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs. For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel's American backers as against Israel itself...This makes the long-term escalation of terrorism against the United States a certainty, not a matter of conjecture." (emphasis added)

Elsewhere he said,

"...We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israel's efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab land for its colonists." (emphasis added)

On yet another occasion, he said:

"There will be no acceptance of Israel, by the Arabs or by the Muslims — including the Iranians, and the Indonesians, and others, if Israel does not find a way of coexisting peacefully with the other inhabitants of the land in which it has established itself... Demonstrably, Israel excels at war; sadly, it has shown no talent for peace... (emphasis added)

"..Tragically, despite all the advantages and opportunities Israel has had over the fifty-nine years of its existence, it has failed to achieve concord and reconciliation with anyone in its region, still less to gain their admiration or affection."


Commentator Melanie Phillips points out that Freeman even blamed Israel for 9/11. In 2006, he said:

"We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel's approach to managing its relations with the Arabs. Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home." (emphasis added)

She further cites Ed Lasky, an editor at The American Thinker, who terms Freeman "a de facto Saudi Ambassador to America" because of his promotion of the interests of Saudi Arabia. "He shares Board membership with executives from major multinationals with major markets in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world..."


As chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Freeman would have the major influence on the intelligence briefings presented to the president (remember the damage caused by the National Intelligence Estimate, the NIE, in 2007, which erroneously downplayed the dangers of Iran), and would be called upon often to give direct briefings to the President.

This is a matter of enormous gravity. And I see two reasons for concern. One is with regard to the damage Freeman can do. But the other is what is implied by the appointment of Freeman.

A president who seeks to maintain an Israel policy that is even passively benign (not out to hurt Israel) simply does not select someone like Freeman to the top intelligence post — someone like Freeman to depend upon for securing intelligence information.

Obama has exposed his true intentions to Israel here, and they are seriously malicious.

As Phillips concludes:

"....can anyone...doubt that the appointment by America's 44th President of Chas W Freeman as chairman of the NIC would be a stunning coup as a weapon in the armoury of the enemies of the Jewish people and the free world?"


It is not too late to stop this. The appointment has not yet been made. I want to urge everyone reading this to act, and to pass the word so others will as well. This is an instance where you can make a critical difference.

Freeman's appointment is not automatic, but must be passed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Members of that committee must hear about the outrage and fear American citizens are feeling at the prospect of Freedman as Chair of the National Intelligence Council.

Below you find names and contact information for key members of the committee.

Please, address them with courtesty, as they are not responsible for Obama's choice, and indeed, have the power to block that choice. Some of them are warmly predisposed to Israel.

Explain that this appointment would be detrimental to the true interests of the US and the Western world. Some of the reasons you can give:

* Freeman would seriously undermine support for the only democracy, and the bastion of Western values, in the Middle East.
* Israel is at the forefront of the fight against radical jihadism, which is of concern to all democracies, and should not be weakened, as Freeman would seek to do.
* Freeman's perceptions of Israel are badly skewed and dangerous.

As appropriate, you might use small portions of the quotes I provide above in making your case.

Please, take the time to reach out to all of them. And remember that, when possible, fax or phone is more effective.


Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Committee
Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fax: (202) 228-3954
For e-mail form: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.EmailMe

Christopher (Kit) Bond (R-MO) Vice Chair (important to reach)
Phone: (202) 224-5721
For e-mail form:

Others who are friends, and should hear from us:

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Phone: (202) 224-5251 Fax: (202) 224-6331
For e-mail form: http://hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Phone: 202-224-3521 Fax: 202-224-0103
For e-mail form:
http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction= ContactUs.ContactForm&CFID=6992675&CFTOKEN=44678780

Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Phone: 202-224-5754 Fax: 202-224-6008
For e-mail form:
http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction= ContactSenatorCoburn.Home

Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Phone: (202) 224-5623 Fax: (202) 228-1377
For e-mail form: http://bayh.senate.gov/contact/email/

Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Phone: (202) 224-4654 Fax: (202) 224-8858
For e-mail form: http://mikulski.senate.gov/Contact/contact.cfm

Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Phone: (202) 224-5344 Fax: (202) 224-1946
For e-mail form:

With thanks to Jeff D. of ZOA, here.


More to follow tomorrow.

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

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Posted by LS, February 24, 2009.

I think you will enjoy this read. It is from the San Diego TEAM Group and was sent to one of the professed professors in the Ethnic Studies Program at UCSD, Jose Fustes. As usual the Ethnic Studies Dept is condemning Israel. It hasn't an unkind word to say about Arab behavior.

It was also posted on the Ethnic Studies Department blog. In case you don't see it there. You may find some arguments to use (for those who will be attending their "panel" tomorrow night)." See
http://ethnicstudiesucsd.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/ statement-on-racial-violence-in-the-gaza-strip/#comments



All the sources that you rely on are indeed very biased and therefore unreliable by themselves, allocating as they do the majority of their time and resources to the Israel-Arab conflict, to the detriment of all the others. Additionally, their reliability regarding the facts has been proven time and again to be driven by their political agenda rather their declared mission (be it the protection and defense of Human Rights or Humanitarian Law). It is symptomatic that there are legions of organizations who all have "human rights", "peace" and "justice" in their name, when in fact they make a mockery of these lofty concepts by harping almost exclusively on Israel while ignoring the considerably worse offenses committed by every Arab country (to name only small portion of offenders worldwide). They follow the same logic you do: Israel must, by your definition, be a model student that is expected to respect all the rules, while all the others are allowed to literally get away with murder. Your double standard is sickening, and so is the way these unreliable organizations behave. But being the astute — if hopelessly biased — academic researcher that you are, you will of course ask for proof of what I'm saying, and that's easy: read their reports and draw a chart of their resource allocation to the Israeli-Arab conflict as opposed to the rest, and then add another chart on top of all the conflicts going on in the world at any given time, and you'll see the grotesque disproportion of resources obsessively allocated to the Middle East, while many areas in dire need of assistance remain wide empty spaces. It is beyond shameful, but your myopic obsession with Israel prevents you from seeing that dreadful big picture.

Yes, the United Nations and the European Union are equally partial and unreliable sources because they have abandoned a long time ago the neutrality and objectivity that the citizens of the world are entitled to expect from them. These organizations were not created for the sole benefit of the Palestinian people and for the exclusive bashing of Israel. By the content of their lopsided number of anti-Israel resolutions and the huge amount of subsidies given away without supervision to the Palestinian thugocracy, they have and are still indeed proving that they have long ago decided to side with the aggressor and blame the victim, instead of the other way around.

Don't distort what I wrote: I said that the Israeli Government (incl. the IDF), the Jerusalem Post, and Daniel Pipes are indeed more trustworthy sources than B'Tselem, Human Rights Watch, Haaretz, the Guardian, and all the other notoriously biased sources you listed as the ones you rely on, but I don't claim that they should be the only ones. Contrary to you who demonize the ones I mention above, I think that an objective researcher and analyst, which clearly you are not, would use all sources available, use his head and proceed with analytical precision to find the truth, not just rely on the worn-out propaganda clichés of the pro-Palestinian mythical and unsubstantiated "history". As for Palestinian sources themselves, they are notoriously unreliable, having shown time and again that facts are of no relevance when opposed to a good sloganeering opportunity (as illustrated in the famous Jenin hoax, followed later by the Mohammed Al Dura one). If you rely on these sources exclusively, you open yourself to blatant manipulation and lies. If you chose to be a willing dupe (i.e. you think you're smart, but you clearly are not), that is your privilege, but don't you dare demand of us that we do the same.

Now look who's using logical leaps and somersaults to make me say what I never said. I am not in the least interested in assessing whether every other department at UCSD is guilty of racism because that is not the issue. Nice try at obfuscating my point, José, but no cigar. What is troubling here is your pathological obsession with Palestinian "victims" and your blatant ignorance of far worse, and lethal, treatment of far larger segments of population, if only in Africa alone. You and your department claim to address the scourge of racism in the world, but in fact all you do is relentlessly bash Israel. You ignore real racism everywhere else under the excuse that you need to focus on an inexistent Israeli racism. You are the racist, on two counts: you couldn't care less about the fate of black Africans, and you loathe anything Israeli in a way that any bona fide racist would envy. You are misappropriating time and resources to satisfy your personal agenda/vendetta/pathology. I believe the department of Ethnic Studies would be well inspired to remove you from your bully pulpit and take measures against such blatant abuse.

Then you say that "all these conflicts in Africa deserve as much media attention and action as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict". No, they don't. You completely missed my point: they don't deserve as much media attention, they deserve FAR MORE media attention. The Israeli-Arab conflict is, in terms of casualties, a tiny coda on the landscape of world human suffering, but your myopia makes it the most important one. You should be at the forefront of that fight, but instead you are betraying it. As for it being "unfortunate that Obama didn't appoint several African envoys as well", what would that achieve? So you can easily get off the hook because it's not your problem any more, and you can go back to your favorite occupation of ranting and foaming at the mouth against Israel? That's a copout if I've ever seen once.

As for Mr. Pal Ahluwalia, the Department's "specialist on African studies who has written extensively about all the conflicts you mention", how nice to hear that he exists. How utterly strange then that the Department's blog is filled with your ranting and we haven't heard anything about Arab racism in Darfur or African racism in the Congo. You say that "other faculty members do research on matters of race and state violence in other parts of the world", but (sadly) "of which nothing has been written in terms of departmental statements". What a fascinating admission. So by default, even though you claim that research is being made in other areas, our luck (or rather misfortune) is that you're the only one we are condemned to hear from? There may be some very respectable research made within the E.S. department, but since the only public one we hear about is the incredibly flawed and biased one you are producing, one is entitled to wonder if the rest of the department produces equally shoddy work. The department's blog should indeed be the window to the world of ALL research accomplished there. There is no valid reason why it should be confiscated by one graduate student who uses it as his personal tribune. I hope someone in the E.S. Department is paying attention.

Then you go on with a long string of absurd statements that prove how limited, and therefore partial, your understanding of the whole conflict is:

"1) Palestinians are the longest suffering and largest refugee population in the world today (4.25 million people registered with the UN and an estimated million more unregistered)."

Oh please. Ever heard of the Tibetans? Ever heard of the hundreds of millions of refugees who at the end of WWII were displaced and relocated? Ever heard of the 750,000 Jews from Arab countries who had to flee from places they had lived in for generations? The difference is that all of them were relocated and started new lives, as opposed to the Palestinians who were herded in 59 refugee camps where they still are today because that's where their Arab "brethren" want them to stay, refusing to integrate them. Why don't you use your considerable analytical skills (even if flawed) analyzing the brutal pattern of racism Arab countries practice towards the Palestinians? In Lebanon and Syria in particular, the Palestinian "refugees" are confined in mini-Bantustans (the UNWRA-run camps) from which they are barred to live. That is real Apartheid for you. Compare that to the 1.5 million Arab Israelis who are full citizens of Israel.

"These, of course, are the descendants of the approximately 750,000 Palestinians that were expelled from what became Israel in 1948 and the ones that fled in 1967. None were ever allowed by Israel to return)".

The accepted figure is 650,000, not 750,000, and the overwhelming majority fled rather than being expelled. As to their not being allowed to return, why should Israel let them back in? The Arabs attacked with every intention to destroy Israel, the Arabs lost, end of story. If you don't like the outcome of your actions, you should have thought about it before. It's called taking responsibility for the consequences of your choices.

"2) what makes this conflict unique is not so much its negative outcomes (in terms of numbers of casualties and victims there are much worse conflicts) but the amount of disinformation and spin that has historically surrounded it. Fortunately, the age of the internet and new historical research based on declassified Israeli documents and memoirs is changing that."

Not quite. What the age of the internet has brought to light is the uniquely peculiar ability of the Palestinians and their friends to rewrite history because they didn't like the outcome of what actually happened (since they lost every time they attacked, they have reasons not to like it, I understand that, but everyone has to face unpleasant consequences for the choices they make, that's no reason to rewrite history to pretend that the bad choices we made were never made). Hence the so-called oxymoronic "Palestinian narrative". Oxymoronic because the very fact that it needs to be qualified as the "Palestinian" narrative indicates that truth has become irrelevant, replaced by a rosy version that blames the victim (it was Israel that was attacked by the Arabs, not the Arabs who were attacked by Israel), and glorifies the aggressor. It is indeed history upside down. Disinformation and spin are perfect synonyms for "Palestinian narrative". The bottom line is that it is so thoroughly discredited that it is not worth paying any attention to any more.

"3) the US has been at best extremely impartial and at worst extremely complicit in the conflict"

And why, pray tell, should it always be the US job to solve that problem when its source remains the refusal of the Arabs to accept the existence of a Lilliputian state in their midst? Arab rejectionism is the one fundamental obstacle to peace, and if they are too immature to grow up and accept that reality, let them keep paying the price of instability. It is not the US' responsibility to force Israel to make concessions with neighbors who never make any (with the wobbly exceptions of Egypt and Jordan). In strategic terms on the other hand, it is indeed the US responsibility to make sure that destabilizing states (Iran, Syria) or failed ones (Somalia, Lebanon) do not jeopardize the delicate equilibrium of the region. If anything, Israel is the only one that the US can solidly rely on in the entire Middle East.

"and 4) most middle east experts agree that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is an enormous obstacle to creating peace and stability in the region (Israel gives many of the dictators and war lords in the Middle East plenty of excuses to exist by virtue of them (falsely) claiming to be the defenders of Arabs and/or Muslims against "the Americans" and "the Jews").

Do you realize the absolute absurdity of what you wrote here? Israel is the excuse for the many dictators and war lords' existence in the region? Are you demented? Dictators and war lords since the beginning of times have never needed any excuse to be dictators and war lords and to do what dictators and war lords do, which is plunder and abuse their own people. One has to be severely dim-witted to attempt to establish a correlation between their abuse and the existence of a tiny State where these primitive practices do not hold sway. This comment actually betrays a really racist, demeaning and contemptuous attitude towards the Arabs: what you are saying is that they are too primitive to shed their barbaric ways, but since the problem can't be stated in those terms, the next best thing is to find a convenient scapegoat, which by the very nature of its society is the exact opposite of these primitive countries. What better choice than Israel, who had the audacity to create a post-tribal country with values that benefit all its people rather than just the neighbor's warlords and their kin? Beyond that, think about it: do you really think that you are helping the Palestinians by lining up one excuse after another for their inexcusable behavior (let me count the ways: complete rejectionism of Israel's right to exist, systematic deceptions and lies, terrorism, culture of hate, victimology and dependency on international charity)? These are all the signs of an unruly, immature, stubborn and extremely disruptive adolescent. Normally it's just a phase. But just as when idiotic and doting parents excuse all misbehavior on the part of their kids, which inevitably results in more and more offenses against society on the part of those kids, the Palestinians have been kept in this state of delayed adolescence by well-meaning but very misguided people of your sort, resulting in removing any incentive for them to ever change their behavior. The questions I have for you is: how much longer are you going to condone this adolescent destructive streak (and keeping blaming the neighbor)?

"What I'm saying is that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is no small matter yet I do agree with you that there are others that are equally important."

So nice to hear you finally admit that, even though you are wrong again when you say there are other matters that are "equally" important. No, they are not "equally" important, they are considerably more important, for the simple reason that large numbers of people are not just inconvenienced, displaced, arrested or what have you, but are just plain massacred in other places. These are not abstractions. These are human beings wiped out because they happen to belong to the wrong group du jour. So, be consistent then: stop whining about the Israeli conflict, stop putting all the blame on the Israelis, start upbraiding the Palestinians into behaving like adults and responsible members of the world community, and last but not least, focus on places where racism is violently in effect. Then, maybe, the work done at the Ethnic Studies Department will start having some relevance.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 24, 2009.


Foreign Min. Livni thinks so. She gave as an argument for land-for-peace the notion that countries neighboring Israel are with Israel against Iran (IMRA, 2/1).

She doesn't understand. Egypt is annoyed with Iran. But it continues to let arms be smuggled to Iran's proxy in Gaza, because Hamas fights Israel.


For 30 years, the US has been negotiating with Iran and making concessions. Iranian officials made false promises. They like to talk for concessions, not make peace with us (Prof. Steven Plaut, 2/3).


He favors giving the P.A. a state in the Territories and connecting them beneath Israel by a tunnel whose traffic the P.A. would control (IMRA, 2/2). Is that tunnel safe for Israel?


Israel blockaded and then bombarded Gaza, partly to show that Hamas brought suffering upon its people, whereas Abbas did not. Now, out of misguided sentimentality, the world wants to rebuild Gaza. Then Gaza would not contrast unfavorably with Abbas, after all. That is not the lesson that the world supposedly wants the Arabs to learn.

The lesson would be that Hamas can make big mistakes and take grave risks. It can keep shooting at Israel, because the world would restore Gaza to pre-war condition. The world would rebuild Iran's base there or Gazans would steal the foreign aid, as usual. Most of it would go to Hamas and followers.

The people of Gaza overwhelmingly support Hamas' struggle against Israel.

Why help Gazans to live better? (Prof. Efriam Inbar in IMRA, 2/2).

I am suspicious of an uncaring world being so solicitous of jihadists against Israel. What is their real motive?


S. Arabia listed 85 suspects in an attempt to revive al-Qaida there. 11 were released from Guantanamo and passed through S. Arabia's touted rehabilitation plan (IMRA, 2/8). Released too soon from prison and from rehabilitation.


[NOTE: I think that the Jews deserve the land, the Muslims don't, and giving the Muslims another Palestinian Arab state merely boosts jihad.]

The West, including Israel, gave the PLO billions of dollars and trained 75,000 of its troops. The PLO enjoys international support whatever it does. It could have built a state in all but name. That would show responsibility. It could have taught its people democracy and peace. Instead it made its autonomy gangster-ridden and indoctrinates the people in endless jihad.

John Bolton, Daniel Pipes, and Efraim Inbar find the two-state scheme proved unworkable. They assume that Israel doesn't want to control the Territories. Actually, Israelis don't want to relinquish Judea-Samaria.

The three suggest that Egypt reassert control over Gaza and Jordan reassert control over Judea-Samaria. They know that Egypt and Jordan both reject that idea, because Hamas and the PLO would endanger national security in Egypt and Jordan. It is a well founded fear. Also, it would leave Israel with indefensible borders.

Another problem with the suggestion is that although all those Arab parties are rivals, they or at least their people overwhelmingly share the same jihadist ideology: hate the Jews and destroy Israel. Arafat cracked down on Hamas only when it threatened his rule, not when it raided Israel. How is Egyptian control over Gaza going to protect Israel from terrorist raids [like those from Hamas which obtains arms because Egypt lets arms it and from raids that Egypt and used to sponsor when it controlled Gaza before?] How long would Egypt control Hamas, before Hamas and Egypt's Muslim brotherhood control Egypt? If Israel intervened against terrorists in territory controlled by Egypt or Jordan, those Arabs states could be incited into war on Israel.

Caroline Glick seemed to suggest that Israel retain control over the Jewish Territories until the Muslim Arabs civilize (IMRA, 2/9). That is unjust for Israel. Also, it could take a hundred Years. The Jewish people have a better claim to the Territories, under the Mandate and under international law permitting the taking of land for security against another attack from that land. I wrote about that to Caroline Glick. She replied that she agreed with me.


Armed men hijacked truckloads of relief goods that UNRWA had intended to give the people of Gaza free. UNRWA announced that it suspended aid to Gaza until the goods were returned. The goods were returned! (IMRA, 2/9.)


The Palestinian Center For Human Rights accuses the IDF of perpetrating "systematic war crimes" against Palestinian Arab civilians.

It represents a family that claims that the IDF shot a member wantonly. It asked the IDF to investigate and compensate. The IDF replied that it needed the bullets extracted from the cadaver, so it could attempt to trace them to an Israeli soldier's weapon. The family refused the request. It said, let the IDF accept P.A. medical records. The IDF said that is insufficient forensics. There it stood.

After several years, the IDF decided to end the suit, by offering limited compensation, which was accepted. The offer did not resolve who, in or out of the IDF, was responsible (IMRA, 2/10).

Were I running Israel, I would not have given the Center, which is a propaganda organization, any satisfaction or foothold. P.A. hospitals collude with their regime. The P.A. blames Israel for deaths it causes. There is no evidence against any soldier.


An article acknowledges that markets change, but counts on Arab oil exporters being out of money, implying that they couldn't boycott the US. When the recession ends, they will be back in the money! We lack a program to reduce oil dependency and the related pollution and over-consumption of resources. Arb threat not ended.

Arab budget deficits are illusory. When prices rose, they boosted budgets. Prices fell, they post deficits. All they have to do is reduce their inflated budgets. Iran still has funds for nuclear weapons development and for financing terrorism.

Oil is fungible. If demand got tight, again, and the Arabs withheld oil, rather than just refusing to sell it to us, we couldn't just buy more from other suppliers. Other customers would have taken up those suppliers' product. Prices would rise.

I think we are dependent upon imports and profligate with tax revenues. We need a major program to return to practicality and to sensible values.


Umm El-Fahm has a high population, all Arabs. It is notorious for counting more ballots than are eligible. Arabs at the city's entrance barred possible election monitors, threatened to riot if activist Marzel came, so the Attorney-General barred him, and threatened riots unless another left (Arutz-7, 2/10).


At Davos, the Prime Minister of Turkey lost his temper and made strong but false accusations against Israel. Turkey has perpetrated actual brutality and crimes, worse than the ones fabricated against Israel (Prof. Steven Plaut, 2/4).


The Arab European media are making Israel seem illegitimate. Europeans don't know enough about Israel to identify with it. British campuses are leading an effort to submerge Israel under Arab rule. They call it the "one state solution" [but it would put the Jews' fate in bloodthirsty Muslim Arab hands].

Israel needs to mount public relations campaigns of its own. Israel has no satellite broadcasting in Arabic or in English, to match al-Jazeera. Nor does it have a media department for doing so. The government was inclined to set up one, but the Finance Dept. said it lacked the funds for it IMRA, 2/4).

Those facts contradict the impression that anti-Zionists try to give, expressed with indignation and unwarranted suspicion, that there is a Zionist propaganda machine. The claim is ludicrous. That is especially true of the anti-Zionist or appeasement-minded ruling class in Israel.


Jonathan Pollard gets a lot of mail. He considers it his lifeline. However, when he attempts to write back, those who check it for unauthorized information discard it all. All! (IMRA, 2/4).

That petty vindictiveness by the US government is disgraceful.


The IDF was engaged in heavy and close combat with Hamas for three days in Sajaia. The IDF had warned inhabitants of the area to evacuate temporarily, for their own safety. Israel telephoned Dr. El-Eish several times, urging him to evacuate his house, as others had done from theirs.

The IDF found tunnels for ambushing troops and identified booby-trapped houses. Under heavy fire, the troops saw which house most of it was emanating from. They also noticed figures in the next house acting suspiciously like people spotting for artillery strikes. The IDF fired at those figures. Later they found they had killed Dr. El-Eish's daughters. They were criticized for harming civilians (IMRA, 2/4). I think that Hamas and Dr. El-Eish deserve that criticism.

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

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Posted by Family Security Matters (FSM), February 24, 2009.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Douglas Farah is an award-winning investigative journalist and Senior Fellow in Financial Investigations and Transparency at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. E-mail him at doug@douglasfarah.com.

This article appeared in today's Family Security Matters (FSM). It is archived at


My colleague Zachary Abuza wrote an interesting look at the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), now in demise. As he notes, the LTTE pioneered many innovations in the use of terrorism that spread to other terrorist groups around the world.

Among the strategies the LTTE innovated are the use of suicide bombings and fund raising outside of state sponsorship. One of the most adaptive groups using some the LTTE model has been the FARC in Colombia, while suicide bombing have been taken up by Islamist groups around the globe.

This is, to me, one of the biggest changes that the new world order has brought in the past 15 years among non-state armed groups — the ability to rapidly exchange "best practices" and experiences across the globe.

In years past, Marxists would train Marxists, (the Cubans, Sandinistas and FMLN for example, in the Central American conflicts) and U.S.-sponsored groups would receive instruction, but there was no real way — except direct meetings in camps and under state sponsorship — to exchange experiences.

The Internet has changed that, and the end of the Cold War has helped erase many of the lines that once existed in who will deal with whom. At the same time, state sponsorship for many organizations was being reined in or cut off.

The shifting lines was largely lost on the intelligence community looking at radical Islamist groups, who believed Sunni groups like al Qaeda would not deal with Shiite groups like Hezbollah, although the documented cross-training between the two groups began at least in the early 1990s, while bin Laden was in Sudan.

As LTTE pioneered certain tactics, so did ETA in Spain (the use of explosives and LNG bombs), the IRA and IRA-P in Ireland (also explosives and cell structures) and others. The FARC, in turn, picked them up, improved on them, and taught new techniques.

The sharing is not new. But the Internet and lack of ideological constraints have greatly accelerated the ability to share knowledge among terrorist groups. Manuals can be found on the internet, the FARC and other groups regularly exchanged ideas with both non-state actors and state actors (Cuban and Venezuelan intelligence) and the lag time has shortened.

Those using IEDs in Iraq were quickly able to transfer the technology to the Islamists in Afghanistan, in matters of hours or days, rather than weeks or months. Money transfer mechanisms, pioneered by the drug cartels and other groups around the world (the Black Market Peso Exchange, a perennial favorite in the drug world, has been adapted by terrorist and organized crime groups around the world, with regional adaptations.)

My point is that the cross-pollination among terrorist groups, secular and religious, has greatly accelerated and now any group will deal with almost any other group in the mix if the situation is mutually advantageous to do so.

We can no longer compartmentalize among them and pretend they don't deal with each other. They do, and often it does not have to be face to face at all. Chat rooms, electronic bulletin boards and virtual classrooms make that unnecessary. The Tigers, FARC and others are far ahead in information sharing than the law enforcement and intelligence community is.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 24, 2009.

This comes from Jane Curtis. Jew Watch is a hate-filled site. It hates Jews. It distorts and lies. It is a disgrace.


Subject:Fwd: Antisemitic website-



A website named "jewwatch" is available on Google.
It is at http://www.jewwatch.com



Please sign at

If we each do nothing to make a difference, then the world will never change.

Sign at http://www.petitiononline.com/rjw23


Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il and visit
http://fred343-enjoy.blogspot.com/ to see examples of his graphic art.

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Posted by Moshe Phillips, February 24, 2009.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield can be counted among the foolish people who thought that they knew Muzzammil Hassan and what he stood for. "Mo" Hassan is the Islamic TV executive who confessed to murdering his wife and leaving her decapitated body in the offices of the Bridges TV network they created together. Rabbi Hirschfield was fooled by Hassan into believing he was interested "fostering understanding between cultures and diverse populations."

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield is a foolish rabbi. Rabbi Brad is the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) and wrote the foolish book You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism. In that 2008 masterwork Rabbi Brad attempted to overturn thousands of years of Jewish Thought and proclaim that there is no absolute truth. Foolish book. Foolish Rabbi Brad.

Rabbi Brad foolishly decided he wanted to be a TV star. His foolish show is called Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today, which began airing on an American Islamic TV network called Bridges TV in 2006. The foolish show is described as "Rabbi Hirschfield is joined by Christian and Muslim leaders to look at world events from their common Abrahemic Roots."

Foolish Rabbi Brad thought that he was working with "moderate" Muslims. On February 12, 2009 Muzzammil Hassan, the founder of the pro-Islamic Bridges TV network, beheaded his estranged wife Aasiya Zubair Hassan. "Mo" Hassan had violently abused his wife when they lived together.

The controversial Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) organization presented Muzzammil Hassan with an award at the first banquet of their Pennsylvania chapter on April 7, 2007. CAIR National Chairman Parvez Ahmed posed with Hassan for pictures at the Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia. Investor's Business Daily in a March 6, 2007 editorial declared CAIR to be "the PR machine of militant Islam."

A second TV series called, American Pilgrimage, was created by Foolish Rabbi Brad in 2008 for Bridges TV. It was described as "bringing viewers into the homes and mosques of Muslim leaders across the country..." Rabbi Brad most not have cared about CAIR.

One wonders what Foolish Rabbi Brad thought of the abuse in the Hassan family's home.

Foolishly Newsweek magazine declared Rabbi Brad to be "one of the nation's 50 most influential rabbis." The media loves foolish rabbis. Rabbi Brad has a weekly radio show and has been on PBS many times.

On PBS Foolish Rabbi Brad criticized the "extremist" Jewish Settlers in Judea and Samaria (that he foolishly referred to as the "West Bank"). PBS spoke to Foolish Rabbi Brad for their Frontline pogrom, er program, about the September 11th Islamic terrorist attacks.

For PBS Foolish Rabbi Brad stated: "It's just that when I look at those terrorists, I don't see something wholly "other," because I know from my own life experience what it means to allow your most deeply felt beliefs to motivate you to do violent things to other people. Now, it's true, I haven't done anything even approaching that. I don't even think that Jewish terrorists have done — and there are Jewish terrorists who are using the traditions I hold most dear to justify and to motivate their terror — have done anything approaching that. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend it's wholly other, because it's not. When I look in their faces, I do see the shadow side of what were once some of my dreams and aspirations, and continue to be for some of my teachers from that time."

Foolish Rabbi Brad compared the 9/11 hijackers to fellow Jews. Now that's not just foolish; that's what our forefathers used to call beyond the pale.

FOXNews.com reported on Feb 17, 2009 that Foolish Rabbi Brad stated the following on the day of Aasiya Zubair Hassan's funeral "I will only say to those who leap to the conclusion that this kind of thing is intrinsic to Islam, ask yourselves if you think that drunkenness is intrinsic to Irish Catholics, or cheating in business is to Jews?" The statement came from Rabbi Brad's foolish "Windows & Doors" blog on beliefnet.com.

How can one even begin to respond to such foolishness?

Jews in America have a choice. Be foolish and allow Rabbi Brad to participate in organized Jewish life or shun him as the fool he is and hope that he finds a real job more suited to his intellect. Perhaps as a stable boy cleaning horse manure from barns?

And now let us join in prayer: May G-d bless and keep Foolish Rabbi Brad far, far away from us.

Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel — AFSI. The chapter's new website is at: www.phillyafsi.com.

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Posted by American, February 23, 2009.


The Shocking unimaginable Torture for weeks (to the sound of reciting the Quran...) and murder by a gang of (about) 30 Muslims called the "Barbarians" [with additional "drop in" Muslim friends that happily participated in the torture] of the young french Jew Ilan Halimi (seduced by a Muslim prostitute sent by the gang to get into a trap).

French authorities admit: RACISM played a "role" in barbarian act.

Murder of Targeted French Jew: "They acted with indescribable cruelty," the judiciary police chief leading the investigation said. "They kept him naked and tied up for weeks. They cut him and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight."
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2006/02/ murder_of_targe.html

The Murder of Ilan Halimi
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

...Little by little, information emerged about the crime. There were at least fifteen thugs, maybe more. They had used a girl to seduce Halimi into the trap where he was captured. They knew he was a Jew and they had chosen him for that reason. In his pocket they found the phone number of a rabbi and he was the first person they called, telling him: "We have a Jew. The family has to pay. If the family cannot pay, it will be the synagogue." In succeeding days, they called the rabbi again, howling sentences full of hatred. Later, they called the family, asking for $600,000, before lowering the price to $5,000. They spoke to the mother, to Halimi's sisters, uncle, and father. When they were not asking for money, they were reciting suras from the Quran. In some of the conversations it was possible to hear Halimi screaming in the background. The thugs sent a videotape showing the young man naked, humiliated, handcuffed, just like on a Zarqawi videos from Iraq. ..

During the last ten weeks, the people who tortured and killed Ilan Halimi had tried unsuccessfully to kidnap four other Jews..
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 609AC68E-E190-4749-A7E8-CF30DF89AF58

... Barbarians seemed an appropriate name. The shocking cruelty inflicted on Halimi seemed to have little to do with efforts to extract money from his anguished family. It evoked the sadistic moral universe of A Clockwork Orange, the novel by Anthony Burgess, with a dose of anti-semitism thrown in.

Thanks to Yalda's charms, Halimi was imprisoned and tortured with acid and cigarette burns for more than three weeks in the heart of a council estate.

More than 30 neighbours in the building knew what was happening but said nothing about the crime, part of a worrying wave of attacks against Jews all over the country.

Besides Yalda, several women have been arrested in an investigation into their role in botched efforts to lure other Jewish men into "honey traps".

"He wanted a Jew," a girl called Audrey told police, referring to Youssouf Fofana, the charismatic leader of the Barbarians, who was listed by the girls in their telephone directories as "Youssouf the barbarian".

His choice of victims was based on two anti-semitic myths: that Jews are all rich and that they stick together. "They're a big community," Fofana told Audrey. "United and willing to pay."

Brutal murder was anti-Semitic crime, says Sarkozy | World news ...Feb 22, 2006 ... Mr Sarkozy told the French parliament that the gang sought for the murder of Ilan Halimi, 23, whose naked body was found by railway tracks ...

Tale of Torture and Murder Horrifies the Whole of France ...Feb 22, 2006 ... The murder of a 23-year-old cell-phone salesman, Ilan Halimi, took place over three weeks, during which he was tortured while his captors ...
http://www.nysun.com/foreign/tale-of-torture-and-murder- horrifies-the-whole/27948/

The murder of Ilan Halimi — Commentary
by Melanie Philips February 24, 2006

As if the kidnap, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi near Paris wasn't bad enough, the way it has been dealt with and reported has graphically illustrated what can only be described as a pathological refusal within Europe to acknowledge the fact that French Jews are being attacked and murdered by Muslims in a kind of rolling pogrom. Ilan Halami was a Jew. He was... kidnapped and murdered because he was singled out as a Jew for this fate. A number of recent kidnappings have taken place of which the vast majority of victims have been Jews and their kidnappers Muslims. As Nidra Poller has reported in the Wall Street Journal [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114064452021880485.html]:


the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Quran, while Ilan's tortured screams could be heard in the background. The family has publicly criticized the police for deliberately ignoring the explicit anti-Semitic motives, which were repeatedly expressed and should have dictated an entirely different approach to the case from the start. Police searches have now revealed the presence of Islamist literature in the home of at least one of the gang members. The highest echelons of the French government are now preoccupied with the murder of Ilan Halimi. Paris is well aware that the case threatens France's international reputation, but far more than that is at stake.

Once again, as in the suburban riots of 2005, the country is forced to come face to face with the criminalized, alienated and racist Muslim youth and their adult enablers in its midst. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin declared, in a long speech delivered at the annual dinner of the CRIF, that this heinous crime was anti-Semitic, and that anti-Semitism is not acceptable in France

according to reports in the French press, some of the suspects in police custody said that they tortured Ilan with particular cruelty simply because he was Jewish.

No longer able to deny or play down the racial motive, the investigation is entering a new phase. One of the most troubling aspects of this affair is the probable involvement of relatives and neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang, who were told about the Jewish hostage and dropped in to participate in the torture.

Ilan's uncle Rafi Halimi told reporters that the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Koran, while Ilan's tortured screams could be heard in the background. The family has publicly criticized the police for deliberately ignoring the explicit anti-Semitic motives, which were repeatedly expressed and should have dictated an entirely different approach to the case from the start. Police searches have now revealed the presence of Islamist literature in the home of at least one of the gang members.

Halimi suspect Extradited

Mideast Dispatch Archive: Ilan Halimi: Tortured and killed in ...Feb 23, 2006 ... ILAN HALIMI A VICTIM OF "ISLAMO-FASCISM" ....

Gang of Barbarians

French suburban 'barbarians' (mainly Arab Muslims) target Jews

Mark Steyn on the murder of Ilan Halimi

May his memory be a democratic blessing

Halimi died because he was Jewish

Halimi's recent murder is only now being recognized in France as a racist hate crime. While the delay in such recognition needs to be addressed, the French are finally beginning to acknowledge that such offences are being perpetrated in France and must not be explained away or ignored — for the good of the country as a whole.

NY Memorial for Ilan


Remembering Ilan Halimi

French leaders pay tribute to Ilan Halimi at Paris synagogue

Mother of murdered French Jew

Father of Ilan Halimi describes kidnapping ordeal
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395555768&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The story of Ilan Halimi's murder at the hands of a terrorist gang of French Muslims brings to the surface the various pathologies now converging to make the prospect of annihilating all Jews seem possible to our enemies. First, there are the murderers who took such apparent pleasure and felt such pride in the fact that for 20 days they tortured their Jewish hostage to death.

This makes sense. Anti-Semitism in the Muslim dominated suburbs of Paris and other French cities is all-encompassing. As Nidra Poller related in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, "One of the most troubling aspects of this affair is the probable involvement of relatives and neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang [of kidnappers], who were told about the Jewish hostage and dropped in to participate in the torture."

It appears that Ilan Halimi's murderers had some connection to Hamas. Tuesday, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said that police found propaganda published by the Palestinian Charity Committee or the CBSP at the home of one of the suspects. The European Jewish Press reported this week that Israel has alleged that the organization is a front group for Palestinian terrorists and that in August 2003 the US government froze the organization's US bank accounts, accusing it of links with Hamas.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395477657&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Ottawa memorial service recalls murdered/tortured Jew

There you have it, Quran-ic Torture, Islamic Fascistic hatred, "Palestinian — charity" & Propaganda all in one case, involving around 30 Muslims, plus "ordinary" 30+ Muslims (neighbours) that knew and said nothing!



"Jewish teen tortured in French town where Ilan Halimi was killed"

The incident of brutal abuse began at 10 A.M. on February 22. Mathieu Roumi, 19, whose father is Jewish, was strolling through his neighborhood in the Paris suburb of Bagneux, which has been the site of violent riots by immigrants in the past two years. The suburb became notorious as the scene of Ilan Halimi's 2006 murder, which horrified France.

...after which they beat him and, with the help of a third friend, dragged him to a dark basement. The three assailants were joined by three other youths, all neighborhood residents and neighbors of Roumi.

For two hours the attackers tortured the young man. One shoved cigarette butts into his mouth, another took issue with Roumi's Jewish origin, grabbed correction fluid and scrawled "dirty Jew" on his forehead. The six men proceeded to scream at him and threaten that he would die the way Halimi did.

They identified themselves as members of the "Barbarians," the same gang that kidnapped Halimi from his store, demanded ransom for his release, and when that was not forthcoming, tortured the 23-year-old over the course of three weeks. Moments after he was dumped on the street, Halimi died. ...

"We admire Youssouf Fofana!" they shouted at him, referring to the leader of the gang that murdered Halimi. Fofana and 29 other suspects are on trial for abduction, torture and murder. If convicted, they can expect a life sentence.

...the six assailants were arrested. Most are in their 20s, two come from Muslim homes...

Contact American at american1627@yahoo.com

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Posted by Carol Flatto, February 23, 2009.

We toured this excavation on our last AFSI mission Last November.

This articles was written by Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304824152&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg is a senior fellow of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archeological Research in Jerusalem.


The Golan remains a mystery for many of us. Before the Six Day War, little was known about it in literature and even less on the ground. Only after its conquest by the IDF in 1967 could historians and archeologists begin to reveal its rich history.

The structure's size makes it one of the biggest ancient synagogues. (Photo: Golan Tourist Board)

They began to find and document dozens of synagogues from the Byzantine period, towns of the Jewish revolt against the Romans, early Christian sites of the time of Jesus, a city of the Hellenistic period, major Iron Age settlements, Early Bronze Age tombs and even one of the most mysterious constructions of Chalcolithic times, 6,000 years ago, when men and women worked in copper and stone to form remarkable monuments.

But even today, a little more than 40 years after the end of the Six Day War (and 40 years is a significant figure in our ancient history), the Golan is still off the beaten track and its impressive historical remains are not as well known as those of Galilee and the Negev.

Today on the Golan, the greatest Jewish interest centers on the synagogues, which number as many as 25. Some have been largely renovated, like that of Katzrin, but one of the most fascinating stands in ruins at Umm el-Kanatir, and is now being carefully reconstructed stone by stone by engineer Yeshu Drei and archeologist Haim Ben-David of the Kinneret Academic College and Bar-Ilan University.

Drei has erected a giant mobile crane on the site and plans to lift all the remaining black basalt stones, which have been carefully numbered from one to more than 2,000, into position within the next two years.

The work has been going on apace for some five years and, when complete, it will be a fine monument to the skill of the original builders of the fifth and sixth centuries CE and the meticulous reconstructors of today. It already gives us today an impressive picture of what the synagogue must have been like in the past.

The name of the site, Umm el-Kanatir, is Arabic for "mother of the arches," as it is situated just 200 meters from a natural spring that issues from the cliff and has been directed into three basins originally surmounted by three monumental basalt arches. They are the work of a Roman settlement, of the time of Rabbi Judah Hanassi, that venerated the natural water source and had seemingly worshiped cultic statues in the niches between the arches.

Only one arch remains intact, but the water basins are still running with their natural supply, and it looks as if the early Jewish inhabitants used the abundant water for the washing and whitening of flax, a local product. The process would have made it into fine clothing material for the rich and prosperous citizens of the local Jewish and pagan population of the adjoining cities like Sussita and Beit Saida, called Hippos and Julia by the Romans. But flax was also used for run-of-the-mill peasants' clothing and thus this center would have supplied many surrounding villages with their cloth. Umm el-Kanatir seems to be relatively difficult to get to, there is no clear track or pathway, but to have reached it by donkey would not have been a problem.

Besides the growing of flax, the land was suitable for small-scale husbandry, olives and herding, but too steep for large-scale crops and there is little evidence of terracing. After the Roman period, Jews settled here and became wealthy enough, probably from the flax industry, to build their fine synagogue in the fifth century. To the surprise of the archeologists, they found another floor level and column bases below the main floor, and there is a suspicion that the structure was started 100 or 200 years earlier on a lower base. The synagogue we see today would have been the remains of a sixth-century embellishment made 100 years or so later than the main phase.

The Jews lived on in the village for several hundred years after the completion of the synagogue, but their buildings, including the synagogue, were largely destroyed by the major earthquake of 749, which also destroyed the Christian monastery of Kursi and most of the buildings in Sussita, both fine constructions near the shores of Lake Kinneret.

The ruined buildings of Umm el-Kanatir survived in poor state and were used by local shepherds for many years and, as late as the 1950s, Syrian herders moved in and built their primitive houses from the stones of the ruined synagogue. So the site was to some degree in continual habitation and in fact it was not completely unknown to scholars before 1967.

In the late 19th century, Gottlieb Schumacher, a German Templer engineer, surveyed the area of the Golan for the Hejaz railway line and its branch to Haifa, and he found the synagogue ruins, as did Sir Laurence Oliphant, an eccentric British diplomat who had worked in China and Japan. Oliphant became an ardent Zionist and lived for some years near Haifa. He had travelled extensively in Russia and Nepal before turning his attention to the then-desolate Golan, which interested him because of his fascination with the mysterious and the occult.

They both recorded their observation of the ruins but could do little except to identify them as a synagogue. This was fairly clear because of two column capitals with the figure of a menora and shofar, and a pronounced bima, four meters high, in front of the ark, the only such feature among the synagogues of the Golan and Galilee. The bima, which is being restored, was approached by a short flight of stairs, still in position.

The size of the structure, 18 meters long by 13 meters wide and calculated to have been 12 meters high, makes it one of the biggest of ancient synagogues and indicates the relative wealth of the village community. It will have served as a community center, as most synagogues did, with learning facilities and accommodation for travelers. It had an upper story but this was not necessarily for women, rather it was an overflow for days of greater attendance, for town meetings as well as services.

Whether women attended the synagogue is still a matter of debate. If and when they did, they would have sat in a separate section, probably on the ground floor, either in a side room, of which there is evidence in some synagogues, or in a roped-off section of the main hall.

Most ancient synagogues were single-story structures with benches around three sides of the hall, and without provision for the women, and it is indeed doubtful if, at this earlydate, the women ever left the home to attend services.

Besides the capitals crowned with the menora and shofar, already mentioned, there are a few strange carvings that have still to be interpreted. There is a column base showing one animal attacking another and being watched by a chicken, whose meaning is obscure. Another shows the face of a grotesque man sticking his tongue out at the beholder. The researchers think these pieces were stolen from nearby pagan sites and just used as infill stones, their carvings hidden from view.

Another panel is inscribed with a nine-branched candelabra on a plain background, which may have been carved so as not to imitate the seven-branched menora of the Temple, which the rabbis said should not be copied outside of it. But it may indicate that a hanukkia was already in use at this early date, as there are at least two other carvings of nine-branched menorot, from early Golan synagogues, both of which are now in the local archeological museum at Katzrin.

The site of the synagogue is on the hillside overlooking the beautiful valley of Nahal Samak, and two kilometers west of Natur. It can be approached by car from Route 808, taking the turn to Natur and then following along the gravel and sign-posted track that leads to a sizable car park. From here, there is now a well-paved path (laid with the help of the yeshiva boys of Haspin) with basalt steps down to the synagogue, and a pathway to the left (south) to the remains of the village and the triple-arched water basins.

After the traumas of the Jewish Revolt and the Bar Kochba Revolt, Jews moved north from Judah and settled in the Golan and lived here in peace and quiet until the time of the short-lived Persian invasion of 614 and the later Arab conquest of 638. In this relative backwater they continued their unfettered rural life, and it was not till the earthquake of 749, which affected a large area of the Golan, that the inhabitants left to settle elsewhere.

They left behind them the ruins of a beautiful synagogue that modern-day researchers and engineers are rebuilding with the use of new technology, and which they believe will one day bring the ruins back into use to become one of the oldest working synagogues in the Golan.

Contact Carol Flatto by email at plypress@juno.com

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Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, February 23, 2009.

1) And you thought it would end: Racism and black history month and Eric Holder:
Seth J. Frantzman
February 20th, 2009

With the election of Barak Obama some people, including myself, hoped that the endless whining about 'America is a racist society' would end or be toned down. But Attorney General Eric Holder's 'nation of cowards' remark during Black History month commemorations illustrates the opposite. American race mongers seek to transform the past into an un-nuanced 'white versus black' just as they wish to call 'racist' anyone who tries to discuss the race, and then they call us all 'cowards' or not discussing race.

Some people were under the mistaken impression that with a 'black' President the obsession with race, the whining, the endless calls of 'racism' would finally end. But Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the U.S came out during 'Black History Month' and declared on February 18th, 2009 that "we are a nation of cowards." A nation of cowards? The full text of his comments dealt with his concern that despite priding ourselves on being a melting pot Americans "simply do not talk enough with each other about race... if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us... hasten the day when the dream of individual, character based, acceptance can actually be realized... the history of black America and the history of this nation are inextricably tied to each other. It is for this reason that the study of black history is important to everyone — black or white... Separate public facilities, separate entrances, poll taxes, legal discrimination, forced labor, in essence an American apartheid, all were part of an America that the movement [Civil Rights] destroyed... In law, culture, science, athletics, industry and other fields, knowledge of the roles played by blacks is critical to an understanding of the American experiment. For too long we have been too willing to segregate the study of black history... an unstudied, not discussed and ultimately misunderstood diversity can become a divisive force. An appreciation of the unique black past."

It is hard to understand Holder's comments until one realizes that his comments are part of the problem and that his contradictions are the essential portion of what makes race such an inseparable and unsolvable problem.

Let us begin from the beginning. Holder calls us, Americans at least, cowards for not speaking frankly about race. But let's really think about this. Anyone who speaks frankly about race is condemned as a racist. In the shallow, skin deep, ignorant society that pervades one finds that condemnations of 'racist' are thrown on those who have not even discussed race, let alone those who do. Someone using the word 'niggardly' in a public broadcast as asked to apologize for being 'racist' and fired. But niggardly does not come from Nigger, no matter how much ignorant uneducated people want it to. If niggardly (the act of being cheap, miserly or stingy or covetous or parsimonious) came from nigger than it would be hard to explain why people are called 'nigger-rich' (spendthrift or profligate). Niggardly, which is to say covetous, is a quality often applied derisively, to Jews whose financial habits are not usually associated with those of blacks. But that would be racist to mention, for both groups. So let's be honest. We can't talk 'frankly' about race because to do so is actually to be racist.

It's obvious the degree to which this is true when one considers the recent cartoon controversy over a cartoon in the New York Post. The cartoon showed a dead chimp shot by two policeman. One is saying to the other "I guess we will have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Immediately the racial mafia of wealthy white leftists, whining sniveling leftist students and 'black activists' such as the ever-present and honest Al Sharpton were calling for blood at the Post. Why? Because of the past sensitivity of people comparing blacks to monkeys. The cartoon supposedly insinuated that Obama was a monkey, or something of that nature. It couldn't be that the cartoon implied that the Stimulus Bill was written by monkeys. In a climate of racial fascism where a few off-hand comments, like Don Imus' "nappy headed hoes", lead to his being publically lynched how can we be expected to speak 'frankly' about race. Things that aren't frank or aren't even about race are interpreted to be so. God forbid someone might actually talk about it. If we can't use the word niggardly, don't ask us to talk about the word 'nigger'. And don't call us cowards when the very people who call us cowards for not being 'frank' are the same one wagging the 'racist' finger.

But Holder went further than whining about a 'nation of cowards'. He spoke of a nation that should judge people on their "character" and not their race. But M. Holder spins his quadroon race as much as possible. He is the 'first black attorney general'. But if we count the blacks in Holder's family tree we certainly will not find as many as we find whites. We would need another three or four Mr. Holders in order to get one fully black attorney general. It's a lot like the joke about Cherokee Indians told by other Indians. "What do you call forty Cherokees in one room? A full blooded Indian." That is because of the propensity of white people to 'discover' their Cherokee heritage and because of the Cherokee tendency in the 19th century to marry Scottish immigrants who lived among them in Georgia. But if Holder exploits his race he must be kidding about judging people on their 'character'. The fellow travelers of Holder, the oped writers at the Times, all told us Americans we had to vote for Obama because he was black in order to cancel the sin of slavery and 'make history.' So which is it? Are we supposed to judge based on character or on skin color? Too often it seems those who use skin color as currency are those who then pretend that money is colorless.

Holder tells us about the mythical segregated entrances and toilets and buses and eating facilities and even speaks of an American Apartheid. But let's be honest. All this talk of slavery and segregation attempts to link to American history in totality. But a majority of American states never had slavery and never had segregation. That point is often forgotten among Americans and among non-Americans who have been led to believe, by people like Holder, that segregation and slavery was the 'American way'. But it was not. It was not the way of most Americans, ever. To compare it to Apartheid shows the ignorance of Holder more than it insults America. If Apartheid had existed in Northern South Africa, say in the Free State and Transvaal but not in the Cape Town area, would we have thought about it the same way? People need to believe that states like Maine and Massachusetts were the same as Virginia in order to perpetuate the idea that we need to all be knee deep in the racial guilt about slavery and segregation. Guilt for not ending it sooner at the point of a rifle, but certainly no guilt over it actually for most Americans have no connection to it.

But Holder becomes even more contradictory when he tries to tell us that we need to recognize the unique roles of blacks and at the same time integrate 'black history' into that of America. But it is Mr. Holder, speaking on the occasion of Black History Month, who contradicts this. If he wants to integrate the important contribution of blacks then he should stop recalling them all as black and start treating them like people. This cannot be stressed enough. It is the liberal good intentions that took all the blacks out of American history and placed them all in the context of their 'blackness'. So Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis and Tiger Woods and Barak Obama and others are all recognized first as blacks and as being 'the first'. Its problematic. Is Jesse Owens only famous for being black? Or Mohammed Ali? Apparently not. We want it both ways. We want Black History Month and we want photos of the first black man in space and first black at the North Pole and first black to go down in a Submarine injected into our history books alongside stories about the North Pole and the Moon and we then want the same pictures in the section that is specially devoted to 'Black History.' The truth is hard to speak. If people like Mr. Holder were not segregated as 'the first black attorney general' then they would probably disappear into the morass of attorney generals who are mostly forgettable. How many do we really recall? Bobby Kennedy. That's about all. Who was the guy that Bush hired that was supposedly a neo-fascist and restricted our Civil Liberties and was so controversial? Mullgren? Ashcroft? Some white guy. Oh well. But Mr. Eric Holder? He's pretty famous. He's very important. He accomplished a lot in life? He's controversial? No. No. No. He's just black. That's why we should remember him. But he wants us to integrate him. Well then he will be pretty unmemorable probably. He's no Bobby Kennedy. And we only remember him because of his last name.

Eric Holder embodies all the problems of the very racism he claims to understand. He yearns for equality and frank discussions and yet at the same time he wants to celebrate the uniqueness of black history. He wants blacks who succeed to be recognize for their success and their character, not their race, but yet he glories in the blackness of his heroes, not just heroes such as Martin Luther King, but Jackie Robinson. The same problem confronts so many people such as Colin Powell, Tiger Woods and Barak Obama. The desire to succeed irrespective of race and to live in a color blind society and yet the secret knowledge that in modern society being 'black' is an asset in certain situations. It is enough to remind people of Nadine Gordimer's book Beethoven was One Sixteenth Black. Her short story isn't actually about Beethoven, but if it did turn out that the composer was 1/16th black we should wonder, would he be called the "greatest black composer" or the "first black composer to play at such and such a place"? Would his name be enshrined during Black History Month. Maybe it should. Him an Shakespeare and George Washington and Jesus. I mean, maybe they were black. Maybe we all are. And if we all are then maybe can get to the post-racial society that people all preach about.

The truth is that we can't escape our racialized history, not because we are unable to, but because we glory in the simplified and wrongheaded simplicity of a 'black and white' society. Simon Schama's recent television documentary on America entitled The American Future creates new myths about race out of the modern need to separate everything based on race. In speaking about the history of Texas he speaks of 'white illegal immigrants' coming to Texas and looking down on the 'indigenous Mexicans'. What is he talking about? He imagines that the Mexicans of 1830s Texas were like the Mexican immigrants of 2009. But he projects a false racial consciousness back into the past. The 'Mexicans' of 1930s Texas were Spaniards who had colonized and settled Texas. They were Vecinos. Their society was heavily segregated into Castas, Mestizos, Coyotes, mulatos, criados, nixoras and Sonorenses and nortenos. We can't expect Schama, a white man from England, to tell the difference between all these shades apparently. But in those days people knew and the 'Mexicans' were not only a stratified society but most of the ones encountered by the Americans moving to Texas were as white as the Americans. Santa Ana wasn't some half Indian brown 'Mexican' as Schama imagines him. But Schama needs 'white racism' to pervade Texas history. So he needs 'black' Mexicans to fight the 'white' racist Americans. He couldn't imagine anything different.

But no one can imagine something different because in 2009 we are more racially conscious than in 1839. In Susan Faludi's new book The Terror Dream she speaks of how America has a history of imagining "traumatizing assaults by non-white 'barbarians'." Really? This is because Faludi, whose last name seems to reek of low-class Italian ancestry but is apparently Hungarian-Jewish, imagines a past of whiteness and blackness. She wants to link King Philip's Wompanog natives to the 9/11 terrorist hijackers in one large 'non-white' morass. She wants them all to be lumped in with the Japanese of 1941 and apparently the Germans and Russians too. They are all 'non-white', a catch all phrase for everything in the world apparently. People like Faludi need 'non-white' myths of blackness in order to juxtapose them with her hated 'white America'. The same 'white America' that took in her Holocaust survivor ancestors. It's odd that old Europe, that wonderful ivory tower of actual white people, killed off her ancestors but she so hates America that she imagines an evil America always lashing out at fake enemies because of a supposed traumatic past of Indian attacks on a few isolated Anglo settlements in the 17th century.

The truth is that the Faludis and Schamas and Holders and others need racism. It doesn't matter how colorful America is, the entire country is always cleansed in history and bleached to make it into a 'white' man fighting and suppressing some mythical blacks. Those 'blacks' can be lily white Mexicans or white Japanese who were fighting their own race war in Asia, or anyone else. Define them as 'non-white', so that America can continue to be 'white' because white is evil and America must be seen as 'racist' and evil. So define the Russians as 'non-white'. Define the Arab terrorists as 'non-white'. Define some white blond woman from England who converts to Islam as 'non-white'. Whatever it takes. In the case of 1/16th black people, define them as black. Create a myth of whiteness to go alongside a myth of blackness. Make Mexican colonists who had just finished exterminating the Indians of Texas into 'blacks' so that Americans can be 'white'. Then turn those Mexicans into 'whites' so that the blacks in Arizona can still be the 'largest minority' group. Whatever it takes. Play the race game. Change the race, lie about race, talk about race, then call people racist, mistake the word niggard for nigger and whine and cry and complain. That's America.

Holder's 'nation of cowards' was a disgusting and disgraceful comment. One wonders if he would have had the chagrin to say it to the half a million Union soldiers who died in the Civil War fighting to end slavery. It would be interesting to know if he would have called them cowards. Maybe he should have given the speech at Arlington or Gettysburg. He could have given it at Appomattox. Or maybe at the theatre where Lincoln was murdered. Or Harpers Ferry where John Brown led his raiders. Mr. Holder is the coward for he so easily dismisses so many who fought and wrote and died to end the evil institution of slavery. If we are cowards it is because of people like Holder and his friends, gangs of half black men and women whose white ancestry is as deep as their black one and who have chosen to emphasize their 'blackness' and use it to their advantage to make themselves appear more interesting and more 'colourful' in a society that they have told to value 'color'. It is they who have endlessly shamed and complained and spit on people calling other racists wherever they go, spreading racial discord and calling cowardly those who care not about race and do not wish to join their extremist worldview where everything is 'black and white' and one suffocates under the self righteous racial idiocy of endless whining and complaining and shrill comments.


2) The worst of both worlds: The financial crises and environmentalism:

With the financial crises in full swing some might think that disposal government income might finally dry up and pet environmental projects, which are costly and have no clear benefit, would be set aside. One might have thought that foreign aid and other largesse would be stopped. But it is not stopping. Instead the environmental lobby has smelled blood and is pushing through more extreme environmental plans that are bankrupting us all.

A year ago we were living large. The banks were secure. Al Gore's prophecies about "extreme weather" seemed to be coming true. Flush with cash our time could be spent buying 'green'. Everything was going green. From the organic food craze to Harper-Collins books, there was not an item that wasn't fashionably environmental. Cars too were going electric, even if they had to be charged every few hours and could only go 30 mph. Carbon offsets were the rage and guilt conscious air travelers were 'doing their part' by offsetting their travel. There were few things in life that one couldn't check a special box and have that thing be 'environmentally friendly.'

Then the economic crises came. People are tightening their belts. The government is spending like a drunken sailor in order to shore up everything from banks to bankrupt state governments. People are giving tomatoes to their girlfriends on Valentines Day instead of roses to save money. People aren't taking vacations. The beaches lie empty in the Bahamas.

But one news item hasn't disappeared. Environmentalism is at an all time high. One part of the Stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama stipulated that tens of millions must go to making the federal office buildings 'energy efficient', which is to say environementally friendly. With England in the throes of a terrible economic crises the government is going forward with a plan, set to begin in February of 2009, to tax airlines based on their carbon emissions. According to reports "the tax increase will save the equivalent of three quarters of a million tonnes of carbon every year by 2011." A British treasury spokesman claimed that "the Treasury took all relevant factors into account before deciding to increase Air Passenger Duty to better reflect the environmental costs of air travel." In addition "the revenues raised from the increase will secure extra resources in the coming spending round for our priorities such as public transport and the environment." In total each passenger will pay an extra $7 for economy class and an extra $30 for first class to offset their carbon output through the tax.

Advocates such as Ryan Nabil, note that "in the context of world's financial situation, it'd be very unwise to impose the tax on airline companies... Airline passengers should pay for the harm they are causing to the environment and the proper way to do that is to pay a carbon emissions tax... If airline passengers can buy airport novels for $10, it would not hurt them to pay $3.75 to recompense for what they are doing to the environment. " They claim that the money will be spent on "subsidizing biofuel or other green-tech energy sources if found." This is quite brilliant. Cash strapped passengers will be charged more money as a tax that will be placed in the hands of the government and supposedly spent to help offset carbon emissions. But like the money raised by governments from cigarette taxes or lawsuits against cigarette companies there is no guarantee that any money will be spent to 'offset' the carbon even if there was a way to offset it, which there isn't.

But the dream world of the environmentalists, whose jobs and livelihoods and ability to fund their never ending extreme activism has not been damaged by the economic crises, is unchanged. Just at the time when states and people have little money environmentalists are putting the last nails in the coffin. In California a new plan for a Powerlink (apparently meaning lots of electric lines) from San Diego to Imperial Valley is a case study in environmental extremism. It was only approved so long as it twists "around a state park, an Indian reservation and much of a forest. Its builders would be banned from harming burrowing owls or rattlesnakes." But that wasn't enough for other environmentalists who have sued the state anyway not to build it. As The Economist notes " Barack Obama wants to create green jobs, but he needs to create jobs above all, and quickly. Environmentalists, who know how to hold up big projects better than anybody, will not be bounced so easily." But this state of affairs should only remind us of the insanity that has confronted anyone who wants to build windmills to create 'green' electricity. For years environmentalists campaigned to close coal power stations and then their alternative, nuclear ones. Left with little choice they proposed wind power as an alternative. But when people actually wanted to build wind power generators every attempt was prevented by the same environmentalists who now argued the "wind turbines' would harm birds.

There is a silver lining. The destruction of the economy may yet dent the pocketbooks of the environmentalists and those who fund them. Whole Foods and Trader Joes may yet be cut low, even though they themselves merely profited off of the environmental extremism, their products were not truly 'organic'. But it seems for now we are living in the worst of both worlds. Environmental extremism forcing us to pay more in taxes and for 'green' products while we have less and less money and the government is 'stimulating' the economy by hiring more and more hippie-environmental consultants on how to spend taxpayers money on creating 'green' jobs, which means more jobs for the environmental elite and less jobs for people who are actually out of work.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com and visit his website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com These essays appeared on his website.

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 23, 2009.

The state of the world, that is. Events have been so overwhelming and deeply distressing that it is difficult to know what to deal with first. (And without question some issues will have to be tabled for another day.)

But what I would like to start with today is the visitation of two Congressmen — Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Brian Baird (D-WA) — to this part of the world. They visited Gaza the end of last week, and yesterday made their inimitable statement regarding Israel's decision not to open crossings except for humanitarian supplies until Shalit is released.

Their position: Banning lentils and pasta from Gaza does not help the cause of peace.

"When have lentil bombs been going off lately?" asked Congressman Baird. "Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?"

Cute, huh? Is he simply foolish and lacking basic knowledge, or is he being exceedingly coy and disingenuous here?

Opined Ellison, "Israel's policy is not designed for success or to win the release of Gilad Shalit." He knows this?


It's disturbing when US elected legislators are as clueless or off-base as these guys are. Disturbing, but not surprising.

Some time ago, Congressman Ellison (Congress's only Muslim representative) was part of a Democratic Congressional mission to this area. When the group called a press conference, I attended. And so was present when a journalist asked Ellison what his take was on the (very old and very serious) Shi'ite-Sunni rift in the Muslim world — a rift that, for example, puts Egypt and Iran at odds.

Well, he intoned, everyone wants the same things: good education for their kids, decent housing, and pensions for their old age. And if we can see that they have these things, we won't have to sweat the rest of it.

My jaw dropped, and I knew we were in a lot of trouble.


We should, therefore, never miss an opportunity to do education of such Congresspersons. Either we will truly be alerting them to information they were lacking and giving them a broader perspective, or we will be letting them know that their nonsense doesn't play with us. Either way, a good thing.

In a word: I cannot speak for pasta and lentils in particular, but food — as part of the humanitarian supplies — goes into Gaza. The people are fed. This is not remotely the issue. Hamas wants the crossings opened for commercial reasons (to bring in furniture and machinery and whatever else) to promote their economic viability, and to bring in supplies that can be used for making weapons and building terrorist infrastructure. That includes fertilizer — ostensibly for farming but which becomes an ingredient in manufacturing explosives, and concrete — ostensibly for building homes and schools but which is used in making bunkers for weapons.

And so, keeping the crossings closed hurts Hamas and has a great deal to do with what is going on.

More to the point is why these two Congressmen didn't vociferously and publicly criticize Hamas for holding Shalit and not even allowing the Red Cross to see him, as mandated by international law. Why is the focus on what Israel is doing "wrong" and not what Hamas could do to bring the entire issue to closure?


You might want to communicate with these two Congresspersons — or, more accurately, their offices. If so:

Congressman Keith Ellison Phone: 202-225-4755 Fax: 202-225-4886
His staffer for ME affairs is Walaya Jariyadham, and her e-mail is walaya.jariyadham@mail.house.gov

Congressman Brian Baird Phone: 202-225-3536 Fax: 202-225-3478
His staffer for Middle East Affairs (offered here without comment) is Jamal Abdi, and his e-mail is jamal.abdi@mail.house.gov


Returning just briefly to the Durban 2 issue:

According to Roni Leshno Yaar, the Israel Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (where the Durban meetings are being held), the draft document is problematic for not only Israel but for Western democracies in general. Besides dealing with Israel (the only nation criticized by name), it also deals with issues of free speech (which it would inhibit), discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and defamation of religion.

He does not see any opportunity for the American presence to improve the document. "In fact," said Leshno Yaar, "I expect the text to get only worse on all issues that are important for Western democracy."


Amos Herman, head of the Jewish Agency Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism, says, "As far as we believe, Durban II is going to be the anti-Semitic event of 2009. It looks worse than we expected, even though it's not clear what the end results will be...

"Operation Cast Lead [in Gaza] is going to take center state at Durban II and we have to be ready for that."

The Task Force members are doubtful that the US presence will change the conference's direction, and some are dubious, as well, as to whether the US delegation will walk out, no matter what transpires.

Among the things anticipated in Geneva at the Durban 2 conference: use of Holocaust imagery with regard to Israel's military actions in Gaza, the possibility of demonstrations, and an all-out "hate-fest" on the part of NGOs present. (It was the NGO Forum that was the most vociferously anti-Israel last time.)


Please! Raise your voice on this issue.

Contact info. is provided again at the bottom of this posting.


A tiny ray of light. According to The Jewish Chronicle of Britain, Britain and Italy are considering withdrawing from participation in Durban 2.

"Britain's Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said on Tuesday: 'If we can't go forward now, we will withdraw. I was at the first conference. I have never seen such a disgraceful event in quite a long international life.'

"Later, he said: 'There are red lines that need to be made for us to participate...We are not going to stand idly by and allow this racist stuff to get through and be seen as acceptable. We are not going to have it.'

"...Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: 'We will not send an Italian delegation [if it is the same as Durban 2001], but we will try to harmonies our position with other countries who are the friends of Jews. But we will leave a decision until the last minute.'"

And there we have the rub, and the reason why the ray of light is so tiny: These nations are looking to the US to take the lead.


Relevant to the issue of the delegitimization of Israel, please see the piece by Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice of Canada and professor of law with considerable human rights expertise.

"Making the world 'Judestaatrein' [i.e., devoid of a Jewish state]"

Writes Cotler:

"...The new anti-Jewishness overlaps with classical anti-Semitism but is distinguishable from it. It found early juridical, and even institutional, expression in the UN's 'Zionism is racism' resolution — which the late US senator Daniel Moynihan said 'gave the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international legal sanction' — but has gone dramatically beyond it. This new anti-Semitism almost needs a new vocabulary to define it; however, it can best be identified using a rights-based juridical perspective.

"In a word, classical or traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, denial of or assault upon the rights of Jews to live as equal members of whatever host society they inhabit. The new anti-Semitism involves the discrimination against the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations — the denial of and assault upon the Jewish people's right even to live — with Israel as the 'collective Jew among the nations.'"

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304849224&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


And on Iran (the greatest worry of all):

A report unveiled in Vienna last week by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that the 1,010 kg. of low-enriched uranium already produced by Iran is sufficient for building a bomb.

The low-enriched uranium would have to undergo additional enrichment before it could be used for a nuclear weapon. But a US Iranian analyst suggests that Iran my be "one step before the nuclear stage" and is operating a shadow nuclear program in tandem with its public program.

Additionally there has been a report from Teheran that the preliminary phase of operations for the first Iranian nuclear power plant — a 1,000 megawatt light-water reactor in the southern port city of Busehr — will begin this week.


Be that as it may, the Obama administration is said to be at least two months away from establishing policies on the issue of a nuclear Iran.

There is widespread speculation that Obama is waiting until after the Iranian presidential election, scheduled for June 12, in which former president Mohammad Khatami — who is considered somewhat more Western oriented — will be challenging Ahmadinejad.

But that would be a long time for the US to go without a firm and coherent Iranian policy. And if Khatami wins, that is still no guarantee that Iran won't go nuclear or that it's not the mullahs who will insist on this.

And so, there is also troublesome speculation that the Obama administration may be resigned to a nuclear Iran.


The International Atomic Energy Agency has just released a report indicating that new traces of uranium have been found at the site — presumed to be a nuclear reactor — where Israel bombed in September 2007.

The particles "are of a type not included in Syria's declared inventory of nuclear material" and that "there is a low probability that the uranium was introduced by the use of missiles."

According to the IAEA report, Syria must provide additional information and documentation about "the use and nature" of the building that was bombed. And Syria "needs to be transparent by providing access to other locations alleged to be related" to the site.



Meanwhile, recently Obama decided to appoint the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005, when Bush without drew the American ambassador after the assassination of Harari in Lebanon.

Obama's choice, Frederic Hof, a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Middle East Policy Council, is said to be a close to George Mitchell.

Obama is also preparing to lift sanctions against Syria, in particular the Syrian Accountability Act. Syria has been listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1979.

The US has now agreed to sell Syria spare parts for two Boeing 747 jets.


It is the issue of security, more than any other, that seems to be driving Binyamin Netanyahu right now as he pushes to put together a broad-based coalition.

After meeting with Tzipi Livni again last night, she walked away echoing the same refrain: Her voters expect her to honor the principles she ran on — principles of a "two-state solution." She said the differences between Kadima and Likud were just too great.

And yet Netanyahu is persisting, and says there can be a means of achieving conciliation for cooperation in a coalition. Livni has agreed to meet again.


Do I understand Netanyahu's persistence? I most certainly do not. His partners-in-the-making to the right, most notably National Union, will not sit still for a coalition with Kadima that makes compromises on the issue of negotiating with the Palestinians.

The NU had sought assurances from Netanyahu that there would be no mention of a Palestinian state in the coalition guidelines, and, according to MK Aryeh Eldad, "he replied that we will be able to live with the coalition guidelines." From the perspective of NU, Netanyahu has given his word on this.

The principles of Kadima and the nationalist parties are simply too far apart to reconcile. Even Likud and Kadima are far apart, as Likud ran on a platform of no dividing Jerusalem, and certainly Livni would hope to do so. A coalition that encompasses everything stands for nothing.

Will Netanyahu turn out to be a purely political animal devoid of all principles (which is how many see him), who tilted right and courted the right, for his purposes, and then will move left because it gives him more numbers in a coalition?

In a way, this is a time of reckoning for him. But in the end, it may be the persistence of Livni and her party, in refusing to join, that wins the day for the nation. Right now the majority of Kadima is said to agree with her.

It is the presence of the nationalist parties at the right flank of his coalition that would keep Netanyahu honest. Absent that, who knows.


As to needing a broad-based coalition for security reasons, it is possible to assemble one for a brief time. When there is serious action to be taken, or confronted, a temporary unity government can be formed so the world understands that there is no division where acting for Israel's sake is concerned.

I do not minimize in the slightest the need to stand strong for Israel's security — most especially with regard to Iran. It is here that Netanyahu has maximum credibility, as he has been raising the issue of confronting Iran for a long time.


Typo correction: Ron Prosper is the ambassador to the UK, not the UN. (Thanks Ora and Barbara.)


President Barack Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ (for email contact form)
Fax: 202-456-2461
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Public Communication Division
Phone: 202-647-6575
Fax: 202-647-2283
e-mail: secretary@state.gov

To locate your representatives in Congress, see:

To locate your senator:

You can often secure best contact info. by logging on to the website of the representative or senator.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Ari Bussel, February 23, 2009.

Two years ago today, following my attending a three session, 16 hour LA Unified School District (LAUSD) Salary Point Workshop titled "Teaching about the Arab World," I wrote about my experiences of this anti-Israel brainwashing scheme.

I came open minded, knowing there is much to learn about the Arab World — from culture to language, geography, archeology, history, mathematics and calligraphy, to name just a few areas of personal interest. Like me, teachers came interested in the subject matter, expecting to broaden their horizons and learn something new. Attendance, participation and follow up projects would entitle the participants to a professional staff credit, which eventually translates into a salary bonus.

I did not know, but was soon to learn, that everything throughout the Arab world is somehow connected to the very existence of Israel — the Jewish Homeland — in an area so small relative to the vast lands of the Arab World that one immediately realizes this is not a territorial conflict.

When the Workshop ended I was in a dire need for an outlet: How can I help the poor palestinian children in the occupied territories and throughout their homeland? What can I do to stop the imperialist Zionist war machine?

Training a Christian Audience

The content of the workshop described Israel, at least in one instance, as the new Nazi regime. Interestingly, the stories presented were about Bethlehem, a "Ghetto" in present day palestine. It was by design not coincidence, that Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, was chosen. A very calculated move to address the local Christian audience who does not know that Christians cannot survive under Muslim rule, as is evident in Lebanon, under the PA rule in Bethlehem, and elsewhere throughout the world.

I took the time on Christmas Eve, 2008, to visit Bethlehem. I can attest that Israel Ministry of Tourism's effort in welcoming both local and foreign pilgrims were so successful that I could not discover, despite my persistent efforts, the connection between the stories told to the teachers and reality.

Sadly, the following day, the Archdiocese in New Zealand published an article about Christmas in Bethlehem 2008. It explained my inability to substantiate the stories of the Workshop: "a result of 'extraordinarily efficient' propaganda from Israel, the message going out internationally from Israel is very biased and does not represent what is happening on the ground."

Since I was personally in Bethlehem the night before, I realized a total eclipse must have occurred, causing me to become "momentarily" blind for the duration of my visit. Thus, unbeknownst to me until the following day's article, some three quarters of a million "refugees," mostly Muslim, have become — as a direct result of Israel's 60 years of occupation — intermingled in Christmas Day, 2008.

This extraordinary chain of events was successfully captured by the article's author and presented to worshipers of Christianity on their most spiritual day of the year.

The Power of a Picture in the Context of Israel-Bashing

Back in LA a year and a half earlier, the world seemed to be full of like miracles. If the story does not match reality, tell it anyway. If anyone dares to contest the information, discredit and attack the person rather than the merits, and when all else fails, change the subject.

The presenters know that the most effective instrument of delivery is a visual. How many of us, when asked what are the most famous pictures of the Holocaust, will not think about the young boy with his arms up in the air and a German storm trooper pointing a gun at him?

My father was a young boy at that time, possibly not much younger than the boy in the picture. He managed to escape the Warsaw Ghetto, where the picture was taken, before the uprising. This picture became an icon, as did the spirit of the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto, whose brave stance against the Nazi war machine astonished even the Nazis themselves.

Today, the picture serves as another source of inspiration: associating the Jewish Homeland with the very same acts carried out by the Nazis. Interestingly, some deranged individuals claim the Holocaust was only a hoax to legitimize the Jews' claim for the small piece of land in the Middle East. They have no problem to make this claim then use falsified images that force us to make the parallelism to that era.

One of the magazines given to all participants of the Workshop depicted a very similar picture on its outer cover: An Israeli soldier pointing a gun at a palestinian boy. The boy, his hands raised, was looking intensely at the soldier. There is a complete series of such pictures and one-to-one comparisons now circulating the internet.

The organizers of the Workshop were very well aware of the different observers and other participants in the Workshop, so the specific word "Nazi" was not used. If the description and references were not crystallized in one's memory, the word "Ghettoization," for instance, appeared vividly in one of handouts given out and in at least one of the websites to which the teachers were referred.

One must not belittle the usage of descriptions within a certain context. Both were so clear that it was no surprise to find the actual words in the written material.

Evaluating the Workshop Series

The main purpose, it seems, of this workshop was not to educate teachers about the Arab World. Rather, it was to try and utilize our own system of education and freedoms to push sanity one step backward, until it trips and eventually succumbs. If, along the way, one or two innocent bystanders (teacher) are actually moved to do something for and on behalf of the palestinian people, it would be considered a fringe benefit, but not the real purpose.

The success of the series starts by the fact it was held in the first place, continues in the fact that it was allowed to be held repeatedly year after year, and culminates now in the quest to attain even great heights: pushing the frontier to a point of no return.

The failure of different advocacy organizations, like the Anti Defamation League and Stand With Us, to effect meaningful change and prevent the series from taking place is a result of the same organizations holding workshops of their own. Thus, decisive action was mellowed down, diluted to a written protest, to be "on file" so to speak.

If there is no place in the curriculum for workshops about the Holocaust, Fighting Hate or Israel Past and Present, then they should not be allowed as part of the program. However, to admit a program which is an anti-Israel scheme disguised as an educational tool about the Arab World should not be tolerated.

Bias and trickery, deceit and hatred should be banned from the LAUSD playing grounds and its headquarters building should not be a host to this Workshop. Imagine the public outcry if a workshop titled Fighting Hate would teach that the all the faults of a crumbling economy are related to People of Color. An outrage could not be contained, riots may break and the workshop scrapped in an instance. Doing the same but exchanging the labels to target Israel is apparently permissible.

A Tour of Palestine (Jordan and Israel)

Two years have past. The workshop continues and is apparently quite successful. A sixteen day study tour of Jordan and Palestine — including Israel — is proposed to all past participants, almost free. Touted as "the occasion to probe further and deeper into the many topics covered in the 'Arab World' workshops and to experience these directly and personally," this unusual opportunity is subsidized by the generous will of a teacher and curriculum specialist who visited the Middle East, became fascinated by Arab history, culture and contemporary problems, and apparently had left in her will funds for educational projects.

To commemorate the enthusiasm of that person, LAUSD teachers who participated and completed one of the "Arab World" workshops are urged to join. An experience of a lifetime awaits them, including a preparatory background reading and an orientation session prior to departure and follow-up projects they will need to complete.

What an ingenious way to penetrate the very fabric of society that is most impressionable and to shape and mold attitudes of teachers who influence young minds in their classrooms with hatred toward Israel. This is not a workshop about the Arab World, for there is much more in the Arab World than cartoons for children in which every symbol of the West is satanic. This is an attempt at using a system that should focus on algebra and arithmetic, music and physical education, science, English and languages and not on planting the seeds of hatred.

The organizers must be congratulated. The trip to Israel promises not to end with the return to Los Angeles. Each participant will have to present "lesson plans, reports to colleagues and students, articles for community groups and assisting with future 'Arab World' workshops." Is our tax money going to be used also to pay for additional bonuses to these teachers?

The phenomenon of using our own system and the vast freedoms it affords against the West must be stopped. Let us go back to basics before we turn the LAUSD and other school districts across the country into battlegrounds much like the universities are today.

Contact Ari Bussel at busselari@gmail.com

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Posted by Marcia Leal, February 23, 2009.

The first essay below is from Sammy Benoit, editor of the Yid with Lid Blogspot http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2009/02/ mayflower-muslims-what-obamas-proposed.html

The second is the Email Letter sent by William J. Bennetta to Stuart Elliott of Wichita, Kansas.


1. From Yid with Lid website:

Do you know that when the British explorers came to the "New World" they met "Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik?" That is just one of the "facts" in the textbook Arab World Studies Notebook, published by Middle East Policy Council (MPEC). The President of the organization, Chas Freeman Jr. has had his name "floated" in the media as President Obama's selection for Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

In 2005 the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), a Jewish News organization, investigated what American Students are being taught about Israel, America and Islam. One part of the series (called Tainted Teachings) gives an overview of what Ambassador Freeman is teaching American Children. Arab World Studies Notebook , a joint project of Freeman's MEPC Berkeley, Calif.-based Arab World and Islamic Resources, or AWAIR, (www.awaironline.org) who gets a major part of its funding from Saudi Aramco, the Saudi government-owned oil company.

Below is a selection from that study. (Source JTA.)

"Some of the references are subtle [in Arab World Studies Notebook] critics say, making them all the more harmful. For example, the manual:

  • Denigrates the Jews' historical connection to Jerusalem. One passage, describing the Old City, says: "the Jerusalem that most people envisage when they think of the ancient city, is Arab. Surrounding it are ubiquitous high-rises built for Israeli settlers to strengthen Israeli control over the holy city."

  • Suggests that Jews have undue influence on U.S. foreign policy. Referring to Harry Truman's support of the 1947 United Nations resolution to partition Palestine, separating it into Jewish and Arab states, it says: "Truman's decision to push the U.N. decision to partition Palestine ended in the creation of Israel. The questions of Jewish lobbying and its impact on Truman's decision with regard to American recognition — and indeed, the whole question of defining American interests and concerns — is well worth exploring."

  • Suggests that the Koran "synthesizes and perfects earlier revelations," meaning those ascribed to by Christians and Jews.

  • Leaves out any facts and figures about the State of Israel in its country-by-country section, but refers instead only to Palestine".

Sandra Stotsky, a former senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, is one of a growing number of critics of the Arab World Studies Notebook. It is one of the examples she cites in a study, "The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America's History Teachers," in which she examines supplemental teaching materials. In an interview with JTA, Stotsky called the notebook "a piece of propaganda" rather than scholarly work.

Another review of the book was conducted by the Textbook League. The league is a resource for middle-school and high-school educators. It provides commentaries on over 200 items, including textbooks, curriculum manuals, videos and reference books. (You can read the analysis in Bennetta's email — see below.)

In his analysis of Arab World Studies Notebook, Textbook League's president, William J. Bennetta details some concerns with Freeman's Text, not the least of which is that it claims to have the be "Highly Regarded" by the California Board of Education. The Board denied this claim.

Mr. Bennetta's report points to the inaccuracy of much of the information contained in the workbook:

"The Notebook is a vehicle for disseminating disinformation, including a multitude of false, distorted or utterly absurd claims that are presented as historical facts. I infer that the Notebook has three principal purposes: inducing teachers to embrace Islamic religious beliefs; inducing teachers to embrace political views that are favored by the MEPC and AWAIR; and impelling teachers to disseminate those religious beliefs and political views in schools."

He points to the subtle ways the notebook "exploits" Jesus, talking about how the book teaches "Jesus is an important figure" in Islam but omits that "Koran 9:30 — i.e., sura 9, verse 30 — we read that Muhammad wanted Christians to be damned because they said that Jesus was the son of God."

Perhaps the most stunning of Chas Freeman's History errors involves the history of North America. Again, from William J. Bennetta:

"....article [in the Notebook] in which Shabbas and someone called Abdallah Hakim Quick disclose that Muslims reached the New World in pre-Columbian times and spread throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America and even Canada. By the time when Columbus arrived, it seems, the New World was fairly crawling with Muslims — and English explorers met "Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik." Do Quick and Shabbas cite any sources to support such claims? No, they don't. They don't even tell the names of the English explorers, let alone the titles and dates of the documents in which those explorers reported their encounters with Amerindian Muslims."

Ambassador Chas Freeman Jr. is being considered for the position of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. In that job he will evaluate the information coming in from the many U.S. intelligence organizations and decide which information is important enough to move "up the ladder." It would be a troubling development if that position is filled by someone who can't even figure out who discovered America.

2. "Arab World Studies Notebook lobs Muslim propaganda at teachers."
e-mail letter of 8 October 2003 from The Textbook League's president, William J. Bennetta, to Stuart Elliott, of Wichita, Kansas

8 October 2003

Dear Mr. Elliott:

I have been reviewing schoolbooks and other instructional publications for about eighteen years, and during that time I have developed three general observations. Writing an analysis of a good publication is enjoyable and usually is easy. Writing an analysis of a weak publication is typically a more difficult task, requiring much explication of the publication's failures and follies. Writing an analysis of a patently fraudulent publication is the most demanding task of all, for this reason: Although one can see immediately that the publication is a hoax, one still must give an extraordinary amount of time to studying it and to demonstrating its deceitfulness in some detail. Such work — requiring that a great deal of time be devoted to dissecting the antics of tricksters who deserve only contempt — can be exasperating.

My inquiry into the Arab World Studies Notebook, the publication that you called to my attention a few weeks ago, has been exasperating indeed, and I am happy to say that the inquiry is nearing its end. My review of the Notebook now exists as a draft that has about 4,700 words. I will not be able to finish my writing, however, until I do some further library work and until I receive some items of information and documentation that I have requested from one of my colleagues. Hence I am going to lay the draft aside for a while — but before I do so, I want to give you an idea of how my inquiry has been going. In the rest of this message, I shall sketch some of my findings. For the sake of brevity, I shall keep the number of quotations and citations in this message to a minimum. In my review I shall use quotations and citations abundantly.

The Organizations Behind the Notebook

The Arab World Studies Notebook, a publication aimed at teachers, is a big collection of readings, lists of resources, and so-called lesson plans, all contained in a loose-leaf binder. It seems to exist in at least two versions. The version that I have examined shows 1998 as its copyright date. Pages i through xxi carry an "Introduction" and some other prefatory material; pages 1 through 513 carry the readings, the lists, the so-called lesson plans and some auxiliary items. According to its title page, the Notebook is published jointly by the Middle East Policy Council and by "AWAIR: Arab World And Islamic Resources and School Services."

The Middle East Policy Council, a pressure group based in Washington, D.C., formerly called itself the Arab American Affairs Council. It adopted its present name in 1991. The MEPC's activities include the sponsoring of "teacher workshops" that allegedly equip educators to teach about "the Arab World and Islam."

AWAIR, which operates from Abiquiu, New Mexico, distributes printed items and videos for "ALL LEVELS — Elementary to College" and runs the "teacher workshops" sponsored by the MEPC. The director of AWAIR, Audrey Shabbas, is also the editor of the Arab World Studies Notebook, and her name appears on many of the readings and other items that the Notebook contains.

In AWAIR's current catalogue, the Notebook is described as "An anthology of secondary curriculum level materials." I take that to mean that the Notebook is chiefly intended for use by high-school teachers. AWAIR sells the Notebook for $49.95. (The MEPC doesn't sell the Notebook as such, but the MEPC provides a copy of the Notebook to each participant in the "teacher workshops.")

On its Web site, the MEPC displays claims about the extent and success of its "workshops" program, as well as alleged testimonials from participants in past "workshops," but the claims are too vague to be checked, and all of the testimonials are anonymous and unverifiable. The MEPC's Web site also carries promotional claims for the Notebook, and one of those claims is a gross falsehood, as I now shall explain.

The MEPC's False Claim

When I began my inquiry into the Notebook, I toured the MEPC's Web site, and (on a page headlined "Arab World Studies Notebook") I saw this claim: "The Arab World Studies Notebook is . . . an updated and enhanced version of the Arab World Notebook (1990), a previous work so highly regarded that educators in California were permitted to purchase it with state funding."

I immediately recognized that claim to be false. The Curriculum Framework and Instructional Resources Office (CFIRO) of the California State Department of Education does grant approvals to certain pedagogic publications, clearing the way for local school districts to buy those publications with state money — but the approval process does not entail any appraisal of any publication's content or pedagogic merit, and the granting of an approval does not mean that the approved publication is "highly regarded" by anyone.

On 8 September 2003, in an e-mail message, I brought the MEPC's claim to the attention of Suzanne C. Rios, the administrator of the CFIRO. Since then, Rios has informed me that her office has no record of any approval covering "the Arab World Notebook." She further has informed me that she called the MEPC's executive director on 22 September, told him that the claim in question was false advertising, and told him that the CFIRO "wanted it taken off IMMEDIATELY!"

At this writing, the false claim still is being displayed on the MEPC's site.

Purposes of the Notebook

On page v of the Notebook, in the section titled "Introduction," Audrey Shabbas writes: "Believing firmly that teachers are the vanguard of change in any society, AWAIR has taken as its mandate, to impact the very resources chosen and used by teachers as well as the training and sensitizing of teachers themselves." The articles in the body of the Notebook soon make clear what Shabbas's phrase "training and sensitizing" means. It means subjecting teachers to heavy bombardment with religious and political propaganda.

The Notebook is a vehicle for disseminating disinformation, including a multitude of false, distorted or utterly absurd claims that are presented as historical facts. I infer that the Notebook has three principal purposes: inducing teachers to embrace Islamic religious beliefs; inducing teachers to embrace political views that are favored by the MEPC and AWAIR; and impelling teachers to disseminate those religious beliefs and political views in schools.

The promotion of Islam in the Notebook is unrestrained, and the religious-indoctrination material that the Notebook dispenses is virulent. Muslim myths, including myths about how Islam and the Koran originated, are retailed as matters of fact, while legitimate historical appraisals of the origins of Islam and the Koran are excluded. Shabbas wants to turn teachers into agents who, in their classrooms, will present Muslim myths as "history," will endorse Muslim religious claims, and will propagate Islamic fundamentalism.

In a public-school setting, the religious-indoctrination work which Shabbas wants teachers to perform would clearly be illegal. I shall say more about this in my review.

Exploiting Jesus

On page 11 of the Notebook, an item labeled as a lesson plan tells that "Jesus is an important figure" in Islam. On page 13, in another lesson plan, a list of quotations from the Koran includes three statements that mention Jesus. And on page 16, a third lesson plan says (with little regard for syntax) that Islam "Recognize Jesus in their religion."

Whether Jesus is an "important figure" in Islam is debatable, but there is no doubt that Jesus appears in various verses of the Koran, and there is no doubt that Muslims "recognize" Jesus. They certainly recognize him well enough to deny and denounce basic perceptions of Jesus that are held by a huge majority of today's Christians. Muslims deny that Jesus was an aspect of a triune god, they reject the very concept of the Trinity, and they deny that Jesus was divine. (Indeed, in the Koran 9:30 — i.e., sura 9, verse 30 — we read that Muhammad wanted Christians to be damned because they said that Jesus was the son of God.) On instructions from the Koran, Muslims even deny that Jesus died by crucifixion. (See the Koran 4:157.)

Muslim propagandists who operate in America (where about 80% of the adult population consists of persons who identify themselves as Christians) routinely and dishonestly exploit Jesus in their promotional material. Striving to create the impression that Islam is similar to Christianity and congenial to Christianity, these propagandists project palatable, grossly distorted impressions of how Jesus figures in the Koran and in Muslim religious doctrines — and at the same time, they conceal the Koranic passages which explicitly reject essential Christian beliefs about Jesus, and they conceal the Koran's depiction of both Christians and Jews as people who are unfit to be accepted by Muslims as allies or friends. (See the Koran 5:51 — "O believers, do not hold Jews and Christians as your allies. They are allies of one another; and anyone who makes them his friends is surely one of them; and God does not guide the unjust.")

The distorted, disingenuous stuff about Jesus in Shabbas's Notebook is formulaic and unremarkable. I have seen similar tripe in other publications that purvey Muslim propaganda. Look, Columbus — They're Muslims!

Not all of the phony "history" in the Notebook consists of religious myths. There are other flights of pseudohistorical fakery as well, including a farcical article in which Shabbas and someone called Abdallah Hakim Quick disclose that Muslims reached the New World in pre-Columbian times and spread throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America and even Canada. By the time when Columbus arrived, it seems, the New World was fairly crawling with Muslims — and English explorers met "Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik." Do Quick and Shabbas cite any sources to support such claims? No, they don't. They don't even tell the names of the English explorers, let alone the titles and dates of the documents in which those explorers reported their encounters with Amerindian Muslims.

In the context of the Notebook, Quick and Shabbas's unsupported claims about Muslims in the pre-Columbian New World amount to business as usual. The tactic of spewing forth bizarre claims without any documentation or support (or even a pretense thereof) appears early and is used often — and this leads me to say a little about the audience for which the Notebook has been fashioned.

The Notebook isn't aimed at our entire population of high-school history teachers or at high-school history teachers in general. Rather, it is aimed at that sorry subpopulation of teachers who, for want of education or want of intelligence, will believe almost anything and will question nothing. It is aimed at teachers who never have absorbed the concepts of evidence and reason, who know nothing of historiography, and who can be treated as dupes.

Hence the Notebook teems with fake "facts" that are simply tossed forth as glib one-liners. For example: In an article that starts on page 27 of the Notebook, one Thomas Cleary nonchalantly flings this tidbit to Shabbas's victims: "As is well known, the Qur'an was revealed through the Prophet Muhammad, . . . ." Well known? By whom is that well known? And how is it known? Cleary doesn't bother to say. In truth, what Cleary depicts as a "well known" fact isn't well known, isn't known at all, and isn't a fact. It is an Islamic-fundamentalist myth. The origin of the Koran has been the subject of much scholarly speculation, but historians haven't been able to determine when the Koran's various parts were written, or who may have written them, or how many versions of the Koran were written and rewritten before the canonical version was assembled. (See, for example, Toby Lester's article "What Is the Koran" in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1999.)

By the way: Cleary also announces that the Koran is "the last link in a chain of revelation going back to time immemorial, even to the very origin of humankind." Any reader who has an IQ above the freezing point (if I may borrow a phrase used by the business writer Tom Peters) will ask, "How in the world was that ascertained?" Shabbas is manifestly confident that this question will never occur to readers of the Notebook.

One more example: Shabbas's dupes learn from the Notebook that the Koran condemns wars of "territorical [sic] conquest" — and they also learn that, from the 8th to the 13th centuries, Arabian Muslims built a great empire that "extended across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, from Spain to the borders of China." Does this mean that those Arabian Muslims spurned the Koran? Does it mean that they assembled their empire without fighting wars of conquest? Exactly how did they do that? You may well ask the questions, but you won't find any answers in the Notebook.

Correspondence with Shabbas

The first item in the body of the Notebook is an unsigned piece called "An Introduction to Islam." In that piece, the anonymous writer puts forth the claim that "There are six million Muslims in America," but there is no indication of where the number "six million" has come from: The claim is undocumented and unsupported. The claim also is bogus, and I knew this when I wrote to Shabbas and asked her to support it. Please read on.

Muslim propagandists in America fabricate wildly inflated claims about the size of America's Muslim population, presumably because the Muslims think that such claims can be transformed into political influence. (In one notorious instance, an outfit known as the American Muslim Council announced that — according to the Census of 2000 — the number of Muslims dwelling in America was between 6 million and 7 million. Alas, the Council's liars had failed to notice that the Bureau of the Census doesn't collect information about Americans' religious affiliations!) Respectable studies conducted in 2001 have indicated that the United States has about 2 million Muslims, and accounts of those studies have been published widely. See, for example, "How many U.S. Muslims?" in The Christian Science Monitor, 29 November 2001, and "Studies Suggest Lower Count for Number of U.S. Muslims" in The New York Times, 25 October 2001.

On 23 September 2003 I dispatched this query to Audrey Shabbas, by e-mail:

I have been reading your Arab World Studies Notebook (1998). On page 4, in the unsigned section titled "An Introduction to Islam," I find this statement: "There are six million Muslims in America." I'll be grateful if you will send me a citation of the source from which that number was acquired.

Shabbas replied, but she didn't send me any citation. She made some evasive claims about some published "works," and then she wrote:

The U.S. media since 9/11 has [sic] been using the number of "seven million" and so I am now using that number. In an April 1996 ABC/Nightline program with Ted Koeppel [sic], he uses [sic] the figure 5 million.

I had to laugh. Did she imagine that her vague allusion to the "U.S. media" would dignify the six-million claim? And how about the many "U.S. media" articles — e.g., the two that I've cited above — which have reported estimates of 2 million or so, and which (very importantly) have explained how those estimates were developed? Shabbas evidently assumed that I was unaware of any such reports, and that she therefore could bamboozle me. She was wrong.

You'll learn more about Shabbas and her antics when I send you my full review of the Arab World Studies Notebook. (You'll also learn more about Thomas Cleary, for I shall describe how Cleary uses specious "history" in a strikingly bold denigration of Christianity.) I hope that, in the meantime, you will read the articles that I have cited from The Atlantic Monthly, The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times.

William J. Bennetta

Contact Marcia Leal at marcia.leal.eejh@gmail.com

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 23, 2009.

This was written by Ruth King and it appeared in OUTPOST


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague." (Marcus Tullius Cicero, in a speech to the Roman Senate, 42 BC)

In 1929 Zeev Jabotinsky warned the Jews of Europe to get out in face of a coming cataclysm. Absorbed in their daily lives, most Jews ignored the escalating anti-Jewish rhetoric in the newspapers and the academies; the boycotts of Jews among Polish factory workers and trade groups; the ritual murder libels in Lublin and Vilna; the mounting attacks and beatings; the riots and desecrations of synagogues; the discriminatory laws and taxations; and the staggering failure by host nations to protect their Jewish populations.

Yes, the tragic Jews of Europe just tried to get on with their lives. Who could fault them? Who could have foreseen Auschwitz?

But what about today? After many decades of Jewish renewal and enhanced prestige brought about by the advent of Israel, Jews are threatened by the recrudescence of world-wide vicious anti-Semitism, all couched as "anti-Israel not anti-Semitic."

Even here in the United States trade and religious and academic institutions boycott and "disengage" from Israel, synagogues are vandalized and the mainstream media, at fever pitch to condemn Israel, gives scant attention to the threat against Jews.

Why has the American public lost sight of the fact that Jihad threatens the entire Western world and not Israel alone? Why did conservative Jews, even those who stood firm against Oslo become so besotted with President Bush that they swallowed whole the "road map" and the ensuing departure from Gaza without understanding or pressing the fact that Israel is in the front line of the war against Islamic terror?

The sad fact is that Jews themselves have contributed to the morass in which we find ourselves. First, let's examine those whom Cicero calls the fools and the ambitious.

Women of Hadassah: Your work in the ingathering when you provided rescue to millions of wretched survivors of the Nazis and those expelled from Arab states is the stuff of legend. When did abortion rights, gay rights and assorted trendy environmental crusades become more important than Jewish survival and Israel?

Listen up, ADL: You had a distinguished history in defending Jews against defamation. How did you get into the business of defaming our Christian evangelical supporters? Do you really think that Mel Gibson and a crackpot Catholic Bishop threaten Jews more than Arabs and Jihad? And, speaking of Holocaust deniers what say you about Abbas, whose doctoral thesis was devoted to that topic?

Esteemed grandees of the Conference of Presidents: There was a time that you were an instant deployment group, your clout felt in the corridors of American power when there was serious offense to Israel and Jews. What have you accomplished in the past ten years? Your major "achievements" were to insult Sarah Palin and elevate Mahmoud Abbas to the role of "peace partner." Even now, faced with the disastrous results of leaving Gaza — from which you egged Israel on to withdraw — you prod Israel to accept its dissolution with the "two state plan."

Can you not see that your servility contributes to the climate of blaming Israel?

Now let's discuss The Filth Column.....the traitors within.

Jews who defame Israel are the most pernicious tools in the war against Israel and Jewry, those who, to paraphrase Cicero, move among us freely, teaching our young, their sly moral equivalence, which equates Israel with its tormentors, heard in the halls of government itself. They preen and strut as supposed devotees of "peace" and "justice." They besmirch Israel with vile comparisons to the Nazis. They pepper their talk with Yiddish, indulge in Holocaust metaphor and willfully and maliciously provide fodder for the cannons of those who would extinguish us. They are in a league of their own.

Here is a baker's dozen list of The Filth Column: Not in Our Name Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Against the Occupation, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Gush Shalom, Jews Not Zionists, Truth Justice and Human Rights in the Middle East, Rabbis for Human Rights, Visions for Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jews Against the Occupation, Jewish Women for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine, Jewish Social Justice Network.

JATO (Jews against the Occupation) recently hung banners calling for "Free Palestine" from bridges and highways. Its spokesman Ethan Heitner states: "Even if foreclosures and unemployment weren't decimating our neighborhoods, surely there are better uses for $3 billion a year than helping the Israeli government commit war crimes." Students for Justice in Palestine has groups on many campuses. Matan Cohen of Hampshire College in Massachusetts works among them to get "total international disinvestment from Israel."

Then there are the "independents" such as Norton Mezvinsky, who runs the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University who recently invited Norman Finkelstein, another pillar of the Jewish Filth Column, to bash Israel.

They have rotted the soul of the Jewish nation and undermined the pillars of Israel. Yet they proliferate in the media, the academies and the arts. They deserve the obloquy of all self respecting Jews and a corner in hell.

It is 1928 again, but unlike the unsuspecting and tragic Jews of Europe we cannot remain in denial. A strong Israel is our only guarantor of survival. In spite of those who have unwittingly contributed to the present climate and those who are active accomplices of our enemies, we cannot give up or fail. To do so will mean the end of the Jewish people.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, February 23, 2009.

Demography has been a critical national security issue, and it is incumbent upon the new government of the Jewish State to adopt a comprehensive demographic policy.

Enclosed you'll find my latest OpEd — "Let's Leverage the Good Demographic News" — which was published today, February 23, 2009 by the Jerusalem Post
(http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304849323&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.)


The bubble of demographic fatalism is bursting, according to the most recent data, published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS). The data should be leveraged by the new government to formulate a demographic policy aimed at increasing the current 67 percent Jewish majority west of the Jordan River (without Gaza). The policy would uproot demographic fatalism and advance demographic optimism, thus energizing Aliya, the economy, overseas investments, diplomacy, national security, posture of deterrence and minimizing Jewish-Arab tension, which is fed by demographic fear.

According to the ICBS, the country's Jewish population is getting younger and the Arab population getting older. The number of annual Jewish births increased by 45% between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), as a result of Aliya from the USSR, the shift by the Soviet Olim from a typical Russian rate of one birth per woman to a typical Israeli rate of two-three births, the rising secular Jewish rate and the sustained high Orthodox and haredi rate. The number of annual Arab births has stabilized — since 1995 — at around 39,000, reflecting a most successful integration by Arabs into the country's infrastructures of education, health, human services, commerce, finance, culture, sports and politics. The fertility gap is down from six births per woman in 1969 to 0.7 in 2009, and the proportion of Jewish births has grown from 69% (of total births) in 1995 and 74% in 2007 to 75% in 2008.

The downward trend typifies, also, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria due to large scale emigration, entrenched family planning, reduction of teen pregnancy, rapid urbanization, expanded education especially among women, record divorce rate and higher median marriage age.

The Westernization of Arab fertility rate (3.5 births per woman in pre-1967 Israel and four in Judea and Samaria) is apparent throughout most of the Arab and Muslim world. For instance, the 2008 map of the UN Population Division documents an average fertility rate of two-four births, compared with over four births 30 years ago. Even Yemen, the flagship of robust Arab demography, is adopting family planning. This month it approved a new law setting the minimum age for marriage at 17 for boys and girls, prohibiting marriage without the consent of the woman and benefiting divorced women.

THE JEWISH DEMOGRAPHIC tailwind behooves the new government to introduce a demogra phic road map, which would increase the Jewish majority, while respecting the rights of the Arab minority:

1. Placing Aliya at the top of the order of national priorities, as expected from the Jewish state and as required by economic and security challenges. The global economic meltdown, and the rise in anti-Semitism should be leveraged to increase Aliya from the former USSR, US, Europe, Latin America and South Africa.

2. The conversion of some 250,000 Olim from the former USSR — in accordance with Jewish laws — should be expedited.

3. Jewish immigration to — instead of emigration from — Jerusalem would be facilitated by the availability of jobs and lower-cost housing, created through entrepreneurs attracted by a drastic enhancement of the city's infrastructure (airport, fast railroad, Loop, additional freeway, industrial and residential zones).

4. Enticing the return of expatriates and reducing the number of quality emigrants by improving education and research and development infrastructures.

5. Expanding high school and academic programs for prospective Olim.

6. Significant development of infrastructure in the Galilee and in the Negev, triggering emigration from the Greater Tel Aviv area, which would yield economic, environmental and demographic benefits.

7. Synchronizing industrial and educational 9-5 schedule, which would facilitate raising children and obtaining employment.

8. The establishment of a global Jewish foundation, which would support Jewish fertility worldwide, in view of high assimilation, low fertility rates among non-Israeli Jews and Holocaust-driven demographic challenges.

In 1949, David Ben-Gurion considered demography a top priority to salvage the Jewish state, thus transferring to his successors a foundation for a long-term robust Jewish majority. In 2009, the new government will enjoy an impressive critical mass of demography, military, economy and technology. Will it resurrect the Ben-Gurion legacy and buttress the future of the Jewish state by reinforcing Jewish majority?

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 23, 2009.


Gaza residents told the official P.A. daily that Hamas used their farms and houses for firing rockets, digging tunnels, and storing arms. Objectors got shot in the legs. One farm was turned into a fortress that Israeli forces ruined. Now the family is waiting for Hamas to compensate it (IMRA, 1/30).

One family opposed Hamas because it belonged to Fatah. How many oppose Hamas for committing war crimes or just making war? How many because they want to preserve their own property, but wouldn't mind sacrifices by others?


Donors have given NIF about $200 million. Some money goes to good purpose. Much of it, however, goes to organizations having wholesome titles and statements of purpose, but conducting anti-Israel campaigns in the UNO and media. They describe the Arab-Israel conflict as if the Arabs were the victims, terrorism were justified, and Israeli self-defense were not.

"For example, Adalah, which is listed in NIF's annual report under the entirely legitimate heading of a 'legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel' (receiving $105,396 in 2007), joined militant Palestinian (sic) NGOs such as Badil, Al-Haq, and Al-Mezan in referring to the Israeli military operation as 'collective punishment,' 'war crimes' and 'willful killing... not justified by military necessity and... carried out unlawfully and wantonly.' In this statement, there is no call for Hamas to stop its deadly rocket fire. If this is NIF's concept of 'Arab minority rights, which precludes the existence of the State of Israel..." what good is NIF?

Adalah urges an end to Jewish sovereignty. It and related groups intend to prosecute Israelis in European courts for alleged war crimes.

NIF donates to the same groups as does the [anti-Zionist] EU. "Were NIF donors told outright that they were supporting organizations which demonize Israel using terms such as 'apartheid' and 'racism,' that campaign for and not against anti-Israel boycotts, they would surely demand an end to such funding..." If it denounced such organizations, the EU would find it difficult to subsidize them. NIF donors think they are improving Israel, not helping to destroy it (IMRA, 1/30).


Bush failed in eight years to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard, Israel's agent. Pollard has spent 24 years under very harsh prison conditions for a crime that usually runs 2-4 years. His main antagonist admitted it was exaggerated. His original lawyers' incompetence precluded parole (IMRA, 1/30).


He said "to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect." He said we needed to restore the relationship we had with Muslim world 20 years ago.

He is wrong. "In these most recent 20 years...America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. We also tried to save them from starving in Somalia. Some of those efforts were entirely out of decency, others out of self-interest. [Muslims not involved gave the US no credit for it. In behalf of Bosnia, the US targeted civilians; Bill Clinton should be tried for war crimes.]

What did the Muslim world do, more than 20 years ago? It executed our Sudan ambassador, imposed an oil embargo, held hostage the people in our Teheran embassy, blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, and attacked other US installations. Nevertheless, six days after 9/11, Pres. Bush went to the Islamic Center in Washington and said publicly, "Islam is peace," to extend fellowship and friendship to Muslims, to insist that Americans treat them with respect and generosity of spirit. And America listened." Obama is slandering America (IMRA, 1/30).

He is missing the problem with Islam. He'd better grow up fast and throw off his radicalism and gain some patriotism. Otherwise, he will make things worse.


He suggests opening the Gaza-Egypt border, under Fatah control, to end an incentive to smuggle (Arutz-7, 1/30). Fatah before and smugglers now import illegal arms. Mitchell is not logical.


A Spanish judge approved prosecution of an Israeli official who ordered the assassination of the head of Hamas forces. The target was responsible for murdering hundreds of Israelis [and had not retired from that activity]. Spain has a law permitting prosecution for terrorism committed outside of Spain and not against Spaniards. The judge based his decision on the fact that the target's house was in a civilian area and some civilians were killed (Arutz-7, 1/30). He decided before receiving case documents. Therefore, his decision was political, not judicial (IMRA, 1/31).

That standard is not based on international law. It is abused to stifle self-defense, to grant immunity to terrorist bases, and to guarantee more innocent victims of terrorists. It absurdly assumes that war is waged with perfection.


Candidate Livni would cede the Golan Heights to Syria, to change the Mideast balance between moderates and extremists (IMRA, 1/31).

One day, Syria is extremist, allied to Iran. Next day, having signed a treaty with Israel that fulfills part of its imperialist goals, Syria instantly would turn moderate? Life and religion are not like that. More likely, Syria would feel encouraged, influential as it has resumed being in Lebanon, and having gotten the Golan from which it could harass Israel without Israeli artillery being able to reach Damascus, to continue on the jihadist offensive. What kind of fools are Western leaders, still to believe in the transformative power of agreements with adversaries who don't honor agreements? God may make miracles, but treaties don't.

Who are our leaders, to decide how much would satisfy our enemies, when our enemies demand much more, including our heads? With Arabs, once Israel cedes territory, more demands for territory spring up.

Suppose the miracle occurred. Would the Syrian regime's Alawite minority be sure to retain power, or lose it to the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni terrorists who certainly would exploit the Israeli withdrawal for religious imperialism?

The notion of moderates who can make genuine peace with Israel and extremists who cannot is a diplomatic or journalistic fabrication. Before the rise of Islamists, neighboring Muslims resorted to terrorism, and it had nothing to do with the territory Israel gained in a war that those "moderates" started.


US policy is to withhold funds from Gaza, because terrorist Hamas is in charge

The Prime Minister of Turkey suggests that Israel end its blockade of Gaza, to permit reconciliation with the Arabs there (NY Times, 2/10, A).

Instead, the US gives funds to terrorist Fatah, which passes them on to Gaza. What kind of ethical rectitude and practicality is US policy based on? Tricks?

Reconciliation? Hamas and Fatah were set up to destroy Israel. Their attempts to do so led to the blockade. They have no wish to reconcile with Israel. The Prime Minister is making it seem as if Israeli self-defense is the cause of Muslim aggression. Logic is, first comes aggression, then self-defense.


One of the last acts by the Bush administration was to sever its relationship with the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Saudi-financed lobby. The FBI used to consult CAIR about issues involving Islam. No reason was given for the change (Jewish Press, 2/6, p.3).

The reason should be that CAIR is Islamist, rather than moderate. Why didn't the FBI give its reason? Still afraid of Islamist opinion? Or embarrassed over having depended on CAIR? The relationship was a shameful one for the administration, but very few objected to it. One would think that the NY Times, which likes to differentiate moderates from extremists, would have fussed over it. I don't think that the distinction is fully valid. Basic Islam is imperialist, but there are some Muslim societies in which the faithful are not interested in persecuting others. However, Islamists are trying to energize them.


The elite likes to imagine that religious fundamentalists are uneducated and uninformed. The liberal, secularist elite reads the NY Times or Washington Post and listens to NPR. The elite is uninformed (Mark Gold, Jewish Press, 2/6, p.4).


Fatah's militia took responsibility for opening fire on the Jewish town of Itamar, in Judea-Samaria. It called Itamar an "illegal settlement."

"How is it that gunmen from the illegal militia under 'moderate' Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah openly take credit for a terrorist attack?"

"Simple: Because all the people involved in the international project to arm and train 'moderate' Fatah and the amen chorus backing them refuse to allow reality to interfere with their program."

"The whole enterprise of arming and creating an [another] independent Palestinian state to 'bring peace' isn't because it is logical that it will bring peace but instead that it is an article of faith that it will bring peace." (IMRA, 2/1.)

Sec. Rice kept calling Abbas' people "moderate." Westerners who calls Israeli towns in Judea-Samaria illegal give terrorists the brass to attack them.


Daily attacks from Gaza prove that the IDF offensive was incomplete.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 22, 2009.

February 22, 2009

My postings go out to many people in the US, and it is to all of you in particular that I speak now.

That Israel has friends in the US is incontrovertible. This is the case notably within right wing segments of the Jewish community, and within certain segments of the Christian community.

But there is the sense here in Jerusalem today that as a nation we stand alone among the nations of the world as perhaps never before. (The one exception at the moment being Canada, which I note with gratitude.)

This is how Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz puts it:

"Israel is the only sovereign state whose destruction international society will excuse."

Horovitz wrote this in the context of talking about the state of politics in Britain today, where, according to British journalist Nick Cohen, the modern Left, "succors and indulges...the clerical fascists of radical Islam":

"From the broadcasters, through the liberal press, the Civil Service, the Metropolitan Police, the bench of bishops and the judiciary, anti-Semitism is no longer an unthinkable mental deformation. As long as the conspiracy theories of the counter-enlightenment come from the ideologues with the dark rather than white skins, nominally liberal men and women will not speak out."


Why do I address this to you, in America? Because Horovitz also tells us that Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor warned, during a talk at the recent Herzliya Conference, that:

"...where Britain is today, America will be in a few years time."

Exaggeration? I think not. I am watching as a president with Muslim identifications and connections actively courts the Muslim world, while a good portion of the American populace still thinks he's great and deigns not to criticize him.

As I face this truth, an icy chill grips my heart.


I know that there is precious little that I can do to stop Obama, except to sound alarms such as this one via my writing, and to consistently provide pertinent information. And that is why I address each of you.

I hope you won't find the picture of the finger pointing, below, offensive. I most certainly don't mean it to be: I intend it, rather, to emphasize the significance of having each of you take this message personally.

For the unvarnished truth, the painful reality, is that the future of Western society, with the US at its core, depends on people like you. And it's time for each of you to take this charge seriously. A simple silent agreement with what I write won't cut it. "Tch tch" or "Oy!" is useless, even if most sincerely intended — useless, unless it is accompanied by action.

How does that saying go? "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing."



Work hard to convince others — relatives and friends — of the dangers the US faces. Write (brief, unemotional, fact-filled) letters to the editor. Contact foreign desk editors, registering complaints (nicely — nasty doesn't work) when the news reflects an anti-Israel bias.

Of great significance, contact elected and appointed officials and register protests, clearly and frequently. The White House, the State Department, and members of both Houses of Congress must hear what you have to say. I will follow with specific names of greatest import.

Garner groups of local activists to do all of these things with you. Get out contact information of Congresspeople (information on this follows below), and provide talking points for important issues (which I will always help with). Be a catalyst. Be brave and determined. Form a list.

If you are a member of a major Jewish establishment organization — American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Hadassah, Emunah, ORT, B'nai B'rith, AMIT, etc. etc. raise your voice within those circles and insist that they be involved officially in making protest. The majority of these organizations have been all too quiet, and they need to hear from their members and financial supporters on this issues.

No more passivity. Act as if the lives of your children and grandchildren will depend on this. For they will.


To those on my list already doing these things — and some of you have been in contact with me — I say thank you, and please don't stop. (Bunny S., you're great!)


There will many issues to be addressed that I will raise over time. Here I want to return once again to the Durban 2 preparatory committee and the issue of US participation. This participation is the single most alarming decision Obama has made yet. It not only has serious repercussions, it points in an exceedingly dangerous direction.

That is why the Obama administration must get the message — immediate and vociferous — that this is not acceptable. The US is headed down a very slippery slope.


Today I begin with the most recent column of Caroline Glick.

In part she reviews material covered the other day by Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN (whom I cited last week).

Ostensibly, the US delegation sent by Obama to participate in the preparatory committee — along with the likes of Libya, Cuba, Iran and Pakistan — is only there to try to make things better. The US says it still holds out the option of refusing to attend the actual sessions in Geneva in April if improvements aren't made in the document that will set the agenda of the conference.

But, says Bayefsky, this is exceedingly disingenuous for several reasons:

  • The decision to participate at all represents a major shift in US policy, as the US government, since 2001, has boycotted all Durban proceedings.

  • The stated purpose of Durban 2 is "to foster the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. This is non-negotiable and cannot be changed by U.S. participation, period."

    "...all U.N. states attending these preparatory sessions have already agreed to 'reaffirm the Durban Declaration.'...joining negotiations now means agreeing to its provisions for the first time."

As Glick puts it, as the original Durban Declaration "include[s] the anti-Israel assertion that Israel is a racist state, it is clear that the Durban II conference is inherently, and necessarily, anti-Israel."


But Glick now carries this further:

"The second reason that both the State Department and the White House must realize that they are powerless to affect the conference's agenda is because that agenda was already set in previous planning sessions... and that agenda includes multiple assertions of the basic illegitimacy of the Jewish people's right to self-determination. "Beyond all that, assuming that the Obama administration truly wishes to change the agenda, the fact is that the US is powerless to do so. As was the case in 2001, so too, today, the Islamic bloc, supported by the Third World bloc, has an automatic voting majority."

Writes Glick:

"SINCE IT came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel's national security interests. From President Barack Obama's intense desire to appease Iran's mullahs in open discussions; to his stated commitment to establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible...; to his expressed support for the so-called Saudi peace plan...; to his decision to end US sanctions against Syria and return the US ambassador to Damascus; to his plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq and so give Iran an arc of uninterrupted control extending from Iran to Lebanon, every single concrete policy Obama has enunciated harms Israel.

"At the same time, none of the policies that Obama has adopted can be construed as directed against Israel. In and of themselves, none can be viewed as expressing specific hostility toward Israel. Rather, they are expressions of naiveté, or ignorance, or — at worst — deliberate denial of the nature of the problems of the Arab and Islamic world on the part of Obama and his advisers.

"The same cannot be said of the administration's decision to send its delegation to the Durban II planning session this past week in Geneva. Unlike every other Obama policy, this is a hostile act against Israel. This is true first of all because the decision was announced in the face of repeated Israeli requests that the US join Israel and Canada in boycotting the Durban II conference. (emphasis added)

"...what lies behind Israel's requests for a US boycott is not a partisan agenda, but a clearheaded acknowledgement that the Durban II conference is inherently devoted to the delegitimization and destruction of the Jewish state. And by joining in the planning sessions, the US has become a full participant in legitimizing and so advancing this overtly anti-Jewish agenda. (emphasis added)


Glick goes on to describe what happened at a committee session last Thursday, when the Palestinian delegation proposed that a paragraph be added to the conference's agenda, which "calls for implementation of... the advisory opinion of the ICJ [International Court of Justice] on the wall, [i.e., Israel's security fence], and the international protection of Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory."

"The American delegation raised no objection to the Palestinian draft. (emphasis added)

"Issued in 2004, the ICJ's advisory opinion on the security fence claimed that Israel has no right to self-defense against Palestinian terrorism. At the time, both the US and Israel rejected the ICJ's authority to issue an opinion on the subject.

"On Thursday, by not objecting to this Palestinian draft, not only did the US effectively accept the ICJ's authority, for practical purposes it granted the anti-Israel claim that Jews may be murdered with impunity."


Glick's conclusion: "...through its behavior at the Geneva planning sessions this week, the US has demonstrated that State Department protestations aside, the administration has no interest in changing the agenda in any serious way. The US delegation's decision not to object to the Palestinian draft, as well its silence in the face of Iran's rejection of a clause in the conference declaration that mentioned the Holocaust, show the US did not join the planning session to change the tenor of the conference. The US is participating in the planning sessions because it wishes to participate in the conference. (emphasis added)

"The Durban II conference, like its predecessor, is part and parcel of a campaign to coordinate the diplomatic and legal war against the Jewish state...

"By participating in the conference, the US today is effectively giving American support to the war against the Jewish state.

"The open hostility toward Israel expressed by the Obama administration's decision to participate in the Durban process should be a red flag for both the Israeli government and for Israel's supporters in the US. Both Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters must openly condemn the administration's move and demand that it reverse its decision immediately. (emphasis added)
/www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304831938& pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull


Now, as the alarm gets louder, I add information from one more very recent article by Anne Bayefsky. This is what she says:

"The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva 'outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document' and in particular 'our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism.' One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: 'The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference.' In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims. (emphasis added)

It's an Obama administration "cover-up," says Bayefsky. Which means we cannot depend on what is reported on this issue by government sources or journalists tending to support the administration.

The silence of the U.S. delegation is all the more disturbing because Bayefsky reports that it had no trouble raising objections on other issues at the meeting.
www.forbes.com/2009/02/22/obama-israel-holocaust-durban-opinions- contributors_united_nations.html


Contact the White House, the State Department, and your elected Senators and Congresspersons on this issue. Be strong and clear in your demand that the US pull out of Durban planning sessions. Use the information provided above to make your case succinctly: The US cannot change the anti-Israel direction of the proceedings and is instead legitimizing the process of undermining Israel.

Phone calls and faxes are most effective. Use e-mail if that is what is possible for you.

An important hint when contacting Senators and Congresspersons: Call their respective offices and ask for the staffer who is responsible for foreign affairs or Middle East affairs. Either speak to that individual directly, fax in care of that individual, or secure an e-mail address for him or her for sending a direct message. Members of Congress do not have the time or energy to read all messages, or consider all facts. They depend upon key staffers to advise them. You reach the members of Congress most effectively by reaching the appropriate high level staffer.

President Barack Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ (for email contact form)
Fax: 202-456-2461
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Public Communication Division
Phone: 202-647-6575
Fax: 202-647-2283
e-mail: secretary@state.gov

To locate your representatives in Congress, see:

To locate your senator:
You can often secure best contact info. by logging on to the website of the representative or senator.

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

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Posted by LEL, February 22, 2009.

This was written by Mark Steyn and it appeared in the National Review Online
http:/article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmVhYzRmOGYzYmQ3ODRhYjBiMzllYz c2NDNhZmZjMzU=.

Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone.


'It is hard to understand this deal," said Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's special envoy. And, if the special envoy of the so-called smartest and most impressive administration in living memory can't understand it, what chance do the rest of us have?

Nevertheless, let's try. In the Swat Valley, where a young Winston Churchill once served with the Malakand Field Force battling Muslim insurgents, his successors have concluded the game isn't worth the candle. In return for a temporary ceasefire, the Pakistani government agreed to let the local franchise of the Taliban impose its industrial strength version of sharia across the whole of Malakand Region. If "region" sounds a bit of an imprecise term, Malakand has over five million people, all of whom are now living under a murderous theocracy. Still, peace rallies have broken out all over the Swat Valley, and, at a Swat peace rally, it helps to stand well back: As one headline put it, "Journalist Killed While Covering Peace Rally."

But don't worry about Pakistani nukes falling into the hands of "extremists": The Swat Valley is a good hundred miles from the "nation"'s capital, Islamabad — or about as far as Northern Vermont is from Southern Vermont. And, of course, Islamabad is safely under the control of the famously moderate Ali Zardari. A few days before the Swat deal, Mr. Zardari marked the dawn of the Obama era by releasing from house arrest A. Q. Khan, the celebrated scientist and one-stop shop for all your Islamic nuclear needs, for whose generosity North Korea and Iran are especially grateful.

From Islamabad, let us zip a world away to London. Actually, it's nearer than you think. The flight routes between Pakistan and the United Kingdom are some of the busiest in the world. Can you get a direct flight from your local airport to, say, Bradford?


Bradford, Yorkshire. There are four flights a week from Islamabad to Bradford, a town where 75 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to their first cousins. But don't worry, in the country as a whole, only 57 percent of Pakistani Britons are married to first cousins.

Among that growing population of Yorkshire Pakistanis is a fellow called Lord Ahmed, a Muslim member of Parliament. He was in the news the other day for threatening (as the columnist Melanie Phillips put it) "to bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the House of Lords" if it went ahead with an event at which the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders would have introduced a screening of his controversial film Fitna. Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, reacted to this by declaring Minheer Wilders persona non grata and having him arrested at Heathrow and returned to the Netherlands.

The Home Secretary is best known for an inspired change of terminology: Last year she announced that henceforth Muslim terrorism (an unhelpful phrase) would be reclassified as "anti-Islamic activity." Seriously. The logic being that Muslims blowing stuff up tends not to do much for Islam's reputation — i.e., it's an "anti-Islamic activity" in the same sense that Pearl Harbor was an anti-Japanese activity.

Anyway, Geert Wilders's short film is basically a compilation video of footage from various recent Muslim terrorist atrocities — whoops, sorry, "anti-Islamic activities" — accompanied by the relevant chapter and verse from the Koran. Jacqui Smith banned the filmmaker on "public order" grounds — in other words, the government's fear that Lord Ahmed meant what he said about a 10,000-strong mob besieging the Palace of Westminster. You might conceivably get the impression from Wilders's movie that many Muslims are irrational and violent types it's best to steer well clear of. But, if you didn't, Jacqui Smith pretty much confirmed it: We can't have chaps walking around saying Muslims are violent because they'll go bananas and smash the place up.

So, confronted by blackmail, the British government caved. So did the Pakistani government in Swat. But, in fairness to Islamabad, they waited until the shooting was well underway before throwing in the towel. In London, you no longer have to go that far. You just give the impression your more excitable chums might not be able to restrain themselves. "Nice little G7 advanced western democracy you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it." Twenty years ago this month, Margaret Thatcher's Conservative ministry defended the right of a left-wing author Salman Rushdie to publish a book in the face of Muslim riots and the Ayatollah Khomeini's attempted mob hit. Two decades on, a supposedly progressive government surrenders to the mob before it's even taken to the streets.

In his first TV interview as president, Barack Obama told viewers of al-Arabiya TV that he wanted to restore the "same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago." I'm not sure quite what golden age he's looking back to there — the Beirut barracks slaughter? the embassy hostages? — but the point is, it's very hard to turn back the clock. Because the facts on the ground change, and change remorselessly. Even in 30 years. Between 1970 and 2000, the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, while the Muslim world increased from 15 percent to 20 percent. And in 2030, it won't even be possible to re-take that survey, because by that point half the "developed world" will itself be Muslim: In Bradford — as in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and almost every other western European city from Malmo to Marseilles — the principal population growth comes from Islam. Thirty years ago, in the Obama golden age, a British documentary-maker was so horrified by the "honor killing" of a teenage member of the House of Saud at the behest of her father, the king's brother, that he made a famous TV film about it, Death Of A Princess. The furious Saudis threatened a trade boycott with Britain over this unwanted exposure. Today, we have honor killings not just in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but in Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, Toronto, Dallas, and Buffalo. And they barely raise an eyebrow.

Contact LEL at LEL817@yahoo.com

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Posted by Daisy Stern, February 22, 2009.

This is a picture of the water I collected last night: here are some. In only one night, this is what fell. I could have collected a lot more, but didn't feel like it; maybe next time.

We also have a little man-made pond — that my son dug out with his own hands — which only fills up a couple of times a year. Today is one of those days.

I hope you follow my example and start collecting the rain water that is legitimately yours: it fell on your roof, didn't it? Where will it be going if YOU don't keep it? Who will eventually either take it for themselves (Arabs digging illegal wells into the aquifers, or USAID in Bani Naim), or sell it to you at a profit (Mekorot from the Kinneret, etc)? Don't give our enemies a chance to deprive you of your deserved greenery , fruits and vegetables. The slogan always seems to be "WATER RATIONING" these days: WHO SAID IT HAS TO BE SO? Why cooperate with people who don't have your best interest at heart?

So keep the water, use it for your gardening needs, indoor plants, or whatever purposes brackish water can be used for, and ENJOY!

THIS WATER is staying RIGHT HERE, in Kiryat Arba, and will be used to water my GARDEN: Yes, you read it. It will water EVERYTHING in this garden, from the fruit trees, to the shade trees, to the flowers. G-d gave it to me, right here, and I sure hope EVERY GOOD JEW FOLLOWS MY EXAMPLE AND KEEPS THE WATER G-D GAVE HIM OR HER, right where he or she lives.

Enough with this water tyranny: the government supplies it to the Arabs more than to us, whether in Jordan or in Yesha, and they steal it themselves anyway, if not for the Americans giving it to them via USAID. Don't you see it is another assault on our sovereignty? They'll do everything they can to deprive the Jews of anything good; first it was Gush Katif, now it is water rationing. If we distributed the water equitably to the Jews, and forgot the Arabs, there would be enough for everybody. But no, they have to supply our enemies first, and let US , the JEWS, suffer. I am NOT buying it. Better I use is than the Arabs. Or that I should have to pay Mekorot to sell it to me at outrageous prices.

Tough luck if you don't like it.

When the fruits and the fragrant flowers come, I have to give maaser — one tenth — to the Cohen. And since there is no Cohen to give it to, it does go to some form of charity (you are not allowed to even taste the fruit until to give maaser; did you know that?). So YES, the water stays here, but NO, the product is NOT all mine. And if a THIRSTY JEW comes along, believe me, he or she gets his/her drink. Whenever I have guests, they always get the very best water, even my workers: never tap water, always spring water, so I am NOT selfish when it comes to that. But there is no way I'll let the b.......s get the benefit of all the water flowing back into the aquifer... and then they take it illegally anyway.

Also, did you know that the arabs all have water collecting systems on their roofs, to collect rain water? If they do it, WE certainly should. Do you really believe , knowing that they want us dead, that they care if we suffer from lack of water? On the contrary, they are delighted. I won't give them this pleasure, and you shouldn't either.

Just to make my point: today, as I was driving through BEIT UMAR, a HOTBED OF TERROR, I slowed down enough to take a good picture of the green grassy football field I had told you about. Mind you, while there had been a drought for two straight months, and our grass was all yellow and dried out.... And grass uses the most water of all plants here.

So I am asking you, WHERE DOES that water come from? WHO gave it to them? From WHOM did they steal it? And HOW THIRSTY CAN THEY BE, if they can afford to water their fields like this in the middle of a drought?

If you read their sites, they don't stop complaining about how we steal their water. Now you can see first hand the TRUTH OF THE MATTER.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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Posted by Joseph R. Black, Jr., February 22, 2009.

Having read all op-ed columns in The Florida Times-Union and The Columbus Dispatch as they appear today, I would like to report that I am no less depressed than I was yesterday. Please send a team of psychiatrists to my apartment at your earliest convenience.

My topic for today is the foreign policy of the U.S. as it relates to Mexico and North Korea. If that topic doesn't depress you, I don't know what will.

The U.S. borders only two nations. One good, and one evil. I'll let you decide which is which.

The U.S. does not border North Korea. If it did, its evil-border batting average would rise from .500 to .666. Sounds almost biblical, doesn't it?

Anyway, U.S. foreign policy as it relates to Mexico and North Korea has been, by any sane reckoning, an abysmal failure. We're so dumb we can't seem to recognize that there are some nations we can't trust. North Korea and Mexico are among them. Make a deal with North Korea, and it will renege. Make another, and it will do the same.

North Korea is once again engaged in saber rattling, this time with its Taepodong 2 missile. But don't worry about a thing. All the U.S. needs to do is make another deal with North Korea. Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should negotiate the latest deal, thereby providing her the prospect of winning the Nobel Peace Prize a la President Carter.

Contact Joseph Black at plasma12@bellsouth.net

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Posted by George Iversen, February 22, 2009.

If you are visiting Israel and have the time to perform a mitzvah, volunteers are needed to help alleviate the difficult plight of many survivors of the Shoah in Israel. There are a number of organizations working to improve and enhance the lives of survivors. However, Israeli and international law concerning the rights of survivors has changed, and much needs to be done to educate survivors and their families about these changes.

Volunteers will attend a 10-hour training seminar and then either staff a telephone hotline or visit the homes of survivors to help them fill out forms and to explain changes in the law with respect to their rights and benefits. Fluency in Hebrew, Yiddish, or an East European language is required.

For information on this project or other volunteer opportunities in Israel, please contact:

In the United States: George Iversen at george.iversen@israelvolunteer.org
Toll free at 1-866-624-1853

In Israel: Adi Liran, the International Volunteer Coordinator of Ruach Tova, at adi@ruachtova.org.il

Thank you
George Iversen


Contact George Iversen at georgeivers@yahoo.com

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, February 22, 2009.

[Background: The 2001 UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban quickly became a disgusting display of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel Propaganda. No other country was singled out. It was clear the attack had been carefully-planned and cleverly-executed. Israel had been blind-sided.]

The Bush Administration was going to boycott Durban II, whose whole purpose is to implement the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resolutions of the Durban I hate-fest. But the present U.S. administration has decided to "engage." The result will shows what "changes" are in store of us.

This is by Caroline Glick and it appeared February 20, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post. Contact her at caroline@carolineglick.com


While most Americans were busy celebrating Valentine's Day, last Saturday the Obama administration announced that it would send a delegation to Geneva to participate in planning the UN's so-called Durban II conference, scheduled to take place in late April. Although largely overlooked in the US, the announcement sent shock waves through Jerusalem.

The Durban II conference was announced in the summer of 2007. Its stated purpose is to review the implementation of the declaration adopted at the UN's anti-Israel hate-fest that took place in Durban, South Africa, the week before the September 11, 2001, attacks against America.

At Durban, both the UN-sponsored NGO conclave and the UN's governmental conference passed declarations denouncing Israel as a racist state. The NGO conference called for a coordinated international campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, and belittling the Holocaust.

The NGO conference also called for curbs on freedom of expression throughout the world in order to prevent critical discussion of Islam. As far as the world's leading NGOs — including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch — were concerned, critical discussions of Islam are inherently racist.

In defending US participation in the Durban II planning sessions, Gordon Duguid, the State Department's spokesman, argued, "If you are not engaged, you don't have a voice."

He continued, "We wanted to put forward our view and see if there is some way we can make the document [which sets the agenda and dictates the outcome of the Durban II conference] a better document than it appears it is going to be."

WHILE THIS seems like a noble goal, both the State Department and the Obama White House ought to know that there is absolutely no chance that they can accomplish it. This is the case for two reasons.

First, since the stated purpose of the Durban II conference is to oversee the implementation of the first Durban conference's decisions, and since those decisions include the anti-Israel assertion that Israel is a racist state, it is clear that the Durban II conference is inherently, and necessarily, anti-Israel.

The second reason that both the State Department and the White House must realize that they are powerless to affect the conference's agenda is because that agenda was already set in previous planning sessions chaired by the likes of Libya, Cuba, Iran and Pakistan. And that agenda includes multiple assertions of the basic illegitimacy of the Jewish people's right to self-determination. The conference agenda also largely adopted the language of the 2001 NGO conference that called for the criminalization of critical discussion of Islam as a form of hate speech and racism. That is, the 2009 conference's agenda is not only openly anti-Israel, it is also openly pro-tyranny, and so seemingly antithetical to US interests.

Beyond all that, assuming that the Obama administration truly wishes to change the agenda, the fact is that the US is powerless to do so. As was the case in 2001, so too, today, the Islamic bloc, supported by the Third World bloc, has an automatic voting majority. Beyond chipping away at the margins, the US has no ability whatsoever to change the conference's agenda or expected outcome.

SINCE IT came into office a month ago, every single Middle East policy the Obama administration has announced has been antithetical to Israel's national security interests. From President Barack Obama's intense desire to appease Iran's mullahs in open discussions; to his stated commitment to establish a Palestinian state as quickly as possible despite the Palestinians' open rejection of Israel's right to exist and support for terrorism; to his expressed support for the so-called Saudi peace plan, which would require Israel to commit national suicide by contracting to within indefensible borders and accepting millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs as citizens and residents of the rump Jewish state; to his decision to end US sanctions against Syria and return the US ambassador to Damascus; to his plan to withdraw US forces from Iraq and so give Iran an arc of uninterrupted control extending from Iran to Lebanon, every single concrete policy Obama has enunciated harms Israel.

At the same time, none of the policies that Obama has adopted can be construed as directed against Israel. In and of themselves, none can be viewed as expressing specific hostility toward Israel. Rather, they are expressions of naiveté, or ignorance, or — at worst — deliberate denial of the nature of the problems of the Arab and Islamic world on the part of Obama and his advisers.

The same cannot be said of the administration's decision to send its delegation to the Durban II planning session this past week in Geneva. Unlike every other Obama policy, this is a hostile act against Israel. This is true first of all because the decision was announced in the face of repeated Israeli requests that the US join Israel and Canada in boycotting the Durban II conference.

Some could chalk up the US's rejection of Israel's urgent entreaties as an honest difference of opinion. But what lies behind Israel's requests for a US boycott is not a partisan agenda, but a clearheaded acknowledgement that the Durban II conference is inherently devoted to the delegitimization and destruction of the Jewish state. And by joining in the planning sessions, the US has become a full participant in legitimizing and so advancing this overtly anti-Jewish agenda.

On Thursday, Prof. Anne Bayefsky, the senior editor of the EyeontheUN Web site, demonstrated that by participating in the planning sessions the US is accepting the conference's anti-Israel agenda. Bayefsky reported that at the planning session in Geneva on Thursday, the Palestinian delegation proposed that a paragraph be added to the conference's agenda. Their draft "calls for implementation of... the advisory opinion of the ICJ [International Court of Justice] on the wall, [i.e., Israel's security fence], and the international protection of Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory."

The American delegation raised no objection to the Palestinian draft.

Issued in 2004, the ICJ's advisory opinion on the security fence claimed that Israel has no right to self-defense against Palestinian terrorism. At the time, both the US and Israel rejected the ICJ's authority to issue an opinion on the subject.

On Thursday, by not objecting to this Palestinian draft, not only did the US effectively accept the ICJ's authority, for practical purposes it granted the anti-Israel claim that Jews may be murdered with impunity.

This assertion aligns naturally with the language already in the Durban II agenda, which calls Israel's Law of Return racist. This law, which grants automatic citizenship to any Jew who wishes to live here, is the embodiment of Jewish peoplehood and the vehicle through which the Jewish people has built our nation-state. In alleging that the Law of Return is racist, the Durban II conference asserts that the Jews are not a people and we have no right to self-determination in our homeland. And Thursday, by participating in the process of demonizing Israel and its people, the US lent its own credibility to this bigoted campaign.

OBAMA'S SPOKESMEN and defenders claim that by participating in the planning sessions in Geneva, the administration is doing nothing more than attempting to prevent the conference from being the anti-Jewish diplomatic pogrom it was in 2001. If they are unsuccessful, they will boycott the conference. No harm done.

But this claim rings hollow.

As Bayefsky and others argued this week, by entering into the Durban preparatory process, the US has done two things. First, it has made it all but impossible for European states like France, Britain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, which were all considering boycotting the conference, to do so. They cannot afford to be seen as more opposed to its anti-Israel and anti-freedom agenda than Israel's closest ally and the world's greatest democracy. So just by participating in the planning sessions the US has legitimized a clearly bigoted, morally illegitimate process, making it impossible for Europe to disengage.

Second, through its behavior at the Geneva planning sessions this week, the US has demonstrated that State Department protestations aside, the administration has no interest in changing the agenda in any serious way. The US delegation's decision not to object to the Palestinian draft, as well its silence in the face of Iran's rejection of a clause in the conference declaration that mentioned the Holocaust, show the US did not join the planning session to change the tenor of the conference. The US is participating in the planning sessions because it wishes to participate in the conference.

The Durban II conference, like its predecessor, is part and parcel of a campaign to coordinate the diplomatic and legal war against the Jewish state. By walking out of the 2001 Durban conference, and refusing to participate, support or finance any aspect of this UN-sponsored campaign until last Saturday, for seven years the US made clear that it opposed this war and believed its aim of destroying Israel is unacceptable.

By embracing the Durban campaign now, it is possible that the Obama administration will water down some of the most noxious language in conference's draft declaration. But this doesn't balance out the harm US participation will cause to Israel, or to the Jewish people. By participating in the conference, the US today is effectively giving American support to the war against the Jewish state.

The open hostility toward Israel expressed by the Obama administration's decision to participate in the Durban process should be a red flag for both the Israeli government and for Israel's supporters in the US. Both Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish supporters must openly condemn the administration's move and demand that it reverse its decision immediately.

FOR THE past two years, the American Jewish Committee has been instrumental in convincing the American Jewish community to reject repeated Israeli requests that they call for a US boycott of Durban II. To secure US participation over Israel's objections, the AJC even went so far as to sign a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her not to boycott the conference.

In return for the AJC's labors, its senior operative Felice Gaer is now a member of the US delegation in Geneva. Happily ensconced in the Swiss conference room where the Holocaust is denied, the Jewish people's right to self-determination is reviled, and Israel's right to defend itself is rejected, Gaer now sits silently, all the while using the fact of her membership in the US delegation as proof that the Obama administration is serious about protecting Israel at Durban II.

Whatever the AJC may have gained for its support for Durban II, Israel and its supporters have clearly been harmed.

Some might argue that no Israeli interest is served by openly condemning the White House. But when the White House is participating in a process that legitimizes and so advances the war against the Jewish state, such condemnation is not only richly deserved but required. It is the administration, not Israel that threw down the gauntlet. If Israel and its supporters refrain from vigorously criticizing this move, we guarantee its repetition.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Update February 27, 2009:

From Newsdesk@jta.org

U.S. pulling out of Durban II conference

The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism. Multiple sources on a conference call with the White House on Friday told JTA that the Obama administration had opted not to attend any further preparatory meetings ahead of the planned U.N. conference against racism in Geneva in April.

But he sent people to participate in the "Planning Session" that wrote the language that will be used to demonize Israel in Durban 2. What kind of schizophrenic game is this?  

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 Dr. Richard L. Benkin, February 22, 2009.

Dhaka, Bangladesh — At 10am today, local time, internationally-acclaimed journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, was attacked as he was working in the office of his newspaper, Weekly Blitz, by "a gang of thugs" claiming to be from Bangladesh's ruling Awami League. I spoke by telephone with Choudhury as he awaited medical treatment for eye, neck, and other injuries suffered in the attack. The renewed violence marks the first against him since he was abducted by Bangladesh's dreaded Rapid Action Battalion a year ago.

A large group stormed Blitz premises and attacked newspaper staff until they found Choudhury. At that point, he said, "they dragged me [and two staff] into the street" where they beat them "in broad daylight...They looted my office and stole my laptop" with "all my sensitive information. As of this writing, the attackers continue to occupy the Blitz office.

According to Choudhury, the police were impassive and seemed intimidated when the attackers emphasized their party membership and accused him of being an agent of the Israeli Mossad. They later threatened to attack his home should Choudhury go to the police again.

Choudhury was arrested in 2003 by government agents, in cooperation with Islamist forces, because of his advocacy of relations with Israel and religious equality, and his articles exposing the rise of radical Islam in Bangladesh. He was tortured and held for seventeen months and only released after strong pressure by human rights activist Dr. Richard Benkin and US Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL). In 2007, the US Congress passed a Kirk-introduced resolution 409-1 calling on Bangladesh to stop harassing Choudhury and drop capital charges against him after extensive evidence confirmed them to be false, contrary to Bangladeshi law, and as admitted by successive Bangladeshi officials, maintained only to appease Islamists. The Bangladeshi government continues to remain in defiance of that resolution and its provisions.

For further information, contact Richard Benkin at drrbenkin@comcast.net

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Posted by Sultan Knish, February , 2009.

The Muslim oversensitivity to any perceived insult is in directly inverse proportion to how much hate Muslims themselves are willing to display for others.

If you go by Muslim standards, removing a man wearing a t-shirt with Arabic words off a plane is an unacceptable display of Islamophobia, but banning an Israeli tennis player from Dubai is completely legitimate.

Drawing cartoons of Mohammed as a terrorist is not acceptable, but calling for the deaths of the cartoonists is.

Writing a book parodying Islam is unacceptable, but murdering the book's translators around the world is reasonable.

Israeli checkpoints on the Gaza border are unacceptable examples of apartheid, but Saudi Arabia barring all non-Muslims from entering the city of Mecca or from holding Saudi citizenship — is their right.

A protest against Hamas and Al Queda that desecrates their flags, which have verses from the Koran on them, is unacceptable offensive to Muslims — but Muslim student associations waving those same flags is something that no one may question.

A Muslim "refugee" who is arrested for illegally entering a European country is being imprisoned solely out of "Islamophobia", as are the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay — but Westerners who enter a Muslim country lose all rights and may be imprisoned, tortured and flogged on the flimsiest of allegations from a Muslim.

Western countries expecting that a Muslim woman remove her Hijab for an ID photo is Islamophobia. However Muslim countries have the right to demand that even the House Speaker and First Lady cover up their hair when visiting a Muslim country.

When a Muslim man has woman's underwear put on his head, while detaining for trying to kill American soldiers, that is the vilest crime against humanity. However when Muslim men hang and flog women for adultery... that is their culture and we have no right to judge. Not unless we're Islamophobes, that is.

Muslim paranoid fears of Western culture can legitimately express themselves in banning magazines, Valentine's day celebrations and movies. However any Western resistance to the Koran or Arabic is a clear sign of Islamophobia.

A Koran in a toilet is a hate crime.

However burning the contents of the Library of Alexandria because "if it's not in the Koran, it's superfluous", is a legitimate expression of Muslim views on non-Muslim literature.

Prejudice against Muslims is unacceptable.

But Muslim prejudices against women, Jews, Christians, gays, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Atheists, and just about everyone else — are part of their culture. And who are we to judge if they feel they have a right to hate and kill anyone who isn't a Muslim male.

The problem with all of these examples is that Muslims want to have it both ways.

On the one hand they want a blank check that allows them to treat any negative feedback as Islamophobia. On the other hand they want to be able to express any degree and form of hatred for others and support for terrorism in public forums without any repercussions.

What Muslims really want is Political Correctness for us, and none for them.

They want a chain around our necks with the leash in their hand, while the other hand waves a Hizbollah flag. And that can't work.

If Danish cartoonist can't draw Mohammed, then Muslim protesters should at the very least be unable to call for the murder of their political opponents. If Christian pastors are to be censored for denouncing Islam, then the Finsbury Park Mosque rabble should be too.

Neither hate nor tolerance can be a one way street, yet Muslims have exploited charges of Islamophobia to do just that. Saudi backed organizations such as CAIR or the MSU routinely spread hate, and then are outraged when anyone calls them to account for it.

Canada's largest group, the Canadian Arab Federation, had no problem being part of rallies featuring Hamas and Hezbollah flags.

They did have a problem when Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney criticized them for it, so naturally the President of the CAF called him a "professional whore". Kenney in turn responded by saying, "We should not be rewarding those who express views that are contrary to Canada's best liberal values of tolerance and mutual respect" and announced plans to pull the CAF's funding. Naturally the CAF's response was to cry Islamophobia.

The Canadian Arab Federation decided to host pro-Hamas articles on its site, to push for airing Al Jazeera in Canada, to participate in openly terrorist rallies and then respond to criticism by insulting the Immigration Minister. But naturally the consequences of all that only came due because of Islamophobia.

Muslims have gotten too comfortable sweeping a lot under the rug by crying Islamophobia. But that implies that they actually wish to be part of a tolerant multicultural society, where everyone's rights are respected. By their actions and agendas however, that is not the society they wish to be a part of. Neither in Ridyah, Tehran, Gaza, Karachi or London, Paris and Detroit.

It is up to Muslims themselves to decide what role they wish to play abroad and in the global culture. They can be intolerant fanatics who stay at home and expect everyone else to stay at home too. Or they can be open and tolerant enough to live side by side with others. But they can't be intolerant fanatics who expect us to be tolerant and open toward their fanatical intolerance. Not on our dime.

That is the problem, and it is a Gordian Knot that Muslims can either try to untie themselves, or someone will wind up cutting through it for them.

Contact Sultan Knish at sultanknish@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 22, 2009.

These people are traitors and should be deported ...Sadly the death penalty for treason is not applied any more.... Truth is while they remain on British soil they are a clear and present danger. ..... Further .... we need to think NOW if British Passports should start to be constrained and have VISAS to travel

This was posted by Raymond yesterday from the Jihad Watch site


With fellow countrymen like these, who needs enemies?

Electronic devices such as "mobile phones filled with explosives, which could kill or seriously injure British soldiers patrolling on foot, and more sophisticated devices that can be used against military vehicles." Quite ingenious these British Muslims; combining their Western heritage (e.g.., technology) with their jihadi blood-lust, they can sure be quite creative.

"British Muslims 'providing Taliban with electronic devices for roadside bombs,'" by Con Coughlin for the Telegraph, February 21:

British Muslims are providing the Taliban with electronic devices to make roadside bombs for use in attacks against British forces serving in southern Afghanistan, The Telegraph can disclose.

The devices, which enable Taliban fighters to detonate roadside bombs by remote control, are either sent to sympathizers in the region, or carried by volunteers who fly to Pakistan and then make their way across the border.

Details of how British electronic components have been found in roadside bombs were given to David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, when he visited British troops at their military compound at Lashkagar, in Helmand province, earlier this week.

In a briefing on British operations in southern Afghanistan by Brigadier Gordon Messenger, the Royal Marine commander of the British battlegroup, Mr Miliband was shown examples of the crude, home-made devices that are being used in attacks against British patrols.

They included mobile phones filled with explosives, which could kill or seriously injure British soldiers patrolling on foot, and more sophisticated devices that can be used against military vehicles.

Explosives experts who have examined the devices say they have found British-made electronic components that enable Taliban insurgents to detonate their home-made, road-side bombs by remote control.

The electronic devices smuggled into Afghanistan from Britain range from basic remote control units that are normally used to fly model airplanes to more advanced components that enable insurgents to conduct attacks from up to a mile away from British patrols.

"We have found electronic components in devices used to target British troops that originally come from Britain," a British explosives officer told Mr Miliband during a detailed briefing on the type of improvised explosive device (IED) used against British forces.

When asked how the components had reached Afghanistan, the officer explained that they had either been sent from Britain, or physically brought to Afghanistan by British Muslims who had flown over.

The disclosure is the latest in a string of suggestions from British commanders about the connections between British Muslims and violence in Afghanistan...

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 22, 2009.
This is from Sana, the Syrian Arab News Agency and is archived at
http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2009/02/21/213885.htm It was written by Fadi Allafi/Ghosoun.

Cairo, (SANA) — The Arab League started today the legal procedures to guarantee that none of the Israeli war criminals will escape punishment for the crimes they had committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip.

In a statement to reporters, Head of the League Secretary General's Office Ambassador Hisham Yousef said that two committees were held today at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League presided by the Secreatry General, Amr Mousa.

The first committee consists of international jurists headed by the French international jurist Jean Dugrd. This committee is going to study the situation in Gaza Strip and the Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people and the role of the international law in dealing with those crimes. This committee also includes the Arab League and will be aided by a Palestinian human rights organization.

"The second committee held today presided by the Arab League Secretay General is for the Arab originations. This committee is going to discuss the role of the establishments of the joint Arab action to rebuild Gaza, and it consists of agriculture and industry organizations to discuss the Palestinian people's needs and the means with which they can help within a framework of organized Arab effort for the rebuilding process", Yousef added.

The legal committee, yousef mentioned, is going to make a report about the human and international law violations and discuss details of the war crimes carried out by the isareli army against the Palestinian people in Gaza paving the way for international law steps in this domain.

Yousef also mentioned that it should be taken into consideration that such issues take long time and that this is the beginning. He also pointed out that the committee will present its report to the Secretary General.

"The international law committee may pay other visits, and experts and technicians may share". Yousef added.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Bryna Berch, February 22, 2009.

When Obama was a candidate, it was racist to say Obama was Muslim. When he became president, he made being a Muslim sound like a job requirement, and boasted about his Muslim roots. When he was candidate, many Jews reassured us that he'd fired his troupe of anti-semitic policy advisors. With Samantha, Susan and Z Big Bryzezinski the Ancient Anti-Semite, he had almost a full house of people who hate Jews. He's apparently ready to complete the crew with an Saudi Arabian slave — the dishonourable Charles Freeman.

This was written by Steve Rosen And it appeared on the Middel East Forum website.
http://www.meforum.org/blog/obama-mideast-monitor/2009/02/freeman- says-he-took-1-million-for-saudi-public-relations.html


Chas Freeman, reportedly nominated to head the National Intelligence Council preparing finished National Intelligence Estimates for President Obama, acknowledged in 2006 that the $1 million donation to his Middle East Policy Council that he received from "the generosity of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia" was for public relations in the United States. He said in an interview with the Saudi-U.S. Relations Information Service, "Frankly, I'm delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts. ...I am hopeful that we can put this effort on a sustainable long-term basis." Below are excerpts of his interview.

Saudi-U.S. Relations Information Service
The Role of the Middle East Policy Council
A Conversation with Chas W. Freeman, Jr. September 20, 2006
http://www.saudi-us-relations.org/articles/2006/interviews/060920- freeman-interview.html

Additional research should be done regarding his business dealings as Chairman of Projects International, a for-profit firm he has headed since 1995. According to the Projects International website, "He is active in supporting Projects International's clients in all these regions of the world today," including the Middle East.

These are obviously very difficult times for any organization attempting to promote better understanding and stronger ties between the United States and the Arab world. ...Financial support has been very negatively affected both by ... the financial controls and other restrictions on international financial transactions — inhibiting and tending to reduce the willingness to give as well...About a year and a half ago the board of MEPC ...concluded that we probably couldn't continue our work and we couldn't survive on the basis of a continuing flow of small and medium size donations. The only way we could ensure our survival and the continuation of our work over the long run was through the establishment of an endowment. Thanks to the generosity of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia we have managed to accumulate an endowment....I periodically visit the region — to the Kingdom and to other countries in the Gulf. I meet mostly with individuals and companies who are interested in seeing better relations between the US and the Arab world...Frankly, I'm delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts. ...I am hopeful that we can put this effort on a sustainable long-term basis. ...If the Middle East Policy Council were to disappear it would not be easily replaced.

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Posted by Ted Belman, February 21, 2009.

Elliot Abrams advises there are "two alternatives: realism and failure." He ought to know.

According to Tom Barry's "Elliot Abrams: Neocon's Neocon"

"Elliott Abrams embodies neoconservatism. Perhaps more than any other neoconservative, Abrams has integrated the various influences that have shaped today's neoconservative agenda. A creature of the neoconservative incubator, Abrams is a political intellectual and operative who has advanced the neoconservative agenda with chutzpah and considerable success.

"As a government official, Abrams organized front groups to provide private and clandestine official support for the Nicaraguan Contras; served as the president of an ethics institute despite his own record of lying to Congress and managing illegal operations; rose to high positions in the National Security Council to oversee U.S. foreign policy in regions where he had no professional experience, only ideological positions..."

He was also tasked by Bush to bring about the downfall of Hamas after their coup.

He just published an article in the Weekly Standard titled "The Path of Realism or the Path of Failure: Laying a foundation for peace in Palestine." He states,

As an official of the Bush administration I made three dozen visits to the Middle East in the last eight years, and in February, as Israelis voted, I made my first visit as a private citizen in nearly a decade. After lengthy discussions with Israelis and Palestinians, it seems to me obvious that it is time to face certain facts, facts that President Bush actually saw clearly during his first term: We are not on the verge of Israeli-Palestinian peace; a Palestinian state cannot come into being in the near future; and the focus should be on building the institutions that will allow for real Palestinian progress in the medium or longer term.

He follows this up with a review of Bush's historic vision speech in 2002 which essentially said he same thing as did the performance based Roadmap. Annapolis was an attempt to leapfrog to final status discussions. It failed.

I am unaware of the achievement of any actual agreement on any important issue on either track.

But the lesson for 2009, for the new administration, must be that there are actually only two alternatives: realism and failure.

Netanyahu has long been associated with the Neocons so it is no surprise that he too chooses realism instead of failure. He wants to work from the bottom up.

On the toughest issues, such as Jerusalem and refugees, there was, unsurprisingly, no meeting of the minds. It is unlikely negotiators will do better this year. It has been true for decades that the most Israel can offer the Palestinians is quite evidently less than any Palestinian politician is prepared to accept. Those who say "the outlines of an agreement are well known" and thereby suggest that an agreement is close are precisely wrong: Is it not evident that to the extent that such outlines are "well known," they are unacceptable to both sides or they would have led to a deal long ago?

After reviewing all the standard reasons why it is a no-go now, he comes to grips with the goal itself.

It is also time to rethink the recent commitment to leaping all at once to full independence for the Palestinians, and even to break the taboo and rethink that ultimate goal itself. Immediate and total independence was not the plan when the Roadmap was written in 2002 and released in 2003. Then, it was understood that "an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty" was a necessary way-station. Given Hamas control over Gaza, which makes a united independent Palestine impossible for now anyway, a West Bank-only state with provisional borders and only some of the attributes of sovereignty makes far more sense as a medium-term goal. It might also allow postponing compromises on Jerusalem and refugee claims that no Palestinian politician could now make, for those issues could be left aside for another day, while the delays are blamed on Hamas and its rebellion in Gaza.

This last part is extremely important as it places the onus on the Palestinians to make the necessary compromises. I haven't seen an official say that before.

How that episode will end is entirely unclear, given Israel's reluctance to reoccupy and rule Gaza, and Egypt's reluctance to enforce strict controls on the smuggling of weapons. One Israeli official told me that Egypt had agreed to stop the smuggling through the tunnels. But will they really do it? I asked him. Oh, he replied, "now you are asking if we can get an agreement to implement the agreement. That's different." While Iran is able to sustain the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza, negotiations over a full final status agreement are little more than staking territorial claims to a mirage.

He leaves the best for the last.

But one is free to wonder as well whether Palestinian "statehood" is the best and most sensible goal for Palestinians. When I served under Secretary of State George Shultz in the Reagan administration, we were expressly opposed to that outcome and favored some links to Egypt and Jordan. On security and economic grounds, such links are no less reasonable now; indeed, given Hamas control of Gaza and the Iranian threat to moderate Arab states as well as to Israel, they may be even more compelling. As we've seen, President Bush in 2002 stated that the Palestinians should "reach agreement with Israel and Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence."

Take note of the highlighted sentence and remind yourself what Mitchell recently said about striving for peace,

"..coordinated strategy that will take into account regional leaders concerns regarding Iran."

Mitchell also said that there needs to be both economic development and diplomatic efforts. Perhaps the reference to diplomatic efforts is just talking the talk.

They seem on the same page.

Now, even the mention of Egyptian and Jordanian involvement will evoke loud protests, not least in Amman and Ramallah, and perhaps U.S. policymakers should think but not speak about such an outcome. There are many and varied possible relationships between a Palestinian entity in the West Bank and the Hashemite monarchy, and if none can be embraced today, none should be discarded either. One Arab statesman told me when I asked him about a Jordanian role that there "must absolutely be an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank — if only for 15 minutes," and then they could decide on some form of federation or at least a Jordanian security role for the area. If the greatest Israeli, Jordanian, and Egyptian fears are of terrorism, disorder, and Iranian inroads in a Palestinian West Bank state, a Jordanian role is a practical means of addressing those fears.

He ends on a hopeful note

Israel's next government, which Israel's president has asked Benjamin Netanyahu to form, must soon take up these matters with the Palestinians, Arab neighbors, the EU, and above all with the United States. The new Obama administration has not yet worked out a policy toward Iran or toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but that may be a hopeful sign. Thinking is better than assuming or reacting or misjudging. As the new team reviews the playing field, it would be well advised to look not only at what its predecessors did in the second Bush term, but also at what they did in the first term — when a gritty realism prevailed over visions, dreams, and endless conferences. For, again, it seems to me there are at present only two paths forward — the path of realism and the path of failure.

The Palestinians will never have full sovereignty. They cannot be in charge of their airspace r borders or be allowed to militarize their territory, all for obvious reasons.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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Posted by Shaul and Aviva Ceder, February 21, 2009.

If there is one thing that characterizes America apart from pop and pizza, it's pornography. Pornography in the United States is a multi-billion dollar business. It's an engine that corrupts youth.

Pornography graphically reduces the human to the subhuman. It transforms love into lust. It undermines marriage and the family. It lowers not only the moral but also the intellectual level of a society. Pornography therefore undermines a nation's security. A ruling of former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak indicates he does not know this.

But then he does not know that phonograph fosters self-indulgence, hence undermines public spiritedness or dedication to the common good and therefore erodes Israel's ability to withstand her enemies Similarly, pornography corrodes the sense of shame, hence of honor. A nation without honor cannot long endure.

The flood of pornography or "porn" in the United States began in the late 1950s as a direct consequence of its Supreme Court's libertarian interpretation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which states, in part, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." (Unfortunately, Israel's Supreme Court has adopted American jurisprudence on this issue, and with the same predictable consequences: pornography is thriving in the Holy Land. Let's pause and open our eyes.

The First Amendment prohibits only the Congress, not the States, from abridging freedom of speech and press. In fact, the first eight amendments of the Constitution, which comprise the Bill of Rights, were meant to limit the powers of the national government, not those of the state governments.

This was the ruling of Chief Justice Marshall in the case of Barron v. Baltimore, decided in 1833. The ruling was affirmed even after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. Thus, in Hurtado v. California decided in 1884, the Supreme Court rejected the contention that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to the States the restrictions the first eight amendments applied to the national government.

This ruling was reaffirmed as late as Twining v. New Jersey in 1908. Not until Gitlow v. New York in 1925 did the Court hold that, "For present purposes we may and do assume that freedom of speech and of the press ... are among the fundamental personal rights and 'liberties' protected by he due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the States."

The original Constitution must be understood before the amendments to the Constitution can be properly interpreted. Thus, the constitutional principle of federalism, affirmed by the first ten amendments, stands on the distinction that the Constitution imposes different restrictions on the powers of the national and state governments. For example, whereas only the States are constitutionally prohibited from impairing the obligation of contracts, only Congress is constitutionally prohibited from abridging freedom of speech and press (leaving open the possibility of such action, under emergency conditions, by the Executive).

Besides, the First Amendment ought not be interpreted in abstraction from the Constitution as a whole. An amendment may alter, but it does not nullify, the Constitution. Accordingly, the words "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" may not be construed in such a way as to nullify Congress's authority "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers [enumerated in Article I, Section 8]." Virtually any one of these powers may necessitate certain limitations on freedom of speech and press.

Consider, for example, the power of Congress "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Or consider the power of Congress to "provide for the common Defense." Contrary to prevailing opinion, there can never be a simple opposition between the common defense and freedom of expression. For to defend the nation is to preserve its way of life, a most important aspect of which is freedom of expression.

Conversely, if certain kinds of expression endanger national defense, then they also endanger freedom of expression. Thus, by virtue of its power "To provide for ... disciplining the Militia," Congress may establish a code of military law making punishable any speech or publication causing insubordination in the armed services (and in peacetime no less than in times of national emergency).

This illustrates the organic principle of political life, one formulation of which may be stated as follows: Absolutizing the value of any part of a whole is destructive of the whole, hence of the part as well. If, therefore, the First Amendment is to function as a part of an organic whole whose parts reinforce and not obstruct each other, the injunction "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" must be construed in such a way as to protect this freedom without undermining other constitutional values on which that freedom ultimately depends.

Two general alternatives are possible. Either certain kinds of expression must not be included under the category of freedom of speech and press, or, certain kinds of restraints on freedom of speech and press must not be included under the category of an abridgment thereof. I shall discuss these two alternatives in the next article.

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

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Posted by Bruce S. Ticker, February 21, 2009.

Doubtful that Israel's Security Cabinet acted independently of the election outcome when it hardened its stance on Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Hamas may not recognize how much it lucked out when the Cabinet decided to demand Shalit's release in exchange for opening borders to allow reconstruction of Gaza. They automatically griped that the Shalit matter should not be linked to a longterm truce for the 22-day war that left much of Gaza in ruins.

The Security Cabinet's vote could have been far harsher, and perhaps should have been harsher.

A week earlier, more Israelis voted for candidates who vow to take a harder line against the Arabs, so the timing makes it suspect that the Kadima-controlled Security Cabinet was not influenced by the election.

The relative silence over Shalit's captivity has been eerie since he was seized by Hamas-linked terrorists on sovereign Israeli ground on June 25, 2006, with no provocation whatsoever. Shalit's kidnapping incited the 2006 war with Gaza and subsequently the capture of Sgts. Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in Lebanon touched off the war with Hezbollah.

There have been extensive efforts among American Jews to clamor for the release of Shalit and the Lebanon captives, but those efforts were loosely coordinated and not strong enough. Obviously, these activities have not been effective.

Hamas has consistently demanded that Shalit be exchanged for hundreds of prisoners in Israeli jails, but the Security Cabinet stipulated during its Feb. 18 meeting that Shalit must be released before the borders are opened to start rebuilding Gaza. Israel only permits humanitarian supplies to pass through the border at this time.

I have always believed that Israel should never have consented to a truce in 2006 without resolving the captive issue. Hamas and Hezbollah committed acts of war when they seized and detained the soldiers, leaving Israel the right to respond any way it thought necessary to retrieve the soldiers. It turned out later that Regev and Goldwasser had died.

It should not be lost on anyone that the Security Cabinet voted for this position one week after Israeli voters moved somewhat to the right. Likud Party leader and now-prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly urged eliminating Hamas.

Israelis made it official with their vote that more than a majority were tired of Arab aggression, which no doubt emboldened the Israeli government. In addition, Kadima Party leaders probably hoped that their harder line might influence President Shimon Peres to choose Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party as the next prime minister, if she can form a government. Two days later, Peres appointed Likud Party leader Netanyahu.

Predictably, two Hamas representatives balked over the new conditions set by the Security Cabinet. Fawzi Barhoum complained to The New York Times that it "imposes new conditions at the last minute" and called it "blackmail." Ali Baraka told the Associated Press that "this position is one of obstinacy."

These guys do not know how fortunate they are. They do not know what "obstinacy" is. First, Israel can shut the borders completely, meaning absolutely no humanitarian supplies or anything else can be sent to Gaza.

If Netanyahu establishes a government, I wonder if he will do more about it. I can imagine him proposing to Hamas: If you release Cpl. Shalit, we will not finish the job.

Bruce Ticker lives in Philadelphia and can be contacted at bticker@comcast.net. He blogs at http://JewishConcerns.blogspot.com/.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 21, 2009.

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

President Peres, unable to convince Kadima head Tzipi Livni to join a unity government, yesterday afternoon officially handed a letter to Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu charging him with forming a government.

Netanyahu says he will meet with Livni tomorrow in a final effort to convince her to join his government, citing again the need for unity because of the major threats facing us.

He has six weeks to form his government, but I am expecting him to proceed much more promptly than this. He is well aware that it is very much in the interests of our nation that he do so. What must be formally done now is to assign ministries, but it is almost a certainty that a great deal of this bargaining has already been done.


It was inevitable, considering the last US election, that ultimately we would — as incredible as this seems — find we missed Condoleezza Rice. And, sadly, that time is already upon us.

The Bush/Rice policy with regard to the Palestinians was to ostracize Hamas, a terrorist organization, and to attempt, maddeningly, to build the PA as a "peace partner." The rule of operation — which ignored many harsh realities — was that if Hamas was bad, Fatah must be good.

But what we're going to see now is worse — with even harsher realities ignored. US Envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, has now voiced support for establishment of a Fatah-Hamas unity government.

Of course, Mitchell qualified his support for this option, saying that Hamas had to recognize Israel and stop violence first.

But wait... we'll see dancing around these conditions. Violence? What violence? Hamas is quiet — it's those other groups launching rockets. And recognizing Israel? Hey, the members of Hamas admit Israel exists — isn't that sufficient? So, they don't recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, but over time that will come, as long as we talk with them.


Why would the Obama administration be promoting this? Because they are convinced they have it within their capacity to "make peace" here, but the fact of two different Palestinian entities gets in the way. This is considered a step in the right direction.

Mitchell, in a public statement last week, said that the US was "unwaveringly committed" to Israel's safety, and that the two-state solution "coincides" with its commitment. It's so nice that he knows what's best for us.

If in the process of advancing our security he happens to give legitimacy to a terrorist organization sworn to our destruction, hey, that's just the way it is.


Today, Khaled Abu Toameh, writing in the Post, reports that according to the PA they have now received a "green light" to negotiate a unity government with Hamas. According to a PA official in Ramallah, "The administration of President Barack Obama believes that a Hamas-Fatah government is good for stability."

President Mubarak of Egypt has received essentially the same message, and is now moving ahead with regard to negotiating that unity government. Invitations have been sent to Fatah, Hamas, and several other Palestinian groups to attend reconciliation talks in Cairo starting on February 25.

If talks proceed, five joint committees will be established to work out various issues, such as formation of a government and control of the border crossings.


It is highly unlikely that such a unity government, even should it be formed, would have stability over a period of time. But what is fairly predictable is that, in the course of working towards that unity, the party that would be the most conciliatory, and make the most concessions would be Fatah. The unity government, that is, would ultimately be more radicalized than Fatah is now.

We have a precedent for this from the last time a Fatah-Hamas unity government was briefly established in 2007: Fatah made almost all of the concessions. And now Fatah is considerably weaker than it was then, before the Hamas take-over of Gaza. What is more, Fatah is worried about being cut out of the rebuilding of Gaza, which may give Hamas more credibility. Thus has Abbas declared himself ready to work with Hamas.


Recently President Obama signed an executive order for the release of $20 million to aid Palestinian refugees in Gaza. I have received much material on this, either charging that Obama was intending to bring those refugees (who might well be Hamas-supporters) into the US, or questioning whether this was this case.

When I examined the text of the executive order, I saw that it was altogether unclear that bringing refugees to the US was its intention.

Now Aaron Lerner of IMRA has written that: "Previous presidential orders using almost identical language directed U.S. funds to international agencies helping refugees in other parts of the world.

"The assistance for Gaza refugees has absolutely nothing to do with aiding the immigration of refugees to the U.S. If anything, the criticism of the UN body dealing with Palestinian refugees is that it seeks perpetuate their refugee status."

You can see this comment and the executive order itself at:


Obtuse left-leaning thinking is not restricted to the US. We know this. And today I stumbled upon an instance here in Israel so blatant that I felt moved to share it.

I am alluding to a statement by Naomi Chazan, in her column in Friday's Post magazine. Chazan believes that Israel should follow the US lead and participate in the preparatory meetings for Durban.

Specifically, she said this: "...although Israeli hesitations regarding the composition of the 20-member steering committee (under the aegis of Libya and including Iran and Cuba) cannot be summarily dismissed, if [Israel] does not participate in the preparations, it forfeits any chance of shaping the agenda..."

Can she be serious? Can she possibly believe that Israel has even the remotest, the tiniest, chance of shaping the agenda sitting on a committee chaired by Libya and including Iran and Cuba — and when the goal of that committee is the vilification of Israel??

Then Chazan concludes that "...if Israel is not part of the proceedings, it can hardly deplore the results." And on this score she is absolutely wrong. She seems devoid of any notion that Israel would be demeaned sitting on that committee and would, by virtue of doing so, proffer legitimacy to its proceedings.

Naomi Chazan, I note here, is president of the New Israel Fund.


In the very same magazine, however, there is a marvelous piece, "Next year — in Des Moines?" — by Eli Kavon, an American Jew. This I share eagerly for the most positive of reasons. Writes Kavon:

"In July 2006, when the IDF was struggling to defeat Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen referred to the State of Israel as an honest mistake. He argued that the creation of a Jewish State in the Arab and Islamic Middle East had produced 'a century of warfare and terrorism.' In the wake of the recent Israeli war of self-defense in Gaza, more and more American Jews seem to be agreeing with Cohen's assessment.

"While many American Jews remain supporters of Israel, Jews [in the US] are starting to abandon hope that Israel will be able to survive. They argue that the Jewish state is surrounded by enemies, that Israel's Jews are a house divided, and that, perhaps, the creation of a modern Jewish state in the Land of Israel was not meant to be. They are starting to say that 'Israel is a mistake' and that Judaism and the Jewish people would survive even if Israel were to be obliterated by Iranian nuclear weapons. Many years ago, a student in an adult education class that I taught at a local community college proposed that the Jewish state should not be in the Middle East, but in America's Midwest. Would not a Jewish state in Iowa, located in a region far, far away from the hostile Arab and Islamic world of the Middle East, be the best location for a homeland for the Jewish people?

"Perhaps, at the Passover Seder this year, I should conclude the festive meal with the cry of 'Next Year in Des Moines!' Perhaps those who do not recognize the centrality and importance of Israel to the future of world Jewry are right. Perhaps we, as Jews, can go on even if Israel no longer exists. Perhaps we should forget who we are, the descendants of men and women who sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem, studied in the academies of Yavne and Tiberias, fought for independence in Modi'in and Betar against the Hellenists and the Romans. Perhaps we should discard the Hebrew Bible as our deed to the Land of Israel. Perhaps we should ignore all the archeological evidence proving that the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel dates back 3,000 years. Let us forget the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bar Kochba letters, the Western Wall, Masada.

"Let us forget that Jews have yearned for millennia in the Diaspora to be redeemed in the Promised Land. Let us abandon Hebrew as a living language, relegating it only to sacred texts that we do not understand except through English translation. Perhaps this form of mass amnesia is the answer. Forgetting who we are, where we came from, and forgetting 60 years of sacrifice, backbreaking work, heroism on the battlefield, Nobel Prize winners, economic success, the revival of Judaism in a Jewish homeland — for some Jews, this sort of amnesia seems to be the answer.

"WORLD JEWRY WILL NOT survive the destruction of the State of Israel. The Jewish state is the religious, political and cultural center of all Jews. The hope of the Jewish future is the hope of Israel, the people and the nation. Some American Jews argue that Jews have lived in the Diaspora for more than 2,000 years and will continue to do so whether Israel exists or not. At best, this argument is misguided. At worst, it is defeatist. With each passing day, we resemble more and more the spies in the Bible who demoralized the Israelites by claiming that the Land of Canaan could not be conquered.

"...Jewish identity is both religious and national. Whether it was Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel in ancient times or Jewish self-government in Germany and Spain in the medieval period, Jewish identity was never based solely on religion. We, as a people, cannot survive if we forfeit either crucial element of our identity.

"American Jews fool themselves if they truly believe that Judaism could survive another destruction and another exile from the Jewish homeland. There will be no more genocide of the Jews. There will be no more exile of the Jewish nation from the Land of Israel. This time, history will not repeat itself. The year 2009 is not the year 586 BCE or the year 70. Jews and Judaism in the 21st century would never recover from the destruction of the State of Israel."
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304824754&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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

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Posted by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), February 20, 2009.

We hope you will join 10 Nobel Laureates Eric Kandel, Roald Hoffman, Kenneth Arrow, Sir Harry Walter Kroto,Walter Kohn, Eric Maskin, Steven Weinberg, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Andrew V. Schally, Vitaly Ginzburg and 2700 of your colleagues worldwide in signing and circulating the SPME Statement on Discrimination Against Israeli Academics and Academic Instutions as we try to amass 10,000 signatures.

SPME Statement on Discrimination Against Israeli Academics and Institutions

Adopted by the SPME Board of Directors, January 28, 2009

We the undersigned members of the academic community, are no longer able to tolerate the lies being told by various academic groups to justify their proposals to boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions and to divest from Israel and/or companies doing business in Israel.

Israel has been falsely accused of deliberately targeting civilians, schools, hospitals, and administrative buildings. The reality is that Israel has always made heroic efforts to avoid harming civilians. In the recent Cast Lead campaign, Israel did target the Islamic University, which Fatah and the New York Times had previously identified as a Hamas bomb factory. However, Israel avoided targeting other schools and universities, even when Hamas fighters used them as hideouts and launching pads. Hamas fighters have repeatedly targeted Israeli civilians, schools, and children, and in the past 8 years have murdered more than 1000. In the past few years, Hamas had targeted Sapir College in Sderot and Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, and had deliberately timed Qassam and Katyusha rocket attacks to occur at times of day when Israeli children would be on their way to and from school. Despite the use of the Islamic University for both rocket and mortar attacks as well as for the manufacture of weapons, we are not calling for a boycott of Palestinian academics.

Israel has no interest in undermining education or health care in Gaza. On the contrary, a healthy and well educated population in a prospering Palestinian state is Israel's best hope for peace in the years to come. The people of Gaza know perfectly well that Israel is not trying to massacre them. Whenever possible, they come to Israel for health care and education because they have confidence in Israeli facilities and in the people who work there. And Israeli institutions serve them both out of simple humanity and in order to build bridges to peace.

Most important, singling out Israeli academics and institutions for boycott is discriminatory. No other nation's academics or institutions are being subjected to such action, whether or not their governments are in a state of war. Excusing Israeli academics from the boycott only if they denounce the policies of their government does not mitigate the offense but combines it with an assault on freedom of speech. We urge rejection of all such discriminatory and oppressive initiatives.

The Undersigned

To sign the petition, please click here.  

Contact: Peter Haas, SPME VP for External Relations at peter.haas@case.edu or Judith Jacobson, SPME VP for Internal Relations at jsj4@columbia.edu or Edward S. Beck, SPME President Emeritus at ScholarsforPeace@aol.com ( phone: 717.576.5038)

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Posted by Marcia Leal, February 20, 2009.

A nuclear-armed Iran under the mullahs is near. Failure to comprehend their intentions will have grave consequences.

Posted today by Reza Kahlili in Pajamas Media.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-president-obama- on-appeasing-iran/

"Reza Kahlili" is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy whose code name is "Wally." Currently residing in the United States, he is writing a book about his experiences as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guard.


Three decades after the Islamic revolution, the West still fails to understand the political structure of Iran and the mentality behind it. That ignorance endangers the world, for the madmen who rule Iran in their iron grip are bent upon launching Armageddon.

Several U.S. presidents underestimated the crazed policies that the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini forced on the Iranian people beginning in 1979. If Barack Obama doesn't take this nightmarish threat seriously, Israel could very well be destroyed — and that destruction could expand to Europe and America.

We only have to look at history to see all too clearly Washington's folly at trying to appease Tehran.

President Carter and his national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, began America's misguided policy toward radical Islam, Carter by calling Khomeini "a man of God" and Brzezinski with his plan to help Islamic militants confront the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, that policy of negotiation and hope for a moderate leader in Iran who would open the doors to the West continued under President Reagan.

While I was writing coded messages under dimmed light in the middle of the night informing the CIA about the mullahs' terrorist activities and the Revolutionary Guards' expansion in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, the U.S. government was meeting in private with the Revolutionary Guards in Geneva, Brussels, Frankfort, and Mainz during the mid-1980s. The Guards negotiators at these meetings, close associates of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, were assigned the names "the Engine" and "the Relative" and had met with U.S. negotiators several times, including Oliver North. The CIA facilitated a trip for "the Relative" to Washington, D.C., where he was even given a tour of the White House.

At the time, the CIA knew that the barracks bombing in Lebanon, which killed 241 American servicemen, was the work of the Guards under Rafsanjani, then the speaker of parliament; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the president at the time; and Imam Khomeini, the supreme leader. The CIA was aware of all the kidnappings, torture, and killing of hostages, such as CIA agent William Buckley, who was executed by Islamic Jihad — a front name for the Guards and their activity in Lebanon. But despite Iran's treachery, the U.S. government entertained a long list of demands by the Guards to clear the way for improved relations.

Washington's efforts resulted in securing the release of only a few hostages, and in return the Guards received many shipments of American weapons, some of which ended up in the hands of the terrorist group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon. Later, many more hostages were taken and more demands made.

Kazem, my then-commander in the Guards, had told me, "The dumb cowboys think we will help release their hostages in Lebanon and improve our relationship with them. They are giving us arms, lots of arms. Haj Agha Rafsanjani knows how to play with these bastards and how to milk them."

This shortsightedness continued with President George H.W. Bush, who ignored the Iranian involvement in the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie (as I had reported to the CIA) in his secret negotiations with Rafsanjani, the Iranian president at the time, who had promised better relations. That effort also failed, just as President Clinton (who looked the other way at Iran's involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia) failed in negotiating with Mohammad Khatami, the next Iranian president, with another promise of cooperation while secretly purchasing parts for Iran's nuclear project.

The Revolutionary Guards recently performed multiple tests on surface-to-surface missiles fired from a ship. One needs to ask what the purpose is for such tests. Could it be that they intend to launch missiles against an enemy far from Iran, perhaps from a ship closer to that enemy's border?

With the help of North Korea, the Guards are working on long-range ballistic missiles in tests that are concealed by their space project. Other tests include expanding the reach of their Shahab-3 missiles to cover Europe, which currently are capable of targeting Tel Aviv, Riyadh, U.S. bases in Iraq, and the Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. The Guards now have more than 100 Shahab-3 missiles in stock while working to develop a nuclear warhead. At the same time, the Iranians are increasing the number of centrifuges (over 5,000 as of November 2008) for the enrichment of uranium while enough nuclear material has already been produced to make a nuclear bomb.

A nuclear-armed Iran under the thugocracy of the mullahs is near, maybe in a matter of months, and any misconception about their intentions will have grave consequences.

Several hadiths (statements by Prophet Mohammed and his successors/descendants) compiled by Islamic scholars form the ideology of radicals most faithful to Mahdaviat. This belief currently rules every aspect of the Iranian government, and its members believe that it is their sacred duty to prepare for the reappearance of Mahdi, the 12th Shi'ite imam. The coming of Mahdi only awaits the last sign, as all of the following events have already taken place:

  • A Seyyed rising to power in the land of Fars (Fars is the original homeland of the Persian people) carrying the flag of Allah: Ayatollah Khomeini, a Seyyed (descendant of Prophet Mohammed), came to power by the revolution in Iran establishing the Islamic Republic in 1979.

  • A major war between the Fars and Arabs in which God will deny both a victory: Time and place in this hadith refer to the Iran and Iraq war in the 1980s; neither side won.

  • Storming the Ka'bah and the subsequent bloodshed: In 1987, Khomeini ordered a clash during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca to bring about Mahdi's return. I informed the CIA beforehand. This bloody incident (402 people were killed, mostly Iranian pilgrims) bore a close resemblance to the climate described in the relevant hadith.

  • A light in the sky striking the enemy in the name of Allah: The hadith speaks of an event in which a thunderous light from the sky strikes the enemy of Islam in praise of Allah. The mullahs believe the September 11, 2001, suicide attacks by al-Qaeda in the United States relate to this hadith.

  • The occupation of Afghanistan: This hadith refers to the invasion of Afghanistan, now underway, before the reappearance of Mahdi.

  • The sky over Iraq becoming red from the bloodshed: This hadith reveals a war in Iraq where many men, women, and children are slaughtered by the enemies of Islam. Shi'ites believe the occupation of Iraq by the United States is the subject of this hadith.

  • Economic meltdown: This hadith reveals that before the end of time and the coming of Mahdi, the world will experience extreme hardship; people will suffer economically and will not be able to make ends meet. Trade will come to a standstill. Strife will multiply. Both Iran and al-Qaeda take credit for the current global economic crisis. Al-Qaeda calls the 9/11 attacks the onset of this crisis and Iran takes credit for having the American forces tied up in Iraq. The mullahs in Iran had already done an evaluation of a prolonged war in Iraq and how it would hurt the U.S. financially.

  • A black man gaining power in the West and ruling the largest army on Earth: This hadith, relating to Imam Ali, the prophet's cousin and son-in-law and the most revered figure in Shi'ite Islam, says: "Before the return of Mahdi, a tall black man will rule the West and the largest army on Earth. He will carry a 'clear sign' from my son, Hussein Ibn Ali [the third Shi'ite imam]." Shi'ites believe Barack Obama, with his middle name Hussein, is this man.

  • And the last sign before the coming of Mahdi: Chaos, famine, and havoc will engulf the Earth. Major wars with dark clouds (atomic wars) will burn the Earth. One-third of the Earth's population will be killed and the rest will suffer hunger and lawlessness:The mullahs believe it is their responsibility to bring about an atomic war, which will fulfill the last sign and facilitate the coming of Mahdi.

It is hard for the West to understand this ideology or to even consider such a ridiculous belief. However, one needs only to look back at 9/11 and think of why they did what they did. Was it just hatred for what America stands for or what the West has done to them? Or is it a belief — a self-sacrifice to bring glory to Islam?

Barack Obama and his administration must not fall prey to another Iranian tactic of mixed signals in negotiations. He must realize what every administration before his has failed to understand: the ideology of the mullahs is deeply rooted in a fanatical belief and time is running out. Radical Islamists are earnest in their dedication to their cause. I know. I spent years in the foxholes with them.

"Jihad on infidels, killing them until there are no more sinners on Earth and all are believers of Allah." (Quran: Sura 2:192)

Can President Obama dissuade Iran from destabilizing the world and prevent it from launching Armageddon? I pray for his success.

Contact Marcia Leal at marcia.leal.eejh@gmail.com

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, February 20, 2009.


This comes from the Geostrategy Direct website

Imagery from DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 satellite and GeoEye's IKONOS satellite has shown the construction of what appears to be a CW facility in northwestern Syria, Jane's Intelligence Review reported.

The facility is located next to a missile site that deploys the medium-range Scud D ballistic missile.

"The site contains not only a number of the defining features of a chemical weapons facility, but also that significant levels of construction have taken place at the facility's production plant and adjacent missile base," Jane's reports.

In a Feb. 18 statement, Jane's said it had analyzed the imagery to track the construction of the Syrian CW site from 2005 through 2008. The magazine said it was certain that the facility in Al Safir was a military rather than a pharmaceutical plant.

"One of the clearest indicators that Al Safir is a military facility as opposed to a civilian industrial complex is the level of defenses protecting the site," Jane's said. "The facility is accessed only through a military checkpoint and each element within the facility has an additional security point."

Syria has long wielded a CW arsenal as well as a biological warfare capability. But analysts said Al Safir marked the largest CW facility in Syria and appeared meant to deter any Israeli strike.

"Construction at the Al Safir facility appears to be the most significant chemical weapons production, storage and weaponization site in Syria," Christian Le Miere, editor of Jane's Intelligence Review, said. "Its presence indicates Syria's desire to develop unconventional weapons either to act as a deterrent to conflict with Israel or as a force enhancer should any conflict ensue."

Le Miere said the satellite imagery suggests that Damascus has sought to expand Al Safir and its chemical weapons arsenal. He said he did not expect an Israeli effort to destroy the facility as it bombed the suspected nuclear weapons center in northeastern Syria in 2007.

"Further expansion of Al Safir is likely to antagonize Israel and highlight mutual mistrust, even as peace talks between the two neighbors progress intermittently," Le Miere said. "Although an Israeli air strike on the facility may not yet be likely, such developments only serve to underline and exacerbate regional tensions."

This is from the Associated Press and appeared yesterday in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1065571.html It is called "IAEA: New Uranium Traces Found At Suspected Syria Nuclear Site."

Samples taken from a Syrian site suspected of being a covert nuclear reactor have revealed new traces of processed uranium, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported Thursday.

A separate report by the same organization — the International Atomic Energy Agency — noted a significant slowdown in Iran's efforts to expand its uranium enrichment program. The UN Security Council has slapped sanctions on Iran for not freezing enrichment, which can be used to make both nuclear fuel and the core of warheads.

The report did not suggest any reason for the slowdown. But agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said earlier this week that the reason appeared to be political — indicating that Iran may be waiting for conciliatory signals from the new U.S. administration, which has said it is ready to break with past American policy and talk directly with Iran on nuclear and other disputes.

Both reports — meant for restricted release Thursday only to the 35 nations of the IAEA board — were obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a board meeting scheduled to begin March 2 that will discuss the nuclear activities of the two Mideast nations.

The two documents painted a generally disheartening picture of the nuclear agency's efforts to probe the Iranian and Syrian nuclear programs. Tehran says its nuclear activities are peaceful, while Damascus denies hiding any nuclear program.

On Iran, the report regrettably noted Tehran's continued lack of cooperation in agency efforts to investigate suspicions the Islamic Republic had at least planned to make nuclear weapons. It also said Iran continued both uranium enrichment and building a heavy water reactor that will produce plutonium — like enriched uranium, a possible component of nuclear warheads.

The Syria report noted Syria's refusal to allow agency inspectors to make follow-up visits to sites suspected of harboring a secret nuclear program despite repeated requests from top agency officials.

The brevity of the reports — the one on Iran ran five pages, the one on Syria was just three — reflected the lack of progress in the separate agency probes.

Still, a senior UN official who asked to remain anonymous in exchange for commenting on the restricted reports, described as significant the find of new uranium traces from samples taken during a one-off visit in June to the Al Kibar site bombed in 2007 by Israeli jets.

The first minute traces of processed uranium from those samples were found late last year. The official said additional analysis had found 40 more uranium particles, for a total of 80 particles.

Additionally, the official said, experts were analyzing minute traces of graphite and stainless steel found at and near the site, although he cautioned it was too early to say whether they were related to nuclear activity.

Inspectors at the Al Kibar site were known to be looking for graphite, an element in the type of North Korean prototype that the United States says the Syrians were trying to build with help from Pyongyang.

On Iran, the agency said that Tehran was now fully operating 3,936 centrifuges to enrich uranium at its cavernous underground facility at Natanz, a city about 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of Tehran — only 164 more than at the time of its last report in November.

But it continued building hundreds more centrifuges and linking them into the configurations used for enrichment, said the IAEA.

Tehran has announced a target of 9,000 centrifuges by the end of this for what it says is a large-scale nuclear program meant solely to power reactors.

However, independent experts have noted that the Islamic Republic may be running out of the raw uranium it imported decades ago needed to create the feedstock for enrichment — something diplomats have confirmed to The Associated Press.

With uranium imports banned under Security Council sanctions on Tehran and its domestic mining possibilities limited, the diplomats have warned that it may try in the near future to undercut the sanctions and import the material illegally. The diplomats demanded anonymity in exchange for discussing the sensitive topic.

A senior Iranian envoy, however, disputed suggestions that Iranian uranium mines were inadequate.

"We have the capacity of producing our own yellowcake," said Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, using the common term for raw uranium.

He declined to discuss why Iran was expanding its enrichment program at a slower than expected pace but repeated that his country would not suspend the process, despite Security Council demands.

To date, Iran had enriched more than 1,600 pounds (over 800 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium suitable for nuclear fuel, the report said. UN officials have said that Tehran would have to produce less than twice that to begin enriching it to the weapons-grade level needed to produce a warhead while other experts have given even lower amounts.

The report on Iran, which also went to the Security Council, complained both about Iran's stonewalling on its alleged nuclear weapons plans and experiments and its general refusal to give the IAEA greater inspecting rights.

"A number of outstanding issues ... give rise to concern and ... need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," it said. "For the agency to be able to address these concerns and make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, it is essential that Iran ... provide the information and access requested by the agency."

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 Richard H. Shulman, February 20, 2009.

EUROPEAN REACTION TO ISRAELI ASSAULT Germany, Italy, and the Czechs approved of Israeli self-defense and condemned Hamas aggression. Italy: Hamas attacks violated the land-for-peace principle. The Czech noted his voice is a minority, because he tells the truth.

France condemned Israel for alleged "disproportionate force" and demanded a ceasefire. Ireland called Israel's attacks indiscriminate and devastating. Sweden denounced the invasion as escalation and claimed that Israel's embargo on Gaza encouraged smuggling. Spain denies that violence can solve the problem.

Criticized, the Czechs muted their statement but did not reverse it (IMRA, 1/30).

Criticized officials sometimes lash back unfairly. When criticism is unfair, antisemitic, or appeasement minded, fight back. Don't give an apology, demand one. Defy political correctness! Don't be a coward.

Hamas did commit aggression. That did not violate the land-for-peace principle so much as show its lack of realism.

European claims of "indiscriminate," "devastating," "escalation," "disproportionate," and violence not solving anything are0 specious. When a fanatical enemy fires thousands of rockets, one should escalate until violence suffices to eradicate the enemy's capability of doing further damage. That is how one attains national security. Israel fired only at identified enemy forces and provisions, not indiscriminately. The damage was small in proportion to number of buildings, so to call it "devastating" exaggerates. Actually, it was inadequate.

The blockade wouldn't encourage smuggling if Israel had disregarded foreign critics and retained control over the border. Let Israel regain control!.

European critics have distorted international law and fabricated impractical standards for protecting civilians. Filled with hatred for Jews and no compassion for Arabs harmed by Islamists, those Europeans are no humanitarians. All this is an excuse for making common cause with Islam against the Jews they both hate.


I'm absolutely confident that the U.S. — working in tandem with the E.U., with Russia, with all the Arab states in the region...can make significant progress." (Pres. Obama in IMRA, 1/28.)

All four parties are either fanatical aggressors or aid and abet them. Can't get all the Arab states to be cooperative and constructive; is he crazy? The US cannot make progress with a State Dept. that tries to bring Israel down.


Ethan Bronner and Sabrina Tavernise describe the two peoples as being pulled apart, among other causes, by "mutual demonization." (NY Times, 2/4, A1.)

I think that this report is unusually accurate and fair, for that newspaper, except for two things. One is that quoted term and the other is reliance upon Arab testimony.

No evidence or examples are given to back up that term. The term equates the two sides' reaction. But the two sides' reactions are not similar at all.

Before the recent combat, the whole P.A. society — media, schools, mosques, and camps — whether run by Fatah or Hamas, defamed Israel and Jews to the point of demanding genocide and conquest. That is "demonization."

Israeli society primarily preaches peace. Israel's appeasement-minded regimes rarely point out what an evil society the P.A. is. It does not take drastic measures against it, though sometimes it postures. Individual Jews used to have more relations with Arabs, until terrorists severed them.

When reporters interview Arabs about their experience during combat, they may get all sorts of tall tales, official propaganda, or statements reflecting misconceptions about war. The reporters don't sort this out or verify much. It should be discounted as hearsay, having been discredited so often. They rarely will blame destruction on their terrorists, and the newspaper readily accepts false accusations against Israel, that being the Times' stock in trade.


The IDF bombed houses concealing tunnel exits. The tunnel, being much longer than its exit, can readily be put back into commission by building another exit. Aerial bombing is not adequate (IMRA, 1/28).

Ground troops are needed, as usual.


Martin Indyk's auto-biography claims that supposed nationalist leader Lieberman negotiated with the PLO and accepted PM Barak's extensive territorial concessions to the Arabs (Arutz-7, 1/29).

Most Israeli leaders are phony. So are most State Dept. officials. Where are our supposedly sophisticated intellectuals?


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights told the Durban Conference that it intended to wage "lawfare against Israel. Citizens of certain European countries have begun bringing lawsuits for alleged war crimes, against Israeli officials.

Israeli reactions have been slow and slight. It should consider pressing [or forbidding] Europe not to subsidize the Center and other NGOs that work to bring down Israel. It should stop welcoming as mediators European officials, such as Spain's Prime Minister, whose country allows such lawsuits (IMRA, 1/30).


Israel had planned to buy certain number of US planes at an estimated price of $50-60 million. The price has been raised by $30 million (IMRA, 2/7).

The cost of defense is becoming prohibitive. Now how wise was Israel to have discontinued its Lavie fighter and its airplane manufacturing capability?


Turkey wants to buy the US drones, but the deal may not go through. Turkey's alternative was to buy Israel's drone. Should Israel have sold them to Turkey?

Turkey's regime is Islamist. Can't trust it. Turkey's military, however, is secularist and friendly to Israel. If Israel sells to Turkey, the weapons may be turned against it. If Israel bars sales to Turkey, the Islamist Prime Minister is sure to make much of it and solidify his hold over the country.


Egypt has been installing sensors along its border with Gaza. The US provided the technology. The expressed hope is to detect arms smuggling tunnels.

What hope is there? Egypt has enough officers to place one every 60 feet all day, but they ignore the trucks along the few roads to the border and unloading. Egypt has protected terrorist attrition against Israel. It has shut a few tunnels for show, but has not moved against the masses of tunnels. The smugglers bribe Egyptian police; the Bedouin intimidate them. The sensors are for show. The US is deceiving people. So is Egypt. Must our media fall for it?


People know that Islam is trying to overthrow civilization. They do not visualize what may happen. Either the world submits and devolves, or it resists and wins or loses. I can foresee some European country getting fed up with its creeping Islamization and the Islamic crime wave and reign of terror. It bars Muslim immigration and starts to deport those who did immigrate. The Muslims riot.

This time, the police neither stand aside nor are able to arrest hundreds of thousands. Instead, they open fire. They kill tends of thousands. Muslims rise up throughout Europe, and are put down the same way. Encouraged by example, Israel does the same. In Russia, it might be different. A fourth of Russian troops are Muslim, now. Russia might, reluctantly, grant independent to Muslim-populated republics. Don't expect the UNO to help out.

Gradual deportation might work, but total, mass-deportation would be resisted. European countries would deport some, imprison some, and kill many. Europe cannot regain freedom and security without ridding itself of the Muslim presence. In exchange, Muslim countries would deport some but murder most of their Christians. African countries of mixed population would break into civil war. Pakistan might choose a nuclear confrontation with India rather than negotiate a mass-migration of Indian Muslims into Pakistan. The US would hope its Muslims assimilated enough to avoid civil strife, but they are separatist.

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

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Posted by Walter Bingham, February 20, 2009.
This was written by Rami Kaminski, MD, who is Director and Founder of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York. He holds an academic position as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. Dr. Kaminski's research explores neuropsychiatric aspects of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, as well as psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. He was for many years Director of The Schizophrenia research Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.

For centuries, we lived in Berdichev. In the brutal Ukrainian winter of 1941, SS soldiers arrived there and rounded up eighty-seven members of my family — babies, young adults, octogenarians — stripped them naked, marched them to a nearby ditch, and executed them. Their lifeless bodies fell silently into a mass grave.

Like most Jews in Europe, my family "cooperated" with the Final Solution. They did not resist or fight back. Six million Jews were slaughtered in a period of four years. They received little sympathy while they were still alive and hunted down like animals. There was no public outcry because the Holocaust fit the world's narrative for Jews during the past 2000 years: a people destined to be persecuted and slaughtered.

During their two millennia in the Diaspora, Jews were not known to resist. There are few recorded instances in which Jews turned against their host nations or retaliated against their murderers. Instead, the survivors — if there were any — were expelled or left for another place.

The murdered were regarded as "good" Jews. They accepted their fate helplessly, without resistance.

This narrative of the Jews has played out on the historical stage with boring monotony: Jews get killed because they are Jews. Nothing novel about it. After the Holocaust, however, the world, disgusted by this particularly ghoulish period of history, accorded some sympathy for the Jews.

Media commentary about the ongoing Gaza War reveals the world has now reverted to its pre-Holocaust perspective. Today, the only good Jew is a powerless Jew willing to become a dead one. The Zionist Revolution is to blame. It changed everything. Jews re-created their own country.

The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler's genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again. Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.

With Zionism, the Jews stubbornly refused to follow the centuries-old script. They refuse to be killed without resistance. As a result, the world has become increasingly enraged at their impertinence.

The recent events in Gaza and Mumbai make this plain. In 2005, Israel eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it "Judenrein," and handed it over to the Palestinians. Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel's withdrawal was complete. Where these structures once stood, the Palestinians built military bases and installed rocket launchers to shell Israeli civilians. To date, some 7,000 missiles have fallen on Israeli cities and towns, killing and maiming dozens, and sowing widespread terror. Medical studies reveal nearly all Jewish children in the communities bordering Gaza suffer from serious, trauma-induced illness.

The Gazan Palestinians then elected Hamas to lead them. Hamas proceeded to kill or imprison their political rivals, and its leaders, true to the Hamas charter, were unabashed in clearly stating their aims: they will not stop until they achieve their Final Solution, kill all the Jews, take over the land of Israel, and establish a theocracy governed by Islamic law.

As killing Jews for being Jews has been a national sport for centuries, Islamic militants are justified in believing they are merely fulfilling historical tradition in Argentina, India and Gaza.

Surely the Jews in Mumbai did not occupy Gaza. They were tortured and killed just for being Jews. And predictably, in the eyes of the world, they immediately became good Jews, just like my murdered family in Bertishev.

Good Jews would wait until Hamas has weapons enabling its members to achieve their ultimate goal of absolute mass murder. Those enraged by Israel's defensive military action insist Hamas uses only "crude" rockets, as if Qassams were BB guns, and military inferiority were somehow equivalent with moral superiority. In fact, Hamas now has Iranian-supplied Grad missiles which have landed on Be'er Sheva and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Westerners have had only sporadic exposure to the indiscriminant killing in the name of "holy war" which Israel has lived with for years.

Memories of 9-11, Madrid, and London have dimmed. This is not because the Islamic militants made a careful choice of weapons. They simply have not yet acquired nuclear bombs. Once they do, the West will develop a less detached view about the Islamists' professed intentions for the "infidels."

The only enlightened people in the civilized world who actually get it are the Israelis. They've not had time for detached philosophical ponderings. They've been too busy confronting the reality of Islamic fundamentalism.

Soon, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It will give them to Hezbollah and Hamas. Today, Jews must take a position: either be "good" Jews willing to be slaughtered without resistance, or be "bad" Jews who defend themselves at the cost of being pariahs of our enlightened world. Good Jews would wait for another six million to be murdered, and pick up to leave for another country to start the cycle again. The bad ones refuse to go calmly into the ditch.

I confess: I'm a bad Jew.

Walter Bingham has a talk show on Israel National Radio. Contact him at walter1@israelnationalradio.com

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Posted by Mrla, February 20, 2009.

This is from the Mere Rhetoric website:


Former Ambassador To Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman To Be Appointed To Top Intelligence Post, Join Obama's Anti-Israel Intel Team (Plus: He Blames US-Israel Ties For 9/11) Intelligence

First James Jones was plucked out of his Middle East State Department job — where he was creating a paper trail blaming Israel for Palestinian intransigence — and appointed National Security Adviser. Since then he's been very efficiently making sure that the President only hears what he wants the President to hear:

General Jones, Obama's National Security Adviser, is making an effort to assert sweeping authority over the national security decisionmaing process... "Jones, a retired Marine general, made it clear that he will run the process and be the primary conduit of national security advice to Obama, eliminating the 'back channels'...Directorates inside Jones's NSC staff [such as the Near East section headed by Dan Shapiro] will oversee implementation of decisions. 'It doesn't mean that we micromanage or supervise,' he said. 'But you have to make sure, . . . particularly if it's a presidential decision, that the president is kept abreast of how things are going. That it doesn't just fall off the end of the table and disappear into outer space.'"

Samantha Power was drawn away from her public rants about "a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import" and installed as the director of the NSC's multilateral affairs section. Once there she immediately to the US involved in Durban II.

Now Chas Freeman — who quite literally made a career out of being cozy with the Saudis and channeling their anti-Israel ravings to Washington...

Freeman, the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, [said], "As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected" and decrying the consequences of "Israeli violence against Palestinians."

... is set to become chair of the National Intelligence Council. He'll be in charge of filtering the bulk of the US's intelligence output:

Sources tell The Cable that Chas W. Freeman, Jr., the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will become chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community's primary big-think shop and the lead body in producing national intelligence estimates... Associates say that at a recent board meeting of the Middle East Policy Council, of which he has been president, Freeman said that he was resigning to take a job in the administration. He said his post was not in the State Department and did not require confirmation, but did not specify what the job was.

The appointment has been confirmed by a second source, prompting Steve Rosen to write a followup post to his first writeup about how deep in the anti-Israel camp Freeman really is. From a 2006 speech that Freeman gave:

For the past half decade Israel has enjoyed carte blanche from the United States to experiment with any policy it favored to stabilize its relations with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors, including most recently its efforts to bomb Lebanon into peaceful coexistence with it and to smother Palestinian democracy in its cradle. The suspension of the independent exercise of American judgment about what best serves our interests as well as those of Israelis and Arabs has caused the Arabs to lose confidence in the United States as a peace partner... Americans need to be clear about the consequences of continuing our current counterproductive approaches to security in the Middle East. We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel's approach to managing its relations with the Arabs. Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home.

It's hard to overestimate the kind of access and influence that the NIC chair wields. He personally and regularly sits in on the President's daily intelligence briefings. The rest of the time he's in charge of filtering the intelligence products that the President sees. Among those products are the NIEs that the intelligence community produces. Those, you'll recall, have been kind of a thing lately.

Oh — and none of these positions require Congressional approval. Jones, Power, and Freeman are all handpicked, institutionally anti-Israel appointees. I wonder if being suspicious about that qualifies as the kind of "Obama paranoia" the Jeffrey Goldberg sneered about during the election (h/t: Soccer Dad).

Contact the poster at mrla26@aol.com

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Posted by Israel Academia Monitor, February 20, 2009.

Dear Sirs,

Literally thousands of people all over the world are working very hard to demonize and delegitimize Israel. An especially strident and persuasive voice is that of Omar Barghouti, whose devastating accusations against Israel can be found on dozens of internet sites, newspapers all over the world and even at international conferences. What makes his work especially repugnant is his wide use of half-truth, selective omission and outright lie. He is clearly an enemy of Israel.

We recently learned that he is a doctoral student at the Tel Aviv University. If this is indeed true, it is quite incredible because Omar Barghouti is a founding member of The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and has personally called on countless occasions, for an international boycott of all Israeli universities as well as trade and cultural ties.

About Tel Aviv University itself, he has written (in Counterpunch): "Tel Aviv University refuses to date to acknowledge the fact that it sits on top of an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village (Sheikh Muwannis). Some of TAU's departments are also organically linked to the military and intelligence establishment."

We can't help wondering at the logic of Tel Aviv University according this enemy of Israel with the means to obtain a doctorate in Ethics. Can this indeed be true? Ethics!!! As Israeli citizens we also deeply dismayed that an academic institution, which gets part of our hard-earned taxes to keep it going, is enabling such a person to use its facilities. We are sure a lot of Jews around the world who donate generously to academic institutions in Israel would be quite devastated to learn how their monies are used.

There could be three solutions to this incredible situation:

1. Properly knowledgeable and motivated staff members could engage Omar Barghouti in a sincere debate on the whole Israel-Arab conflict in order to persuade him to rethink his position. Surely ethics (if that's what he's studying) should be based on intellectual honesty.

2. Find a way to sue him for libel and false pretences and anything else.

3. Simply disassociate from him (and any others of his ilk who cramp the corridors of your university).


The Undersigned

Please go to http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?expelOB

Sign this petition

Contact Israel Academia Monitor at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com

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Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, February 19, 2009.

Is Stupidity in a President an impeachable offense and, if not, it should be. Jimmy Carter groveled to Breschnev, George Herbert Walker Bush, crawled to the KIng of Saudi Arabia. George W. Bush looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and saw his "good soul".

Obama virtually apologized for America treating Muslims badly and promises to make amends. Clearly, Obama is a colossal mistake and letters of impeachment should be assembled for the grave danger into which he is putting these United States.

Have you heard reports of how Obama is to cancel all prior sanctions on Iran so they may freely import dual use equipment to accelerate their race to become nuclear capable?

And Obama has authorized a Saudi project to supply aerospace systems to Syria in what was seen as the suspension of U.S. sanctions as well as parts to repair Syria's planes.

Is Obama coming out of the closet and displaying a mind-set many suspected but, was wonderfully clouded over by a glib language and a charming smile. I would really like to think Obama is merely naive — rather than having secret agenda which evolved even before he began his run for President.

This was written by Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for the Boston Globe
(http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/02/04/ obamas_charm_offensive_and_the_global_jihad/). He can be reached at jacoby@globe.com.

The original article has live links to additional material.


EARLY IN HIS presidency, Jimmy Carter set about to a letter US policy toward the Soviet Union. Six days after his inauguration he sent a letter to Soviet ruler Leonid Brezhnev, hailing the two countries' "common efforts towards formation of a more peaceful, just, and humane world" and saluting Brezhnev's supposed "aspiration for strengthening and preserving. . . peace." In a commencement address at Notre Dame, he declared that Americans had shed their "inordinate fear of communism." In the months that followed, Carter slashed the defense budget, scrapped the B-1 bomber, welcomed the Sandinista coup in Nicaragua, and launched diplomatic relations with Cuba's dictator, Fidel Castro.

It wasn't until the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 that Carter finally woke up to his naiveté. Moscow's brutal aggression "made a more dramatic change in my opinion of what the Soviets' ultimate goals are," he admitted, "than anything they've done in the previous time that I've been in office."

Carter's failure to understand the threat posed by the Soviet Empire had costly consequences for America and the world. Will that pattern now be repeated with Barack Obama and the threat from radical Islam?

Ever since taking office two weeks ago, Obama has been at pains to proclaim a change in US-Muslim relations. In his inaugural address he invited "the Muslim world" to embark on "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect." Six days later he gave Al-Arabiya, an Arabic-language satellite channel, his first televised interview as president. This week he continued his charm offensive with a friendly letter to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He has promised to deliver a major address in an Islamic capital by spring.

The president cannot be faulted for using his bully pulpit to reach out to the world's Muslims, especially given his Muslim roots and family ties. But running through his words is a disconcerting theme: that US-Muslim tensions are a recent phenomenon brought on largely by American provincialism, heavy-handedness, and disrespect. Missing is any sense that the United States has long been the target of jihadist fanatics who enjoy widespread support in the Muslim world.

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama said, although "we sometimes make mistakes" and "have not been perfect," and even though "too often the United States starts by dictating" and fails to use "the language of respect."

Such apologetic pandering is inexcusable. For decades, as commentator Charles Krauthammer noted last week, "America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them." To liberate oppressed Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Americans risked — and in some cases lost — their lives. Respect? Not even the Islamist atrocities of 9/11 provoked American leaders to treat Islam with disdain. "We respect your faith," George W. Bush earnestly told the world's Muslims on Sept. 20, 2001. "Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah."

Even more troubling is Obama's seeming cluelessness about US-Muslim history. "The same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago — there's no reason why we can't restore that," he said on Al-Arabiya.

Well, let's see. Twenty years ago, American hostages were being tortured by their Hezbollah captors in Beirut and hundreds of grief-stricken families were in mourning for their loved ones, murdered by Libyan terrorists as they flew home for Christmas on Pan Am Flight 103. Thirty years ago, the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran, proclaimed America "the Great Satan," and inspired his acolytes to storm the US embassy and hold scores of Americans hostage. That same year Islamist mobs destroyed the US embassies in Pakistan and Libya, and staged anti-American riots in other countries.

Radical Islam's hatred of the United States is not a recent phenomenon, it has nothing to do with "respect," and it isn't going to be extinguished by sweet words — not even those of so sweet a speaker as our new president. Sooner or later, Obama must confront an implacable reality: The global jihad, like the Cold War, will end only when our enemies lose their will to fight — or when we do. Let us hope he's a quicker study than Jimmy Carter.

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 Emanuel A. Winston, February 19, 2009.

How is it that the American people honor and respect little Israel for defying the pagan Islamists but, some of our leaders learn to dance to pagan Islamists? Why do our leaders and bureaucrats genuflect to Muslims Arabs — even as they show their hatred to America? How did our leaders learn to dance to Muslim Arab oil Sheiks and their demands to undercut Israel?

Why must all Americans pay the price put upon us by Big OIl and the elite thugs of Arabia who run and ruin our collapsing economy? Israel is in the process of having completed a democratic vote and now waiting for the corrupt system to subvert that Democracy and twist the results to suit the Leftists in Israel. Behind the scenes American leaders are in backroom conferences with the Left Wing Kadima government, insisting that Livni and Kadima be part of a Unity Government. Why?

For some reason there has assembled both within government and influential power brokers' advisors to government self-tasked to fulfill the dreams of Arab Muslim Oil nations — which has always been to destroy the Jewish State and the Jewish people. They not only have adopted the Muslim Arab goals but, clearly, they too have a deep personal animus against both the Jewish State and Jews generally.

The Arab Muslims have evolved a testicle-driven, macho society that thrives on both their warrior prowess and their next-life status to fulfill the Koranic injunction to subjugate or kill the "infidels" (non-believers in Islam).

Israel dared to confront them on both front and beat them in 7 full-out wars, plus continual low-intensity conflict called "Terrorism". This was intolerable to the Muslims, to be beaten by those Jews, whom they considered "lowly and weak". To them this insult to their Pride and their resulting Shame was a challenge to their raison d'etre (reason for being).

After Israel was partitioned in 1948, the Arabs issued proclamations which were echoed from the Muezzin and further discussed in the coffee houses that the Jews would now have to be massacred to every man, woman and child. This would be a repeat of the 1929 Massacre that the Muslims perpetrated in four Israeli cities. In Hevron 69 Jews were massacred by their Arab Muslim neighbors while the British looked on, doing nothing. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin Al-Husseini caused these massacres by inciting the Muslims that the Jews were attacking Al Aksa Mosque.

Today, the Muslims still issue flowery declarations of war: "We will dance in the blood of the Jews." For them such an attack would be a glorious slaughter and would re-establish their long lost warrior status as achieved in the 12th Century by the Kurd Saladin. They tasted victory and great personal honor along with a chance to meet Allah should they die in battle against the Jewish "infidel".

But, victory was denied them. In spite of having been beaten in 7 wars and although well-equipped the Arab Muslim armies in 1948 were defeated when they attacked a small number of ill-trained Jews, many straight from the death camps of Europe. The Arab Muslim defeat was humiliating as they were driven from the field of battle. Their defeat destroyed the myth of their warrior status. The Muslim Arabs perpetrated more wars, intended to eliminate the Jews and they lost those wars. Not being able to tolerate defeat, they invented propaganda stories that it was American troops who defeated them.

Finally, they resorted to Terror on a smaller scale. The nations, such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia — who were enraged by the defeat of Islam began to fund Terrorists to recover their lost vision of emasculated manhood.

When they couldn't succeed with Terror, they enlisted countries in Europe who had aided Hitler's Genocide, knowing they would gladly participate in another Genocide. The one nation that was not expected to adopt the thwarted rage of the Arab Muslim Oil nations was America. There were very hostile anti-Semitism elements at the power level in Washington that were easy to recruit. For instance, the U.S. State Department, who tried mightily to stop the U.N. vote to partition Israel. They were natural subversive allies to the Arab Muslims, particularly those with oil. Much of their Jew Hatred stemmed from its earliest days when Jesuit missionaries were recruited to be representatives in nations where Jesuits had established themselves and used as our diplomats. Eventually, those Jesuit missionaries cycled back to America and deeply influenced the State Department, insuring that Jew-hatred would become endemic within the core.

American oil men, through their multi-national oil companies adopted the hatred of the Arabs against the Jewish State simply because it was good business. Soon it became a passion and, like the diplomats of the State Department, they could lobby Congress and the government-elected officials all the way up to the President to do what they could to subvert Israel. This had to be done under cover because the American people supported Israel, especially in its fight against the Muslim nations and their Terrorists. The U.S. government had to show support for Israel at this political level but, not so at a deeper level among the Arabists and anti-Semites.

We observed Condoleezza Rice, at the behest of the Bush government and the State Department, do everything possible to establish a hostile State of Palestine under the false rubric of "peace in our time".

Peace never came but, that didn't stop the ARabists from subverting Israel in many ways which were hidden from public view. The Jew-haters flocked to this cause, both in America, Europe and even the Left in Israel.

Recruiting Leftist Jews was a prime goal because they were the perfect cover. They were "Liberal" and, therefore, acceptable to the Media and government of most countries, including Israel.

Thus, the result was Oslo 1 and 2, Wye, Gush Katif/Gaza, et al, with Leftist Jews acting as point men to their own destruction. Now, with the Bush family and his allies seemingly out of the picture, the next team has arrived in the form of President Obama and his hand-picked team of Arabists whose prior recorded history meets the criteria acceptable to Muslims and the hatred the Arab Muslims have for the Jewish State. Hillary is presently in Indonesia, the most populace Muslim State (after Indonesia), massaging their hurt feelings at seeing Israel still alive and well.

Their goal is the Arab goal, namely, to re-partition the already minuscule Jewish State into a fragmented splinter, easily attacked, defeated and eliminated. The plan to put another hostile, irresponsible State of Palestinian Muslim Arabs next to and inside of Israel's heartland is the ultimate goal so all of Israel will be exposed to Rockets, Missiles, Mortars and Suicide Martyrs. As one looks around the world, anyone can see that when the Muslims reach a "critical mass" in each of their chosen host countries, Islam, the "peaceful" religion, will not remain peaceful in any country they are in or next to. The Jew-haters of governments yet insist that Israel put into Israel's ancestral heartland, their most dedicated enemies who are driven by radical religious death-cult beliefs. The macho Muslim society truly believes that they must always attack those who are weaker — even if they are your own people. We see them attacking all over the planet to establish Global Caliphate of Muslims with all living under Sharia Law (strictest Islam).

It is a great embarrassment to America to have U.S. institutions and power brokers in government, assembling and plotting to carry out an execution on behalf of Arab Muslims. They have already seen that, when the Muslims reach "critical mass", they attack their host country — as is happening now throughout what has been accurately called Eurabia.

America, too, is slowly become a victim to the parasitic action of a Muslim people who follow a pagan, desert god once known as Zin, the Moon god but who is now known as Allah. Clearly, our national immune system is failing as we see our new President Obama, reaching out to debase the American nation as he tries to appease Iran and Syria.

Regrettably, America will suffer greatly as it assists in the growth of Islam — even as it eats away at our very body.

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 Arlene Kushner, February 19, 2009.

We're not home free, on any score. But this is how matters stand on some major issues as I return to my computer:

It appears that President Peres indeed will select Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu to form the new government. At this point, the entire right wing block (totaling 65 mandates) has chosen him.

This now includes Lieberman of Yisrael Beitenu, who had held out to the last minute. Likud has been more than a little put out by Lieberman because of excessive demands. In the end, Lieberman's ability to make those demands was diminished by the fact that it had become clear that there was no way that Livni could form a coalition, as 77 MKs have indicated they wouldn't support Livni. I.e., some not for Netanyahu specifically — the Arabs parties, Labor and Meretz — were also saying they wouldn't join a Kadima-headed coalition either and were opting to be in the opposition no matter what).

Likud did agree in the end to several Lieberman stipulations, such as seeking ways for those who are not halachically Jewish to have civil marriage, toppling Hamas, and reforming the electoral system. But I have not seen anything that stipulates what ministries would go to Yisrael Beitenu — if that has been agreed upon at all.


Lieberman has indicated he would like to see a broader-based unity government, and reports are that Peres will be calling in Netanyahu and Livni, perhaps even tomorrow, to discuss this. But Livni is adamant that she will not sit in an "right wing extremist" government.

Allow me to define "right wing extremist": A government that doesn't want to give away our country.

Said Livni: "We need to provide an alternative of hope from the opposition. Kadima will continue to fight for its beliefs and its path — an agenda based on two states for two peoples."

If I should live to be 120, I would never understand this thinking, because it's so very clear to all those who will open their eyes that there is no partner on the other side. How Kadima members imagine they might pursue this effectively is a mystery.


But sometimes, people on the left actually do wake up, at least a little. Yesterday, at a gathering here in Jerusalem of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, President Shimon Peres said:

"What will happen in the future, we shall not repeat the wrongs we did in leaving Gaza. It should have been done otherwise. I was for leaving Gaza. I feel myself as one of the persons mistaken."

Will wonders never cease?


The matters of seeking the release of Gilad Shalit and negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas have taken some interesting turns.

The Security Cabinet yesterday voted to keep crossings into Gaza closed, except for humanitarian supplies, until Shalit is returned. And, what is more, the decision was made not to enter into a formal ceasefire with Hamas.

According to one official source cited by the Post, "Israel is not interested in any deal with Hamas above and beyond getting Shalit...If there is quiet, we will respond with quiet. But if Hamas acts to destroy the quiet, if it shoots rockets at Israel, or engages in arms smuggling, or in any other aggression, we reserve the right to respond."


I only wonder why all of this wasn't stipulated at the start. In many respects this is excellent. We should not be in a position of being restrained by an agreement in terms of how we respond to Hamas.

There is a note of great concern, however. And that is the sort of deal that would be made for Shalit — with the projected release of terrorists responsible for many Jewish deaths, terrorists who should never, ever again be free.

With regard to this, please read "An open letter to the prime minister," by Rabbi Stuart Weiss, who lost his son Ari, a member of Sayeret Nahal anti-terrorist unit, in a battle against Hamas in 2002.

"...But now we are on the brink of what I fear will be a catastrophic moment in Israeli — and Jewish — history. The freeing of hundreds of terrorist murderers — in particular, the two Barghouti butchers who, between them, murdered hundreds of pure Jewish souls and perpetrated the terror massacres at Sbarro, Moment Cafe and the Park Hotel — will be a terrible blow to law and order in Israel, setting a precedent that will certainly result in many, many more tragedies.

"WE APPRECIATE the pressure on you to free Gilad Shalit. It must be enormous. But know that there is another side to this issue, as well.

"That is the deep feelings of thousands of Israeli family members who paid the ultimate price to the state, who gave up their loved ones in the course of our struggle. To free these Palestinian murderers with so much of our blood on their hands would do more than just insult and demoralize the bereaved families; it would destroy us, and cause us to lose all faith in our country and its leaders.

"Everyone — including the Shalit family — agrees that there are prices too high to pay to secure Gilad's release...Setting hundreds of bloodthirsty killers loose on the Israeli public — where they, without a shadow of a doubt, will kill time and time again — is...a price far too high to pay.

"...We already have one yahrtzeit for Ari. Please, we implore you, do not bring another one upon us."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304819977&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


The decisions described above are causing a bit of commotion. Egypt officials have their noses very much out of joint, as they wanted to successfully conclude cease-fire negotiations. And, amazingly, Amos Gilad, of the Defense Department, who was doing the negotiations with the Egyptians on behalf of Barak, has taken Egypt's side: "I don't understand what they are trying to do. Insult the Egyptians?

Some harsh words ensued between Olmert and Gilad, because of Gilad's public criticism of the government's position.


There are rumors (stomach-turning rumors that I pray are wrong, but are cited by Khaled Abu Toameh) that we may release Marwan Barghouti as a "gesture" to Abbas, instead of as part of a deal with Hamas to secure Shalit. Remember, Abbas was worried that if Hamas was able to bring Barghouti out of prison, when Fatah never could, it would diminish Fatah.

How crazy can things get?

The point here is that Barghouti should never be released to anyone. Then we wouldn't have to worry about how his release affects one faction or another.


Just days ago I wrote about the naiveté of Obama in thinking a US delegation, by participating in the plans for Durban 2, can change matters. Anne Bayefsky has now written a major piece on this for National Review, called, "Obama Naiveté at the U.N." It is dated February 16.

"In a major foreign-policy decision taken over the weekend, President Obama has decided to legitimize the United Nations's 'anti-racism' forum known as Durban II. State Department officials announced in a press release buried on Saturday, that starting today the United States will attend for the first time the preparatory meetings of this controversial U.N. conference...

"The searing images of the demonization of America and Jews on the U.N.'s global stage...should have made joining this revived forum for U.N.-driven hate inconceivable. But President Obama seems intent on learning the lessons of history — and the relationship between hatemongering and violence — the hard way.

"The State Department announcement claims that participating in Durban II preparations still leaves open the possibility of refusing to attend the April conference itself. The claim is completely disingenuous...It is the decision to attend at all which represents a huge shift in American principles and priorities. For the past seven and a half years, the United States has boycotted Durban follow-up activities and voted against every Durban-related U.N. resolution.

"Moreover, the very objective of Durban II is 'to foster the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.' This is non-negotiable and cannot be changed by U.S. participation, period. In addition, all U.N. states attending these preparatory sessions have already agreed to 'reaffirm the Durban Declaration.' Since the U.S. walked out of Durban I in disgust (along with Israel) and rejected the Durban I Declaration, joining negotiations now means agreeing to its provisions for the first time.

"...In truth, this Obama trip to the U.N. represents an abandonment of Israel. All his campaign promises to the contrary, sacrificing Israel for the sake of currying favor with others — demagogues included — is clearly at the top of the new president's agenda. Israel asked Obama not to attend. Canada also pulled out of Durban II and expected American support. Instead, today's American foreign policy leaves America's closest ally and its biggest trading partner out in the cold.

"The speed at which President Obama is selling off American assets is breathtaking. The speed at which he is selling them out is even faster."

Read the entire alarming piece, please. If you still think what Obama is doing is OK, think again! And if you're alarmed, start screaming loud and long, before it is truly too late for America.
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q= ODcyODBjZTFjYWNlNTA0OTk1OTM4ODQ2YTAzYWUyOTU=

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

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Posted by GWY, February 19, 2009.

This is called "Jewish Picture du Jour" by Ed Stein, and it was published in The Rocky Mountain News, Colorado, January 13, 2009.


On the sixth day, G~d turned to the angel Gabriel....

"On this day, I shall create a magic land. It shall be called 'Israel'. It will stand as holy. Its magnificence will be known all over the world. I will choose to send to this land special people of goodness, intelligence and conviction, so the land shall prosper. I shall call these inhabitants Jews."

"Pardon me, Lord," asked Gabriel, "but aren't you being too generous to these Jews?"

"Not really. Wait and see the neighbors I'm giving them."

Contact GWY at gwy123@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 19, 2009.


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights accuses Israel of having used Arabs as human shields. An IDF unit assembled civilians mostly of military age and held them out of the way and under guard, feeding them and giving them blankets. Leaving the detainees guarded, the unit entered combat. That is not using Arabs as human shields, for they were not put in front of Israeli troops (IMRA, 1/29). The guiltier the Arabs are, the more they accuse Israel of going what Arabs do.


A ship from Lebanon attempted to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza, contrary to its stated intentions and to warnings from Israel. The Israeli Navy intercepted it, and searched for arms. None found. On board was former archbishop of Jerusalem, Msgr. Hilarion Capucci, "who was convicted of smuggling guns from Lebanon to Israel in 19785 and spent two years in an Israeli prison. An Al Jazeera reporter accused the crew of assaulting passengers.

Israel said the goods would be sent on to Gaza [didn't say by whom or in what carrier]. UNRWA claimed that Israel's blockade chokes off basic humanitarian supplies. He cited as an example that UNRWA teachers had worked during the combat on a new human rights curriculum against extremism, but couldn't get supplies for making books. He also criticized Hamas for letting its police force attack a distribution center and seize the supplies. The Arab League called the ship-boarding "piracy." (Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 2/6, A8).

Hamas committed acts of piracy, whereas Israel passed on the humanitarian goods and lets through trucks carrying such supplies. Why didn't UNRWA acknowledge that, add in the smuggling through tunnels, and come up with the difference between estimated needs and supplies. Its condemnation is too general and too political. It doesn't discuss the legality of a standard blockade, not objected to when done by other countries. In this case, it is done to genocidal aggressors.

The accusation by Al Jazeera may be as politically motivated and as false as the Arab League's, which hardly merits reporting. Since the Arabs do try to smuggle arms in innocuous cargos, and since a convicted terrorist was aboard, it made particular sense to search that ship. UNRWA shows no understanding of the circumstances of the blockade. What credibility does it have, after letting terrorists control its facilities and its teachers affiliate with Hamas? Do you believe that UNRWA developed a human rights curriculum against extremism or against Israel which it probably mislabels "extremist" rather than Hamas, which is? Why didn't UNRWA give examples from the manuscripts? Humanitarian? Send supplies to Darfur, where people are victims of Arab genocide!


Candidate Livni said that Jerusalem ought not be a campaign topic. She said, "It has national, historical value that needs to be important for every one of us."

When should the subject come up, after the election? Why shouldn't voters know where the candidates stand on its status? (IMRA, 1/28). After all, the Arabs maintain that Israeli negotiators offered to divide it again.


Israeli combat in Gaza was supported by the preponderant majority of Jews in Israel. Some Far Leftists abandoned their dwindling ranks and told off those who remained behind. Those who remain behind have become anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism has become Nazified, in that Jewish lives mean nothing to them, so they think that Israel must not complain about being attacked. Their antisemitism extends to cheering on the enemy attacking their own country.

Prof. Steven Plaut observes, "At my own University of Haifa, left-wing faculty members exploded in a wave of outraged protests when the campus heads decided to fly Israeli flags as a gesture of solidarity with the embattled residents of the Negev towns. The leftists claimed this would be insensitive because it would offend the pro-jihad Arab students who fill the campus."

After a brief foray in Gaza, he regime reverted to the failed old policies: ending the invasion prematurely, proposing to release terrorists, and proposing land for peace. The regime did not learn that yielding land brings war. It underestimates the extent and depth of antisemitism.

TV showed an Arab mourning the destruction of his house. An Israeli youth exclaimed, then why fire rockets at my house? IMRA reported a recent poll showing that more than half the P.A. Arabs support suicide bombing against Israel. They favor terrorist methods (1/28). Imagine their goals!

Holocaust Memorials now substitute for fighting contemporary antisemitism. Europeans are self-righteous commemorators who are helping the Arabs prepare another holocaust. The head of the General Assembly embraced the President of Iran after his antisemitic speech, but was going to preside over the UNO Holocaust memorial, until Israel objected. It was to be his cover for antisemitism. "The resistance to Hitler and his kind," "is getting stronger the more the Third Reich recedes into the past." "Never again" is a shallow slogan, now that vow new genocides occur. Time to end phony memorials (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/28).


Mitchell is pretty bad for Israel. He thinks that Israel should honor the "spirit" of Oslo [which is whatever he'd like it to mean], while he doesn't insist that the Arabs honor the letter of it. Thus Oslo does not restrict Jewish building in the Territories, but Mitchell wanted them to restrict it in the name of the nebulous "spirit." Sine the Arabs agreed to Oslo without restrictions on Jewish building, it is not an honest argument by Mitchell. If Israel makes other agreements, will it be held to what some foreign claims is the spirit of the agreement, while not holding the Arabs to the actual agreement.

But the Jewish officials in the State Dept. profess to take umbrage when someone claims they are imposing too great a risk upon Israel. After all, they, themselves, are Jewish, they would say (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 1/29).


MP Wilders told Israelis they are in the front lines defending not territory but civilization. Unfortunately, Israel has to take measures to protect its officers from laymen lawsuits for trumped up war crimes, Wilders has to be in protective custody, and the British House of Lords was intimidated by the threat of Muslim riots to cancel a showing of Wilder's truthful film. Europe is in a state of denial. Muslims and then legal authorities blame the messenger and hound the innocent. British Muslims enter Jewish owned businesses to threaten them [as in Nazi Germany.] US Muslims have urged their followers to harass people entering synagogues. Neo-Nazis and multi-culturalists do not object. The media obscures the identity of the perpetrators of attacks on Jews.

Israel offers legal aid to its officer. Lawyers won't help in show trials! Wilder's trial won't be based on evidence, for the case is sham, political, based on fear and appeasement. Israel would be better advised to issue travel advisories against, or break relations with, countries that seeks to persecute Israeli soldiers (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 1/26).


Before Syria was given independence, the Jewish National Fund acquired title to 20,000 acres in the Golan and in nearby Syria. The JNF, however, treats this as a secret, won't show the deed, which would give Israel a stronger hand in dealing with Syria (Barry Chamish, 1/29).

Apparently the government pressures JNF not to make its case, which would make the Zionist case stronger. The government wants to cede land to Syria.


During the campaign, Pres. Bush proposed bilateral trade agreements that would help both countries and gain closer relations with Latin American countries. Candidate McCain pointed out their overriding advantages for the US.

Democrats opposed the trade agreements for irrelevant ideological reasons. They penalize many countries for such reasons, but criticized Pres. Bush for not working closer with other countries.

Now that the election is over, Pres. Obama submitted a bill in the hope it would stimulate the economy. Congress inserted some protectionist trade provisions. The NY Times now is chiding Congress for protectionism, which, in concert with similar measures by other countries, can damage trade and exacerbate recession.

Who needs to learn about the danger of protectionism and about not working with other countries? Not Pres. Bush and not Sen. McCain, in those instances.

People assume that when the US disagrees with other countries, we must be wrong. Why? Some of the international agreements they propose would be unfair to us. For example, one on the environment lets other countries increase their pollution. One such country is China, with a huge economy and effect, especially as it was expanding fast, before the recession. That was not fair and not that beneficial, but it would have put the US at a disadvantage. Pres. Bush's fault was in not being able to explain that well.

In any case, now that the election is over, the Times takes positions that it criticized Bush and McCain for. Hypocrisy.


The NY Times refers to Hamas' foreign and domestic leaders as "hardliners and pragmatists," in discussing whether the US can woo the "pragmatists" away from alliance with Iran. I think that discussion is based on misunderstanding. Apparently the Times reads more into such labels than exists.

Hamas leaders in Gaza want to retain power; Hamas leaders in Syria want to make trouble non-stop. That does not make domestic Hamas leaders less dangerous but more so. Those in Syria think they always can face down the West. Those in Gaza see the difficulties, and want to build up power before chancing another and stronger Israeli incursion. Both sets are jihadist. The US cannot win them away from jihad. It didn't even win the PLO away from jihad.

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

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 18, 2009.

Clintons are back — US privately backs Pakistan's 'Sharia law for peace' deal with Taliban (Australia also agrees its a good idea)

The US privately backs Pakistan's 'Sharia law for peace' deal with Taliban. American officials have privately backed Pakistan's "Sharia law for peace" deal with Taliban militants in the Swat Valley despite publicly criticising it as a "negative development".


By Dean Nelson,
with input from Javed Siddiq in Islamabad
and Emal Khan in Peshawar.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/ pakistan/4681480/US-privately-backs-Pakistans-Sharia- law-for-peace-deal-with-Taliban.html

The deal, under which Sharia law will be introduced in the Malakhand and Kohistan districts of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province if Taliban militants end their armed campaign in the Swat Valley, has been met with alarm by Nato chiefs and British and American officials.

Nato fears the deal would create a new "safe haven" for extremists, said a spokesman on Tuesday night, while a statement from Britain's High Commission in Islamabad said: "Previous peace deals have not provided a comprehensive and long-term solution to Swat's problems. We need to be confident that they will end violence, not create space for further violence."

President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan voiced the greatest concern about the strength of Taliban militants in Swat as he ended his first visit to the region since taking up his post.

"I talked to people from Swat and they were, frankly, quite terrified. Swat has really deeply affected the people of Pakistan, not just in Peshawar but in Lahore and Islamabad," he said, while a Defence Department official described the deal as a "negative development".

On Tuesday night however, US officials in Islamabad privately backed the deal as an attempt to drive a wedge between Swat's Taliban, which is focused on its demand for Sharia law, and the al-Qaeda-linked Taliban led by Baitullah Mehsud, the notorious commander who controls much of North and South Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Afghan border.

While they expressed fears that the deal might yet be sabotaged by some Swat Taliban militants who support al-Qaeda, they said that if successful, the deal would break up the alliance between the two groups, which has caused alarm throughout Pakistan and in Washington.

Of the two Taliban groups, Mehsud's is the most feared — he has been accused of masterminding the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and trained Osama bin Laden's son as one of his commanders — but it is the alliance with Swat Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah which alarmed Pakistanis in the country's main metropolitan centres.

Swat is less than 100 miles from Islamabad, just a few hours from where Fazlullah's men have bombed girls' schools and murdered opponents and those who have defied its fatwas against "immoral behaviour". They included a popular dancing girl whose body was dumped in the main square of the valley's largest city, Mingora, last month.

Fazlullah, who is known as "Maulana Radio" for the illegal FM stations he uses to broadcast his latest fatwas and justify recent Taliban murders, is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the leader of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), who once led thousands of militants to fight US forces in Afghanistan. Mr Muhammad has negotiated the Sharia law deal with local government officials and was on Tuesday night meeting Maulana Fazlullah to finalise their ceasefire.

Some senior Pakistan People's Party leaders have privately condemned the deal as "surrender", but government sources last night said it needed to bring peace to the valley, so that girls could return to school and business return to normal.

The valley had a long history of Sharia law, and its introduction was a popular measure among Swat's long-suffering people, they said.

American officials in Islamabad said they hoped it would divide Fazlullah's Swat Taliban and his father-in-law's TNSM from Baitullah Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

"The strategy has to be to divide the two groups. The TNSM and Baitullah's TTP found some common cause briefly, but a peace deal will separate them," said one US official, who explained that while Mehsud's TTP is part of the global jihad, Maulana Radio is regarded as more focused on local issues and the campaign for Sharia law.

One source suggested it reflected the "smart power" thinking outlined by Hillary Clinton in her Senate confirmation hearing as secretary of state.

Mehsud's Taliban on Tuesday night appeared unruffled by the prospect of a peace deal in Swat.

"If a true Sharia was enforced, we shall fully support it," said Maulvi Omar, a spokesman, adding that the group backed the involvement of TNSM chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad in any deal.

"Pakistan cuts 'dangerous' deal with Taliban"
February 17, 2009
Adapted from a report by Barbara Miller for The World Today.

The Swat Valley, in Pakistan's north-west, was once a popular tourist destination. But for more than a year, Taliban militants and Pakistani forces have been battling it out there.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have fled.

And despite being greatly outnumbered, the militants have succeeded in gaining control of most of the area, about 160 kilometres north of the capital, Islamabad.

In return for a ceasefire, authorities have now agreed to a deal which will allow the introduction of Sharia law in the Malakand region, which includes Swat.

It will mean legal appeals can now be heard locally and the chief minister of the North West Frontier Province, Amir Haider Khan, has defended the deal.

"This agreement, this is not under pressure because there was a militant movement in Swat, but this is for the whole of Malakand division," he said.

"Realising this was something which was badly needed, realising that ... we needed to provide speedy justice and of course, to some extent, justice which can be afforded by the local people."

'Appalling appeasement'

But human rights campaigners have described the deal as an appalling concession to terrorists.

Iqbal Haider from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says it is essentially the Government surrendering to the Taliban.

"We are appalled by such an appeasement of extremist and militant forces who are hell-bent upon destroying Pakistan and conquering Pakistan," he said.

Christopher Snedden, a senior lecturer in international relations at Deakin University, said the imposition of Sharia law was likely done to placate the Taliban in the short term while the Pakistani Government regroups.

"I think it is a dangerous strategy," he said.

"It may have lost this battle, but the war is not yet won or lost, and this would be its latest move, I think, while it regathers, because the Pakistan army is a bit stretched."

Mr Snedden says the deal also has the potential to strengthen the Taliban's grip in Afghanistan.

"The Taliban, apparently, are in control of or have a presence in about 70 per cent of Afghanistan, and this will only give them further impetus to continue to try to improve their presence throughout the rest of Afghanistan," he said.

"Secondly, if this area is essentially a no-go area now to mainstream Pakistani army, police and administrators, then that will be a further area for sanctuary for these people."

During his visit to Pakistan, Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith gave a cautious response to news of the deal, saying he hoped what had occurred would be a positive development.

But Mr Smith pointed out that the result of a similar agreement in the past had not been favourable.  


Under Obama's watch Pakistan took steps for Sharia Law in 7 states this week. But, that wasn't enough for the Islamists, who have announced they want Islamic rule for the entire world not just in the Swat Region.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Louis René Beres, February 19, 2009.

Israel has elected a new prime minister. From the start — and even before he begins to consider assorted specific issues for negotiation with other governments and organizations — he will have to determine whether any form of diplomacy is actually indicated. Although, on the surface, such advice may appear distinctly odd or foolish at best, there will be clear benefits to Israel of proceeding diplomatically only after first cultivating genuine understanding.

From the very start, from its imperiled beginnings in May 1948 — and indeed, even beforestatehood — Israel sought heroically to negotiate with its enemies. Always, always — Jerusalem has preferred peace to war. Nonetheless, challenged by relentless and interminable Arab aggressions, diplomacy has almost always failed Israel. Significantly, this lamentable conclusion is pretty much incontestable. So, the new prime minister is now obligated to ask: What real chance is there that, somehow, things might be different?

Although ultimately settling upon Operation Cast Lead, a manifestly correct policy choice, previous Prime Minister Olmert, of course, had determined to seek Israel's basic security in diplomacy. Although there was assuredly nothing inherently wrong with such a conciliatory posture, especially as Israel had remained under constant pressure from Washington to negotiate, there was also very good reason for skepticism. From Oslo to the so-called "Road Map," diplomacy over Israel's rights and obligations has always been a determinably asymmetrical process. "Land for nothing!" In essence, this unspoken mantra has been Israel's persistent "marching order" from the "civilized world."

Ironically, Israel's principal enemies remain candid. On some things they actually do not lie. On their irremediable intention to annihilate the Jewish state, for example, they are utterly sworn to truth. Israel's new prime minister should listen to them.

The key disputing Palestinian factions (Fatah or Hamas, it makes little effective difference) and Iran will never accept anything less than Israel's destruction. This is obvious to anyone who cares to pay attention. They say this every day, either openly or obliquely. Moreover, in a corroborating bit of cartography, every "official" PA or Iranian map of "Palestine" already includes all of Israel.

Toward the end of his corrupted and ill-fated regime, then Prime Minister Olmert had released several hundred Palestinian terrorists as a "goodwill gesture." Together with then U.S. President George W. Bush, he had aided Fatah against Hamas with outright transfers of weapons and information. Soon after (surprise, surprise) the American and Israeli guns were turned against Israel. As for Mr. Olmert's graciously extended "goodwill," it only served to elicit the next round of rocket fire. Matters were not helped at all by Washington's corollary support for a Palestinian state, thoroughly misconceived support — now extended by new U.S. President Barack Obama.

Let Prime Minister Netanyahu take note. Regarding formal diplomacy, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Rooted deeply in Jihadist interpretations of Islam, there is an obvious and enduring inequality of objectives between Israel and its principal enemies. For both Palestinian insurgents and Iran's president, conflict with Israel is always an all or nothing proposition. In this starkly polarizing view of incessant strife between "the world of war" and "the world of Islam," there can be no place for authentic treaties or settlements with the Jewish State, save as a temporary tactical expedient.

For Israel, on the other hand, a negotiated peace with its Arab "neighbors" and Iran persists as an elusive but desperate hope. This is true even when the prospect of Islamic reciprocity is plainly preposterous and historically unimaginable.

A truly fundamental inequality is evident in all expressions of the Middle East Peace Process. On the Palestinian and Iranian side, Oslo and "Road Map" expectations have never been seen as anything more than a cost-effective method of dismantling Israel. On the Israeli side, these expectations have generally been taken, quite differently, as a presumably indispensable way of averting further war and terror.

ISRAEL'S NEW PRIME MINISTER SHOULD TAKE NOTE: The core problem of Israel's life or death vulnerability lies in the Jewish State's ongoing assumptions on war and peace. While certain of Israel's regional enemies, state and nonstate, believe that any power gains for Israel represent a power loss for them — that is, that they coexist with Israel in a condition of pure conflict — Israel assumes something else. For Mr. Netanyahu's several immediate predecessors, relations with certain Arab states, the Palestinian Authority/Hamas and Iran were not taken to be pure "zero-sum," but rather a mutual-dependence connection. In this view, conflict is always mixed with cooperation.

For no identifiable reason, it would seem, Israel may still believe that certain of its Arab enemies and Iran reject zero-sum assumptions about the strategy of conflict. Israel's enemies, however, do not make such erroneous judgments about conformance with Israeli calculations. These enemies know further, that Israel is wrong in its belief that certain Arab states, Iran and the Palestinians also reject the zero-sum assumption, but they shrewdly pretend otherwise. There has remained, therefore, a dramatic and consequential strategic disparity between Israel and certain of its frontline Islamic enemies.

Israel's strategy of conflict has, at least in part, been founded upon multiple theoretical miscalculations and upon an indifference to certain primary and flagrant enemy manipulations. The barbarous policies of Israel's enemies, on the other hand, have been and remain founded (a) upon correct calculations and assumptions; and (b) upon an astute awareness of Israel's strategic naiveté. This means that Israel's new prime minister should now make certain far-reaching changes in the way that Israel conceptualizes the continuum of cooperation and conflict. A "new Israel," ridding itself of injurious wishful thinking, should finally acknowledge the zero-sum calculations of its enemies, and thus begin to acceptthat the constant struggle must still be fought largely at the conflict end of the spectrum. Right now, this means, especially (and somewhat belatedly, in the particular case of Iran) attention to several preemption imperatives.

Left unchallenged by its new prime minister, Israel's mistaken assumptions, and the combining of these assumptions with correct premises of its enemies, could undermine Israel's very survival. These still-remediable Israeli errors have had the additional effect of creating an odd "alliance" between Israel and its enemies. This is surely not the sort of coalition that can ever help the Jewish State, but is rather a one-sided and unreciprocated "pact" in which Israel actively and ironically serves its enemies.

To be sure, the new prime minister should not become the best ally that Israel's Arab enemies and Iran could hope to have. Instead, he should now seek to serve Israel's long-term survival with real wisdom, supplanting the false assumptions that stem from misguided hopes with correct premises based upon sound reasoning. In the end, it is all about logic.

What does this really mean? In the language of formal logic, invalid forms of argument are fallacies. The basic problem with Israel's continuous search for "peace" through negotiated surrenders (Land for nothing!) has been its persistent commission of fallacies. Unlike simple instances of falsity, these particular arguments are especially insidious because they could involve a devastating policy outcome. Distinguishable from singular mistakes, these deviations from correct thinking ensure that all subsequent calculations will also result in error. This means that it is in the very process of strategic thinking, and not in the assessment of particular facts and issues, that Israeli policy changes are now most sorely needed. Mr. Netanyahu, please take heed.

Louis René Beres, Professor of International Law at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, he has lectured and published widely in Israel, Europe and the United States on war, terrorism and strategies of conflict.

This article appeared today in the Jewish Press

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Posted by Steven Plaut, February 18, 2009.

Well, no sooner do we recover from our bout of laughter over Turkey criticizing Israel for its behavior in Gaza than an even more Orwellistic event takes place. Jordan has decided to file a criminal lawsuit against Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in. German and Arab media have been reporting that Jordanian Parliament members at the behest of their king plan to file a petition to the International Criminal Court in the Hague to prosecute Israeli officials for "war crimes" committed during Operation Cast Lead, fought against the genocidal Hamas terrorists. Israeli Internal Security Minister Dichter reacted: 'No greater hypocrisy than when the country that murdered 10,000 Palestinians deals with international crimes.'

So let us put this into perspective. Jordan itself is a pseudo-country sitting on land that properly belongs to the Jews. There is no Jordanian people at all. Jordan is a country composed of Palestinian Arabs with no political rights at all, controlled by a Bedouin ruling elite, which has hegemony over the government and army.

Jordan is as much an apartheid regime as any on earth. Official discrimination against non-Bedouin Arabs is state policy. Jews may not own land in Jordan, and tracts of land once legally purchased by Jews have been stolen from them by the Jordanian government. When Jordan controlled the Old City of Jerusalem it destroyed every single Jewish shrine there and used their stones to build latrines. It tore up gravestones from the Mount of Olives, which has been a respected cemetery for 4000 years, and used them also as building materials.

Jordan came into existence as a country when the young Winston Churchill quite literally drew its boundaries on the back of an envelope, drawn so as to accommodate two British petroleum pipelines, in land promised to the Jews under the Balfour Declaration. Instead of Wilsonian national self-determination dictating the emergence of countries, pipeline geography did in the case of Jordan.

Jordan is one of the few countries on earth still ruled by a king, and not a make-pretend ceremonial one, but rather one whose every whim must be obeyed. Moreover, the previous king of Jordan decided to show his devotion to the human rights of Palestinians by massacring tens of thousands of them in the infamous "Black September" of 1970. No one exactly knows how many Palestinian civilians were massacred by the Jordanian ruling class and army, although Yassir Arafat said it was 25,000. The Palestinian terror group "Black September," which carried out the Munich massacre and other atrocities, named itself in memory of this massacre of Palestinians by the Jordanian army. At the time, hundreds of Palestinian terrorists entered Israel and begged to be allowed to be put in Israeli prisons, rather than be returned to Jordan where they faced certain death.

Jordan does not only shoot Palestinians when they ally with Syria and try to topple the Bedouin regime there, as they did in 1970. Palestinian students in Jordan participating in demonstrations against ISRAEL have been mowed down by the Jordanian soldiers. In fact the only country in the Middle East in which students can conduct a spontaneous anti-Israel demonstration against Israel is Israel.

Amnesty International and many others speak out against human rights abuses in Jordan. The treatment of women there is about as bad as it gets anywhere and there are many "honor killings" of women. There is no freedom of the press. Torture is routinely used. One of the more ironic matters is the treatment of homosexuals. Jordanian gays, who face violent persecution, often apply for asylum in Israel.

Jordan of course has a long history of military aggression. It began with the Jordanian invasion of Western Palestine in 1948, when Jordan attempted to annex all of the territory that the UN had tried to partition into Israel and an Arab Palestinian state. Jordan, not Israel, prevented the creation of that Arab Palestinian state. Jordan illegally invaded and held East Jerusalem, including the Old City, starting in 1948 and lasting for nineteen years. It participated in the military aggressions against Israel in 1967 and 1973. The West Bank was taken from Jordan by Israel the same way that Germany lost Alsace and Lorraine, thanks to its losing its own war of aggression.

Jordan's Queen Rania this week issued a call for donations to UNRWA, the agency that funnels money into the Gaza Strip, much of it requisitioned by the Hamas and some of it used for weapons. "We are in very dire need of much more assistance and without which I think UNRWA won't be able to operate," she told a meeting of UNRWA in Amman. Rania, who quite literally has a queen's fortune, evidently donated nothing at all herself, although she earlier claimed to have donated blood to help the Gazans while Israel was attacking the terrorists.

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

This article was published in Front Page Magazine
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=864E1EC2-1EC3-4343- A1C3-87D04DE7E4E7

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Posted by Mrla, February 18, 2009.

Dear Ms. Trine Lilleng,

You were an unknown Norwegian diplomat till this month.

No longer.

As first secretary in the Norwegian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, you recently sent out an email on your office account in which you declared: "The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany."

Accompanying your text were photos, with an emphasis on children, seeking to juxtapose the Holocaust with the recent Israeli military operation in Gaza.

Clearly, you are miscast in your role as a diplomat, all the more so of a nation that has sought to play a mediating role in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In fact, you're desperately in need of some education.

Let's begin with your current posting. You've been in Riyadh since 2007.

If you're so anguished by human rights violations, perhaps you could have begun by devoting some of your attention — and email blasts — to what surrounds you.

Or were your eyes diplomatically shut?

Have you failed to notice the many legal executions, including beheadings, going on in your assigned country?

Have you ignored the often abysmal treatment of foreign workers, many from Asia, who also happen to be disproportionately counted among the victims of Saudi capital punishment?

Have you neglected the gender apartheid that surrounds you? Did you ever look out of your car to notice that Saudi women are proscribed from driving, and that's hardly the worst of it?

Have you checked the skyline of Riyadh or Jeddah lately to count the number of church spires or other non-Muslim houses of worship?

Have you bothered to inquire about the fate of homosexuals?

Okay, you were AWOL on those issues. Maybe you just didn't want to offend your hosts by speaking the truth, or maybe you're suffering from that diplomatic disease known as "localitis" or "clientitis."

But surely a woman like you, with such capacity for empathy for those in far-away places, and especially for children in danger, couldn't remain silent about other human rights transgressions, could she?

After all, could an individual so deeply moved by the plight of Palestinians in Gaza remain silent about what a New York Times columnist earlier this month described as "hell on earth" — Zimbabwe? Could a person so anguished by the fate of Palestinian children stay mum about a country where a girl's life expectancy at birth is 34, much less than half that of her Norwegian counterpart, and where the health care sector has vaporized, all thanks to the one-man rule of Robert Mugabe?

Could such a dedicated humanist possibly avert her eyes from the deadliest conflict since the Second World War, which has killed over five million people, many of them children, in the Congo in the past decade — not to mention the documented and widespread use of torture, rape, and arbitrary detention?

An observer of such acute sensitivity could hardly hold her tongue while Afghan girls attempting to go to school have been doused with acid by those who wish to deny young women access to education, reminiscent of the five years of Taliban rule, could she?

In neighboring Pakistan, where you served in the Norwegian embassy for three years, the beleaguered human rights community must have been fortunate to have such an impassioned voice for all that's wrong in this failing state. Or was that voice, perhaps, on mute?

The children of Sderot, the Israeli town near the Gaza border, have been in desperate need of just such a spokesperson as you for the past eight years.

After all, their town has been in the crosshairs of literally thousands of missiles and mortars fired from Gaza. Those Israeli children live with all the signs of trauma, knowing that, with only 15 seconds warning, they could be hit at any time in their schools, their parks, or their beds. Yet, during my visit there last week, for some reason, those children and their parents had yet to hear you speak out for them. What a pity!

And the children of Iran could use your help as well. According to human rights groups, Iran has no compunction about executing children or those who were children when their crimes were allegedly committed.

Oh, and by the way, your compassionate help would also undoubtedly be welcomed by others under the gun in Iran, including women's rights activists, union organizers, student protesters, independent journalists, reformist politicians, and religious minorities. And let's not forget, once again, the children of Israel, who, according to the Iranian president, don't have a right to live.

But wait! A Google search about you reveals nothing, not a single word, regarding your views on Zimbabwe, Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sderot, or Iran. Or, for that matter, Burma, Darfur, Syria. Shall I go on?

Only Israel, faced with those who wish to destroy it, manages to prompt your impassioned correspondence and righteous indignation. Why?

No less, your stunning lack of education extends beyond the contemporary world to 20th century history, specifically the Holocaust.

Your invocation of the Holocaust to describe what's taken place in Gaza is, frankly, nothing short of obscene.

Your claim that the grandchildren of the survivors are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them goes beyond any norm of decency, much less honesty.

Approve or disapprove of the Israeli military operation, but there is no basis whatsoever for such a comparison.

When Israel entered Gaza in a war of self-defense in 1967, the population was 360,000. After Israel withdrew totally from Gaza in 2005, it was estimated at 1.4 million.

Would that the Jewish population under Nazi rule had quadrupled!

When Israel entered Gaza in 1967, life expectancy for women was 46. When it left Gaza, it was 73.

Shall we even bother to discuss life expectancy for Jews under Nazi occupation?

The Second World War in Europe lasted from September 1, 1939 to May 8, 1945 — 68 months in all. That means an average monthly extermination rate of nearly 90,000 Jews.

Compare that to the total number of victims in Gaza over three weeks — roughly guesstimated at more or less 1,000 — and recall that the majority were armed fighters committed to Israel's destruction, who used civilians, including children, as human shields, mosques as arms depots, and hospitals as sanctuaries.

Believe me, Ms. Lilleng, if the "grandchildren of the Holocaust survivors" had wanted to do exactly what the Nazis did to their grandparents, they would have unleashed their full air, land, and sea power. They would have thrown the Israel Defense Forces' ethical guidelines to the wind, kicked out the UN and Red Cross personnel on the ground, stopped humanitarian transports of food, fuel, and medicine, prevented media reporting, and left absolutely nothing — and no one — standing.

Unless, of course, they needed slave labor, in which case they would have carted off the able-bodied to work in Auschwitz replicas until they dropped. Or material for ghoulish medical experimentation, in which case, in the spirit of Mengele, they would have kept Palestinian twins alive temporarily.

But Israel didn't do any of these things. It's a peace-seeking democracy dedicated to the rule of law — unlike so many of the countries whose horrific sins you blithely choose to overlook.

What are we to make of your selective moral outrage and rank hypocrisy?

You ought to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why Israel, and only Israel, makes your blood boil and leads you to speak out, even at the risk of grossly distorting both reality and history.

The answer, Ms. Lilleng, should be painfully obvious.

Contact the poster at mrla26@aol.com

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 18, 2009.
This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared yesterday in the Spectator

I wrote below about the dismaying decision by the Obama administration to participate in the planning of 'Durban 2', the looming repeat of the UN anti-Jew hate-fest masquerading grotesquely as a human rights conference that took place in Durban a few days before 9/11, and whose singling out of Israel for vilification is likely to be exceeded in both the depth and scope of such defamatory incitement by the anti-west, anti-Israel and anti-Jew Declaration being prepared for 'Durban 2' in Geneva in a couple of months' time.

By deciding to take part in its planning process in the professed hope that it can mitigate its most obnoxious elements, the American government has bestowed upon it a legitimacy that this intrinsically wicked meeting most certainly does not merit. America's involvement also runs the risk that if they are smart — and they are — the Iranians and other enemies of the west who are running this UN 'human rights' circus will simply remove one or two of the most egregious canards from the Declaration, thus enabling Obama to grand-stand as a global reformer while doing nothing to stop the UN producing a Declaration which will still be viscerally anti-west, anti-Israel and anti-Jew.

At today's London Conference on Combating Antisemitism, which has been highlighting the shocking connection between the misreporting of Israel's military action in Gaza and the global pandemic of Jew-hatred, the Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown — himself a former UN official — made a very careful statement about Britain's involvement in this process. Unlike Canada and the Netherlands, Britain is still — shamefully — 'engaging' with 'Durban 2' on the similarly absurd grounds that it might ameliorate it. Today, Malloch-Brown — who said he had been horrified by Durban 1 — said that Italy was 'close to withdrawing' and that Britain had come very close to doing so. But Britain was 'not there yet', and would co-ordinate very closely with the Obama administration in trying to get a good deal out of 'Durban 2'. The British government was very clear, he said, that it would be intolerable if one country, Israel, was alone singled out for censure. If Britain did not secure a 'good deal' in the Declaration, it would withdraw.

I am told, however, that behind Lord Malloch-Brown's diplomatic phrasing lies fury in Whitehall that the Obama administration has pulled the rug from under Britain's feet. It appears that the British government had finally arrived at a decision — not before time — to pull out of 'Durban 2' on the grounds that its vile agenda was now incontrovertible. But then the Obama administration announced it was going to get involved; and so Britain, marching as ever in public lockstep with Washington, had no choice but to abandon its walk-out — to the dismay in particular, it seems, of the Czechs who were looking for a bit of moral leadership in Europe.

I must say that I am a little sceptical that the Brits were really about to pull out, having shown so little spine until now. But maybe they had indeed decided that enough was enough. And now look at why the Americans did this. According to this story in the Middle East Times, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who wanted to boycott the conference, was bounced into participating by Susan Rice, America's ambassador to the UN — whose previous claim to fame was her apparent wish to place domestic political considerations above the need to prevent genocide in the Sudan — and Samantha Powers, Obama's Israel-loathing guru and now an official at the National Security Council. The paper reports:

Israeli Foreign Ministry officials had previously sought to block efforts by senior American administration officials to change Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's decision to boycott the conference. One of these officials included Susan Rice, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Obama's former campaign adviser. Rice is also pushing for the U.S. to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva. The body had been boycotted by the U.S., partly because of Washington's view that it is one-sided in its criticism of Israel.

Samantha Power, another Obama adviser at the National Security Council, is the other official pushing for American participation in Durban 2. Power participated in the initial Durban conference as the representative of a non-government organization and is known for her strong criticism of Israel. In the past, she expressed support for cutting U.S. military assistance to Israel and transferring the funds as aid to build a Palestinian state. The U.S. will later make a decision on whether to attend the conference in Geneva.

I have said before that Obama has effectively made Hillary the prisoner of a range of officials made up almost entirely of new realist appeasers, trans-national progressives and Israel/Jew-haters who have between them appropriated many of the powers of her office, leaving her as little more than a fig-leaf and fall-guy while the Obama administration prosecutes its agenda of flirting with the mortal enemies of the west while hanging Israel out to dry. The decision to engage with 'Durban 2' looks like the first scalping of Hillary. It is a horrible omen.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by American, February 18, 2009.



Let's see, what we got in the Israel "Palestine' region.

You are probably aware of some of Israel's great achievements, not only in amazing efforts of seeking to minimize civilian casualties in anti-terror operations — inventing low range precision missiles targeting terrorists only, but in agriculture for example as well, where many countries around the world come to see how this young re-established democracy has managed to advance.

Or in medical fields, in which with Israelis' kindness and compassion many poor/less advantaged foreigners (including Arabs, Muslims) enjoy free treatment.

Or in technology, two highlights one can point out are instant messaging on AOL, or, Did you know that the first PC was developed in Israel's microsoft?, and yes, that little device that you use so much and so often, cellular telephone was actually developed first in Israel...



Good News from Israel... The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola-Israel. ...

The USB computer-memory chip, voice mail technology and AOL Instant Messenger ICQ all were invented in Israel. More than 90% of Israeli adults read a ...

Israel @60 : Tech Innovations that Changed the Industry ...May 8, 2008 ... ICQ: I couldn't do my job without instant messaging today. ... of different individuals 'claim' to have invented/pioneered the firewall, ...
http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2008/05/ israel-60-tech-innovations-tha.html

A TIME TO SPEAK... Do they know that the cell-phone was invented in Israel? Do they use the Instant Message e-mail program? Do they know that it was invented in Israel? ...

Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean « The Real Israel I just heard that Israel invented the cell phone, instant messaging, the firewall, and has the highest number of university degrees per capita in the world ...
http://realisrael.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/ israel-is-the-silicon-valley-of-the-mediterranean/

Israel's Technology Creates an Investment Goliath — Israel, with less than 7 million people, has become a Goliath in the world of technology and medicine. It is third only to America and Canada in the number ...
http://www.foxbusiness.com/article/israels-technology-creates- nvestment-goliath_429161_49.html

Amazon.com: Israel in the World: Changing Lives Through Innovation ...This beautifully illustrated book shows some of the important contributions Israel is doing in several areas, from technology to medicine right now. ...
http://www.amazon.com/Israel-World-Changing- Through-Innovation/dp/0297844091

Focus on Israel: Israel's Agriculture in the 21st Century As such, it is the primary driving force be hind Israel's internationally-acclaimed agricultural achievements. The ARO incorporates seven institutes on its ...
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Economy/Focus+on+Israel-+ Israel-s+Agriculture+in+the+21st.htm

Israel Agricultural Tourism, Israel can't help but be proud of its agricultural achievements, considering its small dimensions, minimal water resources and other challenges. ...
http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Articles/ Attractions/Israel+Agricultural+Tourism.htm

Israel Advances in Medicine Sars, There is virtually no area of medicine to which Israeli devices have not made ... a few of the medical sciences benefiting from advanced Israeli technology. ...

IsraCast: Israeli Medicine — Medical Articles. IsraCast is proud to announce a unique ... A new Israeli technology makes use of genetic engineering...



But we can be grateful that in this war, the IDF with new leaders at its helm ... unprecedented lengths undertaken to minimize non combatant casualties. They pointed to the precision targeting which was far superior to the U.S.and allied ... current crisis which led to over 6500 missiles being launched into Israel. ...
http://www.israelnetdaily.com/index.php?menu_option= editorials&editorial_id=107

Jan 14, 2009 ... Various Methods Used by the IDF to Diminish Civilian Casualties ... The IDF uses Guided Precision Munitions (GPM) to target terrorist ... and operatives and minimize collateral damage to the civilian population ...
http://www.mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/373A5558-7B68-4A70-BF19- 36CD4AABB241/0/IDFLimitingHarmtoCivilians.pps

Reuters AlertNet — Israel: IDF Operating a Moral War in Gaza? Jan 18, 2009 ... I have no doubt the IDF is a moral army, strict as much as it can with ethical ... how in such different war conditions, it can minimize harm within civilians. ... as well as the moral element of reducing civilian casualties. But just like the introduction of PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) two ...

Challenge upon Challenge by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review ...And precision weapons allowed us to minimize civilian casualties and avoid the ... best chance of reining in the IDF is not through a cascade of missiles, ...
http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q= Y2NiZDUzYTY3M2UyNjFiZWE4MDEzMjdkZWI5NzVjZjk=

The precision of IDF operations is impressive... The problem is, the government is telling the IDF to minimize casualties as it loses ...

IDF- Limiting Harm to Civilians — SlideBoomVarious Methods Used by the IDF to Diminish Civilian Casualties ... Pinpoint Operations and Precision Striking The IDF uses Guided Precision Munitions ... and operatives and minimize collateral damage to the civilian population...



Israeli doctors treat Palestinian children in 'Saving Children ...Another 350-400 children have undergone free diagnostic testing...
http://www.israel21c.org/bin/en.jsp?enDisplay=view&enDispWhat= object&enZone=Democracy&enDispWho=Articles%5El776& enPage=BlankPage

[PDF] Save A Child's Heart Israel Humanitarian Program Helps Rwanda ...File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat — View as HTML

The SACH Israel humanitarian medical team visited the King Faisel Hospital in ... as part of its long-standing humanitarian activities that has brought over ... http://www.saveachildsheart.org/sip_storage/FILES/9/939.pdf

How Israel coordinates humanitarian supplies for Gaza | JTA ...An office in the Israeli Defense Ministry created after the 1967 Six-Day War is responsible for the coordination of humanitarian activities in the West Bank ...
http://jta.org/news/article/2009/02/01/1002685/how-israel-coordinates- humanitarian-supplies-for-gaza

The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid Rotary Israel's Humanitarian Activities Around The World Rotary Israel assisting people around the world in Turkey, Kosovo, Costa Rica and more. ...

Israel Humanitarian Aid Disaster Response — Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) organization was established in 2005 by Gal Lousky, after many years of humanitarian activities and reach experience. ...

Since the outburst of the latest round of violence on September hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians have needed medical care at Hadassah. Hadassah Medical Organization have not experienced any changes in Clientele represented in the emergency rooms or elsewhere. Hadassah employees, Muslim, Christian and Jewish continue to work together in a model of coexistence. Hadssah continues to receive inquiries from American Red Cross about treating Palestinian children from the Westbank and Gaza Strip. If the parents agree to treatement, HMO will arrange for transportation and provide treatement. HMO has collaborated with Arab leaders and institutions in some of the most critical areas for emergency medical relief as is needed in times of conflict.Hadassah has trained many Arab doctors. In the last days emergency services have increased and the conditions under which those services are rendered have intensified. http ://www.hadassah.at/austria-dat/!news-archiv.htm

...to report on Israel's merciful treatment of Palestinian children.

Hadassah reports that during the last six months over 40 Palestinian youngsters with severe heart problems were treated at the Hadassah Hospital, Ein Karem, outside Jerusalem, through the Peres Peace Center/Hadassah project. These youngsters would not have had access to free heart surgery otherwise, or anywhere else.

It is difficult to escape the irony here: While Israeli children are being blown up in buses, pizzerias, riding a car with their parents, Palestinian children are receiving state-of-the-art medical treatment at a world-renowned Israeli hospital...

http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/23631/ edition_id/469/format/html/displaystory.html

Israeli doctors continue to treat Palestinian children — ISRAEL21c Prior to the Oslo Accord all Palestinian children automatically received free treatment in Israeli hospitals. However, on receiving their autonomy the ...
www.israel21c.org/bin/en.jsp?enDispWho=Views%5El36&enPage=BlankPage& enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enVersion=0&enZone=Views&

Israeli Hospital Offers Free Treatment to Young Lebanese ... hospital are said to be children from abroad, including the Palestinian Authority. ...
http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Israeli-Hospital-Offers-Free- Treatment-to-Young-Lebanese-12591-1/

PA cuts transfer of sick Palestinians to Israeli hospitals ...Feb 16, 2009 ... "We have given such life-and-death treatments free or solicited ... Palestinian patients and the PA are charged Israeli treatment rates — not the ... that refers sick 1000 Palestinian children to Israeli hospitals...
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304787873&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


But What about the 'other side', the Arabs [who immigrated to the holy-land mainly in the late 1800s early 1900s and call themselves since the 1960s as] "Palestinians"?

You might be surprised to hear that this group of Arab-Muslims have some very mighty original invention, though not in improvement for their own people — much less for anybody else, not in "kindness", nor in "compassion", but rather the opposite, the opposite of humane and humanity.

"wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge" (Jeremiah 4:22).

How to create self victim-hood, at any cost, they will go to great length to make sure that their civilians, preferably their women and kids, die, so they can portray Israel as "bad".

These self orchestrated "massacres" are essential in their death cult "culture" of Palestinainism [that (1) glorifies death over life, killing one self if it can bring down an infidel as well, or even just (2) bringing down the image of the non Muslim entity there, AKA Israel, (3) distorts history and (4) incites to genocide] in order to keep the "Palestinian" drama alive, each time so often they "have" to create some atrocities that they can pin on Israel (Iran's Hezbollah thugs have picked up on that very successfully in 2006).

Their "original" ideas what to use for terror, range from putting their kids in front machine guns to use of ambulances, UN vehicles, pregnant women, you name it.

A European has once told me: '"The Palestinians are the only ones that are the aggressors, yet, manage to play "victim"' so successfully.

When not creating 'massacres', the policy of keeping their people in shambles is very strong, robbing aid intended to its poor is nothing but a manifestation of its leadership's routine abuse, so they can have both, the "cake" of appearing on world stage as victim and "eat it too", the billions of course.

In fact, self destruction was always their legacy.

Fair to say that since racist "Palestinianism" in its core, historically or present is never about "pro" themselves, but (more) about "anti" the other, anti-Israel or anti Jews, the well being of their people is not desired, but the opposite is true.



Totally original...

What inhumane abuse of humanity have they not yet used for their murderous crimes?

The Palestinian use of ambulances and medical materials for terror
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/12/ The+Palestinian+use+of+ambulances+and+medical+mate.htm

The ambulances-for-terrorists scandal ... Palestinian gunmen used the UNRWA emergency vehicle as getaway transportation after ... to using his official U.N. vehicle to bypass security and smuggle arms, explosives, ...
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/ malkin_ambulances_for_terrorists.php3

...photo dated May 11, 2004 that shows armed Palestinians jumping into a UN ambulance.

Hamas operatives use various methods to implement their ideology of jihad and anti-Israel terrorism, including disguising themselves as civilians, even women, in order to avoid detection and carry out their attacks. In September 2007, while conducting operations against the terrorist infrastructure in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp in Nablus, Israel security forces discovered a fugitive hiding beneath a bed upon which a pregnant woman lay, objecting to the search. The fugitive, Ahmed Yussuf Aya Abd-el Iz, one of the heads of the Hamas infrastructure in the camp, was arrested. In another incident, an Israeli force arrested Ahmed Yussuf Abd El Abu Shehada, another Hamas operative, who disguised himself in women's clothing in an attempt to dupe IDF forces searching for him. Three other Hamas operatives, Haled Nuri, Yussuf Nadi and Mustafa Nuri, were arrested in the same operation. They admitted during questioning to the planning of attacks against Israeli targets as well as to Mustafa Nuri's desire to commit a suicide attack.
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/ Israeli%20measures%20against%20Hamas%20in%20the% 20West%20Bank%2010-Jul-2008

Reut Cohen: UN School Used by Palestinian Terrorists as Weapons ...Jan 6, 2009 ... The IDF issued a statement saying the school grounds were used by terrorists to fire mortar shells at the troops. ...

Gaza Strip mosque used by Palestinian rocket cells targeting Israeli communities; several people ...

IAF bombs Gaza mosque being used as weapons storehouse | The ...Dec 31, 2008 ...officials said that over the last few days, Palestinian militants...
http://www.americantaskforce.org/daily_news_article/ iaf_bombs_gaza_mosque_being_used_weapons_storehouse Air force bombs mosque used for rocket attacks — Haaretz — Israel News Jan 2, 2009 ... Gaza mosque used as terror hub ...

Palestinian missile hits kindergarten; toddler dead
Monday, June 28 2004 15:24 Hrs (IST)

Jerusalem: Stepping up attacks in the Middle East, Palestinian militants fired home-made rockets which landed at a kindergarten in Southern Israel, killing two people, including a three-year-old child...

Israel launched two separate missile strikes at metal workshops in Gaza City early today morning saying they were being used by Hamas and other militant groups to make weapons, including home-made rockets.

Weapons Workshops in Refugee Camps The weapons workshops were situated in refugee camps to camouflage their activity. They were set up in the heart of densely populated civilian areas, sometimes in an apartment near a school, or next to a kindergarten, or by a crowded commercial area.
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/1/Weapons+ Workshops+in+Refugee+Camps.htm

Arab terrorist's wife used boy to hide grenade

Nov 22, 2006 ... On November 8th, at a mosque in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, the Palestinians used about fifty heavily-shrouded women as "human shields" to provide ...

Mar 15, 2008 ... Palestinians Admit Using Human Shields. by Carlos .... "Hamas MP Fathi Hammad: We Used Women and Children as Human Shields. ...

United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Chief John Holmes blasted Hamas Tuesday for its "cynical" use of civilian facilities during recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip. "The reckless and cynical use of civilian installations by Hamas and indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilian populations are clear violations of international humanitarian law," Holmes told the UN Security Council. (Jan. 28, 2009)


uk.youtube.com — Four Palestinian terrorists hid behind a woman and her baby, then when Israeli soldiers approached the woman to offer help, the terrorists emerged and shot dead the Israelis. This story shows how yet again, Palestinians managed to ambush and kill young Israelis, by using a woman and her baby as a HUMAN SHIELD

Hamas threw 'medicine grenades' at IDF
Feb 13, 2009

Medicine bottles transferred to the Gaza Strip as humanitarian aid by Israel, were used by Hamas as grenades against IDF troops during Operation Cast Lead
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304770155& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Palestinian Women Asked to Sacrifice Their Children

Exploitation of Israel's humanitarian policies to carry out terrorist activity The buffer zone in the Gaza Strip, in addition to security checks and preventative measures carried out by security forces, present major obstacles for terror organizations attempting to bring terrorists into Israel from Gaza. In recent years, a trend has developed in which Palestinian terror elements have attempted to overcome these obstacles by bringing in terrorists and terror activists through the existing crossing points into Israel, presenting them as sick individuals in need of medical treatment and thus exploiting Israel's humanitarian policy of providing medical treatment to all those in need.


...Bat Ye'or, who he describes as the world's foremost historian of "dhimmitude" — the status of non-Muslim peoples under Islam. He describes Bat Ye'or's forthcoming book Eurabia as applying the theme (dimmitude)to contemporary developments in Europe. Today she previews the theme in the context of Arafat's death: "Arafat's legacy for Europe." Her thesis is that Europe has submitted to "the cult of Palestinianism":

Palestinianism condenses jihadist values. It promotes the destruction of Israel, the denial of Hebrew biblical history and hence Christianity. It preaches Islamic replacement theology and the Arabization and Islamization of the Holy Land's biblical archeology. Arafat, its leader, was the bin Laden of a seduced Europe, which applauded his policy of spectacular terrorism. It is Arafat who initiated in 1968 air piracy against Jews, hostage ransoming, suicide bombings, random killings of civilians and the destruction of urban areas as in Lebanon. In short, the current global terror campaign was successfully introduced first by Arafat against Jews and Israelis, as well as Lebanese Christians.

The Big Trunk also speaks of Bat Ye'or, who he describes as the world's foremost historian of "dhimmitude" — the status of non-Muslim peoples under Islam. He describes Bat Ye'or's forthcoming book Eurabia as applying the theme (dimmitude)to contemporary developments in Europe. Today she previews the theme in the context of Arafat's death: "Arafat's legacy for Europe." Her thesis is that Europe has submitted to "the cult of Palestinianism":

Palestinianism condenses jihadist values. It promotes the destruction of Israel, the denial of Hebrew biblical history and hence Christianity. It preaches Islamic replacement theology and the Arabization and Islamization of the Holy Land's biblical archeology. Arafat, its leader, was the bin Laden of a seduced Europe, which applauded his policy of spectacular terrorism. It is Arafat who initiated in 1968 air piracy against Jews, hostage ransoming, suicide bombings, random killings of civilians and the destruction of urban areas as in Lebanon. In short, the current global terror campaign was successfully introduced first by Arafat against Jews and Israelis, as well as Lebanese Christians.

Palestinianism is the new European salvific theology created to help the Arabs destroy Israel, but which in fact is eating away at the roots ...


Palestinian Authority Corruption With GDP down nearly 70 percent, Palestinians have seen their collective national net worth ... They kill people who they believe have provided the Israeli army with ... out valuable contracts without oversight and create their own monopolies, ... involved in stealing the $160 million Gaza Employees Pension Fund, ...

[Their] corruption: the source of Palestinian suffering... Mar 15, 2001 ...Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) ... Never having to account for the billions he had stolen, ...

Arafat's Billions

Yasser Arafat's Treacherous Legacy By many investigative news accounts, Arafat stole billions of dollars in aid ... The poor Palestinians have been and remain nothing more than useful dupes ...
http://www.internationalwallofprayer.org/A-315-Yasser-Arafats- Treacherous-Legacy.html

Mideast Dispatch Archive: Suha Arafat, TVs for the World Cup, and ...Jun 13, 2006 ... With all this Palestinian money squandered and stolen by one of their own, ... world opinion to recover the money Arafat stole from them. ...
http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/ archives/000737.html

...By all accounts Arafat has stolen billions of dollars in aid money meant for ... The poor Palestinians have been and remain nothing more than useful dupes ...

Gaza Crisis: Hamas steal aid as Israel prepares for forthcoming ...The UN has accused Hamas police officers of stealing blankets and food ... Elsewhere on the aid front, the Palestinian Authority has pledged $600m for the ...
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/gazacrisis,, hamas-steal-aid-as-israel-prepares-for-elections,73149

Israeli News: Palestinians steal international aid before it ...Palestinians steal aid before it arrives. As Arab countries promised more than $2 billion to finance Gaza reconstruction, Fatah officials quickly registered ...
http://samsonblinded.org/news/ palestinians-steal-aid-before-it-arrives-6423

Palestinian straw firms said aiming to 'steal' Gaza funds | Middle ...Jan 26, 2009 ... The Palestinian Authority on Monday promised to look into claims that a ... the other of stealing aid convoys dispatched to the Gaza Strip.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename= JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1232643756670

Hamas seizes UN food aid in Gaza — International Herald ...Feb 4, 2009 ... Israeli officials say the incident vindicated their long-standing claims that Hamas routinely confiscates aid meant for needy Gazans. "We have said in the past that we know Hamas is stealing humanitarian aid and donations from international .... UN says Hamas seized Gaza food aid and blankets ...

UNRWA suspends aid to Gaza after Hamas again seizes supplies ...Feb 6, 2009 ... UNRWA informed the IDF on Friday it is suspending humanitarian aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip after Hamas stole supplies it had ...
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304705842& pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Did aid flow to the Palestinian people? Only those who could buy it on the black ... to steal food from the mouths of starving children for their own fundraisers. ..... And a people that will martyr their own children are capable of anything. ... (Call back when you figure out a way to blame Israel for this too.) ...


Negating the Nakba Narrative — May 30, 2008 ... . The self-destructive errors first made in 1947 ...

Nakba Crapka...The Arab nakba was a catastrophe which didn't have to be. Arabs were mainly victims of self-inflicted wounds which occurred due to their own subjugating, ...

Nakba (2006)... the Palestinians celebrated Nakba (the "look at us, ... Since they spend all their time blaming others for their self-inflicted ...

Palestine's Self-Inflicted Wound May 17, 2007 ... The Nakba was indeed a catastrophe, but it was a self-inflicted wound. The Palestinian Nakba was a direct result of the refusal of the ...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/ palestines-selfinflicted-_b_48751.html

Contact American at american1627@yahoo.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 18, 2009.


Certain politicians become great fools, failures, or fanatics. Their statements are so absurd, as to be a source of amusement. If they have a following, however, as do Shimon Peres, Jimmie Carter, and George Mitchell, their sayings pose danger. Books have been written about Peres' statements. Sen. Mitchell has one, "there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended." He means, all conflicts can be ended peacefully and without one side dominating the other. How did he attain adulthood without learning that evil is too entrenched in certain, violent ideologies to enable adherents to end the very basis for those ideologies, which is warfare against other ideologies?

No Mitchell is back in the Mideast, where he will try to get Hamas to end its war on Israel. He stated, too, "Israel will never get sustainable security if the Palestinians [sic] don't have a state." To the contrary, since they want to conquer Israel, Israel never will have security if those Arabs do get a state.


Sabrina Tavernese and Ethan Bronner headline the Gaza War as having "Strained the Relationship Between Israel and Turkey," "Israel's Closest Ally." By contrast, "Israel's Arab allies stood behind it in the war..."

Previously, Turkish PM Erdogan made friendly overtures to Israel, but he walked out of a meeting in protest against Israel's action in Gaza. Israel "views" Hamas as a terrorist group and focuses on its doctrinal commitment to destroy the Zionist state. Erdogan sees Hamas as having begun as a grassroots Islamic movement, "democratically elected against overwhelming odds," like his own party. Israel went into Gaza to stop rocket fire, but Erdogan thinks the incursion disrespects Hamas' democratic election.

A Turkish official said that since both sides in the Gaza battle are here to stay, they need to negotiate. Israel no longer considers Erdogan a neutral mediator (NY Times, 2/5, A6).

I think that the Times misunderstands the basic issues involved. It perceives issues from the narrow perspective of the Arab-Israel conflict. The broader conflict is jihad against civilization. If the Times acknowledged that threat, it would have to admit that Pres. Bush had the right idea about jihad and that he was wrong not to extend his adversarial position on jihad to the P.A.. Being anti-Zionist, the paper does not want to admit that Israel is in the right about Turkey. Turkey is not as described. The paper falls in with Turkey's exploitation of Western sentiments about democracy to make democracy an excuse to expect Israel not to defend itself against aggression if committed by a democracy.

Gaza is no democracy, however its rulers gained office. Nor were they elected to power, which they seized in a coup, nor was the election free, it was a contest between terrorist groups. The danger with Islamist parties is that once elected, they may not relinquish power. The Times fails in its journalistic duty by failing to let readers understand that Erdogan had toned down his Islamism, in order to gain power. Hence friendly overtures to Israel. Now he is imposing the restraints of dictatorship. As has Hamas. Other sources do report all that.

Turkey and Israel are not allies. When Turkey faced down Syria, PM Netanyahu made clear Israel would not stand with Turkey. The Turkish Army, which is secularist, buys arms from Israel. There are other ties, but no alliance.

Calling some Arab states that welcomed Israel doing their dirty work in Gaza, "allies" of Israel, is asinine. S. Arabia did not stand behind Israel, it just kept silent about Gaza, but still proposes a plan for the destruction of Israel. The Times may deliberately be misleading readers into imagining there is no Arab-Israel conflict, Israel being the underdog, just an "Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The Islamists believe they can win that conflict, not that Israel is permanent!


For years, Britain has defamed Israel. Its media portrayed the Gaza assault as a barbaric attack on innocent civilians. The result is visceral hatred for Israel. Mobs besiege the Israeli Embassy, and rampage through the streets. They throw things at police and engage in the most antisemitic displays.

Police indulge the rioters, instead of stopping them. The media, there and here, fail to identify the mobs as Muslim, even though the mobs shout "Allahu akbar" as they repeatedly attack stores that are or were owned by Jews.

In Parliament, representatives condemn Israel as if reciting false Arab propaganda, about killing hundreds of children and "disproportionate" combat [they don't know what "disproportionate" means]. They ignored Israel's efforts to minimize civilian casualties and Hamas' holding of its own people as human shield/hostages.

Britain helped draft the UNO resolution that made demands of Israel but not of Hamas. It did not acknowledge Israel's right to self-defense. Britain refuses to acknowledge [like many New York liberals I know] that we are facing a global jihad. Britain pretends that each Islamic battleground is separate from the others, instead of part of a general movement.

Separate? Britain's Muslims threaten the government with more violence unless the government denounces Israel. The more the government tries to placate its Muslims, the more those Muslims sense official timidity and feel encouraged to press their offensive behavior and demands. Britain acts this way because it is easier to blame the Jews than the Muslim offenders (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/26).


In Bethlehem, hundreds of Arabs did not deny the Holocaust but commemorated it on Holocaust Memorial Day. However, they claim that they are suffering as a result of it and that the Holocaust should not justify Israel's crimes in Gaza. They also take credit for saving Jews during the Holocaust (IMRA, 1/28).

Israel did not commit crimes in Gaza. Hamas did. Western Palestinian Arabs suffer because of corrupt and oppressive leadership and because they prefer jihad to living in peace. Some Arabs did protect Jews during the Holocaust, but others advanced the Holocaust. One of the latter was the head of the Palestinian Arabs, the Grand Mufti. He formed two SS divisions to hunt Jews in Europe, and urged Hitler to kill more Jews.

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

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Posted by Barbara Taverna, February 18, 2009.

This is from USA Today


PARIS (AP) — The lucrative Dubai tournament risks being struck from the women's tennis calendar after the United Arab Emirates refused a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer, the head of the WTA tour said Monday.

Larry Scott said barring entry to Peer could have ramifications beyond tennis because it threatens the principle that sports and politics should not mix.

Speaking in a telephone interview, he said the WTA will consider "what types of sanctions are going to be deemed to be appropriate in light of what has happened, including whether or not the tournament has a slot on the calendar next year." Asked if there is a risk that the tournament could be dropped if Peer does not get redress, Scott replied: "You could say that, yes."

"There's two things we need to consider: what's the future fate of the Dubai tournament and what sanctions apply and the second thing is how does Shahar get treated fairly, how does her situation get redressed?" Scott, the WTA tour's chairman and CEO, told The Associated Press.

In Israel, in a statement to the AP, Peer said: "I am very disappointed that I have been prevented from playing in the Dubai tournament. I think a red line has been crossed here that could harm the purity of the sport and other sports. I have always believed that politics and sports should not be mixed."

The UAE rejected Peer's visa request a day before she was to arrive for the $2 million Dubai Tennis Championships, which includes all the top-10 women's players.

Peer, 21, ranked 45th, had qualified and was already placed in the woman's draw. She was scheduled to play Monday against 15th-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze.

Organizers gave Peer no reason for the rejection, but it appeared to be due to anti-Israel sentiments in the Gulf state, particularly after last month's three-week war between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza.

"There are some very important principles at stake here," Scott said. "Sports and politics should not mix and the fundamental principles upon which the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour are founded include open and fair competition to all, regardless of nationality, creed, race, religion, etc.

"That's not just a principle that our Tour is founded upon but I think it is the underlying spirit of international sports in general and therefore I think the ramifications of what happened here ripple well beyond tennis."

"We will think deeply about this in making our decision on what our final response is," he said.

Scott said the WTA decided to continue with the tournament to avoid hurting the other players who are already in Dubai. That decision was taken in consultation with Peer, he said.

"She didn't want to see her fellow players harmed the same way she was being harmed," Scott told the AP.

He said UAE officials did not give an exact reason why the visa was refused, "but it can really only be related to her nationality and political and security-related issues."

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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Posted by Steven Plaut, February 18, 2009.

You will be very disappointed. Those rumors that Sports Illustrated was planning to remove Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli from its swimsuit edition and replace her with photos of me in my undershirt are not true.


"Jewish Self-Hatred for Dummies"
David Solway
Front Page Magazine
February 18, 2009

...the heirs of Hasmoneans lay with trembling knees concealed and cowering — the sons of the Maccabees ...crammed by scores in all the santuaries of their shame. — Chaim Nachman Bialik, The City of Slaughter

As what Israelis call the matzav, the "situation," continues to darken and both Jews in general and Israelis in particular confront the growing storm of antisemitism throughout the world, the question must be posed: Why are Jews — not all, of course, but a truly disconcerting number — so prone to turn against themselves and make common cause with those who, given the chance, would delight in their extermination? Why suppress the core of their identity, their defining essence, and encrust it over with a self-simulacrum that falsifies their nature? As if one could indemnify oneself against oneself. As if, to quote Horace Kallen, one could change one's grandfather.

Are they not cowering in "the sanctuaries of their shame" while at the same time strutting at the podium of their adversaries? Have they interiorized the antisemite's evaluation of their presumed unworthiness? Is this the real meaning of "assimilation," the absorption into the plasm of Jewish cultural and intellectual life of a microbial pathogen? Most such Jews, of course, profess not to be anti-Jewish but "only" anti-Zionist, unaware that so facile a distinction puts them squarely in the camp of those who are anti-Jewish and would like nothing better than to see the Jewish community either deprivileged or rendered desolate.

These are Jews who have used whatever means at their disposal to attack the very country that was founded to provide them with shelter in adversity, believing instead that Israel is the greatest obstacle to their dream of seamless assimilation. It is Israel, they feel, that stands in the way of their desire for acceptance by provoking the world's undiluted animosity, and it is Israel, therefore, that must be resisted, denounced, contained and defeated. The sequel would then presumably lead to harmony and perfect integration into their host societies. Mired in illusion, they are unaware that History is not on their side.

Let us call these perjurious specimens Theobald-Jews. According to the Benedictine monk Thomas of Monmouth in his The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich (1173), it was an apostate Jew, a certain Theobald, who, swore that Jews had killed twelve-year old William, a tanner's apprentice, to fulfill their "Passover blood ritual" in the fateful year of 1144 — the first recorded such episode in a long line of murderous defamations.

As a matter of interest, the paradigm of ritual-murder accusation goes back at least to 40 B.C.E. when, as we read in the Contra Apion of Flavius Josephus, the antisemitic grammarian Apion accused the Jews of Alexandria of slaughtering a Greek man, "lying upon a bed in the temple," for the purposes of ritual cannibalism. "How is it possible," Josephus asks, "that the entrails of one man should be sufficient for so many thousands of Jews to taste, as Apion pretends?" But antisemitic logic has never been especially profound or intelligible. "It is a great shame," Josephus concludes, "for a grammarian not to be able to write a true history." But the shame is shared by many.

The blood libel as such, however, seems to be a medieval Christian invention, fostered with the help of those who were, or were once, part of the Jewish community itself. Apostate Jews were at the source of many of the blood libels in the medieval period and, mutatis mutandis, they are still with us today. Witness Italian-Jewish historian Ariel Toaff who, in Bloody Passover: The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murders, speculates that there might have been some truth to the accusations that the Italian Jews of Trent committed acts of human butchery in 1475 in order to make their passover matzot with the blood of Christian children.

In effectively offering their own up to sacrifice, this lurid sept of anti-Zionist Jews are only participating in the latest form the ancient blood libel has taken. We see this metaphorical transfer at work today in Gaza where, from the grotesque standpoint of the Theobald-Jew, Israel is indiscriminately shedding blood to feed its appetite for conquest and spoliation. Indeed, aligning his sense of canting outrage with the greater anti-Zionist polemic, "Theobald" has convinced himself that Israel, as it were, bakes Palestinian blood into its daily diet.

If we were only dealing with a mere scattering of Jews who have adopted so invidious a position, the situation would be manageable. But the world is brimming with Theobald-Jews ready to betray their own people to serve what they regard as their advantage, or the need for acceptance, or as an expression of their own self-loathing, and in the process cater to the ammoniac hatred of the current brood of crypto-antisemites posing as anti-Zionists. "These words — observe, the words of a converted Jew — we reckon to be all the truer," wrote Thomas of Monmouth, "in that we received them as uttered by one who was a converted enemy."

In today's world, of course, conversion is no longer necessary; compliance will do. The value of the turncoat is well understood by the anti-Israel organizations which co-opt him or her. A timely example has just been afforded by the pro-boycott, anti-Zionist University and College Union in the U.K., which has created a Facebook page in order to build, according to its spokesman Mike Cushman, an international network of "anti-Zionist Jews to support Palestinian resistance and seed new Jewish anti-Zionist organizing." The apostate Jew, the apikoros or "wicked son," who confers legitimacy on the vengeful campaign against Jewish interests or the state of Israel, is the antisemite's most effective weapon. Even the word "antisemitism" was coined by an apostate, the half-Jew William Marr whose 1879 pamphlet, The Victory of Judaism over Germanism, launched the modern antisemitic movement in the West.

An act of psychic displacement has taken hold in the Jewish soul, variously leading it to shrink in self-abasement, to retire into the shell of subdued anonymity, to do everything in its power not to call attention to itself, to suffer indignities quietly, to suspect its own motivations and to accept the scriptures of a demonic inquisition. The culmination of these prodigies of self-denial is the well-attested tendency of the insecure and self-doubting Jewish soul to turn about and attack itself, like an immune system gone awry.

Millennia of social and cultural quarantine must have their effect on the sensibility of a people, producing a creature who is always in danger of becoming reflexively disenchanted or of contracting that wasting disease which Ruth Wisse in Jews and Power has called "the veneration of political weakness." Only the strong survive themselves. One thinks of that memorable scene in novelist Paul Scott's Raj series, in which a scorpion, trapped in a ring of fire, coils up with the heat and appears to sting itself with its own lethal tail. Analogously, surrounded by the flames of enmity, misprision and commination, the self-reviling Jew shrivels back upon himself, the autonomic convulsion of an ailing and enervated soul.

But he goes even further, anticipating his own demise by self-administering the piqûre de grâce, doing the work of his tormentors as if in agreement with their salvos of defilement and vilification. He may even delude himself into believing that the high conception of justice inherent in the Jewish faith requires him to decry the Zionist enterprise which is its flickering and terrestrial embodiment, if not to renounce that very faith itself. By a bizarre act of metaphysical commutation, the self-despising Jew becomes the antisemite's loyal deputy, assuming liability for the world's mortal caricature of him and willing his own eclipse.

It's a kind of solution, after all.

David Solway is the award-winning author of over twenty-five books of poetry, criticism, educational theory, and travel. He is a contributor to magazines as varied as the Atlantic, the Sewanee Review, Books in Canada, and the Partisan Review. His most recent book is The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity.

2. Following up on the previous post on Jordan, the queen of Jordan has issued a call for donations to UNRWA, which finances the Gazans, including the Hamas, because they are supposedly short of wampum needed for "humanitarian needs." Evidently, the Queen herself, who sits on a queen's fortune, has not donated any money, although claims she donated blood to the Gazans during the recent campaign there against the Hamas.

3. The silence of the feminists over the beheading in Buffalo:

From the Wall St Journal
By James Taranto

Don't Look NOW Man allegedly beheads wife. Feminists shrug.

Last week the National Organization for Women issued a press release on an important topic:

The recent arrest of R&B star Chris Brown, who reportedly assaulted and threatened singer Rihanna, preventing her participation in the Grammys, has brought the ever-present issue of violence against women into the public spotlight once again."Everyone is talking about this case because it involves two popular recording artists, but the sad reality is that domestic violence and dating violence happen every day, even among young teens, and the impact is both far-reaching and under-reported," said Gandy.We actually had not heard of Chris Brown or Rihanna, but we're willing to take NOW's word for it that they're popular. Gandy certainly has a point, though: Domestic violence is a big problem, and one that affects not only celebrity-Americans. Just surveying recent news articles, one can find lots of shocking cases involving the less well known.

Here's an example from suburban Buffalo, N.Y., reported in the Buffalo News:

Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder."He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning. . . ."Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said today. CNN reported yesterday that police say Mr. Hassan has confessed.

NOW's statement on Mrs. Hassan's beheading was short and to the point:

The president of the New York state chapter of the National Organization for Women said ....: "This was apparently a terroristic version of honor killing, a murder rooted in cultural notions about women's subordination to men."

James Taranto on NOW and domestic violence.

There is an irony to this story that goes unremarked by NOW: As the Buffalo News explains, "Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light."

Those who portray Muslims in a negative light often point out that Islamic culture tends to treat women unfairly, even brutally. If Mr. Hassan beheaded his wife, it may have the effect of perpetuating the very stereotypes he hoped to combat.

The Associated Press reports from Murietta, Calif., on another shocking domestic-violence case:

A self-proclaimed polygamist was sentenced Friday to seven consecutive life prison terms for torturing seven of his 19 children, abusing four others and imprisoning two of his three wives.Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, also was sentenced to additional terms totaling 16 years and eight months by Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III, who said Muhummed's treatment of his family amounted to "a reign of terror over defenseless children."

This report from New York's Daily News is appalling too:

Mohammed Fagirad, 30, a vice consul at the Afghanistan Consulate, brutalized his wife inside their Flushing home from about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday until nearly midnight, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. During the attack, Fagirad bit, slapped, choked and beat the 22-year-old woman with a belt, pushed her down a flight of stairs and sat on her chest, prosecutors said. At one point, prosecutors said, Fagirad threw his wife up against a wall, held her there by the neck and then let her drop to the floor, where he beat her with a belt. Fagirad told police his "wife was a dog and he was going to treat her like a dog," prosecutors said.

Here are NOW's statements on the Muhummed and Fagirad cases, in their entirety and edited only for spelling and punctuation: —

Hey, come to think of it, when Gandy complains that people don't care about domestic violence when it doesn't involve celebrities, she speaks from direct knowledge.

4. The first casualty of war: Truth

Feb. 16, 2009
The Jerusalem Post

Which is the greater factor in getting consumers of news to believe that "1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians" were killed during Operation Cast Lead? Intrinsic anti-Israel bias — or a high degree of gullibility to manipulative international media coverage?

Put another way, do you have to be anti-Israel to believe Palestinian lies, or is Palestinian mendacity so well-constructed, so plausible, and so well disseminated by collaborative media outlets like Al Jazeera that even well-meaning people can't help but believe the worst of Israel?

These questions are prompted by some significant reporting in Monday's Jerusalem Post ("Int'l community was duped by Hamas's false civilian death toll figures, IDF claims").

Even well-regarded Palestinian pressure groups have been claiming that Israel killed 895 civilians in the Gaza fighting. Operating on the basis of such "data," coupled with a poisoned wellspring of antipathy against the Jewish state, Mahmoud Abbas has been making the case for indicting Israeli cabinet ministers and military officers for international war crimes.

Pro-Palestinian campaigners allege that two-thirds of the Arab fatalities were civilian. The IDF insists that no more than a third of the dead were civilians — and not a one was targeted intentionally. So instead of "1,300 killed, most of them civilians," we now have reason to believe, based on the IDF's methodical analysis of 1,200 of the Palestinian fatalities thus far identified by name, that 580 were combatants and 300 non-combatants.

Of these 300, two were female suicide bombers, and some others were related to terrorists such as Nizar Rayyan, a top Hamas gunman who insisted that his family join him in the hereafter.

"The first casualty when war comes is truth," said US senator Hiram Warren Johnson.

Take, for instance, Arab eyewitness accounts of the number killed at the Jabalya UN School on January 6 — some 40 dead, maybe 15 of them women and children. The IDF says the actual figure is 12 killed, nine of them Hamas operatives.

With time, perhaps, the names and true identities of each and every one of the Gaza dead — including the 320 as yet unclassified — will be determined.

One point is indisputable: Despite the best efforts of both sides, the IDF wound up killing more Palestinians unintentionally than the Palestinians killed Israeli civilians on purpose. This is known as "disproportionality."

Israeli officials, given bitter experiences such as Jenin in 2002, when a grossly false narrative of massacre and massed killing was disseminated by Palestinian officials, should have long since internalized the imperative to try to ascertain the number and nature of Palestinian dead in real time.

But while the figure "1,300 Palestinians killed, most/many of them civilians" is now embedded in the public consciousness, it is emphatically not too late to try to set the record straight.

Atrocity stories are nothing new. The British have been charged with using them to create popular outrage during the Boer War. The allies used them against Germany during World War I — which, incidentally, allowed the real Nazi atrocities during WWII to be dismissed long into the Holocaust.

Nowadays, it matters what masses of uninformed or ill-informed people far removed from the Arab-Israel conflict think. Dry statistics released so belatedly will win Israel no PR credit in a world of 24/7 satellite news channels and real-time blogging. Nevertheless, the fact that an Israeli narrative is finally out there is significant. Perhaps responsible news outlets will want to reexamine some of their original reporting, along with the assumption that "most" of the dead were non-combatants.

Palestinian propaganda is insidious because those being manipulated are oblivious to what is happening. Chaotic images of casualties being hurried to hospitals, gut-wrenching funerals and swaths of shattered buildings create an overarching "reality." Against this, Israel's pleadings that the Palestinians are culpable for the destruction, and that the above images lack context, scarcely resonate.

Despite six decades of intransigence and a virtual copyright on airline hijackings and suicide bombings, the Palestinians have created a popular "brand" for themselves by parlaying their self-inflicted victimization into a battering ram against Israel.

Disseminators of news should have learned better than to take Palestinian death-toll claims at face value, least of all when sourced directly or indirectly from the Hamas-run government of Gaza.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304799578&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull

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 Daniel Mandel, February 18, 2009.

As hostilities in Gaza wind down for who knows how long, a postmortem on the world's response and its effect on terrorism globally becomes pertinent.

The ratio of combatant to civilian deaths in Gaza — about 3 to 1 (900 combatants out of an approximate 1,200 fatalities), compares favorably to even less exacting interventions: NATO's 1999 air offensive against Serbia killed 670, of which 500 were civilians, a ratio of about 1 to 3.

Few would argue that NATO was reckless or malign in its operations against the Milosevic regime. Nonetheless, much criticism was directed Israel's way on the morally inverted basis that, as Israel was retaliating against incessant Hamas rocket attacks, Israel, rather than Hamas, was responsible for the deaths of civilians among whom Hamas deliberately embedded its forces.

That single fact points to the growth of an alarming international development — the successful use of civilians as human shields by terror organizations.

This tactic has become routine and — in terms of public relations — successful, because recent years have witnessed indulgence of its practitioners and sharp censure for those confronting them.

In 2002, Palestinian terrorists screened themselves with nuns and priests by holing up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity to elude Israeli forces which they knew to be loath to enter after them. The terrorists were evacuated after a stand-off and lived to fight another day, while the Israelis received much opprobrium for besieging a church.

The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah took the strategy one step further in its 2006 war with Israel by embedding a large proportion of its army in densely populated civilian areas. Bombs and ammunition were stored in mosques, rockets fired from civilian homes, rocket launchers set up beside hospitals, gunmen operated from behind U.N. posts, and so on. Errant Israeli shells that killed civilians in a building brought enormous criticism upon Jerusalem, yet comparatively little for the terrorists who had deliberately chosen this spot to launch missiles into Israel.

The effectiveness of this strategy emboldened others to use it. In October 2006, NATO units were involved in urban fighting by Taliban forces holed up in civilian houses in Afghanistan's Panjwayi district. The result was as many as 80 civilians killed and widespread regional criticism for NATO.

In November 2007, Hamas introduced a further innovation: the use of willing human shields. When its gunmen were cornered at a mosque in Gaza's Beit Hanoun by Israeli special forces, Hamas used radio to call upon local women to flood the scene of the armed stand-off so as to enable the gunmen to escape, which they did. No government or international organ condemned Hamas for the use of this tactic while apologists applauded it.

This scenario was repeated in all particulars only weeks later when an American priest and a nun become voluntary human shields within the house of Mohammed Baroud, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), one of the terror groups firing rockets and shells into Israel from Gaza.

Indeed, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni testified, indirectly, to the success of the use of human shields at the time: "We prefer to attack an empty building which is being used to manufacture rockets, even taking into consideration that the terrorists will leave the place."

When a nation prefers missing its targets rather than inadvertently hitting civilians, it has lost the ability to defeat terrorists who use human shields. That of course, was always the terrorists' aim — to make the specter of civilian losses so terrible that those equipped with a conscience and rule book would give up the fight.

Jamila Shanti, who pioneered the successful human shield campaign in Beit Hanoun two years ago said at the time, "We consider it a new kind of resistance, highly successful, one that will serve us well against the Israeli enemy."

New it may be; highly successful it certainly has been, until now; and it may indeed serve Hamas and others well enough to enable them to fight another day. But it was unlikely that the Israelis would be permanently deterred from preferring the preservation of Palestinian civilians lives to that of their own.

In entering Gaza three weeks ago, Israel sought to alter this malign calculus, using surprise, detailed intelligence and precision to redress the balance, but its success is far from assured since its withdrawal. Guns rule in Gaza, and only their replacement by bigger guns can break Hamas' hold on the population. There is little to suggest that Israel is working to eliminate Hamas as a regime and if it is its outgoing government is not saying so.

Three things in combination can defeat the successful use of human shields — the elimination as fighting forces of the groups that use it; utter condemnation by foreign governments, international organizations and publics for this practice; and international support for lawful forces opposing the terrorists.

One instance in which this rare combination did occur came in July 2007, when Pakistani Islamists took cover inside the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. They refused to surrender, resulting in the death of 173 people in battle with the Pakistani security forces. However, as those fighting the terrorists were neither Christians nor Jews but themselves Muslim, international Muslim opinion was notably indulgent towards then-Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and non-Muslim nations followed their lead.

In short, where human shields are concerned, the world generally bows to Muslim reflexive anger at non-Muslim forces combating other Muslims, whoever these Muslims might be. As a result, who knows how many more civilians will yet die in future conflicts with conscienceless terrorists because the use of human shields is being shown to be a paying proposition?

Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H. V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). His blog can be found on the History News Network.

This article appeared today in the Spectator

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Posted by David Meir-Levi, February 18, 2009.

Re my earlier email about Obama signing an executive order to give $20.3 million to Gaza for refugee relief, Snopes says that that is true, but that there is nothing in the order to have Gazans enter the USA as refugees.

That's a relief.

However, more bad news keeps cropping up.

Charles Krauthammer (see below) critiques Obama for making the same mistakes with Iran that Carter made 30 years ago....mistakes that today will merely allow Iran to play for more time to build its WMDs, and will likely reduce American influence in the middle east.

Steven Rosen takes a much rosier view of Obama's middle east team and plans; but he too cautions against obsequiousness and undue forebearance with Iran.

It looks more and more like Obama is forgetting Churchill's admonition to Chamberlain's "peace in our time" speech: Appeasement emboldens the aggressor and makes war more likely.

This is called "Assessing the Obama Mideast team" and was written by Steven J. Rosen. It appeared in the Jerusalem Post February 12, 2009 and is archived at http://www.meforum.org/article/2064.

Rosen was AIPAC's director of executive branch relations for 23 years. He chronicles the new administration on Obama Mideast Monitor, which is hosted at the Middle East Forum website. He is a defendant in the AIPAC case.


We now have most of the nominees for the key Mideast positions in the Obama White House and the State and Defense departments, including Puneet Talwar and Dan Shapiro at the National Security Council; George Mitchell and his deputy Fred Hof, Dennis Ross, Bill Burns and Jeffrey Feltman at the State Department; Tony Blinken in Vice President Joseph Biden's office; and Michele Flournoy and Sandy Vershbow at Defense. It is possible to make the first assessment of where Barack Obama is going from what we know about these people.

The Left is not happy with most of Obama's core Mideast team, with the possible exception of Mitchell. None of the people announced or reliably reported up to now is known to bring a pronounced "Arabist" perspective, nor to be a consistent critic of Israel, nor to be an apologist for Iran, Syria, Hizbullah or Hamas. There is no one with a history of participation in ideological organizations of the Left, as Sandy Berger had with Peace Now before joining the Clinton White House. Semantha Power has been appointed to the NSC's multilateral institutions office, and has a disturbing record of stridently anti-Israel statements, but the position to which she has been appointed does not normally have a great impact on Mideast policy. For those of us who feared that an inexperienced president so enthusiastically embraced by the left wing of the Democratic Party might fill the roster with its favorites, there is scant evidence so far that our worst fears are being realized.

Instead, Obama is assembling a team of intelligent centrists with a realistic, pragmatic approach. Many of them have experience in the tough environment of the Middle East, where the use of force is sometimes required. None is starry-eyed and romantic about the Arabs. Many have extensive experience with Israel and some understanding of its strategic position.

On the other hand, nowhere on the list so far is there a true hawk either, an Elliot Abrams or a Doug Feith or a John Bolton or a Paul Wolfowitz. Fred Hof is tough on Hizbullah ("Hassan Nasrallah... and his inner circle do what they do first and foremost to defend and project the existence and power of the Islamic Republic of Iran... If [they] come to a violent end in the current crisis you will not find me among the mourners"). Dan Shapiro was one of the authors of the 2003 Syria Accountability Act. And Jeffrey Feltman was admirably outspoken as ambassador to Lebanon.

Broadly, it is a team that represents the thinking in the center of the Democratic Party. In a situation of real duress, like an imminent Iranian breakthrough to nuclear weapons, it is not clear who among them will ring the alarm and rally the others to consider measures beyond the ordinary.

There could also be a tendency toward magical thinking about the transformative potential of diplomacy. Among those who believe most fervently that George W. Bush missed key diplomatic opportunities and failed to work with allies, there may be a tendency toward undue confidence that the problems in the Middle East will shrink steadily as Obama's new envoys get to work.

The Bush administration held more than 28 direct meetings with the Iranians and got poor results, but the Obama team remembers it as a failure to engage.

WISHFUL THINKING could be a particular problem on the issue of Iran, because the time remaining to stop its relentless drive for nuclear weapons is so short. The new administration believes it can get more cooperation on Iran from Russia and China, and induce changes in Iranian policy by putting together a package of bigger carrots and bigger sticks. What if Iran exploits America's eagerness for diplomacy, and uses dilatory tactics to "run out the clock" during its final sprint? What if Obama's diplomatic initiative fails, and Iran calls his bluff about nuclear weapons being "unacceptable"?

The president said, "I will do everything in my power — everything" to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but will he? If he is faced, in the end, with a stark choice between a nuclear Iran or the use of force, will the president have the strength of will necessary to overcome domestic resistance to the tougher options, including objections at the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Or will he veto, not just the use of American forces, but also Israel's? If the United States capitulates to a nuclear Iran, and tries to fall back on deterrent threats to contain it, will these deterrent threats be credible, the issuer having just accepted something he said repeatedly would be "unacceptable"?

There are other issues that may cause stress in the US-Israel relationship. Settlements, always a sore point, take on greater importance when American diplomats believe a diplomatic breakthrough with the Palestinians is achievable. There is little support in Israel today for relinquishing control of the West Bank, given its bitter experience after removing all soldiers and settlers from Gaza. Israelis no longer believe that territorial concessions on their part will bring peace with the Palestinians. Most believe that the real issue blocking "peace" with Hamas and its allies is Israel's existence, not its settlements. With Hamas in firm control of Gaza and growing in strength on the West Bank, it stretches credulity to believe that the Israeli public can be persuaded to entrust its security to agreements signed with Palestinian leaders who can't or won't honor commitments.

THE MOOD IN THE US is quite different. The theory among many here is that George Mitchell achieved peace between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, and now can work his magic between the Israelis and the Palestinians, if only Obama is willing to use a little "tough love" with both sides. They want more public criticism of Israel by American officials.

Some of the enthusiasts in the "peace camp" are urging Obama to produce an American plan for the solution, one that by their definition would diverge from the terms Israel considers vital to its national interests, lest we are seen as "Israel's lawyer." If Obama takes all this bad advice, it won't bring peace to the Middle East, but it will bring tension between Israel and its most important ally.

The "peace camp" is also urging Obama to take a more "even-handed" approach in the Middle East. But the effect of even-handedness is not even. The Arab League has 22 members and a lot of oil; there are 56 Muslim countries in the Islamic Conference; and much of the rest of the world automatically supports Arab positions. Israel depends uniquely on its close relations with one main ally, the United States. When the US is neutral, there is a huge imbalance, and the scale automatically tilts the other way.

The new administration may also have a lower tolerance for the civilian casualties and diplomatic stresses that arise when Israel is compelled to take military action in its own defense. Even in quiet times, there is likely to be heartburn about checkpoints and other security measures necessary in the struggle against terror. Obama could cut back on US vetoes to prevent anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council.

It is too soon to know whether the new administration will make any of these or other mistakes. We had plenty of reasons to be anxious about George Bush the day he took over, influenced as he was by big oil, the Saudis and some of his father's bad advisers. The fears many of us had about Obama during the campaign as to the people he might appoint to run Mideast policy are not being realized. Maybe the potential mistakes listed above also won't happen.

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

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Posted by Blue Truthe, February 17, 2009.

This is Amazing! This is from World Tribune


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has authorized a Saudi project to supply aerospace systems to Syria, in what was seen as the suspension of U.S. sanctions.

Government sources said Obama directed the Commerce Department to approve the export of U.S. components for Syria's fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft. The sources said a Saudi defense company would supply and install the components in the aging Syrian dual-use aircraft.

The Commerce Department has not confirmed the approval. Boeing, however, acknowledged that Commerce approved an export license for Syria on Feb. 2.

The sources said the approval by Commerce marked a departure from nearly five years of sanctions by the outgoing Bush administration. Under the Syrian Accountability Act, Syria was to be denied all but food and humanitarian supplies from the United States. Bush aides had said Syria used passenger jets to ferry weapons from Iran to Hizbullah in Lebanon, Middle East Newsline reported.

"This was an issue that has been on the back-burner for a long time," a government source said.

The decision would allow Boeing to overhaul two 747s for the state-owned Syrian Arab Airlines. Boeing has contracted its Saudi-based venture, Alsalam Aircraft Co., to conduct the overhaul.

Commerce, however, argued that the repair of the Boeing 747s would prevent air accidents. The sources said the department said this would come within the definition of U.S. humanitarian exports to Damascus.

Syria has reported several U.S. measures to improve relations under the Obama administration. On Feb. 15, Syrian ambassador to the United States, Imad Mustafa, said the U.S. Treasury Department approved the transfer of $500,000 to a Syrian charity.

Mustafa's announcement came on the eve of the visit by a U.S. Senate delegation to Damascus. The delegation was headed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry, scheduled to meet President Bashir Assad.

Contact Blue Truthe by email bluetruthe@aol.com

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Posted by Avodah, February 17, 2009.

From editorial@chofetzchaimusa.org.


Three young Satmar Chassidim, on a promise of a free trip to daven in Lejensk, delivered a package to Japan — NOT KNOWING that a seemingly frum man would put their lives in danger by making them the transporters of illegal merchandise. And were caught and imprisoned.

Japan punish their prisoners in a most harsh manner.

The boys sit in separate, tiny cells, with no beds, no sunlight, no human interaction, no connection to the world for a day, another day of solitude, another 24 hours of loneliness, on and on and on...

It's been 11 MONTHS with no end in sight.

Yoel Zev ben Mirel Rissa Chava

Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel

Yosef ben Itta Rivka


Don't forget them!

Don't forget about Yossi, the youngest, who was not even eighteen when he arrived in Japan. Alone in his cell, without nary a chair, without enough room to stretch his legs, the thin blanket to sleep on taken away every morning. Yossi, who looks forward desperately to his haircut every 2 weeks so he can see another human being, whose skin is shriveling, whom those involved declare that it's a miracle that he is still sane, who hasn't seen his family in half a year. Yossi, who doesn't know if he has any hope for a future...

It is up to us, to Klal Yisrael's tefillos, ( up to the Prayers of the Jewish people ) to save them!

NOW is the time to start being more careful in Shmiras Halashon as a Zchus for our suffering brothers. ( This means appropriate speech , for thos unfamiliar with the terms)

And don't forget to keep davening for their yeshua every day!!!!!! ( Praying for their rescue)

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:

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Posted by Mrla, February 17, 2009.

This is from the Joshua Pundit website.
http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2009/02/ all-links-you-need-and-nothing-you-dont.html


Timothy Spall as Fagin: "Never trust the goyim." Gotta check the Cliff notes.

I must have missed a few subtle literary points in college when I was taking a Charles Dickens seminar.

I missed the spot where Fagin, in Oliver Twist, is wearing a gigoondo yarmulke. Also, blasting right by yours truly — alas, never the best of students — is the part where Fagin abstains from eating pork chops because they're not kosher.

Who knew that Fagin was an observant Jew?

And I must have skipped the part where Fagin — going all bi-polar — talks to himself in fractured Hebrew and intones: "Never trust the goyim."

Last night I was flipping through my 150 channels — you can get obese watching all the cooking shows — when I stumbled on this new adaptation of Oliver Twist. I had no idea I had access to Al Jazeera. It was kind of scary, I mean I know the Arab world with its state controlled TV and film industries is a sewer of Jew-hatred, but this Fagin is pretty darn close to the image of the evil Jew pushed by the Nazi propaganda machine.

He's not just the Jew, he's the devil.

This Fagin is such a leering, salivating monster that I wouldn't be surprised if, in next week's exciting installment, he molests a few doe-eyed kids then slaughters them so he can use their blood to bake matzo. Believe me, the Blood Libel is alive and well in the Arab world, and fast making headway in oh-so-civilized Europe.

Imagine my surprise when the station ID popped up and I learned that this was not Al Jazeera, but PBS.

Okay, I really wasn't surprised.

And I wasn't surprised that this grotesquely anti-Semitic Oliver Twist is a British production. Most sane people recognize that Britain, in about 25 years, will be ruled by Sharia and cheerily Judenrein.

Say hello to the happy-go-lucky 7th century. European Jew-hatred is so common, so darn fashionable that Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist is now part of the arsenal to make Jew-hatred acceptable.

Director Coky Giedroyc and writer Sarah Phelps are the chief criminals in this repulsive exercise in sophisticated Jew-hatred. They will, no doubt, argue that they are restoring a fresh perspective to Fagin's Jewishness. This is the corrupt academic language of deconstruction, where "texts" have no real meaning, where all interpretations are equally valid.

Naturally, it's a one-way deconstructionist street.

You can bet your bottom dollar that no Muslim would ever appear in such a dark light in a BBC production. Because the Islamists would issue a fatwa and Giedroyc and Phelps would be living under 24/7 protection.

No doubt, this dynamic Jew-hating duo would hunker down with The Koran and deconstruct it in order to prove that beheading is not terribly sporting.

Question: What Happens When You Leave Islam?
Answer is in this video: Valentines Day Al Shabab Style (Beheading) — Jawa

Lotsa luck.

But it's open season on Jews because, well, what are we going to do but protest in print, be dismissed as right wing nut jobs, or y'know, pushy Jooz.

Question: why does PBS exist?

Oh right, desperately needed government support for people — and by people I mean losers — who can't make a living in the business like yours truly.

Your tax dollars at work.

Contact the poster at mrla26@aol.com

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Posted by LB, February 17, 2009.

Please distribute this fact sheet. Israel needs a Central Brain to control and coordinate simultaneous activities as the Islamists are so successfully doing.


Cease-Fire": 7,000 Deadly Hamas Rockets and Mortars fired Threatening 1 million Israeli Civilians since Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. Hamas fires rockets during Israeli Childrens' Schooltime. The kids have Bomb Shelters on their Playgrounds!

Disproportionate: 300 Million Arab Muslims in Arab Countries surround only 5 1/2 million Jews in Israel.

Israel Has Obligation To Protect Its Citizens: President Obama said, "I think that's a basic principle of any country is that they've got to protect their citizens." No country would have behaved differently had it been subject to the rocket attacks on civilians faced by Israel.

Hamas Endangers Its Own Civilians: Senior Hamas officials hide in hospital basement, while Hamas fires rockets at Israel from UN schools, humanitarian facilities, mosques, booby-trapped civilian private homes then lies about 'civilian' casualties 'caused by Israel'.

Hamas Booby-Trapped the Gaza Zoo.

Hamas Uses Mosques, schools, private homes as Weapons Storage Facilities.

Few Israeli casualties in comparison with the Palestinian death toll: Israel 's first priority is the safety of its citizens — shelters, warning systems, Hamas openly brags it uses women and children as human shields while its leaders rush into hiding. Remember — World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the war was caused by Germany's aggression.

Hamas Is A War Crimes "Case Study": Hamas deliberatly targets civilians, attacks from within civilian areas and civilian structures, abuses and misuses humanitarian symbols to launch attacks, publicly incites genocide, attacks civilians, recruits children into armed conflict — all of which upgrades Hamas violations to Crimes Against Humanity.

Israel Is A Democracy — the Only Democracy in the MidEast. Israel is a Multi-Cultural society. In Israel you can see Africans in their native dress, Christians, Muslims, Bahaii, Jews and Non-Jews from many countries. You will not see this multi-culturalism in any of the surrounding arab countries.

Hamas Steeps the Most Innocent In A Culture of Death. Hamas Teaches Tots Terror. Hamas TV Promotes Culture of Death for Palestinian Children. Hamas' TV channel perverts children's programming. The death rate for childrens Jew-Hating mascots is stomach-turning all 'killed' by Jews and Israelis.

Hamas has a new genocidal mascot on their children's TV show, Pioneers of Tomorrow, replacing Assud the giant Jew-eating rabbit who was killed in Operation Cast Lead — Nassur, the Terrorist Teddy Bear

'Judenrein': Hamas wants the entire area 'Judenrein' as did the Nazis.

Hamas Prefers War as an Alternative to Progress

Amnesty International Accuses: "...Hamas "Responsible for Grave Human Rights Abuses". Hamas is killing and maiming scores of Palestinian opponents and critics in Gaza Strip. "incontrovertible evidence" of abductions, torture and death threats, "scores of others" Shot in the Legs, Kneecaps or Beaten.

Who Are These People? Let's not forget that the Palestinians elected the terrorist organization Hamas to govern them. Observers describe the culture in the Gaza Strip as a culture of hate and a breeding ground for terrorism. Videos show Palestinian children training to be terrorists and being used as human shields. — Videos Available on YouTube

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Posted by Steven Plaut, February 17, 2009.

1. Remember how the moonbats could not control their ecstasy when that Iraqi tossed a show at President Bush? Well, how come not a single one of the same moonbats has had a single word to say in support of this heroic Palestinian who threw HIS shoe at a terrorist and then was arrested by the Palestinian Authority?:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304800711&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

And junior is only 15!

A Palestinian boy who threw a shoe at the car of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad has been arrested by the PA security forces.

The incident, the first of its kind in the West Bank, is seen by Palestinians as an attempt to imitate Iraqi journalist Montadar al-Zeidi, who tossed his shoes at US President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. Al-Zeidi has since become a hero of the Arab and Muslim masses.

The boy was identified as Saher Ahmed Muhaisen, 15, from the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem.  

2. And ladies, he is now single and available!

Or at least that should be the message we all send to the pro-terror "Women in Black," those gyno-terrorists who stand on street corners and demand that Israel be destroyed!

I am referring to the news that a gentleman after their own persuasion is no longer married. He is Muzzammil Hassan, 44, of Buffalo, New York. He hat been operating a web site and TV channel devoted to painting Moslems in a positive light, as peace-loving people. He is available for dating again because he beheaded his wife. See
http://www.nypost.com/seven/02142009/news/regionalnews/ buffalo_beheading_155151.htm )

[Editor's Note: See also "Plight of Islamic Women." in this issue.]  

3. Open Letter to the Next Prime Minister of Israel about Gilad Shalid

Well, there is news that a new mass appeasement and capitulation to get kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit released may be near. Before it is imposed on the country, I sent out this new

To: The Next Prime Minister of IsraelFrom: Steven Plaut
Re: How to get Gilad Shalit

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have been doing some research into ways in which Gilad Shalit might be released WITHOUT the necessity of releasing hundreds of genocidal terrorists who will immediately return to their murderous activities, and after which scores, if not hundreds, of Jews will be murdered as a direct result of their release.

I have found a solution. It is called the Ninth Plague solution. I actually am not the originator of the proposal. It comes from Moses.

To remind you, the ninth plague against Egypt and Pharaoh consisted of condemning them to sit in absolute darkness until the time that Pharaoh agreed to let the blokes go free.

I think that is what should be done. Gaza should be cut off from all electric power and the Gazans should sit in the dark until our bloke is set free. No terrorists at all should be released to buy his freedom. When the world whines about our cutting off the Gazan power, we can just say we are following Biblical advice. We are also concerned about global warming and the environment and so insist that no power produced with fossil fuels be consumed in Gaza. This of course makes Gaza a more environmentally sustainable society. They can try to power their rockets with wind energy or solar cells.

In fact, I think there are other negotiating lessons we can learn from Moses. When Moses was negotiating with Pharaoh, every time the latter said NO, Moses raised his demands. When Pharoah refused to let the menfolk go, Moses demanded the whole population. When Pharoah said NO, Moses added all the farm animals. When Pharoah said No, Moses demanded that Pharaoh himself provide the Israelites with Egyptian farm stock and animals to take with them. We know how it all ended.

Now the Hamas has been increasing its demands from Israel, even every time Israel capitulate and says YES. So let's give Moses' technique a try.

But first and foremost, let us recreate the Ninth Plague. Let's do it yesterday!

Peacefully yours,
Steven Plaut

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 Richard H. Shulman, February 17, 2009.


Israeli military intelligence believed that Hamas would not soon re-initiate hostilities (IMRA, 1/23).

A few days later, my list of e-mails informs me, Hamas did. I think it was a mistake to let any Hamas members live.


Egypt denies any arms smuggling into Gaza, yet claims it needs to triple the number of border police to stop arms smuggling. [You figure out the contradiction.] When Israel wanted to show films of the smuggling to Congress, Egypt threatened diplomatic rupture with Israel, if it did. It claims the film is fake.

Egypt may claim it needs the troops to check a Hamas break-out from Gaza into Egypt. [That may be true, but if Israel destroyed Hamas and regained control of the border, it would spare Egypt the need for more troops.] Indicating bad faith, Egypt's previous increase in border police turned out to be troops.

Israel accepted Egypt's proposed additional police in principle, no details available. Dr. Aaron Lerner considers this agreement a mistake, watering down the treaty that de-militarized the Sinai so Israeli could withdraw from the Sinai without greatly another and fast-moving Egyptian invasion (IMRA, 1/23).


In 2005, police officers were investigating someone for protesting the expulsion of Jews from Gaza. They knocked on his door, in Rehovot. His wife asked for a search warrant. They had none. They broke down the door. They threatened her with arrest if she kept asking for a warrant. They dragged her husband out in his pajamas. Noticing that a relative was videotaping the arrest, they confiscated the camera. They forgot to turn it off.

The family is suing police for illegal break-in, illegal arrest, assault, abuse of authority, illegal confiscation of property, etc.. Police commanders demand for their men immunity from prosecution by virtue of being public servants. [That's what fascist and Communist police claim, too.] The court rejected that claim. The judge criticized the police for their illegal and malicious violations of privacy.

The family suggests that police acted against them in retaliation for their having complained against the police the day before, demanding that police return cell phones confiscated in a prior, legal arrest. That time, the suspicion that the family might be involved in arson was found groundless (Arutz-7, 1/23).


Pres. Obama has kept the same incompetent, subversive, wasteful State Dept. and its failed policies of appeasement. He thinks he has discovered the value of negotiation over war. Is he too young to know, didn't read about, and failed to see the futility of negotiation with fanatics that we suffered from during the Hitler, Stalin, and Muslim eras. He, Sec. Clinton, and that State Dept. auxiliary, the NY Times, thought Pres. Obama's conciliatory letter to Iran was an opportunity for Iran to mellow. Religious fanatics who want to conquer and destroy civilization don't mellow and make friends with the "great Satan" because of a friendly letter. Iran may exploit the letter; it is wiser than the sender of it.

Negotiations wouldn't be too dangerous for democracies, if they planned the implementation better, had a national discussion before signing anything, and were more willing to admit that negotiation or implementation failed. Unfortunately, politicians make poor deals and then won't admit their mistake.

One reason for poor negotiations, aside from lack of realistic goal and definitive measures of compliance, is ambiguity. The Arabs exploit the ambiguity. When the State Dept. cajoles Israel into signing some disadvantageous pact, it later interprets the pact contrary to what the Israelis thought they had achieved.

Israel has made many truces with Arabs. The Arabs often break them. Hamas and Fatah do habitually. Violation is what Arafat would have been known for, if the media had been frank about him instead of covering for him so as to bring Israel low. Arab truce violations may multiply from poor wording of the truce. Israel usually goes into a truce without some of the major points determined. Then it finds itself committed to a ceasefire while the State Dept. and UNO deny it major demands that were reasonable and that its military success should have secured. It should have continued fighting until its demands were met. Israel is defeatist (leftist} and too timid to tell off the US and UNO.

Another problem with truces is that not all the Arab protagonists agree to them. Hamas agrees, but then it lets Islamic Jihad, which didn't sign it, attack Israel, while Hamas, which controls Gaza, pretends it has clean hands in this.

Still another problem arises when none of the Arab protagonists really agrees to a pact. Israel doesn't negotiate directly with Hamas. It doesn't get a signed agreement. Later, Hamas may say it didn't agree to certain points. This shows the great confusion and problem with modern diplomacy. We still haven't learned to differentiate between recognition as approval and recognition as de facto ruler. If we did, we could negotiate with terrorists without approving.

In the end, however, the Islamists will break their agreements, because they feel that anything that advances their religious supremacy is honorable. They offer excuses, they distort meanings, they deal in bad faith.


Israeli Prof. Inbar suggested that Egypt patrol Gaza, and that Jordan control the Judea-Samaria portion of the P.A.. Dr. Aaron Lerner asked what would happen if Egypt or Jordan were taken over by Islamists, and had half an army alongside Israeli cities. Prof. Inbar admitted that his plan would collapse (IMRA, 1/27).

Egypt and Jordan did control the Territories until June, 1967. The Territories and the Sinai were the bases for their planned invasion of Israel. In the meantime, they have not grown to love the Jews.


Some Israeli campus leftists published on Internet the photographs and names and addresses of senior Israeli officers. The purpose is to identify whom the leftists would like Europeans to prosecute for [non-existent] war crimes and possibly who should be targeted by assassins (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/27).


Abbas' rule is characterized by warlords and gangsters. Only a small proportion of the P.A. troops are professionals. It would be a tragic mistake for Abbas to take over Gaza, leading to another coup against him. After all, Fatah has no credibility left. Indeed, Abbas is afraid to visit most P.A. cities.

Abbas continues to transfer foreign aid to pay the salaries of thousands of his men in Gaza but also to pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas gunmen.

The State Dept. favors letting former "strongman" Muhammad Dahlan rule there for the P.A.. He is known for torturing opponents. The CIA knew of his plan to kill some Israelis, but did not stop him. He used foreign aid and smuggling from Egypt to amass a fortune of about $120 million. That smuggler inspired the arrangement for Fatah to monitor the Gaza border. Hamas then knocked over his forces and took over Gaza and the smuggling tunnels. He's a bad bet. But he flatters US officials (IMRA, 1/27).


Avigdor Lieberman, head of a political party polling about third and expected to help Netanyahu become Prime Minister, is being investigated by police for accepting illegal campaign funds. The police usually investigate supposed right-win politicians just before elections (IMRA, 1/27) to reduce their vote.

It's Israel's fascistic corruption.


Dalit Baum has a doctorate in math, but never has produced an article in a math journal nor written a math book. American colleges invite her to lecture on her homosexual views and her hatred of her country, Israel. [Other Jew-hating, non-scholars are hired, too.] Baum belongs to ISM, a terrorist auxiliary organization.

She organizes homosexuals to claim Israel oppresses them, although Israel tolerates them whereas its Arab enemies execute homosexuals. Hence she never preaches in Arab domains.

In the US, she teaches "peace studies," a euphemism for "Marxist indoctrination programs against capitalism, against Western and Israeli self-defense against terrorism, and in favor of terrorist groups." Thus she defines violence by example as Israel building a security fence to keep violent offenders out. Her ISM organization opposes the security fence by force, attacking the troops and construction workers. Her syllabus cites only anti-Israel activists and affords no information about terrorist that harms Israelis. They falsely call Israel an aggressor state, and ignore the many Arab acts of aggression against Israel.

She tells students that because corporations build houses for Jews in the Territories, the Jewish presence there is just a moneymaking scheme. The "scholar" then suggests sabotaging the corporations.

She encourages Arab "resistance," i.e., terrorism (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/23).


Thomas Friedman explains that the P.A. is split between a fundamentalist Hamas and a secular Fatah. He notes tht the western Palestinian have tried various ideologies, but none have delivered statehood or prosperity. Their rising birth rate threatens to drown Israel. Unilateral Israeli pullouts have proved counter-productive and the "two-state solution," unworkable (NY Times, 2/4).

All observant Muslims believe in their faith's fundamentals. Both P.A. terrorist groups are Islamist. Fatah is not secular; that is a Western media label. Fatah has made Islam the official religion of the P.A.. It persecutes Christians. Westerners think statehood and prosperity important to the Arabs, or claim they do, as a pretext for demanding Israeli sacrifice. The Muslim Arabs, however, put religion first. Jihad is important to them. Prosperity is less important, but whatever their ideology, their rulers steal and keep them poor. The Arab birth rate is not rising but fallen greatly. He's right about failed solutions, so try Zionism!

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

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Posted by Beth Gilinsky, February 17, 2009.


Note that President Barak Hussein Obama is now connecting the Palestinian Arabs to a Biblical relationship with the land of Israel. This is of enormous concern.

Beth Gilinsky
Jewish Action Alliance
(212) 726-1123

This was written by Aaron Klein and it appeared yesterday in World Net Daily

Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, is known for his regular interviews with Mideast terror leaders and his popular segments on America's top radio programs. His newly released book is Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans — to a Jew!


JERUSALEM — The Obama administration has pledged to the Palestinian Authority it will closely monitor Jewish construction in the West Bank and will protest any new housing developments in the biblical territory, a top PA negotiator told WND.

"They told us the White House will watch for any Jewish construction," said the PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Obama knows that if [Likud Chairman Benjamin] Netanyahu is the next prime minister, he will try to expand the settlements. They pledged to us this will be strongly protested," the negotiator said.

Although Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima party captured one more seat than Likud in last week's elections, Netanyahu is considered most likely to form the next government, since he is reportedly able to forge the most stable coalition with other parties in the 120-seat Knesset.

Earlier this month, WND quoted top PA officials stating they received a guarantee from Obama's administration that understandings reached with Israel during U.S.-backed negotiations while President Bush was in office would be utilized as starting points for current and future talks with the Jewish state.

The PA officials said they were enthusiastic about the new tone of the White House and about recent meetings with Obama's Mideast envoy, former Democratic Sen. George Mitchell. They said they believe that under Obama the Palestinians can extract from Israel concessions reaching "much further" than during talks held under the previous administration.

"Regarding all understandings achieved between the parties, the Obama administration told us they will give guarantees to carry them out," said a top PA official.

"With Obama, the number of settlers to be removed from the West Bank will much be more important than 60,000," said the PA official, referring to previous negotiations in which Israel expressed a willingness to withdraw from up to 94 percent of the West Bank and move about 60,000 settlers into central settlement blocks closer to Jerusalem.

WND reported exclusively in November that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice collected notes and documents from Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to ensure the incoming U.S. administration would not need to start negotiations from scratch. PA sources said Rice's notes are being used by Obama's team as the starting points for new Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Documents noting agreements during previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been used in subsequent talks, sometimes as starting points. According to both Israeli and PA sources, American officials took detailed notes of talks at U.S.-brokered negotiations at Camp David in 2000 and then used points of agreement on key issues, such as borders, during recent rounds of intense Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Israeli and PA sources said Rice's notes document agreements that would seek an eventual major West Bank withdrawal and would grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem.

A top source said the PA requested that the Obama administration threaten sanctions against Israel for any new Jewish construction in the West Bank.

The source told WND that Obama is said to favor Israel withdrawing from nearly the entire West Bank.

Israel recaptured the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. The territory, in which about 200,000 Jews live, is tied to Judaism throughout the Torah and is often referred to as the biblical heartland of Israel.

The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at the West Bank city of Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring.

He was later buried with the rest of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, except for Rachel, in Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs. The West Bank's Hebron was site of the first Jewish capital.

The nearby West Bank town of Beit El — anciently called Bethel, meaning "house of God" — is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In the dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory. Earlier, God had promised the land of Israel to Abraham at Beit El. In Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested just north of Beit El in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Contact Beth Gilinsky at actionalliance1@yahoo.com

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Posted by Hillel Fendel, February 16, 2009.

A year later: The baby son of the hero who killed the perpetrator of the Merkaz HaRav slaughter was ritually circumcised on Monday by the father of one of the victims — at the very site where the murders occurred.

A video was filmed by Arutz Sheva Hebrew's Chezki Ezra and is available at
http://www.inn.co.il/Album.aspx/1113 A feature video with interview in English will be available on this website on Tuesday.

Yitzchak Dadon, 41, is the father of the new baby, and the ritual mohel [circumciser] was Rabbi Tzemach Hirschfeld, whose son Yonadav Chaim, 19, was among the eight victims. Dadon, who studies in the yeshiva in the evenings, was the first to shoot the terrorist, and was helped out by another former student of the yeshiva, former paratrooper David Shapira.

The poignancy of the convergence of factors — just a week before the first anniversary of the slaughter, the same location, and the main participants — was not lost on the many dozens of people who crowded into the Merkaz HaRav library where the eight young students were gunned down over their books.

The sandak — the man granted the high honor of holding the baby during the circumcision — was Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi.

Emotions ran high as Rabbi Aryeh Stern — head of the Halakhah Brurah [Elucidated Jewish La Institute, located two floors below the main study hall in Merkaz HaRav — recited this prayer over the baby: "May his name in Israel be called — Elkanah ben [son o Rabbi Yitzchak. May the father rejoice in his offspring, and may the woman delight in the fruit of her womb... And I [G will say:" — at which point, the congregation joined in, reciting aloud and with great feeling, "With your blood you shall live, with your blood you shall live."

Rabbi Hirschfeld appeared happy and calm after the festive and dramatic occasion, and said, "Yes, this is definitely the closing of a circle. But it's not the first time; I also circumcised the son of Dudi Shapira, who also took part in killing the terrorist. But here, of course, it is even more poignant, given the timing and the location..."

"As we say at the brit," he continued, "and also at the Passover seder, 'With your blood you shall live' — the blood that was spilled here is not the end of the story; there is life after death. Life goes on, babies are born, and thank G-d I deal with this, I am always involved with people who have just had babies, and life continues."

Rabbi Hirschfeld shied away from calling today's event as a type of revenge: "It's true that our grandparents said that every baby born is a revenge against Hitler, but I don't live with that sensation. I could say it is a victory of sorts. We're not giving up, we have babies; I too had grandchildren this year..."

Eight Torah Scrolls, and More

Next Tuesday, Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav and the adjoining Yeshiva LaTze'irim High School — where seven of the victims studied — will host a special memorial. The final letters of eight new Torah scrolls will be written, and the scrolls will be brought into the study hall amidst singing and dancing. Each of the families will then receive one scroll, all donated by a man who prefers to remain anonymous.

The memorial occasion will also be marked by the worldwide conclusion of the study of the 2,700-page Babylonian Talmud, sponsored by B'lev Echad (With One Heart) and Merkaz HaRav. Over the course of this past year, those who wished to study a two-sided page, or several of them, in memory of the slain students, signed up via an internet site designated for the purpose, specifying the pages they planned to study. The entire Talmud was completed more than three times in this manner, and the festive conclusion ceremony will be featured at next Tuesday's memorial, in the presence of Torah scholars from around Israel.

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com).

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 16, 2009.

This will be my last posting until Thursday. We can call it a brief respite, which is not a bad thing.

The rumors regarding the outcome of the election are flying fast and furious. I do not consider it productive to repeat them all here.


Although the results of the tally of the votes of soldiers, diplomats, etc. had been informally announced days ago, it is only on Wednesday that they will be formally recorded. And only after that will President Peres start meeting with heads of all the parties to determine whom they recommend to form the next government.

Peres, who promised today to play it straight, won't announce his decision for at least another couple of days after that.


The betting is still on Netanyahu as prime minister. The parameters and possibilities we're looking at are these:

  • If there is to be a right wing coalition, Netanyahu must bridge difference between various right wing and religious parties, and sufficiently satisfy demands, so that he has that solid 65 mandates.

  • The linchpin remains Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu, and he full well knows it. Lieberman is demanding either the Defense Ministry or the Foreign Affairs Ministry for his party. The good news is that this does not necessarily mean Lieberman expects that he, himself, would head either of these ministries — in truth, he is qualified to run neither. It might be someone else in his party.

  • That still leaves the question of whether Netanyahu would stop at a narrow coalition of 65, or would truly seek a broader coalition, urging the participation of Livni's Kadima. The reason he is offering for his inclination to do this is that we are facing security threats that require a broad national basis if we are to deal with them from maximum strength.

  • Then there is the question of whether the stipulation for Livni joining would be acceptance of the parameters set forth by Netanyahu in his campaign: unified Jerusalem under Israel sovereignty, etc. Likud members have been saying that the core of the coalition will be right wing (what Netanyahu is calling Likud's "natural partners"), with a broadening possible from there.

  • And, finally, there is the question of whether Livni would accept such an offer, which seems dubious at present. There is even one report indicating that her determination not to participate, expressed in hushed tones in private conversation with Olmert before yesterday's Cabinet meeting, was picked up by microphones. But at the moment of truth, who knows?

    Members of Likud are accusing her of playing games, when she knows full well that she cannot consolidate a coalition.


PM Olmert announced yesterday that in acknowledgement of "new political realities," he would be discussing any major moves of the government with Netanyahu from this point on. That's a considerable nod. Olmert's dislike of Livni seems to me so visceral that it's actually not hard to imagine his not being upset that she is not likely to be the head of government.

Olmert says he hopes a new government forms quickly. That means a Netanyahu government.


Since the end of the fighting in Gaza, the IDF Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) has been documenting information on the Palestinian fatalities during the fighting. The CLA now has a list of names, ID numbers, occupation/affiliation and circumstances of death for some 1,200 of the 1,338 Palestinians killed in the course of Operation Cast Lead. And — no surprise! — the data compiled puts the lie to the Hamas charge that most of those we killed were civilians. In point of fact, just the opposite is true.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights had reported that 895 Gaza civilians were killed in the fighting, amounting to more than two-thirds of the fatalities. The IDF now puts the civilian death toll at no higher than a third of the total. In some instances, women who were classified as civilians were, in fact, terrorists — in two cases they tried to blow themselves up adjacent to IDF soldiers. Some listed as medics by the Palestinians were also terrorists.

The incident that is most glaring in terms of its contradiction of Palestinian claims is this: There was a charge that, on January 6, in the course of an incident at a school in the UNRWA refugee camp of Jabaliya, we killed 42 Palestinians, many of these women and children who were hiding in the school.

The CLA, having completed its investigation, is now able to definitively report that our troops did not shoot at the school at all, but rather returned fire against Hamas gunmen outside the school. There were 12 fatalities, and nine of these were Hamas gunmen, not civilians.

Says Col. Moshe Levi, head of the CLA, of this incident: "...we could see from our surveillance that only a few stretchers were brought in to evacuate people."

The frustration here is that because the CLA insists on securing accurate information before releasing data, the damage has already been done and the world believes the lies. The IDF is considering setting up a response team to operate in future conflicts, gathering information on the scene to immediately combat these lies.


Mahmoud Abbas, in Russia for meetings, has declared that he won't "start from scratch" in holding negotiations with a new Israeli government. This, he has declared, would be out of the question.

What is more, "If the settlements don't stop, all negotiations will be futile and useless."

He full well knows the negotiations are useless in any event, but is seeking to put the onus on us.

The talk is that Russia will be holding a summit on Middle East negotiations later this year.


Arab nations have promised $1.5 billion to reconstruct Gaza, but the details are extremely fuzzy as there is no unified mechanism for overseeing this reconstruction. There is, rather, enormous PA-Hamas tension with regard to who has control.


I share here an article in the Post by Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard. For those still perhaps unclear on the details of the case, what she outlines is significant:

"My husband, Jonathan Pollard, was never accused, indicted or convicted of treason in a court of law. However, Jonathan has been repeatedly defamed in the media, falsely accused of treason and wrongly branded a 'traitor' by those who, incredibly, claim to have no hostile agenda...

"The US Constitution, Article 3, Section 3 defines the crime of treason as follows: 'Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.' By repeatedly describing Jonathan as if he were a 'traitor,' his crime 'treason' and his actions as 'treasonous,' [Eli Kavon, who wrote recently on the issue] is not only defaming Jonathan, he is implying that Israel is an enemy nation at war with the US, which is absurd.

"JONATHAN NEVER had a trial. He received his life sentence as the result of a plea agreement which he honored and the US Government violated.

"Jonathan was indicted on one charge only: one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States. There were no additional charges against him. Jonathan is the only person in the history of the US to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally.

"The information Jonathan passed to Israel included Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities — all being developed for use against Israel. It also included information on ballistic missile development by these countries and information on planned terrorist attacks against Israeli civilian targets. When he resigned in 1994, former NSA Director Bobby Ray Inman publicly admitted that this critical information had been deliberately, illegally withheld from Israel, in retaliation for Israel's 1981 strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor."

www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788067&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull


The IDF (or, in an alternate version of events, DM Barak) is on the verge of opening the main road that leads from Kiryat Arba to the Cave of Machpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hevron. Zion Route, which has been closed to Palestinian traffic for 10 years because of the large number of terror attacks that occurred there, is utilized by Jewish worshippers on Shabbat.

It goes without saying that the residents of Hevron are furious about this. MK Aryeh Eldad (NU) got it just right: "Experiments with human beings are forbidden by the Helsinki Convention and by Israeli and international law. Experiments like this in the past in Hevron have ended with deaths, of both Jews and Arabs."


Ed Lasky, editor, writing in American Thinker on February 9, predicts that Obama will marginalize Hillary Clinton and the State Department and give new prominence to the National Security Council. This means enormous influence given to Jim Jones, who heads the Council and is already flexing his muscles. Jones has proven himself to be no friend to Israel.

Samantha Power, who is in charge of working with multilateral organizations at the NSC, will also have considerable influence: we are likely to see a push towards more cooperation with anti-Israel organizations such as the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. This dovetails well with Power's own anti-Israel bias.

All of this requires close watching...

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

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Posted by Ted Belman, February 16, 2009.

Jewish groups pulling back from campaign against UNWRA-does not want to upset new administration

This was written by Nathan Guttman


American Jewish Leaders Ease Up Campaign Against UN Groups Seeking To Avoid Conflict With the Obama Administration Over Palestinian Aid

National Jewish leaders have pulled back on their long-standing campaign against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees — an early sign of caution in confronting a new administration, and of Congress's determination reshape the country's stance toward the U.N. more favorably.

The Jewish leaders' push to reform UNWRA was once seen as a key component of their Middle East lobbying agenda. But last month, a congressional resolution calling for reforming the agency — though toned down from previous years — received a lukewarm welcome from Jewish organizations.

The administration, meanwhile, has sent out clear signals that it is supporting the agency, and that it views it as the central channel for providing aid to Palestinians. Last month, UNRWA received a $13.5 million cash boost from the Obama administration in order to help Gaza refugees rebuild after the devastation left by Operation Cast Lead, Israel's recent military onslaught in Gaza.

More recently, UNWRA's humanitarian efforts in Gaza came to a brief halt for reasons that seemed to undercut, at least partially, the Jewish establishment's claim that the agency condones extremism. On February 6, UNRWA announced that it was suspending its Gaza work because Hamas — the Islamist group that rules the district and opposes Israel's very existence — had seized 10 truckloads of aid that were to be distributed by the aid agency. The aid work was resumed February 9, after Hamas returned the stolen supplies.

The agency and its practices in the West Bank and Gaza have been a subject of continuous criticism in the Jewish community, which had widely supported In the past, AIPAC hosted a presentation on the issue and supported efforts to take the debate over UNRWA'S work to Capitol Hill. This year, a congressional proposal on the issue is taking a more moderate approach, yet the community remains wary.previous legislative efforts to curb UNRWA's actions and enforce stricter scrutiny on its operations.

On January 28, New Jersey Democrat Steven Rothman introduced a nonbinding resolution calling for better accountability in UNRWA and ensuring that the agency does not serve terrorists either as employees or beneficiaries. As of February 10, the resolution had 11 co-sponsors, a relatively small number.

The resolution calls on the secretary of state to ensure that American funding for UNRWA does not pay salaries for terrorists. It stops short of threatening to halt American funding for the agency.

A recent study of UNRWA that is sponsored by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank generally perceived as sympathetic to Israel, found no evidence of direct involvement of employees in terrorist activity, but it criticized its screening process for such people.

In 2006, Illinois Republican Mark Kirk introduced similar legislation that not only used much harsher language, but also attempted to condition American support to UNRWA on an annual report that would examine the group's work. That bill had 20 co-sponsors, but it did not make it to a vote on the House floor.

The current, more moderate approach reflects a change in attitude toward the organization in Washington. Indeed, a January 28 letter, signed by more than 60 members, urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to provide post-conflict emergency funds for Gaza via UNRWA. The letter came after meetings held on Capitol Hill with Israeli human rights groups and with John Ging, director of UNRWA's Gaza operation.

The Obama administration's decision to grant $13.5 million to UNWRA also influenced the agency's critics in Congress and among Jewish groups to move more cautiously. In a January 30 conference call with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Rothman acknowledged, according to participants, that the time is not ripe for threatening to cut aid to UNRWA altogether, since members of Congress feel there are already "too many hurdles" that limit aid to Palestinians. The Presidents Conference did not issue an official endorsement of the resolution.

Still, a letter from Rothman's office that circulated in the House, seeking support for the resolution, stressed, "This measure is endorsed by AIPAC and ZOA," referring to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee and to the hawkish Zionist Organization of America.

But according to a congressional staff member, AIPAC's lobbyists "are not very active on this." The staffer said he had not seen "any kind of pressure" from AIPAC to co-sponsor or approve the resolution.

The ZOA's national president, Morton Klein, said he understood the political constraints and that he supported "a moderate language" compared with that of past years. "Politics is the art of compromise," said Klein, who speculated that the Jewish groups are trying to avoid a conflict with the administration over this issue.

Nevertheless, the detailed report on UNWRA that was published last month by James Lindsay, general counsel of the group from 2000 to 2007, showed that debate is far from dead. Lindsay, who wrote the paper as a fellow at the Washington Institute, blasted UNRWA's practices and questioned the scope of its operations.

The 67-page report revisits some of the issues that have been the focal point of American criticism of UNRWA. Most significant is the claim that UNRWA's employment practices do not effectively screen members of terror groups. Lindsay found claims of prevalent terror activity conducted by local UNRWA employees to be inaccurate, but argued, "[T]he agency makes no effort to discourage supporters or members of Hamas from joining its staff." The report further claimed that UNRWA did not conduct proper pre-employment security checks.

Christopher Gunness, UNRWA's spokesman in Jerusalem, said Lindsay's report "misrepresents" the group's work with Palestinian refugees. Gunness pointed to UNWRA's practice of checking each applicant's name against a U.N.-issued list of terror activists, and of requiring a signed affidavit from each employee to ensure that he or she has no affiliation with a terror group.

UNRWA began operating in 1950, with a mandate to provide relief to Palestinian refugees who were displaced following the 1948 war that accompanied Israel's establishment as an independent state. The initial number of Palestinians treated by UNRWA was fewer than 1 million, but with the arrival of succeeding generations of Palestinians, this has ballooned over the years to 4.6 million. And the scope of the agency's work, which was providing humanitarian aid, broadened, to UNRWA becoming the major supplier of education, health care, development and micro-financing for Palestinian refugees.

Lindsay's report argues that instead of expanding, UNRWA should be seeking to end its own mission. "There should be a gradual and orderly transfer of responsibilities to the local authorities," Lindsay told the Forward. "Eventually, UNRWA needs to work itself out of its job." He added that the process should start with Jordan, where Palestinian refugees have full citizenship.

Lindsay debated his report at the Washington Institute with a senior UNRWA official during a February 3 public dialogue that at times became testy. "When I finished reading the paper," said Andrew Whitley, director of UNRWA's representation office, at the presentation, "I came to an unhappy reminder of the ladies of Place Pigalle in Paris." This was a reference to the prostitutes known to work the Paris neighborhood.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com

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Posted by Sultan Knish, February 16, 2009.

The United States of America is a unique entity because it remains the ultimate global embodiment of that intersection of politics and economics that makes for a free market democracy, a system based around individual freedoms rather than collective obligations. That also is why America remains the ultimate target.

America is not the only free market democracy in the world, but it is the largest, and its insistence that its way of life is reproducible by other nations makes it a threat. And while other nations may experience economic booms, as recent events demonstrate, the rest of the global economy is very much dependent on the American economy.

Subsidiary nations such as China or the UAE or for that matter Russia, have experienced parasitic economic booms that came from supplying products to America and Europe. When the American and European economies suffered setbacks, their crumbled. This should be a reminder that Lenin's quote "the capitalists will sell us the very rope that we will hang them with", is now more relevant than ever. The countries that pose the greatest threat to us, are also economically intertwined with us. Our dollars represent their prosperity.

Muslims praying

This has shifted the nature of the war away from military campaigns, and toward political ones. The dictatorships of the world have long realized that they cannot defeat first world countries in all out wars, even when they have overwhelming numbers on their side. The Israeli-Arab wars were an extensive and extremely expensive laboratory experiment by the great powers that demonstrated just that. Nor were they the only such example. Korea and Nambia are just two of the more obvious examples.

The Russian bear did not refrain from sweeping through Germany and across Western Europe out of fear of American nukes. The Soviet Union had never worried overmuch about absorbing civilian casualties, and it is doubtful that the United States would have been willing to touch off a chain of events leading to the deaths of tens of millions of Americans to defend Western Europe, unless the USSR were to launch first. The bear stayed home because Russia did not believe its armies could defeat NATO. No more than it could have defeated Germany in a straightforward invasion, had Germany not first bled all across Eastern Europe in a prolonged effort to seize and hold territory too vast for it.

The most potent Soviet weapon was not in the Red Army or any particular piece of equipment. Those were barely good enough to beat back an overextended Wehrmacht, and to crush what was left of the resistance across an already crushed Eastern Europe. The most powerful means of attack the USSR had at its disposal was not military assault, but political subversion. The ideology of Communism gained the Soviet Union fanatical adherents and fight columns all across the world, spies in the heartland of the enemy, and allies and sympathizers in the highest spheres of its cultural and political elites.

Islam too knows quite well it cannot defeat America. Still stuck in its early revolutionary stages and waiting around to seize a nation to use as a base for its Caliphate, Islam's most powerful weapon is political subversion. Relying on cobbled together alliances of new Marxists, and post-Communist oligarchies, Muslim terrorist groups have revived the old radical networks that spread subversion across the free world. Or rather they hitched a free ride on them in a cynical marriage of convenience between left wing radicals and right wing fascist theocracts.

But what does political subversion really mean? Beyond the campus and newsprint radicals who spread dissatisfaction in specific circles, without really managing to achieve much, politics has to be grounded in a daily reality accessible to the average person. And the fundamental daily realities are underpinned by economics. The power of Communism lay in its economic agenda. It promised a reordering of society away from the individual and toward the collective. That idea predated Communism and it never truly died. Instead the words changed, code words like "Community-centered" replaced "Communism", "Act Locally, Think Globally" replaced "Revolutionary imperative". The idea was to rebrand those same radical collectivist ideas under the guise of a more "individualistic" radicalism. Call it "YouCommunism".

(The great efforts of late 20th century marketing endeavors have one thing in common, an attempt to convince the individual to identify with something greater than himself, by scaling it down to his level and personalizing it. It makes no real difference whether the product being sold is a lifestyle that involves drinking Coca Cola or a radical commitment to ending human freedom. As the Obama campaign proved, they can both be marketed the same way.)

Islam, like Communism preaches the collectivist response to human inequities. The solution to human abuses of freedom, is to end freedom. In Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, Pakistan and across the Muslim world — a major draw for Islam is social justice, with a dictatorship of "incorruptible clerics" governing by Islamic law replacing the Commissars of the People's Republics. The ideologies are different but the framework is the same. That is why Marxist terrorist groups could turn Islamist so fluidly. They were simply replacing one set of titles with another. The Commissar becomes the Imam. Das Kapital becomes the Koran. The aim however remains the same, revolutionary social justice for everyone.

For those who wonder how Western intellectuals can accede to Sharia law seeing the horrors it has produced in countries such as Iran and Pakistan, should remember that Western intellectuals were praising Communism in the 30's, even as the Commissars had filled mass graves with millions of dead. Atrocities do not harm the image of revolutionary social justice movements, they give them credibility. Do you imagine that Che would be worn on a single T-shirt if he had not been a bloody butcher? Would Arafat have his own state to play with, and would Bin Laden have instant airtime for his latest videotape if they were not accomplished terrorists?

Ever since the French Revolution, mass murder has been the biggest legitimizer of social revolutions. Islam is not revered by Western intellectuals despite its bloody nature. It is revered BECAUSE of its bloody nature. Atrocities demonstrate revolutionary commitment. This is something that Osama Bin Laden, Noam Chomsky and Jeremiah Wright understand — and it is something that escapes the average decent American who seriously believes that most people want the same things he does.

The American experiment created an oasis of decency, a sphere of human freedoms, an island in a dark sea. It is the American strength and the American weakness. It is a strength because it has enabled a society capable of achieving great things. But it is also a weakness because it has created a populace incapable of understanding the sheer hatred directed at them from without, and from within.

The American revolution was a revolution of individualism, casting off the shackles of collectivism and class, and replacing it with the monarchy of the common man as an individual. It was what Lafayette admired about Americans, and what the French Revolution, a collectivist class rampage of bloody mobs and bloodier intellectuals, utterly failed to achieve. From that contrast between the two revolutions, the eternal enmity between the free American model, and the revolutionary collectivist tyranny model emerged. In the aftermath of WW2 that conflict went global. Today it has gone viral. It is a war being fought everywhere and nowhere at once. And it is also a war that we are losing.

The drive toward a global Islamic revolution has absorbed both the lessons of Communism and Nazism, it may be most obvious in its violence, but most dangerous in its demographic, political, cultural and economic expansions. 9/11 may have been a wake up call, but it was an atrocity staged more for the benefit of the Muslim world, than for us. The goal is an Islamic revolution first in the Muslim world, followed by the conquest of the Western world from within. And just as when confronting Communism, we have no idea how to fight back.

The free market economics that buried Communism are no longer as simple a solution because Muslims can and do move to the West, partaking of our standard of living, while planning their Jihads. Muslim countries benefit from our economies by proving slave labor, as in the case of Malaysia, or oil, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, parasitically leeching off our economies. All the while a great mass movement of Muslim immigrants streams into Europe and America, an invading army positioning themselves on our shores as guest laborers to do the jobs that we won't do.

If Communism confronted free market capitalism with an iron wall, Islamism serves as the rat in the wall of the free market, gnawing its way through, feeding itself off our leavings, and prepearing for the day when it can bring the wall crashing down... to make way for Sharia finance instead.

The new agitators do not deliver speeches to the "Farmers and Workers" in public parks. Instead they speak in mosques and distribute tapes to their followers. They quietly kill those who fall out of line. Occasionally they practice acts of terrorism to intimidate or recruit, but mostly they prepeare and wait. Converts trickle in. Their numbers grow and little by little, they gain more power.

The conflict underway is one taking place between two very different political and economic systems. For Islam to win, the American experiment must be conclusively destroyed at the economic level. The followers of a collectivist system can only serve as the tail in a free market economy. Only by transforming a free market economy into a collectivist system, by suppressing individual initiative and individual freedom, can the stars and stripes make way for the sickle and the crescent. Only by bringing us down to their level of slavery, can the submission-based ideology of Islam hope to triumph over us.

Contact Sultan Knish at sultanknish@yahoo.com This from the Sultan Knish website
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2009/02/ islamocommunist-revolution-or-sickle.html

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 16, 2009.

This was written by Yaakov Katz, and it appeared in yesterday's The Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788804&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull


An American refusal to permit the installation of Israeli-made defense systems in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) may postpone the planned delivery of the fifth-generation stealth jet beyond the target date of 2014, senior defense officials told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

According to the officials, defense industries such as Rafael, Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta have protested the decision with Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Pinchas Buhris who last month made a lightning visit to Washington DC to discuss the issue with the Pentagon.

The officials said that the new Obama administration would likely make a decision on the issue in the coming months. Israel and the US are scheduled to sign a Letter of Agreement by the end of the year.

Negotiations on the integration of Israeli technology began several years ago after Israel paid $20 million to receive the low-level status of a Security Cooperation Participant in the JSF program. Nine countries — including the US, Britain, Turkey and Australia — are full members of the JSF program.

Last week, in an interview with Aviation Week, Maj.-Gen. Charles Davis, executive officer of the JSF program, said that Israel would not be allowed to put its own systems in the JSF, also known as the F-35.[IMRA: Article below]

"They [Israel] are going to buy aircraft that have basically the same capability as all the others," Davis told Aviation Week. "They are trying to do a requirements analyses for future missions. That [customization] is doable through software. It is not doable by Israelis sticking boxes in the airplane. [Elbit and Elta being involved] is not an option," he says.

Israel has asked for the right to install its own electronic warfare, radar, munitions and command and control systems into the aircraft while citing special IAF operational requirements.

In the past, officials said, before announcing a decision to purchase an aircraft the MOD first negotiated the installation of Israeli-made systems and then announced that it had made a decision. This, officials said, was the case with the F-15I and the F-16I.

However in the case of the JSF, the US refused to conduct the negotiations with the MOD until an announcement that it would procure the plane had been made. The announcement was made in October in an official request to the Pentagon.

A defense industry source familiar with the negotiations between Israel and the US said that the talks were "tough" but predicted that a deal would be reached in the coming months and that Israel would finally place an official order.

Last week, the Post reported that each plane would cost Israel over $100 million and not the estimated $50-$60 million that Lockheed Martin had initially claimed it would cost.

Defense sources said that the cost would make it very difficult for Israel to see through with its initial intention to purchase 75 aircraft. He said that if not for operational considerations, the IDF would have preferred to wait several years before ordering the aircraft and once the price goes down.

JSF Secrets to Stay Secret
Posted by David A. Fulghum at 2/10/2009 4:09 PM CST

www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController= Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDe&plckBlogPage= BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3A27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post% 3A843ee212-2ba2-411a-b1dd-0a12263cb171

Nobody is going to be allowed to play around with the software that controls the F-35's electronic warfare package.

After a long period of obtuse answers about whether foreign customers would be able to put their own systems in F-35 or customize the software themselves, the issue has been clarified.

"No," says Maj. Gen. Charles Davis, program executive officers of the Joint Strike Fighter program. The super-classified software allows electronic surveillance, detection, identification, self-defense and attack. A software-run techniques generator also will be able to send algorithm data streams carrying false information into enemy sensors and antennas.

The Israeli firms of Elbit and Elta had been disappointed at their lack of participation in the F-35 program and saw the EW system as perhaps their last chance to be involved. Their argument is that Israel has a completely different set of threat priorities than the U.S.

"They are going to buy aircraft that have basically the same capability as all the others," Davis says. "They are trying to do a requirements analyses for future missions. Those mission [refinements] would be submitted through Lockheed Martin [and other contractors]. That [customization] is doable through software. It is not doable by Israelis sticking boxes in the airplane. [Elbit and Elta being involved] is not an option," he says.

Israel Defense Forces are looking at an initial buy of 25-50 F-35As. They abandoned the idea of a STOVL force when they saw the price, weight, range and payload penalties associated with the design compared to a conventional takeoff aircraft.

In the U.S., among the various services, there has been an open question — given that the design can be modified to carry an electronic warfare officer — about whether some future variant of the F-35 would be transformed into a specialized electronic warfare/attack specialty aircraft. It is under study but the likelihood seems to be diminishing.

"I think electronic [warfare] will simply be a mission area [each] airplane performs," says Heinz. "I do not believe I'm [moving toward] special variant type airplanes. Holistically, the requirements guys are looking at how can they can meet the [EW/A] requirement within the number of aircraft that will be available jointly. I will be able to cover some bands in the spectrum [due to electronic techniques amplified through the advanced radar].

"There will be podded additions [like Next Generation Jammer] that can go on the aircraft," he says. "But, we're surmising a technical solution without knowing the requirement. Today, we have a pretty good understanding of the bands that need to be recovered. I think NGJ as it grows will have several applications including boxes that go inside an airplane or small pods that can go on the exterior of a number of platforms.

"I'm going to build to the gap that the requirements people believe exists today," Heinz says. "It may be a multi-platform solution and not one dedicated to an individual platform for a specific mission. We're still going through that.

Specialists are also still ironing out the threat and target set for F-35s.

By 2014 the F-35 community will begin establishing its relationship with the Air Armament Center at Eglin where the service develops it new kinetic and non-kinetic weapons and studies the introduction of new missions. For example, all the initial F-35 Block 0.5 aircraft, because of their advanced electronically scanned array radars, will arrive capable of training for cruise missile defense.

But, "It's not just weapons threats," Davis says. "You have to decide where you're going to attack that kill chain at with electronic warfare. We're ready to penetrate and do electronic warfare, we need a program to go do it and people need to tell us their requirements. We're not there yet."

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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Posted by Shaul Ceder, February 16, 2009.

This was written by Michael Crowley and it appeared in Reader's Digest.


At the peak of the Iraq war, with billions of U.S. dollars pouring into their country, a group of Iraqi men saw a way to get rich quick. They put up $2,000 in cash, formed a company named Al-Aian Al-Jareya, and used their connections at Iraq's defense ministry to win an $850 million military equipment contract.

Their company was a joke. But there was nothing funny about what happened next. Al-Aian Al-Jareya bilked the U.S.-funded Iraqi army out of millions by peddling old equipment at outrageously inflated prices. In just one example, Al-Aian Al-Jareya charged $4.5 million each for 64 Mi-8 military helicopters-three times the amount that they should have cost.

Almost everything the company delivered was dangerously faulty. According to Salam Adhoob, a former Iraqi corruption watchdog, an inspection of the merchandise found "four repainted defective helicopters that were more than 25 years old." He also recently told a Senate investigative committee that weapons and bulletproof vests provided by Al-Aian Al-Jareya were damaged goods. "And yet not one of these criminals has been held accountable by the U.S. or Iraqi government," he testified, not even the Iraqi defense ministry officials who allegedly skimmed millions off the top for themselves.

Six years after the war began, we're still learning about the great looting of American tax dollars in Iraq. Tens of billions have been stolen, wasted, or simply lost with almost no oversight or accountability. Now that Iraq is running an oil-fueled surplus of its own — as America spirals into an economic crisis — it's time to demand some money back.

Getting it won't be easy. Corruption in Iraq is a familiar tale. One 2005 report found that up to $8.8 billion in U.S. dollars meant to help rebuild the country had simply gone missing. But that revelation apparently did nothing to stop the rip-offs: A May 2008 government audit showed that $15 billion in Pentagon payments to contractors could not be accounted for. To hear Adhoob tell it, that's just the tip of the iceberg. He told the Senate committee about scores of "ghost projects" that had been funded, including a $24.4 million electricity venture in Iraq's northern Nineveh province that had been paid for but never built.

It gets worse. A former senior U.S. adviser to the Iraqi government testified that top Iraqi officials have collaborated with al Qaeda to steal Iraqi oil, selling it both for personal profit and to fund al Qaeda terrorists attacks. Said Adhoob, "I am convinced that American soldiers died because of this corruption."

Billions more of your money is on its way to Baghdad. And late last year, several top fraud monitors within the Iraqi government were fired, apparently for political reasons — making it easier for some people to help themselves. (Adhoob was not one of them; he had already fled the country, fearing for his life.)

So what can be done? Some cynics insist that corruption is now too deeply entrenched to root out. Still, the United States can hardly expect to leave behind a functioning Iraqi government if profiteering isn't exposed. The Obama administration should demand the reinstatement of fraud monitors in Baghdad. It should then push for a high-profile crackdown on those responsible for the looting of government coffers.

Back home, Congress should freeze the assets of those prosecuted for wrongdoing. And it should grant more resources to investigators like Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, who has exposed and prosecuted several big corruption cases. The severity of the situation calls for a special congressional panel to investigate this plague as well.

Apart from tough laws and severe penalties, there needs to be adequate follow-up to make certain that perpetrators pay. Of the tiny number of officials in Iraq who have been prosecuted so far, many have quickly landed back on the street thanks to bribery and political connections. Some have even established cushy lives outside Iraq, funded with the money they stole. In one case, a former electricity minister accused of taking huge kickbacks and misspending millions hired private contractors to break him out of jail and help him flee the country. His new home? Chicago.

Maybe if Iraq had more of its own money in its treasury, officials in Baghdad would be less inclined to condone theft. In the past six years, Americans have spent $48 billion on reconstruction projects. Between 2005 and 2007, Iraq earned a whopping $90 billion in oil revenues, according to an August report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. And yet Iraq has spent a mere 10 percent of this money on reconstruction (while U.S. billions have rolled in unabated). What's more, in 2007, the U.S. Treasury shelled out $435.6 million in interest payments to the Iraqi government for the $10 billion in surplus oil revenues it has stashed at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

As a stunned Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) put it at one hearing last year, "What kind of an absurdity is it that we are paying for the reconstruction of Iraq if Iraqi oil sales ... are going into foreign banks and not being used for reconstruction?"

It's time to demand Iraq spend more of their own cash on rebuilding and begin reimbursing us for out-and-out theft. It's time they stopped playing us for suckers.

Do More

Stay informed. The special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, posts his audits, reports, and investigations.

Be a watchdog. If you are aware of any Iraq-related corruption involving U.S. companies, you can report it anonymously to the Project on Government Oversight.

Keep the pressure on. Call your congressional representatives and tell them not to let our tax dollars go to waste in Iraq.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 16, 2009.


During the combat, Hamas broadcast images of corpses. Child viewers suffered psychological distress. Complaints arose. Hamas resumed regular broadcasts (IMRA, 1/25). The regular broadcasts are full of jihad propaganda, too.

This was no way to produce willing martyrs.


Iran criticizes Hollywood for producing movies whose theme is terrorism. Iran considers such movies as evidence that Hollywood is pro-Israel (IMRA, 1/25).

Some recent movies about terrorism were sympathetic towards terrorism and anti-Israel. They did it by subtle distortion. The most recent one is about the earlier Lebanon war. Others show that terrorism was suspected, but more ordinary motives were involved. The rulers of Iran may have less subtlety or understanding of the West than we thought they do. Muslim Arabs and Iranians have a tendency to see anyone not wholly with them as much their enemy as those wholly against them. They suppose that studios and producers of Jewish origin necessarily favor Israel. Hollywood and American Jews are not like that. Many are appeasement-minded if not anti-Israel.


According to an ex-patriate visiting home, the clerical regime exploited the combat in Gaza to rouse the rabble against Israel, in order to divert their attention from their crumbling economy. That is how the regime got thousands more than usual to sign up for suicide bombing (that does not take place). The propaganda was so effective, that the regime had to cool down the people (IMRA, 1/25).


About my piece showing Gaza not so densely populated, an Israeli pointed out that Bnei Brak in Israel, 1.5 sq. miles, 150,000 people, is more dense.


The Arabs of Israel seem to be turning from electoral politics to Islamist organizations (Arutz-7, 2/1). It's ominous. Rabbi Meir Kahan foretold it.

That would eliminate enough Knesset seats from them so they no longer could tip the balance between Zionist and anti-Zionists.


The great reformer didn't rescind nominations from tax-evaders, he tried to wait out the criticism. He let them withdraw themselves, forfeiting an opportunity to set a higher standard. He acted like a regular politician or ordinary standards.


They claim new ways to conserve fossil fuels. Do those ways conserve? Corn ethanol didn't. Its creation consumed gasoline. Nevertheless, without verifying its efficacy, lobbyists got Congress to subsidize it. By diverting farm production to it, food has become scarcer and more expensive.

The new method claimed to conserve fossil fuels is hybrid cars. Does it? I don't know. But I do know how one could gauge whether it does. The gauge is to compare the consumption of non-renewable fuels in its manufacture and operation, with the consumption of non-renewable fuels in ordinary cars. A big difference means success. A small difference, failure. Why don't the media make such comparisons? Give us the facts. Don't just assert hybrids are better.


The US and Israel had more than one major difference with Russia. The main one was its support for Iran's nuclear plant. Hoping that Russia would be accommodating with that issue, the US and Israel restrained themselves over other issues. What happened?

Russia continued on its adverse paths. Western diplomats didn't try to bargain. They thought that perhaps Russia would be understanding. Crazy dictatorships are not so understanding. The policy failed.


The EU keeps spending money on the ungrateful and belligerent Palestinian Arabs. The EU must have plenty of money. Has the EU made a comparison of the various needy and worthy areas? Probably not. If they did, they would find needier and worthier areas than the P.A.. But this way hurts Jews.


Hamas has renewed its arms smuggling tunnel and bombardment of Israel. Doesn't that show the folly of premature withdrawal? Will the public see that the invasion was just part of the election campaign? Or will they confuse incomplete war with the erroneous notion that war can't solve problems. It solved WWII.


His envoy to Israel and the P.A. is former Sen. Mitchell. Mitchell was there, before. He blamed Israel equally with the Arabs for Arab terrorism against Israel. To do so, he equated Jewish construction in the Territories with terrorism, and demanded that Jewish construction be stopped but the Arabs just had to make an "effort," not succeed. What does an "effort" solve? Who judges "effort?" The US praised the P.A. effort, as if it had accomplished something, though it kept supporting terrorism.

Obama is adopted Bush's counter-productivegoal of a P.A. state. The result was that the Arabs raised their demands (IMRA) Obama doesn't understand Middle East bazaar bargaining. Why stop just Jewish construction? That gives the Arabs an advantage, pre-judges the issue, and does not letting Israel negotiate.


Says he would allow for natural growth of Israeli towns in Judea-Samaria, but would not build new ones (IMRA, 1/26). He'll say anything.


Meir Shetreet suggests giving the Golan to Syria, leasing it from them for 25 years, and then if there is peace, buying it from them (IMRA, 1/25).

He is proposing that Israel give its sovereign, homeland territory to the jihadist enemy that previously used it for bombarding and invading Israel, then suppose that it can pay them for using it. Sounds hare-brained to me.


Shurat HaDin, a pro-Israel law organization, warned the BBC against accepting ads for raising funds to rebuild Gaza. Shurat HaDin pointed out that much of the money entering Gaza fosters terrorism. If BBC helped get funds to Hamas, ShuratHaDin would sue it in behalf of victims of Hamas terrorism (IMRA, 1/26).


Leftist professors at Tel Aviv U. are trying to keep an officer off the staff for ruling during combat that Israel may bomb military targets in which there are civilians. Apparently they do not believe that other people have a right to defend their country as they see fit, only as the leftists see fit (IMRA, 1/26). The IDF acted within international law. The Left would let Arabs get away with terrorism.


A brigade commander said that some of his troops in Gaza tended to hungry pets tied up in yards (IMRA, 1/23).


Libya's dictator, fomenter of terrorism, wrote a piece ostensibly sympathetic towards the Jews. They are his Arab people's "cousins." They did not forcibly expel Arabs from Israel; Arabs fled out of a fear of violence that did not happen. Israeli Arabs now have integrated. That shows Arabs and Jews can live together. Israel and the Territories, he says, constitute "historical Palestine," and belong to both peoples. The Arab refugee families can't be settled just in the Territories. His solution: both peoples in a single country (IMRA, 1/22). His credentials: "At the time of Colonel Qaddafi's coup in 1969, some 500 Jews remained in Libya. Qaddafi subsequently confiscated all Jewish property and cancelled all debts owed to Jews. By 1974 there were no more than 20 Jews..." (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/23),

Calling Arabs and Jews "cousins" is sentimental make-believe to cover a weak argument. p>The admission that Zionism did not expel Arabs from Israel is significant. So is his finding that the two peoples have assimilated. That finding is mostly wrong.

Thousands of Arabs march to the chant of "slaughter the Jews."

Palestine of the Mandate includes Jordan. Qadaffi does not mention Jordan. Everyone pretends that Jordan is not an Arab Palestinian state. Jordan has much empty land, but has no water or other resources for refugee families.

I deny that Israel and the Territories belong to both peoples. Read the Palestine Mandate, the Bible, and history books.

If the Arab refugee descendants can't all go to the Territories, he implies they should enter Israel. Israel, too, cannot take in millions. It already has to ration water, is running short of green spaces, and can't afford millions more.

Letting two peoples rule Israel contradicts Judaism and Zionism and flouts common sense. The refugee descendants have been indoctrinated to hate Jews. They would hope to dispossess and murder the Jews. They would have sufficient numbers to do so by civil war or democratically. If they don't commit genocide against the Jews, then once they paralyze the IDF, foreign Arab armies would. Qadaffi's plan is a dangerous scam. It advocates a plan that would take the country away from the Jews and probably take the Jews' lives away, too.

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

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Posted by Daisy Stern, February 16, 2009.

This is by Gil Ronen and it appeared in Arutz-7 (www.israel.national.news.com)


Professor Mandel

(IsraelNN.com) A Jerusalem professor of chemistry was arrested and released on bail after he was caught red-handed cutting the eruv that surrounds Jerusalem, according to reports in the hareidi religious daily HaMevaser and Ladaat.net, which identified the professor as Hebrew University's Danny Mandler, a resident of the Malcha area of Jerusalem.

According to the reports, religious Jews had been conducting a stakeout in order to find the people who have been vandalizing the Jerusalem eruv — a boundary marker which delineates the area in which religious Jerusalemites may carry things during the Sabbath. The religious men apprehended the secularists as they cut the eruv in the capital's Bayit Vegan area. Ladaat described Professor Mandler as, "a leading opponent of the eruv and a member of the committee of rabbonim [rabbis — ed.] and secularists that have been meeting in the hope of using dialogue as a means to resolve the controversy."

The HaMevaser report, which is based on a conversation with Rav Dovid Eisenstein, is quoted on Yeshiva World News. "As a result of repeated incidents in which the eruv was rendered posul [unfit — ed.] by secularists in recent months, HaGaon Rav Yehoshua Neuwirth Shlita turned to rabbonim involved with the Mehadrin Eruv in Eretz Yisrael organization, Rav Dovid Eisenstein and Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruchman, offering them to remain in Bayit Vegan for Shabbos in the hope of apprehending the culprits."

Afte the rabbis arrived, they saw two people approaching the eruv, and one of them cut it with a knife. The apprehended him and said they were "shocked" when they realized he was university chemistry professor Mandler.

Police arrived, immediately arrested Mandler and an accomplice but then ordered rabbis Eisenstein and Ruchman to accompany them to the police station to give their version of the events. Police insisted that they get into the police car despite the day being the Sabbath, when riding is prohibited.

The report quotes an eyewitness, "The rabbonim [rabbis — ed.] explained this was not possible, at which time police began hitting them and using unjustifiable force, calling for backup units. The reinforcements came and a scuffle ensued as the bochrim [young men] tried to defend the rabbonim against what they describe as police brutality."

The rabbis were arrested and taken to the police Russian Compound detention center. They were asked to sign papers, also a violation of the Sabbath, but refused to do so until the end of the Sabbath Saturday evening, at which time they signed the papers and were released without bail.

"The professor and his accomplice were released on bail and ordered to distance themselves from the eruv for 30 days."

Gilo Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Schlesinger explained that efforts have been made for the past months to enter into dialogue with secularists opposed to the eruv, "but there was no one to talk to." He added that Rabbi Avraham Moshe Katzenelbogen, who is responsible for the eruv as a member of the Jerusalem Religious Council, recently took community center leaders on a tour of the eruv, showing them it was not in the way and did not pose an obstacle to anyone. A number of hours later, activists again tried to destroy it.

Immediately after the Sabbath, hareidi religious city councilmen reportedly turned to Mayor Nir Barkat, exclaiming while they had halted work on new eruvs and continue dialogue in the hope of finding a solution, the secularists are not true to their word and continue their attacks.

Barkat responded with concern, promising to convene the eruv committee Sunday in urgent session, condemning the attack and questioning the actions of the secularists at a time when dialogue is ongoing.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, February 16, 2009.

A peach tree blossom in the Judean Mountains

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

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

Part of my training as a journalist was to report the big picture while also uncovering details of an event that make the story unique and compelling. That experience spilled over into my work as a photographer as I always keep an eye out for the smaller details that often remain hidden to the casual observer. It takes a little time and acute concentration to see your way through the jungle of opportunities, but with practice and patience, you'll at least know where to begin looking.

The first place is always the light. Once you locate good light, you've increased your chances of making an interesting photo exponentially. The next step is finding the right subject/background combination. When these two conditions are satisfied, you can, literally, point and shoot. This shot of a peach blossom was taken on the same day I captured the bigger picture of this idyllic setting in Gush Etzion. ( Click here to see the shot.) Since the advent of photography, one way cameras have earned their merit is through an ability to show us aspects of our world that remain hidden from the naked eye. Moving in close and focusing on this blossom with a macro lens, a special lens used for close-up photography, I was able to capture this shot in sharp detail, remove it from the surrounding visual distractions, and enlarge it for greater study and appreciation.

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 Bryna Berch, February 16, 2009.

Why does Israel bother showing how scrupulous she is? The media will make her into mincemeat if she kills even one civilian, even if that "civilian" is shooting a machine gun at the Jews. In fact, Israel can make lemonade out of this lemon. If the world will scream whether Israel kills many or just one, she can blast away at even one militant (i.e., terrorist) surrounded by his 6 wives, 25 children and 14 aunts and uncles. The world won't scream any louder than it does anyway.

This was written by Yaakov Katz and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788684&pagename= JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull


Four weeks after the cessation of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF finally opened its dossier on Palestinian fatalities on Sunday for the first time, and presented to The Jerusalem Post an overview utterly at odds with the Palestinian figures that have hitherto formed the basis for assessing the conflict.

Anas Naim, a nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed on Jan. 4 in Gaza City, was described in Palestinian reports as a 'medic.'

While the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, whose death toll figures have been widely cited, reports that 895 Gaza civilians were killed in the fighting, amounting to more than two-thirds of all fatalities, the IDF figures shown to the Post on Sunday put the civilian death toll at no higher than a third of the total.

The international community had been given a vastly distorted impression of the death toll because of "false reporting" by Hamas, said Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), which compiled the IDF figures.

As an example of such distortion, he cited the incident near a UN school in Jabalya on January 6, in which initial Palestinian reports falsely claimed IDF shells had hit the school and killed 40 or more people, many of them civilians.

In fact, he said, 12 Palestinians were killed in the incident — nine Hamas operatives and three noncombatants. Furthermore, as had since been acknowledged by the UN, the IDF was returning fire after coming under attack, and its shells did not hit the school compound.

"From the beginning, Hamas claimed that 42 people were killed, but we could see from our surveillance that only a few stretchers were brought in to evacuate people," said Levi, adding that the CLA contacted the PA Health Ministry and asked for the names of the dead. "We were told that Hamas was hiding the number of dead."

As a consequence of the false information, he added, the IDF was considering setting up a "response team" for future conflicts whose job would be to collect information, analyze it and issue reports as rapidly as possible that refuted Hamas fabrications.

Basing its work on the official Palestinian death toll of 1,338, Levi said the CLA had now identified more than 1,200 of the Palestinian fatalities. Its 200-page report lists their names, their official Palestinian Authority identity numbers, the circumstances in which they were killed and, where appropriate, the terrorist group with which they were affiliated.

The CLA said 580 of these 1,200 had been conclusively "incriminated" as members of Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Another 300 of the 1,200 — women, children aged 15 and younger and men over the age of 65 — had been categorized as noncombatants, the CLA said.

Counted among the women, however, were female terrorists, including at least two women who tried to blow themselves up next to forces from the Givati and Paratroopers' Brigades. Also classed as noncombatants were the wives and children of Nizar Rayyan, a Hamas military commander who refused to allow his family to leave his home even after he was warned by Israel that it would be bombed.

The 320 names yet to be classified are all men; the IDF has yet complete its identification work in these cases, but estimates that two-thirds of them were terror operatives.

The CLA gave the Post the names of several fatalities who it said had been classified by the Palestinians as "medics," but who it stated were Hamas fighters, including Anas Naim, the nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed during clashes with the IDF on January 4 in the Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.

Following the clashes, the Palestinian press reported that Naim was killed and that he was a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent. The Gaza CLA, however, produced photographs of Naim posing holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a Kalashnikov assault rifle that had been posted on a Hamas Web site.

Levi stressed that on no occasion were civilians deliberately targeted, and that every effort was made to minimize civilian casualties.

Work on the death toll list was started during Operation Cast Lead under Levi's direction. A special team was set up and led by an officer in the CLA who coordinated efforts with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and worked from statistics and information on the dead from the Hamas Health Ministry, the media in Gaza, and other Palestinian and Israeli intelligence sources.

Much controversy and confusion has surrounded the number of Palestinian noncombatants killed during Israel's three-week campaign against Hamas, with the IDF and the Shin Bet refusing to release official numbers to refute Hamas allegations. Israeli estimates were intermittently leaked to the press but not published in official press statements.

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 15, 2009.

For those who don't know, Dennis Miller is a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller Live on HBO. He is not Jewish.

He recently said the following about the Modest situation:


"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention

Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians."

As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths, until someone points out they're being taped.

Instead, let's call them what they are:
"Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."

I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course — that's where the real fun is — but mostly they want Israel.

Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel — or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it — for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth . . . you know that's really saying something.

It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Midleast. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it . Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.

Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that, with vital operations in Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of super models who've just had their drugs taken away.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some. After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful.

Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan.

Please feel free to pass this along to your friends
Walk in peace! Be Happy! Have a wonderful life.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il and visit
http://fred343-enjoy.blogspot.com/ to see examples of his graphic art.

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Posted by Chuck Brooks, February 15, 2009.

This article was published today in American Thinker
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/has_obama_thrown_iran_sanction.html The original article has live links to additional material.


It's very difficult to gauge the accuracy of this piece in Geostrategy Direct — an open source intel newsletter that Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit believes has a good track record. (Hoft's reporting on Iran and the Middle East has been exemplary.)

But the fact that there are several sources saying the same thing — that the US will either seek to remove sanctions from Iran or not enforce them is extremely troubling. This from Hoft's site quoting from the "subscribers only" edition of GD:

The United States has abandoned its policy of sanctioning companies that aid Iran's nuclear and missile program, they said.

The officials said the new Obama administration of has decided to end sanctions against Iranian government agencies or companies that aid Teheran's missile and nuclear program. The officials said Israel has been informed of the new U.S. policy.

"We were told that sanctions do not help the new U.S. policy of dialogue with Iran," an official said.

Barak confirmed the new U.S. policy. In an address to the Herzliya Conference on Feb. 3, Barak said Washington did not say whether it would resume sanctions against Iran.

"We must arrive at a strategic understanding with the United States over Iran's military nuclear program and ensure that even if at this time they opt for the diplomatic option, it will only last a short time before harsh and necessary sanctions are imposed," Barak said.

Obama decided to end sanctions against Iran after determining that the U.S. measures had failed to block Teheran's missile or nuclear weapons program, officials said. Under the administration of former President George Bush, the United States accelerated sanctions on Iran in 2008.

In his address, the Israeli defense minister indicated that Obama had forged an entirely new approach toward Iran. He said the Israeli government has sought a briefing from the new U.S. administration.

A U.S. defense source said the White House would no longer enforce sanctions imposed by the Bush administration. The source said the decision has already been relayed to Iran.

"The administration has abandoned sanctions entirely," the U.S. source said. "It is a completely new ballgame."

This comes on the heels of Obama's new National Intelligence Director Admiral Dennis Blair's bleak assessment that nothing can be done to stop the Iranians from getting the bomb which is another reason to believe some of this report. If the Obama Administration has quietly determined that the opening to Iran is more important than trying to stop them from developing the capability to build a bomb, then it makes sense that they would shelve sanctions (which really weren't hurting Iran much anyway) in favor of dialogue.

The problem, as I mention in that AT piece linked above, is that Obama is giving away the store and getting absolutely nothing in return. These unilateral gestures may play well with the blame America first crowd but are useless diplomatically. Does Obama actually expect the mullahs to do something in return? I suppose the Iranians agreeing to talk with us would be seen as a huge victory rather than a meaningless first step. Such is the workings of left wing ideology rather than an adherence to hard headed diplomatic negotiations.

Giving the Iranians exactly what they want without any reciprocity would have seemed unbelievable a few short weeks ago. But the Obama Administration is doing just that and it is more likely to backfire in their face than accomplish anything useful.

Contact Chuck Brooks at chetz18@aol.com

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Posted by Sacha Stawski, February 15, 2009.

This was written by Arno Lustiger and it appeared in today's Jerusalem Post Internet Edition
(http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788123&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter).

Arno Lustiger was, born in 1924 and is a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He isi a leading historian (The Red Book: Stalin and the Jews) who lives in Frankfurt.


Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic? The Six Day War sparked a wave of anti-Zionistic reactions, triggering the Left's denial of solidarity with Israel, a stance that holds until today. In August 1967, Martin Luther King wrote in Letters to an Anti-Zionistic Friend:

"You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'... When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — this is God's own truth. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind."

Jean Améry criticized the elitist anti-Zionism of the Left as being nothing more than run-of-the-mill anti-Semitism. In a speech in 1969, Améry stated, "Anti-Semitism was once the socialism of the stupid guys. Today it is about to become an integrating ingredient of socialism as such, and thereby every socialist turns himself, by his free will, into a stupid guy. Anti-Semitism has become respectable again, but there is no such thing as respectable anti-Semitism!"

In 1975, well-known literary scholar and dedicated leftist Hans Mayer wrote, "Whoever attacks Zionism, but by no means wishes to say anything against the Jews, is fooling himself and others. The State of Israel is a Jewish state. Whoever wants to destroy it, openly or through policies that can effect nothing else but such destruction, is practicing the Jew hatred of yesterday and time immemorial."

Unfortunately, these 30-year-old texts still hold true today.

THE ENTIRE Middle East would have become a Jew-free German protectorate called "Greater Arabia" had Rommel's Afrikakorps not been defeated at el-Alamein 66 years ago on November 4, 1942. The "Einsatzkommando Ägypten" (SS Task Force Egypt), a subgroup of the Afrikakorps, was under the command of SS Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff, infamous for his large trucks converted into mobile gas chambers which murdered hundreds of thousands in an excruciatingly painful manner in Russia and Serbia the previous year. Rauff was given the authority to carry out "executive measures on the civilian population," which was the Nazi euphemism for the mass murder of the Palestinian Jews. The move was agreed upon with Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, a friend of Hitler and Himmler, and the Arab population was supposed to actively participate.

Rauff's extermination unit followed Rommel's army to Tunisia, but the allied Italian army prevented the mass murder of the country's 80,000 Jews.

To this day, the war criminal Husseini remains the ardently cherished idol of the Arab people. During the war, he was the supreme field chaplain of all the Muslim SS divisions and a relentless enemy of the Jews, not just in Palestine. He is also the ideologue behind the genocidal hatred of the Jews of all Islamists today, including Hamas and Hizbullah.

IN LIGHT of this Arab collaboration with the mass murderers of the Shoah, the comparison of the lives of Palestinians in the occupied areas with the starvation and murder of Jews in the ghettos of Europe living under a death sentence is impudent and the product of possible deliberate ignorance. These claims pain and insult us, the survivors of the Shoah, in particular. The war in the Middle East will end when the Palestinians lay down their weapons. If the Israelis were to do the same thing, Israel would no longer exist. This is something that Norbert Blüm, the bishops Gregor Maria Hanke and Walter Mixa, and the others who compare the lives of the Palestinians with the Jewish ghettos should ponder. They should worry about the insidious de-Christianization of the Holy Land from their fellow Christians fleeing the Middle East instead.

They might also examine more closely the accusation of Islamophobia.

Arab propaganda invented this term, designed to create an association with the persecution of the Jews. The millions of Muslims living in Europe are in no way subjected to persecution. Quite the opposite, they enjoy the Western freedoms denied the Christians, Baha'i and Jews living in their countries of origin.

Media outlets contribute to disinformation with their exaggerated criticism of Israel. Unfathomable genocidal hatred of the West and the Jews streams from the antennas of the Arabic TV stations Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Manar, even into homes in Germany. Its effect can be seen in the attacks on those in Germany who are recognizable as Jews.

Islamic anti-Semitism should not be a worry solely for the Jews, because there are forces at work in Europe that want to bomb our civilization back into the Middle Ages. Islamic scientist Bassam Tibi explained, "Not until the German people have fought against this threat in an appropriate manner will we be able to say that they have really understood the lessons of the German past."

Anti-Semitism in Germany gives us reason to worry even today. There appears to be an increased acceptance of right-wing populist propaganda that argues anti-Semitic beliefs.

The hate, the violence against Jews and their institutions, fill me with pain and anger. In this year alone there have already been more than 800 violent and other criminal acts, but not a single arrest. I myself am a witness to the permissiveness of our judicial and constitutional bodies. On November 1, 2007, Vanity Fair reprinted a 10-page interview with Nazi ideologue Horst Mahler and also published the entire text of over 20 pages on its Web site. Much of what Mahler said there, such as his denial of the existence of Auschwitz, was a punishable crime. I filed a request for his prosecution, but the public prosecutor's office refused.

ALLOW ME to make a personal reflection here. When I co-founded the Jewish community in Frankfurt over 50 years ago, I never would have dreamed that today, many years later, our kindergartens, schools, synagogues and meeting halls would have to be guarded by the police. Thank God, Jesus and Muhammad that mosques and churches do not need this protection. Isn't it time that the German Constitutional Court judges started playing hardball when dealing with enemies of our constitution and democracy? I don't just mean the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), but also the Islamofascist centers, such as the one in the city of Neu-Ulm, which disseminates anti-Semitic and anti-constitutional propaganda under the cloak of multiculturalism.

What will happen next? The UN's third World Conference against Racism was held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. It turned into a festival of anti-Western extremism and hatred of the Jews. Zionism was condemned there as a contemporary form of Nazism and apartheid. The next conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20-24 of this year. The scandal in Durban will be aggravated there even more, as anti-racism degenerates into the ideology of the totalitarian movements.

The dictators and despots of countries such as Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Cuba and Venezuela, with their automatic majority, have taken over UN institutions. They have started a new inquisition, called "the denigration of religion," which of course only applies to Islam. They are misusing anti-racism for obscurantism and Islamism that will only result in the further suppression of religious minorities and women. Several countries, such as Canada and Israel, will not be attending the planned betrayal of human values in Geneva. How will the German government respond? We can hardly wait.

Sacha Stawski is editor of Honestly Concerned. Contact him at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org

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Posted by Avodah, February 15, 2009.

This was on the Discover the Network website:
The website has live links to additional material.


First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven Strategy," as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls." Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces ... for major economic reform at the national level."

Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy." Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all — working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.

This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements — mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown — providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That was the theory.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). His tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven's article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the United States — often violently — bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, "There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests — and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones."These methods proved effective. "The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams," writes Sol Stern in the City Journal. "From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy."As a direct result of its massive welfare spending, New York City was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York's welfare crisis horrified America, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in "the end of welfare as we know it" — the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements. Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of President Clinton.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990s. As his drive for welfare reform gained momentum, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. "This wasn't an accident," Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech. "It wasn't an atmospheric thing, it wasn't supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare."

Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new "voting rights movement," which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new "voting rights" movement was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations — ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE — set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is largely responsible for swamping the voter rolls with "dead wood" — invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people — thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections.

The new "voting rights" coalition combines mass voter registration drives — typically featuring high levels of fraud — with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, unfounded charges of "racism" and "disenfranchisement," and "direct action" (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America's welfare offices in the 1960s, Cloward-Piven devotees now seek to overwhelm the nation's understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their tactics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute and his "Shadow Party," through whose support the Cloward-Piven strategy continues to provide a blueprint for some of the Left's most ambitious campaigns.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For an example of how the Cloward-Piven strategy was used in actual practice, see the Think-Israel editorial: "Obama and Odinga" at

Contact Avodah at Avodah15@aol.com and visit his website:

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 15, 2009.

This is likely just one of many incredible decision that will be made by the Obama government. "Incredible" not in the sense of amazing, but, literally, "hard to believe."

It has been announced that next week the State Department will be sending "diplomats" to participate in the planning of the UN-sponsored World Conference Against Racism, known as Durban 2. This is a conference that is widely expected to be as virulently anti-Israel as the first conference in 2001 was.

The announcement states that the decision on whether the US will actually participate in the conference, to be held in April, would be made following the planning discussions.

But participation in the planning sessions is truly a pointless and, worse, a destructive exercise.


A statement from the State Department said:

"This will be the first opportunity the [Obama] administration has had to engage in the negotiations for the Durban Review, and — in line with our commitment to diplomacy — the U.S. has decided to send a delegation to engage in the negotiations on the text of the conference document.

"The intent of our participation is to work to try to change the direction in which the review conference is heading. We hope to work with other countries that want the Conference to responsibly and productively address racism around the world."


"Commitment to diplomacy..." This is breathtaking in its naiveté. Do President Obama and Secretary Clinton truly believe they can shift the tenor of the conference, which has been determined by a Muslim/Arab majority?

US Participation isn't benign: It runs the risk of lending the proceedings an air of legitimacy, and encouraging other nations that are still on the fence to participate.

Israel will not be participating. Canada has already announced its decision not to participate as well. And President Bush had declared that the US would not be participating either, short of a guarantee that the conference would not repeat its one-sided attacks on Israel. In recent months our Foreign Ministry has sought to encourage other nations — notably within the EU — to refrain from participation. A wide-scale Western boycott of the conference would speak volumes.

Now the US decision upsets matters and puts Israel on a collision course with the State Department. Our Foreign Ministry is working to keep the US from participating.


The NGO Forum statement from the first Durban Conference accused Israel of "apartheid," "crimes against humanity," "war crimes," "acts of genocide," and "ethnic cleansing." (Did they leave anything out?) The delegations from both Israel and the US walked out of that conference in protest.


Much the same is anticipated the second time around.

What we see now is this, from the draft of the outcome document:

"Expresses deep concern at the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people...

"Reiterates that the Palestinian people have an inalienable right to self-determination, and that, in order to consolidate the occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful subjective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction of movement and arbitrary closing of their territories. Also notes that illegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied territories..."

"Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination...contradicts the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations...

"Reiterates deep concern about the Palestinian people under occupation...

"Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection...for civilian populations under occupation..."


What must be understood for starters is that what is written here is exclusive to the Palestinians. There are no comments about the right of the Kurdish people to self-determination, or of the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the need for Tibetans to have protection. This is aimed exclusively at Israel.

This is a highly politicized document designed with an agenda of delegitimizing Israel. The final clause, above, raises particular concern, as it suggests international meddling in our affairs.

The US delegation will change none of this.

One might hope that the difficulty that will be encountered here by the US delegation might open Obama's eyes to world realities, but this is not likely to be the case.


According to news reports, pressure has been put on Sec. Clinton to announce US participation in the conference — and that this pressure has come in part from Susan Rice, now US ambassador to the UN, and Samantha Powers, now at the National Security Council. Reports from credible journalistic sources (which I cannot independently confirm) indicate that Powers was actually at the first Durban conference as the representative of an NGO.

What is clearly on the record is that she has recommended cutting assistance to Israel, providing the Palestinians with billions of dollars, and putting into place "a mammoth protection force" to protect the Palestinians from the "major human rights abuses" committed by Israel.

So we're in trouble here, folks.


Please, if you are a US citizen, contact the White House and the State Department and urge that the United States not participate in the Durban 2 Conference.

In your own words, simply, say that a boycott of the conference — which will be virulently anti-Israel — sends a potent message, while participation confers legitimacy.

Note that e-mail is the least effective way to get the message across and fax or phone call the best:

President Barack Obama
Fax: 202-456-2461 White House Comment line: 202-456-1111 e-mail: comments@whitehouse.gov

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Public Communication Division (accepts opinions from the public):
Phone 202-647-6575 Fax 202-647-2283
e-mail: secretary@state.gov

Then, please, forward this to everyone else you can think of who will be willing to leave a message as well.


Also on Obama there is this:

While the president appointed envoys to the Middle East and Afghanistan almost immediately after his inauguration, he has not done so with Iran. This procrastination is troubling to Israel, as well as to several nations within the EU.

According to Haaretz, at a recent meeting of senior diplomats from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, representatives of the European nations were "severely disappointed" by the report provided by Under Secretary of State William Burns. Burns said it would take a couple more months before a final US policy on Iran was formulated.

The French, German and British delegates said "the process must be hurried along," and the French suggested a "one-shot option " for talks with Iran, rather than long-draw out negotiations.

Israeli officials are currently putting together a position paper with regard to Iran, which will be submitted to the US government.


Is anyone (except those totally afloat in la-la land) surprised at this?

Both Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter reported to the Cabinet today regarding Egypt's attempts to stop smuggling of weapons, and both criticized those efforts as insufficient.

Said Dichter: "The Egyptians' activities are too little and too low, and the proof is that rockets continue to be infiltrated from Egypt to Gaza. The government must define an appropriate, harsh and tough policy to the IDF in order to create deterrence against Hamas once and for all."

While Diskin said, "we see an effort exerted by Hamas to rebuild its tunnels, and we have spotted several incidents of weapon smuggling since the cease-fire began."


And this? It's so very typical:

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, in Lebanon, told Al Jazeera TV that the Israeli demand that Shalit be included in a cease-fire deal is "a programmed operation to make the deal fail," "a procrastination."

It couldn't be, you see, because we want Shalit back. We're just making trouble.

This reminds me of what Abbas says about rocket fire from Gaza: It's a mistake because it gives us a "pretext" for hitting in Gaza.

They are never, ever responsible for anything.


A brief mention of the election process: No done deal, nothing certain. But it is appearing that Livni may well opt to be in the opposition rather than joining a unity coalition led by Netanyahu, on his terms. The thinking within Kadima is that Livni has time, and will be there to win the next election when Netanyahu falls on his face.

This, it is reported, has been Olmert's advice to Livni. Knesset Speaker (outgoing) Dalia Itzhik supports going into opposition, as well, and Security Minister Avi Dichter says, "Kadima will not join a government that is not headed by Tzipi Livni." Livni herself is said to have privately stated: "I will either be Prime Minister or head of the opposition."


Meanwhile, MK Gideon Saar, who is number 2 on the Likud list, says forthrightly that "The new government will be based on our natural partners in the nationalist camp...The voters have voted nationalist, and we have said many times that the new government will be built along these lines, and will not be a unity government that leans to the left."


A great deal depends on whether Netanyahu will now be true to the principles he espoused during the election:

"Keep the Golan"
"Keep the Jordan Valley"
"Preserve the unity of Jerusalem"

These are simply not principles Kadima can accept.


I close today by recommending a thought-provoking article by Gil Troy, "A Yom Kippur for the Left":

"As Israel's critics around and at home mourn this "rightward shift" and the rise of the "ultra-nationalist" Lieberman, as they fret about dimming prospects for a two-state solution, instead of further demonizing the country they should apologize, in the true spirit of Yom Kippur. The rightward shift resulted from the failure of the Left's ideas at home — and the betrayal by liberals from around the world. (Emphasis added)

"Israelis have turned rightward because the failure of territorial concessions has been compounded by a broken covenant with the world. For decades liberal critics pounded two ideas into Israelis' heads. The first was that if the country withdrew from the territories it conquered in 1967, Palestinians — and the rest of the Arab world — would make peace. The second, related, assumption was an implicit compact that whatever security risks Israel took by ceding territory would be compensated for by the world's friendship. (Emphasis added)

"TRAGICALLY, NEITHER the Oslo peace process nor the Gaza disengagement produced the desired results. In fact, many Israelis feel that the more they risked for peace, the more they suffered from those risks, the greater was the world's disapproval. Of course, Israel is not blameless. But whatever missteps it made pale in comparison to the three tragic truisms now dominating the political consciousness: Oslo's concessions resulted in terrorists murdering more than 1,000 people; disengaging from Gaza resulted in thousands of missiles raining on the South; and both times, when the country finally defended itself, the worldwide chorus of denunciation was so intense it fanned the flames of anti-Semitism." (Emphasis added)

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304754348&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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

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Posted by Naomi Ragen, February 15, 2009.

Nick Cohen has written for the Observer newspaper (The Guardian's Sunday paper). In light of that, those of you familiar with that anti-Israel rag will no doubt be surprised at what Mr. Cohen has to say

Nick Cohen is a columnist for The Observer. His latest collection of essays, Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England, is published this week.


The more the British Left indulges antisemitism, the more kosher I feel

My name is Nick Cohen, and I think I'm turning into a Jew. Despite being called "Cohen", I've never been Jewish before. It's not simply that I am an atheist. My Jewish friends tell me that it is hard to find an educated London Jew who is not an atheist, but that I have no connection with Jewish culture.

The Jewish side of my family is my father's (which is not a help, I gather). My great grandparents fled from the Tsarist Empire at the time of the pogroms, but their son, my grandfather, revolted. He became a Communist and married outside the faith. My father was brought up with no connection to Judaism and, inevitably, so was I.

My sole interest in Jewish concerns came from being a left-wing opponent of the far Right, and the blood-soaked antisemitic superstitions which turned Europe into a graveyard. When I was young, such attitudes seemed unproblematic. You did not have to be a Jew to oppose fascism; everyone I knew did that regardless of colour or creed.

Today the old certainties have gone because there are two far-right movements: the white neo-Nazi parties that the Left still opposes; and the clerical fascists of radical Islam which, extraordinarily, the modern Left succours and indulges. I am not only talking about Ken Livingstone, George Galloway and their gruesome accomplices in the intelligentsia. Wider liberal society is almost as complicit. It does not applaud the Islamist far Right, but it will not condemn it either. From the broadcasters, through the liberal press, the Civil Service, the Metropolitan Police, the bench of bishops and the judiciary, antisemitism is no longer an unthinkable mental deformation. As long as the conspiracy theories of the counter-enlightenment come from ideologues with dark rather than white skins, nominally liberal men and women will not speak out.

Fight back and you become a Jew, whether you are or not. Mark Lawson recently described an argument at the BBC over the corporation's decision not to screen the charity appeal for Gaza. His furious colleague declared that the only reason Lawson supported the ban was because he was Jewish. Lawson had to tell him that he was, in fact, raised a Catholic.

A furious Labour MP was no different when he told a colleague of mine that I had gone off the rails when I married a "hard-right" Jewish woman from North London. My friend replied that this would be news to my wife, a liberal Catholic from Stoke-on-Trent.

It was kind of him to point that out, but I would no longer protest that I wasn't Jewish, and I don't think Lawson should either. It is cowardly to stammer that you are not a Jew because you concede the racist's main point — that there is something suspect about being Jewish — as you do it.

In any case, my experience of left-wing antisemitism has changed the way I think and made me, if you like, more Jewish.

Although I want to see every Israeli settlement on the West Bank dismantled, it was clear to me that when Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel it had declared war and had to accept the consequences. I would not have thought that five years ago.

You do not need me to add that mine is a minority point of view among liberals, and that British Jews are living through a very dangerous period. They are the only ethnic minority whose slaughter official society will excuse. If a mass murderer bombed a mosque or black Pentecostal church, no respectable person would say that the "root cause" of the crime was an understandable repulsion at the deeds of al-Qaeda or a legitimate opposition to mass immigration. Rightly, they would blame the criminal for the crime.

If a synagogue is attacked, I guarantee that within minutes the airwaves will be filled with insinuating voices insisting that the "root cause" of the crime was a rational anger at the behaviour of Israel or the Jewish diaspora.

Put like this, the position of British Jewry sounds grim. Remember, however, that the first aim of radical Islam is to subjugate Muslims. When brave feminists, gays, democrats and liberals in the Muslim world and in Britain's Muslim communities make a stand, they, too, are accused of being the tools of Zionists.

As the struggle between theocracy and liberalism intensifies, I can see some being pushed into taking the same journey I have taken and finding their views towards Judaism and Israel softening as they realise that antisemitism helps drive the fascistic ideologies of the 21st century just as it drove the Nazism of the 20th.

I will tell them that the opponents of totalitarianism must never be frightened. If their enemies say they are Jews, they should shrug and say: "All right, I am." As long as readers of the Jewish Chronicle don't object, of course.

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 Steven Plaut, February 15, 2009.

The following are the basic principles upon which all public debate must be conducted if you wish to be a true progressive and leftist person who cares:

1. Leftists should be free to call everyone else nasty names, because they are so moral, but no one should be permitted to call leftists anything.

2. For a leftist to call someone nasty names shows social concern and awareness. For someone to call a leftist a nasty name back is immature and impolite and is avoiding the issues.

3. Leftists need never document their claims.

4. Whenever a leftist is presented with documentation of facts that contradict the leftist.s theology, the leftist must insist that no facts have been presented at all.

5. No scientific sources that presents facts contradicting leftist theology are admissible. They must be dismissed as being .right-wing..

6. All arguments may be settled by telling a non-leftist that he reminds you of Rush Limbaugh.

7. Never ever take an economics course.

8. Never recognize the fact that every idea of Marx.s was debunked over 160 years ago. Never admit that you know that Marx was a racist and anti-Semite.

9. Never visit the library.

10. Never study statistics or public policy analysis.

11. Always say .people of color. so everyone will know you care. Always refer to Israeli Arabs as (occupied) Palestinians.

12. Recycle.

13. Whine.

14. Pretend that you do not care about material things, but never sell your DVD or cellular phone or condo in order to help out.

15. Never admit that life ever involves tradeoffs. After all, when there are tradeoffs it is harder to feel righteous.

16. Always support proposals that make real problems of the world worse, just as long as advocating them can make you feel caring and righteous.

17. Never admit that anything could be positive about the United States.

18. Always insist that there are few world problems that could not be improved through the destruction of Israel.

19. Always insist that you have no idea what political correctness is.

20. Always use the female pronouns half the time or more. That way everyone will know you are egalitarian.

21. Insist that you are more caring and compassionate than anyone else.

22. Remember, you would prefer that poor people in the Third World starve rather than that they should embrace capitalism and live like you do.

23. Other people must always be required to relinquish their material things so that you may feel idealistic and righteous.

24. Your property is sacred; other people.s property is to be used for social engineering and doing good.

25. Leftists can never be racists. Critics of leftists are always racists. Racism should never have anything to do with race.

26. Anything that involves defending Jewish civilians must be ruled out as oppressive and racist.

27. Arabs can never be racist. Anti-Zionism must never be described as a form of racism or bigotry.

28. The terms "Genocide" and "Nazism" must never be used unless they are describing Israel and Zionism.

29. Acts of violence against Jews or Americans are never terrorism. They are resistance. All acts against those who are trying to murder Jews or Americans must be described as terrorism.

30. The term "apartheid" must only be applied to regimes that are not apartheid, and never to those that are.

31. Terrorists must always be referred to as activists, as militants, and, when there is no other choice, as gunmen. Jewish soldiers and civilians, especially if they are living outside the Green Line, must always be called terrorists. Zionism also must be called terrorism.

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 Robert Spencer, February 15, 2009.

His children need to pray, he said

Happy Valentine's Day! We have one Muslim woman beheaded [see below], another set on fire [see below], a third stabbed 23 times by her brother, and now plural wives imprisoned and children tortured.

Who will stand up for these Muslim women and call upon Muslim leaders to act against the Islamic texts and teachings that lead to these abuses? Spousal abuse is cross-cultural and universal, but only in Islam does it have divine sanction (see Qur'an 4:34).

"Calif. polygamist gets life term for family abuses,"
by Amy Taxin for Associated Press, February 13
(thanks to Pamela):

MURRIETA, Calif. — A self-proclaimed polygamist was sentenced Friday to seven consecutive life prison terms for torturing seven of his 19 children, abusing four others and imprisoning two of his three wives.

Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, also was sentenced to additional terms totaling 16 years and eight months by Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III, who said Muhummed's treatment of his family amounted to "a reign of terror over defenseless children."...

Muhummed was convicted in June of 25 counts, including torture, child endangerment, false imprisonment and corporal injury on a spouse.

At his trial, several of Muhummed's children and stepchildren testified against him, telling jurors they had been beaten, starved, strung up by their feet and forced to eat vomit and feces.

Doctors had said the children were extremely malnourished, with one 19-year-old daughter weighing 56 pounds.

"I'm still having nightmares and flashbacks," said Marlon Boddie, 29. "He don't need no mercy. He don't need no type of mercy. He knew what he was doing."

Muhummed — whose given name was Richard Boddie — denied the charges and blamed one of his wives for the alleged abuse. He was a convert to the Muslim faith, which he said gave him the right to have multiple wives.

"They need to adjust their lives as they see fit and hope and pray God has mercy on them," he said of his children. He also told the court that he accepted he may have made mistakes as a father.

He was arrested in 1999 after one of his wives slipped a 13-page letter to a postal service worker describing the abuse....

French court gives Muslim 20 years for setting ex-girlfriend on fire

Her face burned, his honor restored

"Prosecutor Camille Palluel said Butt had meticulously planned his attack 'to end the life' of his former girlfriend in an attempt 'to restore his honour.'"

Love Is In The Air Update: "Jilted man jailed for fire attack," from the BBC, February 13 (thanks to Kapil):

A Pakistani man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a French court for setting fire to an ex-girlfriend who had refused to marry him.

Amer Mushtaq Butt doused the woman with petrol and set her alight as she was leaving her home in a Paris suburb.

Chahrazad Belayni, a 21-year-old Moroccan-born woman, suffered third-degree burns to 60% of her body.

The case has highlighted violence against women in poor urban communities with large Muslim populations....

Prosecutor Camille Palluel said Butt had meticulously planned his attack "to end the life" of his former girlfriend in an attempt "to restore his honour".

Butt set fire to Ms Belayni in the street in the impoverished Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Marne in 2005 after she ended their relationship....

Prominent Orchard Park man charged with beheading his wife
By Gene Warner (gwarner@buffnews.com)
News Staff Reporter

Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: He was frequently lauded as a "moderate Muslim," who taught that Muslims are a peaceful people. He described his TV station, Bridges TV, as a multicultural bridge but it spewed the usual Islamist 'hate America, hate Jews, hate infidels' message.

Aasiya and Muzzammil Hassan, before her beheading.

Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.

"He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.

Muzzammil Hassan told police that his wife was at his business, Bridges TV, on Thorn Avenue in the village. Officers went to that location and discovered her body.

Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.

The killing apparently occurred some time late Thursday afternoon. Detectives still are looking for the murder weapon.

"Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said today.

Authorities say Aasiya Hassan recently had filed for divorce from her husband.

"She had an order of protection that had him out of the home as of Friday the 6th [of February]," Benz said.

Muzzammil Hassan was arraigned before Village Justice Deborah Chimes and sent to the Erie County Holding Center.

Robert Spencer is director of Jihad Watch is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law an. His latest book is called "Stealth Jihad".

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Posted by American, February 15, 2009.

Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, chief executive of S. Arabia's Kingdom Holding Company Control on US (& other) media

Who owns CNN?

The answers might surprise you (or maybe not). Ever wonder why CNN and Time are so blatantly pro-islamic. Ever wonder why these weasels want are tooo eager to toe liberal / islamic propaganda??

A good chunk of AOL Time Warner is owned by Prince Alwaleed Ibn Talal the Saudi billionaire. It is well known that Prince AlWaleed is a front for the Saudi royal family. All of the oil money that is swindled from Aramco the Saudi oil company is "invested" by Prince Al Waleed and his company.
http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_basketball_heat/2008/09/ beasley-hurt-ea.html?cid=132826195#comment-132826195

From the 'Saudi Online' page:

RIYADH, 12 March — Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal announced yesterday that he has spent $1 billion on stocks over the last six months, including another $500 million on Citigroup. "Already the world's largest shareholder in Citigroup, the prince's shareholding in the world's most profitable bank is now around $10 billion," said a press release from his Kingdom Holding group. "At about $43, Citi's share price was at too attractive a price," the prince said in the statement. And he added $450 million to existing shares in AOL Time Warner. "The price was very cheap at around $23," the prince said.

"I believe in the power of the AOL brand and I am already a shareholder in this global media giant. Therefore, when the price reached lucrative levels, we decided to increase our stake. The weakness in AOL's stock price is temporary as it reflects the temporary weakness in several areas in which it is involved," Alwaleed said.

He also increased his stake in priceline.com to $100 million, or 5.4 percent of the company.

AOL BIAS — This is a growing guide to AOL political and religious bias seen by AOL subscribers as demanded by its Arab owners.

AOL shows political and religious bias in its news coverage. The bias is also seen in the use of AOL message board censorship policies. Poster's messages are deleted by AOL monitors violating AOL's own Terms of Service, TOS. Time Warner has taken no action to stop the bias but has looked into it. They did nothing. AOL is owned by Arab money. Alwaleed spent $1 billion on stocks recently

RIYADH, 12 March — Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal announced yesterday that he added $450 million to existing shares in AOL Time Warner. "The price was very cheap at around $23," the prince said.

Is CNN International Really — ANN or the Arab News Network ??

CAIR, WAMY to launch massive propaganda campaign"We are planning to meet Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal for his financial support to our project ....

Georgetown's Capitulation to Radical Islam
By Joe Kaufman and Jeffrey Epstein
FrontPageMagazine.com Friday, January 06, 2006

Georgetown University was built with a Catholic and Jesuit identity. This bit of information is proudly displayed on the school's website. But like Bethlehem in Israel, that identity is quickly being lost to a radical strain of Islam, as a counter-terror symposium has been abandoned and a pro-terror conference has been confirmed. Indeed, one of America's most prestigious universities appears to be under siege.

Fearing violent reprisal from militant Muslim members of their student body, the school's conference center rejected an educational symposium being hosted by America's Truth Forum (formerly the People's Truth Forum), a non-partisan, fact-based organization whose sole mission is to educate the American people on topics of national security. In this case, the subject matter to be discussed involved the "Underlying Roots of Terrorism: The Radical Islamist Threat to World Peace and National Security."...

While the counter-terror symposium was shunned, an organization associated with violence has been awarded a forum. From February 17 — 19, the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM), an activist group that has expressed its willingness to work with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, will be holding its "Fifth Annual Divestment Conference" on Georgetown University's campus. At past events, shouts of "Kill the Jews" and "Death to Israel" could be heard amongst the crowd. And according to a news report, during PSM's last conference, when a resolution to condemn terrorism was voted down, "the delegates erupted in cheers."

When PSM announced its event, it's interesting to see who they sent a press release to. A site that devotes a page to the release, Palestine Monitor, is said by one source to be a "PRO-TERRORIST SITE." This is easy to understand, as the website contains numerous pages glorifying the Intifada (uprising) against Israel. Another location that prominently displays the press release is Ramallah Online, a hate site that equates the Jewish Star (Star of David) with the Nazi Swastika.

Not wanting to anger its on-campus insurgency, the university has remained hush about the event. The consideration of a small matter of money may also be on Georgetown's mind. The PSM conference is coming on the heels of a $20 million donation to the school, given by a fairly effluent Saudi sheikh, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. This is the same sheikh who had previously donated $27 million to a telethon that raised money for the families of suicide bombers.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 3398EF71-9067-4C86-88D2-9A8AD51427A5

Hamas.... at least $50 million from wealthy Saudis like Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, ...

Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal hoster of telethons for suicide bomber families buys large share of Fox News
Saudi prince advocates strategy of business not boycotts to 'influence American public opinion"
September 25, 2005

Saudis Buying Shares of Fox lets freakin take over the oil fields already in saudi arabia... Prince al-Waleed ibnTalal already owned stock. ...
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry= 17651_Saudis_Buying_Shares_of_Fox

New Islamic satellite channel launched
March 8, 2006
Filed under: Newspapers — Hans Henrik Lichtenberg

Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, the chief executive of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Company, has officially launched an Islamic satellite channel seeking to project Islam as a religion of moderation, the Arab News online daily reports. Al-Resalah (The Message) has been broadcasting informally since last Wednesday. At a press conference on Monday, Prince Alwaleed said the 24-hour channel would target an Arab audience, especially young people, by projecting 'our Arab heritage through a modern medium.'. Al-Resalah will be the forerunner of a future English-language Islamic channel for Western audiences. The prince said the new Islamic network would provide a platform for a dialogue on religious, social and economic issues affecting everyday life, but its priority would be to counteract the misconceptions of Islam in other societies. Tarek Alsuwaidan, the channel?s general manager, said that 40 per cent of the programmes would be youth oriented, 30 per cent would target women and families, and 10 per cent would focus on children, Arab News reports. (AKI,March 08, 2006)

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Ibn Talal Owns 5.46 Percent Of Rupert Murdoch's Media Conglomerate News Corp.

The Failure of Western Universities [incls. Middle East studies, MESA, Saudi funding at Georgetown and Harvard, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, John Esposito, Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes]

Kari Vogt, historian of religion at the University of Oslo, has stated that Ibn Warraq's book Why I am Not a Muslim is just as irrelevant to the study of Islam as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are to the study of Judaism. She is widely considered as one of the leading expert on Islam in Norway, and is frequently quoted in national media on matters related to Islam and Muslim immigration. People who get most of their information from the mainstream media, which goes for the majority of the population, will thus be systematically fed biased information and half-truths about Islam from our universities, which have largely failed to uphold the ideal of free inquiry. Unfortunately, this situation is pretty similar at universities and colleges throughout the West.

London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), scene to a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents from an increasingly pro-Islamic campus, issued a threat to one of its Jewish students to cease his protests against anti-Semitism at the University. Gavin Gross, an American, had been leading a campaign against the deterioration of conditions for Jewish students at SOAS, which is part of the University of London. SOAS had witnessed an escalation of anti-Jewish activity, in both severity and frequency. At the beginning of the year, the Islamic Society screened a video which compared Judaism with Satanism.

Meanwhile, in a move to "promote understanding between Islam and the West," Saudi Arabia donated about SR13 million to a leading British museum. The officials said the money from Prince Sultan would pay for a new Saudi and Islamic gallery, which would help to portray Islamic culture and civilization in right perspectives. It would also help fund scholarships for Saudi students at Oxford University.

The Saudis and other oil-rich Arabs are busy buying influence over what Westerners hear about Islam. Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, is an international investor currently ranked among the ten richest persons in the world. He is known in the USA for a $10 million check he offered to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in October 2001 for the Twin Towers Fund. Mayor Giuliani returned the gift when he learned that the prince had called for the United States to "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

Prince Talal is also creating a TV channel, Al-Resalah, to target American Muslims. He already broadcasts in Saudi Arabia. In 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp, the parent of Fox News. In December 2005 he boasted to Middle East Online about his ability to change what viewers see on Fox News. Covering the riots in France that fall, Fox ran a banner saying: "Muslim riots." Bin Talal was not happy. "I picked up the phone and called Murdoch [...] [and told him] these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty," he said. "Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots." http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/4257

Contact American at american1627@yahoo.com

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 15, 2009.

This comes from the Associaed press and appeared in the Jerusalem Post
(www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304780425&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull) and is called "Foreign Ministry trusts US 'Durban II' involvement." It was written by Abe Selig.


The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it will take a "wait and see" attitude after learning the Obama administration will participate in planning for a UN conference on racism dubbed "Durban II," despite concerns that the meeting will be used by Arab nations and others to demonize Israel. Anti-Zionist Jews and pro... Anti-Zionist Jews and pro-Palestinian supporters participate in a protest march in Durban to coincide with the opening of the 2001 UN Racism Conference [archive].

Anti-Zionist Jews and pro-Palestinian supporters participate in a protest march in Durban to coincide with the opening of the 2001 UN Racism Conference [archive]. Photo: AP [file]

While the US has said it would decide at a later date whether to participate in the conference, the State Department on Saturday said that it would send diplomats to participate in preparatory meetings being held next week for the 2009 World Conference Against Racism, which is set to be held in Geneva on April 20-24 and which Israel and Canada have already decided to boycott.

Officials in the Foreign Ministry, however, played down the development, telling The Jerusalem Post they had faith in the decisions of the US administration.

"I think that we see eye to eye with the Americans on the subject of Durban II, and given statements made both by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the matter, it doesn't appear that they would continue taking part in the conference if they see outright anti-Semitism or the singling out of Israel by other members of the forum," said Eitan Levon, the Foreign Ministry's coordinator for the conference.

"If you look at the State Department's official statement, it says that their intent is to try to 'change the direction in which the review conference is heading,' and that their involvement now does not indicate that they will participate in April in the World Conference Against Racism itself, so I think that it's quite clear that they will walk away if they see the same kind of hate-fest developing as was the case in the previous forum," Levon said.

During the Bush administration in 2001, the United States and Israel walked out of the first UN conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, over efforts to pass a resolution equating Zionism to racism.

Those efforts failed, but there are signs the resolution may be reintroduced at the so-called "Durban II" meeting in Geneva and Israel has been actively lobbying the United States and European countries to stay away from this year's meeting.

Nonetheless, the apparent departure from the Bush administration's outright rejection of the conference has fueled speculation that Obama administration officials are at odds with one another over how to proceed.

One official who is reportedly pressuring Secretary of State Clinton to take part in Durban II is the new American Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, who was Obama's close campaign adviser and has pushed for the US to join the UN Human Rights Council, which was boycotted by the Bush administration, partly because of its one-sided criticism of Israel.

The other official reportedly pushing for American involvement in "Durban II" is Samantha Power, an Obama adviser at the National Security Council who participated in the initial Durban conference as the representative of an NGO and has a history of making controversial statements about Israel. In the past, Power expressed support for cutting US military assistance to Israel and using the funds as aid to build a Palestinian state.

Power resigned from the Obama campaign in March 2008, after a statement attributed to her appeared in The Scotsman newspaper, in which she called Hillary Clinton "a monster." Power retracted the statement in the wake of public reaction, and was brought into Obama's transition team after the elections.

"The secretary of state has clearly said in the past that the US should not take part in the conference," said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, executive director of the Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor. "So apparently there are different points of view being exchanged within the administration."

Steinberg said the move was "troubling."

"The Obama administration has taken a very bold and risky plunge by attempting to change the hate-filled agenda," he said.

"It's a strong litmus test for the administration. Success [in changing the agenda] or an American-led walkout will restore moral leadership and US influence. But a failure which reinforces the first Durban attack on human rights will do long-term damage throughout the world."

There were no indications that Durban II would be any different than its predecessor, Steinberg said.

"This time around it could be even worse," he said. "In 2001, there were two parallel sessions, a governmental forum and then an NGO forum. It was the latter that used the wording of 'apartheid' and 'racism' against Israel, but now it seems that, even though it's unlikely that the NGOs will have a strong showing because of a lack of funding, the governments of Iran and Libya — who are heading the governmental forum — have adopted the same language as used by the NGOs in 2001."

Based on that, the Americans were facing an uphill battle, Steinberg said.

"The Europeans haven't succeeded in changing the language, and there have been negotiations going since October," he said.

"But the real question is, has the Obama administration really thought this through? I'm concerned that going into this blindly will cause a lot of damage, and could even have a negative impact on the peace process. It will be hard for any Israeli government to accept a proposal by Senator [George] Mitchell if the US is involved in this, because if the same Arab countries that are part of the Saudi peace plan are the ones leading this demonization of Israel, and the rest of the world is part of the process, it's incompatible. You can't say that Israel is an apartheid state, apply the South Africa model — which basically aims to annihilate Israel as a Jewish state, and then continue with peace negotiations."

"If the US has not changed the language or the direction of the forum in two to three weeks," Steinberg said, "they will need to lead a walk-out for it to have any significance. After that, it will be too late."

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 13, 2009.


A European found so many empty beds in Gaza, that he thinks the casualty figures over-estimated. Civilians were too afraid of Hamas to tell much. His mortality figure is too low, being lower than the dead Arabs whom Israel named.

Hamas pretends that it lost few men. It stores many cadavers in hospitals, out of sight and not counted. Most of its dead did not wear uniforms, so the UNO counts them as civilians (IMRA, 1/22 and denounces Israel for killing civilians.


A Geneva Institute poll found that 55% of Israelis want their government to negotiate with the P.A.. The poll failed to ask why. Some possible motives:

(1) They "...want to reach the kind of deal the Geneva Initiative is pushing." [The pollsters imply that.]

(2) They"...think that going through the motions of negotiations will keep everyone off our backs for a while."

(3) They "...give a PC response to the pollster who called them on the phone" (IMRA, 1/22). Sometimes Israelis give self-contradictory responses.


Russia seeks influence there. Israel is said not to object, because it prefers the Lebanese Army, rather than Hizbullah, to control the border (IMRA, 1/22).

Russian influence for what? Not for good. Waste of Russian taxes.

Hizbullah, with veto power over the government, controls the Lebanese Army. Those jets are liable to challenge Israeli reconnaissance flights made to monitor Syrian arming of Hizbullah, which the Lebanese Army allows.


Jordanians drove 11 trucks of "humanitarian" goods to Gaza, where they were transferred to UNRWA-rented trucks, then driven to Gaza City. There the goods were to be given free to the populace. Instead, unidentified armed men hijacked them. Later, they sold the goods to people (IMRA, 1/22). Since Hamas controls Gaza tightly, I guess that Hamas hijacked the trucks, as it has done, before. Wait and watch for international protest, and wait and wait. Unless the story is fake.


"Just six months after Hamas' general election victory, it won a clear victory in the UNRWA workers committee elections... Suhil el-Hindi, head of the teachers sector at UNRWA schools, operates openly as Hamas' representative. He controls the curriculum in UNRWA schools, the employment of teachers in those schools, and the summer camps."

"...in June 2007, parents of students in UNRWA schools wrote to the head of UNRWA charging that scores of teachers at the schools belonged to...the military wing of Hamas, and requested an urgent investigation. In another example, Awad el-Kik, the principal of an UNRWA school in Rafiah, was also head of weapons and rocket manufacturing for Islamic Jihad in Gaza..."

"It seems very likely that contributions by Western nations to UNRWA pay the salaries of Hamas...Jihad terrorists who are educating the next generation of Palestinians in jihad against Israel and all non-Muslims. Western nations should demand that terror group activists be removed from UN institutions as a condition of continued funding." (IMRA, 1/22 from Jer. Center for Research."

Why doesn't the NY Times report this? It is full of UNRWA denials of terrorist affiliation of its schools and full of UNRWA indignation against Israel when if fires back at UNRWA schools?


Contending that immigration of Muslims erodes Dutch freedom, MP Wilders made a film of Muslim preaching of hatred and murder. A Dutch appeals court ordered him [and not the Muslims filmed] prosecuted for incitement to hatred.

The Court seems to be using Muslim standards on speech. That vindicates him
(Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/22).


Foreign Min. Livni had what were called good relations with the Bush administration. She came to see its high officials during their last few days in office. That was when the President was deciding whom to pardon. Apparently, she did not demand that he release Pollard. Jonathan Pollard calls her neglect of his cause a death sentence, for he is in poor health (IMRA, 1/22).

Peres, Barak, and Sharon had conflicts of interest, so they failed pointedly to try to get Pollard released. What is Livni's excuse? She, like they, claims to have worked quietly. That means no public pressure on Bush. Hence no action.


What egotism to suppose that one conciliatory letter from him would turn Iran's fanatical rulers away from a lifetime of using any means to conquer other religions! Don't blame Obama's inexperience. The more experienced Hillary Clinton shared his naivete. The NY Times took it seriously. The Obama campaign emphasized that kind of failed diplomacy.

Add to naivete a blind ideology and megalomania. Who does he think he is?

The supposed great reformer is appointing tax evaders and lobbyists one after the other. The NY Times suggests that Sen. Daschle withdraw his Cabinet nomination. That would make it too easy for the President. Obama should withdraw the nomination with a ringing affirmation of his being a different President. Instead, he "stands behind" his nominee. As if that nominee and the others are indispensable. I suspect the problem is that the megalomaniac President will not admit to having made a mistake or having been deceived, and he insists on getting his way. Probably his nominees would perform as well as any replacement, but that's not the point. The point is that Obama should take a stand for the principles that got him elected. Otherwise, I think, his star will fade. His voters may feel cruelly used. He will get his way less. At least it will be good for race relations. Americans will realize that a black can be just as incompetent as a white. Hereafter they may vote without reverse racial preference.

No lobbyists, he had campaigned. We heard that before. This time, however, Americans thought they had a real reformer. Now we have to regard his stimulus package more skeptically. Is he piggybacking onto the economic crisis his big spending notions for giving government more discretion over our lives?

He may get away with it, because people don't understand how the economy works and doesn't. "People" includes half the economists. An economist is someone who tells you what went wrong, not how to prevent it from going wrong.

People think the sole problem is greed and lack of regulation. Much of the problem was due to regulation, to regulators, and to human nature. The S.E.C. let Madoff swindle. Officials lacked initiative. Regulation must be petinent!


Remember the anti-Israel indignation about Gaza? "Stop the fighting,!" they said. A ceasefire was arranged. Israel stopped. Hamas did not. Hamas is firing rockets and shooting across the border, again. Clearly, the Islamists are the aggressors. Israel will have to finish the war. This time, will the EU realize that Islamists endanger civilization, and let Israel do the job?


The PLO is an umbrella organization. It is recognized by the UNO (as an official observer) and is dominated by Fatah. Hamas challenges the PLO, into which Arafat once invited it but it refused to join. Hamas suggests forming a new umbrella organization for the western Palestinian Arabs.

The suggestion led to a rare, emergency meeting by the Palestinian National Council. The Council defended its "legitimacy" and called itself the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" (IMRA, 2/3).

Once "sole legitimate representative," always sole legitimate representative? Why a sole representative? What about the millions of eastern Palestinian Arabs in Jordan, not part of the PLO? Why legitimate, because Arafat murdered dissenters? How much do the people want the PLO to represent them? The people in the P.A. want rulers who don't steal foreign aid but divide it equitably between municipal services and murdering Jews. How legitimate are the genocide-favoring Palestinian Arab people?

The problem with the western Palestinian Arabs is that when they should have been absorbed by fellow Arabs, the Arab states kept them separate, as a wedge against Israel. Then when Arab states — Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait — did welcome them, they tried to take over those states or help Saddam conquer. They may have burned their bridges.

The Palestinian Arabs are popular among Western elites who want them to find a place for themselves by displacing the Jews. No wonder the West still finds the PLO legitimate. Don't call that antisemitism, we are told. Antisemitism is not legitimate unless called by another name. It all is a matter of labels.

Consider the label, "scholar." In Israel, anti-Zionist Jews lacking academic credentials get tenure at universities on the basis of exhorting the most violent Palestinian Arabs. Others get sought out by American universities, where they propagandize and lie instead of researching. They pervert American values. The US will find those professors as inimical as the Kuwaitis found their Palestinian Arab guests. Their masses migrate to escape their horrible culture, but then seek to impose that horrible culture upon their hosts.


Hamas' continued use of tunnels for smuggling arms and its resumption of attacks on Israel disproved Israel's claim to have regained deterrence and to have accomplished much. Israel is hoping that Egypt produces a truce, so it won't have to go back to combat. Absent combat, Hamas remains a menace.

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

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Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, February 13, 2009.

Innocence Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East
By Martin Indyk
Simon & Schuster; 494 pages; $30

What happens when a new US president makes Middle East diplomacy his top foreign policy objective? Former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, a key player in the failed bid for Middle East peace in the 1990s, takes us back to the future to find out.

Innocent Abroad is a page-turner. It is a remarkably well-written account of the Oslo peace process during the administration of Bill Clinton. With a strong command of Middle East history, the former diplomat of Australian origin provides a fast-paced insider's view of senior decision-making during this fascinating yet dangerous era of US diplomacy.

The saga begins when Indyk tells Clinton it would be possible to broker four Arab-Israeli peace deals during the president's first term. Indyk recalls that Clinton, then a diplomatic neophyte, looked him in the eye and said, "I want to do that." Five weeks into Clinton's presidency, Indyk recalls, "Middle Eastern peacemaking was the only item on the agenda" in the first National Security Council meeting on March 3, 1993. As Indyk notes, Clinton had a "strong interest in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict to stabilize a region of vital concern." What Indyk neglects to note is that five days earlier, on February 26, Islamist radicals detonated a large bomb at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, killing six. Thus began the pattern whereby the quest for Middle East peace trumped national security.

Holding fast to the belief that it would be possible to reverse decades of Arab hatred toward Israel, "Syria first" was Indyk's conviction. This approach won out over that of fellow peace warriors Daniel Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller, who insisted that the "core" issue of Palestinian-Israeli animus needed to be tackled first.

As events unfolded, Indyk's plans were overtaken by events. The Kurtzer-Miller approach prevailed due to unexpected progress via the Oslo peace process. Thus, Clinton became "the adopted parent of a newborn agreement conceived in a Norwegian test tube." Indyk, however, recalls with admirable honesty that there were numerous "warning signs" that raised doubts about "the sincerity of [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat's commitment to renounce terrorism." PLO maps made no reference to the existence of the State of Israel, for example. Arafat also insisted upon donning battle fatigues at the White House when he shook hands with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.

With Palestinian-Israeli talks under way, the Clinton administration resumed its efforts to bring Syria to the table. Again, Indyk was derailed. This time, King Hussein of Jordan reached out to Rabin, culminating in a signing ceremony on the Arava border crossing between the two countries.

As Indyk recounts, Jordan was the only peace partner during this era that did not require cajoling. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was the only agreement to endure.

This underscores a concept lost on the Clinton administration's peace team. One does not make peace with enemies. One makes peace with former enemies.

This is why the Palestinian track ultimately failed. As Indyk notes, although Arafat was offered 91 percent of the West Bank, 100% of the Gaza Strip and control over Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem — an offer that exceeded the Clinton administration's expectations — he could not embrace peace with Israel.

Arafat made this crystal clear when he brazenly rejected Israel's historic and religious claim to Jerusalem. As Indyk recalls, "The ruins of the Temple were not there, [Arafat] insisted, and the demand for Jewish prayer there was nothing but a plot to steal Palestinian rights." Given this intransigent position, it is unclear why the US diplomats pressed for continued talks. Yet, continue they did, ultimately pushing Arafat to choose war over continued negotiation in the fall of 2000.

What is perhaps most baffling about this book is the title. The Clinton peace team in the 1990s was anything but innocent. While it may have been naïve about certain things, it pursued peace ruthlessly. Countless times, Indyk recalls that "Clinton exploded" with rage when Arab actors refused to compromise. Yet, Clinton continued to insist peace was possible. When the Israeli population lost confidence in the peace process and revoked the mandate of prime minister Ehud Barak, Clinton prodded Barak forward anyway. Clinton even sent political consultants to the Holy Land in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

The possibility of peace was contrived in its final stages. But as Indyk recalls, the president was "thinking about his legacy" and sought to "wipe away the Monica Lewinsky stigma." So, what began as a well-intentioned effort to end the senseless violence in the region seems to have ended as a ruthless quest for personal glory.

Through all of the drama, Indyk's book is written in a largely dispassionate tone. However, the former ambassador does himself a disservice when he forgoes diplomacy to take gratuitous shots at former president George W. Bush. He charges that Bush chose to "forsake peacemaking for war-making." At best, this is an unfair characterization of the Bush Doctrine. Indyk himself notes that upon leaving the White House, Clinton warned Bush, "Don't ever trust that son of a bitch [Arafat]. He lied to me, and he'll lie to you." Bush heeded the words of his predecessor and wisely called for Palestinian political reform before attempting to reengage in peace diplomacy.

Still, unlike many lengthy memoirs written by other former US officials who attempt to embellish their record, Indyk's book is refreshingly straightforward. He states explicitly where the Clinton administration erred, and where signs of danger were ignored.

Indyk notes a sense of "personal responsibility" for the failures of the peace process, noting that the "journey has been a difficult and humbling one." He might do well to convey these sentiments to the new US administration that now signals an eagerness to pick up where Clinton left off.  

Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury intelligence analyst, is deputy executive director for the Jewish Policy Center and author of Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.

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Posted by Daniel Pereg, February 13, 2009.

These days, we see a united Arab and world opinion that is anti-Israel which traces back to Yasser Arafat delivering his address to the UN and blatantly lying to the world. Arafat led "Palestinians" for most of their modern history while he was Egyptian. He was born and educated in Cairo and had an Egyptian accent. This fiendish arch-terrorist first worked with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood against Israel's independence and smuggled arms. He succeeded his relative, the anti-Semite Amin al-Husayni who worked with Hitler. You would think he was a saint when world leaders such as Jimmy Carter, Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon, and prominent politicians from the UK, Italy, and Canada lay elegant wreaths of flowers on Arafat's grave. Jimmy Carter glorifies the "fighter for just causes" and writes a book furthering his ideology. Jewish far-leftists like Neturei Karta and Gush Shalom visit his grave and "show respect to the Palestinians." He was very similar to Saddam Hussein, whom he embraced and enjoyed mutual support from. Time, a popular weekly magazine, featured him on their cover nine times, and labeled him as one of four "men of the year." He was unjustly awarded the Noble Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize website practically praises him while leaving out his most important aspects.

A legendary symbol of his violent struggle, he is signaled out for his checkered keffiyeh which took the symbolic triangular shape of all of Eretz Yisrael to show his claim to all of the land. The keffiyeh has become a popular symbol passing down Arafat's signature look. Suicide bombers, stone throwers, demonstrators, and misled Western youths sport it or wave it like a flag to show solidarity to terrorists.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and fedayeen Fatah under his leadership were known for their terrorist attacks on random Israelis which evolved into suicide bombings and massacres. He took command of the PLO which was founded to destroy Israel through armed struggle shortly after its formation after Fatah became the dominant faction. Long before the Six-Day War, he founded the violent terrorist organization Fatah with Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Iyad, and Abu Jihad who would later be assassinated after supervising countless killings of Israeli civilians. Fatah and its current leader Mahmoud Abbas have been viewed as moderate in comparison to others but are also extremist. The symbol of Fatah today includes a map showing all of Eretz Yisrael, two guns with one including a bayonet, and a grenade. Fatah holds the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Fatah Hawks as its armed factions.

He never really recognized Israel's right to exist. The PLO and all major Arab organizations affiliated with the "struggle" have all of Eretz Yisrael on their symbol, not just Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Forget condemning violence and terrorism, he was the leader and escalator of the Intifada (accused of pre-planning) and referred to violent stone throwers as new "generals." Arafat was supposed to condemn terror and crack down on perpetrators when he praised these "martyrs" and influenced them to carry out attacks. His followers, many who were members of his different organizations, carried out guerrilla and terrorist actions with his approval.

He and his PLO fighters launched a civil war in Jordan that resulted in the deaths of thousands. However, King Hussein did what Israel would never dare doing — Jordan killed the bloodthirsty PLO fighters and expelled the troublemakers without fear of world or even Arab opinion. Only Israel was foolish enough not to expel him like Jordan and Lebanon. Israel had absolute right and should have killed him yet neither happened.

After meeting with Israelis like Shimon Peres when it was illegal by Israeli law and "accepting" UN resolutions 242 and 338 which favored his goals, he fooled Israel into the constantly violated Oslo Accords giving him control over Arab population centers. His PLO formed into the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the Oslo Accords which taught and still teaches hate. Arafat and other senior PA associates tried smuggling illegal weapons through the Karine A ship which would have led to deaths only imaginable. PA television broadcasts brainwash through encouraging and glorifying violence which led to it becoming widespread.

Soon, Israel had its last straw and labeled Arafat illegitimate, prompting Mahmoud Abbas to take an early step as his successor. Abbas denied the Holocaust and funded the Munich massacre and families of terrorists just like Arafat. Abbas has been viewed wrongly to further negotiations besides not having enough support because he is too "soft." He referred to Arab terrorists who serve in Israeli jails as "our heroes." Abbas is the successor as head of the PLO, PA, and Fatah and has promised to follow in Arafat's path.

Not all Arabs in Israel are terrorists yet they are represented by the terrorist PLO. Their symbol and flag is that of the PLO. The PLO flag is flown by demonstrators who wish to condemn Israeli and Zionist "atrocities" and show their solidarity with the "brutally oppressed." Their democratically elected PA or "government" is made up of terrorist organizations like Hamas, Fatah, and PFLP . Their recognized "liberator" and national hero is Arafat. His tomb has become a decorated shrine which should be dismantled.

Arafat and the Palestinian movement resemble a new anti-Semitism which allows anti-Semites around the world to hide under the banner of ideological differences. However, just like the Nazis were more dangerous than Hitler, Arafat's followers who follow his path are the obstacle to peace. Instead of scapegoating Arafat for causing Israel's problems, we must go after those who carry out his orders. Children are taught about their great liberator who fought the Zionists and won! Similar outlooks prevail in major "resistance" fronts that have used even more radical outlooks. Perhaps he was teaching peace when in front of large crowds, he chanted, "Jihad, Jihad, Jihad." So much for ending the hate, incitement, and violence. End his legacy, or so much for peace.

Daniel Pereg is a 15-year old student at Beverly Hills High School. He helps run the LA chapter of the Eretz Yisrael Committee. His future plans are for Aliyah, joining the Israeli Army, residing in Kiryat Arba, and becoming a Knesset Member for a strong Jewish Israel. He can be reached at religiouszionist@yahoo.com.

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, February 13, 2009.

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #133, February 13, 2009


1. Irrespective of the global economic meltdown, the war on Palestinian terrorism, the Iranian threat, regional instability and political uncertainty, Standard & Poor (S&P) has left Israel's credit rating unchanged at A and the country forecast rating [has been sustained] as "stable." The rating was approved in all three criteria: Shekel debt, foreign currency debt and transfer and convertibility assessment, which remains at AA (Globes, January 20, 2009).

2. Israel's private debt-private income ratio is 55% (private Israeli debt amounts to half of private income), compared with 170% in the US, 180% in Britain and almost 200% in Ireland. While the ratio of government debt-gross domestic product is a critical element of national economy, the private debt/income ratio has gained in importance since private consumption has become a crucial engine catapulting or devastating national economy (Yediot Achronot, Sever Plocker, Feb. 6).

3. $500MN raised — via an 11 year bond issue led by J.P. Morgan and Citigroup — by the Israel Electric Company, reflecting confidence in Israel's long-term economy (Globes, Jan. 26).

4. The New Mexico-based $34BN Thornburg Investment Management and Canada's PAW Capital have increased their holding in Israel's Amdocs and Radware from 4.5% to 10.1% (which amounts to $400MN in Amdocs) and from 5.1% to 7.3% ($8.2MN in Radware) respectively (Globes, Jan. 19). Britain's Axell Wireless acquired Israel's DekoLink for a few million dollars (Globes, Jan. 28).

5. Microsoft led a $24MN round by Israel's N-Trig (Globes, Jan. 13). EMC led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel's Varonis. EMC was joined by Accel Partners and other investors (Globes Jan. 23). Mexico's Arancia (food additive) participated in an $11MN round by Israel's Enzymotec (Globes, Feb. 4). Qualcomm is investing $7MN in Israel's Modu (Globes, Jan. 27). Germany's Hasso Plattner Ventures led a $6MN first round by Israel's BrightView (Globes, Jan. 28). Samson Ventures invested $2MN in Israel's SteadyMed (Globes, Jan. 29).

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il

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Posted by Rachel Kapen, February 13, 2009.

Following closely and with great trepidation the results of Israel's elections to the 18th Knesset, with the paper ballots carrying the different Hebrew alphabet letter signifying the various parties, I couldn't but remember the first elections in the history of the state.

The first elections took place in Jan. 25, 1949 with the active participation of half a million citizens who voted for 12 parties. Then, on Feb. 14, the forerunner of the current Knesset which was called the Steering Assembly, convened and after the singing of Hatikvah the 120 members were sworn in. Two days hence the name Knesset became official and the following day the first president, the famous Zionist leadet and scientist Dr. Cham Weizmann was sworn in as the first president of the Jewish State. Later, in March 18, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion presented his cabinet to the Knesset comprising 12 ministers. Moshe Sharet was the country's first foreign minister and Ben Gurion retained the defense portfolio for himself.

However, what I remember mostly were the elections themselves. No, I wasn't eligible to vote myself, I was only ten years old then, but my mother and father were, and how proud and emotional they were to be participating in the first elections of the state they helped create. It was a holiday from school and work so my parents, Chalutzim (pioneers) who came in the Third Aliyah(wave of immigration) of the early 1920's, wanted my sister Shula and myself to take part in the momentous event. We all walked to the school which became a polling place for the day and stood in the long line of very noisy and excited people waiting for their turn to vote. We were not the only children in line, some other parents wanted to take the children in order for them to witness this historical once in a lifetime event. And then when their turn came, they went in and disappeared behind the curtain, voted, and we went back home as my father explained to us as best as he could what was it all about and how significant.

Now there are more than seven times the number of Israeli citizens and just as many pieces of paper to signify the parties yet the parties are very different. But one thing didn't change. Voting is the most important manifestation of a democratic country and although for Israeli-born citizens it may be taken for granted, it isn't for the many who immigrated from the former Soviet Union where they were unable to do so.

Since coming to the U.S. year back I had the chance to vote in the Israeli elections when they happen to be in a summer where I visited the country as I did almost every year with the children when my dear parents were alive. I still had my identity card and made sure I am still registered and I was so proud to go to the polling place, then in Bat Yam together with my mother. My father, Yosef, the greatest patriot I knew, wasn't with us any more so I remember my mother saying that she has to vote for him too, something he was always so proud doing.

Whether in the United States or Israel, two great democracies, voting should not be taken for granted.

Rachel Kapen lives in West Bloomfield, MI. Contact her at skapen285466mi@comcast.net

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Posted by Simon McIlwaine, February 13, 2009.

House of Lords debates
Friday, 6 February 2009
Gaza — Motion to Take Note
Baroness Deech (Crossbench) | Hansard source

My Lord, I recently heard a speech by President Peres of Israel. He said that if we look back 50 years, who would have imagined then that the Soviet Empire would have ended, that the South African system of apartheid would have been dismantled and Mandela would have become president, that the Berlin Wall would have come down and that there would be a black president of America? He said that we should look forward 50 years from now in the same spirit. I want to start on that optimistic note because I believe that if we wait that long — no doubt beyond our lifetimes — there will be change for the better. I want to emphasise that because inevitably much of my speech will be rather gloomy.

No one can accuse this House of not focusing on the distressing situation in Gaza. In the past 12 months, there have been 161 Questions and Statements about Israel, Gaza and the Palestinians compared with, for example, 33 on Sri Lanka and 24 on Tibet. I mention Sri Lanka in particular because noble Lords will be aware that recently there was a well attended protest in Parliament Square about the terrible attacks on the Tamils, the hospitals under siege, the killing of 70,000 people and the many more thousands who are trapped and displaced from their homes. This has attracted little opprobrium and no calls for the obliteration of Sri Lanka or talk of its brutalisation.

I raise that because I am interested in the particular focus on the Middle East that is expressed in this country. Part of the reason is that the war in Gaza has not been seen in perspective, but only as a minute fragment of what is, in truth, a larger picture. There is a wider war, of which Israel and Gaza are figureheads, and there is also a civil war. The talk about what is proportionate — I prefer the word "necessary" — has to be seen in the context of a response to an attack from Hamas designed not just to launch rockets at Israel — 5,000 rockets deliberately aimed at Israeli civilians and schoolchildren at 7.45 in the morning — but to end the state of Israel.

Hamas has vowed to have an Islamic state over Gaza, the West Bank and Israel as part of a wider Islamic empire. Israel has a 20 per cent Arab population, but not one Jew is to be allowed to live in this Islamic state. We can well imagine the fate planned for the millions of Israelis were this to come about. The response from Israel was, if anything, as restrained as it possibly could be. We should recall the detailed precautions taken by the Israeli army to avoid wherever possible harm to civilians, bearing in mind the use of mosques, schools and hospitals, as has been referred to earlier today.

The charges of "disproportionate" were not made in relation to other wars that we have recently experienced; Kosovo, Georgia, Iraq or even Afghanistan, where people have died in their thousands. In fact, there has been some praise for the restraint that Israel has shown in trying to avoid civilian casualties. There is also a civil war in Gaza, which makes the prospects of peace unrealistic. The military dictatorship there did nothing to protect its own subjects, but took the opportunity of war to eliminate many of its Fatah political opponents. Other noble Lords have referred to the very cruel details of this. Even the Palestinian Authority's President Abbas said:

"Hamas has taken risks with the blood of Palestinians, with their fate and dreams and aspirations for an independent Palestinian state".

The wider war is one of destruction of Israel, and those who criticise Israel's attack on Gaza must realise that they are unwittingly giving succour to that plan.

Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas all share that same aim of destroying Israel entirely and, indeed, Hamas has thanked Iran for its support in the Gaza war. As others have mentioned, the result has been that Jews all over the world have suffered for this. The attacks on Jews that have taken place here in the UK and elsewhere illustrate my theme of a wider war. It is Jews and synagogues in London and Venezuela, in universities, to their shame, and streets, that are attacked, with Gaza as the excuse, not Israelis. It is not Jews who see all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism; it is some of the critics of Israel who vent their displeasure on Jews in general. The hatred of Israel, and sometimes Jews, is almost unique in international politics.

Then there is the propaganda war. I urge noble Lords not to believe all that they read in the newspapers about damage and killings in Gaza. We do not have the evidence. I cite just one case. The tragic killing of the three daughters of the respected Gazan doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish now seems to have been by Gazan rockets, not Israeli fire, according to the post-mortem examination of the fragments of their bodies.

On the humanitarian front, of course, it is exacerbated, because Hamas wanted civilian deaths to increase its worldwide exposure and sympathy. Humanitarian aid is another area where the wrong and pessimistic view has been taken. I noted with interest and approval that the BBC refused to screen the advertisement for aid and that it was backed by its own NUJ branch of journalists. It is not so good to hear talk of a Zionist lobby and Jews mugging protests and stemming disquiet in the United States, when you consider the very small numbers that there are. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has a huge budget. We do not yet know what happened to the millions that Arafat salted away and took to his death. We note the failure of other Arab countries to come to the aid of their brothers. The oil revenue of the Gulf states in 2008 was $562 billion; in Saudi Arabia it was $260 billion — one day's oil revenue would work a miracle for the West Bank and Gaza, but this is not forthcoming.

On the humanitarian front, Israel's Supreme Court in the past few days, a court known for its robustness, has examined the application of the Geneva conventions on humanitarian law and found them not to have been breached. Other Arab countries have not only not helped but have literally turned their backs on the Palestinians, as one can read regarding Syria in the report in the Times today.

What of the future? Gaza could have had a future. Every Israeli soldier and civilian was removed from there. Everything was ready for the Gazans a few years ago to start a new period of economic development. There was no blockade, and it remains true that Egypt could open its crossing if it wanted to. It does not, of course, because it no more wants an Iranian state on its borders than Israel does. Instead the rockets and the tunnels came, and the sad destruction of the very greenhouses where flowers and fruit were grown and could have continued to be grown.

What can the UK do? It can support Egypt, which is acting very well in this crisis, albeit for its own reasons of survival. It can help block Hamas from smuggling more arms by sea. It can press for the release of Gilad Shalit, who has been a hostage in Gaza for two and a half years with no access to the Red Cross or any other international agency. It can persuade Hamas to change the charter and remove mention of destruction. Above all, your Lordships should lend your voices to the end of the demonisation of Israel and to calm down the surging anti-Semitism. Your Lordships should recognise the need of Israel to exist and its legitimacy. It is no more arriviste in the Middle East than the other 22 Arab states to be found there. There can be no further removal of six million Jews from the Middle East. We must do nothing to feed the hatred that surrounds this issue and we must do everything to look to the future.

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel (www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

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Posted by Daily Alert, February 13, 2009.

Medicine bottles, transferred to the Gaza Strip as humanitarian aid by Israel, were used by Hamas as grenades against IDF troops during Operation Cast Lead. Pictures of the grenades were obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post.

Hamas turned these drug containers into weapons

The medicine bottles were manufactured by the Jerusalem Pharmaceutical Company, which is based in el-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah, and the global pharmaceutical company Shire.

The medicine bottles were filled with explosives, holes were drilled in the caps, and fuses were installed. Once Hamas fighters lit the fuses, they had several seconds to throw the grenades at soldiers. The IDF also found small explosive devices that used medical syringes to hold their fuses.

The medical grenades were discovered in northern Gaza by troops during last month's three-week battle against Hamas. The grenades were taken to military explosives experts, and then disassembled and studied.

One bottle turned into a grenade originally contained a drug called Equetro, which is used by people who suffer from episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Another bottle had contained a vitamin supplement called Super-Vit.

"This is another example of Hamas's cynical use of humanitarian supplies to attack Israel," a Defense Ministry official said Thursday. "Israel facilitates the transfer of the supplies to the Gaza Strip, and Hamas uses the supplies to create weapons."

During the offensive, the IDF encountered a variety of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were manufactured by Hamas and Islamic Jihad inside the Gaza Strip. Some were anti-personnel bombs and others were planted on the sides of roads or underground to be activated against IDF tanks and armored personnel carriers. Some of the IEDs were fitted with advanced wireless detonators and others were attached to a wire.

In one instance, a Merkava tank from Brigade 401 rolled over a large explosive device that lifted the tank in the air but did not cause any serious damage, due to a plate of reinforced steel that was installed on the tank before the operation.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 13, 2009.

The system is lousy and many of the people functioning within it are not exactly fantastic either. Those of us who are watching this closely find ourselves doing an enormous amount of speculating. There are so many potential scenarios, so many motivations to ascribe to the players. It ultimately does wear one down. I will review here briefly what is going on:

Yesterday, Netanyahu invited Livni to join a unity government, with him in charge as PM, but Kadima awarded a couple of major ministries, such as foreign affairs and defense. Enough to cause apoplexy.

So then the questions were why did he do this, did he offer sincerely (or expecting her to refuse), and would she accept. Different answers from different analysts.


Livni is in a bind. First, if she does join, the ministries of foreign affairs and defense would be operated under the policies of Likud and be untenable for Kadima — E.g., Likud has in its platform no dividing Jerusalem, while Kadima would want to. This bind is why some people think that Netanyahu offered knowing she couldn't accept.

Then there is another problem for Livni. She believes she has "won" because her party has one more mandate than Likud. She sees herself as PM. It would be humiliating for her, another source from the inside told me, to accept with Netanyahu running the government, and this she will not do it — although this source thinks Netanyahu wasn't factoring this in when he made his offer.

Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit has made a fairly definitive statement to the Post: "We are not going to be a fig leaf to an extreme right-wing government. We are not afraid to be in the opposition."

Although he doesn't necessarily speak for Livni or the majority of the party, it is to be hoped that this is the way it plays out.

There is a faction within Kadima, including Shaul Mofaz, pushing for that unity government. They say — at last? — that they will consider leaving Kadima if Livni doesn't join Likud. But "consider" is still just talk.

At any rate, Livni's only public declaration to date has been to say that she owes it to those who voted for her to keep trying to put together a coalition, and if she cannot then she'll decide.


Can she put together a coalition? My best guess is still no.

As I wrote previously, she has been courting Lieberman, who was playing it very coy. I know exactly who I'll recommend to Peres, he announced, but I'm not telling.


Turns out he wasn't that sure at all, because today the news is that he'll go with Likud if Likud backs civil marriages and easier conversions. Lieberman represents a Russian constituency that has many people who are not halachically Jewish, i.e., according to Jewish law. The law of Israel permits people who have one Jewish grandparent to become Israeli citizens.

But if Netanyahu agrees to this — which he is indicating he will — he will have trouble with his right wing religious and ultra-religious parties. Already Shas has joined with United Torah Judaism, and possibly The Jewish Home, in opposition to certain policies.

Likud is confident that there are ways to negotiate compromises that will work. Former MK Yaakov Ne'eman, who has a history of negotiating tough compromises, has been brought in for this purpose. And from what I am reading, such compromises are possible. (More to follow on this as relevant.)


Likud, you see, cannot attain its needed majority without Lieberman, but also needs those religious parties. That is, if Livni is not on board. This is how difficult this system is when election results are not clear-cut. And this might — just a speculation — explain why Netanyahu would have considered a unity government: he would avoid all of this horse-trading.

It should be mentioned that Ichud Leumi (National Union) has not yet endorsed Netanyahu. They will not if Livni is in the coalition.


The fact that Livni would readily promise Lieberman the things he is seeking, but he still is trying to get Likud to concede on these matters, means that Lieberman's first choice really is Likud — but that he sees himself with the power to demand the maximum.


I was astonished yesterday to learn that the soldiers' votes have been counted and there were no changes in the order of parties as a result of this. Usually there are. But I spoke to someone trustworthy who was present during counting who assures me that these are the results this time. Many soldiers wrote in Gilad Shalit as a protest, which may be why there are no changes.


So, this is where we are as we approach Shabbat. There is a good deal I want to write about the PA and Abbas, but after Shabbat, just as updates on the election scenario will continue then.

At the beginning of next week Peres will start to meet with the heads of all parties, and ask them who they recommend to form the coalition. Netanyahu has to have his act in place by then if he is to garner the recommendations he needs.


In theory, the president is supposed to select the person who has the best chance of forming a coalition to go ahead and try to do so. He is broadly expected to do this, and select Likud.

If Netanyahu has his act together, and if Peres plays it straight, then a government would be formed quickly, as all of the legwork will have been done already.

There is some fear, however, that Peres might select Livni, ostensibly because she has one more mandate, even though a majority of the Knesset would not be with her. Livni's politics are much more in line with his than are Netanyahu's.

This would be a horror, for she would drag it out for the full month and more given for forming a coalition, during which time Olmert would still be PM and she would still be foreign minister, and Barak defense minister, and opportunities for them to do further damage would be awaiting them.


With all of this, the possibility for things to work out well are still quite viable. So we have to hold our collective breath, and continue to pray.


See analyst Hillel Frisch writing for the BESA Center, who sees the emergence of a right-of-center dominant bloc in Israel. This is excellent news — transcending the current mess — as it means the people of Israel have finally begun to awake from the mythology of Oslo and land-for-peace, two-state-solution politics. Maybe we'll have a school system that teaches Zionism again, and an awakening of our pride and our integrity.

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

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Posted by Phyllis Chesler, February 13, 2009.

This appeared February 11, 2009 on Pajamasmedia
http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/02/11/ president-obama-believes-he-can-charm-the-barbarians


Western liberals — and in the past I have been a very good one — still refuse to describe any culture other than their own as "barbaric" lest they be maligned as "racists." Now, America's first (half) African-American president, whose first order of business was to reach out to the Muslim world on Al-Arabiya, has said he will actively negotiate with the Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Saudis.

I wish him well. But I also fear for him and hope he reads what I have to say.

He must understand that he will be dealing with barbarians. Like all good liberals, he may not understand what that means. But what word other than "barbaric" describes the systematic incitement to violence that takes place in mosques and on television and which has led to mob rampages and episodes of "wilding" against Muslim girls and women who are group-groped, gang raped, kidnapped into sexual slavery, set on fire, buried alive, blinded by acid for daring to go to school, work as a newscaster, a hairdresser, or for a foreign company, refuse to wear a shroud, or choose to marry someone of their own choice. Few Muslim clerics and even fewer fabled Muslim "moderates" have loudly and perilously condemned such behavior towards their sisters — or towards Christians, Jews, and other infidels who routinely fall prey to such mobs.

President Obama is in favor of women's rights as is his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How in God's name do they think they can persuade barbarians who behave in such ways to change their behaviors? If I were Obama and Clinton, I'd hold these diplomatic meetings with lots of American security guards and in neutral countries.

What word other than "barbaric" can even begin to characterize the 2002 kidnapping and video-ed beheading of Jewish-American Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, in Pakistan and the 2006 three week-long torture of French citizen, Ilan Halimi, in Paris by African Muslims, ostensibly for ransom money? Many North African Muslim neighbors dropped in to watch or even to take a hand in Halimi's torture and murder.

The presumably civilized and non-"barbaric" western media was reluctant to describe either Pearl's or Halimi's murder-torture as an act of Muslim "racism." How can it be "racist" when both the perpetrator and the victim are Semites? Or Africans?

The western liberal media is not so much reluctant as it is terrified to further offend the rampaging Muslims whose religion is, presumably, one of peace. But not telling the truth, keeping one's head deep in the sand, does not abolish the barbarism. It only makes it more difficult for us to name it and to defend ourselves against it. For example, despite all the liberal media cautiousness, in 2009, a Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak, was kidnapped, then beheaded on video in Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

And, the "barbarism" is hardly confined to Muslim countries. In Scotland there is an alarming pattern of Muslim or "Asian" murderous attacks upon young white boys. In the infamous 2004 case of 15 year-old Kriss Donald:

"The court had heard that Kriss was jumped on as he walked down a street near his home with a friend. As he was bundled into a car, he screamed: "Why me? I'm only 15." His mutilated body was found the next day on a walkway in the east end of the city. The slightly built boy had been beaten, held down and stabbed 13 times, then set on fire while he was still alive. Bleeding to death and burning, he tried to crawl towards the river Clyde but died in a ditch. A passerby who found his body the following day thought he had stumbled across the carcass of a dead animal."

The British media was — and still is — reluctant to describe the killers as "Muslims;" they prefer the more neutral "Asians." More serious is the fact that just yesterday, the heroic Muslim MK, Mohammed Sarwar, (Britain's first Muslim in Parliament), announced his retirement from Parliament due to the many death threats he has received. Sarwar was instrumental in negotiating the return of Donald's three Muslim-Asian killers from Pakistan.

Once again, squeamishness has not won the day. Just this month, a second Muslim racist attack upon white boys took place on Kriss Donald's street. Mercifully, this time only bones were broken.

Let me be clear. "Barbarism" is not only a mob or youth-gang phenomena. It defines the very nature of Muslim religious law.

For example, on February 11, 2009, a Saudi judge ordered that a young woman who was gang raped and impregnated be imprisoned for one year. He also ordered that she be given 100 lashes after she gives birth, (which is often a death sentence), because she talked with and followed a man who was not her relative and who turned out to have planned the attack.

What can President Obama do? Refuse to talk, talk anyway, dare to craft an economic deal that is pegged to the abolition of Sharia law?

And according to the British Telegraph, early in 2009, a Pakistani Muslim cleric blinded a young boy with acid because he spurned the cleric's sexual advances.

Is America imperfect? Absolutely. Is murder committed on our shores? Do people abuse their power in such a way that others suffer and die? Absolutely. But we do not lynch people in the streets, our clerics do not provoke such acts and when injustice is called to our attention, sometimes — sometimes — the rule of law prevails. In the Muslim Bad Lands, there is no rule of law, or rather, the law itself demands "cruel and usual punishment" as my good friend Nonie Darwish has said in her latest book which bears this exact title.

Folks: Beginning with President Obama, and including the American and western media, we had better start connecting the dots. We are not only facing "barbarians," but, as I wrote yesterday, we are facing barbarians who brilliantly and viciously employ non-conventional, asymmetrical, non-proportionate, and terrorist means of warfare — which unbelievably, our own media finds....thrilling, romantic.

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/

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Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, February 12, 2009.

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who is being prosecuted over anti-Islam remarks, has been prevented from entering Britain. He was arrested at London's Heathrow airport after being warned. See the video:

/www.euronews.net — dutch-anti-islam-politician-held-at-heathrow

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who is being prosecuted over anti-Islam remarks, has been prevented from entering Britain. He was arrested at London's Heathrow airport after being warned by authorities against trying to enter.

Wilders was en route for the House of Lords where he had been invited to show his controversial film that links the Koran with extremist violence.

Malcolm Pearson of the UK Independence Party that invited him said: "I do think he has a right to say what he is saying and particularly in the mother of parliaments, so we are coming at this from the angle of free speech. This man must be allowed to say what he wants and he must answer questions on it and then everyone can make up their minds."

But leading Muslims supported the government's action. Labour's Lord Nazir Ahmed said: "If you are doing it to provoke and incite hatred and if you are doing it to provoke violence, surely that should not be allowed. In our country, we have banned people like (controversial Muslim cleric) Sheikh (Yusuf) Qaradawi, and many, many dozens of other people, who we thought that might be a threat to national security."

Wilder's film, which was released on the internet, sparked protests around the Muslim world for linking Koranic verses with footage of terrorist attacks.

After its release, and in the wake of other comments, a court in Amsterdam ordered him to be prosecuted for hate speech.

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 12, 2009.


Israel is not stopping Hamas. It is waiting for negotiations with the US and Egypt to stop the arms smuggling. Israel will not assassinate top Hamas leaders who come out of hiding, not even during Hamas ceasefire violations (IMRA, 1/19).

If Israel destroyed more tunnels, the US and Egypt would have some incentive to stop the arms smuggling. Otherwise, they will have lulled the IDF into inactivity, again, on the basis of false assurances.

If Hamas leaders knew they would be killed over ceasefire violations, they either would order no violations, would be killed, or would stay in hiding. If hiding or dead, Hamas would be less effective. If no violations, Israel would be safer. Israel's constant reduction of proper defensive measures is self-defeating. That is the product of the regime's defeatist ideology.


Iran is trying to smuggle longer-range rockets into Gaza. It also is professionally assessing why Hamas' rockets and the defensive underground forts, roadside bombs, and booby-trapped houses it had Hamas set up didn't take a greater death toll, permit capture of Israeli troops, and destroy any tanks (IMRA, 1/20).

As against that news, the Olmert regime's claim to have achieved its objectives doesn't say much about its understanding of its unwisely limited objectives or their failed implementation.


He has spent his life opposing violence. However, he admits that non-violence does not work with the closed minds of Islamo-fascist terrorists. He said they are brilliant, educated, close-minded but not madmen (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/21).


Russia killed tens of thousands of Chechen civilians. Many countries murder masses of civilians, such as Sudan and Rwanda. Israel killed fewer than 500 human shields, incidental to combat in self-defense against war-criminals, but it is Israelis that the Far Left demands be tried for war crimes. It is Israel against which thousands of people rally in many places, expressing hatred.

There is no international law standard behind the cry against Israel. The hatred is pre-existing. The accusations are a phony pretext for getting after Jews (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/21).


Israel is concerned about rumors that Russia intends selling Iran the S-300 anti-aircraft missile, hard to deflect. Who would be able, then, to knock out Iran's nuclear factories, defended by the S-300? S-300 Installation would take a year.

The manufacturer of the F-35 warplane on order by Israel assures Israel that it need not worry. Computer simulations show the F-35 destroying the S-300. The F-35 would take 2-3 years to deliver and install (IMRA, 1/21).

Don't worry? For one or two years, Iran would have the S-300 and complete its bomb-making, while Israel would be waiting for the F-35. Then Israel, if not destroyed by nuclear bombs, would have to hope that the manufacturer's computer simulations are valid. I'd worry. I'd not wait.

Outraged by Bush's attack on Saddam, a friend called it "pre-emptive." So? He'd wait for Iran to destroy his city, New York, and/or Israel. Millions murdered before the US or Israel's submarines would retaliate on Iran. Would he feel good then, about his principle of not attacking the enemy first?


Dutch MP Wilders opposes the process of turning the Netherlands Islamics. After checking the law, he produced and distributed [where censors didn't ban it] a 14-minute film showing the Islamist danger to Western civilization. Scenes showed Muslim hate sermons, Islamists demanding that they behead Jews, praise for Hitler, and demonstrations vowing another Holocaust.

The Dutch Muslim umbrella organization said that the film does not insult their religion. Amsterdam's chief prosecutor declined to prosecute Wilders for discrimination or incitement to hatred. Then, however, numerous Dutch groups protested. A Dutch appeals court ruled that Wilders must be prosecuted for "allegedly inciting hatred, discrimination and insulting language in the film." Wilder's political party accused the court of attacking freedom of expression (IMRA, 1/21). The film showed others inciting hatred.

Not only did the court attack freedom of expression. It sided with the Islamists, for it allows them to insult other religions, only bans attempts like Wilders to expose those insults and the oppression they foretell. It tends to prevent a country from defending its liberty and its culture.

The lights of freedom are going out all over Western Europe. This was said during the Holocaust. The new fascistes don't call themselves Nazis, now, they call themselves Muslim Brotherhood and multi-culturalists.


The US Army War College published two official monographs by its Islamic studies professor, Sherifa Zufur, that take up the Hamas line against Israel.

The first monograph is a glossary that criticizes opposition to Islamofascism as making core Islamic beliefs and practices seem pathological. [Well, they are.] "Prof. Zufur's definitions invariably deny any link between Islam and terrorism..." She ignores the Hamas Covenant that clearly states, as does the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, "Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model to be followed, the Koran its constitution, Jihad its way, and death for the sake of Allah its loftiest desire," and that cites a religious duty to destroy the Jews. The author claims that Hamas long ago abandoned that line, but in 2007 in reaffirmed it [and continues to act accordingly].

Claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood is a social organization and denying religious premises of Hamas, Zufur fails to cite religious authorities in her support. A US court introduced as evidence of its war on civilization the Brotherhood's own document, "Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America: The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands." She omitted that [although that would show our soldiers what we are up against].

Calling Hamas moderate, she omitted the fact that the "Hamas parliament voted in December 2008 to legalize Shari'a hudud punishments like amputation, flogging, and crucifixion." [its war crimes, including using human shields, firing from schools and hospitals, and firing rockets into Israeli cities are extremist.]

The second monograph treats sympathetically Hamas' "resistance" to Israel without explaining why Hamas should "resist" a departed army and populace. [A better point is that it "resists" by terrorism, it is violating Arab peace agreements, and it could have negotiated instead. It resists with antisemitism.]

Zufur claims that Israel prevents peace by having "settlements" [war preceded them, so jihad is the cause of war not settlement]. She accuses Israel of rejecting all comprehensive Arab peace offers. [They don't offer peace, they demand concessions that would render Israel indefensible.]

Steven Emerson commented, "Statements like these betray the actual purpose of this monograph: to criticize Israel for exercising its sovereign right to self-defense while giving Hamas a free pass for terrorist assaults that deliberately target Israel's civilian population." (IMRA, 1/21.)

The Defense Dept. has no business sponsoring pro-terrorist monographs and professors. What are they teaching our soldiers!


Some people cite Judaism in support of efforts for peace via appeasement. They claim that Israel contradicts Jewish tradition by retaliating against Hamas barbarism instead of negotiating. They think that Judaism unqualifiedly supports efforts. It opposes them. In Judaism, peace is not to be confused with pacifism.

The Bible ranks peace as a great goal, but not an overriding one. Bible stories commend eradicating evil, repelling injustice, and not making peace by injustice. Examples from it show a firm hand, not negotiating with hardened evildoers. Eliminating evil brings justice and peace. Think of Sodom and Gomorrah. Saith "the Prophet Joel (3:9-10): '... Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears.'" There is a time for peace and a time for war.

Appeasement actually fosters war. That Judaism forbids. The Bible has examples of the death penalty for antisemitic aggressors — Book of Esther. The Torah commends capital punishment of murderers in order to sanctify life. The Bible rejects shared sovereignty in the Land of Israel (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/21). The Sanhedrin had very high standards for exacting capital punishment.


Turns out, an IDF reforms after the Lebanon war was not to report many tactical details to the media. The media then made up its own reports. The media reported [to my dismay] that Israeli ground troops penetrated far into Gaza and fought fierce battles in urban areas. They mostly didn't enter those areas. Aerial and naval gunfire did. That held down Israeli casualties.

David Bedein says "that the PA has over 30 manuals on how to distort facts for the news and how to present their case to America's congress, the European Union and other political officials." For one thing, they present pictures of corpses who, when the photographer leaves, get up (Arutz-7, 1/21.)


Likud urges voters to favor it, as leader of the nationalist camp, rather than to rely on smaller parties. The smaller parties protest that Likud has the least objection to P.A. statehood. A P.A. state would enable terrorists in Judea-Samria to fire rockets into Israel (Arutz-7, 1/21).


Hamas could attack Egypt from tunnels, an official of Egypt mused (IMRA, 1/21). It still lets arms into Hamas' hands, however.

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

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Posted by Don Feder, February 12, 2009.

This commentary originally appeared at GrassTopsUSA.com


On the verge of swooning over Hillary Clinton's performance at her Senate confirmation hearing, The New York Times said the Secretary of State-designate "outlined a muscular view of American foreign policy."

Regarding the alleged foreign policy of her husband (which we're told Hillary helped to shape), the word that comes to mind isn't muscular but flaccid. He refused a Sudanese offer to turn over Osama bin Laden — twice. When it came to meeting international challenges, William Jefferson Clinton threatened to make Jimmy Carter look like Teddy Roosevelt.

Discussing coming budget cuts at the state and federal levels, an advocate for public education urged us "not to take it out on the kids" — by which she meant, don't take it out on the teachers unions and education bureaucrats. Providing less feed for the little edu-piggies running our government illiteracy factories would be a tragedy of unparalleled proportions.

This is a variation of "we're doing it for the children" the motto of striking teachers everywhere trying to extort more money from taxpayers. Presumably, if they don't get what they want, they'll "take it out on the kids."

The foregoing got me thinking about lib-speak, and how we'll be hearing a lot more of it in the Age of Obama. Catch phrases old and new will pile up like a compost heap of political correctness.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Alternative lifestyles — Those would be the "lifestyles" that don't actually generate life but which result in extraordinary levels of sexually transmitted diseases and other social pathologies. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2007, men who have sex with men (MSM) — AKA, homosexuals — comprised 64% of syphilis cases. In 2006, syphilis among MSM rose 14%. Alternative life-styles offer an alternative to the family, Judeo-Christian morality, health and longevity.

  • Same-sex unions — A euphemism for homosexual marriage, otherwise known as state-sanctioned sodomy. Here's a piece of paper that says two individuals committing acts formerly called unnatural, and sharing three rooms and a bath, are the same as husband and wife, united by faith and tradition, doing society's essential work of procreation and child-rearing. The left (which has made homosexuals the new blacks) is determined to have this, notwithstanding that everywhere it's appeared on the ballot (in 30 states) voters have enacted marriage amendments to their state constitutions. Can't let a little thing like democracy stand in the way of liberalism's quest for the end of the rainbow — where a group of men dressed like Judy Garland are promising top love, honor and obey.

  • Cohabitation — I inhabit. You inhabit. Together we cohabit. It used to be called shacking up or living in sin. A majority of births in France are now the result of such ad hoc arrangements, which tend to be transient. The sin is camouflaged with a sociological jargon. Cohabiting couples is less jarring than long-term fornicators.

  • Sexually Active — Promiscuous is too judgmental. We wouldn't want to imply that there's anything wrong with a woman or man who has multiple "partners" (euphemism) in the same week. Thus, those who are busy sexually, are "active": — as opposed to slutty, horny or promiscuous.. Note the term is never applied to married couples (who, apparently, are inert in the bedroom). It's only the unmarried — who used to be expected to keep their fly zipped or their legs crossed — to whom the exculpatory phrase is applied.

  • Safe Sex — Also known as keeping a layer of latex between you and your loved one du jour. It's the sexual equivalent of buckle-up for safety. Forget morality or the emotional turmoil, feelings of betrayal or sense of exploitation that frequently accompany transient liaisons. The only question that matters is: Got condoms? In schools across the land, children are taught the proper method of putting on prophylactics, not intangibles like honor, virtue and decency. Given the condom failure rate, safe sex really isn't — unlike abstinence, which works every single time. At a conference of sexologists, the following question was posed: "If you could have sex with the man or woman of your dreams, knowing they were HIV-positive, with a condom for protection, would you?" Not one hand went up.

  • Single mothers — Otherwise known as child abusers. As Ann Coulter explains in her new book, "Guilty: liberal victims and their assault on America," women who choose to have children solo (as opposed to the divorced or widowed) are starting them off in life with the greatest handicap a loving parent can bestow. Being raised in a single-parent home is the most important indicator of future social pathology — including criminality, promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty and mental illness. Single mothers cost taxpayers $112 billion a year. (When moms aren't married, Uncle Sugar is the daddy.) Coulter notes, "Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes." Still, the culture can't pass judgment (which is reserved for smokers, SUV drivers and gun owners). So, we celebrate, coddle and coo over the single mother by choice. What once was a mark of shame is now the Croix de Guerre of the culture war. As a result, the number of children born out-of-wedlock (formerly illegitimate) rose from 600,000 in 1979 to 1.5 million in 2003.

  • The Homeless — They used to be bums, vagrants, tramps, derelicts and street people. Along with single moms, the packing case crowd is another of the left's sanctified victim groups (particularly when a Republican is in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). At least two-thirds of the habitation-deprived (reputed victims of a heartless, capitalistic society) are chronic alcoholics, addicts, mentally ill, or a combination thereof. The majority of the homeless with children are — come on, you can guess — single mothers.

  • Undocumented Workers — Some are sans habitation, others lack documentation. What happened to their papers? Did they lose them wading across the Rio Grande? "Undocumented workers" is non-judgmental. The term "illegal immigrant" implies wrongdoing — like violating our immigration laws and refusing to go through the same process as millions of legal immigrants. Taxpayers, who shoulder the burden for our uninvited guests, do have documents — called 1040 forms. Being an undocumented worker also gives you the right to march in the streets with your national flag, demanding an amnesty, calling those who resist the move "racists," and telling them that this is your land, anyway. Along with undocumented workers there are undocumented criminals, undocumented welfare recipients, undocumented drug dealers, the undocumented who commit vehicular homicides and undocumented gang members.

  • Fairness Doctrine — Based on one of the left's guiding principles — What's mine is mine, and what's your's I'll eventually get with a little help from my friends in DC. The establishment left currently has a death-grip on major-circulation newspapers, network news departments (except for FOX), Hollywood, public education, academia and other idea-generators. The exceptions are the Internet and talk radio. Congressional censors are eager to correct that by resurrecting a doctrine introduced in 1949 (when radio consisted of weather forecasts and crop reports) abolished in 1987, and apply it specifically to talk radio. Thus, for every hour of conservative programming (which is popular and profitable), stations would have to provide an hour of liberal talk, which tends to draw audiences the size of a Dennis Kucinich campaign rally (minus Mrs. Kucinich) or Lindsay Lohan playing King Lear. The idea is to drive conservatives off the airwaves, denying them one of the few forums they have. If it could figure out a way, the left would regulate how often the public could think about conservative ideas.

  • Income Redistribution — Highly recommended by President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign — otherwise known as stealing. Sadly, income is not evenly distributed across the social landscape — due to insignificant factors like talent, hard work, sacrifice and ingenuity. There are lumps of it in some places. In others, it's spread thin. It's up to Washington — wise and benevolent — to even things out. Politicians take from the haves (who have a work ethic, an ability to plan for the future and a knack for generating jobs and wealth) and give to those who have not — while siphoning off a fair amount for the political elite and bureaucracy. Since that income is distributed to those less inclined to work, invest and generate employment, this is also known as spreading the poverty — a technique favored by communists socialists and liberals.

  • Paying Your Fair Share of Taxes — A term that's never defined, but based on the assumption that the "rich" (also undefined), oil companies and large corporations generally aren't paying an equitable amount — notwithstanding that the federal income tax is progressive (the more you earn, the greater the percentage of your income is looted). According to the Tax Foundation, in 2006, the top 1% of taxpayers earned 22.1% of adjusted gross income, but paid 39.9% of all federal income taxes. The bottom 50% paid 2.9% of taxes. Apparently this fiscal rape isn't fair enough for the neo-Marxists in Congress and liberal interest groups.

  • Antiquated and Crumbling Infrastructure — Liberals are genetically incapable of saying "infrastructure" without the modifiers "crumbling and antiquated." It's a wonderful way to push increased spending during a recession. After all, who wants to drive on highways and bridges that might crumble under your vehicle. We're not supposed to ask the obvious question: Exactly how much will it cost to get infrastructure that isn't dilapidated and deteriorating? The gas tax (state and federal), tolls, and general revenue are supposed to go to infrastructure upkeep. (According to the American Petroleum Institute, the average state gas tax is 30 cents a gallon, with the feds taking an additional 18.4 cents a gallon) How much is enough? Will we ever reach the point where spendaholics say: That's it; the infrastructure is in fabulous shape. Current allocations are sufficient. Not in this life.

  • Islamaphobe — A bigoted, hatemongering, racist who refuses to ignore the fact that the overwhelmingly majority of terrorist acts are committed by adherents of the religion-of-peace, that terrorist groups have names like jihad-this and Islamic-that, that those urging indiscriminate slaughter often have titles like imam, sheikh and mullah, and that the Koran espouses anti-Semitism and calls for unending war on infidels until they are eradicated or subjugated. The closer an individual or a nation adheres to Islam, the more likely they are to swing a scimitar. Interestingly, those who throw around the charge Islamaphobe so casually would never choose to live in Libya, Syria, Iran, the Sudan or Gaza — where they could show their solidarity with the victims of Islamaphobia.

  • Humanitarian Crisis In Gaza — There was a humanitarian crisis in Germany and Japan during World War II. More than 1.5 million Germans and 580,000 Japanese civilians died as the result of aerial bombing by the Allies. Oth