HOME Featured Stories January 2008 Blog-Eds List Background Information News On the Web
Opinions And Editorials By Our Readers

Posted by Bryna Berch, January 31, 2008.

What's amusing in the Globe figures on daily flour consumption in Gaza (see below) is how they had to scramble to "correct" the first ridiculous figures. Was it a typo or their traditional embellishment of whatever comes straight from the Palestine Authority's (PA) mouth?" The corrected figure isn't credible, either. As an Arutz Sheva news item notes: "According to the PA, Gaza Arabs actually require 350 tons of flour daily, not 680,000, but this figure also works out to 250 pounds of flour per resident."

Arithmetic in general is problematic when the PA/PLO is involved. Consider these separate pieces of information:

From Sand Monkey, an Egyptian blogger, 29jan08

"The poor penniless people of Gaza don't seem to be really that Penniless. Between buying basic survival necessities such as Cement, Motorcycles, and Dish receivers, they have spent almost half a billion dollars there in less than 2 weeks: 480 million dollars to be exact."

Another fact: 2/3 of the Gazan arabs are said to live on less than $2 per day. These are obviously the ones not benefitting from the billions Fatah gets from EU and siphons into Hamas coffers. So where did they get the money? Some of the cash spent in Egypt was funny money, distributed by Hamas. Elders of Ziyon, 28Jan08,
(http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2008/01/ hamas-counterfeiting-egyptian-currency.html) reported that

"The Hamas movement illegally provided a number of traders and citizens with counterfeit currencies to be used in Egyptian territory to the needs of wills and goods".

The fake bills -- on their face -- were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but this is still a relatively tiny amount of what was spent. Where did all the real money come from for the hundreds of thousands who didn't receive the counterfeit money? Hamas is said to have given $300 each to many of the people that rushed into Egypt. DEBKA (Jan 29, 2008) puts a $150 meg cap on this -- which would suggest some 500,000 people received money. I'm assuming of course that this was real money and not some of the fake currency. Come to think of it, there were no news stories of any irate Egyptians clobbering an arab from Gaza trying to pass a fake bill. Which leads to another giggle-making puzzle. When and where did all these money transfers take place? Were there underemployed police standing at the toppled fence? When were these guys told what to do? Who told them? When and how did the Hamas agents hand out the funny money? How'd they hand out the real money? First come, first served or did they sneak the the money to a few favorites? Bakshish involved? Did the Hamas leadership have a shopping list? ... Never mind how I know. Achmed, you'll be in Egypt tomorrow and I want you to buy these things for me... This would make a wonderful comedy.

Hamas handing out fake bills says something about their general (un)trustworthiness. Its handing out real and fake money contributes to the suspicion that Hamas, which spent months on blowing up the fence between Gaza and Egypt, may want to destabilize the Egyptian economy or encourage the Muslim Brotherhood or plant terrorists in Egypt. But it doesn't change the figures on spending, per se.

I haven't been able to get a straight answer on just how many Gazan arabs were –– and are –– in Egypt. The MSM sob sisters downplayed that these starving, medically-deprived arabs were surprisingly energetic, and emphasized that the new supplies wouldn't last long. How many Gazans crossed over? The figures given are "thousands" to "hundreds of thousands of Gazans flooded into Egypt." DEBKAfile's estimate was 350,000, later boosted to 750,000, with a sizable number not returning to Gaza. But, in any case, it is unlikely all one and a half million Gazans trotted off to Egypt temporarily or permanently.

Using 750,000 as estimate of people –– and 480 million dollars as the amount spent –– that comes to $640 worth of goods per peripatetic Gazan. The average father of 10, with only 2 wives, purchased $8320 worth of goods. Wow! Not bad for a bunch of poverty-stricken people. And since goods are cheaper in Egypt, they could buy more with less money, so how did they transport all the goodies back home?

The article below is called "Gaza Buried in Flour" and was written by Martin Kramer. It appeared on his blogsite:
http://sandbox.blog-city.com/gaza_buried_in_flour.htm.Martin Kramer is a Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, and a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won't even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:

Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.

You don't need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day.

A typographical error at the Boston Globe? Hardly. The two authors used the same "statistic" in an earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that "the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter." Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being "a reduction of 99 percent."

Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media food chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.

What's the truth? I see from a 2007 UN document that Gaza consumes 450 tons of flour daily. The Palestinian Ministry of Economy, according to another source, puts daily consumption at 350 tons. So the figure for total consumption retailed by Sarraj and Roy is off by more than three orders of magnitude, i.e. a factor of 1,000. No doubt, there's less flour shipped from Israel into Gaza –– maybe it's those rocket barrages from Gaza into Israel? –– but even if it's only the 90 tons claimed by Sarraj and Roy, it isn't anything near a "reduction of 99 percent." Unfortunately, if readers are going to remember one dramatic "statistic" from this op-ed, this one is it –– and it's a lie.

Sarraj is a psychiatrist, but his co-author, Sara Roy, bills herself in her bio as a "political economist." Her research, the bio reports, is "primarily on the economic, social and political development of the Gaza Strip." You would think someone with this claim to expertise would know better than to copy some impossible pseudo-statistic on the consumption of the most basic foodstuff in Gaza. Indeed, in a piece she wrote a decade ago, she herself put Gaza's daily consumption of flour at 275 tons. Did she even read her own op-ed before she sent it off to Boston's leading paper? If she did, what we have here is a textbook example of the difference between a "political economist" and an economist.

Update: The Boston Globe, presumably after consulting the authors, has added this correction:

A column on Saturday by Eyad al-Sarraj and Sara Roy incorrectly said that Gaza requires 680,000 tons of flour daily to feed its population. It is 680,000 pounds, which means a reduction of 73 percent, not 99 percent, of flour allowed into Gaza.

What originated as a half-malicious, half-unthinking repetition of a fantastic charge against Israel, is now presented by Sarraj and Roy as somebody's typo, compounded by a little bad math.

In fact, the "correction" is nearly as pathetic as the "error" it is meant to fix. Measuring the flour needs of Gaza in pounds is like measuring the distance from Boston to New York in yards. The UN, Palestinian ministries, and aid agencies all use tons. The pounds-for-tons "correction" is an attempt to cover up the authors' original sin: they just copied the figure straight from the Ahram Weekly (which anyway doesn't use pounds –– it uses metric measurements). The Boston Globe should go back to the authors and ask for the precise source of their figures. It's called fact-checking.

To Go To Top

Posted by David Wilder, January 31, 2008.

A Building Freeze. A Freezing Building

It's out of the theatre of the absurd. Yesterday a colleague of mine received a phone call from an officer in an IDF unit stationed in Hebron. He had a request/demand. Two soldiers are stationed outside Beit HaShalom for security purposes. The officer told my friend that the soldiers are 'cold' and requested/demanded that people in the building supply them with an electric line for a heater to keep them warm.

My friend could not believe his ears. Only days before, Defense Minister Ehud Barak refused Hebron's request to allow humanitarian renovations in the building, including instillation of simple windows, electric current, and sealing of the building's roof to prevent water leakage. The letter received from the Defense ministry stated clearly: If you're cold, go live somewhere else.

The same defense ministry, who refused us electricity, was now demanding that we supply electricity to IDF soldiers. My friend's answer was short and sweet –– Go talk to the Defense Minister. If he gives us electricity, we'll be happy to share it with you.

A little while later this information was passed on to an Israeli journalist, who requested a response from the IDF. 'How can you ask for electricity from Jews in Hebron when you yourselves refuse to allow them electric lines?'

A little while later he received his response: 'The entire episode was a mistake. The IDF unit requesting electricity was not supposed to call the Jewish Hebron municipality. Rather, they should have made contact with the Arab Hebron municipality and asked to receive electricity from them.'

In other words, the army can take electricity from the Arabs to keep their soldiers warm, but Hebron's Jews cannot receive any more electric lines to keep their children warm.

THIS AFTERNOON I spoke to one of the building's residents who told me as follows: We don't have enough electricity for ourselves, but we've tried to help the soldiers guarding at the entrance because it's freezing there. We've given them two of our own electric heaters, but due to the lack of electric current, both of them have burned out.

Early this afternoon I visited Beit HaShalom with my cameras. My daughter, son-in-law and their three children, aged three to three months, have lived there for the past ten months. They live in a one room apartment, divided into parent's space, children's space, kitchenette and living room. Their windows are filled withsome kind of corrugated plastic sheets, somehow sealed onto the walls. Two small heaters keep the room from freezing.

Another family in Beit HaShalom just welcomed their seventh child a few days ago. They live in similar conditions to my daughter.

Last night winter finally arrived in Israel. Extremely strong winds pounded the Hebron area, and Beit HaShalom was quite adversely affected. Many of the residents had closed their windows with large sheets of plastic, which up until yesterday were sufficient. That changed in the middle of the night, when the strong winds literally blew the plastic window-coverings away. Families found themselves as if they were camping outdoors in the middle of the winter. Rain started leaking into people's rooms from the walls and roof, and puddles formed in their apartments. For a good part of today many Beit HaShalom residents attempted to fix their windows, again hanging huge plastic sheets against the window frames, attaching them with screws and glue, hoping that tonight won't be a repeat of last night. However, many of them expect it to be worse. Snow is expected in Hebron, starting tonight and ending sometime on Thursday.

One of the families has three heaters in their room, but can only use two of them, the two smaller ones. The larger radiator remains cold; it uses too much electricity. Each family has an 'electric budget' which they cannot go over, or else the generator which provides the building's current will break down.

The Hebron Jewish Community is spending some $20,000 a month to keep the building warm. The generator works 24 hours a day, at full power, to heat up the family's apartments. (You can help if you'd like, and your assistance would be much appreciated: [www.hebrontruma.com]) No one I've spoken to have any plans to leave. I interviewed Shlomo Levinger, who lives there with his wife and five children and asked him why he doesn't find somewhere else to live, as Ehud Barak suggested. His answer: "This is my home, I live here. Just like anyone else in their home can install windows, so too I should be able to. We haven't asked for very much, just to replace these plastic sheets with something a little more solid to offer us protection, on humanitarian grounds. Last night the wind blew so hard that it knocked the screws holding on the plastic sheets out of the wall. Each child needed at least three blankets; it was very cold."

While I was there, Shlomo was attempting to repair the window space, hoping that tonight would be a little warmer in his children's room.

(Short videos of Beit HaShalom, filmed today, can be seen on the Hebron home pages –– www.hebron.org.il in Hebrew and www.hebron.com in English).

The Israeli government is doing its utmost to force Beit HaShalom's residents to leave; Ehud Barak, the current Defense Minister, is acting like a Russian Cossack. As another friend exclaimed today: 'This is acting like a Jew? This is the way one Jew acts towards another Jew?'

The other Ehud has the authority to overrule his defense minister. But at the moment he's more concerned with surviving in the Prime Minister's office follow tomorrows' release of the Winograd Commission Report, dealing with his failures during the Second Lebanon War. That certainly takes precedence over a few dozen men, women and children in subhuman conditions in Hebron. Besides which, Olmert already declared a full building freeze in all of Judea and Samaria. So the situation in Hebron falls directly within that category: Windowless, electric-less Beit HaShalom, if not part of Olmert's building freeze, is quite literally a freezing building.

David Wilder is spokesman of The Jewish Community of Hebron. You can contribute directly to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Phyllis Chesler, January 31, 2008.

My headscarf is giving me a headache! What I mean, is that the issue of the Islamic headscarf is a tricky, thorny one with no hard-and-fast solution in sight precisely when one is required. Just yesterday, a dear friend challenged me on this very subject.

She said: "How can you favor the state forbidding women from doing something that they want to do for religious reasons?"

A fair enough question.

My immediate response: Women's freedom may depend upon the separation of religion and state. What one does at home or in one's mosque, church, temple, or synagogue is one thing. But, is it wise to subsidize diverse religious expressions in a taxpayer-supported public school? Especially in the West where the headscarf is as much a symbol of jihad and women's subordination as it is an expression of a modest, religious choice?

In 2004, the headscarf was a burning issue in France when the country passed a law forbidding the wearing of "ostentatious" religious symbols. This meant that no one could wear a cross, a turban, or a yarmulke either but the law was truly aimed at hijab –– the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women. Feminists argued both sides of this controvery.

In 2008, the headscarf is again a burning issue in Turkey where an increasingly religious population, including women, is demanding the right to veil in university. This is seen as a complete reversal of the enormous gains made by Attatturk in 1921.

It is also a pendulum swing from the various Arab and Muslim feminist movements of that era in which unveiling was a linch-pin issue. Egypt's Huda Shaarawi must be turning in her grave. I wonder what she would say?

Yes, it is true: Religious families in the West rarely give their children "freedom of choice" when it comes to religious education and practices. Both girls and boys are indoctrinated from an early age. This is true for secular fundamentalist families as well. Western law does not intefere with this. On what basis could we do so where only Muslims are concerned? Or rather, like France, are we now willing to interfere in the private religious realm because of new, Islamist "clear and present dangers?"

Ideally of course, tolerating diverse ethnic and religious choices is a great Western virtue. The problem arises when those who themselves are intolerant wish to use such Western virtues in order to achieve separatist, hostile-parasitic enclaves. But, hasn't some degree of separatism been true for every immigrant group –– at least in America? Hasn't the genius of America resided precisely in allowing each immigrant group to remain identified in separate ways while simultaneously becoming identified similarly as Americans?

My friend is a religious Jew and is therefore very sensitive to the dangers involved when Jewish religious expression is forbidden. Indeed, even today, the Jews of Europe have been advised by their rabbis to hide their yarmulkes and stars of David lest they be scorned or beaten on the streets—something which has, alas, been happening.

But, said I, with a heavy heart: We can't really compare apples and oranges. Crosses and yarmulkes are not the same as hijab or niqab. With some exceptions, both Jews and Christians are not only or solely defined as members of their religious group. They also partake of the public, secular, modern culture. Also, there are only about 15 million Jews world-wide. There are 1.2 billion Muslims and counting. If every single Jew covered every inch of themselves with Jewish symbols it would be as a drop in the sea compared to every single Muslim doing so.

Of course, as a religious Jew, my friend is still concerned with the morality involved. From a Jewish point of view, what's good for a Jew should be good for every other religious group since all humanity has been created in "God's image."

But, what about women's rights? Where do we stand on a woman's right not to wear a headscarf? Will we protect her (at least in the West) from being honor-murdered when she refuses to do so? However, what do we do when a woman claims that her right to freely practice her religion is being interfered with if we stop her from veiling? Does the state have the right to force her, against her will, to expose her hair to strange men?

Indeed, this is the subject of a 2007 federal lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of Jameela Medina. She is a Los Angeles PH.D student who was riding a commuter train without a proper ticket. For what should have been a minor matter, she was taken off the train, arrested, kept in jail for several hours where she was forced to remove her headscarf.Medina also claims that she was "intimidated" by a deputy sheriff who accused her of "being a terrorist" and who called Islam an "evil" religion.

No one should be so insulted in America. And, prisoners are actually allowed to wear headscarves in jail –– a point which the ACLU is arguing.

Yes, I know that many educated Muslim women choose to wear hijab or niqab. But, I also know that many educated Muslim women who choose not to do so are threatened, pressured, shunned, and even killed for this reason, both in the West and in Muslim lands.

Yes, I also know that some feminists have claimed that historically, veiled women on the streets may have been less harassed by men in the East than unveiled women were at the same time in the West. Today, separate buses and railway cars for women-only have been launched in India and Mexico in response to the still ongoing harassment of women. (Insisting, in ugly or violent ways, that women sit at the back of the public bus used by ultra-religious Jewish populations in Jerusalem, is a slightly separate although equally awful reality and one that the Israeli Supreme Court will hear).

I also know that many Muslim women do not feel "coerced" into wearing a headscarf in the West as much as they feel called upon to register a permanent, visible, protest against promiscuity and the eroticization of women in the West. (Like nuns do).

In the 1960s and 1970s, I thought it was poetic justice for former "colonials" to sport their colorful customs all over London. Bangles, nose-rings, turbans, long flowing robes on both men and women –– yes! But, by the 21st century, these exotic garments are ominously value-laden and less lovely. Now, they signify a serious cultural, military, political, and theological invasion of Britain and the West.

Quo Vadis my friends? What shall we do in America? Do we allow headscarves or do we ban them? What about female genital mutilation, daughter- and wife-beating, and secret polygamy? Finally, what about the indoctrination into hating Jews and other infidels which begins in childhood and is theologically driven in certain mosques and religious schools? Right here in the USA?

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 s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 31, 2008.


"Every country is obliged to protect its citizens and would act as Israel to defend them," states the Foreign Ministry. But Israel does not root out the terrorists. No other country would fail, like Israel, to defend itself strongly enough.

"Israel believes that the Palestinian people are entitled to national self-determination and a state of their own."

"Israel does not view the people of Gaza as its enemy and is doing everything possible to prevent harm to innocent Palestinian civilians." "Unfortunately, the Islamic extremists gaining control of the Gaza street are the greatest obstacle to a two-state solution... These extremists in Gaza oppose reconciliation, oppose the peace talks... For these reasons, Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization... (IMRA, 1/17).

Nonsense! The Israeli Far Left believes that the non-nation of the western Palestinian Arabs are entitled to national self-determination, but that would be like suggesting national self-determination for New Jerseyans. New Jerseyans are not a separate nationality.

Gaza voters chose Hamas and Fatah. Fatah negotiates but also terrorizes and wants war. Therefore, the people are the enemy and not so innocent. Hamas is not terrorist for the reasons given, but because it deliberately attacks civilians.


Shas demanded that all other negotiations be concluded before Jerusalem. Then it would invoke new elections as "defender of Jerusalem." PM Olmert agreed.

Defenders of the now evacuated Jewish communities in the Territories let the government prepare everything on the theory that at the last minute, they could stop the steamroller government. In this case, Olmert would reach an agreement on everything else, have no bargaining chips left, and then pressure Shas that but for Jerusalem, peace would be made and Jews spared. He would persuade the head of Shas to give. The saving of lives would be brief, for soon the war would resume without Israel having the strategic barrier to invasion and the Muslims placed to inflict greater casualties (IMRA, 1/17).

There is no saving of lives in temporary agreements with jihadists. Security, and the integrity of the Land of Israel and its holy places go together. If Israel and the hostile West hadn't gone soft and treacherous, Israel could threaten to execute terrorist prisoners unless the P.A. gives in to Israeli demands.


You must know that jihad is assaulting civilization, but democracies cripple their defenses with political correctness, multi-culturalism, ignorance, partisanship, and defeatism. Democracies are slow to make obviously fateful decisions, too.

Another weakness of democracies may be self-indulgence and being short-sighted and averse to serious discussion. To defend civilization against a patient, resourceful, and rich enemy requires patience resourcefulness, and economic growth and power.

Unfortunately, Americans are impatient, don't recognize the struggle enough to be resourceful about it, and squander their national wealth. They are too self-indulgent. They don't ask what can they do for their country, they, or at least their politicians and lobbyists, ask what can their country do for them. They don't save much; they spend. They not content with spending their own money, they tax their fellow Americans to spend more on themselves. Almost every group puts its own welfare first.

The country falters under debt to its enemies. After its over-spending has cheapened the dollar, and the economy slows down, the politicians suggest that the remedy for over-spending is to spend more.

New York, a state heavily taxed and heavily in debt, had some prosperous years –– at least New York City was prosperous –– did not use the opportunity to retain and attract business by reducing taxes and spending. It did not invest in infrastructure that facilitates business. It did not pay off debt in order to become sounder fiscally and curb interest payments. It handed out the surplus and praised itself as benefiting the citizenry.

Prosperity has gone; the debt remains. Nevertheless, the people are not understanding. They demand of the new governor that he keep his campaign promises to spend more, much more, without raising taxes. He had failed to hedge his promise by stating, "provided revenues hold." He proposes to fulfill some of those spending increases by raising fees and taxes that he denies are tax increases, because he calls them loophole-closing. I would call them tax increases that may close loopholes. In any case, Americans lack discipline. Our troops have grit. We civilians pretend that there isn't much of a war.


It suggests that instead of setting up an independent state combining Gaza and Judea-Samaria, Israel give Gaza to Egypt and give Judea-Samaria (presumably less the main Jewish towns in it) to Jordan. It referred to Gaza as "its pre-1967 status as part of Egypt. Egypt, at least is a country with which Israel has a peace treaty and diplomatic relations..."

Israel wouldn't have to complain about arms being smuggled into Gaza. It could hold Egypt responsible for rocket attacks, and the US could threaten to reduce aid to Egypt. This would be a "just solution." (NY Sun, 1/24, Ed.).

It isn't a "just solution" to let the Arabs finally deprive Israel of its core homeland area as a reward for terrorism and violating peace agreements. It isn't a solution to erase Israel's secure borders. The Arabs have violated all their peace agreements with Israel. The Sun shouldn't rely on broken agreements.

Gaza wasn't part of Egypt. Egypt simpIy seized it. In suggesting that Israel hold Egypt responsible for rocket attacks, the editor seems to anticipate such attacks. Then what was the point? How would Israel hold Egypt responsible? Making Gaza part of Egypt would enable Egypt to place its big standing army alongside Israel, ready swiftly to pounce on Israel, whose reserves would not have time to assemble. Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt now, half frozen as they are. That doesn't stop Egypt from allowing arms smuggling. Let the US terminate military aid to Egypt now. If it doesn't do it now, it won't do it later.

The Sun's editorial is as much wishful thinking as any treasonous Olmert proposal. I never see any suggestions that would be good for the Jewish people, just make-believe peace with fanatics.


Peace Now receives several million dollars, most of its budget, from European governments who share its wish to detach the Territories entirely from Israel. One of the donors paid Peace Now to spy on settlers.

Peace Now had to register with some Israeli list of organizations receiving foreign donations, but otherwise it hid its source of income from Israelis by subterfuge. The Knesset passed a law requiring Israeli organizations to list their foreign funding on the Internet (Arutz-7). Should Peace Now be considered an Israeli organization or a foreign and enemy stooge?

Perhaps Israelis will see how much of their subversion is financed by the New Israel fund, and ask American Jewry to stop donating to it.


Abbas' P.A. told Israel that it had the recent killers of two Israeli hikers in custody. It asked Israel not to demand they be turned over. Instead, it promised to keep them confined to their place of employment. The Olmert regime granted the request (Arutz-7, 1/17).

That not punishment of the killers. It encourages other terrorists. Olmert has forfeited some Israeli sovereignty in this. Arafat started this kind of defiance of Israeli law and upholding of terrorism when he refused to extradite wanted terrorists. He was showing that he does not recognize Israeli legitimacy. This instance further proves that Abbas a supporter of terrorism.


The Winograd Committee report is about to be disseminated. PM Olmert will try to counter it by claiming to have implemented its recommendations. He will be misleading the public. People should be ready to refute him. The line of argument against hiom should be that the report will show his incompetence in the Lebanon War, and that incompetence remains.

Examples of his continuing incompetence abound. Among them are: (1) Amenability to a truce with Hamas, during which Hamas can freely prepare for war; (2) Failure and rescinding of fuel cutoff to Gaza; (3) Arms smuggling due to his surrendering supervision of the border with Egypt (IMRA, 1/17).


Sec. Rice has been comparing Israel to her segregated childhood and asserting that checkpoints are everywhere in Judea-Samaria and Arabs can't use the same roads as Jews. She has met little journalistic challenge. (She does not compare the P.A. to her segregation, though the P.A. punishes Arabs who sell land to Jews.) An Israeli couple refute her assertion in detail.

They made a 200 mile trip south to Eilat. In Judea-Samaria, so many Arab vehicles shared the road with them, and there were so few checkpoints, those being mostly at the entrances to the State of Israel, that they were apprehensive. The Arabs were not inconvenienced on the road. At Eilat, Muslim children swam at the pools or beaches with Jewish children, Muslim families ate Jewish cooking at the hotels, and their cars crowded the parking lots.

The US civil rights movement that Rice cited was peaceful, whereas the Muslim struggle with Israel is violent and intolerant (IMRA, 1/17).

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

To Go To Top

Posted by NGO Monitor, January 31, 2008.


* Ford-funded NGOs led the campaign against Israel at the UN World Conference Against Racism, at Durban in 2001.

* The Ford Foundation's 2007 database of direct grants does not include NGOs which exploit human rights rhetoric as part of the Durban strategy of demonizing Israel. However, Ford does not include information on indirect and continuing funding.

* NGO Monitor's research shows that PCHR, Miftah and PHRO continued to receive Ford Foundation support in 2007.

* NGO Monitor sent numerous requests for clarification to Ford which were not answered in a substantive manner.

* Many other NGOs, which appeared on Ford's funding database in 2005 and 2006, and which promote boycotts and divestment, and selectively use human rights rhetoric to demonize Israel, continue to list Ford as a donor in 2007.

* These findings raise serious questions of Ford's transparency and its commitment to its own post-Durban guidelines. There is also a real possibility that Ford-funded NGOs will again lead the demonization of Israel at the 2009 follow-up conference to Durban.

Ford Foundation Grantees 2007 –– Improvement?

In 2006, NGO Monitor reported a comparative reduction in the Ford Foundation's support for the most virulent NGOs that focus primarily on demonization of Israel under the "Durban strategy". In 2007, none of the problematic NGOs from 2006 were found in the Ford Foundation's grants database. If funding had indeed ceased, this would constitute a marked improvement in Ford's funding practices.

However, research throughout 2007 has revealed that Ford continues to support some of the most radical and politicized NGOs, despite the fact that they have not appeared in its grant database since 2005. The Ford Foundation has consistently failed to answer NGO Monitor's enquiries about multi-year grants and indirect funding not included in its database. In March and November 2007, NGO Monitor contacted the Ford Foundation repeatedly to establish whether any 2005 grant recipients continued to receive support in 2006/7. Ford failed to provide a substantive response.

Ford-funded NGOs from previous years continue to list Ford as donor

NGOs which continue to list Ford as a funding source on their websites, although these are not included in Ford's 2007 database, include

* Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) website states that the organization is funded by the Ford Foundation.

* New Israel Fund website lists the Ford Foundation as under "Special Programs and Partners". In September 2007 Ford renewed its 2003 five-year partnership with NIF, to support civil society, human rights and social justice organizations in Israel. NIF, in turns, funds Adalah, Mossawa, Machsom Watch, Arab Association of Human Rights and HaMoked, Bimkom, I'lam,and other NGOs.

* Miftah lists Ford as a donor in materials provided to NGO Monitor (see below)

* Al-Mezan lists Ford as a project donor for 2006

* Al-Haq –– the 2006 Annual Report lists a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, $50,000 of which had not been spent by the end of 2006.

* Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO) lists Ford as a donor in its 2006 Annual Report

* Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC) (On JLAC's list of "Partners 2000-2007" "Ford Foundation, Cairo Office" is listed)

* Interpeace website states that the organization is funded by the Ford Foundation.

* Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) lists Ford as a funding source

* Human Rights Watch still lists the Ford Foundation as a donor of "$100,000 or more" among the organization's "Supporters of General and Endowment Funds –– April 2005 –– March 2006".

* International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) states that it is supported by the Ford Foundation

* Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) –– continues to list Ford as a funding source for "Training and Education in International Affairs" on its website

* Ir Amim continues to list Ford as a supporter on its website

All of these NGOs were contacted[1] in November and December 2007, and asked whether the Ford Foundation remains an active donor. Only PCHR, Miftah, PHRO, Save the Children –– UK and HRW responded.


PCHR has not appeared in Ford's grant database since 2005. In an email of October 31, 2007 PCHR Director Raji Sourani confirmed that the website was indeed up to date, including the sections on funding. As NGO Monitor has reported, "while PCHR does an important job of describing intra-Palestinian human rights abuses, it is blatantly one-sided in its removal of the context of terror and disregard of human rights abuses committed against Israeli civilians. PCHR also supports 'all the efforts aimed at enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights in regard to self-determination and independence,' including calls for political, economic, and academic boycotts against Israel."


Miftah has not appeared in Ford's grant database since 2005. Miftah's administrative and financial director Rula Muzaffar attached a list of Miftah's donors for the year 2007 to his email of October 30, 2007. [link to attached excel file] The Ford Foundation appears as a donor for the period March 2003-February 2007, supporting three different projects/activities:

1. Institutional Support and Policy Formulation.
2. Empowerment of Women in Negotiations.
3. Enhancing Accountability in the Public Sector.

Miftah is a political lobbying group which claims to increase "global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities by providing policy analysis, strategic briefings and position papers." However, despite claiming to be politically independent, Miftah uses Durban strategy rhetoric, characterizes terrorists as "activists" and "freedom fighters," and promotes highly politicized campaigns that do not contribute to peace. An op-ed on the Miftah website (August 2, 2006) claimed that Israel was deliberately targeting Lebanese civilians. The author wrote that Lebanese civilian deaths "are part of a systematic policy carried out by the Israeli military establishment, approved by the highest political echelons, aimed at squashing, silencing and obliterating any voice of rebellion, anyone who dares stand up to the beast." Miftah has also described suicide bombings against civilians as "resistance." An article of July 5, 2006 about Palestinian women during the last six years of violence stated that "several young women also decided to join the ranks of the resistance movement", went on to describe the first Palestinian female suicide bombing and commented that "this marked the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause."

Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO)

PHRO was listed in Ford's 2006 grant database, but not in the 2007 list. General Director Assistant Rola Badran responded to NGO Monitor's inquiry that all the details requested were available in the following link: PHRO's Annual Report 2006 (page 48). The Ford Foundation is listed as contributing $74,972.00 to support PHRO's strategy at the end of September 2006.

PHRO is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) (also listed as supported by the Ford Foundation), both heavily involved in the demonization of Israel. PHRO also participated in the 2001 Durban Conference and continues to promote the NGO strategy adopted there, including accusing Israel of "apartheid and ethnic cleansing," as well as "perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including... acts of genocide," and calls for "complete and total isolation of Israel."

In July 2006, PHRO issued a report titled, "Lebanon Crisis... Israel Severe Breaches to the International Law". This report was prepared "in light of Israel's assault on Lebanon" and describes "genocide in Qana" and "Israel's actions in Killing Civilians, imposing a Siege on Lebanon, Disproportionate Use of Forces, Using Prohibited Weapons in addition to Collective Punishment."

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

HRW featured in Ford's list of 2006 grantees, as receiving a restricted $300,000 grant for an HIV/AIDS program and a $60,000 grant for a full-time researcher in Brazil. Yet HRW still lists the Ford Foundation as a donor of "$100,000 or more" among the organization's "Supporters of General and Endowment Funds –– April 2005 –– March 2006".

In response to NGO Monitor's request for clarification Helen Raynsford from HRW UK replied that "the information that you have asked for is confidential."

Save the Children –– UK

The Save the Children Fund received two grants from the Ford Foundation in 2006: $50,000 to support the prospective Save the Children China Foundation, and $200,000 was given to Save the Children to fund human rights education in Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. Save the Children no longer list Ford as a donor, and Customer Service Advisor Ellie Mcleod (Individual Giving) said she could not offer a response to our enquiry due to "the number of similar requests that we receive and our limited resources." In the past, this organization has promoted the Palestinian version of the conflict in material designed for teachers.

The New Israel Fund (NIF)

As noted in NGO Monitor's 2006 report, following intense criticism of its role in funding NGOs involved in the 2001 Durban NGO Forum, the Ford Foundation announced a five-year partnership with NIF. This entailed a $20 million grant to establish a new peace and social justice fund. In September 2007, the Ford Foundation announced a second $20 million grant to extend this partnership for an additional five years. The Ford Foundation is mentioned on NIF's website under "Special Programs and Partners". However, NIF is not included in Ford's 2007 grants database.


The Ford Foundation released guidelines after the 2001 Durban conference which declare that it will not fund NGOS that " promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state, nor will it make sub-grants to any entity that engages in these activities." This prohibition is applicable to all of the organization's activities, and not merely those supported by a direct grant from Ford.

The evidence presented in this update shows that changes in Ford's grant database in 2006 and 2007 do not fully reflect implementation of the post-Durban changes in funding policy, and raise questions about Ford's commitment to transparency. PCHR, Miftah and PHRO selectively apply human rights terminology to demonize Israel, and actively promote the Durban Strategy, including boycotts and divestment.

Ford stated objectives are to "strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement." But the continued funding of these and possibly other groups not listed in the data base for 2007 contradicts these goals, as well as the commitments made after Durban 2001. In this context, there is a very real possibility that Ford-funded NGOs will again lead the demonization of Israel at the 2009 Durban follow-up conference.


[1] NGO Monitor asked the following NGOs about their donors in 2007: PCHR, Al-Haq, Miftah, Al-Mezan, PHRO, DWRC, JLAC, Muwatin, Interpeace, PANORAMA, Save the Children –– UK (SCF), HRW, ICJ, FIDH, PASSIA, Ir Amim. Only PCHR, Miftah and PHRO were helpful in supplying relevant information. Save the Children –– UK (SCF) and HRW replied that they did not have resources to reply. The rest of the NGOs, as well as the EMHRN, failed to respond.

The NGO Monitor organization (www.ngo-monitor.org) promotes critical debate and accountability of human rights NGOs in the Arab Israeli Conflict. Contact them at mail@ngo.monitor.org and visit them at www.ngo-monitor.org

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Peck, January 31, 2008.

There was a time when I used to feel a burning desire to write about the injustice that I felt which were done to Israel. However, I' ve noticed that I'm not doing that as so much anymore and find myself turning the pages in the Los Angeles biased news reading the next incident about 'wild-child' Britney Spears melt-down, her pregnant teen sister Jamey, or who is up for an award in their latest movie. Oh, it still bothers me when I read about the latest 'activist', never terrorists, who lobbed in the daily 'homemade' bomb into Israel. I don't like it when the savages who never waver in their desire to destroy the Jewish state are still referred to as 'peace partners' or, 'extremists'.

Yet, I'm tired of watching the scene and shaking my head in amazement and disgust at how two men, Ehud Olmert and George Bush, both of which have no credibility with their constitutes or concern for the country make decisions that have the potential to destroy the Jewish state. I used to wonder why the people living there weren't rioting or at least marching by the millions on a weekly basis in protest to obvious incompetence that is now running the country. But then I also used to wonder when Israel became a banana republic and it changed to when Condi Rice would snap her anti-Semitic fingers and shout "jump" Israel's Prime Minister would say "How high?"

Closer to home, I remember when I first became discouraged when I had the brain storm that since I have a celebrity television talk show, I would start an organization called, "Hollywood Stars Against Terrorism" I even called a couple of meetings at my home and had some strong supporters of Israel such as Bridgette Gabriel and Wafa Sultan in attendance along with several stars and community leaders. The only ones who didn't respond were those at the Israeli Consulate. I called their office three, or four times and asked for a copy of the list they had might have cooperated with them during the Lebanon War and no response. Needless to say, they never attended any of our three meetings to give us the much needed input or help. Eventually, the new regime came in however, the moment had passed. I figured if they weren't interested, why I should make myself crazy.

Now, however, I'm changing my thinking and the realization is coming closer to home with me that the strong tie of Israel is losing their connection because the link to Judaism by those living here is fading.

Last year, I received a call from the Federation asking me for money. One of the first 'selling points' of the solicitor was "Let me tell you about our inner city program" Then she went on to relate how they are helping the poor Latino and black children in the crime areas. Lovely.

Around the same time I had just attended a fabulous charity dinner at the Beverly Hills Hilton that was given by one of our local billionaires. Most of the well-heeled men in attendance were Jewish and real estate developers. Together, they raised over a million dollars that night to support a community center which was mostly used by poor Latinos in a suburban area.

Massive amounts of money are being given by wealthy Jews for the opera, symphony, art and similar cultural organizations; much too selected universities, often with a name on a building; and much too medical activities. Some toward meeting the needs of the poor, minorities and/or the disadvantaged. All in the name of advancing society. Nothing wrong on the surface. Yet, the contributions by these wealthy philanthropists toward Jewish causes are only a small percentage of the total, usually in a single digit percentage.

Out here, I see so many wealthy Jewish men with Barbie Doll trophy wives whose names are constantly in the papers for their philanthropic deeds. But rarely do they have anything to do with Jewish causes. The same goes for wealthy patrons of other faiths. The difference? They never give to Jewish organizations. The bottom line? Only Jews give to Jewish causes but never on the scale needed to meet the requirements of these same organizations. The Jewish Federations even have programs for Hispanics to leave charity hospitals with a layette or for black children to attend camp. I'd love to see a group of black preachers take a busload of Jewish day school kids...anywhere.

Jewish day schools and community centers are closing at an alarming rate because of lack of funds yet, where are the Hilton dinners and benefits for them? Out here, everyone has a cause. I'm regularly invited to events to save the whales, dolphins and there is even an organization to save the ferrets.

My daughter came home yesterday in tears because the synagogue sponsored school that her two year old, Ivy attends is closing because B'nai Tikvah Nursery School affiliated with Congregation Tikvat Jacob voted to shut their doors at the end of the school year. Why? Because, there are no funds to continue.

A few months ago when she began going I was leery that she was too young. However, it wasn't long when I began to change my mind when I realized that unfortunately, this was the refuge where my grandbaby was acquiring her Jewish education. The amazing thing was that out of the thirty or so children who attend this school a third of them are Hispanic, black or Asian. Yet, every Shabbat these precious babies would share in the experience of having Sabbath services.

I've watched the beauty of the rabbi and canter who would come to take part in leading the babies in making the Sabbath a fun time and most importantly a memorable one for these children. Yet, this has become the core of her early Jewish education. The non-children are benefiting just as much. I sat with tears in my eyes as I watched the beauty of these babies lighting the candles and saying their prayers over the chalet. Yet, to the rabbi and board members of Tikvat Jacob the doors to the school and the important early Jewish education and love of Israel are being slammed shut.

Obviously, it's not important enough or trendy enough like the dog refuges to capture the attention of the money people to set aside the funds to keep these smaller independent schools going. The neighborhood schools don't have the funding or the wealthy members like those in Beverly Hills to write a check for seventy-five thousand dollars for a grant. And, for some reason, the wealthy men who sponsor the benefits for the poor and deprived residents from across the border don't see the need to keep the synagogue schools going.

We wonder why the love of Israel isn't as strong as it ought to be. Strong enough to fight against corrupt and incompetent leadership? Maybe it begins at the three year old level? And, maybe it's time the Jewish organizations and Federations cut back on their bloated salaries and innercity programs and reiterate that the word is JEWISH Federation.

My momma used to tell me, those who weed everybody else's garden, gets weeds in their own..." She was right.

Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at: bestredhead@earthlink.net and www.arlenepeck.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Morris Sadek, January 31, 2008.

Two articles below on the status of Christian Copts in Arab Egypt.

Copts Will Never Forget
By George Emreminkimi

The extensive work that has been and is being done by the Armenian Diaspora to condemn the Armenian genocide is not intended to change the future. The Armenians do not aim to go back to regain their lands in Cilicia, nor are they asking for compensations from the Turks. Despite that, Armenians all over the world continue to lobby to pass resolutions in different countries condemning the Ottoman Empire's atrocities. What I mean is that Armenians know that they can not change the future but that does not mean that they should accept the past. Changing the future is one thing and accepting the past is a totally different thing.

Similarly the inability of the Copts to change the results of the Arab occupation does not mean that we should accept it. We should never forget the Arab rulers' atrocities in Egypt. We should never forget the ethnic cleansing that happened in the Delta specifically the lower Delta after the different Coptic revolts in the first two centuries of the occupation. The 829-831 revolt ended in a bloodbath by Caliph Al-Maamoon. The remaining population of this area was expelled by force to Syria. It is really shocking to find a street in Cairo named after this mass killer. We should never forget the policies of colonization by Arab settlers, land confiscation from the Copts and deportation of Coptic peasants to plundered areas. All this caused the slow demographic shift that happened allover Egypt but at a higher speed in the Delta. We should never forget the Arabs' assault on the Coptic language. For the first time, Egypt lost its national language to adopt a foreign language. No other occupying force attempted to do that before. We should never forget the policies of the Arab invaders and their heirs (Mamluks and Turks) of heavy taxation and in "milking the cow" as the Arabs referred to Egypt; Policies that led to poverty, disease and famine. For the first time in Egyptian history, the Egyptian population declined more than 10 times. When the Arabs invaded Egypt, the population of the country was estimated to be between 15 to 24 millions. When the French came to Egypt in the 18th century, the population had dropped down to 2 millions only.

We should always remember our religion, history, and identity and teach them to future generations. We should preserve what is remaining of our national language. If the invaders had succeeded in occupying our land, they should not succeed in occupying our minds and souls.

"No Freedom Of Religion In Egypt" by Alexander Weissink Source www.freecopts.net

Former Muslim Mohammed Higazi is lucky that he was not present in an Egyptian courtroom on Tuesday. An Islamic fundamentalist lawyer made death threats against the Egyptian for converting to Christianity. To the dismay of Higazi's lawyer the judge made no objection.

What made matters even worse, the judge went so far as to express his loathing off the accused because he had converted. There was no verdict but the judge vowed that he would never let Mr Higazy be registered as a Christian. He defended his decision by saying that Islam is the principal religion in Egypt. No mention was made of the freedom of religion established in the constitution which is a fundamental right of all citizens.


Mr Higazy and his pregnant wife have been hiding for months at a secret location. He is the first convert who is attempting to get a judge to change the faith on his identity card from Muslim to Christian. Egyptian identity cards must report the faith of the holder. While freedom of religion exists theoretically, in practice Muslims are not allowed to change their religion in the municipal register.

At the age of 16 Mr Higazi converted to Christianity and took on the Christian name Beshoi. A classmate had left a book with takes from the Bible on his desk. "I began to read the book and was consumed by the love of Jesus,"he explained last year in an interview at a secret location. When his wife, who is also a convert, became pregnant last year he decided to make the change official. "Otherwise my child will automatically be registered as a Muslim." However, his application was rejected.


Mr Higazi's lawyer Ramsis el-Naggar, who specialises in conversions, says "there is no freedom of choice in Egypt, unless you're a Muslim."His law firm now represents some 400 converts. Most of his clients were originally Christian, for one reason or another converted to Islam, and now want to return to Christianity.

Sometimes his clients are people who regret that they changed their faith. However, many times his clients are the victims of government bureaucracy, such as children whose Christian fathers became Muslims. "Many civil servants are overzealous. If a man changes his faith to Islam they also change the listing of his children. Others function on the automatic pilot. They type the word "Muslim' on the card as a matter of habit. A lot of mistakes are made and it takes years to correct them."An estimated 90% of Egypt's population is Muslim. Coptic Christians are the largest minority.


So far El-Naggar has only achieved success in cases in which he could prove the person had never changed faith. In 2004 he won for the first time in the case of Mira Makram (33). Her husband had converted to Islam in 2002 and had forced her to sign a statement confirming that she had converted to Islam. Her religion was changed to Islam in the register without her knowledge. After two years of legal proceedings.the judge ordered that the change be rectified. Fundamentalists called for the death of Mira Makram. The lawyer says "These kinds of cases lead to so much controversy that they are becoming even more difficult."El-Naggar is expecting a verdict on 22 similar cases at the beginning of February and is full of optimism. However, the Higazi case is more difficult since his client was originally a Muslim. His only chance of success would be a letter from the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Shenouda III, acknowledging that he is a Christian. However even the pope does not dare to provide him with such a letter. Mr Higazi says he understands this.

"It's too dangerous. If the pope were to give me the letter today, churches would be burning tomorrow" source www.freecopts.net

Mr. Morris Sadek, Esq, is President, National American Coptic Assembly (NACA), Washington, D.C. Contact him at morrissadek@yahoo.com.

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 31, 2008.

Editor's Note: Read the Wheeler memo by accessing it on the Background.html page. Click here.

1. Ask visiting Admiral Michael Mullen, the current Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff about confidential, Top Secret 1967 Report on Israel's defensible borders. He will visit Israel for 24 hours Sunday December 9, 2007.

2. As alleged in the New York Times December 6th, the whole NIE (U.S. National Intelligence Estimate) downgrade of Iran's nuclear weapons' capability was based on "notes acquired last summer from discussions between [un-named] Iranian military officials where they complain about Iranian leaders 2003 decision to shut down efforts to develop nuclear weapons." (1)

3. Ask Admiral Mullen if he believes what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says rather than "some notes".


On May 4, 1999 we sent out the following article about the 1967 Secret Map by Gen. Earle Wheeler then Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff referencing the "Secret" Map of June 29, 1967. January 26, 1996, we published the following analysis of a May 20, 1993 interview with then Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak.

Note the following points:

Item #1. Barak's professional, military, strategic opinion as to what borders would be defensible for Israel's security and to ensure that Israel would remain a strategic asset to America were exactly what the US Joint Chiefs of Staff delineated when asked by President Johnson. See enclosed map which was Top Secret until March 1983.

The May 1993 interview:

"Ehud Barak as Israel's Foreign Minister under Shimon Peres is [was] negotiating the surrender of the Golan Heights. But on 5/20/93 when Lt. General Ehud Barak was Israel's Chief of Staff, he addressed an American Jewish Press conference. Asked to express his professional military, strategic opinion as to what borders would be defensible for Israel's security and to remain a US strategic asset, Gen. Barak quoted the 6/29/67 US Joint Chiefs of Staff memorandum, which was top secret until The Wall Street Journal reported 3/9/83: "President Johnson asked 'what minimum territory Israel should retain for effective defense against conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids?' The Joint Chiefs under Gen. Earle Wheeler said: "returning Israel to pre-1967 boundaries would drastically increase its vulnerability. Israel would be threatened by West Bank artillery and tactical SAMs –– a sword constantly over its head and the need to maintain readiness with prohibitive mobilization costs. For stable future Arab-Israeli agreements, Israel must feel it can wait out a crisis rather than strike pre-emptively. Israel should retain...the Gaza Strip, mountains and plateaus of the West Bank, the tip of the Sinai, Sharm el Sheikh, the Golan Heights east of Quneitra, and all of Jerusalem."

Four were negotiated away. [Now five, including the Gaza Strip –– as of August 2005]. The last three are presently on the table. Directly contravening the US Joint Chiefs, Rabin and Peres agreed to abandon the only deterrent/defensive positions which until now have guaranteed peace. They'll give the entire Golan Heights to Syria and most of the West Bank to the PLO and Jews who come under Arab sovereignty and police force can stay if they want.. The Arabs say all Jews must go. [Israel's current PM Ehud Olmert has said he's willing to give up crucial parts of Jerusalem as of December 2007]

The top secret deep analysis by US Army, Navy, Air Force and Intelligence agencies assessed Israel's vulnerability according to U.S. interests. The US Administration did not want to be in the position of having to rescue Israel. The Wheeler recommendation was considered the best military option in order to protect Israel.

In May 1993 when he was a General, Barak said that: "Israel's qualitative edge has disappeared as the West arms the Arabs with top-of-the-line planes, tanks and missiles –– the same models Israel receives in much smaller numbers. Israel can't afford to maintain present defense levels and has cut its defense budget from 15% of the GDP to 9%; in dollars from $7.2 billion to $5.8 billion and going down." Gen. Barak described "national, ethnic and Islamic Fundamentalism as the tribal motive driving the Arab countries' arms race. They are achieving nuclear capability; receiving and developing unconventional weapons; and virtually all are dictatorships."

He continued, "Short run, with Iraq defeated and 'de facto' peace with Jordan, only Syria can make war. [While Israel sits on the Golan facing Damascus, Assad does not attack.] Long run, non-conventional weapons development will be resumed in Iraq as soon as the US leaves. Iraq, Iran and Syria will have chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in 1-5 years. They have the whole spectrum of technological know-how in their minds." [As of May 1993. You do the math! Such catastrophic weapons of mass destruction are probably operative now. Ed. note.]

Gen. Barak emphasized that, "Israel needs to maintain its armed strength. The combination of (our) conventional capability, Arab perception of (our) non-conventional capability and US aid gives Israel stability the way a three legged table is always stable. He asked: "Are the intentions of the Arab countries honorably peaceful? No! The Arabs declare openly their goals are to return to Jaffa, Haifa, Lod and especially Jerusalem, as the capital of ONLY the State of Palestine. They are arming prodigiously. Total Arab arms ratio in all categories runs against Israel from 10:1 in men, 5:1 in tanks, 3:1 in planes, 3:1 missiles, at minimum." [as of 1993]

Some say territory is not important in this age of missiles. However, in the WASHINGTON TIMES Oct. 1988, 100 retired U.S. Generals and Admirals urged Israel NOT to withdraw from Judea and Samaria. The headline was "RETAIN THE ISRAEL ASSET": "The Samarian and Judean high ridges cannot be effectively demilitarized or adequately inspected. If Israel loses its extensive early warning line, it would have no warning of attack. Now [1993] the Arab armies are at least four times their size in 1967. Even with missiles and supersonic aircraft causing great devastation, they cannot occupy. Only infantry and armor can overrun a country. Those are vulnerable to natural barriers. To remain strong Israel must retain the Jordan River as its eastern border. Pressing Israel to withdraw from this line will neither bring peace nor serve America's interests." (2)

The 'root cause' of Arab attacks against Israel isn't Arab frustration or poverty, but hatred of the non-Moslem 'infidel'. Peace talks with unilateral territorial concessions foster the impression that Israel is weak. Perceived weakness invites Arab attack. The American military knows these territories are minimal for Israel's security and would keep Israel strong enough to be the primary US strategic ally against violent Islamic Fundamentalism in the region. Why don't Israel's leaders?###

We are trying to include the Original "Secret" Map of the Secret Memorandum of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dated 6/29/67 in this Email. If your Inbox does NOT receive it, we hope it will be available upon request within the week.

Please request by FAX, Phone or Email & give us your FAX # & Email address. Call: Emanuel Winston ph: 847-432-1735 or FAX: 847-433-3981 Chicago. Email: gwinston@interaccess.com Websites: http://www.gamla.org &/or freeman.org

1. "IDF To Present Iranian Nuclear Evidence to U.S. Military Chief" by Ya'akov Katz Jerusalem Post Friday Dec. 7, 2007 (Pearl Harbor Day)

2. "Retain the Israel Asset" 100 retired U.S. Generals & Admirals Washington Times October 1988

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Batya Medad, January 31, 2008.

Yes, that's the Winograd Report (see below), a long, convoluted composition of words in which almost all sectors in the Israeli political, military and civilian spheres can find something they agree with, and something they disagree with. Yes, a supermarket, a mega market, with an enormous variety of products in great and confusing quantities. Personally, the thing that bothers me the most is the blame on the army, as if the army is independent of its political bosses. Think about it:

* Who provides the army with its budget?
* Who decides on its goals and aims?
* Who appoints its top commanders?

I can go on with those sorts of questions, but the answer is the same. It's The Israeli Government, Israeli politicians. So who is really responisble for the poor performance of the Army?

* Ehud Olmert
* Ehud Barak
* Ariel Sharon
* Shaul Mofaz
* Amir Pertz
* Shimon Peres
* Tzachi Hanegbi
* and all of the many Israeli politicians who have been in positions of influence over the years...

As many people with more patience than I have continue to go over the report, more and more "peculiar statements" will be discovered in the report, showing how political and unreliable it really is, a snow job for sure. G-d's joke is to give us weather to match. I'll start with the statement my husband found:

Israel must –– politically and morally –– seek peace with its neighbors and make necessary compromises. (Para 38)

That was not what they were supposed to "judge." That's a politically ideological statement at odds with reality and many of us Israelis. IMRA found something else which rankled them.

...(para 32). ... At the same time, we also note that...We have not found that the political echelon was aware of the details of the fighting in real time, and we have not seen a discussion, in either the political or the military echelons, of the issue of stopping the military operation after the Security Council resolution was adopted"

The media here is ignoring the fact that Winograd Report condems the fact that the government, Olmert, Peretz etc hadn't a clue as to what was really happening. That's why Olmert is happy. The media is protecting him. The worst thing is that even though, according to the official government statements, Israel went to war to free Ehud, Eldad and Gilad, they are still being held captive by the terrorists.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Jonathan Spyer, January 31, 2008.

The response of Israeli officials to the latest events in Gaza may in essence be divided into two halves. The initial response was one of frustration at Egyptian unwillingness to restore order on the international border. The subsequent sense is that the latest Gaza events have served to clarify, rather than significantly alter, an already existing reality.

As the news began to come in of the destruction of the southern border wall separating Gaza from Egypt, Israeli and western officials demanded that Egypt take steps to re-assert its control. And as the exodus of Gazans began, there was widespread anger at Egypt for its failure to speedily impose its authority.

This failure was seen as of a piece with the generality of Egyptian behaviour since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in September, 2005. In November 2005, Israel, under US pressure, handed over control of the Philadelphi corridor to Egypt, which was to administer the area, in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, and observed by an EU monitoring force. Events since this point are well known. Hamas won PA elections in January, 2006, and completed its seizure of power with a coup in June, 2007. This led to the departure of EU monitors from the border, and its sealing by Egypt.

Throughout this period, it has been a constant complaint on Israel's part that the Egyptians have reacted half-heartedly and unwillingly to the ongoing Hamas project of smuggling large quantities of weaponry into Gaza. The initial response to the chaotic scenes on the border reflected this.

The Israeli security forces were subsequently placed on increased alert along Israel's southern border. Israeli tourists were advised to return home from Sinai. There was fear that in the absence of any control, terrorist organisations would find it easy to exit Gaza, and prepare attacks on Israeli border communities.

As the days progressed, however, a new type of Israeli response began to manifest itself. The growing sense was that the latest Hamas action changed little of substance, but confirmed an already existing –– if ultimately untenable –– situation: since June 2007, Hamas-run Gaza has constituted a de facto hostile entity, administered by an organisation committed to Israel's destruction.

Ineffectual Egyptian administration of the southern border has led to a large scale influx of weaponry into the Strip. The Hamas-led entity has sought to engage Israel in a roiling, ongoing war of attrition through the use of rocket attacks and support for acts of terror launched from Gaza.

For the moment, at least, it appears that the border is now to be administered through a joint effort by Hamas and the Egyptian security forces. Hamas will thus be engaged in partial control of an international frontier. But whatever the final arrangement, Israel will continue to demand that Egypt adequately police the crossings, and Egypt will continue to fail to do so. Hamas efforts to bring in weaponry will also continue, and its support for Qassam rocket attacks on western Negev communities will remain.

This process makes a major Israeli operation into Gaza, at some point in the future, a near inevitability.

Of course, the curious situation remains whereby Hamas-controlled Gaza still receives the greater part of its fuel and electricity supplies from the state to whose destruction it is committed. And the Israeli High Court today ruled that even the partial restrictions imposed on fuel supplies must now be lifted. But should Qassam rocket attacks begin again in earnest, Israel has made clear that the borders between itself and Hamas-run Gaza will be re-sealed, with only those provisions necessary to prevent a humanitarian crisis allowed to enter.

The situation between the state of Israel and the Islamist statelet of Gaza is by definition one of conflict. In the event of a major Hamas terror attack within Israel, it is likely to turn into open war, on the model of Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. Gaza is ruled by an organisation committed to destroying Israel, and replacing it with a state based on Sharia Law. This was the case before Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008. It is the case after it. The events of the last days, from the Israeli point of view, have served largely to illustrate and reinforce this reality.

The final question is just how the continued existence of the Islamist statelet in Gaza can be reconciled with the hopes of the renewed peace process in which we were asked to believe following the Annapolis Conference. Peace processors of all nationalities –– Israeli, Palestinian and western –– have yet to offer a coherent answer. The anomalous situation in Gaza thus looks set to continue, until its contradictions play themselves out.

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya Israel. Contact him at info@gloriacenter.org

This article appeared in The Guardian today.

To Go To Top

Posted by Manhigut Yehudit, January 30, 2008.

In his State of the Union address Sunday, US President George Bush announced that he would midwife an Arab state of Palestine into existence inside the Land of Israel and inside the State of Israel before the end of 2008.

Bush waxed poetic –– we would more correctly say "delusional" –– about the "palestinian" leader Mahmoud Abbas, describing this unrepentant murdering terrorist as a "man of peace". Bush repeatedly referred not to the State of Israel, but to "the Holy Land". Against everything he professes to believe as an Evangelical Christian, he is now attempting to destroy the holiness of the Land of Israel.

Both in Israel and America, Jews trusted Bush. In Israel, some Rabbis and many "Land of Israel" activists threw the full weight of their support behind him when he was a candidate. How times have changed. It didn't faze Bush to sit in Ramallah with Abbas below a picture of the murderer of the most Jews since Hitler, Yasser Arafat.

What happened to Bush? Wasn't he the "best friend" that Israel ever had in the White House? As it turns out, George W. hasn't flip-flopped at all with his views on Israel. In fact, in the Bush family, when it comes to Israel the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was involved with money laundering for the Nazis.

Bush's father, George Sr., formed a coalition of "freedom-loving" nations to defeat Iraq and restore the Kuwaiti royalty to their thrones. Yet even to this day, Kuwait refuses to permit Jews to even fly on their national airline. George Sr. pressured Israel not to respond to 39 Iraqi scud missiles, and after the war he embraced Jordan's Hussein (who supported Saddam Hussein), withheld loan guarantees from Israel, and pushed Israel to go to the Madrid conference which started this suicidal "peace" process, and propped up Arafat (who also supported Saddam Hussein).

Bush Sr. makes money every day as a registered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia in Washington. Let's not forget his heavy investments in Middle Eastern oil companies. He had James "F--k the Jews, they don't vote for us" Baker as his key advisor and co-investor in oil. Bush Jr. now has Condi Rice as his key advisor. She's a perfect replacement for Baker, as she also has deep oil ties. Her ties are to Chevron. It is of great note that Chevron has significant trade interests with Iran. Of course, Bush Jr. also dusts off James Baker whenever he needs to add a little "gravitas" to his anti-Israel policies.

Now, Bush Jr. is trying to finish what his grandfather began and his father continued, attempting to both get rich and serve up Israel for ultimate sacrifice to the direct descendants of the Nazis. We must remember here that Arafat and Abbas' mentor, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was a close ally of Hitler. In addition to being responsible for instigating the murderous Arab riots against Jews in Israel during the 20s and 30s, Husseini found the time to set up Muslim SS Divisions and drew up plans with the Nazis to build another Auschwitz in Israel when the Germans arrived there.

Today people call the Iranian leader Achmadinejad the new Hitler. This week Achmadinejad told the world that it should prepare for the day –– which he stated will come soon –– when Israel does not exist. Bush reacts to this madman by declaring that Israel is on its own against the soon-to-be nuclear Iran.

Bush is counting on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to carry out his mission to destroy Israel. Bush so desires to fulfill this plan that he went so far as to interfere in Israeli politics by asking government officials to forget that Olmert is at best corrupt and inept in order to keep Olmert in office.

Olmert and so many of his predecessors have no foundation in Jewish values. They see the United States as their new Golden Calf. Therefore, they bow to the Bush roadmap which offers Israel as a bargaining chip for its own interests. And Bush knows this well.

Manhigut Yehudit only puts our faith in our Creator. The lesson for Jews everywhere is that we must put our faith only in The Jewish People, in our Holy Land of Israel in its entirety, and in G-d. Doing this will hasten our redemption. Anything else will hasten our destruction.

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Moshe Feiglin, its cofounder, has emphatically said he does not want a theocracy, but he does want a State based on Jewish values. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is http://www.manhigut.org. To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit www.jewishisrael.org. Or contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

To Go To Top

Posted by Koira, January 30, 2008.
This is from yesterday's Elder of Ziyon blogsite,
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2008/01/ hamas-claiming-some-egyptian-land.html

Palestine Press Agency reports of a TV interview with Hamas advisor Amhad Yousef.

Yousef is saying that some 13,000 acres of Egyptian territory are really "Palestinian" and he wants an open border with Arab countries: (autotranslated)

Ahmed Yousef, political adviser to Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, called for the "demolition and removal of the border between Palestinian Rafah and the Egyptian territory and the seizure of thousands of acres built on the border" claiming that the ownership back to the Palestinians.

Youssef claimed in an interview with the Arab channel tonight that "Hamas' destruction of the wall was intended to restore to the Palestinians their land allegedly taken to build a border wall is about 13 thousand acres" and said: "We do not want the continuation of the wall because we do not prefer the existence of any wall between us and deepened Arab" as he said.

Yousef described the demolition of the border as a first stage of what he called the third intifada, pointing out that the second stage will be moves towards crossing "Beit Hanoun" Erez north of the Gaza Strip.

In response to a question that by Hamas refusing European presence on the Rafah crossing the Palestinians could lose financial support from the EU, which is in a new Europe based on the formulation in support of the Palestinians and the construction of infrastructure and development plans, in the long run Yousef replied: "Europeans at the crossing were always part of the problem," suggesting that his movement does not want the Europeans' financial support, saying: "There are Arab parties prepared to offer assistance to us and we heard news of these reassuring Arab parties."

This should go over well in Egypt.

UPDATE: From Jerusalem Post:

The Egyptians have also foiled an attempt by Hamas members to raise Palestinian and Hamas flags on top of several government institutions in Sinai's Rafah and el-Arish.

The semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper reported that the attempt to place the flags was seen as a serious "provocation" by many Egyptians.

Hassan Issa, a member of the Egyptian parliament, accused Hamas of jeopardizing his country's security. "Hamas has violated our sovereignty and this is totally unacceptable," he said. "This move poses a real threat to Egypt's national security."

Arab diplomats in Cairo estimated that around 10,000 Palestinians were still in Sinai, six days after the barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt was destroyed.

One diplomat told the Post that Hamas supporters were trying to create the impression that they had succeeded in "liberating" Egyptian territory.

"The Hamas people apparently forgot that they had invaded Egypt, and not Israel," he said. "The Egyptians are running out patience."

Contact Koira by email at koira@dbmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 30, 2008.

The long-awaited alien space ships which have been such a mystery finally landed. They are presently in the desert of New Mexico, awaiting a delegation from the President of the United States and representatives of the world's nations. There is a nervous silence.

A door is opening and a platform is being lowered.

The delegation is anxiously now awaiting the emergence of these visitors from a distant world. Speculation is rife. Who are they? What do they want? What will they look like? Is this a friendly visit?

The main ship is estimated to be a mile in length and a half mile in width. It landed silently and rests lightly on the ground.

Several figures are emerging. There seems to be ten aliens who come out. They are quite small with thin spindly legs. They have some sort of cloaks with black and white stripes. They are wearing small black hats that look like beanies or what some call "skull caps".

The delegations start to speak to each other.

Something's wrong! They don't seem to understand each other's language. The aliens seem agitated as they are waving their arms about and shrugging their shoulders.

Wait! The U.S. delegation is calling for a number of what we are told are language experts. They are trying to communicate with the visitors. More hand waving and shoulder shrugging.

The spokesman for the linguists is telling the President that, as far as they can discern the visitors are speaking some sort of dialect that seems like ancient Aramaic not heard on Earth for thousands of years.

The visitors have turned back to their ship, seemingly arguing with each other with much hand waving. It is very tense as the world's delegations wait in consternation, not knowing what to do. The aliens go back into their ship.

In about 10 minutes the strangers re-emerge, holding some sort of box with speakers. I think it's some kind of translator.

This time there is communication. The President, on behalf of the world's delegations offers Earth's welcome.

The Visitors respond through the translator: "Danks vera much. Ve are from the Planet Gez-Undt and represent the Council of Galaxies. Ve are every thousand years in your time calculations to quietly visit Earth to see how tings are goink."

The President has all this translated into the hundreds of languages for Earth's delegation. Then he asks: "What is your name and how can we assist your mission?"

The head alien answers: "My nomen is Stein-Two. I would like to meet your Stein-One." The President is puzzled and consults with his advisors. "Who is Stein-One?"

Stein-Two interrupts and apologizes. He says: "I should have translated this into Earth's language. You would call him Ein-Stein." "'Ein' is 'one' in your language, isn't it?"

One of the President's advisors whispers into his ear and the President brightens up.

"Oh, you mean Einstein. I am sad to inform you that Einstein is no longer with us. He died many years ago."

Stein-two gathers the other nine visitors and there is much discussion and arm-waving.

Stein-two returns to the President and asks: "So who have you appointed to the post of Ein-Stein?"

The President is nonplused and answers: "No one special."

Another conference by the aliens.

Stein-two turns up the volume on his translator so all can hear.

"We would like then to speak to the other Steins in your world. Our scanners and calculators estimate that there should be approximately 160 million."

The President and his advisors gather in their own group to consult –– also with much hand-waving. The President returns to Stein-Two.

"Honorable Visitor, Stein-Two, I am advised that a quick estimate of the people to whom we think you are referring would approximate only 12 to 15 million."

Stein-Two: "So what happened to the other 145 million who should be here to meet us?"

President: "I am sad to tell you that over the years and after many wars, they have died away."

Stein-Two: "Ve have heard terrible sounds in the furthest reaches of the Cosmos, coming from the Earth Quadrant. The Council analyzed them as sounds of terrible violence and, what in Earth language is called, 'pain'."

Stein-Two: "So tell me, Mr. President. Who inflicted this Pain upon your Steins? Didn't they do the work assigned to them by the One who rules all? Did they not advance Earth's civilization with advancement in all things that Earth people need?"

The President: (Agitated and with a trembling voice) says: "I do not know how to tell you this but the message the Steins brought to mankind was 'misinterpreted' and, over the centuries, men wanted new messages and messengers. Regrettably, the Steins were killed."

Stein-Two: "Oi Vey! You killed the Steins? It is against the universal law of the Cosmos. Only on emerging planets, inhabited by beasts who kill each other for food do we allow this to happen. Tell me, Mr. President, did you eat the Steins for food?"

The President: "No, no! We just wanted another G-d of our own choosing. The Steins were an irritant with their law we really didn't want. Their laws were too hard."

Stein-Two: "Mr. President. Those Law you didn't want are accepted universal Laws, recognized across the Cosmos by all intelligent life forms. The Steins were merely to convey the message and the Law."

The President: "We can bring you some Steins but, they too are a declining minority in a small land presently under attack."

Stein-Two: Mr. President and World Delegations: "The message I take back is that your civilization is too primitive to continue. Your people are a danger to yourselves and, with the weapons we see you have developed, you are a danger to others in our Universe. While the Steins are Earthlings like yourselves, we will soon have to move them to a place of safety. Our Council will have to decide whether to eliminate Earth from the Cosmos or merely to make life extinct for a predatory species –– as we did 160 million years past. The Steins will not, however, be made extinct –– whatever our decision."

With that the ten little visitors started to trudge sadly back to their ship. They didn't look the same as they left. There was no excited waving of their hands. Their shoulders slumped and their black and white striped cloaks now draped around them somehow looked sad. The doors of their ship closed and the giant ship rose in silence. Then it was gone.

The President and the World's Delegations returned in silence to consult with their governments. Some decided to visit the remaining Steins for consultation.

We await the return of Stein-Two and the decision of the Council. Hopefully, they will allow us time to change and discuss the matter on their return before they deliver their verdict.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, January 30, 2008.

Take the time to at least read this and think about it for 60 seconds before opening your mouth and you are way ahead of the overwhelming majority of talking heads appearing on the various Israeli television channels tonight.

There is one particularly bizarre phrase in the remarks of Judge Eliyahu Winograd: "We should also note that the war had significant diplomatic achievements. SC resolution 1701, and the fact it was adopted unanimously, were an achievement for Israel. This conclusion stands even if it turns out that only a part of the stipulations of the resolution were implemented or will be implemented, and even if it could have been foreseen that some of them would not be implemented."

Does this mean that Winograd considers a piece of paper to be a " significant diplomatic achievement" even if it can be foreseen that the piece of paper won't be implemented?

This is an extremely dangerous position to take, given that there is tremendous concern that the current "piece process" is exactly that: an attempt to reach a photo opportunity signing ceremony in which a piece of paper is signed with great fanfare even though it can be foreseen that the piece of paper won't be implemented.]

Winograd Committee Press Release –– January 30, 2008
January 30, 2008
Press Release

Good Evening.

1. About an hour ago we submitted the Final Report of the Commission to Investigate the Lebanon Campaign in 2006 to the Prime minister, Mr. Ehud Olmert, and to the Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak.

2. The task given to us was difficult and complex. It involved the examination of events in 34 days of fighting, and the scrutiny of events before the war, since the IDF had left Lebanon in 2000. This covered extensive, charged and complex facts, unprecedented in any previous Commission of Inquiry.

3. The fact that the Government of Israel opted for such an examination, and that the army conducted a large number of inquires of a variety of military events, are a sign of strength, and an indication that the political and military leaders of Israel are willing to expose themselves to critical review and to painful but required mending.

4. We have included in the classified version of the Report all the relevant facts we have found concerning the 2nd Lebanon war, systematically and in a chronological order. This presentation of the factual basis was an important part of our work. It is reasonable to assume that no single decision maker had access to a similar factual basis. In this task we had a unique advantage over others who have written about this war, since we had access to a lot of primary and comprehensive material, and the opportunity to clarify the facts by questioning many witnesses, commanders and soldiers, including bereaved families.

5. For obvious reasons, the unclassified Report does not include the many facts that cannot be revealed for reasons of protecting the state's security and foreign affairs. We tried, nonetheless, to balance between the wish to present the public with a meaningful picture of the events and the needs of security. We should note that we did not take the mere fact that some data has already been published in the media as a reason for including it in our unclassified Report.

6. We, the members of the Commission, acted according to the main objectives for which the Commission was established –– to respond to the bad feelings of the Israeli public of a crisis and disappointment caused by the results of the 2nd Lebanon war, and from the way it was managed by the political and military echelons; and the wish to draw lessons from the failings of the war and its flaws, and to repair what is required, quickly and resolutely. We regarded as most important to investigate deeply what had happened, as a key to drawing lessons for the future, and their implementation.

7. This conception of our role was one of the main reasons for our decision not to include in the Final Report personal conclusions and recommendations. We believe that the primary need for improvements applies to the structural and systemic malfunctioning revealed in the war –– on all levels. Nonetheless, it should be stressed that the fact we refrained from imposing personal responsibility does not imply that no such responsibility exists. We also wish to repeat our statement from the Interim Report: We will not impose different standards of responsibility to the political and the military echelons, or to persons of different ranks within them.

8. Let us emphasize: when we imposed responsibility on a system, an echelon or a unit, we did not imply that the responsibility was only or mainly of those who headed it at the time of the war. Often, such responsibility stemmed from a variety of factors outside the control of those at the head. In addition, a significant part of the responsibility for the failures and flaws we have found lies with those who had been in charge of preparedness and readiness in the years before the war.

9. The purpose of this press release is not to sum up the Final Report. Rather, it is to present its highlights. The Report itself includes discussions of many important issues, which are an inseparable part of the Report, its conclusions and recommendations.

10. In the Final Report we dealt mainly with the events of the period after the initial decision to go to war, which we had discussed in the Interim Report. Yet the events of the period covered by the Final Report took place under the shadow of the constraints created by the decision to go to war, with all its failings and flaws.

We want to stress that we stand behind everything we said in the Interim Report, and the two parts of the Report complement each other.

11. Overall, we regard the 2nd Lebanon war as a serious missed opportunity. Israel initiated a long war, which ended without its clear military victory. A semi-military organization of a few thousand men resisted, for a few weeks, the strongest army in the Middle East, which enjoyed full air superiority and size and technology advantages. The barrage of rockets aimed at Israel's civilian population lasted throughout the war, and the IDF did not provide an effective response to it. The fabric of life under fire was seriously disrupted, and many civilians either left their home temporarily or spent their time in shelters. After a long period of using only standoff fire power and limited ground activities, Israel initiated a large scale ground offensive, very close to the Security Council resolution imposing a cease fire. This offensive did not result in military gains and was not completed. These facts had far-reaching implications for us, as well as for our enemies, our neighbors, and our friends in the region and around the world.

12. In the period we examined in the Final Report –– from July 18, 2006, to August 14, 2006 –– again troubling findings were revealed, some of which had already been mentioned in the Interim Report:

  • We found serious failings and shortcomings in the decision-making processes and staff-work in the political and the military echelons and their interface.

  • We found serious failings and flaws in the quality of preparedness, decision-making and performance in the IDF high command, especially in the Army.

  • We found serious failings and flaws in the lack of strategic thinking and planning, in both the political and the military echelons.

  • We found severe failings and flaws in the defence of the civilian population and in coping with its being attacked by rockets.

  • These weaknesses resulted in part from inadequacies of preparedness and strategic and operative planning which go back long before the 2nd Lebanon war.

13. The decision made in the night of July 12th –– to react (to the kidnapping) with immediate and substantive military action, and to set for it ambitious goals –– limited Israel's range of options. In fact, after the initial decision had been made, Israel had only two main options, each with its coherent internal logic, and its set of costs and disadvantages. The first was a short, painful, strong and unexpected blow on Hezbollah, primarily through standoff fire-power. The second option was to bring about a significant change of the reality in the South of Lebanon with a large ground operation, including a temporary occupation of the South of Lebanon and 'cleaning' it of Hezbollah military infrastructure.

14. The choice between these options was within the exclusive political discretion of the government; however, the way the original decision to go to war had been made; the fact Israel went to war before it decided which option to select, and without an exit strategy –– all these constituted serious failures, which affected the whole war. Responsibility for these failures lay, as we had stressed in the Interim Report, on both the political and the military echelons.

15. After the initial decision to use military force, and to the very end of the war, this period of 'equivocation' continued, with both the political and the military echelon not deciding between the two options: amplifying the military achievement by a broad military ground offensive, or abstaining from such a move and seeking to end the war quickly. This 'equivocation' did hurt Israel. Despite awareness of this fact, long weeks passed without a serious discussion of these options, and without a decision –– one way or the other –– between them.

16. In addition to avoiding a decision about the trajectory of the military action, there was a very long delay in the deployment necessary for an extensive ground offensive, which was another factor limiting Israel's freedom of action and political flexibility: Till the first week of August, Israel did not prepare the military capacity to start a massive ground operation.

17. As a result, Israel did not stop after its early military achievements, and was 'dragged' into a ground operation only after the political and diplomatic timetable prevented its effective completion. The responsibility for this basic failure in conducting the war lies at the doorstep of both the political and the military echelons.

18. The overall image of the war was a result of a mixture of flawed conduct of the political and the military echelons and the interface between them, of flawed performance by the IDF, and especially the ground forces, and of deficient Israeli preparedness. Israel did not use its military force well and effectively, despite the fact that it was a limited war initiated by Israel itself. At the end of the day, Israel did not gain a political achievement because of military successes; rather, it relied on a political agreement, which included positive elements for Israel, which permitted it to stop a war which it had failed to win.

19. This outcome was primarily caused by the fact that, from the very beginning, the war has not been conducted on the basis of deep understanding of the theatre of operations, of the IDF's readiness and preparedness, and of basic principles of using military power to achieve a political and diplomatic goal.

20. All in all, the IDF failed, especially because of the conduct of the high command and the ground forces, to provide an effective military response to the challenge posed to it by the war in Lebanon, and thus failed to provide the political echelon with a military achievement that could have served as the basis for political and diplomatic action. Responsibility for this outcomes lies mainly with the IDF, but the misfit between the mode of action and the goals determined by the political echelon share responsibility.

21. We should note that, alongside the failures in the IDF performance, there were also important military achievements. Special mention should go to the great willingness of the soldiers, especially reserve soldiers, to serve and fight in the war, as well as the many instances of heroism, courage, self-sacrifice and devotion of many commanders and soldiers.

22. The air force should be congratulated on very impressive achievements in this war. However, there were those in the IDF high command, joined by some in the political echelon, who entertained a baseless hope that the capabilities of the air force could prove decisive in the war. In fact, the impressive achievements of the air force were necessarily limited, and were eroded by the weaknesses in the overall performance of the IDF.

23. The "Hannit" episode colored to a large extent the whole performance of the Navy, despite the fact that it made a critical contribution to the naval blockade, and provided the Northern Command with varied effective support of its fighting.

24. We should also note that the war had significant diplomatic achievements. SC resolution 1701, and the fact it was adopted unanimously, were an achievement for Israel. This conclusion stands even if it turns out that only a part of the stipulations of the resolution were implemented or will be implemented, and even if it could have been foreseen that some of them would not be implemented. This conclusion also does not depend on the intentions or goals of the powers that supported the resolution.

25. We note, however, that we have seen no serious staff work on Israeli positions in the negotiations. This situation improved in part when the team headed by the prime minister's head of staff was established. The team worked efficiently and with dedication, professionalism and coordination. This could not compensate, however, for the absence of preparatory staff work and discussions in the senior political echelon.

26. This fact may have much significance to the way Israel conducts negotiations, and to the actual content of the arrangements reached. In such negotiations, decisions are often made that may have far-reaching implications on Israel's interests, including the setting of precedents.

27. The staff work done in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the adoption of a favorable resolution in the Security Council was, in the main, quick, systematic and efficient. At the same time, for a variety of reasons, it did not reflect clear awareness of the essential need to maintain an effective relationship between military achievements and diplomatic activities.

28. We now turn to the political and military activity concerning the ground operation at the end of the war. This is one of the central foci of public debate.

29. True, in hindsight, the large ground operation did not achieve its goals of limiting the rocket fire and changing the picture of the war. It is not clear what the ground operation contributed to speeding up the diplomatic achievement or improving it. It is also unclear to what extent starting the ground offensive affected the reactions of the government of Lebanon and Hezbollah to the ceasefire.

30. Nonetheless, it is important to stress that the evaluation of these decisions should not be made with hindsight. It cannot depend on the achievements or the costs these decisions in fact had. The evaluation must be based only on the reasons for the operation, and its risks and prospects as they were known –– or as they should have been known –– when it was decided upon. Moreover, it is impossible to evaluate the ground operation at the end of the war without recalling the developments that preceded it and the repeated delays in the adoption of the Security Council resolution; and as a part of the overall conduct of the war.

31. Against this background, we make the following findings on the main decisions:

  • The cabinet decision of August 9th –– to approve in principle the IDF plan, but to authorize the PM and the MOD to decide if and when it should be activated, according to the diplomatic timetable –– was almost inevitable, giving the Israeli government necessary military and political flexibility.

  • The decision to start in fact the ground operation was within the political and professional discretion of its makers, on the basis of the facts before them. The goals of the ground operation were legitimate, and were not exhausted by the wish to hasten or improve the diplomatic achievement. There was no failure in that decision in itself, despite its limited achievements and its painful costs.

  • Both the position of the Prime minister –– who had preferred to avoid the ground operation –– and the position of the Minister of Defense –– who had thought it would have served Israel's interest to go for it –– had been taken on the merits and on the basis of evidence. Both enjoyed serious support among the members of the general staff of the IDF and others. Even if both statesmen took into account political and public concerns –– a fact we cannot ascertain –– we believe that they both acted out of a strong and sincere perception of what they thought at the time was Israel's interest.

32. We want to stress: The duty to make these difficult decisions was the political leaders'. The sole test of these decisions is public and political.

At the same time, we also note that:

  • We have not found within either the political or the military echelons a serious consideration of the question whether it was reasonable to expect military achievements in 60 hours that could have contributed meaningfully to any of the goals of the operation;

  • We have not found that the political echelon was aware of the details of the fighting in real time, and we have not seen a discussion, in either the political or the military echelons, of the issue of stopping the military operation after the Security Council resolution was adopted;

  • We have not seen an explanation of the tension between the great effort to get additional time to conclude the first stage of the planned ground operation and the decisions not to go on fighting until the ceasefire itself.

34. A description of failures in the conduct of war may be regarded as harming Israel. There will be those who may use our findings to hurt Israel and its army. We nonetheless point out these failures and shortcomings because we are certain that only in this way Israel may come out of this ordeal strengthened. We are pleased that processes of repair have already started. We recommend a deep and systematic continuation of such processes. It is exclusively in the hands of Israeli leaders and public to determine whether, when facing challenges in the future, we will come to them more prepared and ready, and whether we shall cope with them in a more serious and responsible way than the way the decision-makers had acted –– in the political and the military echelons –– in the 2nd Lebanon war.

35. Our recommendations contain suggestions for systemic and deep changes in the modalities of thinking and acting of the political and military echelons and their interface, in both routine and emergency, including war. These are deep and critical processes. Their significance should not be obscured by current affairs, local successes or initial repairs. A persistent and prolonged effort, on many levels, will be needed in order to bring about the essential improvements in the ways of thinking and acting of the political-military systems.

36. For these reasons we would like to caution against dangers which might upset plans and delay required change processes, and thus produce dangerous results:

  • Fear of criticism in case of failure may lead to defensive reactions, working by the book, and abstention from making resolute decisions and preferring non-action. Such behavior is undesirable and also dangerous.

  • In a dynamic complex reality, one should not prepare better for the last war. It is also essential not to limit oneself to superficial action, designed to create an appearance that flaws had been corrected.

  • It is also essential not to focus exclusively on coping with dangers, but to combine readiness for threat scenarios with an active seeking of opportunities.

  • When speaking on learning, one should take into account that enemies, too, are learning their lessons.

37. The 2nd Lebanon War has brought again to the foreground for thought and discussion issues that some parts of Israeli society had preferred to suppress: Israel cannot survive in this region, and cannot live in it in peace or at least non-war, unless people in Israel itself and in its surroundings believe that Israel has the political and military leadership, military capabilities, and social robustness that will allow her to deter those of its neighbors who wish to harm her, and to prevent them –– if necessary through the use of military force –– from achieving their goal.

38. These truths do not depend on one's partisan or political views. Israel must –– politically and morally –– seek peace with its neighbors and make necessary compromises. At the same time, seeking peace or managing the conflict must come from a position of social, political and military strength, and through the ability and willingness to fight for the state, its values and the security of its population even in the absence of peace.

39. These truths have profound and far-reaching implications for many dimensions of life in Israel and the ways its challenges are managed. Beyond examining the way the Lebanon War was planned and conducted; beyond the examination of flaws in decision-making and performance that had been revealed in it –– important as they may be; these are the central questions that the Lebanon war has raised. These are issues that lie at the very essence of our existence here as a Jewish and democratic state. These are the questions we need to concentrate on.

40. We hope that our findings and conclusions in the Interim and the Final Reports will bring about not only a redress of failings and flaws, but help Israeli society, its leaders and thinkers, to advance the long-term goals of Israel, and develop the appropriate ways to address the challenges and respond to them.

41. We are grateful for the trust put in us when this difficult task was given to us. If we succeed in facilitating rectification of the failings we have identified –– this will be our best reward.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il or write him at imra@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 30, 2008.

Today at 5 PM local time the five person Winograd Committee –– which was hand-picked by Olmert after the uproar following the war, as a compromise to demands for a state inquiry, and was not charged independently –– delivered its final report to Olmert and Barak. An hour later they came to Convention Hall (Binyanei Hauma) and retired Justice Eliyahu Winograd, who chaired the Committee, read the report for assembled journalists.

In the briefest of summaries:

We didn't win the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, which is regrettable because we missed an important opportunity and should have won. There were "serious failures and shortcomings in the decision-making processes and staff-work in the political and the military echelons and their interface."

A great deal of blame was placed on the military, But the political echelon, which projected weakness, was also at fault. It was highly unfortunate that the rocket fire from the north was not stopped, as we had military superiority. The ground offensive that was launched very shortly before the end of the war (the one in which 33 soldiers were lost) did not improve our military position. But the committee is convinced that the prime minister acted in what he thought was Israel's best interests.

The fact that no fingers were pointed in the report (by design) does not mean, says the report, that there are not individuals who are responsible.

The failures went beyond the conduct of the war itself and involved a lack of long term strategy.

Our failure to win conclusively had great impact on us and on our neighbors, and our allies.

Concluded Winograd, Israel "cannot survive in this region unless the people within it and outside it believe that it has political leadership, military capabilities and social strength that will enable it to prevent [its neighbors] from realizing their goals –– even by force.

"Attempts to reach peace or an agreement must come from a place of military might and of ability and willingness to fight for the country, its values and residents. This has deep ramifications, well beyond the Second Lebanon War."


There is no clear cut direction from this, and it's too soon to tell what the fallout will be. Members of Kadima are claiming vindication, members of right wing parties say that just as former defense minister Amir Peretz and former chief of staff Dan Halutz accepted responsibility for the failings of the war and resigned, so must Olmert now. Olmert is saying, quite clearly, that he will not. A great deal, I believe, will depend on how the electorate responds.


My own immediate response is this. Whatever Winograd said about Olmert's sincerity of intent, and the responsibility of the military, this is what leaps out at me:

One of the things Winograd faults the political echelon with is projecting weakness. This absolutely cannot be minimized. See the concluding statement by Winograd that says Israel at all levels must convey strength to survive –– it's clear the Committee also believes this is critical.

This, then, must be taken to heart with regard to how Olmert conducts the affairs of government now. He is doing us irreparable harm by making statements about he'll do whatever he has to reach an agreement with Abbas, by conducting himself in a way that allows citizens of Sderot to remain at risk, and by refusing to order that necessary ground operation into Gaza. He is projecting weakness. This is lethal for us and cannot continue. He must go.

Undoubtedly, I will return to this subject many times. But I would like to leave it now.


Yesterday I spoke about a phony photo of Palestinians in Gaza working by candlelight when it was really daytime. I was unable to reproduce the photo I had. And so now I would like to thank Doris Montrose, who sent me a link to a blog that provides several such pictures and discussion. Some of these blogs are great for exposing the frauds.

See: http://www.israelforum.com/blog_article.php?aid=1233817


According to YNet there has been good progress in communication between Egyptian security personnel and Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political security department. Reportedly, there are 25,000 to 30,000 Palestinians remaining in Egypt, and they are supposed to be pushed back to Gaza by next week.

Meanwhile Israel National News has reported that Gazans have spent $250 million in Egypt, and by the weekend are expected to have made purchases totaling $480 million. Since there were 700,000 Arabs from Gaza in Egypt, that comes to an average of almost $670 person, if these figures are correct. $670 represents a whole lot more for Gazans than for Israelis or Americans. It's big money. So, the question is where this came from if they're so poverty stricken.

What is more, according to this report, a bulk of the money was spent on building materials. This is NOT what people buy when they are starving.


The High Court has made a significant ruling. I wrote a couple of days ago about a petition to the court by left wing human rights organizations that demanded that the crossings to Gaza be opened. The court had issued a preliminary ruling that humanitarian aid had to go through. But now we have the complete ruling:

Israel has had no effective control over the Gaza Strip since September 2005, and that therefore "it is not obligated to care for the welfare of the Strip's residents or allow the transfer of unlimited amounts of goods and commodities." However, Israel is obliged "to allow the supply of essential humanitarian aid."

What is more, Israel's actions are in conjunction with local and international law: "In times of war, the civilian population is... the first and most prominent victim of the fighting, even when efforts to reduce the harm done to it are carried out."

Gaza, said the court, was controlled by a murderous terrorist organization, which was tirelessly working against the State of Israel and its citizens, while breaking every possible rule of international law in its violent actions, "which indiscriminately target civilians –– men, women and children."


Now Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, is proposing that Egypt absorb Gaza (which it controlled from 1949 to 1967). Gazans, says Pipes, speak a colloquial Arabic that is identical to the Arabic of the Sinai, and have more family ties in Egypt than in the West Bank. He cites journalist David Warren, who said calling Gazans "Palestinians" is less accurate than politically correct.

This, suggests Pipes, would end the rocket fire and expose the superficiality of Palestinian nationalism.

"It's hard to divine what benefit American taxpayers have received for the US$65-billion they have lavished on Egypt since 1948; but Egypt's absorbing Gaza might justify their continuing to shell out US$1.8-billion a year."

Sounds good to me.


The UN Security Council has given up efforts to formulate a statement condemning Israel for the situation in Gaza. Libya, which is chairing the Council this month, decided to give up its call for condemnation of Israel, following a battle waged by Israel, backed by the US.


I wrote the other day about concerns that the multinational force of 1,800 in Sinai would be threatened by the Gazans. But apparently that never happened, they have not withdrawn, and they are proceeding normally.


Victor Davis Hanson writes some marvelously insightful pieces. I would like to close here by recommending an article of his, "A Modest Proposal for Middle East Peace." Quite simply, he puts what's going on here into an international perspective.
http://article.nationalreview.com/print/ ?q=NWM2ZjY3YjNkMTA3ZDY4Mjg1OWY3OTUyNzcyYTc3NmU

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Paul Lademain, January 30, 2008.

We are the NON-evangelical, politically incorrect Christians for Zion; we say: read this and learn something ... P.S. A more accurate assessment of the number of Jews expelled from their homelands in Syria, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, etc. generates a number ranging around 850,000! Although many fled to Israel, just as many resettled around the globe. Hey ... if the Jews can do this without reparations or the "right of return" then these O-so-clever Arabs occupying Jewish Palestine can do the very same thing. And should. And Saudi Arabia can well afford to pick up the tab for resettling the so-called "Palestinians" (of Islamic persuasion.)

This is called "A Modest Proposal for Middle East Peace. The U.N. need only take five simple steps." and it was written by Victor Davis Hanson. It was published in National Review Online
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q= NWM2ZjY3YjNkMTA3ZDY4Mjg1OWY3OTUyNzcyYTc3NmU=

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author, most recently, of A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

There seems to be a growing renewed animus against Israel lately. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the purported humanist Mahatma Gandhi, thinks Israel and Jews in general are prone to, and singularly responsible for, most of the world's violence. The Oxford Union is taking up the question of whether Israel even has a right to continue to exist. Our generation no longer speaks of a "Palestinian problem," but rather of an "Israeli problem." So perhaps it is time for a new global approach to deal with Israel and its occupation.

Perhaps we ought to broaden our multinational and multicultural horizons by transcending the old comprehensive settlements, roadmaps, and Quartet when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, a dispute which originated with the creation of Israel.

Why not simply hold an international conference on all of these issues –– albeit in a far more global context, outside the Middle East?

The ensuing general accords and principles could be applied to Israel and the West Bank, where the number of people involved, the casualties incurred, and the number of refugees affected are far smaller and far more manageable.

Perhaps there could be five U.N. sessions: disputed capitals; the right of return for refugees; land under occupation; the creation of artificial post-World War II states; and the use of inordinate force against suspected Islamic terrorists.

In the first session, we should try to solve the status of Nicosia, which is currently divided into Greek and Turkish sectors by a U.N. Greek Line. Perhaps European Union investigators could adjudicate Turkish claims that the division originated from unwarranted threats to the Turkish Muslim population on Cyprus. Some sort of big power or U.N. roadmap then might be imposed on the two parties, in hopes that the Nicosia solution would work for Jerusalem as well.

In the second discussion, diplomats might find common ground about displaced populations, many from the post-war, late 1940s. Perhaps it would be best to start with the millions of Germans who were expelled from East Prussia in 1945, or Indians who were uprooted from ancestral homes in what is now Pakistan, or over half-a-million Jews that were ethnically cleansed from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria following the 1967 war. Where are these refugees now? Were they ever adequately compensated for lost property and damages? Can they be given promises of the right to return to their ancestral homes under protection of their host countries? The ensuring solutions might shed light on the Palestinian aspirations to return to land lost sixty years ago to Israel.

A third panel would take up the delicate issue of returning territory lost by defeat in war. Ten percent of historic Germany is now part of Poland. The Russians still occupy many of the Kurile Islands, and Greek Cyprus lost sizable territory in 1974 after the invasion by Turkey. The Western Sahara is still annexed by Morocco, while over 15 percent of disputed Azerbaijan has been controlled by Armenia since 1994. Additionally, all of independent Tibet has been under Chinese occupation since 1950-1. Surely if some general framework concerning these occupations could first be worked out comprehensively, the results might then be applied to the much smaller West Bank and Golan Heights.

In a fourth panel, the international conference should take up the thorny issue of recently artificially created states. Given the tension over Kashmir, was Pakistan a mistake –– particularly the notion of a homeland for Indian Muslims? North Korea was only created after the stalemate of 1950-3; so should we debate whether this rogue nation still needs to exist, given its violent history and threats to world peace?

Fifth, and finally, is there a global propensity to use inordinate force against Muslim terrorists that results in indiscriminate collateral damage? The Russians during the second Chechnyan War of 1999-2000 reportedly sent tactical missiles into the very core of Grozny, and may have killed tens of thousands of civilians in their hunt for Chechnyan terrorists –– explaining why the United Nations later called that city the most destroyed city on earth. Syria has never admitted to the complete destruction of Hama, once home to Muslim Brotherhood terrorists. The city suffered the fate of Carthage and was completely obliterated in 1982 by the al-Assad government, with over 30,000 missing or killed. Did the Indian government look the other way in 2002 when hundreds of Muslim civilians in Gujarat were killed in reprisal for Islamic violence against Hindus? The lessons learned in this final session might reassure a world still furious over the 52 Palestinians lost in Jenin.

In other words, after a half-century of failed attempts to solve the Middle East crisis in isolation, isn't it time we look for guidance in a far more global fashion, and in contexts where more lives have been lost, more territory annexed, and more people made refugees in places as diverse as China, Russia, and the broader Middle East?

The solutions that these countries have worked out to deal with similar problems apparently have proven successful –– at least if the inattention of the world, the apparent inaction of the United Nations, and the relative silence of European governments are any indication.

So let the international community begin its humanitarian work!

Greek Cypriots can advise Israel about concessions necessary to Muslims involving a divided Jerusalem. Russians and Syrians can advise the IDF on how to deal properly and humanely with Islamic terrorists. Poland, Russia, China, and Armenia might offer the proper blueprint for giving back land to the defeated that they once gained by force. A North Korea or Pakistan can offer Israel humanitarian lessons that might blunt criticisms that such a recently created country has no right to exist. Iraq and Egypt would lend insight about proper reparation and the rights of return, given its own successful solutions to the problems of their own fleeing Jewish communities.

But why limit the agenda to such a small array of issues? The world has much to teach Israel about humility and concessions, on issues ranging from how other countries in the past have dealt with missiles sent into their homeland, to cross-border incursions by bellicose neighbors.

No doubt, Middle East humanitarians such as Jimmy Carter, Arun Gandhi, and Tariq Ramadan could preside, drawing on and offering their collective past wisdom in solving such global problems to those of a lesser magnitude along the West Bank.

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

To Go To Top

Posted by Ted Belman, January 30, 2008.

In October '04, I asked What will "disengagement" accomplish? and referred to a DEBKA Report which said,

They advised that the US was pressuring Israel to free up the borders and allow an airport and a deep sea port in return for a Security Council Resolution declaring the end of the occupation of Gaza.

Then in August '05 'I asked Will disengagement end the occupation?'

Finally, in Sept '05, the Economist tried to understand The puzzle of Gaza's new legal status.

The reality, however, is more complex, as officials on both sides will quietly acknowledge. International law sets, broadly speaking, two standards for calling a territory "occupied". The basic one, in the 1907 Hague Regulations, is effective military control by another power. The Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) also lays down what the occupier must do for the occupied, such as providing basic services (water, education, health), giving aid agencies free access, and –– the most egregious of Israel's violations –– not settling its own citizens there.

Pursuant to American demands, Israel signed the Rafah Agreement giving up control of the Rafah crossing. I argued The Rafah Agreement is against the law, common sense and prudence

Now, two year later with the Rafah Border breached and arms and terrorists flowing in freely. In addition, Hamas now has access to an airfield and a deep sea port in adjacent Egypt.

The High Court in Israel just ruled that Israel is within its rights to reduce the supply of power and fuel so long as they still meet the humanitarian needs of the population.

It is time to revisit the question of occupation. The only reason to maintain the occupation is to restrict importation of arms, munitions and terrorists and to prevent attacks on Israel. But since Israel wasn't doing that before the breach and has no intention of doing it now, Israel should totally wash her hands of Gaza and her obligation to supply humanitarian needs.

Thus there will be no restriction at all on Gaza increasing its military capabilities. Nor will there be a restriction on Israel's self defense should attacks continue. Sooner or later Gaza will be bombed just as Lebanon was bombed. Gazans will flee to Egypt just as the Lebanese fled to the north side of the Litani River. In both case the distance is about 20 miles. Then Israel will invade and reoccupy and we will have a whole new ball game.

Dr Gabriel Dekel, in Sharon's Endgame
(www.israpundit.com/archives/2005/07/_could_it_be.php#more) argued in July '05,

The reason for the Disengagement is to create certain dynamics which will both interrupt the application of the Roadmap and leave a power vacuum which will result in the displacement of the entire Palestinian Arab population. This is the Endgame.

If the legal position of Israel as an occupying force in Gaza ceases, the rules of engagement will irrevocably change. Israel will no longer resort to "target assassinations" and pinpointed aerial strikes in response to Qassam missile attacks. These policing tactics would be futile since Israel would lack the required local intelligence, and unnecessary because post Disengagement conditions will create the legal and political climate for Israel to take more decisive defence measures.

Attacks of Qassam missiles would provoke artillery retaliation as a self-defence measure. Artillery retaliation to hostile fire is by definition imprecise. Israeli strikes would take the shape of a lengthy stop-go process as international pressure would force a temporary cessation. In view of images of mass Israeli refugees fleeing the border towns, the shooting will resume under counter-pressures by the Israeli public. In a matter of a few months the Gazan population would flee to the south-west corner of the Strip, away from Israeli fire.

While I didn't agree with Dekel at the time as to Sharon's endgame, I do believe that Israel should end the occupation of Gaza in preparation for a new invasion.

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

This essay appeared in

To Go To Top

Posted by Olivier Guitta, January 30, 2008.

The Algerian terror group GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) is the main component of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In the past few weeks AQIM has scored many successes: pulling off a double suicide attack on Dec. 11 in Algiers that killed officially 31 (but maybe up to 76), killing in two separate attacks four French tourists and three soldiers in Mauritania.

But AQIM's big victory may turn out to be the cancellation for the first time of the famous and popular Paris-Dakar rally. Indeed, French authorities warned the organizers of the race that the risks of terror attacks by AQIM were too high to let the event run.

Nonetheless, AQIM is facing very strong internal strife.

For the GSPC, the decision to join Al-Qaida meant the beginning of a rebellion in its ranks. In fact, according to a top French official cited recently by Le Monde and testimonies from several GSPC dissidents, for the past few months, Abdelwadoud Droukdel, aka Abu Mussab, GSPC's leader, has been allegedly trying to curb the dissension among his organization.

But facts are proving that this strategy is not working and this has become all the more apparent since the triple spectacular and bloody suicide bombings in Algiers on April 11 (killing 33 and injuring 222) and the Dec. 11 attacks.

Indeed, the decision by Droukdel (an ex-Afghan, specialized in explosives) to use terror bombings against civilians –– given that they are easier to carry out than a classic guerrilla war –– has triggered the ire of the Algerian population, as demonstrated by the major public outcry and outpour of emotion after the 4/11 and 12/11 bombings.

This new strategy also triggered major turmoil in the ranks of the GSPC. According to some ex-GSPC elements, Droukdel's idea to merge with Al-Qaida and perpetrate terror attacks under this banner was not approved by lots of his close associates.

Confirming this is Benmessaoud Abdelkader, aka Abu Mossaab, the emir of the south, who surrendered to Algerian authorities over the summer. Abdelkader explained to the Algerian media in August that the crisis began when Droukdel along two of his close advisers decided to join Al-Qaida without consulting the base and the different phalanges leaders. For the latter, the announcement was a total surprise.

According to Abu Al Barra, another GSPC member who surrendered, the divergence of views between Droukdel and his close associates increased after the April 11 attacks.

He thinks that this might even bleed the GSPC of its most influential leaders; among them Touati Athmane, aka Abu Al Abbas, (in charge of the center of the country) and Sheikh Abdennaceur (religion expert leader of the group). According to El Watan, all these terrorists close to Droukdel voiced their disagreement with the new "suicide bombers strategy" that they deem "imported from Iraq and serving only Al-Qaida." For them, the GSPC is following the same path that led to the death of the Algerian GIA (Armed Islamic Group) in the mid-1990s, the organization it originally spun off from. Incidentally, the rebellious elements have been kicked out of the leadership and have been replaced by hardcore elements. Also the situation is so dire that these dissidents run the risk of being physically eliminated.

The main consequence of this new allegiance to Al-Qaida is that it has pushed some GSPC leaders to turn themselves in. Others are waiting for "new orders" to decide what course of action to follow: either to go on or to accept the National Reconciliation Charter (a plan approved in a September 2005 referendum and promulgated in March 2006 that included a general amnesty for jailed terrorists and Islamists) and surrender.

Among the most influential GSPC members thinking about this is Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the emir of the south and the Sahel. He has allegedly contacted authorities to negotiate his surrender if he was issued a passport. Even if negotiations are not successful, it remains that Belmokhtar does not answer to the organization's leader Droukdel anymore. According to Abdelkader, Belmokhtar is in a wait and see mode, very much expecting a scission of the GSPC.

Further proof of this rebellion is that numerous anonymous calls were recently placed to authorities, most likely from terrorists, allowing the security services to prevent a couple of bombings in the center area, in particular in Boumerdès and to the east of the capital. Also, according to Abdelkader, even some of the foreign fighters inside the organization, including Tunisians, Malians and Nigerians already defected. Confirmation of this mini-rebellion was brought forth when Echorouk, citing security sources, claimed that Droukdel had ordered his followers to keep watch on all his members and limit their movements. Also, Droukdel has taken its members to strongholds in eastern Algeria and rural places where they were divided in small groups.

Responding to the public outcry and the dissidence among his own troops, Droukdel has been active on the media front: communiqués, video clips and audio recordings. First, in a 23-page statement released at the beginning of June 2007, signed by one of GSPC's ulema (religious authority), Abu Al Hassan Rachid, stated that the 4/11 suicide bombings are "licit and based on examples taking place at the time of Ibn Taymiya. Using suicide bombers is indeed justified, as also the fact of picking sites full of civilians in order to strike the apostates." He added that "civilians who die in terror attacks against apostates will go to heaven" and that to avoid being killed, civilians are advised to avoid going to sites near public buildings. In another communiqués, signed by Droukdel, he gave a contradictory explanation. He said that using suicide bombings was in fact due to a lack of human and material resources: Indeed, suicide attacks require less human resources and little logistics than the ambushes against security services.

AQIM's new modus operandi is alienating a lot of people both in its ranks and among Algerian Islamists. Incidentally, the AQIM's brand has been also a tool to recruit youngsters, motivated by joining the global jihad.

In light of the recent defections, it is possible that a split-off of the Algerian terror group might occur between those who want to stick with Al-Qaida's objectives and those who are focusing solely on Algeria.

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

This appeared January 28, 2008 in Middle East Times
http://www.metimes.com/International/2008/01/28/ al-qaida_in_the_islamic_maghrebs_dilemma/1237/

To Go To Top

Posted by Dr. Girishkumar TS, January 30, 2008.

This is from Marilyn Peters (donagraziah@hotmail.com), in response to an email I sent on Lord Macauley's Address entitled "See what India was in 1835."  This is it.

Dear All,

Today we will digress a bit and I am purple printing something sent to me by Dr. G. in India. It is called Lord Macaulay's Address to the British Parliament, 2 February, 1835

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar. who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore I propose that we replace the old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."

Very interesting to see the hypocricy of England, viz a viz what Israel is going through now.

The sun never set on the British Empire because their empire came not only through war but through supplying opium to the Chinese (the Opium War) to make them weak and prepared for their conquest, by not even being ashamed to plan the utter destruction of a culture and a people in India, by grabbing Mesopotamia (Iraq) and subverting their "protectorship" of Palestine by giving away 80% to a sheik who had helped them in the First World War and turning Jew against Arab in the part that remained.

Of course, the British way of ruling was to turn one segment of the population against another.....while they were fighting one another they wouldn't be able to fight their British masters.

When forced to leave "Palestine" they remained on ships alongside as they were sure the world would tell them to return to save the Jews from the Arabs.

I wonder what Britain would do if Eire sent 4,000 rockets, in 7 years, over the border, at certain British towns. Well, we do know about the massacres perpetrated on the Irish in Northern Ireland.

England was in the forefront of those who declared that when the "occupation of Gaza was ended, so would the terroirst and rocket attacks, end. And so, our beloved prime minister, of the time, pulled up over 9,000 (living and dead, who were dug up from their "eternal" resting places) people, leaving behind their homes, businesses, schools, work places, synagogs, greenhouses, etc. And our thanks was not a cessation of the rocket attacks but an increase!

Then, in the spirit of democracy that President Bush knows that everyone in the world pines for, the "Palestinians" voted in a terrorist organization to lead them and this group, when told they would no longer get their bakshish from England and America, cried out that this was no way to treat a democratically elected government.

Well, I am still wondering what England or any other country would do.

I also noticed something that I have noticed previously and wonder if any others of you have been aware of. When President Bush gave his State of the Union message....when talking about his war on terrorism he mentioned the terrorist attacks in Britain, in the Phililpines, in Malaysia, in Kenya, in....well feel free to join in....but nary a word about the terrorism attacked capital of the world, ISRAEL!!!! Muy interesante!

By the by, Omri Sharon, will have to go to jail and the fact that his father is still in a coma and brain dead will not stop him from going there....as he hoped. Perhaps now he and his brother will let their poor father go. I cannot imagine if Sharon understands anything at all, this man with such a powerful control issue, can be happy to have his tussie wiped by some nurse or aide.

I keep looking out the window to see if the snow, expected for tonight, has begun yet. Looking out the window as I sit close to my space heater, which I hope will not be cut off because of a stop of electricity.

Obviously the globe has not really warmed yet and I am getting more and more upset waiting for it to do so. Of course, besides ranting and raving, I am also politically incorrect, but that is due to the fact that I do not have a Ph.D. in anything and so what do I know?

I never really understood this greenhouse affect nor carbon footsteps. I just wonder what caused the melting of the Ice Age as I don't remember hearing about industries at the time. Or, how did the Ice Age begin as, if I remember, at first the earth was molten lava and I know enough to know that molten lava is hot, hot, hot!

I also read that many reknowned scientists do not believe in global warming yet were denied access to the conference held recently at some luxurious resort in Asia. That reminded me of Galileo vs. the Catholic Church but science today is supposed to be open minded.

Those 100's of thousands of Gazans who flooded over the border fence that was destroyed by Hamas, into Egypt paid for much of their purchases with counterfeit Israeli money. Interesting, what happened to the billions (yes, billions) of dollars they have received from the world to lessen their "humanitarian disaster", where did they get counterfeit shekels and three why shekels? One would think that Egyptians would prefer Euros or dollars or francs.....why shekels?

However, I am not worried about the Egyptian shopkeepers because the produce they were selling (for the counterfeit money) was past their expiration dates.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party has also made a film attacking the Koran. He compares it to Mein Kampf, calling it a 'fascist book' "that incites violence and intolerance or women and homosexuals".

Of course there have been repercussions from the Muslims and Iran has warned of 'extensive repercussions from Muslims throughout the globe" According to Wilders, this has caused panic in the Dutch government and police and he has been warned that if he shows the 10 minute film he will have to leave the country.

"If I had announced that I was going to make a film about the fascist character of the Bible, would there have been a crisis meeting of Holland's security forces?" he asked."Would I have received as many death threats as I have done since announcing I was making a film about the Koran? Of course not."

"The fact that a 10 minute film not yet shown could according to some, lead to economic boycotts, riots and other horrible things says everything about the nature of Islam. Nothing about me. The cabinet acknowledges with its panicky reaction that Islam is not comparable to Christianity but is a unique ideology. And this ideology thus demands a separate, unique approach. The Koran film has thus already demonstrated its usefulness."

And, so to bed. Laila tov


If you are kind to the cruel, you are cruel to the kind

Contact Dr Girishkumar at drgirishkumarts@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 30, 2008.


Arafat knew that Israel would defend itself stoutly against a direct military attack. Therefore he put more effort into indirect attack, the psychological one. He set up an intense propaganda assault to overturn the world's understanding of the Jewish people being entitled to the Mandate, of Jerusalem being the Jews' eternal capital, and of Israel being a Jewish state. He replaced it with false notions of Zionism being colonialism, of the Jews oppressing the Arabs, of the jihad really being a territorial dispute, etc..

Leftist "intellectuals" accepted enemy propaganda. That is why Israel doesn't defend itself against enemy propaganda. The Left is dissolving the country, voluntarily but oppressing the Jewish people to do so (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/17 from Melanie Phillips of Daily Mail) with help from the US and the Vatican.

As Daniel Pipes shows, the US is losing battles against jihad. The State Dept. understands Israeli psychology –– it exploits it against Israel. The State Dept., whose officials look forward to Saudi jobs, as Bill Clinton gets big fees from S. Arabia, does not understand the psychology of US enemies. They play upon the State Dept.. If only Americans had more integrity, patriotism, and education, real education. Those old-fashioned virtues could save our country.


The ruling elite and others adulated Pres. Bush during his visit. They did not ask him to release Jonathan Pollard, whom he has been holding captive unfairly long.


The relic is the seal of a family named in the Bible as having been Temple servants exiled to Babylonia and that returned from it. It was found near where the Temple servants usually were (IMRA, 1/17).

As a Levite, I may be descended from Temple servants. But the name then wasn't Shulman.


Israel is a crossroads of the world. It proposes that Georgian-Azerbaijani oil be shipped from Turkey to Ashkelon, stored there, sent by a proposed pipeline to Eilat, and pumped onto ships sailing to eastern Asia. That would be cheaper than using the Canal, whose shipping is limited to tankers of certain sizes.

Don't they realize, Gaza terrorist rockets already reach Ashkelon? (IMRA, 1/17.)


Pres. Bush's vision has changed. It has changed from Israel being a Jewish state to a Jewish homeland; from Arab refugees not being settled in it to ambiguity (but with references to "right of return"); and omitted the notion that Israel should keep its "population centers" in Judea-Samaria. It is said that he didn't want to be thought biased in favor of the Israeli position. His statements were vague, so they can't be said to be too anti-Israel, either (IMRA,1/16).

The media calls him pro-Israel because of sentiment expressed for publicity, whereas I call him anti-Israel because he keeps demanding that Israel reduce its defenses and make territorial concessions leading to its conquest. His "vision" is unjust, favoring genocidal aggressors. It means war. It means a Western defeat.


He redefined terrorism from a narrow criminal problem to an ideological war by "Islamofascism." Then he reverted to euphemisms for the enemy.

He changed US war doctrine from defense to pre-emption. The US invaded Iraq to prevent it from developing and using nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, he does not know how to persuade Americans that pre-emption was and is justified. As a result, he is unable to attack Iran's nuclear facilities (before it is too late).

He switched to a "two-state solution," a timetable, and which local leaders should or should not be involved. His choice of Abbas to head an Arab state hasn't worked out. An Arab state obviously would be bellicose, especially if reinforced by millions of descendants of refugees and especially if they are to enter Israel. (The State Dept. is not smart enough for its arrogance to work well.)

Instead of accommodating dictators seen as pro-US, he favored "democracy." The US tried to impose half-baked democracy. That spurred Islamist gains. Much damage was done before Bush backed off (and into the old mess).

"I respect Bush's benign motivation and good intentions while mourning his having squandered a record-breaking 90 percent job-approval rating following 9/11 and his bequeathing to the next president a polarized electorate, a military reluctant to use force against Iran, Hamas ruling Gaza, an Iraqi disaster-in-waiting, radical Islam on the ascendant, and unprecedented levels of global anti-Americanism." (Daniel Pipes, 1/17 from Jer. Post.) Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Good intentions" or a shift in influence from Vice-Pres. Cheney to Sec. Rice and James Baker? The US chooses expediency over decency, and gets neither. After so many policy failures, will the US never gain humility?


Israel considers ceding territory in return for special US weaponry. By the time it would get that weaponry, the enemy may have found antidotes. That would leave Israel with dubious weapons and more porous borders (IMRA, 1/15).


I write on the assumption that my audience is educated. I don't know who you are and what you are like. My being older than average makes what to me is current events or their prelude seem to be history to most people.

I realized with a shock that most of my readers do not have in their personal memories such events listed by David Shribman as: the Depression, New Deal, WWII, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, appeasement of the Nazis and Communists, Cuban missile crisis, Watergate, the Camp David agreement, US recognition of Red China, and many of the leading figures involved.

Do you need me to change my references, allusions, and vocabulary and to explain more of the past? Please advise. In any case, I will try to cite my historical references so that they are more self-defining.

What I have learned in a lifetime should help me enrich the shorter lives of younger readers, provided I make it clear to them. If I show the connection to current events, they can find it irrelevant. My job is to show that technology may change, and society's outlook may change, but human nature tends to persist.


So ruled the Supreme Court of Israel. The fuel shortage has stalled most vehicles in Gaza. The P.A. Fuel Ministry accused Hamas of stealing for its .Executive Force (IMRA, 1/15) military


From about three rockets a day, the barrage has grown to 25 or more rockets a day, still mostly at Siderot (IMRA, 1/16).

When Israel bags more terrorists, the P.A., supposedly anti-terrorist, often deplores Israeli escalation. Recently it demanded foreign troops to keep Israeli forces from entering. When several times as many rockets are fired, the P.A. does not deplore the Hamas escalation and demand foreign troops to keep Hamas from firing rockets. It hides its imperialism behind the notion of human rights.


Canada has laws against expressing "hatred and contempt" of other groups. Just what is hatred? The law is not clear. The Canadian Muslim Congress sues those who criticize Islamic terrorism and those who finance it. Usually it loses, but it can afford the costs while some of its targets cannot. Sooner or later they may have to yield, their free speech, truthful free speech at that, reduced.

A current target of accusations of "Islamophobia" and "hatred and contempt" of Islamism, by two Canadian human rights organizations is the prominent Canadian (and NY Sun) columnist, Mark Steyn.

Thus Islamism's non-violent wing commits "lawfare," manipulation of the court system in behalf of its violent wing. Ironically, both wings want to impose their own, Islamic, court system on the country.

The same sort of intimidation by court action takes place in London, where Muslims get the courts to rule against American authors and bans their works for criticizing Islam or Islamism.

US courts are more sensible, but nevertheless have issued restraining orders or taken Islamic tactics at face value. This endangers not only our freedom of speech, press, and assembly but also our national security (MEF News, 1/16).

This is an outrage. Islamists are at war with civilization, yet our civilization ties itself up with political correctness and multiculturalism, in a misguided notion that expression of hatred is the worst thing. Ironically, hatred is what Islam expresses. That's Islam, not just Islamism. The worst thing is to deprive us of our lives and liberty, which Islamism seeks to do. It is Steyn's patriotic duty to preserve us by exposing them. A true or good faith description of what groups do or propose should never be censored.

This is another case of government interference with freedom in the name of human rights. They take away our human rights in the name of human rights. Instead, we should declare war on Islamism and deport its adherents.


The Hebron Jewish community released a video showing the seller counting the money and an audio of his admitting having made the sale. He said that the P.A. forced him to claim he had not sold the building. The P.A. arrested him.

The Jewish community is challenging as unprofessional the police investigation (IMRA, 1/16), which checked the wrong documents, etc.. The Israeli police are biased. Arab claims are made in support of jihad, no honesty to them.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 30, 2008.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pretended to receive a special blessing from Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in an effort to boost himself politically on the eve of Wednesday's publication of the Winograd Report, Shas officials said Tuesday.

This was written by Gil Hoffman and it appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1201523783948&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Olmert's office released a statement early Tuesday to a select group of reporters that Yosef called Olmert and gave him a blessing, wishing him well ahead of Winograd.

"Do not fear and do not lose resolve, for I am with you," the rabbi told the prime minister, according to the statement.

Reporters immediately called Shas officials asking what the significance of the blessing was and whether it had a biblical context with a deeper meaning.

A check of a biblical concordance revealed that the words "do not fear and do not lose resolve" appear in Deuteronomy and Joshua, but the purported quote in its entirety does not appear in the Bible.

Shas officials were asked whether Yosef was hinting at Shas's red lines by referring to Deuteronomy chapter one, verse 21, in which Moses asks the Israelites not to fear possessing the land of Israel.

Or perhaps he was delivering some message about the Second Lebanon War by referring to Joshua 8:1, in which God tells Joshua not to fear conquering the city of Ai.

The Shas officials laughed at the questions and referred them to the Prime Minister's Office. They said Yosef made no such statement to the prime minister and that "the rabbi doesn't use that line."

"The real story is that Olmert requested that the rabbi call him to wish him well," a Shas official said. "The call lasted a minute.

For most of the conversation, the rabbi warned Olmert not to divide Jerusalem and reiterated the decision of the Shas Council of Torah Sages that the party would leave the coalition if Jerusalem were negotiated. At the end of the call, the rabbi cordially wished Olmert well, but did not give him a blessing."

The Shas officials said they were not surprised by the request for a blessing, but they were shocked to hear the way the conversation was reported on the radio a few minutes after Olmert and Yosef got off the phone.

Olmert's office responded that the blessing did indeed take place and they insisted that the conversation was initiated by the rabbi. They also said the call lasted "several minutes" and not just a minute as claimed by Shas.

At Monday's Kadima faction meeting, Olmert made a gesture to Shas by accepting the party's demand that the Jerusalem issue be delayed until the end of the diplomatic process.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Kannan Devan, January 30, 2008.

If Arab Muslims can abandon their hatred and non compromising attitude towards non Muslims and if they can collaborate with Israel, Israel could help them to convert the entire Arabian desert into a blooming garden. If Muslims can desert their intransigence and closed dogma, there will be peace, prosperity and freedom in the middle east.

This is from http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=54#more-54. It was written by Ayman Hassan (who just joined the Walid Shoebat Foundation in support of Israel). Ayman Hassan is a Palestinian Arab. Ayman wrote to us inspired about the work of Walid Shoebat and the work of the Walid Shoebat Foundation. He wishes to continue with his advocacy and we hope to use him in the media in the future.

Shalom. As an Arab Muslim I once asked myself: Why do I hate Israel? I really thought about this question. After little deliberation the answer was clear, because I am a Muslim and Islam is extremely intolerant. It's the intolerance to everything non Muslim, that is the problem and I say this as a Muslim, but today I have rejected the teachings of Islam for this very reason. I have left Islam. As an Arab "Palestinian", living in Lebanon, coming from a Muslim family, I was brought up with the hatred of Jews, Christians, and all non Muslims. Now I'm 24, I have matured enough to view the world through a different perspective; I reviewed real history and studied the sequence of events before and after the restoration of the State of Israel. I decided to step outside the mindset of a typical Muslim. It didn't take long to realize that I was on the wrong track and I moved quickly to the other side. In order to be at peace with myself I have come to reject the hatred of Israel and now love my former enemy. I have not embraced another religion but I am pursuing a new spiritual path.

Why do the Arabs and Muslims have to reject the presence of a Jewish state in a tiny percentage of the land of the Middle East? Why Islamic intolerance forbids other nations their right to exist in their own land. The whole world should realize that Islam is at war with all nations on the planet. In our Muslim societies it is not "the extremists" but the whole society infected with this hatred. It is in the mosques, the schools, the media and in the homes of nearly every Muslim family. It isn't just Israel but the hatred of America and Christians, Islam hates all other religions. In the case of Israel, its only fault is that it's a Jewish state who wants to live in peace within its borders.

It's not a struggle of so called "Palestinians" to establish a country and retain some land, which was never theirs, I know because I studied the real history. The real problem is racism and the intolerance of Muslims, the blind hatred and jealousy to see a flourishing, strong and modern country where people from other faiths can live peacefully. Why are the Jews forbidden to have a country? These people have contributed much to the world's culture and offered the best scientists, artists, doctors and have been victims of intolerance throughout history? Why are they forbidden to live in their national Zionist dream and return to their homeland, which was some desert which they cultivated and transformed in to one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth? Why do the Arabs and the Muslim world have to take everything, and claim every land they step on to be theirs. "Palestine" never existed, and should never, and that is coming from me an Arab who is classified as a "Palestinian." The creation of a Palestinian state would be the biggest threat to the existence of Israel and would not bring one day of peace to Israel; I know how my people think! It should never be allowed. In fact supporting a Palestinian State is the equivalent of supporting Nazi Germany and the persecution of Jews.

Israel has already made the mistake twice of giving land for peace, once in Southern Lebanon, and secondly in Gaza. We all know the terrible results: the expansion of Hizballah's power in Lebanon and the creation of a terrorist state in Gaza. Hamas and other terrorist organizations now have the space to launch more terrorist attacks and hostile activities on Israeli cities and villages.

Israel's right to exist shouldn't be open for discussion. Hamas, Hizballah or Islamic Jihad, and the people behind them, must be destroyed. Nothing should hinder Israel's army to do whatever it takes to protect their people and ensure the safety of Israel, from TelAviv, to the smallest settlement inside Israel which should include Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

I don't blame the Israeli army for any defense measure it takes. It has been fighting Islamic terrorism long before any other nation faced their atrocities. The Israeli soldiers have been on the front line on behalf of the whole free world. I am proud to support the Israeli defense forces, the most civilized and humane army in the world, no matter how the media might try to portray them. One can't but respect the brave Israeli army which puts its soldiers' lives at risk in order to protect civilian life in Gaza or Southern Lebanon, the same civilians whom in both places have voted terrorist organizations to power. The same "innocent civilians" which deny Israel's right to exist, who never are held accountable for the democratic choices they have made.

Yet still, the Israeli army, and in the most critical war times, try as much as possible to avoid harming their lives, even at the expense of losing lives on their side as well as tactical and strategic disadvantages because of their moral behavior. I salute the Israeli army; I can't but support these heroes, and bow in respect to the memory of their fallen ones. I can't but stand with Israel in its fight for its existence amid this crazy part of the world.

I used to hate Israel with a passion but today I am proud to say that I have shed my hatred for Israel and it has transformed to a deep love, passion, and respect for Zionism and all the values it stands for.

I am proud that today I support the full restoration of Jerusalem. For the first time in my life I'm at peace with myself and in great harmony of what I believe in; standing with Israel and the Jewish people, who are the most forgiving and tolerant people on earth. They must be praised for their deep dedication to their cause, and for their patience in their endurance of harm and hatred.

Jerusalem should never be divided and soon the Temple Mount should also be liberated. All other religious groups in the world have free access to their most sacred sites yet the Jews still watch their holiest place, Solomon's temple, under occupation. I can't but feel compassionate with their dream, and I know that their fight is now my fight.

Israel's existence and survival is really a test and responsibility for the whole civilized world. It's the battle against Islam's imperial quest to conquer the whole world. Israel is the fortress and stronghold for freedom and tolerance in the Middle East.

I have held my tongue for too long but today a great burden has been lifted from my heart. I don't care if I've been considered a traitor by my people for loving Israel. It's an honor for me; if supporting Israel's right to exist is a sin then I'm a sinner. I'm proud to be an Arab who stands with a country that should be emulated by all its neighbors. Long live Israel! For the sake of its people and for the sake of the world's stability and freedom, I'm proud to say I love Israel. I know that even if I don't have Jewish blood in my veins, I know I am Israeli at heart.

Contact Kannan Devan by email at kannanivnm@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 29, 2008.

This was written by David Eshel and it appeared in Defense Update

January 26, 2008: These are moments of glory for Hamas. It conducted its campaign brilliantly last week, and as it seems, so far, with complete success. At no stage did Israel have sufficient response to counter the initiatives of Hamas: Its excellent intelligence community, normally capable of pinpointing Hamas leaders for targeted killings, failed to alert on the organization's preparations along Philadelphi border line separating the Gaza strip from Egypt. But in fact, not intelligence gathering, nor experts, just plain common sense was the only thing needed to realize, that breaking the barrier between besieged Palestinian Rafah and free Egyptian Rafah, was only a matter of time.

The steel wall erected by Israel in an effort to protect its soldiers patrolling the separation line between Gaza and Egypt was toppled by Hamas engineers, in an attempt to ease the Israeli blockade on the Gaza strip.

It was also an impressive engineering feat. To plan, plant, implement and execute simultaneous explosions, creating a domino effect, toppling such a strongly built infrastructure, required high level professionalism. Analysts doubt that Hamas, alone could not have done this, without professional outside help. Intelligence sources suspect, that Iranian demolition experts arrived in Gaza, mingling with the pilgrims from Hajj in Saudi Arabia three weeks ago, when Egypt allowed them, reluctantly to return, without sufficient security checks.

Hamas operatives had been sawing away the foundations of the wall between Egyptian and Palestinian Rafah for a few months, preparing it to blow it up when the time came, a source close to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Rafah told Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday.

Explosions were set at no less than twenty points along the border fence, clear evidence of a campaign that was planned and coordinated well in advance. In destroying the wall separating the Palestinian and Egyptian sides of Rafah, Hamas chalked up another impressive, if not strategic coup. The organization demonstrated once again, that it is a disciplined, determined entity and an opponent that is exponentially more sophisticated than the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ramallah.

But there was much more at stake here. While thousands of Gazans spilled over into Egypt, Hamas military used the confusion to seize Egypt's strategic deep water port of Rafah on the Gaza Mediterranean coast.

In August 2005 the Sharon government granted Egypt naval control over the territorial waters off the Gaza Mediterranean coast up to Ashekelon. Egypt constructed a new 300-meter pier for six 300-ton naval ships on the shore of Rafah, the town which was divided by mutual agreement between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile a few miles southwest of the border, the Egyptian authorities desperately attempted to set up a more organized line of defense, trying to turn back Palestinians reaching El Arish town, halfway to the Suez Canal zone. But for thousands of Palestinians who flooded through the border breaches, it was the Eastern Mediterranean version of the ancient Bible exodus –– only this time in reversed form. It opened a floodgate of people and there was no stopping them, apart from opening fire on the surging crowds, which the Egyptians could not afford.

An interesting development which already seems to emerge is, that on President Mubarak direct orders, the Egyptian border police redeployed to a new line, covering El Arish, Bir Lahfan and Abu Agheila. This step would effectively hand over to the control of Hamas-led Palestinian terrorist organizations a Northern Sinai void of roughly 855 sq, km., almost twice the area of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

A map showing Giora Eiland's "Grand Design" proposed plan to exchange territories between Israel, Egypt and Gaza to provide the Gaza strip with pore populated area.

Implementing the Grand Design

It is little known, that in 2004 retired Major-General Giora Eiland, former chief of Israel's National Security Council, made a similar proposal to then prime minister Ariel Sharon, calling for a regional solution of the Gaza dilemma. His proposal included adding 600 square kilometers to Gaza in northern Sinai, allowing for the construction of an international port and airport, and a city in which millions of Palestinian refugees could live.

Eiland "grand design" plan (see map), sought compensating Egypt with 150 square kilometers in the southern Negev and offer a tunnel connecting Egypt's Central Sinai with Jordan, north of Eilat. Unfortunately nothing came of General Eiland's plan. Instead Sharon opted for the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in August 2005, which, turned into a strategic disaster-creating Hamastan, with all its painful "trimmings".

Egypt's Security at Risk?

Now Egypt is watching with mounting alarm as the crisis in the Gaza Strip threatens to spill over onto its own heartland. This is part of a nightmare which was haunting Cairo's security services for years, since Hamas became dominant in the Gaza strip, right on Egypt's doorstep. Now it seems, that the unpredictable Middle Eastern scenario, in which the ever-volatile Israeli-Palestinian conflict, getting dangerously out of hand, has already matured into a real threat. President Hosni Mubarak is facing a painful dilemma: on the one hand he wants to maintain his, well paying US sponsored, relationship with Israel. On the other he must avoid the impression that he is abandoning the Palestinians, including the hated Gazans, which are Egypt's traditional pain-in-the neck.

Meanwhile, President Mubarak is pulling out the stops to get Israel to ease its restrictions, limiting the number of his security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, according to the 1979 Peace demilitarization agreement, which allowed only a restricted number of police forces deployed at the Rafah border and even the overall troops levels in Sinai.

Egypt's security services are already on high alert after learning that the 130,000 Palestinians, living in communities around Cairo, Alexandria and the Suez Canal cities, are preparing to help their Gazan brothers steal into Egypt.

Gaza's links to Egypt go back to 1948, when it annexed the strip –– then part of British-ruled Mandatory Palestine –– after the war with Israel, with its population swollen by newly-arrived refugees. Israel occupied it for a few months after the 1956 Suez war but Egyptian rule was restored until the next round in 1967.

There are already significant repercussions to the Hamas coup in Rafah. Early Thursday, Jan. 24, American forces and equipment withdrew from the Multinational-force and Observers (MFO) airbase at El Gora northeast of al Arish. there are some 400 multinational personnel stationed there and it seems logical that they will all be withdrawn. The last time this happened was in June 1967, when the United Nations forces evacuated their posts near El Arish and the Six Day War started. If the present lawless turmoil continues, one should expect Hamas's next step being to try and seize the former Israeli military airfield at El Gora, which could then serve its needs as alternative airport, replacing 'Yasser Arafat' International Airport at Rafah, which was destroyed by Israel. One does not need much imagination as to the threat facing both Israel and Egypt, if this should happen –– a forward airfield for the IRGC –– their dream come true!

But the danger to Israel's security in now real and imminent from another direction.

Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, have already used the newly open border with Egypt, to dispatch numerous terrorists into the Sinai peninsula over the last two days, with the goal of sending them from Sinai into Israel to commit attacks, defense officials said Thursday. Carrying out spectacular attacks has been a long seeked aim, but was effectively thwarted by the sophisticated Gaza fence barrier. Accordingly, the Israel Defense Forces, the police and the Shin-Bet general security service have consequently beefed up their forces and their alert to highest level, along the Israeli-Egyptian border in an effort to thwart infiltrations. But all these efforts must be regarded virtually as 'mission impossible', as the desert stretch from Rafah to Eilat is over two hundred kilometers long, and mostly negotiable by 4x4 vehicles or on foot.

Now that Gazans have 'exploded' out of their long besieged enclave, it may be up to Israel to seal up the border again, since the Egyptians are showing no signs of doing so. US Secretary Condoleezza Rice and David Welch, her assistant for the Middle East, made a point of warning Mubarak that he must act expeditiously to restore border security, because the entire Washington Palestinian strategy, hinging on Abbas and the Annapolis declarations, hangs in the balance.

Wake-up Call ending "Pax Americana" illusion

But the Americans have no one to blame but their own president, who, through his dangerous "pax Americana" illusion, tried to bring democratization into a region, where this is still regarded as counter productive, if not catastrophic. It started in Iraq and Afghanistan, spilled over to Egypt, Lebanon and culminated with the 2006 Hamas elections, their July 2007 coup and now, finally the "Sinai exodus". This latest development could well announce the next step –– a possible Moslim Brotherhood takeover bid for the post Mubarak era in Egypt. The Egyptian president already hinted his main worry is not the Palestinian issue but concern that his own opposition, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, may adopt Hamas tactics and stir up trouble in his cities. Foreboding signs are already evident: Underlining domestic sensitivities, 460 members of the semi-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were arrested Friday, while heading for a demonstration outside the Cairo HQ of the Arab League.

High concern is voiced by analysts over Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood gains in the recent elections. The Egyptian authorities received a shock last fall, when the Muslim Brotherhood, an officially banned, but venerable and tolerated fundamentalist group, won some 20% of parliamentary seats. The Muslim Brotherhood, established in 1928 became outlawed in Egypt since 1954.

The big question will be, whether Mubarak will allow Israel to mount a decisive military foray into northern Sinai and rout Hamas before it can deploy sufficient power, or link-up with terrorist forces, already strongly established in the barren Sinai mountains. For an effective counteraction, time is critical –– any hesitation or political haggling can be catastrophic.

Sinai: Safe House for Terrorism

While the Egypt-Israel 1979 Peace Agreement has de-militarized the entire Sinai Peninsula, it also made it into a giant safe house for terrorism. Sinai's geographical position places the Sinai Peninsula in a highly strategic area, astride of some of the most ancient smuggling routes through unpopulated desert and extremely difficult topography, making excellent hide-outs in mountain caves. Iran and Al Qaeda have focused on Sinai long ago, but increased its clandestine operations base, with growing emphasis, following the US campaign against Taliban in Afghanistan.

These smuggling routes are of highly strategic importance in Middle East conflicts past, present and future. Counter intelligence sources estimate that major routes lead from as far as the Black Sea to the shores of El-Arish in northern Sinai ferrying arms and contraband in both directions. Now with Hamas in control in parts of Northern Sinai, and realizing that Iran is actively supporting the Islamic organization –– an utmost dangerous situation can develop, in which the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will finally establish its long sought forward base along the Mediterranean.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 29, 2008.


When caught being indiscreet national security, the US Media defends itself by asserting the public's right to know. Those military matters may not lend themselves to public policy discussion and decision. The public's right to know, however, disappears when what it might know clashes with what the media wants it to believe and support.

That is decidedly true in Israel. Its media admitted having shielded PM Sharon from exposure of his extensive mental and physical deterioration and corruption, so he could proceed to uproot Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, in accordance with its leftist ideology.

Likewise with the equally corrupt PM Olmert and his equally anti-Zionist policy. In his case, they downplayed the significance of Hamas' takeover of Gaza and its transformation into a terrorist base. When he bungled the War in Lebanon, they defamed the veterans who protested, instead of covering their protests, and they seized upon a drawn out but toothless investigation commission to derail calls for his new elections. He has gained further favors from journalists by granting them interviews with Pres. Bush. They have become an arm of government, government has become an arm of the media, and both have become a tool of leftist ideology and US machinations.

The meeting with US officials in Israel at which a publisher, who earlier had ordered his reporters to ignore Sharon's corruption, urged Sec. Rice to "rape" Israel. It was a sizable gathering of Israel's elite. ("Elite" means the ideologues who are letting Israel's enemies bring the country down.) The fact that the story was stifled out for a month demonstrates that Israel's media and rulers plot against their people and keep their people ignorant of failed governmental policies and leaders. Right-wingers present kept silence, too, lest they risk media scorn and employer retribution. When Pres. Bush visited, police repressed protest.

The government passed legislation making web site owners responsible for content. Considering that the government equates dissent from it with sedition, this move is likely to be used to squelch Internet criticism.

Nor was the story broken by an Israeli paper but by New York's Jewish Week. For at least two weeks after that, no Israeli journalist thought that journalist's treason worth informing the public of. So much for the notion that Israel is a "vibrant" democracy with a "vibrant" press, as we keep hearing it is supposed to be. Indeed, between lack of information and the government's repression of dissent, the people of Israel feel emasculated. They oppose Israeli appeasement of the Arabs, which is Olmert's policy, by 2:1, and disapprove of him by at least 4:1, but do not engage in mass-protest. The radical left destroys civil liberties (IMRA, 1/14 from Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post).


PM Olmert considers a major incursion into Gaza unnecessary and unwise. Israel has been killing hundreds of terrorists without it. It would cost more than it is worth. Besides, it would interfere with his diplomacy for a peace agreement.

Killing hundreds of terrorists hasn't stopped others from firing rockets into Israel. More rockets are being fired and flying further. That problem is getting worse and potentially is disastrous. Olmert's argument is specious.

Olmert claims that the Winograd investigation of his incompetence in the Lebanon war is irrelevant, because his regime has learned the lessons from that war. But it hasn't. It display incompetence daily (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA, 1/14).

Israel already has peace agreements –– Oslo Accords and Road Map –– but the Arabs continue violating the agreements and making war. Therefore, Israel's goal should be victory, not another unheeded agreement that empowers Islamist war-making. To gain victory, invade and clear out the terrorists! A thorough enough effort would spare Israel the bombardment and set back the Islamists. To make the victory permanent, induce the Arabs to depart and reclaim the territory for the Jewish people.

The chief lessons of the Lebanon war were: Don't let the enemy build up on the border; and don't trust foreign intermediaries. Olmert and Foreign Min. Livni have not learned those lessons. Everything they decide is ridiculous and anti-Zionist. They should not be entrusted with the further defense of the country. Are they merely incompetent or are they traitors?


Some researchers consider terrorism entirely a secular phenomenon. They think it is motivated by politics and economics, primarily a desire to remove foreign occupation. When the tactics of disparate terrorist groups are the same, those scholars suppose that so are the motives.

The Middle E. Quarterly analyzed terrorism and finds the Islamist terrorists motivated primarily by religion. Islamists attack everywhere, including places that have nothing to do with occupation. Secular terrorists may adopt suicide bombing as a tactic, but since Islam forbids suicide, Islamist organizations adopt it as part of their religious code of martyrdom. About eight major books of Islamist theory guide them, explaining that terrorism is their religious duty. Osama added the notion that Christianity and Judaism have changed and no longer are entitled to buy Muslim "protection." (MEF News, 1/14.) "Protection" means refraining from murdering them due to Islamic intolerance.


Started by James Baker in his recent report on the Mideast, Pres. Bush has picked up the phraseology of "right of return" and insinuates it into some of his statements. He must know that it means the destruction of Israel. How much emphasis has he (and Sec. Rice) given to that mischievous concept in private discussion?

He also is the first President to propose statehood for Palestinian Arabs west of the Jordan River. (Their kin east of the River have a state, but nobody explains why those west of it should have a state, too.)

He also referred to "terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis." (Israelis are Palestinian Jews, just as the Arabs there are Palestinian Arabs.) Since Israel doesn't commit terrorism nor incite to wanton violence against the Arabs, his equating the two defames Israel. He is not the great friend of Israel that many Israelis think he is (Daniel Pipes #833, 1/14).

He is the most anti-Israel US President, except perhaps Harry S. Truman, who imposed an arms embargo against Israel when it first fought for survival. My friends think that HST was pro-Israel, when he recognized the sovereignty of Israel, but that was as a personal favor for a friend. As I've stated before, the Jewish people don't know who are their friends and their enemies, how loyal are their own leaders, whom can they count on, and how little "the civilized world" cares about their persecution. They don't know how the world runs. Many retain their childhood naivete about the UNO.


Persepolis and environs is to be flooded for a dam, apparently because the extensive archeological remains there remind people of Iran's Persian, tolerant, non-Islalmic heritage (Arutz-7, 1/14).

This is like the Taliban destroying some mountain carvings of Buddhist statues, another non-Islamist cultural heritage. This is the mark of a totalitarian religion that fears letting out knowledge of earlier ways, lest they seem better.


Twice within a week, terrorists smuggled chemicals for making explosives within a shipment of goods Israel was letting into enemy Gaza for humanitarian motives (IMRA, 1/14).

The difference between Israel and Egypt: Israel lets in food; Egypt lets in arms.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 29, 2008.

The Jerusalem Report (February 4, 2008) spoke of the coming trial of Steve Rosen and Kenneth Weissman, former executives of AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) on charges of passing classified information to Israel. The trial will begin in Washington on April 29, 2008.

As you read the Jerusalem Report of February 4th, it is credible journalism as far as it goes. But, as you read, you may wish to ask a few questions.

Why did Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, with President Bush's permission, unleash the FBI to set up a "sting" against AIPAC and, therefore, Israel?

What was their motive in singling out the Jewish lobbying group when there were dozens, possibly hundreds of lobbyists from other countries who were, like AIPAC, working "unofficially" with Washington?

Many believe Rice, no friend of Israel, was anxious to compromise AIPAC and Israel so they could control whatever Rice wanted to be surrendered to the Muslim Arab Palestinians. What was wanted was to please Saudi Arabia for a host of reasons which will, no doubt, float visibly skyward during the trial.

Look forward to claims of "National Security" that cannot be revealed to the public, the Media or even to the Court. Pressuring Israel has been a prime goal for the Bush Administration and the U.S. State Department since the birth of the State of Israel in 1948. Part of their motives was to defer to Saudi Arabia and the other Muslim nations.

There were several phases of pressure in singling out AIPAC. First, AIPAC, under accusation, will lessen their lobbying of Congress and will accept appropriate "suggestions" from Rice –– through the FBI.

Then Israel would similarly be compliant as the stories were carefully leaked to friends in the Media. Israel didn't want to lose the support of the American people nor the American Congress so they would accept outrageous demands by Rice, likely advised by James Baker. Those outrageous demands surfaced during Annapolis and later meeting in Israel with a compliant Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Things like giving Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem to Mahmoud Abbas, allowing the Army of Fatah. Supporting Abbas and making him seem like a true moderate leader. Israel was to "restrain" her military and NOT respond to Kassam Rocket attacks or any other Terrorist actions by the Muslim Arabs. Israel was NOT to re-take Gaza after it became the Global Terror Base this writer and many other so forewarned. To accomplish all these and other national suicide actions, AIPAC needed to be silenced by America. Israel was forced to be compliant –– even at the risk of losing lives of civilians and soldiers.

Even if the trial demonstrates that it was a political set-up, Rice and Bush will have manipulated several years to squeeze political concessions out of Israel's current government. There is the ancillary benefit of frightening the Jewish community in America so neither their organizations nor citizens at large would dare challenge American government policy in pressuring Israel for dangerous concessions to her safety and sovereignty.

This technique worked when Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger and Admiral Bobby Ray Inman cut off intelligence to Israel on their own decision. There were standing Presidential M.O.U.s (Memorandums of Understanding) wherein there was to be an open official exchange of information. Weinberger and Inman broke that agreement when U.S. Intelligence discovered that Iraq was developing poison gas intended for Israel.

This U.S. secret Intel which, under Presidential orders, would have been transferred as information vital for Israel's safety, was deliberately cut off by Weinberger and Inman. Their cover was blown by Jonathan Pollard and the FBI/CIA went ballistic because their other illegal operation was exposed. Pollard apparently inadvertently exposed another operation of George Herbert Walker Bush. Pollard stumbled across a 1984 shipment of arms sent from Greece to Yemen where the PLO had a major base. He notified local authorities to that country to check on the ship. They confiscated the shipment.

What Pollard didn't know was that George H.W. Bush had secretly arranged this shipment as the first Arms to Iran to aid the Contras one year before it became public knowledge.(1) Needless to say, President Bush was angry –– or so the story goes.

The Pollard Affair is still being used to silence Israel, the Jewish community and AIPAC because it was slanted as a "spy" story and Israel was hung on a hook. Pollard has been in jail 23 years. Most agents convicted of espionage or transfer of classified information to allies if convicted, have been sentenced to at most a few years or months of prison –– if not probation.

I think a lot will come out before and during the trial –– from all sorts of sources. Subverting any ally is embarrassing policy when it turns out a U.S. Government was working for Arab Muslim countries with oil.


1. "The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People from 1920-1992" by John Loftus & Mark Aarons St. Martin's Press 1994 p. 401

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Steven Plaut, January 29, 2008.
1. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2550

Iran is threatening to nuke the Jews, the Pestilinians are on the rampage, anti-Semitism is booming all over the world, it is a drought year, the stock market is in trouble.

But the Israeli government is right on top of things, offering an official apology to the Beatles for having canceled their concert tour in 1965:

The story does recall the Bolshevik micro-control that the Mapai socialists exercised arbitrarily back then. The Mapai geezers decided that Beatles music was harmful to the pioneering spirit of Israeli youth, unlike unemployment and bolshevik state planning of the economy.

Speaking of Israeli Bolshevism, interesting to not who is opposed to it:
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1201523787409&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Meanwhile, now that the Beatles are the top item on Ehud Olmert's national agenda, my poetic juices go a-stirring. To the tune of Yellow Submarine comes: "We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine"!!! (Just in time to accompany the Winograd Report!)

In the land where Jacob's born,
Lived a man who failed to see,
And he sold us down the creek,
with his brain of soya bean,

So he waved the banner white,
and appeased the terror spleen,
Jews to swim soon 'neath the waves,
All thanks to that Wolverine,

We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine,
We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine.

And our friends are all aboard,
While the jihad grows next door,
And the cabinet sits and plays.

(Trumpets play)

We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine,
We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine.

(Full speed ahead, Mr. Nasrallah, full speed ahead!
Full speed over here, sir!
Appeasement station! Appeasement station!
Aye, aye, sir!)

Olmert lives a life of ease
Every one of us, condemned to bleed,
Sky of blue and sea of green,
He's a yellow wolverine.

We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine,
We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine.

We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine,
We are Ruled by a Yellow Wolverine,
Yellow Wolverine, Yellow Wolverine.

By the way, here is my own private, personal one-man alternative Winograd Report: http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/9973/drstrangedoveya4.jpg

2. You will be happy to hear that the head of the Islamic movement among Israeli Arabs proclaimed yesterday that Jews in Europe make bread out of the blood of gentile children. See story here http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/949262.html and also this: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/826810.html

Will he now be publicly hanged? Defenestrated? Jailed? Electric chair? Forced to listen to sociology lectures?

Have no fear, grasshopper. Since he is not a settler proclaiming that Rabin's Oslo policies were foolish, he will NOT be prosecuted for incitement and racism. His is protected speech under the Olmert First Amendment. In fact, I expect him to be awarded an Israel Prize and hosted by the New Israel Fund in New York!

3. Haaretz today reports that Christians in the Gaza Strip are being brutalized and oppressed by the Hamas terrorhoids. It also reports that the Hamas terrorocracy there is getting more assertive about requiring that women in the Gaza Strip cover their faces with a black veil like those liberated feminettes in Iran.

Now I know what you are thinking, and that is that maybe the time has come for Israel to make peace with the Hamas by also requiring that certain women in Israel cover their faces and their whatevers with a long black veil and robe. So here is a partial list of candidates who should be covered for purposes of reaching peace: Shulamit Aloni, Yael Dayan, Stalinist Tamar Gozansky, the Women in Black, Dana International, Zahava Galon, etc.

4. More Oslo success:

The leadership committee of Israeli Arabs will be holding three days of official mourning for the arch-terrorist, mass murderer, communist, and plane hijacker George Habash, he headed the PFLP terror group. As reward, numerous liberal groups of American Jews want to raise money for Israeli Arabs.

5. Meanwhile, there are now countless billboards in Israel paid for by an obscure leftist group (with money from???) that read, "Don't give them guns, build for them houses." It is a takeoff on the old slogan of the Right. "Don't give them guns." This new group wants Jews to finance the building of houses for the "Palestinians."

I guess so that they will have some place to keep the guns that Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert gave them!

6. Israel's Lebanon Disaster
By Michael Oren
January 30, 2008
Wall St Journal
Hyperlinks in this Article: (1) http://online.wsj.com/opinion

I had fought in war before but had never seen such intensive fire –– tracer bullets, rockets, artillery shells –– nor been assigned a more horrific detail. My unit was escorting the bodies of Israeli soldiers killed on the last night of the Second Lebanon War, a few hours before the U.N. cease-fire agreement took effect. None of us understood the purpose of this last-minute offensive or, indeed, many of the government's disastrous decisions during the war. We agreed that the burden of these failures would be borne by our leaders, military and civilians alike.

Now, a year and a half later, veterans of the war are demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accept responsibility for its conduct –– or risk unraveling the consensus on which Israel's survival depends.

The war began on July 12, 2006, when Hezbollah gunmen ambushed an Israeli border patrol, killing eight and kidnapping two. Mr. Olmert's response, a large-scale campaign intended to crush Hezbollah and secure the soldiers' release, was supported by most Israelis until serious mismanagement of the war surfaced. While receiving inadequate or faulty equipment –– my rifle literally fell apart in my hands –– Israeli forces were denied permission to invade Southern Lebanon and neutralize the katyusha rockets that were pummeling Israeli cities. Instead, Israeli jets bombed the Lebanese routes through which Syria resupplied Hezbollah and destroyed the organization's Beirut headquarters.

These attacks obliterated much of Hezbollah's infrastructure and killed a fourth of its fighters, but they also laid waste to a large part of Lebanon, killing civilians and squandering Israel's initial international backing. Hundreds of rockets, meanwhile, continued to smash into northern Israel, displacing a half-million civilians. Only on Aug. 13, after a month of fighting and with a U.N. ceasefire already approved, did the government authorize a ground offensive into Lebanon. The operation achieved nothing, either militarily or diplomatically, and cost the lives of 33 Israeli troops.

In another country, perhaps, such blunders might result in the resignation of senior officers but not necessarily elected officials. In Israel, though, no one is above blame. Accountability for decision making is a tenet of the Zionist ethos on which the Jewish state is based and, unlike most nations, Israel has a citizens' army in which the great majority –– politicians included –– serve. Most uniquely, Israel confronts daily security dangers and long-term threats to its existence. Israelis can neither condone nor afford a prime minister who passes the buck to their army or shirks the onus of defense. The person who sends us into battle cannot escape responsibility for our fate.

No sooner had the war ended than Israelis began demanding an official inquiry into its handling. Why did the government set unrealistic goals for the operation? Why were no orders given for an invasion, and why were no measures taken to protect the home front from missile attack? Above all, Israelis insisted on knowing why Mr. Olmert authorized a final offensive with no apparent objective other than enhancing his image.

Mr. Olmert resisted these demands, but public pressure forced him to appoint an investigative panel headed by Supreme Court Justice Eliyahu Winograd. While not empowered to recommend resignations, the commission issued a preliminary report that compelled Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz to step down. The second Winograd report, scheduled for publication tomorrow, will focus on the prime minister's performance during the war, but Mr. Olmert has sworn not to cede power, irrespective of its findings. At stake is not merely the government's future but rather the fabric of Israeli society.

Israel lacks a constitution but is bound by an unwritten social contract. Israelis defend their country with their lives and their leaders' pledge not to send them to war heedlessly. Prime Ministers Golda Meir and Menachem Begin resigned in the aftermath of disappointing wars, though both were exonerated of incompetence. By ignoring these precedents, Mr. Olmert, whose culpability began before the war, when he appointed a defense minister devoid of military experience, threatens to break the contract. Israelis will think twice before following his orders –– and perhaps those of future prime ministers –– into battle. The cohesiveness that enabled Israel to survive 60 years of conflict will unwind.

Thousands of Israelis are calling for Mr. Olmert's resignation. Rightists convinced that the prime minister cannot safeguard the country's security have joined with leftists who understand that leaders who fail at war will never succeed at peacemaking. All are united by a willingness to shoulder the burden of Israel's defense. This was the commitment that united us that last night in Lebanon, as we took up the stretchers bearing the remains of somebody's son, somebody's husband, and brought them home for burial.

Mr. Oren is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the author of "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present" (Norton, 2008).

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 29, 2008.

This was written by Jack Engelhard and it appeared as an Op-Ed piece in Arutz-Sheva

Jack Engelhard's latest novel, the newsroom thriller The Bathsheba Deadline, is now ready in paperback and available from Amazon.com and other outlets. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.

Playing it soft and fuzzy just won't do.

Maybe this time Israel has learned a lesson, that the world comes around to its side when it plays tough.

Derision happens when Israel goes whoring after peace. People hate a patsy.

Tough guys don't dance (or give up territory).

The usual suspects, like the United Nations, are of course blaming Israel for the Arab Palestinian stampede into Egypt after Israel cut off fuel for Hamas rockets.

But there have been surprising responses from sources not normally friendly to the Jewish State. Condoleezza Rice, at least for the moment, dropped her sympathies for the "poor" Palestinians, stating that, "The problem comes first and foremost out of the security situation by Hamas in Gaza." (Those thousands of rockets onto Sderot and other southern Israeli towns.)

Speaking of those poor Palestinians, by the way, we hear that in less than two days these poor folk spent $130 million dollars on food and other purchases. Where did that money come from in a "refugee" environment? Some shopping spree –– and it's doubtful that Americans, the richest people on Earth, could spend so much money so quickly even during the Christmas rush.

Condi isn't alone in somehow finding justice for Israel's fuel blockade. The New York Times revealed that tearing down that wall to Egypt was not an overnight sensation. Hamas, those wily coyotes, had been softening up that barricade for months. What's more, that plague of darkness (over Gaza) was largely self-inflicted. (They sure know how to play the victimhood card.)

Even the BBC had to admit (reluctantly) that the chaos in Gaza and the flight into Egypt was caused by Hamas. Ditto two British newspapers, the Independent and the Telegraph. This time around, they couldn't find the words to blame Israel. Neither could the Chicago Tribune, which once published a horrific cartoon against Israel, but now editorialized that, "If the Palestinians stop lobbing rockets into Israel, there will be no retaliation."

Haaretz, Israel's newspaper of record for the far-left and the far gone, also approached the situation from Israel's point of view.

All that because Israel finally woke up and showed some muscle. Goodness, even Israel's leaders, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, defended Israel's right to defend itself. Where has this been and what's taken so long? Last week, Israel's Foreign Ministry sent out a press release defining Israel's rights in time of war. Where have these people been hiding?

Those rockets have been raining on Israel for years, actually decades, and in all that time Israel, hat in hand, sought "peace."

The world translated that as cowardice. People dump on cowards, from the schoolyard to the world stage.

The world still cheers David against Goliath, and the world cheered Israel after the Six Day War. That's when Egypt massed 100,000 troops to face Israel from Sinai and cut Israel off from the Straits of Tiran. Israel took the hint and attacked and demolished the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Israel said: "You talkin' to me?" (Menachem Begin, upon another war, this one into Lebanon, was quoted as saying: "They want a holy war? We'll give them a holy war.")

We love a tough guy, and if it's not love, it's fear and respect. That's a lesson for America as well, against those who insist that we cut and run from Iraq and Gitmo.

We also love the underdog, and perhaps, in this relatively favorable climate, it might be timely to remind the world that the Palestinians are part of a general Arab population that numbers 300 million against Israel's five and a half million Jews –– and that the land occupied by the Arab League is twice the size of the United States. Israel's "occupation" is about twice the size of maybe Brooklyn.

Playing it soft and fuzzy is no way to make friends and influence people. Israel lost its glamour when it hesitated to go after the Arab armies in what turned out to be the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Right around here (in my view) the "new anti-Semitism" began its surge. Israel's natural enemies, mostly silent up until then, perceived this reluctance as stereotypical passivity –– and this always invites and encourages the bully.

Chutzpah invites admiration. When will they ever learn? /font>

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, January 29, 2008.

Encouraged by their success in breaking through the Egyptian border with Gaza last week, a Hamas spokesman has threatened to gather 500,000 Palestinian Authority residents of the region for a similar assault on the perimeter fence dividing southern Israel from PA-controlled Gaza.

Ahmad Yousef... called the fall of the barrier between Egyptian Sinai and Gaza... a sign of the start of "a third Intifada."

Ahmad Yousef, political advisor to the Gaza-based PA leader Ismail Haniyeh, called the fall of the barrier between Egyptian Sinai and Gaza last week a sign of the start of "a third Intifada." Speaking with the PA's Bethlehem-based Maan news agency, Yousef said the next stage in such a campaign could involve thousands of Gazan Arabs swarming the IDF-controlled Erez Crossing between Israel and and the PA in an effort to attract international support.

Meanwhile, Hamas militia forces cooperated with Egyptian soldiers on Monday in closing one of three gaps in the security barrier in the city of Rafiah, which straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border. Barbed wire was strung across a section of the separation wall known as the Brazil Gate; however, the main gate in the area remained open, allowing Gaza Arabs to continue to enter Egyptian towns unimpeded. Last week, when Egyptian forces attempted to close the border on their own, a PA bulldozer knocked a new opening in the separation wall.

The partial border control collaboration comes after Egyptian security forces ordered all stores in El-Arish, bordering the Gaza region, to close as of Sunday. Trucks loaded with goods and supplies were prevented from leaving El-Arish towards Rafiah. The move deprived PA Arabs who had charged into the Sinai from Gaza during the past week of a central economic incentive for their having done so.

Since the border breach on Wednesday of last week, representatives of Fatah, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, have met with Egyptian officials to discuss the situation in Gaza. Both Fatah and Hamas are asking to take control of the Egypt-Gaza crossings. On Monday, Egypt sent 6,000 soldiers to reinforce troops and police stationed in Rafiah, with several Hamas terrorists reportedly taking part in the new deployment.

Gaza Terrorists Launch An Attack

Since last week, Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula have arrested dozens of armed PA Arabs who crossed the breached Gaza frontier. Security forces in southern Israel remain on high alert due to concerns that PA terrorists from Gaza are attempting to infiltrate Israel by way of Egypt.

Terrorists in the Gaza region managed to launch one lone attack on an Israeli target on Monday. PA militia forces fired a mortar shell at the Kissufim Crossing on Monday evening. The shell landed near the Eshkol region crossing, but caused no significant damage. No injuries were reported in the attack.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com)

To Go To Top

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 29, 2008.

This essay was written by Moshe Sheskin. Contact him at moshes80@gmail.com, moshesheskin@yahoo.com or moshes7@netvision.net.il

In this part of the world, events run fast and furious and change, not only by day but by the minute. Our very existence hangs on the words and actions of our elected officials, our army and to a large degree, our neighbors. Now that the United States has so emphatically declared that the Iranian atomic reactors are to be used for peaceful purposes, we will be left to fend for ourselves, against an atomic capable Iran whose aim to wipe us off the map, is quite clear.

But all is not lost, we have been assured by one foreign military expert that if atomic weaponry is used, Israel will suffer only 850,000 casualties but the surrounding Arab states will lose about 40,000,000. The key word is 'only' but somehow I am not encouraged by the statistics.

What disturbs me more than the uttering of experts and recent events in Gaza, Iran, etc., is Bush' recent visit to this area. Bush' pressure tactics to finalize a deal before the end of 2008 created disunity in Olmert's coalition who are opposed to concluding a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Israel Beiteinu party has already defected from the coalition and the Shaas group is threatening to do likewise if any discussion takes place on giving up any part of Jerusalem.

Bush' call once more for a contiguous Palestinian state between Gaza and the West Bank is proving to be more than problematic. It means the division of Israel but obviously this is not is not his concern. His uncalled utterances for Israeli ministers to support Olmert is a direct intervention in Israeli affairs and the Israeli public does not believe that after more than 60 years, the Palestinians are ready to have a state of the own, especially since there is every indication that such a state will be controlled by world terrorists. Given the low popularity of Olmert and Abbas, it is almost assured that both of these leaders will not be around by the end of 2008 and this should include George Bush whose term as President ends in January 2009, nor do they have the people behind them to carry out any alleged peace accord.

We Israelis are always willing to accommodate and compromise. However, there comes a time when appeasing your sworn enemy means your destruction. Giving up land which has been settled is no difference than ceding Tel Aviv or Haifa. No longer do we crave or demand the Palestine prior to the Balfour declaration but when Olmert says "our outposts" in Israel have not been destroyed "is a disgrace", there is something lacking in his limited vision.

Of course it is impossible to forecast the future. However giving up settlements on the West Bank will not bring peace any closer. The demographic problems will not be solved by giving land to the Arabs and this concept of 'land for peace' is foolhardy and fraught with danger. At present there is some semblance of balance between the both populations and any attempt to carve up Israel plays into the hands of its enemies.

Hamas reaction to George Bush' visit was somewhat expected. It started with a barrage of over a hundred rockets on communities bordering Gaza. It was not only their way of showing the world that they were dissatisfied with the visit and the peace process but an indication that they did not want to be ignored. Israel's response was and is, targeted killing of Hamas military personnel, sealing of the borders and freezing all shipments to Gaza, including electric power, fuel, food and other products. Unfortunately, due to the interference of European and American governments, in addition to that of Israel's Supreme court, the transfer of certain items was renewed.

I guess it's a fair exchange. We send fuel and electricity so that they should be able to send up Katushas...

Hamas, to their credit, used the Israel blockade as a tremendous propaganda exercise and with the help of the media informed the world that the Israeli blockade was adding to human suffering. With this public relations coup, they shut down their electric generating station and showed the world how they lived in the dark except they didn't explain that the pictures that were being shown were fabricated. They were being broadcast from the inside with curtains blocking out the sunshine or that 70% of the electricity that comes into Gaza is over power lines and not contingent on fuel for the generating station. They were using the "Pallywood" system (combined Palestine and Hollywood) whereby what you see on your screen is fabricated, very much like on a Hollywood studio set, a complete lie.

In my opinion, with Hamas destroying the wall that separated Gaza from Egypt, the moral and international responsibility for the welfare of Gazans has come to and end. No more is Gaza a closed enclave. Their tunnels are now inoperative but the passage of goods and services can be seen from the air and perhaps some means can be found to discourage the transfer of war equipment. If this isn't possible, we only have one alternative and that is the entry of the army which should have taken place quite some time ago. With every day that passes without such action, it will mean more Israeli casualties.

We can only hope that the political statements made by certain members of the government to remove themselves from the coalition once the Winograd report is presented, will come into being and new elections called in order to bring in realistic leaders.

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 29, 2008.

This article was written by Rachel Nolan and it appeared January 2, 2008 in The Jewish Daily Forward

While most of the towns in central Portugal are suffering through difficult economic times, this small village northeast of Lisbon is enjoying a revival: The past decade has seen the construction of a luxury hotel and a museum, and tourism is booming.

The cause? Jews.

Conversos, to be exact. Belmonte, a town of 3,600, is home to some 300 descendants of Jews who survived the Inquisition by practicing their religion in secret –– the only sizable community of these "secret Jews" to remain on the Iberian Peninsula. Until the 1990s, the Belmonte conversos kept their history to themselves. But since warily emerging from secrecy, the Jews here have generated a small local economy in one of the most economically depressed regions of Western Europe –– one that is benefiting Jew and non-Jew alike.

"We are so happy to have work," said Ana Maria Monteirineho, who, along with fellow Catholic Maria de Coneceição Mendes, found new employment with a sewing collective that opened in 2004 in the town center. One of the collective's tasks is embroidering "shalom" onto lavender sachets to be sold at the new Jewish Museum. "[The tourists] come for the museum," she said. "They come to see the Jews."

Indeed, companies that specialize in Jewish tourism are noting that Belmonte is an easy sell. For starters, interest in Jewish Portugal in general has been growing. Functioning synagogues in Lisbon and Porto that mostly serve Eastern European immigrants are seeing more visitors. And last year, a Roman Catholic priest in Porto knocked down a false wall to find vestiges of a pre-Inquisition synagogue while renovating his home. But Belmonte is special. It seems to offer more than Lisbon and Toledo, both of which are full of Jewish history but empty of actual Jews, not to mention that a discovery of another community of crypto-Jews is unlikely to happen anywhere else, ever again.

Distinctive Belmonte has attracted international funds, including enough from one French donor to build the small but magnificent synagogue in 1997. And then there is the large Jewish Museum, which has seen more than 14,000 visitors since its opening in 2005. The museum guestbook shows that Portuguese, Israeli and American tourists are the most common, but there have also been visitors from places as far away as Mozmbique, Montenegro and Japan.

Abilio Henriques, the 68-year-old elected president of the Jewish community, now spends Sunday afternoons collecting entrance fees and directing visitors into the wood-and-velvet interior of his local synagogue.

Tourists have been flocking to the Beit Eliyahu synagogue of the long-hidden Jewish community in Belmonte Portugal

"Kippah for men, none for women," Henriques explains as people walk in.

Henriques's aunt, Ana Marão, 72, sews Stars of David on the challah covers and tablecloths that she crochets for a living. "Now, the symbol is fine, but earlier..." Marão said as she drew her hand across her throat.

It was this fear that kept Marão's ancestors from practicing their Judaism. Sephardic Jews are thought to have inhabited Portugal since 10 BCE. The earliest relic of Jewish life in Belmonte is an inscribed granite reliquary dated to 1297 from the town's first synagogue. But in 1497, King Manuel I ordered Portuguese Jews to convert to Catholicism or flee. Many Jews opted to maintain their religion in secret, leading to such rituals as submerging Sabbath candles in clay jars, according to local historian David Canelo.

Even after the Inquisition officially ended in 1821, local Jews kept their rites secret.

"It was a matter of tradition," said University of California, Los Angeles's Eduardo Mayone Dias, professor emeritus, who has written about Belmonte. "That had been their only method of survival. The fear of Inquisition and of outside influence was very real."

This finally began to change in 1994, when a representative from the converso community invited a rabbi from Israel to officially convert a group in Belmonte. They emerged from secrecy partly because of increased openness across Portugal after the 1974 bloodless transition to democracy from António Salazar's dictatorship, and partly because they desired contact with other Jewish communities. In addition, footage of conversos in Belmonte in a French documentary called "The Last Marranos," released in 1990, heralded the first wave of tourists.

The broader success that the tourists have brought is evident: Where other towns in rural Portugal are plagued with empty lots, Belmonte is ringed with a crop of new houses, and construction is still under way. The streets are clean, and the town park, lined with miniature orange trees, is well groomed.

"People want to come because this is the only really Jewish part of Portugal," said Cristina Brito, director of Lisbon-based Mourisca Tours. Brito's company is one of a number that have sprung up to meet the demand for organized trips to visit Belmonte. One brochure urges visitors to try "Inquisition-defeating sausage," a local recipe in which chicken is substituted for pork.

This is a stark change from 500 years of secrecy, and not all local Jews enjoy being the object of scrutiny. Visitors trying to enter the synagogue during services are often redirected to the museum. Indeed, a number of Jewish families steer clear of both the synagogue and the tourist industry, practicing the way their ancestors did, with women leading ceremonies at home. Belmonte has seen a cycle of rabbis from Israel and Brazil, none of whom stays for more than a few years. Some attribute this to the difficulty of reconciling modern Jewish practices with those of Belmonte, developed in isolation for centuries.

"I am one of the only Jews who invites strangers into my home," said Marão, whose family was among the first to convert. "They are still afraid. I don't know what of."

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Buddy Macy, January 29, 2008.


1.) Open a Second Email window

2.) Copy and paste the following email addresses to the address line: eyishay@knesset.gov.il, aatias@knesset.gov.il, eamsalem@knesset.gov.il, amncohen@knesset.gov.il, izchakec@knesset.gov.il, dazulay@knesset.gov.il, slomob@knesset.gov.il, ymargi@knesset.gov.il, amichaeli@knesset.gov.il, mnahari@knesset.gov.il, yvaknin@knesset.gov.il, nzeev@knesset.gov.il, vegibud@gmail.com

3.) Copy and paste the following to the Subject line:
Prevent a Second Holocaust –– Leave the Government Now!

4.) Type your name, city and state (in the U.S.) or name, city & country in the text of the message. Then send it.

5.) Forward this email to everyone on your list, and urge them to do the same.

Buddy Macy

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Saul Goldman, January 29, 2008.

Review of:
Isabella Ginor or Gideon Remez
Foxbats Over Dimona:The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War
(Yale University Press)

A new and provocative study of Soviet complicity in the Six Day War, Foxbats Over Dimona, reaffirms what some might describe as Biblical historigraphy. Prior to and during the six days of war in June 1967, both super powers the United States and the Soviet Union, colluded(coincidentally) in a plan that would assure that Israel would face its destiny alone. Whenever the Soviets talked tough about American support for Israel, the Americans demonstrated how much they were willing to abandon Israel not only by reiterating their neutrality in "word, thought and deed" but by ordering their 6th fleet to distance itself even further from Israeli shores. All this occured while the Soviet fleet in the region mounted a flotilla of warships.

One might wonder, why? One would assume, for example, that both powers for different reasons would have a vested interest in cultivating an alliance with Israel. From the Soviet point of view, since its rebirth in 1948 Israel demonstrated socialism through its network of collective farms (kibbutzim), its recognized and influential communist party and through its Government controlled economy. Further, the ideology of the communist movement was forged by thinkers with Judaic roots like Marx and Kerensky. Throughout Russia and later Eastern Europe, Jews embraced communism as a secular form of messianism.

The United States, also, had many reasons to support and nuture tiny Israel. Among these reasons were the facts that Israel proved the strength of democracy even in a hostile environment, Biblical and Pharisaic values and ideas provided the ideological framework and foundation of America and the genuine audacity of the Israeli national spirit should have reminded Americans of their own pioneering ancestors. But, both nations rejected these apparently natural bonds. Why?

When people such as national leaders behave contrary to reason we must search for their motives in what Freud illuminated as the unconscious. Psychoanalysis has, indeed, made a comeback. Kenneth Levin has written about the national disorder of Israel called the Oslo Syndrome and there are many other instances and symptoms of Israel's national neurosis. But, unconscious dynamics affect others as well. Reading Foxbats leads us to recognize the appearance of irrational forces in Soviet pronouncements and policies. While neither Isabella Ginor or Gideon Remez were writing "psychohistory", their intuitive hermeneutic evokes in the reader an awareness of the continuum between manifest and latent content in the behavior and words of the Soviets.

I believe that the anonymous historian writing in the Book of Numbers shared this understanding when he observed that Israel is a "nation that dwells apart". Of course, the Biblical author perceived something more than the irrational. For him irrationality was a component of revelation or the disclosure of ultimate reality through history. Hence, for us, international isolation is either a mixed blessing or curse. From either perspective our national reality in the world offers pain and promise. The sages tell us that one is required to bless the evil in his life just as he thanks God for the good. In other words, apparent evil may offer an ultimate good. Was it the historian Salo Baron who titled one of his books Steeled By Adversity?

Understanding the thesis of Foxbats should reaffirm what history has relentlessly demonstrated; our destiny reposes in our own hands and in our covenant; both among ourselves and with God. Indeed, many in Israel referred to that war in June, 1967 as milchemet ha-nes –– the Miracle War. Outgunned and outmanned, Israel stood on the brink of annihilation because, as the authors of Foxbat show us, the Soviet plan was to manipulate Israel into a first strike and then in a counterstrike annihilate the Jewish state. Reading the exploits of the IDF during those awesome days can only inspire anyone of deep humanity. Reviewing the extent of Russia's scheming against Israel makes those exploits even more stunning. The thesis of the narrative is as follows. The Foxbat was the NATO code name for the Soviet's most advanced fighter the MiG 25. On several occasions prior to the outbreak of hostilities on June 5, 1967, the Soviet pilots flew reconnaissance flights of the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona. Their strategy was to make the Israelis believe that they would lead the Egyptians in a preemptive strike on Dimona thus destroying Israel's deterrent capability and spilling radioactivity all over Israel. Scholars have noted the Soviet manipulation of the Syrians and Egyptians by passing them disinformation about how Israel was massing upon the Syrian border. Ginor and Remez, however, have formulated a more coherent discussion of Soviet participation prior to the fighting itself.

I am not qualified to comment upon the debate among historians regarding the sources, its veracity and the interpretation of this data by our authors. History, these days, assumes a positivist stance in which many historians would argue that each event is unique. Theology, however, searches for what some historians describe as a typology. Arnold Toynbee was an advocate of this historiographical movement which maintained that ascertaining the great persistent themes of history is the task of the historian. Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez are two historians whose research and approach to the Soviets and Israel in 1967 seem to reflect an awareness of this Biblical paradigm, referred to by historians as typology, that continually assures Israel's political and diplomatic solitude. The importance of their research highlights what every Israeli should finally apprehend; no alliances or treaties for us, no international guarantees. We are, in paraphrase of Balaam's words, "alone together". Therein lies our moral and spiritual integrity and when necessary our physical might.

Unfortunately, these days the postivist school of history dominates our thinking. Too many of us refuse to consider what happened as anything more than "the past". This notion of the "past" contradicts the Biblical view that what" was" is actually an explanation of what "is". For example, Jeremiah's assessment of the impending Babylonian debacle could be more fully understood in the repetitious appearance of pagan ideas and delusions in ancient Judean thinking and culture. Jeremiah was much like Freud or the historian Collingwood in believing that history is essentially about character. Thus, history is our prime source of revelation and education. We see this most clearly in child rearing. Children learn that the stove is hot from their past experience. Therefore, I would assume that any historian would seek an explanantion of the way the Soviets treated Israel in 1967 in mental and cultural constructs that remained submerged in the national consciousness of Soviet leaders. Ginor and Remez pursue these dynamics in their penetrating and analytic reviews of Soviet memoranda and correspondence which they obviously read so carefully. While Foxbats is not a study in Soviet "antisemitism", the authors invite us to consider its influence in the thinking of Soviet and Egyptian leaders. Similarly, America's "neutrality" appears to be a transparentally clear illustration of a passive-aggressive stance toward Israel.

We are in dark days when Jews almost instinctively recall holocaust images and refer to Islamists as "Islamo-Nazis"; especially in terms of Ahmadinajad. We are threatened by annihilation by our neighbors both far and close by, while our American friends have adopted that old passive-aggressive stance; speaking of peace when they know we are on the brink of catastrophe. We see Bush's intimacy with Saudi terror finaciers while his Secretary of State compares IDF checkpoints to the way southern whites discriminated against her during the 1960s. In a confluence of such attitudes and behaviors, it would behoove every Jew, indeed, everyone concerned about Israel's welfare to read Foxbats. Comprehending the extent of the danger lurking in those dark days of 1967 will help us to more fully appreciate those men and women back in 1967 who had to contend with a friend just a bit less ominous than her foes and a populace that not only remembered Auschwitz but had its stench stored in their nostrils.

Who were they? A middle aged grandmother, a bespectacled ideologue and farmer, a one eyed old soldier and a General suffering a nervous breakdown. But, Israel had its young men and women; farmers, teachers, factory workers, postal clerks and students who, after being called together and "steeled" by their isolation in the world, found themselves. The narrative portrayed in Foxbats, in my opinion, has served the primary objective of history writing. It has correlated the themes and ideas that typify Jewish history with an episode that occurred in 1967. Ginor and Remez have contributed to the ultimate goal of historiography by using the past to prepare us for the future.

Contact Saul Goldman by email at gold7910@bellsouth.net

To Go To Top

Posted by Professor Louis René Beres, January 28, 2008.

It is easy to feel sorry for the Palestinians in Gaza. Televised and print images of their apparently unrelieved misery suggest Israeli cruelty in the creation of shortages and in the use of armed force. Exactly the opposite is true. The moment that flagrantly illegal Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants cease, no harms of any kind will be imposed by Israel.

Hamas commits other egregious violations of international law. It is always a codified war crime to use civilians as "human shields." This cowardly act even has a precise legal name –– "perfidy." By persistently placing their most impoverished women and children in harm's way –– especially in those areas from which they launch terrorist rockets into Israel –– Palestinian terrorist leaders deliberately create Palestinian casualties.

There is more here than meets the eye. Several Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas, are forging conceptual and tactical bonds with al-Qaeda. These criminal organizations are now actively planning for mega-terror operations against Israel. If they cannot be stopped –– perhaps because of continued one-sided and selective coverage of Palestinian suffering in Gaza –– such attacks would involve (at a minimum) chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction. Over time, especially if Iran should begin to transfer portions of its growing inventory of nuclear materials to selected terror groups, Israel could also face Palestinian-directed nuclear terrorism.

What government could be expected to sit back passively and render its population vulnerable to instantaneous mass-slaughter? Would we, in the United States, sit quietly by as rockets rained down upon American cities from terrorist sanctuaries somewhere on our southern borders? Would we allow such carnage to continue with impunity? Can capitulation and surrender ever be the proper or excusable reaction of a sovereign state sworn to protect its populations? For as long as political philosophers have written about the essential obligations of sovereignty, no state responsibility has been as important as the fundamental assurance of protection.

Although not widely recognized, Israel has always been willing to keep its counter terrorism operations in Gaza consistent with the settled standards of humanitarian international law. Palestinian violence, on the other hand, still remains in violation of all civilized rules of engagement. And all this after Israel very painfully "disengaged" from Gaza on the US-backed promise that the Palestinians –– finally –– would put an end to their relentless barrage of terror. Significantly, this barrage also remains strategically senseless, as it does absolutely nothing to advance any vital Palestinian interests.

International law is not a suicide pact. Rather, it offers an authoritative body of rules and procedures that permits states to express their inherent right of self-defense. When terrorist organizations celebrate the explosive "martyrdom" of Palestinian children, and when Palestinian leaders unashamedly seek religious redemption through the mass-murder of Jewish children, the terrorists have no legal right to demand sanctuary. Anywhere.

Under international law terrorists are always hostes humani generis, "Common enemies of humankind." Even according to the most ancient sources of international law, such murderers must be severely punished wherever they are found. For their arrest and prosecution, jurisdiction is "universal."

Palestinian terrorism, even during its present "slow" period (when contending Hamas and Fatah factions are too busy attacking each other), is far worse than most people ever imagine. Using bombs filled with nails, razor blades and screws dipped in rat poison; the killers maim and burn Israeli civilians with abundant cheers from their neighbors and with warmest blessings from local clergy. As for those "commanders" who actually direct and control the suicide-bombers, they typically cower for protection in assorted hiding places. At times they issue loud calls for their wives, mothers and daughters to stand between themselves and the Israelis.

This is the documented "heroism" of Palestinian terrorism. What is unknown to most observers is that carefully trained IDF counter-terrorism units operate in exactly the opposite fashion. These Israeli soldiers always identify and target only the terrorist leaders. Always they seek to minimize collateral harms. There are times, of course, when such harms simply can't be avoided. Even the IDF, which follows its code of "Purity of Arms" far more stringently than any other nation's army, including our own, cannot undo the deliberate barbarism of Palestinian perfidy.

Deception can be legally acceptable in armed conflict, but The Hague Regulations forbid placement of military assets or personnel in heavily populated civilian areas. Further prohibition of perfidy is found at Protocol I of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It is widely recognized that these rules are also binding on the basis of customary international law. Perfidy represents an especially serious violation of the Law of War, one identified as a "grave breach" at Article 147 of Geneva Convention IV. The critical legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist leaders is to immunize Israel from any responsibility for inadvertent counterterrorist harms done to Arab civilians. Even if Hamas and Fatah and Islamic Jihad and their several sister terror groups did not deliberately engage in perfidy, any Palestinian-created link between civilians and terrorist activities would always give Israel full legal justification for defensive military action.

International law is not a suicide pact. All combatants, including Palestinian terrorists, are bound by the Law of War of international law. This requirement is found at Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and at the two protocols to these Conventions. Protocol I applies humanitarian international law to all conflicts fought for "self-determination," the stated objective of all Palestinian fighters. A product of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1977), this Protocol brings all irregular forces within the full scope of international law. In this connection, the terms "fighter" and "irregular" are charitable in describing Palestinian terrorists. These fanatics are plainly criminals who intentionally target civilians, and whose characteristic mode of "battle" is not purposeful military engagement, but primal religious sacrifice.

In the final analysis, Israel faces a Palestinian terrorist enemy who embraces violence not for land, and not for national self-determination, but for God. For this determined Jihadist enemy, terrorism is now a plainly sacred expression of worship. Israel, like every other state, has the indisputable right and obligation under international law to protect its citizens from such an enemy.

International law is not a suicide pact.

Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law, including some of the earliest major books on nuclear terrorism.

This is a revision of an article that appeared May 27, 2004 in the Washington Post. It is archived at the Myths and Facts website

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 28, 2008.


Steven Erlanger describes the warfare in Gaza as a "cycle of violence." As he puts it, the IDF claims its raids are an attempt to repress Gaza rocket attacks on Israel, and Hamas claims it fires them in retaliation for raids. Some disillusioned Israeli complained that the IDF raids cause an increase in rocket attacks (NY Times, 1/19).

Nazi, Communist, and Muslim totalitarians pretend their imperialism is retaliation. They are good guys, you see, upon whom other people pick. Seriously, isn't Erlanger silly in his anti-Zionism, taking Hamas excuses seriously! During WWII, the US did not take Nazi excuses seriously. Why are we less informed? Times writers appear more uninformed than their misinformed readers?

It is warfare in Gaza. Warfare is not a cycle of violence. Each side does what it thinks it can. Israel, governed by cowardly anti-Zionists, and fearful of adverse publicity that gets more radically adverse in proportion to Israeli timidity, tends more to retaliate, though tepid, just enough to keep its people from revolting against lack of national defense. Hamas both stocks and fires rockets, a terrorist weapon. Hamas has them launched, a few every day and sometimes more to make a political point or when it thinks it has a pretext. Erlanger and like-minded journalists fall in with Hamas by making the pretext out to be justified. The disillusioned Israeli mistakes the timing of the rockets' launching for the decision to launch. Hamas is making war and has decided to launch all its rockets, sooner or later. What that disillusioned Israeli should demand as a start is that the IDF send in sufficient force to capture all the terrorists and destroy all their means of war.


Hamas leaders among the pilgrims whom Egypt let into Gaza without Israeli inspection brought in $100 million for Hamas. Hamas uses the money for itself. The people don't care for Hamas rule and the hardships it entails. Eventually, some Israeli officials think, "moderates" may attain power there (IMRA, 1/14).

"Moderates" such as Abbas, whose TV stations urge Muslims to kill Jews and whose policy is to bring masses of outside descendants of Arab refugees, the better to do so? There are no real moderates there of any consequence.

Egypt claims it does what it can to prevent smuggling. How about searching the pilgrims? It is painfully obvious that Mubarak, whom both the US and Israeli leaders praise as constructive, encourages smuggling into Gaza. Pundits offer rationalizations why it is not in his interest to do so. Unfortunately, he has a different understanding of his interest. Undermining Israel is paramount –– to him.


The P.A. states Israel approved of thousands of applications by Arabs from outside Israel (and the P.A.) to marry Israeli Arabs and move in (IMRA, 1/13).

It should let thousands of Arabs out for the purpose, not in. Every day another foolishness. Or is it subversion?

Many announcements of Israeli concessions come from the P.A., not from the government of Israel. Ashamed?


Did you know that Israel is plotting to dominate the region? I found that out from a Syrian declaration. The Syrian statement virtuously condemned all forms of terrorism, including Israeli state terrorism (IMRA, 1/13).

The only one it identified was Israeli. It failed to explain why Israel is terrorist for trying to kill terrorists with minimal injury to bystanders. The terrorists station themselves right next to civilians, for cover, or civilians swarm alongside them, to provide cover. They hope to deter the raids or exploit casualties if the IDF raids.

What about Syrian sponsorship of Hizbullah, a leading terrorist organization? What about the assassination of anti-Syrian members of Lebanon's parliament? Is Syria against that? No. Syria wants to gain credit for opposing terrorism, so it claims to oppose terrorism, but defines it so as to exclude Islamist terrorists and so as to include Israeli defense against terrorism.

Israel dominate the region? That's what Iran and Syria have been doing and Egypt wants to do. Israel has relinquished territory and proposes doing more so.


It didn't realize that the Gaza storage tanks were not full. It prefers to leave the P.A. with full storage tanks and be done with them (IMRA, 1/14).

How silly, as well as lying that the cutoff was not meant to punish terrorism! If Israel stopped dealing with Gaza, and those vicious people suffered as they deserve, the rest of the world, that doesn't care how much Jews suffer from the Muslims, would insist it is Israel's humanitarian duty to succor them in their existential war on the Jews. A patriotic and courageous Israeli government would expose the humanitarian movement as a fraud. Often when presenting Israeli government decisions, IMRA or Prof. Plaut caution readers that it is not a joke.


Mohandas Gandhi, who was anti-Zionist, advised German Jews in 1938 not to resist Nazi oppression AND not flee it. Instead they should gain an inner strength from suffering. (What a fleeting "strength" that must have been!) The advice ran contrary to Judaism, which, however, when Jewish martyrdom is imminent, finds in it some compensation. (Not in my view.)

Now grandson Arun Gandhi, in a Washington Post-Newsweek Web log, accused the Jewish people of striving to make the German people feel guilty for the Holocaust. He warned that not forgiving the Germans may invoke in the Jewish people a feeling of anger. (I wish the Jews had more anger against enemies!)

Like grandpa, he is anti-Zionist, too. He admonishes the Jewish people for building a snake pit, imposing themselves on the Arabs, thereby fostering a culture of violence among the Arabs, and then complaining about being bitten. Jews should have stayed in the countries they were driven to and persecuted in.

Rabbi Avi Shafran answers that in this world, "Jews are regularly attacked simply for being Jews and Israelis simply for being Israelis, where Jewish tombstones are defaced and broken, where Arab countries will not permit Israelis to enter their borders and Arab textbooks teach children to hate Jews as a matter of religious and cultural obligation, where a UN routinely ignores murder, mayhem, and unspeakable cruelty in scores of countries, but just as routinely condemns Israel for defending herself, the primary focus of your ire should have been not those living in the snake pit, but rather the snakes themselves." (NY Sun, 1/18, Op. Ed..) The Arabs cite the Koran, written centuries before modern Zionism

Mr. Gandhi seems ignorant of Muslim, Jewish and Indian history. The Muslims imposed themselves on Judea and India. If people should stay where they are, what is young Gandhi is doing in the US? Arab quoting Koranic injunction to skill Jews proves their culture violent long before modern Zionism. His sense of justice is selective and warped. What is more unjust than to accept injustice, as the Gandhis suggest Jews do? With all the terrible problems cited by the rabbi, Gandhi prefers to find fault with the Jews. He needs a lesson in Jewish ethics.

To Gandhi, the problem is Jewish anger, not Nazi anger. The Jewish people tried to get some of the perpetrators to acknowledge their crimes, including wholesale spoliation, and pay some compensation, but don't strive to make contemporary Germans feel guilty. But why doesn't he chide the Muslims for trying to make the Jewish people feel guilty? Judaism has its own ethic of forgiveness: on earth, it is up to the aggrieved to decide whether and whom to forgive. It is not up to others to forgive. In my opinion, some crimes, such as the Holocaust, are too heinous to forgive. Such forgiveness is unjust. It smacks of condoning evil. The Gandhis propose no resistance to evil, not just non-violent resistance. That's wrong! Why are people who mean well so confused?

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

To Go To Top

Posted by American 1627, January 27, 2008.

Pallywood's lie of "starvation": Hamas 'spent months cutting through Gaza wall in secret.. .As tens of thousands of Palestinians clambered back and forth between the ... were not "starving" as they mostly bought cell phones, TVs, and cigarettes ...

This was written by James Hider and comes from Times Online

As tens of thousands of Palestinians clambered back and forth between the Gaza strip and Egypt today, details emerged of the audacious operation that brought down a hated border wall and handed the Islamist group Hamas what might be its greatest propaganda coup.

Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours.

But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches.

That meant that when the explosive charges were set off in 17 different locations between midnight and 1am the 40ft wall came tumbling down, leaving it lying like a broken concertina down the middle of no-man's land as an estimated 350,000 Gazans flooded into Egypt.

The guard, Lieutenant Abu Usama of the Palestinian National Security, said of the cutting operation: "I've seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see."

Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: "It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?"

Abu Usama, who normally works from a small guard cabin in no-man's land, added: "Last night we were told to keep away from the wall. We were ordered to stay away because they were going to break the blockade."

As Gazans flooded into Egypt, the strip's Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, called for an urgent meeting with his rivals in Fatah and with the Egyptian authorities to work a new border arrangement.

Mr Haniya called for the border crossing to be reopened "on the basis of national participation," meaning that Hamas would be prepared to cede some control to President Abbas and his Fatah-led government in the West Bank. "We don't want to be the only ones in control of these matters," Mr Haniya said, speaking from his Gaza City office live on Hamas TV.

"Everything Haniya is saying is simply to exploit this situation to win political gains. ... It is a part of the problem, not the solution," said Ashraf Ajramim, a Cabinet minister in Mr Abbas's government. Israel refused to comment on the developments in Gaza.

The skill of the Hamas demolition operation was clear to see along the border, although The Times could not visit the entire length of the border. Where the charges had been laid, the wall was heavily damaged. Elsewhere it appeared to be clearly cut.

The destruction of the wall prompted hundreds of thousands to cross into Egypt –– and Egyptian border guards did not try to stem the tide of humanity.

Instead Rafah became a huge Middle Eastern bazaar. Thousands of people were herding back cows, sheep and even camels from Egypt into the Gaza strip. Others brought back motorbikes while many women lugged back cans of olive oil and men could be seen weighed down with jerry-cans full of fuel.

Moneychangers flocked to the border, offering Egyptian pounds and American dollars for the Gazans' Israeli shekels. The shops soon began to run out, however, and those returning were complaining of sky-rocketing prices.

Instead, many people jumped into taxis –– or even on the roofs of taxis –– to take themselves to El Arish, 45km away, the nearest town with shops.

In no-man's land, along the stretch that the Israelis used to call Philadelphi Road before their disengagement in 2005, Hamas gunmen raced along in pick-up trucks flying the group's green flag. Egyptian riot police waited by the gates of the old border crossing, leaning with nonchalance against their riot shields.

Among those returning were Osama Hassan, 25, who went shopping with his 17-year-old fiancee Sarah for their wedding essentials. He bought a special mattress for his injured back; she brought kitchen supplies.

"I'm Fatah, but today, I wish I could see (Hamas prime minister Ismail) Haniya and kiss his forehead, because without the gunmen doing this, we would have been stuck in the Gaza Strip," he said.

Egyptian shopkeepers swiftly raised prices of milk, taxi rides and cigarettes, but that did not deter the Gazans, for many of whom it was their first trip out of the territory.

Some staggered back into Gaza carrying televisions, and others sported brand-new mobile phones. In Gaza City, prices of cigarettes –– which had skyrocketed during the total blockade of the past week –– fell by 70 per cent in a few hours.

Rami al-Shawwa, a 23-year old falafel vendor, said he planned to head to Egypt in the afternoon, after his brothers returned from there. He was going to buy waterpipe tobacco and just "smell some new air".

"We have been living in darkness for days, and closure before," he said, adding that he is not concerned about getting stuck in Egypt. "For my 23 years in Gaza, a year in Egypt will make up for it."

One of the comments to the article was from Jake D, NY, US

I am sick to death of Idiots like so many who have no clue that our comments may or may not matter. Hurray Hammas and/or symphetisers –– you pathethic so and so's. Yes, I am another one to stand up for the Israelis.

Don't you understand it's not just about Palestians getting soap, bread and shampoo? Don't you get this is all a front to smuggle in as many weapons as they can get in all this confusion to hit israeli women and children fast and furious. Do you think they give a damn? Do you?

Egypt has been paid millions to keep their border safe –– they have been paid to do so many a year and now they've been threatened by a bulldozer, they cave i9n an tell their families to charge the incoming Arabs thrice the price. Nice or wot. Check it if you don't believe me!

This is what Arab-to-Arab-Love means. I, for one, hope that the Palestianians realise that they are, and allways will be used as an excuse for conflict. Whether that be Arab to Arab, White to Arab, WW3 you name it

This was from LT, Warminster, UK

Whilst I have sympathy for the ordinary Palestinian trying to live and get by in Gaza, that sympathy is tempered by the fact that the problem they face is, to some reasonable extent, of their own making. The comment of Osama Hassan quoted in your report, "without the gunmen we would have been stuck in the Gaza Strip", typifies that fact. as he does not seem to recognise that it is because of the gunmen that they are stuck their in the first place.

And this was from Sean, Plymouth, UK

When "this albatross is removed from our necks (Israel)," you will find out the true target of Hamas/Moslem Brotherhood et al: you.

What is the # of gays who have been executed in Iran?

What happens to a woman who wears shorts in public under Sharia?

Why does Ayman al-Zawahiri say Spain already belongs to Islam as much as Israel?

Contact American 1627 at american1627@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Hillel Fendel, January 27, 2008.

Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law."

Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers –– the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.

Gauthier's main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I –– Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan –– agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

San Remo

The relevant resolution reads as follows: "The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust... the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [which] will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration... in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" –– but says nothing about "political" rights of the Arabs living there.

The San Remo Resolution also bases itself on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which declares that it is a "a sacred trust of civilization" to provide for the well-being and development of colonies and territories whose inhabitants are "not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world."

League of Nations

The League of Nations' resolution creating the Palestine Mandate, included the following significant clause: "Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." No such recognition of Arab rights in Palestine was granted.

In 1945, the United Nations took over from the failed League of Nations –– and assumed the latter's obligations. Article 80 of the UN Charter states: "Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed, in or of itself, to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."

UN Partition Plan

However, in 1947, the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan. It violated the League of the Nations' Mandate for Palestine in that it granted political rights to the Arabs in western Palestine –– yet, ironically, the Jews applauded the plan's passages while the Arabs worked to thwart it.

Resolution 181 also provided for a Special regime for Jerusalem, with borders delineated in all four directions: The then-extant municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns up to Abu Dis in the east, Bethlehem in the south, Ein Karem and Motza in the west, and Shuafat in the north.

Referendum Scheduled for Jerusalem

The UN resolved that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a separate entity under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The regime was to come into effect by October 1948, and was to remain in force for a period of ten years, unless the UN's Trusteeship Council decided otherwise. After the ten years, the residents of Jerusalem "shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City."

The resolution never took effect, because Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem after the 1948 War of Independence and did not follow its provisions.

After 1967

After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained Jerusalem and other land west of Jordan. Gauthier notes that the UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of all the land until it had "secure and recognized boundaries." The resolution was notably silent on Jerusalem, and also referred to the "necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem," with no distinction made between Jewish and Arab refugees.


Given Jerusalem's strong Jewish majority, Gauthier concludes, Israel should be demanding that the long-delayed city referendum on the city's future be held as soon as possible. Not only should Israel be demanding that the referendum be held now, Jerusalem should be the first order of business. "Olmert is sloughing us off by saying [as he did before the Annapolis Conference two months ago], 'Jerusalem is not on the table yet,'" Gauthier concludes. "He should demand that the referendum take place before the balance of the land is negotiated. If the Arabs won't agree to the referendum, there is nothing to talk about."

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.).

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 27, 2008.

Stupidity seems to be a genetic crop, raised to an even higher level than ever before in Israel's governance. Caroline Glick, who should be simultaneously printed in Hebrew for the Israeli people, gives us the painful truth in the following. It appeared January 25, 2008 in Jewish World Review. Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's policies shouted out by Tzipi Livni at the Herzliya Conference is an embarrassment for all Jews. The problem is that neither Olmert nor Livni have a clue as to their abysmal grasp of reality and their inability to solve Israel's problems. The Arab Muslims, seemingly divided into various Terrorist organizations are, in fact, united against Israel:

1. Hamas: in control, have converted Gaza into a Global Terror Base, –– as predicted by this writer and many other analysts. Hamas is preparing its move into Judea and Samaria –– with the assistance of the Olmert government. Hamas has acquired a secure base in the Northeastern Sinai, courtesy of Egypt –– with an open sea port in the Mediterranean to receive and off-load shipments of weapons, explosives and Terrorists.

2. Fatah: Minimally controlled by Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) as President of the Palestinian Authority, but a weak stick, kicked out of Gaza by Hamas. Fatah is soon to be taken over by Hamas.

3. Hezb'Allah: (Run by Syria) in Lebanon has control of (because they are) the

Terrorists in Lebanon. The Hezb'Allah have brought in at least 20,000 Katyusha missiles to re-stock the 4,000 Katyushas they shot at Israel in the summer War of 2005.

4. Iran (runs everyone) supplies weapons, Terrorists, money, propaganda –– especially now that they are (supposedly) no longer enriching uranium and have moved on to the phase of making nuclear bombs themselves.

These four bad actors as major Islamic and/or Arab countries and organizations are running the Middle East (along with Al Qaeda whom they've let into the Big Game with them in each country and each organization).

They run rings around Israel's Olmert, Livni, Defense Minister Barak and President Peres who cannot walk and chew gum, or think and act, or defend their country and keep their pride as Jews.

Caroline Glick articulates, point-by-point, why the OLmert/Kadima & Labor government is a crippled pathetic thing, dragging itself along from one self-induced crisis to the next. The current crisis for the Jewish nation is so painfully acute to the point that it may have crossed the threshold of its own self-induced demise.

Can it be that the Jews of Israel are so lulled by their artful avoidance of seeing-thinking-comprehending that once again they are marching into the showers, truly believing that the shower-heads will deliver only water?

The only solution to prevent Israel's national suicide is NOT to wait for elections but show up en masse to tear the government out of its delusions and replace it tomorrow morning.

(If you can, please translate the Glick article into Hebrew and we will do our best to disseminate it.)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had his first reported telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Their conversation was a sign of the rising intimacy in Egyptian-Iranian relations in the wake of November's US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapons program. According to media reports, the two men discussed the situation in Gaza.

Their conversation brought immediate results. Wednesday Mubarak allowed Hamas to take control of the international border between Egypt and Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans streamed across the border. Mubarak maintained his faith with Ahmadinejad even after the US Wednesday afternoon began demanding that he reassert Egyptian control over the border. Wednesday evening Mubarak said that the border will remain open.

Wednesday's border takeover by Hamas was but the latest escalation of the Palestinian campaign for control over the international border. This campaign has been ongoing since Israel withdrew in 2005 and was sharply escalated after Hamas seized control over Gaza last June.

Many claim that Hamas's aim of attaching Gaza to the rest of the Arab world by opening its border with Egypt is good for Israel because it allows Israel to disengage completely from Gaza. And there is some truth to this claim. With an open border with Egypt, Gazans will be far less dependent on Israel. To a degree this may help Israel to ease international pressure on it to continue to support Gaza by providing its Hamas-supporting population with electricity, fuel, food and employment opportunities.

But that is not the main significance of the move. Supported and directed by Iran and Syria, Hamas is uninterested in maintaining ties with Israel. Its short term goals are to end its diplomatic isolation in the West, and to force Fatah to accept its control over Gaza and reinstate open negotiations towards the reestablishment of a unity government between Fatah and Hamas.

Its medium term goals involve extending its control over Gaza to Judea and Samaria and then unifying the west and east banks of the Jordan River by overwhelming the border with Jordan in much the same way it took control over the border with Gaza.

For its part, in the lead-up to the Hamas border takeover on Wednesday and in its aftermath, Fatah has shown itself to be wholly incapable of influencing events either in Gaza or in Judea and Samaria. It has been unable, despite its massive financial resources, to in any way degrade Hamas's popularity in Gaza. It has been unable to keep its own forces in Gaza from integrating with Hamas. It has been unable to stem Hamas's rising popularity in Judea and Samaria.

Hamas's border takeover was synchronized to take place at the same time as Hamas leaders were meeting with their Palestinian and Lebanese jihadist counterparts at an anti-peace conference in Damascus. The conference, held under Syrian and Iranian sponsorship was supposed to be held at the same time as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's peace conference at Annapolis. But since the State Department decided to invite Syria to attend that conference, Damascus decided to delay its anti-peace conference until this week. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas went to Syria in recent weeks to beg Syrian President Bashar Assad to cancel the conclave, organized to demonstrate Fatah's weakness and unpopularity, but his appeals failed.

In this regard, it also bears noting that Fatah's response to the erosion of its power has been to escalate its support for jihad. Its television and radio broadcasts are indistinguishable from Hamas's. Its security forces in Judea and Samaria actively engage in terrorism against Israel. Its residual forces in Gaza are full partners in the rocket and mortar attacks on the Western Negev.

The strategic significance of Hamas's border war clearly escaped the attention of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. In her address before the Herzliya Conference on Tuesday, Livni spoke as if Hamas can simply be wished away. The day before Egypt surrendered control over its border to Hamas, Livni claimed that in the Arab world, "Nobody wants to see Hamas succeed."

Livni then went on to justify the negotiations she is holding with Fatah's Ahmed Qurei towards and Israeli handover of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem claiming that by negotiating massive Israeli land giveaways she is preventing the Palestinian conflict with Israel from turning into a religious conflict. She also claimed separately that Israel's conflict with Iran is not related to its conflict with the Palestinians.

All of Livni's statements are demonstrably false. Discussing the surrender of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem with Fatah does not weaken Hamas. It strengthens Hamas. Either the discussions will succeed, in which case Hamas will seize control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem from Fatah the minute that Israel withdraws, or the talks will fail in which case Hamas will say it just goes to show that there is nothing to talk with Israel about. It will then reunify its forces with Fatah and increase its subversion of Israel's Arab citizens. In all cases, Hamas, with its clear vision of Israel replaced by an Islamic caliphate, comes out the winner.

Livni's assertion that Iran is unconnected to the Palestinians is similarly ridiculous. Livni was a member of Ariel Sharon's government in January 2002 when Israeli naval commandos seized the Iranian cargo ship *Karine A* in the Red Sea. That was a ship purchased by Fatah, filled with Iranian weapons en route to Fatah forces. It was commanded by Fatah officers and manned by Fatah sailors. Livni was there when the decision was made to use Fatah's clear connections to Iran as a reason for not conducting negotiations with the group.

And of course, Iran today is Hamas's primary sponsor. And its sponsorship of Hamas is facilitating Iran's bid to secure Arab support for its war against Israel and the US. So Livni's contention that Iran is unrelated to the Palestinians is both ridiculous and dangerous.

Livni's championing of Fatah and continued Israeli territorial surrenders to the Palestinians is identical to her boss Ehud Olmert's. So too, her dismissive treatment of the threat arising from Hamas's continued control over Gaza, like her dismissive treatment of Hizbullah's reinforcement in Lebanon and the importance of US's retreat from strategic rationality towards Iran in the wake of the NIE, is no different from Olmert's.

It is important to note this fact because a week before the publication of the Winograd Commission's final report on the Second Lebanon War, Olmert's blood is in the water. The publication this week of an open letter by fifty reserve company commanders essentially demanding that Olmert resign after the report is released is a preview of the public calls for his departure from office that will sweep the country starting January 31.

While the leaders of the radical Left in Peace Now, Meretz, and Haaretz are supporting Olmert's bid to remain in office and launching smear campaigns against all forces rising against him, the fact is that even his most ardent supporters know that it will be difficult to protect Olmert from the public after the Winograd report is published. Consequently, leading figures on the Left, in Labor and Kadima are seeking ways to force Olmert out of office and replace him with Livni.

Livni escaped the public's wrath over the consequences of the failed 2006 war with Hizbullah. During the war she took a backseat to Olmert and then defense minister Amir Peretz, rarely speaking publicly. Yet from the outset of the war Livni led the diplomatic campaign for a ceasefire. And her campaign was flawed and failed, no less, and indeed more than the military campaign.

Livni began her diplomatic machinations with two incorrect assumptions. First, she assumed that Israel could not defeat Hizbullah militarily. As a result, from the very beginning she opposed any escalation of Israel's campaign in Lebanon. Second, she believed that the international community would agree to fight Hizbullah for Israel. As a result she worked hard to get a Chapter VII –– that is legally binding –– UN Security Council resolution setting up such a force.

The government's refusal to authorize a timely ground assault in Lebanon ensured that Israel would not defeat Hizbullah. Livni's belief that the international community would be interested in fighting Hizbullah led to Israel becoming the main champion of UNIFIL which both before and since the war has acted as a shield for Hizbullah against Israel.

And yet, Livni's diplomatic skills couldn't even secure her own limited and incorrect goal of securing a binding, strong international force in south Lebanon. In his book, *Surrender is not an Option*, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton wrote that on the eve of the Security Council vote on resolution 1701 which set the terms of the ceasefire, Livni complained to Rice, "You've given away the cease-fire, you've given away Chapter VII, you've given away Sheba Farms, now tell us why we should sign on to the resolution?"

But of course, when the next day the resolution passed unanimously in the Security Council, Livni was quick to tout it as a strategic success. And ever since, in spite of the fact that under 1701 Hizbullah has rearmed and reasserted its control over south Lebanon; paralyzed the Lebanese government; expanded its influence over the Lebanese military and intimidated UNIFIL, Livni continues to uphold the resolution as proof of her own competence. And she has yet to be called on this.

In his own speech on Wednesday at Herzliya, Olmert tried to silence critics of his government's incompetent response to the Hamas takeover of Gaza. Olmert argued "If the quiet prevailing in the North would prevail today in the southern part of the country, would we be occupied with a daily counting of the number of rockets and missiles which would be hoarded there in storerooms?"

That is, in Olmert's view, the nature of both Hizbullah and Hamas, their ties with Iran and Syria, and their burgeoning arsenals are unimportant. The only thing that matters is if they presently shooting at Israel. And Livni's view is just as outrageous.

In her speech on Thursday at Davos, Livni proclaimed that the threat Iran poses to global security stems not from its nuclear weapons program and its support for terrorism but from its opposition to her negotiations with Qurei. Livni was quoted as remarking, "Iran is a global threat which threatens the peace process."

The Olmert-Livni government's ineptitude has brought about a situation where Israel is threatened by Iranian proxies on three borders.

Its diplomatic fumbling of Iran's nuclear program has led to a situation where Israel finds itself alone against Iran's Manhattan Project.

Its diplomatic fumbling of Hamas's takeover of Gaza has led to a willingness of ever widening circles of Western diplomats and policymakers to recognize the jihadist movement as a legitimate actor in the region.

Its diplomatic failures during the 2006 War with Hizbullah enabled Hizbullah to emerge from the war strengthened diplomatically and positioned to reignite the war whenever Iran orders it to do so.

Next week's publication of the Winograd Commission report has the potential to finally end Olmert's premiership. But if the post-Winograd political reshuffle is limited to replacing Olmert with Livni, Israel will be no better off.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 27, 2008.

I had to share this photo, which is like almost every other photo of Olmert I've seen of late. You don't have to have a degree in psychology to see that this is one worried man. As he's usually sanguine about his political situation, we can only hope that this is a hint of what's coming down the road.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Olmert today is telling his fellow members of Kadima that they have to all stick together when the Winograd Report comes out (presumably Wednesday evening).

"We must not create camps within Kadima," he said during a Kadima faction meeting. "It is bad for the government and bad for the party." Well...mostly it is bad for Ehud Olmert.

What's got him the most worried is Livni's willingness to meet with the (anti-Olmert) bereaved parents. Whether she has ulterior motives or not (and my guess is that she does), she is absolutely right that this is the least members of the government owe these parents. But it's making Olmert very uneasy.


For his part, Barak is announcing he is going to sit on everything and see how the situation develops before making a statement regarding Winograd and his commitment to pull out. Never mind that his original commitment was to pull out no matter what.


The situation in the Sinai is a grave one with multiple diplomatic and military implications. While the movement of people coming out of Gaza has slowed, the Egyptians have been unable to get the Palestinians back into Gaza. It strikes me that this is a bit like getting the genie (in this case a very bad genie) back in the bottle.

It has been reported that last night Egyptian forces caught 20 Palestinians in possession of arms and listening devices that enabled them to track Egyptian communication. (It should be remembered that in June, Hamas seized sophisticated intelligence equipment that had been supplied to Fatah by the US and then abandoned.) I tend to suspect that this is no more than the tip of the iceberg.

One of the issues that is of concern is the multinational force that is in the Sinai as a function of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty –– to verify terms of the treaty, operate checkpoints, and ensure freedom of international marine navigation. Some 1,800 personnel from 11 nations (with the most from the US) are stationed at two locations in the Sinai, one in close proximity to the Gaza border. Only lightly armed, they are at risk now and the question is whether they will hold their ground. There have been some reports (not yet verified) that Americans withdrew from the Al Gorah base near Al Arish, which is perhaps 30 miles from Gaza along the coast.


There is much talk –– and many pronouncements –– regarding who is now going to handle the Rafah corridor between Gaza and Egypt. The PA is saying that Egypt has promised that they can be in charge at Rafah. Hamas is still pumping to be in charge, either jointly with the PA or independently. To review: When Israel pulled out of Gaza in September 2005, the understanding was that the PA would monitor that crossing, which they did with abysmal incompetence (or lack of commitment) –– permitting much to cross into Gaza. Once Fatah was driven out of Gaza in June of last year, Hamas controlled the crossing. It eludes me how Egypt, on one side of the border, can now tell the PA that it can manage the other side of the border, when in point of fact Hamas is in control.

Abbas is scheduled to meet with Mubarak in Cairo on Wednesday.


Yet another issue is how Israel will now be responding to Gaza. Barak has declared that the crossings will stay closed. Olmert, however, after meeting with Abbas today to discuss the issue, has agreed to minimize the hardship of the Gaza population and to allow fuel and humanitarian supplies to move into the strip. Actually, the decision to renew supplies of fuel came even before Olmert and Abbas met –– after the High Court delivered a ruling in response to a petition from left wing human rights organizations.

With great profundity, Abbas and Olmert agreed that the situation in Gaza/Sinai is serious and that Egypt must be prevailed upon to close the Rafah crossing again.

So where does that leave us? Seems less than nothing has been accomplished. Our leaders still don't want to get it, do they? That this is not the way to handle Hamas.


MK Effie Eitam (National Union-NRP) had this to say about the situation:

"A situation whereby Israel, which is under attack, is asked to maintain the Hamas regime firing at our citizens is unthinkable. The demands for the prevention of a humanitarian disaster should be directed to international aid organizations. We most certainly need to also call on Egypt, Gaza's good neighbor, to do something that is called for and natural for a neighbor that is not in war with Gaza like we are –– allow humanitarian aid to go through.

"Yet instead of this, we see growing international pressure on Israel to do something completely unreasonable and continue supporting its enemies.

"...The impossible situation whereby the Palestinians continue to fire Kassams, while receiving electricity for their Kassam workshops and fuel used by vehicles that fire Kassams, is deluxe terrorism that fits well with the dictum: 'The master of the house has gone mad.'

"In this case, we are the master of the house, and the price we are paying is the security of Sderot and Gaza-region residents, and the stability of the entire State of Israel."


Another example of how the Israeli establishment tilts towards the Palestinians.

As I reported last week, one guard from the Border Police was killed and a second wounded outside of Shuafat in Jerusalem. At that time I indicated that this checkpoint was a weak one, which made the police manning it more vulnerable. Now let me share exactly how vulnerable:

This checkpoint is one of two leading into Shuafat. The other one is designed for vehicular traffic and is protected by concrete barriers. The one where the attack took place is for foot traffic only and not well protected. The police wanted to close it after dark, requiring everyone to use the better protected checkpoint. Ah! But the High Court ordered that it be kept open out of concern for the quality of life of the residents of Shuafat.

Not an inhumane person, I find now that I am greatly weary of hearing about our need to concern ourselves with Palestinian quality of life. There is no greater deprivation of quality of life than to be killed. And that's what happens to people on our side all too often because we are bid to be concerned with relatively minor inconveniences on the other side. There is something unspeakably painful about this.

I think Effie Eitam is correct: "The master of the house has gone mad."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 27, 2008.

I'll be sending a few articles from a computer I just returned to after half a year. I apologize if I sent them before.


Many social science classes in US colleges are used by leftist and Muslim teachers to demonize Israel and the US. They promote antisemitism under guise of opposition to Israel.

One theme is that the US deserved the destruction of the World Trade Center (and its thousands of innocent victims, including firefighters who later succumbed?) and warrants an intifada. Another theme is that the Jewish people are not entitled to a state, although no other people's right to sovereignty is challenged. (Therefore, this is antisemitism. I challenge the right of Palestinian Arabs to a state, because: (1) The land they demand belongs to the Jewish people; (2) Palestinian Arabs are not a nationality; (3) They already have a state, and they are part of the Arab nation which has many states; and (4) They are an evil group, committing war crimes, and are part of the jihad against civilization, so nothing should be done to strengthen or succor them.)

The new book by Mearsheimer and Walt, slanted and mischievously false as it be, is used as a lever to uproot attachment to free speech and thought. The book cites as fact the many false claims of Israeli cruelty to Palestinian Arabs, and omits the many true instances of Arab cruelty to Jews. (That bias, alone, proves their bigotry.) In turn, the book is cited to defame Jewry.

Objections to the false indoctrination on campus is decried as interference with academic freedom. (The objections are interfering with a fascist attack on academic freedom.)

A third, less dramatic theme is repression of conservative thought. Daniel Pipes and some Jewish organizations are trying to set up countervailing voices. Unfortunately, the Jews are left to be the main opposition to the movement against freedom, because the gentiles don't understand that the movement is against them, too (MEF News, 9/16).

This is something that the Republican presidential candidates ought to take up and, if they have integrity, so should the Democratic ones. The Left talks about freedom, but represses conservative debate and Jewish debate, as much as it can, which is considerable.


Syria used to manage Lebanon, on the way to absorbing it, using Hizbullah as its proxy, in coordination with Iran. With Syria's main forces out of Lebanon, and Hizbullah's built up, Syria has become a tool of Iran, while Hizbullah strives to take over Lebanon. Syria's goals and Hizbullah's conflict (MEF News, 9/16).


The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group condemns suicide attacks as a violation of international law on human rights. The Group has an address in eastern Jerusalem (IMRA, 9/16). I don't remember who runs that NGO.


Just about every day, Palestinian Arabs try to sneak into Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria and Israel, attack Israelis on the roads, and attack Israeli troops (IMRA, 9/16).

Our major media report few incidents. But this is no time for the US to demand that Israel take down checkpoints and concede territory to such enemies.

Meanwhile, PM Olmert is talking about uprooting those communities and turning them over to the Arabs, who then would be able to move closer to Israeli towns and attack them. He's talking about peace, while the Arabs make war. Is he crazy? Perverted, I say.


Pres. Ahmadinejad said it is time to overthrow the primacy of the West and fight it until the hidden imam appears. Sanctions cannot reverse Iran's nuclear development and the West is tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran would put its inexorable Nuclear development at the service of the struggle against the West. He says that Israel has no right to exist (IMRA, 9/16).

That hydrocarbon supplier is not going to overthrow the West with electricity derived from nuclear development. He is threatening nuclear war and taunting us for not having stopped Iran.

My friends don't think we are in a world war. They are politically blind. They love to call Pres. Bush stupid. At least he proposed sanctions, until his popularity fell so much.


Not only does the S. Arabian system finance jihadist indoctrination and subsidize terrorism, its indoctrination sends many suicide bombers out to wreak their destruction. The Bush family's infamous closeness to S. Arabia and S. Arabia's notorious corruption of our ruling class has become intolerable (Youssef Ibrahim, NY Sun, 9/14).

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Jewish Community of Hebron, January 27, 2008.

A week ago the Supreme Court ruled that the Jewish residents at Beit HaShalom could continue to live at least until April.

In view of this ruling, attorney Nadav HaEtzni, representing the building's residents, appealed for a second time to the Defense Minister requesting to allow the families living in the building to prepare for the upcoming winter storms. The request was necessary due to an injunction issued nine months ago by a military appeals panel, which on the one hand forbade expulsion of the building's residents from the site, but on the other hand, forbade any changes in the building, including any and all renovations. As a result of this injunction, the families live in extremely difficult conditions:

These include:

No windows

No full connection to electricity. One electric line running into the building does not supply enough electricity to heat the building.

The roof is leaky and cannot be sealed. Rain leaks into the family's apartments.

Attorney HaEtzni gave four reasons for his requests:

  1. The upcoming extreme cold wave will be very hard on the families.

  2. The families include many children and newborn infants. (One baby was born three months ago and another born last week!)

  3. The Supreme Court ruling permits the families to remain in the building at least through April.

  4. Oral agreements from local military commanders who view the requests as 'strictly humanitarian' and agree that they should be answered positively.

Despite the fact that the IDF accepts the requests as 'humanitarian,' the Defense minister thinks otherwise. In a letter issued which refuses the Hebron community's requests, he writes, 'the petitioners are not obligated to live in the building or to study Torah there during the 'cold wave.' To the contrary, their continued presence ... is against the law because they live there without a permit.

The community will now have to wait for the decision of the military appeals panel, which will have to decide between the community request and the Defense Minister's position.

A Hebron spokesman issued the following statement: Windows, electricity and a sealed roof –– these are too much for Ehud Barak to permit to Jews in Hebron. The entire world is up-in-arms when the State of Israel threatens to cut off electricity to murderers in Gaza who continue to shoot rockets into Israel. But nobody particularly cares if twenty families are forced to live in subhuman conditions in a building legally purchased in Hebron.

There are two types of corruption plaguing the present administration: criminal and moral. Ehud Barak's willingness to take pity on terrorists but refusing to show any sympathy for Hebron's Jewish men, women and children is about as morally corrupt as a politician can get. Our sages said, "he who has mercy on the cruel will finally be cruel to the merciful. Barak is fulfilling this saying to the utmost. However, Hebron's Jews will not be defeated by the wind, the rain, the snow or the cruelty of Ehud Barak and his cronies. We will continue to live in Beit HaShalom and this building will eventually be transformed into beautiful Jewish apartments in Hebron.

You can contribute directly to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 27, 2008.

This appeared January 21, 2008 in Yediot Internet and was written by Elyakim Haetzni, who explains, without rancor, the immutable truth that exists between Jews and Muslims. Muslims understand this throughout their range of moderate to radical. It is we Jews who insist that, because we are willing to accommodate, compromise that the bed-rock of Arab perception can be modified because we want it to be.

Strangely, the Jewish Left suffers from the same malady in reverse. Their belief is that immutable laws of nature can be tinkered with as is done with plant genetics where a "peace gene" can be spliced into a "war gene", resulting in a new person who will emerge, ready to live in peace and harmony with those who are not Arabs or Muslims. Neither will change but both will die trying to impose their will on the other.

Elyakim Haetzni's meeting with Arab students convinces him conflict can't be resolved

I was invited to speak to a mixed group of Jewish and Arab youth, all citizens of Israel. This is the type of "dialogue" that leads nowhere. In this meeting, an Arab female student made a significant contribution after speaking out candidly and in line with a firm worldview.

I bid them farewell with a feeling that there is nothing to talk about, and that agreeing to disagree is the lesser evil.

The discrimination, said the Arab student, is not the problem. Even if you grant us full equality, the conflict will go on as long as Israel is a Jewish state. This country was our home, and you turned it into a foreign place for us. In a Jewish state we will always feel like foreigners: The Star of David is not our flag, and HaTikvah is not our national anthem. It is impossible to replace our Palestinian dream by a Zionist dream.

These words, which were uttered calmly, put an end to the internal Jewish debate at once. Burning issues such as "territories" and "settlements" suddenly became irrelevant. I realized that the Hamas spokesman, who refers to the southern town of Sderot as a "settlement," gives expression to a deep sense felt by all –– Hamas, Fatah, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian Authority residents.

I recalled the refusal of our "partner," Mahmoud Abbas, to recognize the Jewishness of the state –– a position that was openly backed by Egypt. This shows us that it is possible to sign a "peace treaty" with the State of Israel while at the same time fight against the fact it belongs to the Jewish people.

With the help of the Arab girl, the layers of dishonesty disappeared and I responded to her that we do not need her to "recognize our existence" –– if we exist, her recognition won't add a thing, and if we do not exist, her recognition won't help. As recognition is not some kind of merchandise, there is no need to pay for it.

The Left asks the Arab girl to give up Jaffa, and in exchange is willing to give up Hebron. Yet even if she signs such deal a thousand times, it is clear that she would take Jaffa back as well once she is able to do so. And still, even such meaningless signature is incredibly difficult for her and she may even pay with her life for doing that –– because a de facto reality is tolerated by the Arabs, in the absence of any other option, while a formal de jure concession is considered treason.

Modus vivendi

And if an agreement is impossible, there can be no meeting of the minds between side A that does not reconcile itself to the existence of side B, so there is no point in negotiations and a process of give and take –– particularly the "give" part of the equation.

The student expressed an authentic Arab position, which the Jewish Left has been ignoring: A complete rejection of the "1967 in exchange for 1948" formula: You will concede what we already occupied and expelled and settled in the 1948 War of Independence and we will concede what we took in the 1967 Six-Day War. An Arab "partner" who pays some lip service to such "deal" is simply deceiving us.

This explains the Arab emphasis on two of the "core issues" –– Jerusalem's Old City, because the Jewishness or Arabness of the entire country is determined based on this, and the demand to allow millions of refugees into a Green Line state, which would erase Israel's blue-and-white character.

This was well expressed by Azmi Bishara, an enemy who did not hide the truth from us: "The Palestinian conflict should be brought back to its roots –– the refugees of 1948. The PLO was established in 1964 in Jerusalem, which was under Arab rule at the time, rather than Zionist rule. The PLO was established for the sake of refugee rights. These rights come before the right to a state. We have no interest in a state without the right of return."

In conclusion, I proposed to the Arab student that we should make do with a modus vivendi: Co-existence with disagreement, without wasting time on illusions and blood on futile and frustrating attempts to resolve a conflict that can only be managed, at most.

People learn to deal with inherent contradictions in their personal lives as well. The Jewish-Arab conflict is chronic; a reality that cannot be changed in our time. Yet people can live long lives with chronic diseases too, while resorting to a forced "solution" could lead to a tragic end.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 26, 2008.

This is an interview With The Girls Who Were Imprisoned For Three Weeks. It was written by Hillel Fendel at Arutz-Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) What follows is an abridged transcript of an interview with three religious teenaged girls who were released from prison on Monday after sitting in jail for three weeks. Their crime: Attending an outpost-building ceremony outside Beit El and then refusing to identify themselves. The reason they refused: Unwillingness to recognize the authority of a Jewish court system that refuses to allow Jews to settle throughout the Land of Israel.

Following three weeks of harassment by the courts and prison systems, during which even some on the left called for the girls to be freed, they scored a victory in forcing their release without conditions or restrictions –– and without identifying themselves.

The girls, all 9th and 10th graders in the Maaleh Levonah Ulpanah Girls High School near Shilo in Shomron, are not permitted to be identified in the media, as they are minors. They are known in this interview as Chana, Tchiyah (Revival), Herut (Freedom) and Yael.

Q. How did you feel when you learned of your release?

Yael: It was totally unexpected. We felt as if it came from G-d alone.

Herut: I had trouble believing we would ever get out. When they actually released us with no restrictions, we saw how G-d is all-powerful. Even things that are beyond all imagination can happen.

Q. After this long period, and the difficult experiences you went through, what do you have to say to the legal system about how they treated you?

Tchiyah: It doesn't matter what you try to do, G-d is King –– and this is not just a slogan.

Yael: As with the Egyptians before the Exodus, the more you try to weaken us, the stronger we will become.

Asked about the harassment they underwent, one said, "One time, a few of us were falling asleep in our chairs, and the policemen kept waking us up, telling us we had no right to sleep... The officer in charge of the prisoners in the N'vei Tirtzah Women's Prison prevented visitors from coming, and did not give us phone cards. One time, when a lawyer from the Honenu [legal rights] organization came to visit us, the officer lied and told him that we were sleeping. This was very hard for us, because we had been waiting anxiously for that visit."

One girl said that their first night in jail was particularly difficult: "Border Guard policemen, Druze, spoke to us very not nicely and did very not nice things. Their behavior was very base." At one point, a male policemen interrupted a session in which they were being physically checked –– a clear violation of their modesty. "They did it for no purpose, just to weaken us... But we have our faith, and we are strong. It was clear that it was only to weaken us."

Yael: When you see how they try to weaken us simply because they were afraid, that strengthened us.

In this connection it is worth noting that when their friends demonstrated outside the police station a few days after their arrest, the police were heard telling each other, "Whatever you do, don't arrest them!"

Herut: This past Sabbath, after three girls were freed and we remained, it was hard for us that we stayed alone. But then we remembered that everything is from G-d...

Chana: The hardest part is that our friend, who recently turned 18, is still in prison, with no friends. She was arrested two months ago for trying to banish Arab olive-pickers from an area near Elon Moreh, and is being held until the end of the proceedings. She's freezing at night because they give her just one blanket, there is no plug for a heater, they stole her phone card, and they don't allow her to bring things in... We are out, but we have to remember that there is another girl who is still there, though she did nothing wrong. We have to yell about this, and we must not rest until she is freed.

Tchiyah: We spoke with the other prisoners at times, mostly about Judaism. Many of them said they knew that Judaism is the right way. It's precisely in the lowest places that one's true faith emerges. You can see that they understand that there is a G-d, and it is good for them."

Chana: There were some prisoners whom we taught to pray, and we brought them prayerbooks.

Herut: One of them said, 'Look at that, they're sitting for ideology, while I'm here for selling drugs.'

Yael: They appreciated that we were there because of our principles. Some of them said that they understand us, though they don't agree. Others really admired our dedication.

Asked if they weren't negatively influenced by their presence together with convicted prisoners, Herut answered simply, "We were doing the right thing, and G-d protected us."

Q. Wasn't it hard to be alone and detached from the outside world for so long?

Chana: We understood that this was our test and our task at that time. We decided that we would take this road, despite all the difficulties. It's important to emphasize that it wasn't easy, but we believed with perfect faith that we were supposed to be there. We knew that we could get out, and we just had to hold on until the test was over."

Q. Why do young girls like you have to take this mission upon yourselves?

Herut: You can always let things fall to other people; there are always excuses. But that's not how the Redemption will be brought. Everyone has to give up a little and give of himself, according to what he can. We don't have families to run, so we can take this mission on ourselves. The Hebrew word for youth is no'ar, which comes from the same root as hitna'arut, to arouse; if we don't do it, no one will.

Chana: The courts could have released us from the beginning; they knew our names. We shouldn't have remained in jail. It was the court's problem, and they just wanted to harass and abuse us. But we were strong."

Q. What was the principled stand behind your refusal to identify yourselves and cooperate with the legal system?

Tchiyah: We are in the Land of Israel. The Nation of Israel must be judged by Torah law. But instead of our true and just Torah, we have courts that judge according to Turkish and British law.

Yael: We felt that our public must wake up. The courts are leading the country, and the government also acts according to rulings set by the Supreme Court. The same law that kept us in prison is the same law that expelled Jews from their homes and left them with nothing. We wanted to show the public that everything is soiled and that we have to wake up from it."

Chana: When the Nation of Israel first arrived in the Land, we were commanded in the Torah to appoint a king. This is part of the process again, to build a regime that will run according to G-d's law.

Tchiyah: Just like we are forbidden to follow an illegal law, we are also not permitted to be judged in a court run by such laws.

Q. Do you truly believe that seven girls in jail will lead to a Torah regime in the State of Israel?

Yael: First our sector will wake up, and then the whole country will follow.

Tchiyah: Our entire history is full of examples of the few against the many –– David and Goliath, Avraham on one side of the river as opposed to everyone else, the Maccabees, and more. Obviously we know the Sanhedrin won't be built in a month, but we have to start, and with G-d's help, if people change their way of thinking, it will be worth it."

Q. When you got out, did you feel that you had achieved something for being in jail so long?

Herut: It came out better than we thought. The whole public woke up and there was a great ripple. We see how the legal system is afraid of this, letting us out without having to identify ourselves. The truth won out.

Tchiyah: I think it might be less of a victory over the legal system and more of a feeling that G-d had confirmed that we were doing the right thing by refusing to have anything to do with the system.

Chana: It's between us and G-d. I felt complete with Him. We were educated according to Torah ways, and there is no reason why we shouldn't also be judged accordingly. The judges tried to re-educate us –– as if the education that we received at home was not good enough... Sometimes the judges even admitted that they were leaving us jail another day in order to educate us –– but in the end, they achieved exactly the opposite."

Q. How did your parents react? Some people said they should have had you out of there even against your will.

Chana: Our parents supported and strengthened us very much, even though it wasn't their decision for us to be there. It seems that it's harder to worry from the outside than to actually be inside... This is our opportunity to thank them very much. The thing is that according to Jewish Law, once a girl turns 12, she is Bat Mitzvah and is responsible for her own actions. So we made this decision –– not lightly –– and then our parents went along with what we did.

The girls also expressed thanks for those who helped in the media and from a legal standpoint, such as the Honenu organization. "Without such strong public support," they said, "our struggle would have been much harder. But when we saw how many people were standing outside each time we went to court, we understood that we were doing the right thing and this was everyone's war, not just ours. Many people began to understand that something is not right with our country and we must not sit on the sidelines. If everyone does something, we can bring the Redemption –– or at least fix one small thing."

The girls said they received many thanks afterwards, together with some negative reactions as well. "But if we go only by the latter, we'll never get anywhere," one said.

Q. Will you continue to go to outposts even though you know you could be arrested again?

Yael: No one wants to sit in jail, but if we stop our advance on the Land of Israel, they will have won. We just continue to get stronger and stronger.

[Editor's Note: To see the Daughters of Zion Video, click here.]

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Marion D.S. Dreyfus, January 26, 2008.
Will they protect us against a real enemy?

Some say it is one of the great misfortunes of our time that we interpret common wisdom as a conflation of scientific literacy and atheism.

Yes, but in a sense, it is cheering to see that the intermittently reticent and strangely constituted ACLU defends the teenaged atheist from a preacher's depredations against separation of church and state. The church, however, is scarcely the most extreme danger facing the educational infrastructure today, though the young student and his father think so. Perhaps they have a strong aversion to Christian teaching in the public school arena. They might be on solid ground there, of course.

But the preacher and his Christian teachings are not the fullest manifestation of danger in our school system to date.

Too many infiltrations into the public school system have of late been noticed –– odd inclusions into our textbooks, odd requests for "prayer time" that is beyond the pale of a public school, forced rituals forced down the throats of parents and school-kids –– not to mention the hapless teachers caught in the wave –– and curricula that are entirely seditious of our freedoms.

It is high time the legal watchdogs of the ACLU guarded us against these new and terrible infiltrative elements in our pluralistic and free society. As a too-tolerant society for a long time, others may have learnt to use our freedoms and propensity to accommodate others against us. That has to be brought to a halt. I do not entertain the notion that the ACLU will actually help the country in this harder, more extended fight, as they did a lone atheist teenager against a favorite ACLU target: A fundamentalist Christian.

Would the ACLU battle the Holy Land Foundation, CAIR, various legislative arms of groups with parenthetical titles after their acrostics? Would they go to court to defend American values and schools against the implacable unindicted co-conspirators of the rampaging Islamo-fascists and their stealth racist, misogynist, anti-gay agenda? Or will shariah-law dicta and fundamentalism get a hall pass?

I shan't hold my breath.

And if the ACLU, whose mission statement it is ostensibly to go to the mattresses on behalf of the underdog challenged by the implacable and evil, won't speak out with their oratorical prowess, will the rest of us take up the cudgels?

Marion D.S. Dreyfus is a British-born journalist with particular interest in healthcare, and medicine, the politics of the Middle East, finance and the stock market. She has traveled widely in Africa and lived in Central and South America, Europe, and the Far East.

To Go To Top

Posted by David Bedein, January 26, 2008.

Jerusalem –– It is hard to think of a precedent in the history of warfare when an army used hordes of civilians as a cover for the conquest of a seaport.

Indeed, what most observers of the Middle East have missed is that the Hamas army has conquered and taken control of the Egyptian sea port of Rafah in a matter of days, under the cover of tens of thousands of men, women and children flooding Egypt under the pretext of a "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.

As thousands of Gazan families spilled over into Egypt, the Hamas military seized Egypt's strategic deep water port of Rafah on the Gaza Mediterranean coast, using an American arsenal of light weaponry that was seized from the Fatah Palestinian Authority security services last June.

To complement that startling feat, the Hamas forces may pull off the same conquest of the El Arish deep water port on Egypt's Mediterranean coast within a matter of days.

How did all this come about?

Before dawn on Wednesday, armed Palestinians blew up the wall between Gazan Rafah and Egyptian Rafah at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip.

As if on signal, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians thronged across the border into Egypt in hope of fleeing the economic siege that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip. The Egyptians failed to stem the tide and were forced to open the border.

Israeli security officials were not surprised by the development, saying it had only been a matter of time. "By virtue of the very fact of allowing Palestinians entry into Egypt, the Egyptian authorities cut the ribbon on the decision to sever Gaza from Israel," said a security official on Wednesday. "Now the Egyptians need to shoulder responsibility for the Gaza Strip in terms of humanitarian aid. The Hamas government will be forced to rely on Egyptian infrastructure to supply food and fuel to the citizens. They can't claim that Israel is holding them under siege."

Sources in the Israeli security establishment believe that 100,000 Palestinians crossed the border into Egypt, including terror cells who will now try to return to Gaza and penetrate Israel via its long border with Egypt in the Negev.

Egypt Was Tipped Off Before Hamas Blew Up The Wall

A few hours before the steel wall along the border with Egypt was blown up Thursday, a Palestinian security official placed a phone call to his Egyptian counterparts. He provided them –– for the second time within a week –– with a tip about Hamas' decision to blow up the wall. Hamas activists had prepared for the explosion for months, using a special chemical mixture that they concocted to melt the steel, reported the Times of London.

The intelligence warning the Egyptians were given was relayed while Hamas activists were busy laying the bombs. The Egyptian intelligence officials thanked the Palestinian officer and promised him that they would prepare accordingly, sources say.

One of the Palestinian border guards, Lt. Abu-Osama from the Palestinian National Security Service, said that the wall collapsed within a moment, after it was bombed in 17 different locations. "I saw them preparing for the moment of the explosion for months," said Lt. Abu-Osama. "It happened in the course of the day but it was concealed so that no one would see." When he was asked why he didn't report that, Lt. Abu-Osama replied: "It was the government that did that. Who was I going to report it to?"

Media Victory For Hamas

Zvi Mazel, who was Israel's ambassador to Egypt, said, "Hamas has scored a victory under the auspices of the media. The breaching of the siege was planned and executed like a military operation, while making optimal use of the media."

Mr. Mazel went on to say Hamas took care to distribute "candle pictures" from Gaza: ranging from children bearing candles in the Gazan darkness to a cabinet meeting held by candlelight. Afterward, Mr. Mazel commented, "Hamas dispatched its women's organization to break through the Rafah crossing and documented the Egyptian security forces opening fire .... Mubarak had no choice but to go on television and announce that he had ordered the crossing to be opened to the hungry residents of Gaza –– a media victory for Hamas."

David Bedein is Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency. (http://Israelbehindthenews.com). He is president of Center for Near East Policy Research. Contact him by email at media@actcom.co.il

This appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin
www.thebulletin.us/site/printerFriendly.cfm?brd=2737&dept_id= 618959&newsid=19232349

To Go To Top

Posted by Steven Plaut, January 26, 2008.

Sixty years ago, the Jews of Israel and the world learned one of the harshest lessons in political realism and the ethics of war. It was a tragedy that forced them to abandon their moral naiveté and acknowledge the harshness and brutality of military reality. And it is a lesson that Israeli politicians and the leftist media would have the country forget today.

The United Nations in November 1947 had approved the partition plan for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab Palestinian state in Western Palestine. A different Arab state had already been constructed in the eastern two-thirds of Mandatory Palestine and was named Jordan (earlier, Transjordan). Western Palestine at the time was ruled by the British, under the mandate granted by the League of Nations after Britain drove the Ottomans out of Palestine in World War I.

In 1920, the territory of Palestine had been separated from Syria by French-British agreement, so that France could rule Syria and Britain could rule Palestine. The Arabs of Palestine rioted because they considered themselves Syrians and demanded not to be cut off from their actual homeland. Those same Arabs would later be misnamed "Palestinians."

After the 1947 UN partition vote and before the Jews officially declared independence (which would occur in May 1948), the Arabs of the territories earmarked for the Jewish state launched an all-out war against the Jews, complete with mass massacres of Jewish civilians. They were openly supported by the surrounding Arab states, which sent arms and "volunteer" troops and later invaded Israel with their own armies.

Because the Jewish towns and settlements were scattered, some of those outside the main Jewish population centers were cut off and besieged by the Arab militias. One such besieged set of four Jewish villages was known as Gush Etzion, located south of Jerusalem. The first of its settlements had been established in 1927 by Jews from Yemen. It had been attacked during the 1936-39 pogroms carried out by Palestinian Arabs against Jews.

In January 1948, Gush Etzion was surrounded by Arab militias. Jerusalem itself was also besieged and would soon be cut off and starved. An Israeli army did not yet exist; instead, a number of ragtag and poorly equipped Jewish militias attempted to defend the Jewish areas against the attackers. In cases where the Jewish militias failed, captured civilians were generally massacred by the Arabs. Many of the murdered Jews were Holocaust survivors.

The Jerusalem militias sent out a company of 38 young men, half of them students from Hebrew University, to relieve the besieged Gush Etzion villages. It shows the desperation of the Israeli Jews at the time that a company of 38 people was considered a major reinforcement. The fighters carried heavy packs of food and ammunition, and so proceeded slowly. On the way to Gush Etzion, one militiaman fractured his ankle and was taken back to Jerusalem by two others, leaving the company with 35 fighters.

They marched by night, led by two experienced scouts. But before reaching their goal, they were discovered by an elderly Arab shepherd. (A British version of events later had them detected by two Arab women shepherds.)

The militiamen grabbed the shepherd, but were then faced with a moral dilemma. Some proposed shooting him on the spot, because, they said, if he were released he would immediately alert the Arab militias in the vicinity, who would attack the relief company. War is war, they argued, and the lives of hundreds of people depended on the success of their operation.

Others among the Jewish militiamen objected. We cannot just kill him in cold blood, they said. Our military operation must be ethically pure. And we can't even tie him up and leave him in a cave –– he might die there slowly, or he might escape and alert the Arabs.

The shepherd (or shepherds in the alternative version) swore on all that was holy that if released, he would not breathe a word. In the end, the Jewish militiamen decided to release the shepherd.

The shepherd immediately ran to the nearest village housing the Arab militias and alerted them to the presence of the Jews. The Arabs attacked the outmanned and outgunned Jews. Every single Jewish militiaman was massacred. Their bodies were horribly mutilated. Later, the Arabs demanded money from the British in return for the corpses.

Even worse, the Gush Etzion villages were never relieved or reinforced. Without reinforcements, those villages eventually fell to the onslaught of the Arab marauders and the regular Jordanian army (the Arab Legion). When Kfar Etzion, the largest of the villages, fell, virtually the entire Jewish civilian population was massacred, 250 people in all. Only three Jews survived. The residents of the other three villages were luckier –– after their surrender the Jordanians took them prisoner and later released them.

Jews had long engaged in sterile, scholarly debate over military behavior without the hazard of being mugged by reality. Prior to the struggle for Israel's independence, Jews hadn't run an army of their own (as opposed to participating as soldiers in armies of other countries) since the seventh century, when a small Jewish militia aided the Persian invaders attempting to drive out the Byzantine occupiers of Palestine.

But then, in the late 1940's, Jews were suddenly confronted with the necessity of propounding ethical rules for dealing with real-world military dilemmas.

There are lessons to be learned from the massacre of the Gush Etzion Thirty-Five. The only way to avoid undertaking military actions that might possibly result in the death of innocent non-combatants is to surrender and capitulate. Squeamishness in the midst of battle always results in far worse bloodshed.

Rabbinic tradition teaches that those who are compassionate in situations where cruelty is called for will end up being cruel in situations where compassion is called for.

Our Sages could have thought a thing or two to the armchair critics of Israel's targeted assassinations and other military actions, and to the practitioners of recreational compassion who love to whine about the "brutality" of the American military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afterword on that "Compassion Kills" piece I posted: I had not been aware of this when I wrote the article, but an event nearly identical to the Gush Etzion "Thirty Five" massacre took place with US troops in Afghanistan in June 2005, when a group of Navy SEALS were discovered on an operation by three shepherds, one a boy. The US troops released them. They notified the Taliban and all but one of the US troops were massacred. Hat tip to Michael Ledeen. This web site has more details:

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

Posted by Koira, January 25, 2008.

This was written by Judea Pearl, a professor at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, named after his son. He is a co-editor of I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl (Jewish Light, 2004). The full title of this article is "A Culture Of Violence Or A Cult Of The Superficial –– From Bhutto To Gandhi To Al-Qaradawi." It is available at Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)

Amidst the hundreds of articles that analyzed the horrible murder of Benazir Buhtoo in Pakistan last month, there was one by Beirut-based journalist Rami Khouri that deserves special attention, for it points to a recurrent phenomenon we might well call "the Cult of the Superficial".

Entiled "Who Killed Benazir Bhutto?" (Algazeera.com 12/31/07) the article places Bhutto's murder in the wider context of region-wide proliferation of political violence and puts the blame on the fact that, "in the life of ordinary people in the vast region from North Africa and the Middle East to South Asia political violence has become an everyday fact of life."

The essence of Khouri's article shines through its concluding paragraphs: "They kill as they have been killed. Having been dehumanized in turn, they will embrace inhumanity and brutality.

Who killed Benazir Bhutto? We all killed her, in East and West, Orient and Occident, North and South. We of the globalized beastly generation that transformed political violence from an occasional crime to an ideology and an addiction."

My Western upbringing resonates strongly with Khouri's ending: "We all killed her," which I take to be a poetic call for self-examination and social action. I am sure many in the Judeo-Christian tradition will echo this call with, "Indeed, let us work on ourselves first" –– it is in the nature of our cultural reflex.

But my moral instinct tells me something different. It tells me that what the world needs during this state of social upheaval are distinctions, not generalizations; clarity, not equivocation. To say "we are all guilty" is paramount to saying "no one is guilty," like that bully who excuses himself with the rejoinder, "They all do it."

Sweeping generalizations that spread guilt too broadly, tend to obscure the anatomy of violence; they drive attention away from critical factors and pivotal players, and hamper our ability to take corrective actions.

I became particularly sensitive to this logic of overgeneralization in the weeks following the murder of our son, Daniel, when Jihadi websites began ranting:"What's all the fuss about one Jewish journalist when so many Muslims are being killed in Palestine and Afghanistan?"

It is pointless, of course, to explain to Jihadis that terrorism earns its ominous and morally reprehensible character not through body count but through "intent," i.e., the intent of perpetrators to harm the innocent –– Jihadis refuse to get it.

One would expect, however, that modernity-minded thinkers should grasp this defining distinction and use it to tell a good guy from a bad one –– they, too, refuse to get it.

Time after time, in my lectures before mixed Muslim-Jewish audiences I get the question: "Isn't the US operation in Iraq a state-sponsored terrorism?" or "Isn't Israeli targeted killing morally equivalent to Palestinian suicide bombing?" Even after admitting that suicide bombers aims to maximize, and Israel aims to minimize civilian casualties –– it is, after all, bad for public opinion –– the questioners refuse to accept the distinction.

Symmetry is so seductive, and the idea that every strife has two equivalent sides so deeply entrenched in our culture, that even well meaning intellectuals fall into its trap.

Michael Winterbottom, for example, the director of the movie A Mighty Heart, compared Daniel's murder to the conditions in Guantanamo, and wrote: "There are extremists on both sides who want to ratchet up the levels of violence and hundreds of thousands of people have died because of this."

Khouri is thus in good company when he falls into the trap of body count and states: "It makes little difference, if this is the work of democratic or dictatorial leaders: Dead children and war-ravaged societies do not value such distinctions."

What is dangerous in this tendency to generalize and symmetrize violent acts is that it actually helps spread the ideology of political violence, for it permits angry youngsters to reason thus: "All forms of violence are equally evil; therefore, as long as one persists, others should not be ruled out. " This is precisely the logic used by Muhammed Siddiqui Khan, one of the London suicide bombers, in his post-mortem video tape on Al Jazeera.

But no less dangerous is the destructive influence of ideologues who, armed with the halo of non-violence advocacy, preach hatred and bigotry. Typical among them is Arun Gandhi, grandson of India's legendary leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who just last week published an article in the Newsweek/Washington Post website entitled "Jewish Identity Can't Depend on Violence," in which he states that "Israel and the Jews are the biggest players" in the creation of a "Culture of Violence that is eventually going to destroy humanity." Such wreckless twistings of reality, soaked in apocalyptic pontification, spring abundantly from the cult of the superficial and its lazy logic of body count.

Saying, "We all killed Benazir Bhutto" means that violence is so hopelessly symmetric, chaotic, and all-pervasive that we do not know where to begin our effort to contain it. But we do know where to begin, because some acts are violence-reducing while others are violence-producing –– the two are not equivalent and we should obviously begin with the former.

For example, Israel's military operations in Gaza are not equivalent to the firing of Qassam rocket into Sderot. The former will cease if the latter does, but not the other way around. This causal asymmetry is so glaring that only minds like Gandhi's can mindlessly ignore. We have a similar asymmetry in Iraq, where one side sees cessation of hostilities as an achievement, the other as defeat. In such cases, the asymmetries should be noted, analyzed and acted on, rather than dismissed with, "We all killed her?"

And this brings me to the role of the media in this web of violence, counter-violence and broken symmetries. The statement: "They kill as they have been killed," is poetic, compassionate, even noble, but not very accurate and not very helpful. No, the murderers of Benazir Bhutto did not "kill as they have been killed," they killed because they were taught to believe that they are the helpless victims of an evil oppressor of which Bhutto is a symbol and, once a victim, so the teaching goes, tantrum rules.

The thousands of Saudis recruited for suicide bombing in Iraq are a more familiar example. They kill because they were told that Islam is being attacked by America, that America kills Iraqis out of pleasure and that the sole reason for the US presence in the Middle East is to subjugate Muslims, steal their resources and humiliate them for fun. This is, sadly, what an increasing majority of Muslims now believe, and Rami Khouri knows how twisted a perception this is. He knows it because he spent time on fellowship at Harvard University and surely noticed that Americans have many worries on their plate –– humiliating Muslims is not one of them. He knows that America is genuinely trying to transport democracy to the Middle East –– if not for the love of humanity, then out of a selfish preference for regimes deemed less likely to wage wars.

No less important, they kill because they have been given a religious license to do so by clerics such as Egyptian-born Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most prominent Koranic authority in the Sunni world, who issued a fatwa authorizing suicide killing of American civilians in Iraq.

Put more generally, hardships and grievances in themselves do not breed political violence of the type that killed Benazir Bhutto. For a grievance to turn into an act of terror, two additional ingredients are necessary, each non-violent in isolation: a twisted prism of reality and a twisted license to kill –– e.g., an Arun Gandhi and an al-Qaradawi.

Sadly, the media in the region has not done its share to minimize these two perceptual ingredients. On the contrary, it did a lot to promote and propagate them. We rarely find an article in the independent Middle Eastern press that attempts to dispel the myth of America being the enemy of Islam. Al Jazeera, for example, choreographs a worldview in which an irreconcilable struggle rages between an evil-meaning Western oppressor and its helpless, righteous Arab victims. This twisted worldview does more to fuel the sense of helplessness, humiliation and anger among Arab youths than the physical presence of American troops in the region. (Let's not forget that in the absence of such propaganda, the Japanese managed to develop a thriving democracy while benefiting from the presence of American troops).

And what has the media done to curtail the production of twisted religious licenses like the fatwas issued by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi? Al Jazeera, again, has graciously granted the learned Sheikh two hours every week to spew his Koranic teachings in a program called *Sharia and Life*; it is broadcast to tens of millions of viewers, including Hamas operatives, Al Qaeda recruits, schoolteachers and impressionable Muslim youths.

More distressing yet, liberal newspapers such as the Daily Star, of which Khouri is an Editor-at-Large, have yet to call Al Jazeera management to task for spreading Qaradawi's ideology and thus committing Arab society to another century of helplessness.

I wish I could enjoy the poetry of "Who killed Benazir Bhutto? We all killed her." It is unfortunately factually wrong and strategically misleading. There is much we can do to curtail the banalization of violence, I agree, but this requires well-reasoned distinctions, not poetic equivocation.

Contact Koira by email at koira@dbmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Stand With Us, January 25, 2008.

This was written by Khaled Abu Toameh and is available at

On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.

In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles. But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight. "They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage," one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. "It was obvious that the whole thing was staged." Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain.

Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. (Photo)


Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. Israel agreed to allow some fuel, medicine and food into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at least temporarily easing a blockade that has plunged much of the territory into darkness and sparked international protests.

Contact Stand With Us by email at new@standwithus.com and visit their website: www.standwithus.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 25, 2008.



You've all heard that Ms. Magazine rejected an ad highlighting Israel as a country in which women can attain the highest posts. In explaining the rejection, the editors claimed the ad was political. It was not political. It did not emphasize one party. We've heard that there is much anti-Israel sentiment at the magazine or perhaps fear that the ad would have aroused much anti-Israel animus at the magazine.

A plea to protest to the magazine has been circulating on the Internet. That plea fails to explain what really went on at the magazine.

There is a worldwide movement to ostracize Israel. It is led by: (1) Some Christian groups. For a religion professing the highest ethics, those groups exhibit the lowest level of ethics and scholarship on this issue; (2) Far Left. They consider themselves progressive but are trying to take down a progressive society defending itself from the most backward one; and (3) Islam. This religion that purports to be tolerant, but is waging jihad against the rest of the world and its own backsliders. Added to the antisemitic heritage of Western "civilization," that movement has somewhat of a grip on academia and the media. The magazine either sympathizes with that movement or is afraid to defy it. Therefore, the real danger is not excessive concern about appearing partisan but censorship and self-censorship, intolerance, and support for international jihad.


The US Ambassador met with the leading judge of Israel's Supreme Court, Dorit Beinish. Beinish is about to head a panel ruling on issues about Judea-Samaria. She long has been antagonistic to Zionism. Israel gave out the word that her meeting was to explain to the ambassador the various laws and rulings involved. Considering the meeting a blow to Israeli sovereignty, a score of MKs asked that she recuse herself from the panel. That she won't do. (Israeli officials have little sense of honor.)

Did they meet to enlighten the ambassador, or for the ambassador to give marching orders to the judge? US ambassadors have been interfering with building permits and road blocks in Judea-Samaria in detail. They make constant demands upon Israel, although the US does not live up to its agreements with Israel.

This is the kind of behavior that many Democrats, who constantly bewail US diplomacy without defining its faults except to falsely claim it is inactive, should denounce but don't. Where are the Democrats when we need them? Apparently working against the Jewish state is non-partisan, as is pretending to support it.


This branch of the Mennonites places observers amidst military conflict ostensibly as observers and to assist local peacemaking and civil rights groups.

That's its cover story. Actually it campaigns against Israel. It takes the Muslim side of every issue. It issues biased reports or accepts as evidence lies by Muslim NGOs. These reports condemn Israeli self-defense, failing to put IDF action in the context of terrorism. The Teams follow the Durban strategy of promoting boycott and divestment against Israel and defaming it as apartheid. It laments the suffering of the Arabs (IMRA, 1/12 from NGO Monitor).

Why not have a team in Siderot, Israel, whose children suffer stress from daily rocket attacks? Why don't the Mennonites, who claim expertise in conflict resolution, trace that conflict to P.A. Muslims propaganda that calls for blood?


His staff confirms reports that he agreed to let into Israel 50,000 descendants of Arabs who fled Israel voluntarily in a failed attempt at exterminating the Jews in 1947-49. Even the Far Left Meretz realizes that letting those people in would enable the Arabs to destroy Israel (Arutz-7, 1/13).

The US was not explicitly demanding that suicidal step. Why did Olmert agree to it? His decision would confirm Barry Chamish's observation that the leadership of Israel deliberately is bringing about the country's destruction. Every proposal of theirs brings that destruction nearer.

By the way, when Israel makes an offer, the Arabs demand more and Israel gives more. 50,000 is just the beginning. The 50,000 are lucky that the Haganah didn't shoot their ancestors for having tried to wipe out the Jews. Too bad the country is so tightly controlled by traitors that the people cannot stop them!


He approves an IDF offensive into Gaza, but says its shouldn't harm civilians (Op. Cit.). That what the terrorists, who hide among civilians, count on


"Sharp Decline" in birth rate of Ultra-Orthodox after government reduces subsidy. Reduced from 8.9 to 7.7. Bedouin births declined similarly from a similar high (IMRA, 1/13). "Sharp?" Hardly noticeable.


Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
(http://music.aol.com/grammys/pictures/never-won-a-grammy? NCID=aolcmp003000000025 48)

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Mark Silverberg, January 25, 2008.

With all the indignation shown over allegations that Israel is causing a humanitarian crisis and exercising "collective punishment" on Gaza's Palestinians, few have stopped to consider the possibility that this "crisis" has been engineered by Hamas to score a propaganda victory against Israel using the gullible Western media as its vehicle.[*] This "crisis" has all the markings of a pre-arranged publicity event –– skillful manipulation of the Western media, the use of falsehoods and selective information, staged atrocities, and all the other time-honored methods used by unscrupulous propagandists. Since the Palestinians staged the death of the child Mohammed al-Dura in his father's arms back in September 2000, Palestinian propaganda has not enjoyed such international success as it is enjoying today in Gaza.

Accumulated evidence suggests that Hamas has knowingly diverted gas from Gaza's domestic generators for the production of its Kassam missiles and has transferred other fuel supplies, electrical power and foodstuffs for its other political and military purposes; and despite the fact that Gaza continues to receive 70% of its electricity supply directly from Israel and another 5 percent from Egypt (none of which is ever acknowledged by the international media), Hamas officials, with great bravado, recently shut down Gaza's major power plant plunging Gaza City into total darkness. TV reporters and crews were of course on hand to witness "the shutdown" and minutes later, Gazans took to the streets in a pre-arranged candlelight protest march blaming Israel. Does anyone really believe that a power station as large as the one in Gaza keeps only a one-day diesel fuel reserve?"

A top Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah even accused Hamas of ordering bakery owners to keep their businesses closed stating that "there is enough fuel and flour to keep the bakeries in Gaza operating for another two months." Over and above that, the Israelis recently provided Gaza with five million gallons of industrial fuel for Gaza's power plant, 125,000 gallons of diesel fuel for Gaza generators, large supplies of cooking gas, fifty trucks of food and medicine and 10,000 head of cattle, coupled with large stocks of poultry, fruits and vegetables –– not to mention the millions of dollars provided by the Saudis and other Arabs to Hamas over the past two years –– none of which ever seems to reach Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians. Hamas also claimed that five people had died at Gaza hospitals because of the Israeli-produced electrical shortage, although Palestinian health officials (speaking on condition of anonymity because they were contradicting the official Hamas line) denied the claim. How is it that there was no electricity for hospitals in Gaza, yet there was more than enough electricity for Hamas's TV stations?

The fact that Hamas is playing propaganda games with the news media and manufacturing this latest "crisis," hasn't stopped the media from parroting the Hamas line. In a not-so-funny re-telling of an old joke, the storyteller asks: "How many Palestinians does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Answer: "None. They'd rather sit in the dark and blame the Jews." Hamas's planning for all aspects of this "crisis" was almost impeccable –– from the angry Hamas TV announcer shouting that "we are being killed, we are starving" to journalists being invited to cover a Hamas cabinet meeting with candles burning to show the "suffering" caused by the power shortage. Problem is –– journalists noted that it was daylight outside and the curtains had been drawn to prevent light from entering the room. The "show" was designed to manipulate the media for political gain. Hamas has obviously concluded that since missile attacks on Israel's civilian population cannot break Israel's spirit, perhaps international media pressure can.

The bottom line on all this is that there have been no signs of panic as Gazans have been living with fuel cutbacks, power outages and shortages since Hamas became the sole authority in the area, triggering international sanctions. One would assume that a "humanitarian crisis" would involve at least one victim dying of malnutrition. No one has yet come up with that unfortunate soul.

But there's another aspect to this situation never discussed. From a legal standpoint, according to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Israel is morally and legally entitled to embargo supplies to a declared enemy if it chooses to do so –– especially an enemy like Hamas whose territory has been designated as "hostile territory" by the Israeli cabinet. Since the year 2000, more than 7,000 missiles and mortars have been fired at Israel by Hamas-affiliated terrorists in Gaza. Consequently, the Israeli government is both within its international rights and arguably obliged by its responsibilities to its citizens to treat Gaza as "hostile territory." What other targeted nation would allow supplies to cross its borders to a declared enemy sworn to its annihilation?

The unfortunate truth is that the situation in Gaza today has been brewing for years. It is the product of many bad decisions made by the Palestinians –– beginning with the election of Hamas and culminating with their choice of terrorism over peace and negotiations with Israel. Hamas is responsible for the firing of thousands of missiles at Israeli population centers as a consequence of which Israel has decided (at long last) to retaliate by reducing fuel supplies and electricity availability to its enemies.

What the international media does not understand (or chooses not to understand) is that playing into Hamas's hands will lead to a war that will leave the Palestinians in Gaza in a far worse position they claim to be in today. While Hamas maintains that it has to make a "choice" between "cutting off electricity for babies in a maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms", a better choice would be to end its missile attacks on Israel in which case, no choice would be required at all. Instead, it has chosen to increase the suffering of its own people for propaganda purposes.

For the world to blame Israel for the crisis in Gaza is a classic case of "blame the victim." In the case of Israel, it seems, even non-violent responses to violent aggression are considered inhumane and unfair. What has Israel done to deserve the "collective punishment" of thousands of missiles reining down on Sderot, Ashkelon and the kibbutzim and small villages in the south of the country? Israel has been under siege from missiles day in and day out ever since it withdrew from Gaza on September 12, 2005 and even prior to that back to 2000. Its citizens have been traumatized by the constant 15-second Red Alert siren warnings and unending missile barrages aimed at its civilian population.What more could the Israelis have done? Thousands left their homes in Gaza, disrupted their lives and livelihoods, uprooted their cemeteries and abandoned the fruits of their labors in the form of lucrative, flourishing greenhouses –– all of which were plundered by the Palestinians in less than a month, only to be replaced in Gaza by an Islamist regime dedicated to Israel's destruction?

It is unfortunate that the Europeans who can find no sympathy whatsoever for the citizens of southern Israel are prepared to unfurl a torrent of criticism for this cynical propaganda ploy. To Israel, causing a civilian casualty is an unintended tragedy; to Hamas, it is a cause for celebration. The world knows this. The sad truth is that even as the people of Gaza pound Israelis with missiles and mortar fire, Israel continues to do more for them than their own Hamas leaders are doing. Israel will certainly make compromises, but it will not commit suicide.

Hamas controls the fate of Gaza, and unfortunately for Gaza's Palestinians, it was they who voted Hamas into power. If terrorism ceases, life in Gaza will improve. It's just that simple. Hamas tells the world that it has to make a "choice." By firing missiles on border-crossings transferring food and medicines into Gaza (knowing that it will force the closure of those crossings) and using UN humanitarian relief convoys to smuggle explosives and weapon materials into Gaza, Hamas appears to have already made its choice.

[*] Egypt's recent decision to open the Rafah crossing into its territory from Gaza and allow the immediate flow of hundreds of thousands of Gazans into Egyptian territory may have finally assisted Israel in severing all its ties with Gaza. Opening the border between Gaza and Egypt has always been part of Hamas' long-term strategy to disconnect Gaza from Israel and connect it to the Arab world. But in so doing, Hamas can no longer claim that it is under siege by Israel. The Egyptians have now proven that, when it comes to providing food, medicines, electricity and the like, they are in a position to act as Gaza's alternate provider. Such necessities of life can now be routed to Gaza directly from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Unfortunately, Hamas will bring more than food and medicines into Gaza from Egypt and therein lays the real dilemma for the Israelis.

Mark Silverberg is a senior writer for The New Media Journal. He is Executive Director Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania and an attorney with Degrees in Political Science and International Relations. A former member of the Justice Department, Mr. Silverberg served as a consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency (Jerusalem, Israel) and is a listed author with the Ariel Center for Policy Research in Israel. His works on Islamic terrorism, American foreign policy and Middle East affairs have been published in numerous scholarly journals, periodicals, newspapers and on the Internet. His book "The Quartermaster of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad" was published by Wyndham Hall Press in 2005.

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 25, 2008.

The surge of Islamic Jihad has growing momentum, seemingly unnoticed by Israel or, for that matter, the Western world at large.

The World may survive this surge, although living under threat of "Jihad" (Holy War for Islam) and "Sharia" (strict Islam) law may make their lives a living hell. I am not worried about Europe because they are big enough and should be experienced enough to take care of themselves. Regrettably, America under President Bush and the Arabist State Department is similarly being swarmed over by Muslims who do not like our free and democratic way of life.

According to the Jerusalem Post, January 25, Hamas has threatened to send half a million, 500,000 Muslim Arab Palestinians surging toward Israel's borders. (1) Watching the 350,000 Gazans Muslim Arabs "surge" over the fence they cut and blew up should prepare your minds to picture how that could happen so easily.

This is reminiscent of Yassir Arafat's threat to have a million suicide martyrs attack Israel. To say these people who follow Allah who speaks to them through the voice of self-anointed Terrorist leaders is an understatement. Enjoying war, martyrdom is a mark of a primitive people with whom you cannot reason.

Israel, unfortunately, does not have very good leadership right now, seemingly unable to deal with the problems of survival. Over the years they have repeatedly tried "confidence-building gestures and experiments to achieve "peace by surrendering Land" –– only to achieve mounting casualties. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said: "Insanity is trying the same failed experiment over and over, expecting different results."

Should the Arab Muslim Palestinians advance their historic use of human shields to a mass surge, not really caring that they are murdering their own men, women and children, then Israel must accept their choice. They go happily to martyrdom and are celebrated by a culture that continue the human sacrifice of their old tribal customs.

Note the color photos of the recent Muslim holiday of "Ashura" where they flagellate themselves with sharp knives until their flesh runs red with their blood. This will enlighten your western mind to their perspective on life and death issues. The NY Daily News had 7 such pictures up on line at:
www.nydailynews.com/news/galleries/festival_of_ashura.html?c=6 (1/23/08) also on
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/01/ashoura-in-ny-n.html. and below.

The coming threatened surge of 500,000 Muslims against Israel must be stopped, even if such a self-defense causing them massive casualties, regardless of world and media opinion. The Free West must adapt to the methods of the Arab Muslim countries when they are dealing with Terrorism. First, they must restructure their use of the euphemistic words for terrorists, such as "militants", "insurgents", "freedom-fighters", etc. When the West and the Media can use the correct nouns for the Terrorists, then they can fight them effectively.

Comparing Israel with the Arab Muslim countries or even Russia is hard to swallow. Israel is an advanced civilization whose people believe that talking and compromise can be used to make "peace" with irredentist adversaries. When your opponent tells you that nothing you can do other than disappear as is their purpose, then you must accept them at their word. They say what they mean and they mean what they say.

If a mob of 500,000 people come at you with today's weaponry, is there nothing that can be done –– except to satisfy their blood-lust and desire for martyrdom? Israel must ignore world opinion which has been constantly hostile and uncaring about a Jewish nation born out of a Holocaust caused by this very same world. Israel must vigorously fight to win this war in order to survive.

I recall during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, when the Ayatollah Khomeini sent thousands of children across Iraqi mine fields so the mines would be blown up and cleared for the Iranian soldiers to cross. The "child soldiers" all received a bit of paper with a guarantee that they would be martyred and go to a warriors' heaven. They ran across those deadly fields jubilantly with mines shredding their young bodies.

All of the Muslim Arab nations have used civilians as "Human Shields" (which I have written about) throughout all of their wars against Israel and the West. The so-called civilized, caring world was indifferent and remains so if Darfur is any indicator.

Should Hamas in the South surge, expect the Hezb'Allah in the North to employ their critical mass in a coordinated "surge" with the estimated 20,000 Katyusha missiles they have restocked after they shot 4,000 at Israel in 2005. IF the Muslim Arab Palestinians within all of Israel join in and commit hostile acts of war, they should be considered a traitorous "fifth column" to be arrested and deported.

In addition, it must be remembered that it is Iran, Syria and Al Qaeda who enable the Terrorists with weapons, training and brainwashing to enlist the population to look forward to martyrdom for themselves and their children.

Israel, with regret, must prepare now to eliminate any such attempted surge, considering it a definitive act of war. As is often prayed for: May this be the Last War! I'H.


1. "Hamas: 500,000 Will March On Erez" by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post Jan. 25, 2008
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid= 1201070788856&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 25, 2008.

How long, I am forced to ask, do we continue with policies that are insanity? How long do we have a government that engages our enemies, putting our people at risk?

Almost simultaneously, yesterday evening there were two terrorist attacks.

In one, two terrorists approached a checkpoint at the entrance to the UNRWA refugee camp at Shuafat, which is inside the Jerusalem municipal border in the north of the city. As they began shooting, one officer in the Border Guard was killed, and a second officer sustained moderate to serious wounds. The terrorists then fled the scene and are being sought. The gun of one of the guards has been taken.

Now...those who committed this terrorist act are members of Fatah –– an Al Aksa Brigades spin-off. They're not Hamas. They're from the party with which we are supposed to be negotiating "peace." We were supposed to have a "deal" –– an "amnesty" with them, in which we stopped pursuing them and they behaved themselves in return. Right... They have indicated that all amnesties are cancelled and they want to fight in the resistance against the occupation.

But is there even a remote chance that Olmert will call a halt to the negotiations until Abbas gets his act together? Nah. Not a snowball's chance in hell. Olmert is determined to "pursue peace."

What is more, from what I've read, the checkpoint was a weak one and had been structured as open –– less imposing –– rather than as a closed unit that would have provided our police with better protection. We wouldn't want to be too offensive with our checkpoints, now, would we?


The second terrorist attack was committed south of Jerusalem, in Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion (the Etzion Bloc). Two terrorists armed with a gun and a knife broke into a yeshiva there –– the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva run by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz –– and threatened the students and counselors. Two counselors were armed and did battle with them, shooting them dead and sustaining minor wounds. Thank G-d, no one in the yeshiva was killed or seriously wounded.

These terrorists were reportedly with Hamas, cousins from the town of Beit Omar north of Hevron. They had been released from Israeli prison last week.


MK Ze'ev Elkin (Kadima) has now called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to postpone his meeting, scheduled for Sunday, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


As had been anticipated, Egypt, employing riot officers, is attempting to block Palestinians from moving deeper into Egyptian territory. A cordon has been formed blocking their way, as the first efforts are being made to move the Palestinian back into Gaza. Clashes have ensued with the angry crowds. Egyptian officials are saying all Palestinians must be back in Gaza by 3PM today.


There will a great deal more to say after Shabbat.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Michael Freund, January 25, 2008.

This was written by Shelly Paz. It was published today in the Jerusalem Post
http://www.jpost.com:80/servlet/Satellite?c= JPArticle&cid=1201070788798&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Shoshana Rebecca Li and Ami Emmanuel pose at The Great Synagogue Thursday, ahead of their wedding. Photo: Courtesy of "Shavei Israel"

It was a case of East meets West in the Middle East Thursday night when Shoshana Rebecca Li, a descendant of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, married Ami Emmanuel, a new immigrant from Florida, at Jerusalem's Great Synagogue.

"For me, to have a proper religious Jewish wedding in Israel, it is a dream come true. I am very excited," Li, 29, said prior to the ceremony.

Emmanuel, 25, said he never believed he'd marry an Asian woman until he met Li at Kibbutz Sde Eliahu's Hebrew ulpan in May.

"I had heard about the old Jewish community of China and I love Asian women, but I thought it was far-fetched. I also thought that even if I had found a Jewish Chinese woman, the rabbinate would have never approved," he said.

Li made aliya two and a half years ago, and recently completed her conversion back to Judaism with the Chief Rabbinate.

"I came to Israel because I am a Jew," she told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday while she was getting ready for the wedding. "I was raised knowing that I am a Jew and I made aliya because of our tradition."

The groom emigrated from Florida two years ago, after studying film.

Jews first settled in Kaifeng more than a thousand years ago, when it was an important stop on the Silk Route from China to the Mediterranean Sea. The community flourished, and numbered as many as 5,000 during the Middle Ages. But the city's last rabbi died in the first half of the 19th century, and assimilation and intermarriage eventually led to the collapse of the community. Nowadays, around 700 descendants of Jews live in Kaifeng and many of them are seeking to reclaim their Jewish identity.

"When I started studying Hebrew at the ulpan I saw Shoshana and I thought to myself that it was nice that Chinese people come to study the language. I didn't even think that she was a Jew," Emmanuel said. "After a while I asked her if she would like to spend some more time together and she said that we could try."

More than 150 friends and relatives, including some from the Kaifeng Jewish community, attended the wedding, which was organized by Michael Freund, the chairman and the founder of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organization that helps "lost Jews" return to the Jewish people.

"This wedding symbolizes the beginning of the return of the remnants of the Jewish community of Kaifeng to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel," Freund said. "I cannot think of a more poignant example of kibbutz galuyot –– the ingathering of the exiles."

Though Emmanuel's father was the only one of the couple's parents able to attend the wedding, they were content. "I haven't met my father- and mother-in-law yet, but hopefully we will meet in the future," Emmanuel said.

The newlyweds plan to live at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava.

"No one in the world is as happy as I am. I thought it was impossible to marry a Jewish woman from China. However, it seems miracles do happen, and this is the biggest miracle of my life," the groom said.

Michael Freund writes a syndicated column for the Jerusalem Post and is the founder and chairman of the Shavei Israel organization, whose mission is to return "lost Jews" to the Jewish people.

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 24, 2008.


Egypt is "long seen as a key Arab mediator." In return for Mubarak's pledge to support his Arab-Israel plan, Bush "responded by pulling his punches on the human rights backpedaling in Egypt that has cooled relations with this longtime ally," this "historical partner." Egypt is "the recipient of the most American aid except Israel." Bush said, "I strongly believe that Egypt can play a role in the freedom and justice movement." (NY Sun, 1/17, p.7 from Associated Press.

Bush made just the last statement. If he deliberately withheld anticipated criticism of Egypt's human rights record, then he knows that Egypt is oppressive and how can he "strongly believe that Egypt can play a role in the freedom and justice movement?" How much of a movement is it when for diplomacy, Bush undermines it? He does so not only with Egypt but also by supporting the P.A., run in both its parts by terrorists dedicated to war. Bad enough that Bush kept quiet as if being paid off, but worse that he then praised the Egyptian dictator.

What good is Mubarak's pledge of support? Egypt is Islamist and helps Hamas terrorists. Egypt works for jihad.

The rest of the statements are assessments or editorials by journalists. Calling Egypt a key mediator misinterprets the Mideast. Yes, Egypt mediates. But it mediates in order to bring together various jihadist factions and keep the war going against Israel. Arab state mediation often accomplishes little that is positive and some that is negative, but they volunteer and get credit for nothing.

Calling Egypt an "historical partner" and "longtime ally" is more fabrication and fancy than hyperbole. It is no partner. Remember when Mubarak sheltered terrorists sought by the US? Perhaps the Associated Press is referring to Egypt's participation in Gulf War I, when it moved some troops, as did Syria, and got a big payoff for it, but gave no military assistance. That was too recent to be considered "historic" or even longtime.

The US subsidized NATO members for years more than it gave Israel.


The regime incompetently under-estimated its reduction of fuel to Gaza, and mistakenly thought that rocket-making depends on diesel fuel. Result: It ended the cutbacks. It did not know what it was doing (IMRA, 1/13).


One thing leads to another, a truism forgotten by people clever at getting the one and chagrined at the other. The National Intelligence Report that pulled its punches on Iran emboldened Qatar to break Sunni Gulf unity against Iran.

Iran seeks regional (and world) hegemony. It threatened the sovereignty of Bahrain, seized islands claimed by a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and intervenes in Iraq and Lebanon. The Council was arming in defense against Iran. Qatar, however, has been playing up to Iran. It invited Iran's President to address the Council. No more unity against Iran (IMRA, 1/10 from MEMRI).

The Gulf States shouldn't have been expected to do much, though S. Arabia is well armed. They need bigger Sunni allies. Probably can't trust them.


Pres. Bush's visit was greeted by calls for his head emanating from jihadist leaders in the Syria-Iran-Iraq axis of states and organizations. Al-Qaeda is uniting groups in Gaza (which Bush would let become independent!). Fatah in Judea-Samaria is developing rockets to fire into Israel. P.A. TV controlled by Abbas, whom Bush calls a man of peace exhorts the "liberation" of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, and Acre. (Muslim Arab liberation means domination and oppression or extermination.) His regime is negotiating a unity government with Hamas. (Unity not for peace, of course.)


Pres. Bush's radio address made these lies and statements based on false premises: (1) Israel is democratic (The people are unable to get a regime that protects them and Jewish interests; (2) Abbas was elected, implying the P.A. is democratic (It has no democratic institutions, just terrorists ran for office); (3) Both sides must make painful concessions (Name one by the Arabs!); (4) The Palestinian Arabs should be able to enjoy the dignity of sovereignty (They have it in Jordan. They don't want it for dignity in the P.A. but for its help in conquering the Jewish infidels); (5) Democratic rule for the P.A. would bring peace (No evidence it would, since the people are united in jihad, and no steps suggested to attain democracy); (6) Just as Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, a P.A. state must be the homeland for the Palestinian people (The P.A. and Jordan are on the Jewish homeland. There is no separate Palestinian people; they have no moral right to a state); and (7) Israel must have defensible borders and the P.A. must be contiguous (defensible borders would include Yesha. A contiguous Arab state would bisect Israel) (IMRA, 1/10). Don't consider statehood before reform! Bush and Rice serve those lies and misconceptions daily, without challenge.


The toll of slain and wounded continues rising in Gaza (IMRA, 1/9).

It hasn't occurred to our foreign policy wizards that one cannot make peace with such a violent people.


Sec. Rice has made it a regular part of her rhetoric to defame Israel by comparing its banning of certain Arabs from certain roads to the segregation she faced as a child. Israel doesn't ban Arabs. It allows Israeli Arabs and Jerusalem Arabs on those roads. It does ban or first checks the entry of Arabs from the P.A., many of whom have been trying to kill Jews and whose population tells pollsters they want Jews killed. For the comparison to be valid, the blacks would have had to be terrorist. They weren't. The Muslims Arabs are.

Where are forthright Jewish civil rights veterans who will correct Sec. Rice and set the record straight (IMRA, 1/9).

The NY Sun pointed out the defamation. Why don't the other media outlets?

Too busy with Obama's kindergarten record and Clinton's cavalier manner of sharing Martin Luther King's civil rights record with LBJ (and Sen. Humphrey)?


Pres. Bush told Pres. Peres that it is vital for the world to fight against terrorists. Dr. Aaron Lerner remarks sarcastically, sure, unless the terrorists are on the P.A. payroll (IMRA, 1/9).


When Israel presented Egypt with filmed evidence of its complicity with arms smugglers, Pres. Mubarak called the videos fake. When the US displayed a film showing Iranian gunboats menacing US warships, the Pres. of Iran called the videos phony (IMRA, 1/9).


So suggests Daniel Pipes. Their common element, along with that of Bolshevism, is enlarging the role of the state (Pipes #282, 1/10).

There is some commonality, and contemporary liberalism goes too far, but so does Pipes. Liberalism is not totalitarian.


Jihad isn't a hobby. Fanatics can't suddenly stop en masse. Nevertheless, the IDF pledges to keep defending Israel by raids so long as Hamas attacks Israel.

Suppose that the hard-pressed Wehrmacht suspended WWII operations, and the US let it re-group, rearm, and re-supply, instead of pressing the offensive. Wouldn't that have seemed absurd? The IDF is absurd.


Descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees and phony refugees are demanding both a right to live in Israel (on its welfare system) and monetary compensation.

If they had won their crusade against Jewish sovereignty, they would have killed and expelled all the Jews. Are they asking for compensation for losses during attempted genocide by them? That is an incentive for jihad.

Their claim to a right to enter Israel is based on a false reading of UNO Resolution 194. 194 sets a condition they can't meet. They seek an unjust, transparent attempt to get Israeli throats within range of their Islamic knives.


Statehood for the P.A. if it eradicates terrorism is a pipe dream. How can the US fulfill that dream, Bush's "vision," which also is the jihadists' dream?

1. Ease demands that the P.A. eradicate terrorism. The P.A. claims it disbanded terrorist militias by hiring them as P.A. police, as if that purifies them. It simply gives armed terrorists badges. This is a fraud. The major media do not expose it. Democrats fail to deplore it. Are they too stupid to see through his deceit or equally deceitful about bringing down Israel?

2. Grant statehood with a promise, the one repeatedly broken, that the new state would eradicate terrorism. A state built by terrorists upon terrorism is not likely to eradicate what its whole people favors. That, too, would be fraud.

3. More easily rationalized, but not broached, this way conforms to the pretense that Abbas is anti-terrorist and Hamas is pro-terrorist. Grant sovereignty to the part that Abbas controls, and tell Hamas it must reform before it could hope to join Gaza with the new state. Actually, Abbas is terrorist and does not repress the terrorists in Judea-Samaria.

Why doesn't the US propose the third way? Because it wants to take as much territory away from the Jewish people as possible, not solve problems.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz, January 24, 2008.

This was written by Richard Landes. Contact him at The Second Draft website: http://www.seconddraft.org or at the The Augean Stables blog: http://www.theaugeanstables.com

Second Draft has just put up a ten-minute film entitled, "Gaza Beach Tragedy: Exploiting Grief
www.seconddraft.org/streaming/gaza_beach_wmv_170108_LR.wmv." Please take a look, and if you find it worthy, forward to as many of your friends as you see fit.

I also have a post on this at my blog.
http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2008/01/24/ second-draft-examines-another-pallywood-production- gaza-beach-tragedy-exploiting-grief/

I welcome any comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, additions, that anyone might want to offer.

Thank you for your attention and help in disseminating this material.

Ellen Horowitz lives in the Golan Heights, Israel with her husband and six children. She is a painter and columnist for Israelnationalnews.com. email: ellen@artfromzion.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 24, 2008.

First there was the comment cited in today's Post by Khaled Abu Toameh. One Ibrahim Abu Taha, a Palestinian from Gaza, had moved through the fence and gone into Egypt, where he was planning on buying rice and sugar, milk, wheat and cheese. The same food stuffs were available in Gaza, said Abu Taha, but at three times the cost.

Wait! Did he say food was available in Gaza? Uh huh.

Couple this with the observation by Calev Ben David that in September 2005, after Israel had pulled out of Gaza, Hamas had blown up the fence at the border with Egypt, at the Philadelphi Corridor. But "nobody was hungry then; nobody needed fuel or medicine."

Then there are other, political motivations for breaking through the fence that have nothing to do with the "humanitarian needs" of the people?

That does seem to be the case, does it not?

Beginning to get the picture?


Add to this the stunning revelation of The Times (UK) today: A Hamas border guard has revealed that Hamas has covertly been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches. That's why the fall collapsed so readily when explosives were used.

So what's going on? This is viewed by Hamas as a huge PR victory. "We don't play by your rules, and you can't fence us in," is the message they want delivered.


When Israel pulled out of Gaza in September 2005, a deal was brokered by Secretary of State Rice (coercing an agreement that worked against Israeli security) that gave responsibility on the Gaza side of the fence to the Palestinian Authority, with Egypt –– which have police on its side of the fence –– responsible for its part. There were EU observers, but all they did, literally, was observe. This deal was honored mostly in the breech as terrorists and their equipment went through the crossing.

Whatever minimal controls did exist were lost when Hamas took over Gaza in June and the PA left. After this the smuggling increased enormously and there have been charges leveled again and again regarding the way in which Egypt has turned a blind eye.


But now the people are flooding into Egypt from Gaza. And Hamas is making a great deal of noise about the new situation and its role in monitoring the border. They have suggested, alternatively, that the old time border isn't needed any longer, and that they, Fatah and Egypt get together and work out a plan for monitoring that border. This, you see would give them not only increased control, but also increased legitimacy.


Egypt, as I reported yesterday, is not eager to have these people in their country permanently, although it seems pretty much a fait accompli that some will be staying as refugees, although its likely they'll be stopped at El Arish and not get as far as Egypt proper beyond the Sinai. Egypt insists that the open border will remain such for only a short duration during this emergency, and that then things will go back to what they had been.

Egypt soundly rejects Israeli suggestions that Gaza is their problem now. Israel has made it clear that Egypt is expected to fix this situation, and, indeed, they may be forced now to deal with something they have refused to attend to properly until now.


In the meantime, Israel is putting the area adjacent to Gaza and the Sinai on higher alert. There is concern not only about terrorists moving into Gaza, but also terrorists in Gaza who were unable to get into Israel who may move into the Sinai and try to pass over the border from there.


As expected, the UN Human Rights Commission, without even mentioning Kassams, has condemned Israel's military action in Gaza; because of the bias of the resolution, European members of the commission abstained (although they didn't vote against, heaven forbid).

And the Security Council is still jockeying with regard to its forthcoming resolution, which, at this point doesn't mention the Kassam either.


MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), former chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who I think has it exactly right, says the only sensible option open to us it to take Gaza.

Steinitz, who has been sounding warnings about Egypt for years, now says, "You will see, very soon Egypt will say they want to reopen the [1979 Camp David] peace treaty agreement with Israel about how many forces they are allowed to have in the Sinai, and they'll say they need many more in order to monitor the crossing. Their goal is to have as many forces as they can close to Israel."


Senior Hamas official Ahmed Yusuf has now warned Israel that "next time, 500,000 people will break down the border with Israel at the Erez Crossing and stream through. They will be willing to give their lives to go back to their [purported] original homes [from before 1948]. This is not imaginary."

There is disagreement here in Israel as to how seriously to take this. < /i>

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 24, 2008.
This was written by Kevin Peraino of Newsweek.

Mahmoud Zahar is one of the most powerful Hamas figures in Gaza. One of the movement's leading hawks, he displays a deep suspicion of most Westerners.

A New York Times reporter once asked the Islamist, who is a medical doctor, about his field of expertise. "Thyroids," Zahar replied. "I'm very good at cutting throats."

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, January 24, 2008.

Foreign government bankrolled Peace Now director-general Yariv Oppenheimer questions anti-Olmert funding

In a live interview broadcast this morning on Israel Radio, Peace Now director-general Yariv Oppenheimer challenged Uzi Dayan to make public the source of the funding of the reservists' campaign for PM Olmert to resign that he is coordinating.

Israel Radio later broadcast a statement from the reservists' campaign that while the bulk of the activity is on a volunteer basis that the major funding for expensive elements of the campaign came from a number of individuals in Israel and abroad and that while some names had been made public that other private individuals did not want their names made public.

Last December Channel 2 TV correspondent Amit Segal reported that The Non Profit Associations Registrar suspects Peace Now of operating a non-profit organization called Sha'al to launder millions of shekels.

Some of the organization's donors exposed in the course of the inquiry include the British government, which donated more that 500,000 shekels, Norway (800,000 shekels) and the European Union, which donated 451,000 shekels earmarked for Peace Now's ongoing "settlement hunting" activity: the documentation of construction activity by Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il or write him at imra@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by UCI, January 24, 2008.

This was written by Rick Moran and it appeared in American Thinker.

The Palestinians who blew up approximately 7 miles of a wall that separates Egypt from Gaza are, in addition to being experts at killing innocent Israelis, pretty good at imitating P.T. Barnum as well.

In order to garner sympathy for their plight after Israel closed off Gaza to prevent rocket attacks on civilians, the Palestinians put on a show by staging power blackouts, making it appear that they were suffering inhuman treatment at the hands of the Israelis:

On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.

In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles.

But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

If "a sucker is born every minute" then surely the international press qualifies in that regard. The Palestinians may not be able to run a country but they can sure put on a show when the need arises.

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

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, January 24, 2008.

As TV vehicles representing news bureaus from around the world lining the street next to the Daniel Hotel las night transmitted satellite feeds of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Herzliya Conference Speech in which he praised himself for the simply fantastic situation in the neighborhood, their colleagues at the Gaza-Egypt border beamed up images of the chaos that has engulfed the area.

Botched job is a generous way to describe how the Olmert team handled events leading up to the destruction of the wall separating Gaza from Egypt. And it has only gone from bad to worse.

It is not clear to what extent the Olmert team actually thought through the sanctions program. Olmert may have PR men working overtime preparing for next week's Winograd Report, but PR for the sanctions has Israel.

The sanctions program itself has been revised several times on the fly as the Olmert team tried to come to grips with Palestinian moves that were anything but a surprise.

The destruction of the wall and the subsequent flood of Gazans into Sinai is at best being partially addressed by stopgap Israeli security measures to protect Israel's soft flank.

The Olmert team appears to have nothing to offer for this most serious challenge than a series of shallow ideas and slogans shot from the hip.

This leaves the playing field open for the Arab actors who know what they want to achieve and have the patience to think through how to get there.

There is an initiative to have elections at the end of the year.

The country can ill afford extending the Olmert team's "amateur hour" until then.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il or write him at imra@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Sergio Tessa (HaDaR), January 24, 2008.

As they openly told us on TV and radio: everyone in Rafiah knew. The "operational force" of Hamas worked on it since four months ago. They "cut" the iron wall separating Gaza from Egypt in 17 places and placed the explosives in strategic places for a two kilometers steel wall to fall. The whole Rafiah knew and waited to get out through it in masses. The "operational force" of Hamas prepared it and executed it...and TsaHa"L, the "invincible, human and wise" HAD NO IDEA!

Everyone knew...EXCEPT the CHAKHME' CHELM...: except our "intelligence", army and government. The "specialists", "those who know", "those who understand"... And Deride Those Who Dare To Criticise Them And To Scream That The King Is Naked!!

Those with the millions spent on the zeppelins overflying Gaza, on the unmanned airplanes, the long-distance cameras, etc., which make THEM feel they know and make THEM feel secure. Those who refuse to hear, read and believe what the Arabs tell one another, teach in their schools, and act upon. Those who think that OUR dream, Shalom, Peace, is everyone's dream or around the corner, or, even worse, it's reality...

Those who mislead –– knowingly or not –– and tell the world that Islam means "peace", while in Arabic Islam means submission, and Muslim is the "pu'al", the passive voice of the verb, which means submitted.

Now, they do a whole bunch of mental gymnastics to "understand" and "explain" those who want to destroy us, Hamas and not only, instead of NEUTRALISING THEM. Meantime, they make Israel look like idiots and endanger all of our lives and the life itself of the State.

This was written by Ezra HaLevi, who writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com)


Hamas men use bulldozers to complete the demolition of the wall, enabling vehicular traffic and making sure the Egyptians will not rebuild. (Photo: Flash 90)

Hamas officials have admitted that the demolition of the Gaza-Egypt border was not related to the blockade placed by Israel, but that months of planning went into the demolition operation. Egypt refuses to heed calls to rebuild it as Israel fears massive amounts of heavy weaponry and explosives are being transferred into Gaza. MK Aryeh Eldad is hailing the Arab exodus to Egypt as proof that voluntary transfer is indeed an option.

Hamas terrorist commander Abu Usama told the Times of London that work on demolishing the wall that runs along the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt has been ongoing for months –– long before Israel placed a blockade on Gaza. He said Popular Resistance Comittee men have been using oxy-acetylene torches for months to slice through the heavy metal wall, enabling it to be completely toppled by the dozens of bomb blasts overnight Tuesday. "I've seen this happening over the last few months," he said. "It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see."

Asked by the reporter whether he had informed his superiors in the Hamas government, he said: "It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to? Last night we were told to keep away from the wall. We were ordered to stay away because they were going to break the blockade."

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal reportedly ordered the preparations and timed the demolition of the border to coincide with the terrorist summit that began in Damascus Wednesday. Called the Palestinian National Congress, the conference was organized by Iran and Syria and is being attended by dozens of representatives from each of the terrorist groups seeking Israel's destruction, except for Fatah.

Mashaal delivered a fiery speech to open the conference, calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to ignore Israeli calls to close the border, saying he is not bound by any international agreements with regard to the region.

Mashaal seemed to indicate that Hamas was asserting sovereignty over northern Sinai, calling upon the Arab world to take advantage of the Islamist group's new stronghold to provide aid directly without Israeli interference.

An Arab man holding suitcases flees Gaza over the demolished border fence with Egypt. (Photo: Flash 90)

Egypt Refuses to Close Border

Egypt heeded Mashaal's call, announcing that it has no intentions of honoring Israel's demands to seal the border. Israel fears the destruction of the barrier will allow terrorists to freely bring heavier arms and explosives into Gaza than were already being smuggled through the network of underground tunnels. The border will remain open "as long as there continues to be a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished coastal territory," an Egyptian government spokesman told CNN.

An estimated 350,000 residents of Gaza crossed over into Egypt Wednesday, with Egyptian police standing aside and making moderate efforts to prevent them from leaving Rafiah and El-Arish for other destinations in Egypt. Many returned to Gaza, but a significant number remained in Egypt, with many traveling south to Egyptian population centers, raising concern in the Egyptian press of a massive wave of Gazan immigration.

Gaza Arabs crossing into Egypt with suitcases. (Photo: Flash 90)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Egypt had to take care of the crisis on the Gaza border. Barak, in France, said: "I think that the Egyptians understand what their duty is, and we expect them to act to fix what happened today."

MK Eldad Hails Voluntary Transfer

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said Wednesday that the crossing of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from Gaza to Egypt proves that a voluntary transfer of populations between territories is possible.

"The Israeli left continues to claim that there is no such thing as voluntary transfer, and simply ignores reality," Eldad said.

Gaza Arabs leaving. (Photo: Flash 90)

The Moledet faction, within the National Union party, has long called for voluntary transfer, with MK Benny Elon's new Israeli Initiative limiting that call to the self-identified Arab refugees living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Delta Vines, January 23, 2008.

Various news services (Associated Press, Reuters, etc) have been reporting on the "desperate plight" of the "Gazans". Unfortunately, the information they have been writing leaves many questions unanswered....and misleading truths/untruths.

The first of such is the word "Gazan's". There are no people called "Gazan's". This is how the term "Palestinian" came to be. Those who lived in former Palestine were called Palestinian –– which was used usually to describe JEWS living there. The term now is descriptive of Arabic residents of former Palestine. My, how times have changed.

Similarly, the Gaza Strip used to be home to Jews AND Arabs until Israel "disengaged" 2 1/2 years ago. (i.e., forced Jews out of their homes –– many remain homeless). Now, the Gaza Strip is referred to as it's own "state" it seems, and the people are referred to as "Gazan's" when they are, in fact, Palestinians. It was they who voted in Hamas and the destitution/high inflation prices that Hamas brought with them. Hamas brought something else....rocket attacks on Israel.

These very rocket attacks is one of many reason Israel has restricted the comings and goings of people in and out of the Gaza Strip. Which brings me to another "misleading truths/untruths" of press reports:

Report: RAFAH, Gaza Strip –– Tens of thousands of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from Gaza Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile barrier dividing the border town of Rafah.The border breach was a dramatic protest against the closure of the impoverished Palestinian territory imposed last week by Israel.

"Masked gunmen" means Hamas. Where did these gunmen get the land mines? No one seems to be asking THAT question. It had to be a LOT of landmines to destroy seven miles of a barrier. For what purpose were these land mines acquired? And how were land mines able to be brought into the Gaza Strip when food and water and other needs are in need? If militants can bring land mines into the Gaza Strip –– why can't they bring in necessities?

Because the hatred and desire to kill Israeli Jews is greater than providing the needs of people. Plus, people in plight makes great press –– especially if they are against Israel and the Jews.

Report: Jubilant men and women crossed unhindered by border controls over the toppled corrugated metal along sections of the barrier, carrying goats, chickens and crates of Coca-Cola. Some brought back televisions, car tires and cigarettes and one man even bought a motorcycle. Vendors sold soft drinks and baked goods to the crowds.

These are people who are reportedly "impoverished"? They had money for food, for soda, for cigarettes, and for luxuries. Having money for such does not qualify as "impoverished".

But...wait! They also purchased a motorcycle, car tires, and televisions! The purchase of these items tend to clash with the reports of no gas and no electricity for most of the area. Why in the world, if you have no heat or food or light would you purchase items that cannot run without electricity? HOW would you purchase them if you are "impoverished"? Perhaps the same way one purchases land mines...whatever is expedient politically and plays to the news media.

Report: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told reporters in Cairo his border guards originally had forced back the Gazans on Tuesday. "But today a great number of them came back because the Palestinians in Gaza are starving due to the Israeli siege," he said.

The Palestinans in the Gaza Strip are starving due to the highly inflated prices of food and other items placed there by Hamas leadership. If their leadership cared about them, they'd provide the food at a lesser rate, or free. This is leadership, I remind them, which they and other Palestinians voted into power.

The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are starving because their priorities are to purchase munitions and rockets to use against Israel. Their priorities are to use cement to reinforce tunnels they dig to smuggle arms and suicide bombers into Israel. (Israel has found many of these tunnels in the recent past and blew them up).

Israel does not have a siege on the Gaza Strip. Hamas does. Israel is protecting it's borders. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip still hold kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Palestinians are still shooting rockets into Sderot, Ashkelon, and other Israeli towns.

The world media, the UN and the EU all are yelling about a "humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip which the Palestinians have brought upon themselves.

Where are the cries from such for Israeli Jewish children who endure rocket attacks while they are at school? Where are they when Israeli homes are destroyed? Where are they when an Equadoran kibbutz volunteer is killed by a sniper?

They are right there, to point fingers at Israel. Which brings me to the question: "Are world media, the U.N., and the E.U. complicit in the attacks against Israel?"

When you take away the "misleading truths/untruths".... you bet they are!

Contact Delta Vines by email at delta_vines@sbcglobal.net and visit her website: www.tsofah.blogspot.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Ezra HaLevi, January 23, 2008.

Tens of thousands of PA Arabs crossed the Gaza-Egypt border Wednesday morning after masked Hamas men bombed the border fence in at least 15 locations.

Almost the entire metal border fence has been torn down. Some of the Gazans crossed back into Gaza after buying gas, cigarettes and other supplies in the Egyptian side of the town of Rafiah, which straddles the border. Many, however, continued to el-Arish, where they will apparently stay as refugees. Egyptian and Hamas police stood aside as bulldozers arrived to complete the demolition of the wall.

Initial reports pointed to "unknown gunmen," but A-Shark Al-Awsat, a leading Arabic paper, says Hamas security forces were involved in the demolition.

Israel relinquished control of the Gaza-Egyptian border, known as the Philadelphi Route, following the 2005 Disengagement, at the urging of the US and with promises that European Union observers would monitor the border. Since then, it has stayed open for months at a time.

More than fifty women were wounded by Egyptian gunfire Tuesday as an all-female riot broke out on the Gaza side of the crossing and the women tried to break through to Egypt. The Egyptians began with water-cannons but shooting broke out eventually; it is unclear who shot first, the Egyptian police or the Hamas men circulating in the crowd.

Israel has backed down from placing a full blockade on Gaza, delivering butane gas for cooking and diesel fuel for Gaza's power plant, as well as medicines. Despite the delivery, more than 20 rockets were fired at Israeli towns in the western Negev Tuesday.

Fatah in Gaza said it was behind the latest rocket-fire and declared it would continue to fire rockets at Israel. Fatah's chief, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is the recipient of billions of dollars in pledges from the international community, as well as US efforts to fund and train his armed forces.

Ezra HaLevi writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com)

To Go To Top

Posted by Buddy Macy, January 23, 2008.

Rabbi Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Z. Lieberman lost their only son, Hillel Eliyahu Lieberman HY'D, who had fulfilled the "mitzvah" (religious obligation) of making "aliyah". He was killed by an Arab terrorist.

Rabbi and Mrs Lieberman write this urgent plea to end the Annapolis process.


We, the corporate body of the Jewish nation, have been privileged with the divine heritage of the Land of Israel, promised in an eternal covenant to our forefather Abraham on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, overlooking Elon Moreh in Samaria. As the beneficiaries of this priceless treasure, we cannot consider our Holy Land as a commodity on the international exchange. The Almighty's gift may not be surrendered for a bowl of porridge –– a paltry sum of "payment," resulting from a misguided vision of wished-for tranquility. We, the children of Israel, are the guardians of our Holy Land for all the generations to come until the Final Redemption. This, then, is our sacred mission, never to be forsaken. We must concentrate our efforts and gather our strength in unity, to fulfill the objective of being a light unto the nations.

In the State of Israel, we have created benefits for all humankind through the study and teaching of Torah, which is G-d's divine message for ethical advancement of all societies. Moreover, we have shared with all nations Israel's breakthroughs in state-of-the-art medical care, pharmaceutical research, solar energy development, hydroponic farming and social justice.

Our only son, Hillel Eliyahu Lieberman HY'D, fulfilled the "mitzvah" (religious obligation) of making "aliyah," thereby trailblazing in the true pioneering spirit, the settlement of the Holy Land of Israel, just as our American forefathers had created the first colonies of this young nation in the Western hemisphere by building settlements (towns and villages). Unfortunately, as a result of the mirage of the Oslo Agreement's promises of peace that could not become a reality, a violent "intifada" left him a victim of cruel, deceitful Arab terrorism as he walked, wrapped in a prayer shawl on the Sabbath between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the Year 2000, to his institution of higher Torah learning, Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai, located in the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem (a.k.a. Nablus), Samaria. Once again, the conferences subsequently held on the Wye Plantation and more recently in Annapolis have pressured Israel with a false promise of "peace" to result from surrounding, hostile neighbors' recognition of Israel, to surrender slices of its tiny, vulnerable land, viewable from north to south and east to west in a matter of minutes by aerial flight.

Our seven orphaned grandchildren, who commute to high school and college via Samarian highways, do not enjoy the sweet taste of the oft-promised peace. They have been detained on their daily travel by explosives planted by terrorists alongside the road, by burning tires that turn bus drivers and passengers into "sitting ducks," by suspicious packages blocking progress until a robot pulverizes the source of danger, and by sirens alerting Elon Moreh residents of a terrorist climbing up the Mountain of Har Kabir with a bomb wrapped inside the carcass of a sheep.

Surely, we Americans of all faiths care about the safety and security of "our children," locally and globally. Therefore, we are totally committed to fighting terrorism –– in this post-9/11 era –– with strength, not surrender; with backbone, not bending; with vigor, not veering off the vector of our goal of true peace; instead of with "piece" offerings to those who aim to murder freedom lovers throughout the world.

The Government of Israel must resist any American governmental pressure, because such interference will negate our mutual relationship of respect and honor, and our mutual plan for global peace and prosperity, for free trade zones and for a flourishing economy. Inadvertently encouraging violence violates our shared purpose for the era of peace when "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and they shall not learn warfare anymore" (Isaiah).

Rabbi Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Z. Lieberman

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Paul Rotenberg, January 23, 2008.

The UN is planning another Anti-Racism conference a la Durban, 2001. That conference degenerated (if it even began as anything other than) a horrible racist attack on one country that has a far better record on racism than any of the attackers.

"Secretary of State Kenney and I had hoped that the preparatory process for the 2009 Durban Review Conference would remedy the mistakes of the past," said Minister Bernier. "We have concluded that, despite our efforts, it will not. Canada will therefore not participate in the 2009 conference."

"Canada will continue to focus its efforts on genuine anti-racism initiatives that make a difference," said Secretary of State Kenney.

I am proud to see Canada taking a firm and principled stand with respect to the upcoming UNITED NATIONS WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM. What happened in 2001 in Durban was an international disgrace that was clearly pre-planned and orchestrated. A Canadian presence can not affect such a fiasco and does not reflect our Canadian values or our priorities. I am proud to be represented by a government that upholds our cherished values and understands when not being there is a more powerful statement than one could possibly make with any representation or speech.

Below is an article "Canada Takes Firm Stance On United Nations World Conference Against Racism" by the Canadian Government.

For further information, media representatives may contact:
Alykhan Velshi Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Jason Kenney
Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)
Cell: 613-867-0255 Alykhan_Velshi@pch.gc.ca

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, today issued the following statement:

"Canada has a long and proud history of fighting racism, discrimination and intolerance in all its forms," said Minister Bernier. "It was for this reason, and its promise of concerted global action against racism, that we participated in the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. Unfortunately, that conference degenerated into open and divisive expressions of intolerance and anti-Semitism that undermined the principles of the United Nations and the very goals the conference sought to achieve."

"Secretary of State Kenney and I had hoped that the preparatory process for the 2009 Durban Review Conference would remedy the mistakes of the past," said Minister Bernier. "We have concluded that, despite our efforts, it will not. Canada will therefore not participate in the 2009 conference."

"Canada will continue to focus its efforts on genuine anti-racism initiatives that make a difference," said Secretary of State Kenney. "Our government's decision to seek full membership on the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research demonstrates that we remain committed to the fight against racism and to the promotion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law at home and around the world."

Contact Paul Rotenberg at pdr@rogers.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 23, 2008.

I had written the other day about the army reservists who were starting to take action –– in anticipation of the final Winograd Report –– to get Barak to pull out of the government; I explained that they were part of a broader coalition.

Now we see yet another branch of that coalition has taken action: Bereaved Parents, those who lost their sons in the Lebanon War. Their focus is very much on getting Olmert to accept accountability for his decisions during the war and to resign.

Today this group made an appearance in the Knesset, where they formally presented a report: Eich Naflu Giborim, "How the Courageous Fell" –– an alternative to the Winograd Report.


This report begins:

"We are parents of children who fell while defending their country in the Second Lebanon War. We are bound to this country with every fiber of our being, and in all of our actions, small and large. We have always considered contributing to our country a central component of our outlook. The enlistment of our sons and daughters to serve in the Israel Defense Force was the natural consequence of their upbringing. Our children's enlistment, like our enlistment in the past, did not stem from obedience to the law and walking the beaten track, but rather from a profound moral awareness."

"...A staggering majority of cabinet ministers are behaving as if they are not the ones at the receiving end of the harsh statements made in the Winograd Report. They go about their jobs as if their wartime conduct was not a failure, as if they do not know they have failed."

"...The prime minister has failed, and after reading [these] words he cannot remain in office for a single day more...The foolish attempt to present the [war's] final operation as a move that induced a positive change in the clauses of the truce agreement adds fuel to the flames of failure."

"The ostentatious campaign of the last sixty hours [to the war] did not bring about any improvement in Israel's standing, but 34 families lost their loved ones in those sixty hours."


A word of explanation here: At the end of the war, when Olmert knew that a truce was imminent, he ordered a final push. It accomplished nothing of military substance (and should have been ordered much sooner), but rather was intended to show how strong we were to the end –– that show by Olmert intended to enhance his political position at the end of the war. He later claimed that the terms of the truce were more in our favor because of this last push, but this has been shown to not be the case.

In simple point of fact, in the course of that final push, 34 of our soldiers died for no good reason.

It is difficult for me to imagine the pain of this for the parents or how they deal with it. They are determined now to take down the prime minister. My prayers are with them and may they succeed exquisitely.


A number of people across the political spectrum spoke today in the course of the proceedings –– from Uzi Dayan on the left (whose Tafnit party did not make the cut into the Knesset in the last elections) to MKs Zevulun Orlev and Aryeh Eldad of National Union-NRP on the right.

The goal in bringing this to the members of the Knesset was to charge them with moral responsibility for the situation: If Olmert does not respond, it becomes their job to see to it that he is removed.


The report was compiled meticulously over the course of the last year and a half, as parents met in each others homes, compiling the details, as they needed to learn why and how their children fell.

"The prime minister wants to ensure that Israel's citizens quickly forget the war, and will employ all and any means to do it. He himself noted that the war is but a distant memory to him...

"We all heard the prime minister say that a miracle had transpired, and that God had sent us to war so that we can detect and fix all of our military failings. Do our leaders even hear the words leaving their mouth? How can the prime minister possibly speak of a miracle when a mother, weeping on her son's grave a year after his death, stated that it was all for naught?"


The bereaved parents –– who are doing an immeasurable service for the nation –– wanted to hand the report directly to Olmert, but were prevented from doing so. MK Eldad tried again to give the report to Olmert and was rebuffed.

This arrogance, in the face of the parents' pain, speaks perhaps more than anything else of the true character of Ehud Olmert.

As MK Aryeh Eldad, who has a way with words, said: "This country should send him back to one of the many hmes that he owns."


Back to Gaza:

Yesterday, in the face of international outcry and an apparent reduction in Kassams, Barak allowed supplies to move again into Gaza.

Today the situation has shifted as Palestinian gunmen used explosives to break through the fence at Rafah, permitting tens of thousands of residents of Gaza to flood into Egypt.

As usual in these matters, part of what is being dealt with is a PR war, with the Arabs presenting a situation of Palestinian suffering to the point of starvation that is simply not the case. Israelis are currently concerned that many of those who fled into the Egyptian part of Rafah, ostensibly to stock up on essentials so that they would not "starve to death," include terrorists who are returning into Gaza with money and weaponry. Arutz Sheva reports that according to A-Shark Al-Awsat, an Arabic paper, Hamas security forces were involved in the demolition of the fence at several points.

Hamas is touting this as a "victory." And Hamas leader Mashaal in Damascus in essence called for a breaking of agreements regarding the Gaza-Egypt border with an open crossing to exist there.

At first, Egyptian police fired on the crowds, injuring some 90, mostly women, but were then told to hold fire. While willing to turn a blind eye to terrorists smuggling into Gaza, Egypt has absolutely no desire to see hoards of Gazans flooding into their country. They are now supposed to be working to "stabilize" the situation.

Naturally, this entire issue will now be raised in the UN Security Council, where we will be made the villains. The US has promised to veto any resolution.

Meanwhile, Hamas has declared that they intend to continue launching Kassams at us. Some 20 rockets were launched today.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 23, 2008.

This was written by P. David Hornik and it appeared today in Front Page Magazine
www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 15751EA0-F01A-493B-8138-5AC2FFC64D6A

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Tel Aviv. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/. He can be reached at pdavidh2001@yahoo.com.

We've long known that Israel is not supposed to protect its citizens against terrorist attacks.

All Israeli antiterror measures, from targeted killings of terror masters to rooting out the Jenin terror-haven to mere curfews and checkpoints, have been roundly and almost universally condemned.

Even the most passive measure of all –– building a fence to keep terrorists out –– has been censured at The Hague and become a cause celebre as the "apartheid wall" among a plethora of Israel –– foes.

But now, to the principle that Israel must not defend itself against terror, has been added a new principle –– that Israel has to fuel (quite literally) the terror against it.

Last week, after seven years of bombardment of Sderot and smaller Gaza-belt communities reached a new peak to the tune of about fifty rockets and dozens of mortars a day, the floundering Israeli government hit upon an idea that was sure to fail: sealing the border crossings and cutting the fuel supplies to Gaza. Some thought this might lead Gaza residents to "pressure Hamas to stop the rocket fire" –– as if Gaza was a parliamentary democracy with responsive legislators who scurry to please their constituencies.

Instead, what has happened since has been drearily predictable.

Even after Israel cut off all fuel supplies, Gaza was still left with the two-thirds of its electricity that Israel provides to it directly.

Yet, on Sunday evening, Hamas staged a "humanitarian crisis" by shutting down Gaza's only electrical plant. Gaza City, as the reports put it, was "plunged into total darkness" complete with a candlelight protest of marching children, quickly becoming much more of a humanitarian concern than being plunged into seven years of rockets falling on houses and schools.

"We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms," warbled a Gaza Health Ministry official. It wasn't really true, since Hamas still had plenty of electricity to direct to hospitals and other urgent needs, and could even, in theory, have solved the whole problem by ending its attempts to murder Israelis. But it worked wonderfully.

The same chorus that always rises to defend Palestinian terror didn't miss its cue.

On Monday European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said, "I condemn the rocket fire into Israel and we fully understand Israel's need to defend its citizens.... However, the recent decision to close all border crossings into Gaza as well as to stop the provision of fuel will exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation.... I have made clear that I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza."

Also on Monday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert to protest, after urging Israel over the weekend to end the closure. The Arab League met urgently in Cairo and, along with the Arab ambassadors to the UN, requested an emergency session of the UN Security Council that was quickly scheduled for Tuesday.

True to form, the Europeans, UN, and Arabs led, but the U.S. wasn't far behind. On Tuesday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters that "Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer and so we have spoken to the Israelis about the importance of not allowing a humanitarian crisis to unfold there." She didn't explain why, in her numerous visits to Israel in recent years, she has never perceived a humanitarian crisis in Sderot or any need to relieve its residents' suffering.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad chimed in with, "We do believe that attacks against Israel are unacceptable and that it has the right to defend itself, but we have also said that when Israel defends itself it has to take the impact on civilians into account." Translation: "Israel does not have the right to defend itself, since in acting against Gaza terrorists it is impossible to avoid sometimes harming Gaza civilians, and we could much more easily live with another seventy years of bombardment of Sderot than have that happen."

Israel, of course, folded quickly. On Tuesday it resumed fuel deliveries to Gaza, pumping 700,000 liters of diesel through the Nahal Oz crossing while also providing cooking gas and medicine. Hamas quickly showed its appreciation by firing five Qassams that same morning. An Israeli woman was taken to hospital in Ashkelon, north of Gaza, for severe anxiety and shock.

Also on Tuesday morning Gaza terrorists resumed shooting at field workers near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, where last week a twenty-year-old Ecuadorian volunteer was killed by sniper fire. Needless to say, the Arab League did not hold another urgent session and the voices of Ferrero-Waldner, Ban, Rice, Khalilzad, et al. were not heard addressing these events.


1. Israel has to partially blame itself for trying a policy aimed at depriving and pressuring Palestinian civilians, which in today's world has about as much chance of succeeding as campaigning in favor of smoking or against condoms. Israel did so as another way of avoiding the truth that nothing can any longer protect its Gaza-belt citizens, save their communities, or restore Israel's deterrence and functionality except a large-scale military action in Gaza. This too will collaterally harm Palestinian civilians and not be popular at all –– but at least it will achieve something.

2. The Gazan population gets off scot-free for, along with its West Bank counterpart, electing Hamas as the Palestinian government in 2006. If, for instance, a large majority of the Iranian population was known to back the mullahcracy and its goals, it would lose sympathy as a result. The Palestinians, however, are the apple of the world's eye, an icon of innocence no matter what they do –– including choosing and backing a virulently anti-Western, jihadist regime.

3. While Hamas was bleating about babies, heart patients, and operating rooms and world leaders were sternly reproving Israel, nobody asked whether Egypt, for instance, or other Arab brethren of the Palestinians, could have eked out the supplies they claimed they desperately needed. The alleged importance of the Palestinian issue to the "moderate Arabs" has become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy and has recently led President Bush to convene a conference in Annapolis and publicly push Israel toward "ending the occupation." But in the present episode this has not translated into suggestions, let alone pressure, on the Arabs to do anything to help the Palestinians. The Arabs want Israel, not themselves, to be in the hot seat; and they get what they want.

4. Israel got the worst of all worlds with its 2005 disengagement from Gaza. That is, it disengaged militarily, prompting a vast increase in the rocket attacks, but continued to be viewed by the world as fully politically engaged and responsible for Gaza's welfare. Expectations that the world would become more "understanding" of Israel's need to respond militarily, or otherwise, once it had ended its "occupation" did not materialize at all. Currently a cowardly Israeli government, whose leader was a prime disengagement advocate, keeps delaying the day of reckoning as the military challenge from Gaza grows ever more formidable and the inevitable price of confronting it ever higher.

5. Regarding the present situation, Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni noted that "Israel is the only place in the world that supplies electricity to terrorist organizations that launch rockets at it in return." The connection –– in effect, the self-destructive, suicidal behavior –– is direct and physical, since the fuel supplied by Israel powers the very Gazan production lines that make the rockets. And not only that: the Gazans have repeatedly fired the rockets at the Israeli power station in Ashkelon that supplies Gaza.

Ideally, Israeli leaders like Livni and Olmert who in their personal careers have drifted from a robust nationalism to a weak-kneed eagerness-to-please would ask themselves if this –– not only not protecting Jews, but fueling those who attack them and even attack the fuel itself –– is not an apt symbol of Zionism in crisis and the need to regain the old acuity and pride.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 23, 2008.


A Western artist who promotes himself by producing scenes mocking Christianity explained why he doesn't shock people about Islam. He is afraid of having his throat slit (lost source). When even outrageous radicals are afraid to express criticism of Islam, even though the criticism be factual or merited analysis, then we are losing our freedom. The presence of fanatical Muslims inhibits us. The Muslims know it. Their intimidation is part of their creeping takeover process.


My statistics professor explained that percentages are not valid for amounts below 100. It doesn't make sense to conclude that a hen that usually lays 20 eggs a month, and in freak month laid 28 eggs, increased her output by 40%. It was just a freak month.

Likewise with small battle casualties. On most days, the IDF kills about three terrorists in Gaza. Today's NY Times reports the toll of 18 as "escalation." It wasn't escalation. The IDF didn't send in a battalion instead of a company. It made typical raids, but encountered more resistance. This was by chance. In war, 13 more fatalities is no major change. Small numerical changes, if mistranslated into percentages, produce misleadingly large percentages.

The Times' grandstanding statement makes it seem as if Israel were heating up the war. That paper always makes Israel seem to be the source of trouble. The real sources of trouble are Islam, which advocates war, the State Dept., which keeps Israel from concluding the war, and media outlets such as the Times, which mislead people about who causes war, who fights dirty, and, in general, about differentiating right from wrong.


The two are equated so that Israel can be condemned in the first half of judgments about it, and the Muslims in the second half, so Israel should be seen as equally guilty as the Muslims or more so. Suppose this were a mixed school, in which the Jews studied harder and made something of themselves and the jealous Muslims took to murdering Jews. The principal tells the children: the Jews must stop studying and the Muslims must stop murdering. Finally he decides to solve the conflict by expelling the Jews and hoping that the Muslims stop murdering. It mustn't be the Jews who determine whether the Muslims stop, and they mustn't defend themselves, they are told. Self-defense by Jews would degrade the Muslim quality of life, which is more important than the Jews' lives. Instead, the Muslims' biggest customer will serve as an honest broker. Don't mention that he doesn't like Jews.


Terrorists use P.A. police buildings as bases and as shelters. The P.A. claims to arrest such of those fugitives that Israel brings to their attention. (Where is their own initiative that they depend on information from Israel about what is going on in their own autonomous area?) Israel finds the supposedly arrested terrorists roaming freely in the P.A., and arrests them, itself.

The P.A. also claims to crack down on arms depots. Israeli investigation finds that those were not arms depots (IMRA, 1/9).

When Abbas was Arafat's right-hand man, the same things happened. Egypt pretends to crack down on arms smuggling, but doesn't dent it. They may sacrifice a few arms, as part of the pretense. The significance of its duplicity, which I find that the NY Times takes as sincere, is that it is protecting terrorists. Therefore, the notion that of a peace process with those terrorist-coddlers, is sham. Is there anyone of courage and who is permitted to expose the truth to a big audience? Must our foreign policy be unrealistic?

ARABS EXPLOIT ISRAELI HUMANITARIANISM If referred by doctors, Arabs from the P.A. may enter Israel for treatment. Many Arabs, disliking P.A. rule, bribe doctors for referrals. They don't come for treatment and they don't go back. Terrorists enter Israel this way (IMRA, 1/9).


Olmert declared there is no alternative to negotiations. Yes there is, responds Dr. Aaron Lerner, hinting at defeating the jihadists militarily. In renouncing alternatives, Olmert makes Israel hostage to negotiations (IMRA, 1/16).

Muslims negotiate in bad faith –– to gain an advantage in what they foresee as an eventual violent solution, while the West negotiates in what it hopes is a peaceful solution. Therefore, to renounce a military alternative means endless negotiations with a recalcitrant adversary.


Israel's Foreign Ministry foresaw the visit to Israel as important, because Bush would: (1) Discuss Iran's nuclear program; and (2) Promote a solution to the Arab-Israel conflict –– "Two states for two peoples" (IMRA, 1/9). The Palestinian Arabs already have a state, Jordan. Didn't end the conflict. What Bush obviously was going to do was promote a weakening of Israel and give up on stopping Iran while pretending to persist.


Pres. Bush is proceeding with a deal to sell S. Arabia bombs so smart that its pilots, however unskilled, can launch them from far away and they find Israeli targets on their own. This would erase Israel's advantage in having skilled pilots.

Congress opposes such a sale unless it is guaranteed that S. Arabia could not use those bombs against Israel. Probably the bombs would be programmed not to work if Israeli territory designated in the bombs' computers as their destination. And S. Arabia probably would find some technician willing for a big enough bribe to show how to reprogram the bombs.

Israel, however, is not opposing the sale, much. Instead, it is trying to trade it for access to US weapons it otherwise would not get (IMRA, 1/9).

I think that Israel is unwise about this. S. Arabia would narrow the difference more from its purchase than Israel would widen it with its hoped for purchase. Pres. Bush is fulfilling his legacy of helping to destroy the Jewish state. What do those who call him such a friend of Israel think of his proposed sale?


Israel was prepared to destroy a N. Korean shipload of missiles headed for Syria. The US, fighting the first Gulf War with a (phony) coalition that included Syria, persuaded PM Shamir to call of the air strike (1/9).

At the time, the US publicly said it was monitoring the ship (unless I'm thinking of another shipload), and asked Israel to let it handle the problem. Then it claimed to have lost track of the ship and the ship unloaded its cargo. I didn't believe the US excuse. I think Israel should stop acceding to the State Dept., which misjudges foreign situations, is unduly timid about them, and in a sneaky way is an enemy of Israel.


Every time Israel retaliates against the P.A., Haaretz asserts, contrary to the evidence, that the enemy was about to make peace or release an Israeli prisoner. The Left blames Israel.

Haaretz is very understanding. It understands the desire of the Bedouin to drive the Jews out of Pekin, where they have lived since Roman times. It understands the Arab desire to have exclusive possession of certain neighborhoods in Jerusalem. But it denounces as racist Jewish communities that don't admit Arabs (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/16).


When the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) pretended that Iran has no nuclear weapons program (although Pres. Bush insists that Iran poses a menace), Egypt improved relations with Iran, S. Arabia invited Iran's President on a haj, China signed an energy contract with it, and Russia shipped nuclear fuel to it. The NIE disrupted 15 years of Israeli diplomacy, working to contain Iran's weapons program without war. PM Olmert had defended his Annapolis diplomacy as bolstering the coalition to thwart Iran. What coalition? He was wrong, again.

The US is losing influence as Russia resumes great power status (great power to make mischief) and Pakistan descends into chaos (the dollar declines and the US economy falters). Meanwhile, the US is pressing Israel to make a deal with a P.A. divided against itself, still committing terrorism (in both halves), rejecting Israel, and failing to develop functionality. There are limits to US guarantees and strategic cooperation.

Israel needs to retain an independent foreign and military policy (IMRA, 1/7 from Jer. Foundation).

That's putting it too positively. The State Dept. traditionally is anti-Zionist. Israel long has made a big mistake in depending increasingly on US approval.


France is building a military base in the strategic Gulf of Hormuz, and will help Abu Dhabi develop nuclear power, for "civilian purposes" (IMRA, 1/16).

Nobody professes to be developing nuclear weapons capability. However, once one has developed a civilian facility and gained the know-how, it is only a short sprint to turn the facility into a military one. That's how they do it.

I hope that France knows what it is doing. Its base would become a target, at least of propaganda, for jihadists. Islamists hate the presence of foreigners. Our journalists remain unaware of Islamic xenophobia, though they denounce presidential candidates who oppose extensive legal immigration and even illegal immigration as xenophobes. Some of the opposition is to the violation of law, lack of control over potential influx of terrorists, wage depression, increased consumption of resources including land, and threat to American culture. I would like a policy that favors non-threatening cultures and limited to people with skills this country needs.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Buddy Macy, January 23, 2008.

On Jan 22, 2008 6:29 PM, Israel Kaplan wrote:

Dear Rabbis of New York:

My name is Izzy Kaplan of Toronto, and I have taken an active interest this past year in coming to the aid of the Jews of Sderot. We have entered this struggle approximately one year ago, attempting to bring the message of Sderot to the city of Toronto. Alon Davidi, who founded the Haamateh L'bitachon Sderot www.matesderot.co.il, has undertaken to provide urgent humanitarian services here in Sderot. My dear Rabbis, I have to be bluntly honest. I have never seen anything like this in modern day Eretz Yisrael, where the government and the nation watch as a city of 20,000 is rocketed night and day, day and night, with no military relief in sight.

I have arrived in Sderot a few days ago, drawn here by the need to rush to the aid of our brothers and sisters and not even knowing what to do for them. But, after a few days of accepting from the sky in excess of 150 rockets,

I made a decision to contact some of the Rabbinic leadership in major US cities to advise them that this little Jew from Toronto sitting here cannot and will not believe that we have become the Jews of Silence.

I am told by Alon Davidi that Rabbi Kermaier of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue was in Sderot 2 weeks ago and was shocked at the situation here in Sderot. Alon assured him that despite all of the rockets, injuries and destruction, the people are able to find strength as long as caring Jews show compassion through economic and moral support.

It is my intention to bring Alon Davidi to New York, Toronto, & Miami for speaking engagements, towards the last few weeks in February and early March. Alon lives in Sderot and has 5 small children of his own. This morning, two seperate Red Alerts went off, and both parents grabbed their 5 children and went running into a safe room in the house until the big thud was heard, or until the second or third or fourth red alert ended.

My point is that this is the scene in most homes throughout Sderot, day and night, and no Jew in this country, let alone this generation, should be forced to endure such degradation.

I look forward to hearing from you in order to show how much you are concerned and care for your fellow Jews here in Sderot.

Kol tov,

Izzy Kaplan (in Sderot)
011 972 052 448 9512

Alon Davidi
011 972 052 899 3255

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 22, 2008.

Franco Frattini, European Commissioner for Justice Freedom and Security, says at Herzliya Conference that Israel has right to defend itself against Qassam rockets, expresses regret at EU treatment of Israel.

This was written by Dana Zimmerman and published today in YNET Israel News
Roni Sofer contributed to this article

A change in EU attitudes towards Israel? In a briefing to Israeli reporters Tuesday, European commissioner for Justice Freedom and Security, Frano Frattini, said that the steps leading up to the Gaza blackout cannot be construed as a war crime and criticized the incessant Qassam rocket fire on Israeli civilian population centers.

In a lecture sponsored by the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, Frattini also issued a massive mea culpa to the State of Israel on behalf of the European community for its treatment of Israel during the second Intifada.

"There has been a large misunderstanding in recent years between Europe and Israel. And Israel is justified in its concerns. For too long, Europe has put too much blame on Israel for lack of peace with the Palestinians. We, as Europeans, should have understood Israel's concerns sooner," said Frattini.

The European official also noted that "as friends, it was our duty to criticize when we felt criticism was needed, but we did it too often and unfairly. We asked you to take risks and often we didn't provide you with assurances that you wouldn't stand alone if things went badly."

Frattini continued to say that, "Europe's attitude towards Israel is changing, and Europe better Today, Europe better understands the complexities of the Middle East landscape."

Commenting on the rising tide of Anti-Semitism throughout Europe, which has often led to marked tension between Israel and various European nations, Frattini maintained that "We are strongly fighting against Anti-Semitism in Europe. This kind of prejudice has no place in Europe today and never will. We will not tolerate Anti-Semitism and we take it very seriously."

The European commissioner also congratulated Israel on the Annapolis peace summit, calling it "a new opportunity in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which we must not let slip through our fingers. To make 2008 the year of Israeli-Palestinian peace, we must remember the lessons of the past and move forward," he concluded.

Bolton: Israel's hour to take action against Iran

Also speaking at the Interdisciplinary Center Conference Tuesday was former US Ambassador the UN John Bolton.

Bolton harshly criticized US policy towards Iran, and said that there was a "close to zero percent chance that the Bush administration will authorize military action against Iran before leaving office."

He also noted that the US "used to have a policy on Iran and recently there was a new push to create a new policy but, sadly due to the direction American Policy is going, it seems that for the next few years the United States will be a bystander to the process."

The former ambassador consequently stated that it is now Israel's hour to consider military action against Iran, noting that "the question now comes to Israel, whether it will use military force to stop Iran."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 22, 2008.

Background: teen aged girls were imprisoned in December for "civil" (not criminal disobedience). They were demonstrating against demolition of unlicensed houses in Judea-Samaria. They were kept in jail and mistreated, while P.M. Olmert released Arabs who had murdered Jews.

Here is an excellent video narrated by Nadia Matar. www.voiceofjudea.com/eng/tv.asp

Voice of Judea writes, "Please watch this exclusive footage of Jewish teenage girls in Israel struggling with police as they show solidarity for their jailed friends, 13 and 14 year old girls arrested for the crime of "settling the land of Israel," being held without bail for the duration of their trial, which could yet take months. They are already languishing for a month in jail. One of the girls is in isolation and in jail since Chanukah. Israel –– democracy? Watch and decide for yourself."

The comments below are written with the latest news first.

JANUARY 22, 2008: 3 Teenage Girls Imprisoned For Nearly A Month In Maximum Security Prison Have Been Released as of Monday 1/21/08 –– without condition.


JANUARY 20, 2008: Three Of The Imprisoned Teenaged Girls Have Not Been Released!!! Only 4 Were Released On Friday. The Police Are Violating The Ruling Of District Court Justice Noam Solberg. The Police Raided The Girls' Homes, Confiscating Their Photos. This Further Cruel Assault On The Pioneering Settler Families & Their Brave Young Girls Was (According To The Police) In Order To "Identify" The Girls Who Refused To Recognize The Authority Of The Police To Arrest & Imprison Them. One Of The Girls Has Been Held For 2 Months!

Establishing a base of fear is the mark of a government already planning future attacks and who want a submissive populace, ready to accept any 'diktat'.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) congratulated the freed girls for their "moral victory against the wickedness of the police & the government. 14 year-old girls demonstrated to the public what Civil Disobedience is & how it can be used to change immoral & anti-Zionist decisions that are destructive for Israel." IsraelNationalNews.com


JANUARY 19, 2008: The Girls Have Been Released! This Article Was Written Before Major Protests Forced The Judge To Release The Girls.

Baruch Hashem

Parents Charge Police Stripped Jailed Settler Girls –– National Council For The Child Criticizes Indefinite Incarceration
By Emanuel A. Winston

Clearly, the following report of sexual harassment of the 13 and 14 year old girls at the Binyamin Prison is outrageous. Capital punishment should be considered as punishment for such brutality to children. How does the perverted police who carried out these orders justify their brutality and disrespect to young girls?

Have the unleashed Israeli Police turned into monsters –– temporary or permanent –– by the Olmert Regime and prior Leftist leaders? There is no reason to withhold counter-force from Police who sexually harass young girls under the fiction of the Law. Police are not (and should not be) above the law –– nor is the judiciary.

The courts under the Head of the Supreme Court, Judge Beinish, have gone beyond anything permissible in a supposedly non-dictatorial society. Some of the Police display deeply depraved behavior and violence should be attacked immediately so as not to allow the breaking of bones, the trampling on heads with horses as was done at Amona –– or any form of sexual abuse such has stripping young girls for the observers to enjoy their nakedness. These Police and Judges are acting like monsters and have given up any rights under the law.

Citizens of Israel do not have to bend under the whip of these monsters. Rising up to defend oneself is not a privilege in a democracy –– it is a right.

As for filing a complaint against Police Brutality, it is a waste of time. They will have to lie to protect themselves and the Judges will have to accept their lies to protect their jobs. Only if these acts are on irrefutable video is the complaint ever considered and –– even with video, they will get off easily.


Wednesday, JANUARY 16, 2008:

Parents Charge Police Stripped Jailed Settler Girls –– National Council For The Child Criticizes Indefinite Incarceration

Now To Olmert's Evil Legacy Of Treason & Corruption, We Can Add Pedophile And Sexual Pervert

'Police mistreated jailed settler girls'
by Matthew Wagner
Jan. 15, 2008
Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellitecid=1200308095694&pagename=

Parents of seven girls aged 13 to 15 who were arrested three weeks ago for illegal settlement activity said Tuesday that their daughters were forcibly stripped of their clothing and denied sleep by police.

"On the first night of their arrest, they were taken to the Binyamin Prison complex for interrogation," said the mother of one of the girls, repeating what her daughter had told her during a short telephone call.

"The girls were asked to remove their clothes. They refused to do so, [and] they were handcuffed and forcibly stripped," said the mother. "These girls are devout and chaste. They have never worn a bikini in their lives. For them, the experience is tantamount to rape."

She added that her daughter had told her that whenever the girls tried to fall asleep, they were woken up. "The police are trying to break their spirits, but they won't succeed," she said.

A Judea and Samaria District Police spokesman said in response that "parents with complaints regarding police treatment or behavior are welcome to file a complaint. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated."

In protest against the arrest and the alleged mistreatment, a group of settlement rabbis headed by Kiryat Arba-Hebron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior have called for a fast day and a prayer rally to be held Thursday outside the [maximum security women's] Neveh Tirza prison in Ramle.

The fast coincides with a Kabbala-inspired tradition of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays during the weeks the first half of the Book of Exodus is publicly read in synagogues, a period known as "Shovavim."

In a press release, the Council of Rabbis of the Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (Yesha) said that "the girls do not recognize the powers of the legal system and, as a result, are suffering abuse and harassment, including acts that compromise these modest girls' dignity, heaven forbid. This healthy youth does not waste its time on nonsense and is the hope of this nation and the answer to our government's weaknesses and equivocations.

"In protest against the mistreatment and incarceration of these dear daughters of Zion and in protest against the terrible intention, God forbid, to endanger every single soul in Israel and to exile Jews from their homes and to expel them from their rightful inheritance, from Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, we call on all who are able to fast."

The incarceration of the girls, who have been in held in police custody for the past three weeks for helping establish an unauthorized outpost called Givat Ha'or outside Beit El, has become a rallying point for settler activists who are convinced that the government is plotting against settlers.

"I find it absurd that those girls have been held for so long just because they refuse to identify themselves," said Yesha Director-General Pinchas Wallerstein.

"I think it's legitimate for those girls to do what they are doing if they're willing to pay the price and sit in prison," said Wallerstein. "It's a very smart move and they have managed to show how brutal the police are. Just look how much media exposure they've gotten."

The state prosecutor said that the seven girls have not been released because neither they nor their parents have agreed to divulge their names. "We're talking about girls who are accused of illegal trespassing in a closed military zone, breaking an IDF directive and disrupting the legal process," said a Justice Ministry spokesman.

"The girls' release from prison is impossible until they agree to identify themselves," added the spokesman. "That's because we cannot take legal action against the girls unless they divulge their names. Allowing these minors to leave prison before they identify themselves would establish a negative precedent which would allow criminals to avoid prosecution."

Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, director of the National Council for the Child, said that while he did not condone the minors' behavior, he urged the state prosecutor to find a "creative solution" to the plight of the girls that "maintains a strict adherence to the law [and] at the same time prevents an untenable, unjust situation in which minors, who are not labeled as criminal elements, are being held for an indefinite period of time."

The girls are all students at the Ma'ale Levona Torah High School for Girls in Samaria where, according to one parent, "the girls learn a lot of love for the land of Israel, a lot of faith and a lot of truth."

The father of one of the girls said he was very proud of his daughter, who, he said, shouted out during an appearance before a Jerusalem court, "God is my final authority, and we don't recognize you."

"All of the parents got together last week and decided that none of us would divulge names," said the father, who added that he fully supported his daughter's refusal to recognize the authority of the legal system.

"I feel like the institutions in my own country are my enemies. They have no problem making demands of me and my family," added the father of 12.

"Three of my sons serve in elite combat units. They risk their lives to protect this state. But when my daughter tries to exercise her right to settle the land of our forefathers, they treat her worse than an Arab."


Dear Friends, 1) Public Fast To Release The 9 Girls And Letter Of The Mother Of One Of The Girls

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17: There will be a public fast to release 9 girls, most of whom are 14 years old, incarcerated in Neve Tirtza and Ayalon prisons. They have been in jail for over three weeks. Their crime: The police caught them trying to settle at Givat Ha'Or, an empty outpost in a field in the Shomron. For more information, see: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/170658

* A prayer vigil will be held at the Neve Tirza prison at 4:00pm.

Letter of one of the mothers of the girls, (names of mother & daughter are not being published for obvious reasons):

January 16, 2008
The American Consulate,
American Citizens Services Section,
Special Consular Services,
Attn: Nili Weinfeld

Dear Ms. Weinfeld,

My name is Y. and I am an American citizen. My daughter X, who is 14 years old, is also an American citizen.

On December 25, 2007, she was detained with some other girls and boys her age for being in an old abandoned building not far from her home. Since then she has been incarcerated in a women's prison for serious criminal offenders and I have not been allowed to see her. I have been allowed to speak with her by telephone only three times for one or two minutes each. At the time of her detention and arrest she was seriously abused, and has been denied her civil and legal rights during her time in prison.

The facts are as follows: She, along with 6 other girls and 8 other boys were pulled by the army and police out of an old and long abandoned building. They were taken to the police station in Sha'ar Binyamin and told to give their names and then they could go home. The boys did so and went home, and the girls refused, saying that they didn't do anything wrong. At this point they were formally arrested and also underwent serious physical and emotional abuse. I don't want to go into details about what they were subjected to in this letter, but it is profoundly outrageous and shocking.

Having spent the night at the police station, they were taken the next morning before a judge. Because they still refused to identify themselves they were sent back to prison on the pretext that the police couldn't conclude their investigation until the girls identified themselves. This, of course, is nonsense since the police have known perfectly well who the girls are from the very first night.

Every few days, X and the other girls are brought before a judge and then sent back to prison –– not a detention center for minors but to Neve Tirza, a prison for hardened and violent criminals. Neither I nor any of the other parents have been allowed to be present at these hearing and to get a glimpse of our daughters on the pretext that since the girls wouldn't identify themselves, the authorities couldn't confirm that we were indeed the parents. The cruelty with which these children have been treated defies belief.

After two weeks of this they were finally charged: with trespassing (an offense that requires prior knowledge and intent, although no one in the area is aware of this old abandoned building belonging to anyone).

Although convicted murderers are allowed daily hour-long phone calls and weekly visits with families, until recently and only then due to massive public pressure, the girls weren't allowed to speak to their parents at all much less see them. In the past week and a half, X's been allowed to phone me three times, but even then, she's only allowed to speak for a minute or two, with the guards yelling in the background to just say hello and then hang up the phone.

My X is a little girl, a good and idealistic and very innocent girl who has never done anything wrong, and who is being bullied and intimidated and abused by a legal system that affords more rights and consideration to adults convicted of murder than it has to her.

I am naturally very concerned for her welfare and very afraid about the emotional and psychic damage that has been inflicted on her. However, X also has health issues that make the conditions of her incarceration worrisome. She was seriously burned as a baby and since then has had to undergo multiple yearly skin operations. Good hygiene and staying out of the sun without her special creams are crucial for her health.

I would deeply appreciate it if the consulate could advocate for X and demand that the abuse of her civil and human rights stop and that this ugly persecution of an innocent child come to an end immediately.

I will eagerly await your reply. If you need any further information, please don't hesitate to call.



* send letters of protest to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter –– adichter@knesset.gov.il –– and to Knesset Child Welfare Committee Chairperson MK Shelly Yechimovitch –– syechimovich@knesset.gov.il



RUTI KOREN 050 627 2148
PERAH LERNER 050 627 2149
MATTI GIL 050-627 2034
AVRAHAM LIRON 052 266 6910
to call from abroad add 972 and omit the first zero

* Call Minister Eli Yishai Fax 02-666.2909, Phone 02-666.2255.

Such long arrests are extremely unusual and almost unheard of for minors for whom arrest of any length is almost always avoided completely. If the office asks for the girls' names say you read on Internet that one of the names is Tzvia Sariel from Elon Moreh.


S I L E N C E IS A G R E E M E N T!!

Contact Women in Green by email at wfit2@womeningreen.org or visit their website: http://www.womeningreen.org

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, January 22, 2008.

This was written by Max Klein.

Tzipi Livni, Israel's Foreign Minister told the Knesset on Monday, January 14th that talks on "final status", "core issues" including final borders, an influx of Arab Muslim refugees who left Israel during the various wars –– hoping to return when Israel was destroyed, and Jerusalem. Ms. Livni said: "It is true that I am prepared to make significant territorial concessions. I prefer to get there while I manage the negotiations, not when they put a plan on the table and I have to decide whether to take it or leave. I cannot afford to wait for the extremists and terrorists to take the place of the pragmatists (sic)".

This is eerily reminiscent of a well-known incident that took place during the Holocaust. The Nazi Germans were preparing to hang a leading rabbi and someone else. Suddenly these two were needed for some work, so they were told to go do the work –– and then run back shnell to be hanged. The rabbi, who still managed to keep his wits about him, tried to explain to the other fellow: "Look, why should we run back to be hanged? If we don't go back, what will they do? Punish us?" Yet the other fellow had been so terrorized by the Nazis and was so afraid that he actually ran back –– and was duly hanged. The Rabbi survived the war and went on to build communities around the world. (This is a true story.)

Tzipi, darling, why are you running to be hanged? What's the worst they could do? Take away half of Jerusalem? Give the Terrorists a State in your heartland to better fire missiles at your cities? So maybe the Europeans, who come from countries drenched in Jewish blood, won't like you? Tzipi, dear, do all of us a favor –– and don't do us any favors. We don't need you, or your pals, to "manage the negotiations" of how to be hung.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Daily Alert, January 22, 2008.

This was written by J. Peter Pham, who is director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University and an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. It appeared yesterday on National Review Online
http://tank.nationalreview.com/post/?q= NDdiNzAwNTY5YzJmZTk5ZGFjZmI3ZGI4ODZhM2I3Zjk=

Although, as the Jerusalem Post reports, the so-called "Gaza blackout" was instigated by the Hamas terrorists who run the enclave as a sort of cynical publicity stunt, it has drawn the usual dire warnings of impending humanitarian crisis and protests from neighboring Arab countries and the European Union. What tends to be forgotten in moments like this is that, even if Israel, which supplies more than 75 percent of the terrorist enclave's power, did cut off the flow, it would not only be morally but also legally justified in doing so. As Prof. Michael Krauss of George Mason University Law School and I pointed out in a commentary last year when Gaza was designated "hostile territory" by the Israeli cabinet:

If Gaza is territory under the control of the enemy –– as it manifestly is under Hamas –– then the Israeli government is both within its rights and arguably obliged by its responsibilities to its citizens to treat the strip as "hostile territory." Siege and blockade of a hostile territory is a legitimate tactic of war, used in declared and undeclared (e.g., Cuban) conflicts and explicitly recognized by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Conventions' sole limitation is that there be "free passage of all consignments of food-stuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers, and maternity cases" (Fourth Convention, art. 23) –– and even this exception was conditioned on there being "no reasons for fearing... [t]hat a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy" (for example, if resources destined for humanitarian aid will be commandeered by the enemy). Israel has carefully respected this requirement.

An anti-Israel pundit will doubtless soon point to the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, which states that "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited" (art. 54). But Israel is starving no one. No one responsible has suggested cutting off food supplies to Gaza –– which, ironically, exported food (grown in Israeli-built greenhouses, which were demolished by Palestinians after Israel's withdrawal) before 2005. In addition, Israel is not a party to Additional Protocol I (neither is the United States). Even if that treaty bound Israel, the official commentary to the Protocol does not preclude the right to blockade a declared enemy. In cases of siege the Protocol provides for relief of besieged civilians "subject to the agreement of the parties" (art. 70) –– does anyone think Hamas will sit down with Israel anytime soon? Similarly, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court can be read to make it a war crime to deprive civilians of "objects indispensable to their survival" (art. 8 (2) (b) (xxv)). But Israel is not a party to the Statute and, in any event, the context of the provision makes it clear that it refers back to the Geneva Convention's "food-stuffs, clothing and tonics" for children and pregnant women, which Israel is not blockading but which, in any event, Israel is certainly not obligated to itself supply.

In short, notwithstanding the outraged houls from the external enablers of Hamas, there is no basis in international humanitarian law for claiming any belligerent is obliged to supply energy to territory occupied by the enemy, conventional or otherwise.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 22, 2008.
This comes from today's Joshua Pundit Blog
http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2008/01/ senior-saudi-prince-israels-jews.html

Price Turki al-Feisal, a senior Saudi prince and the former ambassador to the US and the UK was unintentionally revealing today in an interview with reuters as to what Israel's Jews can expect if they acept the Saudi `peace' ultimatum.

Prince Turki, who was previously head of Saudi intelligence, said that if Israel accepted the Arab League plan "one can imagine the integration of Israel into the Arab geographical entity....We will start thinking of Israelis as Arab Jews rather than simply as Israelis," he said.

Or, in simple terms, Israel will be `absorbed' into the Arab world and it's Jews will become dhimmis, living at the sufferance of the Arab majority...just like in the good old days,when Jews knew their place, took care to keep their heads from ever being higher than a Muslim's and mostly lived under conditions that make the old Jim Crow South look positively beneficial.

Even sadder, the Reuters article quotes someone who accepted dhimmi status a long time ago, leftist Israeli commentator Yossi Alpher.

"I was delighted to hear Prince Turki's description of the comprehensive nature of normalisation as he envisages it within the framework of the Arab peace initiative," Alpher said.Alpher said he hoped that once there was a comprehensive peace, Israel's Arab neighbours would accept Israelis "as Jewish people living a sovereign life in our historic homeland" and not as "Arab Jews" or "European Jews".

Whom do you think you're kidding,Mr. Alpher? Dream on....these people will never accept Jews living next to them in peace and equality.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Steve Kramer, January 22, 2008.

Professor Dan Bahat is a dashing figure –– erect carriage, bald dome, and huge mustache. Known as "Israel's Indiana Jones" in Toronto, where he is professor of "Jewish Studies in Jerusalem" at St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto, Bahat lectured at the Tel Aviv University during one of his frequent trips to his native Israel. With a PhD from Hebrew University, where he formerly taught, and his experience as District Archaeologist of Jerusalem, Bahat is well-qualified to have addressed the crowd on the religious history of Jerusalem.

The professor began his engaging lecture by stating simply that the source of sanctity of Jerusalem is unequivocally Mt. Moriah, whose name means Foundation Stone. Mt. Moriah is the place where Abraham took his son Isaac when God called on him for a sacrifice, the place where the First and Second Temples were built, the place where the child Jesus chastised the money-lenders, and the current site of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the Western Wall. But the city of Jerusalem wasn't founded by the ancient Israelites. It was the Jebusites, a Caananite tribe, who first settled in the area. The name Jerusalem comes from "Jeru", signifying the Jebusites, and "Shalem", who was a Caananite deity, the god of darkness or night. It was King David who captured the city from the Jebusites at about 1000 BCE. The site of the even-then renowned mount of Moriah would serve David as his "neutral" capital, as he successfully combined the southern kingdom, whose capital was Hebron, with the newly-won northern kingdom, whose capital was Shechem (known today as Nablus).

King David first settled at the foot of Mt. Moriah in the area known to us as David's City. (Today David's City has been repopulated by Jews in the neighborhood of Silwan.) David created a city, a dynasty, a nation, and a sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem. While David chose the location of the First Temple, planned its design, and procured the precious construction materials from King Hiram of Lebanon, it was his son, King Solomon, who built the Temple, overlooking David's City, on the summit of Mt. Moriah. Professor Bahat emphasized King David's messianic qualities: he was born in Bethlehem, he was known as a "son of God", and he died in Jerusalem.

Around 700 BCE, the era when the kingdom of Babylonia was dominant in the region, the Jews celebrated Passover in Jerusalem, trekking from all over the kingdom to offer sacrifices at the Temple. By this time, the Jews had internalized the city of Jerusalem as their center, located around Mt. Moriah, which they thought of as the "navel" (omphalos in ancient Greek) of the world. Professor Bahat emphasized that Jerusalem became sanctified in a long process of about 500 years, from the construction of the First Temple in Solomon's reign until the Second Temple was built following the return of a remnant of the Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem, 70 years after its destruction in 586 BCE. (The Second Temple was later famously and gloriously enlarged by King Herod.)

When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia conquered Jerusalem in 586 BCE and carried off most of its inhabitants to Babylon, Jerusalem's status was immortalized by Psalm 137, which is famous for expressing the sentiments: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion (Jerusalem).If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy."

In the Second Temple period, politics and religion mixed together in Jerusalem. Many different religious groups began to reside there, especially from the 1st century BCE until the 2nd century CE. The Christians, one of the sects which resided in Jerusalem, first thought of themselves as Jews and they associated with Jews. They congregated in the eastern portico of the Temple before its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE. But as time went on, the Christians segregated themselves from the Jews and gained pagan converts.

Hadrian,the Roman emperor from 117-138 CE, fought the second Roman war against the Jews and attempted to root out Judaism, which he considered a cause of rebellion. It was Hadrian who blotted out the name Judea and renamed it Syria Palaestina (Palestine). It was also Hadrian who decided to rebuild the destroyed Jerusalem, renaming it Aelia Capitolina. He built a huge Temple of Jupiter on the Second Temple site. Jews were forbidden to enter the pagan city and were not even allowed to be in sight of the city. Nevertheless, pockets of Jews manage to remain, as they had during the period of Babylonian captivity.

It was Helena, mother of the (Christian) Roman Emperor Constantine (272-337 CE) who first put the stamp of Christianity on Jerusalem. She came to Palestine in her later years and had two churches erected for the worship of God: one in nearby Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. During Helena's sojourn in Jerusalem she tried to locate the exact site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, which eventually resulted in the construction by Constantine of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Christianity's most sacred site. By the 5th century CE, Jerusalem was a sacred site for Christians, who came to view the purported tomb of Jesus and the tombs of the saints.

In the year 638, Caliph Omar conquered the city and observed the Temple Mount, which was covered in garbage by the Christians, who believed that this would bring them good luck. Omar gave certain rights to the city's Christian inhabitants but continued the ban on Jews living there. He built a modest mosque on the southern part of the Temple Mount where El-Aksa Mosque now stands, positioned so that during prayers worshipers faced east towards Mecca. Significantly, Omar ignored the advice of his adviser, the Jewish convert Kha ab al-Akhbar, who had recommended building a mosque to the north of the Foundation Stone (the summit of Mt. Moriah), so that the faithful would face both the sacred Jewish site and Mecca during prayers. Omar recognized Mecca as the central focus of Islam, therefor a view of the Foundation Stone was superfluous during prayers.

The Muslims adopted Jerusalem, which they call Al Kuds (taken from the Hebrew for "holy city"), as their third holiest place, behind Mecca and Medina. Muhammad had first signified Jerusalem as the direction to which his followers should pray in an attempt to convince the Jews to convert. When that failed, Muhammad reverted to praying towards Mecca, which had been the pre-Islamic, pagan tradition of the Arabs. In 691, after Muhammad's death, the Damascus-based Umayyad dynasty fought off rival claims from the Hijaz (Mecca and Medina) for leadership of the faith. They attempted to glorify the status of Damascus as well as Jerusalem. And it was in Jerusalem where they built the Dome of the Rock mosque directly on top of the Foundation Stone, the site of the First and Second Temples.

They then interpreted a passage of the Koran to identify the Dome of the Rock as the site of the "furthest mosque" to which Muhammad rode his horse on his "night journey". Though the proof that the Dome of the Rock is the "furthest mosque" is sketchy at best, nevertheless the Muslims, especially after the Six Day War of 1967, have made the claim of Jerusalem as their third holiest site into a call to war against the Jews.

Professor Bahat summarized his feelings about the undisputed primacy of the Jewish sanctity of Jerusalem by stating that the United Nations has never understood the facts regarding Jerusalem. For Bahat, the Muslims venerate solely the Temple Mount and the Christians venerate distinct holy sites which are strictly delineated, ignoring the Temple Mount. Only the Jews hold the entire city of Jerusalem holy and have done so for at least 2,500 years.

Steve Kramer lives in Alfe Menashe. He has written a weekly opinion column for the Jewish Times of southern New Jersey (www.jewishtimes-sj.com) for the last ten years. He writes, "They're about history, politics, touring, or whatever excites me." Contact him at sjk1@jhu.edu

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 22, 2008.


The Road Map was introduced after the Oslo Accords already had laid out requirements for negotiations and peace. It seems in retrospect that the Map was slipped over on people as a way of nullifying Oslo.

Oslo was not fair to Israel but it offered some protection for Israel. P.A. non-compliance with Oslo was glaring. What better way to start the clock of Arab non-compliance over again, than to discard Oslo without seeming to be subverting Israel than to pretend a better plan, the Map, was now the requirement?

The Arabs still have not complied with what they agreed to.

The Map has more vague language about Muslim requirements and more strict requirements of Israeli restrictions. It took determination of P.A. compliance out of Israel's hands and put it under control of Israel's non-Arab enemies, such as the State Dept., UNO, Russia, and EU.

PM Sharon stated 14 reservations to the Map. The State Dept., which pressured Israel and its foolish leaders to accept the Map, paid no attention. Once the State Dept. gets a ball rolling, it does not stop for decent corrections. The State Dept. is not interested in genuine peace but in appeasement. Appeasement of jihadists guarantees eventual war.

Now, the State Dept., which acts dishonorably (sneaky, subversively, undemocratically, and against the interests both of the US and of Israel), has the temerity to demand that Israel honor its agreement to adopt the Map. It does not admit that Israel had the 14 reservations.


The P.A., with US encouragement, has an odd formula for ending terrorism. It incorporates terrorist militias into its official police. Then it claims to have disbanded terrorist militias. Problem is, its official police, composed largely of terrorists, commit terrorism.

How the terrorists are organized and who pays them does not make them less terrorist. In fact, it offers them opportunities to commit more effective terrorism. As part of the official police force, they get trained in counter-terrorism –– they learn terrorist techniques and what the IDF might do to catch them.

Imagine if Hitler, a long-time terrorist, had promised the League of Nations that he would disband the S.A. and S.S. storm trooper militias by integrating them into the German Army. How much comfort would that offer?

COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE STEPS TO KEEP JEWISH MAJORITY Israeli leaders have been proposing that Israel cede parts of Jerusalem in which most residents are Arabs. Their rationale is that what is left would have a larger Jewish majority. That would help preserve the Jewish character of the state.

Hearing that they may become part of the P.A., tens of thousands of Arabs from those parts of Jerusalem have been moving into the other parts. Therefore the proposal is counter-productive (forgot the source). It just makes Israel smaller and forfeits the Jewish character of the Land.

To retain the Jewish character of the State, get the Arabs out of Jewish territory and celebrate Jewish history and cultural foundation in Judea, land of the Jews.


The Pentagon's "joint staff" (I suppose the author means joint chiefs of staff) had one expert on Islam. The expert wrote a report documenting support for jihad by the Muslim institutions in the US. Those institutions objected. The Pentagon didn't want to anger them. It fired its expert (IMRA, 1/7 from Caroline Glick).

The Pentagon directs our troops but itself is cowardly and unpatriotic.


Dozens of American Jewish organizations set delegates to Israel to discuss with Israeli Arabs how to help them advance in Israel. Many Israeli Arabs are boycotting the Jewish donors, because those Jews are Zionist (IMRA, 1/8).

Those American Jews are tolerant and their Muslim detractors are too intolerant to meet with them or accept their help. Those Muslims want to take over the whole country. The Jewish donors should reconsider the ramifications of helping Muslims. It often fails to produce lasting goodwill in people who consider themselves lords of the earth with tribute coming to them. Eventually the assistance has the effect of harming non-Muslims.


Sec. Rice admitted that if Israel let a new Arab state take over parts of Judea-Samaria, terrorism would ensue. The US proposes that foreign troops patrol it. Such troops may allow terrorists through but not IDF pursuers. When the new state is ready to make war, then, being sovereign, it could expel the foreign troops (IMRA, 1/7). Fortunately, the P.A. has rejected the proposal (IMRA, 1/9). She's crazy to allow the terrorists to set up a state! They were supposed to eradicate terrorism, not have a state with terrorism.


The Office of the Prime Minister replied to the Winograd Committee that reputedly is about to report scathingly on regime performance in the Lebanon War. The reply claims he implemented almost all of the preliminary report's recommendations, thereby demonstrating that it learned the necessary lessons. It did not learn to uphold Israel, to lead, and to plan. Its failure to deal with Gaza arms smuggling and rocket attacks and its failure to prepare

realistic proposals for negotiations, in favor of dangerous scenarios that cannot be implemented, prove its continued incompetence (IMRA, 1/7).

The recommendations that the regime claims to have implemented all were procedural. It remains appeasement-minded and thoughtless. It brings those poor qualities to new problems.


The P.A. claims to have arrested dozens of Hamas operatives. It soon released almost all of them. The basis for the release is their surrender of their weapons (IMRA, 1/7).

Weapons can be resupplied. That is not a crackdown on Hamas. It is a show to deceive Israel. Sure enough, word is going out from Israel that the P.A. is cracking down on Hamas, based on those deceitful claims.


The committee to free Pollard heard that the secret service intended to have agents provocateurs act outrageously, so as to bring the movement into disrepute. The committee informed government bodies, but was rebuffed and told to handle the problem on its own. Therefore, the committee asked followers not to engage in public demonstrations in behalf of Pollard during Bush's visit. It did not want to allow the hoax (1/7).

There was at least one such agent active with obvious police complicity. The government did make some false arrests, too. If government agencies rebuffed the committee, that is tantamount to admitting that the governments still engages in police state tactics. After all, if the information was that right-wingers intended dirty tricks, you can imagine how swiftly the government would act against them. In other news, a high official of Israeli law enforcement admitted that the govern intends to apply the same practices against new protests against new expulsion of Jews from Judea-Samaria that were widely criticized as fascistic when applied to the earlier expulsions.


Pres. Bush is pressing Israel to let the P.A. have: sovereignty; the core historical area of Jewish national development; what would have been Israel's secure borders; and a third of Israel's water supply (besides what he would do about Syria's similar claim on Israel), without having to give up terrorism.

Despite that obvious bias against Israel, everybody thinks that Bush is a great friend of Israel. My fellow Jews do so, because psychologically they can't resist the charm of gentiles who start out tactically defending Israel and talking pleasantly about its right to self-defense. These Jews stay in that rut when the gentile breaks out into the old land-for-terrorism policy and demands that Israel withhold various means of self-defense.

P.A. Muslims think that Bush is a great enemy of theirs. They, too, seem to get taken in by his original statements. They don't realize that the State Dept. doesn't want to come out openly for the destruction of Israel. Instead it proceeds in stages, pressuring Israel's bribed and coerced leaders to give in gradually. Either the Muslims don't see this, or they like to complain. Complaining as if the Islamofascist imperialists are the underdogs and the ones with the grievances has gotten them much sympathy and Israel much antipathy.

It is amazing how much sympathy the Muslims are able to elicit from Christians, while driving Christians out of the Mideast. Who says that people pursue their own interests or understand the issues and the stakes in them?


Olmert proposes that the descendants of Arabs who fled during their failed attempt to wipe out Israeli Jewry in 1947-1949 not be admitted into Israel, where they would swamp the Jews and gain another opportunity for genocide. Instead, they would enter a new Arab state, cobbled from the historically Jewish Territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. He says this would solve the Arab-Israel conflict. It wouldn't. It would enable the jihadists conquer Israel.

A gift of territory does not end a fanatical craze for dominating and even exterminating rival religions. Such statehood would glorify jihad enough to encourage Muslims all over to join the armed struggle. That armed struggle would not cease after the conquest of Israel. It is the Islamic form of globalism. The US would be a major target of it.

Many of the alleged refugees' ancestors were not refugees, but that is not the point. The point is that they were raised on hatred of Israel. Under Olmert's proposal, they would be brought near enough to Israel to get at the Jews the way the Muslims in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza do. How wise is that? Nor is that all.

The area to comprise the new Muslim Arab state is rich in Jewish history but poor in natural resources. Millions of those descendants, moving where warfare and corruption keeps the people poor, would find their circumstances no better and their resentment directed against Israel. They would draw down the meager aquifer now shared with Israel and add to the underground flow of sewage downhill into Israel. Not a bright idea no matter how one looks at it.

Time to tell the Arab countries in which those Arabs now live to integrate them (better than) the way Israel integrated 750,000 Jews expelled from Arab states. They also should take in the Arabs now in the Territories, so that there is at least one viable state there, Israel, the victim of Muslim Arab aggression.

I question the sincerity of those who call Israel an apartheid state but insist on establishing a Muslim Arab state that bars Jews and who insist that Israel not bar Arabs. If Jews can't live in the P.A., whether by law or because the Muslims would lynch them, why should seditious Muslims be allowed to live in Israel? Even if there weren't a separate Arab state, considering that the Arabs are in a state of jihad and in any case impede Jewish national development in the Jewish homeland, why should Muslims be allowed to live in Israel?

Hillel Halkin argues that most of those called Palestinian Arab refugees would not want to move to Israel. He thinks they would prefer monetary compensation. His argument is not logical.

One doesn't give masses a right on the grounds that one imagines they wouldn't exercise it. Suppose they do? Then where are we? Israel under Arab League siege cannot afford existentially or economically another mass influx of Arabs, even if not the huge number potentially available.

Why should descendants of genocidal aggressors be compensated financially, instead of Israel, the victims of repeated Arab aggression? If the descendants are compensated, why not also the descendants of Jews who, unlike the Palestinian Arab aggressors, were forcibly expelled and their property confiscated?

Who would compensate? Shouldn't it be the Arab states, which invaded or supported the invaders? Some of them now have great wealth. The world expects the US to compensate, although the US economy is faltering and other countries are prospering. The proposed solutions are impractical. They pile up injustice upon injustice, punishing the innocent and rewarding the guilty. Does no one know right from wrong and will no one make sense and tell the truth?

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, January 22, 2008.
ds, If you are among those who believe, like PM Ehud (Aliza) Olmert, that giving Judea & Samaria to the "Palestinians" will result in peace rather than the worst ever war, you must also believe that camels can fly. Can you actually put on a straight face and say loudly "Palestinians seek peace with Israel" without feeling embarrassed, ashamed or a fool? This article is called "The Face of Evil." It was written by Michael Freund and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1200572520790&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull,

'Sometimes," Blaise Pascal once noted, "we learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good." The great philosopher's pithy observation took on new resonance this week, as Israelis were given ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of what sheer, unadulterated wickedness truly looks like.

In Beirut, it took the form of Hizbullah thug-in-chief Hassan Nasrallah. Speaking on Saturday to a crowd of tens of thousands of cheering supporters, the bearded and bespectacled terror boss delivered one of the most chilling speeches in recent memory.

"O Zionists," he declared, "your army has left the body parts of your soldiers in our villages and fields. Our mujahadeen fought these Zionists, killing them and collecting their body parts."

As if that weren't gruesome enough, Nasrallah went on to provide still more macabre detail. "I am not talking about regular body parts," he said. "I tell the Israelis, we have the heads of your soldiers, we have hands, we have legs ... there is even a near-complete body, a half or three-quarters of a body, from head, to chest to the torso."

Even for the Middle East, it was an exceptional demonstration of callousness and cruelty. For Nasrallah to gloat about mutilation and dismemberment is simply inhuman. Adjectives such as depraved and degenerate fail to do this cretin justice.

BUT THE evil on display this week was not confined merely to our northern borders. To the east, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was boasting in an interview with Al-Jazeera that Israel is "doomed to collapse," in the process repeating one of his favorite mantras that Zionists are "enemies of mankind." Backing up his rhetoric with deeds, the tyrant of Teheran took delivery of another 11 tons of nuclear fuel from Russia as he races ahead with plans to produce atomic weapons. And we all know just where those warheads will be pointed, should he succeed with his nefarious schemes.

Then, to the south of us lies Hamas-controlled Gaza. In recent days, Palestinian terrorists have fired more than 160 Kassam rockets and 70 mortar shells from the Strip at Israeli towns and villages throughout the Negev, indiscriminately targeting innocent civilians.

The result has been that thousands of Israelis are being terrorized daily by the shrill sound of sirens and the piercing whistle of potentially-lethal projectiles hurtling at them through the air.

Not surprisingly, a new study released by the Israel Center for Victims of Terror and War found that over 75 percent of the children in Sderot exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

And so, an entire generation in that battered southern town is growing up with extensive psychological and emotional wounds.

WHAT ARE we to make of all this? What does this hatred mean? While this question might seem tantalizingly simple, or even simplistic, the answer to this query is in fact what lies at the root of Israel's foreign and defense policies.

For some, particularly those on the Left, the encirclement of Israel by hostile forces is what underlies their determination to reach a final deal as quickly as possible with Mahmoud Abbas.

Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, they say, will sap the hostility directed at Israel throughout the Arab world, thereby securing the Jewish state's place in the region.

But such an approach amounts to little more than wishful thinking, as our brief little survey of the region clearly indicates. Anyone residing outside the left-wing echo chamber that is Israel's media should realize by now that the enmity we face is not merely political, but fundamentally theological too.

For Hamas, Hizbullah and the Iranian regime, which together constitute an arc of hate surrounding Israel, are ideologically committed to the Jewish state's destruction, regardless of whether a settlement of one sort or another is reached.

Addressing the political demands of our foes, while ignoring their deep-seated sense of sacred duty to erase the Jewish presence in this region, is an act of potentially lethal self-delusion.

Like all human beings, we Israelis are uncomfortable staring evil directly in the face. It strikes at our own historical and existential anxieties, and goes against our basic human need to be loved and appreciated.

But psycho-babble aside, we need to come to terms with the reality of our situation, which boils down to fighting back or being ejected from the ring.

The arc of hate is growing ever more bold, and it is only a matter of time before they seize upon the sense of weakness that our current leaders are projecting and ready themselves to pounce.

The events of the past week should serve as a jolting reminder to us all that Israel is engaged in a titanic, life-and-death struggle between good and evil. This is not about a misunderstanding over boundary lines, water rights or even refugees. It is a momentous, ongoing war of annihilation that our foes have been waging against us for over a century. Simply put, it is a struggle against evil.

And the critical component necessary for our survival and our success is maintaining an unwavering sense of faith, and never losing sight of the justness of our cause. The moment we do so is the moment when the battle will be lost.

Twenty-five years ago, during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, US president Ronald Reagan said, "I've always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith."

Those words are equally applicable today. The evil is staring us right in the face, whether in the guise of Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad or Khaled Mashaal.

Our task is to stare it back down and defeat it, plain and simple. Like it or not, averting our eyes or making dangerous concessions simply won't make it go away.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 21, 2008.

Tu B'Shvat technically is the New Year for trees, which is of Jewish legal significance when the age of trees is calculated. It begins at sundown tonight.

Most years, along with the partaking of fruits, nuts and wine/grape juice, we celebrate with the planting of trees. But this is a Shmita year, when the land must rest. And so we can celebrate by admiring the beauty of Israel's trees. That seemed to me a good way to start today's posting, as such things must also stay within our consciousness and our expressions of gratitude.

For a photo essay on trees, see here. Here are two of the photos that Michelle Baruch took of Israel's trees in honor of Tu'B'Shvat:

Left: Dusk at a Eucalyptus grove in the Jezreel Valley
Right: Olive trees near Beit Guvrin


The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Israel has given guarantees that there will be no humanitarian crisis: that sufficient supplies to prevent this will be allowed through crossings.

This doesn't mean there will be no hardship –– no fuel, perhaps for private autos.

What has continued to enrage Israel is the false emergency being manufactured by Hamas. I wrote yesterday about how ostensibly the turbines in the Gaza generator had to be turned off because fuel was lacking, and there are pictures being broadcast of Palestinian families functioning by candlelight.

Well...the simple reality is that some 70% of Gaza's electricity comes from the Israel Electric Corporation, which has not stopped supplying, and another 5% from Egypt. Not quite as Hamas is representing.

In fact, Israel Electric is furious because workmen in their Ashkelon plant –– which supplies to Gaza –– are at risk of getting hit by Kassams, and it sends out its repairmen to Sderot, where on occasion someone is injured.

As to the turning off of turbines, that was a politically motivated Hamas decision regarding where to allocate the fuel that was available.


Hamas is fingering Abbas as having some responsibility for the current "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza because he hasn't been tough enough in criticizing Israel. An interesting state of affairs, considering that Hamas-fired rockets are causing the entire crisis.

And a significant state of affairs. I've maintained for some time that Hamas sets the tone of Palestinian political discourse, and this proves the point. Abbas would never turn and point a finger at Hamas for causing problems; rather, he's quick to show what a loyal Palestinian he is by further criticizing Israel.

It should be clear as clear can be that there is no real possibility of negotiations within such a climate. And, in fact, pressure from Hamas on Fatah to stop negotiations is growing. For Abbas to associate with us runs him the risk of appearing a "traitor" by Hamas lights.


MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said today that according to representatives of the defense establishment, who spoke before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, all building projects beyond the Green Line have been frozen.

"There is no building beyond the line, even in what is considered sovereign Israeli territory. The prime minister has assumed authorities without the government's approval."

That son of a... whoops, I must remain professional. This is absolutely not what Olmert led us to believe he was going to do. Remember the brave statements regarding continued building at Har Homa, which is part of Jerusalem?

Olmert's office is denying this report, saying that the report is unfounded.

To this Rivlin has countered that there has to be special permission from the PM's office for construction to be done in Jerusalem:

"The truth has come to light in all its gravity. There will be no construction outside the Green Line, even in sovereign Israeli territory, including Jerusalem's neighborhoods.

"The prime minister has taken liberties without awaiting the government's approval or a Knesset discussion, and in contradiction with the road map, which recognizes Israel's right to expand the settlement blocs in accordance with natural growth."


I rather like the statement of Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, who has said the municipality will continue to build everywhere in Jerusalem: "Israel must not become the first country in the world to turn its capital into an illegal outpost.

"This is an illegal decision which stands in contradiction to the government's own decisions, as stipulated in the Jerusalem Law."


I mentioned recently that the Jewish community of Hevron had hired an expert who concluded that the purchase of Shalom House from the Palestinians was legal. Since then there has been renewed pursuit of this matter within the legal system. Arutz Sheva reported that the Palestinian who sold the house –– which purchase he claimed was a Jewish forgery –– has now been arrested by the PA for selling to a Jew.


In the midst of all of this turmoil, I did want to touch, at least briefly, on the political situation here. Somehow it keeps getting tabled in these postings because of other things that are happening.

An overview (with the understanding that things might change an hour from now):

–– In the final analysis it seems Winograd has been politicized and will not be severely criticizing Olmert and company in its final report in the manner that had been anticipated. There is some nonsense about the failures of the Lebanon War falling to the IDF. But, excuse me, it is my clear understanding that the political echelon made horrendous mistakes. I think there will be enough fault to go around when the report is released in ten days.

–– As I indicated yesterday, there is a major grassroots campaign developing –– the activity of the Reservists being only part of it –– that is aimed at getting both Olmert and Barak to quit. Emphasis is being put on Barak, who would bring down the gov't if he brought his party out of the coalition; Olmert swears with his every breath that he will not move up the date for elections or resign.

–– Barak is being put on the spot because he made a very clear statement about leaving when the final Winograd report came out. But he is reluctant because if there are elections it is highly likely that Netanyahu and Likud will come out ahead and not Barak and Labor –– he's afraid of losing all power.

An alternative scenario he is said to be considering is to try to push Olmert out, which would make the electorate happy, without actually forcing elections; this would allow him to remain part of a governing coalition.

–– Should Olmert actually go, it had been assumed for some time that Livni would step up. But she is being challenged from within Kadima, and this is no longer a working assumption. Mofaz is Livni's chief rival, though there are others.

–– Yet another scenario recently advanced by Caroline Glick has 11 members of Kadima breaking off and starting another party, which would destroy the coalition. I have no clue what sort of likelihood there is of such an occurrence. It seems that earlier talk of former Likud members of Kadima returning to Likud has fallen flat –– their welcome back being something less than overwhelming. And yet, these people have a desire to cut and run before Kadima falls totally on its face.


Statistics of note: In spite of all the difficulties, 10,000 additional Jews moved to Judea and Samaria this past year, bringing the number to 270,000, living in 130 settlements, with 80% in major settlement blocs.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Gil Ronen, January 21, 2008.

The news coming out of Gaza depicts the Arab populace living in darkness and cold and blaming Israel for closing down major crossings through which fuel arrives to Gaza's power plants. Reporters even claim that the dead can no longer be buried properly because there are no shrouds, and that bodies are being wrapped in flags instead.

The IDF says, however, that this is media spin; a deliberate manipulation by the Hamas government to make Israel look as bad as possible.

"Gaza City was plunged into darkness after the plant's turbines stopped," the BBC reported. "Israel's closure of border crossings amid continued rocket fire from Gaza has brought the delivery of almost all supplies, including fuel, to a halt... The UN says Gaza's 1.5m inhabitants face serious hardship... Reports from Gaza say people are trying to stock up on candles and batteries, as well as basic foodstuffs... A number of residents began a candle-lit march through Gaza City after the blackout."

Self-created crisis

Israeli sources say this kind of coverage is exactly what the Gaza leadership wants. "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," a security source told the Israeli Ynet site Sunday evening. "In the past, there have already been situations in which the [electricity] transformers did not work. As for food and other supplies, the Palestinians have a stock that will last them for the next few days and beyond. This is an image of a crisis created by Hamas."

The source noted that the electricity transformers in Gaza were bombed after the abduction of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, too, yet life went on as usual there because Israel continued supplying Gaza with electricity. Israel continues to supply Gaza with 70% of its power, the source said, adding: "We have not cut electricity and do not intend to at this moment. The Palestinians are the ones cutting off electricity for a few hours and trying to create a crisis."

What burial shrouds?

The source also noted that the announcement of a crisis in Gaza came a bare 24 hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced he was sealing off the crossings into Gaza. "There are hardly any trucks allowed into Gaza on Fridays and Saturdays anyhow," the source explained. As for burial shrouds –– these were never on the list of supplies Israel transferred into Gaza anyways.

Other reports in the press said that all of the operations scheduled to take place in Gaza's hospitals in the next few days have been postponed. The health system in Gaza claimed the dialysis systems and medical equipment taking care of heart patients may cease functioning, and warned that ten minutes without electricity in the hospitals could kill dozens of patients. The Gazan spokesmen also said that if sewage pumping ceases, "an unprecedented humanitarian disaster" could result.

Thousands of Gazans held a candlelight vigil Sunday evening to protest what they called Israel's "siege" of Gaza.

Gadid's synagogue now a mosque

Gadid synagogue in its days of glory (Katif net)

A Haaretz weekend report contained the following description of a conversation between the newspaper's reporter and a Gazan cab driver named Munir Dweik: "He reports to us 'live' that at this moment he is standing in the ruins of the settlement of Gadid, which is currently being renovated with the aid of money from Italy. Gadid's synagogue has turned into a mosque and its walls are decorated with verses from the Quran. Dweik woke up tonight because of the freezing cold, he says on the phone, because there is no electrical supply to his home in Beit Lahiya. In the past few weeks he has wandered between gas stations, trying to find fuel for his cab in the besieged city."

Gil Ronen writes for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNN.com).

To Go To Top

Posted by Moshe Feiglin, January 21, 2008.

During his recent visit to Israel, US President George Bush toured Israel's Holocaust museum,Yad Vashem. Bush commented that the US "should have bombed them". This was seemingly a reference to the fact that the US refused to bomb the railroads which took Jews to their deaths in the crematoriums.

Bush's statement raises the issue of how many of the 6 million lost Jewish souls would have been saved if the United States had only tried to save them. And also of how Franklin Roosevelt would have acted if he had felt significant pressure from the American Jewish community to act on behalf of the doomed.

Eliezer Schweid, a professor at Israel's Hebrew University stated that World Jewish Leadership "was afraid to ask publicly" for the Allies to bomb the death camps, believing that would turn the conflict into a "war for the Jews".

In hindsight it can be seen that pressure brought on the US government by the Bergson Group pushed the US into action and it then saved 200,000 Jews. Peter Bergson did not care about making World War II into a "war for the Jews".

Now the sin of silence seems to be repeating itself when Jews hide behind the word "political" by saying that they simply cannot get involved in politics, even though the wholesale giveaway of Israel is clearly a disregard for the borders of our Divinely-given Land. Or Jews in America who are comfortable and assimilated feel it is none of their business while enjoying their adopted homeland which has become their "New Jerusalem".

The modern-day so-called American Jewish leadership simply acts as a spokesperson for a group that includes members who at least seek the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State. Malcolm Hoenlein is the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations which includes among its members Peace Now and other likeminded groups who have done tremendous harm to the Jewish people by supporting the stripping away of Israel's Jewish identity and the giving away of our precious Land.

These groups that profess to protect the rights of Jews worldwide don't care that the Israeli Supreme Court stated in early 2005 that Ariel Sharon's Expulsion of later that year violated the Human and Civil Rights of those expelled. These groups don't care that Israel will be left with "Auschwitz borders" if it follows the "peace process" which they support. These groups don't care that the more Israel cedes her land the more Jews die.

Which only goes to prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Jews are once again their own worst enemy.

Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) is a group of people inside the Likud party who want to see Israel adopt a more Jewish character. Moshe Feiglin, its cofounder, has emphatically said he does not want a theocracy, but he does want a State based on Jewish values. The Manhigut Yehudit website address is http://www.manhigut.org. To learn more about Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and to read their plan for Israel's future, visit www.jewishisrael.org. Or contact Shmuel Sackett, International Director (516) 330-4922 (cell)

To Go To Top

Posted by Rachel Ehrenfeld, January 21, 2008.

This was written by Assemblyman Rory Lancman and it appeared on the Human Events website
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24566. Mr. Lancman is a New York State Assemblyman, a Democrat in the Twenty-Fifth District, Queens.

When we think about those fighting the war on terror, we of course first think of our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are on the front lines, risking their lives to protect our country. We also think about our local cops and firefighters and first responders. They are defending our cities, unearthing terrorist plots and rushing to the scene of attacks to save and rescue lives.

But every American has an obligation to do their part, in whatever way they can, to contribute to victory over Islamic fundamentalism. So while soldiers fight, cops protect, and even individual citizens who "see something" make sure to "say something," our journalists and authors discover and publish the truth about terrorists and their enablers the financiers, frontmen and terrorism-friendly regimes who provide the financial, logistical and political support and cover which enable the terrorists to exist, operate and strike.

The 19 men who boarded airplanes on September 11, 2001 and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field were merely the tip of a long and elaborate sword aimed at the West, a worldwide network of moneymen, coordinators, facilitators, propagandists and apologists who compose the terrorist network which delivered those 19 men to American airports.

The ability of our journalists, authors and press to expose these enablers and inform the American people, to discover and report the truth, is the most important weapon we have in the war on terror. The information they unearth informs not just the general public, but policymakers who must make choices about strategies and tactics, resources and priorities, allies and adversaries, in how best to fight this war. Without their work, we are all merely groping around in the dark.

The terrorists and their enablers know this.

That’s why American journalists and authors who relentlessly and doggedly pursue the truth about terrorism networks are being met with a barrage of libel lawsuits in kangaroo courts on phony-baloney libel charges in overseas jurisdictions who don’t share our belief in freedom of speech or a free press.

England seems to be the enablers‘ favorite forum, perhaps because since it is a Western country we might expect it to have libel laws which reflect what we Americans assume to be common Western values about freedom of speech, and to give an English libel judgment the same stamp of approval we would give an American one. In fact, America’s commitment to free speech and a free press is unique in the world. English libel law has barely evolved over the centuries. Authors are guilty until proven innocent, lack of negligence on the part of the author is irrelevant, statements of opinion are hardly more protected than statements of fact, an author=s unsuccessful effort to prove the truth of a statement can bring punitive damages and libel is even punishable as a misdemeanor crime.

New York author Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who has written extensively on terrorist financing, has experienced libel terrorism firsthand. Twenty-three copies of her book, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, were sold in England over the internet. Additionally, a chapter of her book was available for viewing on the website of an American television network. On that basis, she was sued for libel in England by a Saudi businessman whom she identified in her book as a terrorist enabler through his financial support of organizations with terrorist ties.

What’s shocking is not that an English court found against Dr. Ehrenfeld (not only was the deck stacked against her in any event but Dr. Ehrenfeld, as a matter of principle and financial inability to defend herself overseas, declined to show up for her show trial), but that New York’s courts have refused to recognize its jurisdiction over the Saudi businessman in order to hear Dr. Ehrenfeld’s suit to declare this libel judgment unenforceable in New York. Dr. Ehrenfeld lives and works in New York, her assets are in New York, and the English judgment requires her to take actions in New York to prevent her book and its assertions from ever reaching England again.

As Americans and as New Yorkers, we must to act to protect our journalists, authors and press.

Legislation which I have authored in New York with Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos will overrule New York’s highest court and give Dr. Ehrenfeld the opportunity to make her case here in the United States. It will give New Yorks journalists, authors and press the tools they need to continue to fearlessly expose the truth about terrorism and its enablers, and will ensure that New York, and America, remain a beacon of free speech and a free press. Other states will, we hope, follow New York’s lead, and Congress itself will act to protect the entire country from the scourge of libel terrorism. Contact Rachel Ehrenfeld by email at ehrenfeld@fastmail.us

To Go To Top

Posted by Bryna Berch, January 21, 2008.

As usual, Arab propaganda is very effective. If you read the MSM, you'd be sure the suffering of the Gazan Arabs is much worse than what's happening in Darfur or anywhere else in the world. A little while ago, it was water they were missing. Remember they'd destroyed their own water supply and then started yapping. Now it's electricity. They have so little electricity that they can't spare any for the civilian population. After all, this is war and they have to keep the bomb-building plants going. Even the Hamas leaders are inconvenienced. They had to use candles when conducting meetings. The meetings were held in broad daylight but the newspapers dutifully published pictures showing them with candles on the table (and the curtains closed). The shameless newspapers –– such as the Times of London –– wrote: "Darkness Falls on Gaza as Israel Takes Revenge for Rocket Attacks."

The press hasn't bothered interviewing Israeli officials –– why ruin a good story. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs factual statement is given below.

And they haven't listened to the Electric Company, which is pretty angry that their employees are constantly in danger –– they keep having to do repairs for the plants that supply Gaza with electricity. Why do they need to keep fixing power outages? Well, you see, Hamas has thanked Israel for supplying them with electricity and food and medical treatment by a continuous barrage of Qassam fire. What I don't understand is why Israel does anything at all for the Arabs, who have declared time and again that they want to destroy Israel. The Sharon-Olmert government thrust 9000 of its citizens –– ALL the Jews who lived in Gaza out of their homes –– so the Arabs could have ALL of Gaza to themselves. So what is going on here? The Arabs wage war and Israel gives them the material to do so. This is beyond weird.

The supply of electricity to Gaza from the Israel and the Egyptian power grids continues and represents about three quarters of Gaza's electricity needs.

In response to media inquiries regarding power outages in Gaza, the Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman stated Sunday evening (20 January 2008):

The supply of electricity to Gaza from the Israel and the Egyptian power grids (124 Megawatts and 17 Megawatts respectively) has continued uninterrupted. These 141 Megawatts of power represents about three quarters of Gaza's electricity needs.

While the fuel supply from Israel into Gaza has indeed been reduced, due to the Hamas rocket attacks, the diversion of this fuel from domestic power generators to other uses is wholly a Hamas decision –– apparently taken due to media and propaganda considerations.

Noteworthy is the fact that while the Gaza population remains in the dark, the fuel generating power to the Hamas rocket manufacturing industry continues to flow unabated.

The Hamas claim of humanitarian crisis in Gaza is also greatly exaggerated. There is no shortage of basic foodstuffs, and Gaza patients who need treatment in Israeli hospitals continue to travel into Israel for care.

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 21, 2008.

This was published 16 January 2008 by Yerucham Mandola, Magen David Adom (MDA) Spokesman and was entitled "Blood Relations in Sderot."

Two MDA employees in Sderot treated their grandchildren injured by Kassam missiles

Lior, 5, held by her grandfather, Chaim Ben Schimmel (Photo: MDA)

On January 15, Lior Ben Schimmel, 5, was at her neighbor's house playing with their children when the Kassam attack occurred. She was moderately injured.

In all of his 34 years of working for MDA, Chaim Ben Schimmel, who works in the MDA Sderot station, never imagined that one day he would have to treat one of the members of his family. But, unfortunately, one of the Kassams fired yesterday, moderately injured his granddaughter Lior, a wonderful 5 year old, who was playing with a neighbour's son in a room on the upper floor of their house, when a Kassam directly hit it. The two children, who are used to running to the reinforced room as soon as the "Red Colour" alert is sounded, did not manage to escape from the fragments of the Kassam which hit them whilst running for shelter.

Chaim, who was at that very time in the MDA Sderot station, reinforcing the teams there, as he usually does when the level of alert in MDA has been raised, received a phone call from his son Yaron, telling him that Lior had been injured. "I immediately got in an ambulance and drove quickly to the place; the journey which usually takes a few minutes seemed to take forever, and during the journey I feared the worst," recalls Chaim about the incident.

Chaim, who has lived in the city of Sderot for the past 56 years, since he came to live in Israel at the age of one year, has experienced tens if not hundreds of Kassam volleys, and in the last seven years alone he has treated tens of Sderot inhabitants, some of whom are his neighbours and friends, and has seen many very difficult scenes. However, all this did not prepare him for the moment, yesterday, when he met up with his beloved granddaughter, covered in blood and white dust and parts of bricks and roof tiles, with fragments of the Kassam sticking out of all parts of her body.

“I began to wash her face, to clean her up to see where she was injured. I bandaged the wounds on her legs and hands and we transferred her on the gurney to the ambulance" says Chaim who transported his granddaughter to Barzilai Hospital and has not left her bedside since. "I just cannot leave her" says Chaim. “She and all the others were saved by a miracle, they got their lives back as a present, the total destruction of the top floor which was completely destroyed, shows the force of the tremendous explosion there." Lior had tens of X-rays all over her body, eye tests, surgical, orthopedic and ear, nose and throat tests and underwent a series of operations to take out the splinters, and was put in plaster on her hand and leg to mend the breaks.

Chaim tells that he always encourages his wife, his four children and his grandchildren, saying everything will be OK, and as a founder of the city he does not see himself or any of them leaving the place. “As a founder of the city, I have explained to my family and friends that everything will be alright, and we shall continue to live here and carry on with our lives as in the past; I love my work in MDA."

Chaim recounts that Lior was having psychological treatment because of her fear of the Kassams and he continuously tried to encourage her.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time an MDA employee in Sderot has seen the evil injury of a Kassam just from the side of the one treating the injured, but also from the side of one injured. Yossi Cohen, Chaim's co-worker these past 30 years, who lives in Sderot, was two years ago called to treat his daughter, son in law and baby grandson, who was then 7 months old, who were injured by a Kassam missile, in their home on Moshav Karmiya.

The one who was the most badly injured was the baby. "Two years ago my grandson was hurt by a Kassam missile falling in Karmiya. He suffered a head injury and had to have two operations on his head to reconstruct his skull and a permanent drain was placed in his head. The moment of the injury is not the end of the story, it lasts one's whole life.

I have been living in Sderot for over 50 years, ever since I was a year and a half old in the transit camp, and I know everyone by name, even the children and their families. Every person injured in Sderot hurts me a bit, also those suffering from fear and panic attacks –– I know what they are going through. These days," adds Cohen, "are very difficult ones. However, as long as I am doing a shift I push it all to one side. I go to work, and do my job properly. MDA is my home. I believe and know, as is written in the song, that will shall see better days than these."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Eric Mahr, January 21, 2008.

This was written by Daniel Pinner, December 26, 2006.

If, like most people, you have clear views on the Arab-Israel conflict, and you are convinced that you know how to bring peace to the Middle East, then you are invited to try the following simple quiz. To see how much you really know about the subject, answer these twenty questions, then check your score.

1. As is well known, Palestine is the Holy Land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Palestine's sanctity in Islam is expressed in the fact that the Koran mentions Palestine:
a) 1,034 times;
b) 837 times;
c) 408 times;
d) 1 time;
e) never.

2. Jerusalem is the third holiest city for Islam (after Mecca and Medina). In honour of this status, the Koran refers to Jerusalem as:
a) Al-Kuds ("The Holy");
b) Al-Medina al-Kuds ("The Holy City");
c) Urusalim ("Jerusalem");
d) Al-Kibla al-Awalani ("The First Direction [of prayer]");
e) By no name, because Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran.

3. The Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is one of Islam‚s holiest shrines. To emphasize this sanctity, Moslems pray on the Temple Mount:
a) facing the Dome of the Rock;
b) in the north-west section, to face the Dome and Mecca simultaneously;
c) standing facing the Dome of the Rock, kneeling facing Mecca;
d) facing the Dome of the Rock for certain prayers, Mecca for others;
e) kneeling facing Mecca, their backsides facing the Dome of the Rock.

4. The Jewish claim to the Holy Land is that God promised it to them. Moses –– the Jewish national leader –– is quoted as saying: "O my people! Remember the bounty of God upon you ... and gave you that which had not been given to anyone before you amongst the nations. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has decreed for you." This speech of Moses is recorded in:
a) the Book of Exodus;
b) the Book of Isaiah;
c) the Talmud;
d) the Midrash;
e) the Koran (Sura 5:20-21).

5. In popular literature, historical discussions, political debates, and other forums, the Palestinians‚ standard claim is that they are:
a) the descendants of the Biblical Philistines (a tribe originating in Crete, who invaded the Holy Land in the early Biblical period);
b) the continuation of the Biblical Canaanites (a Hamatic tribe, in perpetual warfare against the Philistines);
c) the descendents of the earliest Christians (i.e. Jews);
d) an integral part of the Arab nation (a Semitic nation originating in Arabia, and entirely unconnected to the Philistines, the Canaanites, and the Jews);
e) all of the above.

6. In the period of history that Palestine was an independent country, its capital city was:
a) Jerusalem;
b) Jaffa;
c) Haifa;
d) Ramallah;
e) meaningless, because there was never in history an independent country called Palestine, so there was never a capital city.

7. The earliest mention of Palestine in history is:
a) in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Genesis, when God commanded Abraham to go to Palestine;
b) in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Joshua, when the Israelites conquered Palestine;
c) in a stone plaque dating from about 600 BC, commemorating the Babylonian conquest of Palestine;
d) in the New Testament;
e) in the year 135, after the European Roman invaders defeated the Jewish revolt, and re-named the province Palestine.

8. "There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine‚ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. 'Palestine‚' is alien to us." Who said these words?
a) Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, in a speech to the American Zionist Organisation, 1972
b) Moshe Dayan, Minister of Defence of Israel and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces, addressing the General Staff, 1968;
c) Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, in his election victory speech, 1996;
d) Abba Eban, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, in a speech in 1981;
e) Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, addressing the British Peel Commission, 1937.

9. "The 'Palestinian People' does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel." Who said this?
a) Egyptian dictator, President Gamal Abdul Nasser, addressing the Egyptian parliament, a month after the Six Day War, July 1967;
b) Jordanian King Hussein, a week before the Six Day War, May 1967;
c) Syrian dictator, President Hafez al-Assad, addressing the Arab League, 1994;
d) Iraqi dictator President Saddam Hussein, addressing the Iraqi nation in a televised speech, 2002;
e) Zahir Muhsein, executive member of the PLO, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, March 1977.

10. On the eve of Israel's independence in May 1948, approximately 600,000 Arabs lived in the areas that would soon become the State of Israel. When the War of Independence was over (March 1949), 150,000 Arabs were still there. This is why the UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) officially recognized that the number of Arab refugees was:
a) 450,000;
b) 600,000;
c) 850,000;
d) 1,000,000;
e) 1,300,000.

11. In June 1982, the Israel Defence Forces entered south Lebanon to fight against the PLO, which had invaded Lebanon in 1975. The total population in southern Lebanon was about 400,000, of whom vast numbers 'perhaps as many as 10%' fled northwards to escape the fighting. UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) officially estimated the number of refugees as:
a) 40,000;
b) 80,000;
c) 120,000;
d) 250,000;
e) 600,000.

12. The Palestine National Covenant (the constitution of the PLO) states that "Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit" (Article 2). 77% of this indivisible territorial unit is today:
a) the State of Israel, and the remaining 23% is Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") and Gaza;
b) Israel (including Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, i.e. the "occupied territories"), and the remaining 23% are the border areas of various neighbouring Arab states;
c) Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (the "occupied territories"), and the remaining 23% is divided between Israel and Jordan;
d) Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and the remaining 23% has been annexed to the State of Israel;
e) The Kingdom of Jordan, and the remaining 23% is Israel (including Judea, Samaria, and Gaza).

13. As its name suggests, the raison d‚etre of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) is to liberate Palestine. Accordingly, the PLO has fought to establish its independent state in:
a) the whole of Israel, starting with Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (the "occupied territories");
b) sovereign Israel alone, rejecting any claim to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (prior to the Six Day War);
c) Jordan (in the late 1960s and early 1970s)
d) Lebanon (from the mid-1970s until 1982);
e) All of the above.

14. The PLO‚s purpose, as they and their supporters make clear, is to liberate the "occupied territories" which Israel captured in the Six Day War (5th-10th June 1967). This claim is proven by the historical fact that the PLO was founded:
a) in Ramallah, the biggest city in the West Bank, a month after the Six Day War;
b) in Gaza City, which has traditionally been a centre of Palestinian nationalism, on the first anniversary of the Six Day War;
c) as a response to the establishment of the first Israeli settlement in Hebron in 1969;
d) on the 10th anniversary of the Six Day War, in June 1977, in Hebron;
e) 3 years before the Six Day War, on 1st January 1964, in Cairo (the capital of Egypt).

15. In the 25-year period 1950-1974, the Arab countries (including Iran) donated a total of $26,476,750 in aid to Palestinian refugees, representing 0.04% (i.e. $1 out of every $2,500) of their combined oil revenue for 1974 alone. The only country in the entire Middle East which gave no aid at all to Palestinian refugees was:
a) Israel;
b) Iran;
c) Libya;
d) Jordan;
e) Algeria.

16. Israel has often been accused of "ethnic cleansing" of the Arabs in the "occupied territories". The demography bears this out, because the Arab population of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza has:
a) plummeted from 6,500,000 in 1967 to 3,000,000 in 2006;
b) plummeted from an estimated 5,000,000 in 1967 to less than 2,000,000 in 2006;
c) remained steady at 3,000,000, despite huge natural growth in the rest of the world;
d) increased at one tenth of the pace of natural population growth;
e) increased from about 750,000 in 1967 to an estimated 3,500,000 in 2006, a population growth of nearly 500% in less than 40 years, which is one of the highest rates of increase anywhere in the world.

17. Israel has also been accused of "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs who are citizens of the state, and deliberately enforcing policies designed to keep the Arab population small. This, too, is shown by the demography, in that the Israeli Arab population has:
a) dropped from slightly over 1,000,000 (40% of the overall population) in 1948 to 750,000 (20% of the population) in 2006;
b) remained at a steady 1,000,000 from 1948 to 2006, while the overall population has increased seven-fold;
c) increased from 500,000 in 1948 to 1,000,000 in 2006, representing a drop from 35% of the overall population to just 12% in 58 years;
d) decreased steadily by 2% per year from 1948 onwards;
e) increased from 150,000 (15% of the overall population) in 1948 to about 1,400,000 (22% of the overall population) in 2006.

18. As of 2007, there are five universities (the Islamic University of Hebron; Bir Zeit University; Bethlehem University; Al-Najah University in Shechem [Nablus]; and Al-Ahzar in Gaza), and five religious higher education academies, throughout the "occupied territories". These institutes are:
a) all that remain of 25 institutes of higher education, the others having been destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces;
b) some of the oldest in the Arab world, with the Islamic University of Hebron having been founded under the original Caliphate in the 8th century;
c) forced to operate secretly, because the Israeli authorities have banned them;
d) barely tolerated by the Israeli authorities;
e) all founded since the Israeli "occupation" of 1967, under Israeli auspices, the oldest one being the Islamic University of Hebron, founded in 1971.

19. Since the Israeli "occupation" of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in 1967, nine Palestinians have been sentenced to death by the courts and judicially executed. All of them, without exception, were executed:
a) by the Israeli military occupation authorities;
b) by the Israeli Army after military courts-martial;
c) by the Israeli civil administration, following criminal trials in civilian courts;
d) by Israeli civilian courts, acting under special emergency regulations;
e) since September 1993 by the Palestinian Authority, in the autonomous zones, because Israel, alone in the Middle East, does not use the death penalty.

20. In early October 2005, an estimated 650 people charged the security fence/separation barrier, and an estimated 350 succeeded in crossing it. Security forces responded with bayonets, shotguns, and rubber bullets, killing between ten and fifteen people. This incident was given minimal media attention, and has been entirely forgotten, because:
a) the world media is biased in Israel's favour;
b) a dozen Palestinians killed is so commonplace, it is not even newsworthy;
c) the Israeli authorities imposed a media blackout;
d) Jewish settlers intimidated the journalists and photographers into silence;
e) the incident occurred along the security fence in Morocco, separating sovereign Morocco from the Spanish Sahara, and the security forces in question were Spanish.


Every a) is worth 1 point; every b) is worth 2 points; every c) is worth 3 points; every d) is worth 4 points; every e) is worth 5 points.

Now add up your score. If your score is 20, then you answered a) to every question. You are politically correct, and base your ideas of the Middle East on standard anti-Israel and pro-Arab propaganda lies, rather than on the truth. Since you cannot think for yourself, are more concerned with Israel-bashing than truth, and swallow every cheap slogan peddled, you are ideally suited to become a European career diplomat accredited to the Middle East or a BBC or CNN reporter.

If your score is between 21 and 99, then you might have a slightly more open mind than others, and you might know slightly more than the average media report contains. You might be interested in studying more on the subject.

If your score is 100, then you answered e) to every question. You answered every question correctly, have a good, solid knowledge of the issues involved, and are uninfluenced by official propaganda. Be careful: independent and honest thought might make you a target of Islamic terrorists and their left-wing cohorts.

If your score is below 20 or above 100, this means that you cannot even count properly. You are perfectly suited to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.

This was distributed by Eric Mahr –– ericmahr@yahoogroups.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Noam Bedein, January 21, 2008.

"Over 250,000 Israelis now live under the threat of the kassam missiles" –– Head of Israeli Military Intelligence to the Israel Knesset Parliament Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, Jan.1st, 2008

Since the first day of January until today, January 20th, over 430 Kassam missiles and mortars were launched towards Sderot, the Western Negev and Ashkelon, according to the IDF spokesman.

In 2007, over 2300 missiles and mortars were launched towards Israel from Gaza.

How many thousands of kassam missiles will be launched in the year 2008 towards Israel?

Living through 200 rockets in the past few days launched towards Sderot...Hearing the screeching siren –– "Red Color –– Tseva Adom' every time a rocket is launched... Running for cover in the 15 seconds left... Hearing the whistle, and a few seconds later an enormous explosion...And listening to that laconic newscast on the Voice of Israel ..."No Damage, No Injuries, a few were treated for shock"... this is Sderot reality.

Watching a 5 year old boy who was crying after he saw his mother blown away from the explosion of a kassam that hit directly into his play room, where he was playing on his computer with his 5 year old neighbor... Witnessing both boys evacuated to the ambulance, both shivering with shock...this is Sderot reality.

190,000 are under the threat of these missiles today, including Ashkelon, Netivot and 20 Kibbutzim and Moshavim.45,000 Israelis are daily bombarded by these missiles.

Officially 20,000 residents, of a normal population of close to 24,000, are left in Sderot, although there are those who say that it is probably less than 17,000 residents.

Each and every resident has experienced an explosion of a rocket/missile in the past few years... this is Sderot reality.

The feeling of helplessness once the siren goes off, seeing young soldiers who were sent to ‘protect' Sderot running and covering the heads with their hands, their weapons useless...Feeling that my only weapon is my video-camera to try and document this weird reality so that some one would be willing to watch and listen... this is Sderot reality.

Driving around Sderot, with no seat-belt because the seconds spent unfastening it might cost me my life... hearing the siren go off, jumping out of the car and running for cover to the closest bus stop shelter, while holding the hands of a grandmother and her grandchild, until we reach the bus stop, which is already crowded with parents and their children on their way to school...this is Sderot reality.

Trying not to panic in front of the children, thinking to myself that a direct hit on this bus stop would be a death trap since only 2 months ago there was an investigative report showing bus stops/bomb shelters are not qualified as bomb shelters since they are built with only 20 centimeters thickness of cement, when the requirement is 40 centimeters to withstand a direct hit. And now there are 52 lethal bus stop shelters like these scattered around the town where dozens of people take cover from the missiles...this is Sderot reality

10 missiles exploded in Sderot on Thursday morning, while children were on their way to school and kindergarten. My younger sister Liora, who moved to Sderot to work with the children, described their panic. As they ran to the shelter she grabbed three young children and escorted them to the safe room and started to sing out loud so they wouldn't hear the missile exploding near by... That safe room contained over 25 children. This was their only activity room where in the past few days they have been spending their playtime...For safety, they are not allowed to play outside. This is Sderot reality.

Hearing from families I know, as they all sleep together with parents and children in one bed, with the fear of the siren going off and no shelter to run to, since 752 homes in Sderot have no shelter or safe room... this is Sderot reality.

This past Friday. the 18th of January, there was a memorial in Sderot's cemetery, for Ella Abukasis, who was murdered when she was only 17, three years ago, by a direct hit from a kassam rocket that hit her as she huddled over her younger brother, who was 11 years old at the time... this is Sderot reality.

Will there be any ending to this terrorism of missiles being launched towards civilian neighborhoods?

How can Israel defend its own citizens, with out being condemned, when 97 percent of the targets of Gazan missiles hit our civilian population, while the Gazans fire their missiles from behind the human shields of their own civilian population?

What about the hundreds of tunnels dug beneath the "Philadelphi corridor" in which Egypt routinely delivers ammunition, army equipment, terrorists and cash to Gaza ?

When will Israel hold Egypt and these Palestinian terror leaders personally responsible for the suffering of the people of Sderot?

When will Sderot reality change?

Noam Bedein is CEO, Sderot and Western Negev Regional News Service, Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev Ltd. Contact him at media@actcom.co.il or visit www.SederotMedia.org

To Go To Top

Posted by Aaron Lerner, January 21, 2008.

This is by Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, and it appeared today in Haaretz

John Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Second Lebanon War, rejects Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's version of he launched a failed ground offensive during the war's final days.

"The Israeli military operation did not play a role in the talks on drafting UN Security Council Resolution 1701," which ended the war, Bolton told Haaretz Sunday. He was in Israel to attend the Herzliya Conference.

Bolton, who has warned in the past about the possibility of nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria, also said that both the United States and Israel owe their citizens a full report on what kind of facility Israel bombed in Syria last September. Media reports have identified the target as a nuclear facility.

Bolton was Washington's point man for the negotiations over 1701. He told Haaretz that on August 5, 2006, six days before the Security Council approved the resolution, he and his French colleague, who was unofficially representing Lebanon's interests, had agreed on the wording. But the Arab League objected, "so we had to make changes to obtain the Lebanese government's support and make the Arabs happy. We also understood that we had to prevent a Russian-Chinese veto in the Security Council."

However, the former ambassador said, the main reason for America's retreat from its initial position was U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who "changed her mind fundamentally" after an Israeli aerial assault killed 28 civilians in Kana on July 30. "Rice exerted enormous pressure on me to reach an agreement already," he said. "Until Kana, the U.S. wasn't interested in another typical Middle Eastern cease-fire. We thought we would exploit the fighting to fundamentally change the situation, especially in Lebanon and Syria. But under the influence of her shock over Kana, the secretary of state changed her mind and only wanted an immediate end to the fire. That was the policy Rice dictated."

After the war, Olmert claimed that he launched the 11th-hour ground operation, in which 33 soldiers were killed, because the draft UN resolution that Israel received on August 11 was detrimental to its interests. The operation, he added, improved the resolution.

Bolton, however, rejected both assertions.

First, he said, the resolution's text was no surprise to Israel, since he had kept Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Gillerman, fully briefed. "Nothing dramatic occurred in the negotiations in the last 48 hours [before August 11]," he said. "The retreat in the wording, to Israel's detriment, had been going on for almost a week... There was no sudden descent into the abyss."

Bolton also denied that the ground operation affected the outcome of his talks with French Ambassador to the UN Jean-Marc de la Sabliere. "Our talks were not affected by anything that happened on the outside," he said. "I paid no attention to what was happening on the ground in Lebanon or to talks via other channels... Moves on the ground did not influence the resolution; nor did Israel's threat of a ground operation. After all, the Israel Defense Forces were already in south Lebanon."

Bolton said that he spoke with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on August 11, a few hours before the Security Council vote on the resolution, so he knew Siniora would accept it. There was good reason to believe that Hezbollah would as well, based on the organization's contacts with the Arab League via Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri.

Sabliere's version tallied with Bolton's, except in one particular: Bolton said they held their negotiations at France's UN embassy rather than UN headquarters to escape the media; Sabliere said it was because the embassy had better coffee.

Bolton is not very proud of his final product. "Resolution 1701 wasn't as good as the first draft, and even it hasn't been fully implemented just like previous resolutions that sought to impose order in Lebanon and reduce Syria's influence on its neighbor," he said. "Hezbollah hasn't been disarmed. The Lebanese army does not control the entire country. UNIFIL [the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] was not expanded sufficiently."

In his view, "Hezbollah still constitutes as big a threat to Israel as in the past, and the threat it poses to the Lebanese government has only grown since the war."

Was this an Israeli failure? "The problem was the disconnect between the goals you set and the military operation," he said. "Hezbollah survived, and could portray itself as the victor. You should have said from the start that the goal was to exact a price for the soldiers' abduction."

Bolton supports Israel's attack on the alleged Syrian nuclear facility last September, but does not understand the subsequent silence. "I understand that you want the intelligence possessed by Israel and the U.S., as well as how the bombing was carried out, kept secret," he said. "But it's unacceptable that both governments are refusing to tell their people what happened here."

Bolton, who previously served as America's under secretary of state for arms control, has seen satellite pictures of the site, but warned, "We don't know enough about what is happening there." The Syrians, he added, could be trying to get rid of evidence, "which is what Iran does all the time."

He is not convinced by the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, which claims that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program. "Iran is still on the path to obtaining nuclear capability," he said. "It's clear that now, President George Bush can't do anything on this matter before the end of his term in another year. Israel must now weigh its own options, especially following the arrival of nuclear fuel rods from Russia for the Bushehr reactor. In this sense, your assault on Syria was very important. It underscored Israel's capabilities –– and thereby gave the Iranians a chance to retreat from their program."

While Bolton offers no advice on what Israel should do, the title of his new book amply expresses his views: "Surrender is not an option."

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il or write him at imra@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Eugene Narrett, January 21, 2008.

Two essays below:

The first is by Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director of International Christian Zionist Center

The second is by Simon Deng, a native of the Shiluk Kingdom in southern Sudan, is an escaped jihad slave and a leading human rights activist. It is called "Disappearance of Bishop Tutu" and it appeared in Jewish Advocate November 16, 2007.

For More Information, Contact Us At (617)428-0012 or visit www.DavidProject.Org

If there is one nation that has known slavery, degradation, dhimmitude and racism it is the Jewish people. Their epic is based on being liberated by God from slavery in Egypt and in modern times from the raw and cruel anti-Semitism and unbelievable degradation by the Nazis in Europe. It is therefore evil to accuse the Jewish people –– now back in their own promised homeland –– of apartheid and racism, as Israel's enemies maliciously try repeatedly to do. Our great Rabbi once said: "With the measure you measure you will be measured and with the judgment you judge you will be judged." The hypocrisy of the Muslim Arabs and their cohorts in leveling these false charges against the people of Israel is horrendous.

If there is one nation (or 'umah' as the Islamic nation is called), which to this day considers itself superior to all other religions and people, it is the nation of ISLAM. In the countries comprising this umah, women are enslaved as the property of their husbands and, in some of them, even slavery is practiced and allowed. When this is documented by courageous politicians, filmmakers or journalists, they can end up brutally killed, as was the Dutch filmmaker Van Gogh who sought to expose the plight of many Muslim women. He was simply murdered, stabbed with Koran verses on his chest in front of his house.

Neither Christians nor Jews can freely worship in Saudi Arabia; they cannot bring their Bibles or prayer books with them when they enter that country. While Muslims may freely build their mosques all over the world, Christians cannot build their churches in this land where Islam was born. Christians cannot visit Mecca or Medina, whereas Muslims can and do visit St Paul's Cathedral in London, St Peter's church in Rome and other Christian and Jewish places.

This master race –– the Muslims –– believe they can wage jihad and terror, and impose boycotts, whenever and wherever it suits them: When the Pope makes a remark about the inherent violent character of ISLAM, or when Danish journalists publish cartoons about Mohammed, Muslims erupt in violence the world over, proving this very point.

They are the Umah, the Master Race, ready and prepared to force the whole world into submission, literally by hook or by crook –– by persuasion first and, if necessary, by violence, jihad and terror.

And now they tell the world that it is little Israel which is the racist, dangerous apartheid state, and their shallow-minded Western friends parrot this with them! Israel, which was born out of racism and slavery; Israel, where black, brown, yellow and white are equally accepted and can live together in equality; Israel, which gives citizenship to its often disloyal Arabs, allowing them to speak and demonstrate in favor for Israel's sworn enemies, and despite this giving them permission to organize themselves in political parties that are often hostile to Israel, so obtaining seats in Israel's Parliament and even Cabinet? Who has heard of such magnanimity among the nations?

And so, the Umah of ISLAM goes on conquering in the name of ISLAM, first and foremost the hated and despised Israel, and then eventually the whole world, where those who refuse to become Muslims, can live as dhimmies under the masters of ISLAM!

Recently a White House correspondent explained that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice basically sees the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as comparable to the historic struggle of Blacks against the dominion of Whites. Should Barak Obama be made president of the United States, he may in essence bring this same misunderstanding from the State Department to the White House, given the close connection that already exists between his mentor and the pastor of his Trinity Church of Christ, and louis Farrakhan. It is therefore essential that the above mentioned facts are understood and widely publicized.

Added to this are the amazingly true words which Simon Deng writes in The Jewish Advocate:

Late last month, I went to hear Bishop Desmond Tutu speak at Boston's Old South Church at a conference on "Israel Apartheid." Tutu is a well respected man of God. He brought reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa. That he would lead a conference that damns the Jewish state is very disturbing to me.

The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools, and get the best medical care in the world. I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here. None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu's South Africa.

I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders. Bishop Tutu, I see black Jews walking down the street here in Jerusalem. Black like us, free and proud.

Tutu said Israeli checkpoints are a nightmare. But checkpoints are there because Palestinians are sent into Israel to blow up and kill innocent women and children. Tutu wants checkpoints removed. Do you not have doors in your home, Bishop? Does that make your house an apartheid house? If someone, Heaven forbid, tried to enter with a bomb, we would want you to have security people "humiliating" your guests with searches, and we would not call you racist for doing so. We all go through checkpoints at every airport. Are the airlines being racist? No.

Yes, the Palestinians are inconvenienced at checkpoints. But why, Bishop Tutu, do you care more about that inconvenience than about Jewish lives?

Bishop, when you used to dance for Mandela's freedom, we Africans all over Africa joined in. Our support was key in your freedom. But when children in Burundi and Kinshasa, all the way to Liberia and Sierra Leone, and in particular in Sudan, cried and called for rescue, you heard but chose to be silent.

Today, black children are enslaved in Sudan, the last place in the continent of Africa where humans are owned by other humans. I was part of the movement to stop slavery in Mauritania, which just now abolished the practice. But you were not with us, Bishop Tutu.

So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom? Slaughter and genocide and slavery are lashing Africans right now. Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu? You are busy attacking the Jewish state. Why?

Professor Eugene Narrett is the author of hundreds of articles, columns and reviews on politics, American culture and the arts. He writes often on subjects relating to Israel and Judaism. His new book is WW III: the War on the Jews and the Rise of the World Security State, (www.lightcatcherbooks.com 2008). Contact him by email at culturtalk@aol.com and visit his website at www.israelendtimes.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Batya Medad, January 21, 2008.
The Jerusalem Post, obviously to generate more Internet traffic, has a section called "Hot Potato." They throw out a quotation and ask readers to respond.

This morning they had this up:

'If Israel truly didn't care about moral codes, it would level Lebanon, Gaza, and W. Bank'

Here's my reply:

The only "moral code" a country should care about is the one which demands protecting its own citizens. By caring more about the enemy's, Israel is totally immoral!!!

Before seeing it, I had planned on blogging a post I was going to call: "Give 'em an Oscar!"

That's because of the unbelievably over-acted, melodramatic newscast about the Israeli blockade on Gaza. The Arabic-accented IBA reporter was part of the show. He was hysterically shouting as he "reported" that the Gazan announcer had "burst into tears" as he told the public that their electricity was down due to the cruel Israelis. Then he showed an enthusiastic children's demonstration against Israel, where the children burned replicas of American flags and put out the flames with their feet.

This picture of the kids marching with candles wasn't shown in the clip I saw. I guess the Jerusalem Post doesn't want to show the anti-Americanism of the Gazan Arab terrorists. The children's candle march is so much more "peaceful" and "sympathetic."

The truth is that there is no "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza. It's no more real than James Bond or ET. The "crisis" is a PR lie manufactured by those who want to damage Israel's reputation.

If we would use a screenwriter like theirs, maybe Tzvi Fishman should go back to his profession, we would get the world support we deserve.

Sderot Victim of Rocket Attack

If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, the world would know how much of Sderot has been destroyed by Arab rockets from Gaza.

If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, pictures of Israelis injured by Gazan rockets would be flashed all over the world.

If we had a government which cared first about its own citizens, pictures of the damage by Gazan rockets would be broadcast for all the world to see.

Obviously, there's something insidiously perverse in the priorities of the Israeli politicians, media, judicial etc. They care more about the enemy than they care about Israel. And they call this "morality!"

Palestinian rocket lands on Israeli bed

It's sick and it's dangerous. There's nothing moral about protecting one's enemies.

There is only one way to have peace, and that's to destroy, defeat your enemy!

That is what we learn from the Bible, the true source of morality

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Judy Lash Balint, January 21, 2008.

The Palestine Authority propaganda machine has the world believing that wicked little Israel has cut off fuel to Gaza and that the poor peace-loving Gazans are shivering through the current cold snap by candlelight.

Yesterday an Israeli military official rejected claims that Gazans were suffering from a power shortage.

"Even today, Israel is behind 70% of the power supply to Gaza, and therefore any claim to the effect that there are electricity problems in Gaza is unfounded," he stated. "These are media spins by interested parties. We did not cut back on electricity and don't intend to do so at this point.

"The Palestinians are in fact the ones who shut down power for several hours a day in a bid to create a crisis. At the moment, their fuel supply has not yet run out. If there is shortage of fuel oil at the power plants, they should ask themselves what happened to the supply they received."

Meanwhile, back in the real world, you probably didn't read anywhere that several Israelis died of hypothermia last week –– one of them in Holon-that's not too far from the beaches of Tel Aviv.

With the ongoing and unusual cold snap of a Jerusalem winter, distinct cultural differences emerge among residents of the Holy City. Those from the former Soviet Union stroll about oblivious to the cold, wrapped in the bulky coats, fur lined hats and heavy boots they brought with them from the old country. In contrast, the slight, frail figures of recently arrived Ethiopians stand shivering at the bus stops, vainly trying to escape the cold wind by wrapping their white shawls tighter around their shoulders.

Israel's Defense Forces don't seem to take the winter very seriously. On a recent rare cold and rainy Sunday morning at the North Tel Aviv bus station, I waited for the bus back to Yerushalayim under a dripping shelter, together with platoons of soldiers returning from their Shabbat respite. Only two or three of the youngsters were wearing regulation army jackets –– the others were standing around in their regular shirtsleeves as the rain transformed their uniforms from khaki to dark green with each passing minute.

Americans here dress appropriately enough for the weather, but complain about the heating in their apartments. Long discussions ensue on the English-speaking immigrants Internet newslist about how to keep warm. The basic problem is that since the wintry season is relatively short, and the summer heat so intense, buildings here are constructed with summer comfort in mind. Stone floors are the norm. Minimal insulation and windows meant for opening wide, create drafty conditions in most apartments.

Almost every building has a Vaad Bayit –– a house committee, whose job it is to determine at what hours of the day the heat will be turned on. Each apartment owner or renter pays a monthly fee to the Vaad for heat and usually for general upkeep of the communal stairwell and garden. In my building of 6 units, the Vaad Bayit has sky-rocketed to 750 shekel per month in the winter months, thanks to the hike in oil prices. At my place, the powers that be have determined that we don't need heat during the day until 5pm. Then the radiators are on full blast until about 10 p.m, so electric space heaters are de rigueur for those who like to get out of bed in the morning without donning multiple layers of clothing.

Hot water conditions vary from apartment to apartment. I'm lucky –– my hot water is linked to the boiler which heats the radiators. So (a) you're guaranteed plenty of hot water at night and first thing in the morning since the water, unlike the radiators, stays warm all night; and (b) there's no extra bill for electricity to heat the water. In the summer we switch to the solar water heater –– another freebie that provides constant hot water.

Some of my fellow immigrants are not so fortunate –– they either have to pay the electricity bill for their hot water if the tank isn't linked to the heating system, or they don't have any central heating and make do with plug-in electric radiators, an expensive and unwieldy proposition.

But unlike winter weather in the States, Jerusalem winter days don't seem gray and endless. There's the sweet sight and smell of citrus trees laden with bright yellow and orange fruit to chase away the blues. And while we might have a day or two of cold winds and heavy rain, the next few days will be bright and sunny. In the park over Shabbat, kids were playing without coats under blue skies, and many of the sidewalk cafes leave their tables stacked up outside ready to pull out as soon as the sun emerges.

This year we're waiting with less and less patience for the clouds to form and the rain to fall. Israel is facing severe drought conditions as the Kinneret, our main reservoir, falls below the red danger line with each passing dry day. Bring on the real winter!

Judy Lash Balint is an award-winner investigative journalist and author of "Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times" (Gefen). Her latest book Jerusalem Diaries II. What's Really Happening in Israel" (Xulon Press) is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and bookstores.

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 21, 2008.


Bush told the Israelis that he trusts PM Olmert, who plans for the future. Bush is the same one who said he trusts Putin. He sure was wrong about Putin, who has been developing anti-American policy that favors certain aggression and jihad.

He also is wrong about Olmert. Olmert is about to be rebuked by his own commission for not having planned the Lebanon war beyond a couple of days. Nor is he known for handling any other national problems. He constantly lied to his own people about that war, among other things. Like Putin, his policy favors certain aggression and jihad. Since that jihad is by the Palestinian Arabs, which Bush also favors, he doesn't mean it to be anti-American, though it has the effect of being so. What Bush really means is that Olmert, consistent with what he can get away with, is reliably compliant with what Bush demands.

When, following the popular misconception,Bush calls Israel democratic, while his Embassy demands that Israel repress demonstrators against Bush, is Bush stupid? I think he is clever in the short run and stupid in the long run. He is clever about getting Israel overrun, but stupid to let his bias deprive the US of that otherwise strong ally and of a victory against jihad.


Some of my Bush-hating friends follow the popular misconception of blaming jihad on Bush. They contend that he united the Muslims against the US. More than once I have pointed out to them that for years, the jihadists were attacking us and radicalizing fellow Muslims, i.e., taunting them to uphold the Islam that they profess to. Clinton failed to respond. Therefore, they were able to build momentum. Bush checked them. When he overthrew Saddam, many of them withdrew from the fray in fear. Then, between (1) the appeasement-minded officials and subversives in the State Dept. and the Democrats and media; and (2) Bush's failure to restore the ranks of the US Army that Clinton depleted, Bush dropped his offensive. Reassured, the jihadists renewed their struggle.

Despite my explanation, my friends continue to repeat the same misconception. They are unable to absorb facts that disprove their theory. What happened to their intelligence? Emotion repressed it.

IDF REDUCED COUNTER-TERRORISM DURING BUSH VISIT Not wanting to be thought insulting to Bush, the IDF avoided

escalation during his visit. I think they should assert that people should not criticize Israel for fighting against terrorism that they don't criticize the Muslims for starting and escalating. Israel should assert its independence from the US.


Abbas proposed Nablus to be an example of how his retrained security forces could restore security and not need IDF intervention to do so. The State Dept. touts his declared success as an indicator that his people are ready for (an undeserved and unjust) statehood.

The alleged success was just in reducing crime (and perhaps not permanently). In other cities, where Fatah is not under the spotlight, its gangs still extort from business. (And then people wonder why the P.A. economy falters and why its residents voted Fatah out.) In Nablus, dozens of Fatah members remain independent; the rest joined the police forces. Terrorism against Israel, however, continues by Fatah, whether in or out of the official police forces. So it is that the IDF has to continue raiding Nablus to arrest active terrorists, confiscate weapons caches, and destroy a weapons factory (IMRA, 1/6).

The State Dept. remains so dedicated to making Israel a failure that it declares the Nablus experiment a success.


A NY Times editorial exclaimed that Israel hasn't sufficiently curbed settlements and the P.A. has not "done enough" to end terrorism. The editors juxtapose those two requirements of the Road Map as if equal and parallel, but it put the Israeli one first, its way of emphasizing something negative about Israel (1/12). That's a pretended balance and yet an imbalance by position. The P.A. pledged in 1993 to end terrorism, but has done nothing to end it and everything to boost it. That is war, even genocide. Never doing anything but promoting it is not merely "not doing enough," a euphemism reflecting pro-Muslim bias. That bias coddles terrorism. It reveals the insincerity of the demand, as if balanced, that Israel curb settlements. Settlements merely are a diplomatic issue. Should Israel in the name of peace agreements that the enemy has been violating for 14 years give it territory? What is the Road Map but the State Dept. version of Israeli surrender? The problem is that the State Dept. hasn't done enough to curb Palestinian Arab terrorism. It finances, arms, trains, and advocates for it.

I don't think Israel should give the enemy territory even if the enemy really wanted peace. That territory belongs to the Jewish people. The enemy already has 79% of the former Palestine Mandate, not counting the Territories. What does the Times mean, the Arabs' won't "compromise?" Having 79% of Palestine, demanding another 4%, and having charters calling for the take-over of the rest, called Israel, the jihadists never compromised. They have been moving steadily towards complete absorption of the Mandate. The Jews compromised before, and should not have to continue to yield to a recalcitrant enemy.


Israeli leaders do not plan ahead. They just try to head off immediate criticism. That is their notion of public relations.

They did it again with Gaza. They sought a way to prevent terrorism from Gaza without having to invade it. Some people pointed out the absurdity of Israel letting supplies into Gaza that Hamas uses to commit terrorism against Israel. Another moral offense is to supply a territory making war on Israel. That is not Israel's obligation.

The government adopted the proposal for a partial cut-off. That way, Hamas would be responsible for how it distributes the goods and services. The regime did not think this through.

The Arabs complained about hardships, without blaming Hamas. The usual pro-Arab groups in Israel that defend the Muslim jihadists rather than Israeli civilians went to court. The Supreme Court, that usually favors the Muslims over Israeli national security, and that rules according to that ideology rather than according to law, agreed with the petition. Israel restored shipments. Now Israel is embarrassed, being shown as ineffective.

The government should have analyzed whether it could maintain its partial cut-off and foreseen the eventual result (IMRA, 1/11).

Whatever the Jewish state does, critics will condemn. That is because the particular issue is not what they really object to. They object to anything that defends the Jewish people. A sensible and patriotic Israeli government would explain its legitimate defense to the world and then, regardless of how the explanation is received, defend itself properly. That means finding a swift solution, not meek measures that allow the conflict to run on and casualties to mount. A strong blow would incur no more criticism than a series of weak blows.


Three people, including Jeff Daube (whom I know) from the Zionist Organization of America, distributed pamphlets about Fatah's terrrorist record to visiting US officials in Jerusalem. Police arrested them. Police said the material was seditious. Actually, the material was just a compilation of the Abbas and Fatah record of terrorism, nothing about Israel, and therefore nothing seditious. After an hour, the police released them without charges, questions, or explanation. It was arbitrary. Mr. Daube said he would have expected such oppression of freedom of assembly in certain other countries, not Israel (IMRA, 1/11). Obviously the purpose was to keep their message silent.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Phyllis Chesler, January 20, 2008.

Exactly Who are the Barbarians? Female Genital Mutilation as Pictured in the West

The Grey Lady [New York Times] editors just slipped it right in there –– the magazine spread was so big (eight pages,with eight huge color photos), and so unbelievable, that I actually missed it. I am talking about the Sunday New York Times magazine article about female genital mutilation in Indonesia.

Not until Dr. Andrew Bostom called it to my attention, did I stop, look, and let the headline sink in: "A Cutting Tradition." I probably thought it was a rather long article about a recipe –– not for a lifetime of agony, but for another way to cut and prepare a meal. Something Asian, maybe Fusion. The women's faces were Asian faces.

But, the article is essentially a National Geographic-style photo essay subtitled: "Inside a female circumcision ceremony for young Muslim girls." The photos are by Stephanie Sinclair, the brief text is by Sara Corbett.

What is a human rights atrocity with life-long and life-threatening consequences is here being presented as a "tradition," often a harmless one, sometimes not, but always a well-intentioned one.

According to the article, there is "little blood involved" –– well, how bad can that be? And, "antiseptic is used" –– well, this is not dangerous at all, is it? Finally, afterwards, the child is given a "celebratory gift" –– what, am I the kind of westerner who, Grinch-style, would deny the child her gift in order to make my twisted, "racist" argument? As the article states, the child clutching (or drinking) her gift "has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia."

These photographs were taken in 2006 on a day where 200 girls were genitally mutilated. In honor of the "prophet Mohammed's birthday," the Assalaam Foundation subsidized both the mutilation –– and the "gift." According to the Foundation's chairman of social services, the cutting/mutilation will "stabilize her libido;" "make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband"; and "will balance her psychology."

Ninety six percent of all Indonesian families have sliced their daughters' clitorises right off.

No orgasms for you, you naughty, wicked hussy of a child.

In the article, an Italian physician who is also a World Health Organization official states: "To judge them (the female mutilators) "harsly is to isolate them. You cannot make change that way. These mothers believe they are doing something good for their children."

The Indonesian "cutting" is presented as less severe, less "extreme" than African versions. Oh yeah? Then why does one photo show us a child in extraordinary pain. Yes, right there in the New York Times. The caption is: "A girl cries as she is circumcized." Well, its like being vaccinated, right? And there is a second photo of a highly anxious child just before the mutilation. This one is captioned: "A girl is soothed by an attendant before her circumcision."

The photographer has captured a live human rights atrocity in progress and we are seeing it in color with our morning coffee and croissants. Or bagels. Or muffins. Whatever.

Who exactly are the barbarians here? Those who genitally mutilate their daughters or those who deem the atrocity as something of a soft core "tradition" to be "enjoyed" at Sunday brunch?

And why has no one commented upon the fact that it is only women who perform such mutilations? The psychological trauma of undergoing such a painful procedure, (albeit with very different consequences), among both male and female children and adolesecents, is unbelievable. How can a girl ever trust an older woman again? (Actually, she can't).

I will let Dr. Bostom, who is a physician and the author of the forthcoming book, The Legacy of Islamic AntiSemitism (a daunting, compelling, and indispensable book), have the last words. He has written a passionate article titled "Clitoral Relativism –– Female Genital Mutilation in 'Tolerant' Islamic Indonesia." Quoting from the British Medical Journal on the subject, he reminds us that:

"Female genital mutilation, also misleadingly known as female circumcision, is usually performed on girls ranging in age from 1 week to puberty. Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition [urination] and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth."

He notes that FGM is illegal in the United States. He views the above article as "misleading."

Read Dr. Bostom here.

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 s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at

To Go To Top

Posted by Naomi Ragen, January 20, 2008.


Picture this: the electric plant which supplies 70% of electricity to the Palestinians in Gaza is in Ashkelon. The Palestinians in Gaza have been shooting kassam rockets at the plant ever since the "disengagement" i.e. the abandonment of Gush Katif. Now, Palestinians are crying that they don't have enough electricity. They are complaining about Israeli sanctions against them. They are going to the U.N.

The truth is, Israel has not stopped supplying electricity to Gaza. Not only that, but Israeli electric company employees are risking their lives to do so.

Mickey Tsarfati, head of the union of electrical workers, was quoted in YNet: "It is unbelievable chutzpah for them to complain. We have not stopped supplying them with electricity for a minute. And they have not stopped logging bombs at us for a minute." Many of the workers who fix the lines to Gaza daily are residents of Sderot. It has happened more than once that bombs fell next to their homes as they were fixing the lines to supply electricity to the bombers.

Now the U.N. and the Quartet, and the Arab League are all getting demands to stop Israeli "sanctions" against the Gazans....

You tell me what other country would be supplying electricity to people who are bombing their children on a daily basis, and risking their lives to do so.


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.

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 20, 2008.

In the course of this past week, 160 Kassams and some 70 mortar shells have been fired from Gaza into the western Negev, primarily at Sderot. This has generated a situation of totally intolerable conditions for the local residents.

The IDF response has been to get tougher without actually getting tough enough. There have been a growing number of "pinpoint operations," and the Gaza Strip crossings have been sealed. Obviously without achieving the desired effect.

Today this was an issue of grave contention at the weekly Cabinet meeting, as Public Security Minister Avi Dichter demanded that the government "direct the IDF to bring the firing [of rockets] to a complete stop. Not to curb or reduce it but to stop it, whatever the cost for the Palestinians."

I quite agree. The government is failing the people of Sderot.

But Barak responded defensively: "I don't remember such anxious talk in the government like what I'm hearing here," he said.

That might be because there hasn't been a previous Israeli gov't that has failed its people the way this one is.

Barak opined that the government should show itself united despite differences of opinion, or else it is weakened. In certain cases this is unquestionably the case, but here Dichter is to be applauded for having the fortitude to speak out.


And, naturally, here we go again:

Palestinian officials said they had to close most of the turbines of their Gaza generator today because the closing of the crossings prevented them from bringing in the fuel needed to power those turbines.

Not so! said Shlomo Dror, spokesman for IDF operations in Gaza. There is enough fuel but the Palestinians are attempting to create the impression of a crisis where none exists.

Par for the course, UNRWA saw fit to register its complaints as well, criticizing Israel for generating a humanitarian emergency.

Minister of Housing and Construction Zeev Boim (Kadima) noted dryly that when it came to condemning Palestinian terrorists for subjecting Israeli civilians to barrages of rockets, "I don't hear the UN's voice."


And Hamas? It is singularly unconcerned with the inconvenience it is causing the local Palestinian community. Said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri: "We will not raise the white flag, and we will not surrender."


And speaking of Hamas...

Underneath the surface of various political doings are currents that keep shifting. Sometimes I feel I'm just about ready to make a statement regarding a situation and I look again and find it has changed....

The Fatah and Hamas rapprochement had seemed to be coming closer and closer, with Abbas's expressed condolence last week to Hamas's Zahar on the loss of his son in an IDF operation working to solidify it. And now? Hamas is charging that Abbas's office is behind a plot to kill (former PA prime minister) Haniyeh via a suicide bombing. Abbas's office is, of course, denying the charges and saying that Hamas has invented them to foment problems. And there we go...


"Funding Hate Education," the first in a series of papers to be released by the Tax Payers Alliance –– a British NGO analyzing the effectiveness of British overseas aid –– provides evidence on the millions of pounds in British tax revenues that has been funneled into supporting hate education in the PA.

A spokesman for the British Department for International Development said in response to the TPA report that the department ran "stringent checks" to assure that monies provided were not misused for violent purposes.

The blanket denial, rather than a declared readiness to re-examine the situation, does not bode well for official British attitudes.


Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah –– by speaking of "body parts" of Israeli soldiers that he might be willing to trade –– has so thoroughly enraged and repulsed the Cabinet that there were calls today for his assassination.


Just ten days before the Winograd Report, reservists –– working with the Reservists' Struggle –– are heating up their innovative grassroots campaign to get Olmert and Barak to resign. Today they hung large creatively worded signs along the Ayalon Highway, which can be seen from the windows of Barak's Tel Aviv apartment. "We want him to wake up every morning recalling his promise and realizing that he's run out of excuses."

Reservists who took part told Ynet that "We used these billboards to pass a clear message to Barak that his promise (to resign following the final Winograd report) is out in the open for everyone to see and so he must live up to it. We also want Olmert to know that the nation has effectively fired him."

I will be following this campaign and related events closely in the days ahead.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 20, 2008.

The Number of settlers rose by 5% in 2007 The Jewish population in West Bank continued to grow in both religious and secular settlements. And this doesn't include the "illegal outposts."

This is a news item from the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1200572498691&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

More than 280,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, Interior Ministry statistics released Sunday showed.

The 2008 figures show that the number of residents has increased by about 10,000 from a year ago.

The Israelis live in 130 settlements in the West Bank, amid an estimated 2.5 million Palestinians.

The largest West Bank settlement is Modi'in Ilit, home to 37,895 residents, surpassing Ma'ale Adumim with 34,495 people.

About 80 percent of Israeli settlers live in several major settlement blocs in the West Bank. Prime Minster Ehud Olmert has declared a building freeze throughout the West Bank.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Ralph Levy, January 20, 2008.

Tonight I am sending a open letter to Knesset members of the SHAS and the UTJ. This is a important letter a plea for them to force a election to put a stronger government in power and to protect Jerusalem. I believe every person who believes in Jerusalem should write a email to them. Sederot and the South is being rocketed the US is supplying arms to the PA, and as Israel burns the current Israeli government sings the praises of Annapolis.

Write the Knesset Members


Eliahu Yishai eyishay@knesset.gov.il
Chaim Amsellem eamsalem@knesset.gov.il
Ariel Atias aatias@knesset.gov.il
David Azoulay dazulay@knesset.gov.il
Shlomo Benizri slomob@knesset.gov.il
Amnon Cohen amncohen@knesset.gov.il
Yitzhak Cohen izchakec@knesset.gov.il
Yakov Margi ymargi@knesset.gov.il
Avraham Michaeli amichaeli@knesset.gov.il
Meshulam Nahari mnahari@knesset.gov.il
Yithak Vaknin yvaknin@knesset.gov.il
Nissim Zeev nzeev@knesset.gov.il


Yakov Cohen ycohen@knesset.gov.il
Moshe Gafni mgafni@knesset.gov.il
Shmuel Halpert Shmuelh@knesset.gov.il
Yakov Lizman Ylitzman@knesset.gov.il
Meir Porush mporush@knesset.gov.il
Avraham Ravitz aravitz@knesset.gov.il

Dear Honorable UTJ and SHAS members of the Knesset:

My name is Ralph Levy and I am the owner of the Blog Ralph's Rant a Pro Israel Blog. I would like to send this plea to you in regards to the current situation in Israel. At this negotiations between Israel and the PA are progressing. The Security Minister has forbidden anything but silent prayer on the Temple Mount. Jerusalem is on the table. One way compromises have been given to the PA. The US is arming the PA, and the borders of Israel have been given away without getting anything in return especially secure borders. Israel is being rocketed from the South with many friends of mine in one of the kibbutzim being rocketed daily and until now nothing has been done. Is this type of government the government you want giving away Jerusalem and also allowing Israel to be attacked in order to preserve Abbas? If the Israeli government is allowed to stay in office the old city and religious sites there and Judea and Samaria including the Temple Mount will be given away. If promises and commitments on Jerusalem and borders are made and agreed to with the current government it will be very hard for the next government to go back on their word. That is why I am asking you and I am pleading with you to force new elections. A Israeli government with less than 10% support does not have the elected mandate to make those decisions. I may disagree with some things your parties represent but the security of Israel is something we can all agree upon. Also Jerusalem and the Old City with religious sites under Israeli control as the capital of Israel is also something all Jews across the world can agree upon. Israel must have secure borders Thank you for your time.

Ralph Levy

Contact Ralph Levy at stargate_time@yahoo.com or go to his website:

To Go To Top

Posted by Maurice Ostroff, January 20, 2008.

[Editor's Note: Presenting Facts To the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) seems a thankless task. They ignore it. Politely. We present Maurice Ostroff's attempt to inform them in the exchange below.

Eben Kaplan wouldn't be the one handling the CFR reply if he flunked rebuffery 101. His letter is typical of a rebuff form letter. It flatters the writer but says CFR know all about the Covenant and the complainer doesn't have their capacity to understand complex material. Going against reality and Hamas' own statements –– they see some "softening of Hamas' stance". (All I see is hardening of CFR's arteries.)

Maybe if more people try and don't let themselves be put off by the first rebuff, it might pay off. CFR can't be entirely insulated by its own pomposity, can it?]

December 22, 2007

From Maurice Ostroff
To Janice L. Murray
Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer,
The Council on Foreign Relations

Dear Ms. Murray,

First of all, please allow me to congratulate your Council on Foreign Relations for its extremely important and valuable service in providing an independent, nonpartisan resource for information that helps us try to understand the complex world we live in.

In view of CFR's nonpartisan attitude, I trust you will accept the following comments in the constructive spirit intended about the article on Hamas that appears on your web site.

The description on your site, of Hamas' goals is insufficient for a reader to make an intelligent assessment as it omits essential information about the organization that is revealed in its own Charter. In fact it is impossible to even start comprehending the nature of Hamas without having read this fundamental document, which reveals an extremist, irrational nature, completely irreconcilable with the Western way of life. The complete text is available in English on the Yale University site. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm.

The Hamas Charter discloses that Hamas' ambitions are not directed at Israel alone. Article 11 states "This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force.."

The Charter helps to understand how the Islamic fundamentalist movement generates terror by spreading fanciful conspiracy theories bordering on megalomania and seducing gullible youngsters to sacrifice their lives in exchange for heavenly rewards. It demonstrates Hamas' complete disregard for facts; for example, the charter accuses Freemasons, Rotary clubs, Lions and similar "Zionist" organizations not only of stirring the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and World War I but also of forming the League of Nations. They are alleged to have been behind World War II, and of instigating replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council. Hamas promises that these organizations will be obliterated, the day Islam is in control. The absurdity is highlighted by the fact that Israel is the one member of the UN, which cannot become a member of the Security Council.

The charter makes it clear there is absolutely no room for peaceful negotiation. Article 13 unambiguously states, "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." These basics have been repeated time and again by Hamas leaders.

It is also highly relevant that Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada, the European Union, Japan, and the United States and is banned in Jordan.

With regard to the statement on your site that Hamas maintained a cease-fire from March 2005 until June 9, 2006, "cease-fire" is not quite the correct word. What Hamas arranged was a hudna which is defined in the authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia as a "temporary treaty which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam". Hudnas have been repeatedly used by Hamas as opportunities to rearm and recover whenever it has been under stress. In his infamous speech in a Johannesburg mosque, after signing the Oslo accords, Yasir Arafat referred to the Accords as a hudna; a temporary strategy on the road to final liquidation of Israel.

But no description of Hamas is complete without mention of incitement to violence, its most pernicious activity that contaminates future generations. For example, Hamas-owned al-Aqsa TV recently broadcast a children's program featuring a Mickey Mouse character called Farfur who was preaching Islamic supremacy and hatred of non-Moslems until the station was threatened with copyright infringement. Farfur was then replaced by a child holding an AK47 while a chorus urges children to become martyrs. The child becomes a Hamas fighter and dies as the choir sings "the pure blood will produce honor and glory".

According to Palestinian Media Watch, on March 21 this year, Hamas TV broadcast a clip of a four-year-old girl, Duha, whose mother blew herself up in January 2004, killing four Israelis. Duha sings: "Instead of me you carried a bomb in your hands. Only now, I know what was more precious than us. I am following Mummy in her steps", as she picks up a stick of dynamite. On March 8, Hamas TV interviewed Duha, now seven, and asked her where her mother was. She replied, "Paradise", and after prompting, recited a poem about her mother that said: "Reem, you are a fire bomb, your children and submachinegun are your motto."

While its immediate focus is on Israel, Hamas in common with its parent, the Moslem Brotherhood, is universal. It accepts other religions only as subordinates Article Thirty One states "Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions –– Islam, Christianity and Judaism –– to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam".

As an unambiguously Islamic movement, intent on imposing its religion on others, Hamas cannot even fully accept the PLO until the PLO adopts Hamas' interpretation of Islam. Article Twenty-Seven states "That is why, with all our appreciation for The Palestinian Liberation Organization –– and what it can develop into –– and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea...The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies".

Ms. Murray, may I hope that you will ensure that the CFR web site will amplify its description of Hamas on its web site in view of the above factual information?

I will be distributing this letter to my email list and publishing a copy on my web site, which deals with countering misinformation and bias in the media. http://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com. My readers and I will be very interested to read your response.

Maurice Ostroff

Response from the Assistant Director for Business Management, CFR.org

To: maurice@trendline.co.il
Subject: Re: Hamas and your web site
From: ekaplan@cfr.org
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008

Dear Mr. Ostroff,

Thank you for taking the time to put together such a thoughtful and researched critique of the Hamas profile on our website. You raise many good points about Hamas' extremist position, both through your reading of it's charter and accounts of its propaganda.

Your first comment, that the Hamas charter offers our readers valuable insights, is spot on. In fact, we've had the Hamas Covenant in our index of primary source documents for two years (http://www.cfr.org/publication/9680/). Per your advice, we will be sure to include a link to it in our next revision. However, Hamas' incarnation as a political party suggests that it does not wholly adhere to the absolutist ideology expressed in the charter. Perhaps this is evidence of a softening of Hamas' stance. Another interpretation might be a divergence in ideology among Hamas' leaders.

As you're clearly aware, this is a complicated subject about which entire books have been written. We are trying to capture it all in just a few pages. We appreciate your efforts to improve this article. As we revise it, we will be sure to bear your comments in mind.

Eben Kaplan
Assistant Director for Business Management
212 434 9649

Reply to the Assistant Director for Business Management CFR.org

January 16, 2008
To Ms. Eben Kaplan
Council on Foreign Relations
Assistant Director for Business Management

Dear Ms. Kaplan

Thank you very much for your considered reply to my email of December 22, 2007 (addressed to Janice L. Murray). I would like to share your belief that Hamas' incarnation as a political party suggests a softening stance, but unfortunately prominent Hamas leaders indicate the direct opposite in their public declarations.

According to a Reuters report of Mar 12, 2007 Hamas replied officially to criticism by al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri in the following words; "We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine... So be assured doctor Ayman, and all those who love Palestine like yourself, that Hamas is still the group you knew when it was founded and it will never abandon its path".

The Gulf Daily News, Bahrain, reported that at an election rally in Gaza, Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyah promised; "The constants and the strategy of Hamas do not change according to circumstances. Hamas will stay faithful to jihad, to resistance, to guns, to Palestine and to Jerusalem."

And Palestinian Media Watch quoted Dr. Ahmad Bahar (acting Speaker, Palestinian Legislative Council): as saying unambiguously on PA TV on April 20, 2007 "Make us victorious over the infidel people, Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies, Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don't leave even one"

Moreover, as a direct result of the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas, Palestinians have been killing each other in brutal internecine fighting. On June 14, 2007 Timesonline reported that since the start of the year, over 150 Palestinians had been killed by Palestinians and the number has risen in the ensuing twelve months.

Hamas has also acknowledged its direct responsibility for many of the thousands of missiles that have been targeted on civilian population centers in Israel since Israel evacuated the Gaza settlements and its indirect responsibly for missiles launched by splinter groups.

Obviously, the highly relevant information contained above and in my original letter cannot be ignored if you are to meet your stated goal of making "CFR.org the best single website for users searching for information and insights about international politics". May I therefore hope that you will make the amendments forthwith rather than delay doing so until you next revise the page.

Again, thank you for your courteous and considered response.

Maurice Ostroff

Contact Maurice Ostroff by email at maurice@trendline.co.il and visit his website:
http ://maurice-ostroff.tripod.com/id166.html

To Go To Top

Posted by Rock Peters, January 20, 2008.

"The Muslim Conquest of America and Israel" is a very funny political satire with an extremely serious message. The message of "Conquest" is this: The danger of liberal surrender to Islamic Fascism!

"There is no greater mistake than to suppose that platitudes, smooth words ad timid policies offer a path to safety." –– Winston Churchill.

Islamic Fascism = Nazism ll

My web site: www.GodsaveUSA.com is dedicated to defeating Muslim terrorism.

Yours in Liberty,
Rock Peters

The father of Muslim Pakistan's nuclear bomb, the anti-Western A.Q. Khan –– in pursuant to giving nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, Khan has now given the capability to produce nuclear weapons to his Muslim brother, al-Qaeda leader, bin-Laden. With Iranian support, al-Qaeda has produced 10 Atomic bombs, each capable of destroying any one of the largest Western Cities. In collaboration with the Hispanic gang MS 13, with whom al-Qaeda has signed a mutual assistance pact, al-Qaeda via MS 13 smuggles five nuclear weapons across the open and undefended US-Mexican Border. The Weapons of Mass Destruction are dispersed though out America to mosques and are entrusted to American-Muslims. All of the Muslim terrorists, about to attack America have US citizenship; and have been born in the US.

American Jihad

On Christmas Day, 2010 –– As the sun rises on the eastern seaboard in America, Muslim taxi cab drivers set out in their cabs, laden with atomic bombs in their trunks. At 6:00 A.M. E.S.T the Muslim cab drivers, simultaneously explode their nuclear weapons, in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. All five cities are leveled to the ground and completely destroyed. Thirty million Americans lie dead in the streets. Another twenty million are suffering from nuclear fallout, with no hospitals or medical care. All electricity, water, power and light, all means of communication are destroyed. The remnants of civilization cease to exist. There is whole scale looting in the devastated cities, by black and Hispanic street gangs. The street gangs pour in from the suburbs and have taken completely over. Law and Order has vanished and is completely non-existent.

The Democratic Party's Response to the Terror Attack

President Hillary Clinton immediately responds with strong and decisive action. She contacts bin-Laden in Pakistan and promises Osama, that if he calls off any further attacks, she will divorce Bill and become one of his wives. Hillary tells bin-Laden, "Osama I'll be your Mama! I'll wear a burka big bin-Laden baby, just for you!"

Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy immediately renounces Christ, and his Catholic faith, and publicly proclaims "There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi appears in the rubbles of Congress, fully clothed in a black burka, her face covered by the hijab (looking better than ever.) Nancy introduces the new American pledge to Congress that she has authored overnight. With her hand over her heart, she stands at attention and solemnly faces the new American Muslim flag she has sewn (Nancy is just like Betsy Ross.) Nancy recites, "We pledge allegiance to the crescent and moon, and to Allah and his prophet Mohammed. One nation, under Allah, with death and annihilation for the infidels, the United Muslim States of America."

Congressman John Murtha contacts Arab and Iranian leaders and promises them full US cooperation in the rounding up of Jews for deportation to death camps in Iran. Senator John Kerry, Sen. Baraka Bama, Rep. Charles Rangel, the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and the new Senate majority leader Louis Farrakhan all promise they will assist in the arrest of Jews, and in the complete success of the second Holocaust. Air Force One is dispatched to Pakistan to pick up bin-Laden. Bin-Laden arrives at Washington's Dulles international airport to wild adulation and the hysterical cheering of thousands, upon thousands of US Muslims. Hillary is hastily married to bin Laden and dawns her new black burka. Chelsea is adopted by bin-Laden. Bill is beheaded by an American-Muslim cleric who shouts out "Allah akhbar" "Allah is the greatest" as he decapitates the former US president. Before Bill Clinton is executed, he vainly tries to make a deal. Bill offers bin-Laden assistance in procuring other American women for his harem, in exchange for his life. Request denied. Bill gets the sword to the neck. Hilary is heard murmuring "That's what he gets for Monica Lewinsky."

Bin-Laden is sworn in as the First President of the new United Muslim States of America. First official business of President bin-Laden is to trash the US Constitution. Osama then declares America a Muslim state to be run by the Taliban and governed by Sharia law. Bin Laden next proclaims himself America's head caliphate. All Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in America are to be either torched and burned to the ground, or turned into mosques. Packs of American-Muslims run wildly in the streets (and similar to what Muslims did in France) they ransack churches and synagogues. Christmas, Hanukah, Rosh Hashanah and Easter are all completely outlawed.

Israel now stands alone in the Middle East. On January 1, 2011, under the umbrella of Air Support from the new United Muslim States of America (U.M.S.A.) Iran, Syria, Egypt and Hezbollah in Lebanon attack and occupy the Jewish State of Israel. Israel is handed over to the control of the Palestinians. The Star of David flag comes down in Jerusalem to the sound of deliriously rejoicing Arabs who cheer with unbridled fanaticism.

Hilary is happy in the new United Muslim States of America, until she finds out abortion is not allowed in Islamic law. She sulks and gets deeply depressed when she hears this news. Osama cannot get Hilary to smile, no matter what he does. With out abortions taking place, Hilary is just not a real happy camper.

Bin Laden finally succeeds in cheering Hillary up with camel rides on the White House front lawn. Hilary is smitten by bin Laden and she coos and coquettishly teases him, "Osama you're as soft as a llama." She is overheard telling girlfriends "I just love to sin –– with Bin."

As Hilary leaves Friday Muslim services in the Washington National Mosque (formerly the National Cathedral) on the arm of bin-Laden, she is asked by reporters if she plans to initiate any new policies. Hilary turns and looks up to the towering bin-Laden for his permission to speak. Bin-Laden smiles, with warmth and love in his eyes at Hilary, and with great command, he silently and gently nods his approval to her.

Hilary blushes with Osama's approval, and then with school girl excitement shares with the reporters all her new plans. "As one of new First Ladies," she bubbles to the reporters, "I am going to implement a total overhaul and reform in Education and Health Care in America!" Hillary tells the reporters she wants all of America's elementary and high school's curriculum, to completely comply with Muslim Fundamentalism, and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Then Hillary looks up at bin-Laden and beams with pride, as Hillary announces triumphantly to the crowd, "I am going to introduce sweeping legislation immediately, for a Complete and Comprehensive Health Care Plan –– for all Americans."

Rock Peters the Communications Director for the NY chapter of ACT for America. Contact him by email at rockpeters@aol.com. To get active in the fight against Islamic Fascism, contact Allan Mallenbaum at Actfora@newyork.usa.com. Allan is the leader of our NY chapter.

To Go To Top

Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, January 20, 2008.

Can the friend of my enemy be my friend? No doubt, Saudi Arabia's despicable royalty finance Wahhabi madrassas worldwide that teach Islamic students to despise the infidel, especially the Jewish infidel, enough to be willing to martyr themselves as suicide bombers, if necessary, to destroy the targets of their hatred, guaranteeing them a place in Allah heaven. Indeed, Saudi oil money goes a long way in perpetuating a fundamentalist terroristic brand of Islam that imperils this entire planet. Yet the U.S. Bush Administration, defined by its own intimate connections to Big Oil, overlooks the House of Saud's propensity to underwrite terrorists, disregards the fact that fifteen of nineteen 9/11 hijackers were linked to the contemptible kingdom, maintains its mantra oil uber alas, and considers those robed rogue filthy rich Saudi Arabs to be bosom buddies, bizarrely essential partner's in Bush's 'war on terror'. Can Israel honestly trust her American ally, now led by an administration that so befriends such a contemptible anti-Israel anti-Jewish regime? Let us be clear. U.S. President George W. Bush and his cohort U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appear willing to strong arm Israel into ceding land justifiably secured in 1967 while vanquishing hostile Arabs, historically a more justified acquisition than America's Southwest, to a Holocaust revisionist Mahmoud Abbas, as well as perhaps, if it closes the agreement, a right of return to descendants of Arabs once inhabiting core Israel, for no doubt a duplicitous promise of peace, just so those two U.S. politicos and more essentially erstwhile oil execs could enhance their tarnished legacies and perhaps score kudos from sycophantic worldwide industrial leaders as well as the despicable Saudis. These uncomfortable observations, however, do not mean Israel should equate her formidable U.S. ally with its current leaders, soon to be replaced by another administration that indeed must be acquainted with the true plight of Israeli citizens.

The next elected leaders and appointees soon to occupy the U.S. White House, most likely removed from the clutches of Big Oil and oil rich regimes such as Saudi Arabia, at least compared to those currently holding sway over policy decisions, must be well educated by Israeli advocates. Mind manipulating terms such as occupation and settlements need to be jettisoned. Israeli citizens indeed properly reside as home owners or renters in Judea and Samaria yet must be protected by intrepid Israeli soldiers, not an occupying force, from their hostile Arab neighbors. Additionally, Israeli citizens in Sderot and nearby towns, within core Israel, tragically deal with murderous missiles launched from in fact Arab occupied Gaza. Sympathy directed toward Gaza's residents by an anti-Israel media should be redirected toward Jewish Israelis forced to live such dysfunctional traumatized lives. In fact, a new set of American leaders, exposed to a new and more accurate perspective, should robustly encourage Israeli leaders to do whatever is necessary to stop such missile attacks, even if that means a full scale invasion of Gaza. Furthermore, the threat of Iran not only to Israel but to the entire planet ought to engender a great deal more than castigating lip service. The perilous 'let your guard down' dynamic of the recently released U.S. intelligence assessment asserting Iran ceased developing a nuclear weapons program in 2003, its release no doubt tacitly approved by current Whitehouse residents, must be countered. In fact, America's hopefully better educated and more prescient soon to be elected leaders must do what it takes to encourage regime change in that emerging nuclear Persian Shiite hegemony. Again, it is incumbent upon Israeli communicators to convince both Republican and Democratic candidates vying for the U.S. presidency that the aforementioned issues must be placed on their short list of foreign policy initiatives. Misplaced nostalgia for America's lame duck leadership serves no purpose. Most essentially, when Israeli decision makers are exhorted by today's White House occupiers to puff on a truly toxic peace pipe for the mere price of precious Israeli soil and perhaps heritage, just say no!

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 20, 2008.

This comes from the Sultan Knish website (website: www.sultanknish.blogspot.com and email: sultanknish@yahoo.com) The original article has more pictures of the scourged practitioners of the peaceful religion, Islam.

As Shiite Muslims celebrate the festival of Ashura, we get a disturbing glimpse through the media. President Bush insists that they love their children just like we do. Well meaning people repeatedly claim that they are just like us and worship the same God, except they happen to say Allah instead of God.

Photos like this should raise questions as to the bominated dialogue about Islam but Islam isn't a cult of death because of a few terrorist bombings but because of their embedded bloody beliefs of pagan origin hidden behind the facade of a looted monotheism. Can such a belief system be truly compatible with a civilized society? That is a question to which increasing numbers of people are answering in the negative as they realize the reality of Islam, not just the whitewashed version.

It is no surprise that Hizbollah leader Nasrallah used an Ashura festival as a forum to proclaim that his men had collected the body parts of dead Israeli soldiers as trophies.

"Our mujahideen used to fight these Zionists, killing them and collecting their body parts. I am not talking about regular body parts. I tell the Israelis, we have the heads of your soldiers, we have hands, we have legs ... there is even a near-complete body, a half or three-quarters of a body, from head, to chest to the torso." [*]

A Pakistani mother helps her son buy knives on chains to be used for the Ashura

"I like to remind our fellow citizens that a Muslim mom wants the same thing that an American mom wants –– that is for her child to grow up in a hopeful, peaceful world." –– President Bush

[*]   "A statement by the IDF Spokesman's Office said the statements 'constitute a cruel and cynical move by an organization that fragrantly tramples the most fundamental, ethical codes, shows no respect for human rights or the international conventions that govern these matters ... we call upon all those with the most basic common sense to view him as cowardly and to condemn him.'

"Israeli officials have long been aware that Hezbollah possesses the remains of Israeli soldiers. No complete bodies are involved; the bodies of all soldiers who were killed in the war were retrieved and buried in Israel and every family who asked received a full report about the state of the body at the time of burial. Military officials said they believe the remains of about 10 soldiers are involved."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Chaim Grosz, January 19, 2008.

During this period of the year the story of Exodus is read from the Bible. According to Judaic ideology the same is also standard in civil courts, a person cannot be punished for his actions if he was forced by circumstances beyond his control and thus was not given the ability to chose, ie: a mentally deranged person that is unaware that his action are wrong, or other forces of nature in which he was not in control of.

The question is asked just why did God afflict the Egyptians with the ten plagues when God distinctly told Moses to Go to Pharaoh and demand that he free the Jewish Slaves, and if not, your nation will be afflicted with such and such plague. Then at the same time God told Moses: I will harden his heart and he will not release the Jews from Slavery.

Accordingly Pharaoh did not have any choice in that matter so just why did he deserve to be punished.

The other question is since it was Pharaoh that refused to heed Moses' warning why was the entire nation of Egypt punished and not Pharaoh himself.

At the tenth plague when Pharaoh personally suffered from the death of all first born he chased out all the Jews including their livestock from Egypt, maybe had he been personally afflicted with any of the other nine and God did not intervene thing may have turned out differently.

The Talmudic sages quoting many a kabalistic reasoning delve into this issue at length. To even scratch the surface requires an enormous amount of time to and writings that this is not the place for it.

What is a very important lesson to glean from the biblically described version is, every nation must have a ruler, Pharaoh, President, Prime Minister, King, Queen, Sultan, or by any other description. Nonetheless the power vested in him is only through the will of the People; ruling governance is changeable either by, nature, elections, coupes, assassinations, lost wars.

But one thing has never changed in human history, when any leader fell out of grace by his subjects his ability to govern them is severely limited and his leadership will within a very short period of time be taken away from him.

Now to begin the answer to the first question why was Pharaoh punished when he did not have any choice in that matter? He was not. The citizens of Egypt suffered the plagues, and the reason why they suffered was because they did have the choice, they had the power to force a change of leaders that would not have been so self-centered and took his country interests first and thus they deserved God's punishment, and thus the second question is also answered, when Pharaoh did actually feel the pain of his people and the entire nation of Egypt rose up against him he overcame his natural instinct in order to retain possession of his leadership he must listen to his people and do what is necessary for his nation's survival.

Israel is currently led by the same mentality the leadership of the biblical Egypt was in that era. The only question I have why do the citizens of Israel allow such selfish, bold face lying, false uncaring insensitive to the pain of others individuals to remain as their chosen leaders, every act they have undertaken has been one disaster after another.

Apparently since Israel does not identify itself with God it is governed by man's folly. Anything man creates is limited in its longevity.

Israeli Citizens you have the choice and the ability to either suffer the slow but assured decline of your hard-won God-given country, or proclaim to the world enough is enough, we demand the same respect offered to each and every other member of the so-called United Nations or we will withdraw from that anti-Jewish biased organization and demand all UN personal to immediately vacate all areas under Israeli control. Israel will not be bound by nor adhere to any resolution that its adherence is only incumbent upon Israel even if that resolution was issued by the Security Council of that failed organization.

Chaim Grosz lives in Miami Beach, Florida. Contact him at CGrosz@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Neal M. Sher, January 19, 2008.
NEW YORK (JTA) December 16, 2007 –– King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was stunned at the hostile reception he received during a recent visit to London. It seems our British friends are much more attuned than we to the nefarious role the Saudis continue to play in financing and fomenting terror.

As Middle East policymakers and experts focus their efforts on Iran and now the Annapolis gathering, the nation that is best described as the epicenter for error continues to fly under the radar screen, at least in the United States. Saudi Arabia has deftly played its oil trump card while putting on its payroll an army of former U.S. diplomats who shamelessly patrol the corridors of power trying to convince us that the king is our most reliable ally in the war on terror. Rendered virtually irrelevant is a nasty bill of particulars:

–– 15 of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001 mass murderers were products of the kingdom and funded with Saudi money;

–– more than half of the foreign terrorists attacking and killing our troops in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia;

–– Saudi textbooks still preach anti-West and anti-Semitic hatred, trumpeting as gospel the blasphemous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion";

–– the Saudis relentlessly finance mosques and schools the world over that bellow deadly extremist ideology;

–– U.S. law enforcement officials have publicly aired their frustration at the continued financing of terrorist groups, despite repeated requests to the Saudis to put the enablers out of business;

–– the Saudis' failure to prosecute known sponsors and benefactors of terrorism.

The U.S. Treasury Department has been extremely frustrated at our supposed ally, noting with contempt the great divide between Saudi promises and Saudi action. The terms most used to describe Saudi efforts in the war on terror: "passive," "disengaged," "little or no progress" and "foot dragging."

While certain baby steps have been taken, they amount to no more than a drop in the bucket compared to what the Saudis have been implored to do.

While the Bush administration will in no way hold Saudi feet to the fire, some on Capitol Hill are fed up. Enter U.S. Senators. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who have introduced the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2007 in their respective chambers.

The legislation demands that Saudi Arabia close any entity engaged in funding or facilitating terror, and to cooperate with American efforts. Failure to do so will trigger a series of sanctions, including restrictions on arms sales.

The Saudi initiative is one of the most important pieces of legislation pending on the Hill. It should be high not only on the pro-Israel agenda but on America's national security agenda as well. Indeed, one can make a strong case that it deserves to be the legislative centerpiece of the war on terror.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that terrorist attacks need not be of Sept. 11th magnitude to have a devastating and deadly impact. The less-sophisticated operations carried out by "home-grown" fanatics are just as capable of wreaking havoc. Just ask the Brits and Spaniards; both have felt the wrath of bombings perpetrated by young Islamic terrorists who were inspired by the poison spewing from Saudi-supported mosques and schools.

The White House and State Department, of course, will never endorse this initiative, trotting out the disingenuous mantra that the Saudis are needed in our fight against the bad guys. Never mind that the kingdom and their American hired guns all along have been assuring us that the Saudis will stand shoulder to shoulder with us –– the empirical evidence proves the contrary.

While the Saudis talk a good game, it would be the height of naiveté to expect that they will undertake any of the serious measures we have been urging for years.

Odds are the legislation proffered by Specter, Widen and Weiner will die on the vine, never making it out of committee; I'm afraid the Saudi lobby will win this battle easily. Indeed, similar legislation in recent years has gone nowhere, even when there was the hardest of evidence proving that the Saudi government was paying the families of suicide murderers and directly supporting Hamas.

One reason for the past failure was the lack of a concerted, unified push by the legendary pro-Israel lobby. The silence sent a clear message to Congress: This was not a matter of importance to the Jewish community.

This time, only the Zionist Organization of America has endorsed and will lobby for the Saudi accountability measure. Unfortunately, it probably will be virtually alone in this fight. Jewish organizations would do well to remember that it was a losing battle –– over the sale of AWACS to the Saudis 25 years ago –– that for all practical purposes put the pro-Israel lobby on the map.

Some battles must be fought because it simply is the right thing to do. Taking the Saudis to task for being the hub of terrorism is one of those battles.

Unless and until sinister activities engaged in, tolerated and effectively endorsed by Saudi Arabia are challenged head on, the war on terror is not much more than an exercise of putting our heads in the sand. The sources of financing must be dried up and the ideology of hatred must be destroyed. The Saudis have the power and the ability to make this happen. Until now they have demonstrated a decisive lack of will.

The question is whether the pro-Israel community has the guts to take on this vital battle in an effort to make the Saudis see the light. Regrettably, if past is prologue, don't bet on it.

Neal Sher, a New York attorney, previously served as the director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations and as the executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He can be reached at nealsher@gmail.com.

To Go To Top

Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, January 19, 2008.

A stop along President Bush's recent Middle East trip –– after further pressuring Jews to accept his vision of Abbas's latter day terrorist Arafatians as being the good cops –– took Dubya to the sands of the Saudis and other Arabian Peninsula nations.

A photo soon was published worldwide of the President wielding a sword along with Bahraini hosts, and Dubya brought along a New Year's present –– tens of billions of dollars in military aid to the Saudis. Hey, if we don't sell it to them, the Brits, Germans, French, and so forth certainly will. So goes the argument...

During the visit, Bush asked if perhaps the Arabs might reach out to Israel a bit more. Saudi King Abdullah responded that he didn't know what else he could do. After all, he came up with his own "peace" (of the grave) plan some time ago. If the Jewish State merely agreed to return to its pre-'67, 9-mile wide '49 armistice line –– not border –– existence and agreed to be swamped by millions of "returning" jihadist refugees (many, if not most, of whom were new-comers to the Palestinian Mandate themselves) created because the Arab attempt to nip a reborn Israel in the bud backfired, then the Saudis might normalize relations with Israel.

The Desert Kingdom has long gotten away with a virtual free pass from America and most of the rest of the world. The same folks –– including academics and others who should know better –– who routinely scrutinize Israel and the actions it's forced to take merely to survive, act deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to the Saudis and too many other Arabs controlling much of the world's oil and influencing many other petrodollar-connected, multi-national corporations in the process. Together, this power and influence –– via their many tentacles and manifestations –– make the much spoken about "Zionist lobby" look pitiful.

Years back, when I was a card-carrying member of the London-based Anti-Slavery Society, persistent reports spoke of slavery throughout Saudi Arabia and other Arab lands...in the oil fields, and other places as well. It was still "above ground" up until the middle of the last century. But it was all treated as though it didn't exist. Have you ever noticed the many black Saudis and other Arabs? Guess who and what their mothers mostly were? Hush...

Okay. Let's get back on track.

What else can the Saudis do to reach out to the Jews? Here's some suggestions...

On this last trip, Dubya pledged some twenty billion dollars in state-of-the-art aircraft, missiles, bombs, and so forth to the Saudis, supposedly to bolster them against the Iranian bogeyman.

The problem is, despite all of those Arabs prancing around with their swords, each time they were threatened –– by fellow Arabs like Saddam or Iranians –– America had to pull their chestnuts out of the fire with our own blood and money anyway...despite billions of dollars in military aid given previously. Not to mention the Saudis' gift of most of the suicide/homicide bombers of 9/11.

Previous sophisticated weaponry and aircraft that the Saudis pledged to place to face the Iranian threat were stationed a stone's throw from Israel instead. Indeed, they've been expanding the King Faisal Air Base at Tabuk. Prior to Bush's new holiday gift, the base contained about 50 advanced F-15S fighter-jets, which were sent to the northwestern facility on the eve of the U.S.-led war against Iraq in March 2003. Other promises related to those sales later proved to be worthless as well.

So much for past and future similar Arab guarantees...

What else could the Saudis do for Israel? How about honoring the pledges above, for starters.

The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion is perhaps one of the most flagrantly anti-Semitic doctrines ever written. Guess who was one of the latter day leaders in endorsing and spreading it around?

While the Saudis aren't the only Arabs still doing this sort of hate-spreading stuff ("peaceful" Egypt still freely indulges), ending such practices is another suggestion for the "what else"...as is ending dehumanizing "kilab yahud" –– Jew dogs –– even further by routinely also calling them sons of apes and pigs. Extend this further by revising the textbooks of Arab children, hatred in the media, sermons, and so forth which routinely demonize Jews and Israel, and an Arab "peace" might become more believable.

Ready for more?

When Israel was squeezed by President Clinton at Camp David and Taba to cave in to Arafat and abandon its right to defensible "secure and recognized" borders instead of pre-'67 Auschwitz/armistice lines a la resolution 242, while Arafat rejected the plan, Clinton and the State Department's Arabist "deal" Prime Minister Barak was forced to accept became the new starting point for President Bush's recent Annapolis travesty.

During the era of Clinton's "Oslo Peace," the more Israel tangibly conceded to Arabs, the more it bled.

Guess who was paying Arab families tens of thousands of dollars each for having a "shahid" member blow up Jewish kids in teen night clubs, buses, pizzerias, and so forth during the Intifada (conducted under Arafat and Abbas's Fatah good cops' watch –– not that of Hamas's bad cops)? Maybe Saudi despots, who condemn women victims of rape to hundreds of lashes and humiliation, could revise their policy here also...

The Saudis, like other Arabs, are always quick to claim the whole region as "purely Arab patrimony." Hence their additional concern about Iranians and others who call the body of water in the north the Persian Gulf instead of the Arabian Gulf. More than just words are involved here.

Since Arabs claim all that they acquired after Muhammad and successor caliphal armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E., conquering and forcibly Arabizing millions of non-Arab peoples and their lands, and then rejected the rights of Jews (one half in Israel who were refugees from "Arab"/Muslim lands), Kurds, Berbers, black Africans, and so forth in a later age of nationalism to resurrected political rights of their own, perhaps the Saudis need to be reminded of another time period in what is now their country...

When Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, fled enemies in Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. (the Hijrah), the inhabitants welcomed him. Medina had been developed centuries earlier as a thriving date palm oasis by Jews fleeing the Roman assault on Judaea (the banu-Qurayzah and banu-al-Nadir tribes, etc.). Medina's mixed population of Jews and pagan Arabs opened their doors to the future Prophet of Islam.

Muhammad learned much from the Jews. While the actual timing of his decision on the qibla, the direction of prayer, may never be known, during his long sojourn with the Jews of Medina, his followers were instructed to pray towards Jerusalem. Early prominent Arab historians such as Jalaluddin came right out and openly stated that this was done as an attempt to win support among influential Jewish tribes (the "People of the Book") for Muhammad's religio-politcal claims.

It is from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (which Arabs now claim Jews have no connection to –– including Bush's good buddy, Abbas) that Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven on his winged horse. A mosque, the Dome of the Rock, would later be erected on this Jewish holy site after the Arab imperialist caliphal conquest of the land in the 7th century C.E.

Arab imperialism? Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh...... Only nasty westerners do that stuff.

There is no doubt among objective scholars that Jews had an enormous impact on both Muhammad and the religion that he founded. The holy sites for Muslims in Jerusalem (i.e. the mosques erected on the Temple Mount of the Jews) are now deemed "holy" precisely because of the critical years Muhammad spent after the Hijrah with the Jews.

Not mincing words, the Temple Mount of the Jews had no prior meaning to pagan Arabs.

While there was some early Christian influence, intense scholarship has shown that the Holy Law (Halakha) and Holy Scriptures of the Jews had a tremendous influence on the Qur'an, Islamic Holy Law (Shari'a), and so forth. Muhammad's "Jerusalem connection" was most likely not established until after his extended stay with his Jewish hosts. This was no mere coincidence...Muslim religious beliefs regarding Muhammad's conversations with the Angel Gabriel notwithstanding.

When the Jews refused to recognize Muhammad as the chief political honcho, "Seal of the Prophets," and so forth, he turned on them with a bloody vengeance. Before long, with the exception of Yemen, there were virtually no Jews left on the Arabian Peninsula. And the direction of prayer was changed away from Jerusalem and towards the Kaaba in Mecca instead.

Now, imagine, since Arabs claim all of Israel because of their previous conquests, that descendants of Arabian Jews staked their own claims as well? How about Medina as a Jewish city?

Certainly, when demands by Arabs for compensation and the like regarding Arab refugees comes to the front burner, Jewish refugees from "Arab" lands –– who number more and who left behind far more property and financial assets than their Arab counterparts did due to a war that Arabs themselves started –– need to put forth their own demands and need to backed by an Israeli government which will state unambiguously that there will be no fulfillment of the one claim without the other.

What else can the Saudis and other Arabs do to convince Jews that the Saudi "peace" is indeed not simply a peace of the grave? After all, Muhammad made his "Peace of the Quraysh" too –– a temporary hudna designed to buy time until he could conquer his enemies. Arafat loved to talk about this regarding Israel. Dubya's darling, Abbas, was Arafat's # 1 lieutenant and choice for Prime Minister.

Lots more to relate...but this essay is already too long.

Let's end for now by simply stating that if the Saudi king and other Arab potentates and despots (they're all either one and/or the other) want to really reach out to Israel, all they have to do is to grant Jews in their sole, tiny, resurrected state a microscopic portion of the same rights they claim for themselves in demanding the official creation of the 22nd member nation of the Arab League....and second, not first, Arab one in "Palestine" –– Jordan carved out of some 80% of the Mandate's original 1920 borders.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Sara Gold, January 19, 2008.

Somthing optimic from Israel –– special for Tu BIshvat

Wildflowers of Israel has searchable alphabetic lists of Israeli plants, medicinals, and flowering times. And listen to some very pleasant singing.

There is also a companion website in Hebrew:

This is from the home page:

This website is devoted to the study of wild plants of the Land of Israel which has been a focal point of interest to people all over the world since Biblical times. Everybody who is interested in the nature and the environment of this Land will find here a wealth of information regarding all kinds of its plants. Special emphasis has been given to the linkage between the plants and the Jewish traditions and scholarly literature. It is under development and will be updated frequently. This website is open freely to the public throughout the world, but all the materials are protected by international copyright laws.

Plants can be searched by scientific and common English names. As time and means will allow us we will translate all the content into English and other languages.

Here are some that are flowering right now.

Fumaria capreolata Senna italica Arnebia decumbens

Contact Sara Gold at saragold@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Bryna Berch, January 19, 2008.

Robert Spencer tells us about Mark Cohen's recent article on Dhimmis in the Jerusalem Post (JP) and how Bat Ye'or's attempt to set the record straight was rebuffed by the JP. His essay is entitled "Jerusalem Post turns away Bat Ye'or" and it is archived at http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/019633.php

The comments at the end of the Cohen article in the Post would suggest that few readers believed Cohen's analysis.

Recently the Jerusalem Post ran an article by Mark R. Cohen, "The New Muslim Anti-Semitism," which repeated many politically correct and comforting historical fictions, including:

THE FLIP SIDE of the discriminatory regulations imposed upon Jews is that they (as well as Christians) were a "protected people," ahl al-dhimma or dhimmis in Arabic, who enjoyed security of life and property, religious freedom, freedom from forced conversion, communal autonomy, and equality in the marketplace. For all its religious exclusivity and hostility towards the Jews, expressed in the Koran and in other Islamic literature, Islam contains a nucleus of pluralism that gave the Jews in Muslim lands greater security than Jews had in Christian Europe. For other important reasons, too, Jews in the Islamic orbit were spared the damaging stigma of "otherness" and anti-Semitism suffered by Jews in Europe. They were indigenous to the Near East –– not immigrants, as in many parts of the Christian West –– and largely indistinguishable physically from their Arab-Muslim neighbors.

Bat Ye'or, the pioneering historian of dhimmitude, wrote this in response and sent it to the Post:

Response to Mark Cohen's article in the Jerusalem Post of January, 2008 Bat Ye'or[*]

In his article "The New Muslim anti-Semitism" (Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2006), Mark R. Cohen unfortunately provides nothing new on a subject that now involves a global jihad war and a genocidal threat. It merely rehashes a short-sighted article he published over twenty years ago, "Islam and the Jews: Myth, counter-Myth, History" (The Jerusalem Quarterly, no. 38, spring 1986) to which I wrote a rejoinder, "Islam and the Dhimmis" (JQ no. 42, spring 1987). Still no changes! Then, like today, Cohen stated that Muslim "anti-Semitism" (an inappropriate word borrowed from European context) is a new phenomenon as if this Princeton professor of Near Eastern Studies has never read the Koran, the hadiths and the biographies of the Prophet Muhammad. As in his 1986 article, he encompasses in one sweeping global judgment the civilizations expanding over territories covering Africa, Asia and Europe during thirteen centuries. History loses its events, transformations and evolutions as if it is reduced to the stillness of an empty shell.

This reductionist mental attitude upholds the dogma of Islamic goodness and tolerance versus Christian timeless evilness in all places. Cohen is not troubled by the complexities involved in comparing utterly different civilizations, religions, jurisdictions, political ideologies and transformations over a millennium. Faithful to himself over the years, he remains deaf to the Islamists' Judeophobic references in their religious texts, praising the system of dhimmitude as one would admire slavery, since the slave might escape death if he obeys his master's orders. As in his earlier article, Cohen pretends that the persecutions Jews suffered under Islamic jurisdiction are an invented myth, a mimicry of Ashkenazi sufferings in order to grab more than Oriental Jewry deserves of the "Zionist pie". Thus Oriental Jewry not only should be grateful to its Muslim rulers for not having been wiped out entirely, but it is not even entitled to have its own history without being accused of posturing as Ashkenazim, thereby obtaining undeserved advantages by out-stepping its position in Israel.

Maybe Mark Cohen has never heard of the Human Rights Declarations promulgated in Europe and America with its subsequent developments in matters of equality and democratic rights. Or does he imagine that a caliphate ruled these continents? Has he even forgotten the letter sent by George Washington to Moses Seixas, president of the Newport Hebrew Congregation on August 17, 1790, and inscribed on a stone at the Touro Synagogue (Newport R.I.), stating the inalienable human rights for Jews, as opposed to tolerance? Does he unconsciously assume that George Washington was a caliph and that the regions from Afghanistan to Yemen and Algeria were Christian countries, since there –– at the time of Washington and the Enlightenment –– Jews were still obliged to walk barefoot, with distinctive clothing, live in social segregation, pay countless security ransoms, suffering the rape of their women, the abduction of their children, while the Muslim courts refused their testimony? They were exposed to murders (Maghreb, the Levant, Yemen), deportations, forced conversions (Persia, Afghanistan) and in many regions enslavement to tribal chiefs (Maghreb). Such situations, of course, could not happen in Islam according to Professor Cohen –– unless the Jews became arrogant by overstepping their place and imagined they were human beings.

The current fanaticism and mass killings perpetrated in Lebanon, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Darfur, Indonesia and the Philippines evoke the continual tribal wars that have permanently ravaged the dar al-Islam with their religious-cleansing, the exodus or the deportation of populations, mainly non-Muslim, and the associated pillage, destruction, abduction and enslavement. Jihadist terrorism that has, over the centuries, eliminated the indigenous Jewish and Christian populations from their Islamized homelands continues unabated today, giving us a glimpse of this past, rosy time of dhimmitude. It is strange that Cohen remains at Princeton instead of emigrating to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, even Sudan, to enjoy, under a shari'a –– taliban type rule, that dhimmi condition he admires so much for Oriental Jewry.

[*] The latest book by Bat Ye'or, Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis, (English, French, Italian, Dutch) will be published in a Hebrew edition by Schocken in spring 2008.

This article was not accepted for publication. Bat Ye'or received this response from an editor at the Jerusalem Post:

Frankly, I don't know what there is to "respond" to as Cohen's piece was a carefully nuanced balanced essay which could have been written by Bernard Lewis. You may disagree with his argument that Christian Jew-hatred influenced Muslim Jew-hatred but he did not downplay the nature of negative Muslim attitudes toward Jews.

What you might want to consider is a brief letter to the editor.

He did not, as you can see, take up any of the points Bat Ye'or raised in her piece. Instead, it was enough for him simply to invoke Bernard Lewis. Yet as we have noted here before, Bernard Lewis is a great scholar, but he isn't infallible –– and his recent attributions of authoritarianism and antisemitism in the Islamic world to Western influences don't bolster trust in his powers of judgment and analysis at this point.

Later, this same editor offered Bat Ye'or "an original op-ed of up to 1,000 words":

I will not run this attack on Cohen as an op-ed. I respect your decision not to cut it so that it can appear as a letter to the editor.

However, we would be delighted to consider an original op-ed of up to 1,000 words –– especially if you can connect it to a news hook.

But that is not sufficient space to clarify so many important matters. It is sad to see the Jerusalem Post, particularly at this hour of such peril for Israel, contenting itself with purveying pleasing falsehoods that may make the prospect for Israelis of living under Islamic rule easier to contemplate, as horrific as it remains in actuality.

To Go To Top

Posted by Claire Ginsburg Goldstein, January 19, 2008.

In honor of Parashat B'shalach, our parting of the Red Sea is the parting of the darkness that hangs over Israel
....we send teddy bears to light up the darkness that clouds over Israel
–– Claire Ginsburg Goldstein

I often wonder why things turn out in the way that they do.

I was wondering how I would ever get some toys, that had been collected and brought over to my home, for the Sderot children when I walked into the Teaneck office, this past Monday, of One Family Fund. I had been emailing Yehuda Poch, Director of Public Relations of One Family Fund, located in Jerusalem. He suggested that I contact Ariel Kotler at the Teaneck office for suggestions. I had just spoken with Ariel Kotler, the executive director of One Family Fund, who had told me that he had arranged with the Rubin family from Long Island to take several bags of stuffed animals to Israel for us the next day.

What I didn't know was that my previous donation of 7 duffles of stuffed toys to One Family Fund had just been delivered to Sderot by Lauren, a staff person, the week before. Now, I was being told that within days, 3 more overstuffed duffles of stuffed toys would be delivered to Sderot children by the Rubin family.

I was so touched and moved by this announcement.

I had set up Bears from Bergenfield, initially, 5 years ago, to help those children who had been traumatized by the terror that was happening in Israel. Within 5 years, we had collected, nationally, and distributed over 66,000 toys to the children there. Many people had offered to take the bags over for us. El Al airlines had offered to fly our toys over for FREE. Israir flies one bag over per flight for free. Betty and Ed Wolfe of Kfar Saba, staff members of One Family Fund, and Ira Gidon, VP of RE Systems, had volunteered to meet the arriving passengers, carrying the donations of the toys, and then distribute the toys to children who would benefit from receiving the toys.

But there seemed to be a large piece missing from our pictured goals at Bears from Bergenfield.

In early September of 2007,my 4th-5th grade students at Cong. Beth Israel/Beth Sholom Religious School had discussed our next mission of collecting toys for Sderot and had hoped to find a way to accomplish our goals. We realized that we couldn't stop the rockets from hitting their targets in Sderot but we could "hit our own target" of bringing smiles to the faces of some children in Sderot.

One Family Fund had made it possible for us.

We thank Yehuda Poch, Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Joseph Ziev and his other family members, Ariel Kotler and his staff for making this Sderot toy delivery possible.

Todah Rabah,
We thank you for caring (carrying) "bear"y much!

Claire Ginsburg Goldstein
Bears from Bergenfield

Please keep donating. We can never have enough toys to send over.

Claire Ginsburg and her own children started the Bears for terror-traumatized Israeli children some 5 years ago. To donate, contact her by email at LGCG98@aol.com or phone her at 551-804-8749 (cell).

To Go To Top

Posted by Michael Zebulon, January 19, 2008.

In unmistakably peace-loving Tehran, Western observers have beheld street processions of missiles –– conspicuously emblazoned with clearly stenciled words evoking all the charm and grace of a greeting card: "To Jerusalem."

Late in the 1960's, shortly after Israel's spectacular military victory in the Six-Day War, its then-newly elected Prime Minister: the Russian-born, Milwaukee-raised and -educated, former U.S. citizen, Golda Meir –– was asked if she was not afraid that, because of Israel's need for defense, the country might become "militaristic." "I can only answer," replied the lady, "that I don't want a fine, liberal, anticolonial, antimilitaristic, dead Jewish People."

Those words were spoken some 37 years ago. Here's my "report," as it were, in the matter –– some four decades hence:

I was in the city of Jerusalem for Yom Yerushalayim [that's Jerusalem Day]: which annually commemorates Israel's successful unification of the City when the aforesaid Six-Day War was forced upon her in 1967. Let me just tinker ever-so-slightly with the first part of that statement: I wasn't actually in the City "for" Jerusalem Day -- but I was, as fate would have it, in the City on Jerusalem Day.

As a matter of fact, I spent quite a bit of the merry month of May in Israel this year. It was the occasion of my niece's wedding –– and then, having completed a rigorous, four-year course of study there, she graduated from Medical School in Israel, as well, the following week. But this particular story isn't about family stuff. Not as such.

I have an acquaintance who operates a manufacturing project, or enterprise, or concern [I won't call it a "business," because he doesn't run it for personal income, but simply as a civic service] -- whereby they make ballistic waistcoats: light weight, bullet-proof vests, as well as ballistic child vests and ballistic child car seats, specifically for those residents living with their families in the unincorporated, Israeli heartland [or West Bank] provinces of Judea and Samaria.

Throughout the unincorporated (and, yes, disputed –– but, no, not 'occupied') territories, numerous incidents over the years have clearly established the essential and substantial effectiveness –– and absolute necessity –– of such measures.

Of course, the country's government should be the party providing the body armor and the shielded booster seats, but the Israeli government's craven and recreant response to international diplomatic pressure –– coming mostly, I must say, from the U.S. State Department and the European Union –– often keeps that government from doing its obvious duty to provide these citizens with suitable and efficacious means of protecting themselves and their families from the armed scum who daily and brazenly threaten their lives, and then (true-to-form) valiantly run back and hide in nearby Arab villages and towns. But that's not what this story is about either –– that's just background for what this story is about.

This story is, as I said earlier, about. . . .Israeli militarism.

On May 15, I had been, as it happened, with my friend making his deliveries in the many Judean (i.e., Jewish) communities of the Shomron –– Samaria, the northern province of the West Bank -- and on the way back south, he dropped me at the outskirts of Jerusalem, as I had an evening appointment in the City, a family dinner actually, and he had more deliveries to make in the Judean settlements of. . . . well, Judea [the southern heartland province].

Of course, on any other, normal, day, he might have driven me part way into the City before continuing on his way south –– but not on Yom Yerushalayim. Traffic throughout the City shuts down completely on Jerusalem Day –– even buses and cabs don't operate, as most of the major thoroughfares are roped-off for parades and festivities.

So I walked a not-unpleasant mile or two into the heart of Jerusalem: over the highway overpass, past the "Knesset" (Parliament) building, alongside a few construction sites, through the parks and groves and public gardens. And when I got to Jaffa Road –– the [former] main drag –– there was a massive parade going on. Now, in all candor, spectacles [of virtually any kind] really don't do much for me, and besides, I needed to be somewhere –– but getting past the parade was impossible. So I gradually made my way around it –– and in doing so, well, I saw some things. . . . quite in spite of my intentions that day.

In most countries, it's safe to say that parades celebrating significant military victories (or comparable dimensions of accomplishment) are characterized by, what? –– fireworks, brass bands, baton-twirling majorettes? –– plus the obligatory row-upon-row of uniformed marching soldiers? –– and the tanks, the floats, the flags [good God, the flags; flags out the wazoo] –– not to be overlooking the half-tracks, the armored personnel carriers, maybe a motorized howitzer or three . . . .the whole nine yards, yes? And that's all fine; everything in its place, y'know.

In Israel? –– Tractors.

No tanks, no brass bands. Tractors. Tractors.

Hundreds upon hundreds –– of tractors –– each taking its turn, one at a time, snaking its way down the long and winding parade route, and each to the ardent applause and enthusiastic cheering of the crowds. . . .

In that procession could be viewed representative units of every single make, model and year of every kind of tractor that has ever been employed to till and tend the blessed soil of the Land of Israel for the past 150 years –– including even a few horse-drawn, hybrid-automotive contraptions dating back to. . . .the decade before the American War-Between-the-States –– each-and-every vehicle neatly and prominently marked by its own sign designating the specific year, make, model name and code number, as well as the area of the Land where it was used, or is still in use, to this very day. . . .

Every one of those tractors had been restored, if necessary, to operating condition, was fully tuned up and traversing the entire length of the parade route under its own power.

And that's my report on Israeli militarism –– as related four decades after an old lady answered a question about her mean, bad-assed, Israeli compatriots, who might one day find themselves getting-off on the thrills, chills and spills of war-making. . . .

Glad you could find the time to read this.

Contact Michael Zebulon at m_zebulon@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Marion D.S. Dreyfus, January 18, 2008.

Quick on the beat of the energy trend, insider-analyst Frank Gaffney, of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, recently noted that "The US currently has 6 million cars with a chip enabling them to accept traditional gasoline as well as ethanol and methanol."

"If current Middle East consumption," Gaffney says, is about 17% of total oil needs, "substituting this chip in 50 million cars would reduce imports of oil from the Arab states to a point of almost nonexistence." We could also manage with almost no imports from the Arab oil states, and minimize our need for imports from Hugo Chavez'es Venezuela, by relying on Mexico, Canada and ANWR in Alaska.

Gaffney champions this direction because the reality of change is not precipitous: As promising as the trajectories of solar, biomass, geo-thermal, wind, photosynthetic and ever-controversial but commanding nuclear energies might be, the engines of America are dependent on combustible oil that must be used by our millions of cars right now. Our system is set up that way, and transforming it would be not only Herculean, but decades in the achieving.

For far too long, the word on the street regarded alternate fuels as apostasies. How could we manufacture any energy alternates that were cheap, abundant and non-oil-based?

For the time being and for the foreseeable future, much of the substrate of our culture is oil- and car-contingent. But the University of Nebraska, backed by the funding support of the Agriculture Department and a few independent companies, has come up with just such an energy option:

Readily available, modest in manufacture, abundant, and obtainable not only right here in the West, but in the continental US. Much of our great West is called, after all, the "prairie states." We have an almost inexhaustible renewable source of the switch grasses needed for this resource replacement.

According to researcher Nebraska's Ken Vogel, a single acre of switch grass would generate about 300 gallons of ethanol. This is based on marginal farmlands research in North and South Dakota and Nebraska. By way of comparison, an acre of corn grown in those same northern states can yield about 350 gallons of ethanol. The difference is that land committed to corn need not be sliced away from feed and agricultural ends, while switch grass is currently serving no other purpose, and utilization will not deprive markets of alternate products. Estimates of yield are still rough, Vogel has said, so it is possible when the techniques are perfected, down the road, acre yield could be higher than the current estimate.

Matt Hartwig, industry spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association, said the present study bolsters support for what they call cellulosic ethanol.

Hartwig, whose group represents ethanol producers, so he is something of a maven, says the production of ethanol from prairie grasses underscores that this cellulosic fuel production "is not only feasible, it's essential."

The industry is moderately enthusiastic. The feedstocks for the production of cellulosic ethanol are both cheap and easy to grow. A bonus is that some of the byproducts of the process can themselves be burned for further generation of electricity. The key, according to Nebraska Ethanol Board experts, is smart –– i.e., efficient, effective, economic –– enzymatic techniques to denature the prairie grass cell walls.

But will the resultant fuel pass muster with the new federal standards for biofuels? Apparently, yes. Both grain-based and cellulosic ethanol.

No longer the only game in town, with the adoption of reasonably efficient and market-priced prairie grass ethanol, the price of then-'grandfathered' oil would plummet, easing the burden on consumers, who have been inordinately affected by the recent escalation from $30 per barrel not long ago, to a high of $100 per barrel touched just weeks ago. And as Larry Kudlow said on air a few days ago, "There's no reason to think it couldn't go to $150." Borrowing a phrase from Ralph Nader's famous 1965 title on car-safety design, Saudi oil is uncheap at any speed. No matter who does a sword dance in the palace.

Last month Congress passed an energy bill that necessitates, by 2022, a bump-up in the production of ethanol –– to 36 billion gallons/year. Congress appears to be on the same page as to where our energy roulette must go, as the Mideast escalation spiral has pointed the way to avoid.

The problem with conventional ethanol has been that one unit of energy has been needed to elicit one unit of ethanol from industrial corn (as opposed to feed corn, which is of a different variety, one never used for the manufacture of commercial ethanol), resulting in a net zero gain. Though still sometimes ballyhooed as a savior alternative energy, it has not yet proved practicable to manufacture an energy source that usurped as much energy as it ultimately provided, and interest in ethanol as a viable energy fuel alternative has waned.

A singularity with switchgrass is that few farmers want to grow it, though a few companies are trying it out for curiosity. Switchgrass is essentially a media phantasm. That could make development of ethanol from these 'cheap and plentiful' grasses difficult. Another headache is transporting it: Ethanol needs transport via trucks, not pipelines. These are two bruising shortfalls, but even these pale beside the specter of piratical oil sources and "sword Saudis."

Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic, speaking in mid-January at a Washington Institute for Near East Policy symposium, said that "energy independence is perhaps the most important issue of foreign policy today." It is the Dracula of foreign policy: An issue that will not die. "If we could be independent of their oil, we could ignore those countries," Beinart concluded.

With the reduction of US reliance on Middle East crude, especially with a reasonable substitute to hand, dead cheap, a host of benefits could accrue. These are not limited to a reduction in the cost per gallon of oil domestically, and a lowering of the cost of commodities –– whose price, points out Gaffney, is a function of delivery and transport costs as well as innate commodity built-ins of sowing, growing, harvesting and supply-and-demand.

Another aspect of 'oil at $100' is that inevitably such windfall gold provides a remarkable cushion that renders Iran –– and Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and Qatar et.al. –– impervious to sanctions.

In this respect, the Austin American-Statesman notes with reference to US energy supplylines: "The Bush administration's muted reaction to the dictatorial rule of Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf has nothing to do with its stated goal of promoting democracy in Asia and the Islamic world. Instead, it's about fuel supplies in Afghanistan. Without the Pakistanis, the 24,000 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan would likely run out of fuel within days." We are in bed with our 'peace partners,' undeniably, for many more reasons than appear on the surface.

Scientists working in biofuels have come up with this surprisingly plentiful, seemingly dirt cheap, way to generate ethanol. The encouraging news is that agri research demonstrates that switch grasses –– already free, uncultivated and available in most of the Lower 48 –– grown using only moderate amounts of fertilizer, on marginal land not dedicated to cultivation of food crops, can yield significant quantities of ethanol. The five-year study of prairie grass done by the University of Nebraska and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service has just been published by the National Academy of Sciences. New research is being done on bioalgae, particularly in Israel, but dependable results are still in the works.

The balance of US oil comes from domestic, Mexican, Venezuelan, the EU and African (chiefly Nigerian) sources. Significant shale oil reserves exist in Canada and the US, unexploited as of yet, and ANWR in northeast Alaska, which has remained untouched largely due to public pressure by environmentalists, despite evidence that indigenous wapiti and caribou in fact hanker after the pipeline warmth of this promising –– and US-owned –– oil deposit.

The modification needed to enable cars to accept any of the three –– traditional oil, ethanol from prairie grasses or methanol –– costs $100 at the manufacturing end, and would save magnitudes of household dollars, in addition to setting the continent free of the machinations of the oil pirates and the nationalized oil nations of South America. A subsidiary, not inconsiderable, benefit would be the capping of petrodollars being invested in an area that has invested massively in questionable end-uses such as terrorism directed at the West.

Who knew it could take a down-home switch to satisfy an uptown craving?

Marion D.S. Dreyfus is a British-born journalist with particular interest in healthcare, and medicine, the politics of the Middle East, finance and the stock market. She has traveled widely in Africa and lived in Central and South America, Europe, and the Far East.

To Go To Top

Posted by Chaim Grosz, January 18, 2008.

Is there a way by which the Islamic civilian population can persuade its leadership to cease its hostilities against Israel? The answer is yes.

The solution requires an extended military campaign because there is no political solution rectifying the deeply ingrained hatred that has engulfed both combatants. If the past 75 year history of turmoil in Israel is any indication, such history only buttresses my theory that a political solution is just pie-in-the-sky thinking and a prescription for endless war and misery.

Western democratic ideology conflicts with the middle east paradigm because the conflict is based on religious beliefs and not lebensraum (German word for habitat or literally living space).

The difference between science and religion is that science is refutable while religion, practiced in its fundamentalist form, is irrefutable and does not allow deviation from norms established centuries ago.

Since the current conflict engulfing the middle east is governed by a religious theocracy frozen in 7th century theology, it will not end without one combatant totally subdued.

Unless democracies in the free world recognize that the middle east conflict is a conflict of tolerance versus religious intolerance, it will eventually bring down our free democratic societies. As we have witnessed in the past, the victor will be the Islamic theocracy.

The real culprits in the Middle East conflict are the Arab leaders who inflame their citizenry and foment discontent. They incite their so-called fighters to perpetrate acts of war, where their children are used to mingle with civilian crowds. They use their own homes as launching points for terrorism.

During the Chinese Boxer revolution, the Dowager employed the strategy of overwhelming the enemy with sheer numbers of civilian fighters. Because of China's large population, there was virtually an unlimited supply from which to draw civilian fighters. The enemy was quick to find out that where one soldier dropped, two would take his place.

To what extent, if any, should care be taken to minimize the enemy's civilian casualties? Should an Israeli commander place his soldiers in harm's way for the purpose of protecting the enemy's civilian population? I believe Israel should fight with their gloves off. In war, there is no room for hesitation. Those who hesitate are dead. The Islamic countries must be made to understand, on a visceral level, that as a vanquished nation they have no rights whatsoever. Absent that understanding, the Arabs will continue to wage war against Israel.

After 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 1990, 1992, the so-called Western civilized countries, utilizing a corrupt United Nations, clamored to outdo each other in reinvigorating and rearming the instigators of the war against Israel.

The Islamic nations believe that they are immune from suffering the consequences of defeat, which explains why they adopt the most extreme measures of war against Israel. Arabs fear no one. From day one, they are indoctrinated that suicide in the course of destroying your enemy is a noble way to die –– for their soldiers, civilians, women and children.. They know, based on history, that world opinion is on their side. Western democracies have always put pressure on Israel to accede to Arab demands for the "sake of peace."

In the customary practice of war, the goal is to eviscerate and disable the enemy so that he is no longer a threat, either physically or economically. There is no consideration given to non-combatants. Bombs do not discriminate between a soldier and a civilian. All civilians can do during a battle is either leave or take cover. The American coalition forces, when confronting insurgent forces, utilize any means to eradicate the positions held by such insurgents. When America became aware of the location of the Iraqi terrorist El Quida leader, they did not first drop leaflets to warn the civilians to vacate the area before they dropped bombs on the houses used by such terrorists. No protest was voiced that maybe there were woman and children in these houses. America dropped the bombs, and everyone was killed. Israel must learn from and emulate America's war tactics, and put nobility aside.

We should examine our enemy, Hezbollah. Just what are they? Are they an independent coalition of foreigners occupying a country by force? Hezbollah was created by a group of Lebanese Islamic extremists. Its ascension was marked by suicide bombers who blew up an American embassy. Many American soldiers were killed, their only sin being that they were "infidels" trying to bring some semblance of peace and order to a country that did not want peace and order.

At the time, President Reagan ordered a retaliatory strike against Hezbollah. Secretary of State Casper Weinberger ignored the order and withdrew the American troops. That was a fatal mistake. Because America failed to completely excise the tumor (Hezbollah), it grew back, stronger and more virulent. America was intimidated, decided the conflict was not theirs, and simply abandoned Lebanon to work out its issues on its own. The resulting loss of life that America experienced from such terrorist groups was significantly more than what America suffered at Pearl Harbor, and that event resulted in an all out war against Japan.

The real issue of what is considered morally correct in a time of war can be learned from President Harry S. Truman, a United States President that was involved in war of survival.

America's primary reason for using the atom bomb was to quickly and finally bring an end to World War II. Prior to dropping the bomb, America was facing an enemy whose philosophy was life is cheap and it is noble to die for your country. Truman ultimately came to realize that half measures were useless against such an enemy who embraced and idealized Kamikaze tactics.

Before ordering the bombing of Japan, President Truman sought the advice of his military commanders. According to Truman's military advisors, he was told that without the bomb, America would sustain the loss of over a million troops in its initial assault of mainland Japan and subsequent occupation. Furthermore, it would take at least an entire generation to subdue the Japanese population. All of the above did not even take into consideration the loss of Japanese lives.

President Truman realized he was the only person capable of deciding whether to allow millions to die in a drawn out war, or minimize his losses by bombing a couple of major Japanese cities (mostly populated by civilians), thus forcing Japan to surrender. That was the first (and last) time an atomic bomb was used. As history proved, Japan surrendered almost immediately after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We know that President Truman's decisive actions saved countless American and Japanese lives from a protracted war of occupation. I only hope that Israel finds its backbone and lets the United Nations and anyone else know that Israel will not bow to their demands, decrees or resolutions.

If Israel believes that it will be considered a pariah without the endorsement of the United Nations, that ship has already left the port. Israel is already considered a pariah by Moslem dominated countries and viewed as a cancer that needs to be removed by the European countries. However, Israel will always be an independent, self-governing country.

Hezbollah has said that the Israeli occupation still exists, and point to the Shebba Farms as the reason why. They also use the Shebba Farms as the reason why Hezbollah was never disbanded. That's ludicrous. Israel vacated every inch of Lebanon. Even the United Nations, which typically never sides with Israel, has certified that fact as true.

What I find truly nonsensical is when Israel issues warnings to the civilian population to vacate the areas they intend to bomb, and then Israel is taken to task for harming those same civilians who aid and abet the terrorists who live amongst them.

The only way to defeat the Islamic zealots who wish to exterminate Israel is to, metaphorically, cut the cancer from the body –– all of it. It is imperative that Israel eliminate every last terrorist –– from the Islam leaders down to the lowliest civilians. Destroy the cancer until it is incapable of reproducing ever again. Eliminate the word shahid from the Moslem's vocabulary. Shahid means serve your god by using the life in your body to kill any person who is a nonbeliever in your religion, for the glory of god.

Must we repeat our mistakes, or can we finally learn from them? Why not let us be guided by General Patton's statement when he said, "It is not noble to die for your country, but to have your enemy die for his country."

Chaim Grosz lives in Miami Beach, Florida. Contact him at CGrosz@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Phyllis Chesler, January 18, 2008.

They are clever these Iranian Islamists; subtle and sly. Deranged as no men have been before them. For example, just a few days ago, Iran's Supreme Ayatollah, Ali Khamenei, claimed that the West "abuses women" and that Islamic Iran "honors them." His proof? Islam forces women to "wear the hijab." Veiled women are entirely invisible to your average man-on-the-street whom, it is assumed, would otherwise sexually harass or rape every woman they see.

He said it. I didn't.

Khamenei is really a Second Wave American-born feminist in disguise. I kid you not. He agrees completely with the views of Ann Chamberlain. I reviewed her 2006 book, "A History of Women's Seclusion in the Middle East. The Veil in the Looking Glass" for Middle East Quarterly. Chamberlain writes that Western women who seek to integrate previously male-only space are far more "conservative" and "patriarchal" than are veiled Muslim women who live in purdah.

Chamberlain sees women-only space as equivalent to anti-patriarchal protest or resistance movements. She claims that pagan-era slave women in the Middle East were forced to work naked and to be sexually available at any moment to all men. Thus, "covered" and secluded women were safer than slave women. Wealthy women were veiled and the veil was a statement about their power and hence, unavailability.

Is Khameini trance-channeling Ann Chamberlain? According to Terence P. Jeffrey in the CBN, "Khamenei told the Iranian students' conference that in the Iranian vision of Islam, it was determined that poor women should be compelled to cover their entire bodies and faces in order to honor them and make their dress conform to the style adopted by aristocratic women. This policy, he said, logically followed from the conclusion that men have an "inborn desire for sexual violence." In ancient Iran, aristocratic women used to wear hijab," he said. "Women from lower classes did not bother. But when Islam came, it rejected such instances of discrimination. It said that all women must wear the hijab. In other words, it wanted to honor all women. This is what Islam says. Now, they [in the West] behave as if we are doing something wrong and they are doing the right thing! No, they are in the wrong. They must answer why they have been treating women like a commodity in order to gratify their own lust."

He does not mention (or possibly even view) the practices of polygamy, temporary marriage, or stoning for alleging rape as "dishonoring" women. Instead, he focuses on the West's use of naked women (that hair, those elbows!) to sell products and the West's refusal to allow women to veil themselves in universities. He also insists that newly gathered statistics document that one-third of all men in the West batter women. A recent poll suggests that 12-16% of all women in Europe are battered at home. Does that figue soar when Third World countries are included?

I wonder what the statistics are in Iran: Closer to 90%? Maybe those abayas are not thick enough, dark enough, suffocating enough; maybe Iranian women have too many elbows? We've already seen Iran's rulers insist that women not swim, swim separately, or wear full body-bags when they swim in public. We have seen special outfits for riding bicycles. What next? Little eye-brow veils? Or just smother the whole face and be done with it.

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 s co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at

Dr. Chesler writes, "The title is Terence Jeffrey's and it cannot be improved upon."

To Go To Top

Posted by George Iversen, January 18, 2008.

This past summer, i spent 3 weeks in Sderot volunteering with their Welfare department. Even if a Sderot resident was able to reach a shelter in time, they would not be able to enter it. many of the bomb shelters are padlocked. I t is my understanding that within the past few days an order was given to unlock the shelters. I was in the third floor apartment of a single mother of six children, in the 15 seconds she would have to reach the shelter, how would she chose which child to save? Think about your household, your children, your babies, how long would it take to get them out and down three flights of stairs to the bomb shelter even if YOU and THEY were trained to speedily evacuate.

This is called "Many Sderot residents unable to reach shelters on time" and was written by Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz Correspondent It was published today in Haaretz

A little before eight o'clock in the western Negev and the Color Red alert sounds in the background. The bus is just arriving at the Shkamim Maoz school. The children and driver rush off the bus and run for cover in a reinforced bus station. Three pupils –– frozen by anxiety –– are stuck in the middle of the street, screaming, unable to move. Two adults pick them up and carry them into the shelter.

In the next half hour, about 10 Qassam rockets land on Sderot. One strikes the Cohen home, not far from the Shkamim Maoz school, inflicting extensive damage. Bus driver Eli Cohen was not at home at the time of the strike, but his mother and sister were sheltering in the reinforced room. Eli got a phone call and rushed home.

About the same time, a rocket strikes the entrance road to the Hollandia furniture factory in the city, damaging the structure. Hollandia has been preparing to move the factory out of the battered southern city for a few months, despite reinforcing the structure three months ago.

During the course of the day, more than twenty Qassams fall on the city. At 5:50 P.M., Alon Davidi of the Committee for a Secure Sderot organizes a protest. Residents burn tires and two are arrested for disturbing the peace. Also at about 8 A.M., a Qassam lands at Shaar Hanegev junction near Sapir College. The kibbutzim in the Shaar Hanegev regional council are also battered by dozens of rockets throughout the day. Even so, two hours later, Sapir students are sitting on the grass enjoying the sunshine. Students in line at the college cafeteria discuss the menu and only five Bedouin women are talking about Qassams.

But the guard at the college entrance –– a Sderot resident –– says the entire region should be evacuated. "It is impossible to raise children in this region, they should evacuate us," he says, recounting the morning's events. "Two students reached the campus gates this morning, heard the alert and fled homeward. Students don't want to be here."

Nonetheless, the college has doubled enrollment in the past seven years and college administrators say that during registration for the 2008-9 school year, they are receiving 50 to 70 applications every week. President Ze'ev Zahor tries to look strong, but admits the situation is not easy. In the evening hours, Qassams land right in the academic complex and one woman is treated for shock.

Near the southern Gaza Strip, in the Eshkol regional council, a mortar hits near a 52-year-old ficus tree outside the kibbutz dining room. A Polish volunteer calmly reconstructs the strike. "I was just on my break from the cafeteria work," Vitek says, indicating the deep hole near the tree. There is no warning before a mortar strike. Vitek heard the Color Red Qassam alert for the first time two days ago after a month and a half on the kibbutz. He says he looked around and people just kept eating. "But it makes sense. What would they do? Where would they go?" Vitek asks

Contact George Iversen at georgeivers@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Daisy Stern, January 18, 2008.

This is called "A dead New Jersey recluse helps make the Negev bloom" and it was written by Greer Fay Cashman. It appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post.

Mack Ness, a Jewish farmer and recluse, who lived his life in deprived circumstances in Watchung, New Jersey, willed a fortune to Israel when he died in January 2004. As a result, Ness is helping to make the Negev bloom posthumously.

In his 90s when he died, Ness never married or had children and had no connection to the local Jewish community until a short time before his death.

A non-Jewish attorney took care of his affairs, and never took a cent for his trouble. The lawyer had lived on the Ness farm as a student, but ran out of money and couldn't pay the rent. He was about to leave when Ness offered him a deal that lasted for well over half a century. He told the young man that he could stay on the farm free of charge and continue with his studies, but that after he became a lawyer, he would have to give his services to Ness free of charge.

Ness grew vegetables, and as far as anyone was aware, they were his only source of income. He didn't trust banks, but he did have an account with Fidelity Investments.

When he felt that he didn't have long to live, he asked Fidelity how much it would charge to transfer the funds to Israel. When it said 6 percent, he decided that this was too expensive, and looked in the telephone directory for a Jewish organization. He happened to pick the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, and when he heard that it would charge only 1% for the transfer, he immediately agreed.

The Federation offered him the services of its accountant, but when he heard that the accountant lived in New York, he declined because he wasn't about to waste money on a long distance call.

Instead he visited the Jewish Federation's office, its director, Stanley Stone, said Wednesday. Stone is currently visiting Jerusalem as part of a Federation delegation.

When Ness entered the reception area, recalled Stone, his secretary called him and said a homeless man had just entered the office.

Ness left more than $15 million to the Federation, with two provisions –– that the money go to Israel and that a memorial be established for himself, his mother, Ann, and his brother Sanford.

The upshot is the Ness Loan Fund for the Negev, which in Hebrew is called Keren Ness, which translates back into English as the Miracle Cornucopia.

And indeed that's what it is. According to the fund's chairman, Gerald Flanzbaum, who lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Givat Olga, more than 85 business loans have been disbursed, mostly to people who were unable to get loans from a bank. The Flanzbaums travel to Beersheba every month to meet loan applicants. Some of the ventures have been so successful that they are repaying the loans ahead of time.

The Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey delegation met with President Shimon Peres at Beit Hanassi on Wednesday.

The president was anxious that the Ness Fund direct more of its efforts toward Arad, which he said needed a boost.

The Federation already has two projects in Arad, but its representatives expressed a willingness to undertake more.

Explaining that next year Israel will inaugurate a new airport in the South, Peres said that it was important for Arad to be made attractive so that the people working at the airport would want to build their homes and raise their families there.

Peres, who visited Yokne'am in the Galilee earlier this week, cited it as an example of what Arad could become. For years Yokne'am was forgotten, he said. Today it is a vibrant science and technology center with exports of hi-tech and medical equipment in excess of $3 billion. Peres said he learned during the visit that 40% of the world's new medical equipment, "especially in the domain of cancer," originates in Israel.

Today, he said, Yokne'am has become an attractive place to live.

Coming back to the subject of Arad, Peres said that it was ideally situated between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba and the new airport.

A key attraction that Arad will have to offer in the future, said Peres, was that it will house the National Archives. The project for re-housing the archives in a proper environment should be completed by 2013.

With Ness's improbable posthumous help, that environment could yet improve further.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by HadaR, January 18, 2008.

This essay was written by Rabbi Meir David Kahana. It was published May 23, 1986

"The Seal of the Almighty is TRUTH" (Shabbath 55a).

A few years ago, I was walking in Jerusalem when I saw an angry crowd shouting and condemning a speaker who was, himself, attacking Judaism and religion. As I approached, I recognized the speaker as being the yetzer hara (the evil inclination) himself! Dressed as a member of the anti-religious Ratz party, he was haranguing Judaism and the crowd was replying with angry taunts. As I watched, the yetzer hara continued his futile efforts and then, after a while, gave up and slipped away.

Last week, I was walking in Jerusalem and saw a large crowd gathered around a speaker wearing a knitted yarmulka, a model of modern enlightened Orthodoxy, who was loudly condemning racism, fanaticism and extremism, and proudly extolling Judaism as calling for equality with Arabs, love of enemies and the paragon of democracy. As I approached, I was startled to see that the speaker was none other than the same yetzer hara whom I had last seen ignominiously retreating before an angry crowd! I waited until the end of the rally, that was not only greeted with warm applause, but was also attended by a whole host of dignitaries including rabbis from Gush Etzion and professors from Bar Illan University, as well as the President of Israel himself! Then, I walked over to the yetzer hara and said:

"What are you doing here? And what is this yarmulka? And Torah teachings?"

The yetzer hara, who incidentally looked fat and exceedingly prosperous, beamed at me and replied: "My friend, did you ever see me get more applause than today? I realized long ago that if you want to seduce the religious Jew the way is not to attack Judaism, but to pervert it. I find that if I put on a yarmulka, praise Torah and then counterfeit what it says by making it sound palatable and all pleasant things to all men, that is the surest way to destroy it. "

Now, while all the above never really happened to me, there is not the slightest doubt that the essence of the story is true. The destruction of Judaism, the greatest threat to it, never comes from those who oppose it, but from those on the inside who –– for a myriad of objective and subjective reasons alike –– pervert, corrupt and counterfeit it.

This Passover, a writer for the newspaper Maariv in Israel wrote an article that is classic in its perversion of Torah. His name is Avraham Tirosh; he is a member of Mafdal (the NRP-Mizrachi) and he is that ideal example of shatnez (admixture) of Jew and western culture, whose background compels him not only to reject the bitter (for him) truth of Judaism's concepts but also drives him to twist and pervert G-d's law. In Tirosh's case, of course, there is a mitigating factor: He is an ignoramus. In the case of others, there is not even that as an excuse.

Tirosh –– obsessed as are so many others of the Moderdox in Israel and the Exile –– with terribly painful issues raised by "Kahanism" –– and desperate –– for his own agonizing reasons –– to prove to all and to himself that Judaism is sheer love to all –– writes a long column that is given prominent space by the editors of the secular paper (who are only too glad to believe that Judaism is not incompatible with all their gentilized Hellenism). His basic theme is love all the people, even the enemies, equality for all people, and the sin of rejoicing over the death of our enemies. He begins, of course, with the usual partial quote of the Talmud (Meghillath 10) that when the angels sought to sing a song of praise as the Egyptians were drowning, G-od said: "The work of my hands is drowning in the sea and you want to sing?"

Says Tirosh: "All who are created in the Image of G-od, even the Egyptians, are G-od's work and thus we must relate to them. When a disaster occurs to anyone, even if he is our enemy, even if he seeks to destroy you –– do not sing praise. Or, in the words of King Solomon (Proverbs 24:17): "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, let your heart not be glad."

And this "lesson" of loving your enemy, the Egyptian, who not only enslaved the Jews and murdered them but was in the process of pursuing them to destroy them (and thus, presumably, teaching us similar tolerance and morality for the PLO and Adolph Hitler) is underlined by yet another "lesson" by the scholar from Maariv:

"This is what the Torah commands us in Mishpatim (Shemoth 23:4): 'If you meet thy enemy's ox or donkey gone astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him.'" This "lesson" is also clear. Your enemy must be helped, we must be moral and ethical to the Arab, the PLO, those who hate us, those who are our "enemy". And the real lesson will be the next one. Not only should we not rejoice in their death or disaster; we should not cause it. If Tirosh, suffering from his own psychological problems, would sit quietly in his own little world, his own little corner, creating his own private perversions, it would not be cause for concern. But Tirosh, as so many Moderdox, is driven not only to sin but to pervert others, to cause them to sin. And, worse, how many Tiroshes there are in the marketplace! And not all are ignoramuses; indeed, some are learned, hence, far more guilty, far more dangerous. Let us, therefore, destroy the absurd and false neo-Toraism, Moderdoxism, that perverts and counterfeits the Word of G-od.

As always, the Tiroshes of the world selectively and very partially quote the Talmud. The selection he brings down, really begins with R. Yehoshua Ben Levi starting his lecture on Meghillath Esther with the verse: "And the L-rd rejoiced (sas) over you to do you good, so the L-rd will rejoice (yasis) over you to cause you to perish" (Devarim 28:63). And the Talmud asks: Does the Almighty then rejoice over the fall of the wicked? And to prove that He does not rejoice, the story of the angels is brought. And this is where Tirosh (either the ignoramus or the knave) stops. But there is more. The Talmud continues and answers as follows:

"Rabbi Eleazar said: it is true that HE does not rejoice, but he causes others to rejoice."

Ah, what a difference. And a clear answer to the obvious question: If G-od does not want us to rejoice and praise Him when our enemy falls, why in the world does it say: "Then sang Moses and the Children of Israel this song unto the L-rd..."? (Shemoth 15) And a clear answer to why the rabbis say (Mechilta, Beshallach, 11): "The L-rd shall perform for you miracles and glories and you will stand there and do nothing? said Israel unto Moses: What are we to do? Said he unto them: you will glorify and praise and give song and glory and greatness to the One to whom wars belong."

Of course the Almighty, the totality of Compassion, the Father of all, grieves for His children –– all of them. HE does not sing. His angels, who are not of this world, do not sing. But the Jews do. Not only are they allowed to, they are commanded to. For the very same reason that the very same Almighty, who does not sing, destroys the work of His hands because they are evil.

Yes, of course He grieves. He grieves that those who were made in His Image have so perverted and destroyed the greatness of that Image. That those who were created in the image of good were so evil. And so, He grieves for the perversion of His purpose in making the world, for His works who have gone astray. And in His grief, he does not have pity. He destroys them. He knows that evil and He cannot share the same world, as our rabbis say: "As long as the wicked rule in the world, the Holy One Blessed Be He, so to speak, cannot sit on his throne" (Yalkut Tehillim Chapter 47).

And so, because the arrogance of the enemy of the Jewish People, the brazen persecution of the People of g-od with no fear of G-od, is the very essence of Chillul Hashem, the Almighty in wrath destroys them and the Children of Israel must sing and glorify G-od. And thus do the rabbis declare (Shemoth Rabbat 23, Parashath Beshallach): "Then did Moses and the Children of Israel sing,", this is what is meant by the verse (Psalms 9:17) "The L-ord is known by the judgement He executes". This speaks of Egypt whom G-od smote at the Read Sea." And: "Then did Moses and the Children of Israel sing", this is the meaning of the verse: "Your throne was firm from then". Even though You exist from time immemorial, Your throne was not made firm, so to speak and You were not made known in the world until your children sang. When you stood at the sea and we sang before you, with that, "Az", (then) were your kingdom and your throne made firm."

This is the essence of Judaism –– a world made for good and that cannot abide evil. A world that, when the works of G-od's hand perverts His purpose and when the wicked rules and mocks G-od –– as Pharaoh declaring: "Who is the L-ord? I know not the L-ord!", the Almighty destroys them, no matter how sad He feels, and the Jew is ordered to sing the Song of the Red Sea not only on Passover but each and every day of the year in his morning service!

And that is why King David sings (Psalms 58:11): "Let the righteous rejoice as he seeth vengeance, he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked". Why? Because only when we see the wicked punished, only when we see vengeance for their sins, do we have proof that G-od really does exist and rules. And David continues by saying: "And men shall say: Verily there is a reward for the righteous; truly there is a G-od that judgeth in the earth."

And that is why the rabbis tell us that "Moses yearned to see vengeance against the Midianites." Moses. Yearned. To see vengeance on the wicked. What shall we do with the fanatic Moses...

The incredible perversion of Judaism by confused and guilt-ridden Moderdox, ignoramuses and learned alike! Our rabbis tell us (Midrash Avkir): 'And Israel saw the great hand of G-od' –– When the Almighty wished to drown the Egyptians, the Archangel of Egypt (Uza) said: Sovereign of the Universe! You are called just and righteous...why do you wish to drown the Egyptians? At that moment the Archangel Gabriel rose and took a brick and said: Sovereign of the Universe! These who enslaved your children such a terrible slavery as this, shall You have mercy on them? Immediately the Almighty drowned them."

And allow me to introduce two other Talmudic Sayings: "That generation was one of tiny faith, saying: Just as we rose from the sea on this side, perhaps the Egyptians rose from the other side. The Almighty ordered the bodies to be washed-up and Israel saw them." (Pesachim 118b) And Midrash Tehillim 22:1 adds: "Each Jew took his dog and put his foot on the throat of a dead Egyptian and said to his dog: Eat of the hand that enslaved me; eat of the heart that showed no pity."

** Poor Tirosh. Poor Moderdox.

As for the tiresome perversion of the verse "when your enemy falls do not rejoice," it is time that Tirosh went beyond a Biblical verse and learned that G-od gave an Oral Law, a Talmud, that explains verses. Let him open the Talmud (Meghillath 16a) which tells of Mordechai kicking Haman as the latter bent over to help him climb on the horse. Haman too, in a startling echo of Tirosh, wails: "Does it not say in your Torah, when your enemy falls, etc.?" And Mordechai answers Haman and Tirosh: "That speaks about a Jew (an enemy who is a Jew), but with you it declares, "And you shall trod on their high places" (Deuteronomy 33:29)" Haman heard the words of Judaism. Tirosh not yet.

And the ignorance knows no bounds, the pity being that some Jews stand before the entire country and expose their nakedness with shouts of triumph. "Thine enemy's ox or donkey". This, in the narrow, empty head of an ignorant Moderdox, proves how much we must have pity even on our enemy. The Talmud (Bava Metsia 32b), aside from making it clear that, at best, the reason for the law is tsa'ar ba'ale' chaim (suffering of the animal and NOT pity on the enemy), makes it as clear as it is humanly possible that "the enemy that is mentioned here is a Jew who is your enemy and not a gentile". And Maimonides, the idol of the great progressives, says (Laws of Murderer 13:14): "The 'enemy' mentioned in the Torah is a Jew and not one of the nations of the world."

I really could go on and on, but the lesson is clear. Tirosh is the lesson of Passover and of every day of the year. Tirosh and the Moderdox, puffed up by their own personal and egotistical refusal to accept Torah concepts and destroy their own gentilized and westernized ones, deliberately pervert and counterfeit Torah.

The Seal of the Almighty is TRUTH, and only that TRUTH will emerge from His lips and His teachings.

Note by HaDar: [**] Notice that to confirm all this, there is an ancient tradition in Jewish Italian cuisine to prepare for the Shabbath of Parashath Beshallach, in which the drowning of the Egyptians is told, a dish called "Le Ruote di Faraone", Pharaoh's Wheels, a pasta dish, in which the noodles are shaped as chariots' wheels (you can easily find them in your supermarket by Barilla or De Cecco) in a red Bolognese sauce, where the meat is chopped a bit bigger instead of the usual very small pieces. The wheels represents Pharao's floating destroyed chariots, and the tip-of-a-finger sized chopped meat represent the floating heads of the Egyptians. I love that dish, and have been eating it with gusto for many years (I think it is mentioned in Edda Machlin Servi's Italian Jewish Cuisine Book). That is another proof of what RaMbaM teaches: for every forbidden flavour (eating one's enemies' heads is not allowed!) there is ALWAYS a kosher equivalent...

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 18, 2008.


In the US election and Israel's avoidance of one, politics is the art of complaint and evasion. "Peace process" is the psychological denial of jihad and in fact allies itself with jihad in an attempt to destroy the Jewish state. Israeli politicians laud immigration but fail to investigate why more people emigrate than immigrate.

Democrats have been cultivating a feeling of dissatisfaction without doing anything to satisfy. Sen. Obama wants "change," but doesn't define it. If you are dissatisfied, vote for him. Maybe he'll figure out what to do later.

Gov. Spitzer gets to head a state whose overload of debt and taxes drives people out. His program is to spend billions more that the state doesn't have. That wouldn't faze Sen. Clinton, who wants a welfare state. She would raise taxes, without having discussed the consequences to business and prosperity, US competitiveness. Rich people can re-establish residency in low tax countries.

Democrats complained for years about the deficit, due mostly to overspending and repaying interest on the debt and to rising costs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Those three programs consume 40% of the federal budget. They are rising towards 70% unless entitlements are revised to meet longevity.

Longevity shouldn't wreck the economy, it should provide the workers that some candidates think we must have unlimited immigration to supply. All the candidates avoid discussing solutions to the runaway costs.

Gov. Spitzer's answer is to reduce allowances to doctors, whose increasing insurance expenses plus lowered income, drives them out of business. Yet with a shrinking supply of specialists, he wants to expand medical coverage, as Pres. Bush did with prescriptions. Nevertheless, the economy that Bush's critics decried as anemic reduced the deficit each year and grew beyond it, until 2008.

The US gets attacked, but Democrats think our participation in the Iraq war is gratuitous. The war does increase the deficit, but by less than the other stimuli.


Israeli politicians are campaigning to include Marwan Barghouti in the next big prisoner release, possibly in exchange for the one Israeli held in Gaza. I'm not sure how much Hamas favors that, since Barghouti is billed as the successor to Abbas. Barghouti was released twice before, promising not to resume terrorism. Once out, he continued terrorism and on a bigger scale. He remains dedicated to the destruction of Israel. So much for jihadi promises and releases and the wisdom of releasing many terrorists for one Israeli! Israeli politicians will seem to do anything to harm their country. Let them campaign for Pollad's release!


"Under the current arrangement that was pressed on Israel by Sec. of State Rice, international observers were to observe but the Palestinians (P.A.) actually had the final say as to what and who could cross. Since then the arrangement, that Rice considered a major achievement, has become a farce, with international observers not even necessarily present when the crossing operates. Despite this, Ms. Rice continues to cite this as a success and model for the future."

Israel realizes the farce. It has asked the US and others for permission to recapture the border, set up a military base there, and have foreign observers run the border crossing (IMRA, 1/5). When will Israel learn that international operation means politics and anti-Zionist politics, at that? When will it learn not to ask the US for permission, for the same reason and also because its internal affairs are not the US business?


The people should have told Bush he is an unwelcome pest. Instead, 3,000 who might have protested along his route were far away, erecting settlements for the government to dismantle. A few writers tried to distribute protest literature, but were arrested. Shabak agent provocateur Itamar Ben Gvir was arrested twice for his deliberately inflammatory posters, serving as a pretext for police to tear down reasonable ones. Interesting that the police let him out swiftly enough to do more damage to what is supposed to be his cause (Barry Chamish, 1/11).

Americans mistakenly think that Israel is a democracy, that there is a peace process, and that Bush is pro-Israel. Due to that ignorance, the US is losing the jihad. It would lose fast if the "anti-war" Democrats win the election. The economy that they long complained about while it was wondrous now is buckling, and with it the Republican chance to retain the White House.


Those debates used to be distinguished. Now they are biased. They had one on whether the solution for Israel is one or two states west of the Jordan River. For the pro-Israel side, they invited Prof. Norman Finkelstein, professor fired for lack of scholarship, notorious for deceitful Holocaust-denial and defamation of Israel, and who supports Hizbullah. The person supposed to debate him refused to appear with him, and the debate was canceled. The Union set up another debate, whether Israel has a right to exist, a question they would not ask about any other state. The Union re-invited Finklestein; his team mate also favors terrorism against Israel. That's the pro-Israel side (Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/11).


When the Cabinet started to discuss Pollard with Bush, Olmert cut them off by asserting that it wasn't the appropriate time to discuss that issue. The day before, Olmert had asked Bush to release Pollard. Bush refused. There is no indication that the request was stated with any passion or explanation. Mrs. Pollard suspects it was the usual governmental pretense, done to take the wind out of the sails of the growing Israeli movement to get Pollard freed (IMRA, 1/10).

Had the Cabinet enough fortitude and decency, it should have told Olmert that it was the best time when face-to-face with the jailer-in-chief. It should have told Bush that after all his repeated demands that Israel show good faith to the pact-breaking Arabs, and after all his failures to demand that the Arabs show good faith to their Israeli victims, let the US show good faith to Israel. Clemency for Pollard would be the way to show it. If Bush had then refused, they should have brought down the government and called for new elections. Those who walked out probably would regain support in those elections.

Somebody has to bring the President and the Secretary of State down from their imperial attitude towards Israel and other foreign countries and to bring Israel up from its genuflecting attitude towards foreign countries.

One of the old European grievances about that imperiousness was unfair. The US used to run NATO unilaterally. Not without reason! Most other members either had small forces in it, little war experience, or were pacifistic. They just wanted the US to protect them. The US used to pay for most of NATO (many times the aid to Israel that critics of aid to Israel realized, and got less protection from each NATO member than it got from Israel), too.


He wants to negotiate a unity government or a truce with Hamas (IMRA, 1/5).

Then he is not abhorred by Hamas and is not anti-terrorist. The US and Israeli governments refuse to recognize that.

PRES. BUSH OBJECTS TO RAID ON IRANIAN NUCLEAR Pres. Bush was asked, suppose the prime minister "presents to you evidence that the Iranians are approaching the point of no return and tells you that we cannot live with such a threat and we will attack the nuclear facilities of Iran. Would you support an Israeli action?" He replied, "The policy of the US is to solve the problem via diplomacy." (IMRA, 1/5.) Suppose Iran had ICBMs?


On the one hand, Israel credits UNIFIL with keeping Hizbullah from getting weapons into southern Lebanon, and regards highly its relationship with UNIFIL. On the other hand, Israel suspects UNIFIL of leaking to Hizbullah IDF briefings made to UNIFIL, and regards suspiciously its relationship with UNIFIL. The IDL quandary is how much detail to give in briefing UNIFIL, without unduly risking Israeli security (IMRA, 1/10).

Israel also praises Abbas as a fighter against terrorism, the terrorism that Abbas' TV stations promote. Israel praises Bush as a friend, when he demands it take down checkpoint barriers to terrorism. Israel also praises Egypt as a constructive regional force, even as it leads the diplomatic offensive against Israel (other than the "US-led peace process offensive against Israel). It praises Mubarak as working hard to block arms smuggling into Gaza, even as he assists that smuggling. In that case, how much can we believe IDF credit to UNIFIL? Hasn't Hizbullah been reported that having smuggled arms into northern Lebanon with the conniving of the Lebanon Army and the condoning of UNIFIL? Hizbullah then managed to bring its weapons and fortifications back into southern Lebanon.

After having praised its enemies, Israel finds it all the more difficult to condemn their transgressions. Why does Israel praise its enemies? Partly, because Israel's leaders are Israel's enemies or are under the influence of the Far Left's ability to indict them for corruption. Partly, Israel's leaders lack the courage to admit that hitherto, its diplomacy of trying to work with its enemies doesn't work (and that surprises them?). It tries the child-like, psychological tactic of praise in the hope of keeping in its enemies' good graces. But the P.A. is working against Israel all it can get away with. The same psychology seems behind some of the Nobel Peace Prize awards to murderers, such as Ho Chi Minh and Arafat, in the hope that they would feel it behooves them to make peace. It encouraged them to feel they could get away with making war. In the case of Arafat, I wouldn't be surprised if more Jew-killing was a pleasing prospect to the leftist award committee.


Meeting with the Cabinet, Bush urged those present to keep PM Olmert in power, because he is strong (IMRA, 1/10).

Olmert is strong only in suppressing democratic opposition, defying the will of the people to defend the Jewish state and get Pollard freed. He is notoriously weak in resisting corruption, dealing with the Arabs, dealing with the US, and at reform.

For interfering in Israeli politics, the Cabinet should have sent Bush home.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Daisy Stern, January 18, 2008.

Some news about the seven jailed girls : this is plain CRUELTY. I bet it is done to break their morale, and make them give their names, after all; pitting one against the other, DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Dirty, disgusting. Do they have another judicial recourse?

"Three Pioneer Girls Released, Others Sent Back to Jail"
11 Shevat 5768, 18 January 08 03:12
Arutz-Sheva –– www.IsraelNationalNews.com

(IsraelNN.com) Three of the pioneer girls who were arrested at Givat HaOr two weeks ago were released Friday by the Magistrates' Court in Jerusalem who ruled that the responsibility for identifying the girls rested with the police and not with the girls themselves. The other girls, who have not been satisfactorily identified, were sent back to jail.

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP) blessed the girls for their "moral victory against the wickedness of the police and the government."

"14 year old girls demonstrated to the public what civil disobedience is and how it can be used to change immoral and anti-Zionist decisions which are destructive for Israel," Eldad said.

"Court To Release Minor Teens from Jail after 23 Days"
11 Shevat 5768, 18 January 08 11:59
Arutz-Sheva –– www.IsraelNationalNews.com

(IsraelNN.com) A Jerusalem district court judge has ordered the release of six girls under the age of 16 who have been held in jail for 23 days without charges, following their arrest at the Givat Haor outpost at the entrance to Beit El. They had refused to identify themselves, but police reached their parents' homes with a court order that the parents turn over pictures of their children. A seventh girl was released on Thursday after police succeeded in identifying her through her possessions.

The court said the issue now is the responsibility of the police and not the prison system. There was no explanation why it took 23 days for the police to bring a court order that the children's parents identify their children.

"Police Demand Parents Give Pictures of Arrested Teens"
11 Shevat 5768, 18 January 08 11:44
Arutz-Sheva –– www.IsraelNationalNews.com

(IsraelNN.com) Police appeared at homes of arrested minor teenage girls Thursday and said they had court orders demanding that parents turn over pictures of their jailed children. The girls, most of whom are ages 13 to 15, have refused to identify themselves because they refute the right of a secular court to judge them.

The legal rights organization Honenu said that the action reflects intense public pressure on the courts to release the children. "These young girls have succeeded in forcing the entire system and have proven that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is not a crime." They were arrested for trying to establish a hilltop community near Beit El, north of Jerusalem.

The girls have told their parents that prison guards and police have harassed them in prison, forcing them to strip and depriving them of sleep in an effort to break their will not to identify themselves.

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 18, 2008.

This is from yesterday's Sultan Knish blog

Israel Hasson's bill to make any website with over 50,000 hits a day be legally considered a newspaper and liable for the comments left in its talkbacks have passed preliminary reading in the Knesset.

Now as a wave of censorship is hitting European and Canadian bloggers, that wave is now hitting Israeli bloggers as well. British blogger Lionheart's potential jail time made headlines and now a a blogger from Mystical Paths has been called in for interrogation for "possible involvement in planning anti-public activities, and for publishing a Violent Anti-Government and Anti-Homosexual Blog –– Mystical Paths."

R. Nati is a former United States Marine but Mystical Paths is a primarily religious blog with a side emphasis on events in Israel.

Mystical Paths is on the opposite spectrum of violent, as the name alone would indicate. Anti-Public activities is a creepily Stalinist term. It is critical of the Olmert government and as a religious blog it of course views homosexuality like any other sexual perversion but does not spread hate toward individuals.

Neither of those two things should in any case result in a police interrogation but it was probably posts like these written by R. Nati detailing the police crackdown during Bush' visit that sparked the police's ire. A highly religious post that at the same time describes the abuse behavior taking place.

But this interrogation is itself is a signal that the wave of crackdowns on Israeli bloggers is underway. government is trying to push through a massive series of terrorist concessions that the entire country opposes and it is trying to do so by silencing voices of protest wherever and whenever it can.

Consider what happened during Bush's visit when three activists attempted to hand out booklets to reporters about Fatah's terrorist activities.

The detention of three activists during President Bush's visit to Israel has sparked claims that Israeli police are intentionally targeting groups and individuals who oppose the push of Ehud Olmert's government for a two-state solution.

The three activists –– from the Israel office of the Zionist Organization of America and the National Council of Young Israel –– were taken in by police in Jerusalem while trying to hand out booklets to reporters who were covering Bush's trip.

Israeli police said that the officer in charge initially suspected that the booklets, which criticized Palestinian leadership, might have contained "seditious material."

FOLLOWING THAT IS the letter from the mother of a 14 year old girl, who is an American citizen, incarcerated without communication in an adult prison. The ZOA, one of whose activists had been handing out the booklets, has also issued a protest in regard to the 6 such girls who are still in prison.

The situation in Israel mirrors that in Europe where governments who are determined to sell out their own citizens to the Jihad pass laws and engage in police interrogations of anyone speaking out against it.

Silence is the company policy and the graver the situation gets, the worse the crackdown becomes as governments become increasingly determined to silence anyone pointing out the disastrous course they are taking for their nation.

The press tends to be well in hand, staffed by reporters produced by liberal institutions and managed by editors who vote safely to the left.

Conservative newspapers are kept in line through threats and intimidation and the inevitable to need to compromise in order to remain in business and prop up their "moderate" conservative parties.

The internet has changed the rules of the game.

In America or in Israel or in Europe, the internet has become the main source of disseminating information about the rising terrorist and demographic threat from the forces of Islam.

Governments who are determined to compromise with Islam are driven to find a way to silence those independent voices, by first creating laws and then using police harassment to silence independent websites and bloggers.

The censorship sweeping the free world is meant to smother those few who are protesting against the dark wave of the Jihad approaching our shores.

Censorship though is no solution but a frustrated political and media elite will still try to do their best to "silence the extremists."

It is our sacred duty not to permit their voices to be silenced, across the world and around the globe, ex-Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Hindus, Right, Left and anything in between.

We confront the prospect of a new dark age that will drown all we love in darkness and slaughter and enslave our families and those we care about. Every voice that shouts, whispers or murmurs against the darkness is the voice of freedom.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Dr. Aaron Lerner, January 18, 2008.

No matter how critical the Winograd Report may be of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, its relevance will be challenged by Olmert's supporters on the grounds that the New-Improved-Post-Second-Lebanon-War-Olmert already has implemented the principle Winograd recommendations.

And while bereaved families of soldiers killed in that fiasco as well as furious IDF reservists will certainly be give broadcast time and column inches, they will be hard put to make Olmert's resignation seen as a truly national imperative if Olmert's spinners succeed in establishing a beachhead with the New-Improved-Olmert argument.

But there is no reason that Olmert's spinners should be allowed to get away with this.

After all, the New-Improved-Olmert has been pretty much as incompetent in running the country as the old one.

The challenge is to come up with concrete examples of this incompetence that can be described in a sound bite, are intuitive and don't lend themselves to being dismissed by a counter sound bite.

The Gaza Haj Pilgrims fiasco which ended with Hamas bringing in an estimated $100 million in cash thanks to the absence of inspections at the Rafah Crossing comes to mind.

The on again off again fuel cuts to the Gaza Strip also has potential.

The Olmert team's apparent preference for yet another terrorist strengthening ceasefire in the Gaza Strip might also be used to illustrate the absence of any serious strategic thinking on their part.

Examples of incompetence not related to the Arab-Israeli conflict could also help make the point.

One thing is clear. This is not something to be prepared on the fly as a parade of talking heads argue and comment upon the release of the Winograd Report.

Again. The potential to rebuff the Olmert team's New-Improved-Olmert argument is certainly there. But it would be a tremendous mistake to assume that it will be a cakewalk.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of Independent Media Review and Analsis (IMRA). Its website address is http://www.imra.org.il or write him at imra@netvision.net.il

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 17, 2008.


There is a lot behind the US diplomats' comment that Israel is not meeting its agreements. The obvious explanation, when the complaint is true, is that Israel had been meeting them and the Arabs had not been. Israel could have and should have considered the Arab abrogation to have nullified the agreements. Violent Arab violations demonstrate bad faith in peace-making. Instead, Israel suspended its dangerous concessions of territorial control or security measures. If Israel were a normal state, its leaders would rebuke both the Arabs and the US. It would rebuke the Arabs for violations and bad faith. It would rebuke the US for continuing to condone Muslim protection and promotion of terrorism while continuing to expect Israel to reduce its protection against the continuing P.A. terrorism. Unfortunately, whereas jihadists figure out how to influence American public opinion, Israel does not even defend its own reputation.

If Israel were a normal state, it would tell the US to stay out of the conflict. If asked why, the explanation would be that it is not an honest broker, would the US like to hear why it isn't?

Less known is the explanation that the agreements are vague. That suits all parties. The Arabs feel that it keeps their options open to demand more. The State Dept. knows it will give an anti-Zionist interpretation. The government of Israel, which acts with no long-range plan either strategically or for propaganda, and with more concern for the fate for its governing coalition than for the fate of the state, feels relieved that it has avoided a confrontation and an unfavorable commitment. At least, it tells its people that it has not made an unfavorable commitment. The State Dept. lets it make such claims for a while. Then, when diplomacy resumes, it insists upon its interpretation, the anti-Zionist media accuse Israel of violations, and the Israeli regime drops some of is insistence and reservations. Remember Sharon's famous 14 reservations to the Road Map? You might not remember, because he never brought them up again. He had raised them in order to reassure his security-minded countrymen. The government falsely reassured its people about Oslo, too. It is towards the Jewish people that the government of Israel breaks its agreements. The Arabs and the US make duplicitous agreements with Israel, and then have the temerity to complain about Israel.

When diplomacy resumes, the US demands compliance with its interpretation. The Israeli regime doesn't know how to defy the US and the media and insist on its own interpretation. Yet it is afraid of rousing a great outcry by its own, security-minded populace. Hence it hedges. It reduces some security measures temporarily, then restores them, as terrorism resumes. It ought to draw a public lesson and rebuke against the US when terrorism resumes, and lay indirect responsibility for Israeli casualties upon the State Dept.. It lacks the guts to do so. It incurs worldwide condemnation for not, in effect, committing suicide. And that the world maintains it is honor-bound to do. Suicide is not honorable.


A NY Times article explored in detail the traumatic experiences of residents in Siderot, Israel, bombarded daily by rockets.

Unmentioned was the residents' major concern, that their government does not do what is needed to end the bombings (1/9).

A human interest story sympathetic to Israeli victims of Muslim terrorism is rare in that newspaper. Deception, such as omitting the residents' intense demands that the government protect them, is not rare in that paper.


Before Bush's visit to Israel, PM Olmert stated that Israel does not keep its agreements with the Arabs, should retreat to the Green Line, divide Jerusalem, and give the Arabs most of their immediate demands. He would give up Israel's strategic advantages to an enemy that is more violent than Hamas. His supporters openly urged Pres. Bush to demand the maximum from Israel.

Meanwhile, a patriotic Israeli rabbi declared Olmert a traitor for wanting to concede so much to the Islamo-fascists, modern-day Nazis. Israeli Jews and a US Organization, the Orthodox Union, denounced that rabbi for calling Olmert a traitor and using the Nazis as an analogy. Some demanded that the courts punish him (IMRA & Arutz-7, 1/4/08).

Since Olmert behaves like a traitor, what is wrong with calling him one? Why don't those Jews believe in freedom of speech for critics of the government? If non-violent critics should be punished for the truth, what about Israeli leftists who called religious Jews "lice" and urged settlers' murder?


Pres. Bush wants a new Arab state defined, so that residents "who agree that Israel ought to exist and agree that the state ought to live side-by-side with Israel in peace have something to be for." (Benny Avni, NY Sun, 1/9, p.7.) PM Olmert has faith in Bush's dedication to the security of Israel, and Bush said the US cannot dictate to Israel the final agreement (NY Times, 1/10, A).

The assertions by Olmert, Bush and the Times are propagandistic sentimentality, not fact-based analysis. All are false. Rice is dictating, gradually so as not to invoke Israeli rebellion. She and Bush demand that Israel reduce security measures now and agree to insecure borders, not letting Israel really negotiate. No prominent P.A. Arabs recognize Jewish rights to a state and peace.


Genocidal jihadists attack Israel by illegal means. Israel sometimes defends itself, using legitimate means when it does. Nevertheless, the media and self-appointed humanitarian organizations condemn Israel for inflicting civilian casualties. Israel doesn't seek to inflict them, and the Muslims do, but the Western "idealists" condemn Israel.

Israel then resorted to lighter weapons, whose explosions don't spread to civilians. Sometimes that didn't knock out the terrorists, either. Israel timed its attacks more carefully, to avoid the presence of Muslim civilians. This took a chance on the terrorists meanwhile committing more attacks on Jews. Israel also worked more skillfully at intelligence, so its attacks would succeed the first time.

Results were gratifying. The civilian toll fell to negligible proportions, from 50% to 2%. Even the 2% includes terrorists not at that moment indulging in jihad.

That should be good news to the humanitarian organizations and the media. They didn't find it newsworthy. They ignore it. They have the time and space for condemning Israel wrongfully, but not for praising Israel rightfully. So much for their sincerity (Alan Dershowitz in Prof. Steven Plaut, 1/4/08).


The same day that Haaretz published its false and extravagant praise that the P.A. had made Nablus secure, the IDF destroyed a laboratory there, manufacturing rockets with which to bomb Israel. The first story is fantasy, the second, reality.

Haaretz came up with another claim that Dr. Aaron Lerner suspects was concocted to enhance the P.A.'s reputation shortly before Pres. Bush's arrival. It reported a P.A. claim to have uncovered a bomb-making factory. It showed no evidence. Haaretz took its word for it (IMRA, 1/4/08).


A few weeks ago, an Israeli official tipped of the Egyptians that certain Hamas agents intended to leave Gaza as if pilgrims, but really for military training in Iran and to bring back large sums to finance Hamas. Mubarak and Olmert had just made a new agreement not to let such people through, but to let Israeli security forces check them. Nevertheless, Egypt let the Hamas men through, unchecked. Thus even a recent agreement with Israel means nothing. Egypt does not follow the norms of civilized states (IMR, 1/4/08). The Nazis and Communists didn't always, either.


When the US struck down Saddam, certain other countries developing nuclear weapons stood down. Finding limits to US power and determination, Iran resumed its program, if it actually had suspended it. It continued developing longer range missiles. Soon they could reach Europe. It is working on ones that could reach the US. Would It spend so much on missiles unless nuclear-tipped?

Iran also is enriching uranium. Iran and the National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.) attribute that to its civilian nuclear program. The distinction is false. Once sufficient uranium is enriched, Iran could manufacture bombs in 3-6 months. The civilian program was just a mask for the military one. Iran is not likely to notify the US, Israel, and S. Arabia, with a nice Respondez S'il Vous Plait, when it starts manufacture.

The Europeans don't worry. They are used to nuclear threats, the Soviet ones. Besides, they say, if the US and Israel are concerned, let them act.

The N.I.E. encouraged other countries to help develop Iran instead of curbing it, and to discourage a military check on Iran's program. Now Iran can pursue military development without hindrance or concern (IMRA, 1/9).

That leaves the US as one of the few principled states still abstaining from profits in order to impose sanctions. I haven't heard my liberal friends credit the US for such decency. They damn the Bush administration more than Iran.

I think that Pres. Bush should reorganize the intelligence agencies and investigate the ones that produced that obviously doctored report.

The Europeans should worry. The Soviets had a-bombs for deterrence, whereas the Iranians consider them something they may well use. The President of Iran doesn't yet control the nuclear weapons, though he is striving for such power. He believes in using them to bring on armageddon and the hidden imam, who, he has hinted, is himself. Europeans had better throw in their lot with the US.


Years ago, S. Arabia decided to become self-sufficient in wheat. It heavily subsidized cultivation of it. In that desert kingdom, the entire production drew upon aquifers. Wheat production rose, but the water table fell. S. Arabia now is ending its wheat program. Oil revenue can cover the cost of switching crops to ones using less water (IMRA, 1/9).

Israel should make similar decisions. Since it subsidizes water, farmers waste it.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Dave Nathan, January 17, 2008.

This is by Asaf Romirowsky and it appeared in the Jewish Exponent today. It is archived at the Middle East Forum website

Asaf Romirowsky is an associate fellow at Campus Watch and the manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

An Islamic group came to Temple University last spring with an offer to provide $1.5 million for an endowed chair in Islamic studies to honor religion professor Mahmoud Ayoub. After months of talks, the deal never got off the ground, once trustees and others raised concerns about the contributor, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a nonprofit research group that had been under scrutiny as part of a government probe into the funding of suspected terrorists.

Some would like to consider money given by Saudis and other Arab nations to American universities as generous gifts to those U.S. universities who have educated their elites. A closer look reveals a different picture that includes incitement, anti-Semitism and a skewed view of Islam.

There have been some cases when universities have turned down funds. In July 2000, the Harvard Divinity School first accepted $2.5 million from the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, to endow an academic chair in Islamic Religious Studies. However, Rachel Fish, a divinity student at the time and a founding member of Harvard University Graduate-Students Friends of Israel, raised an uproar, documenting the sheik's anti-Semitic ties.

The Harvard administration was forced to face facts and take a closer look at who was offering the funds –– and why. As a result, the money was not accepted; in 2004, the sheik withdrew funds.

But this is not the norm. Several years ago, a multimillion gift from the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was shared between Harvard and Georgetown universities.

These monetary efforts began in the 1960s and '70s, with Muslim donors funneling millions of dollars into American universities to support Islamic studies, hire faculty specialists in Islam, and fund the writing of books and seminars on the topic.

Such support represents one of the biggest problems academia faces today –– that is, how to arrive at a fair and balanced discussion when it relates to Mideast studies.

A disturbing variable in the equation, which complicates the situation further, is the unwillingness of many American Jews to take a strong stand on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In particular, rabbis and Jewish educators –– no matter where they stand on the political spectrum –– often behave in an apologetic manner when it comes to Israel, rather than make assertive arguments from a Zionist point of view.

This unwillingness to confront the pro-Palestinian propaganda being nurtured by Middle Eastern-studies departments is one of the major sources of confusion among Jewish students. For example, so long as liberal American Jews fail to speak up about the issue of post-1948 Jewish refugees from Arab lands, and instead, merely allow the discussion to center on a Palestinian "right of return," Jewish students will be on the defensive.

If pro-Israel advocates on campus are discussing the Jewish state only in terms of "Israeli oppression," rather than in debunking such notions, the result is always going to favor the anti-Israel forces. That is why college campuses today have become podiums for those who denigrate Israel, as is apparent from the different human rights, anti-globalization and anti-imperialism groups that have adopted the Palestinian cause.

Within academic circles, individual views are often turned into a political litmus test. For example, Fouad Ajami, the articulate interpreter of Arab culture and politics who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, has been subject to scathing attacks from Arab critics. Ostensibly, these critics find his scholarship faulty. In reality, they see him as too soft on the question of Israel, and worse, selling out to the enemy.

As we look to educate ourselves and the next generation about Israel and the Middle East, we should question the sheer amount of cash being offered and the influence these people are thereby buying, creating bastions of noncritical, pro-Islamic scholarship within academia.

Contact Dave Nathan by email at davenathan@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, January 17, 2008.

(IsraelNN.com) Following a Kassam rocket barrage on their city, launched by the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, residents of Sderot went out into the street in a spontaneous protest demonstration Thursday night. Two people were arrested.

In a single barrage on Thursday afternoon, terrorists in Gaza fired six rockets at Jewish communities in the western Negev. Three of them landed within the town of Sderot and three others fell in empty fields outside the town. One rocket hit an electricity pole, causing a blackout in a few dozen homes.

The ongoing attacks eventually led to a gathering of about 150 people on Histadrut Street in Sderot. Their spontaneous gathering turned into a full-fledged demonstration, including burning tires, against the lack of security in the city. Police detained two protesters for questioning in relation to charges of disturbing the peace.

Shortly after the protest dispersed, three more rockets slammed into an area near Sderot. One of the projectiles landed near the Sapir College. Two women were hurt as a result of the attacks, according to Magen David Adom emergency services. One woman broke her foot when she ran for cover. Four other people reportedly suffered from shock. A fourth rocket fired by PA terrorists in northern Gaza exploded near a kibbutz in the Shaar HaNegev regional council region. There were no reports of casualties or damage in the latter incident.

Since the morning, the Gaza-based enemy has fired over 40 rockets at Jewish communities in the Negev.%ad%

In IDF counter-terrorism operations on Thursday night, a military aircraft fired on a car in Beit Lahya, in northern Gaza. Arab sources reported that three people who were inside the car were killed, and that they were probably members of Islamic Jihad. A different report indicated that two terrorists died in the airstrike.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz is a writer for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 17, 2008.
This comes from the Israel Matzav blogsite

Remember the $7.4 billion in aid money that was raised for the 'Palestinian Authority' in December? At the time, Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in the Jerusalem Post:

This money is mainly designed to keep Fatah in power and prevent Hamas from taking over the West Bank. And unless the PA changes its rhetoric and starts promoting real peace and coexistence with Israel, the millions of dollars are not going to create a new generation of moderate Palestinians.

An 'audit' has been done of the money raised in December and they're now pleased to announce that they raised $7.7 billion –– way more than the $5.6 billion they requested. And today a PA minister announced what the 'Palestinian Authority is planning to do with that money: About 40% of it is going to be spent in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority intends to spend 40 percent of recently-pledged international aid in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Stip, a PA minister said Thursday.

Donors met in Paris last month as part of a U.S.-led campaign to restart peace talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Those talks got under way this week despite public skepticism about the chances of a deal.

According to Samir Abdallah, who serves as planning and labor minister in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' government, international donors have pledged $7.7 billion in aid to the Palestinians over the next three years, more than initially reported.

Officials at the conference initially estimated that pledges totaled $7.4 billion but a subsequent audit showed another $300 million was pledged, Abdallah said.

That'll convince 'em that terror doesn't pay.

A comment posted by NormanF said...

None of that money is going to make the PA moderate –– in fact just the opposite.

The one thing both Fatah and Hamas agree is on is Israel is the enemy. They may disagree on who should hold the reins of power in the nascent reichlet but they are both in agreement on the need for Israel to disappear from the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat has said that as long as Israel continues to defend itself from Arab terror, there will be no talks. That's the "moderate" PA's idea of peaceful co-existence with Israel.

Which means throwing $7 billion at Abbas or the corrupt regime he heads is not going to transform him into a man of peace or get the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish State.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Israel Academia Monitor, January 17, 2008.

This was written by Lee Kaplan and it appeared today on the Israel Academia Monitor website. It is archived at

http://israel-academia-monitor.com/index.php?type=large_advic&advice_id= 6058&page_data[id]=7825&cookie_lang=en&the_session_id= a27fe837538a8390f72950cf23b64247

The ferocity with which certain Israeli academics attack Israel and promote the goals of the terrorist leadership of the PLO can find no better personifications than in the husband and wife team of Professors Jacob and Tamar Katriel. One could call this couple the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of Israel and the Katriels produced the same result in their children. Both of these Israeli academics are functioning as major mouthpieces for anti-Israel propaganda, not just on college campus in Israel and abroad, but to aid Palestinian irredentists in their worldwide smear campaign anywhere, any time, against the Jewish state. Jacob Katriel is Professor Emeritus in Chemistry at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and his wife, Tamar Katriel is a professor in the Department of Communications at Haifa University. Their children, a son, Haggai Katriel, who was a post-doctoral mathematics instructor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and their daughter, Iri Katriel, an academic researcher now based in Germany, demonstrate that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Jacob Katriel is in fact a Stalinist communist ideologue who has been a central figure in Israel's communist party that is mostly dominated by Arab-Israeli members who are irredentists against Israel's Jews. If it has anything to do with smearing the Jewish state, Katriel will do it while reaping the rewards of his tenured retirement sinecure paid for by the Israeli taxpayer and donors to Israeli universities. His wife and children are equally close allies in damning Israel any way they can.

Among Katriel's major efforts, supported equally by all members of his family, are attempts to compare Israel with apartheid South Africa in order to promote worldwide divestment making a false comparison with what was a genuinely racist South African regime back in the 1980's. To quote Jacob Katriel, commenting on one divestment website:

"In no way can your initiative be interpreted as anti-Israeli, let alone anti-Semitic. As such, it allows people such as myself, who see a just and democratic Israel, which provides justice, equality, prosperity and security to all its citizens, as a desirable objective, in which they have personal stakes, to share your concern."

Oddly enough, Jacob Katriel seems to have no objection to the Palestinian Authority's constitution that commands Sharia Law as the law of the land in a Palestinian state, nor does he condemn a Palestinian Arab leadership that insists Jews cannot live in a Palestinian state even as Palestinian citizens. Quotes such as that above are designed to negate the true anti-Semitism behind the Arab nationalist movement and Islamic campaign against the Jews in Israel and stands on its head the fact the Arab-Israeli have the highest standard of living and democratic freedoms to address the state with of Arabs anywhere in the world. Such statements are clearly disingenuous; The Katriel family already lives in a vibrant pluralistic democracy that is today's Israel.

"Truth must serve the party" –– Vladimir Lenin

If one is to judge someone by the company they keep, Jacob Katriel also has no morals when it comes to the truth. Former PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat has described his fellow terrorist friend, Mazen Qumsiyeh, founder and leader of Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, as a member of the PFLP, or communist Christian-wing of the PLO. Qumsiyeh, at Duke University, called the Jews living in Israel "a disease" and said "they must all go" which certainly smacks of promoting ethnic cleansing. Despite this, Jacob Katriel created a petition he circulated among Israeli and other academics and proudly featured on Qumsiyeh's website just prior to Desert Storm in which he accused Israel of planning to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian population as the war started. Needless to say, Israel's Arab population has increased steadily from 110,000 to 1.2 million in the last sixty years, a trend almost equally reflected in the disputed territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Katreil's penning and promotion of his petition reveals a blatant dishonesty characteristic of Israel's communist party. He even runs his own website for the Party in Haifa.

And that's not all.

When it comes to writing and or/signing onto anti-Israel petitions or off-the-wall anti-Israel promotions, the Katriels all have an undying enthusiasm. Jacob Katriel has also proposed creating an "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize" for Tali Fahima, an Israeli woman who was caught and convicted for helping her Palestinian Arab boyfriend plan terror attacks. The boyfriend was a member of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, a known terrorist group. Jacob Katriel distorts this woman's actions to portray her as a victim when she could have killed many Israelis. While in prison, Fahima, now free, drew a salary from the PLO like her fellow terrorists who were serving time in jail. To suborn terrorism and murder by violence on behalf of Israel's enemies hardly smacks of an overly enthusiastic peace advocate; it does smack of a communist revolutionary with the attitude that the end justifies the means.

Jacob Katriel also benefits from world travel in his anti-Israel diatribes and visits American and British universities to do so. At the same time, he voices his unqualified support for the UN event held in Durban, South Africa "against racism" which became little more than another Israel- bashing event run by the Arab attendees that got so bad the US was forced to withdraw. The Katriels openly support the propaganda that "Zionism is racism" that even the UN was forced to rescind.

Among other petitions to divest and ostracize Israel in the world community, Jacob Katriel and family signed a petition that states,

"Your support from Durban is consistent with our view that the struggle to liberate Palestine from this regime and to return the Palestinian refugees to their homeland is part of the global struggle to end racism, political and economic oppression, and to terminate the colonialist project in the Middle East. We call on you to continue your loyal solidarity with us, as we strive for freedom and dignity for every person in Palestine."

So according to the Katriels, Israel is a "colonialist project" despite the fact that many Jews have lived in Israel even prior to 1948, legally purchased their homes, and the country was established by the UN. If one were to take the Katriels seriously, one would have to ask why Jacob Katriel and family as "colonists" still live in Israel at Israeli taxpayer expense instead of moving to Ramallah? The exception is daughter, Irit, who lives in Germany and damns Israel from abroad rounding up fellow communist-inspired Jews to petition against the Jewish state.

In fact, Jacob Katriel could be called "Mr. Anti-Israel Petition" given his constantly writing and/or signing any petition that damns the Israeli state for trying to defend itself and openly supports people who pose a mortal danger to Israel. Besides his praise of Tali Fahima, he also has praise for Mordecai Vannunu who stole and then tried to sell Israel's nuclear secrets abroad. Vannunu was later kidnapped by the Mossad and returned to Israel where he now lives on probation. Jacob Katriel even objected to the IDF invading Yasser Arafat's compound after the Passover Massacre in 2001 that ultimately proved Arafat was leading and funding terrorist attacks against Israelis despite the Oslo Peace Accords. Jacob Katriel has even run on his own website saying that Hamas would sign a peace treaty with Israel if only the Israelis would withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza.. One has to ask if the man is delusional since Israel's withdrawal from all of Gaza has resulted in daily bombardments of Sderot since then. Jacob Katriel has even pushed yet another petition and direct action to have Israeli former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried in the Hague for war crimes," but has not extended his indictment to any of the Palestinian leadership known to have been involved in the murder and praise of killings of Katriel's fellow Israelis such as Marwan Barghouti, Yasser Arafat, Ahmed Yassin or Machmoud Abbas.

Katriel has even been busy working with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank village of Bi'lin where he has assisted in rioting against the Security Fence. The ISM is a PLO-led organization of international communists and anarchists bent on the total destruction of the Jewish state by creating international incidents to question Israel's sovereignty in controlling its territory. No vilification of Israel by Jacob Katriel is excessive. He even signed on to yet another petition stating that Israel was planning Nazi-like crimes against humanity as US troops were invading Iraq.

Not to be outdone by her now-retired husband, Tamar Katriel, besides signing on to the same petitions that Jacob Katriel writes and or endorses against Israel, has developed her own style when it comes to Israel bashing. As a Professor in the Communications and Education Department at the University of Haifa she appears to promote among her Masters students topics that repeatedly damn the Jewish state as a liar or suggest untruthful manipulation of the media. One could call her a trainer for future Jacob Katriels and other anti-Israel activist Israelis.

A quick perusal of the subject matter of her graduate students under her charge reveals an almost consistent pattern of damning the Jewish state or branding it a rogue entity the same as does her communist-party-leading husband. One thesis she supervised is titled "The red scare: The construction of the image of the Israeli Communist Party in the Hebrew Press" (subsequently hidden) and another even accuses the Israeli press of "mythologizing" the fate of Israeli pilot Ron Arad taken captive after being shot down over Lebanon (Arad, now assumed dead, has been in the news lately as the Arabs play games with his body). Professors who are charged with graduate students' works have tremendous sway over how those students pursue certain subjects. It would appear that Tamar Katriel is busy helping to forge the next generation of anti-Israel academics to carry on her family tradition.

Tamar Katriel recently loaned her academic reputation at a major bash Israel conference held in Jerusalem itself titled Dialogue Under Occupation. The dialogue of course consisted of attacking Israel as usual led by Arab "professors" and this time it was right in the Israeli capital. Tamar Katriel led a seminar in praise of the Israeli refuseniks, the one tenth of one per cent of the IDF reservists who refuse to serve their country in the military. At the time of the conference they called themselves by a new name de jour, Breaking the Silence, to imply a new organization of new Army slackers, but it was the same Courage to Refuse of Israeli draft dodgers and deserters that Tamar Katriel was praising and introducing to the audience.

Apparently the extra curricular activities of the parents were equally picked up by Katriel fils and fille. Haggai Katriel, a mathematician associated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former Chemistry instructor like his father at Technion, once was arrested for being involved in ISM riots in Bi'lin. Haggai Katriel is active in the group Ta'ayush that has been involved in sometimes violent demonstrations against the IDF in cooperation with the ISM. Haggai Katriel was even injured during one such riot, he alleges, as he was hanging posters in support of Hizballah and Hamas during the Second Lebanon War. He is contributor to the Marxists Internet Archive and calls Israel a racist, apartheid state like his Stalinist father does and appears to also be active in Canada and the United States at international anti-Israel events at colleges. Being only 39, perhaps he has the energy to carry out physically what is retirement age parents cannot. Irit Katriel, his sister, is an Israeli academic researcher who lived in Germany where she classified her occupation as "Activist" –– but only against Israel and the USA. She is now employed in the Computer Sciences department at Brown University in Rhode Island. She was involved in signing a petition on August 8, 2006 by an "International Jewish Solidarity Network," another communist-inspired front that is equally anti-US and anti-Israel that called for actions in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the State of Israel. The group's petition holds "our own governments accountable for their political and economic support for and complicity with the state of Israel" and promotes "actions in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the State of Israel." It went further calling for "actions against the Zionist monopoly on Jewish identity and voices." Considering that Jews for the last two millenia have recitred "Next year in Jerusalem" on Jewish holidays, it's fairly obvious Irit Katriel has replaced her sense of "Jewishness" with the sloganeering of anti-Zionism as advanced by international communism and her father.

Some families develop an identity for themselves that personifies their dedication to country, public service or a specific cause to benedift mankind. In the case of the Katriel family, one can only see a deidcation to support the goals of international communism and the Arabs who openly seek the destruction fo the Jewish state. Such a legacy is more suited to Hitler, Stalin, Nasser or Arafat, as well as the despot leaders of the Arab world, not one for rational people or the Katriel's fellow Israelis to be proud of.

The Israel Academia Monitor monitors ideologues, particularly those on the far left and Marxists, on Israel campuses http://Israel-Academia-Monitor.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 17, 2008.

Jeff Jacoby writing on the "Death of the Bush Doctrine" in the Boston Globe:

"The Bush Doctrine –– born on Sept. 20, 2001, when President Bush bluntly warned the sponsors of violent jihad: "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists" –– is dead. Its demise was announced by Condoleezza Rice last Friday.

"The secretary of state was speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route with the president to Kuwait from Israel. She was explaining why the administration had abandoned the most fundamental condition of its support for Palestinian statehood –– an end to Palestinian terror. Rice's explanation, recounted here by The Washington Time, was as striking for its candor as for its moral blindness:

"'The "road map" for peace, conceived in 2002 by Mr. Bush, had become a hindrance to the peace process, because the first requirement was that the Palestinians stop terrorist attacks. As a result, every time there was a terrorist bombing, the peace process fell apart and went back to square one. Neither side ever began discussing the "core issues": the freezing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the right of Palestinian refugees to return, the outline of Israel's border, and the future of Jerusalem.

"'The reason that we haven't really been able to move forward on the peace process for a number of years is that we were stuck in the sequentiality of the road map. So you had to do the first phase of the road map before you moved on to the third phase of the road map, which was the actual negotiations of final status,' Rice said...What the US-hosted November peace summit in Annapolis did was 'break that tight sequentiality...'

"Thus the president who once insisted that a 'Palestinian state will never be created by terror' now insists that a Palestinian state be created regardless of terror."

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/ 2008/01/16/death_of_the_bush_doctrine/

How does one comment on this? It makes the blood run cold.

I do thank the several people who brought this piece to my attention.


The Shas party is shameless. Many of us knew this already, but please consider what is happening now. Party leaders said they would not stay in the coalition if there were negotiations on Jerusalem. And, as we all know, those negotiations on "core issues," which include Jerusalem, have begun.

But wait! Shas leaders had a solution. They have asked Olmert to negotiate Jerusalem last. (I am not making this up.) So everything's OK. We know Olmert wants to negotiate on Jerusalem and that he has committed to doing so. But as long as he's not actually doing so at this time, it's all peachy keen and Shas can stay in the government! Phew! That was a close one. Shas almost had to give up its perks. But see what a little creative thinking can accomplish.

This also makes the blood run cold.


So, what we need, more than ever, is to push Barak into resigning. He's under a great deal of pressure. Lieberman is being lauded as a man of principle for keeping his word. This is no small matter, and it makes it harder for Barak, who also gave his word.


Word is that Meretz will support the coalition from outside, but not join it. Haven't heard about UTJ.


Things have heated up seriously regarding the situation with Gaza, with some 50 rockets shot at Sderot and the western Negev a couple of days ago and a growing response on our part. The PA sent condolences to Zahar on the death of his son, and several members of Fatah went to pay a condolence call in Gaza. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, this actually caused divisiveness within Fatah –– as Zahar was a leader in the coup that caused Fatah deaths.

But it seems in the main that Fatah is reacting with great anger at the Israeli action directed against Hamas terrorists. For Fatah leaders to act differently would make them seem complicit in the Israeli operations. This, my friends, is a no win situation in which we're being told that we cannot defend our people.

Abbas is saying that he may resign if Israeli "escalation" doesn't stop. But Abbas is always threatening to resign. Others close to Abbas said he was thinking of halting negotiations. Threats, threats. Let them carry out what they say!


For his part, Defense Minister Barak is saying that operations will increase until the Kassams stop. This should please be so, but I am not yet convinced. With Hamas's military wing making threats, I fear that it will get worse before it gets better.


Tzachi Hanegbi, chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, says that while final decisions have not been made, an invasion of Gaza is inevitable, because otherwise Israel will eventually find itself "facing Iranian brigades" there.


A mark of the mixed-up world we live in: Noam Shalit, father of Gilad, who is held in custody by Hamas associated groups, has sent a letter of condolence to Zahar on the death of his son, one father to another.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, January 17, 2008.

This was written by Yossi Dagan –– NFC (Investigative News) –– January 16, 2008 and translated from Hebrew to English by J4JP. The Hebrew Text is called "The Pollard Disgrace" and is available at
http://www.nfc.co.il/Archive/003-D-27146-00.html?tag=14-22-32 Yossi Dagan, a leading activist in preserving the integrity of the Land of Israel, was the spokesperson for the Sa-Nur community until September 2005 when its residents were evicted and IDF soldiers began dismantling Sa-Nur as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan.

Jonathan Pollard is a captive. It's just his luck that he's no media darling, just a captive with no star rating. The demand for his release dares to raise its head before our "greatest friend," the United States. That's why our Foreign Minister won't be standing outside the United Nations building making speeches on his behalf; and the Jewish Agency won't be launching an overseas campaign against indifference to his plight; and the post-modern State of Israel, divested of morality, continues to abandon its important agent to his fate.

The President of the United States, George W. Bush, came to visit Israel and the local Natives Council was beside itself with joy. Ratings-shocked broadcasters and self-proclaimed experts became hoarse competing with each other, trying to come up with new and more original superlatives. Public activists (aka "leaders") knocked themselves out to outdo each other with even more exalted expressions of ecstatic flattery.

It is not every day that the President of the mightiest nation in the world comes here and tries to blow wind into the sails of a sinking ship of State by promoting the sale of political "visions"; and through blatant interference in local government affairs, influencing ministers and public opinion.

This was a well-planned visit, orchestrated right down to the last detail, to such an extent that the guest of honor was immediately able to single out Minister Eli Yishai amongst all the hand-shakers greeting him at Ben Gurion Airport; and to let him know that he understands that he is supposed to have a long 'intensive conversation" with the minister to convince him not to leave the Government.

Amidst a frenzy of adulation and nauseating flattery surrounding the guest of honor, it seems as if one issue were forgotten –– an issue more important than all the gala dinners and cocktails, an issue which is the most basic foundation stone at the heart of relations between the two nations; an issue more important than all the bombastic and sententious speeches in view of the cameras.

One issue was dispatched to oblivion as if forgotten; one issue was not raised during all the smiling meetings. It is now more than 8000 days that Jonathan Pollard has been languishing in an American prison –– a Jew who put his career and his freedom on the line when he passed information to Israel, information about non-conventional weapons of war being prepared by neighboring Arab States for use against the Jewish State. Vital information. Information of inestimable value which the Government of the United States did not share with Israel despite its contractual obligation to do so. The State of Israel rewarded Pollard by throwing him out of the Israeli Embassy (inside which he could not have been arrested) right into the waiting arms of the FBI, and into the maelstrom of an abandonment unprecedented in the annals of modern espionage, so severe that it is difficult to wrap your mind around –– providing evidence against him and denying all connection with him –– an abandonment that has been on-going for 23 years.

At official meetings of this sort in the past, Prime Ministers have usually acquitted themselves by mumbling a few non-committal words about the issue for the record. Ariel Sharon went a step further when he refused to relay a petition to the President signed by 112 members of Knesset (himself included)! If Ariel Sharon successfully intensified the abandonment Jonathan Pollard, his student and political heir, Ehud Olmert, had to outdo him by trying to prevent Minister Yishai from even delivering a letter on the issue from HaRav Ovadia Yosef to the visiting President.

Even more disgraceful, it is not that Jonathan Pollard has merely been forgotten; he has been deliberately forgotten. The State's disregard for Jonathan Pollard is a piece with the incredible callousness it demonstrates to his family.

Even after Jonathan succeeded (by suing in Israel's Supreme Court) in gaining official recognition as an agent 13 years after he was captured, Pollard's name was never added to the list of captives at the Ministry of Defense. The State also refused to recognize him as a Prisoner of Zion. Thus, in both cases depriving him of all of his rights as an agent in captivity and absolving the Government of all its responsibilities towards him. As a result, on the one hand the American prison authorities are able to go on treating him like a common felon; while on the other hand, the State gets away with providing no assistance whatsoever, legal or financial, to him and his wife.

Other captives, as a matter of course, receive unlimited financial support from the State without any real reckoning. This occurs to such an extent that in the case of Elchanan Tanenbaum, a drug dealer who did business with the terrorist group Hezbullah and was held captive by the organization, his family (and his mistress) received full financial support while he was held in Lebanon. Only Esther Pollard, Jonathan Pollard's wife, does not receive any financial assistance whatsoever. She lives in a room in the apartment of a good-hearted Jerusalem widow who took her in.

Esther Pollard fell ill with cancer and the State of Israel –– which during the Second Lebanon War generously offered free medical treatment to the Lebanese enemy who fought it –– did not trouble itself to provide funding for her medical treatment.

As well, Jonathan Pollard's legal case receives no Israeli funding. Ever since Israel paid the lawyer who torpedoed Jonathan's case 2 decades ago, gaining for him a life sentence instead of the usual 2 to 4 years, and failing to file a notice of intent to appeal within 10 days, forever depriving Pollard of the right to appeal his life sentence, Israel has refused to fund any of the attorneys who fight for Pollard's freedom. Esther and Jonathan Pollard believe that the State of Israel has diminished Jonathan's status to that of a person who no longer exists, one whose existence can be completely ignored.

Jonathan Pollard is a captive. It's just his luck that he's no media darling, just a captive with no star rating. The demand for his release dares to raise its head before our "greatest friend," the United States. That's why our Foreign Minister won't be standing outside the United Nations building making speeches on his behalf; and the Jewish Agency won't be launching an overseas campaign against indifference to his plight; and the post-modern State of Israel, divested of morality, continues to abandon its important agent to his fate.

Jonathan Pollard, the longest-held Israeli captive, in the friendliest (?) country, is now in very poor health. His long years of captivity in solitary confinement, in harsh conditions, sometimes in intense heat and sometimes in freezing cold; endless afflictions and living in a violent environment, have all taken their toll. His immune system has been destroyed resulting in a host of serious ailments including diabetes, high blood pressure and growths in his sinuses. He continues to be subjected to terrible afflictions both physical and emotional.

From his miserable and distant prison cell at FCI Butner, Pollard hears the braying of the Israeli politicians heaping praise upon "the good friend" who could free him with a single stroke of a pen; watches the ingratiating embraces at the gala receptions, and feels abandoned all over again, for the who-knows-how-many thousandth time.

Israel's disgraceful treatment of Jonathan Pollard is a badge of shame for every Jew and for the People of Israel.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 17, 2008.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a former Chief Sephardic Rabbi (Rishon LeTzion) of Israel, has composed a special prayer for "Sderot, Ashkelon, and environs" –– at the request of the Sderot Security Committee Chairman, Alon Davidi. .. its author asked that it be recited every Sabbath morning just prior to the opening of the Holy Ark. The prayer includes the idea that we may not rely on miracles, implying that we must take concrete steps to fight the enemy. It is based on a prayer written by the late saintly Kabbalist of Jerusalem, Rabbi Salman Mutzafi (1900-1975). It is rooted in the Halakhic [Jewish legal] ruling of the Shulkhan Arukh code of law (O.C. 576) that calls for fasting and prayer for troubles such as "Gentiles that come to make war on Israel."

The Hebrew prayer can be seen at http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/170739. The English translation is as follows:

Master of the Universe. We have come this day to place our supplication before You, on behalf of Your nation Israel, and to request mercy for them –– for we rely upon the abundance of Your compassion, as is written: "And He said, I shall cause all My Goodness to pass before you, and I shall call out with the Name of G-d before you, and I shall show favor when I shall want to show favor, and I shall have mercy when I shall want to have mercy" (Ex. 33,19).

So much praise we must lay before You –– for we have merited to see clearly the miracles and wonders You wrought for us against our enemies who plot to destroy us. Yet, in Your goodness, You have saved us and rescued us from thousands of rockets that they have fired at us –– and especially at the cities of Sderot, Ashkelon, and environs; and from most of them we were saved, by Your great mercies.

Our Sages have taught that one must not rely on miracles, and especially in situations of danger that have already killed and maimed Jews. The residents of these areas and their children live in fright and fear, and many of them have left their homes. The honor of Israel is being desecrated, while the Government of Israel ties its soldiers' hands, preventing them from waging war in response –– and is even scheming to give G-d's inheritance to terrorists, who would then, Heaven forbid, do in central Israel what they do in Sderot.

Master of the Universe, our eyes are turned pleadingly toward You, that you show us grace, and give to Your nation Israel favor, good sense, courage and bravery to fight the evil ones –– and not to strengthen them. May we [have the strength] to smite and rout all our enemies, and to fulfill the prayer of King David, peace be upon him: "I pursued my enemies and caught them, and I did not return until I destroyed them; I crushed them until they could no longer rise up; they have fallen under my feet" (Psalms 18,38).

Please, G-d, shut the mouths of all those who denounce and besiege us, whether above or below. May this verse be fulfilled for us: "No weapon that is formed against you shall succeed, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment –– you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of G-d and the recompense of their righteousness by Me, says G-d" (Isaiah 54,17).

And may this verse, written at the hand of Isaiah Your prophet, be fulfilled for us: "Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not dismay, for I am your G-d. I have adopted you and helped you and supported you with the right hand of My righteousness. All who rage against you shall be ashamed and disgraced... those who war against you will be as nothingness. For I am the Lord your G-d, Who hold up your right arm and says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.' Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I will help you, says G-d and your Redeemer, the Holy of Israel. Behold, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the storm wind shall carry them –– and you shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.'

And may You redeem us completely and speedily, and may we merit to see the Messiah, son of David, crowned in his crown, and the Messiah, son of Joseph, complete in his glory and his beauty in the building of our Holy Temple, speedily in our days, Amen, may it be Your will.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Ben Shapiro, January 17, 2008.

On January 11, President Bush ended his visit to Israel by visiting Yad Vashem, the country's monumental Holocaust memorial. "I wish as many people as possible would come to this place," Bush said. "It is a sobering reminder that evil exists and a call that when evil exists we must resist it."

That was the day after Bush called for "painful political concessions" from Israel with regard to the Palestinian Arabs, explaining, "There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people."

Bush is no fool. He recognizes better than any president in recent memory that the Palestinian Arabs do not desire peace –– that they are, in fact, the world's most ardent supporters of anti-Western terrorism. And Bush recognizes that the establishment of a fully operational terrorist state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would have catastrophic consequences for both Israel and the United States.

So why did Bush abandon his principles and pressure Israel to appease its Islamist enemies? Because four days after Bush's Israel visit, he visited Saudi Arabia and asked OPEC nations to boost their oil output.

The extreme anti-Bush crowd thinks the war in Iraq is about oil. It isn't. But the consistent focus on the Israeli-Palestinian situation is about oil. It has always been about oil. Israel knows it. Bush knows it. And most of all, the Saudis and their Islamist allies know it.

The Saudis have the upper hand with regard to oil. America needs Arab oil more than the Arabs need to sell their oil –– or at least that is what the Arabs would have us believe. And so the Arabs have leverage to push America to force Israel's piecemeal surrender.

And so the Saudis spent a major chunk of time talking to President Bush about how he could put the screws to Israel. "They definitely want [a settlement] to happen," Bush told reporters. "And they questioned the seriousness of the United States to remain in what has been a long and frustrating process. They want to see a deal done. The issue frustrates them."

The Israeli-Palestinian issue frustrates the Saudis in the same way the Jewish issue frustrated the Nazis. The Saudi Arabian government does not even recognize the existence of the State of Israel. Including the Saudis in negotiations regarding Israel is like including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in negotiations regarding the rights of homosexuals in Iran.

And yet President Bush avers that past peace processes have failed because "there wasn't participation by the neighbors." This is the equivalent of stating that the post-marital Simpson relationship was poor because O.J. was too passive.

The destruction of Israel is only one item on the Saudi shopping list. They also desire looser visa restrictions for their citizens –– a return to the sort of laxity that made September 11 possible. And they want smart bomb technology, which would elevate their military capabilities dramatically.

The Saudis remain one of the world's three foremost sponsors of Islamic terrorism, along with Pakistan and Iran. They demand Israel as ransom for their energy resources. And because of America's failure to secure domestic oil production and/or create alternative energy resources, America must kowtow to radicals in robes.

Ben Shapiro is a regular guest on dozens of radio shows around the United States and Canada and author of Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House.

This appeared on www.TownHall.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 16, 2008.

This was written by Investor's Business Daily

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi, laughing (in our face?).

Energy Policy: Instead of begging oil sheiks to open the spigots, as the president shamefully did Tuesday in Riyadh, he should be pressuring Congress to open up Alaskan and Gulf Coast refuges to drilling.

In an unseemly act of desperation during his first visit to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, President Bush openly pleaded with King Abdullah to help raise OPEC production and tame energy prices.

"It would be helpful," Bush suggested, noting that $100-a-barrel oil could tip the U.S. economy into recession. His plea was summarily rebuffed. "We will raise production when the market justifies it," the Saudi oil minister sniffed.

Adding to the humiliation, Bush just hours earlier delivered a major arms sale to the oil-rich kingdom. The $20 billion package, which Congress must approve, includes 900 smart-bomb kits that will lend Saudi highly accurate targeting abilities that could threaten Israel.

All the begging and bribing only proved Saudi Arabia still has us over a barrel of oil –– and in the cross hairs of Islamic extremists, we might add.

Despite rhetoric about our so-called ally's cooperation in the war on terror, it's still teaching anti-Western hatred in its textbooks and schools, still spreading radical Wahhabism to our shores, still freeing terrorists, still giving immunity to al-Qaida financiers such as Yasin Kadi, and still allowing clerics to rally Saudi's sons to join the al-Qaida insurgents in Iraq.

In fact, Saudi nationals account for the largest share of foreign al-Qaida fighters in Iraq, according to a study released by the U.S. Military Academy. Of the foreign terrorists entering Iraq between August 2006 and August 2007, 41% were Saudi citizens, and most of them were students. They had signed up to be suicide bombers, just like the 15 young Saudi men who attacked America.

Not much has changed in Saudi Arabia over the past six years. Only now, it's richer than ever, flush with petrodollars that are helping finance the jihad. Which means Americans are helping finance their own destruction every time they go to the pumps.

Given this chain of events –– the bigger bankrolling of jihad, along with a looming recession –– the mind boggles that our government's only recourse is to genuflect before oil sheiks.

This not only projects weakness to a part of the world that hates us. It also confirms to our enemy that we have no better options for resolving high energy prices than to go hat in hand to their suppliers and beg for mercy.

Osama bin Laden, whose No. 1 stated goal is to cripple the American economy, is most certainly taking notes. We are only confirming to him that we have done next to nothing to divest ourselves of dependence on Mideast oil.

We've argued in the past, and are still convinced, that popping the lid on Alaskan and Gulf drilling would puncture at least the "war premium" built into crude prices over tensions in Iraq and now Iran. That, in turn, would lower prices at the pump.

Perhaps the president and the vice president are reluctant to more aggressively press the case for increased drilling due to their oil industry backgrounds. But after 9/11, few would have faulted them for trying. They could have used the bully pulpit, a la Reagan, to make the case directly to the American people that we're financing terrorism by remaining so reliant on Saudi imports.

That would have steamrolled the environmentalist critics in Congress and the media. But for some odd reason they didn't make the case. Now it appears Bush has been forced to reveal more of his hand than is prudent.

Perhaps he felt he could trust the Saudi sheiks because of his family's long-standing ties to them. But given their track record, he has to play harder ball. He and the other big oilmen of this administration are going to look mighty negligent if they don't do something dramatic to fix this energy crisis.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 16, 2008.

'Selling property to Jews, (is) a capital offense under the Jordanian laws used by the PA'
news item from Arutz-Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) An Arab man who sold the Peace House building in Hevron to Jews has been arrested by the Palestinian Authority. Faez Rajabi is accused of selling property to Jews, a capital offense under the Jordanian laws used by the PA. Rajabi and another Arab were previously arrested for selling the house, but Rajabi claimed that the sale documents were forged and insisted that he had not sold the building. Rajabi then insisted that Israel expel Jews from the building and return it to him. The Jewish community responded by releasing a film on Tuesday in which Rajabi is seen selling the building.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 16, 2008.

This is an editorial in the Jerusalem Post.

President Bush said on Jan. 10 that the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians "must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people." The last ten words are the key to resolving the conflict, a missing element whose absence has caused the peace process to oscillate between stalemate and war rather than move steadily toward lasting peace.

According to the Arab demand for a "right of return," Palestinians have a right to move to Israel, while Jews not only have no right to move to a future Palestinian state, but those who live now within the future borders of that state must leave.

This cannot be solved by drawing different lines on a map. It has nothing to do with borders, but whether the Jewish people have the national right to sovereignty anywhere in the Land of Israel. If Palestinians have a right to move to Israel, and Jews or Israelis can't move to Palestine, then the Palestinians are saying: What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine.

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 16, 2008.


Background: The Green Line is the armistice line left in 1949, when the Muslim Arabs suspended their attempt to exterminate the Jews and their imminent state. Jordanian and Egyptian invaders retained physical control of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. (They were oppressive but not called "occupiers." The US did not demand their removal.) The Arabs resumed their attempt in a serious way in 1967, but were forced out of those Territories.

Israel forbore annexing the Territories as a whole, though it legally had the best claim for doing so. It held out the prospect of giving some of the Territories to the local Arabs in return for an end to their claims upon the Jewish state, recognition of the legitimacy of Jewish statehood, and peace. The Arabs rejected everything but total Islamic conquest.

The Green Line is the result of the accidents of war. It has no legal status.

Most agreements with Israel are vague. They lead to confusion. The usual contention arises when Israel, which interprets the documents one way, as the State Dept. knows it would, is chided by the State Dept., which interprets everything against Israel and makes no discernible demands upon the Arabs.

Article: After the Arab aggression of 1967, Israel annexed the Old City of Jerusalem and some of the land to which the city naturally expanded. It also built towns in parts of Judea-Samaria (and Gaza).

Israel and the PLO agreed to a Road Map that called upon the PLO to cease terrorism and Israel not to expand settlements. The PLO did not cease terrorism. "Settlements" and "expand" weren't defined precisely. Now Sec. Rice tells Israel that the US disapproves of Israel building in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem, that once were within the Green Line. (She did not address the fact that Israel legally annexed those areas, and that the US has no right, even under the agreement, to tell Israel what to do within its own country.) She and Bush, breaking US custom, now are calling these neighborhoods "settlements," although they are neighborhoods of an existing city, not new towns, which usually is what is thought of as a settlement. He calls settlements an obstacle to peace (IMRA, 1/8). Nonsense, the Muslims made war before settlements arose.

Here are some obstacles to peace: (1) Islam. Islam doesn't believe in peace but in world conquest; (2) The State Dept. and Pres. Bush. I object to the anti-Zionist State Dept. insisting on mediating. For Israel, Bush is the worst US President. He, after all, is pressing Israel the hardest to make fatal concessions.

Here are some barriers to war: (1) Secure boundaries, which the Territories would provide; (2) Jewish communities in the Territories, to provide cover for the IDF and a rationale for its presence; (3) Evacuation of the Muslim Arabs.


Naïve or cynical Western leaders treat the Arab-Israel conflict as a local territorial dispute. To do so, they have to be ignorant of, or disregard, the evidence that it is holy war, with conquest and extermination as its goal, not some compromise. If compromise were the goal, then the Arabs, with 79% of the former Palestine Mandate, not counting Israel and the Territories, would have enough.

Muslim propaganda claims that the Territories are occupied Arab land, though never independent and not under Arab rule for centuries, and therefore were not "occupied." That false point exploits anti-colonialist sentiment. The Muslims get away with it, because of UNO, State Dept., and media bias and popular ignorance.

Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon expanded upon that propaganda point in a way that proves them to be in a war of conquest. They fired rockets at Israel, calling it "occupied Palestine." In designating the Jewish state that way, they concur with the Fatah, Hamas, and PLO covenants and with the maps that Abbas' regime distributes to his people. Nevertheless, Pres. Bush and Sec. Rice claim that Abbas recognizes Israel, even though the P.A. stated that it would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The attack from Lebanon reflects how the Palestinian Arabs operate. They get the West to accept the notion that Israel is occupying "Arab Territories," although the last status of those Territories was as the unallocated part of the Palestine Mandate for the Jewish national home. At the same time, they are vague about defining "Palestine" and the boundaries of the allegedly occupied area. Among their own people, however, they call the whole area Palestine as if it belongs to them, although they renamed themselves "Palestinian", the better to claim it. If they are the Palestinian people, people in the dark would imagine that all of Palestine belongs to them. They also, however, still call themselves Arab, after their language, culture, and nationality. Their religion also is the dominant one among the Arabs. Thus they retain the wedge for reopening the conflict to claim more land from Israel, after the Israelis will have been misled into thinking that some new peace pact conceding the Territories finally would end the conflict. Jihad doesn't make peace. It wins or loses. Israel should work on defeating it.


Jews call Bush Jr the US President most favorable for Israel. They don't understand that the State Dept. always has worked against Zionism, but this President has carried the vendetta furthest. He has gotten pliant Israeli leaders to reduce security measures, as a result of which their people get killed. He is pushing to get Israel to withdraw just when the terrorists are most organized.


Itamar Ben Gvir paid a couple of youths to put up posters calling Bush, Olmert, and Peres, shown in kaffiyehs, collaborators with terrorism. The youths were detained until a judge ruled their act not racism but merely in poor taste. Mr. Ben Gvir was described as an extreme right-wing agitator.

Dr. Aaron Lerner notes that Attorney-General Mazuz fails to denounce arrests of those with whome he disagrees, and fails to require the police to respect freedom of expression. Most Israelis think that free speech means they are free to criticize others, not others free to criticize them (IMRA, 1/8).

Residents of Siderot planned to protest, during Pres. Bush's visit, US pressure on Israel not to fight back against terrorism as powerfully as the US does. Those residents suffer daily bombardment, as a result. A US embassy official asked the Israeli politician and billionaire, who has donated generously to Siderot, to call off the protests. That he did. Protests would embarrass the President. Otherwise, the President believes in free speech (IMRA, 1/8). He's got the hubris of power.

The point of the protest is to show that not all Israelis think Bush is so democratic, so anti-terrorist, nor such a friend of their country. What better time than when he is present and can't pretend not to notice them? If a President deserves to be embarrassed, it is when he is pretending to forge peace and eradicate terrorism, while enabling jihad!

Israel perverts notions of racism into fascism against Jews. The Muslim Arabs are racist –– fighting to exterminate the Jewish people for reasons of religion and racial misconceptions. The best defense: remove the enemy from where he can commit terrorism and undermine Israeli society. Freedom allows self-defense.

What makes the poster in poor taste? It expresses the truth. Bush, Olmert, and Peres do collaborate with terrorists against Israel. Showing them in kaffiyehs is meant symbolically. Israeli Arab marchers chanting for the death of Jews is not.

Ben Gvir often is called a right-wing extremist. Barry Chamish, however, has exposed him as an agent provocateur. The government must pay him to protests annoyingly, so as to give the Left something to complain about against the Right. They detain him for show, but release him.


Judea-Samaria Arabs climb over the security fence. They are met by Israeli Arabs in cars, before security forces can apprehend them (IMRA, 1/8).

Israel wasted on a fence really designed for evacuating its own people. It should have spent the money killing terrorists and evacuating the enemy population.


She said, "'Two Israelis were murdered over the weekend by men connected to the Palestinian security services." She also said, "The struggle we are engaged in is a struggle of moderates versus extremists."

Livni thinks Arabs' forces are moderate, but they committed the attack. "When Mahmoud Abbas lied about the attack last week was he a 'moderate' or temporarily part of the 'extremist" camp?'" (IMRA, 1/3/08.)

Israeli and US policy follow wishful thinking and anti-Zionism, to the harm of both.


Pres. Bush will be greeted in Israel by posters framing him in between the heads of Hizbullah and Hamas, all with their Jewish prisoners beneath. Bush's is Pollard. As admitted by high US officials with access to the secret record, there is no justification for continuing to incarcerate Pollard for a crime that usually draws a fifth of the time he already served. Dennis Ross admitted that Pollard is being held as a political hostage against Israel (IMRA, 1/3).

It hurts to watch Israeli leaders, who are supposed to work to free captured Israeli agents, praise Pres. Bush as a friend of Israel, as the did for Bill Clinton.


The student thesis that Israeli soldiers are racists because they don't rape Arabs has stirred much controversy. Her thesis was based on poor research, such as asking a mere 25 soldiers their opinions, and then substituting hers for theirs. She argues circularly from extremist feminist and anti-Zionist assertions. For that nonsense, she won an academic prize. When she also earned criticism, her superiors claimed it came from a vast right-wing conspiracy (borrowed that line from the Clintons?). They claimed the critics misstated the thesis. Prof. Steven Plaut read the thesis. He found that the university officials misstated the thesis, to close ranks with the leftist "researcher." This means that the university officials endorse her nonsense. Academic standards in Israel plumb the depths (1/3).

And Justice Minister Freedman thinks he is reforming the Far Leftist Supreme Court by letting a representative of academia help select its members?

Is the answer for Israeli soldiers to rape Arabs, to prove they're not racist? It's a crazy antisemitic world when people of Jewish origin defame Israelis who, their own research shows, set an exemplary example. I am proud of those troops. These days, the worse people are the ones who keep calling others racist.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Honest Reporting, January 16, 2008.

Anyone relying the on the mainstream media (MSM) to understand Israel's raid on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday would have been left without some essential context for Israeli actions. Too often, major media outlets downplayed the salvo of more than 40 missiles that hit Sderot that day and wounded four people, as well as the murder of a foreign volunteer shot by a Palestinian sniper from within Gaza.

While continuous terror from the Hamas-controlled territory remains a serious threat to Israeli lives in the western Negev, it hardly rates a mention in day-to-day coverage of the region, resulting in shoddy, one-sided journalism.

A snapshot of reports from some international media exposes some of the worst offenders.

* Incredibly, The Scotsman failed to acknowledge the latest Qassam barrage at all, while at the same time omitting the crucial detail that the majority of those Palestinians killed in the Israeli raid were armed Hamas terrorists.

* The Times of London also muddied an otherwise good piece of reporting by not giving enough detail regarding the nature of the Palestinian casualties.

* In a dreadful case of moral equivalence, The Daily Telegraph's Tim Butcher makes it clear just how lightly he perceives the suffering of Israeli civilians targeted by Palestinian missiles: Fewer than a dozen Israelis have been killed by the rocket fire in recent years, while hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in reciprocal attacks.

* The AFP barely acknowledged the issue of Qassams while the BBC muddled the situation even further, leaving the mistaken impression that Sderot had been spared from attack for many months:

Hours after the Gaza City raid Hamas claimed to have fired 17 mortars at two small border crossings with Israel and three rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot, the first time in several months that Hamas has targeted the town.

Of course, while Hamas may not have taken credit for recent Qassam attacks up until Tuesday, it has given its blessing to any number of Palestinian terror groups willing to fire missiles into Israel on a daily basis.

* While the LA Times got that piece of information right, it managed to bury all mention of the Qassams right at the bottom of its extensive coverage of Tuesday's violence.

* The prize, however, for media distortion and sheer idiocy goes to the UK's Mirror. Headlining the story "Israel kills 19 in Gaza bloodbath", this tabloid newspaper would have served its uninformed readers better by not covering the story at all. Instead, the entire issue is neatly summed up in the space of two paragraphs:

Tanks and helicopter gunships pounded the region in the bloodiest fighting since Hamas militants took over in June. Leader Mahmoud Zahar's son Hussam, 24, was one of 19 killed in the attack, which may have scuppered planned peace talks.

A farmer in Israel was shot dead by a Hamas sniper and the group launched rockets over the border.

How's that for context?

Some media, including the Washington Post reported accurately on Tuesday's events. Keep an eye on your local media to see if they are covering this story properly.

To write to some of the media outlets mentioned above click on the links below:

The Scotsman –– http://members.scotsman.com/contact.cfm
The Daily Telegraph –– dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Agence France Presse –– http://www.afp.com/english/afp/?pid=contact
BBC –– http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints
LA Times –– letters@latimes.com
The Mirror –– mailbox@mirror.co.uk

Honest Reporting monitors the media for inaccuracy and unfairness in how they report the news about Israel. Ther website address is http://www.honestreporting.com. You can help support their research online or by sending contributions to: HonestReporting, 400 South Lake Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701-3167.

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 16, 2008.

Finally, finally, MK Avigdor Lieberman has resigned from his post as Strategic Affairs Minister and announced that he is pulling his party, Yisrael Beitenu, out of the coalition because of disagreement with PM Olmert regarding negotiation on core issues. He has submitted a letter to the prime minister –– who accepted the resignation; it becomes official in 48 hours. Lieberman says he will now work towards bringing the government down.


Olmert responded to Lieberman's statement by saying that there was no alternative to negotiations for securing peace. As Aaron Lerner said on his IMRA site, "It would be one thing for PM Olmert's spinners to claim that 'serious diplomatic negotiations are the best alternative' but to claim that there is 'no alternative' defies logic. It also makes Israel a hostage to the talks."


The pullout of Yisrael Beitenu, of itself, does not bring the government down, but it weakens it and provides impetus for others to follow. Shas is making noises about also resigning, which would bring the coalition under the minimum number of seats required. But Olmert is already courting United Torah Judaism (a haredi –– ultra-Orthodox party) and Meretz (ultra liberal). Both parties are split on what to do –– UTJ because of Olmert's ideology and Meretz because of Olmert's corruption. Olmert is, of course, offering various "perks." According to my calculation, Meretz alone would be insufficient, while UTJ would do it, but barely.

What needs to happen now is that Labor –– with Barak at its head –– must pull out. He's going to be under enormous pressure to do so. When he assumed the role of defense minister, he declared that it would be only until the Winograd report came out. That report is due the end of this month and the word is that it is scathing.


Parenthetically, Lieberman, who has a predilection for non-politically correct and controversial statements, declared in his announcement that the Arab parties in Israel were more dangerous than Hamas and Hezbollah. His point, which has validity, is that they undermine from within. The Arab MKs reacted with predictable fury. MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) declared that Lieberman "suffers from racial AIDS." Racial AIDS? Such an attempt at drama ultimately provides only a moment of amusement.


Much more to cover, and it will come tomorrow...

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

To Go To Top

Posted by HaDaR, January 16, 2008.

When the FREEDOM of one is abused or taken away unjustly, the liberty of all is in danger.

Why would the police need to UNDRESS A YOUNG GIRL??? IS calling such things "FASCIST PRACTICES" enough?...

This is A Classical Text-Book Example Of Political Persecution, Done Also By Demeaning, Physically And Mentally Abusive Police Behaviour, Condoned By The Complicity Of Puppet Courts Under Government Instruction.

This is called "Police Mistreated Jailed Settler Girls" and it was written by Matthew Wagner for the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1200308095694&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Parents of seven girls aged 13 to 15 who were arrested three weeks ago for illegal settlement activity said Tuesday that their daughters were forcibly stripped of their clothing and denied sleep by police.

"On the first night of their arrest, they were taken to the Binyamin Prison complex for interrogation," said the mother of one of the girls, repeating what her daughter had told her during a short telephone call.

"The girls were asked to remove their clothes. They refused to do so,[and] they were handcuffed and forcibly stripped," said the mother. "These girls are devout and chaste. They have never worn a bikini in their lives. For them, the experience is tantamount to rape."

She added that her daughter had told her that whenever the girls tried to fall asleep, they were woken up. "The police are trying to break their spirits, but they won't succeed," she said.

A Judea and Samaria District Police spokesman said in response that "parents with complaints regarding police treatment or behavior are welcome to file a complaint. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated."

In protest against the arrest and the alleged mistreatment, a group of settlement rabbis headed by Kiryat Arba-Hebron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior have called for a fast day and a prayer rally to be held Thursday outside the Neveh Tirza prison in Ramle.

The fast coincides with a Kabbala-inspired tradition of fasting on Mondays and Thursdays during the weeks the first half of the Book of Exodus is publicly read in synagogues, a period known as "Shovavim."

In a press release, the Council of Rabbis of the Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (Yesha) said that "the girls do not recognize the powers of the legal system and, as a result, are suffering abuse and harassment, including acts that compromise these modest girls' dignity, heaven forbid.

This healthy youth does not waste its time on nonsense and is the hope of this nation and the answer to our government's weaknesses and equivocations. "In protest against the mistreatment and incarceration of these dear daughters of Zion and in protest against the terrible intention, God forbid, to endanger every single soul in Israel and to exile Jews from their homes and to expel them from their rightful inheritance, from Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, we call on all who are able to fast."

The incarceration of the girls, who have been in held in police custody for the past three weeks for helping establish an unauthorized outpost called Givat Ha'or outside Beit El, has become a rallying point for settler activists who are convinced that the government is plotting against settlers.

"I find it absurd that those girls have been held for so long just because they refuse to identify themselves," said Yesha Director-General Pinchas Wallerstein.

"I think it's legitimate for those girls to do what they are doing if they're willing to pay the price and sit in prison," said Wallerstein. "It's a very smart move and they have managed to show how brutal the police are. Just look how much media exposure they've gotten."

The state prosecutor said that the seven girls have not been released because neither they nor their parents have agreed to divulge their names. "We're talking about girls who are accused of illegal trespassing in a closed military zone, breaking an IDF directive and disrupting the legal process," said a Justice Ministry spokesman.

"The girls' release from prison is impossible until they agree to identify themselves," added the spokesman. "That's because we cannot take legal action against the girls unless they divulge their names. Allowing these minors to leave prison before they identify themselves would establish a negative precedent which would allow criminals to avoid prosecution."

Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, director of the National Council for the Child, said that while he did not condone the minors' behavior, he urged the state prosecutor to find a "creative solution" to the plight of the girls that "maintains a strict adherence to the law [and] at the same time prevents an untenable, unjust situation in which minors, who are not labeled as criminal elements, are being held for an indefinite period of time."

The girls are all students at the Ma'ale Levona Torah High School for Girls in Samaria where, according to one parent, "the girls learn a lot of love for the land of Israel, a lot of faith and a lot of truth."

The father of one of the girls said he was very proud of his daughter, who, he said, shouted out during an appearance before a Jerusalem court, "God is my final authority, and we don't recognize you."

"All of the parents got together last week and decided that none of us would divulge names," said the father, who added that he fully supported his daughter's refusal to recognize the authority of the legal system.

"I feel like the institutions in my own country are my enemies. They have no problem making demands of me and my family," added the father of 12.

"Three of my sons serve in elite combat units. They risk their lives to protect this state. But when my daughter tries to exercise her right to settle the land of our forefathers, they treat her worse than an Arab."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, January 16, 2008.

There is a project called the that I would like to bring to your attention. It is run by a longtime activist, Moshe Burt of Beit Shemesh (formerly of Philadelphia). He finds unused Sefrey Torah, quite often Posul, collects donations to restore them and then donates them to small communities in Israel, more often then not in Yeshah. The following is his request for joining the GiveStream system for donations –– http://sefer-torah-recycling.givestream.com/.

In searching for ways to bring financial donations to my chessed project in order to keep doing, and to expand the scope of the Sefer Torah Recycling Network, I came across GiveStream by way of the Facebook Social Networking site.

Through their mall stores, there is the capacity for people, if they download the Givestream toolbar from the Sefer Torah Recycling Network and use the toolbar and the Givestream stores when they shop online or do google searchers, to generate revenue for Sefer Torah Recycling.

Please note that GiveStream is not MLM and there is no downline. Their business is helping non-profits to generate revenues online.

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit (www.israelvisit.co.il) which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel.

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 16, 2008.

This was written by Brooke M. Goldstein, a practicing attorney, and the director of the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum and the director of the Children's Rights Institute. She is also an award-winning film producer of The Making of a Martyr, an adjuct fellow at the Hudson Institute, and the 2007 recipient of the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for Outstanding Public Advocacy.

It appeared in American Spectator http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=12567 NOTE: In response to the NY Court of Appeals failure to protect Ehreneld's free speech rights, NY Legislators have submitted "Libel Terrorism Protection Act," which hopefully bill be signed into law real soon. See: ://youtube.com/watch?v=xeHeOAOeYBA and http://youtube.com/watch?v=jsiEBdDlmYw

Award-winning author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian Human Rights Commissions on vague allegations of "subject[ing] Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt" and being "flagrantly Islamophobic" after Maclean's magazine published an excerpt from his book, America Alone.

The public inquisition of Steyn has triggered outrage among Canadians and Americans who value free speech, but it should not come as a surprise. Steyn's predicament is just the latest salvo in a campaign of legal actions designed to punish and silence the voices of anyone who speaks out against Islamism, Islamic terrorism, or its sources of financing.

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), which initiated the complaint against Steyn, has previously tried unsuccessfully to sue publications it disagrees with, including Canada's National Post. The not-for-profit organization's president, Mohamed Elmasry, once labeled every adult Jew in Israel a legitimate target for terrorists and is in the habit of accusing his opponents of anti-Islamism –– a charge that is now apparently an actionable claim in Canada. In 2006, after Elmasry publicly accused a spokesman for the Muslim Canadian Congress of being anti-Islamic, the spokesman reportedly resigned amidst fears for his personal safety.

The Islamist movement has two wings –– one violent and one lawful –– which operate apart but often reinforce each other. While the violent arm attempts to silence speech by burning cars when cartoons of Mohammed are published, the lawful arm is maneuvering within Western legal systems.

Islamists with financial means have launched a legal jihad, manipulating democratic court systems to suppress freedom of expression, abolish public discourse critical of Islam, and establish principles of Sharia law. The practice, called "lawfare," is often predatory, filed without a serious expectation of winning and undertaken as a means to intimidate and bankrupt defendants.

Forum shopping, whereby plaintiffs bring actions in jurisdictions most likely to rule in their favor, has enabled a wave of "libel tourism" that has resulted in foreign judgments against European and now American authors mandating the destruction of American-authored literary material.

At the time of her death in 2006, noted Italian author Orianna Fallaci was being sued in France, Italy, Switzerland, and other jurisdictions, by groups dedicated to preventing the dissemination of her work. With its "human rights" commissions, Canada joins the list of countries, including France and the United Kingdom, whose laws are being used to attack the free speech rights and due process protections afforded American citizens.

A MAJOR PLAYER on this front is Khalid bin Mahfouz, a wealthy Egyptian who resides in Saudi Arabia. Mahfouz has sued or threatened to sue more than 30 publishers and authors in British courts, including several Americans, whose written works have linked him to terrorist entities. A notable libel tourist, Mahfouz has taken advantage of the UK's plaintiff-friendly libel laws to restrict the dissemination of written material that draws attention to Saudi-funded terrorism.

Faced with the prospect of protracted and expensive litigation, and regardless of the merit of the works, most authors and publishers targeted have issued apologies and retractions, while some have paid fines and "contributions" to Mahfouz's charities. When Mahfouz threatened Cambridge Press with a lawsuit for publishing Alms for Jihad by American authors Robert Collins and J. Millard Burr, the publisher immediately capitulated, offered a public apology to Mahfouz, pulped the unsold copies of the book, and took it out of print.

Shortly after the publication of Funding Evil in the United States, Mahfouz sued its author, anti-terrorism analyst and director of the American Center for Democracy, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, for alleging financial ties between wealthy Saudis, including Mahfouz, and terrorist entities such as al Qaeda. The allegations against Ehrenfeld were heard by the UK court despite the fact that neither Mahfouz nor Ehrenfeld resides in England and merely because approximately 23 copies of Funding Evil were sold online to UK buyers via Amazon.com.

Unwilling to travel to England or acknowledge the authority of English libel laws over herself and her work, Ehrenfeld lost on default and was ordered to pay heavy fines, apologize, and destroy her books –– all of which she has refused to do. Instead, Ehrenfeld counter-sued Mahfouz in a New York State court seeking to have the foreign judgment declared unenforceable in the United States.

Ironically, Ehrenfeld lost her case against Mahfouz, because the New York court ruled it lacked jurisdiction over the Saudi resident who, the court said, did not have sufficient connections to the state. Shortly afterwards the Association of American Publishers released a statement that criticized the ruling as a blow to intellectual freedom and "a deep disappointment for publishers and other First Amendment advocates."

The litany of American publishers, television stations, authors, journalists, experts, activists, political figures, and citizens targeted for censorship is long and merits brief mention. There is an obvious pattern to these suits that can only be ignored at great peril. And we must expect future litigation along these lines:

* Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate, was served with a temporary restraining order and sued for leading a peaceful and lawful ten person protest against the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) outside an event the group sponsored at a Six Flags theme park in Texas. According to ICNA's website, the group is dedicated to "working for the establishment of Islam in all spheres of life," and to "reforming society at large." The complaint included seven Dallas-area plaintiffs who had never been previously mentioned by Kaufman, nor been present at the theme park. Litigation is ongoing.

* The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) sued Andrew Whitehead, an American activist, for $1.3 million for founding and maintaining the website Anti-CAIR-net.org, on which he lists CAIR as an Islamist organization with ties to terrorist groups. After CAIR refused Whitehead's discovery requests, seemingly afraid of what internal documents the legal process it had initiated would reveal, the lawsuit was dismissed by the court with prejudice.

* CAIR also sued Cass Ballenger fo $2 million after the then-U.S. Congressman said in a 2003 interview with the Charlotte Observer that the group was a "fundraising arm for Hezbollah" that he had reported as such to the FBI and CIA. Fortunately, the judge ruled that Ballenger's statements were made in the scope of his public duties and were protected speech.

* A Muslim police officer is suing former CIA official and counterterrorism consultant Bruce Tefft and the New York Police Department for workplace harassment merely because Tefft sent emails with relevant news stories about Islamic terrorism to a voluntary list of recipients that included police officers.

THESE SUITS REPRESENT a direct and real threat to our constitutional rights and national security. Even if the lawsuits don't succeed, the continued use of lawfare tactics by Islamist organizations has the potential to create a detrimental chilling effect on public discourse and information concerning the war on terror.

Already, publishers have canceled books on the subject of counterterrorism and no doubt other journalists and authors have self-censored due to the looming threat of suit. For its part, CAIR announced an ambitious fundraising goal of $1 million, partly to "defend against defamatory attacks on Muslims and Islam." One of CAIR's staffers, Rabiah Ahmed, bragged that lawsuits are increasingly an "instrument" for it to use.

U.S. courts have not yet grasped the importance of rebuffing international attempts to restrain the free speech rights of American citizens.

This is troubling. The United States was founded on the premise of freedom of worship, but also on the principle of the freedom to criticize religion. Islamists should not be allowed to stifle constitutionally protected speech, nor should they be allowed to subject innocent citizens who talk to other citizens about issues of national security to frivolous and costly lawsuits.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Michael Freund, January 16, 2008.

A "disgrace" –– that is how Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the continued existence of Jewish hilltop communities in Judea and Samaria while speaking to the cabinet this past Sunday. Yet rocket salvos from Lebanon and Palestinian terror attacks do not seem to get the premier equally worked up.

As I suggest in the column below from the Jerusalem Post, Mr. Olmert is effectivelty engaging in what psychologists refer to as "projection", for the real "disgrace" is when a premier with no mandate, no foresight and no popular support arrogates to himself the right to make fateful decisions in order to save his political skin.

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

Michael Freund

This past Sunday brought with it a major new development, one that is likely to affect the future of the entire region: Ehud Olmert is finally upset about something.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister lashed out, invoking unusually harsh language to make his point, so much so that it immediately made waves, generating noisy headlines for much of the rest of the day.

And just what, you might be wondering, was the object of the premier's newfound wrath? No, it was not the Katyusha rockets fired into the northern Galilee from Lebanon last week that had the premier up in arms. Neither do the daily Palestinian attempts to bombard Sderot and Ashkelon seem to have affected his mood.

Indeed, even as Iran rapidly advances toward nuclear prowess, our fearless leader's blood pressure has remained fairly stable.

The issue that Olmert chose to single out above all else was none other than the Jewish people's stubborn determination to build and settle the Land of Israel.

And boy was he fuming.

Referring to the various hilltop communities that have sprouted up in recent years throughout Judea and Samaria, which the media likes to besmirch by labeling them "illegal outposts," Olmert said it was a "disgrace" that they had not been demolished.

"The fact that illegal outposts are still standing," he told his ministerial colleagues, "even though the last two governments decided to evacuate them is a disgrace."

With all due respect to the prime minister, the fact that there are still plenty of Jewish youth who are willing to dedicate themselves to reclaiming our ancient patrimony would hardly seem to qualify as a "disgrace."

If anything, it should serve as a source of pride and hope, for it demonstrates that true Zionist idealism and love of the land continue to resonate among the next generation.

Quite honestly, if that is what passes for a "disgrace" these days, then I'm all in favor of more such ignominy. As the famed English actress, Dame Diana Rigg, once wryly put it, "I hope there's still a tinge of disgrace about me." But somehow, I think it is apparent to much of the Israeli public that when Prime Minister Olmert denigrates others as being a "disgrace," he is in fact merely engaging in what psychologists call good, ol' fashioned "projection."

Or, as the great sage Shmuel pointed out in the Talmud (Kiddushin 70a), he that declares others unfit is essentially revealing his own flaws.

FOR IN fact the real disgrace is when a premier with no mandate, no foresight and no popular support arrogates to himself the right to make fateful decisions of historic import in a transparent effort to save his political skin.

With the January 30 Winograd report on the 2005 Lebanon fiasco looming ominously over the horizon, Olmert dispatched Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday to formally begin discussing "core issues" such as the division of Jerusalem and the future of Judea and Samaria with the Palestinians.

Olmert knows that the only possible way he can avoid political oblivion is to try and position himself as a peacemaker heavily invested in a process with our neighbors, as that will make it more difficult for the Labor Party and the Left to justify toppling him once the report is made public.

In fact, Olmert's desire to retain power is so strong and deep-seated that he seems to have few qualms about crossing virtually every one of the few red lines that Israel still has.

Even on the issue of the so-called "right of return" of Palestinian refugees, which has long enjoyed an iron consensus across the Israeli political spectrum, the prime minister has indicated that he is ready to capitulate. As Channel 10 television reported (January 10), Olmert has agreed to allow at least 50,000 Palestinian "refugees from 1948" to "return" to Israel as part of a final peace deal.

The prime minister's cynical political calculations are also what lie behind his outburst over the "disgrace" of the "illegal outposts" earlier this week. Aides to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is no fan of the outposts himself, were quick to blast the premier, accusing him of trying to torpedo Barak's attempts to resolve the matter peacefully.

The aides assert that Barak reached a deal with leaders of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that would entail the voluntary relocation of certain outposts, but that Olmert has repeatedly sought to undermine the understandings, preferring instead to use force.

"It seems as though the prime minister is actually seeking a violent confrontation with the settlers for political gain," Barak's associates told Haaretz (January 14), adding, "This sort of frivolity could end in violence."

Hey, but as far as Olmert is concerned, a few broken Jewish bones and some nasty cerebral concussions seem like a small price to pay when compared with the political capital he might possibly reap from confronting the settlers that everyone loves to hate.

James Madison, one of America's founding fathers, once wrote, "Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power." And it is that abuse, which Mr. Olmert has so artfully been practicing, that is truly the greatest disgrace of all.

Michael Freund served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This article appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? cid=1200308095959&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

To Go To Top

Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, January 15, 2008.

It is quite telling to note that there is no one word in Arabic that means compromise. It is equaling telling that much of even mainstream Arab culture views deviating from an all or nothing stand, In effect yielding to the wishes of an adversary in any way, as a sign of weakness. Consistent with this observation, Mahmoud Abbas, chief 'negotiator' and leader of his Palestinian Fatah party, wants Israel to cede Judea, Samaria, and the eastern sector of Jerusalem for a contiguous Palestinian state, as well as accede to a right of return for all so-called Palestinian refugees whose ancestors once resided in core Israel, and in return compensate Israel with merely a promise not to attack Jewish citizens, no doubt an unenforceable olive branch considering his influence over Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic terror organization whose holy grail is to annihilate the Jewish homeland. Thus, it is lunacy to deal with Abbas, indeed a Holocaust revisionist to boot, or anyone else of his ilk in attempting to forge a satisfactory end to the ignominious violence that has always plagued Israel. The Palestinian 'big shot' Abbas, generally dressed to the nines unlike his mentor the late Yasser Arafat, yet most essentially like Arafat in his hatred of Jews and Israel, cannot and indeed would not even attempt to stop the daily missile launchings from Gaza into Sderot or any other locale within Israel by Islamic extremists even if Prime Minister Olmert, arm twisted by legacy minded U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice at the behest of her boss, gave the two named double game Arab smoothie everything his Jew despising heart desired. To do so would be contrary to the most fundamental tenet of fundamentalist and perhaps closet mainstream Arab culture as well, that no land within the Middle East must be contaminated by the non-Muslim infidel. In other words, as Abbas might say to Olmert if he expressed his true intentions, "You and your people abandon all of Israel and don't let the swinging door hit you in your collective Jewish butt, or else we will never cease tormenting your very existence!" End of conversation!

Having said that, what course should Israel take in order to maximize the quality of life for her citizens? If Israel cannot forge a long term peace agreement with her hostile neighbors so afflicted by an unenlightened atavistic culture defined by the primeval commandment 'thou must crush my perceived enemy no matter how long it takes', witness even the irrational internal thirteen century war between Sunni and Shiite Arabs over the true heirs to their prophet Muhammad, then what can this civilized Westernized rational Jewish state do? How about flexing some muscle, retaking the stupidly abandoned territory of Gaza, while declaring all of Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights (in case Syria has a few ideas of its own), and all of Jerusalem to be within the borders of sovereign Israel! Furthermore, how about insisting that all residents, including those of Muslim ethnicity, pledge allegiance to the State of Israel, or leave, not letting any swinging door hit those of contrary viewpoints in their collective butt! The only way to deal with a culture within your territory that refuses to bend, that refuses to allow you to live in peace, is to read those immersed in that culture the riot act, insist on compliance to the rule of law as meted out by the elected governing power of that land, in this case the Israeli Knesset, or else bear the consequences. In the end, being tougher than one's adversaries is the only rational course the beleaguered Jewish homeland can take. Hopefully, Israeli leaders will come to this conclusion sooner than later.

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

To Go To Top

Posted by Isaac Judah, January 15, 2008.

This comes from Israeli Citizens Action Network (ICAN) For Volunteer Public Diplomacy. It was distributed by Stuart Palmer of ICAN.

Dear ICAN members,

I know this alert is rather long but it is an important subject and one which requires some background reading. There is a little good news and a lot of bad news on the subject of the UN preparations for the Durban II conference to be held in 2009.

The United Nations is on the verge of voting to 'fund' Durban II, which promises to be a hate fest of gigantic proportions dwarfing the original World Conference Against Racism held in Durban SA in 2001 where hatred and the demonization of the Jews and Israel was rampant.

NGO Monitor's www.ngomonitor.org has called on NGOs and their funders to adopt clear guidelines for the 2009 "Durban" Conference is having an impact. Magenta, based in Holland, in cooperation with the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, published a "Statement of Core Principles for WCAR [UN World Conference against Racism] Follow up." This document expresses the need for a corrective movement to reverse the damage of the disastrous Durban I conference in 2001, and to restore the universality of human rights.

Maybe this call has started to have an effect in the world of human rights NGOs in Israel, and just maybe beyond Israel. A hint comes through the small but influential Rabbis for Human Rights organization www.rhr.israel.net, last week signed on to an international petition calling for the prevention of another anti-Israel and anti-Semitic fiasco such as that witnessed at the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) at Durban, South Africa.

The move might not seem dramatic. RHR is a small organization of some 100 generally left-leaning Israeli rabbis, mostly from the small (in Israel) liberal streams of Judaism. Its influence has been felt more in public activism on behalf of Palestinians, poor Israelis and foreign workers than in international affairs.

Significantly, in 2001 it was lambasted for its refusal to withdraw from the first Durban Conference, even as the notorious anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist fracas, particularly among the NGO assembly at Durban, reached an ugly peak, driving the US and Israel to walk out.

The petition to which RHR has signed on, presented by the Jacob Blaustein Institute of the American Jewish Committee and the Magenta Foundation from Holland, does not mince words. In a key section, after describing what went on at the 2001 conference, it declares: "The global effort to eradicate racism cannot be advanced by branding whole peoples with the stigma of ultimate evil, fomenting hateful stereotyping in the name of human rights. The UN and its human rights forums must not serve as a vehicle for any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, and must bar incitement to hatred against any group in the guise of criticism of a particular government. We pledge to prevent this from happening again."

ACTION ALERT : From the Media Response Group in Canada, they are asking their Canadian members to get involved in this subject. I am asking EVERY member in EVERY country to get involved. We can and must make a difference!

Write to your government officials to 1) Call for the vote and 2) vote no –– they should say NO to funding Durban II.

Here is a suggested letter to be sent to Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors. Do not copy verbatim, use the text as a guide and try to personalize the message.


I am very concerned about plans taking place for Durban II, an anti-Western conference which instead of combating hatred will ingnite and promote more hatred against Western Society. At the coming meeting of the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly, please make sure to call for the vote and then vote against the resolution requesting funding for Durban II and its preparation. You must vote no in the coming vote on the program budget implications of resolution A/C.3/62/L.65/Rev.1 as orally amended.

You must refuse to pay for this conference. This conference would be a highly racist, hate-filled conference modeled after Durban I held in August 2001. Your country is in a position to influence and support all countries which are on record as having voted against the substance to now refuse to pay for the conference known as Durban II! In addition, your country should set an example and try to influence other countries which were in favour, to vote against the resolution –– they should refuse to pay for a conference which is set to be another hate-fest.


Sign your name and address showing that you are a resident.

NOTE: Technically, this is a call for a vote in the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the program budget implications of resolution A/C.3/62/L.65/Rev.1 as orally amended.

NOTE: Those states which voted against A/C.3/62/L.65/Rev.1 on the substance –– are already on record as being opposed to the substance and therefore must follow through with the principle and refuse to pay for it.

NOTE: Although Anne Bayefsky's message below indicates 2 –– 3 weeks, she has informed me that in fact there are only a few days.

Here is the voting record of countries showing those who voted against and for the resolution for funding: http://www.eyeontheun.org/assets/attachments/documents/5877_vote_rec_L65_rev_1.pdf

To see message from Anne Bayefsky click the following URL: http://www.eyeontheun.org/view.asp?l=36

Stuart Palmer
Blog www.haifadiarist.blogspot.com

Contact Isaac Judah at isaacjudah@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Olivier Guitta, January 15, 2008.

United States President George W Bush has just ended a seven-nation tour of the Middle East trying to gather support on the Iranian threat. He does not need to fly to Europe to convince some European nations of the gravity of the threat. In fact, the December US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report did not change a thing in Europe's assessment of the Iranian danger, even though it said Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program years ago.

A not well-known fact shows Europe's determination vis-a-vis Iran: the European Union has gone further than the two United Nations Security Council resolutions against Iran actually require. It has sanctioned additional entities and banned some additional transactions.

For instance, Dutch universities and research centers have been told by authorities to be very careful in accepting Iranian students, especially those studying sensitive subjects. For example, Twente University just refused admission to three Iranian students wanting to study nuclear techniques. It is also thinking about refusing to admit altogether any students coming from Iran.

This European tough stance is all the more surprising since huge commercial interests are at stake. In fact, as of 2006, the EU was from far the largest Iranian trade partner at 28% –– before China at 12%. Interestingly, one of Iran's largest trading partner is France. And France under the new Nicolas Sarkozy administration, has taken the lead on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Compared to his predecessor Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy has been quite forceful and consistent on his statements regarding Iran. He has time and again said Iran must be prevented from getting a nuclear bomb. Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner went as far as saying that the world should be prepared for war over this issue. Also, Sarkozy has been pushing hard to convince EU countries to adopt their own sanctions against Iran. Iran is noticing this change of heart from some Europeans nations and is not liking it a bit.

In fact, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has threatened French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a November 12 letter. According to diplomatic sources cited by Le Monde, the tone of the letter was "acrimonious" and it contained "veiled threats". In substance, the Iranian president says France and Iran have "historic relations" and "common interests", in particular in Lebanon, and that it would be a shame to reduce this to nothing. Also, Ahmadinejad is upset by the French proposal to adopt sanctions against Iran at the EU level, ie outside of the United Nations.

It is interesting to note that Ahmadinejad added that such an approach is doomed to failure because neither Germany nor Italy would sign on. But in light of recent developments, Ahmadinejad's analysis seems flawed. Indeed, the word from Berlin is that the Angela Merkel administration is ready to accept sanctioning Iran at the EU level if a third wave of sanctions fail at the UN, which is a given.

And this is a change. In fact, Germany was until this year Iran's largest trading partner (China is currently first) and has been reluctant in the past to adopt a hard line against the regime in Tehran. But in a clear sign of disengagement, German exports to Iran fell 16% in 2007 and German banks have cut lots of ties with Iranian clients.

But in light of this, Iran could use the terrorism weapon to punish European nations. For example, the Ahmadinejad letter was also a warning to French soldiers present among the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon contingent in southern Lebanon. Also, it is very likely that Iran could use its proxy, Hezbollah, to orchestrate a terror campaign in Europe or against European interests around the world, as it did in 1986 in the streets of Paris.

At the end of November, British authorities confirmed that some Hezbollah sleeper cells disseminated throughout the United Kingdom were threatening to strike in case of attacks against Iran. Iran financed the Hezbollah cells at the onset of its nuclear program, expecting an armed conflict. These cells are just awaiting Tehran's orders to strike. And Europe might well be the first target.

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

The article above is one of the latest news stories in The Croissant. To read the full stories, contact The Croissant for subscription rates. This was published in Middle East Times

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 15, 2008.

Every now and then I write a piece that seems to hit a nerve, and thus elicits a large reader response. My posting on Al Dura yesterday was such a piece. I thank everyone who wrote.


I have written a few times about the dispute regarding Shalom House, the large building situated in the Israeli controlled area of Hevron. Sitting on "Worshippers Way," the road that leads to the Machpelah, the Cave of the Patriarchs, it was purchased by the Jewish community of Hevron for conversion into apartments. The Palestinian who had sold the apartment subsequently denied having done so, and the Olmert government, eager to appease the PA, wanted to move the residents out.

Well...now comes good news. A forensic specialist called in by the Jewish community has declared the purchase valid. Apparently the issue was never the actual contract, which was accepted as valid, but complementary paperwork. Dr. Mordechai Vardi, a top expert called upon by courts to verify documents, said it is most likely that what is being dealt with is a case of "self forgery": This means that the signatures the Palestinians provided to the police for comparison's sake were purposely altered to mislead the forensic investigators. As this ruse is a well-known one, Dr. Vardi said it was surprising that it wasn't taken into consideration by the police forensic experts.


After Bush left last week, Iran was in the news here, as it was suggested that Israel and the US are on the same page regarding the threat of a nuclear Iran. Israeli Ambassador to the US, Sallai Meridor, has said that the US has not ruled out the military option.

Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday, Olmert said, "Israel will not accept a nuclear Iran. All options are being taken into consideration."


Commenting on the statement by Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin that over the last two years we've killed 1,000 terrorists in Gaza, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, speaking at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, said there are 20,000 terrorists in Gaza, so this represents only 5%.

Israel has not succeeded in stopping the war of attrition, said Dichter; he called for a new approach that would "change the mode of operation."

Olmert is not in favor of expanding the war on Gaza, pointing to the successes of our current operation.


Dissension inside Fatah.

Farouk Kaddoumi –– who is a power within Fatah but remains in Tunis because of opposition to negotiations with Israel –– has now called for an investigation into the disappearance of $2 billion at the time of Arafat's death. He charges that at least five Fatah leaders were responsible for the disappearance of the money. He couldn't be referring to Abbas, could he? A fine upstanding man who cares about his people. Ask President Bush, he'll tell you.

At the same time a long-stranding feud between the old guard and the new guard is heating up. The young guard, seeking reform, is threatening an "internal intifada" if Abbas doesn't agree to elections.

"What's happening in Fatah these days is tantamount to a coup d' etat," said Nabil Shaath, a former Fatah minister. "The young guard is planning to prevent the so-called old guard representatives from running in the internal elections and this is undemocratic."

Are you paying attention, everyone? This is the "moderate" party we're supposed to be negotiating with.


Abbas, for his part, is talking about dismissing the Palestinian Legislative Council and establishing a separate West Bank parliament to sideline Hamas. Then they would call for new elections, but it is unclear when, as there is no way for elections run by the PA to be held in Gaza.

For the interim until elections could be held, the PLO Central Council, still old guard Fatah dominated, would serve as a parliament.

Ahh...you can see where this is going. Abbas's reluctance to hold elections, even though he gives lip service to them, is part of what angers the new guard.


Meanwhile, the PA is charging that Syria and Iran are stepping up their efforts to overthrow Abbas and establish a new organization to replace the PLO.


Terrorists taking advantage of relaxed rules for bringing in humanitarian supplies to Gaza have been caught attempting to smuggle in with those supplies two tons of material for making weapons. This is the second time in a week.


Tzipi Livni and Ahmed Queri have begun negotiations on "core issues": Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water. Ten years from now may these negotiations still be going on, unresolved.


Volunteer Carlos Andres Muscara Chavez from Quito, Ecuador, was working in a potato field in Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, near the border with Gaza when he was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper. Hamas claimed credit.

Seven rockets also pounded Sderot today, wounding four including an eight year old boy. Hamas claimed credit for this, as well.

Israel moved into Gaza in a move to stop the rocket fire; in the exchange of fire that ensued, 17 were killed. One of those was Hussam Zahar, the son of former Palestinian Authority foreign minister and senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. Hamas has declared three days of mourning.


As I write, Avigdor Lieberman is making decisions on whether his party, Yisrael Beitenu, will stay in the coalition. Olmert is pulling out all of the stops to keep him. He has now explained that Liebermazn should stay because of Iran.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, January 15, 2008.

This was written by Ami Isseroff and appeared in Zionism and Israel Center

Today a man who came to work in peace, to help realize the dream of an egalitarian socialist society, or perhaps just to have a new experience, was murdered by Arab snipers. His death was hardly noticed, it seems.

A few years ago Rachel Corrie came to Israel to defend terrorists from "Zionist aggressors." She was killed by accident while trying to stop a bulldozer from destroying a building used for smuggling or terror attacks. Her death was trumpeted all over the world as an example of Zionist mentality. We know who she is and what she looked like and why she claimed to have come to Israel. We knew all about her views of the oppressive and evil Zionists.

Today's victim was a righteous victim. He was murdered while planting potato seeds on a communal farm insider Israel. Carlos Chavez was not a reactionary imperialist warmonger illegal settler messianic fanatic –– just a man growing food in a communal farm. For whatever reasons, he was planting potato seeds, not seeds of hatred.

For idealistic or frivolous or random reasons, Carlos Chavez came here to help us and be with us, and he paid for it with his life. It is wrong perhaps to ape the path of exploitation of his death for incitement and demonification as Rachel Corrie's "supporters" did. Perhaps there should be no demonstrations about Carlos, and perhaps there should not be any plays about Carlos. Perhaps Carlos was just a fellow looking for an interesting way to spend a few months of his life. Perhaps that is not as praiseworthy as the ideal of helping terrorists. But at least, we should honor our friend who came in peace and died in our war.

I do not know enough about Carlos Chavez from Quito Ecuador to tell you much about him, because the media do not tell us much –– why he came, who he was, or what he was like. Most journals did not bother to show a picture of him, and the one that appears in Jerusalem Post is a bad joke.

Here is what we know of his story:

Ecuadorian volunteer Carlos Chavez, 21, was killed when a Palestinian sniper fired from the border area into Israel.

Chavez had been working in a potato field near the kibbutz border fence, Ein Hashlosha's security chief said. He was hit in the back and taken by his friends to the kibbutz infirmary.

A Magen David Adom ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after, but paramedics were unable to resuscitate him...

Yochai Kopler, a potato grower who worked with Chavez, said "sniper and mortar fire opened up. We didn't have luck this time, as we did the other times. Every day they shoot at us, and we run away like rabbits."

"It's tough for us to receive news like this," said Annie Rotman, who is responsible for the kibbutz's volunteers.

She said that Chavez came to the kibbutz two months ago. "Only yesterday, we spoke with him, laughed with him."

"Everyone here is afraid," she said. "The volunteers do the work, and when there is shooting, they go into hysteria. We are finding it difficult to digest what has happened."

David Lanos, 19, also a volunteer on the kibbutz, said the sniper fire came as they were preparing to plant potato seeds. "I told him, 'Sit down, they're shooting at us.' We managed to hide behind a car. When he stood up to get into it, he was hit in the back."

Lanos then told Chavez not to go to sleep. "He answered 'I'm not able,' and then I lost him."

Rest in peace, dear friend. I am sorry that I haven't a fancy bouquet to offer in your memory, only a few daisies I found in the path.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by HaDaR, January 15, 2008.

This was written by Caroline Glick and was published in the Jerusalem Post.

Monday Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni opened negotiations with her Palestinian counterpart Ahmed Qurei regarding the partition of Jerusalem; the destruction of hundreds of Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem; the expulsion of between a hundred thousand and half a million Israelis from their homes; the borders of Israel; and the right of immigration of millions of foreign, hostile Arabs to Israel.

The Olmert government's Palestinian policies are overwhelmingly rejected by the Israeli public. In a recent B'nai Brith poll, two thirds of the public said that the government has no mandate to conduct negotiations on these issues. Two thirds similarly said that they oppose any Israeli concessions in Jerusalem.

Since the end of the war in Lebanon a year and a half ago, the Olmert government's approval ratings have remained in the single digits. Last Friday's media polls showed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government enjoying the support of a mere eight percent of their fellow citizens.

Given the public's rejection of the government's policies and contempt for its elected leaders, it would be reasonable to assume that the Israeli "street" would be ablaze with protesters. But there are no fires and no impassioned cries –– just an eerie, unsettling silence.

WHAT IS going on? How is it that the Olmert government is still in power? There are five main factors contributing to the Olmert government's staying power. The first, and perhaps least problematic was pointed out on Monday by investigative journalist Yoav Yitzhak. Yitzhak reported on his news Web site that Olmert's bureau secured positive media coverage of US President George W. Bush's visit to Israel last week by setting up interviews with Bush for Channel 2 television's anchorwoman Yonit Levy and Yediot Aharonot's senior diplomatic commentators Shimon Shiffer and Nahum Barnea. Yitzhak argues that it is scandalous for the government to trade access to policymakers for positive coverage. But the fact is that such arrangements are the stock in trade of politics.

More interesting than Olmert's use of the media is the media's use of Olmert. Olmert's need for sympathetic coverage is clear. But what do the local media need Olmert for? Their star reporters would be granted the same access by any Israeli government.

An examination of a recent incident involving the editor of Israel's supposed "newspaper of record," the radically left-wing Haaretz provides the beginning of an answer. Two weeks ago, the New York Jewish Week reported that Haaretz's editor in chief David Landau asked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to "rape" Israel. Landau also told Rice that it was his "wet dream" to tell the Secretary of State to "rape" his country.

Landau made this shocking appeal to Rice at a dinner in September at the home of US ambassador Richard Jones. Also in attendance were Israeli intellectuals and media elites.

Jewish Week's report was a major scoop. But it raised troubling questions. Why did it take three months for Landau's statements to be reported? Why were they not reported by the Israeli media? One of the participants in the dinner was Yediot commentator Barnea. He preferred not to publish the story. After another participant at the dinner told him about Landau's statement, a spokesman for a major academic institution sought to interest Israel's largest dailies and television stations in the story. Appeals to Yediot editor Rafi Ginat and Barnea's colleague Shimon Shiffer were rebuffed. Similarly, Ma'ariv's deputy editor, Avi Bettelheim refused to publish the story. Channel 2 reported the story but without exposing Landau's identity. Two weeks after the Jewish Week broke the story, the Hebrew media still continues its blanket refusal to report it.

How is the media's belief that protecting their colleague (and competitor) outweighs the public's right to know connected to the Hebrew press's insistent and seemingly unnecessary support of Olmert? Ahead of the withdrawal from Gaza, both Landau and his colleague from Israel's Channel 2 Amnon Abromovich said openly that in order to ensure that the withdrawal from Gaza went through, the media needed to protect then prime minister Ariel Sharon from all criticism. Landau openly admitted that he ordered his reporters not to report on allegations of criminal misdeeds by Sharon and to underplay the significance of the ongoing police investigations against Sharon, his sons and his close associates.

Abromovich called for the media to protect Sharon like an etrog –– the delicate citron used to celebrate the high holiday of Succot. Like etrogs, Abromovich argued that Sharon needed to be insulated by layer after layer of protection to make sure that he wasn't indicted or criticized for his actions or policies.

The media's protection of Sharon was all-encompassing. For instance, to enhance his chances for reelection, the media refused to report Sharon's visible physical deterioration and mental disorientation in his last year in power. And they reported Sharon's first stroke as a minor episode. Consequently, the public was shocked when two years ago Sharon was felled by his massive and eminently foreseeable stroke.

AFTER SHARON was succeeded by Olmert, the media oligarchs from Haaretz, Channel 2, Yediot and Ma'ariv made clear that the extension of their "etrog" treatment to Olmert was conditioned on his adoption of their radical leftist agenda of land surrenders and settlement destruction. To ensure Olmert's election, the media ignored the significance of the Hamas electoral victory in the Palestinian Authority and the post-withdrawal transformation of Gaza into an international terrorist hub.

After Olmert led Israel to defeat in Lebanon, the media rallied to his side. Reservists calling for his resignation were demonized as "settlers" and "agents of settlers." State radio and television refused to cover the reservists' protests against Olmert. And the media heavyweights overwhelmingly supported the establishment of a commission of inquiry as a way to block the call for immediate elections.

The media are so arrogant in their assertion of control over public debate in Israel that they don't even try to hide their political agenda. On Monday, Haaretz ran a column by Akiva Eldar calling for Olmert to refuse the IDF's request to conduct a major ground operation in Gaza. The column ran under the title, "The etrog is Abu Mazen."

The meaning was clear. Just as the media protects Olmert despite his incompetence in the interest of advancing their agenda of destroying Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines and expelling their residents, so Olmert must protect PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, (aka Abu Mazen), despite his defense of Hamas in Gaza, in order to advance the same agenda.

The leftist media do not simply prevent attacks on Olmert from gaining coverage and momentum. They also intimidate into silence people who might otherwise protest. In the case of Landau's rape remarks for instance, there were several people at the dinner party who clearly did not agree with his statements. They came as representatives of the "moderate" Right. Yet they did nothing to protest or publicize his remarks. They made no calls to the media. They did not post them on their Web sites. And why would they? They know that the price one pays for breaking ranks with the leftist establishment is enormous. Those who break ranks are boycotted by television and radio. If they are employed by leftist organizations, they can expect to be fired from their jobs. And so they say nothing, do nothing, and in the end, accomplish nothing.

WORSE EVEN than the media's intimidation of Zionists is the official harassment suffered by those who insist on speaking out. And as Olmert moves ahead with the leftist establishment's program of expelling Israelis from their communities and transferring them to Palestinian terrorists, that harassment is becoming more and more palpable.

To prevent protests of Bush's call to establish a Palestinian terror state and divide Jerusalem, the government and the police placed Jerusalem under virtual martial law last week. Fully a third of Israel's entire police force was transferred to the capital. Schools and businesses were closed. Jerusalemites were strongly encouraged to stay off the streets.

On January 9, three activists stood in front of the Dan Panorama hotel in the capital where the foreign press accompanying Bush on his visit to Israel was being housed. Jeff Daube, Susie Dym and Yehudit Dassberg were attempting to distribute a report on Fatah's support for and involvement in terrorist attacks against Israel to members of the foreign press. The report, written by veteran researcher Arlene Kushner, contained no policy recommendations. It simply documented Fatah's terrorist activities. For their efforts, they were detained by the police and accused of distributing "seditious materials" and causing a public nuisance.

Beyond its harassment of street protesters and activists, the government is now attempting to silence online protests of its policies. Last week, the ministerial committee on legislation approved a bill that would make Web site owners and editors legally responsible for comments published on their sites. Given the government's arbitrary and biased definition of sedition and incitement, if the law is passed it will effectively force bloggers and Web site operators to block all comments to their Web sites. Yet another avenue of protest will be silenced.

The cumulative impact of these phenomena has been the fifth and perhaps determinative factor enabling Olmert to continue in office. Simply stated, between the media's intimidation and the official harassment of citizens who dare to protest or even disagree with the government's policies, the public has simply lost faith its ability to influence the course of the country. This sense of disenfranchisement has demoralized the public into silence.

For those who wish to help end the tenure of a government pushing a radical, post-Zionist agenda with the support of a mere eight percent of the public, it is important to understand this state of affairs. All ameliorative actions must be geared towards ending the stranglehold of the radical Left on the national debate, and towards defending the civil rights and upholding the reputations of those who protest.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 15, 2008.


The criticism is against members of the Cabinet who agitate for the release of arch-terrorist and convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti, but not for the release of the overly punished savior of Israel, Jonathan Pollard (Arutz-7, 1/7). Azzam Azzam is the Israeli Druse who, on a business trip to Egypt, was arrested for spying. His arrest struck Israelis as anti-Israel posturing. They pressed for his release. Outside intervention seems to have secured his release.

To put a different slant on the Talmudic phrase, in applying it to Pollard, it seems that certain people engage in behalf of the cruel enemy and against their own people.


Residents of Israel's most attacked city, represented by Shurat Ha Din, are suing Egypt. They claim that Egypt is continuing its war on Israel by helping smuggle arms and money to terrorists, whom it trains (IMRA, 1/7).


Relatives of those killed in 9/11, property owners, and insurers are suing a couple of hundred wealthy Saudis who donated to terrorist organizations involved in the 9/11 attack. Their theory is that the attackers depended substantially upon those contributions. The case, brought six years ago, now is in federal appeals court.

The relatives are not suing the Saudi government, after a court ruled that US law does not permit them to sue a sovereign government. Some of the insurers, however, are suing the Saudi government, believing they are entitled to do so under an exception in the law for commercial transactions. The money laundering that they say the Saudi government did for a terrorist organization is commerce (Joseph Goldstein, NY Sun, 1/7, p.4).

Liberals or tort lawyers often bring public events into court. Shurat Ha Din does so for the Jewish people. Sooner or later, everything comes to court, especially in Israel and the US. The principle of tort law is, like the Hippocratic oath, first do no wrong. People sue for recompense those who caused them damages. If the suits succeed, and are not blocked by our servile State Dept., perhaps we can even out our balance of payments deficit. That's by way of suggesting that terrorism has caused extensive damage.


Page A.4 is where the Times often tells human interest stories about the Arabs that overlook their totalitarian ideology for world conquest yy means as cruel as the Nazis' and Communists'. The January 7 story is of great interest. Ostensibly opposing stereotypes against the Arabs, it shows some of their obsessive hostility without comment and without explanations that might favor Israel, so that indoctrinated Times readers probably don't notice.

The subject is an Israeli-Arab broadcaster who favors co-existence and wants to present Arabs to the mostly Israeli audience as people with whom one can live. That is a misleading concept. One can live with some and not with others. Eventually, the hostile ones foment revolution. My cousin tried to live in an Israeli Arab village, but they drove her out. Jewish women who marry Arabs and move into their village are abused and even their children are treated with suspicion.

Although the TV program is designed to overcome alleged Jewish prejudice, the host's critics mostly are Muslims. They criticize him for also being a journalist at a "Zionist" newspaper. Which newspaper? Haaretz. That paper's columnists sympathize with terrorists and favor appeasement. It hardly is Zionist. It is only the Muslims' fanatical insistence upon 100% subservience that prompts such criticism. The Times favors appeasement, too. Not being objective, it let its feature article carry the false claim about Haaretz without qualification.

The article, as usual in the Times, builds towards an emotional dislike of Israeli Jews as prejudiced against nice Arabs. It exaggerates the prejudice and underplay how deserved it is. The Muslim Arabs on the whole want to take over the country and exterminate the Jews (Isabel Kershner wrote the article on 1/7).


That is the way Isabel Kershner described the end of an IDF operation in Nablus. P.A. officials denounced the operation as liable to spoil its efforts, boosted by US training, to restore security to Nablus and even the negotiations with Israel. The IDF raid was called "Israeli aggressions" by the P.A. (NY Times, 1/6, A8).

If P.A. were sincere and effective, it would have restored security to that city. Earlier, however, the P.A. admitted that it only was going to stop ordinary criminality there, not terrorism. Hence, IDF raids are vital. The Times lets Muslims complain about counter-terrorism, without letting patriotic Israelis say much about the instigating offense, Islamic terrorism, which is the aggression. Does counter-terrorism undermining negotiations? Then don't commit terrorism. If Olmert were patriotic and independent, he would cancel negotiations until terrorism is ended.


"Certainly, even the dismantling of a few illegal outposts would help the Palestinian (meaning the P.A. Arab) president, Mahmoud Abbas, make the case that negotiating with Israel, rather than fighting it, could produce substantive benefits. But without American pressure, little progress tends to be made on either side." (Steven Erlanger, 1/5, A4.)

The US never has pressured the P.A., at least not publicly, as it does Israel, and not with any useful results. Therefore, although the Times mentions "progress" "on either side," it really seeks concessions by Israel. Since the Times is anti-Zionist, which it doesn't frankly admit to its largely pro-Israel readers, "progress" means whittling Israel down into defenselessness, as Arafat planned.

Why should the aggressor and genocidal Arabs get substantive benefits instead of punishment? Israel should have solved the conflict long ago and on its own terms, not made agreements that the Arabs violate. These pacts hold final solution hostage to agreement by jihadists, who don't end the conflict. Instead of inducing the Arabs with concessions, to accept negotiations, Israel should have smashed terrorism and forced the Arabs to surrender to its terms. Since Islamists are not reasonable, one either defeats them or is defeated by them. One-sided compromise, which is the only compromise that the State Dept. and the Times approves, moves jihad towards victory. The anti-Zionists would say that both sides are compromising. What they mean is that if Israel gives the Arabs enough strategic territory, the Arabs would promise to stop making war. The Muslim Arabs don't keep their promises. Their promises are weapons.

If Israel built more outposts and annexed the land within its full municipal boundaries, I think that pressure on it would diminish, seeing that it boomerangs. One answer to jihad is Zionism. The anti-Zionist attempt to make outposts seem like an offense and an obstacle to peace, is part of a continuing attempt to equate the two sides. They make it seem as if outposts are a crime and are as heinous as terrorism and that the outposts cause terrorism, whereas Islam does.


The Hebrew daily wrote in fulsome praise of P.A. security efforts. It pronounced those efforts in Nablus a success. On the basis of that, it condemned Israel, and reiterated P.A. condemnation, for continuing security raids on Nablus and in the P.A. in general. All its praise was for stopping local theft and Hamas, and for the P.A. recruiting some terrorists (IMRA, 1/3). That does not stop terrorism, which is against Israel and which often is committed by P.A. police and Fatah affiliates. Wanted terrorists remain in Nablus and continue plotting. Putting a badge on a terrorist does not end his terrorism. Israeli raids are justified.


Most people I know read newspapers and watch television with the assumption that they can rely upon those sources. They pick their sources for compatibility with their outlook. They read uncritically, just to absorb. (Some of my friends read the Times as if to find out what they should complain of, today, about American society and Pres. Bush.) It is easy for propagandists to mislead them. They don't know that their sources largely are advocates for a viewpoint, biased in presentation. They think the Times is a paragon of objectivity.

To an extent, I rely upon sources with which I am comfortable, too. But I also read opposing sources. And I check my own sources for reasonability and for compatibility with my existing stock of information and beliefs. If the new presentation doesn't jibe, I try to figure out which is correct, and adjust. Being skeptical, I read actively and critically.

I find the NY Sun informative and stimulating, but sometimes its columnists and editorials get carried away with its conservatism. Yes, the "market" has certain usefulness that politicians forget. It also makes problems. Sometimes government is needed to rectify. Just as liberals want to rely too much upon government and overlook government as a cause of problems, conservatives overlook the need for government to regulate some conditions let loose by the "market." Neither school of thought realizes it carries its ideology too far.


Admire the ancient Greeks for their learning and culture? Who do you think invented antisemitism? The ancient Greeks. They felt insulted because Jews worshipped an invisible god and would not also worship theirs. If the Greeks and Romans were more understanding, there would have been no trouble.

The Jews had the bad fortune of engendering Christianity and Islam, each legitimizing itself at the expense of the reputations and lives of their predecessors in faith. Christianity sought to expand in Rome, therefore slanted its Testament away from the brutality of Rome and onto the backs of the Jewish people. Most of the Christian sects no longer foster hatred of the Jewish people.

Some still teach that the Jewish people must convert or forfeit their country. Even as Christianity falls away in Europe, its cultural heritage there continues antisemitic. The Internet has given expression to antisemitic rant from people who write anonymously and therefore without being held to account. They anticipate that whatever they make up, people of like prejudice will disseminate it and many people will accept it as gospel. Oh what fabricated and disproved rumors they spread! What mixed up logic they pose!

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Justice for Jonathan Pollard, January 15, 2008.

This was written by Jonathan Finer, Washington Post Foreign Service

JERUSALEM –– A balding, bearded visage loomed over President Bush's visit here last week, peering down from banners and from posters on buses barreling along quiet streets. The face was that of Jonathan Pollard, an American who pleaded guilty in 1986 to passing top-secret information to Israel.

Esther Pollard's husband, Jonathan Pollard, is serving a life term for passing on U.S. secrets."

Israeli supporters seeking his release were rebuffed by President Bill Clinton during the last period of extended negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Now they are ramping up their campaign for a presidential pardon.

"The political situation finally seems to favor freeing him," said Pollard's wife, Esther, a native of Canada who married him after he entered prison –– he is serving a life sentence –– and now lives in Jerusalem.

Pollard was on the unofficial agenda throughout Bush's visit. The case "came up" during day-long meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev, who declined to provide further details.

Israel's deputy prime minister handed Bush letters from Esther Pollard and from a rabbi who heads a prominent religious party. And Bush's dinner companions included cabinet minister Rafi Eitan, Pollard's former spy handler and unindicted co-conspirator who is barred from traveling to the United States. Israeli news reports later quoted Eitan as saying there was "a chance" Pollard would soon be freed.

The White House has given no such indication. "There are no plans to change his status," said spokesman Gordon Johndroe. But with Israel sure to raise the issue again during the ongoing U.S.-brokered peace talks with the Palestinians, Pollard's supporters and some outside analysts say circumstances may favor a compromise. Bush may need to reward Israel for making concessions to the Palestinians, the theory goes, and many officials on whose watch Pollard spied are long-retired or dead.

"It is not hard to see a scenario in which Bush is pushing Olmert's government for more and more, and Olmert is under pressure to deliver something, and looking so weak that the government might fall because he is giving up too much. Then Bush can strengthen him by offering Pollard," said Avi Ben-Zvi, a University of Haifa political science professor and specialist on U.S.-Israeli relations.

Such a decision would surely infuriate the U.S. intelligence establishment, which in the past has spoken out strongly against a pardon. While Israel has never officially disclosed what it got from Pollard, who worked in naval intelligence, he is thought to have provided tens of thousands of pages of documents, much of the material highly sensitive. After years of denials, Israel in 1998 acknowledged that Pollard had been its agent.

That same year, during a summit between Israeli and Palestinian leaders held at Wye River, Md., Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked Clinton to pardon Pollard. Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet then threatened to resign, according to an account of the period in his book, "At the Center of the Storm," and Clinton turned down Netanyahu, who was furious because he thought he had a deal.

Through a spokesman, Tenet declined to comment for this article. Other published accounts of the period indicate that pardoning Pollard was very much on the table. In his book "Missing Peace," U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross wrote that he had advised Clinton to hold off on pardoning Pollard until negotiations on the final status of the Palestinian territories. "You will need it later, don't use it now," he recalled telling Clinton.

Intelligence experts said that although the names atop the intelligence agencies have changed since 1998, deep animosity toward Pollard remains. "For the rank and file, it remains a serious sore point," said the Brookings Institution's Bruce Riedell, who spent 29 years at the CIA and served as a negotiator at Wye River.

Asked about Bush pardoning Pollard, Riedell said that in 2001 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a request similar to Netanyahu's "and was told in no uncertain terms that this president would not interfere" in the case.

In the meantime, Pollard has remained a cause celebre here, perceived in some quarters as a Jewish patriot whose spying was intended to strengthen Israel, an American ally, rather than weaken the United States. Israel granted him citizenship in 1998.

Pollard's former lawyer, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who favors a full pardon, said that Bush has other options.

"Commuting the sentence to 25 years in prison is a very realistic option," Dershowitz said, adding that Pollard had been told when he agreed to plead guilty to espionage that the government would not seek a life sentence. "Since he's asking a lot from Olmert in terms of concessions, Bush could help the government keep that promise it made and broke, by making the sentence a term of years."

Esther Pollard said her husband's health has deteriorated in prison, which has included seven years in solitary confinement, and that he should be allowed to live out his years in Israel. "If anyone cares about justice, this should be done," she said. "I am optimistic."

Staff writer Michael Abramowitz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and special correspondent Samuel Sockol contributed to this report.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Michael Travis, January 14, 2008.

This article comes from Spectator.co.uk.

Bush delivers $20 billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia

President George W. Bush sits with United Arab Emirates President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Al Mushref Palace, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008 in Abu Dhabi. (AP Photo)

just one more

During their dinner, George W. Bush and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan look at falcons Sunday, Jan. 13, in the desert near Abu Dhabi

Keep your food down There's a batch of pix at Koenig International News.

Rarely has a moral compass been so completely and publicly destroyed by its owner. George W Bush's presidency has been defined by the moral position he took, under the impetus of 9/11, to repudiate the amoral realpolitik of his predecessors in appeasing and rewarding aggression while ignoring or even punishing its victims. Instead he would hold the aggressor's feet to the fire and support and promote those who stood for freedom and democracy. Controversial as this doctrine undoubtedly was in the eyes of many in the US and around the world, it was at least consistent –– with one niggling exception. On the Israel Arab impasse, Bush veered between making extraordinarily impressive speeches which correctly identified Arab aggression and incitement to hatred of Israel as the core problem to be addressed, and the imposition of the 'Road Map' which, by detailing the steps both Israel and the Palestinians had to take, descended into the kind of moral equivalence –– and thus negation of the centrality of Arab aggression –– which has kept this conflict alive for the past sixty years. At the time, however, it seemed that the Road Map was no more or less than a sop to Tony Blair –– who has always failed grievously to grasp that the Palestinians don't want a state, they want the Jewish state –– as a gesture of thanks for his support over Iraq.

With Bush's visit to the Middle East this week, however, any such residual excuse is blown away along with the last shreds of his claim to moral integrity. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he said blithely, was eminently possible this year. But everything he then said was about pushing Israel to make 'painful concessions' rather than the Palestinians. Since the sole obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the Arab rejection of the Jews' right to their own ancestral home –– the fact that Mahmoud Abbas not only has consistently refused to halt the continuing violence against Israel by both Hamas and his own Fatah affiliates, not only has refused to halt the incitement to hatred of Israel perpetrated daily by his own education system and PA controlled media, but has also repeatedly and consistently demanded the right of mass Palestinian immigration to Israel, thus showing his 'aspiration' for a Palestinian homeland existing peacefully alongside Israel to be totally bogus as was underlined by his chief negotiator's recent declaration that the Palestinians would never recognised Israel as a Jewish state –– Bush's position is tantamount to pushing Israel to surrender to an enemy still hell-bent upon Israel's annihilation. In this context, some of what Bush said in Israel was deeply shocking and, in the implications of such moral and intellectual obtuseness, very frightening. Here, for example, although he nodded towards the Arab need to reach out to Israel, a step that is long overdue and also to ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders, he said this:

The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear: There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent.

Well no, actually: the point of departure is not the 'occupation that began in 1967' (not least because Sinai and Gaza have now been relinquished by Israel, in return for... er, what, exactly, from Egypt and the Palestinians? Why, the uninterrupted importation of arms by the Palestinians from Egypt into Gaza for further attacks on Israeli civilians; and from the Palestinians themselves, merely more and more attacks upon Israel). The point of departure for peace has to be the point of departure for the war –– the Palestinians' refusal to allow Israel to survive. And that is not even mentioned by Bush. Instead: The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it.

Why? Which other body of people whose identity is formed from their aspiration to ethnically cleanse a nation from its historic homeland, and who have never stopped trying to do so for almost a century, 'deserve' to be rewarded with a state of their own?

And it will enhance the stability of the region, and it will contribute to the security of the people of Israel.

Run that by me again?? As things stand, these are precisely what such a state will not do. Without Israel's presence, it will quickly fall entirely to Hamas and directly threaten not merely Israel but the entire region, which it will help Islamise, and thus the free world.

There was, however, one good point about the wretched Road Map, which was that at least it stated that the very first condition had to be the Palestinians' dismantling of their infrastructure of terror. But now just look at what Condoleezza Rice blurted out aboard Air Force One during the President's Israel trip:

The 'road map' for peace, conceived in 2002 by Mr. Bush, had become a hindrance to the peace process, because the first requirement was that the Palestinians stop terrorist attacks. As a result, every time there was a terrorist bombing, the peace process fell apart and went back to square one. Neither side ever began discussing the 'core issues': the freezing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the rights of Palestinian refugees to return, the outline of Israel's border and the future of Jerusalem.

The reason that we haven't really been able to move forward on the peace process for a number of years is that we were stuck in the sequentiality of the road map. So you had to do the first phase of the road map before you moved on to the third phase of the road map, which was the actual negotiations of final status,' Miss Rice said. Miss Rice said that what the U.S.-hosted November peace summit in Annapolis did was 'break that tight sequentiality ... to say, you can do these in parallel, you can do road-map obligations and negotiation for the final status in parallel.'

But the core issue is nothing other than never-ending Palestinian aggression against Israel, which not only continues but increases with every concession Israel makes. Indeed, while one can think of many 'painful concessions' made by Israel –– relinquishing Sinai and Gaza, getting out of Lebanon, offering to give up the whole of the West Bank (after the 1967 war), more than 90 per cent of the West Bank (in 2000), releasing scores of Palestinian prisoners in order to 'shore up' Mahmoud Abbas –– one is hard put to think of any 'painful concessions' by the Palestinians at all. Nevertheless, Rice is a worshipper in the T Blair church of diplomacy whose cardinal doctrine is that nothing must ever, ever jeopardise a peace process, including the fact that the aggressor is still continuing to murder its victims and to incite others to do so. Since the 'peace process' is inviolable and sacrosanct, it follows that any attempt to stop aggression is totally unhelpful since it brings the peace process to a grinding halt. So the one plus point in the Road Map, that it acknowledged that the Palestinians had to stop making war before there could be peace –– a universal precept –– has had to be ditched.

This powerful signal threatens to bring about the peace of the grave as Israel is delivered to its enemies. So why is Bush doing this? Almost certainly because he himself and/or the advisers who have effectively imprisoned him within his own waning power believe that they can make a deal with the devil: offering the bound and inert body of the Jewish state in exchange for a Saudi-led Sunni alliance against Iran. If this is so, American amorality is outdone only by its stupidity, since Saudi –– which was banking on the US bombing Iran into regime change –– has now concluded that the US has lost its bottle and is busy making nice with Iran as the next best alternative.

As for Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who appears to be going along with all of this, and whose Israeli critics ascribe to him every dubious motive under the sun ranging from a venal attempt to evade corruption charges to a desire to suck up to fashionable Israeli lefties, he appears to be actually motivated by two things which contradict each other: the belief that Israel must divest itself of the West Bank in order to retain its Jewish identity; and the belief that he can enter into his own Faustian pact with America by trading 'peace in our time' with Mahmoud Abbas for American support for an attack on Iran, on the assumption that such a deal with the Palestinians will never be struck because the last thing their leadership and their backers actually want is peace with Israel.

Such speculation, however, can only be just that. We cannot know for sure what motivates any of these players at this time. What we do know, because history tells us this over and over again, is that appeasement invariably brings not peace but war; and that when the world favours aggressors and further victimises their victims, countless more foot-soldiers are recruited to the cause of violence.

In that known context, the damage done by Bush's visit to Israel is incalculable as a signal of surrender to the whole Arab and Muslim world, which understands what it means better than the Americans do themselves; and just off-stage, Iran is waiting, watching and preparing.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr@gmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 14, 2008.

"Revisiting the Al Dura Case"

Yesterday I heard Prof. Richard Landes of Boston University speak at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs about the Muhammad Al Dura case. He didn't give the basic facts, which he assumed his audience knew, but, rather, provided an unsettling and important perspective on the case.


Before I share what he said, let me quickly review the most essential facts. (You can see more at: http://www.honestreporting.com/a/alDura.asp.)

In September 2000, at the beginning of the Second Intifada, there was a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at Netzarim junction in Gaza. Talal Abu Rahma, a Palestinian, working as a cameraman for France 2 television, produced film footage that purported to show a 12 year old Palestinian boy, Muhammad Al Dura, deliberately killed by Israelis as he cowered behind his father. The image is familiar world-wide.

Charles Enderlin, Jerusalem bureau chief for France 2, and an enormously well-respected journalist in France, ran with the story, saying that it showed the murder by Israelis of this boy. There was roughly one minute of footage shown, although there were claims that considerable additional footage existed. The story was picked up by other outlets and broadcast widely.

The cameraman, Abu Rahma, gave interviews detailing what he saw, and the story was picked up in print media, as well; several awards were conferred upon him for this work.

There was a preliminary denial by the IDF, followed by a rushed investigation and expressions of regret coupled with admissions that someone in the IDF might have accidentally shot the boy.


It took, literally, years before there was a serious critique of what actually happened with the Al Dura boy emerged. In March 2002, German filmmaker Esther Schapira released a film claiming that the Israelis could not have killed him. This was followed in July by the release of a book by Israeli journalist Amnon Lord, Who Killed Muhammad Al Dura, that maintained his murder had been staged by the Palestinians. Credence was added to this position when, in June 2003, James Fallow wrote in the prestigious journal, the Atlantic Monthly, that the Israelis could not have done it.

This conclusion was based on an investigation involving such matters as the angle of the bullets being shot by the Israelis and where the boy was hiding. There were glaring inconsistencies that were ultimately uncovered as well: there was no footage of the boy actually being shot –– he is just shown first alive and then dead; there is no blood where there should have been; footage that Enderlin claims was cut because it was too gruesome to view turned out not to exist.

In November 2004, Philippe Karsenty, who runs a website, Media Ratings, that serves as a watchdog for misrepresentations and bias in French journalism, called for Enderlin's resignation.

In 2005, Landes himself coined the term "Pallywood," maintaining that the Palestinian practice of staging events was fairly common, e.g., during gun battles, ambulances rush in and carry out on stretchers people who are not really wounded. He saw the Al Dura case as simply the most blatant instance of this practice.


Enderlin, in a decision that would ultimately undo his career, moved to sue Karsenty for defamation. The trial took place in September 2006, with France 2 acting on behalf of Enderlin. A month later the court found against Karsenty.

Karsenty appealed. In September 2007, for the very first time, the IDF requested the full footage raw of the incident. Almost immediately a judge ordered the footage to be viewed in open court. This was a stunning reversal of a judicial attitude that was totally supportive of Enderlin the first time around.

The final decision will come at the end of February, and at this point it is exceedingly unlikely that the court will find for Enderlin and France 2 again.


So what is the significance of this blood libel, and its repercussions?

1) It had a huge effect in the Arab world. Muhammad Al Dura became the poster boy for Arab terrorism and fanaticism, with even Al Qaida utilizing the image. Al Dura's "murder" at the hands of Israelis served as a rallying cry, further radicalizing the Arab world. Moderates, weak to begin with, were further sidelined, as Israel was compared to the Nazis and notions of dealing with the Jewish state were rejected.

2) Unsettlingly, it was picked up largely uncritically by Western media, who seemed all too eager to believe this. Prof. Landes refers to this as an "Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome: Those few who charged that the evidence was not valid were told to keep quiet. The case became a centerpiece of the racist Durban conference in 2000.

3) Most distressingly, there was not a strong and immediate defense from Israel. Had an adequate investigation been done quickly, the libel that was being broadcast would have been debunked. Instead, there was a rush to assume there was likely some Israeli culpability (although not deliberate murder) and thus the policy was to keep quiet. It was thought that raising the issue would simply call further world attention to it.

This speaks to a broader Jewish/Israeli pathology: the tendency to assume guilt when charged. Particularly is this so on the left. It is a running theme that affects both how the world sees us and our ability to state our own case decisively in the media.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Koira, January 14, 2008.

This was written by Chad Groining and is called "Middle East scholar: Bush demonstrated 'historical lapse' in calling for end of Israeli 'occupation'". It appeared today on www.OneNewsNow.com

Robert Spencer, one of the nation's leading critics on Islam, says President Bush experienced "an unconscionable historical and moral lapse" when he recently called for an end to what he called the "occupation" of Arab land by the Israeli military.

Hear this Report

Speaking from the West Bank town of Ramallah, Bush said that "painful political concessions" are needed for the peace process. And he said Israel must agree to adjust its borders back to the lines drawn before the Israeli victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, says territorial acquisitions in war is nothing new. "The idea that after a successful war the victorious nation may occupy some land from the defeated nation in order to increase its national security and minimize the risk of a future attack –– that is something that is as old as warfare," he claims.

But Spencer says the problem is that President Bush does not seem to think Israel has that right. "When Israel does exactly the same thing when faced by an array of hostile states that have sworn its destruction," he continues, "then suddenly this becomes an unacceptable occupation of Arab land. It's really an unconscionable historical and moral lapse on the part of the president."

The Islam critic says it is interesting there were no calls for a Palestinian state when the same territory was occupied by Egypt and Jordan prior to 1967.

Contact Koira by email at koira@dbmail.com

To Go To Top

Posted by UCI, January 14, 2008.

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

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Avodah, January 14, 2008.

This was a news item in Arutz-Sheva (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/139749).

(IsraelNN.com) Israel Airport Authority workers discovered two tons of explosive material intended for Gaza-based terrorists. The explosives were discovered in a truck earmarked for humanitarian aid at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The incident was the second of its kind in less than a month. In late December IDF soldiers discovered 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate hidden in sacks marked "sugar" earmarked for needy Arabs in Gaza

Contact Avodah by email at Avodah15@aol.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Andrew Bostom, January 14, 2008.

From this story, ((http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/172710.html, hat tip Jihad Watch) we learn that The Islamic Action Front –– Jabhat al-'Amal al-Islami, was founded in 1992, as the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and the largest and most influential political party in this "moderate" Arab Muslim nation –– as per its official spokesman Rhayyel Gharaibeh, proclaimed,

"We are awaiting a clear Jordanian official attitude that rejects Israel as a Jewish state and sticks to the Palestinian people's right to an independent and a fully sovereign state as well as to the right of refugees [meaning to infidels: the "right" to demographically overwhelm and destroy/Islamize Israel, i.e. jihad by demography.]"

Mr. Land/Identity Gharaibeh, added:

Bush's hostile statement represents one of the stages of the liquidation of the Palestinian question, the offshoots of which will affect the rights of the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples as well as neighbouring Arab countries. The recognition of the Jewish nature of Israel heralds a new aggression as well as a new chapter of the conspiracy against Arab rights.

The depressing reality is that such stark raving, ahistorical drivel is accepted "wisdom" not only among the Muslim masses (both Arab and non-Arab), but by a universe of equally uninformed, Antisemitic, venal, worn out, or just plain dumb "elites" involved in "Peace Processing."

Such elites would do well to learn some basic facts for example about the chronic plight (i.e., jihad-imposed dhimmitude, for more than a millennium), and brutal pogroms, expropriations, and expulsions of some 900,000 Oriental Jews between 1941 and 1967, in the era leading up to, and following Israel's creation –– a creation which was in full compliance with international law. Moreover, "moderate" Jordan itself –– some 78% of the original League of Nations Mandate for a Jewish National Home in all of historical Palestine –– remains Judenrein by Law, as summarized in historian David Littman's 2002 essay:
(www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= %7b077E6982-9639-49D5-9879-920E7E4E2781)

Jordan covered 78 percent of Palestine as designated by the League of Nations in 1922. Turning a blind eye to article 15 of the League of Nations Mandate, Great Britain decided in 1922 that no Jews would be authorized either to reside or buy land in what was now the Emirate of Transjordan. This decision was ratified by the kingdom of Jordan in its law No. 6, sect. 3, of April 3, 1954 (reactivated in law no. 7, sect. 2, of April 1, 1963), which states that any person may become a citizen of Jordan if he is not a Jew. Even when Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994, this Judenrein legislation remained.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (2005), and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism (2007) This article is archived on his site www.andrewbostom.org

To Go To Top

Posted by Steven Plaut, January 14, 2008.

"Arrest and Prosecute this Occupier of Palestine"

Every time I hear about the Argentine-born anti-Israel anti-Jewish terrorism-justifier conductor Daniel Barenboim, I like to contemplate a nice place in which to insert his baton.

Barenboim has a long history of slavishly servicing the forces of Palestinian fascism. When he is not busy playing Wagner for the Germans, he denounces Israel from just about every venue that comes his way, down to and including Columbia University, while celebrating his personal guru Edward Said.

Barenboim's latest prank has been to accept citizenship in the terrorocracy-in-the-erecting, "Palestine." The Jerusalem Post reports:

' Barenboim, who had been playing regular concerts in the PA –– the only renowned Israeli musician to do so –– said he was honored by the gesture...."I hope that my new status will be an example of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence," said Barenboim as he received the new passport at the end of a concert he played in Ramallah.'

Now I know what you are thinking and that is that this makes Barenboim an occupier of Palestine, in fact –– a settler, and as such he should be just as entitled to the many forms of execration, prosecution, demonization, indictment, violent arrest by police on horses, and other forms of persecution that other Israeli settlers of what Barenboim regards as "Palestine" enjoy every day. Even better, since all those far-Leftist professors in Israel celebrate and promote terror attacks on Jewish settlers as legitimate Palestinian "resistance," they should immediately demand that Barenboim be included in the target.

Me? I propose that we supply Barenboim with a new Preparation H baton.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 14, 2008.


Pres. Mubarak claims that Israel complains about Egypt's not stopping arms smuggling into Gaza in order to distract attention from housing construction by Jews in eastern Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria (IMRA, 1/1/2008).

He must think that murder by terrorists is not as terrible as Jews building houses in certain parts of their homeland.


Hizbullah offers bounties to terrorists in the P.A.. Hamas, itself trained by Iranians abroad, trains the terrorists of Judea-Samaria. Muslims in Judea-Samaria are getting caught before they can commit suicide bombing, thanks to intelligence cooperation between the secret service and IDF. They and those in Israel are throwing fire bombs and rocks at Israeli cars. (How humiliating!)

Thus we see the double danger from Hamas control of Gaza: firing rockets from Gaza and stimulating more expert terrorism in Judea-Samaria.

It should be obvious that Israel must not only invade Gaza but resume control over the border with Sinai (sorry, forgot source). The government of Israel laments loss of control of the border but wont resume control over it.


Although styling themselves in the West as a religion of peace, Muslims in the P.A. have a culture of violence. They usually give toy guns, often modeled closely after real ones, to their children. Those guns sometimes get mistaken for the real thing. A boy who points one at an Israeli soldier may get shot in a mistaken act of self-defense. (Arab children have been known to take advantage of their seeming innocence to port or use real guns.) Therefore, the IDF has confiscated toy guns from stores.

The Christian Peacekeeping Teams, observers in Hebron, have complained that the IDF is violating the Arabs' right. Thought the Christian Peacekeeping Teams, too, were part of a religion of peace and non-violence? (IMRA, 1/3.)

The teams side with the Muslim Arabs against the Jews. They physically interfere with Israeli self-defense and counter-terrorism. They issue biased reports. In this case, their tendency towards non-violence is canceled out by their animus towards Israel. Hypocrisy against Israel is commonplace. Israel should have expelled them.


UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army have allowed Hizbullah units back into positions on the border with Israel (IMRA, 12/30).

Israel's Foreign Min. Livni boasted that her handling of the war –– inviting UNIFIL to patrol Lebanon –– removed Hizbullah from the border. The time that Hizbullah was not at the border it spent rearming. Now it is in the same location and condition as before the war. Difference is, Israel has lost prestige.


Hamas is steadily whittling down Fatah in Gaza, arresting its members and confiscating its equipment (IMRA, 12/30).


The government of Israel agreed with Egypt that Egypt would inspect Gazan pilgrims returning via Egypt for money and contraband. Dr. Aaron Lerner mocked the naivete that expected further security cooperation from Egypt, which lets arms be smuggled into Gaza (IMRA, 12/30).

When the pilgrims returned, Egypt let them in without inspection. Surprised?


By declaring them not so harmful. The government is proposing to drop several groups from "the 'blood on hands' category:

1. Those who wounded Israelis but didn't manage to kill them ('if first you don't succeed...?')

2. Those who sent others to kill Israelis.('just gave orders' instead of 'just followed orders')

3. Those who actively participated in an operation killing Israelis but did not actually pull the trigger that shot a bullet that killed an Israeli.(The beauty of this category is that it means Israel can release all Palestinians (certain Muslim Arabs) serving time for their involvement in successful suicide bombings)

4. Those who killed Israelis a long time ago –– e.g. before Oslo."

Those on the list are as dangerous as the ones it proposes not to release. The difference between wounding and killing may be medical attention. Attempted murderers are no more decent than successful murderers. Those categories terrorist dependence upon organization and infrastructure, making leaders (whom the IDF targets) at least as dangerous as triggermen. Olmert is pathetic!


"Yesterday, Bush said the first thing he would ask Abbas is 'what are you going to do about the rockets' that are being fired from Gaza into Israel. As much we appreciate this question, a more salient one might be: 'Why is your television glorifying suicide bombers?' Just last month, PA television, which Abbas brought under his personal authority when he took office, started rebroadcasting a video that ran dozens of times at the height of the suicide bombing campaign against Israel. The video begins with an imagined scene of a woman shot dead in the back by Israeli soldiers. She then rises to an Islamic paradise to join the '72 virgins' who await any suicide bomber. Next a young man swears to avenge the woman, is also killed by Israelis, and is seen joining this group of young women for his eternal reward. This is education for anything but peace."

"Then there are the dozens of schools named after suicide bombers. There are the recent textbooks that teach that Palestine was stolen by 'Zionist gangs' and deny any Jewish connection to the land. There are the official PA maps and emblems that depict Palestine not as the W. Bank and Gaza, but all of Israel..."

"No one expects Abbas to start teaching his people to be good Zionists. But he cannot make peace when he is readying them for war. On the contrary, just as it took Israelis years to reverse the inculcated rejection of a Palestinian state, it will take Palestinians years to reverse their rejection of the rights and history of a Jewish state. It is a long process, but for a peace agreement to happen, it must be not only begun, but fast-tracked." (IMRA, 1/9 from Jerusalem Post.)

No real demands are made for the Muslims to make peace. Jihad is rising.

It is time for Israelis to reverse the inculcated acceptance of an Arab state west of the Jordan River, and affirm the rights and history for the Jewish state there. That would make war more difficult for the Arabs, who'd have to cross a natural tank barrier to get to Israel, instead of being "side-by-side" with what they call "pigs."

BUSH'S VISION, "Damn His Eyes," As The British Say

Bush said he shares with Olmert and Abbas their vision of two democratic states living together in peace, for which both want to negotiate. Then he "suggests" the outcome of "their" negotiations, such as the P.A. being contiguous (though that would make Israel non-contiguous) and Israel having secure borders (IMRA, 1/10) which it cannot, without the full Territories. Negotiate? No, the P.A. wants Rice to dictate to Israel and Israel to pretend to negotiate. Democratic and in peace? Israel is a police state; the P.A. regime is Islamo-fascist and imperialistic with declared designs on Israel; Bush is an enemy of the Jewish people, diplomacy his weapon against them.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 14, 2008.

True Respect for Democracy.
by Steven Shamrak.

Maybe because I was born and raised in dictatorial Communist country, like the former Soviet Union, I feel a special admiration and respect for the ideals of democracy that are practiced in the USA and, to a degree, in Israel. I have the same respect for the executive offices of the President and the PM. Unfortunately, the people who are elected to these offices quite often do not reach the level of integrity these positions demand!

Every day of my life I used to live surrounded by political propaganda in a country where brainwashing of the population was the principal survival preoccupation of the government. Every member of Soviet society was an active or silent participant of this dehumanisation machinery which affected 270 million people.

Therefore, I am able to see and feel with heightened sensitivity the abuse of the power, manipulation of the public and enormous level of corruption that are being perpetrated by unscrupulous officials, who are only serving the self- and special-interest groups which put them in the office of power: the United State, Europe and Israel! Fortunately, Muslim and Arab states have not reached a level of such hideous sophistication.

It is my high level of respect for democracy that compels me to speak out and expose corruption. Democracy demands free expression of opinion and accountability of the leadership. It was practiced freely during the early days of French revolution and even during the Russian revolution in 1917, but was lost because public allowed self-serving opportunists to take over of their lives!

It is a moral duty of any self-respecting person, especially those living in a democratic society and who cherish its values (where they are not at the risk of losing their life and the right of freedom of speech is supported, so far, by actionable laws) to speak out and defend their rights and keep political hypocrisy and corruption accountable. Capitulation to the abuse of power and corruption results in a high level of apathy and feeling of personal insignificance among the public. It ultimately destroys democracy!

True democracy not only requires freedom of expression and accountability, it needs them for self-preservation! Silence, apathy and false political correctness are disrespectful and mortally dangerous to democracy!

Fatah Joined al Qaeda terror Threats to Bush. The "Aqsa Martyrs", an offshoot of the Al Aqsa Brigades, which belong to Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, has just threatened "a big surprise" for President George W. Bush's 48 hours visit in Israel. (Another 'moderate' Arab terror group!)

Three Katyusha 107mm rockets from Lebanon hit W. Galilee town Shlomi Monday night, week ago.

Food for Thought.
by Steven Shamrak

There are so many 'overseers' who are eagerly facilitating the Arabs' desire to destroy Israel! Not one of them is interested in administration of the Arabs' withdrawal from Jewish land! Maybe it is time for Israel to begin supervising the US withdrawal from occupied Mexican territories, French and Spanish departure from Basque region, Russian departure from the Western Prussia and the re-unification of the people of the Ireland !

Gaza Welcome Bush: American School Bombed. Arab terrorists bombed the American school in Gaza Thursday, apparently in response to US President Bush's demands that the PA give up terrorism.

US Occupation of 'Palestine ' –– And Blatant Hypocrisy. Bush's 1,500-strong Secret Service unit occupies Palestinian government center in Ramallah during his first visit. (So much 'effort', time and money are wasted on a publicity stunt and personal promotion of George W. Bush wich will not bring peace, but only prolong the suffering of Jews in Israel from Arab terror.) It is unrealistic to expect Arab nations to drop their long standing hatred of Israel, "their historic enemy," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said as she accompanied President Bush during his visit in Kuwait. (But, it is realistic to demand from Israel to surrender Jewish land to Arab occupiers! Jews can take anything –– Even self-destruction?)

Call to Free Pollard. Several heads of Knesset factions have signed a letter calling on United States President George Bush to free Jonathon Pollard. Olmert refused to allow participants at Thursday's working meal to raise the issue of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, claiming that it was not the appropriate time to discuss the case. (When is the appropriate time? This traitor and 'mental case' must leave the PM's office! Sadly, they listen and obeyed him.)

Gaza Chants "Death to America!" Thousands of Arabs in Gaza marched through Gaza City, shouting "death to Israel and America" in protest at US President George W. Bush's Middle East tour. The angry crowds burned American and Israeli flags in the streets while calling for international pressure on Israel. (So-called Palestinians are Islamists and the enemy of Israel and the USA!)

Police Violated Freedom of Speech. Activists Susie Dym, Jeff Daube, and Yehudit Dassberg were arrested by Israeli police on Wednesday for giving journalists a booklet detailing the ties between terrorist groups and Fatah, the party currently in control of the Palestinian Authority. The arrests clearly violated the democratic principle of freedom to speech and expression.

Quote of the Week:

"...no one is demanding peace at the end of the process. You will recall that one of the things Arafat balked at Camp David, was signing an "end of conflict agreement". Today no one is even mentioning such a thing and the Arab League is only offering 'normalization' whatever that means." –– Ted Belman –– This process is designed to destroy Israel!

"I intend to work very hard in the course of this year to create a Palestinian state." –– U.S. President George W. Bush told President Shimon Peres. –– No commitment to stop Arab terror! But, 'One year president' is too eager to give up Jewish land to Arabs!

New Rocket Has Been Tested. Hamas has developed, manufactured and tested a rocket with a range of 15 km. About two weeks ago, a version of the rocket was fired from northern Gaza to its south in order to test its range. The rocket can easily reach Ashkelon if fired from Gaza City.

Olmert a Sycophant. Senior sources in the Likud called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "a sycophant" following Olmert's meeting with United States President George Bush. Olmert praised Bush when he should have been standing up for Israeli interests.

US Support for Israel. Over 60 percent of Americans now believe that the US should support Israel, up from a low point of 23% in 2003 and showing a rise of over 10% since the Second Lebanon War. Conversely, close to 50% have an unfavourable opinion of the 'Palestinians'. (People are smarter and know better than the self-serving president, who does not care about the feelings and opinions of his own people!)

War on Terror and Hypocracy Pays. Former British prime minister Tony Blair will be paid £500,000 ($1.1 million) in his new part-time job with one of Wall Street's biggest banks.

Undivided Jerusalem is the Basic Law.
Extract from "Olmert is Warned: 'Talk About Jerusalem –– Break the Law'"
by Hillel Fendel.

Two Jerusalem organizations have sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, reminding him that discussions with US President Bush or PA Chairman Abbas regarding a possible division of Jerusalem are in violation of Israeli law. Clauses 5 and 6 of one of Israel's cardinal laws –– Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel –– mean that Jerusalem 's status as the united and sole capital of Israel may not be compromised.

The first clause of the law in question, passed in 1980 under Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Yitzchak Navon, states, "Jerusalem, whole and united, is the capital of Israel." Clause 5 stipulates the precise area of Jerusalem, while Clause 6 states, "No authorities relating to the area of Jerusalem and that is in the legal purview of the State of Israel or the Municipality of Jerusalem shall be transferred to any foreign political or governmental element, whether permanently or for a set period."

Clause 7 states that Clauses and 5 and 6 may not be changed except if another Basic Law is accepted by the majority of the Knesset. Therefore, the negotiate with Israel's enemies –– including Mr. Abu Mazen, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority –– regarding the re-division of Jerusalem and the ceding of parts of the city –– in violation of the Basic Law.

Attorney Ben-Yosef explains why his warning is timely: "Given that you and/or ministers in your government are liable to wage such negotiations during and after the visit of US President Bush, you are hereby required to declare immediately that you will observe the Basic Law and that you will not wage any negotiations over the future of Jerusalem while the above law and/or its clauses are still in effect."

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He publishes internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@mail2world.com

To Go To Top

Posted by Simon McIlwaine, January 14, 2008.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared yesterday in the Jewish Chronicle (JC). It is archived at
http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=558 Some passages in this piece were omitted from the article as published in the JC.

Beyond the grandstanding over President Bush's visit to Israel this week, there is an even more important concern than over what America may be pushing it to do. This is Israel's own attitude towards its identity and history and, by extension, its right to exist at all.

Among the Israeli intellectual elite, the instinct for national self-destruction reaches near-hallucinatory levels.

A recent research paper by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, which wondered why unlike other armies Israeli soldiers did not rape women under their occupation, claimed that this was because IDF troops viewed Arab women as sub-human. This absurd piece of malice was awarded a teachers' committee prize by the Hebrew University.

Clearly, Nitzan should have interviewed Ha'aretz editor-in-chief David Landau, who was reported as telling US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a dinner last September that the Israeli government wanted 'to be raped' as it was a 'failed state' that needed a US-imposed settlement.

Such grand guignol flights from reason can only deepen respect for the strategic genius of Yasser Arafat. He understood that while Jews would unite against conventional attack, they wouldn't cope with the psychological pressure of being turned into international pariahs through a falsified colonial narrative of oppression.

But even he could hardly have foreseen the extent to which Israeli intellectuals would so completely invert their own history, and swallow the fiction that the Middle East impasse is over the division of the land and that Jewish possession of that land is illegitimate.

This series of untruths has now coalesced into an axiomatic assumption that Jerusalem must be divided, as stated by Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in an interview in the Jerusalem Post last weekend.

But as Dore Gold authoritatively documents in his important book 'The Fight for Jerusalem', the Jews have a unique and overwhelming claim to Jerusalem which is central to the unique nature of the Jewish state.

It is no accident, therefore, that this pressure to divide Jerusalem comes at a time when the Jewishness of Israel is being openly called into question. Olmert says that a 'two state solution' is essential to preserve Israel as a Jewish state. But the Arabs themselves have now ruled out a Jewish state altogether. Shortly before Annapolis, the Palestinians' chief negotiator Saeeb Erekat said they would 'never acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity'.

Olmert insists nevertheless that Mahmoud Abbas accepts Israel as a Jewish state 'in his soul'. Olmert clearly possesses truly wondrous psychic powers, displayed even as members of Fatah associated with Abbas's own security apparatus were murdering two Israelis on a hike near Hebron.

The west believes that dividing Jerusalem is the fairest solution. But when were aggressors ever thus rewarded at the expense of their victims, even while they continued their century-old war as the Arabs are doing?

Why doesn't Israel put the record straight? Why doesn't it remind the world of that same world's conclusion back in 1920 that the Jews had a unique claim to the entire land of Israel, including Jerusalem? Why doesn't it recall how, when Jordan illegally occupied east Jerusalem until 1967, it desecrated Jewish holy sites, ripping up Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives to use them for latrines?

Why doesn't it tell the world that the Islamic claim to Jerusalem is not so much religious as political –– and that as Gold states in his book, since the capture of Jerusalem is seen as the precursor to the fall of the entire west the division of the city would recruit untold additional numbers to the global jihad?

It doesn't do so for two reasons. First, it still fails to grasp that the real battleground is composed not of rockets and human bombs but of ideas. And second, much of its intellectual class has come to believe the mendacious propaganda of Israel's enemies.

In Israeli schools and on campus, there is widespread ignorance of Jewish history and of the indissoluble bond between the religion, the people and the land which constitutes Jewish identity. When Israel's Education Minister issues a textbook for Israeli Arab children that teaches them the Arab propaganda line that the 1948 War of Independence was a naqba, or catastrophe, something has gone badly wrong with the foundations of Israeli self-belief.

When the Israel government refuses to stop the Muslim authorities in charge of the Temple Mount from destroying countless excavated artefacts from the Temple in order to obliterate the evidence of the historic Jewish claim to Jerusalem, one has to conclude that Israeli diplomacy has morphed into pathology.

The real reason Israel doesn't fight the battle of ideas to defend Jewish history and identity is that increasingly it is repudiating them. The Arabs thus don't need to do much to bring about the end of the Jewish state. The Jews will do it for them. *

Simon McIlwaine is with Anglican Friends of Israel (www.anglicanfriendsofisrael.com). Contact him at Simon.McIlwaine@ormerods.co.uk

To Go To Top

Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, January 14, 2008.

This was written by Yaakov Katz and it appeared in the

The sanctions were imposed last month as part of Israeli efforts to pressure Hamas and Islamic Jihad into stopping the daily Kassam rocket attacks against Sderot and other communities in the Western Negev. The move came under harsh international criticism and a number of petitions were filed in the High Court of Justice against it.

In a brief submitted to the court on Thursday, the state wrote that Defense Minister Ehud Barak had decided to suspend the sanctions and even increase the amount of industrial diesel Israel supplies to Gaza from 1.75 million liters a week to 2.2 million. The fuel is used exclusively by Gaza's sole power plant to produce electricity.

While the state's brief to the court appeared to be a reversal of Barak's earlier decision to impose the sanction, defense officials told The Jerusalem Post Sunday that after the Palestinian fuel storage containers were full, Israel would then complete its disengagement from the Gaza Strip and cut off all ties, including the supply of fuel and electricity.

Analysis: An incompetent bungle from start to finish

"The idea is to give them an increased amount of fuel so they can quickly fill up their tankers and when they are full we will then cut the supplies," a defense official said. "The ultimate idea is to completely disengage from Gaza and to cut off all ties with the Strip."

Meanwhile Sunday, the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration released its annual statistics for 2007 showing that despite Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip in June and the continued Kassam rocket attacks throughout the year, more than 7,000 Palestinians were allowed to travel to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank –– an increase of 50 percent in comparison to 2006. Close to 8,000 more were allowed to accompany them.

Defense officials said great risks were often taken when allowing Palestinians to exit Gaza and travel to Israel for medical care. Earlier this month, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released a report detailing a number of cases when Palestinian terrorists tried to take advantage of the "medical route" and use it to enter Israel to perpetrate terror attacks.

"Terrorists take advantage of the medical route," OC Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration Col. Nir Press said, adding: "Despite this, the vast numbers of those treated outside the Gaza Strip demonstrates our efforts to find the delicate balance between security needs and humanitarian requirements."

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Hadar, January 14, 2008.

This was written by Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and it appeared today in Haaretz. It is archived at www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/944305.html It is entitled "Barak reaches deal for evacuation of outposts".

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has reached an agreement with leaders of the settlement movement for the peaceful evacuation of 18 outposts in the West Bank, sources close to the minister told Haaretz. They warned that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "rash" intention of forcefully uprooting an outpost near Ramallah may jeopardize the deal. The prime minister's associates said that the accusations against him were "intolerable."

Olmert himself said Sunday that not evacuating outposts was "disgraceful."

Barak's associates claim the defense minister was angered by an article in Yedioth Ahronoth, last Friday, quoting sources close to Olmert as saying that the prime minister is distrustful of the understanding between Barak and the settlers. The paper said Olmert is determined to evacuate Migron.

"Olmert is acting with the same frivolousness that characterized his behavior in the Second Lebanon War," Barak's aides said, adding that Olmert was "endangering efforts to achieve an evacuation without violence."

The agreement between Barak and the Yesha Council, which represents the settlers in the West Bank, was struck after long months of deliberations. The talks were organized by Barak's adviser on settlements, Eitan Broshi, and the minister's chief of staff, Brigadier General Mike Herzog.

Barak's office says the negotiations involved 26 outposts which were set up since March, 2001. Israel has consented to evacuate them as set out in the United States' road map plan, authored by the administration of President George W. Bush.

Sources close to the defense minister said Barak had on three occasions presented Olmert with a compromise for the consensual eviction of 18 of the outposts. Olmert opted to postpone the deal each time, claiming the timing wasn't right, the sources said.

The settlers from the 18 outposts would, under the agreement, move to existing, neighboring communities. However, Barak's negotiators did not agree to allow the settlers from the various outposts to move to other outposts.

In exchange for moving to preexisting settlements, the settlers stand to receive building concessions. Additionally, Barak offered to grant them permits for infrastructure projects which the government has shelved for some time.

Barak's associates said he thought that an agreement could also be reached on the evacuation of Migron, which is located near Ramallah and is the largest outpost on the list. Barak's people said the settlers realized that evacuation of the contested outpost was inevitable, as it is located on privately owned Palestinian land.

"The settler leaders know that the High Court of Justice will ultimately order the evacuation," sources from Barak's office explained. They added that the minister was aware of reports by the Shin Bet security service's so-called "Jewish department," which deals with terrorism by Jews and predicted that evacuation of the outpost would be "extremely violent." They said Barak was trying to avoid such bloodshed.

"It seems as though the prime minister is actually seeking a violent confrontation with the settlers for political gain. This sort of frivolity could end in violence," Barak's aides warned.

Olmert's office rejected the allegations: "After four years of little progress on the unauthorized outposts, it can hardly be argued that the prime minister is acting frivolously," they said in response. "Such a statement cannot be tolerated." They added that Olmert's comments at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, to the effect that refraining from evacuating outposts is disgraceful, should not be seen as criticism aimed at Barak, "who assumed office only last June."

As for the prime minister's attitude toward the result of Barak's negotiations with the settlers, one source from Olmert's office said that it "does not meet any of the standards of real agreements." The official went on to say that the settlers' leaders are seeking to arrange a deal involving something the settlers do not legally own.

Other sources from Olmert's office said that President Bush's visit last week in Israel served to spotlight the illegal outposts. "Olmert has given the negotiations plenty of time to progress. But there's a limit," one of the prime minister's associates said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Ahmed Qurei, head of the Palestinian Authority's negotiating team, are scheduled to meet Monday in Jerusalem to discuss for the first time the core issues for a permanent peace agreement.

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

To Go To Top

Posted by Tehillim Chain, January 13, 2008.

We received this email from Doris Jaffe. She writes

This is the update I received today, Jan. 9th, for the baby boy requiring heart surgery. We were davening for Ha Tinook ben Sara. Joyfully, his name is Levi Nachman, per message below. Thanks for your tfilohs. May HaShem's rachamim reach all the cholim.

The letter below is from Levi Nachman's parents, Chanon and Sara.

Thanks for your <